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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

michael_legna's picture

Purgatory / any purification is all about approaching perfection

JStaller said -
I realize that "Blessed are the spiritually bankrupt, for theirs is heaven's kingdom" is not a traditional interpretation, but it certainly fits within the larger stream of Jesus' ministry; while Jesus certainly did on occasion preach on the dangers of pursuing riches over the things of God, the main theme of his ministry was the reconciliation of the spiritually bankrupt with the kingdom from the heavens. Jesus saith unto them, "Verily I
say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go
into the kingdom of God before you."

I am not sure what you mean by spiritual bankrupt, but my understanding of it would not describe a publican or harlot as Jesus is thinking of them when He contrasts them to the leadership of Israel at the time. In His reference they are the ones who though sinful have enough love in themselves to see themselves as sinners and thus humble themselves and express that love to others - thus fulfilling the law through love while the Pharisees and Scribes etc. did not fulfill the law because they tried to do so by adhering to the letter and thus were not outwardly sinning but had no love in themselves. It was these latter men who I would describe as spiritually bankrupt - which is why I don't accept your translation.

JStaller said -
In a theological scheme that revolves around bliss in the afterlife, purgatory does make sense. In a theological scheme that revolves around the reconciliation of creation with perfection, purgatory sounds a lot like a misunderstanding.

If Purgatory is about purification as Catholics claim then I cannot think of anything that fits a reconciliation of creation with perfection better. Purification is all about approaching perfection. It is precisely because nothing that defiles can enter the kingdom that Purgatory is needed - to burn away those works which are not perfect, to make restitution for those sins we have not fully and properly repented of.