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Author Topic: Is there any release if you get caught at a toll house?  (Read 359 times) Average Rating: 0
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parhelion
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« on: January 02, 2013, 08:10:43 PM »

I have had occasion at times in the past to do a very little reading about toll houses.  There is one thing I am wondering about.  If a soul should get apprehended at a toll house, is it unconditionally hell bound?  Or, will it eventually get to the presence of God and the Saints?
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 08:29:13 PM »

I have had occasion at times in the past to do a very little reading about toll houses.  There is one thing I am wondering about.  If a soul should get apprehended at a toll house, is it unconditionally hell bound?  Or, will it eventually get to the presence of God and the Saints?

Do you realize toll houses aren't doctrine and we aren't obliged to accept them? In fact I think it's pretty clear throughout most of the history that they've existed, only a minority of Orthodox (including Fr Seraphim Rose) have understood them absolutely literally.

Don't get caught up in wondering about things like this, it isn't necessary and in fact, the idea of toll houses are mostly allegorical and symbolical anyway.
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Nephi
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 08:30:41 PM »

I have had occasion at times in the past to do a very little reading about toll houses.  There is one thing I am wondering about.  If a soul should get apprehended at a toll house, is it unconditionally hell bound?  Or, will it eventually get to the presence of God and the Saints?

Do you realize toll houses aren't doctrine and we aren't obliged to accept them? In fact I think it's pretty clear throughout most of the history that they've existed, only a minority of Orthodox (including Fr Seraphim Rose) have understood them absolutely literally.

Don't get caught up in wondering about things like this, it isn't necessary and in fact, the idea of toll houses are mostly allegorical and symbolical anyway.

Even if one doesn't believe them literally, it's still an interesting (hypothetical) question relating to those that do.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 08:59:40 PM »

There is some question as to how literally Fr. Seraphim understood them, IIRC...
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 12:11:25 AM »

I have had occasion at times in the past to do a very little reading about toll houses.  There is one thing I am wondering about.  If a soul should get apprehended at a toll house, is it unconditionally hell bound?  Or, will it eventually get to the presence of God and the Saints?

The "toll houses" are a representation of the Orthodox dogma of the particular judgment, that is, the judgment each individual undergoes after death. This is not to be confused with the last judgment, which occurs after the general resurrection at the end of time. The outcome of the particular judgment is for the soul to experience a foretaste of blessedness or condemnation depending on the person's deeds in the earthly life. If someone should be snared in a toll house, it does not follow necessarily that that one will be condemned forever at the last judgment, however. Through the prayer of the Church and the alms of the living, the departed soul can experience relief from suffering and even blessedness, by the mercy of God, who desires that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 12:18:01 AM »

There is some question as to how literally Fr. Seraphim understood them, IIRC...
I believe you are right to question that. I don't have my copy of The Soul After Death on me, but from what I recall, Fr. Seraphim did not suggest the existence of literal tollhouses. That view seems to be more or less attributed to him by his detractors.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 12:08:26 PM »

The "toll houses" are a representation of the Orthodox dogma of the particular judgment, that is, the judgment each individual undergoes after death. If someone should be snared in a toll house, it does not follow necessarily that that one will be condemned forever at the last judgment, however. Through the prayer of the Church and the alms of the living, the departed soul can experience relief from suffering.. .
So then really it is not all that different from purgatory.
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 12:21:20 PM »

The "toll houses" are a representation of the Orthodox dogma of the particular judgment, that is, the judgment each individual undergoes after death. If someone should be snared in a toll house, it does not follow necessarily that that one will be condemned forever at the last judgment, however. Through the prayer of the Church and the alms of the living, the departed soul can experience relief from suffering.. .
So then really it is not all that different from purgatory.
I think that being snared in a toll house does not mean that you will enter into heaven eventually; whereas purgatorial suffering definitely will come to an end and eventual entrance into heaven is assured.
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 12:52:52 PM »

The "toll houses" are a representation of the Orthodox dogma of the particular judgment, that is, the judgment each individual undergoes after death. If someone should be snared in a toll house, it does not follow necessarily that that one will be condemned forever at the last judgment, however. Through the prayer of the Church and the alms of the living, the departed soul can experience relief from suffering.. .
So then really it is not all that different from purgatory.

It is quite different, actually. But both are explanations of the particular judgment.
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 01:59:14 PM »

Fr. Seraphim (Rose) and all of the saints and Fathers who spoke about of the passage of the soul from the body and the trial which follows, state very clearly that the image of "toll-house" is a rather crude and earthly term used to refer to spiritual and bodiless realities.  The fairly common use of the term "toll-house" in patristic, writings (as well as in hymnography, hagiography, etc.) indicates that this image was something very meaningful and significant to the saints and fathers, that it was a particularly appropriate term for describing this reality.  However, the term "toll-house" seems not to have the same meaning and significance in most of contemporary society, and often results in unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding.

The demons do attempt to hinder the soul from its ascent after the separation of the soul from the body (though there are no physical/material "booths" and no exchange of money).  If a man did not adequately confess his sins, repent, depart from evil and do good during his time on earth there may still be hope for that soul's salvation but only through the prayers of the Church and the giving of alms on behalf of the departed.  Commemoration of the departed, especially during the first 40 days after a man's repose, is of particular importance in this regard.  In the end, however, the ultimate fate of each person, and the final result of the prayers offered on behalf of the departed, is usually known only to God and is hidden from those on earth.  Consequently, we must do all that we can to prepare so that we ourselves will be blameless before God at the time of our repose, whenever that might occur; and also we must do all that we can on behalf of the departed that they might find mercy before God at the Last Day.
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