Myra, Nick, Jo, standing Danny and Maggie

One of the most complex spiritual subjects is purgatory. The word “purgatory” is not mentioned in the Bible, but there are several Bible Scriptures that guide us to believe that we must be purged of all of our sins before entering into the presence of God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that:1031. “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. [Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000.] The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire. [Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7.] As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.”

In other words, we as Catholics believe that there is a place of purification before entering heaven. We also believe that the purification process involves pain. Lastly, we believe that prayer from those on earth can assist those who are going through the purification. Those who are in purgatory will be saved but only by going through the fire of purging their sins.  Nothing unholy can enter into the Kingdom of God.

The Dreams

My three sisters: Myra, me, Norma, Jo and Maggie

I had a dream about my sister Myra. I remember the dream vividly. My other sister Jo and I were getting Myra ready for her wedding. Both Jo and I were fussing over her dress to make sure that the fit was perfect. When I woke up from the dream, I did not understand its meaning.  It had been seven years since Myra had passed away and she had never been married. I journaled the dream and wondered what it meant. I prayed for the repose of Myra’s soul, but not with a lot of intensity. Purgatory was something that I did not fully understand.

In the Word of God, Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom. In Myra’s case, I believe that the Lord gave me an insight into her spiritual crossing from purgatory into heaven. The Lord was showing me that Myra was being adorned to meet her bridegroom Jesus, and Jo and I were helping her prepare for the marriage.

The Bible speaks about when we get to heaven that our bodies will be perfect. This is another dream that I had about a dear friend’s son. Victor died a week after Myra. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. I had this dream about five years ago. The dream setting was in an auditorium with theater-type seating, I was sitting toward the back.  In the dream Victor was on stage; the odd thing about this was that he was shirtless. His body was perfectly chiseled, like someone who regularly works out. This did not fit Victor’s normal physical appearance. Michael, Victor’s brother, walked in and sat next to me. We were both in awe as we watched Victor on stage. Michael asked me, “Is that really Victor?” “Yes,” I answered. Victor was receiving some type of special reward.

Why did the Lord entrust me with this dream? I believe that Victor’s mother needed special comfort and assurance that her son was now with the Lord. As Catholics we have opportunities to offer up Masses for the repose of the souls of the dearly departed.

Mike and I are regulars at the 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Norbert Parish. There are two young men who are also regulars: one reminds me of a friend’s son, and the other looks like a nephew of ours that passed away a few years ago. I mention these two men because I feel that I am to say a prayer for the first man and for the second man, because he resembles our nephew.  Seeing this man reminds me to pray for the repose of our nephew’s soul.

21 He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.
Jo’s Dream
My sister’s dream was about our mother. In the dream our mother had a piece of chocolate cream pie and was dancing while eating it. She was wearing a beautiful, light-colored, flowy chiffon dress with a blue sash. As Jo described the dream, mother was wearing a beautiful lace apron as well. She offered Jo a piece of the pie.

This dream is loaded with symbolism: the pie represents pie-in-the sky, one of the delicious desserts you will receive in heaven. The flowy, chiffon dress is heavenly clothing; and the blue sash is what our Blessed Mother has worn in many of her apparitions. Her dancing represents the joy of being in heaven. To me this dream means that our mother was purified and is now in the presence of God.

Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception
Our Lady of Grace
In no way am I an expert on purgatory. I can only share what God has given me, and I believe that He has entrusted us with special gifts so that we can share them with others. I believe purgatory is real because how can we be so arrogant as to believe that we are  holy enough to be in the presence of God? I can’t attend Mass without showering and putting on my Sunday’s best, so I, too, must prepare to meet my Maker clean.
My Prayer:
I thank You, Lord, for all the beautiful gifts You have bestowed on us. Prepare our hearts to always be ready to meet You. Lord, I love to be in Your Holy Presence and I continue to pray for all those who remain in my daily prayers, especially those who are suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Heal them, Lord. Amen.

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