Temporal Suffering


#1

Could someone please explain temporal suffering to me? I have read the information on purgatory on the Answers Web Site. I don’t get it. It cannot mean physical pain, first of you are not reunited with your body yet, second some people cannot feel pain or find it enjoyable, third why would physical pain wash away sins? It all seems a bit human to me, you sinned and now you must pay retribution. Did Jesus die for some of our sins but not others?

I don’t get it.


#2

I never think purgatory as how most think of “suffering”. IMO in purgatory you REALIZE in TOTALLITY how devestating your sins are. This experience is hurtful but also cleanse your soul.


#3

Yes, Christ did save all of us with his death. However, not everyone excepts God’s saving grace to the same degree. Some people love God and trust God so much that they can fully accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us. However, most of us are not that way. Many people are not quite pure enough to come before the Father. Thus, there is purgatory, a place of purification: since God is perfect, it would be against His nature to let something impure enter His Presence. Remember, we have to go to God to seek penance. He is not going to do everything for us. While He loves us to an infinite degree, and while He did die for our sins, it is our duty to become like Him, which requires some effort on our part.

It is important to note that suffering purifies everyone, not just the people in purgatory. I’d find the verses for you, but unfortunately my Bible search tool is not working at the moment. :confused:

Does physical pain wash away sins? Yes, it does: Jesus chose the most agonizing,painful way to save us from our sins, did He not?

As for what type of pain we will experience in purgatory, I do not know. The Catechism describes it as a purifying fire. However, the cleansing of Purgatory will not be unbearable because we will know that all of our faith and hope has not been in vain. We will witness the splendor that we are destined for, and we will be comforted by the prayers of our brethren on earth and in heaven.


#4

but no until you are cleansed totaly…It is the love of God hitting you with such intensity that you sins burn up and you are purified like Gold…


#5

[quote=Richard Lamb]but no until you are cleansed totaly…It is the love of God hitting you with such intensity that you sins burn up and you are purified like Gold…
[/quote]

Correct. The pure love really make you realize the sin and this really burns you. I agree.


#6

[quote=Shibboleth]Could someone please explain temporal suffering to me? I have read the information on purgatory on the Answers Web Site. I don’t get it. It cannot mean physical pain, first of you are not reunited with your body yet, second some people cannot feel pain or find it enjoyable, third why would physical pain wash away sins? It all seems a bit human to me, you sinned and now you must pay retribution. Did Jesus die for some of our sins but not others?

I don’t get it.
[/quote]

Of course, nobody can really say what purgatory is like, not having been there (yet.) There are a couple of analogies that I use. One is to imagine ourselves as a brand new car, complete with instruction manual. But being a conscious car, we don’t always like to follow the manual. We like to do it our own way. Sometimes we get off the main road, drive over rocks, spin out on the ice and do rollovers. So we get pretty banged up. The Chief Mechanic always forgives these excursions and sets us back on the right road, replaces the spark plugs and gets us going again.

But after all that, the alignment is never quite right; the wheels pull to the left, there are dents all over. Eventually, we’ll have to go into the shop and get those dents pounded out and maybe a lot of other stuff to put us back in factory condition, and that’s going to be painful. Now actually, the Mechanic would be willing to let us drive right back into the showroom with all those dents and defects; but we look in at all those gleaming Bentleys and Rolls and think, no way am I going in looking like this. So we gladly let the dents be pounded out.

The second way is not really an analogy but more of a thought experiment.

Throughout life, we have a lot of sensory input, information coming in from all our senses. In philosophical terms, we don’t fully possess all our being in this life. We possess it only an instant at a time. We’re changeable. We can change our minds. We can hurt people and not notice, or not care.

But when we die, all sensory input stops. All the information that’s coming in is there. Further, and most terribly, there are no longer any distractions. We can fully see what we have become, and to a greater or lesser extent, that can be painful. As we review our lives, every hurt becomes apparent, we now fully perceive every defect, and every wrong that we’ve done. We can walk into heaven at any time, but as we begin to perceive the perfection of God, approaching Him is itself a purifying process.

So don’t take this as official doctrine; it’s just a way of thinking about purgatory. Purgatory doesn’t take away sin. It just cures those dents that we have inflicted on ourselves through sin and puts us back into factory condition.


#7

I had it explained, and when I get back on Monday I will try to find the full explanation, that it is coming face to face with the full devastation of how your sins impact God. Time is a human term that may or may not apply since eternity by it’s nature can’t fully fit into our human concept but for some of us it may take “longer” to realize how devastating these have been than for others, or we may resist the realization and therefore may spend “more time” dealing with it. But we must fully realize the pain our sin has caused before we can fully accept the forgiveness that God offers us because the immensity of His love is such that He loves us despite the pain we inflict on Him daily.

You cannot know how much God loves you until you know what it costs Him to do so… The cross is not an historical thing that happened 2000 years or so ago, for God in Heaven it happens. Each time we sin we are cause for Him to have to die on the cross. We have to face that when we die so that we can fully recognize His everlasting love for us.


#8

cin.org/users/james/files/temporal.htm

cin.org/users/james/files/pastpres.htm

Justin


#9

I remember C.S.Lewis’s view of Purgatory (though an Anglican, he held many Catholic doctrines including this one): Heaven can be likened to being invited to a sumptuous banquet. When we arrive at our Host’s door, dirty from our travels, we will want to “wash up” before taking our place at the table.

