Skip to comments.Beginning Catholic: Catholic Purgatory: What Does It Mean? [Ecumenical]
Posted on 08/13/2008 9:02:31 AM PDT by Salvation
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I did. I have seen these scriptures presented before also on this belief. I have discussed this extensively before on more than one occasion.
It’s in one of those books that you guys took out.
Setting aside the issue of whether the apocryphal/deuterocanonical books are inspired, one of the most basic rules of Biblical interpretation is that it’s very dangerous to base any point of doctrine on a single passage of Scripture.
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THE PRIESTHOOD DEBATE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND MERIT
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
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An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and born again Christian.
- The Limbo of the Patriarchs or Limbo of the Fathers (Latin Limbus Patrum), also the Bosom of Abraham or Paradise, is seen as the temporary state of those who, in spite of the personal sins they may have committed, died in the friendship of God, but could not enter Heaven until redemption by Jesus Christ made it possible. The term "Limbo of the Fathers" was a medieval name for the part of the underworld (Hades) where the patriarchs of the Old Testament were believed to be kept until Christ's soul descended into it by his death through crucifixion and freed them (see Harrowing of hell). The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Christ's descent into "hell" as meaning primarily that "the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead." It adds: "But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there." It does not use the word "Limbo".
The poster asked for an example from the Bible. I gave it.
I don’t interpret the Bible. I’m not smart enough. I let those much more scholarly than myself do it for me.
Yes! Until His death, there was no way for anyone to enter heaven. This nebulous world is sometimes referred to as 'Sheol'.
The Greek wording in the Apostles' Creed is ?????????? ??? ?? ????????, ("katelthonta eis ta katôtata"), and in Latin descendit ad inferos. The Greek ?? ???????? ("the lowest") and the Latin inferos ("those below") may also be translated as "underworld", "netherworld", or as "abode of the dead". Thus, sometimes this phrase is translated as "descended to the dead." The first use of the English "harrowing" in this context is in homilies of Aelfric, ca.1000. Harrow is a by-form of harry, a military term meaning to "make predatory raids or incursions". The term "Harrowing of Hell" refers not merely to the idea that Christ descended into Hell, as in the Creed, but to the rich tradition that developed later, asserting that he triumphed over inferos, releasing Hell's captives, particularly Adam and Eve, and the righteous men and women of Old Testament times.
Did you search for the other words for hell?
And I’m srawing a blank here.
My priest said he went through the entire Bible with those search words. Remember, too, we are talking about more books!
What would a person have to do to get that reward? Not that I think that will be my end (I hope!)...
For Catholics, it would mean to die in the state of mortal sin. For non-Catholicss, I expect it would be to die in the a state of unrepentance for sins committed during life. Even those who are not raised in any faith tradition have a 'sense' of right and wrong.
In NYer’s post smoe more words that mean hell.
And Im drawing a blank here. (Just fixing that typo.
We pray to ease their suffering. We pray that they will soon be ready to enter heaven. Praying that their “purification as through fire” will end soon. And to ask them to pray for us here on earth as well.
It is said that the Holy Souls suffer, but are full of joy, because they know they will soon be with Jesus. They will enter heaven having been purged of the last stain of sin. “Purgatory” is not so much as place, as it is a process of preparation to be with God.
Question. I am trying to discuss this without offending anyone, but seeing that this is an ecumenical thread would it be better if I stopped and said no more in this thread?
There is no offense taken. As freeper Salvation already noted, 2 Maccabees is part of the Catholic Bible. During the Reformation, primarily for doctrinal reasons, Protestants removed seven books from the Old Testament: 1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Tobit, and Judith, and parts of two others, Daniel and Esther. They did so even though these books had been regarded as canonical since the beginning of Church history.
Thanks for that additional information.
We are heading off topic with how times something is mentioned or what are the canonical books of the bible. We can find lots of side issues but the topic of purgatory is a very important one, probably best discussed in an open thread if you are really interested in what non catholics believe.
..., after all it would be absolutely necessary we know about it.
How do you figure? In general, what knowledge is necessary to be saved? In particular, why would knowledge of Purgatory be necessary to Salvation?
>>probably best discussed in an open thread if you are really interested in what non catholics believe.<<
What the non-Catholics don’t get is...Catholics don’t really care what you believe we believe. We don’t really even give much thought to what you believe, either. Many of us here are Americans and there is freedom of religion. Believe what you like. We don’t much care but will fight for your right to believe it.
