Questioning the Need for Purgatory


#1

Purgatory is for sanctification and punishment, correct? Since Christ died for us, why do we need to be punished?


#2

Purgatory
Purgatory is not about paying the penalty of sin. Jesus on the Cross pays the penalty of our sin – which is death. Those in purgatory are not in spiritual death; they are all headed to heaven.

Purgatory pays for the “consequences” of our sin, not for the sin itself.

For example, the standard analogy I use often is that if I throw a rock through your window I have committed a sin. I can become sorry for my sin and go to Confession and be absolved of that sin. Jesus paid the price for my sin.

But…

… the window is STILL broken. The broken window is the “consequence” of my sin and it still needs to be repaired. The Cross does not repair the window, that is my responsibility.

Thus, one of the aspects of purgatory is to pay for all the broken windows in our life that we did not get around to paying for during our life on earth.

As to why Purgatory? The answer is love. We cannot enter heaven unless we are perfected and totally holy. While we may die in a state of grace most of us are probably not perfect. Purgatory is a place of perfection. It purges the imperfections from us 'til what is left is pure gold.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 is a great definition of Purgatory:

12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 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. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

In otherwords, how well we lived our lives as Christians will be judged, the good works and not-so-good works will be judge. The not-so-good works are the wood, hay, and straw that will burn up in the purging. The good works are the gold, silver, and precious stone that will survive the purging.

We cannot enter heaven with works that can be consumed. We must enter heaven only with works to our credit that can survive the fire. Thus God, who loves us so, provides a way for us to rid ourselves of the wood, hay, and straw in our lives so that we can enter heaven perfect and holy.

Again, this is NOT about purging sin, it is about purging the consequences of sin (paying for the broken windows) and about purging our imperfections in living the Christ-life.

Some Protestants call this the “Judgment Seat of Christ”. Our salvation is not being judged here, rather how well we lived our life for Christ is being judged. While some Evangelicals refer to this as Judgment Seat of Christ and Catholics call it Purgatory, it is the same thing.

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary www.saint-mike.org (Q&A)

posted with permission
kepha1


#3

Purgatory is for sanctification, not sanctification and punishment. Sanctification is a process that must necessarily be completed before you can enter into heaven:

19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification…
22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life." Rom 6

As even most Protestant scholars will agree, this process is often (they generally say never) completed in this life. Now, if it isn’t completed in this life, but is necessary to enter into eternal life, then doesn’t it follow that the process must be completed between the end of this life and the entry into eternal life? The conclusion is inescapable. We call that interim state wherein sanctification is completed Purgatory.


#4

This Scott Hahn article may be a trifle elementary for you, Jux, but I’m pretty well educated theologically, and as a convert, I found it to be very helpful in understanding this doctrine. Purgatory certainly is one of the things we former Protestants traditionally have a lot of trouble with.

catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0091.html


#5

There are 2 consequences for sin, eternal and temporal.
The Sacrament of reconciliation repairs the eternal consequences due to sin (separation from God).

However, we still have temporal consequences for sin (temporal meaning those in this life in time).
Purgatory is, among other things, for those temporal consequences.

This is why indulgences are also important. They pay back the temporal consequences of our sin.


#6

No, the purpose of Purgatory is sanctification. kind of an extension of what St. Benedict and others after him call “Conversatio Morum”: Conversion of Life.


#7

There is not one church father who quotes the apostles as speaking of purgatory. Not one. Paul said, speaking as a Christian, that to be absent from the body IS to be present with the Lord. Further he said, that all believers were NOW citizens of heaven. For he said our citizenship is IN heaven.

Our Lord told his own disciples, to REJOICE for their names were written in heaven. Jesus said that where he is, there we shall be also. He is our shepherd and we are his sheep. He loves and cares for his sheep. NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8. Nether death, principalities or powers. We are in him and he is in us. Blessed be he name of Jesus.

Ron from Ohio


#8

[quote=rarndt01]There is not one church father who quotes the apostles as speaking of purgatory. Not one. Paul said, speaking as a Christian, that to be absent from the body IS to be present with the Lord. Further he said, that all believers were NOW citizens of heaven. For he said our citizenship is IN heaven.

Our Lord told his own disciples, to REJOICE for their names were written in heaven. Jesus said that where he is, there we shall be also. He is our shepherd and we are his sheep. He loves and cares for his sheep. NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8. Nether death, principalities or powers. We are in him and he is in us. Blessed be he name of Jesus.

Ron from Ohio

[/quote]

You claim, in your profile, to be Catholic.

