Limbo - who is it for?
#41
(08-04-2010, 09:01 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 08:38 PM)Stubborn Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 08:16 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 08:13 PM)Stubborn Wrote: In a word, they are innocent by the fact that they cannot commit sin. As such, they are not guilty - why no heaven?

Because they are tainted with original sin and no sin can enter Heaven.

I agree - but how - by what authority?

By what authority what?

Vetus, gimme a break lol - - I'm playing devil's advocate here.
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#42
(08-04-2010, 09:14 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 08:13 PM)Stubborn Wrote: First, I gotta say to INPEFESS :chleader: :chleader: :chleader: :chleader: :chleader:
Awesome reply!!!!!!!!

Stubborn, thank you very much. I only hope that it is useful for the salvation of souls. I get the feeling that there are many Catholics who question their faith when it comes to this teaching. God does not want these dear souls to question their faith, and so He uses various instruments to help them, unworthy though they are to act in His stead.

Quote:Next, I would like more (selfish guy that I am)........you said:

(08-04-2010, 06:32 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: If they did something bad, justice required that they should receive a punishment. Unfortunately, it didn't take long to show how easily these undeserved merits were squandered, and they received the privation of their undeserved privilege that justice required. To make matters worse, in light of what they had been given without deserving any of it, the burden of the punishment was so grave that it would take a great deal many more souls to bear it until their yoke would justify the fruits of their burden to yield the infinite merits of Our Saviour.

Now I understand and agree completely with your awesome post and thank you again for your reply

Thank you again. You, like VetusOrdo, are too kind. I only want to help these troubled souls understand the truths of the Church.

Quote: - I am wondering about thoughts regarding the following truth (anyone please answer - not just aiming at INPEFESS here):

There is another factor in play here, namely, Satan tempted - and was the underlying cause of the sin of  Adam -  whereas temptations of unborn are nonexistent. Infants are neither deserving or undeserving of either bliss or punishments - OR capable of  falling prey to temptation or victorious over it. Nor are infants (let alone the unborn) capable of anything good, bad or indifferent.

In a word, they are innocent by the fact that they cannot commit sin. As such, they are not guilty - why no heaven?

My answer is not infallible, but this is my understanding. The reason is: heaven is not granted; it is rewarded for good action - such is justice. Even Adam and Eve were not to be rewarded heaven by merit of their mere existence before before the fall. They had to spend a time on earth in compliance with the will of God, submitting their wills to His, and using their God-given faculties according to their purposes. If this time were not necessary for their reward, there would be no purpose for them to exist on earth. They would need only be created as innocents without the use of reason and would merit heaven at that moment by nature of their innocence. Would need would there be for them to live on earth?

We might think of it as a test. They were given a gift unique to all creatures: a perpetual inclination toward God. We might think of this as the state of sanctifying grace without requiring baptism, confession, and the Body and Blood of Christ. It was a free gift, undeserved, and co-operative with their free will. They had but to effect their free will in such a way that it was always perpetually united to God's. They didn't have to do anything for this. They had only not to do something in order to maintain this state of grace. They had only not to use their free will to break the one commandment they had been given.

We must understand that innocence of crime does not mean a doer of good. For instance, one might never break any of the Ten Commandments, might follow all the precepts of the Church, and live by the letter of the law, but if he has not charity, he is as nothing (according to St. Paul). The law requires not only that one refrain from evil, but the supreme law before all others is that he do something - that he love God with his whole heart, mind, and soul. Innocence does not imply "a doer of good"; innocence implies "an absence of evil", so it does not necessarily yield good fruit. It simply yields no fruit at all, and, as such, is not punishable. However, its inaction is not deserving of a reward, either. If one does no good, how does he observe the supreme law given to us by God - to love Him with the whole heart, mind, and soul? If one does not those things, one does not follow the supreme law. If he does not follow the law, he does not earn a reward. Baptism justifies the soul because it is a satisfaction of the law of God necessary for the doing of good.

Wow - Mr., all I can say is awesome answer yet again!

I know your answer in not infallible - yet it reflects most accurately the Church's teachings as I've been taught them.

Thanks again for putting it so plainly!
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#43
(08-04-2010, 09:29 PM)Stubborn Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 09:14 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 08:13 PM)Stubborn Wrote: First, I gotta say to INPEFESS :chleader: :chleader: :chleader: :chleader: :chleader:
Awesome reply!!!!!!!!

