Monday, November 14, 2011

"Whether the pains of Purgatory surpass all the temporal pains of this life?"

                               "St. Lawrence liberating souls from Purgatory" by Lorenzo di Niccolo

The Church devotes November to prayer and sacrifice on behalf of the holy souls in Purgatory.  Why does the Church do this?  Is it merely a sentimental custom?  Let's consider what the powerful theological mind of St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about the quaestio posed above:

"In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire.  With regard to both the least pain of Purgatory surpasses the greatest pain of this life."

Courtesy of New Advent, read St. Thomas Aquinas's full answer here.

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