It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that
they may be loosed from sins. 2 Machabees 12:46
The Two Catholic Views of Purgatory
Based on Catholic Teaching and Revelations of Saintly Souls
Oh, what a wonderful thing is the life of a fervent Catholic! It is almost
omnipotent, almost omnipresent, because it is not so much he who lives as Christ
who liveth in him! Oh, what is it we are touching and handling every day of
our lives, all so full of supernatural vigor, of secret unction, of divine forceand
yet we consider not, but waste intentions and trifle time away in the midst
of this stupendous supernatural system of grace, as unreflecting almost as stone
embedded in the earth and borne round unconsciously in its impetuous revolutions
day by day. Pages 60-61
Father Faber was born in Yorkshire, England in 1814. He was converted from
the Anglican ministry to Catholicism in 1845. Ordained a priest in 1847, he
joined the Oratorians in 1848 under John Henry Cardinal Newman. In addition
to numerous fine hymns, Fr. Faber authored nine books: Spiritual Conferences,
All for Jesus, Growth in Holiness, The Blessed Sacrament, The Foot of the Cross,
The Precious Blood, Bethlehem, The Creator and the Creature and Notes on Doctrinal
Subjects, plus a volume of poems, essays and other minor works. In addition,
he published a series of 49 Lives of Modern Saints (the Oratorian
Lives) which highlight the Saints growth in sanctity under the operation
of grace. Fr. Faber died in London in 1863. He is considered a master of the
theology of the spiritual life.
Father Frederick William Faber
1. The Thought of Hell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2. Devotion to the Souls in Purgatory . . . . 6
3. First View: Purgatory Similar to Hell . . 15
4. Second View: The Souls Desire for
Purification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5. Union of the Two Views of Purgatory . . 36
6. Other Benefits of This Devotion . . . . . . 47
7. The Example of the Saints . . . . . . . . . . 62
Prayers for the Souls in Purgatory . . . . . . . 76
But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall
render an account for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36
Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay
the last farthing. Matthew 5:26
The Thought of Hell
It is incredible how dear the glory of God becomes to those who are continually
on the lookout for it. The very search gives them new senses whereby they can
find it, while daily increasing love is perpetually sharpening their discernment.
The earth is full of Thy glory. What a joy to a loving heart! But
it is not enough that Heaven has overflowed and that the earth is filled with
the blessed inundation of His glory. We would fain [wish] there should not be
a nook of creation which is not full of it. Yet there is one place where that
glory seems frustrated, one place from which there rises neither plaint of
prayer, nor joy of praise, nor blessing of thanks, nor aspiration of desire.
It is the house of those who have had their trial and lost their cause, and
with it have lost God forever. Here is grace which has not borne fruit, or whose
fruits have rotted upon the tree. Here are Sacraments which have come to nought.
The Cross has been a failure, and Gods loving purposes have been successfully
resisted and direfully overthrown. Yet it is of faith that Gods harvest
of glory out of that unutterable gloom is immense, for the lost soul is as much
an unwilling worship of His justice as the converted soul is a willing worship
of His love. Neither is Jesus without His own interests there; for the pains,
unspeakable as they are, nay, even in the bare thought of them intolerable,
are less than the merit of sin, less than the righteous measure of punishment,
and are so because of Him. The Precious Blood, in some sense, has reached even
The Fear of Hell Saves Souls
Neither is that horrible place without a most blessed result on the salvation
of many souls, through the holy and salutary fear which it breeds in them and
the loose and low notions of God which it corrects in the unthinking. When Our
Lord showed Sister Francesca of the Blessed Sacrament, a Spanish Carmelite,
the loss of a soul, and several times in a vision compelled her positively to
study the separate tortures of that place, He upbraided her for weeping: Francesca!
Why weepest thou? She fell prostrate at His sacred feet and said, Lord!
For the damnation of that soul, and the manner in which it has been
damned. He vouchsafed to reply, Daughter! It hath chosen to damn
itself; I have given it many helps of grace that it might be saved, but it would
not profit by them. I am pleased with your compassion, but I would have you
rather love My justice. And another time, when she was compelled to fix
her gaze upon those pains, the Angels said to her, O Francesca! Strive
hard after the holy fear of God!
Who can doubt that there are, at this hour, thousands and tens of thousands
in the bliss of Heaven who never would have been there if there had been no
Hell. Alas for the reproach it is to the unloving hearts of men, but after all,
the Cross of Christ has had no better help on earth than the unbearable fire
of Hell. Verily it is well for our own sakes to think sometimes of that horrid
place! As truly as fair France lies across the Channel, as truly as the sun
is shining on the white walls and gay bridges and bright gardens and many-storied
palaces of its beautiful capital, as truly as that thousands of men and women
there are living real lives and fulfilling various destinies, so truly is there
such a place as Hell, all alive this hour with the multitudinous life of countless
agonies and innumerable gradations of despair. Save the Blessed in Heaven, none
live so keen or conscious a life as those millions of ruined souls. It is not
impossible that we may go there too. It is not impossible that we may have sent
some there already. When we pass along the streets, we must often see those
who will inhabit there forever. There are some there now who were not there
an hour ago. There are some now in the green fields, or in the busy towns, on
comfortable beds, or on the sunshiny seas, who in another hour perhaps will
have gone there. This is a dreadfully real truth.
It Is Good to Think of Hell
But what if more than all this be true? What if there was once a day when we
should have gone thither if we had died? What if this hour it holds mere boys
and girls, who have sinned far less than we have done, nay, perhaps have sinned
but once, while we have sinned a thousand times? Oh, but we may humble ourselves
still more. How long should we persevere in serving God if we were certified
there was no Hell? Should we have left our sins if it had not been for Hell?
