Purgatory time and Heaven?

From some other thread I recently read, someone asked if saints are those in heaven.
From the thread and my understanding, a saint is anyone in heaven, hence why anyone canonized as a saint are called such because of the acknowledgement that they are in heaven at that moment. However, this has no bearing on whether or not this person has gone through purgatory of any sort.

So my question is, if a saint (or to-be saint that will be canonized) has gone through purgatory and then becomes a saint once in Heaven, and canonization of a saint on earth is recognition that this person is in Heaven at the time of canonization, then does that mean purgatory works within time of our universe? Not necessarily that five minutes on Earth is the same in the process of purgatory, but that any future time on earth will equate to some future time in purgatory. Otherwise, it is not possible to say that a saint that is canonized is in heaven at this minute?

  1. So my question is does purgatory work within time as Earth? How about Heaven?
  2. In the Second coming of Christ, what is the Catholic teaching in regards to a New Jerusalem or New Heaven? Or is the current existing Heaven the final Heaven?

If this whole question is null because of an imperfect understanding of the word saint, feel free to correct me as well.

The Church does teach that saints are in heaven.

The way time “works” in heaven, hell, purgatory, and in eternity in general is one of those mysteries we will have to wait to understand. But it’s something I spend a great deal of time contemplating.

My personal opinion is that linear time as we know it is a property of the physical universe. If that is so then that leaves open the possibility that the soul perceives time in a different fashion. I have no idea if or how that happens. :shrug:

If this is true, this makes me wonder what it’s like to exist in Heaven and to observe the universe or to intercede on our behalf (just as how our Blessed Mother have appeared to us on earth in the past).

So you’re saying that the necessity of purgatory working in time is null because we just don’t know, and thus it is very possible that somehow when a saint is canonized, the person is truly in heaven from the perspective of earthly time (us) even though outside of the physical universe it may or may not have any form of time, and just is?

Collinear time is a property of the entropy in matter, including the material of our human bodies.

Spiritual beings and “spiritual bodies” (biblical: pneumatikon soma) are not affected by time.


I have always thought of it like the good old vinyl record players … The spinning record marks the progress of time as we know it on earth. But the pin holding the record at the centre, whilst in a position to look out over the progress of time, is itself still and beyond time.

Kmon23. You don’t NEED to go to Heaven via Purgatory.

A person CAN possibly go immediately straight to Heaven. A newly baptized person who dies for example would have no committed sins and will have no temporal account. They go straight to Heaven (the most obvious example is a baby).

There is an eternal account that we in no way can pay—Jesus paid that for us.

But there must be a temporal account paid for sins too.

We pay the temporal account UNITED to Jesus (note not even this temporal account is paid all on our own).

This temporal account due for sin paid can be in this life. (let me repeat that)

The temporal account paid can be paid in this life by offering your good works, evangelization (see James 5:19-20), prayers, suffering, etc.

If you have an account for committed sin (i.e. a true martyr in the act of martyrdom, pays this account in this life) offering up your sufferings in this life . . . . may . . . . “pay” all or part of your account.

Some people sometimes loosely call this concept, a “purgatory on earth” as it may render temporal account for sin. I have heard a homily given that even used that phrase.

This temporal account can be paid by YOU united to Christ (be sure to offer up all of yourself to God constantly—your sufferings, your joys—everything).

Or your account can be paid on your behalf partly by others (also united to Christ). The Church calls this concept drawing upon “the treasury of merit”. Indulgences are a great way to tap into this tremendous gift. Asking others to pray for you likewise get graces for you in this area. Many of the Saints in Heaven unselfishly offered many of their earthly sufferings for graces for other individuals.

Purgation of all sin is necessary though before entering Heaven.

It can occur in this life (if you are in grace), or it can occur after this life (if you die in a state of grace and have some temporal account remaining). Or both.

Let’s look at that again:

Everybody renders account for EVERY wrong word they utter. Both the justified and the unjustified (“condemned”). They either render it themselves, or get help from others who are united to Christ too. But this temporal account needs to be paid.

MATTHEW 12:36-37 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

If you die (IN GRACE), but have a temporal account remaining, you (or someone else) pay after your earthly life.

1st CORINTHIANS 3:13, 15 13 each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. . . . 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

I mentioned on another post what 1st Corinthians 3:15 doesn’t say . . .

NOT 1st CORINTHIANS 3:15 (Phantom Verse) 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will NOT suffer loss. Why? Because he himself will be saved, and nobody being saved will suffer loss on “the day” of the Lord. And if DO you think any of “the saved” do “suffer loss”, you will be subtracting from the sufficiency of Christ’s work and teaching the Blood of Jesus was not enough to cleanse from sin.

Or you can pay this account in this lifetime . . .

1st PETER 1:7 (excerpt from NAB from Divine Mercy Sunday reading) 7 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Or more likely, both.

**Someone (united to Christ) renders account for every wrong word you utter **
*]In this life
*]In the next life

But the Church offers ample means to avoid rendering account in the next life so take advantage of these great gifts that Christ offers us via the Church.

Consider also CCC 1031 . . .

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.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

[INDENT]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[/INDENT]

Footnote 607 from CCC 1031 explicitly ties this concept of purgation from sin to 1st Corinthians 3:15, AND to 1st Peter 3:7.

Pax Christi!

Cool thread! Following this!

God bless.

It used to be that in indulgences a person received a certain number of days. Then when the current canon laws were promulgated those number of days were changed to partial or plenary. Pope St John Paul II said that purgatory may well be a state of being and that time as we know it didn’t exist but was different.

It’s possible to attain a plenary indulgence for someone dead. I’m sure by now if either Pope needed it, it would have been attained for him.

That was actually changed in 1967 to be precise. Before that the partial indulgences were given as the remission of temporal punishment analogous to a certain amount of penitence as practiced in the early Church.

So purgatory was recognized as “how long you stay there” before 1967, and since then, the idea of time has been removed but nevertheless those who need more purging will suffer somehow more in purgatory (although not necessarily from more time per say since we don’t know)???

.Those who have passed from this life may already have been purged from their sins and are in heaven…we have no concept of spiritual “time” as it relates to our physical universe…perhaps we can think of eternity in the spiritual realm as being like a millisecond of our time that is frozen…and that all of eternity…past… present…future… exists in that millisecond…that’s just an analogy…of course we should never stop praying for those souls in purgatory

The time did not indicate how long in purgatory, rather the amount of earthly penance one might undergo.

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