Purgatory

If any of you watch the tv show “Supernatural”, you saw Dean get sucked into purgatory, a wasteland filled with demons, vampires and other evil characters.  The Catholic belief of purgatory is much different than this.  Catholics believe in confessing our sins to a priest and receiving a penance, which means of a person dies and has not received the Sacrament of Penance or the sacrament Anointing of the Sick, they are not in a state of grace and will not go straight to heaven.  They will go to purgatory until they have repented for their sins.  An actual definition of purgatory is provided by http://www.newadvent.com (a Catholic encyclopedia, if you will): “Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.”  So, in English, it says that purgatory is where we go until we have paid for all our sins.  Now, you may be wondering what brought this post on.  Well, someone I know died today.  He had been suffering from cancer for quite awhile, so it was a blessing.  When I first heard about it, the first thing I did was ask God to take mercy on his soul.  Definitely a Catholic thing to do because of our belief in purgatory.  We ask God to let the soul of the deceased person leave purgatory quickly and go onto heaven.  Other Christian religions believe that, unless you’ve committed murder or another terrible sin, you go straight to Heaven.  We pray individually for the souls of the “faithful departed” and we offer masses for them and pray together during mass.  We believe all this due to our belief that we must confess our sins and be given penance in order for our sins to be forgiven, we can’t just tell God we have sinned and have Him forgive us.  The reasoning behind this will be the subject of tomorrow’s post – I have believed this all my life, but I’m guessing it would be hard wrapping your mind around all of this at once. (No, I am not saying that anyone reading this is dumb, just that the concepts are not what other religions believe in.)

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2 comments

  1. Many believe also, that if you “accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour” you will go to heaven. Done deal type of thing. No I quit watching the “Supernatural.” Got a little too “Supernatural” for me:>) Good informative post and thanks for doing it. God Bless, SR

    1. Yes, we Catholics do believe that, while you obviously must believe that Jesus is our Savior and died on the cross for us, you need to do more than that to get to Heaven. Part of the reason I started this blog is the difference in the Catholic Church and other Christian religions. And thank-you and you’re welcome!

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