We Must Fully Honour God First
Moira Gillmore, Durban -It is quite true that Jesus’ death on the Cross offered to God all the glory our sins deprive him of, but we have to acknowledge that, especially at Mass, and prayerfully accept it.
I am no theologian but I offer the following thoughts which could assist in making sense of purgatory.
It is quite true that Jesus’ death on the Cross offered to God all the glory our sins deprive him of, but we have to acknowledge that, especially at Mass, and prayerfully accept it.
We hear the prayer, “Through him and with him and in him, all glory and honour is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever”, and we respond “Amen”. How conscious are we of this great truth?
Our sins, even though forgiven in confession, have robbed God of the glory he is due. If we have not given God this during our lives, we must go to purgatory when we die. There we will render to God what he is due. Is this not what Jesus meant when he said: “You will not get out until you have paid the very last penny (Matthew 5:26; Luke 12:59)”?
The Good Thief
The Good Thief on the Cross was privileged to die at the same time as our Saviour, and recognised who Jesus was. He reprimanded the other thief for his disrespect, and asked to be remembered in the Kingdom. I think he gave a most beautiful homily, containing great truths.
So following from this, if we go to confession often, hear Mass prayerfully with grateful and attentive hearts, and try to live good Christian lives, then I believe the Father will accept the glory and honour that Jesus gives, as our very own. This can be very difficult for us frail humans, but let us at least try.
We must also receive Communion into a prepared heart and soul.
Responding in Gratitude, Love and Awe
When the priest says: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper” we respond by saying: “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
We should respond devoutly, and see Jesus saying the word over our souls, transforming them into places of love. We could ask Mary to help us receive Jesus as we should.
Then we lovingly converse with him, praise him, thank him, adore him, and make reparation to him and through him. We offer this divine wealth to the Father to pay our debts and those of the whole world.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains its doctrine on purgatory very well in paragraphs 1031 and 1472, and refers to 1 Peter 1:7 and Corinthians 3:15.