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Author Topic: Indulgence/Purgatory Question  (Read 517 times)

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Offline Todd The Trad

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Indulgence/Purgatory Question
« on: September 14, 2022, 02:42:03 PM »
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  • I have a question about purgatory. I know some of this is just speculation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the only thing dogmatically defined about purgatory is that it's a middle state where souls go who can't yet enter heaven and prayers for the dead help these souls. From book and sermons I've listened to over the years it seems many theologians and saints describe two aspects of purgatory. First, God's justice where the soul experiences temporal punishments to make satisfaction to God's justice. Second, God's mercy is at work cleansing or purifying the soul from the stain and attachment to sin. Some theologians have said that the intensity of the pain is related to the amount of sins which have offended God and the amount of time spent suffering depends on how attached the soul is to sin inorder to heal it. My difficulty comes with plenary indulgences which remove all temporal punishment. At first I thought if the soul died still attached to certain sins but received a plenary indulgence how could it go straight to heaven? The indulgences may satisfy God's justice but how would this remove all attachment to sin instantaneously? Then I remembered that in order to actually receive the full plenary indulgences you must be completely detached from sin. Is this correct? If so, if someone who still had attachments to certain sins received a plenary indulgence on their death bed they would still go to purgatory right? They would only receive a partial indulgences correct? My point is, it would seem like the only way to receive a full plenary indulgences and go directly to heaven is if you literally had no attachments to sin, which would be extremely difficult. In conclusion, most people don't go straight to heaven just because they've received the apostolic blessing right? 
    Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!

    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #1 on: September 14, 2022, 03:18:12 PM »
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  • I have a question about purgatory. I know some of this is just speculation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the only thing dogmatically defined about purgatory is that it's a middle state where souls go who can't yet enter heaven and prayers for the dead help these souls. From book and sermons I've listened to over the years it seems many theologians and saints describe two aspects of purgatory. First, God's justice where the soul experiences temporal punishments to make satisfaction to God's justice. Second, God's mercy is at work cleansing or purifying the soul from the stain and attachment to sin. Some theologians have said that the intensity of the pain is related to the amount of sins which have offended God and the amount of time spent suffering depends on how attached the soul is to sin inorder to heal it. My difficulty comes with plenary indulgences which remove all temporal punishment. At first I thought if the soul died still attached to certain sins but received a plenary indulgence how could it go straight to heaven? The indulgences may satisfy God's justice but how would this remove all attachment to sin instantaneously? Then I remembered that in order to actually receive the full plenary indulgences you must be completely detached from sin. Is this correct? If so, if someone who still had attachments to certain sins received a plenary indulgence on their death bed they would still go to purgatory right? They would only receive a partial indulgences correct? My point is, it would seem like the only way to receive a full plenary indulgences and go directly to heaven is if you literally had no attachments to sin, which would be extremely difficult. In conclusion, most people don't go straight to heaven just because they've received the apostolic blessing right?

    Pretty much all of this is above anybody's pay grade, mine, yours, anyone else's, even that of a Saint Pope when he was living.  We just don't know.

    I have to think that --- for the soul who died not having lost God's friendship, the state of grace, and the Holy Ghost --- the shock, for lack of a better way to put it, of seeing one's imperfections and attachments as they really were in this life, would be quite enough to "burn away" any such imperfections and attachments very, very quickly.  The soul no longer has any reason for such things, and it may then become a question of "just how badly do you now want God?".

    But that is just mere speculation on my part.  Again, way above my pay grade.


    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #2 on: September 14, 2022, 03:45:21 PM »
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  • Pretty much all of this is above anybody's pay grade, mine, yours, anyone else's, even that of a Saint Pope when he was living.  We just don't know.

    I have to think that --- for the soul who died not having lost God's friendship, the state of grace, and the Holy Ghost --- the shock, for lack of a better way to put it, of seeing one's imperfections and attachments as they really were in this life, would be quite enough to "burn away" any such imperfections and attachments very, very quickly.  The soul no longer has any reason for such things, and it may then become a question of "just how badly do you now want God?".

    But that is just mere speculation on my part.  Again, way above my pay grade.
    This. ^^
    Here is a good link on Purgatory.


    And you may want to read this on Extreme Unction - it'll only take a few minutes but I think it says a lot.
    From the link:
    St. Thomas:
    Quote
    "This Sacrament prepares a man for glory immediately, since it is given to those who are departing from this life in the body."

    Concerning this Sacrament, the Council of Trent declares:
    Quote
    'The effect . . . of this Sacrament Is the grace of the Holy Spirit, whose anointing produces the following: It washes away the sins that remain to be atoned, and the vestiges of sin; it comforts and strengthens the soul of the sick person, arousing in him a great trust and confidence in the divine mercy. Thus strengthened, he bears the hardships and struggles of his Illness more easily, and resists the temptation of the devil and the heel of the deceiver (Gen. 3:15). more readily; and if it be advantageous to the welfare of his soul, he sometimes regains his bodily health.' (Sess. xlv, cap. 2).

