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Purgatory Novena

Frequently Asked Questions...

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Answers

1. What does Doctrine of the Catholic Church mean?
It comes from the Latin and means a code of belief and must
be believed and adhered to in the Catholic Church.  (Top of Page)


2. What does a novena mean?
Novena means nine.  It is private or public specific prayers
for 9 hours, 9 days or even 90 days. (Top of Page)

3. What is its origin?
The 9 days that Mary and the Disciples spent together
between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost. (Top of Page)

4. What does the word purgatory mean?
Purgation is the process of God’s love changing our imperfect
selves into perfect beings. (Top of Page)

5. Why do we pray for the souls in purgatory?
They cannot pray for themselves as they cannot pay the debt
back because of their imprisonment (purgatory) and thus
when they get to heaven they will be eternally grateful to us
and will show it in their prayers. It is also a great kindness to
help them get to heaven. (Top of Page)

6. Why do we I need to pray for someone who is very holy?
Imagine that Mother Theresa of Calcutta and the late; great
Pope John Paul II requested prayers for their souls! Thus we
rest our case! (Top of Page)

7. Why do we need to pray for these Holy Souls?
First of all, we do not want to fall into presumption thinking
they are already in heaven as only God knows the recesses
of their hearts and we can never judge a persons salvation or
motivation, only actions.  No prayer is ever wasted and if
they are in heaven God will use these prayers for His greater
glory.  And, finally because they can no longer pray for
themselves and will be eternally grateful for our assistance in
releasing them. (Top of Page)

8. How do our prayers release a specific soul from purgatory?
Well on an earthly level let’s say you went to jail (purgatory)
because you stole something but you cannot pay it back
simply because you’re in jail.  So let’s say you have a friend
that says they will pay back the money you stole (our
intercessory prayers) if the court (God) would give them a
reduced sentence (partial indulgence) or a full pardon
(plenary indulgence). (Top of Page)

9. Who goes to purgatory?
Everyone who is not perfect at the moment of death and is
not condemned to hell.  “The soul will receive from God
exactly what she desires.”  St. Therese of the Child Jesus. (Top of Page)

10. Are the souls in heaven perfect?
Yes. (Top of Page)

11. Are you perfect now?
No, thus purgatory is a great gift of mercy in that everyone
who is in purgatory goes to heaven. (Top of Page)

12. What is an indulgence?
It means to be kind or tender and originally meant kindness
or a favor.  It also meant the remission of a tax or debt. It
was used to release from captivity or punishment.  Isaiah
61:1.  You indulge in prayer or sacrifice for someone else to
obtain favors. (Top of Page)

13. What does the penalty for sin mean?
It’s the consequences of our wrong choices—even though we
said we were sorry and received absolution. (Top of Page)

14. If my sins are forgiven then why would I go to purgatory?
Great question!  It’s like if I broke a window on purpose (sin)
and said I was sorry (confession) I would still have to pay for
the window (purgatory).  I can do this on earth through
holiness of life, acts of charity, penances. (Top of Page)

15. How can I avoid purgatory?
Perfect love of God and Neighbor which of course takes grace
(prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving) and works (charitable acts
and kindness, etc).  We must have total trust in the mercy of
Jesus as it is this trust that will help us avoid purgatory.  
Jesus does not want us to go to purgatory, He wants us totally
united with Him during this life and then continuing into
eternity.  Jesus I Trust in You! (Top of Page)

16. What if someone doesn’t believe in purgatory?
Remember my belief or your belief doesn’t change reality.  I
would pray for that person and tell them to read the Bible, the
Catechism, the Councils of the Church & the Church Fathers
and basically just search and study.  God is faithful and if
they’re open to Truth the Holy Spirit will guide them. (Top of Page)

17. What is a plenary indulgence?
It is full pardon of the consequences of sin.  (Release from
purgatory).  When St. Therese was dying she states, “I beg
you, don’t prevent me from saying my prayers for the dead;
it’s the only thing I can do for the sisters who are in
Purgatory.” (Top of Page)

18. What is sin?
Sin is a transgression of theological principles and the
rejection of the saving power of Jesus’ suffering and death on
the cross.  We consider it to be insanity to live even one
moment in mortal sin, but refuse to minimize any sin; all sin
is rooted in fear rather than trust in God and perfect love
casts out all fear. It is a thought, word or deed done against
love, the Great Commandment, the Ten Commandments, the
beatitudes or the precepts of the Church.  “The righteous man
sins seven times a day”. Proverbs 24:16 (Top of Page)

19. What if someone says that Jesus already paid the price and
He is the only atonement we need?
Another great question.  Let’s suppose you paid for your
child’s college and your child didn’t fulfill the requirements for
graduation.  You might say, “well they should graduate,
because I paid the price.”  However, graduation only comes
after they fulfill the requirements; just because the bill is paid
doesn’t mean automatic graduation.  Jesus paid the price, but
He demands that we keep his commandments and fulfill the
requirements of Love of God and Neighbor….which is a daily
and sometimes hourly challenge. (Top of Page)