Throughout the course of being a Catholic apologist, there are always issues that come up when speaking with our seperated brethren, specifically Mary, but in light of the Church's recent two feast days, I thought a little commentary on Purgatory might satisfy the quench of some curious protestants, if not at least equip a Catholic with a little insight into what is most often a misunderstood dogma. Soooo, here goes, to paraphrase the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
A condition or state where the souls of those who, while they died in Grace, must be purged of their sins before entering the Beatific Vision. A condition of suffering, before entering the state of Heaven.
Now, I hope everyone will notice the language that I am using. IT is very philosophical and attempts to explain what our humind mind can't necessarily comprehend. First off, why do I say 'condition?' Well, because 'Time'(the measure of motion) as we understand it ceases to be when we die. IT is not, a 'second chance.' Period. Point final. I hope the protestants reading this get that.
Oh,..I can just hear the echo now,..'But it is not in the Bible!' You Catoliks are adding to the 'pure gospel.' A little catecheses will follow,..and while I do not recommend using 'Maccabees' as a proof text, (Luther removed that book...)there is plenty of scriptural evidence in the New Testament. For example; Matthew 12: 32. This passage speaks about Jesus saying that sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this age, nor in the age to come. We already know that those in Hell, cannot be forgiven their sins, so deduction must be made as to what Jesus is talking about. Another reference is 1st Corinthians 3:15. Paul speaks about people being saved through 'fire.'
Simple deduction can be made as grounds for purgatory. The same deduction used for the Trinity or the Incarnation, two words found nowhere in scripture.
St Thomas Aquinas,..pray for us!