Sunday, November 2, 2008

Purgatorial Work

I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory, then we would have to invent it, for who would dare say of himself that he was able to stand directly before God. And yet we don't want to be, to use an image from Scripture, 'a pot that turned out wrong,' that has to be thrown away; we want to be able to be put right. Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again. That he can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with him and can stand there in the fullness of life. Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.
- Pope Benedict XVI

Each generation has the duty to pray for those who have gone before, for they cannot pray now for themselves. However, as we pray for them, we may solicit and receive their prayers for us - a true boon and blessing.

How much our generation has need of their prayers! And how much we fail to pray for our blessed departed and solicit their prayers! They are now free of the space/time continuum in which we dwell, and biological matters do not hinder them in the foothills of heaven that we call purgatory. They who are there truly want to be there, for, as the Holy Father says (above), it is in purgatory that they are being made ready to join joy and revelry of the marriage banquet of the Lamb.

And who'd want to show up there in the rags of sin and wrath, I ask you?

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