Scott Hahn gives awesome Biblical Explanations to some great questions about Catholic teaching. Why did God change names of Biblical Characters? Why worship on Sunday? Why is eating the Body of Christ in the Eucharist not cannibalism? What difference does it make whether or not we are Catholic? What’s wrong with the “Jesus and me” mindset?
Dr. Scott Hahn answers question about Purgatory, Sunday or Sabbath… etc….
Worship God… Thank God… Renew our faith… Pray for the person who has died…
Funerals are meant to help us cope with the loss of a loved one, but that is only one of many deeper purposes they serve. In this video, Fr. Mike shares the wisdom of the Church in making funerals a time to recall God’s mercy, and pray for the faithful departed.
That’s a big one. Many Protestants (Most? All?) do not believe in Purgatory, largely because the word is not present in the Bible. “If Jesus didn’t say it, I don’t believe it,” is the reasoning behind the disdain for much of Catholic teaching.
We would do well to remember that “nothing unclean shall enter the kingdom of Heaven.” Rev 21:27 How many of us are pristine when we die? If I were to die right now, I wouldn’t be completely clean. I need some sprucing up.
If I go directly to Heaven, I don’t need cleaning. If I go to Hell, that becomes my permanent residence and no amount of cleaning is going to get me out. What’s left?
Did Jesus really not say anything about Purgatory? Not at all. While He never said the word “Purgatory”, He certainly described it…
There are two Bible passages where Jesus taught the reality of purgatory: Matthew 5:25-26 and Matthew 12:32.
I would like to jot down some thoughts on the subject of praying for the dead. What has prompted this post is the response from the local community to a tragic accident here which claimed the life of a twenty year old woman, and left (at last report) her twenty year old passenger in critical condition.
I have been praying for these two young women and I would ask that you consider uttering a word of prayer for them also. Dozens of people are praying for the families of the victims, and for the (so far) survivor. However, no one has mentioned praying for the young woman who died, and this is what has moved me to write.
Each day I pray for the souls who may be in Purgatory (specific family members, friends and prayer requests) and also for those who have no one else to pray for them. I think that there must be a lot of souls there who have been forgotten by their families, or who may not have any loved ones or friends left to pray for them.
Or, perhaps, they don’t believe in Purgatory in the first place.
Matthew tells us that whoever “speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (12:32). This would seem to indicate that there is some sort of “forgiveness” or “second chance” after death, but we know that once we die we cannot change our lives (repent).
So what is this “forgiveness” in the next life? It’s not so much “forgiveness” as it is a purification. In 1 Cor, Paul tells us that if someone “builds on the foundation of Christ using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire” (1Cor 3:12 – 15). The wood, hay and straw are burned away, leaving only the gold, silver and precious stones, purified.
The Book of Revelation tells us that “nothing unclean will enter Heaven” (Rev 21:27) and Hebrews tells us of “the spirits of the just made perfect” (Heb 12:23). Heaven and imperfection are not compatible. God and imperfection are not compatible. Purgatory is a place of purification which enables a soul to become perfected and, therefore, enabled to become “a partaker of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
While there may be people who, when their time on Earth is over, go straight to Heaven, I suspect that many, if not most, of us stop over in Purgatory on the way. I think that very few of us die in a state of perfection and, therefor, require some “cleanup” before we can enter through the pearly gates.
Of course, there is no way to know the state of a person’s soul when they die (or at any other time), but I believe that it is an act of charity (love) and hope to pray for the repose of their soul. A soul cannot pray for itself after death, but we can pray for them. And we can offer our own suffering as a prayer for them (and each other) (see Colossians 1:24).
And we should, particularly for those for whom no one else is praying.
PRAYER TO FREE 1000 SOULS FROM PURGATORY, Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release 1,000
Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was later extended to include living sinners as well.
