Need Help Understanding Purgatory


#1

I am trying to get a better understanding of Purgatory. I’ve had many discussions with non-Catholics about Purgatory and basically they don’t believe in it. They believe when you die, you either go to Heaven or Hell, nothing in between. Purgatory makes perfect sense to me. After all, Jesus said nothing unclean will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. From what I’ve been reading lately about Purgatory is there really is no distinction between the punishment, suffering and torment between Purgatory and Hell. The only difference is those in Purgatory will eventually leave to go to Heaven. I’ve always thought that you don’t suffer in Purgatory like you do in Hell but you also are not truly happy in Purgatory as you would be in Heaven. My questions are: If there is no difference in the suffering, will you be able to know where you are? In other words if the suffering is the same what would prevent you to think that you went to Hell and not Purgatory. Also who is tormenting us in Purgatory? Is it Satan and his demons or is it someone else? Who is in charge? We all know Satan controls Hell and God controls Heaven, but who “oversees” Purgatory. Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you and God Bless you!

Mark


#2

It is a myth that Satan controls hell. God controls all. We will be tormented according to the sins AGAINST GOD we have committed. Satan too will be tormented and will have no control over us.

Those in purgatory know they are there, and even though the pain may be the same, although we have no way of knowing now, those in purgatory suffer mainly because they can see God so to speak, and are so close, but cant feel Him.

Im sure the Catechism has some words to say on it. I dont have mine handy.

In Christ.

Andre.


#3

CCC 1030-1032. Too much there to type out.


#4

I like Mother Angelica’s definition of being invited to the BIG DANCE (Heaven). The dance will be very formal. You have a nice dress but it is filthy and you yourself have been slopping the hogs. In fact you are so dirty that you need some serious scrubbing. You are covered with so much hog slop that it has actually stained your skin. The only way to get rid of this slop stain is to go through a serious scrubbing. In fact when hog slop stains your skin it you have to scrub so hard it hurts. But you know you are getting clean so the pain so you are thankfull for the pain because you know that you are getting clean enough to go to the dance. The suffering in Purgatory is a suffering different than it is here. The soul in purgatory KNOWS they are going to heaven and they GLADLY rid them selves of sin because of pleasing their savior and GOD. The dabate of purgatory as being a place or process continues. But keep in mind that purgatory is on the other side of eternity (outside of time) than we are so place and process go together well.


#5

[quote=thistle]CCC 1030-1032. Too much there to type out.
[/quote]

This is from the online Catechism found scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a12.htm#III

**III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY **

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.606 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:607

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.608

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

Peace


#6

the only pain that you will face in purgatory is the pain of being disconnected from God by sin. although while in the state of purgation your sins have already been forgiven and you will ultimately enter Heaven. purgatory is a purification process, not necessarily a place. it’s a process all Christians must go thru in order to see the ‘face’ of God. we have proof from ancient christian burial tombs of the early Christians believing in an ‘intermediary’ inbetween death and Heaven as there are prayers written all over the tombs. the jews also pray for their dead. i think most, if not all christians believe in purgatory whether they know it or not. however, what sets protestants off is that they think that catholics believe that purgatory is somehow contrary to the saving will of Christ (mostly because of Martin Luther’s misconceptions of purgatory).

1 Cor. 3:13: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.


#7

[quote=dennisknapp]This is from the online Catechism found scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a12.htm#III

**III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY **

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.606 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:607

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.608

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

Peace
[/quote]

Thanks. I normally get out my CCC book. I wasn’t aware there was an online version. Copy and paste is easier than typing!


#8

[quote=thistle]Thanks. I normally get out my CCC book. I wasn’t aware there was an online version.
[/quote]

Sure is: vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm


#9

Of course, you can throw in the doctrine of indulgences. The suffering we experience on earth can substitute for the suffering one would have in purgatory. This suffering can be physical (disease), and spiritual (being persecuted). There are 2 types of indulgences, partial and plenary. Partial indulgences can replace some of the suffering in purgatory. Plenary indulgences remisses you of all suffering in purgatory. The Pope, when he declares someone a Saint (meaning that they are in Heaven), these Saints therefore receive plenary indulgences and automatically go to Heaven, no purgatory needed. St. Francis of Assisi is one example. Another way to obtain plenary indulgences is to be martyred. Stephen, the first martyr, saw God and Jesus just before he was stoned. He was able to see them because he was about to be martyred, and purgatory wasn’t needed.

 Another argument that a protestant can bring up concerning suffering, is saying that Jesus suffered for us. We wouldn't need purgatory for that reason. Rebut by saying, "Jesus descended into Hades." Say this because Hades doesn't mean Hell. It refers to purgatory. Hades, translated into Hebrew, means Sheol. Jews believe the dead go here and wait for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus went to purgatory and took them with Him to Heaven. He did that because the souls in purgatory probably did not get the message that Jesus preached. So His suffering remissed theirs. We have the Good News, but we still sin. We need to suffer for those sins because we have the Truth, but turned our backs on it. 

Another argument a protestant can use is Jesus on the cross, with the 2 prisoners next to him. To one, Jesus says, "I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise." This would give the indication that there is no purgatory. But read the sentence again. Notice there is no comma. When translating the Bible into other languages other than Greek and Latin, some meaning of the words can be lost. This is one example. To my knowledge, Greek has no use of the comma. Protestants believe the comma goes between you and today. However, it is possible that the comma goes between today and you. This is vague, but you can say, "Well, perhaps the suffering on the cross was enough for the prisoner and was therefore granted plenary indulgences by Jesus."

#10

I recommend the book “Mist of Mercy” by Anne, a lay Apostle.

She was on EWTN and claims to have had Purgatory revealed to her. The same with Sondra Abrahams who was also on EWTN. (Both were on the Focus program with Mary Lou McCall.)

I once heard a Purgatory analogy. Imagine you are at a friends house and you accidentally spill a glass of water. You tell your friend you are sorry and they forgive you…but the mess is still there and needs to be cleaned up.


#11

Have a look at THIS. It should help.
Pax tecum,


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.