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Jan 6, 2022

Prayers for Souls in Purgatory, St. Michael the Archangel, and Jesus Before the Incarnation

Fr. Josh Johnson

Fr. Josh answers questions about what our prayers do for the souls in purgatory, why St. Michael the Archangel is considered a saint, and what was Jesus’ nature as the Second Person of the Trinity before the Incarnation.

Snippet from the Show

The Catholic Church uses the term “saint” to refer to any being who is in heaven, either an angel or a human being.

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Shownotes

Questions


Praying for Souls in Purgatory 

What are we praying for when we pray for loved ones in purgatory? If a person needs to be purified, how does our prayer help to speed that process? I’m generally struggling with the concept of purgatory and its biblical basis. After attending a wake recently, I wasn’t able to give a good explanation to my kids about what our faith teaches about the next steps for our deceased family member. Thank you for your thoughts.

-AmyJo


St. Michael the Archangel 

Can you explain St Michael the Archangel? If he is an angel, how is he a saint? I thought that saints were fully human and that the reason we venerate them and ask for their prayers on our behalf is that they are like us, born with original sin and tempted as we are, but they have demonstrated a holy and venerable path for us to emulate. How does an Angel or archangel fit this model?

-Peter


Who was Jesus before the Incarnation

So we know that God operates outside of time as we know it and that Jesus was not created. It is also my understanding that John 1:1-5 describes Jesus as the Word that was with God and was God but I’m a bit confused on the form that Jesus existed in before His earthly birth. We are taught that His divinity and humanity are so intertwined that it’s a complete union between the two. Before His earthly birth, was Jesus just the divine part of himself and therefore did yet have His human aspects? Or, because He can operate outside of time as we know it, did he always have his human body and soul and therefore always have perfect unity between His divinity and humanity? Or did he exist in some other way that I’m not thinking of prior to his incarnation? I hope that question made sense. It still only kind of makes sense in my own head!

-Jennifer


Resources


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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