Oh, what a thing it is to be upon this good earth, and surrounded by all this
hopeful life, when we have actually by our own hand and eye, word and thought
and evil painstaking, worked out our right and title to all this everlasting
woe. Ah! Just as the mist rises from the barren sea, where the corn grows not
and the vines can bear no fruit, and forms the clouds which are to fall in fertilizing
showers over hill and dale, so from those broad seas of fire and curse the Divine
Compassion rises like a cloud to pour down streams of grace upon the souls of
Let no one ever turn away from the sight of Hell, lest, by little and by little
and by very little, a good opinion of himself should grow up within his soul
and send him to that drear banishment at last. Indeed it is good, very good,
to think of Hell, and of that kind wonder that we are not already there this
hour. Nay, do not startwhat you see is indeed the white light of earths
sun; fear not: that soundit is the wind that waves the branches of the
wood; be assured, your eyes do not deceive you: those are the village spires
that are sleeping in the misty, quiet landscape; all is right so far. We are
here, and we are free; but we ought to have been there, and slaves!
But if we give ourselves up to seek and find Gods glory, and to make
this our one occupation upon earth, must we go down to Hell and learn to rejoice
with those awful attributes of God which are satisfied with that terrific sacrifice?
No! God be praised; this is no part of our devotion. We are creatures of hope
and love. We go where Gods glory is possible to us, where we can help
it and advance its interests; or if we rise into the impossible, it is only
that love has carried us away into the silent eloquence of childlike, extravagant
desire. We have nothing to do with Hell. We have seen that of our three things,
the glory of God, the interests of Jesus and the salvation of souls, the two
first may be found even there. But they are not there in ways which concern
us, so reflections upon Hell are not necessary to my plan. Enough for us that
there is such a place, and that at this hour it is full of souls, and that more
and more are ever streaming into it, and that its frightful occupations are
what they are, and that there is not one of us who is not running a risk or
of whom it is not possible that that place may be his heritage and portion forever.
They who serve Jesus out of love do not on that account forget these things.
Nay, they remember them the more, because they love so...
Taken from Purgatory
by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc.
Other pages discussing Catholic
doctrine and history:
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of Jesus - Learn all about this beautiful devotion to Our Lord.
- The Shroud of Our Lord -
Discusses the convroversy over the Shroud of Turin - is it real or a forgery? Evidence points to its authenticity.
- Infinite Mercy of Jesus - Learn how
the Heart of Jesus has a strong desire to love and pardon sinners who sincerely return to Him.
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
- Immaculate, pure, and our most powerful intercessor after Our Lord
- The Holy Slavery
- To Jesus, through Mary -- the same way Jesus came to us (through His Mother)
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Learn about God's Providence in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, her graces and merits, the details of her life!
- Our Lady of Fatima - Her predictions and warning for the future.
- Saints who Saw Mary
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- How to Run a Catholic Family
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Fascinating; hard to put down! It makes more sense of History than secular books which explain things in a disjointed manner.
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- Details of The Good Thief - Learn about his life with a gang of brigands, how he helped the
Holy Family, and much more.
- Classic Catholic Sermons - You won't fall asleep here! Sermons by a Doctor of the Church, filled with energy and the spirit of Faith.
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- Sermons of St. Francis de Sales - Here he speaks all about the kinds of prayer.
Learn what (and what not) to do!
- St. Teresa of Avila - She founded many convents, which were to adhere to the strict observance of the Carmelite Rule.
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Known for her generosity to the poor
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- The Spiritual Life
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- Spiritual Exercises
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- Manual of the Spiritual Life - Your duties as a penitent toward your confessor/spiritual director.
- Lessons from Calvary - 31 meditations on Our Lord's Passion that will help you to easily avoid sin.
- Finding Peace of Heart
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- Strategy for Getting to Heaven - We must learn how the devil works on us, how to avoid his snares, to win the "War for our Souls".
- How to Fight the Deadly Sins - Timeless advice on how to combat each of the Capital sins.
- A Manual for Confession -
How to benefit from the Sacrament of Penance: common pitfalls, scruples, how to make a good exam of conscience, and much more.
- Seven Deadly Sins -
Learn about the different forms of pride, avarice, lust, anger, envy, gluttony and sloth.
- How to Pray Well -
How we should pray to God - with confidence, perseverance, simplicity. Advice from St. Alphonsus Liguori!
- Marriage & Family
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- St. Joseph
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- Privileges of St. Joseph - Why St. Joseph receives so much honor in the Church
- Novenas to St. Joseph -
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- Life Everlasting - Discusses death, judgment, heaven and hell; also the vices and virtues
- Beyond the Grave -
What we know about Purgatory from sacred history and the lives of the saints.
- Peaceful Rest or Almost Like Hell? - Discusses the two opposing Catholic viewpoints on the subject of Purgatory.
- Purgatory - Learn what the Catholic Church has always taught on this subject.
- What Will Hell be Like? - Discusses the sufferings of Hell in detail.
- Eternity of Hell - Including a story from a soul who was sent there!
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- The Catholic Faith - Easy to read and follow, using the most solid Catholic doctrine. Very thorough.
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reasons why Tradition is also necessary.
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A learned scientist discovers that there is no evidence FOR Evolution, but plenty AGAINST it!
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Plenty of evidence against Evolution is out there, but it is often ignored by the media. Fascinating!
- Evolution is a
Fraud - So say countless biologists and scientists! Read more...
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- Exciting Adventures
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- More Catholic Adventures
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- Perpetual Motion Boy
- The Fr. Finn boarding school universe expands with Claude Lightfoot and other interesting characters.
- That Football Game
- written by Fr. Finn - Which is more important? English class, a math competition, or an upcoming football game?
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