Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Catholic Church:Heaven, Hell, Purgatory

Just Think of It!

DO you believe in life after death? Do you agree that the human soul is immortal, that once it comes into existence it will never go out of existence? If you don’t, have you considered what the future holds for you? Have you the courage to do that, or do you just make glib statements like “Once you die you’re finished”, without considering the implications of what you’re saying? I know that there are people who say they believe that we come back into this world in a new form: they call this reincarnation. I notice that such people always expect to appear again as someone or something that is very beautiful. But suppose you come back as a rat or a woodlouse:yuck!

The Catholic Church teaches that the human soul is immortal, that it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and that it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection (Catechism of the Catholic Church,sect.366) This belief is the foundation on which our belief in heaven, hell, purgatory is based.  And the teaching of Jesus as
reported to us in the Gospels is the ground on which our belief stands.

Jesus often spoke of people having eternal life, of people living forever. See the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. And the crowning event of his own life was not his death, but his resurrection, by which he showed that he could overcome death, that death no longer had power over him, and that we could believe him when he promised that we also in our time would overcome death by rising at the end of time. So our belief in life after death is really a way of saying that we believe Jesus is telling us the truth, that he can do for us what he promises to do. He really is the centre of our religion, the leader who inspired the Apostles to go and proclaim that he is the Lord of life who is always alive: they were so convinced of the truth about Jesus’ resurrection that they gave their lives rather than deny it.
 (Author: Fr. Robert Arthure, Cappoquin, Co.Waterford, Ireland-produced with kind permission)

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