Takeaways From Youth Group October 17, 2018

Catechism Reviewed:

954 The three states of the Church. "When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is"':492

958 Communion with the dead. "In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and 'because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' she offers her suffrages for them."500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.

What is Church Teaching on the Paranormal ie Ghosts?

While the Catholic Church holds no official catechetical belief with regard to spirits, ghosts, poltergeists or specters, the belief as instructed by Bishops or Church leaders is that God may, and sometimes does, permit a departed soul to appear in some visible form to people on earth. Their purpose may be to teach, or warn, or request some favor for the living.

Theologian Peter Kreeft, who speaks routinely on the supernatural nature of the Church charges that a belief that ghosts or spirits can appear is keeping with Church Theology in life everlasting. In fact St. Thomas Aquinas lines out this belief in his writings.

Discussion questions and points included:

  • Peter Kreeft describes what we would call “Spirits” as being formed into three distinct categories:

  • 1st type - Barely have made it to Purgatory, feel little to no joy yet, are learning many painful lessons about their past life on earth

  • 2nd type - malicious. Usually conjured through occult practices, come from hell.

  • 3rd type - bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love.

  • This 3rd type returns why?

  • Why would God allow Spirits to return to visit the living?

  • Who was Saint Thomas Aquinas?

  • What was his experience with his sister visiting him after her death?

  • What did she request?

  • What was the result?

  • What are the three states of the Church?

  • Church Triumphant - those in Heaven with God.

  • Church Militant - those of us here on Earth.

  • Church Suffering/Penitent - those in Purgatory.

Conclusion If we find ourselves scared, fearful, trying to explain the unexplainable, not understanding why we have goosebumps or the hair on the back of our neck is standing up it could very well be a Soul from Purgatory. But not meaning to frighten but remind us of the Church Suffering and as for our prayers for their purgation.

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