All Saints’ Day -1st November, a day of love and hope for a better life ahead

 

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Today I went to mass to celebrate “All Saints’ Day.” We prayed, worshiped and lit candles and asked the saints in heaven to help us and our families.

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At Baptism we all gain the potential to become saints, when we enter heaven we all become saints.

Catholics honour saints not worship them, because they have lived exemplary lives here on earth for a higher cause, that is,  a life of sacrifice, a life of love, caring and sharing, a life of  living according to God’s purpose. Many saints have died for their faith, while some lead exemplary lives to give witness to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Saints were ordinary people who lead extraordinary lives. Saints have revealed things to us because of their relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Saints are people whom we look up to. Saints are our link between heaven and earth. People pray to saints as intercessors for us, to help us here on earth, to achieve our God given purpose and inherit what God has already set aside for each and everyone of us, if we have faith and believe.

The lives of the saints were not easy, nothing that is worth something is easy. Sacrifice comes in order to gain something bigger than ourselves.

I remember as a child parents would name their children after a saint in order to gain protection for their children from that saint. God elevates the dead to sainthood because of their faith and in order to help us here on earth.

Tomorrow is “All Souls’ Day” a day when we pray for our faithful departed. One might ask why do we have to pray for the dead? The reason is that some may not yet have crossed over or entered heaven, not because they are not worthy, but because they died with traces of sin. None of us are worthy, because we sin daily, it’s only by the grace of God that we are rendered worthy to be in God’s Kingdom.

Image result for But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

In the bible in Maccabees Purgatory is explained and by scholars such as St. Augustine, my protestant friends don’t acknowledge saints. They refer to him as Augustine and quote him to explain and make clear many philosophical arguments.

Halloween is celebrated around this three day festival,  it has become a pagan festival. We should honour the dead and the saints because that is what is pleasing to God.

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HALLOWEEN EXPLAINED click left

purgatory in Maccabees click left

PRAYER

 

 

 

RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES_PURGATORY

 HOW DOES RELIGION AFFECT MY LIFE?
SR. FAUSTINA                b. 1905- d. 1935
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This is the first of a series that I will put together to show people how my catholic faith affects my life.
Why does anybody do what they do? Because they are programmed for God, because without God we’ll forever have a restless heart.  Our spirit guides us into doing what we do.
I recently came into full understanding of what PURGATORY is all about.
I knew about it from a child, but really never stopped to think or research more on this topic until I was given an auditory tape that explained it fully.
Why should I believe in it at all one might ask? Well!!!! I don’t want to waste this life on a 50/50 % chance. I cannot come back and change my life but I can change my future. I can’t change my eternity. I believe that this life is so very short and when I think back I just realise how quickly this life is passing.
So then, PURGATORY IS a place of cleansing or purifying.
” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: verbatim   All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (1030).
Let me break that down a little. The word purgatory is the label given to us using hundreds of years of intelligence. The word bible does not appear in the bible either.  However, the description of what is written down (see above) is just that-Purgatory. Not all christian bibles will have 2 Maccabees 12: 41-45  as it has been omitted. My protestant  friends tell me that salvation is automatic if you choose God, but I don’t think it’s that simple.
Did God not allow Jesus to be crucified for our sins? Does God forbid all
sin that may come to us or that we partake in? No, He doesn’t,  God allows evil in the world.
When Jesus died on the cross, He forgave the repentant thief because he repented out aloud to Jesus. He asked for forgiveness and Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise. He had already suffered a terrible death on the cross like Jesus and  that would have counted towards his atonement, but do we know for sure that the other thief went to heaven too? Who knows??????
Heaven is perfect. God is perfect. Jesus is perfect. If we have traces of sin we are rendered imperfect so when we die we cannot enter Heaven straight away. It doesn’t mean we are not saved, it means that we have to atone for what is left
Anything imperfect cannot enter heaven. It’s pretty straight forward.
Matthew 16:19 says……. ”and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

2 Maccabees 12:41-45 (RSVCE)

41 So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; 42 and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.[a]