Needless to say, Lewis put this far better than I just did!


#10

Sherlock is on track! Read C.S. Lewis’ book The Great Divorce It is a wonderfully imaginative exposition on purgatory.

It is worth noting that Rev 21:27 says this about heaven, “But nothing unclean will enter it.” Obviously, there must be some cleaning up, final santification, or purgative activity taking place (at least for the vast majority of us) before we enter the pearly gates. We do not know how this will work nor do we know how long it will take to be accomplished. It may be instantaneous or it may have duration. Scott Hahn has a wonderful way of describing this purification. He notes that scripture speaks of God’s love as a consuming fire, and that God’s love is described more in fiery terms than in almost any other way. Consider the Seraphim as described in the bible. They are the angels that are in closest proximity to God, and are referred to as “the burning ones.”

The pain that is felt is God’s infinite love removing the wood, hay and straw described in 1 Cor 3:2. We may not fully understand it but we will certainly experience it, because nothing unclean will enter heaven.

Thanks everybody that commented above…the insights are always helpful to me


#11

articles on suffering:

The Redeeming Value of Sickness and Suffering
Redemptive Suffering
Redemptive Suffering: Offering It Up
Human Suffering: Why Does God Permit It?
Suffering to God’s Children
Suffering
Christians Have Been United In Suffering
Health Is a Gift From God: Suffering Has Value
Salvifici Doloris (the Christian Meaning of Suffering)
The Problem of Suffering Reconsidered
Share the Experience of Being with the Suffering
The Law of the Cross
The Humble Hope in God and Rejoice in Him
Suffering Is Also God’s Gift
Offer Your Suffering to God
Prayer in Times of Suffering
Rosary Offers Christian Response to Suffering
Meditations on the Suffering and Holy Face of Jesus
For the Suffering, Christ Is the Door to Life
Pope John Paul II and Suffering
Why Me? Suffering and Meaning
The Mystery of Suffering: How Should I Respond?
Why Must I Suffer?
Life is Hard, But God is Good: Suffering Has Meaning
There Can Be Graces In Sickness
“Blessed Are They Who Mourn, For They Will Be Comforted”
: Meditations on the Last Words of JesusEli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani
God Allows Suffering

pax christi,
phatcatholic


#12

Shibboleth,

I noticed that you were writing from Minneapolis. May I make a suggestion of a good pastor and a good Mass? Fr. Dufner at Holy Family Church in St. Louis Park is an excellent man to talk to regarding all matters Catholic.


#13

I like the example given by Arch-Bishop Fulton Sheen:

At baptism our soul is like a fine piece of wood. When we sin it is like driving a nail into the wood. Through the merits of Jesus Christ, the nails are removed (first at Baptism and then again each time we go to Confession). But once the nails are removed, is the wood back to its original flawless state? No. Holes are left where the nails once were. It is our good works and sufferings endured in consciousness of God that fill the holes.

Did Jesus die for some of our sins but not others? No. He died for all our sins. We could never have forgiveness for any of our sins, except through the suffering and death of Jesus. That is how we can say he died for all our sins. However, we still have our part to do…the reparation of those sins. This is why Paul says, “I rejoice now in the sufferings I bear for your sake; and what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ I fill up in my flesh for His body, which is the church” (Col 1, 24). Paul certainly did not mean to imply Jesus’ work was not complete. Rather, we have our part to do, following in His example.

If we have not made reparations here, God, in His mercy, allows us to do so in Purgatory. The suffering in Purgatory has been described well by others in this thread.


#14

[quote=Shibboleth]Could someone please explain temporal suffering to me? I have read the information on purgatory on the Answers Web Site. I don’t get it. It cannot mean physical pain, first of you are not reunited with your body yet, second some people cannot feel pain or find it enjoyable, third why would physical pain wash away sins? It all seems a bit human to me, you sinned and now you must pay retribution. Did Jesus die for some of our sins but not others?

I don’t get it.
[/quote]

Shibboleth:

I look at it this way. Purgatory is a blessing to me, as we know one with sin can not enter the Fathers glory. I do not know about you but even with Christ dying for me I still have things from the past that I hold on to. Lust, Pride, anger, etc. Now I know that I do not want to face God until I am completly in the grace that our Lord gives us. So to me Purgatory is a place to put on the complete new clothes of Christ. Lord willing I make it there I will have joy because I will have made it I am just not all the way there yet. I need to let go of what ever is a part of me that does not belong in the presence of God, and that will be painful, as we all know from this life here. I do not know about you but as I try to form myself through God’s grace to be in full accordance with his will that hurts because I have to give up things I enjoy, but are not good for me. It will be silimar in Purgatory as there will be thouse areas of my life that I have not yet totaly given over to My Lord even though I am forgiven I must give thouse areas over prior to seeing him face to face.

Think of a laser if there is a speck of dust on the lens it will be destroyed, the same with our souls we can not enter in to God’s sight with dirt on our souls and Purgatory is where Jesus will do what we have been unable to do he will make sure we are clean so we can go before the father.

God Bless you my friend and I hope we both have a very short stay in Purgatory.

Scott


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