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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

jwmcmac's picture

JStaller, you speak very

JStaller, you speak very well . . . and with much Charity.

I say the following in a hurry . . . Hoping it goes well . . . just some thoughts which came to me while reading some of the latest posts.

It seems to me that the 'purgatorial' aspect of things in the next life has also to do with . . . such things as Paul's statement of . . . 'making up what is lacking in the sufferings of CHRIST' . . . when there is obviously nothing lacking in the sufferings of CHRIST . . . eternally speaking . . . in the overall scheme of things 'salvific'.

Such statements as that of Paul's . . . lend themselves to the Catholic 'way' of understanding 'Salvation' very well.

Praying for the dead . . . is 'Scriptural' as far as Catholics are concerned.

'Cleansing as by fire' . . . is Scriptural.

Isn't the blood of the innocents . . . crying out for justice from under the altar in Heaven (oh yeah, not Purgatory) . . . they to receive a white robe . . . I think . . . this speaks to me of unfinished business after death . . . so to speak.

Catholics do not have to have final answers on these or on any other Mysteries of our Faith . . . but we do absolutely 'know what we know' . . . we know what is necessary to know.

The Visible and the Invisible are always as one in their ongoing 'reality'.

Sacraments are like little 'incarnational' instruments of Grace and are little weddings of Supernatural Life wed to our finite life and are 'real'.

The Communion of the Saints on Earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven is a 'reality' to Catholics.

Protestants in general are always trying to find 'that once and for all moment' when everything, everyone or each of us is . . . 'Saved' . . . that moment of ultimate assurance . . . often discounting some of the aspects of this earthly 'life' and the earthly 'shell' which we call our body, which clothes our 'soul' . . . at least discounting the 'Oneness' of this body and soul relationship to a greater degree than do Catholics . . . and this for a reason.

Purgatory in the afterlife or in the between-life, while the soul is temporarily separated from the body, doesn't fit very well into that Protestant 'view' of being 'Saved' . . . ergo . . . it is almost impossible for 'Bible-only-Believers' to accept such a doctrine of Faith as Purgatory and the necessity of such things as Sacraments . . . etc . . . and so many 'Catholic' doctrines involving the Sacramental nature of things.

The following will not be said well enough . . . sorry . . .

Catholics Teach that . . . 'if' . . . we live the 'Way' and the Life that CHRIST told us to Live . . . Believing in JESUS as the Savior . . . confessing our sins before HIM . . . bringing our bodies daily or over time into submission to HIS Spirit . . . while relying constantly upon HIS Mercy when we fail in Living this Sacramental Life of Faith . . . then we can be confident of our Salvation . . . we Trusting in the LORD . . . we having the confident Hope to receive Eternal Life . . .

. . . but we cannot ever be absolutely 'assured' of our Salvation . . . at any time while in this Life . . . ergo . . . we 'working out' our Salvation in 'fear and trembling'.

The Protestant view is somewhat opposed to this 'fear and trembling' approach . . . they seeming to want 'absolute assurance' rather than merely a 'confident Hope'.

To a Catholic, Salvation is achieved over an entire Life-long struggle to follow CHRIST to the end . . . and is not a one-time event . . . although there are very many important 'one-time events' in a Catholic Life.

A Catholic Life is a . . . Sacramental Life of Faith . . . and Salvation is gained through the means of Living a Life of Sacramental Union with CHRIST . . . this being accomplished mainly through the Sacramental Life of The Church . . . necessarily always Lived in the Love of GOD and Neighbor . . . without which Love no one is Saved.

Catholics don't understand all that much about 'Purgatory'. But we understand and know what we understand and know and that is enough . . . and it is important for us to know and to understand.

It is also important to 'know what it is that we don't know' and to know all of this within the context of an unchangeable 'doctrine' of Faith . . . so that we do not go astray in either direction from the 'center' WHO is the Incarnate CHRIST . . . we abiding in HIS Mystical Body on Earth, the Church Militant . . . and we abiding in HIS Glorified and Mystical Body in Heaven, the Church Triumphant . . . and we abiding in HIS Suffering Mystical Body in Purgatory . . . all of these being One and the same Mystical Body, which together with JESUS make up the 'Whole CHRIST' . . . as Paul said . . . which is being built.

It is now not I but CHRIST WHO Lives in me.

We must decrease so that HE might increase.

It is in dying to ourselves that we find Life in and through CHRIST WHO died and gave up HIS Life for us. We become HIS Mystical Body, the Church . . . we become HIS Bride. We eat HIS Body and drink HIS Blood . . . we become One with HIM, if we receive HIM worthily in Faith, unto eternal Life . . . HE then abiding in us and us in HIM . . . Sacramentally . . . in Loving Communion and Oneness . . . unto Eternal Life.

Sorry, this is too much to say and . . . thanks for letting me say it.

GOD Bless us all.