Purgatory

Castle Church

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I have to disagree. Some do, but many do not.

The fringe, cultic types of course tend to go in for that kind of thing.


I've never heard it said. Nor would it seem likely, since the Church of England does not consider itself to be the "one true church" or the unique choice of Jesus Christ.

I couldn't say, but we still would be nowhere near justifying a claim that "all churches make similar statements," even if all of these churches that you've named did so.

Well, most of all, I think we're getting way off track ;)



Albion Greenscapular

Greenscapular, I agree that Christians generally tend to believe THEIR decisions are HIS decision (a decision made with MUCH prayer and after careful discussion), especially when they are group/church decisions. I suspect that belief is (at times anyway) ... questionable.

That said (and meant, LOL).... Albion has a point. While others may believe their choice of pastor or bishop or whatever is that of the Holy Spirit, I don't think there is quite the equal of the Pope. While all organizations has SOME "final say", SOME way of resolving conflict, SOME desk at which the "buck stops" (Supreme Court in the USA?), the "choice" is not seen as the Vicar of God... and never infallible. I don't think this is true for the patriarchs of EOC churches (George here will need to confirm that). IMO, Albion is correct as well in that in Protestantism, "the church" is seen PRIMARILY as "the one, holy, catholic church", the communion of all believers (past and present) spread out over all the centuries and continents. Jesus is the Lord of that, Jesus guides that, the Holy Spirit works there.... primarily. We certainly have a sense of the visible church too (Anglicans more than Lutherans) but it's below and secondary. IMO, in Catholicism, it's a bit reversed.... "the church" is "the One, Holy, Catholic Church" headed by the Pope, administered by the bishops under him, the church in it's fulness. The rest of us are acknowledged as Christians (there is the Protestant sense in Catholicism, too) but we're kinda "looking in" from outside, LOL. It DOES make a difference in how we see our denomination.... and it can make a difference in how we see each other.



Now..... Purgatory.




.


Valid points around from both of you :)

I will get back to the topic at hand now, my apologies for getting off course :)
 

Stephen

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Hi does anybody want a Catholic take on Purgatory?
I warn you that it is very long.
 

Andrew

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Yup. The Catholic Church simply defines "TRADITION" in a unique way. As you correctly note, there "Tradition is what we say it is." For Lutherans, Anglicans and many Reformed, "Tradition" (in this sense) is ancient, ecumenical belief that perhaps is not specifically stated in Scripture but is not unbiblical (simply NON-biblical). A different use of the term.

Yes, by the RCC definition, "Purgatory" is "Tradition" (EVERYTHING that denomination teaches is) but clearly it is NOT ancient and NOT ecumenical.


Clearly, it is not biblical. Is it UNbiblical? I think so, as the video in the OP notes, but perhaps not clearly so.

And as I noted in the OP, in MY experienced, it is an abandoned dogma. Years ago, one of the leaders of the RCIA class of my former Catholic parish told me that the Catholic Church cannot admit error in dogma without destroying the entire foundation of that church, SO it doesn't do that. I either just redefines all the words so that it NOW means something VERY different than it originally did (same words, different definitions) OR simply lays it aside and ignores it. I think both are seen here, but mostly the "let's just forget our church teaches this." In fairness, I think this happens in Protestantism too.




.




.
nm
 
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Of all the RC Masses I’ve attended I’ve never heard the priest use it as the subject of his homily but I can’t quite remember if purgatory was even mentioned or not during a homily.

I can say on rare occasions the souls of purgatory come up during the prayers of the church within their liturgy and also included as one of the ‘Intentions of the Mass’.
 

Stephen

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Yup. The Catholic Church simply defines "TRADITION" in a unique way. As you correctly note, there "Tradition is what we say it is." For Lutherans, Anglicans and many Reformed, "Tradition" (in this sense) is ancient, ecumenical belief that perhaps is not specifically stated in Scripture but is not unbiblical (simply NON-biblical). A different use of the term.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."

"and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."
..........

83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

(my emboldening)
Such Tradition is is not unbiblical (simply NON-biblical).
 

Lämmchen

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Of all the RC Masses I’ve attended I’ve never heard the priest use it as the subject of his homily but I can’t quite remember if purgatory was even mentioned or not during a homily.

