Reflection 148: Mercy for Those in Purgatory

When a loved one dies, it is easy to instantly presume they are in Heaven and are no longer in need of our prayers.  But one of the greatest gifts we can offer to those who have gone before us is our prayers.  It’s true that every person who dies in a state of grace (meaning they do not have unrepented mortal sin), will enter into the glories of Heaven, eventually.  However, what we may often forget is that in order to enter into the full glory of the presence of the Most Holy Trinity, every last sin, no matter how small, must be purged away.  This is Purgatory, and Purgatory is a clear and definitive teaching of our faith.  But Purgatory, itself, is so easily misunderstood.  It’s not a place we go to be punished as a result of God’s anger.  Rather, it’s a state in which we enter our final purification on account of God’s love.  It is His burning love that has the effect of purifying us of every last attachment we have to sin.  Every bad habit, every omission of charity, every foul thought, everything that cannot enter into Heaven with us.  Purgatory is an act of God’s Mercy and we are called to help pour forth that Mercy on others through our prayers, sacrifices, and indulgences offered on their behalf after they pass from this Earth (See Diary #748).

Think about your loved ones who have gone before you.  Let your love for them compel you to pray for them, especially today.  Trust that the prayers, sacrifices and indulgences you offer for them are the greatest gift of Mercy you can give.

Lord, I pray for (mention a loved one who has passed) and pray for Your Divine Mercy to flood his/her soul.  Purify every sin away and grant entrance into the glories of Your Heavenly Kingdom.  I pray also for all holy souls in most need of Your Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.