Fr. Scott A. Haynes
Purgatory is not a punishment for sin, but it is a consequence. A consequence that God upholds for our own benefit. In a vision to St Gertrude, the Lord confided that He longs for the faithful on earth to plead for mercy for the suffering souls.
A king must imprison a person who commits a great crime, even if it is his friend. He must do so for justice’s sake. In his heart, he hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend. The souls in purgatory have offended God by sin. While their sins were absolved in confession, they failed to make full satisfaction for their sins while on earth.
Jesus’ Sacred Heart longs to be merciful but the poor souls depend on us to pray for them. So the Lord wants us to pray often for the souls in Purgatory. He revealed to St. Gertrude that each and every prayer prayed on behalf of the Church Suffering appears as a valuable pearl on a magnificent golden table in Heaven. This holds true no matter how brief the petition. Jesus told Gertrude:
“I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer.”