Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pope Benedict - Purgatory as encounter with the love of Christ

Here are some stunning words from Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) about "purgatory" as an encounter with the love of Christ:

"Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought, some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God [i.e., capable of full unity with Christ and God] and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints. Simply to look at people with any degree of realism at all is to grasp the necessity of such a process. It does not replace grace by works, but allows the former to achieve its full victory precisely as grace. What actually saves is the full assent of faith. But in most of us, that basic option is buried under a great deal of wood, hay and straw. Only with difficulty can it peer out from behind the latticework of an egoism we are powerless to pull down with our own hands. Man is the recipient of the divine mercy, yet this does not exonerate him from the need to be transformed. Encounter with the Lord is this transformation. It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy." (Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, page 229)


Edwin said...

A great way of expressing it - thanks for relaying it.

John-Francis Friendship said...

Having just written a blog on this subject, may I quote these words?

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