Monthly Archives: April 2016

Potty Talk

As an engineer, I look for solutions to problems, and the problem meriting my special attention is: what bathroom should one use? But rather than focus on the bathroom that men, women or transgender should select, I will focus on the real problem: the inadequacy of our tiled facilities.

The problem with the American public restroom is, well, publicity. Our traditional bathroom stall is protected by immodestly thin partitions with 1-2 feet of drafty clearance below, several head-popping feet above, a yawning gap in the door jamb, and little decorum. And with the urinal types of porcelain conveniences there is sometimes, we hope, a small “partition” no better than those used in documents to separate sections:


And nothing more impedes the easy flow of nature than strangers at each elbow trying to concentrate. No, No, NO! I want utter quiet, peace, isolation and PRIVACY conducive to relaxation and focus.

Personally, I like the European WC (watering closet) concept: a veritable built-in ROOM with thick walls that seal to the floor and flush to the ceiling; a heavy door with a contraption that, when turned, flips a red WARNING sign to the outside suggesting to the passerby that the toilet is fully, FULLY, occupied and made of material conducive to sound proofing. No need to jostle the door knob and alarm the occupant. No need to peek under the door to scrutinize shoes and a gather of clothing around some bare legs to determine in-use status. No need to stifle the natural noises of nature. In this design, the public restroom amounts to a public set of sinks and hand dryers. Brilliant.

Or how about the airplane version where the identity of the restroom takes on the identity of the occupant. Toilet, sink and mirror all in one unit. Replace every bathroom stall with one of these. Brilliant.

Now if the expense of modifying the bathrooms accordingly is too much for Target (but probably less expensive than all the money they are going to lose from a boycott), we can employ a simple algorithm:

  • Is your business No. 01?
    • Whether or not you identify as a woman or a man, do you have a penis, naturally or by surgery?
        • Use the men’s room. It has urinals.
        • Use the ladies’ room. It does not have urinals, and you will need to be seated.
      • Is your business No. 02?
        • Please use the ladies’ room. I don’t want you fouling up the air in my bathroom.

So, if someone like Chaz Bono wants to use the men’s room—let him/her. Enhancement and hormones are enough of a price paid to join the exclusive club of males. But if someone like Bruce Jenner wants to use the ladies room, NO. He’s a man thinking he wants to be a woman with the fast option of changing back. In any case, regarding No. 02—always, always, always, the ladies room because I don’t want to smell your foul emanations.

Simple. Elegant. Agreeable. Problem solved.

Quite frankly the use of the bathroom as indiscrete as it is in America is still an in-and-out business. I don’t spend a lot of time socializing or looking at what the other occupants look like or identify as. Just get’ er (or get ‘im) done.

What bothers me about the transgender issue is not the bathroom; it’s the locker room. Personally, I don’t want to see anything that looks like an anatomical woman walking around naked in the men’s locker room. It’s unsettling. In fact, I don’t like to see anything that looks like an anatomical man walking around naked in the men’s locker room. It’s also unsettling. Mr. and Ms. Nudity need to cover up and stop parading around exhibiting their open-mindedness. And for eternity’s sake don’t talk to me. I need space to heal after accidently glimpsing your ugly, ugly, ass.

The unisex locker room it a natural extension of my bathroom solution—give everyone their small personal what-I-identify as locker room. If only it could be made cost-effective.  But I suspect everyone is going to cancel their gym membership or start to home school. The market may decide this one.

The Holy Family

It is well accepted by Christians that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. This is crucial for providing Jesus Christ a dual nature of humanity and divinity. What gets people hung up is Mary’s perpetual virginity—that she remained a virgin and her marriage to Joseph was never consummated sexually. Furthermore, the lack of consummation also seems to course against Catholic teaching on marriage, sexuality and children. So what’s up with that? Were they married or weren’t they? This essay attempts to shed light on the nature of the marriage within the holy family from a Catholic perspective.

