The Journey of Two Lost Souls
Editor's Note: The following letter is based on a true story. It was sent by me (Stephen) to a local Catholic priest on July 12, 2021. To this date, I have still not spoken with the priest in any depth about the letter but he did say that he read it and he extended an offer to "talk" with me about it which I'll take as a good sign. Maybe after publishing this site, I'll finally get up the nerve to take him up on that "talk". Note, all names, places and other references besides the real nicknames "Ruthie" and "Stevie" (me/Stephen) have been redacted. But I decided to leave in the trimmed image of the mourning mother statue towards the end of the page for authenticity.
Hello Father . . I hope this receives you well. This is a true story of a very personal nature and one that involved you directly, even though you may or may not have been aware of anything going on at that time. It is a bit lengthy and I’ve tried to trim it down, so please bear with me. It is, however, important that you read it from beginning to end as time permits.
I’m sure you remember me from RCIA .... and . .... and our mutual friend . .
Stephen . (married to . who is friends with the . family)
I still remember it clearly though the intense emotions of the experience are now somewhat veiled. The memories will stay with me forever but the intensity of the moments have lost their luster in the sands of time. And although the experience occurred less than [just over] one month ago, I’m finding myself starting to struggle with the meaning and purpose of what transpired. So I’ve decided today (Sunday, July 11, 2021) is the day I start to write down the parts that I still do vividly remember in hopes that perhaps you can help me discern and make peace with the story I am about to share.
Several years ago, a dear friend of mine - ”Ruthie” - from my early adult years reportedly overdosed on prescribed medication and passed away. To this day, I do not know if it was an intentional overdose or accidental. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me. Perhaps it should but it does not. I would not think of her any differently. For you see, a few years prior to this, in . of . , my same friend Ruthie was in a terrible roll-over accident on a small country highway in . , . .
Ruthie had accidentally drifted over to the right on a two-lane road onto the soft rocky shoulder - or “emergency” lane - of the road. This caused her tires to spin out unevenly causing an apparent overcorrection back to the paved surface of the highway resulting in an horrific single-vehicle accident.
Other than cuts, bruises, a concussion and blood vessel eruptions in one of her eyes which were still apparent a few days after the crash, Ruthie was in relatively good condition...physically; however, sadly her firstborn daughter - who I believe was around - years of age at the time - who was seated in the back seat of the car died at the scene.
Although I had only met her daughter once in my life while attending Ruthie’s wedding to my best friend “ ”, I can still remember the intense pain that suddenly hit me when . [my friend] showed up at my door to share the bad news. Yes, I was obviously saddened by the loss of their child but the overwhelming emotions of intense grief for what Ruthie had to be going through felt like I briefly experienced Ruthie’s pain inside my own soul. It literally hit me to my core. Does that make any sense?
Soon after processing what I was just told, I remember telling my wife that I had to attend the funeral and that I felt as though I was the only one who could help Ruthie out of the utter despair she must have been going though. I say that from a position of humility. There was something about this individual that seemed to resonate with my soul. And, yes, I honestly believed - and still believe to this day - that I was the one person in this world that she needed most in that moment.
The funeral for her daughter was held here in . at the same church where her and . [my best friend] had been married. Unfortunately, . and Ruthie had separated and divorced at least a couple of years earlier by this time. Although the funeral was close by, I later told my wife that even if Ruthie had lived far away, I would have made every effort to drive or fly in order to get there in time for the funeral for her daughter. Something inside me just told me I had to be there to support her.
Let me also be clear. This was not a romantic interest. I had once been I guess you could say infatuated with her in my younger days but she never felt the same way. We were always just meant to be good friends even though I hadn’t actually spoken with her in years by this point. Everyone called her “Ruthie”. Only she ever called me “Stevie”. We were just really good friends who had a deep love, respect and protection for each other.
