Doesn't purgatory imply the insufficiency of Christ's redemption?


How do you explain to someone the concept of purgatory when they believe that faith in Jesus purges us of our sins? This is what he says "…The whole idea of purgatory implies that Christ’s sacrifice was insufficient…It’s like saying, his blood simply wasn’t good enough to take away the stain of sin, so we have to endure a second type of purifying…"and “That’s why Jesus died though, to cleanse us of our sins…Is his blood not good enough???”


Dear a,

Certainly the blood of Jesus was enough to forgive our sins. Only His divine blood could make up for the dishonor our sins are to an infinitely good God. Purgatory rightly understood does not in the least imply that the blood of Jesus was insufficient.

This is an example I have used many, many times. If I am visiting my mother and I take a pitcher of orange juice from the refrigerator and it slips out of my hands and makes a mess on the floor, I will immediately apologize to my mother and she will immediately forgive me. So at this point I am forgiven—period. But there remains the matter of the mess on the floor. I made it. It’s up to me to clean it up. This is what purgatory does. Because I have cleaned up the mess does not in any way suggest that I forgave myself. My mother’s forgiveness is not something she is likely to take back. I have it for the rest of my life. But I still owe her a clean floor. It’s the temporal debt I owe here: the debt I owe her in time and place. For more see:


Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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