Friday, January 4, 2008

Does Purgatory Negate Christ's Sacrifice?

One common objection to Purgatory is that it somehow makes Christ's sacrifice on the cross unnecessary. I've never understood this. None of us could ever merit heaven without Christ. This is something that both Catholics and Protestants agree on.

As I have written before I like analogies. They help me to see complicated concepts more clearly.

Imagine that your child accidentally breaks your elderly neighbor's window. Your child is upset because he/she knows that he will have to have to admit his mistake to the neighbor. Yet being a responsible parent, you march your child nest door. The sweet elderly lady hugs your child and assures him that she completely forgives him. She isn't mad at all. But of course there is the detail of the broken window. Windows are expensive to replace. You promise to pay the charges but your child will have to work off the cost.

Is your child any less forgiven because he has to clean up his mess? Do you tell the elderly woman that her forgiveness doesn't count because your son has to do some work?

I don't want to get to heaven as I am, a person full of faults and sin. I welcome the chance to be made clean. How merciful and wonderful is our God.


Anonymous said...

Oh. So Christ is like a credit card? He'll pay off the whole debt now, but we just pay him over time?

deb said...

LOL. No, not quiet. We don't pay him back. It would be impossible for us to ever deserve heaven. Although a silly side of me is picturing an add for such a credit card.LOL

I understand though that Purgatory really confuses nonCatholics. We are not paying anything back. My analogy might have been imperfect.

In Revelation the bible states that nothing unclean enters heaven. Catholics take this seriously. We will not enter heaven with jealousy or imperfects. I think that is wonderful!

deb said...

I meant the word imperfection, not imperfects.

Kristina said...

What you don't seem to understand is that Jesus not only forgives us for breaking the window but pays for the window Himself. The moment we accept Him as our Savior all of our sins are forgiven, and paid for, and we are no longer unclean - thus allowing us to enter heaven.

I thank God for this truth and that Purgatory is a lie because if I ever had to "work off" my sins I would never see my Savior.