Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Purgatory vs. Toll-Houses

MYTH
After death all souls must literally pass through a series of stations of accusing demons before making it to Heaven or being dragged down to the Hell of the damned

1. The toll-house theory is that after death, all souls must go through a series of stations of accusing demons before making it to Heaven or being dragged down to Hell, is plainly false. A person who is damned does not pass through toll-houses before making it to a toll-house where it is guilty of sins and cannot pass, and so is dragged into Hell. Rather, the damned (those who die in a state of mortal sin) immediately descend to Hell, as the Church teaches; on this constant teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1035 points to DS 76; 409; 411; 801; 858; 1002; 1351; 1575; Paul VI, CPG [Solemn Profession of Faith: Credo of the People of God] # 12.

Does Ephesians 6:12 Teach Toll-Houses?

Does 1 Peter 5:8 Teach Toll-Houses?

The Scriptures Against Toll-Houses

Do Demons Judge Everyone?

Does St. Macarius the Great Teach Toll-Houses?
Does St. Anthony the Great Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Anthony the Great, in fact, expressly rules out toll-houses, as we see in The Life of St. Anthony the Great:
"From the beginning the devil is a murderer and the father of lies" [Jn 8:44]; while we, though this is so, are alive, and spend our lives all the more in opposing him; it is plain that they [the demons] are powerless. For place is no hindrance to their plots, nor do they look on us as friends that they should spare us; nor are they lovers of good that they should amend. But on the contrary they are evil, and nothing is so much sought after by them as wounding them that love virtue and fear God. But since they have no power to effect anything, they do nought but threaten ... If they had power, they would permit none of us Christians to live... But since they can do nothing, they inflict the greater wounds on themselves; for they can fulfill none of their threats. Next this ought to be considered that we may be in no fear of them... But the demons as they have no power are like actors on the stage ... from which they ought rather to be despised as showing their weakness.
Does Pope St. Gregory I the Great Teach Toll-Houses?

Does St. John of Raithu Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Abba John of Raithu says in his introduction to the Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John Climacus of Sinai that, "As a ladder set up, [this book] will lead aspirants to the gates of Heaven pure and blameless, so that they may pass unhindered the spirits of wickedness, and the world rulers of darkness and the princes of the air."

But it is clear from the context and purpose of this most edifying work of asceticism that John is referring to the struggle of the present life, rather than the toll-house doctrine of a gauntlet full of demons that every departed person must pass through.

Does St. Diadochos of Photiki Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Diadochos of Photiki says,
If we do not confess our involuntary sins as we should, we shall discover an ill defined fear in ourselves at that hour of our death. We who love the Lord should pray that we may be without fear at that time; for if we are afraid then, we will not be able freely to pass the rulers of the lower world. They will have as their advocate to plead against us the fear which our soul experiences because of its own wickedness. But the soul which rejoices in the love of God, at the hour of its departure, is lifted with the angels of peace above all the hosts of darkness.
In fact it is clear from this passage, so often quoted to support the toll-house myth, that St. Diadochos of Photiki teaches that sins, and not demons, are the only accusers. There are no disputes between angels and demons over the departed.
Does St. Hesychius the Presbyter Teach Toll-Houses?
St. Hesychius the Presbyter says, "If the soul has Christ with it, it will not be disgraced by its enemies even at death, when it rises to heaven's entrance; but then, as now, it will boldly confront them. But let it not tire of calling upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, day and night until the time of its departure from this mortal life, and He will avenge it ... Indeed, He will avenge it both in this present life and after its departure from the body."

"Its enemies" could very well refer to the sins of the person, and this whole statement of the saint can refer to the temptations by demons at the hour of death, when I pray that each person will have the gift of final perseverance. O most holy Church Doctor St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, pray for us! Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom Against Toll-Houses
That wonderful Church Doctor, Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople, expressly teaches against the toll-house theory. He says in his Commentary on Matthew, Homily 28:3 in Patrologia Graeca,
Nor indeed is it possible for a soul, torn away from the body, to wander here any more. "For the souls of the righteous are in the Hand of God" [Wis 3:1] ... and the souls of sinners are also led away hence. This is evident from the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man; and elsewhere also Christ says, "This day your soul will be required of you" [Lk 12:20]. Therefore, when the soul has gone forth from the body, it cannot wander here; nor is the reason hard to understand: for if we, going about in the earth which is familiar and well know to us, as once we did when encompassed with a body, journeys down a strange road, know not which way to go unless guided; how should the bodiless soul, having lost her accustomed condition, know where to walk without someone to show it the way.
Hence the God-graced Chrysostom proves from the inspired Scriptures that the demons do not have power, influence, or control over the souls of the righteous departed, thus refuting the toll-house theory which states that all souls must pass through several stations of accusing demons before going to Heaven or Hell.
St. John Cassian Against Toll-Houses
Indeed St. John Cassian rules out toll-houses when he says, "...the demons cannot possibly come near to those thoughts which have not yet come forth from the inmost recesses of the soul. And the thoughts too, which they suggest, whether they are actually or in a kind of way embraced, are discovered by them not from the nature of the soul itself, that is, that inner inclination....but from the motions and signs given by the outward man."
St. Aphrahat the Persian Against Toll-Houses

St. Anastasius of Sinai Against Toll-Houses
St. John the Solitary Against Toll-Houses
St. John the Solitary says [Sixth Dialogue with Thomasios],
The devil cannot touch the nature of the soul, nor can he draw nigh it at all to harm it ... The devil does not touch or see the soul, but the members of the body only ... for indeed if he could draw nigh the soul so as to harm it, then he would also be able to harm it after it departed the body, but this he would have to do while being unable to see it and having no power over it ...
St. Isaac of Nineveh Against Toll-Houses
Bishop St. Isaac of Nineveh, a great ascetic Father who was not actually Christologically Nestorian, says, "The demons, though they are extremely polluted, are not concealed from one another in their own orders; howbeit they do not see the two orders [human souls and angels] that are above them."

The Life of St. Basil the New and The Journey of St. Theodora of Constantinople Through 20 Toll-Houses
Do Demons Punish in Purgatory?

The Fire of Purgatory

Metropolitan Mark of Ephesus and Purgatory

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!]

No comments: