Yoon Ha Lee wrote, quoting M.S. Soderquist and respectively herself: > > > <nod> Is it silly to pray for people after they're deceased...? > > > > Also, of course, if you believe that the deceased may be trapped in > > purgatory, you can always pray to speed up their release to the better > > parts of the afterlife. :) > > Alas, or not--no. I've never understood purgatory. I seem to pray for As a protestant, I have to say I believe there's no such thing. The reason, in a nutshell, is that purgatory seems to make a mockery of forgiveness. That statement could lead down either of two tracks: (1) My beliefs about the afterlife. The whole point of my faith is that given personal committment, God will transform us into perfect beings incapable of sin. That is what Heaven is all about. As for Hell, I believe it to be the place where souls are destroyed if they refuse to accept the only God who can possibly bring them fulfilment. Since I believe that souls are literally destroyed in Hell, I do not believe that Hell is eternal. (2) My beliefs about forgiveness and punishment. For one thing, I believe that the idea of 'deserving' punishment is a human invention and not a divine one. Punishment viewed as an ethical necessity in its own right places a second principle in competition with God's will - and surely Christianity has to teach that ethical desirability depends on God's will alone. How can anything be desirable unless it makes the world a better place and brings God's fulfilment closer to fruition? > people who are now deceased mainly out of habit...and there are a > couple who, unfortunately, I don't know if they're alive or dead. > (Whoops...attempted an anaphora? that doesn't work in English, but > hopefully the meaning is clear.) I suspect it doesn't *hurt,* though. I think it makes sense to pray, "Lord, I trust that they are in your hands". Apart from that, I don't think it makes a lot of sense. How do you pray for someone who is already perfect, and experiencing God in a way beyond earthly experience? That said, M. Soderquist is right about God and Time. If you believe you can pray for something that has already happened, then you might well do so. But I can't think of any occasion when I have prayed in that way. -- web. | Here and there I like to preserve a few islands of sanity netyp.com/ | within the vast sea of absurdity which is my mind. member/ | After all, you can't survive as an eight foot tall dragon | flesh eating dragon if you've got no concept of reality.