Purgatory: Myth or Fact?

 Just a short time ago I responded to a fallen-away catholic, who wrote a post on his Blog [AS A FORMER Catholic no less], claiming that the Catholic Doctrine on Purgatory is not true; and just another lie taught by the CC.

 The basis of his claim lies in the fact that the term “Purgatory” is not in the bible and therefore MUST be another “Catholic invention”. 

Let’s first look at a few other terms that are common today, but which don’t appear in the bible: Which is by the way, a Catholic Book.

 Catholic

Protestant

Communion

Eucharist

Traunsbstanuation

Theology

Sacraments

Cardinal

Pope

Mass

Doctrine

Dogma

Pastor

Sinners Prayer & Altar calls

 And even the term “bible” are not found in Holy Writ. So that reason is clearly nullified. The Bible is a Catholic book, and the Catholic Church is a living, growing, and expanding entity. Not able to change the bible, but empowered to add new terminology that aids a fuller understanding. Mt. 16:18-19 “Binding and Loosening.”

 Each of these terms has a biblical foundation, even if by implication. But the existence of Purgatory is biblically grounded, and does have a solid biblical foundation, as will be shown.

 Why then do Protestants “harp” on this topic? Because it’s sellable! Because it’s not in the bible specifically, they seem to have some credibility on the issue. More so than claiming we Catholics “WORSHIP” Mary; which is also an error on their part. … And importantly because, in an absolute sense they must discredit Catholicism, in-order to gain some measure of creditability for their own man-made-beliefs.

 All lack of understanding stems from a lack of God’s grace; without which right understanding is impossible. This is further evidenced by the fact that unbelievers commonly deny realities that ARE in the bible; and are clearly, and precisely taught, but are misunderstood caused by right understanding being blocked due to diminishing grace from God. … One God, Faith and Church, the Eucharist and forgiveness of sin come to mind.

Because there is BUT One God; who logically can have ONLY One set of faith believes, and who choose only One Chosen people in the OT …  Leviticus 26:12 “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people” & founded Only One Church. 

 Mt. 16:18-19 “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, {singular} and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

 These terms “binding and loosening” are terms of unlimited Powers and authority of Governance. Thus the church is empowered to create theological terms and definitions. John 17: 18-21 prove this quite clearly.

 Purgatory not being understood flows directly from one’s inability to understand [1] God; [2] God’s Bible, and the [3] Nature of sin itself. 2nd. Peter 31:16-17 & 3: 14-17

 PURGATORY. {defined} “The place or condition in which the souls of the just are purified after death and before they can enter heaven. They may be purified of the guilt of their venial sins, as in this life, by an act of contrition deriving from charity and performed with the help of grace. This sorrow does not, however, affect the punishment for sins, because in the next world there is no longer any possibility of merit. The souls are certainly purified by atoning for the temporal punishments due to sin by their willing acceptance of suffering imposed by God. The sufferings in purgatory are not the same for all, but proportioned to each person’s degree of sinfulness. Moreover, these sufferings can be lessened in duration and intensity through the prayers and good works of the faithful on earth. Nor are the pains incompatible with great peace and joy, since the poor souls deeply love God and are sure they will reach heaven. As members of the Church Suffering, the souls in purgatory can intercede for the persons on earth, who are therefore encouraged to invoke their aid. Purgatory will not continue after the general judgment, but its duration for any particular soul continues until it is free from all guilt and punishment. Immediately on purification the soul is assumed into heaven. (Etym. Latin purgatio, cleansing, purifying.)”

[1] Unable to more-fully understand God’s Divine Nature, unbelievers fail to recognize God’s fervent Desire to be in a Personal Relationship with man, who alone can choose to [OR NOT TO], Know, Love, serve, Obey and Worship Him, as He commands. [Isaiah 43: verses 7 & 21] … God’s fervent desire, stems from a Divine Justice necessity to save as many souls as is possible, is missed because of other held faith- beliefs that seemingly nullify God having such a position. The nature of sin, and sin forgiveness, which effect God’s Judgment are also commonly not correctly understood.

Purgatory makes possible for Millions of souls [perhaps even Billions?] that otherwise are not perfect; but only “very good.”[yet die without unconfessed or unforiven Mortal sins, to in time, attain the Beatific Vision. {Meeting God “face to face.”}

1 John 5:16-17

BECAUSE God is perfect he can accept nothing less than a Perfect [or an after-death perfected] Soul in His Presence.

Matt.5: 4You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”

Also missed is the fact that Purgatories necessity by overlooking that all sin has a secondary nature, what the Church terms a “public nature” /a “Temporal Punishment that all sin incur,”

because all sin hurts others besides the sinner. … God accepting only Perfect Souls insist that this debt be repaid in full prior to entry into heaven, and this debt exist even AFTER [and even IF] the sin has been sacramentally forgiven [John 20:19-23], 

 This is a bit complex, but the amount of repayment due to “temporal Punishment”, as well as our attempts to repay it while still on earth are concealed as Christ alone knows the amount of the debt, and the amount of credit He will accept and apply to this debt by our prayers, charity, and Indulgences. The Church exercising her Authority [John 17: 18 & john 20:21, Matthew 16:18-19] offers us the opportunity to MERIT  Indulgences  a separate topic and Lesson], that have the Power to wipe clean the debt completely until we sin again.

 [3]The last issue is the Bible itself.

 Lev.22: 21 “And when any one offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.

 Rev. 21: 27 But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

 Mt. 5: 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

 Matt.5: 48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

 Heb. 2: 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.

1 Cor. 3: 13-14 “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 if the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, [Purgatory] though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

 This is the short version. I suggest that we might think of Purgatory as a Sort of “Soul-Wash” that can perfect Souls who die in God’s Grace, but still have a debt caused by sin to repay. Only Souls that are Perfect; or that can be made-Perfect after death through Purgatory can enter into the Beatific Vision.

 God Bless you,

Patrick Miron

 

Advertisements