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Straight Answers: What Is Purgatory Like?
Arlington [VA] Catholic Herald ^ | 17 November 2005 | Fr. William P. Saunders

Posted on 11/17/2005 4:35:36 PM PST by COBOL2Java

For a couple of weeks now, you have discussed Purgatory. Do we know what happens in Purgatory? I was at the Franciscan Monastery and in the catacomb area they have a chapel for the poor souls in Purgatory which shows them in fire. Is this true of Purgatory? — A reader in Washington


The Catechism clearly affirms the Church's belief in Purgatory and the purification of the soul after death: "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. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned." (Cf. No. 1030-32). From this basic teaching, we must always remember that (1) a person’s stay in Purgatory is temporary, (2) purgatory is different from Hell, and (3) a person in Purgatory undergoes purification for venial sin and the hurts caused by sins.

What does this purification entail? Like Hell, there is the pain of loss and the pain of sense: however, the severity of these pains between Hell and Purgatory is vastly different. The pain of loss for those in Purgatory is the temporary deprivation of the Beatific Vision. Each of us longs to be with God, see Him, and be enwrapped in His love. The Apostolic Constitution Benedictus Deus (1336) promulgated by Pope Benedict XII, defined that the souls of the just "...see the divine essence with an intuitive vision and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature by way of object of vision; rather, the divine essence immediately manifests itself to them, plainly, clearly, and openly, and in this vision they enjoy the divine essence." Therefore, the souls in Purgatory long for this vision. That longing and deprivation is what torments their soul.

The pain of sense involves some sensible suffering. While not defined, traditionally this pain of sense has involved some purifying fire, which causes torment. In the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, the Lord spoke, "I will bring the one third through fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will test them as gold is tested" (13:9); the School of Rabbi Shammai interpreted this passage as a purification of the soul through God's mercy and goodness, preparing it for eternal life. A similar passage is found in the Book of Wisdom (3:1-9): "The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. ...Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace, He proved them, and as sacrificial offerings He took them to Himself."

Think of this image of "fire tried" gold or silver. When these precious metals are mined from the earth, other minerals or rocks accompany them. By fire, these impurities are separated, and the pure gold or silver remains. In the same sense, a soul containing the impurities of venial sin or hurts caused by sin will first be purified, i.e. "fire tried." Perhaps a more modern version would be the idea of radiation therapy "burning" out the cancer cells; while such therapy is very painful, one has the hope of returning to good health.

In a more positive light, St. Francis de Sales wrote of the sufferings of Purgatory, but as they are mitigated by the consolations which accompany them: "We may draw from the thought of Purgatory more consolation than apprehension. The greater part of those who dread Purgatory so much think more of their own interests than of the interests of God’s glory; this proceeds from the fact that they think only of the sufferings without considering the peace and happiness which are there enjoyed by the holy souls. It is true that the torments are so great that the most acute sufferings of this life bear no comparison to them; but the interior satisfaction which is there enjoyed is such that no prosperity nor contentment upon earth can equal it. The souls are in a continual union with God." (Espirit de St. Francois de Sales, IX, p. 16, quoted in Purgatory by Rev. F. X. Shouppe, S.J.)

Similarly, in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II related God's "living flame of Love" spoken of by St. John of the Cross with the doctrine of Purgatory: "The 'living flame of love,' of which St. John speaks, is above all a purifying fire. The mystical nights described by this great Doctor of the Church on the basis of his own experience corresponds, in a certain sense, to Purgatory. God makes man pass through such an interior purgatory of his sensual and spiritual nature in order to bring him into union with Himself. Here we do not find ourselves before a mere tribunal. We present ourselves before the power of love itself. Before all else, it is Love that judges. God, who is Love, judges through love. It is love that demands purification, before man can be made ready for that union with God which is his ultimate vocation and destiny."

Therefore, once again, we are left with a very positive image of Purgatory. Nevertheless, the old pictures of the suffering souls in the fires of Purgatory should motivate us now to regularly examine our conscience, go to confession, and do penance. We need the graces that come forth through prayer and especially the Holy Eucharist. We must strive for holiness now and keep a strong and close union to the Lord. Such an attitude and such practices will be the best preparation for when we leave this world and have to account for our lives before our Lord.


Fr. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and a professor of catechetics and theology at Christendom’s Notre Dame Graduate School in Alexandria.

Please note: 100 articles of this column have been compiled in a book, Straight Answers, and another 100 articles in Straight Answers II. These books are available at local religious book stores or by calling 703-256-5994 (FAX 703-256-8593) or e-mailing straightanswerswps.@hotmail.com. All proceeds benefit the building fund of Our Lady of Hope Church.


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1 posted on 11/17/2005 4:35:37 PM PST by COBOL2Java
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To: Salvation; NYer

FYI...


2 posted on 11/17/2005 4:36:15 PM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: COBOL2Java

ISnt it a little like this and a little like that but neither of the above?


3 posted on 11/17/2005 4:38:09 PM PST by aft_lizard (What does G-d look like then if we evolved from nothing?See Genisis Ch 1:26)
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To: COBOL2Java

In all due respect, why is a belief in purgatory not a statement that the "Blood" is not sufficient (which of course It is)? Not asking for a flame, just looking for an honest answer.


4 posted on 11/17/2005 4:41:49 PM PST by Dark Skies ("Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me...")
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To: Dark Skies
Perhaps this might help: Assurance of Salvation?
5 posted on 11/17/2005 4:57:41 PM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: Dark Skies
None of you guys believes in reincarnation (multiple times) either although that provides an equally understandable alternative to the "question" of where the "dead" go until Judgment Day.

My own questions do not lie along that line though ~ rather, now that we know God set up a universe with quantum physics (among other things) in it, why should we worry all that much about why or why not God would admit an "imperfect" soul to Heaven? Like how would He know, eh?! It's pretty obvious these days He's simply not into "perfect forms" and other concepts of the Ancient Greeks.

6 posted on 11/17/2005 4:57:55 PM PST by muawiyah (u)
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To: COBOL2Java

I think it's like Houston.


7 posted on 11/17/2005 5:08:57 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: muawiyah

Great response! He loves us either in spite of our flaws or because of them or, maybe, both. Life is a lot like modern art...and God is nothing if not the ultimate Artiste.


8 posted on 11/17/2005 5:09:46 PM PST by Dark Skies ("Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me...")
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To: muawiyah

I love your subject-verb agreement!


9 posted on 11/17/2005 5:10:16 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: COBOL2Java

Thx for the response...I am headed to your link right after this post to you.


10 posted on 11/17/2005 5:13:06 PM PST by Dark Skies ("Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me...")
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To: COBOL2Java
Straight Answers: What Is Purgatory Like?

Ask the GOP.

11 posted on 11/17/2005 5:15:35 PM PST by afnamvet
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To: Tax-chick

Like Houston huh? Houston's more like hell for David Carr.


12 posted on 11/17/2005 5:16:07 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Nihil Obstat

LOL! It has a few good points ... great fabric stores :-).


13 posted on 11/17/2005 5:17:15 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: COBOL2Java

My guess...no one knows...and anyone who says they know is not truthful, so if one believes, just believe and don't worry about it...that's my take...

WEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 7 days until triptophan coma!!!!

Sorry, long day....


Blessings in Christ...


14 posted on 11/17/2005 5:17:53 PM PST by phatus maximus (John 6:29...Learn it, love it, live it...)
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To: phatus maximus

Golf courses.


15 posted on 11/17/2005 5:20:58 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: Tax-chick

dentist office waiting room


16 posted on 11/17/2005 5:21:51 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Nihil Obstat

And you really needed to get that crown fixed LAST week ...


17 posted on 11/17/2005 5:25:48 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: Tax-chick

you hope someone can intercede on your behalf to move up your appointment


18 posted on 11/17/2005 5:28:43 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Nihil Obstat

LOL!


