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Old Jul 21, '12, 8:51 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Purgatory is a state of being as is heaven and hell....One can see God, ie, have the beatific vision as Christ had on earth...they are in the process of approximating God for final union with Him, but their inclination to sin is still there.
Old Jul 22, '12, 10:05 am
jlhargus jlhargus is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Originally Posted by xylem411 View Post
Was St. Paul perfect? Was the sinner at the cross perfect ? Both said that it seems to be quite immediate (within the day) that they are with the Lord.
JL: Yes I would say St Paul was perfect in faith and entered into the Lords presents, once judged. [Hb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once and after that comes judgment.]

[2Tm4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:]

[1Cor15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was NOT IN VAIN; but I LABOURED more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.] Paul labored to make use of every grace, given him, bear good fruit.

[1Cor9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.]

Paul strived for mastery of his imperfections being temperate in all things buffeting his body, doing penance, to keep it under control. Most of us are not that diligent we sometimes act as one beating the air. Even so we can change. We can strive (pick up our cross) and buffet our body, doing penance as Paul did, avoiding purgatory all together.

A less archic version, of 1Cor9:24-27, is the NASB

Baptism removes all sin and debt due. When we first repent and are baptized we are forgiven. Totally cleansed we would go into heaven, at death, after personal judgment. The Thief on the cross could not be baptized, with water, but received baptism of desire.

Where did Christ and the thief go, after death, for three days? Into the Bosom of Abraham, paradise. Heaven was not opened till Christ ascended and took those JUST souls in Abrahamís bosom into heaven.

Eph4:8 Wherefore he saith, WHEN HE ASCENDED up on high, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that HE ASCENDED, what is it but that HE ALSO DESCENDED FIRST into the lower parts of the earth?

Lazarus and the rich man, [Lk16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but NOW HE IS COMFORTED, and THOU ART TORMENTED.] Lazarus was comforted in HELL=English, HADES=Greek, SHEOL=Hebrew in the CHAMBER OF PARADISE or Abraham's Bosom. The rich man in Hell was in a chamber of torment.

Originally Posted by xylem411 View Post
I guess I am against the idea that my suffering is the final cleansing as opposed to Christ's suffering . It is what it is. We are before Him after death . Our flesh is already twice died. Once at Calvary and once at our final breath. Don't see how to put it to death anymore. It is our new man that is perfect in Christ now, and then. His Word cleanses us, from the lingering old man. Where we all agree is that perfection is a gift from Him.
If one is a new man, a born again child of God therefore perfect in Christ NOW, then why would God chastise His sons? Hebrews 12 tells us why.

[Hb12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, THEN ARE YE BASTARDS, and not sons. 9 Ö. 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, THAT WE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS.]

Yes perfection is a gift from Him given at baptism, but most sin after baptism or are spiritually negligent. Jesus did endure all the suffering necessary. He ALLOWS us to take part as co-workers (redeemers) thru suffering. [Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake which is the church,]

[2Cor 1:5 .. we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too 6 If we are AFFLICTED it is FOR YOUR comfort and SALVATION and if we are comforted it is for your comfort which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer]

[1Thes 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly THAT WE might see your face and MIGHT PERFECT THAT which is LACKING IN YOUR FAITH 13 THAT he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God even our Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.]

Evidently, although justified (saved), their faith is not perfect but is lacking in Christian formation. The formation into which we must strive, with Godís grace, to attain in this life to avoid purgatory. CCC 1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop.

CCC 2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God's grace he will prevail

2Cor 5:10 we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so each one may receive good or evil according to what he has done in the body.

1 COR 3:13 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.

1Pt 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God and if it begins with us what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And IF THE RIGHTEOUS MAN IS SCARCLEY SAVED where will the impious and sinner appear?
Tiber swim team 73. Jn14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (Christ) Lk1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: (Mary) for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. The Ultimate truth is CHRIST who is TRUTH.

Last edited by jlhargus; Jul 22, '12 at 10:16 am.
Old Jul 22, '12, 3:53 pm
CaptFun CaptFun is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Originally Posted by KathleenGee View Post
Hi Capt,

I am agreeing with much what you are sharing...very beautiful and very devout and drawing authentically on the richness and beauty of Scripture.

But the Church exists to pastor all people, who are all on different levels of faith. Ascribing one's self to Sacred Scripture is excellent, but as a sacramental Christian, there is another dimension added by the sacrament that brings us into a very personal awareness of ourselves, that we cannot always get by applying ourselves solely to Scripture. < YES! Experiencing the sacraments with intimacy goes deeper into the soul and answers even the rebellious feelings that sometimes precede the intellectual prosecution of Church teachings.

