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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 176231 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #360 on: February 19, 2009, 10:57:50 AM »

An approach which nobody has suggested is this: The consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church is best reflected and expressed in its liturgical traditions and texts. So, for homework, kiddies, please find the texts for the Orthodox requiem (panikhida, mnemosyno, parastasis), and for the Orthodox funeral (for a layman, and, if possible, for a child). Let's see if there's any mention or hint of purgatory or purification within the texts of these services.
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« Reply #361 on: February 19, 2009, 11:26:34 AM »

An approach which nobody has suggested is this: The consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church is best reflected and expressed in its liturgical traditions and texts. So, for homework, kiddies, please find the texts for the Orthodox requiem (panikhida, mnemosyno, parastasis), and for the Orthodox funeral (for a layman, and, if possible, for a child). Let's see if there's any mention or hint of purgatory or purification within the texts of these services.

I don't have access to these, any links?
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« Reply #362 on: February 19, 2009, 11:33:25 AM »

Liturgical texts are of course a great source for doctrine, alongside the decrees of Councils.

Since a reference has been made to an Orthodox Council, namely the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672, I'd be interested in LBK's and others' take on this decree which I will repost:

Quote
DECREE XVIII.

We believe that the souls of those that have fallen asleep are either at rest or in torment, according to what each hath wrought; — for when they are separated from their bodies, they depart immediately either to joy, or to sorrow and lamentation; though confessedly neither their enjoyment, nor condemnation are complete. For after the common resurrection, when the soul shall be united with the body, with which it had behaved <151> itself well or ill, each shall receive the completion of either enjoyment or of condemnation forsooth.

And such as though envolved in mortal sins have not departed in despair, but have, while still living in the body, repented, though without bringing forth any fruits of repentance — by pouring forth tears, forsooth, by kneeling while watching in prayers, by afflicting themselves, by relieving the poor, and in fine {in summation ELC} by shewing forth by their works their love towards God and their neighbour, and which the Catholic Church hath from the beginning rightly called satisfaction — of these and such like the souls depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from thence, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers <152> of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice availing in the highest degree; which each offereth particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offereth daily for all alike; it being, of course, understood that we know not the time of their release. For that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment we know and believe; but when we know not.
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« Reply #363 on: February 19, 2009, 11:40:04 AM »


4) Quote from stanley123:
Quote
Wait a minute.  You say that there is no such thing as mortal sin or venial sin. But in the next breath you say that every illness injures our soul in a stronger or lesser way?
I say there are many levels, not just two. Not only in purgatory, but even in Hell. The rigid scholastic definition of "mortal sins" and "venial sins" seems to put sometimes a wall between them as if venial sins were so little that we should be justified to do them. "God will still forgive and purge us, after all". No, all sins separate us from God, and even a venial sin, when persistent and unconfessed, could lead us to Hell. I don't see that large difference... Only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit brings us directly to Hell. All other sins could or could not lead us to Hell. That's up to God's decision, anyway. I just find "unbearable" all that categorizing process typical of legalistic Western society, where I've unfortunately born.

You still clearly show a misunderstanding of mortal and venial sin. No one is justified to do any sin, even venial---God hates all sin. Venial sins "persistent and unconfessed," as you say, DO end up killing the soul. When I go to confession, I confess all sins of which I am aware.
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« Reply #364 on: February 19, 2009, 11:51:36 AM »

Three quotes from widely differing centuries (5th, 17th and 20th) which show the same unanimous teaching on life immediately after death...

Orthodox teaching on this point (pax to Fr Seraphim Rose) is characterised by a reticence to go beyond the little which the Saviour has been pleased to reveal to us.

But the human mind which always hates to admit its limitations is very ingenious in creating afterlife scenarios, and in this respect our Roman Catholic brothers are the most ingenious of all.   Smiley
 
Quote 1:   The teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo:
 
 
"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death
 and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it enjoys rest
or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has earned by the life which it led on earth."

Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

 
Quote 2:  The 1980 Resolution of the ROCA Synod of bishops on the toll house belief... which is virtually word for word what Augustine wrote 1,500 years earlier!

"Taking all of the foregoing into consideration, the Synod of Bishops resolve:

In the deliberations on life after death one must in general keep in mind
that it has not pleased the Lord to reveal to us very much aside from the
fact that the degree of a soul's blessedness depends on how much a man's life
on the earth has been truly Christian, and the degree of a man's posthumous
suffering depends upon the degree of sinfulness. To add conjectures to the little
that the Lord has been pleased to reveal to us is not beneficial to our salvation..."
 

 
 
Quote 3:    The Synod of Constantinople of 1672:
 
"We believe that the souls of the departed are in either
repose or torment as each one has wrought, for immediately after the
separation from the body they are pronounced either in bliss or in suffering
and sorrows, yet we confess that neither their joy nor their condemnation
are yet complete. After the general resurrection, when the soul is reunited
with the body, each one will receive the full measure of joy or condemnation
due to him for the way in which he conducted himself, whether well or ill."


