What You Should Know About Purgatory

By | September 18, 2019


Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz
and this is Ascension Presents Say, let’s talk about purgatory, shall we? People think that there’s this big massive doctrine
in the Catholic Church about purgatory and they also think that it’s nowhere biblical
and both of those ideas are actually incorrect. First, it’s not a massive doctrine
and secondly, it’s very biblical. There’s three things that Catholics believe
about purgatory: A. That there exists some place of final purification. B (or 2). We believe that purification, that process,
is painful or involves some discomfort. 3. We believe that the prayers of those on earth
can assist those going through this final purification or process. That’s it – Wait a second, didn’t Jesus pay
the final price for our sins? Absolutely, he did! Jesus, by his life, death, and resurrection
on the Cross, he took away the eternal consequence for our sin, right? The eternal consequence for our sin is eternal
separation from God – hell Jesus paid that price, he made it possible
for us to have access to the Father. He made it possible for us to be rescued from
damnation and have salvation. But we also know that all of our sins don’t
only have an eternal consequence, they also have a temporal consequence. Even if I am forgiven, because of God’s grace,
there is now some temporal, or consequences in time, in myself, because of that.
Even though I’m forgiven, I’m now attached to sin. Even though I’m forgiven, I now have a proclivity
towards that same sin. Even though I’m forgiven, there are some consequences
in time, temporal, that I have to deal with. What purgatory is all about is, because of
God’s grace, because of his mercy, because of his love, he has released us from those
eternal consequences of sin, aka hell but he also desires to free us from the temporal
consequences of sin. This is biblical because in First Corinthians
Chapter 3, St. Paul even says, Those of you who are Christians, you build with various
materials, but the day of the Lord is coming and it will
burn like a fire and if you have built on the foundation of Christ, because you are
a Christian, right, built on the foundation of Christ, with anything
other than precious materials, those things that are straw, and those things that are
wood, those things that are not precious, those things that can’t endure, they’ll be
burned up as through fire. This process, purification, involves some
kind of discomfort as Scripture attests to. Now, that’s not those who are not Christians,
that’s those who are Christians, those who are in Christ and the eternal punishment,
the eternal consequence of their sin has been paid, by Jesus. But they have been building, they have been
crafting a life that some is great and virtuous, doesn’t have to be purified. But other things in my life do have to be
purified and that will be uncomfortable aka as Scripture says in First Corinthians 3 “As
through fire.” We believe that’s purgatory. That it is simply a process that which God
extends his grace, not a process of God withholding his grace,
but a process of God extending His grace to all those who died in a state of grace
in friendship with Jesus, but still have certain attachments. It’s this purification, not only that I can
love God as he deserves, but also I don’t have attachments to things that I shouldn’t
have attachments to so that he can love me, so he can love you
as he desires to love you. Now, our prayers on this earth help those
in purgatory. This is Second Maccabees Chapter 12. There’s this great battle and there are a
great number of Jews who die in the battle. Now as they are going around, collecting the
bodies, they find that some of these people, even though they were in covenant with the
Lord God, they have amulets that are basically like
good luck charms. So essentially died in friendship with God,
right, in the covenant with God but they have some lack of trust of the Lord
God. And these amulets, or these good luck charms
indicate that they didn’t fully trust in the Lord God. Because of that, Judas Maccabeus takes up
a collection to offer a sacrifices and prayers for them. And Scripture says, in doing this, he did
a noble thing. Because in praying for the dead, now it assumes
that praying for the dead is a thing that actually we do
and it is assumes that praying for the dead is a thing that actually helps those not because
we’re the one mediator. No, Jesus is the one mediator and he takes
away the eternal consequence for sin. But because of being part of the Body of Christ,
our prayers not only help each other in this world, they also help each other when we are
in the next world, that purification entry into heaven. This is not unusual. In fact, this is not anti-Biblical and it’s
not anti-Christian. And even great Christians like C.S. Lewis,
believed in purgatory. C.S. Lewis even said, Our souls demand purgatory,
don’t they? C.S. Lewis gives us this example, he says:
Imagine showing up to the gates of heaven and yes, because God, Jesus Christ,
has paid the eternal price for my sin, I can go to heaven. Imagine, he says, showing up to the door of
heaven, and they say, “Come on in,” and you’re like, “Ugh, I feel uncomfortable because I
have kind of these filthy rags on, I feel like I need to get cleaned up some more.” They say, “No, no no. Come in. Just share in the joy.” Lewis says, we would say, “I know you’d love
me if I walked in there. All the same, I would prefer to be cleaned
up first.” “I know that you’d accept me, but all the
same, I would prefer to have all those attachments in my heart detached so that I can completely
be free to give it to the Lord.” This ultimately all comes down to how we see
salvation. We believe in this thing intrinsic justification,
which on a moment to moment basis we get to cooperate with God’s grace. Because we believe God is present at all moments
and he is inviting us to cooperate with him at all moments. The consequence is I may die in friendship
with God, in his Grace, but I haven’t fully given my heart to him. Purgatory is God’s gift, that final purification,
for whatever is in my heart that shouldn’t be, it gets purified. By whose grace? By his grace. By my works? No, simply by my cooperation with his works
but my cooperation with His love by your and my cooperation with his grace. Purgatory is a gift of God’s mercy and for
one, I am just so grateful to our God, who is so good, that he gives us this great gift. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Father Mike. God bless. If you want more information on purgatory—this is a really important thing— there are a ton —a ton—of articles out there that explain purgatory way better than I just did in this video. There’s things at Catholic.com, which is Catholic Answers, there’s things at Catholic Educators Resource, I think it’s CatholicEducation.com. Great articles there explaining what we believe as Catholics about purgatory far far better, and much more in-depth than I just did right now. There are even some articles and resources through Ascension Press helping us explain what we truly believe about purgatory. You’ll find those in the notes below.

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