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The Soul after Death

Posted By: Greg

The Soul after Death - 07/26/03 06:16 PM

Coming from Russian Orthodoxy to The Byzantine Catholic Church I am a little confused about one subject.Having read and studied Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave by Archimandrite Penteleimon and The soul after Death by Fr Seraphim Rose while a part of the Russian church my question is This.Does the Byzantine Church teach about the Aeriel Toll Houses or does it follow more the Roman Teaching of Purgatory?In a way the Toll house teaching is somewhat like the Roman teaching but only in some ways.Can you strighten me out on this ???Im Brand new to this forum and to the Byzantine Catholic Church.I was Roman Catholic before Russian Orthodoxy.(Old school ,pre Vat.II.. Hope this doesn't open up a can of worms.Haven't had a chance to talk with my Byzantine priest on this matter ,he's away on a retreat.Greg confused
Posted By: Arturo

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/26/03 08:18 PM

Glory to Jesus Christ!

As another newcomer to the Byzantine Catholic Church, I welcome you. As to your question about our views on the afterlife, I can only say that I think that this church sui generis doesn't seem to have a distinct position on purgatory, though I feel we should be allowed to think the same way as the Orthodox do. Somebody will correct me if I am wrong, but Orthodox Tradition has always been open on this question, since the Fathers of the Church, at least in the East, have not really written about it. I can only say that I don't think purgatory is as repugnant of a concept as the Protestants and some Orthodox make it out to be. Although it can be interpreted too legalistically, I think the basic concept is sound, and all Traditions believe in praying for the dead, so that they might be loosed from their sins. If you don't feel comfortable with plenary indulgences, partial indulgences, Gregorian masses, etc., which sometimes make me feel uncomfortable, I just think that if people pray for the dead because of them, so that they might be loosed from "the flames of purgatory", they are pious and good things, and that we should be tolerant of them. (Purgatory, in any case, isn't really that popular with the Latins right now anyway, but that's a whole other story).
And as for being old-school, I am only 24 years old, but I was in an SSPX seminary for two years, so you will have not can of worms coming from my direction.

Arturo
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/26/03 08:21 PM

Disclaimer: I'm a 16 year old Methodist boy from the boonies, so beware of errors! Hopefully our more learned posters will correct me if I'm mistaken.

Ideally, the Byzantine Catholic Church practices the same theology as the Russian Orthodox Church in regards to the soul after death, Toll Houses, etc. However, because of latinization, some parishes are still quite a ways from a "perfect" Byzantine theology on the subject.

Officially, the only thing a Byzantine Catholic (or other Eastern Catholic or Roman Catholic) has to accept concerning trials after death is:

1) Some souls undergo a type of purgation before entering Heaven, IF they have been so fortunate as to attain Heaven
1) Prayers of the faithful are efficacious for these souls

Beyond these basics are where the Eastern and Western theologies diverge.

Welcome back to the Catholic Church. May God bless you and keep you.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Greg

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/26/03 09:51 PM

After reading the reply from Arturo and Teen of the Incarnate Logos,This old man of 60 has had his faith in the younger generation restored.The Lord gives us truth in strange ways and he has corrected this sinner,showing me there are younger ones out there on fire with the Word of the Lord and who are in touch with the church's teaching,not like most of the young ones I come in contact with.I will keep learning how He works ,I guess, till the day ,I pray, I will be with the Lord.Thank you both and God Bless you. biggrin
Posted By: Deacon John Petrus

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/26/03 10:31 PM

Dear Greg:

I found this little book to by quite strange. Even though, Fr. Seraphim assumes a tone of authority in his tone, it is not a dogmatic subject.

Furthermore, I found it to have political overtones hidden within Russian mythology.

The questions I would ask of you: who do you think was the intended audience of this book? I don't think it was the American general public, I don't think it was even the general Orthodox/Eastern Christian.

Rather, I think it was written to "firm" up the faith of the Russian people, both in their country and abroad.

It is constructed with just enough titillation of American culture, things for which they would have awareness and fascination. The "answers" to life, however, our found in their heritage and understanding.

