Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

All Souls Day Part 1

Today the Church remembers to pray for those souls who are in purgatory.
This has been a practice dating to the early days of Christianity with its roots in the Jewish religion.
In Maccabees we read how it is a good thing to pray for the souls of the departed to release them from their sins.  In the fourth century St Augustine said: "If we had no care for the dead, we would not be in the habit of praying for them."

Purgatory is not a "second chance" for salvation if you blew it in this present life. Those souls in purgatory have already been judged by Christ and found to be sheep, not goats.( Matt 25) Purgatory is a process of purification so that when we do indeed get to meet the Lord, we will be undefiled. Why is it so important to be undefiled when we see God? Because only the pure will see God.  Many of us will die in Christ, but still carry sinful tendencies with us that need to be purged before we stand in His presence.  CS Lewis said that our souls demand this purgation process!

Because of the interchange of goods through the Communion of Saints,only by the merits of Christ, we are privileged to pray for those who have gone before us. Our prayers can "assist" the process of purification.
BTW, the sale of indulgences to "release" souls from purgatory has never been approved by the Church and has always been condemned, though some still practiced it.

We must not make purgatory into a flaming concentration camp on the brink of hell or even a hell for a short time. It is blasphemous to think of it as a place where a petty God exacts the last pound or ounce of flesh.... St. Catherine of Genoa, a mystic of the 15th century, wrote that the fire of purgatory is God's love burning the soul so that, at last, the soul is wholly aflame. It is the pain of wanting to be made totally worthy of One who is seen as infinitely lovable, the pain of desire for union that is now absolutely assured, but not yet fully tasted (Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Believing in Jesus).


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