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Thread: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

  1. #41
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Sorry to start this and abandon it. It is still on my mind, but I am working so many hours for online teaching.

    Purgatory, it's real, and a grace of God.

    Below is a short story from just one mystic - there are so many saints and mystics with similar stories - telling us how important it is to pray for the dead, since most of us Heaven-bound haven't reached heavenly perfection at the time of our death, and we pass through a refining fire, a place where we learn the lessons of love we did not learn on earth, how to love others and ourselves, how to forgive others and ourselves. It makes sense, because we are not ready for a place of such pure love if we cannot love ourselves and others. We wouldn't be happy there. The prayers of the living help hurry souls along that journey, and from the greatest pain of purgatory: the desire to see God's face.


    The following is from, "Visits from the Holy Souls in Purgatory –The life of the Austrian Mystic, Maria Simma (1915-2004)", here: https://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2...-souls-in.html
    and it is one thing that has really stuck on my mind since I read it - the importance/responsibility for praying for every soul in my life, even those I have met only briefly:


    -Can you give me an example of where a very small prayer made a very big difference?

    'Yes, every smallest prayer is heard. Let me think. Oh yes, and here again it concerned a Poor Soul who came to me some years ago.

    'A man appeared one night and after he'd told me what he needed to be delivered, he remained standing in front of me and asked, "Do you know me?" I had to answer no.

    He then reminded me that many years ago, in 1932, when I was only seventeen he had traveled with me briefly in the same compartment of a train to Hall, [Austria].

    Then I certainly did remember. He had complained bitterly about the Church and about religion, and I felt I had to respond to this by telling him that he was not a good person to pull down such holy things. This response surprised and annoyed him, and he told me, "You are still too young for me to let myself be lectured by you." And I just couldn't resist being a bit rude and fired back at him, "Still, I'm smarter than you are!"

    That was that, he sank his head into his newspaper and didn't say another word. When his station came by and he left the compartment, I simply prayed under my breath, "Jesus, do not let this soul get lost."

    And now that he was with me, he told me that that tiny prayer had saved him from getting lost for all eternity."
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

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  2. #42
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    (More on mystic Maria Simma)

    Visits from the suffering Souls in Purgatory

    In 1940 came the first visit from a Holy Soul (a departed soul from Purgatory) –Maria was age 25. The holy soul--a man-- appeared to her in a vision one night. He was pacing back and forth in her bedroom at the foot of her bed. Confused, she called out to him and said “Who are you?” but she received no reply. Then she hopped out of bed and tried to grasp him saying “How did you get in here? Go away”, he gave no response and as she reached out to touch him he disappeared. However, as soon as she got back into bed he reappeared, pacing back and forth once again. She wondered how is it that she could readily see this man, but not speak to or touch him. She thought to herself, “Well, so long as he does not come near me” and she remained watching him and after awhile he disappeared and she remained awake pondering the meaning of what happened.

    The next day she immediately went to see her parish priest, Fr. Alfons Matt, to tell him all that had happened. After I explained everything to him he said “it could be a poor soul from Purgatory. If such a thing should ever happen again, do not say “Who are you?” but say “What is it that you need from me?”
    The next night the man suddenly appeared again, once again pacing back and forth. This time Maria immediately asked “What is it that you need from me?” The man suddenly stopped, turned towards her and replied “Please have three holy Masses said for my intentions and then I will be delivered.” And then he immediately disappeared and Maria said “It was then that I knew that he was a poor soul.” The next day she once again told her parish priest, Fr. Alfons Matt, what had happened and the three requested masses were said. The good priest also told her to always seek to do whatever she can to help the souls that might come to her.

    Soon more souls from purgatory would come asking for her prayers and sacrifices, and thus began a lifetime apostolate for the holy souls. Over the next few years, only 2 or 3 poor souls came to her each year, but as time went on, more and more were coming to her seeking her assistance through prayers and sacrifices.
    From the onset however it must be noted that Maria never sought visits from the souls in purgatory—she never called upon them or “channeled” them in any way. They always came to her without any seeking on her part. In fact the holy souls have told her that it is God in His great mercy who gives them permission to come to her to obtain sacrifices and prayers that their time in purgatory might be lessened.

    In fact, during an interview by Sr. Emmanuel Maria was asked the following:

    -What is the difference between what you are living with the souls of the departed, and the practices of spiritism (by mediums/psychics etc)

    "We are not supposed to summon up the souls - I don't try to get them to come. In spiritism, people try to call them forth. This distinction is quite clear, and we must take it very seriously. If people were only to believe one thing I have said, I would like it to be this: those who engage in spiritism (calling forth the dead, moving tables and other practices of that kind) think that they are summoning up the souls of the dead. In reality, if there is some response to their call, it is always and without exception Satan and his angels who are answering. People who practice spiritism (diviners, witches, mediums, etc.) are doing something very dangerous for themselves and for those who come to them for advice. They are up to their necks in lies. It is forbidden, strictly forbidden, to call up the dead. As for me, I have never done so, l do not do so, and I never will do so."


    From here: https://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2...-souls-in.html
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

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    .
    .


  3. #43
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    More from Maria Simma, same link:

    Suffering - it has value, importance, and meaning*

    Maria Simma tells us the following story:

    "A very important thing is to accept before you die all the suffering that God has sent us.