We believe what we believe and are pretty comfortable in that.
Do you imagine Catholics are interested in your take on what we believe?
We believe what WE believe.
Well, of course we don't think there is an opposition. WE agree that He alone paid for all Sin. We would tend to make more of the problem of sins committed after one has been reborn. WE do NOT think that the sins need to be paid for in the sense that the "debt" they incur needs to be satisfied. But the "stains" and "chains" of sin &8212; that is the shame and the (1) strengthening of the tendency to desire and even to will evil and the (2) weakening of the ability to desire and will good &8212; are still in us. Even after we are saved I think we can understand Paul as saying that the old man still struggles, still is not quite put to death.
We ourselves are ambivalent, double-minded. We believe in God and still long for a winning Mega-Stupendo Lottery ticket.
I like to think that since sin damages us personally, we need healing. Because we are reckoned as righteous, God graciously works to heal us. That healing process, whenever it happens, is purgation.
Question. I am trying to discuss this without offending anyone, but seeing that this is an ecumenical thread would it be better if I stopped and said no more in this thread?
So far I think you're doing fine. It might have been a TAD more diplomatic to say, "I think this quote is in opposition to Jesus,.." or "We teach that this quote...." "... because it looks like Purgatory is paying for that for Jesus alone pays ..." But I saw no intention to give offense and certainly took none.
I did but I kept coming up with "Clinton White House" and "Democrat National Convention" so I gave up.
It is always good to pray for mercy.
I'm going to work my PT analogy to death here, because I really think Physical Therapy is a fine analogy to Purgatory.
And I'm remembering when the lovely young lady came up to me and invited me to lie on the funny skinny bed, and I'm thinking, "Wow, this just gets better and better!" ...
and then she tries to tear my arm out of its socket.
And for the first several sessions, I'm busy doing my Zen thing and saying, "I can handle this, I can handle this," until I caught a glimpse of her looking at me and realized that she was watching my face and gauging how far out of its socket she was going to tear my arm today by how anguished I looked.
So then I figured I should keep doing the Zen thing and let her yank away because it would speed up the process, maybe, I guess. But I'm here to tell you, that was NOT an easy decision.
Humor and braggadocio aside, it seems both physical and psycho therapy usually involve the patient suffering to get well. Certainly in psycho therapy one can prolong the suffering and delay its benefits. And I once had a patient who pretty much decided he'd rather be effectively paralyzed than man up and get weaned from the pain-killers and do what was necessary to get well again. So here was a guy who was resisting some suffering now and thus certifying more suffering later.
So I think we can see that there is good pain, well-handled pain, and there is not so good and not so well-handled pain. In a way, handling the pain of therapy well in the long run does ease one's pain, though at the time, despite one's extremely impressive manliness and fortitude and testosterone and all, there are still a few tears leaking out the corners of the eyes.
Does that come close to the question?
** like to think that since sin damages us personally, we need healing. Because we are reckoned as righteous, God graciously works to heal us. That healing process, whenever it happens, is purgation.**
And we all know that only “perfect” souls may enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Since we all pray for people to ease our suffering on earth — I know I posted a prayer thread for myself for my hip replacement surgery — doesn’t it make perfect sense to pray for those souls who are suffering in Purgatory?
Since we all pray for people to ease their suffering on earth
— I know I posted a prayer thread for myself for my hip replacement surgery —
doesn’t it make perfect sense to pray for those souls who are suffering in Purgatory?
Have you ever asked anyone to pray for you?
Many of us used to be non-Catholics. Most of us understand what a lot of Protestants believe. We believe that most of what Protestants believe is valid but incomplete.
I would like to reply to those of you who have posted me but I just got home, it is late and I have to pack to leave town early tomorrow morning.
Great minds think alike.
On the contrary. For any discussion it is important to understand the source of one's argument. Catholic Bibles have 73 books, 46 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. Protestant Bibles have 66 books with only 39 in the Old Testament. The books missing from Protestant Bibles are: Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and parts of Esther and Daniel. They are called the 'Deuterocanonicals' by Catholics and 'Apocrypha' by Protestants. Martin Luther, without any authority whatsoever, removed those seven books and placed them in an appendix during the reformation simply because they did not agree with his teaching. They remained in the appendix of Protestant Bibles until about 1826, and then they were removed altogether. The fact that praying for the dead is in the Catholic Canon and not in the Protestant version affirms Luther's determination to remove those books with which he disagreed.
surely if there was such a place God just come out and plainly state so in His Word, after all it would be absolutely necessary we know about it.
