BKL#52 – The Poor/Holy Souls and Purgatory – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and on how we pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory:

Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.  


IP#44 Susan Tassone – Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

No one I know has the passion, zeal and just sheer love for the Holy Souls in Purgatory like Susan Tassone!  She has an incredible depth of knowledge on the subject.  You will never feel you are without companions on the journey after you hear Susan plead the Holy Souls cause.

  You can find the book here

Let the saints inspire you to intercede for the holy souls in purgatory!
Throughout the ages the devotions, prayers, and practices of the Communion of Saints have been offered up on behalf of souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering. The saints ardent desire to intercede for the holy souls impelled them to pray ceaselessly for their eternal rest.
This inspiring book shows how you can join the saints in this act of divine charity, thereby attaining spiritual gifts for acts done for the souls that cry out to us for relief.
–See the firsthand experiences that saints have had with the holy souls
–Learn the power of intercessory prayer on behalf of souls in purgatory
–Seasonal Devotions & Spiritual Aids prepare all members of the family to plead the cause of souls

  Susan Tassone’s Official Website

IP#320 Fr. Wade Menezes C.F.M. – The Four Last Things on Inside the Pages

  With the incredible Fr. Wade Menezes we discuss “The Four Last Things: A Catechetical Guide to Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.”

You can find the book here
From the Inside Flap

Few things in this earthly life are absolutely certain, but the most undebatable of these is death. Every person, even the atheist, will admit that death is certain. Death, however, is not the last event in this life of ours. Immediately after death, we shall be judged and then again on the Day of Judgment when all humanity will know us for what we are.

Too often the reality of Heaven and salvation are highlighted at the expense of the Church’s teachings on Death, Judgment, Purgatory, and Hell. Yet, these important doctrines of the Church hold the truths of salvation — truths that can lead us to Heaven or can pull us away from it.

In these pages, Fr. Wade Menezes, EWTN television host and Assistant General of the Fathers of Mercy, shows us that God has not called us to His wrath, but to salvation. He shows us that Heaven and Hell, salvation and damnation, eternal life and eternal punishment are all complementary doctrines. They need each other to be complete and we must understand the Church’s teachings on all of these doctrines in order to have a balanced view of the world.

Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell these are the Four Last Things toward which we are moving each hour of the day and night. Read this book, and you’ll have a firm grasp of one of the most important doctrines of Holy Mother Church that holds the truths of Heaven and our own salvation.

Feast of All Souls – Sunday, Sunday, Sunday with Mark Hart


The Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast is a reflection on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings presented by LifeTeen.com and hosted by Mark Hart.

Sunday Readings from the USCCB

Reading 1  WIS 3:1-9

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

Reading 2  ROM 5:5-11  or ROM 6:3-9

Gospel JN 6:37-40


Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;


Faith Check 25 – Purgatory

Faith Check/Greg Youell
Faith Check/Greg Youell


Few Catholic doctrines are more disputed than that of purgatory.  And yet, if it is properly understood, we see that purgatory is a gift of God’s mercy. 

Jesus did not come to merely forgive the penalty for our sins, but to cleanse us and make us His new creations.

Revelation 21:27 says, “nothing impure will enter heaven.”  Those of us who die in a state of grace—or are “saved”—and still have selfishness and sin remaining on our souls, must undergo a purification before entrance into heaven is possible.

So purgatory is not a second chance at heaven, but simply a final stage of growing in holiness.19

Notice that Jesus in Matthew 12 speaks of sins that will “not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come.” 1  And in 1 Corinthians 3, St. Paul writes that on Judgment Day there will be some who “suffer loss… [they will still] be saved, but only as through fire.”2

C.S. Lewis, the famous Anglican Christian writer, believed in purgatory and compared it to the burning sensation of mouthwash after having one’s tooth pulled at the dentist’s office.3

Indeed, while purgatory may involve pain, it will not be without joy, for it is the threshold to the gates of paradise.

1 –  12:32

2 –  3:15

3 –  Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, 107-109.

