Christ summarized the Ten Commandments as the Perfect Law of Love:
Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, came on earth to Redeem mankind.
1) Love of God;
2) Love of Neighbor.
His laws, counsels, and promises all breathe the sweet, clean air of peace, joy, and mercy, which vibrate with the three theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
But the thought that some of us shall, nevertheless, have to experience excruciating pain in the fires of Purgatory after death for an unknown period of time underscores the fairness of God and His judicious exercise of the Virtue of Justice.
It is true that we are weak and fall many times into sin and that God’s justice is rigorous, exacting - but also fair.
It is no less certain that Our Lord has given us abundant Graces and Spiritual strength to help us to overcome temptations to sin. Yet, if we do fall into sin, we will find the Seat of Divine Mercy in the Confessional so that we may confess our sins and receive absolution for them. Of course the temporal punishment due to sin still remains, although indulgences can either partially or totally remove such temporal punishment.
But those who continue to deliberately sin and who make no real, sincere effort to avoid sinning, and who refuse to correct their faults and refuse to use the many merciful means God offers them for satisfying for their sins and imperfections, automatically condemn themselves at least to Purgatory, and, in the case of Mortal Sin, they automatically condemn themselves to Hell for all eternity until and unless they make a good Confession. </div>
Padre Pio hearing Confession
Holy Sacrament of Penance
A Merciful God instituted the Holy Sacrament of Penance which Catholic frequently call “Confession”.
Nevertheless, for those who are sincere, who do confess their sins in the Sacrament of Penance, receive Sacramental Absolution, and perform the Penance the Confessor gives them, can in fact avoid Purgatory IF they make use of the means God has so generously given to all Catholics. In other words, the good news is that the means to avoid Purgatory are withing the reach of every ordinary Catholic!
May the Eucharistic and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Bless them and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary help them.
Can We Avoid Purgatory? Yes!
Many Catholics seem to erroneously think that it is almost impossible for them to avoid Purgatory. They think it is inevitable. Some even have set their ultimate goal so low, that they seem to focus more on the “inevitable” of going to Purgatory instead of the “possible” and even “probable” of going straight to Heaven when they die.
But this foolishness will be realized too late for them and only then will they realize how terribly rash and irrational they were. As the result of such foolish fatalism, many Catholics seem to make no real serious effort to avoid Purgatory, or even to lessen the term they may have to stay there.
Fortunately, not everyone is so foolish. This is why what follows is very well worth reading and re-reading. The sad fact is that a great number of souls go to Purgatory and remain there for many long years simply because they had never been told how they could have avoided Purgatory in the first place!
In other words, you will learn:
1) How you can actually avoid Purgatory!
2) But, IF, God forbid, you should somehow end up in Purgatory, you can learn what to do now to shorten your period of expiation in Purgatory.
The means to this end are easy, practical, and within reach. Plus, far from being irksome, the use of these means will only serve to make your lives on this earth holier and happier and will take away the exaggerated fear of death which terrifies so many people, even Catholics.
Dear Reader, you may want to consider telling your friends about this little work so that they, too, can learn these things. How could you possible do a greater service for them than this?
The common teaching within the Church is that Purgatory can hardly be avoided. St. Therese Lisieux, while still only a novice, the saint commented about this with one of the sisters, Sr. Maria Philomena, who believed in the near impossibility of going to heaven without passing through purgatory:
You do not have enough trust. You have too much fear before the good God. I can assure you that He is grieved over this. You should not fear Purgatory because of the suffering there, but should instead ask that you not deserve to go there in order to please God, Who so reluctantly imposes this punishment. As soon as you try to please Him in everything and have an unshakable trust He purifies* you every moment in His love and He lets no sin remain. And then you can be sure that you will not have to go to Purgatory.
* Purgation of the soul before dying. It is NOT the 'mercy' of sanctifying mortal sin as Pope Francis demonstrates in his establishment of a Pope: Aborting Mothers given full pardon in Year of Mercy ?
See also : CHAPTER XLIII