19 posted on 11/17/2005 5:29:56 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: COBOL2Java

Purgatory is like having a favorites file with only DU.com
as addresses.


20 posted on 11/17/2005 5:32:24 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: COBOL2Java

What Is Purgatory Like?

Warm?


21 posted on 11/17/2005 5:43:01 PM PST by Chickensoup (Turk...turk...turk....turk....turk...turkey!!!!!!)
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To: COBOL2Java
Martin Lutherstruggling with the Catholic Church.
22 posted on 11/17/2005 5:43:18 PM PST by austinmark (Torture? Koran abuse? ... I'd Rather Be A Koran In Gitmo THAN A Bible in Saudi Arabia !!!)
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To: austinmark

Purgatory is not found in the Bible. References to suffering refer to this earth, and trial by fire occurs at the final judgment. Trusting in Christ's shed blood for salvation provides eternal life from the moment you believe. For those who live and walk with Christ, "to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord." We can do nothing to work for our salvation; Christ has paid it all. We need only trust in his blood to cover our sins and repent.


23 posted on 11/17/2005 5:48:39 PM PST by boughtwithaprice
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To: boughtwithaprice
We're on the same page !
24 posted on 11/17/2005 5:54:27 PM PST by austinmark (Torture? Koran abuse? ... I'd Rather Be A Koran In Gitmo THAN A Bible in Saudi Arabia !!!)
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To: boughtwithaprice
We need only trust in his blood to cover our sins and repent.

There are two consequences to sin: the guilt and the offense against God. Not only does one have to make a sincere act of contrition to God for the guilt. An obligation to repair the offense against God is also incurred. Why do you think Our Lord told the parable about wicked servant (Matthew 18)? Also, why does Our Lord say, "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. (Matthew 12: 32)"?

25 posted on 11/17/2005 6:50:09 PM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: boughtwithaprice
Purgatory is not found in the Bible.

Maybe not the explicit word; neither is Bible, Trinity or Incarnation, but the teaching that Purgatory exists is most definitely in Scripture.

26 posted on 11/17/2005 8:46:57 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Pyro7480
There are two consequences to sin: the guilt and the offense against God. Not only does one have to make a sincere act of contrition to God for the guilt. An obligation to repair the offense against God is also incurred.

So what exactly did the Crucifixion itself accomplish, if not the substitutionary (re)payment of these two things done on our behalf?

27 posted on 11/17/2005 9:06:19 PM PST by Alex Murphy (Psalm 73)
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To: Tax-chick

> I think it's like Houston.

Really? I thought purgitory [sic] was a home for wayward bulimics. [No flames please...]


28 posted on 11/17/2005 9:09:21 PM PST by XEHRpa
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To: COBOL2Java

Since purgatory is not mentioned even once in all of Scripture, you are free to invent any fantasies that please you. I guess it is like a week without beer.


29 posted on 11/18/2005 1:27:27 AM PST by thomaswest (Just Curious)
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To: boughtwithaprice
We need only trust in his blood to cover our sins and repent.

*That's not in the bible

30 posted on 11/18/2005 3:03:58 AM PST by bornacatholic
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To: XEHRpa

LOL!


31 posted on 11/18/2005 3:52:02 AM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: Alex Murphy; Pyro7480
So what exactly did the Crucifixion itself accomplish, if not the substitutionary (re)payment of these two things done on our behalf?

The idea of Purgatory was invented so that people sitting in Hell can pretend that it is only temporary.

Christ paid the price for our sins. I think that anyone who believes that they can atone for their own sins very well may be headed for a place where there will indeed be punishment for their sins, but it will have no atoning effect.

For those who are truly headed for heaven, Christ paid the price and took the punishment for all their sins on the cross. To claim that he did not do enough, to claim that there is still punishment for believers, to claim that it is not a finished work is to disbelieve in Christ. For that sin there will be punishment. It will not be temporary.

32 posted on 11/18/2005 5:16:02 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: boughtwithaprice
Purgatory is not found in the Bible.

