Just Making It Into Purgatory

Many Catholics express the hope that they can “just make it into” Purgatory.

But let’s think about what this possibly-mediocre wish entails.

First of all, imagine Purgatory to be like a mountain that has to be climbed (taking the famous image from Dante’s Purgatorio). Then, think about the fact that you will have already spent some 70, 80, or 90 years, give or take, on this earth, which is not an easy place to be.

An illustration of Dante’s conception of Purgatory, from a 15th century Italian manuscript.

After all that, do you really want to start again?
Do you want to start at the bottom of the mountain?

Let’s not aim low; let’s aim high. If we dedicate ourselves more to prayer, the Lord will show us the way.

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6 Responses to Just Making It Into Purgatory

  1. hashtagcatholic says:

    Are there levels of Heaven?

  2. Patrick L. says:

    It seems like a statement such as “I hope I just make it to Purgatory,” may not be problematic if given in a context such as, “I’m making every effort to make it to Heaven, but I will feel lucky even if I just make it to Purgatory.” From the context of your post, though, I guess perhaps you are referring more to the attitude of, “Meh, purgatory is good enough for me. Don’t want to miss out on any of the pleasures of this world!”

    I just get the impression that the mindset of, “I’m Heaven-bound!” could be problematic in and of itself. It seems a little presumptuous. Trying to be as holy as someone like Bl. Rolando Rivi, for example, seems like practicing basketball so as to play at the level of Michael Jordan. Even the top 0.1% of basketball players have little chance of even making it to the NBA, much less playing at the level of Michael Jordan.

    Someone might respond to this by saying, “Well, if that top 0.1% didn’t try, we wouldn’t have an NBA!” Nonetheless, I empathize with any fellow American who looks at St. Francis Xavier’s 30,000 baptisms and feels just a wee bit insufficient.

    “But not everyone is called to baptize 30,000 people!”

    Hmm … my empathy remains.

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