Stubborn, thank you very much. I only hope that it is useful for the salvation of souls. I get the feeling that there are many Catholics who question their faith when it comes to this teaching. God does not want these dear souls to question their faith, and so He uses various instruments to help them, unworthy though they are to act in His stead.

Quote:Next, I would like more (selfish guy that I am)........you said:

(08-04-2010, 06:32 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: If they did something bad, justice required that they should receive a punishment. Unfortunately, it didn't take long to show how easily these undeserved merits were squandered, and they received the privation of their undeserved privilege that justice required. To make matters worse, in light of what they had been given without deserving any of it, the burden of the punishment was so grave that it would take a great deal many more souls to bear it until their yoke would justify the fruits of their burden to yield the infinite merits of Our Saviour.

Now I understand and agree completely with your awesome post and thank you again for your reply

Thank you again. You, like VetusOrdo, are too kind. I only want to help these troubled souls understand the truths of the Church.

Quote: - I am wondering about thoughts regarding the following truth (anyone please answer - not just aiming at INPEFESS here):

There is another factor in play here, namely, Satan tempted - and was the underlying cause of the sin of  Adam -  whereas temptations of unborn are nonexistent. Infants are neither deserving or undeserving of either bliss or punishments - OR capable of  falling prey to temptation or victorious over it. Nor are infants (let alone the unborn) capable of anything good, bad or indifferent.

In a word, they are innocent by the fact that they cannot commit sin. As such, they are not guilty - why no heaven?

My answer is not infallible, but this is my understanding. The reason is: heaven is not granted; it is rewarded for good action - such is justice. Even Adam and Eve were not to be rewarded heaven by merit of their mere existence before the fall. They had to spend a time on earth in compliance with the will of God, submitting their wills to His, and using their God-given faculties according to their purposes. If this time were not necessary for their reward, there would be no purpose for them to exist on earth. They would need only be created as innocents without the use of reason and would merit heaven at that moment by nature of their innocence. What need would there be for them to live on earth?

We might think of it as a test. They were given a gift unique to all creatures: a perpetual inclination toward God. We might think of this as the state of sanctifying grace without requiring baptism, confession, and the Body and Blood of Christ. It was a free gift, undeserved, and co-operative with their free will. They had but to effect their free will in such a way that it was always perpetually united to God's. They didn't have to do anything for this. They had only not to do something in order to maintain this state of grace. They had only not to use their free will to break the one commandment they had been given.

We must understand that innocence of crime does not mean a doer of good. For instance, one might never break any of the Ten Commandments, might follow all the precepts of the Church, and live by the letter of the law, but if he has not charity, he is as nothing (according to St. Paul). The law requires not only that one refrain from evil, but the supreme law before all others is that he do something - that he love God with his whole heart, mind, and soul. Innocence does not imply "a doer of good"; innocence implies "an absence of evil", so it does not necessarily yield good fruit. It simply yields no fruit at all, and, as such, is not punishable. However, its inaction is not deserving of a reward, either. If one does no good, how does he observe the supreme law given to us by God - to love Him with the whole heart, mind, and soul? If one does not those things, one does not follow the supreme law. If he does not follow the law, he does not earn a reward. Baptism justifies the soul because it is a satisfaction of the law of God necessary for the doing of good.

Wow - Mr., all I can say is awesome answer yet again!

Thank you. I hope that it answers your question. I admit, these mysteries are difficult to understand, especially to those willfully outside the Faith who are not as well-disposed to the grace of God. But God gives to those who sincerely desire to know and love truth the graces necessary to come to a satisfactory understanding of it. As a Catholic, you have been receptive to that grace in your sincere desire to know and love truth. God bless you for it!

Quote:I know your answer in not infallible - yet it reflects most accurately the Church's teachings as I've been taught them.

I pray only that I do not write things not in harmony with the teachings of the Magisterium. Thank you for confirming the teachings I have attempted to re-present.

Quote:Thanks again for putting it so plainly!

