Is earth purgatory?


#1

With all that has happened in my life, I ask myself is earth a form of purgatory or hell, sometimes I feel tormented by the people here when I seek God.


#2

Nope Earth is Earth, purgatory is purgatory, and hell is hell.

Earthly sufferings has been known to give merit to Heaven and may shorten one’s time in Purgatory. No such case for hell though.

So embrace your sufferings and unite them with Christ’s Passion always.


#3

[quote=Fox]Earthly sufferings has been known to give merit to Heaven and may shorten one’s time in Purgatory. No such case for hell though.
[/quote]

So to the extent that sufferings endured on earth are accepted and united to the suffering of Christ, they can be purgatorial in nature.


#4

No, earth is the garden of eden, we just have difficulty seeing it.


#5

[quote=Fox]Nope Earth is Earth, purgatory is purgatory, and hell is hell.

Earthly sufferings has been known to give merit to Heaven and may shorten one’s time in Purgatory. No such case for hell though.

So embrace your sufferings and unite them with Christ’s Passion always.
[/quote]

…Well, Earth is a step in the process of theosis/purification, which purgatory is to the greatest degree. The temporal sins not paid for on Earth are dealt with in the fire of fnal divinization. The faults not overcome in this life, must be overcome in the next, before arriving on the eternal shore. The pains and sufferings of Earth lead me closer to Christ; turtorous though they may be, they shape my character. My journey on Earth is a part of the journey towards the beatific vision, and so is in a sense, purgatorial.

Now, for the damned… they are spiritually dead. Earth is an oppurtunity for them to repent, but if they refuse, then they will endure the full fury of God only partially experieinced on Earth. The sufferings of earth are a punishment for them (rather than a purgatorial experieince as for the saints). So in another sene, yes one can affirm that earth is a kind of hell… but only for the damned.

This is not meant to confuse these varous states of existence (I distinguish them clearly). However, Christian theology has alawys noted an intimate and ncessary connection between ones experieince in ths life and his experience in the next. (Esecially as act-consequence).


#6

C. S. Lewis had an interesting idea in The Great Divorce. He suggested that Heaven and Hell, when finally and fully experienced, worked backwards. This means that persons who experienced pleasures sinfully, if they ended up in Hell, would lose the experience of pleasure they had enjoyed in life and their recollection of the event from the perspective of Hell would be only of suffering even from the beginning.

Contrariwise, for those who end up in Heaven, even the worst sufferings they may have endured on Earth would be transformed from the perspective of Heaven and be truly remembered by the saints as the beginnings of eternal glory.

I don’t know whether or not Heaven and Hell will work exactly like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Professor Lewis was on the right track.


#7

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]C. S. Lewis had an interesting idea in The Great Divorce. He suggested that Heaven and Hell, when finally and fully experienced, worked backwards. This means that persons who experienced pleasures sinfully, if they ended up in Hell, would lose the experience of pleasure they had enjoyed in life and their recollection of the event from the perspective of Hell would be only of suffering even from the beginning.

Contrariwise, for those who end up in Heaven, even the worst sufferings they may have endured on Earth would be transformed from the perspective of Heaven and be truly remembered by the saints as the beginnings of eternal glory.

I don’t know whether or not Heaven and Hell will work exactly like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Professor Lewis was on the right track.
[/quote]

That’s fascinating… it creates a true “eternity” (looking forwards and backwards. Hmmm…

  • Hugo

#8

I wrote this last night in distress. Today I had the choice of turning away and denying what God may lay before me or proclaim what he may lay before me as His Will. I accepted His Will and told the story of Job and Jonah to some guys at work. By lunch He answered my and my wifes prayers. Maybe earth is what He makes it for us. Tonight I’ll read Psalms to my kids in gratitude. I thank God for His Mercy and Faithfulness. Tim


#9

[quote=TOP]With all that has happened in my life, I ask myself is earth a form of purgatory or hell, sometimes I feel tormented by the people here when I seek God.
[/quote]

lol, I understand what you mean. Hang in there you’re not alone, there are about 10 billion others around you.:slight_smile: Earth has suffering and at the sametime peace. We are to focuss on the good aspects of life. Earth is an exile away from heaven. Hell is worst than earth, and earth is already in many cases too hot to handle.:bigyikes: Well, you can say that Earth is like a mixture of heaven and hell. Let’s just be glad it’s only temporary and you have a chance to get to true heavenly paradise.

**Be good.:wink: **


#10

[quote=adventistnomore]…Well, Earth is a step in the process of theosis/purification, which purgatory is to the greatest degree. The temporal sins not paid for on Earth are dealt with in the fire of fnal divinization. The faults not overcome in this life, must be overcome in the next, before arriving on the eternal shore. The pains and sufferings of Earth lead me closer to Christ; turtorous though they may be, they shape my character. My journey on Earth is a part of the journey towards the beatific vision, and so is in a sense, purgatorial.