Anyway, back to the funeral of her daughter. The church had a large projection of her daughter . at the front of the church. The picture in the projection was obviously from a much older age than I remembered as the only mental image I had of their daughter was when she was only perhaps two years old acting as ring bearer for her and ’s wedding. I don't remember the funeral service, it all just seemed like a blur. I just knew Ruthie was there somewhere in that building and I had to see her. Ruthie and her new husband “. " were in a room behind the back wall to the pulpit which you had to enter through a couple of doors, similar to the entrance to . . .
I kind of circled the large room and only found her because I recognized standing next to her at one of those six-foot or so fold-up tables near the center of the room. . is probably 6’2" so he easily stood out. I approached from the side opposite to where she was sitting. I just stood at a slight distance waiting for her to raise her head which was bent over almost like someone who might have fallen asleep with their head leaning forward.
Ruthie slowly raised her head and eventually moved her eyes upward and almost as if going from a trance-like state to one of recognition and coherence, locked eyes with mine and asked “Stevie?”. I’ll never forget that moment in all my life. She almost immediately started gaining her composure and I just spoke a very few kind and supporting words. I really didn’t know what to say. Or even if I needed to actually say anything at all. I just knew that I was there at that moment, in that moment, for that moment to be there for her.
I later wondered if that moment might have actually bothered . [her second husband] a bit. Because I can assure you, all the consoling that . must have done to that point to the best of his ability would have palled by comparison to the moment her eyes and mine locked. More interaction went on between our eyes - between our souls - in those brief moments than words could have ever expressed. Ruthie later followed me out to my car - and again, we just locked eyes - and somehow that said all that needed to be said. I mentioned . because he followed us to the car perhaps a minute later. A few short minutes later, we said our goodbyes and that was the last time I ever saw or spoke to her again.
The whole eye gaze thing was so just bizarre. So surreal. So real. So deep. The deep things of the human soul that man can only begin to possibly fathom. Disclaimer: This actually happened to Ruthie and me once before but is not relevant to this discussion.
(This is probably a good time to mention that my wife is also well aware of everything discussed in this letter. However, she does not know I’m actually writing you this letter. I want to at least wait until I [hopefully] have a chance to discuss with you first. The whole “Ruthie” thing has actually led to a few disagreements (to use the word lightly). My relationship with Ruthie was always platonic, but the fact that my wife knows that I once “chased” Ruthie so to speak, and the whole eye gaze deal, makes it an uncomfortable subject. Obviously, Ruthie is gone now from this earth as well, but in some respects, that almost seems to make the situation more sensitive if that makes any sense)
A Crash Course in Purgatory 101
Fast-forward to Friday, June 4, 2021. For some reason I can’t even remember why now (I think my wife actually brought it up), we started talking about Ruthie some after many years of no mention of her name. That’s not to say that I had not thought of Ruthie from time-to-time myself, but I don’t remember ever really praying for her because, well, she’s dead after all, right? Coming from my former Jehovah’s Witness to [much later] protestant background before being received into the [Catholic] Church, my whole understanding of this thing Catholics call Purgatory was more of a myth than matter-of-fact.
Sure, it was taught to me in RCIA. And, yes, I’d heard or Purgatory all my life. But Jehovah’s Witnesses just believe that the body goes into the grave - or “Sheol” - after death waiting for a glorious resurrection on a “New Earth” after the Great Tribulation. One of my non-denominational pastors actually taught once on the concept that Jesus actually went to “Paradise”, some sort of place in between our physical existence and Heaven or hell, but he didn’t go all the way and call it Purgatory. I’m guessing he didn’t want to scare off anyone in his flock. Who knows. Doesn’t matter. I still would have been skeptical. I still was skeptical.
Of course, my wife - having been brought up as a “cradle Catholic” all her life - has believed in Purgatory since her earliest formative years in Catholic schools. And she’s tried her best over the years to explain it to me a few times. And I even “got” the whole All-Saints Day thing and praying for the dead on that day after going through RCIA. But I never really understood it [Purgatory] until I felt like I got a glimpse of it first hand as I will now try to explain.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Something was different about Friday, June 4, 2021. I mentioned to my wife that there were times that I felt like Ruthie could almost hear me if I was thinking about her. Almost like a distant presence I couldn’t really put into words. As you might be guessing by now, this turned into another “disagreement” between me and my wife. And, for some reason, I felt the need to try to further explain the platonic relationship that Ruthie and I shared (but I couldn’t think of the right word). This somehow led me further explaining to my wife that the kind of love I had for Ruthie was unconditional (like or the same as Agape love).
