An analogy for Purgatory

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Today, I took my family to a restaurant to eat breakfast after Mass. The waiting area was hot and uncomfortable due to the hot day and the waiting area being close to the outside door which was opened frequently because of the continuous flow of people who entered. And we had to wait for a while before being called to be seated for the meal. As we were waiting it occurred to me that waiting in line in the waiting area of a restaurant to be seated for a meal could be an analogy for Purgatory.
 
Today, I took my family to a restaurant to eat breakfast after Mass. The waiting area was hot and uncomfortable due to the hot day and the waiting area being close to the outside door which was opened frequently because of the continuous flow of people who entered. And we had to wait for a while before being called to be seated for the meal. As we were waiting it occurred to me that waiting in line in the waiting area of a restaurant to be seated for a meal could be an analogy for Purgatory.
An interesting analogy I heard is that Purgatory is like sitting in the pouring rain outside the gates of an arena that’s hosting a great concert. The rain is cold and miserable and you can’t wait for your place in line to reach the door so you could get in, but you are actually very lucky because you managed to get a ticket!
 
I think of Purgatory as a theatre where we watch a true drama about our life on earth from the time we were born until the time we die. But we aren’t passive spectators who sit and do nothing. At any moment we can choose to go onto the stage and meet the people who have suffered as a result of what we have said, done or failed to do. Then we have an opportunity to feel what they felt, suffer as they suffered and love them as we should have loved them in the first place. Then we are ready to share life with them in Heaven…
 
Purgatory Analogies
There are a few analogies that are often used to explain what Purgatory is. The first involves a young 12-year-old boy named Bobby. Bobby is a vibrant young man who sometimes has a bit too much vinegar in his blood. One day, Bobby was playing baseball at Grandma’s house and after striking out threw his baseball through Gram’s kitchen window in anger. A split second later, Bobby realizes what he has done is wrong and is completely devastated and extremely sorry. Bobby then asks his Grandma for forgiveness. This request for forgiveness is similar to what you or I might make to God or our Priest during the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)… but back to the story. So, here is poor Bobby and Grandma. While Grandma is upset, she loves Bobby with all her heart and can tell he is truly sorry (Bobby is truly contrite) for what he has done. So, Grandma forgives Bobby. The weight that was on Bobby’s shoulders has been lifted as he hugs Grandma and says he is sorry for the 100th time. All is good, right? Bobby is forgiven; and Grandma knows her grandson is a good kid who, like all kids, makes mistakes. Well, all is good except for the fact that the broken window still needs to be repaired! This broken window is the “consequence” of Bobby’s actions. It is these “consequences” that must be made clean before we enter heaven.
When we sin, consequences are created. God forgives the sin, if we ask Him to with a contrite heart, but He does not clean up the consequences. We need to take care of those ourselves, and if we are not completely successful in cleaning them up before our death, Purgatory will take care of the rest. Of course, the assumption here is that the person did not die in the state of mortal sin. Because, if they do die in the state of mortal sin, Purgatory is not the place they will end up in. Unfortunately, eternal separation from God is where this person more than likely will end up in. This place is Hell.
Another analogy is much better demonstrated in person. However, an attempt will be done here also. Picture a man holding a small piece of wood. Also, picture a nail and a hammer. Now, picture the man pounding the nail into the wood. This pounding action is what happens when we sin. Now, picture the man pulling the nail from the wood. This is what happens when God forgives us of our sins. The only thing different is the fact that there is a hole in the wood. This hole is the consequence of the sin. This consequence must be made clean before we enter heaven.
catholicreply.blogspot.com/2007/04/explaining-purgatory.html

This should help 👍
 
Interesting too, pgnat1.

There are a couple of other interesting questions about reconciliation and purgatory.
  1. Related to the story of Bobby the contrite basketball player: You must be contrite for reconciliation to be efficacious. But a truly contrite prayer of sorrow also forgives mortal sin, so what is special about reconciliation? I don’t know about the rest of you but sometimes I know something I did is a sin but don’t really feel bad about it. I DO recognize that it’s wrong though and I’m making no plans to do it again. So I go to reconciliation. How efficacious is the sacrament?
  2. If you’re baptized immediately before death you go straight to Heaven, no matter your age. No purgatory. But what if you decide to get baptized yet aren’t contrite of your sins? Remember, in the analogy you die immediately afterward. Why don’t you have to make reparations for your sins in Purgatory?
I believe receiving Anointing of the Sick and then getting an Apostolic Pardon raises the same question of bypassing Purgatory. In fact, you can even be unconscious for both of those, leaving you no time to be contrite of any sins. You have made no reparations for your sins. Why are you avoiding Purgatory?
 
Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer would release 1,000 souls from purgatory each time she said it:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=424
 
The way I used to feel when my wife was out of town is how I imagine Purgatory. I know I’ll be with her again; but to not be with her now is awful.
 
The way I used to feel when my wife was out of town is how I imagine Purgatory. I know I’ll be with her again; but to not be with her now is awful.
Quite a few men feel as if they are in Purgatory when they are forced to stay at home with their wife for more than a week! And almost in Hell if their mother-in-law is also in the house… 😉
 
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