Fr Ambrose
 
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« Reply #365 on: February 19, 2009, 11:59:56 AM »

Yes, Fr Ambrose, but what about the very next line of the Synod of 1672 which talks about purification?
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« Reply #366 on: February 19, 2009, 12:00:33 PM »

Three quotes from widely differing centuries (5th, 17th and 20th) which show the same unanimous teaching on life immediately after death...

Orthodox teaching on this point (pax to Fr Seraphim Rose) is characterised by a reticence to go beyond the little which the Saviour has been pleased to reveal to us.

But the human mind which always hates to admit its limitations is very ingenious in creating afterlife scenarios, and in this respect our Roman Catholic brothers are the most ingenious of all.   Smiley
 
Quote 1:   The teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo:
 
 
"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death
 and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it enjoys rest
or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has earned by the life which it led on earth."

Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

 
Quote 2:  The 1980 Resolution of the ROCA Synod of bishops on the toll house belief... which is virtually word for word what Augustine wrote 1,500 years earlier!

"Taking all of the foregoing into consideration, the Synod of Bishops resolve:

In the deliberations on life after death one must in general keep in mind
that it has not pleased the Lord to reveal to us very much aside from the
fact that the degree of a soul's blessedness depends on how much a man's life
on the earth has been truly Christian, and the degree of a man's posthumous
suffering depends upon the degree of sinfulness. To add conjectures to the little
that the Lord has been pleased to reveal to us is not beneficial to our salvation..."
 

 
 
Quote 3:    The Synod of Constantinople of 1672:
 
"We believe that the souls of the departed are in either
repose or torment as each one has wrought, for immediately after the
separation from the body they are pronounced either in bliss or in suffering
and sorrows, yet we confess that neither their joy nor their condemnation
are yet complete. After the general resurrection, when the soul is reunited
with the body, each one will receive the full measure of joy or condemnation
due to him for the way in which he conducted himself, whether well or ill."


Fr Ambrose
 
-oOo-
 

Father Bless,

So we can have no hope of release from these torments? For me that is all that Purgatory is 'the hope of release'...
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« Reply #367 on: February 19, 2009, 12:02:19 PM »

Three quotes from widely differing centuries (5th, 17th and 20th) which show the same unanimous teaching on life immediately after death...

Orthodox teaching on this point (pax to Fr Seraphim Rose) is characterised by a reticence to go beyond the little which the Saviour has been pleased to reveal to us.

But the human mind which always hates to admit its limitations is very ingenious in creating afterlife scenarios, and in this respect our Roman Catholic brothers are the most ingenious of all.   Smiley
 
Quote 1:   The teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo:
 
 
"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death
 and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it enjoys rest
or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has earned by the life which it led on earth."

Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

 
Quote 2:  The 1980 Resolution of the ROCA Synod of bishops on the toll house belief... which is virtually word for word what Augustine wrote 1,500 years earlier!

"Taking all of the foregoing into consideration, the Synod of Bishops resolve:

In the deliberations on life after death one must in general keep in mind
that it has not pleased the Lord to reveal to us very much aside from the
fact that the degree of a soul's blessedness depends on how much a man's life
on the earth has been truly Christian, and the degree of a man's posthumous
suffering depends upon the degree of sinfulness. To add conjectures to the little
that the Lord has been pleased to reveal to us is not beneficial to our salvation..."
 

 
 
Quote 3:    The Synod of Constantinople of 1672:
 
"We believe that the souls of the departed are in either
repose or torment as each one has wrought, for immediately after the
separation from the body they are pronounced either in bliss or in suffering
and sorrows, yet we confess that neither their joy nor their condemnation
are yet complete. After the general resurrection, when the soul is reunited
with the body, each one will receive the full measure of joy or condemnation
due to him for the way in which he conducted himself, whether well or ill."


Fr Ambrose
 
-oOo-
 
Father, What do you think about the passage from the synod of Jerusalem?
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« Reply #368 on: February 19, 2009, 12:18:59 PM »

I read this quote online. Did Mark of Ephesus really say this?
"But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though 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 sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place."

-Mark of Ephesus' "First Homily Concerning Purgatorial Fire" quoted in Fr. Seraphim Rose's The Soul After Death (California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood; 1994).
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« Reply #369 on: February 19, 2009, 02:40:40 PM »

I read this quote online. Did Mark of Ephesus really say this?
"But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though 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 sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place."

-Mark of Ephesus' "First Homily Concerning Purgatorial Fire" quoted in Fr. Seraphim Rose's The Soul After Death (California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood; 1994).


