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Purgatory – Heaven’s Healing Waters

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The word “Purgatory” all too often invokes images of suffering, tormented souls. The word never appears in the Bible but has nevertheless become a major bone of contention within the Church. Beginning my faith journey as a Protestant, Purgatory was presented to me as a Catholic teaching that proves that Catholics do not understand the saving grace of the message of Jesus Christ—that Catholics somehow believe that they will be made to pay for their sins in torment after they pass from this life. The sad truth, though, is that is exactly Purgatory Coverwhat many Catholics have been taught through the age of the Church regardless of the truth of what the Bible communicates and what official Church doctrine states. During my conversion process into the Catholic Church, I began to come to the understanding that this doctrine was not a Catholic fabrication, but a beautiful truth so very clearly illustrated throughout Scripture. God is our loving healer, and once the scales begin to fall from the eyes of our understanding and we learn to read scripture, not through Protestant or Catholic lenses, but through lenses of how much God loves us, we will begin to see clearly how much our loving Father desires to heal us from the filth of this life. What we need to understand is that God is not a vindictive spirit that gets some type of sick feeling of satisfaction out of watching those whom He created suffer. The truth is that Purgatory is a place where our loving Lord brings us to wash us free from the wounds suffered in this life. It is not a place of punishment for sin, but a place where we will learn to wade out into deep places of the healing waters of Heaven. Once we truly understand this truth within our hearts, we will begin to thirst for this place of existence that we call Purgatory.

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4 thoughts on “Purgatory – Heaven’s Healing Waters

  1. I was a cradle Catholic, who was raised, taught, and believed in the teachings of the Catholic Church until I was almost fifty years old. The teaching on Purgatory is one that I have taken issue with. What I learned is that Purgatory is where you go at death to suffer from unrepented sins. This was in complete contradiction to the teaching that salvation is a free gift from God, made possible by the gift of His Son, to erase all consequences of sin from our souls. I am happy to read of your explanation of the doctrine of Purgatory; it makes sense to me. I had researched the reason for the Catholic Church’s doctrine of Purgatory about seventeen years ago, and was led to the Scripture that referenced “in the life to come”, but that didn’t provide me an explanation for suffering for my sins after death, since my salvation is a free gift from God. And I am blessed to have faith by the grace of God, not by anything I ever did or can do. I must admit that I was never certain that I could attain eternity in Heaven because I didn’t know if I could be “good enough”. Now I know that nothing I can do can make me worthy. My righteousness is only possible because I am washed in the Blood of Christ. Although the Catholic Church taught me that it is a free gift, I feel that the Church contradicted that teaching (fact) in making me feel that I had to do works in order to earn the gift. Thank you for providing a reasonable explanation of Purgatory that is not contradictory to the free gift of salvation. I will be buying the book.

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    • Donna,

      The Diary of St. Faustina has watered my spirit on many occasions. I have not spent a great deal of time studying her life, but I do know that she loved our Lord with an unbridled passion. I have a cubbyhole in the dashboard of my pickup truck that holds a Devine Mercy prayer card allowing the image of her painting to be in my sight while driving.

      I understand that her vision of Purgatory is different than my own. Many of the saints held different visions of Purgatory along with many other beliefs of The Church. I am looking forward to spending time with St. Faustina on the other side of the veil. Until then I will rejoice with her in our mutual passion for Jesus.

      I would like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from St. Faustina’s Diary.

      “Oh, how pleasing are the hymns flowing from a suffering soul!
      All heaven delights in such a soul,
      especially when it is tested by God.
      It mornfully sings out its longing for Him.
      Great is the beauty, because it comes from God.
      The soul walks through the jungle of life,
      wounded by God’s love.
      With one foot only it touches the ground”.

      Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary 114

      May God continually preserve you with His lovingkindness​​ and His truth. (Psalm 40:11 NASB Paraphrased)

      W.J. Novack

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