Everybody has an opinion but in the end only one opinion counts: God's! And it's called Judgment Day. It will be gut-check time for no one can escape the Trinity's judgment. It is truly amazing in these times when everyone talks of everything but the Last Four Things which are Death, Judgment, Heaven and hell incorporated as De Novissimis. It it truly the Final Four and we're not talking the NCAA but rather the Day of Reckoning that ultimately charts our path; a path that we choose freely by how we lived. What our destination will be will be decided by the Supreme Court in Heaven. The evidence that will tip the scales in our favor will be determined by how we lived in accord with the divine Will.
Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses
"At the Last Judgment all our thoughts, words and deeeds, public and secret, will be made known to all creation. This fact should urge us to avoid everything sinful, not only because they will be revealed to all, but moreso because it will weigh against us when God decides which side we belong: the left or the right. If it's the former we'll be left behind to wallow in eternal hellfire, but if it's the latter, we can rejoice with the Angels as saved. When we are tempted let us remember that the "hidden things of darkness" will be revealed on the last day. The rest is up to us...until Judgment Day."
De Novissimis is the term that encompasses the final four things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and hell.
We have already covered the worst of these four and touched on the neverending ecstasy of Heaven. Now we move toward reality and that ends and begins with death. Yes, that probably sounds morbid, but it is true we must die in order to live for we are placed here on this earth by our Creator to love and obey God in order to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.
So once death occurs, each of us go before thee Supreme Judge in each's Particular Judgment where we are judged one-on-one, no witnesses, no one standing with us or against us. No, we must account for our own deeds and words, our commissions and omissions while we breathed on earth. Yes, God takes into account our fallen human nature, but don't count on getting a free pass into Heaven. That takes hard work and having lived fully in harmony with the divine will. Yes, sanctifying grace and the Last Sacrament of Extreme Unction take away much, but we still have to pay the piper, so to speak, in order to be purified so that we are worthy to be admitted into the presence of the Beatific Vision.
While God is all-Merciful, He is also all-Just. So many overlook that vital fact and think everyone goes to Heaven except maybe the most hardened criminal. Yet, ironically, the first saved by Jesus was the good thief on the cross. That was before He descended into Abraham's Bosom, a Limbo place where souls since Adam and Eve had lingered awaiting the Messias. Each was judged individually at their death and the same process has continued to this very day and until the end of the world. Man is a social, as well as an individual being; hence the necessity for a General, as well as a Particular Judgment.
When that final day comes, everyone will be judged in the General Judgment or Final Judgment. Truly it will be Judgment Day where everyone will know. So if you're hiding anything today, get thee to a confessional and fess up now so that your sins may be forgiven thee here on earth and not remembered on Judgment Day. God forgives and forgets. Man has a much harder time forgiving and an even more difficult time of forgetting. That creates the occasions of more sins such as resentment, envy or hate.
Another way to look at it is that it is fitting that there be a general judgment, in order that the justice, wisdom, and mercy of God may be glorified in the presence of all as we read in the Book of the Apocalypse, Chapter 20: 12,
"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the scrolls."
When that day will occur, no man knows as affirmed in Sacred Scripture.
"But of that day and hour no one knows not even the angels of Heaven, but the Father only" (St. Matthew 24:36).
After the Ascension angels told the Apostles that Christ will come again as Judge: "This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in the same way, as you have seen Him going up to Heaven" (Acts 1:11).
Our Lord predicted that sign will precede the Last Judgment, which He Himself described; He will be the Judge.
- The Gospel will be preached in the whole world.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a witness to all nations; and then will come the end" (St. Matthew 24:14).
- There will be a great apostasy from faith; people will lose themselves in evil.
"Yet when the Son of Man comes, will He find, do you think, faith on the earth?"< (St. Luke 18:8).
- "And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. In the same wise will it be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (St. Luke 17:26-27, 30).
- "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4: 3-4).
"And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe a lie: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity" (2 Thessalonians 2: 6-11).
- The antichrist will appear and work false miracles.
St. Paul speaks of "the man of sin - the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, and gives himself out as if he were God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
On the last day these events will take place:
The earth and the Heavens will show signs: the stars will fall. In the Heavens the sign of the Son of Man will appear. It is believed that this sign is the Cross.
"…And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven" (St. Matthew 24:30).
Jesus Christ, in great power and majesty, accompanied by the angels, will come in the clouds of Heaven.
"For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines even to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be...And they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with great power and majesty" (St. Matthew 24:27, 30).
The trumpet will sound, and all the dead will spring to life in a moment; they will be instantly reuinted to their souls, and come to judgment.
"Behold, I come quickly - to render to each one according to his works" (Apocalypse 22:12).
- "And He will send forth His angels with a trumpet and a great sound, and they will gather His elect from the four winds" (St. Matthew 24:31).
From these statements we are not to conclude that everybody will perceive the Divine essence at the day of judgment. This cannot happen without completeness of joy; and the wicked can never see God.
The lost souls will "see God" behind some kind of veil so that they do not delight in His divinity; they will have some kind of perception of His Majesty, and recognize His justice.
All men and all angels, good and bad, will be present to hear the judgment of each one. "For there is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest, nor anything concealed that will not be known" (St. Luke 8:17).
Then will the unjust say these words, as they consider the just: "These are they whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honor. Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints...What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away" (Wisdom 5:3-9).
Our Lord will place the good on His right hand, and the wicked on His left. To the just Christ will say: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (St. Matthew 25:34). To the wicked He will say: "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire" (St. Matthew 25:41).
A great fear and instant realization of their sentence will fall upon the wicked. And they will say to the mountains and the rocks: "Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb" (Apocalypse 6:16). Immediately the good will go body and soul to Heaven, and the wicked will fall body and soul into hell. "And these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life" (St. Matthew 25:46).
To reemphasize, the General Judgment is necessary in order to vindicate God's providence in the government of the world, and to disclose both the good and the evil that men have done, in order to reveal God's justice, wisdom, and mercy.
On that day will men see how often God has granted them graces, and they have rejected them, how often God has turned even their evil acts to their advantage, that they might repent! Then will men see how much that took up time and thought on earth was folly in the eyes of God, and how what the world called nonsense and mocked was really heavenly wisdom. As St. Paul says: "We, for our part, preach a crucified Christ- to the Jews indeed a stumbling-block and to the Gentiles foolishness" (1 Corinthians 1:23).
It is necessary to give the just the public honor due them, and the wicked the public shame they deserve, and to make the body share in the reward or punishment of the soul with which it shared good or evil on earth.
At the Last Judgment all our thoughts, words and deeeds, public and secret, will be made known to all creation. This fact should urge us to avoid everything sinful, not only because they will be revealed to all, but moreso because it will weigh against us when God decides which side we belong: the left or the right. If it's the former we'll be left behind to wallow in eternal hellfire, but if it's the latter, we can rejoice with the Angels as saved. When we are tempted let us remember that the "hidden things of darkness" will be revealed on the last day. The rest is up to us...until Judgment Day.