Latest

13 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

How should we understand intercourse within marriage if the Church says Mary remained "undefiled"; isn't consummation necessary?

Full Question I have always regarded faithfulness within marriage as a path to holiness equal in virtue to that of priests or sisters who remain celibate. …

Read more

30 May 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Charlie, Charlie, Who Are You?

As the author of a book about demons and exorcism, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when, over Memorial Day weekend, I received a number of emails asking…

Read more

04 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (3)

Why Dates of Easter Differ

Q: I am an Orthodox reader and I have a question. As you know, the Catholic (Western) Churches and the Orthodox celebrate Pascha on different Sundays m…

Read more

04 Oct 2016 News No comments

New regulations will ‘enlarge Chinese government’s power over religions’, experts warn

According to the Holy Spirit Study Centre of Hong Kong's Catholic diocese, the rules would tighten controls of foreign clergy and religious material on the inte…

Read more

08 Sep 2015 Articles Resources Comments (2)

Are You Bored With the Faith?

In a freshman composition class today, my students were analyzing John Taylor Gatto’s essay, “Against School". Gatto, a former New York City public school teac…

Read more

01 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Do Jesus' words in Matthew 15 indicate that Scripture is superior to Tradition?

Full Question In Matthew 15:1-9 (the well-known passage that says, "you make void the word of God by your tradition"), didn't Jesus indicate that any tradi…

Read more

23 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Bill to end disability-selective late abortion passes second reading

A Bill to prevent late term abortions of disabled babies has moved to the next legislative stage A Bill which seeks to stop discrimination against disabled bab…

Read more

04 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Vatican advocates sweeping protocol for Middle East peace

Vatican City, Oct 4, 2014 / 04:23 pm .- Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is urging a comprehensive road map for peace in Middle East during me…

Read more

02 Jul 2015 Articles Resources Comments (26)

Are Catholics "Born Again"?

Q. Doesn't the Bible say we must be "born again" to be "saved"? Are Catholics "Born Again"? Absolutely Catholics are "born again" — they are baptized! This …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

What are the pains of purgatory?

Full Question

What are the pains of purgatory?

Answer

While the nature of the punishment of the cleansing fire of purgatory is not a defined doctrine, the common teaching on the pains of purgatory consists of two things: 1) pains of loss and 2) pains of sense.

The pain of loss suffered by the souls in purgatory is the pain of being temporarily excluded from the beatific vision. Dr. Ludwig Ott in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma says, “The poor souls are conscious that they are children and friends of God and long for the most intimate unification with him. Thus the temporary separation is all the more painful to them" (484). For the more a thing is desired the more painful is its absence (St. Thomas Aquinas).

The pain of sense suffered by the souls in purgatory involves the pain of purification. The nature of this cleansing has traditionally been assumed to mean a literal fire, but the only proposition the Church has dogmatically defined on this issue is that the purification involves some kind of pain. However, the Catechism teaches that the fires of hell and purgatory are not “a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin" (CCC 1472).

The document Indulgentiarum Doctrina says: “It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God’s sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or ‘purifying’ punishments" (2).










Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories