Limbo - who is it for?
(08-06-2010, 09:33 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: Yes. The "Lake of Fire" in Revelations could be figurative. So could the "worm that never dies and the fire that is never extinguished."

No, no, no. That's not what I meant. I apologize if I was unclear in my explanation.

If it is figurative, it simply means that it is not literal fire that is being referred to in this instance, not that there is no hell (absence of God's presence) of the damned. It doesn't mean that there isn't suffering, just that the reference to "lake of fire" in those passages dealing with the end of time could be grouping all absence of God into the title "lake of fire" - that is, "fire of loss and longing for God". Those in the hell of the damned would experience an eternal punishment - a terrible suffering - with the fire of loss of God. Those in the hell of Limbo would experience an eternal fire of loss of God, but no suffering. In this way, all would suffer the "fire of loss", for "lake of fire" would refer to a fire of loss only (a grouping of both realms together), while those in heaven would experience of fire of love.

Quote:We all agree that baptism is necessary for salvation. (Actually I was always taught that baptism was the ordinary means of salvation, but maybe that calls for another thread.) We baptize because Christ commanded us to. Only in baptism is Original Sin and all personal sin wiped away. Only in baptism do we have access to the other sacraments, and are given sanctifying grace to increase in grace and become the image of Christ.

Of course. I am not sure what I have said that would indicate I do not believe this.

Quote:I still wonder why the theologians could not have placed Limbo at the outer rim of heaven instead of hell. Those there are not deprived of the beatific vision, but do not share the fullness of joy of those who were baptized. Then again I am confronted with the words of Our Savior and St. Paul: "to whom much is given, much is required." These little ones who died before baptism was even possible, as well as pagans who followed the natural law and lived thousands of years before Christ, were not given much. So how much is required of them? Only God knows.

Of course. But if heaven is the presence of God, then hell is the absence of God. It wouldn't make sense to have a heaven without God, but it would make sense to have a hell without God, for that is what hell is. That we generally associate terrible torments with hell does not mean that everyone there must experience those torments. Those persons would be in hell who could not see God, but they would experience no suffering.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, also. I didn't mean that a figurative "Lake of Fire" meant there is no hell. Let's get this straight. I believe in hell. I believe in horrible torments. How can anyone doubt that after all I've posted. I agree with you that the "fire"of hell might not be a literal fire, but perhaps a "burning" loss or longing. The bible also uses language like "second death" and perhaps that language is poetic too. But I believe in hell as a real, eternal place of suffering. What I questioned was the existence of Limbo, OR that Limbo was a place of natural happiness and/or no pain.

Secondly, I brought up the grace of baptism because it led to my next point. INP, read my last paragraph again. Maybe we have a failure in communication. I said - or meant to say: Everyone in heaven sees the beatific vision. If unbaptized babies and pagans lived on the outer rim of heaven instead of hell, they would enjoy the beatific vision - but their joy would not be as full as the baptized - at least that was my speculation.

I really need to bow out of the discussion now, because I'm unable to express myself properly, and I might cause scandal and doubt. Discussions like these stray too far into speculations and pious beliefs. And I'm getting frustrated.
StrictCatholicGirl that is nonsense, I think you are a wise voice of compassion and reason in this forum!

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