NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
Last week I wrote about the celebration of Halloween and its relation to the Feast of All Saints. The topic of this article is the third day of this three-day feast, All Souls’ Day. This day, celebrated on November 2, follows the Feast of All Saints and is a commemoration of all the faithful departed who die in faith and friendship with God. Catholic doctrine teaches that not all that die are ready for the Glory of God in heaven, but must pass through a process of purgation for their sins. This process of purgation is called Purgatory. What the Church believes and teaches about Purgatory is essentially two things:
A process of purgation and purification must take place before entering heaven.
The prayers and masses offered for these souls help them in the process of purgation.
The Church has no doctrine as to the exact nature of Purgatory, other than that it exists and our prayers help those souls there. Many theologians, including our present Pope Benedict XVI, believe that Purgatory is not a temporal place, but rather a state of being. In other words, Purgatory may be that moment when we come face to face with God and for the first time in our lives realize the true depth of our sins, and for the first time experience the true depth of God’s love, which we cannot do in this life on earth because of our human limitations, rather than a place where souls go for and spend millennia to repent of their sins.