Oops! Not the best thing to tell your wife/soulmate. Even if the other person has passed away from this life on earth. Not good at all! And that was just about three weeks before you gave us the Blessing for our . th Wedding Anniversary. Right before our vacation. Right before I got my wife a new ring! Yea, I really nailed the timing on that one! Not good. Not good at all on my part.
It’s obviously a lot easier to declare your unconditional love when someone is no longer here and there’s no risk that they can hurt you [any longer]. Much harder to sincerely say that about your own spouse because it’s hard for humans to love unconditionally. In fact, the closer the person is to you the more likely you are to get hurt in the future. But I like to think of this type of Love as one where you can [if you prefer] constantly keep a hidden guard up to prevent you both from colliding head on in that situation. No, it doesn’t always work but I think it’s a strong technique that shouldn’t just be abandoned considering just how important unconditional love is in our relationships with spouses, families, friends, enemies, adversaries, governmental officials, police officers, etc. And, of course, most important of all, our relationship with the Godhead.
Think of two strong magnets turned facing with their poles against each other. No matter how hard you try, you cannot force the magnets to slam together. There’s resistance when the magnets are aligned in this fashion. Agape love is like a Super Magnet pulling two souls much closer together than is normally possible but as long as you’re on guard with your own magnet turned outward, then hurtful words, unsettled issues, etc. cannot get through. We obviously don’t normally go around with our “magnet” turned in this configuration because it hinders pure unconditional, pure Agape love. But as long as we know that magnet is always there, always with us, can always be turned to bounce against the force of whatever magnet is trying to attack or even embrace us if we’re unprepared, we have a huge tool at our immediate disposal.
Unconditional/Agape-type love is not only possible, it’s favorable in nearly every relationship in your life. Someone’s really hurt you and you feel like they owe you an apology? Drop it! As soon as possible! I mean immediately if possible! Forgive them. Don’t even tell them you’re forgiving them (least not at first). Reach out to them about something completely unrelated to whatever the disagreement was about. And hit them hard with a side of pure, unconditional love. When that Super Magnet kicks in, there’s nothing they can do to prevent your two souls from being pulled closer and closer and closer. Just make 100% you’ve got your personal magnet turned outward to ward off attack, dishonest “kissing up”, etc. and they can’t get through any closer than you allow them to.
Once things are starting to work out, turn your magnet slightly downward so they can start getting slightly closer. Then continue even further downward to bring them in closer. Then once you are confident the trust has been restored enough, drop the magnet and let unconditional love do its thing bringing the two of you closer than you could have ever dreamed possible. It works! But it’s also easy to forget to use especially under stressful situations. If you fail, don’t give up! Try, try again until you get it right!
Saturday, June 5, 2021
This next part is where it gets a little out there. And I realize that. So please “reel me back in” if it needs some reeling. Later on that night, and especially all day Saturday, June 5, 2021, I felt as if mine and Ruthie’s souls had somehow almost been conjoined. Maybe “conjoined” is the wrong term. I still had my soul. She still had hers. But she was dead, right? How could that be possible? I’m then reminded of what Jesus said in this regard [which, oddly enough, was part of the Gospel reading from yesterday, Saturday, July 10, 2021]:
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. - Matthew 10:28
It also led me to this section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven—through a purification or immediately—or immediate and everlasting damnation. (CCC 1022)
It was as though her immortal soul had been pulled from where ever it was, to the immediate left side of my body (like next to my heart/stomach area). And I swear it was as though I could communicate with her in small audible “cue”s. Like I could ask internally the name “Ruthie?” and she would reply back with “Stevie!” in a voice that only I would recognize. Could I have simply been talking to myself? Sure. I have to be honest. That is possible. But this just seemed altogether different.
