All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven - Catechism of the Catholic Church (1030).
Gospel Text: (JN 6:37-40)
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
Is it possible to avoid going to Purgatory? Yes, it entirely depends on how we live. We can well understand why sins against charity, hostility, refusals to make peace, bitterness stored up inside, rejecting others and criticizing people we don’t like would send us to Purgatory. It is not without reason that pride is said to be the first of the seven deadly sins. What about the good thief? Jesus promised him Paradise the same day (Luke 22:43). Humility, love and abandonment to God are keys leading directly to heaven and the good thief displayed humility, love and abandonment so we can understand Jesus’ promise to take him to Paradise that day. In 1 Peter 4:8 we read, “love covers a multitude of sins.” St. John of the Cross wrote,
“Divine providence always provides in every life the purification that is needed to allow us to go straight to heaven when we die.”
What St. John of the Cross means is that God in his mercy allows enough trials, suffering, sicknesses and hardships to fall upon us during life so that we can go straight to heaven when we die. Why then do we not go straight to heaven? Simply because when such hardships and sufferings come upon us we rebel. We do not want to carry our cross after Jesus. Again the words of Peter are “love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet 4:8)
So during this month of November let us offer our prayers and sufferings united with the sufferings of Jesus into the hands of Mary that she may do with them what she wishes and help many souls in Purgatory.
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