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A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 12: Purgatory
OLRL ^ | Fr. William J. Cogan

Posted on 07/27/2007 3:53:18 PM PDT by NYer

Lesson 12: Purgatory

"And the day following Judas [Machabeus] came with his company, to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the sepulchres of their fathers.  And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews:  So that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.  Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.  And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought Him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten.  But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.  And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (for if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead), and because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.  It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."  (2 Machabees 12:39-46)

  1. What is Purgatory?
        A place and state of temporary punishment in the next world.  Hell, on the other hand, is a place of eternal or everlasting punishment.


  1. All Souls' Day is the day set aside by the Church for special prayers and Masses for all the souls suffering in Purgatory.  It is celebrated every year on November 2.

  2. The souls in Purgatory cannot help themselves.  We should help them by our prayers and sacrifices.  They, in turn, can and do pray for us.

  3. The souls in Purgatory are known as the Poor Souls.

  4. Litany for the Poor Souls

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: briefcatechism; catholic; purgatory
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To: Salvation


The souls in Purgatory can do nothing for themselves, only wait and long for their days in heaven.

41 posted on 07/27/2007 8:45:41 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Heb: 9:27 … and it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

Don’t see a purgatory anywhere in this verse

42 posted on 07/27/2007 9:00:43 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: doc1019; NYer

Did you read the Lesson above posted by NYer?

43 posted on 07/27/2007 9:09:21 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Read any of Maria Simma’s book about the souls in Purgatory.

One is “Get Me Out of Here”

44 posted on 07/27/2007 9:12:02 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Doesn’t change Heb. 9:27.

45 posted on 07/27/2007 9:13:13 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: doc1019

Hebres: 9:27
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment,

I see no conflict with Paul in this statement — other than at that time Revelation had not been revealed to John and written down.

What part of the Lessons are you not understanding. (But maybe it was in a post, and I might be mistaken.)

There are TWO judgments:
First — a particular (individual) judgment at the time of your death — at which you are either judged perfect and go striaght to heaven. (Usally doesn’t happen for us common folk.)
Second — you are judged worthy of heaven, but there is still some cleansing to be done. (Purging)
Third — you are sent straight to hell. (Many atheists will wonder why they are sent to hell at the moment of their death when they have denied God. Hmmmm. Something for them to think about.)

Then there is the General Judgment as portrayed in Revelation where the Sheep are separated from the Goats. One group will go to Hell forever, and one group will go to Heaven forever.

At that time there will be no more Purgatory and only at that time.

Please understand that I am not trying to change your beliefs; I am merely trying to explain the Catholic beliefs.

46 posted on 07/27/2007 9:30:33 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Some additional information about Catholic beliefs (as well as Scripture references) on Purgatory:

The Early Church Fathers on Purgatory - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

47 posted on 07/27/2007 9:38:58 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: franky1
Only the perfect go straight to heaven. Therefore hope you will be perfect at the appointed time.

Got it covered...That's why Jesus died on the Cross...Because there is NOTHING I can do on my own to stay out of Hell...

There is NOTHING that will make me (or you) worthy for Heaven...

We can't be good enough, we can't pray enough and no one can pray us into Heaven...

Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

My sins are covered...

Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

I am a blessed man...That verse is talking about me...Does the Lord impute sin to you???

48 posted on 07/27/2007 9:39:55 PM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: Salvation

No, I don’t see two judgments in this verse … It is appointed unto man once to die and then the Judgment. Sounds like one judgment to me. No mater how long I ponder this verse, I can only find one judgment.

Sorry if this doesn’t meet with your catholic sensibilities, but this verse is succinct.

49 posted on 07/27/2007 9:41:43 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: doc1019

Been fun, but I have to go to bed now. Niters.

50 posted on 07/27/2007 9:48:19 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: Logophile
Logophile I am asking these questions to fight my ignorance, please do not be offended if I misunderstand/misstate the LDS theology. I ask for a gentle correction if I do.

My understanding of LDS theology is that there is a particular judgment for all people. It is here that each soul finds where they spend the time until the Final Judgment. At the Final Judgment some souls will be able to reform their family groups and become the gods (small g) of other planets. Are these the people who are living in the highest degree of glory with God? I admit this is where I am most confused by the bits and pieces I have heard, so I am very open to correction.

You said that the LDS used "hell" where is sounds like Catholics use "purgatory". Do the souls who go there know they will be able to go to the lower plane of glory or is it only at the Final Judgment that the soul finds out they can leave hell for glory?

If the people who were in hell go to the lowest degree of glory what determines if a person goes to the second or third degree of glory? Does this, second and third, have anything to do with the LDS baptizing their members in the name of other people?

I am not trying to hijack this thread so if you want to answer me by pm I would not mind. Thank you very much for your time.
51 posted on 07/27/2007 9:48:53 PM PDT by Talking_Mouse (O Lord, destroy Islam by converting the Muslims to Christianity.)
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To: Salvation

“Have you had a grandfather, grandmother, mother, father die?”

One of the reasons that I have always been interested in the concept of purgatory is that an interesting thing happened to my mother after my grandfather died. (Now, the only thing I am about to tell you and everyone reading is that this is what she told me. I am not saying that I believe one way or the other on this...because I am undecided on what to make of this.)

Anyway, my grandfather (her father, whom we both loved greatly and who was the greatest influence on my life) died when I was a senior in high school. The entire family (and especially us) were badly shaken by the fall. I mean, my mother adored and loved her father almost to a fault.

