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Alms for the Souls in Purgatory

November 2, 2009
Purgatory-lodovico-carracciI was recently reading the November edition of Restoration, the paper published by Madonna House. In it was an excerpt from the foundress of Madonna House, Catherine Doherty, on the souls in purgatory.  She asks why we call them poor souls since the souls in purgatory are guaranteed eternal life... it's just a question of when!
It's a good point.  I can think of countless times where I've heard, or said myself, the poor souls in purgatory... but hey, they have seen God and they will see God!  They can't be that poor!  Catherine of course goes on to say that the souls are not poor -- but rich. Rich with joy, and rich with pain: they understand the effect of sin on the soul, they have seen God but they can't yet be with Him; they will first have to be purified.
Catherine suggests that we on earth can do something very important for these rich souls: offer prayers and Masses for them. We can help hasten their time in purgatory so that they will no longer be apart from God; rich souls united with their Treasure, so to speak.
It's something for us to keep in mind this November--a month in which the Church traditionally remembers the souls in purgatory.
For more on purgatory, tune into an encore presentation of my Catholic Focus episode The Four Last Things which airs Tuesday, November 3rd at 7pm and 11pm ET.
For more on Catherine Doherty, watch online my Catholic Focus interview with the postulator of her cause, Fr. Bob Wild, HERE. Though we don't discuss purgatory, we do discuss her spirituality, the influence of her Russian roots, the Little Mandate that guides the Madonna House community, Poustinia, Sobornost, and more!