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.
THE LAST JUDGMENT
3. The Last or General Judgment will be a public repetition of the particular judgment. The Judge and the matters taken up will be identical. Then Jesus will bring to light "the hidden things of darkness."
"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" (Apocalypse/Revelation 20:12).
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" (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 kiingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). To the wicked He will say: "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire" (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/Revelation 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" (Matthew 25:46).
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. Man is a social, as well as an individual being; hence the necessity for a general, as well as a particular judgment.
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, wods and deeeds, public and secret, will be made known to all creation. This fact should urge us to avoid everything of which we should then be ashamed made public. When we are tempted let us remember that the "hidden things of darkness" will be revealed on the last day.
Tomorrow: The Torments of hell