Is Purgatory to punish sin or remove the attachment to sin?


#1

I’m not sure whether the purpose of purgatory is the temporal punishment due to sins that have been committed or if it is the removal of the attachment to sin (i.e. selfishness) .

I have seen many references to the former and a few to the latter.

Anyone?


#2

As Vatican II stated, the Church has consistently believed in a purification of the soul after death. This belief is rooted in the Old Testament. In the Second Book of Maccabees, we read of how Judas Maccabees offered sacrifices and prayers for soldiers who had died wearing amulets, which were forbidden by the Law; Scripture reads, “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be blotted out” (12:43), and “Thus, [Judas Maccabees] made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from the sin” (12:46). This passage gives evidence of the Jewish practice of offering prayers and sacrifices to cleanse the soul of the departed. Rabbinic interpretation of Scripture also attests to the belief. In the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, the Lord spoke, “I will bring the one third through fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will test them as gold is tested” (13:9); the School of Rabbi Shammai interpreted this passage as a purification of the soul through God’s mercy and goodness, preparing it for eternal life. In Sirach 7:33, “Withhold not your kindness from the dead” was interpreted as imploring God to cleanse the soul. In sum, the Old Testament clearly attests to some kind of purification process of the soul of the faithful after death. The New Testament has few references about a purging of the soul, or even about heaven for that matter. Rather the focus is on preaching the gospel and awaiting the second coming of Christ, which only later did the writers of Sacred Scripture realize could be after their own deaths. However, in Matthew 12:32, Jesus’ statement that certain sins “will not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come,” at least suggests a purging of the soul after death. Pope St. Gregory (d. 604) stated, “As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.” The Council of Lyons (1274) likewise affirmed this interpretation of our Lord’s teaching. bless you all:)


#3

The word “Purgatory” is not mentioned in the bible but the word “Trinity” is not mentioned in the bible either yet protestants and catholics alike believe in it. It is not important that the word “Purgatory” be mentioned in the bible.

Matt 5:25-26 says, " Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into PRISON.5:26. Amen I say to thee, THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING." Notice: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus is telling the disciples first about the quality of souls of the just (the Beatitudes) and then goes on to describe the souls of the lost (v21-22)but then he speaks about the souls in “Prison”. In context, He cannot be speaking about a physical prison where inmates stay, rather, it is Purgatory. Here’s why: The Greek word here for “Prison” is “Phulake” or “Phulaken” (Strong’s #5438).Notice too that the next verse says, “…THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING.” So here you see the souls do eventually get out. Ok, now, go to 1 Pet 3:18-19 which says, “Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh,
but enlivened in the spirit,In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in PRISON:” This “Prison” is the same as the one in Matt 5 because the same Greek word “Phulaken” is used. Notice: Verse 18 speaks about Christ dead and then what? He goes and speaks to the souls in “Prison”! Catholic teaching doesn’t include where Purgatory exists only that it does exist. Most verses tend to show it in the upper parts of Hell. Some think it is like an ante-chamber of heaven. It’s OK either way. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Robert Bellarmine are two who believed it is in hell. This isn’t strange because we believe the Limbo of the Fathers (The Bosom of Abraham) was in hell (see Luke 16:22). When Jesus descended into hell, he took those souls (like Abraham,Moses, etc)out of the Bosom of Abraham and into heaven because this was when Christ opened the gates of heaven.

1 Cor 3:11-15 says, " For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus. 3:12. Now, if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: 3:13. Every man’s work shall be manifest FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD shall declare it, and the FIRE shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. 3:14. If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 315. If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHAL BE SAVED, YET SO AS BY FIRE." Notice: It’s not just the works (gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble) that go through the fire but it says “HE” shall be saved by fire. Why? Because your works are attached to you so when they go through the fire so do you.


#4

[quote=mayra hart]As Vatican II stated, the Church has consistently believed in a purification of the soul after death. This belief is rooted in the Old Testament. In the Second Book of Maccabees, we read of how Judas Maccabees offered sacrifices and prayers for soldiers who had died wearing amulets, which were forbidden by the Law; Scripture reads, “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be blotted out” (12:43), and “Thus, [Judas Maccabees] made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from the sin” (12:46). This passage gives evidence of the Jewish practice of offering prayers and sacrifices to cleanse the soul of the departed. Rabbinic interpretation of Scripture also attests to the belief. In the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, the Lord spoke, “I will bring the one third through fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will test them as gold is tested” (13:9); the School of Rabbi Shammai interpreted this passage as a purification of the soul through God’s mercy and goodness, preparing it for eternal life. In Sirach 7:33, “Withhold not your kindness from the dead” was interpreted as imploring God to cleanse the soul. In sum, the Old Testament clearly attests to some kind of purification process of the soul of the faithful after death. The New Testament has few references about a purging of the soul, or even about heaven for that matter. Rather the focus is on preaching the gospel and awaiting the second coming of Christ, which only later did the writers of Sacred Scripture realize could be after their own deaths. However, in Matthew 12:32, Jesus’ statement that certain sins “will not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come,” at least suggests a purging of the soul after death. Pope St. Gregory (d. 604) stated, “As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.” The Council of Lyons (1274) likewise affirmed this interpretation of our Lord’s teaching. bless you all:)
[/quote]

Is your answer both?