I then began going through a very intense period of “testing the spirits” to see if this was of God. I asked this “soul” or “spirit” or whatever it was to identify itself. Tell me unique things about our past that only Ruthie and I would know. Of course, the problem with that approach is how do you know if it’s the other’s soul revealing the answer or simply your own failing memory? I knew my memory from that part of our lives left huge gaps so part of me was hoping to be provided some “reminders” that I could easily follow through to conclusion. But that didn’t happen. In fact, the only single word I got from the particular tactic was the Rock band named “Whitesnake” from back in the 80s “hair band” days. Sorry, not going to cut it.
This was almost a show-stopper for me from the start. I figured if “she” couldn’t at least provide me a few “remember when” moments from all those years we hung out, then this was obviously either not of God or [admittedly] potentially just self-delusion on my part.
I also wasn’t sure if I should even be trying to receive answers back from the soul of a dead person. The whole witchcraft and divination-type verses come to mind. So I decided to take a more direct approach with:
- Spirits that should be much more receptive of my requests (the Trinity).
- Who, under the circumstances, I felt like perhaps would give me some confirmation and validation to my own soul and spirit directly.
- Via the built-in and prescribed approach of asking the holy Spirit to pray for us in utterances we do not understand (not speaking-in-tongues stuff, just the holy Spirit doing His thing).
- Saying a very comprehensive prayer to Our Father to confirm a long series of steps in the Christ redemption story.
- Asking Almighty God, Jesus Christ and the holy Spirit each to give audible/visual cues in my soul/spirit that all of these things lined up and to give me a heightened gift of discernment, even if only for a temporary period of time.
- In addition to discernment, asking God for at least temporary gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge, basically any gift that might help either verify the credibility of what this “soul” was trying to communicate to me or else [and much more importantly] spiritual, physical, emotional, mental signs if this was actually a deception (or, again, just self-delusion).
- Then, and only then, would I entertain the thought of continuing to attempt a rudimentary conversation with this soul/spirit in the future.
- Repeat steps 1-7 over and over many times over the course of the next few days.
The fourth step above was rather interesting. It essentially broke it down to something along these lines which I just kind of came up with in the moment but seemed fitting under the intense circumstances:
Almighty Father, God in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come. Thy Will be Done.
On Earth. As it is in Heaven.
Give us this Day our Daily Bread.
Forgive us our Trespasses.
Knowing First that we Must also Forgive Those
Who Have - or Even Want -
To Trespass Against Us.
Lead us not into Temptation.
Deliver Us from Evil [repeat three times]
Father, You sent your Only Begotten Son
Down from Heaven to Earth.
Born of a Virgin
Via the Holy Spirit.
Chose Twelve Ordinary Men to be his First 12 Disciples,
Performed Many Miracles and Offered Salvation
For All that Would Listen.
Suffered and Died on the Cross for our Sins,
Rose from the Dead and was Resurrected Three Days Later,
Was Assumed Bodily Into Heaven
While the Eleven Remaining Apostles Watched His Ascent
And Two Men in White Garments Also Confirmed to the Eleven.
And is Now Seated at Your Right Hand.
For Thine is the Kingdom
And the Power
And the Glory,
Forever and Ever.
Through Your Son’s Name,
Amen. And Amen.
After much back-and-forth, much struggling with God, reading his Word, repeating the exercises above, etc., I finally decided to slightly open a bit (turn my magnet slightly downward) and try to communicate a bit deeper with who I believed at this point to be the soul of . Ruth . . I was cautious, but curious and part of me felt that I needed to proceed.
