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Ron Fogelbach wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a prayer warrior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and I need a clarification.

  • Do we go to Purgatory (if necessary) when we die or do we sleep until the Judgement Day?
  • If the latter is true, how can we pray for the Souls in Purgatory?

Ron

  { Do we go to Purgatory (if necessary) when we die or do we sleep until the Judgement Day? }

Mike replied:

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the good question.

You said:
I am a prayer warrior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and I need a clarification.

  • Do we go to Purgatory (if necessary) when we die or do we sleep until the Judgement Day?
  • If the latter is true, how can we pray for the Souls in Purgatory?


No, we do not sleep until the Day of Judgment; we will not be in hibernation nor will we be dormant.

Our souls will be active and consciously engaged in a passive sense — having any impurities being painfully burned away from our souls — if needed. Our passive purification in Purgatory, the Holy Hospital of Heaven, has nothing to do with ones justification or salvation. Jesus won that for us on the Cross.

Those being purified in Purgatory have been justified and saved by the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus. The painful purification of our soul in Purgatory and our duration there depends on our personal holiness at our Particular Judgment, when we pass from this earthly life to the next. It is a process of our own purification toward 100% holiness like the Lord so we can be one with Him . . . really!

As I said in another answer:

The finished work of Christ is complete and is being applied to those in Purgatory. It has to be applied [differently to each individual] because man has free will to choose good deeds or choose bad deeds in this earthly life.

Because different people from generation to generation can make an array of different choices (good and bad) in life, there are likely wide variants in Purgatory based on the intensity of the pain and our duration in Purgatory.

That said:

Do keep praying for the Holy Souls!
We need more Holy Soul Prayer Warriors like you!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my other web site dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls.

Mike

Paul replied:

Dear Ron,

Just to add something to Mike's answer, St. Paul does use the euphemism fallen asleep for those Christians who have died. This is probably to communicate the temporary state of the body-soul division that the dead experience.

According to Aquinas and Church teaching, the human being is a body-soul composite; we are made of spirit and matter. Death is the separation of soul and body which is ultimately the result of original sin. The disembodied soul is not properly a human being (since human beings are by nature bodily), but rather a human soul, which anticipates the resurrection of the body on the Last Day.

Since all new knowledge of a human being comes first, through his bodily senses, and human beings are not angels that acquire knowledge in a purely spiritual way, Aquinas admits that God must make up for what is lacking in the disembodied soul for them to have clearer access to those on earth and those around them.

As Mike mentioned, disembodied souls do experience Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory before the Resurrection, and have access to the fruit of our prayers, as we benefit from theirs.

Prayer is like the blood flow between body parts in the mystical body of Christ, which is comprised of souls in Heaven, souls in Purgatory, and the Church on Earth.

Keep praying for the suffering souls in Purgatory. They indeed appreciate it.

Peace,

Paul

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