Pentecost Sagda Prayers



  • Father bless!

    Thank you! Keep me in your prayers as well!

  • Sorry, forgot to add a small part before I uploaded's the updated link:

  • edited June 2014
    Wow thank you Mina. This is really well done. Here's another link to your document
  • Mina, 

    I wanted to thank you for your post. I believe there is some room for discussion but I don't want this to turn into a discussion where people take sides based on who is more convincing, rather on the content of the argument. And I don't want to give the idea to others that we are diametrical opponents. I have always viewed your knowledge and posts here and other places with the utmost respect.  It is for these reasons I am reluctant to continue a discussion. But I think we can continue a fruitful discussion, as long as it doesn't become a pseudo-intellectual, rhetorical boxing match. 

    I will need some time to find some resources. 
  • Dear Rem,

    Forgive me if I seemed like I was being intimidating in any way. I only wrote in anticipation of anyone thinking I am endorsing heresy and in opposition to HH Pope Shenouda, and I've seen this happen to people who do try to have an honest discussion. That is why I reacted the way I did. Recently, HE Metropolitan Bishoy wrote an article about how St. Isaac the Syrian is not a saint in the Coptic Church, that he was a Nestorian heretic and a universalist and should not be trusted when compared with the theology of HH Pope Shenouda. I really do get very worried that Pope Shenouda is used as a measuring stick of Orthodoxy, and I wish people can realize that even our beloved Popes can make mistakes.
  • HE Metropolitan Bishoy's comments, and I have not read the article myself, is an example of intellectual, rhetorical boxing. It attacks a person (in this case St Isaac the Syrian) "rather the content of the argument". Now, HE Met Bishoy's article may very well have arguments showing St Isaac the Syrian is nestorian. In this case, your assessment of HE Met Bishoy's article is at fault. Regardless, it is this reactive response to another person's argument that I am trying to avoid. 

    Pope Shenouda is actually a good measuring stick of Orthodoxy. The same is true for Pope Kyrillos VI. People disagreed with both patriarchs for many reasons. Neither were infallible. But they are still living symbols of Orthodoxy and the Orthodox faith. How people have been misguided in their simple adherence of fallible men is not reason to claim these patriarchs were not legitimate measuring weights of Orthodoxy.
  • That's the point, neither were infallible. But that's not been the behavior of other Copts. When I said "measuring stick", I mean the fullness of all dogmas rest in what they wrote or said.
  • edited June 2014
    Random quote (food for thought about the Church of the East):

    "If by the term ‘Nestorianism’ we are to understand the teaching against which Cyril of Alexandria fought — that is, the teaching about the two different persons in the Son of God which led to the recognition of ‘two sons’— then this doctrine was alien to the east-syrian tradition. Yet east-syrian theologians did speak of two qnome-hypostases in connection with the incarnate Son of God, and the Church of Persia, having not recognized the chalcedonian doctrine of ‘one hypostasis in two natures’, found itself in verbal opposition to the byzantine Church. From the fifth to the eighth centuries, writers of the Church of the East continued to use the christological terminology of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodore, and in the Greek-speaking East this was generally identified as 'nestorian'. The Church of the East continued to commemorate Theodore and Diodore after they had been anathematized in Byzantium, and it included the name of Nestorius on the diptychs long after he had been condemned. All of this testifies that the Church of Persia, though not ‘nestorian’ in a strict doctrinal sense, adhered to the theological and christological thought which was rather close to that of Nestorius.

    By the end of the seventh century, political circumstances effectively cut the Church of the East off from the byzantine world, which thus became largely irrelevant to it. This further isolation did not, however, lead to any decline in theology and the spiritual life. On the contrary, in the seventh and the eighth centuries the Church of the East reached the highest flowering of its theology: at this time lived and worked such writers as Martyrius-Sahdona, Dadisho', Symeon the Graceful, Joseph Hazzaya, and John of Dalyatha. All of them were primarily mystical writers and did not occupy themselves with christological questions. Little known outside the east-syrian tradition, they constituted what one may call ‘the golden age of syriac Christian literature’. The only representative of this ‘golden age’ to become known throughout the world was Isaac of Nineveh."

    by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. “The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian” (Kentucky: Cistercian Publications, 2000) 24-25.

    and also nice interview by one of the most renowned Syriac scholars: 

  • edited June 2014
    Mina & Remnkemi

    Here's a classic meme :P

  • +

    Rem and Mina - thank you for this exchange, actually. It frustrates me to no end when people are not seeking "what is the truth" about a particular subject, or addressing the content directly…we have a cult of persona in every extreme. We should never be afraid of the Truth. I love reading both of your posts even when I disagree! 