Sunday, June 6, 2021
Communication started to become more fluid in nature. Rather than just one word “yes” and “no” type responses, I started to get two or three word answers. But typically not more than that. Things were getting interesting to say the least, and my platonic love for this soul began to grow. I started to feel as though I could control whether or not she could hear through my ears, or see through my eyes. I had total control of what was allowed and not allowed. And she didn’t care one single bit. I could tell she was just excited to be given this chance outside of Purgatory to “catch up” on what had changed in the world. And was curious about what I did in my down time as well my family life. No jealousy. No ill-will. No impatience. Just curiosity. And a desire to be close to me in return. She was like my new “buddy” that never left my side, but that I could also just “turn off” anytime I wanted to. Pretty neat stuff.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Back to work. Lot to get caught up on. Just kept busy all day. But periodically let her have a “glimpse” of what I was working on, or thinking about, or talking about, or...whatever. Again, full control of what was allowed and not allowed. No access to anything external without explicit permission (not turned on by default, but off). No access to any of my soul bits without my explicit permission. No access to my brain to randomly download stuff that you might think some evil spirit might be interested in to later use against me when he brings back more of his evil accomplices when they find the house empty. None of that. Just pure love. Pure respect on her part and mine. It just felt...pure.
She had no issue with my wife or family, no issues with anyone. Or anything. So what next? Was I being given some life-altering opportunity to have this awesome extra soul with me for the rest of my life? A friend in time of need to constantly provide comfort and their own wisdom to a degree? And why didn’t she seem to know more about her life before? Or was she just not willing to share this information due to the pain associated with it?
These were all good questions. And I had no answers. However, after some time, I did start to feel as though as part of the purification of Purgatory, that God in His infinite wisdom, may purge our souls of certain information that might be too damaging for us to carry over to eternal life in Heaven. I mean, if you think about it, why would God want you to retain painful memories when you someday get to Heaven where you will be perfected? Remember there will be no pain, no suffering, no ... for those who inherit God’s Kingdom? How could there not be any pain if we were allowed to hang on to painful memories?
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (Morning)
First day out of the house. Left a bit early for morning Mass. Listened to some music on the way to church and just enjoyed some time away from the house together. Played some newer songs Ruthie wouldn’t have heard from the time that she died. Arrived at Mass a few minutes early. Waited in anticipation for the procession and daily Mass. Received the Eucharist from Father . , waited for the final procession to leave and then went immediately to the columbarium.
I recall walking through the inner circle of the columbarium, extending a hand outward towards the general direction of the encased urns and saying a prayer for their souls that their stay in Purgatory might be shortened. I then proceeded through the narrow passage along the . corner, took an immediate . and noticed a statue I had not seen or at least recognized before. Here is the [trimmed] picture of that statue.
“DEDICATED TO ALL THAT GRIEVE THE LOSS OF A CHILD”
The picture above was taken on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 9:00:42 AM CDT. Based on the path I had taken to get to this statue as well as my perceived pace, I believe it is a very safe assumption that I would have been making that prayer for the depose of the souls in the columbarium at 8:58am CDT. This timestamp will be critical later on, stayed tuned.
Following the walkthrough of the columbarium, I exited the parking lot and drove to . [the grocery store] to pick up a few groceries and supplies. I remember asking Ruthie what she thought of the Mass, and especially the Eucharist, and she seemed perfectly fine with it. I’m not sure if Ruthie had ever been in a Catholic church in her life but I definitely remember asking . [my friend/Ruthie's first husband] after Ruthie died whether or not she had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. He said that she had which gave me great relief. I suppose that’s part of the reason I never really grieved that intensely when Ruthie died. I knew she was in a better place and I left it in God’s hands. Keep in mind, at that time she died, I was still a protestant. I wasn’t really going to church though during that time of my life. In between 2005 through 2010, I attended a non-denominational church that I was fully devoted to. Unfortunately, the church dissolved due to financial issues, tried to start anew, still had struggles surviving financially and eventually the pastor that I loved retired. My world was devastated but I still held on to my faith in God but just didn’t practice my faith for several years.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (Afternoon/Evening)
Work, work, work. Tons of work stuff. I pretty much ignored Ruthie most of the day and actually apologized a few times to her (but, again, she didn’t care if she was doing nothing). Nothing fazed her.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (Night)
Conversation seemed to pick up Tuesday night following Mass earlier in the day. Had a hard time sleeping due to my mind just racing. I don’t remember what time I finally got to sleep but remember thinking I really wanted to make Mass again Wednesday morning at 8:30am. So I set my alarm for like 7:30am and finally fell asleep.
