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What's with the Virgin Showing Off Hell?

witega

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Asteriktos said:
Papist said:
The our Fathers and Hail Marys are called penance dude.
Perhaps part of the problem is that, it seems to me anyway, that Orthodox no longer give penances as they once did, saying things like "Do X number of prostrations, abstain from food (except bread) for X number of days, etc."  Usually when I've gone to Orthodox confession there is no penance given, it's just the obvious "don't do that anymore!" stuff. The only penances I've ever been given in Orthodox confession was being told to memorize (and try to live by) a specific Bible verse. I am not saying that I am comfortable with the formulaic manner of some of this stuff, but I think perhaps I can understand it a bit better, having read about how Orthodox priests used to give similar formulas.
I've been given 'numerical penances', and know of others who have as well. However, I never perceived these penances as 'transactional'--for sin X, do this y number of times for z days and then you're covered. Absolution came at the end of the confession and the subsequent 'penance' was for spiritual training to help avoiding the sin or its relations in the futue. (what I always think of when I think of numerical penances is the woman of my acquaintance whose spiritual father, an Athonite monk, instructed her to do 40 prostrations a day. And she had been doing it for *decades* when I met her).

Like Bogdan, this feels different than the strictly transactional process which seems to pop up regularly in Roman Catholic circles.
 

Altar Server

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ignatius said:
Altar Server said:
I'm sorry brother I don't quite get what you mean.
What do you make of these spiritual recipes and why are they missing from every Catechism?


PS: doing a little dance now that I've got "1000 posts" Wow!
I'm sorry spiritual recipes do you speak of ?

I disagree with the whole one year off purgatory= one year indugence time no matter which way you phrase it it dosen't make it shine in any better light ( I won't get into the indugence debate here)
 

ignatius

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Altar Server said:
ignatius said:
Altar Server said:
I'm sorry brother I don't quite get what you mean.
What do you make of these spiritual recipes and why are they missing from every Catechism?


PS: doing a little dance now that I've got "1000 posts" Wow!
I'm sorry spiritual recipes do you speak of ?

I disagree with the whole one year off purgatory= one year indugence time no matter which way you phrase it it dosen't make it shine in any better light ( I won't get into the indugence debate here)
Oh no, I'm not interested in debating indulgences either. I am curious if anyone really believes these are an integral part of Western Spirituality is all. My belief is they are not... for if they were then they would appear in the Catechisms.
 

Altar Server

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ignatius said:
Altar Server said:
ignatius said:
Altar Server said:
I'm sorry brother I don't quite get what you mean.
What do you make of these spiritual recipes and why are they missing from every Catechism?


PS: doing a little dance now that I've got "1000 posts" Wow!
I'm sorry spiritual recipes do you speak of ?

I disagree with the whole one year off purgatory= one year indugence time no matter which way you phrase it it dosen't make it shine in any better light ( I won't get into the indugence debate here)
Oh no, I'm not interested in debating indulgences either. I am curious if anyone really believes these are an integral part of Western Spirituality is all. My belief is they are not... for if they were then they would appear in the Catechisms.
Oh thats what you meant I whole heartedly agree!!
 

synLeszka

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The year, 15 days, 2 months indulgences are a remnant of the ancient Church's penances. 15 days equals 15 days of penance of seclusion and fasting for the repentence of sins, outside of the Church. As the ancient Church was more stringent for public sins and more devout, these indulgences are a remnant of the important aspect of forgiveness which demands conversion.

That Orthodoxy was for hundreds of years an department of the Russian Government's Civil Service, for which noncompulsion to the rules of faith was punished by administrative fines, prison time and banishment to Siberia not by prayer,fast and almsgiving.
 

Athanasios

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ms.hoorah said:
I do not believe that Mary is the Jr. Savior who descends into Purgatory on the Saturday after someone’s death to release them from Purgatory if their family purchased enough mass cards or if they were wearing an itchy scapular at the moment of their death. Like yourself, I have the greatest of respect for the Mother of God and this is why I do not like having her portrayed as a shady bail bondsman “hanging around” in Purgatory.

http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/purgatory3.htm
I thought the Orthodox believed that prayer helps the deceased -- and what pray is more efficacious than the Divine Liturgy! Also, I never read any authoritatively Catholic source that stated that buying enough "Mass cards" could get someone out of Purgatory on the Saturday after death.

