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Saturday 25 July 2015

Misunderstandings about Purgatory, Still

A quick posting...

While most Catholics simply do not believe in Purgatory, it seems that there are some who simply do not understand the two-fold reasoning behind this teaching of the Church.

And, yes, it still is a teaching.

First of all, in the CCC, we read this and let me comment in blue:


1030 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.

So, the first reason given in the Catechism is that purgation of sin and imperfections is necessary before one goes to heaven. "Only the perfect see God." If we allow God, or if it is God's will that we experience purgation on earth, so much the better, as then, we gain more merit for heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608

Note that some things can be forgiven now, most things, in fact. But, one must also make reparation, in other words, be punished, for sins committed. This is the second reason for Purgatory.  Punishment is a consequence, and purification is the taking away not only of the consequences, but the reasons for the sins one's commits, things like the predominant fault. (See series). Under the selections from the CCC, is one from the Catholic Encyclopedia, which explains the need to undergo temporal punishment due to sin.
1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, 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.611

That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture. God indeed brought man out of his first disobedience and gave him power to govern all things (Wisdom 10:2), but still condemned him "to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow" until he returned unto dust. God forgave the incredulity of Moses and Aaron, but in punishment kept them from the "land of promise" (Numbers 20:12). The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God's enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (2 Samuel 12:13-14). In the New Testament as well as in the Old, almsgiving and fasting, and in general penitential acts are the real fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8; Luke 17:3; 3:3). The whole penitential system of the Church testifies that the voluntary assumption of penitential works has always been part of true repentance and the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, can. xi) reminds the faithfulthat God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction, and will punish sin, and this doctrine involves as its necessary consequence a belief that the sinner failing to do penance in this life may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God. from the CE
Would it not easier, and would we not gain more merit in heaven for accepting purgatory on earth, both as punishment and purification? This would mean doing penance now.

The Cure for Cynicism--The Blame Game Part Four

One of the psalms tells us all how to avoid cynicism and repent of it.  The keys to breaking a habit of cynicism are humility and gratitude towards God.

Those who have grateful hearts and those who do not dwell on the faults of others, only concentrating on repenting of their own faults, will not fall into cynicism.

 from Psalm 115Douay-Rheims 

 10 I have believed, therefore have I spoken; but I have been humbled exceedingly.
11 I said in my excess: Every man is a liar.
12 What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things he hath rendered unto me?
13 I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord before all his people:
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, for I am thy servant: I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds:
17 I will sacrifice to thee the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of all his people:
19 In the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

St. James Compostela and Pilgrimages

By the middle of the 9th century, the relics of St. James made their way to Spain, brought by the Catholics who were already in Spain, but needed the graces of pilgrimages because of the new invasions. This shrine reminds us all of the falsity of so much revisionist history.  St. James, one of the three special apostles closer to Christ than the others, with Peter and John, saw the Transfiguration, but also was one in the Garden of Gethsemane who could not stay awake with Christ in His Agony.

Therefore, he experienced his own martyrdom in 44 A.D.

For Europeans, the road to Compostela is an internationally protected historical site, and includes the shrine. In 2013, my pastor in England walked the walk at the age of 50, and in honor of his 25 years as a priest. He shared the great physical travail of the walk, as well as the spiritual benefits.

I have one friend who was converted on the walk many years ago from a life of youthful sin and negligence of the Faith. I know another man who made the walk and did the long hard way of sleeping in barns, over thirty years ago.

America has no walking pilgrimages, which tells you something about the problem of religion here. Without cars, no one can go to the only two approved apparitions in the Americas, Guadalupe, and Our Lady of Good Hope, which you can read about here.

I would have loved to walk Compostela, but could not find anyone to go with me when I was able to do so. I would like to see the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Hope, but do not have a car, although I do have a license.

The lack of local shrines forms part of America's sad Low Protestant heritage, which has now crumbled into gross paganism. Without the sacramental life of the Church, religion fades into relativism and individualism--see my posts on the solas.

A pilgrimage is not a picnic or a vacation, but a walk, or ride, of penance. One goes on pilgrimage for many reasons. Some go to Lourdes to be healed. Some go to Fatima to be close to Mary and her words for these troubled times. Some go to Akita for prayer and reparation. Some go to Guadeloupe for petitions.

But, the lack of shrines in the States points to exactly the same trouble I am having, even in these obviously anti-religious times, of setting up a house of prayer.

American Catholics just do not believe in penance or sustained quiet. The cult of activity deadens their perception of finding God in the silence of smallness.

St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin and Adele Brise were simple people. Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa is a simple, quiet nun in a simple, quiet order.

Pray for the house of prayer. Pray for people to come and to desire to do reparation for our world.

Mary comes in times of stress. Here are some of her words from Akita. 

St. James, pray for us today.

"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"
"With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."
"It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community."

(P.S.A friend of mine has never seen The Mission, The Passion of the Christ, or The Way. If any of you want to order these for me so I can show him these movies, please let me know, asap.)

More on the pilgrimage to Compostela may be found at this site.

I predicted three weeks ago--

...that some priests will be in prison by the end of the years....and now, this is the first step below.

The state of Kentucky has begun imposing a religious test on volunteer pastor counselors in its youth division, insisting that they refrain from calling homosexuality “sinful” and dismissing those who cannot bend their religious faith to accommodate the state requirements.Read more at

So, the Bible will be considered hate speech....

Paganism is now the official religion of America.