First, we must understand that we are dealing with concepts–celibacy / chastity—that existed centuries before the Sexual Revolution and Hollywood imbued everyone with the idea that sex is the be-all and end-all. We don’t ask how Jesus, Paul or the Essene Jews were celibate or how Pagan cultures, particularly Greek, would commit to a celibate life.  Vows of virginity/celibacy, although not common, were not unheard of in the ancient world and even in our modern day there are illustrations of this in the Catholic priesthood, religious orders, and laity (Opus Dei).

Second, we are also dealing with a very unique and grace filled situation—the Holy Family. As with many miracles, natural laws may not apply. Some allowance is in order here but it still must harmonize with Catholic theology.

Third we must also understand that any teaching will be accepted as a matter of faith. Nothing can be scientifically proven to modern satisfaction and even if it could many would go on believing what they want. As you know the Catholic Church derives its teaching from thousands of years of preserving the Deposit of Faith, Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers, centuries of theologians and scholars, the Magisterium, bishops, popes as well as an understanding of Sacred Scripture which they compiled—it’s not just one guy with a novel thought in his head. Now what the Church teaches on matters may not vividly and overtly reflect in a translation of the Bible but it should at least comport with scripture and be plausible. And yet—much can be taken away from the Bible that simply is not there and the reason we have so many fractures in Protestantism.

Church teaching on the perpetual virginity of Mary has been challenged throughout the centuries mostly based on the usual verses of scripture cited by Protestants—this is not new. In fact, a very early case of this was the claims of Helvidius in the 4th century who was refuted by St. Jerome in a pamphlet entitled The Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mary. For those who do not know St. Jerome, he was arguably the greatest Bible Scholar of all time, have translated all the scriptures into Vulgate Latin—a translation that was in use in the Catholic Church until the 20th century. St. Jerome is one of the eminent Doctors of the Church and lived at a time when the Greek of the New Testament was still spoken. He is also the author of one of the most popular prayers of all times, the Gloria Patri, said at the end of each decade when praying the Rosary and sung after each Psalm in the Traditional Mass and Sacred music. To put it mildly, St. Jerome is no slouch.

And to say that St. Jerome went on the offensive toward Helvidius on this heresy is not overstating it, basically calling his opponent an idiot in ways only a saint could conjure, and throwing down the gauntlet: “Let [Helvidius] be refuted by the same proofs which he employed against us, so that he may see that it was possible for him to read what is written, and yet to be unable to discern the established conclusion of a sound faith.”

One would think, given St. Jerome’s credentials in language and sacred scripture, the matter would be settled but, alas, the topic rears its head again and again. It may surprise one to know that the Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli) believed and supported the doctrine of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity too. It’s not until Bible fundamentalist who rely exclusively on the overt and literal text of the scripture got a strangle hold that the issue resurfaces in modern times. But the Bible was never to be read and understood in such a vacuum. That’s why we have the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church to shepherd Christians toward a common understanding of truth, faith, and morals.

I dare say that all objections brought about by Bible Christians today were refuted by St. Jerome in his pamphlet which can be read here. I will draw from this and sources such as Hahn’s Hail Holy Queen and other apologetic writings.

To understand the nature of Joseph’s marriage to Mary, it is important to know the importance of Mary’s perpetual Virginity. Why does it matter? In some ways we can push it further: why does it even matter that Joseph not touch Mary until she delivers her first born? If they are married and consummating the marriage is warranted, why wait until after the nativity? At least from the text we know he waited for some unspecified reason but why does that reason become null and void after Christ’s birth and only valid before? Or is the reason valid ongoing? What is it that we are trying to preserve by waiting at all since scripture indicates Jesus was conceived of the holy spirit and that’s all we really need to go on.

