Confession and Purgatory


#1

If we go to Confession and receive absolution, I know our sins are forgiven. However, does this mean that we will not spend time in purgatory, assuming we never sinned again or does it place us in purgatory rather than hell.
Thanks in advance


#2

When we are absolved the eternal punishment is remitted, but not the temporal punishment. If there is any temporal punishment that still needs to be made up for after this life, or any imperfections remaining on our soul, we have to go to purgatory to be perfected.


#3

Thank you for clarifying that up for me.


#4

Confession does not guarantee you get to skip Purgatory. Typically some "temporal punishment" remains, and that is the stuff that gets purified in Purgatory. However, fervent charity when you repent can remove it all.

CCC (see the red emphasis for where I mean to look)

1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:

- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;

- reconciliation with the Church;

- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;

- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;

- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;

- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.


#5

Easiest explanation I've ever read goes something like:

A Mortal Sin is like pounding a nail into a board
Confession is pulling the nail. But the hole remains.
Purgatory is where the damage gets repaired. When the board looks perfect again, we get to exit.


#6

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:2, topic:304454"]
When we are absolved the eternal punishment is remitted, but not necessarily all the temporal punishment. If there is any temporal punishment that still needs to be made up for after this life, or any imperfections remaining on our soul, we have to go to purgatory to be perfected.

[/quote]

I would note that the temporal punishment can be removed or at least in part depending....


#7

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#X


#8

[quote="Richard320, post:5, topic:304454"]
Easiest explanation I've ever read goes something like:

A Mortal Sin is like pounding a nail into a board
Confession is pulling the nail. But the hole remains.
Purgatory is where the damage gets repaired. When the board looks perfect again, we get to exit.

[/quote]

Except this example doesn't allow for the fact that the good works we do here while in the state of grace can help make up for our sins in this life.


#9

[quote="scc11, post:1, topic:304454"]
If we go to Confession and receive absolution, I know our sins are forgiven. However, does this mean that we will not spend time in purgatory, assuming we never sinned again or does it place us in purgatory rather than hell.
Thanks in advance

[/quote]

The greater the penance a priest gives you in the Confessional the better for your purgatory -- the penance given there by the priest has special value. However often what is given is not so much a penance but a learning experience or something else. One should do it with one's whole heart.

So, however, generally, in these times any penance given in the Confessional is only a minute amount of the actual penance required for the sin. It is always required that you do more, though too this has always been so to some amount.

There used to be given standard penances for each sin. These gave a closer idea of the actual punishment due. Every sin deserves it's punishment, like every crime before a criminal court and judge, doling out so many strokes of a cane for each crime.

'Formerly there was imposed for certain sins a public penance of several years' duration : and in all that time the sinner had to pray much and often, "pass the days in mourning, and the nights in watching and in tears," to lie on a hard couch, to fast, give alms, and practice other good works. Though the ancient discipline is now laid aside, yet the justice of God is still the same, and sin is still as deserving of punishment as it was in the primitive ages.'

St. John Baptiste de la Salle

Note that in St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle's time, the penances were still quite significantly greater than today.

Pope Clement XII, explains more preparing the bishops and priests to teach the faithful to do penance:

'You will begin most appropriately, and with hope of the greatest profit, to recall men to the observance of the holy law of fasting, if you teach the people this: penance for the Christian man is not satisfied by withdrawing from sin, by detesting a past life badly lived, or by the sacramental confession of these same sins.

Rather, penance also demands that we satisfy divine justice with fasting, almsgiving, prayer, and other works of the spiritual life. Every wrongdoing--be it large or small--is fittingly punished, either by the penitent or by a vengeful God.

Therefore we cannot avoid God's punishment in any other way than by punishing ourselves.

If this teaching is constantly implanted in the minds of the faithful, and if they drink deeply of it, there will be very little cause to fear that those who have discarded their degraded habits and washed their sins clean through sacramental confession would not want to expiate the same sins through fasting, to eliminate the concupiscence of the flesh.