I remember coming across this quote before:

When union between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches was attempted at the Council of Florence, the subject of purgatory was a hot topic.[5] In the end, all but one of the Eastern Orthodox representatives (Eastern Orthodox St. Mark of Ephesus) agreed to the Council's formulas.[6] What is significant is that Mark of Ephesus' belief in cleansing (the meaning of "purgation") after death, and most if not all of his speculations on what form it could take, are acceptable to Catholicism.[7] From a Catholic perspective, Mark's "dissent" was entirely semantic. Compare these two formulas:

    But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though 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 sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place.[8]

    The souls of those who depart this life with true repentance and in the love of God, before they have rendered satisfaction for their trespasses and negligences by worthy fruits of repentance, are cleansed after death by cleansing pains.[9]

There are only two apparent differences between these two statements. The first is that Mark of Ephesus was opposed to the term "fire" and the idea that cleansing occurs "in some place," neither of which is defined by the Council of Florence (or any other Ecumenical Council) as part of Catholic teaching on purgatory.[10] The second is that the Council mentions "pain" or "suffering." But Mark of Ephesus also believed that cleansing after death involves pain or suffering. He actually called his own theories "more torment than any fire...terror....that is much more tormenting and punishing than anything else."[11] In other words, both the Council and Mark of Ephesus agreed that there is a cleansing after death, the conditions of which may be understood as suffering.[12]


This is all very interesting stuff if true. The author of this article provides citations to Fr. Seraphim Rose's The Soul After Death. I should like to consult it to verify.
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« Reply #370 on: February 19, 2009, 03:07:06 PM »

I read this quote online. Did Mark of Ephesus really say this?
"But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though 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 sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place."

-Mark of Ephesus' "First Homily Concerning Purgatorial Fire" quoted in Fr. Seraphim Rose's The Soul After Death (California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood; 1994).


I remember coming across this quote before:

When union between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches was attempted at the Council of Florence, the subject of purgatory was a hot topic.[5] In the end, all but one of the Eastern Orthodox representatives (Eastern Orthodox St. Mark of Ephesus) agreed to the Council's formulas.[6] What is significant is that Mark of Ephesus' belief in cleansing (the meaning of "purgation") after death, and most if not all of his speculations on what form it could take, are acceptable to Catholicism.[7] From a Catholic perspective, Mark's "dissent" was entirely semantic. Compare these two formulas:

    But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though 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 sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place.[8]

    The souls of those who depart this life with true repentance and in the love of God, before they have rendered satisfaction for their trespasses and negligences by worthy fruits of repentance, are cleansed after death by cleansing pains.[9]

There are only two apparent differences between these two statements. The first is that Mark of Ephesus was opposed to the term "fire" and the idea that cleansing occurs "in some place," neither of which is defined by the Council of Florence (or any other Ecumenical Council) as part of Catholic teaching on purgatory.[10] The second is that the Council mentions "pain" or "suffering." But Mark of Ephesus also believed that cleansing after death involves pain or suffering. He actually called his own theories "more torment than any fire...terror....that is much more tormenting and punishing than anything else."[11] In other words, both the Council and Mark of Ephesus agreed that there is a cleansing after death, the conditions of which may be understood as suffering.[12]


This is all very interesting stuff if true. The author of this article provides citations to Fr. Seraphim Rose's The Soul After Death. I should like to consult it to verify.
Looks like you and I read the same article. That's where I found the quote within a quote within a quote. lol
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« Reply #371 on: February 19, 2009, 03:44:54 PM »

I do believe that some "purification after death" occurs. Many Church fathers did, yet many others didn't. Believing in purgatory is thus unnecessary for salvation, once you still pray for the dead...
Sorry, but I don't see any insurmountable difference between purification after death and the Catholic teaching on purgatory.
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« Reply #372 on: February 19, 2009, 03:47:59 PM »

I do believe that some "purification after death" occurs. Many Church fathers did, yet many others didn't. Believing in purgatory is thus unnecessary for salvation, once you still pray for the dead...
Sorry, but I don't see any insurmountable difference between purification after death and the Catholic teaching on purgatory.
That's because there is not an insurmountable difference. When the dogma was defined in the union councils it was made specifically vague enought that it would be compatible with Eastern theology. However, anit-western sentiment has made a mountain out of a mole hill, or rather out of no hill at all.
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« Reply #373 on: February 19, 2009, 04:10:01 PM »