    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man" - Fr. Hesse

    Offline Todd The Trad

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #3 on: September 14, 2022, 04:34:46 PM »
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  • Thanks for the links. I have read so far about Extreme Unction and how it cleanses all remaining sins and their effects. But there is an * and it's explained that to receive the full effects of any sacrament, including Extreme Unction, one must be perfectly disposed(no attachment to sin). Therefore the vast majority of people would be greatly assisted by Extreme Unction, but not go straight to heaven. 
    Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!

    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #4 on: September 15, 2022, 06:05:29 AM »
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  • Thanks for the links. I have read so far about Extreme Unction and how it cleanses all remaining sins and their effects. But there is an * and it's explained that to receive the full effects of any sacrament, including Extreme Unction, one must be perfectly disposed(no attachment to sin). Therefore the vast majority of people would be greatly assisted by Extreme Unction, but not go straight to heaven.
    You could be right, I don't know - all I know is the power of that sacrament is like that of none of the other sacraments.

     I do not see how in this life we can ever be altogether detached from sin when we are born with the inclination to sin built into us as a part of us. 

    "Perfectly disposed" to me, means the same as being perfectly disposed for confession. Which is to say we are supposed to have contrition for our sins, the firm purpose of amendment with the resolve to never commit the sin(s) again, and the firm resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin. That is what being perfectly disposed means.

    Being tempted to sin, be it habitual sin or some other sins, is not attachment to sin - unless one gives into the temptations then sins - otherwise, plan on being tempted to those sins your whole life, even until your last breath. 

    And if you were successful in resisting those temptations till your death bed, receive the Last Rites (confession,communion, extreme unction) with the proper disposition i.e. being perfectly disposed, purgatory can be bypassed, you go straight to heaven. Then you can rejoice that you will be free from and never be tempted to those sins ever again.

    Where am I mistaken here?
    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man" - Fr. Hesse


    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #5 on: September 15, 2022, 08:40:40 AM »
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  • You could be right, I don't know - all I know is the power of that sacrament is like that of none of the other sacraments.

    I do not see how in this life we can ever be altogether detached from sin when we are born with the inclination to sin built into us as a part of us. 


    And that is the hard part --- really the only hard part --- about getting a plenary indulgence, or for fully and totally receiving all of the effects of Extreme Unction.  We can never be absolutely sure.  We just have to give it our best shot, will ourselves to be altogether detached from sin, then let go, and let the Holy Ghost take care of the rest, if there is a "rest".

    Offline Stubborn

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #6 on: September 15, 2022, 10:24:00 AM »
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  • And that is the hard part --- really the only hard part --- about getting a plenary indulgence, or for fully and totally receiving all of the effects of Extreme Unction.  We can never be absolutely sure.  We just have to give it our best shot, will ourselves to be altogether detached from sin, then let go, and let the Holy Ghost take care of the rest, if there is a "rest".
    Right, exactly. The devil knows what our weaknesses are and will tempt us with it our whole life as long as he thinks we might give in. Does that mean we are attached to those sins? Correct me here but as long as we do not give in serves as proof we are detached from those sins, not attached - no? OTOH, if we give into temptation, then that is a proof we are attached.
    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man" - Fr. Hesse

    Offline Todd The Trad

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    Re: Indulgence/Purgatory Question
    « Reply #7 on: September 16, 2022, 11:18:59 AM »
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  • You could be right, I don't know - all I know is the power of that sacrament is like that of none of the other sacraments.

     I do not see how in this life we can ever be altogether detached from sin when we are born with the inclination to sin built into us as a part of us. 

    "Perfectly disposed" to me, means the same as being perfectly disposed for confession. Which is to say we are supposed to have contrition for our sins, the firm purpose of amendment with the resolve to never commit the sin(s) again, and the firm resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin. That is what being perfectly disposed means.

    Being tempted to sin, be it habitual sin or some other sins, is not attachment to sin - unless one gives into the temptations then sins - otherwise, plan on being tempted to those sins your whole life, even until your last breath. 

    And if you were successful in resisting those temptations till your death bed, receive the Last Rites (confession,communion, extreme unction) with the proper disposition i.e. being perfectly disposed, purgatory can be bypassed, you go straight to heaven. Then you can rejoice that you will be free from and never be tempted to those sins ever again.

    Where am I mistaken here?
    I agree with you that it's possible. I'm talking more about people who received the last rites but didn't take living their faith very seriously, which would be the vast majority. If they lived a rather mediocre Christian life up until their death bed or close to it, odds are they aren'tall that well desposed to receive sacraments. 
    Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!