You have probably been told that the truth is to be found only in the Bible. However, the Bible never states that it is the sole and only authority of Christianity. The word "Bible" is not even mentioned in Scripture. Is the Bible the sole "teaching from God?" No. The Bible itself states that there are "oral" teachings and traditions that are to be carried on to the present-day (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:24-25). These teachings are what the Catholic Church considers "Sacred Apostolic Tradition." This type of "Tradition" never changes because it was passed down by the Apostles themselves. It is not the same as the man-made traditions condemned in Scripture. The man-made traditions condemned in Scripture were those of the Jewish Pharisees. In fact, as Christians, we are suppose to disassociate ourselves from persons who do not follow Apostolic Tradition (2 Thessalonians 3:6). If oral tradition is not to be followed, why did St. Paul state Christ said something that is not recorded in the Gospels (Acts 20:35)? St. Paul must have "heard" this saying, not read it from any Gospel or "Scripture," thereby, proving that some things Christ said were not recorded in the Gospels (John 21:25) and were passed on orally among His disciples instead, but were just as valid as anything written since St. Paul himself used one of these oral passages in one of his own epistles.
When Martin Luther determined that anyone could interpret Scripture, he opened Pandora's box. Near the end of his life, Luther was afraid that "any milkmaid who could read" would found a new Christian denomination based on his or her "interpretation" of the Bible. To have the Bible as the only and sole authority of Christianity is to invite chaos into His Church. There are at least 5 Protestant denominations created every year based on a different interpretation of the Bible. Theoretically, anyone who owns a Bible can create their own denomination based on their own interpretation of Scripture. Taken to its logical conclusion, chaos is what happens when the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura" is applied.
For a clearer understanding of how the Canon of Scripture was compiled, I would recommend the following article.
Re your post #80: wow! BIG bookmark!
Well, you're the doc: why don't they give painkillers for PT then?
I think I disagree (but this is just moi, don't take this too seriously) with what I guess to be your understanding the objective nature of the "debt", for which pain is the currency of payment.
There is indeed a debt to God for sin. And Jesus paid it.
It helps me to be all Aristotelian and Thomist about this: An act of sin is not only against God, against my neighbor and against justice itself, it is also "against" me the sinner.
As my misuse of my arm led to its weakness, so each sin weakens the will to virtue and against sin. The Hot Fudge Sundae I yield to today, the cigar I smoke, will just make it harder for me to resist similar indulgences tomorrow (or, in my case, later on today ....)
Part of the "Wrath of God" on such sins is exclusion from Justification (the part Christ took care of). ANOTHER part is that can't fit in my pants, I have reflux when I bend over to tie my shoes, and then I have a stroke or an infarction. Or my sense of taste is compromised, and then I get cancer of the tongue, can't taste at all, and either just die or can't use my tongue for what it was meant for.
In the health side of the analogy, what I want is to be able to eat well, to be able to be healthy, to have my heart and my brain work. (Or to taste and breathe and speak.) Then I am WELL.
In the heaven side of the analogy, what constitutes perfection and purity and all that is no longer to be drawn to sin or to be wishy-washy about virtue but rather to see sin for what it is and to loathe it and to be able to practice the virtues I admire.
The "debt", or one aspect of it, is as functional as the inevitable bad healing and subsequent debridement (debriding? what do I know?) needed after a burn. It's not that the skin grafts and all are just the payment of a debt or the enduring of a punishment for playing with fire. They are a required part of getting well, they are the necessary remedy and restoration after the damage one does to oneself when playing with fire.
I'm trying here for a concept of the organic, non-juridical, aspect of the carnal or temporal debt of sin. IF we agree with Luther at least part of the way on simul justus et peccator, we have the problem of what is going to happen to the peccator if nothing unclean can pass into the heavenly Jerusalem.
And our answer is, he's going to be purged.
So the pain is not - okay you were seven smacks up 'side the haid and one slug to the gut worth of naughty, so pay up. It's more you did this much damage to yourself, now this is what you have to go through for that damage to be repaired.
Pain, pain in animals, pain in babies, pain in adults ... who can understand it? The Buddha said that life is painful and that pain a rises from clinging. Well, that's nice.
