Less than a week to go to the big day! Very exciting. We have our little concert all ready to go. We've added "Little King So Fair and Sweet" to the program. I really never thought of that one as a Christmas song. I always think of the Infant of Prague during that number.
Meanwhile, our readers are communicating with each other in the comments section, which always makes me happy. Well, almost always, sometimes people get fussy. Not today, though.
If heaven wasn't open until Jesus died where were all the souls who had already died. Were they suffering or just in waiting.
and a reader's answer:
Anon, if you recall, when Jesus died, he descended into Hell, to free the just who had gone before him. They waited and are now in heaven.
Whoa, Nelly. This is where people get a little confused. When we say that Jesus "descended into Hell", we don't actually mean that Hell, the one that awaits ghastly sinners where the Satan lives forever with his minions and everyone is on fire.
What we mean is that Jesus descended into what we call "The Limbo of the Fathers".
Now, I have gotten myself into trouble before discussing Limbo, so let's proceed with caution.
Before Jesus died for our sins, no one could enter Heaven and everyone went to Limbo. Most of us think of Limbo as a place where the unbaptized babies go and all the pagans and that is correct. But we think of it that way because we have lived for over 2000 years with Heaven open to the public.
Before Jesus died on the cross, everyone who died went to what we call the "Limbo of the Fathers", thusly named because holy people like Moses and Abraham had to reside there until the Messiah came (and went). So when Jesus died on the cross they all got into Heaven.
"Right this way, Moses!"
That's what Jesus was up to during the three days he was dead. He went to the Limbo of the Fathers and let everyone out. So Limbo was closed.
But then, God needed someplace for the unbaptized babies to go, so we had Limbo again, reopened.
This is where I got into trouble. I really thought that Limbo closed again after Vatican II. There certainly was some discussion that surely God would take unbaptized babies into Heaven. And maybe He does. I've been informed that the jury is still out on Limbo and the Church has not let the notion go. Is there a Limbo now? Maybe. Maybe not. Limbo was never, ever dogma, it was just a thought about what might go on. Limbo is not mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and recent thought is that we can probably let it go.
I, for one, certainly hope so.