The Theology of Expiation
Another dream that warrants some mention since it involves priests, a Mass, and issues that revolve around purgatory. It seems that there were many people, most;y children and a lot of priests. Only one was familiar as the main celebrant and is residing at the retirement home in Pittsburgh for retired priests. The main focus had to do with purgatory and one familiar relative with whom I spoke regarding his mother who passed away several years ago. She was dressed in black and was leaving the room her son and I were sitting in talking about death. My comments were related to dying and the souls of all who passed were in God’s hands. Once they passed and where their soul went was up to God. Never during the dream was anyone mourning but everyone appeared to be in a relaxed mood showing no emotional signs. It was the simple acceptance that most went to purgatory for a while. A simple acceptance of a reality.
As we usually point out that the one desire of those in purgatory is to gain the prayers of those living, the Church Militant along with those in heaven, the Church Triumphant, to secure for them, the Church Penitent, expiation which shortens their time suffering.
Expiation, a very biblical term meaning propitiation as well and becoming the forbearance of eternal separation from God. Herein we have used this term continually seeking through Masses and many rosaries to help alleviate the subjection of Purgatory and its constant rigors of what some may identify with punishment.
The existence of purgatory that many, including Catholic priests, deny this theological premise is something God would never force decent living people to enter before getting to heaven. I believe their understanding that this is a place of intense cold, severe fires, or corporal punishment would throw severe images into anyone’s thought process. We do not know what happens, even from some reports from souls who have appeared and decried their experiences to those they seek prayers from.
Of the many TELevangelists who speak of hell for those who die in severe sin will certainly go there for eternity, they certainly paint a reality that no one would want to go. However, a realistic essence is God sends no one to hell. Those who go there are writing their own ticket by turning around with God behind them and by the very manner shown by refusal to accept God and his love have entered into a no return policy following the evil Satan has procured for all who desire this instead of God.
God is so loving for all his children that he offers those who who have felt loss through sin and seek his forgiveness are invited to a place of mercy and not judgment. Hence, purgatory becomes a journey for souls looking to cleanse the dross from their souls and become pure enough to join their fellow saintly souls in heaven. Because only Catholics accept purgatory, these TELevangelists tell us it is heaven of hell, and nothing else. Doesn’t give a soul a merciful path if even for something that should experience God’s total love.
Purgatory, however, is not a place we choose deliberately but will be elated when and if that is our spiritual destination that God sends our souls to expiate time needed to clear some uncompleted penitential resolution due from penance and forgotten.
Anyone who ends in Purgatory is already on their way to eternal paradise. They are already in the State of Grace and like raw steel in intense heat allowing the dross to be skimmed away the unwanted crust that is not needed in heaven is burned away by some type of raw heat. The real significance of pain is the reality of a separation from God Himself as we await the opportunity to hear the words, “Come you blessed of my Father.”
Ralph B. Hathaway