Purgatory, Maithiúnas, Iarmhairtí

… or, What the Heck is Purgatory?

Iarmhairtí? There Are Always Consequences!

Image of the Last Judgment by Segna di BuonaventurePurgatory is not an alternative to heaven or hell. It is a temporary state through which some souls must pass to receive a final purification before entering heaven (See the Leabhar na Revelation 21:27). As the Second Vatican Council taught, purgatory exists becauseeven when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina 3).

Mar an gcéanna, an Teagasc Críostaí na hEaglaise Caitlicí stáit, “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” (1030, p. 268). “In purgatory,” writes apologist Karl Keating, “all remaining love of self is transformed into love of God” (Catholicism, p. 190).

The Church takes seriously Jesuscommand in Matthew 5:48 to “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” and holds fast to The Letter to the Hebrews’12:14 that teaches, “Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

Ina theannta sin, the Church accepts the biblical truth that spiritual perfection is required for admittance into heaven, for per our above reference to the Book the Revelation (21:27), “nothing unclean shall enter it.”

Go deimhin, God’s refusal to allow Moses to cross into the Promised Land as punishment for his infidelity is consistent with this belief (féach Deotranaimí 32:48).

Mar an gcéanna, one of the more stinging stories in scripture well illustrates this notion forgiveness and consequences. It is the story of Kind David and the prophet Nathan as they discuss David’s misdeed with Bathsheba in the Dara Leabhar Samuel, 12:1-14:

2 Samuel 12

12:1 Ansin, chuir an Tiarna Nathan le David. Agus nuair a tháinig sé chuige, dúirt sé leis: "Bhí beirt fhear i gcathair amháin: ceann saibhir, agus na mbocht eile.
12:2 Bhí fear saibhir an-go leor caorach agus damh.
12:3 Ach bhí an fear bocht aon rud ar chor ar bith, seachas uan beag amháin, a bhí cheannaigh sé agus chothú. Agus bhí méadú sí suas os a chomhair, mar aon lena leanaí, ag ithe as a chuid aráin, agus ól as a cupán, agus codlata ina bosom. Agus bhí sí cosúil le iníon dó.
12:4 Ach nuair a tháinig lucht siúil áirithe leis an fear saibhir, faillí a ghlacadh as a chaoirigh féin agus damh, ionas go bhféadfadh sé a chur i láthair féasta don lucht siúil, a tháinig chuige, thóg sé na caoirigh ar an fear bocht, agus d'ullmhaigh sé béile le haghaidh an fear a tháinig chuige. "
12:5 Ansin enraged fearg David exceedingly gcoinne an fear, agus dúirt sé go Nathan: "Mar an Tiarna saol, Is é an fear a bhfuil déanta seo mac an bháis.
12:6 Cuirfidh sé ar ais ar an cheathair caorach, toisc go raibh sé an focal, agus ní raibh sé a ghlacadh trua. "
12:7 Ach dúirt Nathan go David: "Tá tú an fear. Dá bhrí sin, a deir an Tiarna, an Dia Iosrael: 'Anointed mé tú mar rí ar Iosrael, agus tarrtháil mé tú ó láimh Saul.
12:8 And I gave the house of your lord to you, and the wives of your lord into your bosom. And I gave the house of Israel and of Judah to you. And as if these things were small, I shall add much greater things to you.
12:9 Dá bhrí sin,, why have you despised the word of the Lord, so that you did evil in my sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword. And you have taken his wife as a wife for yourself. And you have put him to death with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
12:10 Ar an gcúis, Ní bheidh an claíomh a tharraingt siar ó do theach, fiú perpetually, toisc go bhfuil tú iarbhean orm, agus tá tú ag glacadh ben Uriah an Hittite, ionas go bhféadfadh sí a bheith ar do bhean chéile. "
12:11 Agus mar sin, dá bhrí sin, a deir an Tiarna: 'Féuch, Beidh mé ag ardú suas thar tú olc ó do theach féin. Agus beidh mé a ghlacadh do mhná céile amach roimh do chuid súl, agus beidh mé iad a thabhairt do do chomharsa. Agus beidh sé ag codladh le do wives sa radharc seo gréine.
12:12 Mar ghníomhaigh tú rúnda. Ach déanfaidh mé an focal seo i bhfianaise go léir Iosrael, agus i radharc na gréine. ""
12:13 Agus dúirt David go Nathan, "Tá mé sinned i gcoinne an Tiarna." Agus Nathan Deirtear go David: "Tá an Tiarna san áireamh freisin amach do pheaca. Ní bheidh tú bás.
12:14 Ach go fírinneach, toisc go bhfuil tú a tugadh ócáid ​​do na naimhde an Tiarna a blaspheme, mar gheall ar an focal, an mac a rugadh duit: ag fáil bháis déanfaidh sé bás. "

