|The Church teaches that anyone who commits a serious sin and dies before repenting from such
sin does not merit heaven. But, what about a person that has the stain of some "small" sin on
their soul at the time of death? God in his justice would not condemn such a person to eternal
damnation. Yet, no one can enter the kingdom of heaven with any stain of sin no matter how small.
Purgatory, then, is that state where the soul resides after death until the soul is cleansed of all stain of sin.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) has this to say (Paragraphs 1030 - 1031):
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
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