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Drew wrote:

Hi, guys —

First off, I appreciate your willingness to answer my question.

  • What takes place after death? plus
  • Can you please explain Purgatory and use some Scripture verses to back this teaching up.

Thanks,

Drew

  { What takes place after death and can you please explain Purgatory and include Scripture verses? }

Bob replied:

Drew,

Catholics hold that after death comes the Particular Judgement of the individual by Christ and then salvation or damnation. If one is saved, then they must be fully sanctified to enter Heaven and the beatific vision, for "nothing unclean may enter it." (cf., Revelation 21:27). Therefore, if God had not finished His work of sanctification by the time of death, the soul will be cleansed before entering Heaven. This is what Catholics call purgation, or Purgatory for the state in which it takes place.

Consider Paul's comments in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. He describes how our works will be tested on the day of judgement and those that are not holy will be burned away; we will be saved, but only as through fire, for the baggage of unrighteous acts cannot burden the soul for eternity, nor remain in the presence of God.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Drew,

I just wanted to add to what Bob has said. This posting should help. It also has Biblical references.

After death we have our Particular Judgment or one-on-one with Jesus. This is what the Catechism says on the issue:

I. The Particular Judgment

1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. (cf. 2 Timothy 1:9-10) The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul — a destiny which can be different for some and for others. (cf. Luke 16:22; 23:43; Matthew 16:26; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 9:27; 12:23.)

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either:

  • entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification (cf. Council of Lyons II (1274):DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304- 1306; Council of Trent (1563):DS 1820.)
  • or immediately, (cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000-1001; John XXII, Ne super his (1334):DS 990)
  • or immediate and everlasting damnation. (cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1002)

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.

St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64

I hope this helps,

Mike

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