What is Purgatory?
The concept of purgatory originates in the doctrine of the Roman Catholic, and is used to refer to the place wherein souls are purified of sin. The scriptures of the Roman Catholic state that a person’s soul will spend some time in the purgatory before being allowed to go to Heaven. The doctrine does not specify the duration of time that a soul spends in the purgatory, and whether it actually has a spiritual and physical location.
The notion of the purgatory stems from the belief that no one is sinless. According to the Catholic doctrine, even righteous people cannot be regarded as having completely pure souls that are free of sin. Because Catholics believe that an individual cannot come before God unless he is entirely clean, people must spend some time in the purgatory in order for them to become purified.
According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, God can still forgive venial sinners. Compared to mortal sins, venial sins are less severe. This type of sin refers to the slight breaking of God’s law and are commonly committed thoughtlessly, instead of deliberately. However, it is important to note that repeatedly committing venial sins can result to mortal sins.
The idea of purgatory has been mentioned in the Bible’s Old and New Testaments. According to the Bible, even the people who were permitted to enter Heaven must undergo this process of cleansing and purification. It was also believed that praying and performing penance while still on the planet can lessen the amount of time spent in the purgatory.
Furthermore, several religions hold the notion that praying for the souls of the dead can make their transition from temporary places (e.g., the purgatory) to the desired location much faster. In the Catholic religion, the phase of prayer and mourning is very important during the funeral period because Catholics believe that prayers from loved ones and acquaintances can help the soul in the purgatory.