Q : 
Is there a chance to know if our loved ones are in purgatory or in heaven? How can one enter heaven directly? How long will they stay in purgatory? My 14-year-old brother and my parents had passed away. I am asking the question for them. They were good Christians with immense faith but they were also sinners in front of God. Thanks father.

Fr. Francis : 

No, there is no certain way that we can know. And I think there is a certain wisdom to that.

In this life we live in hope. When our loved ones pass on, they are in God’s hands. If we can know for certain where our loved ones have gone, would that make us more eager to trust in God? Or would it not rather distract us about someone’s destiny than that of our own?

If we really trust God, then there would be no worry, since God will provide what is best. I only have to pray trustingly for those in purgatory.

If we worry about our loved ones, wouldn’t God worry about them even more? Can we not trust Him? Or are we only capable of trusting facts and certain knowledge? Or only what I can know?

The dead cannot come to us. But we must go to them, or rather, to God. Let’s, instead, raise our hope in God. This life is too short. There is no time to worry about what is beyond my grasp or control. They are in God’s hands and thank God I trust Him more than anything. I must instead put all my focus and energy on what I can still do and must do today, so that I may get to heaven myself, and may bring with me as many brothers and sisters as I can. Anything else, I must surrender to the good Lord.