Nor is "incarnation" or "bible". But all three are "in" the Sacred Scriptures

References to suffering refer to this earth, and trial by fire occurs at the final judgment.

The Scriptures don't say that our trial by fire will occur at the final judgment. Also, why do people pray for the dead souls? Why does Paul talk about the practice of being baptized for the sake of dead souls who were NOT baptized? Where is the sin that will be forgiven AFTER death forgiven then? Christianity has always believed, through their practice, that there is a third state of existence after death. A place of purgation. A place before we enter heaven. This is historical as well as Biblical.

We can do nothing to work for our salvation; Christ has paid it all.

Ah. Yes, we agree there. But I believe that you misundestand what a "work" is. Paul tells us a work is something we do because we expect payment. Romans 4:4. It is something we do for a wage. NO ONE can obligate God. But Paul NEVER says we must do good deeds. He says we MUST love. So does John and James and Peter. Jesus mentions that as well. WITHOUT LOVE, FAITH IS NOTHING - 1 Cor 13:2. Forget about Once Saved - Always Saved. Paul refutes that in many places, but try reading about all those "saved" people in 1 Cor 10:1-12, our EXAMPLES. I especially direct you to the catch line, 1 Cor 10:12. Persevere, brother. Don't presume.

We need only trust in his blood to cover our sins and repent.

If only it was so easy. If only Christ said to "take the wide path". If only "picking up our cross daily" meant to merely believe on the blood of Christ! You have no idea of what discipleship is...Trusting in God does not lead us to love others, to turn our lives to God entirely. He demands that He reigns in our lives. I trust that my car will start in the morning. That doesn't mean that I let my car direct my life! It is much more than that, brother...

Regards

33 posted on 11/18/2005 5:16:34 AM PST by jo kus
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To: COBOL2Java
For those who like science fiction--this is central to Peter Hamilton's world-building in:

The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God.

I think his "after-life" world is similar to purgatory, but I am still working my way through volume 3 of 6 so I am not sure. :-)
34 posted on 11/18/2005 5:20:11 AM PST by cgbg (Racism is identifying, quantifying, and determining social policy by race.)
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To: P-Marlowe
Christ paid the price for our sins

All of them? So everyone is going to heaven?

I think that anyone who believes that they can atone for their own sins very well may be headed for a place where there will indeed be punishment for their sins, but it will have no atoning effect.

You are confused, because Catholics don't believe we can atone for our own sins. The confusion appears to be in APPLYING the work of Christ to our own subjective situation. Our sins are forgiven conditionally - namely, we must repent, correct? We must repent in the sense of conversion, correct? Otherwise, see my first statement. Hell would be empty.

For those who are truly headed for heaven, Christ paid the price and took the punishment for all their sins on the cross.

Purgatory doesn't deny that. Purgatory is the RESULT of Christ's mercy. He gives us who are imperfect the final opportunity to perfect ourselves - to remove those sinful desires that we continue to fight against. We must become holy to see God. Nothing unclean shall enter heaven. We must be transformed. We do this through God's Spirit and applying the effects of the Passion and Death to ourselves through prayer, through the sacraments, by becoming more virtuous as a result of Christ working within us. But most of us will not complete this transformation here - thus - in God's great mercy, we are given a view of God, the eyeopener, and blessed beyond hope by then cleansing us from our imperfections that still remain.

You really think you will live in God's presence for eternity with sinful desires on your heart? With attachments to creatures or money? Please. God and sin will not co-exist in heaven. And forget about "covering us with the blood of Christ". God is not some old fool who can be tricked into believing we are clean when we are not. God's Word ACCOMPLISHES what it sets out to do - which includes MAKING us holy. Christ's Blood is the REASON why we will be in heaven, but God expects us to willingly BECOME like Him. Without Christ's Blood, we cannot become holy. But holy, we must become. Not pretend holiness.

Regards

35 posted on 11/18/2005 5:28:13 AM PST by jo kus
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To: jo kus; Alex Murphy
Without Christ's Blood, we cannot become holy. But holy, we must become. Not pretend holiness.

So it is not finished.

