Monday, November 2, 2015

“If There Was No Purgatory, We'd Have to Invent It”

"Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment.”  - St. Augustine of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church
Scripture Text: (Wis 3:1-9)
The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,

and his care is with his elect.

What do the suggested readings for today’s Mass tell us about our passage through death into eternal life? How should we remember the dead in a way that pays them tribute and respect?
But they are in peace. (WIS 3:3)
What would we give to have real peace in our lives and in our world? If peace were only the absence of conflict, how much we would gain by seeking it. But even though we could work our way through the conflicts of the present political, cultural, religious and personal universes that we inhabit, would we have peace? Something else must be added for absence of conflict to bring about real peace. It is the assurance that we don’t have to fall back into conflict at the next stage of life, the next political era, or the next cultural phenomenon that drapes our generations in misunderstandings and exaggerated economic competitiveness. 

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