“ETERNAL FATHER, I OFFER THEE THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF THY DIVINE SON, JESUS, IN UNION WITH THE MASSES SAID THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TODAY, FOR ALL THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”
baptism of infants, brothers of Jesus, Church authority, deuterocanonicals, Eucharist, forgiveness of sins, images, justification, Mary, Papacy, papal infallibility, priesthood, purgatory, relics, Saints, salvation, sola fide, sola scriptura, statues
This is a great list of scriptural references for Catholic Apologists I found and printed off about 15 years ago and just rediscovered on EWTN. In my printed copy, Chris Wong gave permission to put the original on web sites not his own. So here it is…
I have added one or two. My own additions are in BOLD letters after the end of the section to which it pertains.
THE CATHOLIC APOLOGIST’S SCRIPTURAL CHEAT SHEET Christopher Wong
(I thought I’d distribute this for other Catholics to critique. I wanted to compile a collection of biblical quotes useful for Catholic apologetics work, so that I have something to say when “ambushed” without my library of references. It should be obvious that these quotes are useless without the knowledge to use them. Moreover, only those who believe in the Bible would take these seriously. This rules out non-Christians. The following collection fits neatly on a single 2-column word-processed page, suitable for tucking into my wallet. I welcome any comments on what I should include and omit. Chris)
Jn 21:25 … not everything is in the Bible.
2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Cor 11:2; 1 Thess 2:13 … Paul speaks of oral tradition.
Acts 2:42 … early Christians followed apostolic tradition.
2 Pet 3:16 … Bible hard to understand, get distorted.
2 Jn 1:12; 3 Jn 1:13-14 … more oral tradition.
2 Pet 1:20-21 … against personal interpretation.
Acts 8:31; Heb 5:12 … guidance needed to interpret scriptures.
1Thess 2:9… We proclaimed to you the Gospel…
Jas 2:14-26 … what good is faith w/o works?
Heb 10:26 … must avoid sin.
Jas 5:20 … “earning” forgiveness.
Lk 6:46; Mt 7:21; Mt 19:16-21; Jn 5:29 … must do will of God.
1 Cor 9:27 … “buffet my body …”
Phil 2:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 2:6-10, 13, 3:31; Mt 25:32-46; Gal 6:6-10; Rev 20:12 … works have merit.
1 Jn 2:3-4; 1 Jn 3:24; 1 Jn 5:3 … keep commandments.
Salvation (once and for all?)
1 Cor 9:27 … after preaching … I myself disqualified.
1 Cor 10:12 … thinks that he stands … lest he fall.
Phil 2:12 … work out salvation with fear and trembling.
Heb 4:1 … fear of failing to reach salvation.
1 Jn 5:16,17 … some sins are mortal, some not.
Rom 11:21,22 … spare branches, continue or be cut off.
Deuterocanonicals were used in NT: 2 Mach 6:18-7:42 … Heb 11:35; Wisdom 3:5-6 … 1 Pet 1:6-7; Wisdom 13:1-9 … Rom 1:18-32
Septuagint (Gk, w/ Deuterocanonicals) version of OT quoted in NT, noticably different from Hebrew version: Is 7:14 … Mt 1:23; Is 40:3 … Mt 3:3; Joel 2:30-31 … Acts 2:19-29; Ps 95:7-9 … Heb 3:7-9 etc.
Lk 12:59; 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7; Mt 5:25-26 … temporary agony.
Heb 12:6-11 … God’s painful discipline.
Mt 12:32 … no forgiveness … nor in the age to come.
1 Pet 3:19 … purgatory (limbo?).
Rev 21:27 … nothing unclean shall enter heaven.
Heb 12:23 … souls in heaven are perfect.
Col 1:24; 2 Sam 12:14 … “extra” suffering.
2 Mac 12:43-46 … sacrifice for the dead.
2 Tim 1:15-18 … prayer for Onesiphorus for “that Day.”
1 Jn 5:14-17 … mortal/venial sins
Mt 26:26-27; Mk 14:22,24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:24-25 … this is my body … this is my blood.
1 Cor 11:26-30 … sinning against the body and blood.
Jn 6:32-58 … long discourse on Eucharist.
Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Heb 7:1-17 … Melchizedek.
Acts 2:42 … breaking of bread.
Ps 27:1-2; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Micah 3:3; Rev 17:6,16 … symbolic interpretation of Jn 6 inappropriate.
Baptism of infants
Acts 2:38-39; Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16 … suggests baptism of all, incl. children.
Jn 3:5; Rom 6:4 … necessity of baptism.
Col 2:11-12 … circumcision (normally performed on infants c.f. Gen 17:12) replaced by baptism.
Forgiveness of sins
Jn 20:22-23 … “if you forgive … they are forgiven.”
Mt 18:18 … binding on earth and heaven.
2 Cor 5:18 … ministry of reconciliation.
Jas 5:14-16 … forgiveness of sins, anointing of the sick, confession.
Mt 10:1-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13; Lk 9:32 … Peter always mentioned first, as foremost apostle.
Mt 18:21; Mk 8:29; Lk 12:41; Jn 6:69 … Peter speaks for the apostles.
Acts 2:14-40 … Pentecost: Peter who first preached.
Acts 3:6-7 … Peter worked first healing.
Acts 10:46-48 … Gentiles to be baptized revealed to Peter.
Jn 1:42 … Simon is Cephas (Aramaic: Kepha for rock).
Mt 16:18-19 … “on this Rock … keys … bind … loose”
Is 22:22; Rev 1:18 … keys as symbol of authority.
Jn 21:17 … “feed my sheep”
Lk 22:31-32 … “Simon … strengthen your brethren”.
Lk 10:1-2, 16; Jn 13:20; 2 Cor 5:20; Gal 4:14; Acts 5:1-5 … “vicars” (substitutes) of Christ.
Mk 6:20; Lk 1:70,2:23; Rom 12:1; Act 3:21, 1 Cor 7:14; Eph 3:5; Col 1:22 … humans can be holy (“call no one holy”).
“Brothers” of Jesus
Mary wife of Cleophas and “sister” of the Virgin Mary (Jn 19:25) is the mother of James and Joset (Mk 15:47; Mt 27:56) who are called the “brothers of Jesus” (Mk 6:3).
Acts 1:12-15 … apostles, Mary, “some women” and Jesus’ “brothers” number about 120. That is a lot of “brothers.”
Gen 14:14 … Lot, Abraham’s nephew (Gen 11:26-28), described as Abraham’s brother (KJV).
Gen 29:15 … Laban, Jacob’s uncle, calls Jacob his “brother” (KJV).
John 19:26-27 … Jesus gives care of Mary to John, not one of his “brothers.”
2 Sam 6:23, Gen 8:7, Dt 34:6 … “until.”
Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; 2 Kings 2:1-13 … Enoch and Elijah taken to heaven.
Lk 1:28 … annunciation.
Lk 1:42-48 … blessed are you among women.
2 Tim 4:8, Jas 1:12, 1 Pet 5:4, Rev 2:10 … coronation awaits saints.
Jn 2:1-5 … Mary’s intercession.
Mk 12:26-27 … “not God of the dead, but of the living.”
Jn 15:1-8 … vine and its branches.
1 Cor 12:25-27; Rom 12:4-5 … body of Christ.
Eph 6:18; Rom 15:30; Col 4:3; 1 Thess 1:11 … intercessory prayer.
Jos 5:14; Dan 8:17; Tob 12:16 … veneration of angels united with God (Mt 18:10).
1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 … saints also united with God.
Lk 20-34-38 … those who died are like angels.
2 Mac 15:11-16 … deceased Onias and Jeremiah interceded for Jews.
Rev 8:3-4; Jer 15:1 … saints’ intercession.
Rev 5:8 … Prayers of the Saints
Statues, images and relics
Ex 25:18-22, 26:1,31; Num 21:8-9 … God commands images made.
1 Kings 6:23-29, 35, 7:29 … Solomon’s temple: statues and images.
Acts 19:11,12 … Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons.
2 Kg 13:20-21 … Elisha’s bones.
Acts 5:15-16 … Peter’s shadow.