Besides, consider the man who is convinced that he repents of his sins more firmly when he does not allow himself to go unpunished. That man, already consumed with the love of penance, will rejoice during the season of Lent and on certain other days, when the Church declares that the faithful should fast and gives them the opportunity to bring forth worthy fruits of penance. After all, it is always necessary to subdue concupiscence, for it is written, "Do not follow behind your desires, and do not turn away from your will."

Let the faithful easily turn their attention during this most holy time of year to lessening the intemperance of the body by fasting. In this way the soul might understand how it should prepare itself to recall the holy mysteries of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, those who are spurred on by penance do not seek the delicacies of the table, which seem indistinguishable from forbidden foods, even with abstinence. However, one can rightfully say that whoever sets them on his table does not so much put aside his customary delicacies as give his appetites over to unusual enticements. Finally, those spurred on by penance do not seek escapes by which they might withdraw from fasting, nor do they seek various subtleties to break ecclesiastical law.

It is your duty, Venerable Brothers, to inspire enthusiasm and love of penance in the faithful by word and example.'

Pope Clement XIII, Encyclical, Appetente Sacro, 12-20-1759 A.D.


#10

"Time" in purgatory is not removed with confession. However, it can be removed, in part or in whole, by indulgences.


#11

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:10, topic:304454"]
"Time" in purgatory is not removed with confession. However, it can be removed, in part or in whole, by indulgences.

[/quote]

Please explain to me why you think no temporal punishments are ever remitted with the complete sacrament of reconciliation. To be clear, I agree that they are not always wholly remitted, but I've never heard anyone say before that they are not remitted at all.

See Council of Trent session 6 chapter 14 look at the red part (sorry about the translation, the one online is hard to read). Also see my CCC quote earlier, which is even more clear.As regards those who, by sin, have fallen from the received grace of Justification, they may be again justified, when, God exciting them, through the sacrament of Penance they shall have attained to the recovery, by the merit of Christ, of the grace lost: for this manner of Justification is of the fallen the reparation: which the holy Fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost. For, on behalf of those who fall into sins after baptism, Christ Jesus instituted the sacrament of Penance, when He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Whence it is to be taught, that the penitence of a Christian, after his fall, is very different from that at (his) baptism; and that therein are included not only a cessation from sins, and a detestation thereof, or, a contrite and humble heart, but also the sacramental confession of the said sins,-at least in desire, and to be made in its season,-and sacerdotal absolution; and likewise satisfaction by fasts, alms, prayers, and the other pious exercises of a spiritual life; not indeed for the eternal punishment,-which is, together with the guilt, remitted, either by the sacrament, or by the desire of the sacrament,-but for the temporal punishment, which, as the sacred writings teach, is not always wholly remitted, as is done in baptism, to those who, ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, have grieved the Holy Spirit, and have not feared to violate the temple of God. Concerning which penitence it is written; Be mindful whence thou art fallen; do penance, and do the first works. And again; The sorrow that is according to [Page 42] God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation. And again; Do penance, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.


#12

Food for further thought:

'We must not imagine that indulgences free us from the obligation of doing penance, and that it suffices to have the intention of gaining them, in order to be dispensed from works of penance; on the contrary, indulgences always suppose that one has performed a part of his penance, or is really disposed to perform it if he have time and strength, since the Church grants them only to remit whatever is wanting in the penance that should have been done, rather than entirely dispensing with it. It is, doubtless, for the same reason that the Council of Trent declares that, according to the ancient and approved custom of the Church, they ought only to be granted with reserve and in moderation, and that those who wish to gain them must do so by prayer, by alms-deeds, and usually by fasting and other good works. . .

