All Souls’ Day

Catholics are urged to pray for the souls in Purgatory every day, but on November 2, we focus on it exclusively. So, to my Catholic readers, don’t neglect this important duty. And to my non-Catholic Christian friends, here is what the RCC actually teaches.

From The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.

This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, mentioned in Sacred Scripture… From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead.” (CCC 1030-1032)

Myth: Purgatory is a second chance at salvation.

Truth: At death, a person’s eternal destiny is sealed: s/he will either spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is a temporary place that people who are already assured of Heaven may go if they are not yet ready to approach the All Holy God. C.S. Lewis noted that while his church did not teach its existence, he hoped it did, because he figured he’d still need to get cleaned up a bit before approaching the Throne.

Myth: Purgatory isn’t in the Bible.

Truth: In 1 Corinthians 3;11-15, St. Paul describes a period after death, but before Heaven, in which a Christian is purified with fire. That’s Purgatory. There’s more on this at the second link below.

No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Myth: Purgatory is a way of being saved apart from Christ.

Truth: As already mentioned, Purgatory is only for people who have died in friendship with Christ and are assured of Heaven. Further, the purifying process of Purgatory is only through the grace of Jesus Christ. So rather than being something in competition with Christ, Purgatory is an occasion for the grace of Christ.

Myth: Indulgences are a way of buying salvation.

Truth: An indulgence is something granted by the Church that limits or removes a person’s need for Purgatory after death. Indulgences do not, however, determine whether a person goes to Heaven or Hell. Further, while historically there have been abuses regarding indulgences, the Catholic Church teaches that the selling of spiritual things is a sin called “simony.” There is more on this at the third link below.

Myth: Praying for the dead is a late medieval corruption of the faith.

Truth: Praying for the dead was practiced by Jews prior to Jesus, as recorded in 2 Maccabees 12. It was also practiced in the early Church. More on this at the fourth link below.


Filed under Loose Pollen

3 responses to “All Souls’ Day

  1. Roxanne Bloomer

    Please pray for my Dad who died this past July.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This past weekend, was contemplating the “must be as a little child to enter the kingdom.” This and all you post are very inspiring, especially the Messianic/Jewish testimonials.

    And I wonder if that is where the souls are that are under the altar (Revelation) – Purgatory – what with the fire and all that is involved… and then they are given robes.

    Lord bless you!

    Liked by 1 person