Reply To: purgatory

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#10174
Anonymous
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buz i just saw a post a women made about purgatory and started searching the bible and could find nothing.

But where in the Bible do you find that every belief MUST be in the Bible? The early Christians surely didn’t have handy a KJV that they bought at the corner Christian Bookstore and besides 90% of the people could not read either. You don’t find the word” Bible” in the Bible, or the word “Trinity”. How about “Incarnation”? Where do you find a list of what books belong in the Bible? How do you know each and every book in the Bible is inspired?

The mistake many do is they will read scripture on their own and automatically think THEY are inspired by the Holy Spirit and fully understand what it says or doesn’t say. We must read scripture in light of the Tradition of the Church because it is the Church who understands it more deeply than any individual. The beliefs are either explicit or implicit. We believe that what each evangelist wrote, if it was either stated or implied, was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is the Church to which Jesus gave His command to go out and “Teach”, not go out and distribute KJV’s and let people read on their own decide on their own what He meant.

We find implications about Purgatory in 2 Maccabees, Matthew 12:32, Lk 12:58-59 1 Cor 3:11-15 and there are others. Actually purgatory is such a beautiful doctrine in light of Revelations 21:27. Remember, there is no such thing in scripture as OSAS, (One Saved Always Saved) and since nothing impure can enter heaven, even the smallest of sin, like if I stole 1 dollar from my rich neighbor, if not for purgatory, I would be damned to hell for all eternity. Remember too that Purgatory is NOT a second chance which many Protestants erroneously think the Church teaches. Souls in purgatory are already saved; they just have to be made pure as if through fire for that “stolen 1 dollar.”

This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “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. The Church gives the name purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1030–1).

The Early Church fathers (before we had the canon of the Bible) also taught about it:
The Acts of Paul and Thecla — “And after the exhibition, Tryphaena again received her [Thecla]. For her daughter Falconilla had died, and said to her in a dream: ‘Mother, you shall have this stranger Thecla in my place, in order that she may pray concerning me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the righteous’” (Acts of Paul and Thecla [A.D. 160]).

Tertullian — “We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries [the date of death—birth into eternal life]” (The Crown 3:3 [A.D. 211]).

“A woman, after the death of her husband . . . prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice” (Monogamy 10:1–2 [A.D. 216]).

Cyril of Jerusalem — “Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep, for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn sacrifice is laid out” (Catechetical Lectures 23:5:9 [A.D. 350])

And after we had the Bible:

John Chrysostom — “Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice [Job 1:5], why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them” (Homilies on First Corinthians 41:5 [A.D. 392]).

St. Augustine — “Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment” (The City of God 21:13 [A.D. 419])

Even though the word “purgatory” was not used we can see that the Early Fathers taught about a place of purging. So we can see that the teaching of the CC on Purgatory has been constant. It wasn’t until people started attempting to interpret scripture on their own (and we know what the Bible has to say about that) that many decided to discard some of the beliefs of the Church because “They were inspired”.
Many prefer to follow their own instead of the Church that Jesus founded.