All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (ccc -1030).
I feel compelled today to tell you of a dream I had a few years back. The reason I feel compelled to tell it is because first, it was so clear to me that purgatory is a real process of purification and second, because the dream was about a Priest and I feel we are at a crossroads. Priests and lay people alike need to decide whose kingdom they are serving.
Of late we have seen many Priests who will not preach the full truth and some who defy it, and some who even defile it.
Priests, in particular, have a greater responsibility to preach the truth because they are “in persona Christi.” When a Priest is scared to do what he is called to do, when he defies what he is called to do, or when he defiles it, he puts not just his own salvation in jeopardy, but the salvation of his flock whom he is leading. Priests must take their duty to the Gospel seriously.
I believe God has compelled me to pray so much for Priests because their responsibility is so great. I tell this story as a motivation for us to keep praying for our Priests, and to help them be strong in the faith.
I once knew a Priest who did not preach truth. He flat out told me to have my tubes tied and stop having children. At the time he said it, I didn’t even blink (save for the voices of my mom and dad in the back of my head which I had buried down), as I was immersed in the world myself. It wasn’t until after Veronica’s murder that God revealed to me how true the church teachings are and how twisted my thinking had been – and that Priests had been as well.
When the Priest passed away, at the exact moment of his death a parishioner was at his bedside praying a chaplet of mercy for him. Praise be to God.
“It pleases me to grant everything souls ask of me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust, let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. Tell them no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Saviour.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1541)
Shortly after this Priest died I began having dreams about him. They were so vivid.
In the first dream he came hobbling into the church office and fell to the floor. He barely made it in the door from the outside. I was looking at him on the floor asking him if he was okay. He said no. He said, “please help me, you are the only one who can help me, I cannot make it into the church.”
I said, “I cannot be the only one to help you, you are too heavy.” He responded, “no, it has to be you, no one else will help me.”
At that moment a line of Priests came through the office door. Each Priest looked down at him and stepped over him. I started yelling at the Priests, “aren’t you going to help him?” They all just ignored me like I was crazy and continued to step over him. I realized his own brother Priests were doing nothing to help him.
I looked down upon this Priest. He cried for my help, pleading with me. I told him even if I was the only one, I would help him get into church. My heart ached for how much he was suffering and how many ignored him. Then I woke up.
I began to pray for the soul of this Priest that day. I had several more dreams about him. They were always along the same lines, but not as desperate as the first. At some point I had earned a plenary indulgence and I asked the Lord to give it to him. I did not know at the time about Gregorian Masses. If I had, I would have gotten him some.
The dreams stopped after I offered the Lord the plenary indulgence. I don’t tell you that to be like – “oh look at me I did a great thing.” I tell you so you won’t forget the souls in purgatory. I tell you so you won’t forget to pray for the deceased and to pray for our Priests everyday. I tell you because in my prayer the Lord told me to tell you.
I cannot describe the immensity of the suffering this Priest was in. I would never want to see anyone suffer like that. At the same time, knowing he was in purgatory, what a mercy. His purification means he can make it to heaven and I believe he did.
As we approach all souls day in November, let us not forget the holy souls. And for us, let us remember make our yes be yes and our no be no. Remember always whose kingdom you want to serve.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19-20