THE LAITY (as per Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Sharing in the Threefold Office (871-872)
The Christian faithful, incorporated into Christ by their Baptism and made members of God’s People, share in Christ’s threefold office as priest, prophet, and king. They are called to exercise God’s mission for his Church according to their state (Canon 204).
The Mission of the Lay Faithful (897-899)
“Laity” are all the baptized (except for those in Holy Orders or in the religious state). By Baptism, they are incorporated into the People of God, share in Christ’s office, and have their own part to play in the Church’s mission, especially by directing temporal affairs according to God’s will. They must bring God’s enlightenment and order to society.
Their initiative is absolutely required so that the demands of the Gospel permeate temporal realities. The laity are on the front lines and must have a clear consciousness of actually being the Church (Pope Pius XII).
Right to Preach the Gospel (900)
Because of Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty (individually or grouped in associations) to preach the Gospel to all. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so important that pastors cannot be fully effective without them.
BUT ONE HAS TO STUDY ( WITH THE GUIDANCE OF THE CHURCH) BEFORE VENTURING OUT TO TEACH!
The chief Old Testament verse that indicates the necessity of purgation after death (and thus implies a place or state where such purgation takes place—hence the name Purgatory) is 2 Maccabees 12:46:
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins”.
If everyone who dies goes immediately to Heaven or to Hell, then this verse would be nonsense. Those who are in Heaven have no need of prayer, “that they may be loosed from sins”; those who are in Hell are unable to benefit from such prayers, because there is no escape from Hell—damnation is eternal.
Thus, there must be a third place or state, in which some of the dead are currently in the process of being “loosed from sins.” (A side note: Martin Luther argued that 1 and 2 Maccabees did not belong in the canon of the Old Testament, even though they had been accepted by the universal Church from the time that the canon was settled. Thus his contention, condemned by Pope Leo, that “Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture which is in the canon.”)
Saint Peter and Saint Paul both speak of “trials” that are compared with a “cleansing fire.” In1 Peter 1:6-7, Saint Peter refers to our necessary trials in this world:
“Wherein you shall greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in diverse temptations: That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
And in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, Saint Paul extends this image into the life after this one:
“Every man’s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.”
But “he himself shall be saved.” Again, the Church recognized from the beginning that Saint Paul cannot be talking here about those in the fires of Hell, because those are fires of torment, not of purgation—no one whose actions place him in Hell will ever leave it. Rather, this verse is the basis of the Church’s belief that all those who undergo purgation after their earthly life ends (those whom we call the Poor Souls in Purgatory) are assured of entrance into Heaven.
Christ Himself, in Matthew 12:31-32, speaks of forgiveness in this age (here on earth, as in 1 Peter 1:6-7) and in the world to come (as in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15):
“Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.”
If all souls go directly either to Heaven or to Hell, then there is no forgiveness in the world to come. But if that is so, why would Christ mention the possibility of such forgiveness?
All of this explains why, from the earliest days of Christianity, Christians offered liturgies and prayers for the dead. The practice makes no sense unless at least some souls undergo purification after this life.
In the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom, in his Homilies on 1 Corinthians, used the example of Job offering sacrifices for his living sons (Job 1:5) to defend the practice of prayer and sacrifice for the dead. But Chrysostom was arguing not against those who thought that such sacrifices were unnecessary, but against those who thought that they did no good:
“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.”
In this passage, Chrysostom sums up all of the Church Fathers, East and West, who never doubted that prayer and liturgy for the dead were both necessary and useful. Thus Sacred Tradition both draws upon and confirms the lessons of Sacred Scripture—found in both the Old and New Testaments, and indeed (as we have seen) in the words of Christ Himself.
Wherever it be, It really is/was your choice!
You just didn’t gave it enough thought then…,
Where would you rather be?
Anyway, it is not yet a foregone conclusion …,
Maybe you should now give it some thought….,
To be sure…, be insured!
How you would ask?
If in our normal human lives, we had our valuables such as; car, house, properties insured for fear of losing them on an accident or fortuitous event,
Catholic teaching has it that ways and means that parallel/simulates insurance was given to us by Mama Mary and her Son. -you can call it-“SPIRITUAL INSURANCE.”
Some ways are:
1. The wearing of the brown Scapular or the Miraculous Medal,
2. Doing the “First Friday Novena”,
- Doing the “First Saturday Devotion”,
- The Divine Mercy Devotion, Rosary……, indulgences and other similar devotions, all of which has a promise attached -that accomplishments of such acts or devotions will have exclusion of hell as a reward to one.
Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: +++++++
1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”81
“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.”82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.83
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin.
On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin.
1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishment due for their sins may be remitted. ++++++
20 There is no righteous man on earth who always does good and never sins.
No one goes straight up to heaven, purgatory is our first stop. Not unless we have paid up for our sins here on earth and now! thru indulgences?