Teaching Videos

Purgatory: A Place of Intense Longing, Love and Hope

Source: Napa Institute via YouTube

Fr. Ambrose Criste, O. Praem. discusses what both scripture teaches and what various mystics throughout the centuries have revealed about the next phase of existence for most humans, ‘Purgatory’, or the ‘Church Suffering’ as it is sometimes known. Fr. Ambrose notes that many of us at a close relative’s funeral for example, are likely to say that ‘he or she is in heaven’. However, we can never assume this, as Fr. Ambrose states except for canonised saints no one can be sure whether a soul is in heaven or not. He thinks that this false notion is something of a bad habit that believers have picked up over the years, perhaps influenced by Protestant (& media) notions of the afterlife that exclude purgatory from their lexicon of beliefs. Instead Fr. Ambrose suggests, that we should have masses offered up for the dead, as well as our own prayers and little sufferings that we encounter throughout each day of our lives. The saints in heaven can’t intervene on behalf of the souls in purgatory, only those of us believers here on earth. That is why it is also a good idea to have arranged for someone to offer masses for our own souls when we die and go to meet our Creator. Fr. Ambrose goes on to recount a series of excerpts from a poem from Blessed (now Saint) Cardinal Newman, which describes the souls journey into the suffering and consolation of purgatory.

Header image: purgatory via