IV.  The Last Things

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A.  Death

      1.  The body dies and begins to decay.

      2.  The soul being eternal does not die.


B.  Judgment

 

The evaluation of the decisions made by the person within the context of the choices made toward its  

creator while the soul and human body were united.

 
1.  Particular - occurs immediately at time of death.

     ۰  The devil who had previously acted as a false advocate now becomes our accuser.

     ۰  Mary and Jesus are our advocates before God.

     ۰  How well we have loved God will be weighed.

     ۰  “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.”
A person who loved God totally and acted out that love will be immediately invited into His presence.

 Slight impurities will be removed in Purgatory – future vision of God in heaven is guaranteed.

 A free choice at death to reject God, will be accepted, with eternal separation from God.

 
2.  General - occurs at the end of the world.

All peoples of the world will stand before the glory of God, His Son, the Holy Spirit, Mary and the  

      angels.  The souls and bodies of all peoples will be reunited.  Purgatory will end.  God’s great love

      and justice will be seen by all.  The good and bad acts of everyone will be exposed.  The righteous will

      be brought to God’s love and happiness forever.  Those who freely and seriously rejected God at death

      and died unrepentant will be removed from his presence.  They will suffer eternal anguish and pain
      because they freely rejected His love.

 
 
C.  Heaven

     St. Paul has described his vision of heaven.  “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man

     conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. 
     
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes heaven as, " the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human  
     longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness,"
     
Jesus told his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in God and in me.  In my

     Father's house there are many dwelling places. . ." 

     Heaven is not a place where there is the mere vocal repetition of alleluias or the monotonous

     fingering of harps.  Heaven is a place where we find the fullness of all the fine things we enjoy on this earth.

     Heaven is a place where we find in its plentitude those things which slake the thirst of hearts, satisfy the hunger

     of starving minds, and give rest to unrequited love. 

     Heaven is the communion with perfect Life, perfect Truth, and perfect Love. 
     
Heaven is where we will know God and see him face to face.
           

      D.  Hell

      The Catholic Church has never condemned a particular person to Hell, not even Judas; rather, the

      Church leaves all judgment to God.  God does not predestine anyone to be condemned.  His ever-

      present grace is always available for us to do good and avoid evil.  Certain persons have been given a

      glimpse of Hell so our resolve may be strengthened to use God's ever-present grace to do good and

      avoid evil.

   

      Lucia, one of the three children of Fatima described their vision of Hell:

      "a sea of fire; and plunged in this fire the demons and the souls, as if they were red-hot coals,

      transparent and black or bronze-colored, with human forms, which floated about in the conflagration,

      borne by the flames which issued from it with clouds of smoke, falling on all sides as sparks fall in

      great conflagrations - without weight or equilibrium, among shrieks and groans of sorrow and despair

      which horrify and cause to shudder with fear.  The devils were distinguished by horrible and loathsome

      forms of animals frightful and unknown, but transparent like black coals that have turned red-hot."

 

        St. Faustina described a vision of hell:

      "Today I was led by an Angel to the chasm of Hell.  It is a place of great torture: how awesomely large

      and extensive it is!  The kinds of tortures I saw:  The first torture that constitutes Hell is the loss of

      God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never

      change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it - a terrible suffering, as it

      is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible

      suffocating smell, and despite the darkness, the devils and souls of the damned see each other and

      all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the

      seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses, and blasphemies.  These are the

      tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings.  There are

      special tortures of the senses.  Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to

      the manner in which it has sinned.  There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony

      differs from another.  I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God

      had not supported me.  Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those

      senses which he made use of to sin.  I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find

      an excuse by saying there is no Hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what

      it is like." 
 

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