#5

[quote=Exporter]The word “Purgatory” is not mentioned in the bible but the word “Trinity” is not mentioned in the bible either yet protestants and catholics alike believe in it. It is not important that the word “Purgatory” be mentioned in the bible.

Matt 5:25-26 says, " Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into PRISON.5:26. Amen I say to thee, THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING." Notice: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus is telling the disciples first about the quality of souls of the just (the Beatitudes) and then goes on to describe the souls of the lost (v21-22)but then he speaks about the souls in “Prison”. In context, He cannot be speaking about a physical prison where inmates stay, rather, it is Purgatory. Here’s why: The Greek word here for “Prison” is “Phulake” or “Phulaken” (Strong’s #5438).Notice too that the next verse says, “…THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING.” So here you see the souls do eventually get out. Ok, now, go to 1 Pet 3:18-19 which says, “Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh,
but enlivened in the spirit,In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in PRISON:” This “Prison” is the same as the one in Matt 5 because the same Greek word “Phulaken” is used. Notice: Verse 18 speaks about Christ dead and then what? He goes and speaks to the souls in “Prison”! Catholic teaching doesn’t include where Purgatory exists only that it does exist. Most verses tend to show it in the upper parts of Hell. Some think it is like an ante-chamber of heaven. It’s OK either way. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Robert Bellarmine are two who believed it is in hell. This isn’t strange because we believe the Limbo of the Fathers (The Bosom of Abraham) was in hell (see Luke 16:22). When Jesus descended into hell, he took those souls (like Abraham,Moses, etc)out of the Bosom of Abraham and into heaven because this was when Christ opened the gates of heaven.

1 Cor 3:11-15 says, " For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus. 3:12. Now, if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: 3:13. Every man’s work shall be manifest FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD shall declare it, and the FIRE shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. 3:14. If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 315. If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHAL BE SAVED, YET SO AS BY FIRE." Notice: It’s not just the works (gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble) that go through the fire but it says “HE” shall be saved by fire. Why? Because your works are attached to you so when they go through the fire so do you.
[/quote]

Thanks for the “cut and paste” answer - but it doesn’t answer the question. :wink:


#6

[quote=TC_CEG]I’m not sure whether the purpose of purgatory is the temporal punishment due to sins that have been committed or if it is the removal of the attachment to sin (i.e. selfishness) .

[/quote]

I think it really comes down to the same thing.

To remove our attachment to sin is to undergo suffering.

Let’s say that one has been addicted to sexual sin in this life. Each sin commited makes the next one easier. Powerful inclinations are reinforced by sin, deforming our character increasingly over time, the more we sin.

These sins, repented, are forgiven through Jesus–erased and forgotten by God as though we had never commited them. Yet… the deformity remains. Our soul remains damaged by the effects of sin.

One can’t and wouldn’t want to, just walk into heaven with these character deformities. On the one hand, it would be like being subjected to temptation in heaven. But that wouldn’t happen. More likely, our very approach to God would burn these deformities out of us. And that would be painful. That would be purgatory.

Perhaps that’s what St. Paul meant when he said: "If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3:10-15).


#7

These sins, repented, are forgiven through Jesus–erased and forgotten by God as though we had never commited them. Yet… the deformity remains. Our soul remains damaged by the effects of sin.

Your answer doesn’t fully address 'the temporal punishment due to sin" part. Suffering and punishment are not synonyms - Right?


#8

Lets try the words of Jesus Christ.
(You were forgiven when you were alive and you confessed your sins. But you didn’t pay for your sins completely while on earth.)

If you break a neighbors’ windowpane. You say you are sorry and they forgive you. But the window is still broken. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT.

Jesus said: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus is telling the disciples first about the quality of souls of the just (the Beatitudes) and then goes on to describe the souls of the lost (v21-22)but then he speaks about the souls in “Prison”. In context, He cannot be speaking about a physical prison where inmates stay, rather, it is Purgatory. Here’s why: The Greek word here for “Prison” is “Phulake” or “Phulaken” (Strong’s #5438).Notice too that the next verse says, “…THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING.” So here you see the souls do eventually get out.

See 1stPeter III:18 -19 (prison)


#9

[quote=TC_CEG]Your answer doesn’t fully address 'the temporal punishment due to sin" part. Suffering and punishment are not synonyms - Right?
[/quote]

Well, in the case of purgatory, maybe they are.

