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 Post subject: Purgatory and the Rosary
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:56 pm 
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I suppose I should start off by saying that I've prayed the rosary (irregularly, I'm ashamed to say) since before my baptism. I've never understood the problems most Protestants have with devotion to Our Lady. Indeed, I have found that my faith seems to be strengthened after saying the rosary.

I have also recently come to believe in Purgatory in the last few months. C. S. Lewis' discussion in Letters to Malcolm has been very helpful for me.

Having said that, however (you knew there was going to be a however), I have trouble understanding the ninth of The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary: "I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary." I take this to mean, She will deliver them from Purgatory to Heaven earlier than they ordinarily would have been. I'm confused on how Our Lady can do this (no disrespect intended). Surely, if we are sent to Purgatory after death, it is because our souls require cleansing. How can we be admitted to Heaven prior to the completion of that cleansing?

-- Christopher


Last edited by Christopher VandeLinde on Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:09 pm 
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The phrase simply means she will help those in purgatory who prayed the Rosary by her intercession. We all pray for loved ones in purgatory, to lessen their sufferings and their time there. So too Mary prays especially for whose who have sought her help in this life through devotion to the Rosary or other such Marian devotions. I hope that helps! :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:23 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, Della.

I think I need to go back to my understanding of Purgatory. I understand Purgatory as a necessary continuation of sanctification which has been interrupted by death, and which must be completed prior to entering Heaven.

However, if I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to view Purgatory as a punishment ordained by the Lord in His Justice, but which He may, in His Mercy, remit or waive altogether. Is that correct? In that case, the benefits of intercession make more sense.

--Christopher


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:27 pm 
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Christopher VandeLinde wrote:
Thanks for the reply, Della.

I think I need to go back to my understanding of Purgatory. I understand Purgatory as a necessary continuation of sanctification which has been interrupted by death, and which must be completed prior to entering Heaven.

However, if I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to view Purgatory as a punishment ordained by the Lord in His Justice, but which He may, in His Mercy, remit or waive altogether. Is that correct? In that case, the benefits of intercession make more sense.

--Christopher


In Catholic teachings like this one there is more than one dynamic going on. Purgatory is both a continuing process of sanctification as well as where we pay for the temporal punishments due to our sins which we did not make restitution for in this life, generally through penance and making right what we can of what we made wrong. Does that help?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Yes, quite a bit.

It looks like I fell into the Fallacy of the False Alternatives. Thanks for your help!

-- Christopher

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:35 pm 
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Christopher VandeLinde wrote:
Yes, quite a bit.

It looks like I fell into the Fallacy of the False Alternatives. Thanks for your help!

-- Christopher


You're welcome. :) And I think the "Fallacy of the False Alternatives" ought to be trademarked, don't you? ::):

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:57 pm 
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Hi Christopher, :wave

I see you are familiar with the 15 Promises but what I am not sure of is whether you have seen the extended list with definitions of each promise.
If you haven't then here you go. If you have, then my apologies.

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
-Signal Graces are those special and unique Graces to help sanctify us in our state in life. See the remaining promises for an explanation for which these will consist. St. Louis de Montfort states emphatically that the best & fastest way to union with Our Lord is via Our Lady

2.I promise my special protection & the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
-Our Lady is our Advocate & the channel of all God's Grace to us. Our Lady is simply highlighting that She will watch especially over us who pray the Rosary

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin & defeat heresies.
-This promise, along with the next, is simply the reminder on how fervent prayer will help us all grow in holiness by avoiding sin, especially a prayer with the excellence of the Rosary. An increase in holiness necessarily requires a reduction in sin, vice & doctrinal errors (heresies). If only the Modernists could be convinced to pray the Rosary!

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world & its vanities, & will lift them to the desire for Eternal Things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
-This promise, along with the previous, is the positive part, that being to live in virtue Becoming holy is not only avoiding sin, but also growing in virtue.

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
-Since Our Lady is our Mother and Advocate, She always assists those who call on Her implicitly by praying the Rosary. The Church reminds us of this in the Memorare prayer, "... never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided ..."

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, & become worthy of Eternal Life.
-This promise highlights the magnitude of Graces that the Rosary brings to whomever prays it. One will draw down God's Mercy rather than His Justice & will have a final chance to repent (see promise #7). One will not be conquered by misfortune means that Our Lady will obtain for the person sufficient Graces to handle said misfortune (i.e. carry the Crosses allowed by God) without falling into despair. As Sacred Scripture tells us, "For my yoke is sweet & my burden light." (Matthew 11:30)

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
-This promise highlights the benefits of obtaining the most possible Graces at the hour of death via the Sacraments of Confession, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick). Being properly disposed while receiving these Sacraments near death ensures one's salvation (although perhaps with a detour through Purgatory) since a final repentance is possible.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life & at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.
-Our Lady highlights the great quantity of Graces obtain through praying the Rosary, which assist us during life & at the moment of death. The merits of the Saints are the gift of God's rewards to those persons who responded to His Grace that they obtained during life, & so Our Lady indicates that She will provide a share of that to us at death. With this promise & #7 above, Our Lady is providing the means for the person to have a very holy death.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
-Should one require Purgatorial cleansing after death, Our Lady will make a special effort to obtain our release from Purgatory through Her intercession as Advocate.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.
-This promise is a logical consequence of promises #3 & #4 since anyone who truly lives a holier life on earth will obtain a higher place in Heaven. The closer one is to God while living on earth, the close that person is to Him also in Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tates "Spiritual progress tends toward ever more union with Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church <paragraph 2014)

