Catechism of the Catholic ChurchIts content, well articulated and responsive to the indications of the Synodal Fathers, faithfully reflects the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, and addresses the man of today by presenting to him the Christian message in its integrity and completeness.
John Paul II 25 June 1992).
I believe in the eternal life
1020 that join their own lives to Jesus, death is like going to Him, and enter into eternal life. When the Church has spoken for the last time, the words of forgiveness in absolution over the dying Christian Christ, has signed for last time with a strengthening anointing, and has given to Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, he goes with these sweet and soothing words: Leave, Christian soul, from this world, in the name of the Father Almighty who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who died for you on the cross, in the name of the Holy Spirit, you have been given a gift, your home is now in the peace of the holy Jerusalem, with the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, with all the angels and saints. [...] May you return to your Creator who formed you from the dust of the earth. When you leave this life, you come to meet the Virgin Mary with the angels and saints. [...] Meek and festive, the face of Christ appears to you and you can contemplate for ever in eternity".
I. The personal judgment
1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to the acceptance or rejection of God's grace in Christ appeared. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily from the perspective of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also states the immediate retribution after death, will be given to everyone in compensation for their works or their faith. The parable of Lazarus and the word spoken by Christ to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny the soul which may be different for some and for others.
1022 Every man from the time of his death in his immortal soul receives eternal retribution in a judgment that puts his life in relation to Christ, so you can spend a purification or immediately enter the bliss of heaven, or, be condemned for ever: "On the evening of life we will be examined about the love".
II. The Heaven
1023 Those who die in grace or God's friendship and are perfectly purified and will live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, because they see it "as he is" (1 John 3:2), "face to face" (1 Cor. 13.12):
"With our apostolic authority, we define that for general disposition of God, the souls of all the dead saints before the Passion of Christ [...] and all the faithful who died after receiving the holy baptism of Christ in the that at the time of death there was nothing to purify, or, if they had or had something to purify, when after death, they have purified themselves, [...] Also before the resurrection of their bodies and judgment universal-and this after the ascension of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, associated with the kingdom of heaven and celestial paradise with Christ, together with the holy angels. And after the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, they have seen and see the divine essence in an intuitive vision and also face to face, without the mediation of any creature".
1024 This perfect life, this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end of man and the fulfillment of their deepest aspirations, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.
1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ". The chosen live "in Him", but retaining, rather than finding their true identity, their own name:
"Vita est enim esse cum Christo; ideo ubi Christus, ibi vita, ibi Regnum - Life, indeed, is to be with Christ, for where Christ is, there is life, there is the Kingdom".
1026 By his death and resurrection Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven. the life of the blessed consist in the full possession of the fruits of redemption accomplished by Christ. which associates in his heavenly glorification to those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Him.
1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ beyond all possibility of understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, Paradise. "What eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor ever entered the heart of man are the things which God had prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor. 2.9).
1028 On the occasion of his transcendence, God can not be seen as He is, but when he himself open his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and give him that capacity. This contemplation of God in his heavenly glory of the Church is called "the beatific vision":
"This will be your glory and happiness will to be accepted to see God, to have the honor of participating in the joys of salvation and eternal light with Christ, the Lord your God, [...] enjoy in the kingdom of heaven, together with the righteous and God's friends in the graces achieved ".
1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. And reign with Christ, with him "they shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. 22.5).
III. The Final purification or Purgatory
1030 Those who die in the grace and friendship of God, but are still imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, however, are subject, after their death, to purification, to obtain the holiness necessary to enter in the joy of heaven the chosen, which is different from the punishment of the damned.
1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The Tradition of the Church, referring to certain passages of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:
"With regard to some minor faults, it must be believed that there is, before the trial, a cleansing fire: indeed, He, who is truth says that" if someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age nor in the future".(Mt 12: 32). by this statement it appears that certain sins can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the future".
1032 This teaching is also founded on the practice of prayer for the dead which the Scripture already speaks: "Therefore Judas Maccabeus, offered the atoning sacrifice for the dead, so that they were absolved of sin" (2 Mac 12 45). From the earliest times, the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered vote for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, once purified,they have access to the beatific vision of God. The Church also recommends the alms, indulgences and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: "Let us call to their aid and remember them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why should we doubt that our offerings for the dead reach them comfort? [...]. We should not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer them our prayers".
