Skip to comments.Purgatory, Indulgences, and the Work of Jesus Christ (Discussion)
Posted on 03/26/2005 2:00:31 PM PST by gbcdoj
The only begotten Son of God . . . "made unto us from God, wisdom, justice, sanctification and redemption" [I Cor. 3], "neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own blood entered once into the holies having obtained eternal redemption" [Heb. 9:12]. "For not with corruptible things as gold or silver, but with the precious blood of His very (Son) as of a lamb unspotted and unstained He has redeemed us" [cf. I Pet. 1:18-19], who innocent, immolated on the altar of the Cross is known to have poured out not a little drop of blood, which however on account of union with the Word would have been sufficient for the redemption of the whole human race, but copiously as a kind of flowing stream, so that "from the soles of His feet even to the top of His Head no soundness was found in Him" [Isa. 1:6]. Therefore, how great a treasure did the good Father acquire from this for the Church militant, so that the mercy of so great an effusion was not rendered useless, vain or superfluous, wishing to lay up treasures for His sons, so that thus the Church is an infinite treasure to men, so that they who use it, become the friends of God [Wisd. 7:14].
Indeed this treasure . . . through blessed Peter, the keeper of the keys of heaven and his successors, his vicars on earth, He has committed to be dispensed for the good of the faithful, both from proper and reasonable causes, now for the whole, now for the partial remission of temporal punishment due to sins, in general as in particular (according as they know to be expedient with God), to be applied mercifully to those who truly repentant have confessed.
Indeed, to the mass of this treasure the merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of all the elect from the first just even to the last, are known to give their help; concerning the consumption or the diminution of this there should be no fear at any time, because of the infinite merits of Christ (as was mentioned before) as well as for the reason that the more are brought to justification by its application, the greater is the increase of the merits themselves. (Pope Clement VI, Bull "Unigenitus Dei Filius", Jan. 25, 1343, in Denzinger-Rahner, trans. Deferrari, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, no. 550-552)
In an indulgence in fact, the Church, making use of its power as minister of the Redemption of Christ, not only prays but by an authoritative intervention dispenses to the faithful suitably disposed the treasury of satisfaction which Christ and the saints won for the remission of temporal punishment.
The aim pursued by ecclesiastical authority in granting indulgences is not only that of helping the faithful to expiate the punishment due sin but also that of urging them to perform works of piety, penitence and charity--particularly those which lead to growth in faith and which favor the common good. (Pope Paul VI, Constitution "Indulgentarium Doctrina", Jan. 1, 1967)
Now one man can satisfy for another, as we have explained above (13, 2). And the saints in whom this super-abundance of satisfactions is found, did not perform their good works for this or that particular person, who needs the remission of his punishment (else he would have received this remission without any indulgence at all), but they performed them for the whole Church in general, even as the Apostle declares that he fills up "those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ . . . for His body, which is the Church" to whom he wrote (Col. 1:24). These merits, then, are the common property of the whole Church. Now those things which are the common property of a number are distributed to the various individuals according to the judgment of him who rules them all. Hence, just as one man would obtain the remission of his punishment if another were to satisfy for him, so would he too if another's satisfactions be applied to him by one who has the power to do so. (St. Thomas, Sup. q. 25 a. 1)
Heb 10:10 In the which will, we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once. 11 And every priest indeed standeth daily ministering and often offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. 12 But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God, 13 From henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Rom 5:6 For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly? 7 For scarce for a just man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his charity towards us: because when as yet we were sinners according to the time. 9 Christ died for us. Much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 And not only so: but also we glory in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation.
He has graciously agreed to move that discussion from the prayer thread to here.
If you would, PM, please explain the contradiction you see between your two scripture quotes and Indulgences.
First God created us, he "loves us"? He asked us not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Here the question what is wrong with eating from the tree, and if we made a mistake, ah our father who loves us, why can he just FORGIVE us? How many times did you or I forgive our children for doing something that we asked them not to?
Then he is not happy with being upset with us, and punishing us, he wants be unhappy and upset with our children, and grand children. Show me grandfather who is upset with his grandchildren because their father once ate from the forbidden cookies one time? Now he continues to be upset thousands of years after the fact, and cannot let go of that ONE mistake until he lets "his only begotten son" get killed.
Please help explain this messy story.
You may or may not be interested in this discussion. I just thought I'd bring it to your attention.
***If you would, PM, please explain the contradiction you see between your two scripture quotes and Indulgences.***
As I see it, Indulgences and Purgatory pretty much go hand in hand. Neither are present in then New Testament.
"WHAT AN INDULGENCE IS
An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive."
That "temporal punishment" is (I believe) most commonly a reference to Purgatory. Pugatory is not in the New Testament . When believers die they go to be with the Lord.
(I will do my best to keep this discussion polite, respectful and, hopefully, edifying. Given the darkness of the last few days and all that has befallen poor Terri, I feel a great aversion to needless argument, as I am sure you do.)
Well, only for the case of people who are in purgatory. To give a scriptural example, Nathan told David that he had been forgiven by God, but that he would be punished by the death of his son. So clearly here we have two different types of punishments: eternal punishment (forgiven), and temporal punishment (to be exacted by his son's death). Do you agree that this also applies to NT believers, that they have to expiate their temporal debt for sin? In favor of this, I cite "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of penance" (Luke 3:8).