I say there are many levels, not just two. Not only in purgatory, but even in Hell. The rigid scholastic definition of "mortal sins" and "venial sins" seems to put sometimes a wall between them as if venial sins were so little that we should be justified to do them. "God will still forgive and purge us, after all". No, all sins separate us from God, and even a venial sin, when persistent and unconfessed, could lead us to Hell. I don't see that large difference... Only blasphemy against the Holy Spirit brings us directly to Hell. All other sins could or could not lead us to Hell. That's up to God's decision, anyway. I just find "unbearable" all that categorizing process typical of legalistic Western society, where I've unfortunately born.
To me, it just makes sense that there are lesser and greater sins. In the Latin tradition, these are simply called venial and mortal sins, or in the more modern usage, they may be  called lesser sins and serious sins.
Now you say here that all sins separate us from God. Let's suppose that you are a fairly religious man, you fast and pray according to your Church discipline, and you are always engaged in helpful family activities. Let's say then that you take the family to a park and as you are walking by, you see a sign which says: DO NOT PICK THE FLOWERS. However, it is a bright sunny day, and there are several flowers blooming, so you pick and steal one flower. Now please tell me if that sin of picking and stealing a flower in a park would completely separate you from God? I don't think it would, although it would be wrong and it would be an offense agaisnt the law of God agaisnt stealing. I don;t think that a person would go to hell for picking one flower among many in a park? Is that not a venial sin, plain and simple?
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« Reply #374 on: February 19, 2009, 04:17:16 PM »

To me, it just makes sense that there are lesser and greater sins. In the Latin tradition, these are simply called venial and mortal sins, or in the more modern usage, they may be  called lesser sins and serious sins.
Now you say here that all sins separate us from God. Let's suppose that you are a fairly religious man, you fast and pray according to your Church discipline, and you are always engaged in helpful family activities. Let's say then that you take the family to a park and as you are walking by, you see a sign which says: DO NOT PICK THE FLOWERS. However, it is a bright sunny day, and there are several flowers blooming, so you pick and steal one flower. Now please tell me if that sin of picking and stealing a flower in a park would completely separate you from God? I don't think it would, although it would be wrong and it would be an offense agaisnt the law of God agaisnt stealing. I don;t think that a person would go to hell for picking one flower among many in a park? Is that not a venial sin, plain and simple? 

There's no such thing as a simple sin - you steal the flower, that's one thing; if you don't confess it because you consider it trivial, then that's another (pride!) and more serious one; if you encourage your children to steal because they saw you do it, then that's another (leading others to sin)...  However, unless you think that you can measure the number of inches separating you from God, then yes, anything that separates, separates completely.

The Orthodox approach isn't to say that you're dammed for one and all - but it acknowledges that one sin leads to others which are more serious, which is why we must strive for no sin, and must be repentant for all sin equally.
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« Reply #375 on: February 19, 2009, 04:32:07 PM »


The Orthodox approach isn't to say that you're dammed for one and all - but it acknowledges that one sin leads to others which are more serious, which is why we must strive for no sin, and must be repentant for all sin equally.
Which is the same as the Catholic position. Unrepented and unconfessed venial sin can lead to mortal sin by weaking our resistance against sin. Thus we should repent from all sin.
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« Reply #376 on: February 19, 2009, 04:36:31 PM »

To me, it just makes sense that there are lesser and greater sins. In the Latin tradition, these are simply called venial and mortal sins, or in the more modern usage, they may be  called lesser sins and serious sins.
Now you say here that all sins separate us from God. Let's suppose that you are a fairly religious man, you fast and pray according to your Church discipline, and you are always engaged in helpful family activities. Let's say then that you take the family to a park and as you are walking by, you see a sign which says: DO NOT PICK THE FLOWERS. However, it is a bright sunny day, and there are several flowers blooming, so you pick and steal one flower. Now please tell me if that sin of picking and stealing a flower in a park would completely separate you from God? I don't think it would, although it would be wrong and it would be an offense agaisnt the law of God agaisnt stealing. I don;t think that a person would go to hell for picking one flower among many in a park? Is that not a venial sin, plain and simple? 

There's no such thing as a simple sin - you steal the flower, that's one thing; if you don't confess it because you consider it trivial, then that's another (pride!) and more serious one; if you encourage your children to steal because they saw you do it, then that's another (leading others to sin)...  However, unless you think that you can measure the number of inches separating you from God, then yes, anything that separates, separates completely.

The Orthodox approach isn't to say that you're dammed for one and all - but it acknowledges that one sin leads to others which are more serious, which is why we must strive for no sin, and must be repentant for all sin equally.

Hi Cleveland,

Is it not a hope that even those who have passed on in sin, unrepentant, that they may eventually be united with their loved one's in heaven? I thought that this was a hope of the Orthodox? Am I wrong?
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« Reply #377 on: February 19, 2009, 04:39:37 PM »

But Doesn't repentance cover all this ..Im sure everyone that goes to confession will mention to the Father of the forgotten sin's he/she can't remember as well.. just to mention this in it self the forgotten sins is a act that The Lord would honor and that your truly are sorry for your sins remembered and unremembered ,in thought deed and word and thats why your in confession ..
Also you accept and trust the Lord and in his Gift to the Church to absolve repented sins known and forgotten...The lord Knows our weekness,, is Quick to Forgive...
Why is it Hard to Believe  By our catholic brothers/sisters...why do you believe that God is out to Get us one way or another ....

