Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 27th

The Duration of Purgatory


Purgatory will continue until the Day of Judgment. There will be some there still, who have been expiating their sins in dreadful torments for long years, perhaps for centuries. We read in the revelations of the Saints, of men being condemned to suffer the torment of fire as long as the world shall last. The Church, in sanctioning Masses in perpetuity, favors this opinion. At all events, fifty, or one hundred, or one thousand years, will be the extent of the time that some will have to endure the penalty of sins committed during their life. Shall not I have to expect a long Purgatory?

No time on earth will appear a hundredth part as long as the long tedious hours in Purgatory. Those who have been there but for a day, have complained that they had been left there for a hundred years or more; a few moments seem like months. We little know what we are preparing for ourselves when we commit venial sins, or what is in store for us by reason of our imperfect atonement for past sins.

Each soul that appears before God at the particular judgment with sin imperfectly atoned for will be condemned to a certain period of Purgatory, a fixed number of days, or weeks, or months, or years, as the case may be. But the time may be shortened by the prayers and suffrages of those on earth and in Heaven. God will provide relief for those who have relieved others, but those, who have neglected the suffering souls, will in their turn be left to work out their time of suffering unaided. Be wise and provide for yourself friends now, that they may receive you into eternal habitations.

Sorrowful floral strip

The Devout Year by the Rev. R.F. Clarke, S.J.

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