Whenever Mary’s name is invoked it is always with the word Virgin. She is known as the most Blessed Virgin so much so that whenever one talks about The Virgin, we are pretty sure it’s about Mary. The title Virgin must accompany her name so that there is no ambiguity about who we are talking about—but also, no ambiguity about the dual nature of her human offspring, Jesus Christ. Her status as virgin isn’t just a description of her state, but a description of what all Christians believe in.  And, so, conceptually, she should be ever-virgin if Jesus is to remain ever-Divine.

Aside: Ever more so than Protestants, Catholics hold to the idea that physical things can be consecrated and contain the spiritual property of holiness: water, relics, rosaries, church buildings, a room, chalices, patens, clothing, bread, wine, tabernacles, and so forth. Converts are often startle by this as I was when, after I purchased an olive wood cross at a Church sponsored charity, Fr. Drummond wanted to know if I wanted him to bless it for me. Though this sort of thing might be standard for the average Catholic, it had never occurred to me; I was delighted and slightly weirded out. And yet, the Bible is saturated with objects and people and things that are set apart as holy items—objects given deference and imbued with a spiritual property. It is curious that Satanists use the Eucharist in their profane rites and not just some bread and some wine they purchased at Rite-Aid. It is because the consecrated host is different from the accidents of bread and wine – at least they believe it so.

Because she was the God-bearer, the theotokos, the conduit through which God entered the world as a man, Mary was such a sacred vessel and was not to be repurposed for any ordinary life no matter how honorable that ordinary life may be. Prefiguring her in the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant[1], was an incredibly sacred object, so much so that those who inadvertently touched it met with a quick end. Consider Uzzah, the guy who stuck out his hand to stabilize the Ark on its way back to Jerusalem and was struck down by God right then and there (2 Samuel 6:6-7). If the ground that Jesus walked on was holy, if the robe that he wore was holy, imagine the womb that held him for nine months. As good of a man as Joseph was, he was probably not going to consummate the marriage with Mary given the odds, his understanding of the sacred, and the story of poor Uzzah. Yes, there is nothing wrong with sexual relations in the confines of a wholesome marriage, but this is a different circumstance and Mary and Joseph were “set apart” for God’s special purposes, i.e., holy.

Along these lines, in the following passage, apologist Scott Hahn supports Mary’s Perpetual Virginity by appealing to our understanding of the sacred most explicitly in the Old Testament.

God gave her singular graces because of her unique role in history. He made her sinless from the moment of her conception. He called her to be “Ever-Virgin.” Why? Because she was to become the vessel of God’s presence in the world! Now, the vessels used in the temple service were made, by God’s command, of the purest, most precious metals; and they were reserved only for sacred use. You could not repurpose the temple’s golden altar as an end table. You could not take the chalice used for libations and fill it with a cold beer on a hot summer night. Apart from the temple service, even the finest wine would profane the sacred vessels. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with end tables or alcoholic beverages, but the temple vessels were sacred and for God’s use only. Mary’s body was that kind of vessel. Once blessed with God’s presence, she could not simply “retire” and resume an ordinary married life. What would be permissible and even honorable for others would be a profanation for the Mother of God. [Hahn, Scott (2014-05-27). Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones (Kindle Locations 1822-1831). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.]

And one might add that it would seem rather rude (nay abusive) to simply borrow Mary’s womb and then, what, her 15 minutes of fame are over? Is that what one would expect from a loving, caring, holy God? God made some pretty big promises to Mary and, of course, He kept them.

In some traditions, specifically that derived from the non-canonical Protoevangelium of James, Mary is said to have taken a vow of chastity and consecrated to the Temple by her parents. This was the situation before Joseph, before the annunciation, and it may have been an agreement that Joseph, betrothed to Mary, was going to remain celibate as a result. As a mutual understanding from the get-go, it is no wonder that Mary asks Gabriel at the annunciation: “how can this come about…” I suppose Gabriel could have said, “Well, duh, you are betrothed to Joseph. First comes love, then comes marriage, the comes Jesus in the manger!” Had Mary taken a vow of chastity and this was understood by Joseph and the Angel, perhaps the question is not so remarkably naive. “How can this come about if I’ve taken a lifelong vow of chastity”? And if she was already on the marriage plan with Joseph, her question should not have been “How will this come about…?” but “When will this come about…?”