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« Reply #378 on: February 19, 2009, 04:43:20 PM »

But Doesn't repentance cover all this ..Im sure everyone that goes to confession will mention to the Father of the forgotten sin's he/she can't remember as well.. just to mention this in it self the forgotten sins is a act that The Lord would honor and that your truly are sorry for your sins remembered and unremembered ,in thought deed and word and thats why your in confession ..
Also you accept and trust the Lord and in his Gift to the Church to absolve repented sins known and forgotten...The lord Knows our weekness,, is Quick to Forgive...
Why is it Hard to Believe  By our catholic brothers/sisters...why do you believe that God is out to Get us one way or another ....

For me personally... I don't really think God is out to get us. I just don't believe that I love God enough to keep His Commandments nor am I particularly fruitful.
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« Reply #379 on: February 19, 2009, 04:44:45 PM »

But Doesn't repentance cover all this ..Im sure everyone that goes to confession will mention to the Father of the forgotten sin's he/she can't remember as well.. just to mention this in it self the forgotten sins is a act that The Lord would honor and that your truly are sorry for your sins remembered and unremembered ,in thought deed and word and thats why your in confession ..
Also you accept and trust the Lord and in his Gift to the Church to absolve repented sins known and forgotten...The lord Knows our weekness,, is Quick to Forgive...
Why is it Hard to Believe  By our catholic brothers/sisters...why do you believe that God is out to Get us one way or another ....


Yes, repentance is always best. Of course, I sincerely agree with you on that point.
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« Reply #380 on: February 19, 2009, 04:46:48 PM »

Mickey,
God chastises us to correct us.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

This is not to pay a debt for sin, but it is a medicine to correct and heal us.
Regards,
George



Papist,
God chastises us to correct us.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

This is not to pay a debt for sin, but it is a medicine to correct and heal us.
Regards,
George
I agree that God punishes us to correct us. That is what I have been arguing throughout this thread.
However, I don't think that he only punishes us for correction. Sometimes it is for justice. I think the death of the liars in Act chapter five is evidence of this.
They did not die because they were liars. They died because they lied to the Holy Spirit- and so, cut themselves off from the Life-Giver. They died in horror of the realization of what they had done once the Apostles exposed their deed. And their deaths were God's rebuke and correction not only of them, but the whole Community.
So the sequence is:
1) The Apostles tell Ananias and his wife what they had done.
2) On hearing it, they fall down dead.
3) On seeing this  "great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things."
So it is true even in this case that "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

If God were "Just" everyone guilty of the same sin would receive the same punishment.
If God were "Just", those hired at the eleventh hour would receive less than those hired early in the morning who had worked all the day, but instead, Our Lord tells us that they will receive the same wage (Matthew 20:1-16).
God is not Just.
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« Reply #381 on: February 19, 2009, 05:03:33 PM »

One of the main problems I see with discussions of purgatory is just general misunderstandings, and this happens in both Orthodox and Roman Catholic camps.  Purgatory to Roman Catholics is a sign of the Lord's divine and complete love for us, not a sign that He is vengeful and fairly petty.  The thing about purgatory is that it is difficult to discuss and debate since it is an extremely vague "condition".  Experiencing purgatory meant that you died in a state of grace, you are going to experience Paradise, you are not damned.  Now, the "purifying fire", it is not meant to be viewed in a similar mind as the torments of Hell, yet many jump to that conclusion.  Why is this "purifying fire" not the burning desire and longing within the person to be united with our Lord?  Why is "pain" associated with it not the pain we all feel when we act against the way Christ has commanded us?  Roman Catholics do not view God has roasting the departed over a spit demanding they repent, nor is He whiping them for every sin they did.  I am not sure my views when I was Roman Catholic would completely be endorsed by others within the RCC, but I always viewed purgatory as a condition we placed ourselves in.  It is human nature to instinctively believe in God, and we love Him and long to enter His Kingdom, yet we also never feel worthy to be in His presence.  Our Lord can look into our heart of hearts and see the true us, and with His loving hand, welcome and lead us to Paradise, while fulfilling that burning desire to be united with Him.  So much of what happens to us after death is a complete mystery, this is common within both the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Anyways, that is just my two cents; I'm no theologian.  Doesn't mean so much now does it through.   laugh
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« Reply #382 on: February 19, 2009, 05:24:18 PM »

Mickey,
God chastises us to correct us.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

This is not to pay a debt for sin, but it is a medicine to correct and heal us.
Regards,
George



Papist,
God chastises us to correct us.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

