Lazarus and the Rich Man: Purgatory or Hell


#1

Hello.

In Luke 16:19-31 we read the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

In the end Lazarus is in Abraham’s Bosom and the rich man is in a place of torment. I’ve always wondered if the place of torment were purgatory or hell. The thought occurred to me today that since the rich man shows concern for his brothers he is showing love and since those in hell cannot love he must be in purgatory.

Is this a correct understanding of this parable?

Thanks.


Protestant saying purgatory is a made up place so the church can steal money
#2

Your interpretation could be considered a fair anagogical interpretation. But, in the literal sense, placing it in historical cultural context it is neither purgatory or hell, but is closer to hell.

In ancient Jewish theology, the dead went to Sheol (the abode of the dead, or the netherworld). Sheol was were ALL the dead ended up, both the righteous and just, and the evil and sinful.

By the first century, the Jews saw Sheol as having two levels…one for the righteous, which would be a paradise; the other for the sinful, where they would be tormented for their wickedness…in this parable, Lazarus was in Paradise (recall Jesus saying to the Good Thief, “Today you will be in paradise with me”), and the Rich Man was experiencing the tormenting fires due the damned.

At his death, Jesus would descend to Sheol to preach to the souls there. The netherworld would be replaced by Heaven and Hell at the resurrection of Christ. So, those he brought the good news to in Sheol, if they accepted it would go to heaven or purgatory (for eventual entry into heaven after purification, or at the final judgment), or to hell.

Pax et bonum!


#3

I read a book on near death experiences written by a Catholic priest, where he said it is his opinion that the rich man ended up in one of the lowest most painful levels of Purgatory.

The catholic saints have had private Revelations that the lowest levels of Purgatory are closer to hell, some have fire, and the lowest levels allow demons to access Purgatory to add to the suffering of the lowest Souls in Purgatory.

The priest wrote that the rich man was in Purgatory because;

The souls in Hell are incapable of charity, or kindness,
(the rich man asks that someone may warn his brothers on earth)


#4

It would have been to late for those who died unrepentant in mortal sin to choose Christ after death. :frowning:


#5

Hi, Harold!
Catholic theology does not teach that Purgatory is a place of torment but rather a conscious separation from God’s Love; it’s a place of purification:

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

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 parable opens a window into Salvation as Christ attests that even if a man (Christ) would come back from the dead people (humanity) would not Believe!

Maran atha!

Angel


#6

And, those would be the souls in the “lower level” of Sheol…The Gospel Reading for tomorrow talks about the chasm that cannot be crossed…so yes, that goes without saying.

However, those in “paradise” (the upper level of Sheol) still needed to hear the Good News from Christ and come to accept it, so they could either move on directly to the presence of God, or to begin purgation to move into the presence of God after purification, or at the time of the Final Judgment.

The contention is correct for all dying before the death of Christ, but the Economy of Salvation was not fully developed until the death of Jesus.

A good example of someone who did something so heinous we would think would lead to damnation, still was preached to by Christ in the netherworld, and now is in heaven…I am speaking of Adam, who we acknowledge is among the Saints in Heaven.


#7

In Jesus teaching in **Sacred :bible1: Scripture **involving the damned in hell . . . it is stated that the chasm between the two states revealed was . . . absolute/fixed/permanent . . . and there was no crossing of the chasm from either side available to anyone on either side. This is not purgatory, which purgatory as taught by our Holy Mother Church is a level in heaven for the purification of the souls of God’s children . . . and is no where near hell . . .

Our time on earth is a gift from God, which time is revelation and “decision” time as to where we will go after death . . . we can choose from the heart :heart: to seek the LORD . . . or choose not to *. . . after death comes the judgement . . .
[INDENT][INDENT]
*. . . :coffeeread: . . .
The Holy :bible1: Bible
Luke 16:20-31

20 And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, 21 Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels :angel1: into Abraham’s bosom.

And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. 23 And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: 24 And he cried, and said: *Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. *

25 And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you, there is FIXED A GREAT CHAOS: so that they who would pass from hence to you, CANNOT, nor from thence come hither.

27 And he said: *Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, 28 That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. *

29 And Abraham said to him: *They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. *30

But he said: *No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. *

31 And he said to him: If they hear NOT Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead. [/INDENT][/INDENT]**

[INDENT]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

. . . :coffeeread: . . .
ARTICLE 5
"HE DESCENDED INTO HELL ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN"

Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell

632
The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the **crucified one **sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479

**633 **
Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell"—Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek—because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: 481 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom **Christ the Lord **delivered when **he **descended into hell."482 Jesus DID NOT descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.[/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
… . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Blessed Virgin Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
[/RIGHT]


#8

I was taught the pain in Purgatory was the same as in hell…only you knew it would end & you then go to heaven.


#9

The parable is not about heaven and hell even though concepts of heaven and hell are contained in the parable. Jesus was not trying to illustrate heaven and hell in this parable because the Lord does not need a parable to describe the consequences of what the rich man had committed. We know this because of the rich man’s concern for others. Certainly people in hell do not behave as such for we know from scripture those in hell gnash and curse. So the Lord is trying to teach something else here. The fact is Jesus becomes the Lazarus which today and even during His time on earth was rejected very much. There are times even written down that our Lord hides himself as disguised as a poor man. Who will give to Him. When the rich man questions Abraham if someone is raised from the dead they would listen Abraham responds by saying if they do not believe in the OT why would they believe in someone raised from the dead? The OT points to Jesus and here we see the Lotd almost treated like Lazarus as many of the people of Israel would not recognize Him. Jesus in fact this Lazarus does rise and the ones who will listen more will come through the Gentiles. God had given greatness to the Old Israel but in return for this greatness we see that many people could not recognize the coming of the Lord.


