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I struggle with this question. Always have. Your message is helpful, as I spend a great deal of my time, energy, talent and treasure trying to “earn my wings“.
I was raised Catholic and am a practicing Catholic today. I’ve had many influential mentors from nondenominational Churches.
And, of course, there’s the process of purification. The preparation required to cleanse us prior to seeing the face of God. Purgatory! A Sister friend compares it (in simple, childlike terms) to running us through a car wash.
Good to hear from you. My only struggle with idea of preparing to meet God is it assumes there is such a thing even possible. For example, Paul was a thug and then Christ appeared to him. Isaiah was hit with a sudden vision and was not prepared, neither was Daniel. I think the problem is between the denominations. The Roman Catholic Church as linked sanctification and justification into one doctrine…in essence. So as you are trying to do these works you are never sure that you will really have enough so there is a fear mixed in. In addition is the doctrine of purgatory. We could talk about the actual scriptural evidence verse the magisterium tradition. But as you know we don’t consider tradition on equal value with scripture. But purgatory itself is troubling. The reason being it is not a nice place as the doctrine holds but a place of wrath with the difference being their is a time limit. SO yes 100,000 years is better in purgatory then an eternity in hell. But it is hard to argue it motivates with fear not love. And the fact that this is the place that all Catholics go because they have not earned enough righteousness to enter heave confirms that it really winds up becing a works righteousness regardless of how they try to wordsmith it in the catechism. I understand the connection being raised a strict Catholic and their is much about the RC I love but the doctrine of Justification keeps me away. Why? ultimately there is no human work that can add to the work of Christ. When he did on a cross I am assuming he paid for past, present and future sins. If so then they are paid for. There is no work that can be added to that. No I fully recognize their are many protestants of an antinomian bent that believe well “I prayed my prayer so I am good to go.” That is not orthodox either. If God saves you, we must change and we will change. We will seek to conform to his law because of the love he has shown us. If someone that has prayed but no motivation in love than they should question what were they actually praying for. DO they really no the nature and depth of sin? Are they really wanting forgiveness and communion with God. James shows us that their is a type of faith in the church that matches the type of faith of the devil. That is not about justification but identification. It is good to hear from you and I thank you for watching and commenting even if you disagree. You have the kind of mind I value. The good thing about grace is that it is not determined by the amount of knowledge we have. You just keep putting Christ above all things. May we both simply pray that he would clear away our errors and we both be drawn into a closer reflection of his Son. Thanks again and God bless.
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