Purgatory the Masterpiece of God's Mercy
By Author Susan Tassone

All who die in God's grace and friendship, are indeed assured of their salvation; but after death some undergo purification, so as to be free from all sin, and achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1030). This

teaching is based on the practice of prayer for the dead mentioned in Sacred Scripture, "Therefore (Judas Maccabeus) made atonement for the dead, from their sin" (2Macc 12:45). From the beginning Holy Mother Church has honored the memory of the dead by offering prayers in suffrage for them. Above all,

the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most efficacious means to help the souls in Purgatory. WHY? THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS IS THE HIGHEST ACT OF WORSHIP AND THE HIGHEST FORM OF PRAYER.


Prayer is an indispensable means of attaining salvation for ourselves and our deceased loved ones. Fervent and submissive prayer penetrates the clouds and moves the heart of God to mercy.

The prayer of St. Augustine (+430) for his mother, St. Monica, is another important testimony from the early Church about prayer for the dead. He wrote: "Forgive her too, O Lord, if she trespassed against you in the long years of her life after baptism. Forgive her I beseech, you; do not call her to account. Let your mercy give your judgment an honorable welcome, for your words, are true and you have promised mercy to the merciful" (Confessions, Book 9:13).


Monica is quoted by her saintly son as telling him at the end of her life to lay her body to rest anywhere, but to remember her at the sacrifice of the altar. Recent studies show that prayer heals, and recoveries are 50% quicker for those who had surgery, even if the patient was unaware that he was being prayed for. An Arizona study journal reports that intercessory prayer produced measurable improvement in the medical outcomes of critically ill patients.

Today, many are discovering how the Eucharist not only purifies the souls of those who have died but also heals the living as they come into deeper relationship with Jesus.

Dr. Kenneth McCall has had over 1000 cases of emotional or physical healing of clients when they offered a Mass for their deceased loved ones. The Mass heals the living and the dead! The holy souls in Purgatory need our prayers. The Mass is the great form of prayer to assist the souls attain heaven. St. John Chrysostom says, "Christ is the victim that gives solace to the dead."


They are our families, relatives and friends. Whom do you miss the most? For whom do you wish you could have done more for in this life? Who has hurt you? Who has helped you the most spiritually or temporarily? Have a Mass offered for them! And remember to have a Mass offered for yourself.

Christ told St. Faustina, "All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only know the torments they suffer."


It is not the fire we imagined as a child where souls are surrounded by flames of fire. Their suffering is one of longing and separation from God. They see Him and know Him but are not united with Him. No sooner has the soul departed this life than it beholds God, and from this "sight" the soul receives at once so deep and vivid a knowledge of God and all His infinite perfections that it is utterly incapable of being occupied with anything other than the divine beauty and goodness.

The soul feels so drawn toward God that it finds it altogether impossible to wish, to seek, and to love anything but God. The soul experiences at once an insatiable hunger and thirst after God; it pants for its supreme good with a most ardent desire, 'GOD! GOD! I MUST BE WITH GOD" IS THE SOUL'S CONSTANT CRY.

Souls undergo purification necessary for heaven and they beg for our prayers and suffrages---our intercessions. We often hear, "Oh, the soul of this or that person is certainly in Heaven" and so we fail to pray for them. How often does this false charity cause souls to suffer and delay their entry into Heaven? Let us rather be their advocate by our prayers and turn their pain into everlasting joy.


Eucharistic Adoration is another most assured means of prayer in helping the holy souls reach heaven and is highly pleasing to God. In union with Christ, the supreme mediator, adorers share in the office of mediator on behalf of mankind by their unceasing prayers offering up supplication day and night to God's throne of mercy on behalf of the members of the Church. Almsgiving, indulgences, works of penance, the Rosary and Stations of the Cross are the "pillars" to help the souls in Purgatory.


By praying and making sacrifices for the Holy Souls we have the power and privilege to shorten their Purgatory and unite them fully with God. In return, their gratitude will bring you countless blessings. There are no ungrateful souls in Heaven. Once the soul enters Heaven they prostrate themselves before the throne of God and pray unceasingly for those who, through their prayers, helped to release them from Purgatory. They will pray for us all the days of our lives until we are safely home in Heaven! They become our dearest and sincerest friends here on earth and for all eternity! How can we pass up this grace?! While we have time, let us do good and pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Susan Tassone is author of the best selling books: The Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls, The Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, 30 Day Devotion for the Holy Souls, Prayers of Intercession for the Holy Souls with Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Fr. John Grigus of Marytown.

Susan Tassone has offered previous articles to Medjugorje USA. You can view these articles in our interview section under authors. Click here to visit the interview section>>> Medjugorje USA's Interview Page

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