Thursday, October 16, 2008


I had seen this before, but a friend just sent this to me again:

"There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said,'You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But it won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

A similar analogy is used to explain the idea of "Purgatory." God forgives us for our sins if we ask Him to because He is merciful to us sinful humans. But since He is also a just God, He requires us to become purified from all of the "holes" and "scars" we caused throughout our lives. Purgatory is simply that time after death that our soul spends being purified from the effects of our sins, so that when we do come face-to-face with God, we are as clean as the driven snow! Personally, I wouldn't want to present myself to Him any other way!

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