Anyway (and I learned this a couple of months into this), she told me that she had been having dreams since his death. He was suffering greatly he said and begged her to get him out of “this place.” She had these dreams regularly (as I recall it had been at least once a week and I think it was multiple times). I think that she told me because she could no longer bear “the burden” of having to live with such a thing alone.

Needless to say, this was deeply disturbing to me, but I tried to forget it. I did, however, pray on his behalf. He was a very good man to us and I couldn’t stand the thought of him suffering because my initial view was that she was dreaming that he was in hell. I, of course, tried to talk myself out of thinking such a horrendous thing. Anyway, I prayed for him (I don’t recall how many times) even if I believed that it was of no use...I still prayed.

Some time later....within 3 months I guess, I asked her again about the dreams. She told me that she had not had a dream in a couple of weeks (not sure on the timing) or so. She said that she dreamed that he said, (paraphrasing) “I’ve made it to heaven [and don’t worry about me]” or something of that nature.

My mind immediately snapped to the idea of Purgatory.

So, while I don’t always trust dreams and visions as the truth, I have always had an open mind about this issue. Further, if the Apocrypha is canonical, there may actually be scriptural basis.

I would say, however, that he was a very good man (religious , but not overtly so) and extremely ethical so far as I knew. If the dreams were true, he spent 3-6 months in Purgatory. (I’m not saying the dreams were true and I will refuse to issue an opinion on such matters because of my ignorance. I am saying that I simply do not know.)

52 posted on 07/27/2007 10:10:18 PM PDT by TheRiverNile
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To: All

Thank you all for the wonderful discussion. It appears that many Roman Catholic beliefs (those that are distinct from Protestants, at least) hang on the validity of the Apocrypha. I intend to further study the validity of it further but, I must admit, I don’t think that I can definatively one way or the other. The very fact that the Apocrypha was rejected by the very same leaders who rejected the entire New Testament is food for thought if that is true, however. Still, I consider both Catholics and Protestants my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Peace be with you all.

53 posted on 07/27/2007 10:19:10 PM PDT by TheRiverNile
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To: TheRiverNile

Thank you for sharing your story and your mom’s story with us.

I’m going to let everyone judge for themselves, but I think that you know where my judgment already lies. You might enjoy one of the books by the author I posted about.

54 posted on 07/27/2007 10:20:03 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

“Strong allusions to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the OLD TESTAMENT”

Luther was quite devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

55 posted on 07/27/2007 11:22:56 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: TheRiverNile
Some Protestants were/are eager to throw out Christian traditions, even parts of Scripture, so as to differentiate themselves from Catholics/Orthodox.

Also, there is a strong Calvinist/Puritan element in modern Protestantism which seeks to present a purified “stripped down” Christianity.

56 posted on 07/28/2007 1:48:22 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: tbpiper

Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.

57 posted on 07/28/2007 2:51:33 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: All
Thank you all for your responses. What I find interesting about this discussion is it
deals with something which does not even show up in scripture and jive with
Christ's teachings.

You either believe on Christ and become "born again" spiritually or you don't.
That's a direct contradiction to (2 Machabees 12:39-46) There's no inbetween
this state of being. Christ is the only one who could have been crucified to rid the
sins of the world, it would make absolutely no sense for people to hang out in
"Purgetory" waiting for further judgement or be prayed upon to rid their sins,
and there is no scriptural basis for it. The reason the early church rejected the
Apocrypha is because it was in direct contradiction to Christ's teachings.
You can't be seperated from God and then go and be temporarily punished
and become "born again" after that.

58 posted on 07/28/2007 4:43:28 AM PDT by sirchtruth (No one has the RIGHT not to be offended...)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." [2 Corinthians 5:8]

When it comes to spiritual matters, I'd rather follow the ignorance of the apostle Paul than the wisdom of the poet Gray. Or for that matter a church who has, over the years demonstrated an ability to extract a ton of doctrine from an ounce of ore.

59 posted on 07/28/2007 5:25:56 AM PDT by tbpiper
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To: tbpiper
You might just consider though that C.S. Lewis might be on to something here. He's considered a leading Christian apologist and writer, and he's definitely not Catholic - raised a Belfast Church of Ireland man with all that implies. But if a man of his learning and devotion sees a place for Purgatory, should his interpretation of Scripture not be considered prayerfully, rather than instantly and unthinkingly rejected as impossible?

Here is the entire quote:

"Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him?

I believe in Purgatory.

Mind you, the Reformers had good reasons for throwing doubt on the 'Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory' as that Romish doctrine had then become.....

The right view returns magnificently in Newman's DREAM. There, if I remember it rightly, the saved soul, at the very foot of the throne, begs to be taken away and cleansed. It cannot bear for a moment longer 'With its darkness to affront that light'. Religion has claimed Purgatory.

Our souls demand Purgatory, don't they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, 'It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy'? Should we not reply, 'With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I'd rather be cleaned first.' 'It may hurt, you know' - 'Even so, sir.'

I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering. Partly from tradition; partly because most real good that has been done me in this life has involved it. But I don't think the suffering is the purpose of the purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. . . . The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much.

My favourite image on this matter comes from the dentist's chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and I am 'coming round',' a voice will say, 'Rinse your mouth out with this.' This will be Purgatory. The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine. The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure. But . . . it will [not] be disgusting and unhallowed."

- C.S. Lewis, Letters To Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, Ch. 20, pp. 108-109
60 posted on 07/28/2007 9:45:12 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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