The fact that removing the defect from our souls (purification) necessarily involves suffering (“punishment”), may in this case mean that the “temporal punishment” is a result of removing the “attachment to sin.”

Just my opinion. Theologians may disagree, in 10,000 words or less.


#10

[quote=Exporter]Lets try the words of Jesus Christ.
(You were forgiven when you were alive and you confessed your sins. But you didn’t pay for your sins completely while on earth.)

If you break a neighbors’ windowpane. You say you are sorry and they forgive you. But the window is still broken. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT.

Jesus said: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus is telling the disciples first about the quality of souls of the just (the Beatitudes) and then goes on to describe the souls of the lost (v21-22)but then he speaks about the souls in “Prison”. In context, He cannot be speaking about a physical prison where inmates stay, rather, it is Purgatory. Here’s why: The Greek word here for “Prison” is “Phulake” or “Phulaken” (Strong’s #5438).Notice too that the next verse says, “…THOU SHALT NO GO OUT FROM THENCE TILL THOU REPAY THE LAST FARTHING.” So here you see the souls do eventually get out.

See 1stPeter III:18 -19 (prison)
[/quote]

Exporter, You don’t seem to understand the question. I’m not a protestant. I believe in purgatory. Read the question carefully or find a protestant to bury with your “cut & paste” apologetics! Or is exporter the name of an automated apologetic responder system where I type in “Real presence” and it spits out “John 8” and some entomology? Come on! Efficiency is not the goal in life!


#11

[quote=TC_CEG]Exporter, You don’t seem to understand the question. I’m not a protestant. I believe in purgatory. Read the question carefully or find a protestant to bury with your “cut & paste” apologetics! Or is exporter the name of an automated apologetic responder system where I type in “Real presence” and it spits out “John 8” and some entomology? Come on! Efficiency is not the goal in life!
[/quote]

Be careful. Exporter was trying to help. It’s difficult to emphasize your point without giving the appearance of SHOUTING. Be kind to those who offer assistance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that nothing impure can appear before God in His glory. When St. John went to Heaven and met Jesus (in Revelations), he did not walk up to his old buddy and throw his arms around his old friend. No - he “fell down as if dead.” He was fully aware that nothing impure could appear before God, and he was frightened to the point of incapacity by the thought of being struck down.

Those who make it to Heaven will be purified like gold to take their place in God’s presence, and join the angels and seraphim and cherubim in neverending praise. Praise Jesus!


#12

[quote=JimG]Well, in the case of purgatory, maybe they are.

The fact that removing the defect from our souls (purification) necessarily involves suffering (“punishment”), may in this case mean that the “temporal punishment” is a result of removing the “attachment to sin.”

Just my opinion. Theologians may disagree, in 10,000 words or less.
[/quote]

Jim,

I like your answer but I still wonder about a particular sin’s temporal punishment. Are you saying that the punishment due to that particular sin will also affect my selfishness? A spiritual “two-fer”?


#13

[quote=TC_CEG]Jim,I like your answer but I still wonder about a particular sin’s temporal punishment. Are you saying that the punishment due to that particular sin will also affect my selfishness? A spiritual “two-fer”?
[/quote]

I think so, because all sin is selfishness. It is a choosing of self over God.

I have no idea whether all temporal punishment in purgatory is the same; it may vary depending on the type of sin. But I think that all temporal punishment will have the effect of removing selfishness.

In much the same way, suffering in this life, of whatever kind, willingly endured and joined to the sacrifice of Christ, can have the effect of cleansing us from selfishness. Unwillingly endured, it may lead only to bitterness.


#14

[quote=The Barrister]Be careful. Exporter was trying to help. It’s difficult to emphasize your point without giving the appearance of SHOUTING. Be kind to those who offer assistance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that nothing impure can appear before God in His glory. When St. John went to Heaven and met Jesus (in Revelations), he did not walk up to his old buddy and throw his arms around his old friend. No - he “fell down as if dead.” He was fully aware that nothing impure could appear before God, and he was frightened to the point of incapacity by the thought of being struck down.

Those who make it to Heaven will be purified like gold to take their place in God’s presence, and join the angels and seraphim and cherubim in neverending praise. Praise Jesus!
[/quote]

I guess I need to use more smiles. :wink:

Barrister: You also seem to miss the point. I’m asking for clarification between two apparently different purgations: One is directly related to individual sins, while the other is related to the general attachment to sin. I am not trying to be nasty when I tell you that you keep on telling me about the pot when I want to know what is in it. :confused: Maybe I see a distinction that isn’t there - but it’s there for me.

I respectfully ask that before you answer a question, you understand what is being asked. If I was unclear (which is totally possible) please ask me to clarify.


#15

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