Purgatory pt.1

According to the Catholic Church, Purgatory is “a place or conditionof temporal punishment for those who, departing from this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.”

For a long time, this has bothered me.  Nowhere in the New Testament, Old Testament, or Apacrapha was I able to find anything that proved the idea of this place, this waiting room to Heaven, this clensing fire before the pearly gates.   To me, there is no reason to have purgatory after Jesus shed his blood on the cross for ALL our sins. 

According to Catholic Doctrine, “temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardened by God, [and it] is clearly [in] the teaching of Scriptures.” 

In 2 Maccabees (yes, the Apacrapha) Judas, the commander of the Isralite forces, “And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice  to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again , it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead), And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.  It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (verses 43-46)

This practice of praying for the dead, which was strictly observed by the Jews, is used as evidence of purgatory in the Catholic Tradition. 

St. Agustine, a theologian in the Catholic Church, commented on Matthew 12:32, which states “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come”, saying that the only way this can be said is if some sinners cannot be forgiven in this world but can be forgiven in another world.  According to St. Isidor of Sevilla, this verse proves that in the next life “some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire.”

A further arguement is given in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, where it is regarded by many as evidence for the “existence of an intermediate state in which the dross of lighter transgressions will be burnt away, and the soul thus purified will be saved” as according to Ballarmine, another theologian of the Church. 

All this does have some merrit, but with the only ‘solid’ evidence in the Old Testimant, it is my belief that before Jesus’ life and death here on the earth, the Jews prayed for the dead because they had no solid proof of where the faithful were going after death.  Once Jesus died for all our sins on the Cross, the gates of heaven were opened so that each and every believer would be saved from eternal damnation. 

The blood Jesus poured out on the cross has already washed away the sins of the world, there is no reason to have another purification of Holy Fire after death. 

God Bless and PEACE


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