Now, for the damned… they are spiritually dead. Earth is an oppurtunity for them to repent, but if they refuse, then they will endure the full fury of God only partially experieinced on Earth. The sufferings of earth are a punishment for them (rather than a purgatorial experieince as for the saints). So in another sene, yes one can affirm that earth is a kind of hell… but only for the damned.

This is not meant to confuse these varous states of existence (I distinguish them clearly). However, Christian theology has alawys noted an intimate and ncessary connection between ones experieince in ths life and his experience in the next. (Esecially as act-consequence).
[/quote]

Excellent answer, their is a relation that borders on the profound between hell and purgatory and helps explain the puropse and meaning of suffering. As a protestant I struggled with the purpose of suffering as their was no purgatory just a heaven and hell. This idea has also helpedd protestants such as Anglican CS Lewis to accept the doctrine of purgatory.
It helps to explain the plain fact that life on earth appears just plain unfair many times.


#11

Purgatory purifies a soul.

That process of purification can begin while on earth, as it has with many saints. St. John, in the Dark Night, refers to “purgative contemplation.”

Many people have never heard of this because they know little about the apophatic half of the Church’a traditions (wich until Vatican II have apparently been confined mostly to monastic life) Therefore, they don’t even know to seek direction or ideas about contemplative prayer, clearly a component that the CCC says “should” be included in Christian prayer. (ref CCC 2697-2724)

Personally, and I’m just making this up here, I wonder if the reason “active” Catholics don’t experience more purgation than they do (purgation as opposed to venting and ranting) because they simply have no concept of inner silence. They are taught their whole lives to focus on things but never to defocus, which is a key ingredient in allowing the Holy Spirit to perform his Divine Therapy on you.

The major key to contemplative prayer is inner silence. Some come close to it in Adoration, but even then others do meditations and vocal prayers and other things, so I’d say very few Catholic save those who have specifically looked into it have probably not experienced it at all, except in passing and then it isn’t a willful invitation for the Lord, but I suppose he works with whatever we give Him.

Here’s where the part I’m making up comes into play. When contemplatives practice seeking “inner silence” to allow the Light of Truth to shine on their souls, unimpeded, the begin the spiritual healing/perfection process. (It can even heal a lifetime of emotional damage.) To the degree that they progress on this journey, they finish it after they are dead.

Since when bodies die, it automatically silences the mind, perfect “interior silence” is reached, so God no longer has willful distractions in the form of Your Worldly Concerns in the way, and can get to work in earnest at the purification process. When contemplatives practice silent prayer, it is in an effort to deny themselves, and allow themselves just to be in the presence of the Lord, doing their best to forget about their bodies or any worldly matters. That could be like a really lame version of physical death, that hopefully gives God a chance at you when you’re between worries.

Alan


#12

I can sure sympathize with the tone of of this thread. I was just thinking similar thoughts tonight as I have had a resurfacing of an old suffering.

I ususally have no insight into suffering during the time it is happening. It is only later I can reflect on the theological implications and possibilities. The only thing I can do is remember what St. Paul said about running the race to the end, or as Dora put it, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”


#13

[quote=pnewton]I can sure sympathize with the tone of of this thread. I was just thinking similar thoughts tonight as I have had a resurfacing of an old suffering.

I ususally have no insight into suffering during the time it is happening. It is only later I can reflect on the theological implications and possibilities. The only thing I can do is remember what St. Paul said about running the race to the end, or as Dora put it, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
[/quote]

It’s funny, but so many things have “happened to us” recently as a family that are, let’s say, often considered stressful “life changing events” that we are starting to sort of take them in stride. When my children are in pain, sometimes it’s all I can do not to smile right at first because I know that pain is just a prelude to a new bit of growth. Maybe that growth is a “scab” but anyway, I take what I can get. The children are so precious; they like attention when they get hurt, but it turns out they like positive attention as well as negative sometimes. We don’t have to be all pouty just to acknowledge each others’ pain. Sometimes I scold my kids when they hurt themselves, to quit beating up the furniture, not to get blood on the carpet, etc, and it gives them their attention, acknowledges that they are hurt, but seems to get them in a better mood sometimes if they are all upset.

The other day I finally got the nerve to try it on my wife. She was pretty upset about something that I knew was very upsetting to her, involving a shopping errand she took a few kids along with, and things didn’t go quite as planned. She was just spouting off, “well first this and then that,” and I just looked at her and knew how lucky I was to have her as a wife, and that in five minutes she would be OK, but instead of comisserating in the meanwhile I just gave up and did not hide my smile. She looked at me with this face that was more incredulous than angry that I was not Taking Her Pain Seriously. She gave in and started smiling, then said, “thanks be to God for these groceries and for our beautiful children.” She then gave me a more sarcastic expression than I knew she was capable of producing, and having thereby Taken It Out On Me, she lost the energy for her pain, and saw the humor in the whole idea that complaining is a Required Step. I cannot cease thanking God for such a wonderful wife.

Alan


#14

Correct Jim, suffering on Earth gains merit in Heaven.


#15

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