About Me

My photo
Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Sister, can you help me sort out some things regarding the Hereafter? On the one hand, we've got Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, with the assumption that people go to one or the other of these places when they die. On the other hand, we've got the Last Judgement, when Christ will come and sort everybody out to the place they're supposed to go for the rest of eternity. My understanding is that "everybody" means both the living-on-earth and the already-dead-on-earth-but-whose-souls-are-living-someplace-else-now. Am I wrong? Will Christ only sort out the quick and not the dead? Or am I just confused all the way around? Because I don't get how people can now be in heaven or hell AND have Christ later make a last judgement on their souls when the end times come.

It's not rocket science.

Here you go, into the afterlife.

1. You are a saint, or die the death of a martyr.  Straight to Heaven with you.  We'll be asking for you intercession and congratulations on your canonization!

2. You are normal.  You're not a bad person. You're fairly decent. You try hard.  But you've never been able to forgive Aunt Minnie for totaling your car that New Year's Eve in 1982.  You have worn your skirts too short until someone pulled you aside and explained to you that you're 52 and no one is interested in your thighs.  You feel entitled to some paper clips and legal pads from work because heaven knows they don't pay you enough. You're jealous of your sister.  You don't even know why.
Purgatory for you, my dear. We don't know for how long.  We'll pray for your fast release.  Watch for St. Patrick.  Some believe he delivers a few souls every Saturday. You might want to shoot for a Friday passing.

3.  You are Hitler.  Straight to Hell with you.

(Now....we never say that anyone is in Hell for sure. Even Hitler.  In his final moments, he may have realized what he did wrong and been deeply sorry and asked Jesus for forgiveness.  Short of that, straight to Hell.)

So that's that.  But....

4. You're still alive when the Mayan calendar gives out and here comes Jesus.  You've lived until Judgment day.  Scary!  There's no time left for Purgatory, so Jesus is going to have to make a snap assessment.  Heaven or Hell for you?

So, you might want to check your hemline now, because we both know the Mayans have no clue when Judgment day will actually occur.  You will be so chagrined if the ground opens up and swallows you, as you watch Aunt Minnie get shot up to Heaven because she was so very sorry about your car and she never touched another drop.

The Last Judgment is for people who are alive to experience it. Everyone else is already where they are going or about to go.  Heaven and Hell are permanent.  Purgatory is a guarantee of an eventual trip to Heaven.

Does this help?  Because otherwise you can do what I do when I don't understand what God is planning.  Chalk it up to  "It's a Sacred Mystery"  which is "Catholic" for "just let it go."


Muffy's Marks said...

Why Sister, just trust in the Lord, he will guide you, whether the calender ends, and the world as we know it ends, or we get to live out our lives to the fullest. Just trust and let the rest up to Him.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, I love that cartoon about the Mayan calendar!


Wendy said...

I thought the judgement after you die is the "personal judgement" and at the end of time is the "general judgement" at which all people (the quick and the dead) will be united to their glorified bodies (which will be doubly great if you then go to heaven and doubly bad if you go to hell).

Cynthia said...

Hey Sister! I was wondering if you could explain how to pray the Rosary? There seems to be so many different Rosaries, and they have many Saints medals, is there one in particular you reccommend for a beginner like me? Thanks!