I personally believe that this was an anti-Protestant polemic designed to soothe the restless and spiritually thirsty Russian soul. These souls would otherwise be ripe for the picking.

(Fr. Dcn) John
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/27/03 01:12 AM

I found this an interesting read on the differences between East and West on Purgatory:

http://cte.rockhurst.edu/stramarad/th1course/th1reading/readings/purg.html

David Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com
Posted By: Greg

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/28/03 03:45 AM

Thank you DTBROWN for the web site. I found it helping me understand about the after life a little better.I also found some of the other subjects helpfull and I hit the favorite button.The site seemed geared for the collage student but even at 60 I'm not to old to learn.As for what Petrus said, I would tend to agree with you if your were talking about the first book I mentioned but since you mentioned the Little one(I wouldn't call a 300 page book little one)by Fr Seraphim Rose,I would think,because he was American born,raised and educated he was gearing his writings more for the American ROCOR church,whom he tought and preached to, then thoes in Russia but your comments did get me thinking and I thank you fo them and all who replied.You all helped this confused confused sinner.After all truth is what I'm after, and any other comments,pro or con are still welcomed.Thats why I asked.There are a lot more learned people out there who can help clear some of my confusion.I guess Im really into the subject of the after life because of my bad heart and other health problems.,and I'm a lot closer to that after life then I would like to be.Again thank you all.Pray for me as I pray for you all. Greg
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/28/03 08:47 PM

Quote
After reading the reply from Arturo and Teen of the Incarnate Logos,This old man of 60 has had his faith in the younger generation restored.The Lord gives us truth in strange ways and he has corrected this sinner,showing me there are younger ones out there on fire with the Word of the Lord and who are in touch with the church's teaching,not like most of the young ones I come in contact with.I will keep learning how He works ,I guess, till the day ,I pray, I will be with the Lord.Thank you both and God Bless you.
Beloved of Christ Greg,

Thank you for the kind words. In actuality, I'm extremely optimistic about the orthodoxy of many Catholic teens my age. I know hundreds of Catholic teens (through Catholic fora on the internet) who accept everything the Church teaches, have a great sense of Holy Tradition, and would most probably die for the Church. Granted these are probably among the most orthodox and informed of Catholic teens in the United States, it's absolutely thrilling for me to be "shown up" by a more knowledgeable and orthodox teen. I have great faith in my generation. My faith falters, however, when it comes to the orthodoxy (en masse) of the Baby Boomer generation. :p

But, as you can see from this forum, even the BB generation has its fair share of theological genuises. biggrin

God Bless,
Logos Teen
Posted By: Gideon

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/31/03 02:58 AM

Toll houses. That's all I can say.
Posted By: Jim

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/31/03 07:54 PM

Logos Teen's description of the life after death as espoused by Byzantines is actually pretty much in line with St. Pachomius in his Koinonia Book I. There he and St. Theodore (Egypt, about the time of St. Athanasius, I think) both shared a dream one night (A common dream also took place at the First Ecumenical Council with regard to St. Nicholas, I recall, but on an entirely different matter.) in which a good soul was gently carried heavenward by 3 angels, one at the feet, the other two at the shoulders. Not so good souls were also carried away by 3 angels, but were not treated with the same respect. So far, in my reading of this work, both purgatory and toll houses are absent. Hmm.
Posted By: Alice

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/31/03 10:00 PM

Brethren,

My husband just finished a book about toll houses, which he purchased in a Greek Orthodox monastery. The monastic belief holds this as absolute truth.

On the other hand, the modern Greek Orthodox church teaches that we experience a foretaste after death of heaven or hell, until the final judgement.

The RC church teaches purgatory, a period of purgation (I believe for those not destined to hell), and some make it sound frightening and others, like Mother Angelica recently, make it sound like a more positive experience, somewhat akin to that 'other' Orthodox idea of continuing theosis until achieving 'final theosis', (akin, I believe to the Beatific Vision of the RCC).....