You are welcome, but mostly, thank God for the capacity to come to a satisfying understanding of these mysteries. Thank God for His goodness!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
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#44
I'm going against my word by posting here, but I just had to because of how great an explanation you gave of Limbo.  INPEFESS, Your explanation has taken away all the pain I felt at the thought of Limbo being true.  It makes sense and is perfectly logical.  But would you mind explaining a few points that still confuse me from what you said?  If souls go to limbo because they neither have done anything to be rewarded with heaven, nor done anything to be punished in hell, and this is the reason that it is just to send them to neither, then wouldn't it be more logical that they go to a place of total oblivion?  One that is neither painful nor joyful?  Isn't being placed in a state of perfect natural happiness an unearned reward in its own right?  If not, why not?  Also, Adam and Eve were given an unearned reward of initial inclination toward God.  If God could give them an unearned reward in this instance, why is it inherently impossible that God could do the same for those who die unbaptized?  From the Latin perspective, is it that it is a logical impossibility, or just that the Church Fathers have never taught such a possibility existed?  If the latter, how does this reconcile with God's mercy?  Limbo can't then be merciful, because there is no mercy in preventing someone from experiencing an undeserved punishment.  Granted, no one in Limbo would have a right to God's mercy, but does anyone such a right?  If God is merciful to the baptized who have done nothing to earn his mercy, why is it impossible to show the same mercy to the unbaptized?
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#45
A good and orthodox priest told me that in the case of victims of abortion, the unborn child enters paradise. I know that a victim of abortion is a bit different then an infant born and simply not given the sacrament of baptism but I would think that it is the same sort of situation in God's eyes.
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#46
(08-04-2010, 10:36 PM)Melkite Wrote: Also, Adam and Eve were given an unearned reward of initial inclination toward God.  If God could give them an unearned reward in this instance, why is it inherently impossible that God could do the same for those who die unbaptized?

Because those who die unbaptized, die with the taint of original sin. In short, that seems to be it.

However, let INPEFESS expand on that.
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#47
(08-04-2010, 10:36 PM)Melkite Wrote: I'm going against my word by posting here, but I just had to because of how great an explanation you gave of Limbo.  INPEFESS, Your explanation has taken away all the pain I felt at the thought of Limbo being true.  It makes sense and is perfectly logical.  But would you mind explaining a few points that still confuse me from what you said?  If souls go to limbo because they neither have done anything to be rewarded with heaven, nor done anything to be punished in hell, and this is the reason that it is just to send them to neither, then wouldn't it be more logical that they go to a place of total oblivion? One that is neither painful nor joyful? 

This is a very good question, but we must keep in mind that souls are immortal, and once created, they are not destroyed. This doctrine is paramount to the understanding of the second question, for since they are not destroyed, it is necessary that something happens to them - that they remain in some state of spiritual significance. If they were not, they would not glorify God as they would be numb to the movements of His Spirit. What the point of a soul to exist if not to serve as member of the Mystical Body of Christ?

Quote:Isn't being placed in a state of perfect natural happiness an unearned reward in its own right?  If not, why not? 

This is a very good question, too. It would be as you say, except that the the souls in Limbo, according to the teachings of the Church Fathers, are aware of their loss of the Beatific Vision and feel this loss in a very real way. This is, to a degree, an infinite sense of loss that would destroy the souls of those who have rejected the Beatific Vision, but considering that souls in Limbo did not have the opportunity to reject Him, their sense of loss is not one of shame or guilt, as is felt by the souls of the damned. It is a bitter sense of loss because they will never be able to see God, but it causes no suffering since suffering is only the product of evil actions. It is only a sense of loss insomuch as they know they are lacking the sight of God. However, because their presence in Limbo is one of perfect natural happiness and contentment, justice requires that these precious souls feel this sense of loss - that they know they are missing Him and will never be able to see Him. It is a dreadful loss to not be able to see God, but it is balanced by their perpetual state of perfect natural happiness much like in the garden of Eden. Their souls will always be turned to Him without effort, there will never be any suffering, and all of their needs will be provided them. For us, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears, it can sometimes be hard to imagine how the inability to see God could cause such a loss directly proportionate to that state in which God has placed them. But then again, we have but to begin considering the knowledge, understanding, and love of God that must be had by these little souls to see how real their loss must be. In this way, Limbo is, in the fullest sense of the word, an perfect equilibrium of God's infinite justice.

Quote:Also, Adam and Eve were given an unearned reward of initial inclination toward God.  If God could give them an unearned reward in this instance, why is it inherently impossible that God could do the same for those who die unbaptized? From the Latin perspective, is it that it is a logical impossibility, or just that the Church Fathers have never taught such a possibility existed?  If the latter, how does this reconcile with God's mercy?  Limbo can't then be merciful, because there is no mercy in preventing someone from experiencing an undeserved punishment.  Granted, no one in Limbo would have a right to God's mercy, but does anyone such a right?