Since the thread started with the word "Protestant" I went ahead and spoke to that culture, which puts so much emphasis on scripture. Doing so doesn't seem like a road game in a foreign ballpark to me, as it was Catholics who wrote the New Testament (ok they were BORN Jewish and culturally remained so)

Keep doing what you're doing Kathleen. We may be a different part of the body, but our "audience" is diverse too. The Purgatory controversy aside, we all look to the day when we with our loved ones will be united with Christ in fellowship, intimacy, and joy. Which IS superior than even our best intellectual and scholarly searching of scripture's technicalities.

Not saying that scripture can't bring us to that place TOO -- but as you allude to ... the peace of a soul that has just had its sins forgiven, the joy of a soul that knows that Jesus is REALLY present with them in His Love and JUST as much as He was with the apostles at the Last Supper ... is a fruit which the sacraments bring, and those who've experienced that WANT it for others.

That is because we alone have our own 'blind' spot and it is through our neighbor that we are made aware of areas of ourselves that affect other people in ways we do not intend. Or we have some kind of compulsiveness that adversely affects those around us. < I think that's why even hermits who pore over the word of God in contemplation, generally bear fruit more by being community with others - even if that is by writing. When we read scripture as the Church recommends we pray first and invite the Holy Spirit in. THEN we are not alone even reading ... and can gain that community and counsel even there. Hermits are an exceptional community though ... mostly you are right, the Church is a community and the sacraments are where God meets His people.

Or we have penitents who are not applying themselves to the deposit of faith because of many different reasons and likewise, many different effects. I have a friend who will not go to Reconciliation and thinks its silly. A "why would I confess my sins to another person" sort of thing. She was baptised long ago and had gone to confession, but now is a sort of drifting Church surfer of the ABC (anything but Catholic) variety. When she asks questions, she's almost startled to find that scripture points to the sacraments (piece by piece and not always in the single verse proof text genre that suits some folks' attention spans I will admit).

We as believers need a Shepherd, not just our own personal text to draw us closer to Him. The grace of the sacrament brings us concretely...concretely into the Divine Presence of Our Lord in absolution. Penance helps us grow in wisdom by knowing ourselves. I know. I'm not one of those "Who needs a Church, I have a Bible ..." folks. But to those who are, I could show them where Jesus spoke of founding what He called "My Church". Helping them to where they can rest in the Lord like the sheep in today's Psalm (the famed 23rd), IS much better than "Bible Wars" to be sure.

The soul in itself has many layers...there may be a part of ourselves that is in perfect union with the Lord and 'is already there ' in the eternal life. But there may be another part of ourselves that is still in the process, as I mentioned in this post that we are sincerely and strongly seeking to be more in union with Christ but have hidden parts in us that need to be illuminated by the grace of Christ. This includes learning more about right and wrong in more subtle dimension and resolving to refine and develop a more attuned conscience with the Holy Spirit and conformity to the will of God, the illuminative way. I hope this doesn't seem like a change of subject, but reading this paragraph I thought of how we are a bit "Martha" and a bit "Mary" as we go through our days. I should say St. Martha and St. Mary, lol. The St. Martha things can be quite GOOD: inviting people, serving others, even sacrificing for others; but it comes undone with ambition, jealousy, and confessing others' sins. Why was Mary so "good"? She was just a better hostess. Cared more about the people than the things. Apparently WASN'T as lazy and thoughtless as her short-tempered sister made her out to be in front of everyone. So Jesus, playing peacemaker, calmed his hostess down, and gave her the surprising news that Mary "had chosen the better part" and it wouldn't be " ...taken from her." Mary had gotten to a place that Jesus is inviting the self-bedeviled Martha to enter as well.

For those who can't skip the Martha "steps" to Marylike bliss, I hope I'm walking you along the scriptural road ... which yes, doesn't exist for its own sake, but as part of what brings us closer to God and neighbor.

Then there is the purgative way where one is still overcoming one's sinfulness. Both the reading and application of prayer, Sacred Scripture and the sacrament of penance are excellent means in drawing one into the life of Christ and purging one's self of serious sins and faults, for it is our faults that can lead us into sinful ways -- particularly anger, judgmentalness, intemperance, and petty selfishness and gossip. YES. The graces from Penance make us stronger to resist sin, and desire it less, and desire to keep that clean-souled feeling that helps us to open more quickly and less self-consciously to Christ at our door. Fulton Sheen recommended "crowding sin out"once one had emerged from the confessional. Avoid the near occasions of sin by never being there, or fleeing quickly. Developing a habit of virtue. Then our purpose of reparation and amendment is more sincere and eventually sin has less and less hold on us and graces abound producing more and more good fruits.