And so, with the understanding of the importance of Mary’s perpetual virginity, it dictates the kind of marriage she has with Joseph. Although the Bible suggests that Joseph consummated the marriage sexually, the key verse is misinterpreted as exhaustedly demonstrated by St. Jerome in his pamphlet. Basically the use of the word “until” does not imply anything to occur beyond that point in the original language.

What about Jesus’ brethren? Again, St. Jerome explains that the word for brethren means way more in the original language and culture than our English language reveals. I encourage one to read the pamphlet which is not as dry as one would expect and mildly entertaining.

In what sense were Mary and Joseph married then? In perhaps the most critical ways defined by the Church and many Christians in general:

  • A commitment to each other in life
  • Respect for each other’s welfare and persons
  • Joint travail and suffering.
  • The custody and raising of children or a child in the faith.

Consider that sexual intercourse is a small part of marriage and summarily abused in modern life anyway, it’s not important to put an emphasis on it in the Holy Family or any married life in general. Although it may consummate a marriage, it should not define it. It is sad that marriages in our society are defined purely by the physical and end promptly when people are sexually dissatisfied (often shaped by ideals promoted by pornography and the entertainment industry) since, quite probably, people age, get sick, get tired, get stressed, travel, deploy overseas, dysfunction, and other vicissitudes of life. Though sexual conduct may diminish or even cease in a marriage, it should not mean that the marriage is over—not at all.

Regarding the thought on the Mosaic Law and the possibility that Joseph died shortly after his introduction into the infancy narratives—an interesting theory but one I never heard of in the early Church Father writings. Furthermore, we know that Joseph was alive when Jesus was lost at the temple around the age of twelve so he was at least alive that long. It is generally accepted that Joseph is gone by the time Jesus starts his public ministry (not present at the Wedding of Cana, not present at the Crucifixion) but when that happens is not entirely certain. If he died shortly after, he would have been technically assumed to have offspring in Jesus at least as a public understanding—after all, his genealogy is listed in the Gospels.

On that note, Joseph also provides Mary cover in a society where single mothers were socially stigmatized if not condemned violently. It could have been that Mary stay single, give birth, as well as stay perpetually chaste. But then the role of a father would have been diminished, Mary would be unduly burdened and modern feminists would have a field day. In prototype, the Holy Family is a family modeling the Trinity with the roles of father, mother and child; lover, beloved and the fruit of that love; Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Finally, in the same way the role of Mary is greatly studied in the Catholic Church to the extent that the field is referred to as Mariology, Joseph’s role is also studied, an area known as Josephology. He is also given great honor and mentioned in the Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer after Mary, described as “her most chaste spouse”. He is also the patron saint of the Church overall and has feast days in his honor.

[1] The Ark contained Aaron’s staff (priesthood), Tablets (the Law), and Manna (The Bread of Life) as Mary contained Jesus who represented all three.

Paradigm Shift – The Eucharist

A distinctively Catholic teaching and practice involves the centrality of the Eucharist, one of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. The word “Eucharist” is from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving” and was instituted by Jesus Christ at The Last Supper where he “gave thanks” in what was the very first Communion, or The Lord’s Supper as it is sometimes called. But beyond mere symbolism, Catholics teach that the bread and the wine at the Catholic Mass actually become the body and the blood of Jesus Christ in a mystery called transubstantiation—a unique word designed to describe this singular miracle and a topic for another time.  As a fulfillment of the command as well as a reflection of the Passover Lamb of the Old Testament, Catholics are required to consume the transubstantiated bread and the wine, thereby literally consuming the body and blood of Jesus.