IP#45 – John Salza – The Biblical Basis for Purgatory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

I love talking with John Salza…tough doctrine and dogma that for most of us is difficult to explain, is just so easy for John.  And he shares his knowledge with all of us…what a gift!

John’s website is www.scripturecatholic.com

Check out John’s book here

From the book description:

In The Biblical Basis for Purgatory,  John  offers the definitive scriptural explanation of this distinctively Catholic doctrine. Building on the teachings of Christ and St. Paul, he shows how the existence of a place of temporal punishment after death is not only a logical extension of what we know about the reality of sin and God’s justice, but is also a supreme expression of God’s love and mercy. Although Purgatory is a place of mercy, its pains are real, and they are severe. This book does more than defend and explain Purgatory it provides a solid plan, drawn from the Church s perennial wisdom for conquering our sins by God s grace, while still on earth.

St. Catherine of Genoa…it’s all about Divine Love – Discerning Hearts

Jesus in your heart! Eternity in your mind! The will of God in all your actions! But above all, love, God’s love, entire love!
St. Catherine of Genoa

St. Catherine of Genoa’s life is one that testified to the power that regular confessions and frequent Communion can have in helping us see the direction (or drift) of our life with God.  Isn’t it interesting that people who have a realistic sense of their own sinfulness and of the greatness of God are often the ones who are most ready to meet the needs of their neighbors. Catherine’s life testifies to that as well.  She’s best known for her “Treatise on Purgatory” .  She gave tirelessly to the needs of the poor and sick.  Beautiful, married young to…well, should we be charitable and say…”an unpleasant fellow ” (Ok, he was a jerk) at 16.  During the course of ten years within the marriage, Catherine began to slowly slide into worldliness, not necessarily a sinful life, but not the one of holiness she had desired before her marriage.  And then it happened, Catherine experienced a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit in a dramatic life-changing mystical moment at the age of 26.  Again you can read more about in  “Treatise on Purgatory“.  Her life of prayer and service to the poor and needy would effect her husband as well; his conversion is a strong testament to the fruits of her relationship with God.  She reminds me a little of Mother Teresa, in that her deep, deep prayer led her to serve Him in those around her.

Since I began to love, love has never forsaken me. It has ever grown to its own fullness within my innermost heart.”St. Catherine of Genoa.   And it’s true…God is love, expand and make more room for Him and He will fill the space.

From Approved Apparitions:

“Catherine lived in holy obedience to God as He guided her to do His Will as He spoke to her interior,

“My daughter, observe these three rules, namely: never say I will or I will not. Never say mine, but always ours. Never excuse yourself, but always accuse yourself. When you repeat the `Our Father’ take always for your maxim, Fiat voluntas tua, that is, may his will be done in everything that may happen to you, whether good or ill; from the `Hail Mary’ take the word Jesus, and may it be implanted in your heart, and it will be a sweet guide and shield to you in all the necessities of life. And from the rest of Scripture take always for your support this word, Love, with which you will go on your way, direct, pure, light, watchful, quick, enlightened, without erring, yet without a guide or help from any creature; for love needs no support, being sufficient to do all things without fear; neither does love ever become weary, for even martyrdom is sweet to it. And, finally, this love will consume all the inclinations of the soul, and the desires of the body, for the things of this life.”

 Though Catherine lived a life of austere penance she did so for she understood how deadly is sin to the soul as a child of God can quickly turn to become a child of the Devil, if they choose to willfully disobey God through their actions. As Catherine explained, “If it were possible for me to suffer as much as all the martyrs have suffered, and even hell itself, for the love of God, and in order to make satisfaction to him, it would be after all only a sort of injury to God, in comparison with the love and goodness with which he has created, and redeemed, and, in a special manner, called me. For man, unassisted by God’s grace, is even worse than the devil, because the devil is a spirit without a body, while man, without the grace of God, is a devil incarnate. Man has a free will, which, according to the ordination of God, is in nowise bound, so that he can do all the evil that he wills; to the devil, this is impossible, since he can act only by the divine permission; and when man surrenders to him his evil will, the devil employs it, as the instrument of his temptation.”

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