GOD IS LOVE, JESUS IS THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF GOD WHO DIED, SO THAT WE CAN BE PURIFIED OF SIN IF WE REPENT AND FORGIVE.
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Jesus does not go to purgatory but Mary does. Mary the great intercessor of us  all. Mary who has been elevated to the Queen of Heaven, the mother of God’s Son and the Mother of us all, visits purgatory often as a reprieve to those waiting to enter heaven.
We as humans are not expected to know everything about God or His plans. We grow into the truth and sometimes the people of His choosing get messages from God from Jesus or Mary. Isn’t that how the prophets knew about Jesus and who He was? Isn’t that how that oral tradition was passed on and eventually written down? Isn’t that how John  wrote the book of Revelations?
Well, in this case Jesus chose to reveal the afterlife- hell, purgatory and heaven to Sr. Faustina, why her you might ask??????? God chooses those who will honour Him and bring glory to His name and Sr. Faustina (now a Roman Catholic saint) was just that person. -Her Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul,  is a book she wrote  based on the contents of her diary from 1934 until her death, in 1938 in which she describes vividly her visions( click below for more info).
Why would Jesus reveal these to her? Because God wants us all with Him in heaven and He will stop at nothing to help us get there.
SR FAUSTINA’S VISION OF PURGATORY WRITTEN IN HER DIARY AS SHE SAW IT
(click below)
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So how has this changed my life??? Well,  I go to confession to repent of my sins. I don’t hold grudges, I quickly ask for forgiveness from those I have wronged.
I try to pass the message on to others. I have taught students at school about this and my own children at length, so there is no mistaking purgatory for what it is and that it is a real place.
 I ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REGIFT ME, SO THAT I CAN BE BETTER AND BE THE BEST VERSION OF MYSELF. I ASK GOD TO ALIGN MY WILL WITH HIS WILL.
Recently it was my father’s anniversary of his passing and not only do I pray for him but my family and I had a mass celebrated in his name. November is the month of “ALL SOULS, “again we have masses celebrating our beloved.
One cannot get out of purgatory by themselves, hence we need to live your lives for God now and hope for a better eternity for ourselves. We need prayers from the living.  Prayers are never wasted, if you pray and your beloved are already in heaven, God will use your prayers for someone else who need them.
The rosary(given to us by Mary) prayed by oneself or with others, helps souls get to heaven.
(see link for virtual rosary below)
PRAYER FOR THE DEAD
ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO HIS/HER (NAME OF PERSON PRAYING FOR) SOUL O LORD AND MAY PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON HIM/HER.
MAY (HE/SHE) REST IN PEACE. AMEN

HAVE YOU LOST THE FEAR OF THE LORD?

People don’t seem to have that healthy fear of the Lord anymore. There is a wrong type of fear , the one where people think they should be scared because of what God will do.  But the right one is the one where people realise that God is the all knowing, all powerful, all intelligent, omnipotent, omnipresent in our everyday life.

In Proverbs 15:33, the fear of the Lord is described as the “discipline” or “instruction” of wisdom, this gift fills us with a sovereign respect for God because we are not equal to Him but below Him.

My fear is the feeling of not being good enough  doing what God expects of me or falling into sin, because I wouldn’t want to be without Him in the end.

“The fear of God should have an attitude of respect, a response of reverence and wonder, not one where you put yourself first, failing to acknowledge that God is in control and that He is the one who giveth and that He is the one who taketh, because after all, everything belongs to Him anyway.

A healthy fear of God includes the fear of the consequences of disobedience. Believe it or not there is heaven and there is hell and purgatory in between.

adapted from “Life, Hope and Truth” by Mike Bennett.

 

DEATH – HELL AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

In society, you wouldn’t give a murderer a fine for his/her crime, like you wouldn’t give a traffic road offender a life-term jail sentence for breaking a road rule. I am giving you an analogy here. God did not intend for all sins to be equal.

Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.

There are different types of sins.  They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.” But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.(Catechism of the catholic church)

God is love and God has given us all a free will. You cannot have free will without  responsibility.

GOD DOESN’T SEND PEOPLE TO HELL . PEOPLE THEMSELVES CHOOSE HELL IF THEY REFUSE THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE SAVING POWER OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. We serve a judgemental God, it is by God’s grace that we are pardoned and brought into his kingdom, through the sacrifice that Jesus paid for our sins through the cross.

FOR THE IN BETWEEN THERE IS PURGATORY

Purgatory as a “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC 1030). It notes that “this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” 

The purification is necessary because, as Scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) and, while we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. (Catechism of the catholic church)

Augustine said, in The City of God, that “temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment” (21:13). It is between the particular and general judgments, then, that the soul is purified of the remaining consequences of sin: “I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper” (Luke 12:59).

The Bible does not mention the exact word purgatory but instead it makes reference to a place which can be understood as what is referred to as purgatory. To claim that purgatory does not exist because the exact word does not appear in Scripture is a failure to understand scripture.

Purgatory because it means “a cleansing place.” Therein souls are purged from the small stains of sin, which prevent their immediate entrance into Heaven.

In the Old Testament

The first mention of Purgatory in the Bible is in 2 Maccabees 12:46: “Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin.”

Some people do not accept Maccabees as book of the Bible. This is unfortunate since it is that their Bibles have been edited and are missing books. Even if a person does not accept the book of Maccabees, it at least has historical value for we can learn what the pre-Christian community believed.

In Chapter 12 of Second Maccabees we read Scriptural proof for Purgatory and evidence that the Jews had sacrifices offered for those of their brothers who had lost their lives in battle. That the Jews prayed for the dead shows that they believed in a place where they could be helped (which we now call purgatory) and that the prayers of their living brothers and sisters could help them in that place. This is closely related to the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints.

During the Reformation in the 15th century, when Martin Luther was deciding to remove books from the Bible, these words in the book of Maccabees had so clearly favored Catholic teaching, that the whole book was removed from the Protestant Bible. Unfortunately for Protestants, even if they feel that the book was not inspired, it still tells us of the practice of God’s chosen people.

In the New Testament

In Matthew 5:26 and Luke 12:59 Christ is condemning sin and speaks of liberation only after expiation. “Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Now we know that no last penny needs to be paid in Heaven and from Hell there is no liberation at all; hence the reference must apply to a third place.

The Bible clearly implies a place for an intermediate state of purification after we die in the many passages which tell that God will reward or punish according to a person’s life.