THE NEXT DAY
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Morning)
Woke up just before 8:00am. Realized it was too late to get to church on time and was frustrated. Laid around in bed until .... 8:55am. Something had changed and I wasn’t sure what it was. I knew it had something to do with Ruthie and asked her what was going on. She replied with a tone of uncertainty in her voice when she asked “Stevie?” this time. She seemed to be struggling but not in a bad way that I could sense.
Within a minute or so, it hit me! I was like “Ruthie, you’re moving on, aren’t you?” No response. But I could tell she was still “there”. The clock rolls around to 8:58am and I suddenly knew she was gone. And that was that. I knew she was either in Heaven or in route to Heaven.
Oddly enough, I had a song stuck in my head when I woke up that morning. I got up from bed, flipped open my laptop and did a quick search for a song with the lyrics “I will not say goodbye”. I found a Youtube video of the song. It’s by Daney Gokey. Here are the lyrics.
Editor's Note: An embedded Youtube video of this song is included at the bottom of this page for convenience in case you're interested in watching it while following along to the lyrics.
"I Will Not Say Goodbye"
Sometimes the road just ends
It changes everything you've been
And all that's left to be
Is empty, broken, lonely, hoping
I'm supposed to be strong
I'm supposed to find a way to carry on
I don't wanna feel better
I don't wanna not remember,
I will always see your face
In the shadows of this haunted place
I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
But I will not say goodbye
They keep saying time will heal
But the pain just gets more real
The sun comes up each day
Finds me waiting, fading, hating, praying
If I can keep on holding on
Maybe I can keep my heart from knowing that you're gone
I don't wanna feel better
I don't wanna not remember
I will always see your face
In the shadows of this haunted place
I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
But I will not say goodbye
I will curse, I will pray,
I will re-live everyday
I will shoulder the blame
I will shout out your name
I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
But I will not say
Will not say goodbye
Will not say goodbye
Will not say...
I sat there with headphones on and listened to the song intensely three or four times in a row just weeping, trying to be as quiet as possible though because my wife was still asleep. However, I wasn’t quiet enough. She overheard me and came over and put her hand on my right shoulder. I took the headphones off and she asked what was wrong. What could I say? I had tears streaming down my face! I had to tell her the truth. Ruthie went on to be with our Lord in Heaven on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 8:58am CDT. The same exact time I was praying for the depose of souls in the columbarium 24 hours earlier.
My wife, of course, took the news of her going to Heaven at that time with a grain of salt. But she knew I was deeply upset (and yet joyous at the same time) so she let it go. I’m really glad she did because I was in no mindset to carry on a conversation with her explaining why I believed that. None at all.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Night)
Sometime after I’d say midnight or so, I was staring up at the ceiling in an otherwise dark room with only slight spots of light from phones charging, clocks emitting light, etc. Typical blue light emissions from the stuff we call technology. But otherwise a fully dark room.
I started to sense a slight yellowish light in elliptical form shine from the ceiling. It was very dull at first but started to get slightly brighter and clearer over the course of a few minutes. Eventually, I could start to make out the shape of a head turned slightly to their right with a distinct smile and flowing, healthy hair. The image kept fading in and out though and was never perfectly clear. But I could eventually make out somewhat distinguishing facial features that let me know this was indeed Ruthie.
She was constantly smiling. And seemed to be trying to express something like “We did it!” or something to that effect. This was not the exact same face that I remembered from all those years before. This face was radiant. It was perfect. It was the head that must have topped a new body. A new heavenly body with all the imperfections removed. It was amazing. Truly amazing. And I was so glad that I could be a part of that journey.
I soon seemed to realize that Ruthie and I had unresolved issues that needed to be worked through before she could move on to the other side. In a sense, I was holding her back from going on to Heaven.