As I told my husband the other day, because all this truly has my head spinning eek

....Will we ever REALLY know EXACTLY what transpires in that realm--that dimension, which transcends our present understanding? confused

I don't know that we will. All we can do is strive to be the best Christians that we can be, because we DO know that the reward will be great, if we are so fortunate to achieve it! smile

In Christ,
Alice

If any of the extremely intellectual and religiously informed posters on this forum, whom I respect dearly, can clear this up, tie the strings together, and make inter-denominational as well as external ecumenical sense of all that I have mentioned, I would appreciate it! smile
Posted By: Our Lady's slave

Re: The Soul after Death - 07/31/03 10:44 PM

Quote
Originally posted by alice:
Brethren,........

On the other hand, the modern Greek Orthodox church teaches that we experience a foretaste after death of heaven or hell, until the final judgement.

The RC church teaches purgatory, a period of purgation (I believe for those not destined to hell), and some make it sound frightening and others, like Mother Angelica recently, make it sound like a more positive experience, somewhat akin to that 'other' Orthodox idea of continuing theosis until achieving 'final theosis', (akin, I believe to the Beatific Vision of the RCC)..................
....Will we ever REALLY know EXACTLY what transpires in that realm--that dimension, which transcends our present understanding? confused
I don't know that we will. All we can do is strive to be the best Christians that we can be, because we DO know that the reward will be great, if we are so fortunate to achieve it! smile In Christ,Alice
Dear Alice.

According to what I have always been taught - you have just pulled it together yourself wink particularly when you wrote
Quote
Will we ever REALLY know EXACTLY what transpires in that realm--that dimension, which transcends our present understanding?
Anhelyna
Posted By: Alice

Re: The Soul after Death - 08/01/03 12:03 AM

Dear Anhelyna,

Thankyou! smile

Your Sister in Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Greg

Re: The Soul after Death - 08/01/03 03:30 AM

Alice.I really liked the way you put it and I do think I(we all) Should concern ourselves with living our lives so as to strive to getting to heaven and what happens after death,happens.I do agree with Mother Angelica,If I die and ended in purgatory,I would be the happiest soul there cause if you make it there,no matter how long your there you WILL go to heaven.What joy,knowing you made it.Thank you all for all the replies.Keep them coming.Reading them and praying about the subject is helping this sinner understand it a little better Greg
Posted By: Stephanos I

Re: The Soul after Death - 08/20/03 03:39 AM

May I add this quote to the discussion? It origninates from and Eastern Church Father, St Gregory of Nyssa
"If anyone here in his frail life has been less than able to cleans himself from sin, after depating hence, through the blazing fire of purgatory the penalty is the more quickly paid, the more and more the faithful Bride offers to her Spouse in memory of his passion gifts and holocost on behalf of the children she has brought forth for that spouse by word and sacrament; just as we preach in fedelity to this dogmatic truth , so we believe."
From the sermon of St Gregory on death.
Can we have it any clearer and this by an Eastern Father?
As was stated earlier in the post the Catholic Position has two points as noted here in "De Mortis" that being #1 Purgation exists and #2 we assit the departed in their Theosis in the next life.
May God grant grace to all Catholic Orthodox believers true charity and true faith.
Stephanos I
Unworthy Monk and Arch Sinner
Posted By: Greg

Re: The Soul after Death - 08/21/03 02:48 AM

Thank you Fr/Br StephanosI for the words of St Gregory.I would like to read the entire sermon by him on death.Can you tell me where i can read it or get a copy or look it up on the net?Also ,please forgive me ,I wasn't sure weather to call you Father or Brother.In either case I ask your blessing and forgivness. The humble sinner Greg
Posted By: Stephanos I

Re: The Soul after Death - 08/22/03 05:40 AM

Another place that he speaks of purgation is in his "On the soul and the resurrection." his work "The Great Catechism"
He speaks of burning fire. Was he reffering to Saint Paul's letter to the Corinthians where each mans works will be tested by fire?
As understood by Tertulliam, Ambrose and Augustine in the West.

Why are these overlooked by many in the East or are they symply not aware of them?
Stephanos I
PS I know in no way does this represent a consensus of the Fathers but it most certainly does show where the Latin idea of purgatory came from.
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