Popes Gregory and Benedict XVI, along with such mystic Saints as Catherine of Genoa, Faustina, and John Paul II, have said the fire of purgatory and the fire of hell are the same fire: Trials on earth are bitter fire for the sinner, even as they purify the person of God.
My pastor loves the liturgy; he uses incense like a fumigator when it’s called for. By the end of the weekend’s Masses you have to part the smoke with your hands to see the altar. The old ladies cough and sneeze and dab their rolling eyes, but I love the way it gets in my clothes and hair. I take it home and inhale the scent of prayer for the rest of the day. Combining incense, liturgy, sacrifice, and prayer was God’s idea!
When my sister was little, she ran to my mother after a nightmare. Attempting to soothe her fears, my mother told her she should pray to Jesus and remember He is always with her. With worry wrinkling her forehead, my sister replied, “But Mama, I need somebody with skin on ’em!” The tabernacle and its Ark of the Covenant were the Old Testament expression of God’s desire