    pray for me,
  • edited June 2014
    I don't know if anyone or even any Christian Church has the fullness of all dogmas in their writings. The interview Cyril provided about Sebastian Brock shows that the Latin West has built a tradition of canon law, the Eastern Chalcedonians built a tradition of philosophical writings and the Syriac Orient built a tradition of theology in poetry. Personally, I think this view is oversimplified and inaccurate but it shows that no church had one tradition encompassing all dogmas, traditions, and philosophies of Orthodoxy. That's the beauty of Orthodoxy. It's bigger than we can describe it. 

    Either way, you're point is well taken and overall we agree.

    Peniot AP,
    If you disagree with something either of us write, why don't you enlighten us with your comments? Over the years, I know your posts have always illustrated "the truth". We love reading your posts too. Don't make it one-sided.

    Thank you for the references and the videos. You are really good at research and finding Orthodox writings. Please continue. 

    That being said, I am greatly upset at the "classic meme". I know you meant nothing malicious by posting this. But to me, such caricatures illustrate a disrespect to liturgical customs, philosophies, nuances and most of all clergy. This particular meme takes a 1000+ year tradition of simple Orthodoxy and turns it into some sort of superstitious idiocracy. It ignores Coptic hagiography that tells someone can be so simple, uneducated and be called St Paul the Simple. It ignores St Antony's story who was able to defeat educated and learned philosophers through simplicity by the power of the Holy Spirit. It ignores the piety of simple religion in James 1:27. And worse of all it, it memorializes this poor monk's moment of weakness where he exhibited anger and brands it as the poster image of Coptic behavior. To me, it is not the erroneous belief that some Copts treat our popes as infallible teachers that is unacceptable. It is the derogatory, condescending, and intentional judging of simple piety in the form of comedy (that we know the devil uses) that the person who created this meme (and those who agree with it) that I find inexcusable. The first shows weakness but piety. The latter shows a complete disregard for Christ's commandments. 

    I am sorry I went off on a tangent. I will try to respond to the sagda prayers as soon as I can.
  • Agape, all!

    Unlike the theologians whove responded here, I'm not as well versed in the issue. I would however like to stress a point that's been made time and again on this thread; that we cannot dogmatize what is dogma. If we do this, we end up engaged in some sort of witch hunt, where we do whatever we can to make a proponent of an opposing idea into an opponent. In such questions as pertain the afterlife, I have found it more harmful to debate than to let it go. When asked about universalism (as an example) or about the permanence of hell, my answer has always been, "I don't intend on being in hell if even for a moment." 

    As regards the question of measuring sticks of Orthodoxy, I must ask "What is Orthodoxy but Christianity." Orthodoxy is not a form of Christianity. It is Christianity. Thus the measuring stick of Orthodoxy is the measuring stick for Christianity. St. Paul tells us who the measuring stick of Christianity is when he says, "Fixing our eyes on Jesus; the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:2) The problem comes when we take our fathers and make them (in some way) equivalent to Jesus. Whether these fathers be contemporary, or ancient is not the questions. We must live the spirit of the fathers, and be unafraid to disagree with them. No man is perfect. Sadly, within our Coptic church, we have come to a point of idolatry (sorry for the harshness in how that sounds) of certain men. I saw a picture at around the time of the passing of HHPS3 that had me scratching my head. Someone had painted a picture of the good shepherd, but had painted HHPS3 holding the lamb rather than Christ. Now, I understand the intentions was great, and I certainly do not want to entertain an execution over a picture, but it is at least illustrative of this mentality that we have. 

    But this mentality goes further than our misunderstanding of just the papacy. Our ecclesiology is in absolute shambles! From the role of women, to the deaconate, to the priesthood, to the bishopric, and finding its ultimate confusion in the papacy. But if we take a step back, and re-source our ecclesiology to a truly biblical and patristic source, many of these issues will resolve themselves. The Pope will no longer be seen as a Dalai Lama or an oracle who comes in contact with Christ unlike the rest of us who commune in his flesh. The Bishop will be seen as a father rather than an administrator of activities. The priest will be seen as a member of his community who offers the sacrifice on behalf of, and with, the people. The deacons will be seen as servants rather than being left as some obsolete rank. 

