All Souls and Purgatory

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Today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. It is the day we remember all the souls in Purgatory. Purgatory can be a controversial topic, and hard to explain. So, I would like to help you with that. Following is the chapter in my book A Minute in the Church on Purgatory. I hope this helps.

A family was having Thanksgiving dinner. So they took out their finest china, their most prized possession, for the feast. After a long and delicious meal, their fine china was full of gunk. Rather than put the china directly into the china hutch, the most beautiful place imaginable where it would stay forever, they put it into the sink and lovingly washed off the gunk.

This little parable may be a good way for us to understand Purgatory. You see, you are that fine china, God’s most precious possession. The table represents our lives on earth, where we accumulate a lot of gunk. And the beautiful china hutch represents heaven, where we will live forever.

In 1 Cor. 3:13-15, St. Paul speaks about the person who is being saved, in other words on their way to heaven, but who is being purified as through fire. The word purgatory simply means “to be purified.” Now the Book of Revelation 21:27 says that nothing unclean will enter heaven. So think of Purgatory as the sink, where God lovingly washes us clean, so that we can take our place with all those who have gone in faith before us.

Father, we pray for all the souls in Purgatory, that they may be released and behold your face in heavenly glory. Amen.

Today’s Readings

For a greater understanding of Purgatory and many other Catholic teachings, get A Minute in the Church and A Minute in the Church Volume II today at


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