DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 221


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      Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

      It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life.


part one

        The Last or General Judgment will take place at the end of the world. It is a public repetition of the particular judgment. Then all that each has thought, said, done, or omitted will be known to everybody. The just will receive their reward, and the wicked will be punished. At the General Judgment Jesus Christ, the King of kings will be the Judge. Then complete justice will be meted out to all, to the souls united with the bodies.

        The judgment which will be passed on all men immediately after the general resurrection is called the General Judgment or the Last Judgment.

        The Last or General Judgment will take place at the end of the world, but when that will be, no man knows. "But of that day and hour n one knows not even the angels of Heaven, but the Father only" (Matthew 24:36). After the Asacension angels told the Apostles that Christ will come again as Judge: "This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into Heaven willl 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.

    (a)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" (Matthew 24:14).

    (b) 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?" (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" (Luke 17:26-27, 30).

    (c) 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" (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 Sonof Man be...And they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with great power and majesty" (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/Revelation 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" (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.

        Although every one is judged immediately after death, 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.

      Tomorrow: The Last Judgement - part two

November 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 221


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