Fr. Frederick William Faber was one of the greatest Catholic writers in the English language of the 19th century. Initially an Anglican priest, he found his way into the Catholic Church through the preaching of St. John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement, eventually being ordained as an Oratorian priest. His works are numerous, and each satisfies a different part of the soul's need for knowledge and strengthening in the Catholic religion.
In Purgatory: The Two Catholic Views of Purgatory Based on Catholic Teaching and Revelations of Saintly Souls, Fr. Faber is at it again explaining Catholic doctrine in a clear and engaging manner rare in modern times. Considering the different views Catholics have had about Purgatory over the ages, Fr. Faber asks: What is Purgatory like? Is it almost like Hell? Or is it a place of relative peace and even joy? Emphasizing that Catholicism has no definitive answer for such mysteries, Fr. Faber explores the traditions about this place of God's Mercy that nevertheless involves pain. He bases his discussion on teachings and revelations from saintly souls, including St. Catherine of Genoa's well-known Treatise on Purgatory (available from TAN in The Spiritual Doctrine of St. Catherine of Genoa).
As always, Fr. Faber's prowess as a writer and teacher of the Catholic Faith shines admirably. His work is thorough, concise, and, as ever, deeply moving on account of the holiness of his own soul and the beauty of the words that spring from it.
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