I can say on rare occasions the souls of purgatory come up during the prayers of the church within their liturgy and also included as one of the ‘Intentions of the Mass’.

I attended a lot of masses with my husband at multiple churches and no priest mentioned purgatory. One priest even openly declared that a deceased member was celebrating his new life with the Lord in heaven because he had faith in Jesus. It was refreshing to hear the Gospel.
 

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I attended a lot of masses with my husband at multiple churches and no priest mentioned purgatory. One priest even openly declared that a deceased member was celebrating his new life with the Lord in heaven because he had faith in Jesus. It was refreshing to hear the Gospel.
Perhaps the priest considered that the deceased had completed his/her "time" in Purgatory. :)
 

Albion

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Perhaps the priest considered that the deceased had completed his/her "time" in Purgatory. :)
Perhaps, but the priest would have no way of knowing that. And it would be very unlikely.

Although there is no such thing as time in the afterlife, typical Catholic Church statements about the nature of Purgatory and how "long" one might have to spend there make a quickie experience almost impossible. At least that's true of Purgatory as it used to be explained to the faithful. Now that some clergy are describing Purgatory as nothing but a kind of celestial decompression chamber or shower stall or as a lobby between Earth and Heaven that the souls pass though, the priest we are talking about could have had that in mind.
 
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Stephen

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Perhaps, but the priest would have no way of knowing that. And it would be very unlikely.

Although there is no such thing as time in the afterlife, typical Catholic Church statements about the nature of Purgatory and how "long" one might have to spend there make a quickie experience almost impossible. At least that's true of Purgatory as it used to be explained to the faithful. Now that some clergy are describing Purgatory as nothing but a kind of celestial decompression chamber or shower stall or as a lobby between Earth and Heaven that the souls pass though, the priest we are talking about could have had that in mind.

Or maybe, as there is no time as we know it, he was comforting the grieving relatives . He would hardly say to them that the deceased would eventually get to heaven but at the moment he/she is probably suffering in purgatory.
 

Lämmchen

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Perhaps the priest considered that the deceased had completed his/her "time" in Purgatory. :)

Or the priest didn't believe in Purgatory and trusted that believers were with their Savior.
 

Albion

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Or maybe, as there is no time as we know it, he was comforting the grieving relatives . He would hardly say to them that the deceased would eventually get to heaven but at the moment he/she is probably suffering in purgatory.
Well, of course. But the issue--or so I got from your post--was that what he said on that occasion was not in line with his church's longtime teaching about Purgatory.

However, we could take the position that he was not concerned with that but instead was (although doing so in his capacity as a priest of the church) just telling the people what he knew they wanted to hear.
 

Josiah

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I attended a lot of masses with my husband at multiple churches and no priest mentioned purgatory. One priest even openly declared that a deceased member was celebrating his new life with the Lord in heaven because he had faith in Jesus. It was refreshing to hear the Gospel.


That's my Catholic experience, too. I can't recall it ever being mentioned. In fact, at the several funerals/memorial services and masses I attended, not only was Purgatory NEVER mentioned AT ALL, but there WAS a reference to the loved one BEING in HEAVEN. And like you, Lamm, I can recall a sermon that was VERY Lutheran (I actually wonder if he just found a Lutheran funeral sermon and read it).

I rejoice in this. I recall a conversation I had with a man and woman who were leaders in our parish's RICA classes. He mentioned that the Catholic Church CANNOT admit error in doctrine without destroying it's whole basis soooo it never does (it does in ACTIONS but not in DOCTRINE). It instead does one of two things: 1) It simply redefines the words so that the declaration now "means" something very different than originally, th new definitions mean it's no longer wrong ...or.... 2) It simply stops talking about it (in hopes most will forget it). I think Purgatory is an example of #2 (Transubstantiation being an example of #1).



Tigger said:
Of all the RC Masses I’ve attended I’ve never heard the priest use it as the subject of his homily but I can’t quite remember if purgatory was even mentioned or not during a homily.

I can say on rare occasions the souls of purgatory come up during the prayers of the church within their liturgy and also included as one of the ‘Intentions of the Mass’.


That's also my Catholic experience.



.
 

