Purgatory and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

How are the two compatible with one another? If I go and get my sins forgiven in Confession, why do I still have to be purged of them after I die?

Am I forgiven or not?

You don’t necessarily have to be purged of anymore sin after you die. But sin begins in the heart, so to the extent that we’re still willing to sin we’re not completely just; we don’t yet fully love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves, And this would mean that we’re not yet even capable of seeing God, that our happiness would still be compromised by sin.

The doctrine of purgatory doesn’t say that you have to be purged of your sins after you die – it says that you have to be purged of the effects of your sins after you die!

Am I forgiven or not?

Absolutely you’re forgiven! But, there’s still the matter of the harm that your sins has caused – to yourself and to others!

The example that’s often used is the one of hitting a baseball through a neighbor’s window. You can go up to them and apologize, and they can forgive you, but even after being forgiven, there’s still the matter of the broken window, isn’t there? There’s still the matter of the broken trust between you and your neighbor, isn’t there? At some point, that broken-ness has to be fixed: if you die and there are still effects from the sins you’ve committed, then you are purged of these effects, so that you become perfect in the sight of God.

Because the damage the sins have caused your soul have not be healed. Forgiveness will wipe you clean but there are still hole in your soul which need repairing

The broken window is a good analogy. So is the one about a piece of wood. If you drive a nail into a piece of wood and then realize you made a mistake, you remove the nail, but, the hole still remains. The hole still needs to be patched up.

The same is with our soul. When we sin, we leave wounds on our souls - sure when we confess, the sin is removed, but sometimes the holes remain - they need to be healed thru prayer, penance. God is so good that He gives us the opportunity to heal the wounds on our souls while we are here on earth, if not, before we enter Heaven, we will be purified so that we have been made perfect without any holes or defects to enter into the light of His beautiful face.

There are two reasons people need the purging effects of Purgatory: attachment to sin (effects on one’s soul), and reparations for the sin.

Say a man commits adultery, a mortal sin, because he’s angry with God because his wife is mean. Totally a mortal sin. Then he repents and goes to Confession. The little prayer that the priest gives is not sufficient to repair all the damage, material and spiritual, caused by that mortal sin. More needs to be done.

The man can either make the repairs in this life or in Purgatory. Because he repented and confessed, he’s not going to Hell, but Confession is not a “Go Directly to Heaven” ticket, it just keeps people out of Hell (if done correctly).

Thus it is that we should be constantly striving to live a holy life, offering our days and our selves up to God, and also praying and offering up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. They can do nothing for themselves–they need our help and the help of those already in Heaven. If we pray for them, then if we are in Purgatory, they will pray for us.

Well Said!! :thumbsup: Even the Priest I went to confession with has mentioned this to me during my penance. I also like the ones mentioned above about the window and the nail in the wood. Don’t remember the verse but it is mentioned in The Bible that we must account for everything after we die forgiven or not. We will see those we have hurt and how we have hurt them. I have heard this from people with death experiences and came back to their bodies. God Bless!!

The torment in purgatory is not so much the burning fire as the separation from God. The good news in the torment and separation is that it is not eternal, and by virtue of having been placed in purgatory, you will, at some point between physical death and the last judgement at the latest find yourself to be a saint in heaven!

There are three parts to repentence: contrition, confession, and satisfaction. The third part, satisfaction, is what is made up in purgatory if we don’t make it in this life. Satisfaction is essentially bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance as Scripture commands us to do (see for example, Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20). This is how the Church explained it at the Council of Florence:

“Also, if truly penitent people die in the love of God before they have made satisfaction for acts and omissions by worthy fruits of repentance, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains; and the suffrages of the living faithful avail them in giving relief from such pains, that is, sacrifices of masses, prayers, almsgiving and other acts of devotion which have been customarily performed by some of the faithful for others of the faithful in accordance with the church’s ordinances.”

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