Another good question. The reason that they do not receive the same reward is that the undeserved reward God gave Adam and Eve is not the same as the reward of the Beatific Vision, a deserved reward, an earned reward. The undeserved reward that God gave Adam and Eve (a state of perfect natural happiness) is the same enjoyed by those souls in Limbo. The difference is that the souls in Limbo can't have what Adam and Eve could have: the Beatific Vision. This is how it balances. Adam and Eve were given an undeserved reward, and so were the souls in Limbo (though, balanced by the loss of What they can't have), but Adam and Eve were also given the chance of a greater reward: the sight of God. This reward they had to earn by not abusing their free will. This reward is one that the souls in Limbo cannot have. So in this way, their states are different. The state of the souls in Limbo is static and inert while the state of Adam and Eve was animated by an active potentiality. Adam and Eve enjoyed the active potential for a greater reward; and it was to be given to them if they simply refrained from separating themselves from God. The souls in Limbo, however, do not enjoy any potential sight of God. Perhaps He exists with them, however, substantially as He does, for example, under the sacramental veils of bread and wine in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That, however, is not Church teaching; it is only my senseless musings.

Quote:If God is merciful to the baptized who have done nothing to earn his mercy, why is it impossible to show the same mercy to the unbaptized?

Again, we must consider the nature of God's justice. The effects of Original Sin are primarily characterized by a privation of that grace which facilitates the soul's perpetual inclination toward God. Once this privation is removed by the waters of baptism and the grace restored to the soul, the soul is doing exactly what is supposed to be doing without effort and without the deliberations of the will in exactly the same way that the soul was originally designed. Since the unbaptized do not enjoy the removal of this privation, their souls cannot enjoy this effortless unity with God.

That is wonderful thing about the state of Adam and Eve before they fell. Their wills were united to God's without effort. They had but to remain in this state in order to receive their reward. Free will was given to them such that justice might allow them to choose evil and, therefore, receive punishment (for justice is in rewarding the good and punishing the bad; justice is not partial). If free will had not been given to the human race, they would not have been able to choose evil and would therefore be forced to do good. If they were forced to do good then they could only receive a reward and could not receive punishment. If they could only receive reward and not punishment, then the justice of God would be incomplete. In this way, these precious souls who are baptized receive the privilege of Adam of Eve and, until they reach the age of reason, they are not yet able to abuse their free will. If they die before reaching the age of reason necessary to effect their wills, they are brought to heaven because their souls were united to His by merit of the restoration of the grace of pre-fall Adam. 

Justice requires that all souls who remain united with His will on earth receive a reward. The capacity of free will completes justice (thus making it impartial) by giving us the power to reject God and receive punishment. That one dies before willfully executing this power is not to say that this power was not given to the soul and that justice was therefore not complete. The power was still given to the soul; it was simply never executed.

I, personally, believe this is God's way of paying the devil back for his direct attack on Adam and Eve in the garden, which was a little more forceful than the simple power to choose. Eve was seduced by the devil in a way that almost unbalanced the justice of God. The opportunity for souls to go to heaven directly after baptism is, in my opinion, God's way of applying His mercy to balance out the injustice of the devil's powerful advance in the garden.

EDITED to fix errors
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#48
(08-04-2010, 11:49 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(08-04-2010, 10:36 PM)Melkite Wrote: Also, Adam and Eve were given an unearned reward of initial inclination toward God.  If God could give them an unearned reward in this instance, why is it inherently impossible that God could do the same for those who die unbaptized?

Because those who die unbaptized, die with the taint of original sin. In short, that seems to be it.

However, let INPEFESS expand on that.

In my usual long-winded fashion, I have done just that.  :)

I am working on reducing my posts to the "bare necessities" (everything that is needed and nothing more that would confuse a person), like you do, but I seem to have failed yet again.
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#49
(08-04-2010, 10:36 PM)Melkite Wrote: I'm going against my word by posting here,

I'm glad that you are. I never did want you to leave.

Quote: but I just had to because of how great an explanation you gave of Limbo.  INPEFESS, Your explanation has taken away all the pain I felt at the thought of Limbo being true.  It makes sense and is perfectly logical.

Thank you for the compliment. Although, to be honest, I prayed the prayer to the Holy Ghost before I began typing and after I finished, so you should thank Him for the reprieve from the pain you've felt at the thought of this teaching.

Glad to see you posting again!  ;)
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#50
if souls in limbo have the same inclination toward God that adam and eve had, wouldn't this mean they had been cleansed of original sin?  if not, why is it not unjust for God to give them an unearned reward, inclination toward him, whose ultimate goal, vision of him, is perpetually unrealisable?  wouldn't the eternal frustration of that inclination itself be torment, and thus suffering?
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