Catholics on Purgatory: … What Does It Mean & Why must it exist
part 1 of 2
Definition of TRUTH
by Merriam Webster:1: aarchaic: fidelity, constancy b: sincerity in action, character, and utterance 2: a (1): the state of being the case : fact (2): the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3)often capitalized: a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
b: a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>
c: the body of true statements and propositions
3: a: the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality
4: ADDED by PJM: Necessarily Singular per defined issue Protestants for reasons made necessary because of their man-made religious beliefs regarding Salvation and the issues of “OSAS” and by “faith alone”, neither of which is supportable when using the entire bible, stem from a lack of Gods necessary assistance and Grace for Right Understanding of His Bible. By refusing to accept the Foundational Teaching of One God; His One Church and only One set of Faith believes as both the only possibility and a reality, they place themselves in opposition to what God wants, teaches and mandates. But that’s a separate topic.
It is a lack of Grace, and with it True Faith and its fruits of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding of God [but not, they claim, “in-God“?] that makes it impossible for them to find a truth most of them actually are not even seeking; feeling quite confident and comfortable in their chosen, recent man-made beliefs.
The most common objection to the Catholic positional teaching on Purgatory is “that it is found nowhere in the bible.” It is a silly position to hold because “the bible“; the “Eucharist“; the “Incarnation“; the “Trinity“; “Catholics” and “Protestants” as “specific terms” are not found in the bible either. But even these same Protestants will admit that they, nevertheless are taught [even if many don’t choose to believe them], in the bible with varying degrees of clarity.
To make clear this Doctrine does have a biblical foundation; let’s begin with what the bible states and teaches about this issue. But first a warning.
In fairness to them; not every teaching is spelled out in precise language. That too is a part of God’s Wisdom to make men reliant on those HE chooses to place in charge in order to discover and uncover God’s always singular truths. God makes this Mandate very clear to those who can and are open to hear Him.
Acts.20: 28“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God [Singular] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.” [no other church would exist for many hundreds of years]
John 10: 16 “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.”
2Pet.2:1“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
Eph.3: 9 to 12 “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church[SINGULAR: meaning THE CATHOLIC Church]the manifold wisdom of God might now be made … This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him
Matt.13:9-12 “He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you I [my Apostles] it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. “
John 12: 48-49 “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day
. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.”
2nd. Cor. 9: 13 “Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the [entire] gospel of Christ,”
A few additional points before we provide the bible support passages. Purgatory in order to be understood requires a right understanding of the Devine Nature of God and accurate and realistic understanding of sin; its nature and its effects and the significance of Suffering in God‘s plans for us. Protestant Theology commonly misses each of these teachings is a full, more complete and essential manner. It is notable that the Old Testament Jews had a better understanding of these issues, than do most [if not all?] of today’s Protestants. Even Jews of today have some understanding of this reality.
1st. Peter 3: 11-19 “Let him decline from evil, and do good
: let him seek after peace and pursue it: Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers: but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. But if also you suffer any thing for justice’ sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled. But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. For it is better doing well (if such be the will of God) to suffer, than doing ill. Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, In which also coming he preached to those spirits [Souls] that were in prison”
Haydock’s Catholic Commentary : “ Spirits that were in prison:
See here a proof of a third place, or middle state of souls: for these spirits in prison, to whom Christ went to preach, after his death, were not in heaven; nor yet in the hell of the damned: because heaven is no prison: and Christ did not go to preach to the damned”
Mt. 12:31-32 “Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come” [Implies that expiation CAN take place AFTER death.]
1st. Cor. 3:13-15 “Every man’ s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’ s work, of what sort it is. If any man’ s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’ s work burn,  he shall suffer loss;  but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by  fire.”
EXPLAINATION: This may well be the clearest biblical evidence of purgatory. Here’s why.
“Fire” most often biblically refers to “Hell.” But “”Hell” is Eternal; and this Soul is clearly saved, yet is commanded to Suffer  and Heaven is a place of perfect and eternal joy; peace and happiness; where  “suffering” simply cannot and will not take place. Thus a THIRD after death location MUST exist.”
2nd. Mac. 12: 43-46 “And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, [Means in the “State of God’s grace] had great grace laid up for them. With godliness: [Haydock’s] Judas [Maccabee] hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy: either because they might be excused from mortal sin by ignorance; or might have repented of their sin, at least at their death. … It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”
This too is an amazingly clear teaching of Purgatory [which is why the BOOKS of Maccabees were removed from the Original Catholic bible and are now a part of the
Apocryphal books, [the seven removed books from the Original bible by Protestants].
