End Times Not End Games for Purgatory

The end is near. Not the street-corner-preacher end, but the end of our Church year. November approacheth and the readings will remind us to watch and wait, not be caught unaware. We remember those who have gone before us, hopefully with some sign of faith, and we look to our own situations.

My husband and I have been talking of end things, not the financial kind or even the Church kind, you know, the Four Last Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell.  We have been concerned about our Prayer Lists. Who will take over our intentions when we pass?

Prayer Intentions Passed Along After Death?

Have you thought of that? What will happen to those both living and dead for whom we whisper our Paters and Aves? Do we make a list or collectively gather them into Grandma’s List of the Living or Grandpa’s Special Intentions and pass them on to the kids?  Will the kids pick up where we left off, add to their own lists, or, awful thought! do they even pray?  Does anyone in these smartphone and gaming days bow and pray? 

I asked one of our brood if he would take up our intentions and he said, “You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. I have so many prayer intentions, do I have to keep mentioning them by name?”  A technical assistance request to be sure and a relief to know he spends time on his knees.

Years ago, Fr. Charles Fiore wrote a beautiful piece about a  priest’s “habitual intentions” for Mass.  He said Malachi Martin had such a list in a small notebook which had passed to a friend – entries such as a baby he had baptized, a distressed soul, among many others – and that friend had passed it to Fr. Fiore to add “the souls in the book” to his own personal list. I wonder who has this now? 

Those People We’ve Known and Prayed For

But this proves my husband and I are not the only list makers. Ours include people we knew and know, relatives, friends, living and dead, some strays along the way like Jeremy who was wiped out in a car crash. We passed the wreck on the highway, Jeremy’s shoe alone in the lane several yards from the debris. We both pray for Mel, who died after heart surgery. She was a tax client of my husband’s and my Adoration partner. 

What happens to these folks in Purgatory for whom we have prayed when we pass? Does anyone know? Do they get sprung from jail, so to speak, or languish in their purging because no one else has taken up their causes? 

Purgatory must be huge. Or is that being hopeful?  I remember Our Lady told the children at Fatima that a 17-year-old girl, who had recently died from their village, would spend the time to the end of the world in Purgatory. What about us who take sin so lightly? And what about those whose religion does not teach about the need of purgation (the car wash, as I explained to our young kids when their grandmother died). Do they take the express to Heaven because they didn’t know any better or do they receive a terrible surprise of a detour along the way?

Who has these answers?  I don’t care how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, I want to know how to prepare for these end times and who will pick up our prayer commitments others depend upon.

This article, End Times Not End Games for Purgatory is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

Cindy Paslawski

CINDY PASLAWSKI earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota, back when truth and accuracy were prized. She has been active with the Wanderer Forum Foundation almost since its inception, while working as a reporter for The Wanderer newspaper. She has also worked on the front lines as a church secretary and most recently as a freelance book editor. As the Wanderer Forum Foundation/Bellarmine Forum's executive secretary and publication editor since 1995, she has overseen production of the Forum Focus and the Bellarmine Forum magazines, coordinated Regional and National Wanderer Forums, and saw to the publication of both Saving Christian Marriage (2007) and Slaying the “Spiritˮ of Vatican II With the Light of Truth (2017). She and her patient husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
  • James says:

    I was raised prior to the spiritual and doctrinal catastrophe known as Vatican II. Back in those days, when a Catholic died, it was common for the family to list in the funeral notice section of newspapers their preference for masses to be said for the deceased. It was customary. It was understood. Their fellow parishoners would have masses said for the deceased. Now fast forward to this day and age. No mention of mass requests. Usually they request a donation to the Artists for Aardvarks Network, or the Happy Chappy Feet Foundation, or some such other secular outfit. If I recall correctly, a recent study found that seventy percent of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence. It would not surprise me in the least to find that ninety five percent of Catholics don’t believe in Purgatory. They totally believe that uncle George is basking in a heavenly aura, while in fact, he is languishing in the fires of Purgatory. Sad!

    • John B. Manos says:

      James, this is good information!

    • Cindy Paslawski says:

      James, you have touched on the topic of my next post, Catholic lack of belief. I dare say if we were not singing about bread, but the Body of Christ, things might a different.

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