Editor's Note: Since the time of the writing of "the letter" to the Catholic priest, my wife and I talked about this and she thought that perhaps the unresolved issues were actually between Ruthie and her first husband [my friend]. I could indeed see that being a huge possibility due to the bitterness of their divorce. But how Ruthie would have been granted access to Heaven without first working through those issues with him first remains a mystery.
I also got the sense that souls in Purgatory have no sense of time in the sense that we do. Yet, they are provided everything they could possibly need to survive, thrive and purify while they’re there. Almost as though even since it had been a few years since she died here on earth, it was nothing for her. It’s like our meeting was eternally destined to occur but Who would have ever thought it would happen this way? I sense these things are most often worked out when the other soul gets to Purgatory where both souls can work through their unresolved issues at that time before [hopefully] both souls get to move on to Heaven. Or possibly the second soul gets to Purgatory allowing the first soul to move on to Heaven after they work through their differences while the second soul works through their issues before they can move on? Who really knows?
All I do know is that Purgatory is indeed a real place. And it’s not a bad stop-over if your name’s written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And although there are many factors that go into how long your stay will be, we should strive to ensure that we work out as many unresolved issues with those in our lives before that day comes and it’s our turn to visit that Place [in the case we don't get the opportunity to go straight to Heaven upon death].
Should we pray for the souls in Purgatory? You bet! Just on November 1 or whatever day All Saints Day is? Absolutely not! We should be praying for their souls as part of our daily prayers. Not sure who to pray for? Take a look at this section from CatholicStand.com:
Prayers for those in Purgatory
It is the same with our faith. November, the month of All Souls, reminds us of our obligation to pray for the dead.; It is not just a pious act on one day of the year but every day. I once heard a bishop say that he always prayed for the soul who was “deepest in Purgatory.” What a tremendous act of faith and charity! We believe that all souls need prayer upon death and also that there are a few souls so abandoned that they have no one to pray for them. Some of them may even wake us up to their need through visits from the Beyond.
Editor's Note: The link to the original article from CatholicStand.com no longer exists. It returns a 404 Page Not Found error. Not that it really matters but if you were to search for that page on their site, it's no longer there.
Thursday, June 10, 2021 (Morning)
First Mass following the “Event” on Wednesday. Received the Eucharist from Father . . Immediately proceeded to the small Sanctuary for prayer. Started going through the extended Our Father’s prayer I had put together previously in the week. Starting re-reading Acts 1 and remembered something funny I shared with my wife about the eleven apostles staring at the sky after Jesus was clearly [according to the scriptures] already in Heaven. He had disappeared behind a cloud yet the apostles were still looking on intently when the “two men in white garments” came along to ask them why they were looking at the sky. Keeping in mind that the holy Spirit had not fallen on them yet until Acts 2. Acts 1 was all about 11 ordinary men who just lost not only one of their own (Judas) but also their faith Leader. They were still at least a day’s journey away from Jerusalem before they could even have the possibility of receiving the holy Spirit.
I glanced over at the wall of the small Sanctuary and could still see the image of Ruthie in heaven in her new heavenly body (well, just the head with the flowing hair and beautiful smile). But I also got the sense there were others as if in the background that were happy and joyous over what had happened the day before. Like Heaven was celebrating along with Ruthie. Awesome!
For some reason, when this all came together, it almost immediately turned into controlled laughter within the small Sanctuary. Thank God I was the only one still there by that time. The more and more I tried to be serious, the funnier things became and I’d have to catch myself from bursting out in laughter. I kept turning around to make sure no one in the main church was looking my direction. I can say from the sound I was making, it would have easily have been confused with crying. So there was that at least. I eventually left, went home and .... well, started living my life anew from that point onward.
Well, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time by now Father . . I hope this isn’t all just the rantings of a delusional person. But it seemed so real to me. And I certainly feel within my heart that Ruthie is at least now in Heaven. However that managed to transpire.
Yours in Christ,
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