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Dave A. wrote:

Hi Mike!

How are you? I have two questions:

  1. Will Purgatory cease to exist one day or will some souls be trapped in it forever?
  2. Who created the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases according to the Church?

I know there may not be any official stance regarding this issue but I am curious about your thoughts on this.

Thanks and take care,

David

  { Will Purgatory end one day and who created microorganisms that cause infectious diseases? }

John replied:

Hi Dave,

Purgatory is a place or condition which prepares the soul to fully enjoy the Glory and Presence of God. While it involves suffering, the suffering is meant to purify our souls. Hence by definition,
it is a temporary place or condition.

It is not a state or place in between Heaven and Hell where people are sentenced instead of Hell.
Everyone who enters Purgatory (be it a place or condition) has an absolute assurance that they will enter Heaven at some point.

Purgatory itself will cease to exist when the Lord returns for the Final Judgment at which point,
all souls will be reunited with their Resurrected bodies.

  • The saved will be glorified in the image of Christ.
  • The lost will face eternity in their fallen state with Satan.

John

Mike replied:

Hi Dave,

John answered your first question though if you want a good paradigm to understand Purgatory, check out my other site.

I am answering your second question with the help of a friend of mine, Robert Coutinho, who has a heavy background in microbiology.

Hi Mike,

Dave asked:
Who created the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases according to the Church?

God did! God created everything, but man is susceptible to infectious diseases because of Adam's disobedience.

"If you eat from this tree you will surely die."  Genesis 2:16

The Catechism tells us:

CCC 405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of  Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an "inclination" to evil that is called "concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

If Adam and Eve had not sinned, our immune system would not be prone to infectious diseases. This inclination referred to in the Catechism makes him susceptible to infectious diseases just as it made us susceptible to other forms of death.

The best way to immune ourselves from the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases is to live a sacramental life with an attitude of accepting whatever comes our way as God's will.

Rob also commented on the necessity of bacteria for our existence; Without bacteria we could not digest our food. He also suggested reading a book by C. S. Lewis called: Perelandra for a better understand of the issue at the core of your question.

Hope this helps,

Mike . . . and Rob Coutinho :)

Dave A. replied:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your answer.

Please thank John and Rob for me.

Take care!,

David

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