Stephen

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That's my Catholic experience, too. I can't recall it ever being mentioned. In fact, at the several funerals/memorial services and masses I attended, not only was Purgatory NEVER mentioned AT ALL, but there WAS a reference to the loved one BEING in HEAVEN. And like you, Lamm, I can recall a sermon that was VERY Lutheran (I actually wonder if he just found a Lutheran funeral sermon and read it).

I rejoice in this. I recall a conversation I had with a man and woman who were leaders in our parish's RICA classes. He mentioned that the Catholic Church CANNOT admit error in doctrine without destroying it's whole basis soooo it never does (it does in ACTIONS but not in DOCTRINE). It instead does one of two things: 1) It simply redefines the words so that the declaration now "means" something very different than originally, th new definitions mean it's no longer wrong ...or.... 2) It simply stops talking about it (in hopes most will forget it). I think Purgatory is an example of #2 (Transubstantiation being an example of #1).






That's also my Catholic experience.



.
And what do you conclude from your experiences?
 

Stephen

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Although people here seem to think that Purgatory is a peculiar Catholic belief, the concept is not.

Purgatory
“early 13c., from M.L. purgatorium (St. Bernard, early 12c.), from L.L., "means of cleansing," prop. neut. of purgatorius (adj.) "purging, cleansing," from L. purgare (see purge).”
(Online Etymology Dictionary).

Purgatory is about cleansing and purification

Catholic belief
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.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church para 1030)

This belief in a cleansing and purification after death is not just a Catholic one but is common to Judaism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, though the form and name may be different.

Judaism
“According to Judaism, the purifying process that a sullied soul undergoes to cleanse it from its spiritual uncleanliness is a temporary one, and is restorative in its intent, and not punitive, as many mistakenly believe. Ultimately, all Jews have portion in the World to Come, as do Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who observe the Seven Noahide Commandments.” (http://www.chabad.org/library/articl...-teachings.htm)

The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]; also, 'He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again'" (I Sam. ii. 6). The Hillelites seem to have had no purgatory; for they said: "He who is 'plenteous in mercy' [Ex. xxxiv. 6.] inclines the balance toward mercy, and consequently the intermediates do not descend into Gehenna" (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3; R. H. 16b; Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 18). Still they also speak of an intermediate state. (PURGATORY - JewishEncyclopedia.com)

Rabbi Shammai (50 BC - AD 30), one of the two main teachers of early rabbinical Judaism, also is on record as having interpreted Zechariah 13:9 as referring to a state of purification after death. Isaiah 66:15-16 and Malachi 3:2-3 were also interpreted in rabbinic literature as referring to the purgatorial process.

Orthodoxy
Some Orthodox teach Aerial Toll-Houses regarding the souls journey after its departure from the body after death.

But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have not repented at all, or great ones for which – even thought they have repented over them – they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sin, (St. Mark of Ephesus)
(Aerial Toll-Houses - OrthodoxWiki)

St. Mark of Ephesus was the main spokesman and theologian for the Orthodox at the Council of Ferrara in 1438. He also wrote that “the souls of people who die with unforgiven minor sins will experience spiritual sufferings in the afterlife, which, however, are not divine punishments but self-inflicted consequences of these sins”

Protestantism
Many Protestants believe in a purification after death but they call it Glorification.

Glorification is the Protestant alternative to purgatory, as it is "the means by which the elect receive perfection before entering into the kingdom of Heaven."

The majority of Protestant denominations believe in this form of glorification, although some have alternative names.

(askdefine.com)

“Glorification involves first of all the believer's sanctification or moral perfection (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Hebrews 2:10-11 ), in which the believer will be made glorious, holy, and blameless (Ephesians 5:27 ). The process of sanctification is at work in us now (2 Corinthians 3:18 ) but moves from one degree of glory to another until it reaches final glory.”
(Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Terms)

“Glorification marks the completion of Christ's work of redemption as the believer stands before God having been awakened from sin's deadly slumber, having been given a new heart and having been purified completely in soul and body.”
( Dr. James E. Bordwine – Westminster Presbyterian Church)
Covenant Theology: Glorification (Part 1)
 

Stephen

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I attended a lot of masses with my husband at multiple churches and no priest mentioned purgatory. One priest even openly declared that a deceased member was celebrating his new life with the Lord in heaven because he had faith in Jesus. It was refreshing to hear the Gospel.

