047: The Secret Back Door Out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

catholic_FINAL_150If I was to ask you the quickest way out of purgatory, or even perhaps the quickest way into heaven, what would you say? “Be a saint.” Good.

But what should we do when we fall short? What about when we sin?

The book I mention in the podcast.

“Get to confession,” you reply. Excellent. But then what? Is there a way to make up for what we’ve done? A way to remedy the damage that we’ve caused the Body of Christ now, so that we don’t suffer later?

Absolutely. It’s almsgiving.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to start giving alms. I’m going to tell you why you’re nuts if you don’t. Trust me. You want to hear this. Because we’re going to:

  • Discuss why you want to spend as little time in purgatory as possible
  • (hint: it hurts…a lot!)
  • Show how Scripture describes sin in terms of a debt to be paid
  • Demonstrate the incredible revolution with regard to payment for sin that occurred in the Old Testament between the time of King David and Daniel
  • Examine Scripture passages that demonstrate the concept of purgatory and its miraculous relationship to almsgiving433px-Carracci-Purgatory
  • Explain how almsgiving can shortcut the consequences of your sinful actions…now and later!

Don’t listen if you enjoy suffering. For the rest of you, push “play” now!


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16 Responses

  1. Thanks for this very informative and hopeful podcast on Purgatory. I have never heard a homily on it in the seven years since I became Catholic. I even bought a book about it at a Catholic bookstore a few years ago. Unfortunately, the book was VERY descriptive, but offered no remedy. It bothered me so much I actually threw the book away, and then filed the whole subject to the back of my mind. So, I was intrigued by the title of your podcast. After listening to it, I felt hope for the first time that there was something I could do to at least minimize my time and sufferings in Purgatory. I will be listening to this podcast again, and eagerly await the second part of it. Thanks again, Susan Gardner

    1. There is always hope, Susan! It’s the beautiful thing about the Catholic faith. Being able to make reparation for our own mistakes in some human way is so…natural. Just as the sacraments appeal to our five God-given senses, so too does being able to make some kind of restitution for our mistakes. We can’t save ourselves, but we can sure help with the consequences. God bless you!

  2. Hello Leonard,
    I am very grateful for being able to listen to your podcasts. It really enlightens me. But
    I have a question, I always wanted to know about what happened when we pray ” suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell”
    Why did Jesus had to go to hell and why He stayed there for three days?
    Jesus was without sin.

    1. Hi Gabriella. Thanks for the kind words regarding the podcast. Glad you’re enjoying it. With regard to Jesus’ descent into hell: The “hell” he descended into is not the hell of the damned, which we also call Gehenna. He descended into what is known as “sheol”, the place where righteous souls awaited the resurrection of Christ. In other words, there were two places to which people went after they died before the resurrection of Christ.

      Here’s what the Catechism says in paragraph 633: “Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.”

  3. Mr. Leonard:
    That was an excellent presentation! I have been a Catholic for 70+ years, and as a perpetual sinner I have tried to figure out how to avoid being in purgatory too long. So I enthusiastically await part two.

  4. Matthew,

    Two things – first thank you for the Bible and Virgin Mary series. The men’s ministry at Queen of Peace is going through it this summer and we’re all much more informed and grateful for the lessons.

    Second, in this podcast episode, you mentioned a book that changed your thoughts on giving alms. Would you mind posting the title and author?

    Thank you!

    1. Yes! I said I was going to do it and totally failed to do so. I’ll post a link in the show notes above. Thanks for reminding me, Jeff!

  5. Tremendous teaching about purgatory. St. Paul Center have been the stone, the foundation to make me grow more in spirituality and be more appassionate in bible study. I’m teaching bible study in Spanish in my parish St Clare in Baltimore, MD, and I have been blessed to have access to all great things that St. Paul Center offers. Thank you so much, and God keep blessings you all. Juanita Guzman

  6. As a catholic who left the church unwillingly 50years ago I will not go into detail here but it did involve a priest I did come back 30years ago when our gougest daughter ask if she could turn catholic as she had a catholic friend and periodically went to mass with her also with my mother when she would visit my husband and both said of course you can but let us talk about it we have a son who is 7years Laura’s junior so right away he said if Laura does this I want to go there to so we went all 4 of us and talked to father Webber and came back to our own church we did not however give up on god our children were brought up in the height Anglican Church now at83 I am a very happy Roman Catholic woman who is learning so much about my faith throu you and others who have joined the church i thank you for your dedication to teaching our faith to others

    1. While I’m sincerely sorry for your troubles, I’m so glad to hear that you’re back, Theresa! God bless you and your family!

  7. Brilliant idea to escape purgatory. Thanks for sharing. I have also listed some easy tips to avoid purgatory. Please check it.

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