Forgiveness and Consequences

The story of Bathsheba and David and Nathan tells us a great deal about the nature of sin and the mercy of God. David, who is the Lord’s beloved king and could seemingly do no wrong, committed a horrible sin. God was eager and willing to forgive and restore, but there had to be consequences.

Consequences for sin and the effects of sin are often debated among Christians. We may wonder, what exactly are the effects and consequences if, i ndáiríre, all sin was atoned on the cross? Every sin that has ever been committed by humans was atoned by the sacrifice of Christ himself, but that doesn’t mean that the effects of sin are negatedcertainly not in this life. Think of any number of sins (and crimes) like murder, arson and assault. They all have very long-lasting earthly implications. Mar sin,, forgiveness then, does not necessarily mean that the consequences are removed.

Maithiúnas, yet Punishment

To understand how punishment could remain even after one’s sins have been forgiven, it is necessary to distinguish between eternal agus temporal punishment.

An eternal punishment for sin is hell. One is saved from this punishment by God when hethe sinnerrepents and confesses those sins. Yet even after a person is forgiven, temporal punishment may remain which also must be expiated.

Smaoinigh, mar shampla, the husband who is unfaithful to his wife. Feeling remorse, he resolves to change his ways and confess what he has done. His wife, in her goodness, forgives him, mar sin féin, it may be a long time before she will trust him again. He will need to regain her trust, to heal the wound he has caused in their relationship. When we sin we hurt our relationship with God and others.

These wounds must be healed before one enters into heaven. Ar ndóigh, this healing occurs by the grace of God through the merits of Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross. Purgatory, cé go, as well as the penances we do on earth, are God’s ways of allowing us to participate in the healing process as we take responsibility for the wrong we have done.

To be clear, Purgatory has nothing to do with the forgiveness of sin because the sins of the souls in purgatory have already been forgiven. Mar sin,, it is false to claim the Church’s teaching on purgatory involves earning God’s forgiveness. Arís, these souls are saved, but their entry into heaven is delayed. As Saint Paul noted in his An chéad Litir chuig na Corantaigh, “When we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” “For the Lord disciplines him who he loves, agus chastises gach mac a bhfuil fhaigheann sé” (féach ar an Litir chuig an Eabhraigh 12:5-6 agus 5:8-9).

Carl Adam perhaps gave the most succient description of purgatory as follows;

The poor soul, having failed to make use of the easier and happier penance of this world, must now endure all the bitterness and all the dire penalties which are necessarily attached by the inviolable law of God’s justice to even the least sin, until she has tasted the wretchedness of sin to its dregs and has lost even the smallest attachment to it, until the perfection of the love of Christ. It is a long and painful process, “so as by fire.” Is it real fire? We cannot tell; it’s true nature will certainly always remain hidden from us in this world. But we know this: that no penalty presses so hard upon the “poor souls” as the consciousness that they are by their own fault long debarred from the blessed Vision of God. The more they are disengaged gradually in the whole compass of their being from their narrow selves, and the more freely and completely their hearts are open to God, so much the more is the bitterness of their separation spiritualized and transfigured. It is homesickness for their Father; and the further their purification proceeds, the more painfully are their souls scourged with its rods of fire…

Purification and Cleansing

While every Christian considers himself a sinner, at the same time he believes he will be free of sin (and even the inclination to sin) in Heaven. Dá bhrí sin,, a purification process must exist after death, by which the soul prone to sin is transformed into a soul impervious to it.

There are many Scripture passages that allude to a form of expiation of sin after death.

