Life After Death Experience – My Visit to Heaven, Hell & Purgatory
#11
(12-20-2019, 04:17 PM)Augustinian Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 02:34 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: What always scared me is based on a rigorist "old school" RC view ONLY baptized RC's in communion with the Pope and in a "state of grace" even have the possibility of purgatory, its hellfire and brimstone for the rest of us. I always used to think,  "that type of rigor makes an absolute monster out of God". I'm sure what I said above is more a caricature than the reality but I couldn't seem to see it otherwise when I was deeper in trad circles some years ago.  It was basically a sentence to hell for the bulk of mankind throughout history.  

I know I've posted it here before but there's that Canon for the Dead. Melkite you might remember it,  I know I've posted it before.  It's from the old Jordanville book of Akathists and Canons. It was really kind of inspiring and hopeful and all encompassing without being overly saccharine and David Bentley Hart yet without the harsh rigor either.  I like to think the bulk of people have some opportunity to be saved.
To be honest, the view of "only RCs" has been condemned as Feeneyism, so I wouldn't worry about that. I personally hold a view closer to that suggested by Rev. Garrigou-LaGrange where baptism is the key to Purgatory, but the likelihood that a soul merits Purgatory shrinks depending on their relation to the Church. So Eastern Orthodox would by-and-large have a good chance at Purgatory, as well as an abrogated term due to devotion to prayers for the dead; but a Lutheran has a much tougher time even getting to Purgatory outside of God's grace, and even then they will suffer much more due to the Protestant rejection of Purgatory. I'm paraphrasing here, but a strict RC-only view of salvation has never been the Church's position.
While the RC might not now have a rigorist view of salvation, I would argue that it was once a fairly common opinion even if not "official".  Just to use one example,  the Jesuits were convinced the Ethiopian non Chalcedonians and Indians were damned without Catholicism which included normative water baptism and explicit faith. 

One can't also discount various private relations like Fatina where the seers allegedly saw souls "falling into hell like snowflakes". 

Father Brian Harrison had two very rigorously argued papers about a decade ago arguing that if Cantate domino and Unam sanctam were actually infallible RC dogma one could not argue that implicit faith was a thing.  I'll try to dig them up, as at the time I was pretty convinced.  He did a good job of tracing the slow development of doctrine on just what constitutes membership in the Church and its relation to Baptism of desire,  and whether "implicit" BOD was ever meaningful or true at all in light of those two papal teachings. 

I still don't believe anyone can be saved who does not explicitly believe in Jesus Christ but I maintain that in that shadowy realm between life and death (often unobservable, before the soul leaves the body)  God can and probably does give people the opportunity to accept Him. Even if we cannot see this happen it does. 


Even though I'm not an RC I always thought Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine, in that if we are honest, who amongst us actually thinks we are worthy of Heaven right away?  Even the best amongst us sin daily.  Purgatory is a way for imperfect humans to get to Heaven.  I guess I always saw the Catholic and Orthodox intermediate state as similar, only Catholics (at least pre Vat II) had very clear teachings on it whereas we Orthodox don't really define the details.
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#12
(12-20-2019, 10:47 AM)Zedta Wrote: This is one of the more detailed 'after death experiences' I've heard in a while and I thought it was quite good. I hope her experience, however valid or not, may give you some insight and direction, especially to pray for the poor souls in purgatory and for our priests and other clergy.
Believers tend to "see" what they expect in the afterlife. Carol Zaleski (a longtime Catholic scholar at Smith College) pioneered this finding in her Otherworldly Visions diss. published in the late 1980s. Psychologists and religious studies professors affirm this too. How much of this comes down to confirmation bias, and how much to genuine revelation, I can't know. I always tend towards caution.

Hindus do not meet Our Lady. Muslims do not greet St. Peter. Fewer Christians encounter hell as belief in its presence diminishes today. People reunite with those from this life whom they have longed to see. They come back with reports and encouragement from them. This more life-affirming, genial pattern of confidence in unconditional forgiveness and radiant love replaces that which Western tradition has followed, in eras when condemnation, pain, personal unworthiness, and sin played great roles in souls and cultures.

Catholics as above tend to get the "classic" post-Fatima type of apparition if they have been close to Mary. If they are post-V2 liberal, they're far more likely to share "light at the end of a tunnel" sensations akin to that of most non-believers or "spiritual" but not religious types. It's becoming rare now for those who report NDEs to "follow" the fiery or dark trajectory into the afterlife that medieval or early-modern informants reported. As the fear of hell or eternal damnation diminishes, so it has in NDE accounts.

However, Samuel Bercholz' "A Guided Tour of Hell" bucks the trend as this "Jewish Buddhist" finds himself surprised by immersion into a classic (if temporary in that tradition) series of hell-journeys. It'd be interesting to compare and contrast his with this done.
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people may hear today (Francis of Assisi); Win an argument, lose a soul (Fulton Sheen)
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#13
(12-20-2019, 05:15 PM)Paul Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 02:34 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: What always scared me is based on a rigorist "old school" RC view ONLY baptized RC's in communion with the Pope and in a "state of grace" even have the possibility of purgatory, its hellfire and brimstone for the rest of us. I always used to think,  "that type of rigor makes an absolute monster out of God". I'm sure what I said above is more a caricature than the reality but I couldn't seem to see it otherwise when I was deeper in trad circles some years ago.  It was basically a sentence to hell for the bulk of mankind throughout history.

And what about the world today makes you think that most people aren't sinners? Most people see nothing wrong with all sorts of sexual sin, even though they know what the Church teaches. And their reaction to anyone saying they shouldn't fornicate or contracept or abort is pure hatred. I hope they repent, but it's not hard to see that they don't want heaven. And times past were even more violent than now, despite our Lord's teachings about love of neighbour - plus sexual sins aren't limited to now. There's nothing special about us today compared to past men, and there's plenty of evil today.

God is perfect justice and perfect mercy. If people are in Hell for not being Christian, it's because they're at fault for their sins. Even if it was impossible for them to know the faith because no missionary had ever gone to them, they still knew the natural law, and were damned for their mortal sins. God doesn't demand the impossible, which would be unjust.
I never suggested people were not sinners.  Either way you prove what I was trying to say above because you perfectly encapsulate THE trad position (and I would argue, THE teaching of the RC for most of its history). Its extremely rigorous and basically puts 99.99% of people in Hell.  It seems like our friend Fionnchu would concur that what you say is pretty much what Rome taught for centuries.  That was the point of my post, not to suggest most men weren't sinners.  All men sin and fall short of the glory of God.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#14
(12-20-2019, 02:34 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I know I've posted it here before but there's that Canon for the Dead. Melkite you might remember it,  I know I've posted it before.  It's from the old Jordanville book of Akathists and Canons. It was really kind of inspiring and hopeful and all encompassing without being overly saccharine and David Bentley Hart yet without the harsh rigor either.  I like to think the bulk of people have some opportunity to be saved.

I've been trying to get in the habit of praying it at least once a week.  It's beautiful.

And, I think it may now be in the newer editions of the Publican's Prayer Book that the Melkite eparchy puts out.  Mine doesn't have it, but the 2nd and 3rd addition have something called the Akathyst Hymn for those who have fallen asleep.  I can't imagine it's something entirely different.  I need to get my hands on a newer edition to see if that's really it.
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#15
I am always skeptical when folks start quoting numbers about who goes up, down, and in between. 99% in purgatory? 72 virgins for the Muslims? Sometimes I think us faithful would be better off just saying such knowledge is above our pay grade and let God be the Master of the universe that He is. Maybe we just plain and simple don't know because it isn't within our purview. I think in many cases that is the truth and the truth will speak to folks on its merit...
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#16
(12-20-2019, 06:56 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 02:34 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I know I've posted it here before but there's that Canon for the Dead. Melkite you might remember it,  I know I've posted it before.  It's from the old Jordanville book of Akathists and Canons. It was really kind of inspiring and hopeful and all encompassing without being overly saccharine and David Bentley Hart yet without the harsh rigor either.  I like to think the bulk of people have some opportunity to be saved.

I've been trying to get in the habit of praying it at least once a week.  It's beautiful.

And, I think it may now be in the newer editions of the Publican's Prayer Book that the Melkite eparchy puts out.  Mine doesn't have it, but the 2nd and 3rd addition have something called the Akathyst Hymn for those who have fallen asleep.  I can't imagine it's something entirely different.  I need to get my hands on a newer edition to see if that's really it.
The Old Orthodox Prayerbook (which only uses pre-Nikonian sources)  has both the Canon for One (and Several) Departed. It's probably similar or the same as the Akathist you mention. They must be pretty ancient.  


At any rate that's pretty cool if that newer edition has that Canon for Those Who Departed. I'm glad you still remember it and pray it.  It should be more widely known.  I only keep that Akathist book for that one, as I haven't really used it ) aside from the one to St Nicholas (which was yesterday in the old calendar).
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#17
Purgatory and the afterlife should be emphasized by our priests. We need to pray for the souls there. Our priests need to talk about Hell and Purgatory because they are real. 99% of people will go to Purgatory–but there are levels. 

This starkly conflicts with the testimony of the three seers of Fatima, who despite their extreme youth had shocking things to say about Hell and the souls that go there.

"Taking into account the behavior of mankind, only a small part of the human race will be saved." ~Lucy of Fatima

"So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! So many people falling into hell!" ~Jacinta of Fatima

And:
"The seer of Fatima, Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos († 2005) said in an altercation with the salvifically optimistic Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi: 'Father, there are many who are lost'.

"The Jesuit objected: 'Sure, the world is a cesspool of vice and sin. But there's always the hope of salvation'.

"The nun protested vigorously: 'No, Father, many, many are lost'."

See more:  http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2012...-many.html
Qui me amat, amet et Deum meum.
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#18
I have been reading the responses to the article with fascination. There are some very 'learned' viewpoints on what this women reports about. 


Personally, I have no deep religious or philosophical education to cite ancient or historical thinkers and concepts. I only can fly by the seat of my pants, as it were. I was in Catholic High School when VatII hit our Church and there was a collective gasp from us all as the changes began. Ya, I strayed as well in my 20s and 30s, but came back as I saw my kids growing up and the absolute necessity for them to have a grounded Catholic Education. I was lucky to be in the Orlando Diocese at the time and it was wonderfully Traditional back then, at least in the beginning.



That being said, I also spent a lot of time in my work on 'Code Teams'. I frequently would be the one who placed the artificial airway (ET Tube) and had a lot of occasions where I could talk to some of those who lived through the near death experience. Some had good experiences, some not so good and a whole lot experienced nothing at all, out of the 'prima facie'. Usually, the people who had bad experiences only related their 'visions' once and then said little or no more. Those who had positive experiences often liked telling their tale. I have read some of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and her studies on the NDE after hearing so many patients telling me of their experiences. Her work is quite fascinating.



One thing I can say, albeit anecdotally, is that most accounts varied in details and seems to be rooted in the person's cultural or religious background. Hindus would have different visions than say, Baptists or even Lutheran. Some were shaded with things one would associate with a culture, like Latino vs. Anglo. Some were highly technical or more fairy-tale like.



I guess, my conclusion was that the experience, if it was, indeed, meant for impact or as a message, it was basically suited to have the most effect on the experiencer, that if the point was to have an impact on the person, to somehow change them, for the better or the worse (perhaps), then that is what they would experience; a most impactful vision. One thing does stand out. Every one of these folks had a big impact made on them and you could easily sense that in talking with them. Perhaps, this is God's way, or more specifically, Jesus' way of reaching someone, whether the experiencer or those who hear the story the experiencer has to tell. Perhaps it is another avenue of getting to people's realities, their state in life as the other side sees them. It sure looks like these stories do have varied effects on those who hear them, but most, it would seem, come away changed, and changed for the better...but then, perhaps that's the whole point of it, after all.


Just my speculations...  :)
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

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George Orwell
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#19
(12-20-2019, 05:26 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 04:17 PM)Augustinian Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 02:34 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: What always scared me is based on a rigorist "old school" RC view ONLY baptized RC's in communion with the Pope and in a "state of grace" even have the possibility of purgatory, its hellfire and brimstone for the rest of us. I always used to think,  "that type of rigor makes an absolute monster out of God". I'm sure what I said above is more a caricature than the reality but I couldn't seem to see it otherwise when I was deeper in trad circles some years ago.  It was basically a sentence to hell for the bulk of mankind throughout history.  

I know I've posted it here before but there's that Canon for the Dead. Melkite you might remember it,  I know I've posted it before.  It's from the old Jordanville book of Akathists and Canons. It was really kind of inspiring and hopeful and all encompassing without being overly saccharine and David Bentley Hart yet without the harsh rigor either.  I like to think the bulk of people have some opportunity to be saved.
To be honest, the view of "only RCs" has been condemned as Feeneyism, so I wouldn't worry about that. I personally hold a view closer to that suggested by Rev. Garrigou-LaGrange where baptism is the key to Purgatory, but the likelihood that a soul merits Purgatory shrinks depending on their relation to the Church. So Eastern Orthodox would by-and-large have a good chance at Purgatory, as well as an abrogated term due to devotion to prayers for the dead; but a Lutheran has a much tougher time even getting to Purgatory outside of God's grace, and even then they will suffer much more due to the Protestant rejection of Purgatory. I'm paraphrasing here, but a strict RC-only view of salvation has never been the Church's position.
While the RC might not now have a rigorist view of salvation, I would argue that it was once a fairly common opinion even if not "official".  Just to use one example,  the Jesuits were convinced the Ethiopian non Chalcedonians and Indians were damned without Catholicism which included normative water baptism and explicit faith. 

One can't also discount various private relations like Fatina where the seers allegedly saw souls "falling into hell like snowflakes". 

Right, but what I was addressing is the view that Catholics are saved merely because they are Catholics, which has been condemned. The example you cited would not fall into this perspective.

As for the frequency of souls in hell; my agreement with one of Garrigou-LaGrange's points on Purgatory does not at all mean I adhere to a semi-universalism, rather, I meant that those who lead saintly lives and at minimum receive Trinitarian baptism have a likelihood of salvation. So, the soul who is raised Lutheran, in a nation which only has Lutherans, but leads a Christ-like life may merit Purgatory, but these instances would be much rarer than those of Eastern Orthodox, with the most certainty falling to those who devoutly practice Roman Catholicism (a perspective you will not agree with given your being EO). Therefore, while there is a possibility for professing Christians outside of Catholicism to merit salvation, this does not mean that many souls in this position will be saved because the number that may be saved, even inside of Catholicism, is a minority based upon the private revelations of the saints. Christ Himself said many would be called, but few would be saved.

As for non-baptized souls born after the time of Christ, there is no hope for salvation, just a lesser punishment for their transgressions in hell (without getting into the legalism of baptism of desire and baptism by blood, etc.)
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#20
That was lovely, Zedta.  Thank you for sharing.   :heart:

I really appreciate her encouragement to offer up our sufferings and how it can help other souls.  I've really struggled with that recently and I don't find many people who seem to actually believe in it, including Trads I know.  Or maybe they believe in it but don't encourage their friends to remember to do it when things are difficult...or maybe I just need more reminding than most. LOL :P

I was surprised that she didn't differentiate between sins that were confessed or not confessed the way Gloria Polo did in her testimony.  (I shared it before and I'll link it here too.)
http://www.jesusmariasite.org/the-testim...oria-polo/

But I do find these NDE's to be really helpful for examining my conscience and bringing catechesis to life.

As for the 99%, after watching the video, I believe she meant that 99% of souls that are saved and eventually go to Heaven will go through Purgatory.  She had already covered Hell and fully turned away from that topic.   It seems to me she indicated that even very holy souls and babies go through a very quick version of Purgatory and that would line up with only the very few, very holy saints entering Heaven immediately upon death.

Also, there is a statement that Our Lady of La Salette made about evil spirits taking on bodies that may be what the babies in jars was about...

Jesus, help us to prepare for our death and deliver us from evil!
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