Two points

One:

CCC 2089 “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same”

Two:

The souls of the just which, in the moment of death, are burdened with venial sins or temporal punishment due to sins, enter Purgatory. (De fide.)

Conclusion: You, sir, are not a Catholic; you are a heretic

Justin


#9

If what you say is true, then I suppose that makes all the Catholic believers in the 1st century heretics as well. For none of them ever spoke of an apostle that spoke of purgatory for the Christian after death. What the apostles wrote and SPOKE was true church tradition. Do you believe in apostolic church tradition? If so, then please quote just one early church father who quotes an apostle that spoke of purgatory. That’s all I’m asking.

Ron from Ohio


#10

[quote=rarndt01]If what you say is true, then I suppose that makes all the Catholic believers in the 1st century heretics as well. For none of them ever spoke of an apostle that spoke of purgatory for the Christian after death.
[/quote]

Sorry, no cigar. Silence does not equal obstinate denial or doubt.

FWIW, go read Newman’s essay before complaining about how long it takes for dogma to be defined.

Justin


#11

Do you or do you not formally repudiate the Dogma of Purgatory?

Justin


#12

[quote=rarndt01]If so, then please quote just one early church father who quotes an apostle that spoke of purgatory. That’s all I’m asking.
[/quote]

Where does it say in Tradition that something isn’t true unless at least “one early church father quotes an apostle that spoke of” it?


#13

I’m asking for apostolic traditional evidence. My goodness, the fathers quoted them on baptism, the Eucharist, heaven, hell and just about everything under the sun. But none ever quoted them on purgatory. It is not an issue of silence at all. The apostles never held to such a teaching. For if they did, the church fathers would have quoted them, just as they quoted the apostles on all other teachings. There simply is no apostolic traditional evidence for purgatory or that Mary was declared Queen, reigning next to God in heaven. It simply is a false teaching.

                                              Ron from Ohio

#14

Ron,

Do you or do you not formally repudiate the Dogma of Purgatory?

Yes or no.

Justin


#15

[quote=rarndt01]I’m asking for apostolic traditional evidence.Ron from Ohio
[/quote]

Ron,

You were born too late. You would have been much happier in a world that knew only the Apostolic fathers.

Unfortunately THEIR ideas were not carven in stone when they lived, they are only seen that way by you in retrospect.

I pray you will come to accept the authority that Christ gave us and submit to it.


#16

That won’t wash. You quote the fathers on baptism, the Eucharist, the deity of Christ, Peter as the see in Rome and many other things. Yet when you can’t find any quote from a father that quotes an apostle on purgatory, you simply turn away from apostolic tradition and quote sources centuries later in history, who never quoted apostolic authority at all. So do you really base your beliefs on ancient church tradition? I think not.

                                        Ron from Ohio

#17

Augustine was a Church Father. He records his mother’s deathbed request:

‘Lay this body anywhere; don’t worry about that. I only ask you to remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.’

He is not saying: “Mom is going to Purgatory.” And we believe that she is a saint in Heaven (and probably got there pretty much non-stop). But she didn’t know that. Why would someone offer Masses for the dead?


#18

[quote=1962Missal]Ron,

Do you or do you not formally repudiate the Dogma of Purgatory?

Yes or no.

Justin
[/quote]

:whistle:


#19

[quote=1962Missal]Do you or do you not formally repudiate the Dogma of Purgatory?

Justin
[/quote]

**Woa Back! Am I witnessing a real excommunication in progress? I’ve always wondered what it meant to be a ‘senior member’! :eek:

**

[quote=Vincent]Where does it say in Tradition that something isn’t true unless at least “one early church father quotes an apostle that spoke of” it?
[/quote]

Now RA, the guys are correct here: when has the church EVER required a reason for doing ANYTHING they’ve done?

**The church is the church; like it as is or leave it as is. It will change when it wants to! ** :bowdown:


#20

As far as Church Fathers go, we do have Gregory the Great quoting Jesus concerning Purgatory:

Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgement, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven “either in this world or in the world to come” (Mt. 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions.

Dialogues, 4:39

Augustine also quotes St. Paul:

“Neither Chasten me in your hot displeasure” (Ps. 37:2)…so that you may cleanse me in this life and make me such, that I may after that stand in no need of the cleansing fire, for those “who are to be saved, yet so as by fire” (1 Cor. 3:15) [no one is saved from Hell, and there is no fire in Heaven, therefore there must exist Purgatory - me]. And because it is said “he shall be saved,” that fire is thought lightly of. For all that, though we should be “saved by fire,” yet will that fire be more grievous than anything man can suffer in this life whatsoever.

Expositions on the Psalms, 37:3


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