Mt 9:20-22 … Jesus’ garment cures woman.
Church and authority
Acts 2:42 … doctrine, community, sacred rite (bread).
Eph 5:25-26 … Christ loved the Church.
1 Tim 3:15 … church is pillar/foundation of truth.
Mt 16:18; 20:20 … Christ protects Church.
Heb 13:17 … obey.
Mt 18:17-18 … church as final authority.
Mt 23:2 … Pharisees succeeded Moses (seat of Moses).
1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20 … excommunication.
Lk 10:16… He who listens to you…
Priesthood and worship
Acts 1:15-26; 2 Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5 …unbroken succession.
Acts 15:6,23; 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22; 1 Tim 5:17; Jas 5:13-15 … presbyters/elders (priests) were ordained, preached and taught the flock, administered sacraments.
Lk 16:24; Rom 4; 1 Cor 4:14-15; Acts 7:2; 1 Thess 2:11; 1 Jn 2:13-14 … “call no one father”?
1 Cor 7:7-9 … Paul unmarried.
Mt 19:12; 1 Cor 7:32,33 … celibacy.
Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Heb 7:1-17 … Melchizedek.
Rev 4:8 … “vain repetition”?
1 Kg 8:54; 2 Chr 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Mt 17:14; Lk 5:8 … kneeling.
Rev 8:3-4 … incense.
1 Cor 12 … different roles of members of body.
1 Jn 1:7, 2 Pet 1:9 … purified from sins.
Jn 1:29, Heb 9:26-28 … takes away sin.
Ps 50:3, Ps 102:12, Is 43:25 … blot out, clear away sin.
Rom 2:13, Rom 3:20 … future justification.
Heb 11:8…Gen 12:1-4; Rom 4:2-3…Gen 15:6; Jas 2:21-23…Gen 22:1-18 … justifications of Abraham.
2 Pet 1:4 … become partakers of the divine nature.
Last revised March 2, 1998
Before I begin with the technical definitions and then the Biblical-historical defense and evidences and so on, I would like to just briefly just share my own personal experience. The Pope was a doctrine that was very difficult for me and so was Mary. Both of those were dealt with in terms of historical evidence and Biblical evidence and basically, I was done. Purgatory was different. I came to a conclusion that sufficient evidence exists for an intermediate state between heaven and hell on the basis of the Bible and ancient Jewish practices of praying for the dead and evidences in the early Christian Church that I will review this morning. But there was still a very big emotional block. Very big. It’s hard to describe. I’ve tried and I’ve really failed every time to put it into words because – well, for two reasons.
On the one hand, as an Evangelical Protestant, I had firm convictions about the finished work of Jesus Christ; that He accomplished our redemption on the cross. Those convictions I still hold fast to. Every Christian, every Catholic must. The work of our redemption is accomplished. It is finished. But the application of that redemptive work of Christ by the Holy Spirit is another matter, one that I did not really come to grips with because it involves suffering which nobody wants to come to grips with – either suffering in this life or suffering afterwards to expiate or to repay or to provide restitution for the effects of sin.
One of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least reflected on, is the teaching on purgatory. To understand and embrace this teaching does not require deep, exhausting theological study. A short and simple explanation of its meaning should wash away the distortions that cause so many people to doubt or neglect it.
God’s Mercy does not overlook imperfections and sin, it removes them and repairs the damage… and we are called to participate in His Mercy. The Merciful Father welcomed home the Prodigal Son, his sins forgiven. This is usually seen in relation to our conversion, repentance and forgiveness received on earth in this life. But, we can also see elements that can point to purgatory. Consider the son’s anguished journey home, arising and traveling a great distance from that “far country”. Seen in the context of the next life, there is not necessarily an immediate admittance to the Beatific Vision. A painful journey, or cleansing, may still be in our future. The Father waits with open arms, but we must still travel to him. The son was forgiven from the moment He sought forgiveness, but the journey home was not yet complete.
“I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:22-27).