Protestants teaching varies on the Eucharist. Anglicans and Lutherans have some form of it but many churches, particularly Bible churches, pay little attention to the Eucharist and may celebrate a memorial of the Lord’s Supper periodically. According to Protestant thought, when Jesus describes the elements (or the species) of communion as His “body” and “blood” he only means it symbolically,

Catholics, on the other hand, always have communion at Mass, every day reflecting the “our daily bread” of the Lord’s Prayer. It is central to Christian gathering and worship—and not optional. The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ Himself and is treated with the utmost reverence. When entering a Catholic Church, if the “most blessed sacrament” is present in the tabernacle, Catholics will genuflect in front of it. Eucharistic Adoration is a time set aside for Catholics to worship Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. On the Sunday of Corpus Christi, the Eucharist is paraded through the streets in Europe and Catholics will kneel or prostrate as it passes—it is God Incarnate. Before receiving communion, Catholics must first confess any mortal sins otherwise that person will heap condemnation on themselves simply by partaking. Anyone who intentionally desecrates the bread of communion is automatically excommunicated—it is that serious. Curiously, Satanist use the communion bread stolen from the Catholic Mass to profane Christ in their Black rituals. The consumption of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist was such a major component of Christian identity, the Romans persecuted Christians of the Early Church with the capital charge of cannibalism.


A key scripture regarding the Eucharist is John 6 in which Jesus teaches about “His Body”, and “His Blood” being consumed—a portion of scripture I’d read a hundred times and glossed over with casual perplexity:

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

Rather than iron out things to everyone’s satisfaction, Jesus just makes things worse:

60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?  63 It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. 64But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him. 67Jesus said to the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Some Christians would say Jesus is speaking figuratively. But he never says so as in some parables or other teachings; in fact, here he says “Truly, truly…”  which was the cultural equivalent of “seriously” or “listen up” or “I kid you not”.

But if it was just symbolic, then why would it be a hard teaching as the grumbling disciples say? These were people already poised to accept Jesus’ words, especially after being miraculously provisioned (this was the five thousand fed with 5 loaves and 2 fishes the day before). But the reaction of the crowd clearly indicated that Jesus was driving home a concept that was, no pun intended, difficult for them to swallow.  Indeed, if Jesus was simply suggesting to “be so much like him”, “follow him closely” and so forth, would it not have been a moot point? As designated disciples, these folks were already following him and were far along in their pursuit.

NOTA BENE: Instead, Jesus let these disciples that were following Him, leave. This was a hard teaching because it is a hard teaching, even today, especially for non-Catholics. And unless one eats this flesh and drinks this blood according to this passage, they will not have life in Him—the same life mentioned in only one other part of the Bible (Gen 3:22).

When I explain the scriptural basis for Christ’s institutionalization of the Eucharist and the sacramental life in general, non-Catholic Christians react the same way I once did to the passages in John 6. But Jesus’ words on this matter can never be seen as a hard teaching from even a secular perspective if only interpreted metaphorically. After all, what’s so hard and difficult about following a great teacher as they claim this teaching implies? I suppose Buddha, Mohammed and Karl Marx could have made the same statements without raising offense and causing their disciples to leave if it was only meant symbolically.  But even today, the teaching is as hard as it was when first presented.  And if the Catholic Church is right, and alone has apostolic pedigree to transubstantiate bread and wine, and the Eucharist is the means for eternal life outside of which there is no life in Christ—non-Catholic Christians are in a very precarious situation.

In addition, the Eucharist is the sign of the new and everlasting covenant as described in the Last Supper. Would such a sign be merely symbolic or profound and meaningful? Unlike a number of Catholic teaching and doctrines, this one is a total game changer. One may never pray to Mary and the saints, but the Eucharist cannot be safely ignored.

Paradigm Shift – Purgatory

The doctrine of Purgatory teaches that the souls of the faithfully departed go to a place of purgation (cleaning, purging) for their venial sins. It is not hell (inferno) or heaven (paradiso) but something of a preliminary to the latter.

