DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     November 20-22, 1998     vol. 9, no. 228


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she completes her short series on Purgatory in conjunction with the month of poor souls. She gives the reader a different viewpoint of what Purgatory really is by describing, through Sister Emmanuel's book and the mystic Sr. Emmanuel interviewed, a true perspective on what it's really like for the souls in Purgatory as they wait to be received into Heaven as we see in the second part of Sr. Mary Lucy's column PURGATORY IS WONDERFUL!.

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          Last week I wrote regarding some insights given about Purgatory in a book entitled "The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory: An Interview with Maria Simma." I refer you to that article as basis of this one.

          Here I would like to share more insights about this place that is truly one more sign of the Mercy of our great God. I would like to quote directly:

      Sr. Emmanuel: What do these souls ask of you?

      Maria: In most cases, they ask to have Masses celebrated and that one be present at these Masses; they ask to have the rosary said and also that one make the Stations of the Cross.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Maria, can you tell us what the role of Our Lady is with the souls in Purgatory?

      Maria: She comes often to console them and to tell them they have done many good things. She encourages them.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Are there any days in particular on which she delivers them?

      Maria: Above all, Christmas Day, All Saints Day, Good Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, and the Ascension of Jesus.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Maria, why does one go to Purgatory? What are the sins which most lead to Purgatory?

      Maria: Sins against charity, against the love of oneís neighbor, hardness of heart, hostility, slandering, calumny -- all these things.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Saying wicked things and calumny are among the worst blemishes which require a long purification?

      Maria: Yes... We mustnít judge on appearances. Other sins against charity are all our rejections of certain people we do not like, our refusals to make peace, our refusals to forgive, and all the bitterness we store inside.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Maria, please tell us: who are those who have the greatest chance of going straight to Heaven?

      Maria: Those who have a good heart towards everyone. Charity covers a multitude of sins.

      Sr. Emmanuel: What are the means which we can take on earth to avoid Purgatory and go straight to Heaven?

      Maria: We must do a great deal for the souls in Purgatory, for they help us in their turn. We must have much humility; this is the greatest weapon against evil, against the Evil One. Humility drives evil away.

      Sr. Emmanuel: Maria, why can one no longer gain merits in Purgatory, when one can on earth?

      Maria: Because at the moment of death, the time to earn merits is over. For as long as we are living on earth, we can repair the evil we have done. The souls in Purgatory envy us this opportunity. Even the angels are jealous of us, for we have the possibility of growing for as long as we are on earth.

      Sr. Emmanuel: But often, the suffering in our lives leads us to rebellion and we have great difficulty in accepting and living it. How can we live suffering so that it bears fruit?

      Maria: Sufferings are the greatest proof of the love of God, and if we offer them well they can win many souls.

          So, dear reader, with Thanksgiving coming next week, letís remember to thank God for our earthly sufferings for they can lessen our Purgatory if properly received. And... let us thank God for Purgatory, too.

          Happy Thanksgiving! and God bless you!

        [Sister Mary Lucy will take next week off for Thanksgiving and her column will resume December 4th for Advent.]

November 20-22, 1998       volume 9, no. 228


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