The infinite love and mercy of God are a scandal to many, including some in the Catholic Church itself.
As of late, writings have been appearing in some American sources about Purgatory, and the justice of God, that make it seem as though it is next to impossible for a common sinner not to end up spending, at least, some time in Purgatory after they die. This presentation of the Christian Faith is outright wrong in addition to removing hope from people, rather than giving them hope. But apart from the fact that these writers seem to never have heard of Saint Dismas, the good thief who ‘stole’ heaven at the last moments of his life and became an insta-saint to boot, what the said writers are propagating is a skewed subjectivist version of what the Catholic Church teaches about Purgatory.
For all who wish to know more, therefore, about the reality of personal sins and death, here is what the Church actually says in relation to the afterlife:
The name of God is Mercy – Pope Francis
If you die in a state of grace and obtain a plenary indulgence, you will go straight to heaven with zero time in Purgatory. Numerous are the plenary indulgences that can be obtained under the usual conditions. Consult the Manual of Indulgences for further information (older editions are invalid). Above all, however, there is one plenary indulgence that is so easy to obtain through the infinite love and mercy of God – and of which so few people (and even priests) know about – that it deserves particular mention. This is the Apostolic Pardon, which grants total remission of sins and punishment at the very moment of death. Here is what the Church teaches about it:
The Apostolic Pardon
- The faithful can obtain this plenary indulgence at the hour of death even if they have already acquired a plenary indulgence on that same day;
- A priest who administers the sacraments to someone in danger of death should not fail to impart the apostolic blessing to which a plenary indulgence is attached;
- If a priest is unavailable, Holy Mother Church benevolently grants to the Christian faithful, who are duly disposed, a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. In such a case, the Church supplies for the three conditions ordinarily required for a plenary indulgence;
- In this latter case, the use of a cross or crucifix in obtaining the plenary indulgence is commendable.
For those who may wish to carry with them the wording of the Apostolic Pardon for a priest’s use, here are two versions of it; one long, one short:
- By the authority which the Apostolic See has given me, I grant you a full pardon and the remission of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
- Through the holy mysteries of our redemption, may Almighty God release you from all punishments in this life and in the life to come. May He open to you the gates of Paradise and welcome you to everlasting joy.
It is salutary to remember that just one single sin exists that cannot be forgiven, rather than unhealthily obsessing over sins: that is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.