    Rem, I must say that I disagree with your analysis of the meme. Firstly, just because the devil uses comedy, does not make it off limits The devil used the OT in his attempt to tempt XC. But the OT is not off limits. Oscar Wilde says, "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise, they'll kill you." So this meme is a comic way of pointing out a fault. And here is where I would disagree most. Simple Piety is not excuse for what confusion we are currently experiencing in our churches. Piety and Pietism are not friends. It is not piety to support the unlawful excommunication of a theologian without fault because "el baba al keda." This "piety" is what ruins a mans name and unjustly so. Piety does not fellow with injustice. Christ is pious and just. The piety of those simple men and women in our church is not shown when they unthinkingly obey orders that clearly contradict the spirit of the teaching of XC. Piety is not weak. Piety is not unjust. 


  • edited June 2014

    Ray, I so very much miss having you here. Welcome back Prodigal Son. I wanted to bbq the fatted calf for you but since we are fasting, would you settle for bbq salmon and swordfish steaks? 

    Regarding the picture of HHPS3 holding the lamb rather than Christ is reminiscent of Orthodox understanding of the priesthood. On the ordination of a bishop or priest, we read the parable of the Good Shepherd because the pope is the Good Shepherd who is an icon of Christ. We see Christ through the icon (even if the icon looks nothing like Christ). In the gospels, Christ tells us when you see a stranger or someone in prison, you see me and the Father. I think no one will look at a random stranger and say, "Look it's Christ. Or look it's God the Pantocrator." We see a beggar, a criminal, a stranger; something that doesn't look like Christ. In the same way, we see a picture of Pope Shenouda as the Good Shepherd who is a picture of Christ who is a picture of the Father. It does not mean we become idolators, treating Pope Shenouda as Christ, or confusing Christ for the Father. For sure, some people in simple ignorance have intentionally blurred the icon and confused the message. It may even be intentional evil. But I would not conclude that those who mistaken or misunderstand our theology of iconography are evil idolators or something like that.

    This leads me to the meme. If I mislead anyone to think simple ignorance is an excuse for masked injustice, then I apologize. All I wanted to show is that our whole culture has gone to the extreme of dismissing piety in all forms, branding it as superstition or ignorance. But hagiography and liturgical language does not agree with this. God hid mysteries from the wise and revealed it to little children (Reconciliation prayer of St John). This piety is something for us to strive for. 

    The use of condescending, satirical, and judgmental comedy is not the same as manipulating the OT for ulterior, demonic motive. You and Wilde are correct. You can speak the truth through comedy. But when comedy becomes a medium for judging and contempt, then at best the truth is hidden in the comedy and at worst, the truth becomes no different than a lie. Honestly, when you see a meme like that, do you think "Stupid simple people who contradict their belief of infallibility with their practice/behavior and look foolish" or do you think "Am I one of those people who hypocritically believe in infallibility who needs to repent"? The first one is judgmental. The second leads to repentance and life. My point is the comedy of the meme did not yield unmistakeable truth or repentance. It resulted in judging and it was fun, at least for me. Comedy as a medium for God's truth can work but it is more often than not walking a fine line into the devil's domain. 

    I have no idea what you mean by "el baba al keda." But I assume what you are describing is not simple Christian piety but political following. The two are not the same. And it is not fair to say because people have a high view of Pope Shenouda or any bishop who has/have made unfavorable political decision, then these people are misplacing their loyalty. Just like the icon, it is in simple piety to follow a bishop that they are actively living out their loyalty to Christ. Now if the bishop is at fault for something, their piety is still counted for righteousness because they are doing it for Christ. I can compare this to 1 Corinthians 7:14-16. "For the unfaithful bishop has been sanctified through his flock, and the unfaithful flock has been sanctified through her believing bishop. Otherwise we the children would be unclean, but as it is, we are holy... God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, flock, whether you will save your bishop? Or, how do you know, bishop, whether you will save your flock?" (I hope you can see that I am not quoting St Paul verbatim in order to illustrate my point.) Again, I reiterate. No one is excusing injustice in the name of piety. "The spirit and teaching of XC" (why not just write out Christ?), is not found only in those who have the courage to disobey what they perceive as wrong orders, or those who have advanced training and higher education in theology. 

    It is also found in those who become fools for Christ.  This following story will be repulsive to those who are not simple. (Also note, I don't have the story in front of me so I may get some details wrong.) Take for example a story from St John the Little. His father, Abba Ammones was sitting with some elders. Abba Ammones told them if you want to see perfection, look at John. (He was a novice at that time). Abba Ammones called John and said to him "Show these men perfection. Take off your clothes." So St John took off all his clothes and stood naked in front of the elders. One may call this pietism. One may conclude this is injustice of an elder abusing his power over a novice and committing sexual immorality. But the pious saint simply followed because he knew that he had nothing to hide from God and in a state of perfection Adam lived with God naked. 