    I know of a woman and a priest who were in the same hospital with tuberculosis. The woman said to the priest, "I have asked the Lord to give me the opportunity to do my purgatory here while I am still alive."
    To this the priest replied: "I dare not ask for that." and right at this moment there was a nun who had been there listening to this conversation.

    When they both had died from tuberculosis, the priest appeared to the nun in a vision and told her that the woman had gone directly to heaven, while he had to spend a lot more time in purgatory for not accepting his suffering and offering it to God in reparation for his sins.

    Here God gives us the importance of the value of our sufferings are offered with love. The sufferings of the earth are worth far more in reparation for our sins compared to the sufferings of purgatory. For this reason, a major illness before dying can in reality be a great blessing and grace of God."


    I think this is one of the most valuable things I learned, of so many valuable things, after becoming Catholic, because I had never heard it before. Suffering has a high meaning. It does not need to be senseless. It can have value, great value.

    _____________________________________
    *Every suffering of Jesus was efficacious and had meaning and great value. Because of Him, whom we imitate, so also our sufferings can be efficacious, have meaning, and be of great value.
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    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


  4. #44

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    Tell us about Hell, Eliza. I suspect you have insights on the place of eternal torment that might surprise some of us.

  5. #45
    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
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    I self-identify (lol) as Christian these days but I think most would say that I'm not, actually. My indifference towards the concept of afterlife is a tiny piece of that, though. (The biggest reason is that I think God is too incomprehensibly omniscient to quibble over the fact that the culture you were born into steered you into Jesus versus some other path, but that's not what what this thread is about.) Anyway, what steered me into religion (in the right way or wrong way) at all is coming close to death, but I prepare myself for the misinterpretation if I'm gonna mention that because it's generally understood as an attempt to avoid death, but it was more like I had an arm behind the curtain hiding secrets and I was like woah, anything back here!?! *wiggle*

    Heaven is cute and I can endorse it in a wishful thinking way and the idea of some generally positive field that contains your presence after your death is a little believable but I acknowledge my bias towards thinking so, lol. As for Hell..I just can't buy it, because of my view of an entity of love being the backdrop (bad things do happen anyway, but for eternity is a bit much). In contrast, it's too easy to conceptualize Hell in terms of the convenience it holds for humans with power on earth and their bargaining/bribing ability.

  6. #46
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    I self-identify (lol) as Christian these days but I think most would say that I'm not, actually.
    I think that your having that identity is a blessing and grace!


    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    My indifference towards the concept of afterlife is a tiny piece of that, though. (The biggest reason is that I think God is too incomprehensibly omniscient to quibble over the fact that the culture you were born into steered you into Jesus versus some other path, but that's not what what this thread is about.)
    A person seeking goodness and truth will find it no matter their culture. God says, "If you seek me, you will find me." It applies to everyone. A person avoiding goodness and truth will find ways to avoid it, in any culture. Even in a culture that we judge to be abundant in opportunities to know God, a person can live amidst that and choose again and again to avoid every single opportunity to know God. God respects the free will that He gave us, and does not violate that to impose Himself on us. The avoidant one may be that way on purpose, which doesn't bode well, or, he may be so because of internal reasons we can't know. Only God can judge because only He knows every single thing about every single one of us.


    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    Anyway, what steered me into religion (in the right way or wrong way) at all is coming close to death, but I prepare myself for the misinterpretation if I'm gonna mention that because it's generally understood as an attempt to avoid death, but it was more like I had an arm behind the curtain hiding secrets and I was like woah, anything back here!?! *wiggle*
    Wow, so you came near death? I wonder how/what that situation was, and what it made you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    Heaven is cute and I can endorse it in a wishful thinking way and the idea of some generally positive field that contains your presence after your death is a little believable but I acknowledge my bias towards thinking so, lol. As for Hell..I just can't buy it, because of my view of an entity of love being the backdrop (bad things do happen anyway, but for eternity is a bit much). In contrast, it's too easy to conceptualize Hell in terms of the convenience it holds for humans with power on earth and their bargaining/bribing ability.
    God and Heaven are all good. Hell, all of the opposite. Earth, the mixed bag. Earth has an end, Heaven and Hell have no end. Immediately when we die, we will have full knowledge of God and of ourselves, and we go to one of the two eternal destinations. But did you know that WE CHOOSE our eternal destination? Mystics and Saints consistently say that ALL those in Hell actually CHOOSE it for themselves.

    We have all heard of persons who say, "I want to end up in hell because all of my friends are there." But on earth there are all the good people to enjoy taking advantage of, to endeavor to ruin, and to hate, and get the upper hand over. And in hell there is complete and total absence of good, and all their companions for eternity only want to torture and hurt others. Every single one of them, forever. It is baffling that people choose it, when God, who is perfectly just, has revealed exactly what it is to them before they choose. But I guess what you came to love on earth - evil, selfishness, hate of God and of good - you also want to choose for your FOREVER.

    Yes, God truly is, as you say, an entity of all love. Perfect love. He is also perfect justice. (He is either just or unjust. It is impossible that He could be a bit of each. And He can't be unjust, because then He could not also be love!)
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    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


  7. #47

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    What if we are guided to just judge ourselves in the afterlife...

    What if we are here on earth to learn lessons and can re emerge on the planet after passing for lessons not yet learnt...

    What if some children can remember for a tiny period part of a previous life...

    What if all religions are one and the same and time will prove this...


    Haven’t read this thread, just passing through...

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