How to explain this point about Purgatory


#1

Need help explaining this to a Protestant friend.

The friend wanted to know how a soul is “fit for Heaven” at the time of death. I was going to say if the soul had no mortal sin but I don’t know if that’s a very accurate answer.
Also she wanted to know why we believe that prayers for the dead can shorten their stay in Purgatory.


#2

[quote=PiusXIII]Need help explaining this to a Protestant friend.

The friend wanted to know how a soul is “fit for Heaven” at the time of death. I was going to say if the soul had no mortal sin but I don’t know if that’s a very accurate answer.
Also she wanted to know why we believe that prayers for the dead can shorten their stay in Purgatory.
[/quote]

Well, a soul is fit for heaven if all retribution for sin has been made. Revelation says nothing unclean shall enter heaven, so even if we have no mortal sins when we die we may still have the stain of earlier venial and forgiven mortal sins. Our stains have to be cleaned before we can enter heaven.

Just as a living soul can benefit from the prayers of others, so a soul undergoing final purification can benefit from the prayers of others. They can pray for us as well. Death does not separate us, for did Jesus not say that God was not the God of the dead, but of the living? In 2nd Timothy we see Paul praying for Onesiphorus who had already died. Of course, we Catholics can look at 2nd Maccabees and see prayers offered for the dead. Even though protestants may find this book without inspiration, it cannot be argued that it is not a historical book.


#3

Most Prostestants agree with the concept of Purgatory, they just don’t know it. It’s easily shown.

  1. No sin can enter heaven.
  2. We have sin.
  3. In order to enter heaven, we must be purged of that sin.

Make sure your friend doesn’t think Purgatory is a place. Describe it as a process. This process is described in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

We are ready to enter heaven when all sin is purged. Personally, I don’t view purgatory as against our will. I imagine we will go through willingly.


#4

[quote=RCCDefender]In 2nd Timothy we see Paul praying for Onesiphorus who had already died.
[/quote]

Interesting. How do we know he was dead?


#5

[quote=trumpet152]Interesting. How do we know he was dead?
[/quote]

“May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart nd was not ashamed of my chains. But when he came to Rome, he promtly searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know very well the services he rendered in Ephesus.” (2:16-18)
Note that his speech is in the past tense.

“Greet Prisca and Aquila and the family of Onesiphorus.” (4:19)
Notice that he doesn’t greet Onesiphorus, only his family.


#6

I don’t know if this will help, but this analogy always illustrated the perfect justice God shows with purgatory for me, so here goes.
Imagine a man who has lived his whole life serving his own selfish desires. On his death bed, he fears for his soul and cries out to God for mercy. Imagine another man, a just man who has lived his entire life serving God and his fellow man. A truly merciful God would not turn the last minute repenter away, but a truly just God could not let his sinfulness go unaccounted for.
I think, too, most people don’t believe that sin “stains” your soul. It’d be easier if we had like a sin-o-meter so we could gauge how badly in need of a plenary indulgence we were. I’d sure sleep easier. :rolleyes:


closed #7

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