That's my Catholic experience, too. I can't recall it ever being mentioned. In fact, at the several funerals/memorial services and masses I attended, not only was Purgatory NEVER mentioned AT ALL, but there WAS a reference to the loved one BEING in HEAVEN. And like you, Lamm, I can recall a sermon that was VERY Lutheran (I actually wonder if he just found a Lutheran funeral sermon and read it).
Although a priest may not explicitly mention Purgatory at a funeral Mass (and I see no reason why he should) the concept is there in the prayers that are made.

If we believe that a person who has dies goes straight to heaven or hell then there is no point in praying for the dead. What would be the purpose of such prayers? When we pray for the dead it is because we think such prayers might help the person.

A very common Catholic prayer for the departed, not just at funerals, is:
Eternal rest, grant unto him/her O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
May he/she rest in peace. Amen.

May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.


At a funeral Mass there are such prayers said. For example:
Reader: For our brother/sister who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he/she now be admitted to the company of the saints. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayers

Reader: For our brother/sister who was nourished at the table of the Saviour. That
he/she may be welcomed into the halls of the heavenly banquet. We pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayers

Priest: God, our shelter and our strength, you listen in love to the cry of your people:
hear the prayers we offer for our departed brothers and sisters. Cleanse them of their
sins and grant them the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


And in the final Commendation the priest says:
To you, O Lord, we commend the soul of N.N. your servant;
in the sight of this world he/she is now dead;
in your sight may he/she live for ever.
Forgive whatever sins he/she committed through human weakness
and in your goodness grant him/her everlasting peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen
 

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Wouldn’t temporal punishments only happen in this life, and not the next? Purgatory makes no sense to me. I don’t think it’s biblical.

Jesus said to the thief on the cross: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

He didn’t say, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Purgatory.”

He didn’t say that!
 

Stephen

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Wouldn’t temporal punishments only happen in this life, and not the next? Purgatory makes no sense to me. I don’t think it’s biblical.

Jesus said to the thief on the cross: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

He didn’t say, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Purgatory.”

He didn’t say that!
Temporal punishments are those that only last for a time, as opposed to eternal punishment which is forever. Although we use the word punishment it is perhaps better to regard it as God disciplining us for our own good, not as some sort of divine vengeance.

“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:7-11).

“Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.” (Wis 3:5-6)

Purgatory is seen as a purification process where the disorders in us caused by sin are healed, where the lingering attachments to sin, such as pride, anger lust etc., and “bad attitudes” are cleared out, so that we can be pure and holy and fit to be in the presence of God. It is God’s mercy to allow us to be purified before we enter his presence, as we could not bear to be in his presence unless we are pure and holy. Without it we could not achieve the holiness necessary to enter heaven - "the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14) - at least most of us couldn’t.
 

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Although people here seem to think that Purgatory is a peculiar Catholic belief, the concept is not.

Purgatory
“early 13c., from M.L. purgatorium (St. Bernard, early 12c.), from L.L., "means of cleansing," prop. neut. of purgatorius (adj.) "purging, cleansing," from L. purgare (see purge).”
(Online Etymology Dictionary).

Purgatory is about cleansing and purification

Catholic belief
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.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church para 1030)

This belief in a cleansing and purification after death is not just a Catholic one but is common to Judaism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, though the form and name may be different.

Judaism
“According to Judaism, the purifying process that a sullied soul undergoes to cleanse it from its spiritual uncleanliness is a temporary one, and is restorative in its intent, and not punitive, as many mistakenly believe. Ultimately, all Jews have portion in the World to Come, as do Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who observe the Seven Noahide Commandments.” (http://www.chabad.org/library/articl...-teachings.htm)

The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]; also, 'He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again'" (I Sam. ii. 6). The Hillelites seem to have had no purgatory; for they said: "He who is 'plenteous in mercy' [Ex. xxxiv. 6.] inclines the balance toward mercy, and consequently the intermediates do not descend into Gehenna" (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3; R. H. 16b; Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 18). Still they also speak of an intermediate state. (PURGATORY - JewishEncyclopedia.com)

Rabbi Shammai (50 BC - AD 30), one of the two main teachers of early rabbinical Judaism, also is on record as having interpreted Zechariah 13:9 as referring to a state of purification after death. Isaiah 66:15-16 and Malachi 3:2-3 were also interpreted in rabbinic literature as referring to the purgatorial process.

