What is purgatory suppose to be like? Is it something to fear?


You almost have it right - very good. You just have it a little backward.

True, we can not receive forgiveness unless we sincerely repent – EACH AND EVERY TIME we SIN. This is PRECISELY what the sacrament of repentance is all about.

But one can NOT sin then automatically be forgiven of that sin during the act and after the act. One must reflect in sorrow on how that sin was offensive to God and how it damages our relationship with Him, with ourselves, with His Church and With Creation then repent of that sin and go to confession to receive absolution. Jesus never did a single act that was frivolous. He would NOT have given the apostles to AUTHORITY to forgive sins in His name (e…g ‘what you release is released in heaven and what you hold bound is held bound in heaven’) UNLESS this was a REAL authority that was unique to The Apostles and their designated successors (Bishops who were selected by the Apostles and laid had hands laid on).

If anyone thinks they can pray directly to God and have* perfect assurance* that their GRAVE sins are forgiven is actually committing a sin of presumption. There is NO way that anyone can skirt the apostolic authority since that would make the authority that Jesus conveyed an insincere and false authority. And we know that is not the case.




Confíteor vobis quia peccávi nimis omissióne.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.

You’re right. I oversimplified. It’s a drawback of the forum format.

You are correct. We can not presume upon that forgiveness which God offers so readily. Because the offer is a conditional one. We must be sincerely repentant and fully open to receiving the gift before it will be given.

God knows what we want. He also knows exactly what we need, and stands ready to provide it. But He wants us to do things according to His will, in the way that He established, and (as C. S. Lewis said) He wants to be asked first.



The blood of Christ has taken away all eternal punishment, but not temporal punishment. If Protestants agree with this. If a Christian may experience temporal punishment for his sins, even though he may an recive ternal punishment.

The difference between Catholics and Protestants is that Catholics believe that when we die we are still in a temporal state. Protestants see that when we die we enter into our eternal state in heaven. But clearly the Protestants are wrong on this.Even Protestants believe that on Judgement Day, our souls will be re-united with our bodies. So until then, temporarily, we have boldiless souls after we die. So since we are not yet in our permanent state, then we must be in a temporal state. And since in death while we are in a temporal state we can experience punishment, just as may expeience chatisement in our temporal state while we are alive.



St. Catherine of Genoa had a detailed vision of what Purgatory is like. Perhaps it would interest you to read it. Here is a link. You could read it in one sitting.



Correct **God wants to be asked first ***and in the prescribed manner *- through the authority of The Church (priests and Bishops). God does this so that the repentant sinner will have perfect confidence that they are 100% forgiven of that confessed sin and also be assured that they will receive special graces that will help them avoid and overcome this sin in the future. This is the beautiful thing about the sacrament of confession.




In the interests of accuracy, I’d like to re-emphasize what you alluded to earlier - formal confession applies to Mortal Sins. Formal confession is NOT required for Venial sins, even though it is strongly recommended.

Mortal sin, like fire, has three elements. These three are Grave Matter, Full Knowledge, and Deliberate (Complete) Consent. Absent one of the three elements, even if the matter is grave, it is not mortal sin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1854-1864)

Furthermore, formal confession and absolution is an all-or-nothing act. There is no provision for confessing some sins and withholding others for additional study. That condition, which seems daunting, is actually the most liberating part of confession and absolution. As you said, this is a beautiful thing.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."

When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, “for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.”

1457 According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful.



I understand what you are saying, but Protestants see the Atonement very differently (and very unbiblically). The Merits of Christ made forgiveness of sin possible, meaning it allowed for sins to be forgiven upon each repentance. Jesus did not receive the divine punishment our sins deserve. The classical Protestant view is just the opposite, they teach that Jesus received the divine punishment specifically due to any given person, so if that person were to commit 1 murder, 3 rapes, and 5 thefts, Jesus would have received the equivalent divine punishment for those sins. In this system, Jesus got punished not only for a murder which did not occur yet, but now that murder has to occur because Jesus “pre-paid” for it. This is precisely why Calvinists believe in limited atonement, that Jesus did not take the punishment for every person’s sins, but only for a few people, if He did then everyone would be saved because their sins would have been “pre-paid”.

The Catholic position does not allow limited atonement because the nature of the Crucifixion was not one of Jesus absorbing God’s wrath for any given sins for any given individuals, but rather for Meriting the title “Advocate” in which He will intercede for anyone who repents, every time they repent, so they can obtain forgiveness.

This is not about God knowing what sins we will commit in the future, it is how God will deal with those sins.


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