Purgatory


#1

I’m not sure if this belongs under this “title” but i thought i’d give it a try. You may have seen another post i put up, and here’s another quesiton…
What is the purpose of Purgatory? Being raised a Catholic, i always was taught that it’s the place between Heaven and Hell, where you “work” (for lack of a better word) to get to Heaven. The other day i was talking with someone and they brought up a point…
"According to the Bible,we’re saved by faith and grace alone. When Jesus died on the cross he said ‘It is finished.’ I don’t remember the greek word, but the literal meaning of that is ‘the debt has been paid.’ If thats the case, then why the need for purgatory to enter into Heaven? According to the Catholic church it’s a place where you’re cleansed from your sins that you haven’t been forgiven for yet. My point in bringing up what Jesus said right before he died is that if Jesus says the debt has been paid, then why does someone need to go to mass, confession, and eventually purgatory to pay for thise sins that Jesus said were already paid for?"
sigh I think i gave the right answer to this, but any help would be great. Sorry for the long post! ha ha Thanks


#2

There is an excellent Catholic Answers tract on this subject here. There is another tract that demonstrates that the belief in purgatory was shared among the ancient Early Church Fathers.

Have a quick read. If you have any further questions, just ask!


#3

Since God said that nothing impure could enter Heaven, we are purified in Purgatory. Protestants believe that God just overlooks the sins on their conscience and pretends they are pure. We Catholics believe God actually makes us pure through purgatory.


#4

Purgatory does nothing to remove or to forgive unforgiven sins. Rather, it is a place where we become perfected in grace, since nothing imperfect can enter heaven.


#5

[quote=JimG]Purgatory does nothing to remove or to forgive unforgiven sins. Rather, it is a place where we become perfected in grace, since nothing imperfect can enter heaven.
[/quote]

What about venial sins?


#6

[quote=Genesis315]What about venial sins?
[/quote]

Hey, that’s a good question. After death if there are any venial sins (assuming the person was NOT able to receive last rites), are the venial sins forgiven??? In Purgatory, the soul is prurified of any imperfections (including temporal punishment).


#7

[quote=slinky1882]Hey, that’s a good question. After death if there are any venial sins (assuming the person was NOT able to receive last rites), are the venial sins forgiven??? In Purgatory, the soul is prurified of any imperfections (including temporal punishment).
[/quote]

I was under the impression venial sins were purged away there too.


#8

The purpose of purgatory is not the forgiveness of sin. All sin is forgiven through the merits of Jesus Christ having died for our sins, along with our repentance. Venial sin can be forgiven through perfect or imperfect contrition. In purgatory, it will be easy to have perfect contrition, since we will no longer fear hell; we will only wish to become perfected in grace, to be like Christ because of his goodness.
Because we are not perfected yet, our imperfections compared to the goodness of God cause us pain, like a purifying fire. It is not our sins that need to be erased in purgatory, but the effects of our sins, which disfigure our soul.


#9

A deacon at church put it this way:
Everytime we sin, it is like we drove a nail into our flesh. Christ pulls out the nails, the sin, when we repent of those sins, but the hole remains. In purgatory, God fills in the holes and makes us perfect again.


#10

[quote=Genesis315]What about venial sins?
[/quote]

What about mortal sins?
Do people with mortal sin go to purgatory too?

(Or do they go to hell?)
What “conditions” makes people go to Hell rather than to purgatory?


#11

What about mortal sins?
Do people with mortal sin go to purgatory too?

(Or do they go to hell?)
What “conditions” makes people go to Hell rather than to purgatory?

If you die with unrepented mortal sin on your soul, you will go to hell.

Purgatory is where we get perfected, not forgiven. Hell is where we go when we die unrepentant.


#12

[quote=MariaG]If you die with unrepented mortal sin on your soul, you will go to hell.

Purgatory is where we get perfected, not forgiven. Hell is where we go when we die unrepentant.
[/quote]

Ok, I get it.
So a protestant (who do not have the sacrement of confession), who repents to God will not go to Hell. If they prayed God for forgiveness, we assume that it is with a repentant heart.

Even though one may not be in the “state of grace”, but one is repentant, one will not go to hell.
I am correct?


#13

[quote=IesusDeus]Ok, I get it.
So a protestant (who do not have the sacrement of confession), who repents to God will not go to Hell. If they prayed God for forgiveness, we assume that it is with a repentant heart.
[/quote]

Well, that’s a bit iffy with respect to protestants.

There are two types of contrition (repentance):

[list]
*]Perfect Contrition (you are sorry for your sins because you realize that the sin has offended God)
*]Imperfect Contrition (you are sorry for your sins because you fear punishment).
[/list]A person who repents with perfect contrition will be forgiven, whether within the confessional or not. So this applies to Catholics as well as protestants - you do not need Sacramental Confession if you REALLY have perfect contrition.

But even WE cannot be sure if we truly have perfect contrition. Confession “works” either way, and overcomes any uncertantity or doubt.

That’s why Jesus instituted this Sacrament and gave it to His Church. He did not make a provision for partially contrite persons who seek forgiveness outside His Church. So, for the partially contrite protestant, we can only leave his/her fate to the mercy of God, because Jesus has not offered us any assurances in this situation.


#14

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