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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

jwmcmac's picture



I think you have done a very good job of representing your understandings . . . making them perceptible, reachable and understandable to your readers . . . though we still might not quite 'get' it . . . I mean our own understandings of the given passages may hinder us from seeing in toto the application of your own perspective and understanding of these passages.

It always takes good-will to see the other guy's way of looking at things . . . but it also takes an effort . . . and it helps if we have similar foundations.

I do think that you . . . from my perspective . . . might slightly be mis-interpreting or mis-applying . . . only by degree . . . the 'poor in Spirit' reference from the Sermon on the Mount as to being the 'Spiritually bankrupt' . . . gentiles/sinners . . . as you said . . . but . . . yours' is still an apt analogy and I can see that it can be applied as you say . . . however, seeing further that your analogy can be further mis-applied . . . again only by degree . . . to all those other passages to which you referred it . . . although again, it does have some aptness in being applied as you have stated . . . this being my opinion of course.

I believe that the traditional meanings of 'poor in Spirit' refer to . . . our not being attached to the desire for money in any way . . . or . . . to the recognition of our Spiritual Poverty in comparison to GOD's infinite Goodness, to HIS Perfection and to HIS Holiness . . . thus leading to a happiness or Blessedness of Life . . . due to our abiding in the Truth of GOD and the Truth of where we are in relation to HIM . . .

. . . rather than to 'poor in Spirit' meaning what you seem to be referring to as . . . our actually having a poverty of Spiritually good things while Scripture would then be relating that we will be happy or Blessed in that dire state of affairs . . . which would never be the case.

I could be . . . and probably am . . . not giving your words their proper meaning. Sorry.

I do see the merit in your analogy, but I don't think it is the Traditional analogy or the usual analogy assigned . . . which does not mean that you don't have something there. You may well have something there.

Such a case as this is why I Love having the Church as my guardian and guide in all such interpretations and speculations on the Faith and on the meanings of Scripture. Having the Church as our arbiter does not mean that we are not allowed to speculate . . . but only that when we find ourselves on the contrary side to the Traditions of Faith . . . we can give way and get back to the right side of things Faith, not losing our way in our own understandings . . . or not losing our way in our own mis-understandings . . . as the case may be.

If we are to sell all that we own and give it to the poor and then 'come and follow HIM' . . . receiving the promise of perfection in poverty . . . referred to by this passage of Scripture . . .

"Elsewhere in the Gospels we are told that He said to the rich young man who asked what more he could do to win heaven: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell all you have, give the proceeds to the poor, and come and follow me". Here Jesus is talking about a special vocation, the call to those who take the religious vow of poverty." (Partially Quoted from: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit' - Fr Ian Falconer SJ)

-- continuing:

Many passages of Scripture can have more than the one obvious meaning. And you may have indeed found a legitimate 'other' meaning in this reference . . . but don't go to far beyond the obvious meanings of Scripture. . . is all I can say . . . or the 'other' meaning may begin to conflict squarely with the obvious meaning . . . and then guess what . . . ? . . . your 'other' meaning would be the one in the wrong.

This said, if your meaning is 'True' . . . it will not be in jeopardy of conflicting with the obvious meaning . . . as Truth does not conflict with Itself, though it may 'appear' to contradict . . . it will never.

About making payments:

CHRIST paid the last farthing, I believe is what you said.

Well, to a Catholic, CHRIST paid the entire eternal debt . . . yes . . . that being the part which we ourselves could never even hope to pay . . . but CHRIST seems to have left some of the natural debt for us to pay for ourselves . . . or at least to help pay . . . this being a sign of GOD's Humility in allowing us to help with this . . . as to Paul referring to our 'making up what is lacking in the sufferings of CHRIST' . . . and as to all the other Scriptural references as to burning up of works and as to purification and as to cleansing as if by fire and such as that . . . indicating our sharing with CHRIST the responsibility for making up at least some of the debt for our own sins.

The Good-Samaritan is an example as to debt paying and how it works:

Also, to me, CHRIST is the good Samaritan who took pity on the stranger . . . all of mankind . . . us . . . who had been beaten and left on the side of the road . . . taking the stranger to the innkeeper and bandaging his wounds and paying forward on the debt to the innkeeper to care for the stranger . . . promising to pay whatever more farthings may be necessary to pay . . . upon HIS (CHRIST's) Return . . . this Return being on the last day, perhaps.

In the context of all of these things we are here discussing . . .

. . . purgatory only makes very much sense to me . . . as does the rest of Catholic Theology on Temporal vs Eternal Punishment due our sins . . . both requiring to be satisfied for while in this Life or in the next, but only for those whom CHRIST has paid the last Eternal Farthing already.

Also . . . along with the parable of the Good Samaritan . . . the LORD also allowed Simon the Cyrene to help HIM (JESUS) to carry the cross to Calvary . . . allowing us . . . in the person of Simon . . . to shoulder some of the burden of HIS One Only acceptable Salvific Sacrifice . . . both of these being examples of our LORD showing us how to help each other to carry each other's burdens in this Life, HE allowing our sharing in these humble Salvific Grace-filled actions . . . allowing us to share in HIS One Only acceptable suffering . . . a Mystery of Faith in itself.

GOD Bless you and me too and us all.