Catechism in a Year
Monday, June 25, 2018
209. What is meant by the term "heaven"?
By "heaven" is meant the state of supreme and definitive happiness. Those who die in the grace of God and have no need of further purification are gathered around Jesus and Mary, the angels and the saints. They thus form the Church of heaven, where they see God "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12). They live in a communion of love with the Most Blessed Trinity and they intercede for us.
"True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life."
(Saint Cyril of Jerusalem)
Further reading: CCC 1023-1026, 1053
210. What is purgatory?
Purgatory is the state of those who die in God's friendship, assured of their eternal salvation, but who still have need of purification to enter into the happiness of heaven.
Further reading: CCC 1030-1031, 1054
211. How can we help the souls being purified in purgatory?
Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.
Further reading: CCC 1032
These excerpts are from the Compendium of the CCC