36 posted on 11/18/2005 5:33:17 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: thomaswest
Since purgatory is not mentioned even once in all of Scripture, you are free to invent any fantasies that please you. I guess it is like a week without beer.

Always good to hear from the Bible-thumpers!

37 posted on 11/18/2005 5:40:14 AM PST by COBOL2Java (The Katrina Media never gets anything right, so why should I believe them?)
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To: boughtwithaprice
For those who live and walk with Christ, "to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord."

Evangelicals and fundamentalists always quote this "Bible verse," but it isn't really in the Bible.

Paul writes that he would rather be absent from the body and present with the Lord, not that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". Big, big, BIG difference. The first says "[I want] A and B"; the second says "A implies B".

Just a pet peeve of mine. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" is no more found in the Bible than the word "purgatory" is.

38 posted on 11/18/2005 6:23:03 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: P-Marlowe
So it is not finished.

The general redemption is finished. The application of the redemption to you as an individual most certainly isn't finished. If it had been finished on Calvary, there would clearly have been no need for you to believe, repent, be baptized, pray, read Scripture, go to church ... etc.

39 posted on 11/18/2005 6:24:26 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Campion; Alex Murphy
The general redemption is finished.

General redemption? So nothing was actually accomplished at the cross? He just kinda laid the groundwork so that you could work your own way to heaven?

Well, you'd better get to work.

40 posted on 11/18/2005 6:46:37 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
General redemption? So nothing was actually accomplished at the cross? He just kinda laid the groundwork so that you could work your own way to heaven?

Nobody said anything about "working your own way to heaven". Clearly the redemption has to be applied to specific individuals in time.

Well, you'd better get to work.

If there's literally nothing left to be done by anyone (including God) because everything was accomplished 2000 years ago, we're all engaging in a vast waste of time, money, land, effort, lives ...

But that's clearly not consistent with Scripture, so why do you believe it?

41 posted on 11/18/2005 6:54:20 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: P-Marlowe
By the way, do you read the Bible? Go to church? Pray?

Why? Are you trying to work your way into heaven? Didn't Jesus do it all?

42 posted on 11/18/2005 6:56:05 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Tax-chick
I think it's like Houston.

...and if God decides you've been bad, you go to Baltimore.

43 posted on 11/18/2005 7:01:28 AM PST by Heatseeker (Never underestimate the left's tendency to underestimate us.)
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To: Campion; Alex Murphy
By the way, do you read the Bible? Go to church? Pray?

Yep.

Why? Are you trying to work your way into heaven? Didn't Jesus do it all?

My ticket has already been purchased. Christ paid the price. I am simply continuing in his word and tarrying until he comes. Just keeping busy until the train arrives.

44 posted on 11/18/2005 7:07:01 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
So it is not finished.

Not for you. Paul didn't think it was over for him while alive, either

"I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Cor 9:27)

Christ calls us to be disciples. Read the Gospel of Mark if you are interested in the NECESSITY of becoming servants to others. Christ tells us over and over we must become like Him.

Regards

45 posted on 11/18/2005 7:09:07 AM PST by jo kus
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To: P-Marlowe
My ticket has already been purchased. Christ paid the price. I am simply continuing in his word and tarrying until he comes. Just keeping busy until the train arrives.

Your way sounds pretty cozy and easy - and just wrong. I am sure that this is what Christ meant when He said "pick up your cross daily and follow Me", or "follow the narrow road".

Brother, I urge you to re-visit the Gospels with a prayerful heart and reconsider whether we are just meant to "wait around"...

Regards

46 posted on 11/18/2005 7:12:41 AM PST by jo kus
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To: jo kus
Okay, here is the disclaimer: I am in no way a Biblical or theological expert, but here goes anyway.

Isn't this whole business of "covering our sins by Christ's death" versus "actually being transformed" one of basic points of Luther and the Reformation?

Is the following summary correct?

In a very simplistic way, the Protestants said and say that because of the fall there is nothing good left in us and so redemption is Christ's death and his covering our sinfulness with Christ's passion and death. Humans are not transformed into sanctified humans rather they are sinful humans covered with the cope of righteousness.

