Why Pray for Their Souls?
Thus this purging of the soul was associated with another place or state that the soul should undergo a state of cleansing, which is what purgatory is all about. Also, the concept of the purgatory have been identified to begin even before the Roman Catholic was established as the reference to such a phenomena or stage or place is present on the old testament.
This is a topic in 2 Macc.12:41–4 explaining that the “atonement” for the souls of those who have already died can be done through prayers of the living so that the dead would be “delivered from their sins”. Again there were implications that about the existence of purgatory in the writings about Adam and Eve, stating that the soul of Adam shall suffer for years until God have turned all of his sufferings to joy. The Need for Purification Why does one needs to be purified in the first place? If one is sure to go to heaven, why is there a need for purification?
According to the Catechism 1030: Those people who died under the “grace and friendship” or in peace or has belief of the lord are already guaranteed of their “eternal salvation”, however they have to attain “holiness” in order to be permitted to dwell in the kingdom of heavens, thus one should first be cleansed from his earthly sins and all the stains that comes with it from not yet repented sins through the flames of the purgatory. As can be found in Revelation 21:27, “there is nothing that is not clean which can come into the kingdom of God”
The reason for the existence of the purgatory aside from the facts that the souls were needed to be cleansed before entering the heavens, according to David Macdonald was in able for the people who believe and accepted the lord not to be “lazy”. This is due to the fact that there were some people who after knowing that they are already sure to go straight to heaven would just do nothing about expanding or explaining the teachings of Christ and the church to others.
If there is a concept of purgatory, then it would be an encouragement for this kind of people to continue doing what they have started in able to spend lesser time to the purgatory. And so what is the reason for praying for the souls in the purgatory? They were bound to suffer for their sins, how we can save them through our prayers. These questions were widely taken by most of the people who do not believe in purgatory or to the Catholic religion per se, as a contradictory with respect to the teachings of the church about Jesus as our savior.
This is because of the acknowledgement that we can also save the souls of those people in the purgatory as well, along with the fact that the mere existence of purgatory gives us a chance to cleanse our souls from our sins in able to enter the heaven. However, Christ, with respect to the teachings of the Catholic Church, had saved us from going straight to hell upon sinning. This gave us a chance to repent for our sins and to recognize the true God and his mercy.
Also if the people who died were not given a chance to purify their souls, according to 1 Corinthians 15:28, then what was the use of their being baptized and their accepting and living through the will of Christ. The reason why we pray for them is an able to lighten their burden. This would somehow reduce their stay in the purgatory depending on the sincere prayers of the people in earth who are still living. Since one is asking for their forgiveness, their sins that they have not been able to atone would be minimize in some degree.
Conclusion Should we believe in purgatory? Does it exist? These questions are not supposed to be asked by true Catholics who have faith in the bible for it is something that was clearly reflected on the bible and to the other scriptures by the church. The purgatory is an existing stage wherein the soul would be purged in able to enter the kingdom of God. The Catholics believe that such thing actually exist through the writings brought down by earlier Christians and followers of Christ.
The belief in such a stage, gave us a positive outlook, for we are given another chance to repent for our sins. It also justifies the prayers that we are giving for the souls in the purgatory, as for these prayers would save theirs, helping them and it shows that we can reach them through our prayers (Catechism 958).
• Catholic Answers. Purgatory. Retrieved on August 8, 2007. Retrieved from: www. catholic. com • Flanagan, Paul and Schihl, Robert. Catholic Biblical Apologetics Retrieved on August 8, 2007. Retrieved from: www. catholicapologetics. org