Protestants do not believe in purgatory in the least and challenge Catholics on what seems to be an antiquated theological concept outside the descriptions of the Bible. Protestants may also claim it is a convenient invention to keep living Catholics enslaved to the Church which dispenses indulgences (another topic for later) that requite the temporal punishment of sin in Purgatory. According to Protestant teaching, one either goes to a well-merited Hell or is saved by a full blown grace in Heaven, one of which is your final, final, final destination–irrevocable after death and in which no forgiveness is operational.

The Church teaches that Purgatory is a necessary stage to remove our earthly attachments and prepare us for standing in the presence of the most Holy God. Contrary to Protestant belief the concept of Purgatory, although not explicitly mentioned in Scripture (but neither is the concept of Trinity), is a logical conclusion based on Scripture and the Church’s Sacred Tradition overall.

First, we are called to perfection:

Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Rev 3:2 Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.

And that Heaven is a place for those made perfect:

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.

Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And so we have a need for a place / process called Purgatory most explicitly described in the Book of Maccabees (12:43-46) which Protestants deleted from the Canon of Scripture—baffling, since it fills in the missing 400 years between Malachi and Matthew also.


A given model is judged by how well it explains reality. In this instance, the concept of Purgatory is the model and the reality is scripture (for the sake of Bible Christians). Let’s see how well this model works.

In Luke 12:56-59 we hear Jesus teaching His followers to settle with their accuser, otherwise they may find themselves before the Judge (Jesus) who will hand them over to the officer who will bounce them to prison where “you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.” Can this be Hell? If so, how is it that one can possibly “get out”? No, this is not Hell, nor is it Heaven, but a third in-between place which the Catholics call Purgatory.

In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul describes a process in which one’s works (there’s that word again) is tested with purifying fire as a stage of the Christian life, from which one will be saved ultimately but only after suffering loss. Heaven doesn’t quite fit since there is no pain and only perfection in that firmament. How about Hell? This is a bad model because the reality of scripture describes Hell as a place of eternal fire and no one passes through those flames. The Catholic Church calls this Purgatory.

Matthew 12:32 we see that baffling passage “And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come”, implying that there is some forgiveness in the age to come. Could this be Heaven? Not a good model since Heaven is a place of perfection and no forgiveness is warranted. How about Hell? Nope—that’s a place where there is no escape and no forgiveness (Luke 16:26). So here again, the concept of purgatory is a more suitable model, a place where some types of sin (venial) are forgiven.

Aside from these passages of scripture, we see prefiguration of Purgatory in the lives of the saints. Moses, who stood in the presence of God, was purified by 40 years in the desert. Paul suffered a thorn in the flesh never to be delivered in this life. John on the island of Patmos suffered exile. John the Baptist in the desert wearing camel hair and eating locust was preparing the way for Jesus. So then, the concept of Purgatory is present on the Bible and presents as a good model to explain certain theological concepts.


Floating around in the minds of Bible Christians is the idea that they will meet Jesus in the afterlife and greet him as one would greet an old friend —but let’s think about this. Who is this we are talking about in this ultimate encounter? How would we react to meeting the very Maker of Heaven and Earth?

Here is the prophet Isaiah’s (6:5) response:

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Here is Peter’s response:

Luke 5: 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

How about John who saw the risen and glorified Jesus in Revelation, a man Jesus knew as the beloved disciple, a man Jesus was related to by human birth, a man who suffered as an Apostle, the only man who did not abandon Jesus at his passion, a man most qualified to stand in front of God Almighty if any—what does he say in the first chapter of Revelation.

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”

If we are fortunate (or unfortunate) to encounter the living God, we will be terrified in the extreme because he is all Holy and we are not. It may seem Purgatory is a bad place of suffering but it’s actually a welcome place for those that wish to achieve the perfection God expects in order to ultimately stand blamelessly in His presence.