From Death to Resurrection Whatever awaits us after death, it is not an endless continuation of our temporal existence in another world or entrance into another life similar to this one. Rather with death, We enter into eternity, No longer able to make changes to the radical decision for or against God we have made throughout our life and finally in our dying
From Death to Resurrection Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith The Reality of Life After Death The Intermediate State “a spiritual element survives and subsists after death, an element endowed with consciousness and will, so that the human self subsists while lacking in the interim the complement of its body” “THE SOUL” We wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. • Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light. • Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned. • At Death seeing God “Face-to-Face” eliminates all error and self-deception that clouds the culpability of the living
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD Our attitude about our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the last day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son."
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself. By rejecting grace in this life, One already judges oneself, Receives according to one's works, And can even condemn oneself for all eternity By rejecting the Spirit of love.
The Final Purification, or Purgatory All who die in God's grace and friendship, but are still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
The Final Purification, or Purgatory The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent.
The Council of Trent (1563) The Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Spirit and in accordance with Sacred Scripture and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, has taught in the holy councils and most recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory and that the souls detained there are helped by acts of intercession (suffragia) of the faithful and especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar. “We pray for the living and the dead”
The Final Purification, or Purgatory The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire: (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) • As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. (Matthew 5:26) • He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. (Matthew 12:32) • From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.
The Final Purification, or Purgatory This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” (2 Maccabees 12:38-46)
The Final Purification, or Purgatory From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, • Above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. • The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: • Let us help and commemorate them. • If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.
How long does purgatory last? Council of Trent (1536) … this holy council commands the bishops to strive diligently that the sound doctrine of purgatory, … be believed by the faithful and that it be adhered to, taught and preached everywhere. … As for those things that belong to the realm of curiosity or superstition, or smack of dishonorable gain, they should forbid them as scandalous and injurious to the faithful.
How long does purgatory last? Avoid curiosity or superstition In the 12th-14th centuries purgatory first began to be represented as a place Much effort was spent in determining the length of time spent in this place Some still are still concerned with duration today This is neither the early nor contemporary view of purgatory
How long does purgatory last? There is no “time” after death there is only eternity Purgatory is a “process of purification” rather than a place This process of purification is more one of maturation and spiritual growth than of juridical expiation or punishment for sins
How long does purgatory last? Karl Rahner “a maturing process of the person, through which, though gradually, all the powers of the human person become slowly integrated into the basic decision of the free person” This process occurs in the moment of death through which the person encounters God in a most profound and decisive way. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Our Purgatorial Fire A moment of self-cleansing and self-integration causing varying degrees of pain
How long does purgatory last? Tony Kelly (Touching on the Infinite) “A decisive encounter with Christ” “conformity to the crucified” “a suffering born out of love” “entry into a truly compassionate existence”
Particular Judgement Suppose man chooses neither to seek nor to find Suppose he chooses to stand outside both grace and law Will God strike him dead? God has literally set men free to spit in his face The Divine Omnipotence pays mankind the highest possible compliment of taking its liberty seriously C. S. Lewis He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us
Particular Judgement John 12:44-50 And if God alone is good then it becomes a necessary exercise of his will that we too do good in order that like him we too become good That we become perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect
Particular Judgement There is no explicit teaching in either the Old or New Testament that there is a particular judgement of each individual after death • Belief in the judgement of individuals after death was first attested to in the apocryphal book First Enoch • Augustine and the Catechism (1022) speak explicitly of a judgement that awaits the souls as soon as it is separated from the body and distinguishes this judgment from the final judgment at the General Resurrection A judgement is implied by the belief that the individual’s eternal destiny is determined by their’ actions
Particular Judgement Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. • The New Testament implicitly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death (after purification if necessary) in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus The words of Christ on the cross to the good thief
Particular Judgement Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: • either entrance into the blessedness of heaven - through a purification • or immediate and everlasting damnation. • Providence allows us time for the free exercise of the will At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love. The look He casts upon us will be our judge. T. S. Elliot
Final Judgement The New Testament however speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming at the General Resurrection • A final destiny of the soul - a destiny which can be different for some than for others.
Final Judgement The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust," will precede the Last Judgment. This will be "the hour when All who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth, Those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”
Final Judgement Then Christ will come "in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Final Judgement In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare. • The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life: • All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. • When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . .
Final Judgement "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."
Final Judgement The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history.
Final Judgement We shall know the ultimate meaning of: the whole work of creation the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death.
Final Judgement The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them "the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation.” • It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. • It proclaims the "blessed hope” of the Lord's return, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed."
Final Judgement Finally the available choices reduce to two each member of the human race is even now moving toward them C. S. Lewis “The Weight of Glory” “In the end that Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised”