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Jason wrote:

Hi guys,

  • Why such extreme veneration of Mary?

I do agree that she is blessed among women, but to say she is the queen of everything seems like too much. This was taken from your Catechism:

966 "Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her Earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into Heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."

It seems like I am misunderstanding the text.

Jason

  { Why such extreme veneration of Mary calling her Queen and what does cause of salvation mean? }

John replied:

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your question. Let's start with foundation upon which all Marian doctrines are founded.

CCC 487: “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines, in turn, its faith in Christ.”

Notice the emphasis: Everything we believe about Mary is related to the Incarnation and it illuminates our Christian faith. To that end, Mary becomes our model of the perfect disciple. Nowhere is this more evident than in her response to the Angel Gabriel.

"Let it be done to me according to your word. . ." (Luke 1:38)

With these words, Mary allowed God's eternal plan for our salvation to become manifest in our time and space.

That Catechism puts it this way.

CCC 494: At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible":

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."

Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:

As St. Irenaeus says,

Being obedient, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.

Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert:

The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin, Eve, bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.

Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary the Mother of the living and frequently claim:

Death through Eve, life through Mary.

Mary, by agreeing to bring Jesus into the world, became a cause of our Salvation. In doing so she mediated between Heaven and Earth. Therefore, the Church gives Mary certain titles such as Mediatrix of all Grace and Co-Redemptrix.

Again, when we hear titles, such as these, we must always remember that these titles are in no way equating Mary to Jesus. On the contrary, they are meant to be understood in relationship to Jesus Christ. Mary is, what she is, by grace and by virtue of being in Christ. Since Jesus Christ is the source of all grace and Mary brought Jesus into the world, Mary is the Mediatrix of grace. Since she cooperated with God's redemptive plan, she is Co-Redemptrix.

She is what we must strive to be. Every time we, by word or deed, bring someone closer to Christ we also function as mediators and co-redeemers. The difference is that, what we do imperfectly, Mary does perfectly.

Mary is the Icon of the Church. Since she is the Mother of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, and the Church is nothing less than the Body of Christ, then she is the Mother of the Church.

As for regal titles attributed Mary, they should not be a source of scandal. All those who inherit the Kingdom of God will receive their crowns. We were made to rule and reign with and in Jesus Christ.

John

Later John followed-up:

Jason,

I just wanted to follow-up on your question on Mary. Before you can understand what the Church teaches about Mary, you need to understand what the Church believes about the Incarnation and how it relates to the Communion of Saints.

Below are some notes that may help you to get a grasp on what we believe.

The Communion of Saints

The word Communion comes from the Greek word Koinonia from which we derive the words fellowship, communion, communication, and economy.

The word Saints is the Greek word Hagios. It can also be translated holy ones.

For example, the New American Bibles reads as follows:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones (Hagios) who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus — Ephesians 1:1

Whereas the Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) reads:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints (Hagios) who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus — Ephesians 1:1

Often times, we only think of saints as those who have been canonized (i.e. St. Patrick, St. Anthony, etc. Other times, we use the term to refer to all those in Heaven. However, the word Hagios literally means: those set apart or separated from. In ecclesial usage, the word Hagios means those separated from the world as in the world system and thus set apart for God. Therefore, the broader sense of the term includes all Christians, be they on Earth, in Purgatory, or fully perfected in Heaven.

So the Communion of Saints is a term used to describe the entire Church, the interaction of all Her members and the mystical economy that exists between them. While economy might sound like strange word to use, it is very accurate. Within the Communion of Saints, there is a sharing of spiritual goods. The prayers, deeds, and offerings of one member affect the entire Body of Christ. So too, the needs, sufferings, and even sins of any member impact the entire Body.

This, in essence, describes an economy.

  • What does Scripture teach us about the Communion of Saints?

Let's start by looking a key text: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Pray for All Men

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ[a] and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Men and Women in the Church

8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

1 Timothy 2:1-8

The foundation of our doctrine is rooted in the proper understanding of verse 5:

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, . . .

Notice Paul's emphasis: he refers to the Man Christ Jesus,

  • Why is Paul stressing Jesus' Humanity?

Because, the implication of the Incarnation is that God intended to include and involve humanity in Christ's redemptive work. Hence, the role of the Man, Christ Jesus isn't meant to exclude the rest of mankind. To the contrary, in and through the Incarnation, Christ saves us and we become members of His Body. If, by grace, we are members of His Body, then also by grace, we participate in His mediation and redemptive work.

St. Peter, in his first epistle, referred to us as:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, . . . that [we] may proclaim the praises of Him . . .

1 Peter 2:9

Of course, Peter is not saying we are all ordained priests, however through our Baptism and adoption into the Body of Christ, we all share in the Priesthood of Christ. If we are all priests, we are, therefore, all mediators by definition, because the role of a priest is to mediate.

That is what St. Paul is telling Timothy. Notice that he doesn't mention Christ's mediation alone. Rather, the text is bracketed by exhortations to pray and intercede. If Christ alone is the exclusive sole mediator, then Paul's exhortation makes no sense.

This brings up two questions:

  1. Are the souls of the faithful departed able to witness what is happening among the living?

    The answer is found in Hebrews Chapter 12.

    1 Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

    Hebrews 12:1

    Notice the text starts with the word therefore. One of the first rules of biblical interpretation is: When you see a therefore you have to find out what it's there for!

    In this instance, the therefore is a reference to all of Hebrews 11. This chapter lists the many Old Testament characters who died in faith, awaiting the promised Messiah. The author of Hebrews makes it clear that those who have gone before us, surround us and are very conscious of what is happening amongst the living.

The second question then becomes:

  1. Are these deceased saints merely spectators or are we, some how, connected with them in prayer and worship?

Again, the author of Hebrews answers this question for us.

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly, the church registered in Heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus as the Mediator of the new covenant,

Hebrews 12:22-24

First, notice verse 24. The author of Hebrews also mentions Jesus as the Mediator but again, as in Paul's letter to Timothy, Christ's mediation is not mentioned in a vacuum. Quite the contrary, verse 23 mentions the angels, the general assembly, the church registered in Heaven, and the spirits of just men made perfect. Finally, Jesus, the Mediator, is referenced in verse 24.

The inspired author is telling us that the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ is organic and inseparable. Death has no power over this unity just as death had no power over Christ Himself.

This understanding is not a Catholic novelty. This belief is shared by our Orthodox Christian brothers. Just as important, it also has roots in Jewish Tradition. The Second Book of Maccabees records a vision/dream experienced by Judas Maccabeus. In this vision, Judas sees the High Priest Onias and the Prophet Jeremiah (both of whom were dead and buried) interceding on behalf of Israel. (2 Maccabees 15:11-16) While Maccabees was not included in the Jewish Canon (for political reasons), Jews still maintain this belief.

All that being said; we must remember our starting point.

The Communion of Saints is rooted in the Doctrine of the Incarnation.

  • The Saints in Heaven
  • the Souls in Purgatory
  • just like the Christians on Earth

are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Therefore, since we are all in Christ, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians. We participate in Christ's mediation and intercession for the world.

John

Eric replied:

Jason,

You said:

  • Why such extreme veneration of Mary?

I do agree that she is blessed among women, but to say she is the queen of everything seems like too much.

Read Revelation 12. There is a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars. She gives birth to the Messiah. Therefore, in a certain sense, it must refer to Mary. The crown is obvious: It means she is Queen. We don't reduce it to that but that's part of the imagery. The sun and the moon and stars symbolize the whole universe thus she is the Queen of Heaven.

There is also queenly imagery in Psalm 45 at your [i.e. the Messiah's] right hand stands the Queen in gold of Ophir. Verse 9.

Also in ancient Israel, as in many nations, the ruling queen was not the spouse of the king but his mother, because a king could have many wives, but just one mother. Consider 1 Kings 2:19:

When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

1 Kings 2:19

Here we see he [King Solomon], as king, bowed down to her; he had a throne brought for her, and she sat at his right hand. This indicates she was queen. So if Jesus is King of the Universe it naturally follows that, his mother, is Queen of the Universe.

Eric

Jason replied:

Hi John; Hi Eric,

Thanks for your replies.

In your answer you quoted St. Irenaeus:

Being obedient, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. — St. Irenaeus

  • What exactly does cause mean?

Also you said:
Since she cooperated with God's redemptive plan, she is Co-Redemptrix.

  • So, by us emulating Mary , are you saying we can help birth (bring) Jesus (Love and peace) into the world?
  • That we are to do metaphorically, what Mary did literally?

RE: The Communion of Saints.

I agree with a lot of the Catechism. This is one of the parts: I believe that, canonized or not,  we are all Saints and are called to be Holy Ones (Agioi).

RE: Purgatory

Another teaching that I'm struggling to understand is the idea of Purgatory. I tend to agree with Bishop Tom Wright on the matter. I feel that Jesus' sacrifice was enough.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1030 states:

All who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.

This to me seems to imply that Jesus' Sacrifice was not sufficient for all sins.

  • In that case, which sins are not forgiven?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1031 states:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

Another important rule in Biblical interpretation is to realize when there are literary devices. This neither in this age nor in the age to come statement seems to be a hyperbole to express an idea like not now or ever, as in, you should never do it because it isn't forgivable — ever.

It is my personal belief that after death we do go to Sheol until the final judgment. I do not believe however that I or anyone else will need to be purged for their sins if they have been forgiven already.

Thank you : )

Jason

Mike replied:

Hi Jason,

You said:

  • What exactly does cause mean?

Check these two posting out. If they don't answer your question just get back to us.

You said:
This to me seems to imply that Jesus' Sacrifice was not sufficient for all sins.

  • In that case, which sins are not forgiven?

.
.

It is my personal belief that after death we do go to Sheol until the final judgment. I do not believe however that I or anyone else will need to be purged for their sins if they have been forgiven already.

No, Jesus' Sacrifice was sufficient for all sins. Our sins hopefully have been forgiven by death, but one must repair the harm/danger due to the individual for the sin each has committed.

It's best to think of Purgatory as the Holy Hospital of Heaven. All souls being purified in Purgatory are saved, just like the souls in Heaven. Purgatory has to do with personal holiness not salvation. (Revelation 21:27) The Scriptures tell us that our God is a Consuming Fire. Well, that Fire of Love burns off any remaining self-love we have held on to. Before you read what the Catechism says on related topics below, read this posting first for a good contextual understand of this doctrine:

The Catechism tell us under Confession:

Satisfaction

1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of

  • prayer
  • an offering
  • works of mercy
  • service of neighbor
  • voluntary self-denial
  • sacrifices
  • and, above all, the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear.

Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become coheirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."

The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father.

If one has not been able to make satisfaction for their sins, any self-love has to be purified. Revelation 21:27 tells us this: Nothing impure shall enter Heaven.  Purgatory is more of a state then a place. If one wants to associate it with a place, it would be a hospital where we are being made pure medicinally.

After our particular judgment, there are not three places, only two: Heaven and Hell. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

III. The Final Purification, or Purgatory

1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.

Finally note:

You said:
It is my personal belief that . . .

I would ask that you prayerfully meditate on the way you view issues.

Being a practicing Catholic in this American culture is not very easy. Nevertheless, we have to focus, not on our own personal belief but the faith of the Church Jesus founded on St. Peter and the Apostles. No saint nor Early Church Father died for their personal belief. No, they die for the Faith and Teachings of the Catholic Church. She also expects her members to believe in them and, if necessary, die for them.

  • Why?
  • Does a New York Yankee Fan join a Red Sox Fan club, though he really doesn't believe, nor like the Red Sox?

In a similar way, if your parents baptized you as a Catholic, it was because they wanted what was spiritually best for you and believed that the Catholic Church was the best means of salvation.

All we have to do as members is study, learn, and appreciate our own Faith.

It's Jesus' Church!!

Hope this helps,

Mike

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Jason,

You said:

  • What exactly does cause mean?

There are many kinds of causes:

  • material
  • formal
  • efficient (principal and instrumental)
  • and final.
  1. The material cause is the primordial matter which is informed by the formal cause, which is the nature of the effect. From Mary was taken the matter which was united to the form of the soul of her Son, who through His will, to suffer and rise in the body, is our salvation. For this reason, she is a material cause of a material cause, a cause of a cause.

  2. The formal cause is that which gives the nature to the effect: for salvation, it is the soul of Christ, who achieved our salvation through his will to submit to death, and it is His divine nature which gave the power to the human nature of Christ to effect salvation. Mary participated in this formal causality by participating in the obedience of Christ by her own submission to God's plan. Our salvation is a participation in Christ, who is Himself, in his human and divine natures, the form of our salvation.

  3. The efficient cause is the agent, that which, by its action, produces an effect. The efficient cause makes things happen or makes beings exist. There can be instrumental efficient causes: like the pen I use to write is an instrumental efficient cause of my letter. Christ used Mary's human nature to create His own, and He used her consent to allow Him to do this, and both of these things would make Mary an instrumental efficient cause. Of course, Mary is not the efficient cause of salvation. This is the sort of cause that you are objecting to, quite rightly. Only God has the power to incarnate Himself and to undergo the redemptive act and save us. And only God's grace empowers us to cooperate with Him, as it did with Mary.

  4. The final cause is the purpose or end of the effect produced. It acts by the attraction of goodness, through love. The glory of God, in Christ Himself, the beginning and the end of all things, is the final cause of salvation, the reason for which we are made. Mary has already achieved this end in herself, soul and body, by God's grace, and thus participates in the final cause. Because she is a model of faith and of salvation, she herself attracts us through God's gifts in her, and models the end result or purpose of our salvation, too. In that way, she can be said to be a model of the final cause of our salvation — as we all will be, models of the Risen and glorified Christ, when we attain the goal of our salvation.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Jason,

You ask good questions and it is an indication that you really want to learn. We call this, faith seeking understanding.

As for the use of the word, cause in this statement, think of it as:

  • a human means
  • a vessel, or
  • even an instrument.

When you or I lead someone to Christ, we also become a cause of their salvation. That is not to say that we atone for their sins. That is what Christ did but the Church is the distribution mechanism Christ chose. Jesus could have simply become man, died for our sins and then just saved everyone, in whatever way He chose fit.

Instead, He commanded us to preach the Gospel and baptize in His authority. In short, to use a legal model, Christ gave His Church a durable power of attorney to act on His behalf, limiting the Church only to do that which is according to His Will. That authority includes:

  • preaching
  • teaching
  • imposing pastoral provisions, and
  • indeed distributing grace

None of this precludes Him from acting on His Own to save others who are not reached by the Church but like Mary, the entire Church becomes a cause of our salvation. Think about it, the Gospel (and indeed the entire Bible) comes to us through the Church.

As it relates specifically Mary, she could have said no to the Angel Gabriel. Instead she said, yes. In doing so, she made it possible for all the prophecies to be fulfilled. While she was predestined for this assignment, she could have rejected it.

Had she said no, she would have thwarted God's plan for salvation, just as Adam and Eve, thwarted God's original plan for man. Now obviously, God knew the choices of Adam, Eve, and Mary but in no way did His Foreknowledge thwart their free will. This is paradox, we can't fully understand yet we accept on faith.

The point is Mary's yes to God was a pivotal moment in the history of mankind. Just as God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, likewise Mary so loved the world that she was willing to do the same. That means that Mary shared God's love for humanity.

  • Given that fact, Is it not right that she be honored for her unique role in our salvation?

Now let's talk about Purgatory.

For starters, we begin with the fact that this doctrine is not fully defined. We are bound to believe that:

  • there is possible purification after death
  • this purification does involve suffering, and
  • that the souls being purified can pray for us, as we can pray for them.

Any and all other explanations of Purgatory fall into the realm of theological opinion. Since we are limited to time and space, we try to explain everything in terms of time and space. Through out the centuries, we've used various models about time spent in Purgatory to explain this Mystery.

That said, we can address why the Church believes in this purification after death.

The Catholic understanding of salvation (unlike the Protestant view) is that salvation is dynamic and not static. It also holds that salvation is intrinsic and forensic. When we are baptized, we are infused with the righteousness of God, the very life of God. We become Temples of the Holy Spirit. We are not simply declared righteous, rather we are made righteous. However, our fallen nature or tendency to sin remains. Hence, we struggle throughout our lives to overcome sin.

St. Paul wrote to the Romans:

that by the Spirit, we put to death the deeds of the flesh.
Romans 13:11-13

He also wrote to the Philippians:

He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. — Philippians 1:6

So salvation is not simply a Get-out-of-jail-free Card. Jesus is our Lord and Savior not just our Lord and Bailiff. In saving us, Jesus transforms us into His own very image and likeness. St. Peter wrote that we participate in the Divine Nature. (2 Peter 1:4) This is not a simple declaration. This process of purification or sanctification is a work of grace and, more often than not, is not completed during our Earthly lives.

Therefore Purgatory is the final stage in which a soul free from its Earthly body and is completely cleansed of:

  • any remaining desire to sin
  • any remaining selfishness, or
  • any disorder attachments which prevent us from fully experiencing the joy of being one with God.

None of this negates or diminishes Christ's Redemptive Work. On the contrary, it fulfills that redemptive work in each of us.

Throughout the centuries, especially in the Western Church, Purgatory has been explained in a juridical model. The pains of Purgatory have been described as the temporal punishment for sin. While there is some truth to that paradigm, it has caused confusion.

The other paradigm is the healing model whereby Purgatory is more of a Holy Ghost Hospital. The pain suffered during purification is healing pain. It is also a source of joy. The Love of God burning away all the human imperfections.

You see, sin has a dual effect.

  1. It offends God, thus separating us from Him, and
  2. It inflicts a wound on our soul.

Forgiveness is immediate and comes to us by virtue of Christ's sacrifice. Restoration of the soul also comes to us by the same grace but is a progressive process.

The more you commit a sin, the more you enjoy it, the greater the attachment to the sin. The process of sanctification is needed to break that cycle.

Purgatory, while not mentioned directly in the Scriptures, is very much implied. Paul writes the following to the Corinthians.

12 If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,13 the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work. 14 If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. 15 But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire."

(1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

This is just one example of many. The bottom line is that without Purgatory, souls would spend an eternity holding on to their desire to sin.

Again, don't get up in [juridical/satisfaction] model (which my dear brother, Mike, insists on using). We are not purged from sin in Purgatory, we purged, cleansed, and purified from the effects of sins we commit throughout our lives.

It's a recovery room, not a prison, cell and it's probably a classroom for those who abuse St. Anslem's teaching on satisfaction!! LOL

Even Protestants have to admit that God somehow has to make us holy in order to enjoy His Presence, even though they believe salvation is static and imputed.

They are admitting that something must happen to the soul after death to rid us of the desire to sin.

Well, that's Purgatory!

It could be instantaneous or it could involve time. We don't know but we do know that God exists in the Eternal Present and can make present to us, that which is past, present, or future, hence our prayers for souls being purified can and do assist them.

Purgatory simply completes the work of Christ in us. It in no way, shape, or form detracts from the sacrifice of Christ. It manifests it, in us.

I hope this helps,

John DiMascio

Mike replied:

Hi, Jason —

For the record, I just wanted to say I am a convert to the healing model paradigm and would encourage all Catholic Apologists to use it to explain Purgatory.

Half way down this posting you will see some Catholic notes by me on this issue:

Hope this helps,

Mike

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