This is not to pay a debt for sin, but it is a medicine to correct and heal us.
Regards,
George
I agree that God punishes us to correct us. That is what I have been arguing throughout this thread.
However, I don't think that he only punishes us for correction. Sometimes it is for justice. I think the death of the liars in Act chapter five is evidence of this.
They did not die because they were liars. They died because they lied to the Holy Spirit- and so, cut themselves off from the Life-Giver. They died in horror of the realization of what they had done once the Apostles exposed their deed. And their deaths were God's rebuke and correction not only of them, but the whole Community.
So the sequence is:
1) The Apostles tell Ananias and his wife what they had done.
2) On hearing it, they fall down dead.
3) On seeing this  "great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things."
So it is true even in this case that "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19)

If God were "Just" everyone guilty of the same sin would receive the same punishment.
If God were "Just", those hired at the eleventh hour would receive less than those hired early in the morning who had worked all the day, but instead, Our Lord tells us that they will receive the same wage (Matthew 20:1-16).
God is not Just.

Interesting interpretation. Although, I think it may be a modernist twist but not sure on this. It seem much like the incidents in the old testatment when God struck onan dead for spilling his seed or when the priests offered incesnse when it was not permited and God sturck them dead as well. I will certainly consider what you have to say, but given the backdrop of the old testament, it looks more like God struck them dead.
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« Reply #383 on: February 19, 2009, 05:25:49 PM »

One of the main problems I see with discussions of purgatory is just general misunderstandings, and this happens in both Orthodox and Roman Catholic camps.  Purgatory to Roman Catholics is a sign of the Lord's divine and complete love for us, not a sign that He is vengeful and fairly petty.  The thing about purgatory is that it is difficult to discuss and debate since it is an extremely vague "condition".  Experiencing purgatory meant that you died in a state of grace, you are going to experience Paradise, you are not damned.  Now, the "purifying fire", it is not meant to be viewed in a similar mind as the torments of Hell, yet many jump to that conclusion.  Why is this "purifying fire" not the burning desire and longing within the person to be united with our Lord?  Why is "pain" associated with it not the pain we all feel when we act against the way Christ has commanded us?  Roman Catholics do not view God has roasting the departed over a spit demanding they repent, nor is He whiping them for every sin they did.  I am not sure my views when I was Roman Catholic would completely be endorsed by others within the RCC, but I always viewed purgatory as a condition we placed ourselves in.  It is human nature to instinctively believe in God, and we love Him and long to enter His Kingdom, yet we also never feel worthy to be in His presence.  Our Lord can look into our heart of hearts and see the true us, and with His loving hand, welcome and lead us to Paradise, while fulfilling that burning desire to be united with Him.  So much of what happens to us after death is a complete mystery, this is common within both the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Anyways, that is just my two cents; I'm no theologian.  Doesn't mean so much now does it through.   laugh
I think this is very well stated. I have never seen Purgatory as God's way of getting back at us. Rather, he is simply preparing us for heaven because he loves us. The other alternative would be Hell.
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« Reply #384 on: February 19, 2009, 06:13:30 PM »

Hello,

If a soul experienced cleansing of venial sins in purgatory and then went to Heaven, how is the soul (together with its body) still going to be judged by Christ at the Final Judgment?

Thank you,
Stefania
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« Reply #385 on: February 19, 2009, 06:48:32 PM »

Men will be judged for all their works (good and bad) and for all their sins (forgotten and unforgotten), so the Roman Catholic Church teaches that no matter the particular judgement a soul receives after death, they will still be subject, with their bodies, to the Final Judgement by Christ.  Whether they were Saints or not, whether they went immediately to Heaven, experienced(ing) Purgatory, or condemned to Hell, they will be judged.  So Particular Judgement is ongoing, as people pass away, judgements are made, but at the Final Judgement, the history of world and all that has been is written by the Just Judge, Christ.

Here is part of the CCC that explains it:  http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm

I'm not sure I explained that all too well, but I am sure someone will expand on it or correct me about the Roman Catholic Church's teachings.
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« Reply #386 on: February 19, 2009, 07:14:08 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
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« Reply #387 on: February 19, 2009, 07:26:51 PM »

An approach which nobody has suggested is this: The consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church is best reflected and expressed in its liturgical traditions and texts. So, for homework, kiddies, please find the texts for the Orthodox requiem (panikhida, mnemosyno, parastasis), and for the Orthodox funeral (for a layman, and, if possible, for a child). Let's see if there's any mention or hint of purgatory or purification within the texts of these services.