The Catholic Definition of Purgatory: From:
Father Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary “The place or condition in which the souls of the just are purified after death and before they can enter heaven. They may be purified of the guilt of their venial sins, as in this life, by an act of contrition deriving from charity and performed with the help of grace. This sorrow does not, however, affect the punishment for sins, because in the next world there is no longer any possibility of merit. The souls are certainly purified by atoning for the temporal punishments due to sin by their willing acceptance of suffering imposed by God. The sufferings in purgatory are not the same for all, but proportioned to each person’s degree of sinfulness. Moreover, these sufferings can be lessened in duration and intensity through the prayers and good works of the faithful on earth. Nor are the pains incompatible with great peace and joy, since the poor souls deeply love God and are sure they will reach heaven. As members of the Church Suffering, the souls in purgatory can intercede for the persons on earth, who are therefore encouraged to invoke their aid. Purgatory will not continue after the general judgment, but its duration for any particular soul continues until it is free from all guilt and punishment. Immediately on purification the soul is assumed into heaven. (Etym. Latin purgatio, cleansing, purifying.)”
Why Purgatory exist
This part of our discussion must touch on  God’s Divine Nature and  sin; its forms and effects;  the Role of Suffering in human existence.
 it must be understood that it is God’s very Nature [what God is], that moves His sense of Divine Justice to require Purgatory which flows naturally from His Perfect Divine Love for us and is manifest through His incomprehensible Divine Mercy.
Isa.43 Verses 7and 21: “every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” AND the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”
God’s Divine Nature
 God did not ‘‘have to” Create man. He freely choose to do so with a specific hope; a
specific reason and desire and goal in mind.
God Created the entire Universe so that man could [if open to truth]; know of God’s existence. The size; evident Order; Natural Laws and Majesty can and ought to make one aware of a Superior source; a ‘‘First Cause.” Even without correctly calling “it” God.
The evidences of God’s seemingly unlimited love for man, the only Creatures that alone emulate God and can choose to know, love and serve Him; is expressed on nearly every page of the entire bible.
God desires that everyone He Created Know Him and accept His Mandates for their individual salvation. Towards this end , God’s Devine Justice requires that He makes “sufficient” Grace available to ALL men, that they can /could conditionally know of Him and them actually come to Know Him. Because God is Perfect He demands that we too, must be either “perfect” upon our death; or perfected after death, which He alone can and does make possible From His Love, and Through His Mercy for those who die in the “state of Grace,” that is, without unforgiven and unconfessed Mortal sin.
Matt.5: 48“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”
Genesis 17:1“And after he began to be ninety and nine years old, the Lord appeared to him: [Abram / Abraham] and said unto him: I am the Almighty God: walk before me, and be perfect.”
1 Corinthians 1:10“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment“.
Colossians 1:28 “Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
1 Timothy 2:4 “Who will [desires that] have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth“. [Singular]
Purgatory exist so that as many Souls as possible can and will enjoy the Beatific Vision. It is a further indication of God’s absolute need for perfect [or perfected] love in return for His Perfect Love for us. This is an unwarranted sort-of “second chance” at attaining ones necessary state of perfection before, and in-order to attain heaven, for those who die in the State of God’s Grace. … Simply put: because God IS Perfect we too MUST be perfect to enter into His presence. Nothing less is acceptable to His Divine Nature.
Lev.22: 21“And when any one offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.”
Rev. 21: 27 “But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” [Made perfect]
Mt. 5: 26 “truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.”
Matt.5: 48“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Heb. 2: 10 “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.”
Sin: its forms and effects
 To be able to believe and accept Protestants parroting of Luther’s abrogated Catholic teachings on the Salvation issue; making it into one with far greater “mass-appeal”; with its deleted requirements of Confession, Contrition and Conversion to a simple [minded]; “by faith alone” theology that not only, they claim [and feverently hope] “assures one’s salvation” but promises that it can NEVER be lost for any reason; or for any later committed offense [a eat; drink, and be merry; sin all you want mindset] in the future sounds far better than what Christ through His Church demands. Therefore its eagerly sought and widely accepted by multitudes seeking a simpler and easier way; a shortcut to heaven. This simplistic mindset is astoundingly unaware of God’s absolutely necessary need for Perfect-Justice.
Can we agree that God can be described as “All Good things perfected?”
Are True Justice and Fairness “good things?” OF COURSE THEY ARE. Therefore God Must be both Fair and Just.
Is it just me; or does “by faith alone” sound TOO GOOD TO [possibly] BE TRUE?
Job 33:26 “He shall pray to God, and he will be gracious to him: and he shall see his face with joy, and he will render to man his justice.”
Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
From a realist perspective; this position is as misplaced as the “yea but, it’s not in the bible” line.” …“Purgatory” really IS in the bible, when one uses the entirety of teachings, and is granted by God the Wisdom to rightly understand them.
Luther’s reasoning for “Faith ALONE and OSAS.”
“You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word ‘alone’ is not in the text of Paul. If your Papist makes such an unnecessary row about the word ‘alone,’ say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’ and say: ‘Papists and asses are one and the same thing.’ I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text, it was not necessary for the Papists to teach me that.”
