MaryLu's question on Job - Purgatorygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
MaryLu asked a quesion about the verse where someone told Job that God forgets some of his sins. John's response explained that the verse means that God punishes us less than we really deserve.
In order to not derail the other thread, I decided to ask this question over here. In the other thread, it was stated (or asked) that God "forgets" our sins when we truly confess them. But I do not think this is true. Otherwise, why would Purgatory be necessary?
I believe God forgives us, but He still remembers our sins. Once we die and are deemed worthy of Heaven, we must be purified in Purgatory. This would involve removing any stains from our previous sins. Hence, God must remember them. What do others think?
-- Glenn (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2002
He says, "I will remove your sins as far as the east is from the west." He does forget completely!
Purgatory is to do with being purged of that sinful nature that we still have even after we commit our lives to Christ = the actual death of our carnal natures -- the dying to oneself.
-- gail (email@example.com), November 07, 2002.
I'm going to speculate, Glenn, so take it as just that, but I believe Purgatory might have a lot to do with the pain of aligning the individual's will with that of the Creator, so that the person desires to serve God above all. Being free of the punishment due to sin does not necessarily mean that our wills are completely one with God's. I think this might be the nature of the purification... just speculating, though. No ref's to back that up.
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2002.
There are stories of saints conversing with Jesus and He had forgotten the saint's or others' sins. There was a great story with Padre Pio (I think), but I forgot the details. Can anyone remember this one?
The fact that God truly does completely "forget" (remember, we're talking about God here, so the use of terms like "forget" take on a different meaning with Him) our sins. This is no way conflicts with the need to address the temporal punishment due to our sins and the need for purification in Purgatory.
-- Hollis (email@example.com), November 07, 2002.
So, in other words, no one goes directly to Heaven? We are all going to purgatory first (or hell, hopefully not)....even if we are in the state of grace when we die, repented for all of our sins.
This all gets very confusing to me. We go to confession and receive absolution for our sins, but must still pay for those sins when we die?
Thanks to whomever answers my questions and I'm sure there will be many and I will appreciate every one.
-- MaryLu (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2002.
I'll answer as I understand Purgatory and let others correct me. If one of my children does something wrong and I find out about it, there are consequences for their actions.
Even if my child shows remorse and is sincerely sorry for the wrong doing, I will still give them punishment. This is simply so they realize the consequences of wrong doing. So God our Father, before accepting us into Heaven, must exact punishment for our sins. He will send us to Purgatory to cleanse us.
Lastly, you asked if we are ever able to directly attain Heaven upon death. I believe there are saints that go directly to Heaven. So yes, if you live a holy life you can skip Purgatory.
Once again, these are my opinions on Purgatory, perhaps others can show me official Church teachings that contradict my thoughts.
-- Glenn (email@example.com), November 07, 2002.
In Revelations 21:27 it says .."nothing unclean will enter Heaven". Now who among us, even right after going to confession is completely ready for Heaven, in perfect holiness? Purgatory is GOD'S MERCY, NOT PUNISHMENT. Our sins are gone, but the EFFECTS of them is not yet.
Jesus died to PAY for our sins, He was punished for them so we don't have to be, we aren't punished in purgatory, we are purified, made perfect. Yes, God could just have us "poof!!" , be ready in a second. But He sees fit to 'bring us through the purification, so we can do it with Him, come into knowledge of ourselves, be a part of the process. It's a reconciling with ourselves.
It's kind of like, when we come out of a dark room, and someone turns the bright light on, we have to squint, or our eyes hurt. Same as if we were to see God face to face right now, we need to be ready to receive Him.
The Catechism says in #1030 "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven."
It's not a torture chamber of punishment, but a time of God's wonderful mercy. He gives us that time to get right with Him, unless of course we've had that time here on earth. Which, who knows, many of us I believe suffer alot to come into that holiness here. More then we know I bet.
There are scriptures that back this up. St. Paul refers in 2 Tim. 1:18, to one Onesiphorus, who most scholars agree was dead, and St. Paul PRAYED FOR HIM for the Lord to grant him to find mercy. These souls need our prayers. Another time Jesus talked about the unforgivable sin, ..."but he who sins against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this age OR THE NEXT." Showing us there IS a time of forgiveness after life. We'd be in a mess if there wasn't!! Theresa
-- Theresa Huether (Rodntee4Jesus@aol.com), November 07, 2002.
one more thing... Gail and MaryLu, I give you both GREAT BIG HUGS!!!!! love,Theresa
-- Theresa Huether (Rodntee4Jesus@aol.com), November 07, 2002.
No two people will be judged the same. God is perfect, and he knows all the Holy Communion you take to sick people in the hospitals. It is possible that you can go straight to Heaven.
If someone was responsible for an abortion, and then they went to Confession and received absolution but died in a car accident on the way home from Church. They were forgiven because they repented and recieved absolution, but there could still be some debt(Purgatory) to owed to God for this murder of an innocent baby. Our God is a loving and forgiving God, but He is perfect with His punishments too.
Rember what Jesus said about Judas? "It would have been better if this man had never been born." I pray I never hear Jesus say that to me. Thats scary!
God bless you
-- David (David@excite.com), November 07, 2002.
I just wanted to share a story of someone I believe went through purgatory on earth and shown of pure gold at the time of her death -- my mother!
My mom was a very healthy, vibrant woman. She believed in Jesus (even went to Catholic catechism when a child), but yet she really did not devote herself to the cause of Christ -- she had a life to live and by golly she was going to live it!
When she was 45 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. My mom, being the fighter that she was, fought a long hard 7 year battle. She would not give up. All during that time, though, she didn't really turn to Christ -- until the end of her battle.
She had visions of Christ waiting for her, along with her own mother. She knew her time was short. During the last week of her life, as she knew it was finally over, she radiated the pure light of heaven! Everyone noticed it. She literally GLEAMED! She was full of joy and glory! I believe when she left this earth, she had done her time in purgatory -- she was sanctified -- and that she with the Lord!
Our journey begins, sometimes we give all, sometimes we give very very little. He will take all, one way or another. That is the requirement of discipleship! And that is the great mercy of God!
-- Gail (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 08, 2002.
Thank you, Gail, for the story about your mother.
I hope that you are right -- that her soul is already in heaven.
However, as a person who is about to become a Catholic, you need to be aware of the fact that we are told not to make any assumptions about where the souls of the deceased are. Rather, we should acknowledge that they may be in Purgatory and could be receive benefits from our prayers and our having their release remembered as Holy Mass intentions.
I believe that it was the extremely holy St. Monica (who prayed for decades for her son St. Augustine) who on her deathbed begged her son to remember her in prayers and Masses in the coming years. Neither she nor he made any assumptions about where her soul went at death.
We are not able to know the number and character of the private sins of our loved ones. We are not able to fully understand how much they suffered before they died. And we are not able fully to comprehend the mind of God, including his justice and mercy. That is why we cannot make any assumptions about where a soul of a deceased person is. Some "temporal punishment," some cleansing/purgation, may still need to be undergone. So let us continue to pray for them. Our prayers will not be "wasted," even if they are not needed by the soul for which they are offered.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), November 09, 2002.
Thank all of you so much for your answers - they are full of wisdom and love.
David, my dear sweet, David...thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words - I doubt, however, that my bringing communion to the sick people is going to get me into heaven...one has to do more than that, David. :)
Bringing communion to the sick is a ministry, but it does not make me worthy for heaven, nor does it make me worthy period. But, thank you so very much for the kind words and I am always impressed with your mind, David as you 'remember' so many things about others.
God bless all of you.
-- MaryLu (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 2002.