I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
The definition of purgatory per the dictionary is: a temporary condition of torment or suffering; "a purgatory of drug abuse". The definition of purgatory within the Catholic Church is: A state in which the souls of those who have died in grace must expiate their sins. For those of us who are not sure of the definition of expiate, this is: to make amends or reparation for (wrongdoing or guilt); atone for; to pay the penalty of.
I was recently informed by a family member that my dear father is in purgatory. This information took me quite off guard as my personal belief is in opposition. My father, along with everyone else in this world, was not perfect. Yet, he was a good father, my best friend and someone that was loved by many.
As I attempted to bite my tongue, I asked the question, “What is purgatory?” The individual stated, “You must be perfect to get into heaven. Purgatory is where you do the work so that you can get there.” Throughout my training in church, I was lead to believe that Jesus had taken my sins on the cross and I was wiped clean because of his sacrifice. Because I believe in Him, I will one day leave this body and immediately join Him up in heaven.
A few questions left unasked; how long must one work in purgatory? What type of work is necessary to cover our wrong doings? Do I have to hang with Jeffrey Dahmer or Timothy McVeigh? Will I get to party with Chris Farley or John Candy? Also, where in the bible does it state that we are to wait in some sort of holding tank before we are allowed into the pearly gates?
The above named family member is an attendee of the Catholic Church. Being raised Catholic also; I have an “in”, so to speak. During my teen years, we tempered our attendance. As an adult, I chose to go the non-denominational route. Elmbrook is my church of choice and a place I call my spiritual home. During the sermon, I open my bible and follow along. It is very family oriented and there is an activity for every age group.
My idea regarding Catholic and Christianity has changed. Within the Catholic Church, they have priests and nuns. They refer to their priests as “Father”, yet in Matthew 9:23, Jesus states, “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.” The word nun does not appear in the bible. The Lord’s Prayer, or per the Catholic Church, The Our Father, is located within Matthew 6:9-12, yet the Hail Mary is not located within the bible at all.
Catholics believe Mary, the mother of Jesus, was without sin. Yet, in Luke 1:30, an angel appears to Mary and states, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.” Moving on to Luke 1:38, Mary states, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
The Catholic Church believes that men and women who serve God within the church must not marry. Yet 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 states, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say; It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But, if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than burn with passion.” Also, Peter, apostle of Jesus, had a wife. It states in Matthew 8:14, “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in a bed with a fever.”
I believe somewhere along the way the bible also states something regarding harming “the smallest of these.” If this isn’t in reference to the most hideous scandal regarding the abuse of children in the Catholic Church, I don’t know what is. I am not sure anyone really needs a bible verse to inform them that raping, sodomizing or abusing children is wrong. May they ride the Highway to Hell (and hell, by the way, IS mentioned in the bible).
There is no mention of Purgatory in the bible. Any bible. What the bible does state is this: Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” Also, Jesus quotes in John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the place to where I am going.”
Heaven is God’s abode. He makes the rules. Regarding where my dad resides today, I’ll take His word for it.