The Church is the means, not just Scripture, to aid and shepherd the individual into a greater spiritual life with Christ through the sacrament of penance. Agreed! Sacraments and Scripture are both important. Where Purgatory is concerned, scripture misapplied was part of the problem that led to a schism. After being so verbose here, I will close with a little verse from Jesus Himself that I never thought of in relation to Purgatory before yesterday. In case I was SUPPOSED to share it (see below)
(ABOVE: Kathleen's words are in black, my responses in red. BELOW: Both colors, just me! Added for ease of reading. CaptFun)

Mark 9:49 "Everyone will be salted with fire". Some of our brothers and sisters are going through some sort of fire right now. We do well to pray for them, whether their suffering is going on in this life NOW, or in that 1 Corinthians 3:15 place of judgement where ...

1 Corinthians 3:15 But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire.
<Hope this helps some of you. Once it does, or even before it does, God has greater things in store for us than dwelling on our doubts.

Last edited by CaptFun; Jul 22, '12 at 4:07 pm. Reason: Color corrections. Confusing without.
Old Jul 23, '12, 8:46 am
rinnie rinnie is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Originally Posted by KathleenGee View Post
Purgatory is a state of being as is heaven and hell....One can see God, ie, have the beatific vision as Christ had on earth...they are in the process of approximating God for final union with Him, but their inclination to sin is still there.
I agree, That is why they are there. Rather it be a state of being or whatever it feels like That we do not know,

But it is where that Inclination to sin is wiped clean. Because as we both know you must be made Perfect to enter heaven,

And unless even the inclination to sin is wiped clean one cannot be perfect in Christ.

And if you have a inclination to sin you cannot enter heaven, But as we also know the bible does not say the inclination to sin was the stain given to us by Adam and Eve. We were all born with it except of course Christ and Mary. But the point is that is what must be wiped clean and gone forever.

Can that happen in this world? Yes its possible. Because God tells us, that all things are possible with his grace. His grace trumps all sin and need to sin.

Possible yes, Probable
Old Jul 23, '12, 11:23 am
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crazzeto crazzeto is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Originally Posted by JonNC View Post
Hi rinnie. Living now in the NC mountains for 12 years, I've become spoiled. We are at about 3000 ft elevation. When its 95 in Charlotte, it is usually about 80 here.

To your question, in short no. You see, for me it is the place/state construct that I have aproblem with. As I said earlier, if GOd can cleanse me for sin in a moment at baptism, it seems He can do the same, by grace, at the instant of my death. Of course, God isn't restricted to time, so I have no problem praying for loved ones in a way I explained earlier.

Did you get hit with the Derecho storm that came through a while ago? My wife and I were hit by it in West Virginia heading up to Detroit for the 4th to visit family. We almost stayed over night where we were (it was a scary), but decided to go on. It was only then we realized there was no gas for 100 miles due to power outtage from the WV border into OH.

So regarding the time / place construct, I guess first we should acknowlege that we can truely understand "time" in terms of what we know. Time after all is a part of creation, and I dare say we can't expect it to work in the here after yes?

But none the less, I think we can say we find it useful to talk "time / place" when concerning purgatory. Place I think is particularly substantiated in the bible by this perplexing bit of scripture
And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death.
Purgatory exists as a "place" (if you will) in which we are purified as though through fire, where we experience loss for our sins. We know from scripture that nothing imperfect will enter heaven.

I'm curious, do you believe that we are all perfect enough to enter heaven (Rev 21:27) at our death, or do you think the stain of venil sin is enough to prevent our entering.

Also, I wasn't 100% clear on your answer regarding prayer helping the process of purificaiton. Were you saying that prayre is ineffectual in this regard?
(Jer 24:7) And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: because they shall return to me with their whole heart.
Old Jul 23, '12, 7:47 pm
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory


Drawing on your great reflections...and I mean great because they show much insight into the life giving grace of the Lord....His intention for us...we cannot imagine or ever much He loves us...

We as Catholics do not just look at Scripture but at the Tradition of our faith....did I understand you right in that purgatory causes schism? I think in my growing understanding of the Reformation, much of nationalism and the break of apostolic tradition and breaking one free not only of Rome but the ignition of one's self as interpreter of Scripture was the cause...I cannot blame that on the Church, although there was alot of corruption and sin of clergy...which does not reflect doctrine but their own sinfulness.

Yes, baptism gives remission of sin, we are made new in Jesus Christ.

But being baptized does not take away our own corrupt desires, not unless we have a most incredible conversion...think of St. Paul, who likewise was given a thorn in the flesh that kept him mindful of drawing on the Lord's strength and not his own.

And I agree with you that we have our Mary side and our Martha side...and there is another form of prayer that is continual...seeking the will of God, be it contemplative or active.....that is the key...the will of God that enables us to enter into His kingdom.

