500 Years Ago My Family Was Catholic

And some of us would perhaps argue that we still are (small “c”), today - but you know what I mean.

Anyone else feel like we just can’t move past this historical event and focus a bit closer on where we are now? I have trouble seeing the Catholic church without my Lutheran lens’ filtering the information, though.

Do converts ever stop this filtering? I suppose it would especially depend on whether you are a “cradle” Lutheran, Anglican, etc. Do you think it would be a good thing for the Catholic church to even try to absorb a huge influx of people with really different religious worldviews?

Those of us who are of a different religious nativity have a different dialect once you move very far from Christ. When we hear “purgatory” we think “a place” not “a process.”

I honestly don’t know what my family was 500 years ago. Probably Orthodox given the part of the world we are from. Honestly I don’t really care what my family was centuries ago.

But I am a convert to and from Catholicism. Perhaps it had to do with it never quite “clicking” for me.

The problem with that is the RCC is not made up of worldviews.

The RCC is really in all do respect us coming to Christ not him coming to us.

While you see purgatory as a process we see it as a state in which the process takes place. See what I am saying?

You say its a process, Where is this process taking place? Here on earth? IF not where?

We believe this process as you call it CAN take place here on earth, but very few get through it.

Tell me what do you feel the process is? What I am asking you is what are you accomplishing through this process? Just wondering if we have the same teaching here.

That’s fair enough. IF you don’t mind sharing what do you feel the RCC did not have that you were searching for?

No the church is not made up of worldviews, but the sinners inside and outside all have them. I am not defending my worldview as a Lutheran, just stating that having been raised and taught and confirmed as one, my understanding of certain concepts is colored by that.

Works and purgatory are related in Catholicism; we consider works that are done through the prompting of the Holy Spirit as pleasing to God, yet they avail us nothing, personally - because Christ has already redeemed us, already paid that which we cannot pay ourselves.

If I’m wrong, and that is possible God knows - then the works I do out of longing for God’s Will to be done on earth as it is on heaven may yield a surprising result; in spite of the fact that I lack full understanding of their purpose.

I do believe that Lutherans and probably Anglicans will eventually merge back into the Catholic Church under the shepherd of the Pope. The process is already occurring per the Dialogue/ Declaration. For example, I read recently that the Lutheran World Federation now accepts all 7 ecumenical councils as doctrine.

Those of us who are of a different religious nativity have a different dialect once you move very far from Christ. When we hear “purgatory” we think “a place” not “a process.”

Most Catholics, even those born into the Church, have difficulty with Purgatory. We always will, given that we know almost nothing about it, other than it is a city in Colorado :):):slight_smile:

I have never gotten into the ancestral-searching thing. But my folks followed the conquistadors into NA, so were certainly Catholic way back when.

It doesn’t really matter what religion was held by a procession of bodiless names from the past; conversion and penance is a lifelong **personal **path.


I believe we see things a little different. Although I agree Christ has indeed paid for our sins, we do have our part to do also. He could have done it all, but he chose not to.

Let me explain as simple as I can. Without the cross we could never have been redeemed! Agreed, we both agree on that.

Where I believe we differ is while the Holy Spirit indeed gives us the grace to do good deeds, and could not be done without the Grace of God, he still gives us the free will to use the grace.

We believe that it is using that Grace is how we have eternal life with Christ. Its saying yes to him and obeying his commands.

Because if by Christ dying on the cross did everything for us, and our part of using the grace given to us makes no difference, then everyone gets in. What would it matter to please God, if we don’t have to please him and can reject the grace we still get in. Do you see what I am saying.

As told to us faith without works is fruitless.

We are taught we have our part to do in this world also. We must repent our sins, obey his commands. Do we do it to be with God? Yes we do. Repenting our sins is a work. Why do we do this work? Because Christ told us we have to.

They asked Peter what do we have to DO to have eternal life? He said repent, be Baptised. All works. See where are teachings are different?

Here is why we need purgatory.

Purgatory is also a work but not a physical work.

Purgatory is God saying yes you get in, but you have work to do first.

That work is not ridding yourself of the sin, God forgave you, its ridding yourself of the reason you had the sin in the first place.

Another wards what gain did you get from the sin, what reward, fun you could say.

like if you gambled what was the fun? Winning of course, the high of winning, Drinking? the buzz of the drink, sex the physical pleasure.

Purgatory is no longer finding any fun or pleasure out of that sin, The only pleasure is pleasing God,

You see the pleasure of no longer fun or pleasure but of separating you from God. That is why it is a burning. It is a burning desire to see God face to face and want to be with him so much.