#10

You are absolutely correct. The rich man is in hell. Any other explanation is useless. And private revelation from a priest is just that…private.


#11

We know this is nonsense because all those in Purgatory are saved and neither the devil nor his minions can go there.


#12

Can’t be purgatory. There’s the “chasm to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from … your side to ours.” Does purgatory prevent people from getting to heaven? :nope:

The thought occurred to me today that since the rich man shows concern for his brothers he is showing love and since those in hell cannot love he must be in purgatory.

Two thoughts: first, he only “shows concern for his brothers” after he thinks first of himself. In fact, in doing so, he’s implicitly asking that Lazarus leave his reward and visit hell – that’s hardly “showing love” for Lazarus! Second, are we certain that “those in hell cannot love”? I’d say that they can: in their lives, they showed love for all sorts of things… but not for God; ultimately, they showed love primarily for themselves. It’s not too difficult to recognize that this “love of self” continues on in hell.


#13

It can’t be: after all, in purgatory, only souls, not bodies are present. In the eschaton, we are reunited with our bodies… which means that the eternal punishment of hell is felt in body and soul


#14

Whoever taught you that is wrong. The Church teaches they are NOT the same.

CCC 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

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.


#15

+In all gentleness and peace . . .

Pondering a bit further as to how to answer the above question . . . seeking wisdom from our Holy Mother Church in the Catechism to illustrate that this is a flawed understanding of the parable . . . it appears that the error seems to come from a lack of understanding about TIME as God has gifted us and purposed to use it in our lives here on earth . . . and about death-in-particular . . . (the ending of the GIFT OF TIME of life upon this earth) . . . and how God has revealed the permanent importance of His creation of TME in His marvelous and wonderful holy plan of salvation for humankind . . .

[INDENT][INDENT]. . . :bible1: . . .
"All things have their season,
and in their
TIMES
all things pass under heaven.
[LIST]
*] A TIME to be born and a TIME to die. A TIME to plant, and a TIME to pluck up that which is planted.
*] A TIME to kill, and a TIME to heal. A TIME to destroy, and a TIME to build.
*] A TIME to weep, and a TIME to laugh. A TIME to mourn, and a TIME to dance.
*] A TIME to scatter stones, and a TIME to gather. A TIME to embrace, and a TIME to be far from embraces.
*] A TIME to get, and a TIME to lose. A TIME to keep, and a TIME to cast away.
*] A TIME to rend, and a TIME to sew. A TIME to keep silence, and a TIME to speak.
*] A TIME of love, and a TIME of hatred. A TIME of war, and a TIME of peace. [/LIST]
What hath man more of his labour? I have seen the trouble, which God hath given the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made all things good in their TIME, and hath delivered the world to their consideration, so that man cannot find out the work which God hath made from the beginning to the end. And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice, and to do well in this life. For every man that eateth and drinketh, and seeth good of his labour, this is the gift of God. I have learned that all the works which God hath made, continue for ever: we cannot add any thing, nor take away from those things which God hath made that he may be feared. … And I said in my heart :heart: : God shall judge both the just and the wicked, and then shall be the TIME of every thing. I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that **God **would prove them … "

*** - Eccliastes 3:1-14, 17-18a***[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]
. . . :coffeeread: . . .
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
ARTICLE 12
“I BELIEVE IN LIFE EVERLASTING”

I. The Particular Judgment

**1021 **
Death puts an end to human life as theTIME open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.592 The **New :bible1: Testament **speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of **Christ **on the cross to the good thief, as well as other **New :bible1: Testament **texts speak of a final destiny of the soul—a destiny which can be different for some and for others.593
**
1022 **
Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven—through a purification594 or immediately,595—or immediate and everlasting damnation.596

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.597
**
II. Heaven** …

**1026 **
By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. **He **makes partners in **his **heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.
[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Our Blessed Holy Triune God+
. . . thank you Blessed Virgin Mary+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+
:signofcross:
[/RIGHT]


#16

+:blush: Oops . . . Ecclesiastes is misspelled in the above . . . *sorry about that . . . *[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]


#17

Hi!
…the difference is that hell is torture (no Salvific element) while Purgatory is cleansing (purging of traces of impurity: Salvific).

Maran atha!

Angel


#18

Souls in Hell know can know that what they did is wrong, at least in some way.

They may even not want others to experience their pain. Charity for others is love for others on account of God’s love for them, not a natural merciful disposition.

Souls in Hell do not repent. You will notice that the Rich Man clearly sees that what he did was wrong, because he wants his brothers to repent of presumably the same sins as his own, but he does not repent himself. It’s as if it doesn’t occur to him.

The ultimate tragedy.


#19

Hell can contain pure spirits. The devil and his “angels” were cast down to earth, and bound up in Hell. eg: They have no bodies. You are correct, the body will be tormented with the soul in Hell; but I think Catholic Teaching is probably going to require that the soul immediately goes to hell of punishment (Peona Damni) and suffers there until the resurrection.


#20

Oh Lord have mercy.


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