Historical evidence seems not to exist that factually supports claims of Luther’s pictorial image of “mans sins being covered over as a dung pile is by snow“; so God only SEES the snow. Yet it does point out well his altered and wrongly skewed understanding of God’s role and mans obligations towards Gods Teachings on forgiveness of sins and HOW it must be accomplished.
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_fide
Sola fide (Latin: by faith alone), also historically known as the doctrine of justification by faith alone, is a Christian theological doctrine that distinguishes most Protestant denominations from Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and some in the Restoration Movement.
The doctrine of sola fide or “by faith alone” asserts God’s pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith, conceived as excluding all “works,” alone. All mankind, it is asserted, is fallen and sinful, under the curse of God, and incapable of saving itself from God’s wrath and curse. But God, on the basis of the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus), grants sinners judicial pardon, or justification, which is received solely through faith. Faith is seen as passive, merely receiving Christ and all his benefits, among which benefits are the active and passive righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christ’s righteousness, according to the followers of “sola fide,” is imputed (or attributed) by God to the believing sinner (as opposed to infused or imparted), so that the divine verdict and pardon of the believing sinner is based not upon anything in the sinner, nor even faith itself, but upon Jesus Christ and his righteousness alone, which are received through faith alone. Justification is by faith alone and is distinguished from the other graces of salvation.” End Quote
While the effects of Christ Passion, Death and Resurrection are commonly agreed upon by the various Protestant communions for the most part ;“Faith Alone” =‘s permanent and eternal salvation; the issue of the sins simply being “covered” [ignored by God’s Merciful choice”], or actually “removed” seems to be an ongoing debate. In my investigation, the term “forgiven” was rare; while these other two terms seemed to form a Semi-norm of Conesus of their theology. Of course the Old Testament practice of animal sacrifice simply “covered” sins, which God at that time, found acceptable. This is of course under the Old Covenant, BECAUSE Judgment was “under the Law”; not “under God’s Grace” as we are in the New Covenant; so God criteria by necessity has to also change.
Jer.31: 31“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,”
Heb.8: 8, 13 ” For he finds fault with them when he says: “The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” [NOT VOIDING IT; BUT REPLACING IT]
In Truth, the issue seems to be “What God actually DID Choose to do,” being clearly at odds with what “ God could have done” where He inclined to do so. Mortal men have seen fit to dictate to God how salvation OUGHT to be; rather than abide by what is factually and justly taught. Redemption biblically means a Once again possible access to heaven which had been closed by the Sins of Adam and Eve. It is NOT a precise synonym of “salvation.”
Redeem means to “buy back” or to make good a debt “repurchase”
Salvation: means  saving a man from the power and effects of sin; the agent or means of a souls redemption  something that saves us from danger or difficulty
Sin’s meaning and effects is “old fashioned” and simply is not taught these day’s. Some even deny the possibility of sins existence. Satan really is one HELL of a salesman. The Father of Lies; the Deceiver; the if it feels good DO IT advocator. The THEIF of souls.
Sin is more than merely “saying NO! to God. It is always a direct attack on God’s Sovereignty and can even breech ones Spiritual Relationship; even to the point of damnation. … Hell; like heaven are mans choice. God only affirms what we by our life choices have decided for ourselves.
OSAS and by “faith Alone” effectively lump all sins into a single [dung pile] category, and thereby deny reason; logic and Divine Justice. In a sense they visualize all sins is one dung pile covered with snow; so God no longer sees them, enabling Him to overlook them.
God’s Perfect Divine Justice, must absolutely act with fairness. Stealing a candy bar from Walmart is not in reality or in God’s view the same as having an affair; an abortion or slander. God must judge the severity and the consequences of our actions. It is “Spiritual Suicide” to presume on God’s Mercy and Love actually being willing to accept a “simple profession of belief” as wholly sufficient to cover all of ones past sins and IGNORE all further sins.
Matthew 19:16-17 “And behold one came and said to him: Good [JUST & FAIR] master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into [Eternal] life, keep the commandments”
Genesis 26:5 “Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts and commandments, and observed my ceremonies and laws.”
Exodus 15:26 “Saying: If thou wilt hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and do what is right before him, and obey his commandments, and keep all his precepts, none of the evils that I laid upon Egypt, will I bring upon thee: for I am the Lord ”
Matthew 15:9 “And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.”
Luke 1:6 “And they were both just [JUSTIFIED] before God, walking in [OBEYING] all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
Christ Catholic Teaches with the Actual and Real Authority of God Himself. [Mt. 10:1-8, John 17:18 and John 20:21-22.
Acts.20: 28“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God [SINGULAR] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.” Romans 13: 2 “Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
All sin, because it attacks God’s Divine Nature directly and personally is so offence that God cannot simply choose to “overlooked it.” That is the reason why Yahweh in the Old Testament seems to be so difficult to reconcile with Christ Jesus of the New Testament. Regularly having inflicted swift and dire punishment for repeated failures of Obedience. Yet the bible clearly teaches they are “One.”
Rev.2: 23“and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.”
1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,“