Any progress with your homework, folks?
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« Reply #388 on: February 19, 2009, 08:47:28 PM »


Why is it Hard to Believe  By our catholic brothers/sisters...why do you believe that God is out to Get us one way or another ....
I thought that Our Lord spoke about everlasting punishment?Matthew 25:31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. 32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. 34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? 39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? 40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? 45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
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« Reply #389 on: February 19, 2009, 09:19:03 PM »

I'm sure your going to get a lot of people that just live in this world and partake in everything it has to offer be good or bad,that's why we pray for them ,that chose the bad ,so they change for the better prayer/faith does after all move mountains as The Lord told us..Our Hope is in the lord..God Tell's us when he sends his Spirit out it never comes back void..its touches and changes some one for the better...but we still have to run the race to end of this life....God knows we also have evil spiritual adversaries to contend with and its not easy for us,all we can do is have faith/hope in his mercy....
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« Reply #390 on: February 19, 2009, 09:44:37 PM »

Liturgical texts are of course a great source for doctrine, alongside the decrees of Councils.

Since a reference has been made to an Orthodox Council, namely the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672, I'd be interested in LBK's and others' take on this decree which I will repost:

Quote
DECREE XVIII.

We believe that the souls of those that have fallen asleep are either at rest or in torment, according to what each hath wrought; — for when they are separated from their bodies, they depart immediately either to joy, or to sorrow and lamentation; though confessedly neither their enjoyment, nor condemnation are complete. For after the common resurrection, when the soul shall be united with the body, with which it had behaved <151> itself well or ill, each shall receive the completion of either enjoyment or of condemnation forsooth.

And such as though envolved in mortal sins have not departed in despair, but have, while still living in the body, repented, though without bringing forth any fruits of repentance — by pouring forth tears, forsooth, by kneeling while watching in prayers, by afflicting themselves, by relieving the poor, and in fine {in summation ELC} by shewing forth by their works their love towards God and their neighbour, and which the Catholic Church hath from the beginning rightly called satisfaction — of these and such like the souls depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from thence, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers <152> of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice availing in the highest degree; which each offereth particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offereth daily for all alike; it being, of course, understood that we know not the time of their release. For that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment we know and believe; but when we know not.

If I would slightly edit the last paragraph to make it more lucid:

And [those who have died after having repented of their] mortal sins have not departed in despair. [Because, having repented] though without bringing forth any fruits of [such] repentance — by pouring forth tears, forsooth, by kneeling while watching in prayers, by afflicting themselves, by relieving the poor, and [in short] by shewing forth by their works their love towards God and their neighbour, and which the Catholic Church hath from the beginning rightly called satisfaction — [these] souls depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed [, punishment that, as seen in the paragraph below, may actually cease, even before the common resurrection and Judgment]. [In other words, those who have repented of their mortal sins and then died, before having demonstrated works of love toward God and Man, will endure punishment proportionate to the sins committed.]

But they are aware of their future [pre-resurrection, pre-Judgment] release from thence, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice availing in the highest degree; which each offereth particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offereth daily for all alike; it being, of course, understood that we know not the time of their release. For that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment we know and believe; but when we know not. [That is, the punishment that these souls undergo after death, is punishment that can cease -- even before the common resurrection and Judgment -- due to prayers and works of those living. The soul could have avoided the punishments if the soul, before dying, had done works of love after repenting of its mortal sins.]

Would that be a proper interpolation of the paragraph?
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« Reply #391 on: February 20, 2009, 01:32:37 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.
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« Reply #392 on: February 20, 2009, 02:11:27 PM »

Thanks for explaining it to me.

Stefania
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« Reply #393 on: February 20, 2009, 02:29:24 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.


 Huh ???How is it there not going to leave heaven at the end or hell as you believe there in, doesn't God judges The transfigured ressurected Body with the souls on this earth be it good souls or the Bad.,and casts the transfigured bad ones body and soul in the lake of fire..and the good ones transfigured remain body and soul on this earth were the new jerusalem is...were  God Is heaven is.....
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« Reply #394 on: February 20, 2009, 02:32:04 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.


 Huh ???How is it there not going to leave heaven at the end or hell as you believe there in, doesn't God judges The transfigured ressurected Body with the souls on this earth be it good souls or the Bad.,and casts the transfigured bad ones body and soul in the lake of fire..and the good ones transfigured remain body and soul on this earth were the new jerusalem is...were  God Is heaven is.....

I believe he means that their judgement will not change (not leaving to be placed elsewhere).  The body will still be reunited with soul, they will still appear before Christ the Judge, etc.
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« Reply #395 on: February 20, 2009, 02:40:07 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.


 Huh ???How is it there not going to leave heaven at the end or hell as you believe there in, doesn't God judges The transfigured ressurected Body with the souls on this earth be it good souls or the Bad.,and casts the transfigured bad ones body and soul in the lake of fire..and the good ones transfigured remain body and soul on this earth were the new jerusalem is...were  God Is heaven is.....

I believe he means that their judgement will not change (not leaving to be placed elsewhere).  The body will still be reunited with soul, they will still appear before Christ the Judge, etc.

Sounds vaguely Augustinian-esque.
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« Reply #396 on: February 20, 2009, 02:47:09 PM »


Sounds vaguely Augustinian-esque.