V. The final judgment
1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:15) precede the final judgment. It will be "the time for all those who are in the tombs will hear his voice (Son of Man) and they will come: few have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment" (Jn 5, 28-29). Then Christ will "come in his glory, with all the angels. [...] And before him shall be gathered all nations, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and sheep will on his right and the goats on his left. [...] and these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life "(Mt 25, 31-33.46).
1039 Before Christ, who is Truth, will definitely laid bare the truth about each man's relationship with God. The final judgment will manifest, until the very end, the good each person has done or omitted in his earthly life: "All the evil that make the wicked is recorded in them and they do not know. The day that God will not be silent "(Ps 50.3) [...]. He will return to the wicked, and they shall say, I was put on earth to my poor little for you. I as their head, sitting in heaven at the right of my Father, but on earth my members were hungry. If you had given my members, your gift would come to your head, that your works came to my treasure: you have not put anything in your hands, so you have found nothing with me".
1040 The final judgment will come in the time of Christ's glorious return. Only the Father knows the day and hour, He alone decides about his coming. Through His Son Jesus then He will decide their final word on all history.We will know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the whole economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways in which the Divine Providence would have led everything you do as your ultimate goal. The final judgment will manifest that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that love is stronger than death..
1041 doomsday message calls to conversion until God gives men "the acceptable time, the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6.2). It inspires a holy fear of God. Committed to the justice of the kingdom of God.It announces "The blessed hope" (Titus 2, 13) the return of the Lord who will "come to be glorified in his saints and to be recognized admirable to all who have believed" (2 Thess. 1:10).
VI. The hope of the new heavens and the new earth
1042 At the end of time, the kingdom of God will reach its plenitud.After the universal judgment the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul, and the universe itself will be renewed:
Then the Church "will be fulfilled [...] in the glory of heaven, when the time comes for the restoration of all things and the human race as well all the world, which is intimately connected with man and through him comes to an end, will be perfectly recapitulated in Christ".
1043 This mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, for the Scriptures is defined by the expression "new heavens and a new earth" (1 Peter 3:13). 639. It will be the definitive realization of God's plan to "unite all things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph. 1:10).
1044 In this new universe, 640 the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men. He "will wipe away every tear from their eyes: there will be no more death or mourning, moaning, desire for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
1045 For the man this compliance will be final the realization of human unity wanted by God from creation and of which the Church in history is "a sacrament". Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, the "Holy City of God (Rev. 21:2), "the Bride of the Lamb"(Rev. 21:9). She no longer be wounded by sin, by impurities, 643 by the selfishness, that destroy sor wounds the earthly community of men. The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the chosen, is a perennial source of joy, peace and mutual communion.
1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound communion of destiny between the material world and man:
"The creation itself eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God [...] with the hope to feed it too her from the bondage of corruption [...]. We know well, in fact, that all creation until today is groaning in travail, she is not alone, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, inwardly groan of children waiting for adoption, the redemption know about our body"(Rom 8: 19-23).
1047 also the visible universe, therefore, is intended for processing "for the world itself would be restored to its original state is, without obstacles, the service of the just," sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.
1048 "We do not know the time of the consummation of the earth and humanity, and we don’t know how to transform the universe. Indeed, the figure of this world, distorted by sin, is passing, but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells and whose blessedness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men".
1049 "But waiting for a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern to develop this earth, where it grows that body of the new humanity which already offers a new outline of the new world. Therefore, although we must distinguish earthly progress of the growth of the Kingdom of Christ, however, the first,insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society, so it concerns to the kingdom of God".
1050 "All these fruits of our nature and our diligence, after having spread them through the land in the Spirit of the Lord, according to its mandate, we find then again, cleansed from all stain, illuminated and transfigured when Christ presents to his Father eternal and universal kingdom. "God will then be "all in all"(1 Cor. 15:22) in eternal life:
Life is subsisting and true Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, poured out upon all without exception heavenly gifts. Thanks to his mercy, we too, have received the unfailing promise of eternal life".
We renew the invitation
If your heart is anxious to do something for the brothers who are grieved by suffering or loneliness, you can greet the Lord with ardor. Prayer is one of the highest forms of charity.
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