Against this Catholics said and say, no, despite the fall, and because of Christ's works, redemption is sanctifying grace given to us in baptism that rekindles goodness in us and enables us to cooperate with God to transform ourselves into sanctified humans, the state we were in before Adam / Eve's sin. We "work" out our salvation by cooperating with God in moving ourselves forward and sanctifying ourselves. (We can also reject God and lose all.)

So, Protestant salvation is a substitutionary justification in which the sinner is clothed in righteousness. Catholic salvation is an actual transformatory justification in which humans are literally transformed. Any transformation that remains after death is taken care of in purgatory or, what the Orthodox would called the process of divinization.

Am I completely off base? Thanks.
47 posted on 11/18/2005 7:21:14 AM PST by GeorgiaGuy
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To: jo kus
Your way sounds pretty cozy and easy - and just wrong. I am sure that this is what Christ meant when He said "pick up your cross daily and follow Me", or "follow the narrow road".

Is that supposed to be a "work"? I thought it was a privilege. Didn't Jesus say "My yoke is easy and my burden is light?" Or is that something that has been mistranslated?

Am I supposed to hate stuff like going to church, reading the bible and praying? Is that supposed to be a great burden upon my shoulders such that it will help Jesus in atoning for my sins?

What "works" do you do that are such a punishing burden upon your soul that it helps you to redeem yourself from your sins?

48 posted on 11/18/2005 7:25:36 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: GeorgiaGuy
In a very simplistic way, the Protestants said and say that because of the fall there is nothing good left in us and so redemption is Christ's death and his covering our sinfulness with Christ's passion and death. Humans are not transformed into sanctified humans rather they are sinful humans covered with the cope of righteousness

Not only do they say that there is nothing good in man, but that man, EVEN WITH CHRIST WITHIN US, can do nothing good. Basically, we can do nothing because we are unable to respond to the graces of God. Thus, the need for an imputed righteousness, a legal declaration, although the person is still sinful and incapable of doing good with Christ.

So, Protestant salvation is a substitutionary justification in which the sinner is clothed in righteousness. Catholic salvation is an actual transformatory justification in which humans are literally transformed. Any transformation that remains after death is taken care of in purgatory or, what the Orthodox would called the process of divinization.

You summed it up very well. According to some Protestants, man cannot be righteous, even if God is the driving force within them, placing inside them the will and desire to do God's good purposes. (Phil 2:12-13)

Regards

49 posted on 11/18/2005 7:43:43 AM PST by jo kus
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To: P-Marlowe
Is that supposed to be a "work"? I thought it was a privilege. Didn't Jesus say "My yoke is easy and my burden is light?"

Love is "easy". Following rules out of external commands to OBLIGATE God to 'owe' us is a burden. Working for wages is burdensome. Loving God and others is the Way of the Savior. We are to become like Christ, a servant. We are to die to ourselves. This goes beyond "I am just waiting around until God calls me home" idea you seem to have. DYING to yourself means leaving the ego behind and becoming a servant. This is the call Christ makes to us.

Am I supposed to hate stuff like going to church, reading the bible and praying?

All of that is MEANINGLESS if you are not transformed internally. Our religious experiences boil down to charity and justice. Catholics and many other Protestants will hear from the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats, this Sunday. Our entire life boils down to whether we are led to this conversion that changes us. If you aren't changed, converted, you have nothing. Without love, Paul says, we are nothing (1 Cor 13:2).

What "works" do you do that are such a punishing burden upon your soul that it helps you to redeem yourself from your sins?

I don't do any "works", because I cannot obligate God to pay me anything. Love comes from Christ, just as faith does. With your idea that your "faith" saves you, you are now doing the very thing that Paul says we are NOT to do in Romans - obligating God. Your presumptuous attitude is demanding salvation as a payment from God through your "work" of faith.

Regards

50 posted on 11/18/2005 7:57:39 AM PST by jo kus
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