Purgatory is a common misunderstood Catholic doctrine which has seen many people stop believing it exists. However, understanding and embracing this doctrine doesn’t require a deep theological study. Just a simple and precise explanation of what it is should bring its true meaning and wash away any people’s doubts.
If one dies in God’s grace and friendship, it’s believed that he or she spends time in Purgatory before going to heaven. However, it should be understood that Purgatory isn’t a second chance. Therefore, If you died when separated from God, then there’s no second chance. According to Hebrews 9:27, human beings die once, and then judgment follows. People who die in God’s grace but still suffer from temporal punishment as a result of sin, any unforgiven venial sins or attachments to sin, are cleansed of all these mentioned sins in Purgatory by the love of God.
Perfected in love
In a simpler way of understanding the Purgatory, it can be explained as a hospital for those who sin or go against the will of God. Here, there’re some illnesses that should be healed, dirt to be cleaned and a price to be paid just before you’re admitted in heaven.
However, none of these gives you the ticket to gain admittance but rather act as a means of cooperating with Him so that you can become perfect in His love. The Bible teaches us to be perfect, just like our Heavenly Father.
Nobody who’s unclean will enter the kingdom of God. There’re only two options to yield His commands as follows: it’s either you perfect the way you live your life by His grace or after your death, you’ll come to perfection by his mercy in Purgatory before entering heaven.
Prayers for dead people
Catholics believe that people on earth can help those in the Purgatory go to heaven through prayers. Although it can’t be proven, the Bible teaches us that prayers of righteous people are taken faithfully taken by God – read this article about do catholics believe in purgatory.