You don't believe in a 'physical' resurrection of the body?
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« Reply #397 on: February 20, 2009, 02:59:01 PM »


Sounds vaguely Augustinian-esque.

You don't believe in a 'physical' resurrection of the body?

I was actually referring to the "no-change-in-status" idea. Shocked
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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #398 on: February 20, 2009, 03:46:25 PM »


Sounds vaguely Augustinian-esque.

You don't believe in a 'physical' resurrection of the body?

I was actually referring to the "no-change-in-status" idea. Shocked

Well, they are asking for the Roman Catholic point of view.   Wink

I guess there is a belief in a change though, you experience a fullness when your soul is reunited with your body, according to the CCC.
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« Reply #399 on: February 22, 2009, 09:41:03 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.

In Orthodoxy the soul after death experiences a sense of where it will reside for eternity.  There is a foretaste of eternity but not directly.  Those who have died are in a waiting state not place.  Those who have not repented of their sins have eternal damnation to look forward to (no one except the devil and his anges are in Hell).  Those who have repented will be judged and rewarded through God's mercy.  We pray for those departed and we believe that these prayers and sacrifices will help those who may even be on the cusp of hell can be helped by these prayers and granted God's mercy as well.  Are there "gray" areas in this waiting state?  Yes.

This is my belief as an Orthodox Christian.

 

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« Reply #400 on: February 22, 2009, 10:25:37 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.

In Orthodoxy the soul after death experiences a sense of where it will reside for eternity.  There is a foretaste of eternity but not directly.  Those who have died are in a waiting state not place.  Those who have not repented of their sins have eternal damnation to look forward to (no one except the devil and his anges are in Hell).  Those who have repented will be judged and rewarded through God's mercy.  We pray for those departed and we believe that these prayers and sacrifices will help those who may even be on the cusp of hell can be helped by these prayers and granted God's mercy as well.  Are there "gray" areas in this waiting state?  Yes.

This is my belief as an Orthodox Christian.

Grace and Peace,

I believe Plato said it most profoundly...

It's ridiculous, isn't it, to strain every nerve to attain the utmost exactness and clarity about things of little value and not to consider the most important things worthy of the greatest exactness? ~ Plato Republic 504d

I believe Rome has always taken these words from the Greek Divine, as he was known in the early Church, to be most influential it it's considerations of all things dogmatic.
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« Reply #401 on: February 22, 2009, 11:38:57 PM »

I thought that the Final Judgment is for the purpose of deciding where a soul goes to: Heaven or Hell, because before that a soul is merely "waiting." I would like to understand why a soul that's been cleansed in the purgatory and went to Heaven still needs judgment.

Thanks,
Stefania
In Catholic theology the final judgement has different purposes depending on whether or not some one has already passed away. For those who have passed away, the final judgement does not change where a soul is. If its already in hell, it will not leave hell. For this soul, the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's justice. If the soul is already in heaven, this soul will not leave heaven. For this soul the final judgement is a public demonstration of God's mercy. For those who have not passed away, the final judgement will determine that person's final destiny and will publicly demonstrate God's mercy and justice.


 Huh ???How is it there not going to leave heaven at the end or hell as you believe there in, doesn't God judges The transfigured ressurected Body with the souls on this earth be it good souls or the Bad.,and casts the transfigured bad ones body and soul in the lake of fire..and the good ones transfigured remain body and soul on this earth were the new jerusalem is...were  God Is heaven is.....
Yawn
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #402 on: February 22, 2009, 11:52:30 PM »

We pray for those departed and we believe that these prayers and sacrifices will help those who may even be on the cusp of hell can be helped by these prayers and granted God's mercy as well.  Are there "gray" areas in this waiting state?  Yes.

This is my belief as an Orthodox Christian.
"Gray" areas in the waiting state, or the cusp of hell?  I don't see an insurmountable difference between what you are speaking of here, and what Catholics are taught about Purgatory.
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« Reply #403 on: February 23, 2009, 02:00:17 PM »

We pray for those departed and we believe that these prayers and sacrifices will help those who may even be on the cusp of hell can be helped by these prayers and granted God's mercy as well.  Are there "gray" areas in this waiting state?  Yes.

This is my belief as an Orthodox Christian.
"Gray" areas in the waiting state, or the cusp of hell?  I don't see an insurmountable difference between what you are speaking of here, and what Catholics are taught about Purgatory.

Catholic Purgatory is a state of those absolutely destined for Salvation.

Whereas a truly "gray/grey" area, is a state of someone who might be on the path to Perdition, but whose fate might be changed by the prayers of the living.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #404 on: February 23, 2009, 02:08:59 PM »

Quote
I read this quote online. Did Mark of Ephesus really say this?

Oh really? You read it online you say? Tongue Try these two links...

June 5th 2008
Feb. 11th 2009
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