    Piety is not idolatry. It is not an excuse for injustice. It is strength. It is love for Christ. 

  • Thanks Remnkemi.

    I remember when I first saw that meme online a few years back I thought wow that's a bit mean, but then it also had a playful critique. I don't think the meme is intended to offend...if you notice it's more focused on how people react or theologize in our Church today. I think when a Church is self-critical and willing to direct her thoughts deeper in the life of the Holy Trinity there's a beautiful witness of humility and love.

    There's a very profound essay by Yannaras on Pietism which challenges certain directions that popular piety can lead to:

    In regards to simplicity, its a good thing, but there's sometimes an anti-intellectual mode that raised when simplicity is positioned in opposition to the mind and heart. I'm not sure there's such a stark dichotomy...spiritual life does not necessarily mean a rejection of the mind or of learning. A simple taeta desires to know more about her beloved and if she were presented with some truth that she previously didn't know I would think she'd accept it even if were "beyond" her suffers much.

    There's also the potential for simple to mean "charismatic" and a way to avoid addressing the intellectual tradition of the Faith.

    Again simple is good (is. One must not just do mental gymnastics :p ) but simple should not cause superficial faith...

    Here's a video of a RC priest who expresses the kind of constructive criticism that we can pray and hope may be of benefit to our Orthodox Church:

    Fr Robert Barron, 7 Keys to the New Evangelization,
    (at 10min 15sec)
  • Cyril,
    Thank you for the references. You are really good at finding these things. I'm jealous of your abilities. They always make me think and reexamine my stand. 

    I know the meme was not meant to be offensive. But at best it is hypocritical. It is making fun of how (simple) people theologize in our Coptic church by theologizing against those who do not agree with its own theology. It associates a perceived negative and erroneous behavior (by using the picture of an angry monk) to the Coptic Church itself, not to individual Copts who blindly follow a patriarch. The Coptic Church itself commands each person to self-scrutiny in order to have a deeper reflection of the Trinity. So what exactly is this meme trying to say and what was the honest result? Constructive criticism for positive change through comedy or covert judgmental invalidation for a behavior that may be done out of simple piety?

    Regarding simple piety, it is clear from these two references that they are not talking about the same thing. The article Yannaras discusses piety as an intellectual reawakening against the Church, a type of "adogmaticism" found in the Protestant reformation. But this is opposite of what the Protestant missionaries of Egypt found. They found Copts following the Church, not fighting against the Church. They considered this piety as superstition, ignoring the dogma associated with pious intercession of the saints and pious faith in the sacraments. The Catholic video speaks of dumbing down the faith. This again is not the definition of piety.  Piety is the mystical experience of God that intellectualism can not explain. It is not anti-intellectualism. It is para-intellectualism and many have argued that it is a higher form of revelation. Remember the reconciliation prayer of St John. 

    Simple piety is not charismatic awakening either or an aversion of intellectualism. This is what anti-piety intellectuals have claimed. St Shenoute the Archimandrite was the prime example of godly piety. He was certainly the most charismatic figure of Upper Egypt and hd was not opposed to intellectualism. In fact, he is the perfect ancient counterpart of Shakespeare. He was able to make an imprint on the Coptic language that no one else has been able to do. He was a staunch supporter of St Cyril against Nestorius. Yet, modern intellectuals like Leopoldt state his christology was "christless". He is so often criticized for being weak in theology. Much like the meme, it criticizes anything that is not intellectual, yet fails to see the opposite is true because it associates charisma with anti-intellectualism.

    Finally, why does anyone think piety implies superficiality of faith? It is the opposite. It is complete and utter depth of faith that makes a pious person, like St John the Little or St Shenoute the Archimandrite, do the things they do. It is pious faith in Christ's promise of the Holy Spirit that gives these men the ability to perform miracles. It is obviously not intellect that does miracles. Unfortunately, memes like that and an anti-piety attitude, create a false dichotomy that perpetuate wrong definitions of piety, pietism, intellectualism and depth/superficiality of faith. 

    Finally, we call all agree to disagree on what the meme does or doesn't portray. We can disagree on definitions of piety and dogmatism and intellectualism. We can disagree on the efficacy of prayers of the dead or dogmitization of prayers of the dead. I think it is fair to say, whether you agree or not, we are all concerned with examining and revealing the truth of Christ. 
  • Hi Remnkemi, let us look to Christ our God who gives life to all.