As for the Brown Scapular, what is promised from wearing it is to not suffer eternal flames. The Scapular is a symbol of placing oneself under the protection of Mary. This is akin to the devotion in the East of the Protection of Mary celebrated on October 1. So, if we place ourselves under Mary's protection, she will give us the graces to keep us out of hell. The official literature states:
The Carmelite Scapular is not:

    * a magical charm to protect you
    * an automatic guarantee of salvation
    * an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life

It is a sign:

    * which has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries;
    * which stands for the decision to
          o follow Jesus like Mary:
          o be open to God and to his will
          o be guided by faith, hope, and love
          o to pray at all times
          o to discover God present in all that happens around us.
The Sabbatine Privilege (which scholars continue to debate whether or not it is authentic or not) states that in addition to wearing the Scapular, those that live chastely and pray everyday the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (permission can be granted to say another pray, like the full Divine Office or the Rosary) will be delivered from Purgatory on the Saturday following their death. But, if we examine this, we are 1) placing ourselves under the patronage and protection of Mary. We are 2) living chastely - and as many spiritual writers note, the sins of the flesh are the most common path to hell. And we are 3) in the habit of daily pray.

In the final analysis, this is nothing if not a formula for a holy life (similar to ones the Desert Fathers proscribed, with 2 or 3 seemingly easy conditions), one which if lived faithfully will likely lead a person to a saintly state, one which may have little need for purgation after death.



bogdan said:
It does seem bizarre to have the Mother of God saying "say the rosary five times on the first Saturday of five consecutive months and I'll get you out of purgatory". It sounds like a plea bargain. That's not the Theotokos I've come to see in Orthodoxy... ???
The First Saturday Devotions as proscribed entail doing the following on the first Saturday of the month for five consecutive months:

1. Go to Confession and receive Holy Communion.
2. Recite five decades of the Holy Rosary.
3. Keep Mary company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Mary.

For which Mary has promised at the hour of death the graces necessary for salvation. There is no mention of Purgatory here.

So what is promised? Graces. In particular graces necessary for salvation (as in the grace to be repentant of all serious sin). The individual will still have to accept that grace, as every grace and gift must be accepted by the receiver.

What is required? Well, the three conditions each Saturday for five consecutive months. But, really in the final analysis, it is a basis and foundation for a life of holiness. It accustoms the individual to making himself seek out the Sacraments and the infinite graces they supply. It also starts to build a habit of prayer and meditation, which can continue to grow (hopefully exponentially and like wildfire). So really, these are spiritual exercises to get on started on the path to living a saintly life and in return the promise of being given the grace to die in God's good graces.

I don't know why any Orthodox would object to that?



Deacon Lance said:
Whoops I meant to quote the above.  Point being the Eastern Church certainly does present the Mother of God as rescuer.  I don't think that makes her Savior Jr.  I get annoyed when people don't know their own traditions and then procede to pontificate on another's.
I certainly agree with that, but I would add that Mary is more than a rescuer, she's a Mother! And what mother wouldn't go into the bowels of hell itself (really do anything) to save and protect one of her children.



bogdan said:
God doesn't say "say ten Our Fathers and I'll listen to you" or "spend 15 minutes in confession and I'll forgive you". He says to pray and he will listen, and to confess our sins. Like I added when I edited my post, the part that bothers me most is the quantification.
Are you saying that the Orthodox don't proclaim that sins aren't forgiven in Confession?!  :eek:



Altar Server said:
I disagree with the whole one year off purgatory= one year indugence time no matter which way you phrase it it dosen't make it shine in any better light ( I won't get into the indugence debate here)
The times given in days past with indulgences (e.g., 15 days, 1 year, etc.) were not time off of Purgatory. It was the amount of spiritual merit from the early Christians that a particular indulgence had. For example, if there was an indulgence of 2 years for reading the Bible for 15 minutes, it meant that if someone read the Bible for 15 minutes he would receive from the treasury of merits the same merit as an early Christian doing penance for 2 years.

The fact that so many people misunderstood this is a principle reason why the Catholic Church in her prudential wisdom thought it best to simply state whether an indulgence was partial or plenary.
 
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