Prayers for Eternal Life, by Susan Tassone, another hugely helpful guide to the afterlife by the most popular current writer on purgatory, giving specific prayers, practices, and devotions to aid in achieving the most pleasant, happy death. We can die in happiness. But it takes preparation. Find hope and comfort in prayers to Jesus, with the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and others! CLICK HERE


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 by Susan Tassone

[Saint Catherine of Genoa]St.  Catherine of Genoa, mystic and laywoman, is also  known as  the "Apostle of Purgatory" and the most authoritative saint on this subject. 

Her Treatise on Purgatory explores the attitude on the souls in purgatory, what they suffer, why they willingly choose to go to there, the consolations of those souls, and how, by expiating our sins in this life, we can shorten or avoid pain after. 

St. Catherine said that he who purifies from faults in this present life satisfies with a penny a debt of a thousand ducats or (more than $1,000) -- and he who waits until the other life to pay his debts pays $1,000 instead of that penny! 

St. Catherine tells us that the souls retains no knowledge of why they are in purgatory. At their judgment, they see why they are going to purgatory, but never again while they are there. This is for your discernment.

St. Catherine said she saw that the source of all suffering is either original sin or actual sin.  God created the soul pure, simple, free from every stain, and with certain beatific instinct toward Himself, she taught.

The soulís greatest pain (in purgatory) is that of loss: Once the soul has left the body,  it has but one desire: to unite itself to God. The soul has seen the Face of God upon death and now grieves departure. This pain is worse than any pain or suffering on earth.   

It longs to be with Him but cannot. 

The Lord told St. Catherine that the soul is like gold and gold is refined of its impurities, of course, by fire

In St. CatherineĎs Treatise on Purgatory, she writes: "Either in this life or in the life to come, the soul that seeks union with God must be purged by 'The fiery Love of God.' The holy souls are purged of all the rust and stains of sin which they have not rid themselves in this life.  The fire of purgatory is first of all The Fiery Love of God."

So it is with the holy souls who experience an interior "burning" desire and longing for God which far surpasses any earthly fire. So we rightly speak of the fire of purgatory and of its cleansing flames but they are  flames of love. This is a most beautiful consolation! In Hebrews 12:29:  "For our God is a consuming fire."   

We are the "sparks" of His fire.  And love Itself is the Fire which attacks and devours the impurities of the soul.  For love is like fire, which rises ever-upward with the desire to be absorbed in the center of its sphere. 

The Saint goes on to say that she has experienced these feelings in her own soul and can describe the joy which accompanies the pains of purgatory, and the consolation which the souls experience.

"My happiness is that God should be satisfied; and the greatest pain I could endure would be to be excluded from His ordinance, for I see how just and merciful it is," she wrote.

"The soul, knowing what God has appointed for it, thinks more of Godís appointment than of any outward or inward pain, no matter how dreadful; and this because God, the Author of her being, surpasses everything that can be conceived or imagined. 

"The participation of God granted to the souls in purgatory keeps her so wholly taken up with His Majesty, that she can think of nothing else; everything that has to do with self passes away; the soul neither sees, or speaks, nor knows of loss or pain of its own; but all this it has perceived at the instant of passing from this life.  God, who is good and great, destroys all which is of man, and purgatory purifies it.

God does not wish us to have an excessive fear of Purgatory.  He wishes that our fear should be tempered by trust in His mercy, and that we should fear only to avoid  sin at all cost  and be roused to love, forgiveness, the sacramental life, and fervent prayer for the holy souls languishing in purgatory.

Purgatory is the glorification of Godís Mercy.  We should be full of gratitude for this merciful doctrine.  In Purgatory the outrage we have committed against Godís glory is really repaired by some wonderful arrangement of His Mercy. 

The month of May is dedicated to Our Lady. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are honored in June. Our earthly parents are honored as well. If our parents are living or deceased, honor them with a Holy Mass or Gregorian ones.

Remember in a special way to Offer Masses for the living and deceased  victims who died in the earthquake in China and the cyclone in Myanmar. How earnest and ardent we should be to do our part not only out of natural compassion but above all, for the greater honor and glory of God!

We can still more greatly glorify Him by helping Him to release these poor prisoners of His justice, so they can go to praise Him and enjoy Him forever in Heaven.

 [resources: purgatory books; for Masses visit:]

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