The Notion of Purgatory in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament there is the account of Judas Maccabeus whomade atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (féach ar an Second Book of Maccabees 12:46).

An Book of Sirach, 7:33, stáit, “Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead.Both the Second Book of Maccabees agus Sirach are included among the seven deuterocanonical books, which many non-Catholics reject. Yet even if one does not believe these books to be inspired by God, he should at least consider the historical witness they provide. They affirm the ancient Israelitespractice of praying for the souls of the deceased. This is substantiated by Dara Leabhar Samuel 1:12, which tells us David and his menmourned and wept and fasted until evening for (the soldiers of the Lord) because they had fallen by the sword.

In the New Testament

Paul utters a prayer for the dead in his Second Letter to Timothy, saying of his deceased friend Onesiphorus, “May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord that Day” (1:18).

The most explicit Scriptural reference to purgatory also comes from Paul’s An chéad Litir chuig na Corantaigh:

3:11 Le haghaidh aon duine in ann a leagan ar aon dúshraith eile, in ionad an atá leagtha, a bhfuil Críost Íosa.
3:12 Ach go cinntitheach má tá duine ar bith nuair a thabharfar an bunús, an bhfuil ór, airgead, clocha lómhara, adhmad, ann, nó stubble,
3:13 déanfaidh gach duine ar obair a dhéanamh a léiriú. Chun an lá an Tiarna dearbhóidh sí, toisc go mbeidh sé a nochtadh le tine. Agus beidh sé seo tine thástáil gach ceann amháin ar obair, i dtaobh cén cineál é.
3:14 Más rud é obair duine ar bith a, a thóg sé air, iarsmaí, ansin beidh sé a fháil ar luaíocht.
3:15 Má tá obair le duine ar bith dóite suas, beidh sé ag fulaingt a chaillteanas, ach beidh sé é féin a shábháil fós, ach amháin mar atá trí thine.

Verse 13 refers to Judgment Day, when our works will be made known. The gold, airgead, and precious stones in verse 12 represent meritorious works; the wood, ann, and stubble, imperfect works.

Both cases involve a Christian building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. In the first case, the work the Christian has carried out in life survives judgment and he goes directly to his heavenly reward, i.e., verse 14. In the latter case, the Christian’s work does not survive and hesuffer(s) loss,” cé go, by God’s mercy, is not himself lost but savedas through firein verse 15.

i Matthew 12:32 Jesus seems to imply there is reparation for sin beyond death: “Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come(béim curtha). See Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogues 4:40 and Saint Augustine, The City of God 21:24 for related material.

In áiteanna eile, Jesus implies that some of the deceased shall undergo varying degrees of temporal punishment (féach Luke 12:47-48).

Early Christian References to Purgatory

Inscriptions found at ancient gravesites such as the Epitaph of Abercius Marcellus (mar. 190), mar shampla, beg the faithful to pray for the deceased.

Awaiting martyrdom in a dungeon in Carthage in the year 203, Vibia Perpetua prayed daily for her deceased brother, Dinocrates, having received a vision of him in a state of suffering.

Shortly before her death, it was revealed to her that he had entered into paradise. “I knew,” she remarked, “that he had been released from punishment” (The Martyrdom of Perpetual and Felicitas 2:4).

Most profoundly, we see the early Christian practice of offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice on behalf of the dead. Tertullian (d. mar. 240), mar shampla, revealed how the devout widow prays for the repose of her husband’s soul, agus conas “gach bliain, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice” (Monogamy 10:4).

Ina Sacramentary, dating to the mid-fourth century, Serapion, the Bishop of Thmuis, beseeched God, “on behalf of all the departed,” tosanctify all who have fallen asleep in the Lord (Apoc. 14:13) and count them all among the ranks of Your saints and given them a place and abode (John 14:2) in Your kingdom” (The Sacramentary, Anaphora Prayer of the Eucharistic Sacrifice 13:5).

So Where Does that Leave Us?

Some might ask, “If one must be perfect to enter Heaven, who then can be saved?” When the Apostles posed the same question to Jesus, D'fhreagair sé, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (see Matthew 19:25-26).

As Catholics, we would argue that possibility exists through Purgatory.