Orthodoxy
Some Orthodox teach Aerial Toll-Houses regarding the souls journey after its departure from the body after death.

But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have not repented at all, or great ones for which – even thought they have repented over them – they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sin, (St. Mark of Ephesus)
(Aerial Toll-Houses - OrthodoxWiki)

St. Mark of Ephesus was the main spokesman and theologian for the Orthodox at the Council of Ferrara in 1438. He also wrote that “the souls of people who die with unforgiven minor sins will experience spiritual sufferings in the afterlife, which, however, are not divine punishments but self-inflicted consequences of these sins”

Protestantism
Many Protestants believe in a purification after death but they call it Glorification.

Glorification is the Protestant alternative to purgatory, as it is "the means by which the elect receive perfection before entering into the kingdom of Heaven."

The majority of Protestant denominations believe in this form of glorification, although some have alternative names.

(askdefine.com)

“Glorification involves first of all the believer's sanctification or moral perfection (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Hebrews 2:10-11 ), in which the believer will be made glorious, holy, and blameless (Ephesians 5:27 ). The process of sanctification is at work in us now (2 Corinthians 3:18 ) but moves from one degree of glory to another until it reaches final glory.”
(Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Terms)

“Glorification marks the completion of Christ's work of redemption as the believer stands before God having been awakened from sin's deadly slumber, having been given a new heart and having been purified completely in soul and body.”
( Dr. James E. Bordwine – Westminster Presbyterian Church)
Covenant Theology: Glorification (Part 1)
I may be wrong but I think there is no silver in the new millennium , leaving the rabbinical commentaries either consisting of the present or eternity within that time frame.
 

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Stephen, that post offers us a lot of information about the alleged nature of Purgatory, but fails to make the case that there IS a Purgatory.
 

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Stephen, that post offers us a lot of information about the alleged nature of Purgatory, but fails to make the case that there IS a Purgatory.

I did offer to give a Catholic take on Purgatory in post #22 but no-one took it up.
But since you ask.....


First of all we need to appreciate that Purgatory is about purification and cleansing. Also, strictly , it's a process, a state of being, not a place.

Part 1 (yes, there is more after this)
The basic scriptural argument for this purification is as follows:

1. God is holy and perfect, and He tells us to be holy and perfect as he is holy and perfect.
“…but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1Pet 1:15-16)
“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)

2. Unless we are clean (holy and perfect) we will not enter heaven for a life of communion with God.
“But nothing unclean will enter it” [The new Jerusalem – Heaven] (Rev 21:27)

3. Unless we are holy we will not see God.
“Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12;14)

4. When we are initially justified (I believe by baptism) God makes us holy and perfect.
“When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.” (Ti 3:4-7)

5. But during our life we sin which disfigures and soils our souls and from which we need cleansing to restore us the holiness and perfection necessary to enter heaven. This is an ongoing process of sin, repentance, and cleansing.
“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.” (2Cor 7:1)

6. If we are not wholly clean, holy and perfect there must be some process whereby we can be cleansed and made holy and perfect. Scripture tells us there is.
In Hebrews 11 the writer describes the faith of many of those in the Old Testament, men and women, from Abel onwards. At the end he writes:
"And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."

These people were all dead, but they had not been made perfect. They had not received what was promised (heaven).
Then he writes:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us" (12:1). These faithful people of the Old Testament are now witnessing our struggles. This can only be from heaven. But you have to be perfect to be in heaven. So those that were not perfect must have been made perfect

And he confirms this later in the chapter.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb 12:22-23)

These just men were not perfect when they died but they are now. This shows that there is a way, a process, whereby the spirits of just men can be made perfect after death.

God in his mercy has provided a final purification process whereby we are made fit to enter his presence.

Catholics call this process Purgatory.
“The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.” (CCC 1031)

Any comments before I proceed to the next part?
 
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