Once you rid yourself of any pleasure of the sin you have become a saint. once you become a Saint you are cleansed completely and have finally put yourself behind and put God first.

Your desire is one thing and one thing only to be with and please God.

That’s why it can be such a long and painful process. ITs not considered a place, its more of a state.

Once you are rid of any gain of sin, and can only see the destruction, its hold on you is gone forever. And you have been perfected In Christ.

That’s why we see it as a reward and grace and gift from God, because very few people have accomplished this on earth.

Do you believe what Lutheranism teaches is what Christ taught His Apostles, and what His Apostles taught their successors?

Based on what evidence I have gleaned so far, I believe this about Catholicism. And I do not believe anyone quite has the fullness of Christianity until they come to accept the Catholic Church as having the fullness of Christianity.

It’s not that we don’t think you are part of the body of Christ. You accept baptism, the Bible, the Sacraments (and to an extent they are valid). But you reject the validity of other important elements, most notably the authority of bishops, of Tradition, and the objective goodness of doing our works (which, by God’s will, are good), among other things.

These aren’t just “things”. How we come to know what we believe is important. That is why we accept the Bible, but reject the Book of Mormon. And even the act of belief is a “work”, and can be rejected at any time. What of people such as these?

Believe me, I feel your weariness. It is very wearying to think about all these bloody denominations, teaching different things yet united in so many things, and how we are all separated. And I, too, wish we could all be one again. Hopefully on this planet, we will be someday. Certainly in the world to come, all men will know the truth. But until then, if we wish to say we all agree on the truth, we’d best agree first.

Just an interesting aside for me… of all my ancestors in NA, seven of the closest-grandparents on both sides- were devout Protestant, (Methodist, Seven Day Adventist, Southern Baptist…). The eighth was Catholic and a fellow who left his wife and 12 kids for another woman pregnant with his child… WOW. What were the chances I’d be Catholic? How I thank God for the sinner who was my great-grandfather…

Mine was Catholic five hundred years ago and remained
so with some oddballs here and there wandering off. One
wandered off to CS and another to JW and another
to Methodism but most have stayed devout Catholic.
Some came from Ireland in the 1700’s and 1800s and
the other half came from London in 1600 something
to Maryland. What I find is generationally we all do, think,
believe, say the same things. In all these years there
has been exactly one divorce in the family (1921) and that
was scandalizing and talked about until this day lol! Our beliefs haven’t changed
a bit and most of our family traditions have stayed
exactly the same. Well with the exception of the
Priest Box. My great grandparents had a special oak
cabinet that had a portable altar and everything
a priest would need if one did show up in the night to say Mass.
That was in Ireland and they brought it with them here
but I’ve only seen it used once and that was for a

I believed in purgatory, but couldn’t really seem to wrap my head around it. And then when I was able to open my heart and experience Christ, there was so much love and joy and mercy. And part of it honestly hurt. It led me to reflect a great deal on purgatory with relation to that experience. I don’t know how exactly the process takes place, but I do know that at least some of us (me) are not ready to experience the full Glory of God. Not because we aren’t worthy, but because it would overwhelm us. And honestly, as much as it might hurt for my spirit to be cleansed of everything I have done to corrupt it, the thought of not being able to experience God would hurt so much more.


I left for lots or reasons all amounting to I didn’t believe any of the distinctive Catholic dogmas anymore. I was raised non religious but became Christian and Catholic in college. I was drawn to its history and intellectual tradition. There were a few things I couldn’t quite accept but on direction from my spiritual advisor he told me to practice the faith and those things would fall into place. They never did. Ten years later I was trying to practice my faith that was getting more dead and moribund by the day. I was going through the motions and getting more and more resentful of the church. Yet my resentment was making me terrified of my salvation. I laid awake at night terrified that my contrition was not perfect or if I even had it at all. I did confession because it was an obligation. It gave me no comfort. I went to mass because I was obligated and it gave me no comfort. I bought every book Catholic Answers put out and read all their tracts. I went and crossed swords with Protestants in real life and online. I was not trying to convince them, I was trying to convince myself. I realized all my “answers” were pathetic.

I started to hate all the obligations of the church. I hated going to mass. I hated going to confession. I pretended to be on the same page as everyone else. Even though they looked as miserable as me. They all ran out of the church so fast after mass that you would think the building was on fire. My dismal and dead faith offered me no peace, no comfort. It became a source of pain in my life. I was in a state of spiritual torture and agony, I had to make it stop.