On the contrary, It is related (2 Kgs. 12:13) that when David penitent had said to Nathan: "I have sinned against the Lord," Nathan said to him: "The Lord also hath taken away thy sin, thou shalt not die. Nevertheless . . . the child that is born to thee shall surely die," which was to punish him for the sin he had committed, as stated in the same place. Therefore a debt of some punishment remains after the guilt has been forgiven.
I answer that, As stated in I-II, 87, 4, in mortal sin there are two things, namely, a turning from the immutable Good, and an inordinate turning to mutable good. Accordingly, in so far as mortal sin turns away from the immutable Good, it induces a debt of eternal punishment, so that whosoever sins against the eternal Good should be punished eternally. Again, in so far as mortal sin turns inordinately to a mutable good, it gives rise to a debt of some punishment, because the disorder of guilt is not brought back to the order of justice, except by punishment: since it is just that he who has been too indulgent to his will, should suffer something against his will, for thus will equality be restored. Hence it is written (Apoc. 18:7): "As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her."
Since, however, the turning to mutable good is finite, sin does not, in this respect, induce a debt of eternal punishment. Wherefore, if man turns inordinately to a mutable good, without turning from God, as happens in venial sins, he incurs a debt, not of eternal but of temporal punishment. Consequently when guilt is pardoned through grace, the soul ceases to be turned away from God, through being united to God by grace: so that at the same time, the debt of punishment is taken away, albeit a debt of some temporal punishment may yet remain.
Pugatory is not in the New Testament . When believers die they go to be with the Lord.
Can we get some Scripture for that? Besides the thief, I mean: for expiated his sins anyway: "we receive the due reward of our deeds" (Lk 23:41).
I will do my best to keep this discussion polite, respectful and, hopefully, edifying. Given the darkness of the last few days and all that has befallen poor Terri, I feel a great aversion to needless argument, as I am sure you do.
***(13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."****
Yes, the judgement seat. There will be many tears as people see that their livesa were wasted. Everything they built for God (but not at His command or by His direction) will vanish like straw in a flame. BUT THEY WILL BE SAVED - yet like someone saved from a burning building.
This is no description of "Purgatory" but of Judgement Day.
***2 Maccabees 12:42-46 42***
This is really the passage upon which the whole edifice rests. It is a shakey and slim foundation for such a potentially cosmologically important doctrine - that of the supposed existence of a sort of interium "hell" where one may go to finish unfinished business with God.
1. These men were guilty of idolatry - to Catholics a mortal sin that puts one in HELL not Purgatory. You can't pay someone's way out of hell.
2. This passage is not even clear that his idea worked! It simply says that "Thus he made atonement for the dead that they MIGHT be freed from this sin." Were they or not? The (admittedly imperfect [see: 2 Maccabees 15:38,39]) book doesn't state.
Was it? The old law could not justify, so David must have been justified, after his sin, under the New Law by the grace of Jesus Christ: so where's the difference?
Not quite. To "be away from the body" is clearly necessary for being "at home with the Lord", yet the text doesn't say that it's the only thing necessary: I Cor. 3:10-15 would seem to indicate the opposite.
IF IT WERE NOT SO (if there was interim millenia of flaming punishment) I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU.
"If it were not so" refers to the existence of the "many mansions". And I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also does not indicate that there is no intervening state: the purpose of the reception is to that they may be in Heaven, yet they are not immediately placed in heaven after being received, so there seems no objection to supposing that they would go to heaven after making satisfaction for their sins.
Secondly, Jesus says, "no one comes to the Father but through Me". Catholic theology says "No one (except the very best) comes to the Father but through fiery purgatory."
The removal of sins in Purgatory is in virtue of the grace of Christ.
Whether it worked in that specific case? Perhaps. But it is clear that It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.
As for the soldiers and their idolatry, they may have repented during the battle and before their deaths and so, while forgiven, still had an unexpiated debt of temporal punishment just like David before his son died.
***Was it? The old law could not justify, so David must have been justified, after his sin, under the New Law by the grace of Jesus Christ: so where's the difference?***
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.
David was under the sacrifical system, eye for eye, that kind of stuff. He wasn't truly justified until Christ died and rose again. That old system was fully in effect fro David all his life. He was "under the Law".
By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our[ conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
***yet the text doesn't say that it's the only thing necessary: I Cor. 3:10-15 would seem to indicate the opposite.***
I Cor. 3:10-15 has nothing to say to the issue you are addressing. It is a description of Judgement day.
***does not indicate that there is no intervening state:***
No "intervening state" is mentioned - in the entire NT. Nowhere does the NT state that there weren't cats and dogs numbered among Jesus' disciples. Are we free to infer that there were?
*** yet they are not immediately placed in heaven after being received,***
Where do you get this from?
***The removal of sins in Purgatory is in virtue of the grace of Christ.****
Where is Purgatory named in the NT?
Heaven is named 237 times. Hell/Death/Destruction is named nearly as many.
***It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.***
Perhaps this is one of the author's "imperfect" statements. [see: 2 Maccabees 15:38,39]
***As for the soldiers and their idolatry, they may have repented during the battle and before their deaths ***
Is this the best argument for Purgatory? That something "may have" happened? You would gamble your eternal destiny on "may have".
What if you are wrong my friend?
What if there is no "second chance" to clean up you life?
That's not what Purgatory is for, though.
*** That's not what Purgatory is for, though.***
According to the New Advent Encyclopedia it is.
"Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions."
What do you believe "Purgatory" is for?
Nope. That's not the same as what you said.