    Thank you for these a wonderful observations and yes to behold, abide and live out our baptism in the Divine Life of Christ is our deepest longing and reality. May we resist rejection of the body and rejection of matters of the spirit, may we be neither anti-pious or anti-intellect but rather wholly Christian.

    Perhaps as a reminder for us to transcend categories here's a prayer by a near contemporary of Abba Shenoute:

    "As you have made me worthy to approach you and receive you—and see, my hands embrace you confidently—make me worthy, Lord, to eat you in a holy manner and to taste the food of your body as a taste of your life. Instead of the stomach, the body’s member, may the womb of my intellect and the hand of my mind receive you. May you be conceived in me as you were in the womb of the Virgin. There you appeared as an infant, and your hidden self was revealed to the world as corporeal fruit; may you also appear in me here and be revealed from me in fruits that are spiritual works and just labors pleasing to your will.

    And by your food may my desires be killed; and by the drinking of your cup may my passions be quenched. And instead of the members of my body, may my thoughts receive strength from the nourishment of your body. Like the manifest members of my body, may my hidden thoughts be engaged in exercise and in running and in works according to your living commands and your spiritual laws. From the food of your body and the drinking of your blood may I wax strong inwardly, and excel outwardly, and run diligently, and to attain to the full stature of an interior human being. May I become a perfect man, mature in the intelligence residing in all my spiritual members, my head being crowned with the crown of perfection of all of my behavior. May I be a royal diadem in your hands, as you promised me, O hidden God whose manifestness I embrace in the perfection of your body."

    St Philoxenus of Mabbug
  • +

    "Peniot AP,
    If you disagree with something either of us write, why don't you enlighten us with your comments? Over the years, I know your posts have always illustrated "the truth". We love reading your posts too. Don't make it one-sided."

    Rem! I meant generally, not about a particular topic. We've had discussions before we were able to agree to disagree, and that's what I'm getting at. Except for Dogma, I don't see a problem with us not having the same conclusion. Point in case was our discussions about election of the Pope. :)

    pray for me,
  • Peniot, 
    I know. We don't need to have the same conclusion. But it is spiritually beneficial (at least for myself) to hear and read your views and posts. 

  • Ray, I so very much miss having you here. Welcome back Prodigal Son. I wanted to bbq the fatted calf for you but since we are fasting, would you settle for bbq salmon and swordfish steaks? 

    Father, I am no longer worthy to be called your servant, but if you must bring out the fatted fish, mahi mahi would be preferable. 
  • edited June 2014
    I wanted to chime in to mention how Rem makes a good point on the meme, more so about the picture than the words (I have no problem with the words imo). I think we need to find out where the picture comes from in what context. I know that it is comparable to the EO memes of "Hyperdox Herman", but to my knowledge the picture of "HH" is of a person who is knowledgeable and accepting of the fact he is the face of these specific group of Orthodox jokes. I think the monk on the other hand (known in the ''meme-osphere as "Miaphysite Mina) is a monk who was interviewed and grieving on the conditions of his monastery. When it was made known exactly this detail, people somewhat felt a little guilty making jokes about this "MM". I guess one has to say, humor is great, and I'm admittedly quite liberal with it, but I think we have to be mindful of the sensitivities behind them as well. It's a clash of cultures I know, because in the American culture, there is a certain popularity of self-deprecating humor, which removes feelings of guilt when you find out that the person himself is involved in this humor and laughing with us rather than we "at him."

    With that said, why don't we continue with discussion of prayers for the departed and benefit from our disagreements with each other :)
  • edited June 2014
    I want to share a book I found that could be of interest in this subject:

    It's a 1911 book that talks about the idea of the soul in ancient Egyptian pre-Christian and Christian times (I think that's what its goal is).  I was searching for a source on some Orthodox sites about a Macarian story on the state of the soul after death on its 3rd, 9th, and 40th day, which is allegedly recorded why the Church prays for the departed soul on those days.  I did not want to include this quote until I found out the source, and then someone sent me this book. So according to this book, the story is from PG 34 390-391, and the author of the book calls it "The Spurious Homily of Macarius".

