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 Post subject: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Since the earthly life is communal/social, and the same is to be understood about heaven and hell...what about Purgatory? Do those in Purgatory suffer in the company of others? Do they give and receive each other's support? In imagining Purgatory, I always imagined a solitary experience.

Also, I'd appreciate some solid recommended reading on this topic. I read St. Catherine of Genoa on the subject some time ago.

Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:07 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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I imagine it is not heaven (since they do not have the common good, viz. God, that is the community) nor like hell, which is an inversion of community, since the souls in purgatory do not lack charity nor are they continuously sinning (as the damned do)

They cannot, according to the common opinion of theologians, answer our prayers, so their community in the Church is not yet perfect, but they have a share in the community of the Church, able to be aided by us and the blessed.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:04 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
I imagine it is not heaven (since they do not have the common good, viz. God, that is the community) nor like hell, which is an inversion of community, since the souls in purgatory do not lack charity nor are they continuously sinning (as the damned do)

They cannot, according to the common opinion of theologians, answer our prayers, so their community in the Church is not yet perfect, but they have a share in the community of the Church, able to be aided by us and the blessed.

Do you think the experience is solitary and isolated? Or have we any reason to imagine that the experience occurs in the company of others who are also undergoing their own purgation? I guess I wonder if we will be "alone with our thoughts," something like our particular judgement before Christ.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:36 am 
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Source: viewtopic.php?p=2640800#p2640800

Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Mom2Noel wrote:
Very interesting topic Jack! I have been taught that the holy souls in purgatory cannot pray to speed up expiation for their sins, we have to do that. But I always wondered if the souls in purgatory can talk with God as we do here. So we can still love, praise and glorify Him for his sake alone?

Sure. In fact, while they still have faith and hope, these virtues take a new dimension. They know they will see God. While suffering in purgatory, they are free from despair and have an increasingly purified love of God. Hence they have a union with God through charity, though not yet consummated in the vision. They thus make acts of faith, hope and charity.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:38 am 
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MySweetLord wrote:
Since the earthly life is communal/social, and the same is to be understood about heaven and hell...what about Purgatory? Do those in Purgatory suffer in the company of others? Do they give and receive each other's support? In imagining Purgatory, I always imagined a solitary experience.

Also, I'd appreciate some solid recommended reading on this topic. I read St. Catherine of Genoa on the subject some time ago.

Thank you.

I don't have answers to your main questions. Regarding readings, I also don't have an answer, but Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange speaks of two mystics: St. Catherine of Genoa, who of course you know of, and Mother Mary of St. Austin, whose work on Purgatory is called The Divine Crucible of Purgatory. I just buzzed through Fr. G-L's section on Purgatory in Life Everlasting to see if he addressed your questions on community and I didn't see that he did. Also looked at Abbot Vonier's Life of the World to Come, and he doesn't seem to address those matters, either. At the moment, I can't think of other works on my shelves that would be likely to get into it. So I'm stumped. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that these theologians leave the matter aside means that it's OK to imagine it as communal if you wish. That does seem more appropriate, doesn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:12 pm 
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In any case, communal or alone, the Lord knows what is best for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:59 pm 
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I found it interesting that Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich said it is better to pray for the souls in purgatory than for the living here on earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:26 pm 
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trying to wrap my head around that one... do you recall why?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:47 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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I think a variety of opinions on this question are permissible (within the strictures laid out by PED above). I will note that Dante's image of Purgatory (while not doctrinal) is probably the one I lean towards. The souls in purgatory know of each other's presence and could speak to each other, but many of them choose not to. However, they all know each other's presence since they sing hymns and psalms together.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:48 pm 
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faithfulservant wrote:
trying to wrap my head around that one... do you recall why?

It didn't express why. I should add/correct....better to pray for the souls in purgatory than SINNERS on earth.

Not sure if that makes a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:03 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
They cannot, according to the common opinion of theologians, answer our prayers, so their community in the Church is not yet perfect, but they have a share in the community of the Church, able to be aided by us and the blessed.

I would rather say the "more common opinion" because, for example, Suarez and Bellarmine thought they could.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Purgatory Communal/Social?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:17 am 
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Matthew Michael wrote:
faithfulservant wrote:
trying to wrap my head around that one... do you recall why?

It didn't express why. I should add/correct....better to pray for the souls in purgatory than SINNERS on earth.

Not sure if that makes a difference.

We're all sinners, so ... no

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