All this coupled with some very negative experiences at my local parish, where I was a lector and my wife a Eucharistic minister. I finally told her on the way home from church that I wanted to check out somewhere else. I related all this to a coworker who was feeling very bad about his Reformed baptist church. We both decided to check out a local tiny confessional Lutheran parish in my town. The pastor told me the Lutheran Law Gospel distinction. He offered to baptize my daughter free of charge with no strings attached. Folks actually stayed after church and enjoyed each other’s company. It was like coming up for air. I recently moved and found a new small confessional lutheran parish similar to the first.

Working with my pastor I have let go of my anger towards my former church. Turns out I may have something called scrupulosity. Something that my hero Luther also may have had. His writings on the issue felt so close to home. I can relate. Now I actually respect my former church more now than a year ago. I believe that the Catholic Church preaches the word and administers the sacraments, I believe it is a legitimate coequal, co blessed by God, beloved Christian Church home to many Christians. But its simply not for me.

The vast majority of my family is still Catholic - (big “C”) XD. In fact, I’d say that my parents are probably the only ones, along with an aunt (who married in the family), who are not Catholic. They still find any non-Catholic faith as weird, especially Evangelical Christians.

Converts are probably the “worst” in some ways in terms of “filtering” because they tend to be more zealous than those born into the faith. And honestly, if you leave one denomination for another because you feel that your former one was doctrinally wrong, then it’s understandable that you’ll end up being a little hostile towards it. I think “cradles” tend to be more receptive to understanding what other Christian denominations think.

As for Purgatory, I’ve always liked the description that Dante Alighieri gave in his* Divina Commedia*. He shows Purgatory as a huge mountain that the saved, but still unclean sinner must climb to reach the joys of Heaven. Souls are contemplating and singing to the Lord as they complete their sojourn and prepare to meet him.

Thank you for sharing. :slight_smile:

I can relate to you, too. I have a bit of scrupulosity, too, or think I do. I think I probably would have ended up like you - and Luther - if three years ago my pastor had not taken me aside and explained some things to me about confession, moral culpability, etc, if I had not read the Catechism, and - most importantly - if I had not talked to God about my problems, offered them up and asked for a solution. And I have gotten solutions since then. Maybe you would still be Catholic, as I am, if things had gone differently. I wish they had.

But anyway, I am glad you are still with Christ, and you value Sacraments and the Gospel. There are much worse places to end up than Confessional Lutheranism.

Ste Therese of Lisieux asserted that all souls in Purgatory are volunteers. She describes it as more of a state than a place. She maintained that at our judgment we see with absolute clarity, and though we have repented and accepted God’s forgiveness, we see that we have not rid ourselves of our self-centedness. We do not wish to present ourselves to God that way. To do that, we have to face our selfishness full on. So we keep ourselves from the full presence of God until we manage to purge ourselves of it. Not to make light of it, she said it is hard. When you think about it, that would be hard.

" I do believe that Lutherans and probably Anglicans will eventually merge back into the Catholic Church under the shepherd of the Pope. The process is already occurring per the Dialogue/ Declaration. For example, I read recently that the Lutheran World Federation now accepts all 7 ecumenical councils as doctrine"

only if Lutherans and Anglicans bend to the Catholic Church position on human sexuality and operational issues such as Women Priests et. al -so the evangelical Lutherans should defrock thier female Priests , accept the authority of the Pope -say the excommunication of Luther was just and deserved -stop the Birth control /stop the general Confessionsand move into what is becoming a 3 rd world Church-

I think the Episcopal CHurch in the USA in about 2 or 3 generations is finished-and few of the remaining Episcopaleans have the interest and capability to swim the Tiber-it is more likely the remnant episcopaleans will dribble into the Unitarian or Unity CHurches

Ah writing this has given me the BLues

Regarding the “authority of the Pope”; Lutheran can accept the Papacy and Magisterium and Catholics can accept Lutherans even if we, like the Orthodox, do not accept papal infallibility.

The issue of Luther’s excommunication will be revoked, no doubt, in a few years such as the anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

General Confession is acceptable to Catholics just like private Confession [what Lutheran’s refer to as Holy Absolution] is acceptable to Lutherans.

The anthropological and ethical issues are, indeed, a sticking point. Female clergy, same-sex marriage, birth control divide most Lutherans from the Roman Catholic Church and we pray for further guidance of the holy Spirit.

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