    On p. 68, a curious footnote is also present that should be called to attention.  It quotes the Coptic Enconium of St. Michael the Archangel by St. Theodosius of Alexandria: 

    If thou visitest a sick person in the name of the God of Michael, God will send His angel to visit thee in thy great sickness which is the day of thy death. If thou goest to those who are in prison and comfortest them on the festival of the Archangel Michael, God will send Michael to deliver thee from the prison of Amenti. (Budge St Michael the Archangel p 44 London 1894)

    The British Orthodox Church actually republished this encomium here:

  • @minasoliman,
    Is it the 9th or 8th day?
  • According to this (pseudo?)-Macarian homily, 9th
  • @minasoliman,
     Ok thanks
  • Is there a way to get BOC publications on Ebook or Kindle (Amazon Store) format?
  • everything is on lulu website (as above).
    was it you who was asking about father peter's books?
    i am trying to remember who i should send a message to!
    they are all on lulu.
    if there is an electronic form there, they are available and if not, there is not one elsewhere, sorry.
  • Thanks mabsoota
  • Like I said, contemporary theological speculation that has no regard for tradition and Patristic in depth study. With all due respect to HH, there is Patristic evidence that one can pray for those in Hades to go to Paradise. It would not exist in the Sagda for centuries if that wasn't the case. One had to ask the question why and how was in the Sagda. Probably because the Coptic Church did in fact believe prayers for those in Hades can have an effect on getting them to Paradise.

    This is correct. As a former Protestant, it appears to me as though the Coptic Church has removed these prayers due to the influence of Protestantism, quite possibly the Plymoth Brethren who detest the idea of prayers for the dead. Every apostolic Church (whether Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic) confesses that souls in hell (which is the English word for hades/sheol) can be benefited by prayers. 2nd Maccabees 12:44 records that the Jews prayed for the dead and 2nd Timothy 1:16-8 sees St Paul pray for the departed Onesiphorus.
    By removing these prayers, the Coptic synod is being disloyal to its Orthodox roots and instead embracing Protestantism.
  • me, a very simple minded-person when it comes to theological and patristic studies, that sounds that Hades is a place similar to purgatory. Also, we were always taught that once one dies, he either goes to hades or paradise until judgement day. 

    What you are saying is kind of far from what we have been taught for sometime so it would be great if we can get some sources.
    minatasgeel  said the quote above.

    When the Latins defined purgatory, they specifically stated that they were only giving a name to an ancient teaching which was also held by the Greeks. The Orthodox Church DOES believe in purgatory, even though this name is not a part of our tradition.
    You said yourself that one "either goes to hades or paradise until judgement day". As you stated that you are "a very simple minded-person", I shall give you a very simple explanation.
    What is the point of Judgment Day? Is it not for all souls to be judged? But if all souls in hell (which is the English word for hades) will be thrown into the lake of fire, and all souls in paradise will enter heaven, then hasn't the real judgment already happened before Judgment Day? So why bother having a Judgment Day?
    The reason is this: Not all souls in hell will be cast into the lake of fire. Some will be. These are they who have completely rejected God. Others will not be. These are they who wanted to embrace God but did not fully overcome sin in this life even though they were trying to. If you like, you could call them weak Christians who were trying. All of these souls are in hell. But in the West, the Latins thought that it would be helpful to have a word to distinguish between those in hell who will damned on Judgment Day and those in hell who would enter heaven on Judgment Day. The word they coined for those in hell who will eventually enter heaven on Judgment Day is purgatory.
    You see my friend, many souls strive for God but are not fully able to overcome all their sins in this life. As a result, they can not enter paradise. So they go to hell. But God is gracious and knows that in spite of their faults, they truly wanted to repent and leave their sins, and there are many people left on earth who pray for their salvation. God is merciful and hears these prayers. (After all, Christ came to reconcile the world to himself, not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.) These souls continue to suffer in hell because they did not fully embrace the love of God but chose to hang onto some of their sin.
    As a result, they tremble as a little child who is afraid that his father will be mad when he finds out that the child ate the sweets he was not allowed to. But the father loves his child even though the child has been naughty, and because of the intercession of his brethren and mother, when the time of judgment comes, the child will be relieved of his fears and rush into the loving arms of his father. But for now, the child is afraid as a result of his own wrong doing.
    So too, souls in that part of the state of hell which the Latins call purgatory are suffering as a result of their own inability to be perfect as God is perfect. But they are still his children and they do not hate him. They simple need to pass through this spiritual fire in order to have their hearts opened fully to the love of God :)
  • @BlindDidymus...:-) so by saying all of this, are you really proving that Purgatory exists, if we consider it to be a state rather than a place?! How about some actual sources of orthodox Fathers rather than your understanding of it?
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