Shorten their wait to enter Heaven

O God, Thou art my God, I seek Thee from the dawn; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh languishes near Thee, like dry and arid land, without water8. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I go and appear before the face of God? This need and desire of the sacred author can be applied with special force to the souls in Purgatory.

Sins carry with them a double disorder. In the first place, there is the offense against God, which entails for the soul what theologians call reato of guilt, the enmity and estrangement from God which, if it is a mortal sin, supposes a radical deviation of the soul from the end for which it was created, and makes it worthy of eternal deprivation of God. This guilt, in the case of sins committed after Baptism, is forgiven in sacramental Confession.

In addition, and insofar as sin means a conversion towards creatures, it causes a disorder that reaches the sinner himself, who truncates his own personal fulfillment, and the other faithful, to whom he is intimately united by the Communion of Saints, and whom he harms and offends, for, certainly, "sin diminishes man, preventing him from attaining his own fullness"; but in addition, "the soul that is brought low by sin brings down the Church and, in a certain sense, the whole world". These consequences of personal sin are what is called reato, or remainder, of punishment, which ordinarily subsists even after sacramental absolution, and which must be repaired in this life by the fulfillment of the penance imposed in Confession, of other good works, or by means of the indulgences granted by the Church. The soul that leaves this world without sufficient reparation, or with venial sins and lack of love for God, must purify itself in Purgatory12, because nothing dirty can enter Heaven13. There they are satisfied for their faults and stains, without deserving anything - with death the time of deserving ends - without increasing their love for God.

In Purgatory, along with unimaginable pain, there is also great joy, because the souls detained there know that they are confirmed in grace and, therefore, destined for eternal happiness. We can merit and help the souls who are preparing to enter Heaven, especially with the Holy Mass, the greatest thing that - united to Christ - we can offer to God the Father in this world. The Church, in commemorating each year all the faithful departed, remembers, especially during this month of November, those of her children who cannot yet participate fully in eternal beatitude, and encourages the frequent offering of the Holy Sacrifice for them, granting special indulgences applicable to these souls and encouraging everyone to collaborate in a work of mercy that bears fruit beyond the earthly world. The Lord has willed that any good deed done in a state of grace can help the deceased and attain a reward before Him; and these merits can be applied by the deceased in Purgatory, by way of suffrage, of help. Thus, the reception of the sacraments, especially Communion, the Holy Rosary, the offering of sickness, pain, and daily adversities. Among these works we have at our disposal every day a great instrument of help for our deceased brothers and sisters: work or study, done conscientiously, with human perfection and supernatural sense.

Hablar con Dios