A certain pious person who had in her youth committed many serious faults, was wont to repeat all the different prayers to which the sovereign pontiffs have attached indulgences. Every day she also condemned herself to some mortifications, giving alms in proportion to her means, and often repeating these beautiful words. "Lord! have mercy on me now and in every moment of my life, and particularly at the hour of my death; this I beg of you through the merits of Jesus Christ, and through the intercession of Mary, the angels, and saints. I offer thee in the spirit of penance all that I may have to suffer, and I will not gratify myself in any way whatsoever!" When it was represented to her that the mortified life she led would certainly shorten her existence, she replied: "I must suffer a little in this life, fearing lest I should have much to suffer in that which is to come!"'

St. John Baptiste de la Salle


#13

[quote="Pug, post:11, topic:304454"]
Please explain to me why you think no temporal punishments are ever remitted with the complete sacrament of reconciliation. To be clear, I agree that they are not always wholly remitted, but I've never heard anyone say before that they are not remitted at all.

See Council of Trent session 6 chapter 14 look at the red part (sorry about the translation, the one online is hard to read). Also see my CCC quote earlier, which is even more clear.As regards those who, by sin, have fallen from the received grace of Justification, they may be again justified, when, God exciting them, through the sacrament of Penance they shall have attained to the recovery, by the merit of Christ, of the grace lost: for this manner of Justification is of the fallen the reparation: which the holy Fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost. For, on behalf of those who fall into sins after baptism, Christ Jesus instituted the sacrament of Penance, when He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Whence it is to be taught, that the penitence of a Christian, after his fall, is very different from that at (his) baptism; and that therein are included not only a cessation from sins, and a detestation thereof, or, a contrite and humble heart, but also the sacramental confession of the said sins,-at least in desire, and to be made in its season,-and sacerdotal absolution; and likewise satisfaction by fasts, alms, prayers, and the other pious exercises of a spiritual life; not indeed for the eternal punishment,-which is, together with the guilt, remitted, either by the sacrament, or by the desire of the sacrament,-but for the temporal punishment, which, as the sacred writings teach, is not always wholly remitted, as is done in baptism, to those who, ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, have grieved the Holy Spirit, and have not feared to violate the temple of God. Concerning which penitence it is written; Be mindful whence thou art fallen; do penance, and do the first works. And again; The sorrow that is according to [Page 42] God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation. And again; Do penance, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.

[/quote]

I think the value of plenary indulgences from our perspective, compared to confession, as concerns temporal punishment, is that with the former we can be absolutely sure that all temporal punishment is forgiven, whereas with the latter we can only sure that all eternal punishment is forgiven. Of course, eternal punishment is far more important to deal with than temporal punishment.


#14

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:13, topic:304454"]
I think the value of plenary indulgences from our perspective, compared to confession, as concerns temporal punishment, is that with the former we can be absolutely sure that all temporal punishment is forgiven, whereas with the latter we can only sure that all eternal punishment is forgiven. Of course, eternal punishment is far more important to deal with than temporal punishment.

[/quote]

I agree that indulgences are valuable, indeed. I am a total fan :love: of them, which I know is unusual, so perhaps you didn't expect that from me. And I agree that someone concerned about temporal punishments would be well served to utilize them, especially for the souls in Purgatory (to get indulgences for them). But I still don't know why you say that no temporal punishments are ever remitted in the full sacrament of confession (containing all the parts, including satisfaction). To my knowledge that would be wrong to claim.

Also, I think it can be a little hard to know for absolutely sure if one has satisfied the plenary indulgence condition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin. Of course, if not met, it converts to partial. :)


#15

I explained it to my children with this "parable" which was also helpful for my husband as he converted and became baptized earlier this year.

You have broken a piece of my Swedish crystal, one of my favorites. I am upset with you and our relationship is damaged. You demonstrate that you are very contrite for having broken my crystal and you ask my forgiveness. I forgive you. However, you still have to clean up the mess made by breaking the crystal.

I don't know how theologically profound this is, but it has helped my family and I understand the need for purgatory.


closed #16

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