Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for April, 2009

Purgatory, an Introduction…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 29, 2009

As I indicated in a previous post, the next few posts will focus on purification from the perspective of Purgatory.  Rest assured, I’ve spoken already on the topic of purification when one prays the Rosary, so this is just an expansion of words already relayed.

My primary sources are: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, ©2000; The Holy Bible, Catholic Version, RSV (unless otherwise noted); and stories related in different situations between the years 2000 – 2005 – exact names and resources are unknown at this present time.

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To begin: a definition

Purgatory:

A state of final purification after death and before entrance into heaven for those who died in God’s friendship, but were only imperfectly purified; a final cleansing of human imperfection before one is able to enter the joy of heaven. ~ CCC Glossary

This purification happens mostly at the moment of passing from this life into the next and only if the deceased accept the Mercy of God and embrace His love – which can and does frequently happen.  But there is another purification that we can go through while we are on this earth.  It is commonly referred to as Purgatory on Earth, by those of us who have asked for it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states,

…every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. (CCC§1472)

The understanding is, of course, that we desire to be with our God as soon as possible. The only way that will be possible is to not just free ourselves from sin, but also to have ourselves purified from the consequences of that sin. This is why the Solemnity of Divine Mercy Sunday is so important.  By “passing through the gate of [His] Mercy”, we are obtaining from Him the total forgiveness of our sins and from the punishment that accompanies those sins. The Catechism continues,

To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin (cf CCC§1854-55, 62-63; 1458) deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin… These two punishments (Venial and Grave) must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.” (CCC§1472)

We sin because of our fallen state – this is known as the Original Sin when the first creatures disobeyed the Creator.  We can’t help but sin, it is embedded in our very nature, but we can choose not to follow through with sin:

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ 1Peter 6-7

In other words, we can turn to Christ at every temptation and have Him take on our burdens.  What did Jesus say to us?

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Mt 11: 28-30

At the hour of death, burdens are very heavy.  The dying person knows that they are leaving this world and entering another – even if they did not previously believe in a heaven or hell – just ask anyone who has had a near death experience.  They will tell you that they understood all things that had happened in their life – both the good and the bad – and they knew they where about to answer for them.Many also have related that they felt they weren’t ready yet.  If only they had some more time, they would make many changes and improve their lives.

Those who believe in God and in His Church – Sacraments and Traditions alike – also know that it is their souls that are not ready, not just their emotional self – at least I’d hope so…

I once heard the following on a Christian radio station, and even though the pastor relating the allegory was not Catholic, his understanding for the need for purification before entering heaven was right on!

Click here.

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Coming Persecution…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 27, 2009

For several months I have spoken, mostly through scripture, of the coming persecution that we – the Church founded by Christ – would all have to go through.  It’s part of His promise that we will share in His Passion:

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

21 But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know Him who sent Me…”

And yet, it is NOT a cause for alarm because Jesus also promised:

19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you…

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops…”

But it is important to know how and when, so that we may be best prepared.  We must be ever ready and remember that the Father only chastises those whom He loves:

6 For the Lord disciplines him whom He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

10 For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.

11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, the next couple of Posts will focus on that purification and what it means to be purified as we look at it from the perspective of Purgatory.  In the mean time, I end with this small video to help provide the “how and when” so that all may be prepared.

“Do Not Be Afraid… I AM with you until the close of the age.”
~Mt 28: 10, 20b

Click here for the video

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