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To a life-long friend — my thoughts and collected writings regarding the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory
I am often perplexed by my well-meaning friends who act like true Christianity began back in 1517, when the priest Martin Luther approaches the door of a Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation. In this hubris, modern Christians somehow think that the early church got it all wrong for 1,500 years.
In my understanding, this all seems quite simple. It should be common sense. Scripture is very clear when it says, "But nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]" (Rev. 21:27). Hab. 1:13 says, "You [God]... are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wrong..." How many of us will be perfectly sanctified at the time of our deaths? I dare say most of us will be in need of further purification in order to enter the gates of heaven after we die, if, please God, we die in a state of grace.
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