But it does seem that here in the fallen world, love and pain go hand in hand, and even the Mahayana Buddhists know that. To love my child is to know that pain of her growing up, or to face the painful tragedy of her not growing up! To love my wife is to suffer with her.
But disordered actions and choices seem all the more associated, ultimately with pain. The feeling of guilt is painful, so to confront knowingly and with attention my own sinfulness, my particular sins, is painful. To receive forgiveness essentially involves the pain of contrition, does it not? To give up self-indulgence, which in manny cases as undertaken in a futile effort to avoid pain, or at least discomfort, seems essentially to involve confronting the pain and discomfort one sought to avoid.
Say I am a coward.
Okay, say it again.
How DARE you!
No wait, I mean suppose I do a cowardly thing, and my friend takes the rap because I let an unjust conviction stand.
Well, other than the obvious reference to Good Friday, it seems to me that I will have to learn to love courage and truth more than my own comfort and ease if I am to be free in any meaningful way from cowardice.
So I can see the lovely angels encouraging me. "Dawg, you love God, and truth and courage? You want to love them more than your own comfort, right? You know that in the past you preferred your ease to them, do you not? Okay, go roll in that poison ivy, offering that suffering not only as a token of your contrition for poltroonery but as a way to build up your courage. And don't get any ideas. Today it's Poison Ivy, but as soon as you stop itching it'll be, ah, let me think, I have it, broken glass."
This is not an amount of "punishment" determined by the naughtiness of my cowardice in a tit-for-tat way. It is, as it were, basic training for heaven. (Not to mix metaphors or anything ...)
One more attempt: A friend was quite the sexual libertine in his youth. He wrenched sexual intercourse out of its proper context. Casanova laid his thousands but this guy his ten thousands (if HALF of what he says is true). IHS smacked him up 'side the haid, and now he is devout, and chastely married and has been for some 35 years.
Without going into detail, making whoopee isn't quite as whoopee as it used to be, for lots of reasons, some, but not all, having to do with the ravages of time.
He is almost distraught! Well, why make such a fuss, why be so distressed at what is almost inevitable? Can't we guess?
He enjoyed sex out of its proper context. In doing so he exhibited a massive defect of charity and temperance, and probably some other vices. All those Christian graces which would properly carry him through aging and marital differences, which would even sanctify them to him ... all those graces he despised. And now, we might say, the bill is coming due.
But it's not, "Okay, so many wild nights, therefore we sentence you to so many units of pain." It's more, "You have not used the gifts God gave you which would have born more easily you through this time. You have not developed the virtues and graces which this time requires. So now when it's harder, you must do what would have been easier then. The reward of charity and temperance is worth it, but you won't much enjoy getting there."
Sorry for the length. I hope you find it worth it.
In sum, I am rejecting too rigid an adherence to the idea that purgatory is about paying a moral debt in the currency of pain, so that such and such a sin gets so many pain quanta assigned to it. Rather I am saying that for fallen humanity, purity and virtue come at the cost of pain, as physical strength is acquired and maintained through discomfort, and the sooner one pays for them, the lower the cost.
Mine is not so much a contradiction as another metaphor which I hope fills out the underlying truth of the thing.
You gotta read the Purgatorio (largely because it's the work that made me fall in love with Dante.)
I'm wanting to pray for the speedy and as easy as possible accomplishment of purgation, how's that?
Anyway I still stand by my distinction between useful and useless or less useful suffering. In any event I'm trying to get away from the notion of quanta of pain as recompense for quanta of sin.
I wish you were MY doctor. I didn't get no pain killers, unless you count ibuprofen.
In my Catholic grammar school (back in the late 50s), we were always encouraged to pray, "Lord, send me here my purgatory!" It might be tad old-fashioned -- at any rate, I haven't heard it in years!
As a convert who sort of fell in love with Purgatory through Dante, I didn't have the whole picture.
But I'm getting it, little by little. Here's what I wrote to a friend yesterday:
You obviously bear a great big P branded on your forehead. (At least one as do I!) You have been given the chance to work it off now rather than in Purgatory. And, in the incredible mercy of God, you have not only been given purgative suffering but a loving Lord who will take all suffering offered to Him and use it for the salvation of the world.Seems like a pretty good deal to me! And it explains why, as we advance in decrepitude, God allows to have all sort of new and interesting pains.
It is actually a prayer that God in His mercy foreshorten the need for the suffering. At this hour, language fails me, so I will badly oversimplify it as a request that a judge reduce sentencing, or that the teacher let the student out of detention early.