I just don't think you can call purgatory a schism either...using the quotes from Scripture. Yes, you recognize both Word and Sacraments...but our faith is more than that...we are part of One Body...the Body of Christ...and He built His Church on the Apostles and gave them the power to forgive sin.

We cannot just stop at understanding our faith at the Epistles and Revelations, thinking that they alone answer completely our questions of faith. The understanding of Christianity, so vast today reflects on St. John the Evangelist's words that there cannot be enough books written about Christ.

The development of Christian doctrine, based on the Apostles, is for our betterment. It has its purpose. And purgatory is not only the place of God's mercy, but also His justice. Doctrine enables us to go into greater depth the Sacred Scriptures...and the Sacraments.

The primary purpose of sacramental confession is to free us from mortal sin, and enables us to return to the sacrament of the Eucharist. The Mass forgives all venial, ordinary sin. Each Eucharist, received properly, brings us closer into the body and formation of Christ Himself. The sacrament of penance aids this walk into greater sanctity. The sacraments are Jesus' presence on this earth....not just His words, of which you expound so beautifully, but also on His sacraments in our participation in His Church.

It is the Holy Spirit at work in the Church to help us better understand both virtue and sin. And about the time purgatory was further defined, was also the time of growing corruption in the Church were baptism was becoming more a cultural event that a sign of conversion and devotion to Christ in the family.
Old Jul 24, '12, 11:16 am
jlhargus jlhargus is offline
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Default Re: Protestants question about Purgatory

Originally Posted by jlhargus JL: Paul strived for mastery of his imperfections being temperate in all things buffeting his body, doing penance, to keep it under control. Most of us are not that diligent we sometimes act as one beating the air. Even so we can change. We can strive (pick up our cross) and buffet our body, doing penance as Paul did, avoiding purgatory all together.

Originally Posted by xylem411 View Post
Where do you see "penance" ? I only see keeping the flesh under control. I see the new man having mastery over the old, spirit over flesh etc.. Do not see any "suffering/sacrifice " to make up for sin, or show sorrow for it.
JL: I didnít say Paul was doing penance to make up for sin. He chastised his body striving to subject and keep it under control. Mastering his body, chastising it, Paul overcomes the flesh so not to be led into sin by the desires of the flesh.

[1Cor9:24 have ye not known that those running in a race -- all indeed run, but one doth receive the prize? so run ye, that ye may obtain; 25 and every one who is striving, is in all things temperate; these, indeed, then, that a corruptible crown they may receive, but we an incorruptible; 26 I, therefore, thus run, not as uncertainly, thus I fight, as not beating air; 27 but I chastise my body, and bring [it] into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others -- I myself may become disapproved.] Youngís Literal Translation.

The RSV Bible translates vs27 I pommel my body. The following Amplified Bible makes it very clear.

[1Cor9:27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

"Scripture quotations taken from the Amplifiedģ Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (

Originally Posted by xylem411 View Post
St Paul did not wear sackcloth, whip his back and kneel on stones (as Luther and many other monks did). I do not think that is what Paul meant by keeping "under" his body (fleshly desires).
JL: I think you misunderstand penance. One doesnít have to whip his back or kneel on stones to do penance. I donít denigrate those who do hard penance. Thatís up to them and the grace God gives them.

[Rms8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but IF ye THROUGH THE SPIRIT do MORTIFY the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 Ö 16 .. 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; IF so be that WE SUFFER WITH HIM, that we may be also glorified together.]

[Col3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 MORTIFY therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:]

Penance can be as simple as not watching a ball game which one really wants to see. Offering it up to God. It is done to master and overcome some inclination of the flesh. Or in reparation, as an act of satisfaction, for injury thru sin. If you offend a friend and apologize they forgive you. But still what you did leaves a strain on the friendship. Going out of your way doing something for that person, which expresses how very sorry you are, can help repair or completly erase that strain. Depending on the value the offended person puts on what you did.

Originally Posted by xylem411 View Post
So St. Paul was perfect and needed no extra cleansing of Purgatory, even though he said ,"I do that which I ought not, and what I ought to do I do not. Oh who can save me from this miserable wretch, thanks be to God for Jesus Christ." -paraphrased somewhat ?.
JL: In Romans 7:7-25 Paul is speaking of concupiscence which is present in the saved and unsaved. It is the inclination to serve the flesh. The carnal man cannot of himself overcome the flesh even though in his mind he knows itís wrong he does what he doesnít want to do.

[Rms7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 .. 21 .. 22 .. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.] It is only being in Christ that one can hope to overcome the flesh. The Christian still struggles with concupiscence (flesh) thatís why Paul chastised his body.
Tiber swim team 73. Jn14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (Christ) Lk1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: (Mary) for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. The Ultimate truth is CHRIST who is TRUTH.
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