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.
-This promise emphasizes Our Lady's role as our Advocate & Mediatrix of all Graces. Of course, all requests are subject to God's Most Perfect Will. God will always grant our request if it is beneficial for our soul, & Our Lady will only intercede for us when our request is good for our salvation. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
-If one promotes the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady emphasizes Her Maternal care for us by obtaining many Graces (i.e. spiritual necessities) & also material necessities (neither excess nor luxury), all subject to the Will of God of course.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life & at the hour of death.
-Since Our Lady is our Advocate, She brings us additional assistance during our life & at our death from all the saints in Heaven (the Communion of Saints). See paragraphs 954 through 959 in the Catechism.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, & brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.
-Since the Rosary is a most excellent prayer focused on Jesus and His Life and activities in salvation history, it brings us closer to Our Lord & Our Lady. Doctrinally, Our Lady is our Mother & Jesus is our Eldest Brother, besides being our God.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
-Predestination in this context means that, by the sign which is present to a person from the action of devoutly praying the Rosary, God has pre-ordained your salvation. Absolute certainty of salvation can only be truly known if God reveals it to a person because, although we are given sufficient Grace during life, our salvation depends upon our response to said Grace. (See Summa Theologica, question 23 for a detailed theological explanation). Said another way, if God has guaranteed a person's salvation but has not revealed it to Him, God would want that person to pray the Rosary because of all the benefits & Graces obtained. Therefore the person gets a hint by devotion to the Rosary. This is not to say that praying the Rosary guarantees salvation - by no means. In looking at promises #3 and #4 above, praying the Rosary helps one to live a holy life, which is itself a great sign that a soul is on the road to salvation. (See also paragraphs 381, 488, 600, 2782 in the Catechism.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:18 pm 
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Totus Tuus,

I had not seen the extended list. Thank you for posting it.
-- Christopher


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:47 am 
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Thank you for posting these, although I've always wanted to pray the rosary, I don't know all the prayers other than the "Our Father" "Glory Be" " Hail Mary" . I know there's "Hail the Queen" but don't know the prayer, and also I get confused as to when I'm to contemplate which mysteries.

I think it's the mysteries that confuse me the most... on such and such a day think about these ect. That's what has been stopping me the most.

Seeing the promises our Lady made, has re-awakened the desire to try to figure it out the again. I've seen the "rosary maps" on the internet, and even have a beautiful little booklet that was handed out in the 1930's by a family ( I think it was for an ordination) which teaches the rosary.... but I can't seem to grasp the timing of things. It's beyond me how people can recite the prayers and meditate at the same time, it must be my A.D.D causing this.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:07 am 
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my advice to you...just start praying it...use the booklet...eventually it will come to you...eventually you won't need the booklet...eventually you will be able to meditate on the mysteries and pray at the same time...just put forth the effort...God will supply the rest
:)

the rosary is the ONE thing I carried with me through my long dark trip from cradle Catholic to revert
there was always something about the rosary...some inner beauty...that kept me coming back to it, even if I had turned my back on the Catholic church


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:07 am 
You don't have to pray paticular mysteries on paticular days- those are suggestions only. It's a private devotion, so it can be modified to fit into your life. Some people try to pray that day's mystery on that day, others may try to pray them in rotation, picking up on the mystery that was next if they can't do it every day. Don't be afraid of doing it wrong, you can't! :).

Try this, see if it helps [PDF FILE]: http://www.newadvent.org/library/rosary.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:26 am 
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Thank you both, I'm going to start doing it. With error or without, can't go anywhere without taking the first steps right?

I'm sooo embarassed... I said "Hail the Queen" rather "Hail Holy Queen" that makes a WORLD of difference in prayer! :oops: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Purgatory and the Rosary
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:31 am 
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Christopher VandeLinde wrote:
How can we be admitted to Heaven prior to the completion of that cleansing?

-- Christopher


What a great thread. Everybody's offered great answers, I'll just chime in with the idea that someone who's never been to New York can never understand it, and the same is probably true of every one of the bits of the afterlife. I love this story, which I've posted lots of times but I'll do again because it's so great and says "don't get too particular in a particular theological system":

Peter was standing at the pearly gates. Our Lord comes out and says "Peter! What's your problem? I keep finding all these guys wandering around Jerusalem who I haven't given you permission to admit yet!"

Peter says, "I'm not surprised. I keep the door closed to people like that, but Your Mother keeps opening the windows!"


Supposedly told by Bishop Fulton Sheen.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:32 am 
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Loboto-Me wrote:
Thank you both, I'm going to start doing it. With error or without, can't go anywhere without taking the first steps right?

I'm sooo embarassed... I said "Hail the Queen" rather "Hail Holy Queen" that makes a WORLD of difference in prayer! :oops: :shock:


Actually, the real prayer says "Salve Regina," "Hail Queen." But our English-speaking tradition adds in Holy; nothing wrong with that.

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