The Obvious Truth of Purgatory

POPE BENEDICT XVI

Today people have become used to thinking: what is sin? God is great, he knows us, so sin does not count; in the end God will be kind to us all.

It is a beautiful hope. But both justice and true guilt exist. Those who have destroyed man and the earth cannot suddenly sit down at God's table together with their victims.

God creates justice. We must keep this in mind ... Purgatory ... for me is an obvious truth, so evident and also so necessary and comforting that it could not be absent ...

A great many of us hope that there is something in us that can be saved, that there may be in us a final desire to serve God and serve human beings, to live in accordance with God. Yet there are so very many wounds, there is so much filth. We need to be prepared, to be purified. This is our hope: even with so much dirt in our souls, in the end the Lord will give us the possibility, he will wash us at last with his goodness that comes from his cross. In this way he makes us capable of being for him in eternity ...

Therefore, we must also speak of sin and of the sacrament of forgiveness and reconciliation. A sincere person knows that he is guilty, that he must start again, that he must be purified. And this is the marvelous reality which the Lord offers us: there is a chance of renewal, of being new. The Lord starts with us again and in this way we can also start again with the others in our life. This aspect of renewal, of the restitution of our being after so many errors, so many sins, is the great promise, the great gift the Church offers but which psychotherapy, for example, cannot offer ... We can be healed. Souls that are wounded and ill, as everyone knows by experience, not only need advice but true renewal, which can only come from God's power, from the power of Crucified Love. I feel this is the important connection of the mysteries which in the end truly affect our lives.

 

 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Pope Benedict XVI. "The Obvious Truth of Purgatory." from an address by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with the clergy of the Diocese of Rome (February 7, 2008).

Reprinted with permission of Liberia Editrice Vaticana.

All publication rights to this material belong to Liberia Editrice Vaticana and may not be reproduced without written permission from them.

THE AUTHOR

Pope Benedict XVI is the author of Jesus of Nazareth, Vol II, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol I, Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth, Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi, God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est, The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Salt of the Earth: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church at the End of the Millennium, God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, The Spirit of the Liturgy, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Introduction to Christianity, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, Behold the Pierced One, and God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life.

Copyright © 2012 Liberia Editrice Vaticana




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