Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We're very excited. Advent is just around the corner. We'll spend all that time having too much fun, and then we'll have even more fun during Christmas time. Sister St. Aloysius saw something in a magazine about making little advent calendar bags and since her successful Halloween candy making binge she has been scouring the internet for Christmas candy recipes to put in the little bags.
I sense a meltdown coming on. Pardon the pun. But I think her plan involves making a set of these bags for whoever wants a set. Each bag has a number on it for the calendar day and candy inside. That's a lot of bags, a lot of days, a lot of numbers and a load of candy. I picture myself cutting out felt numbers until I have freed everyone from Purgatory with my suffering. Whoever thought that felt was a fun and easy thing to work with? I'd like to meet that person and cover her in felt bags with numbers on them and ride her out of town on a rail, which shall henceforth be known as "bag and felting". Less cruel than tar, but certainly right to the point.
I thought I should get this messy question out of the way before the festive season begins.
Question: As a Catholic in a state of grace (no mortal sin on my soul), and having received five out of seven of the sacraments - can I assume I will go to Heaven someday after a "stint" in Purgatory? If so, how does the "final judgment" enter into this? What does the final judgment mean - when Jesus will "come again to judge the living and the dead"? Surely the people who died already have gone to either Hell, Purgatory or Heaven by now. I don't really understand. I also don't understand what it means about Jesus "spewing out of His mouth" those who are lukewarm - what if they don't have any mortal sins on their souls, but aren't exactly zealous Christians? Does that "spewing" mean He is condemning them to Hell? Thank you for your time - Penelope Purgatory
I don't know.
Yes, I do. I'm just not sure I have a firm grasp on the concepts because I try never to think about the Last Judgment. I hope I just get reunited with my body and get to shuffle off to Heaven. We all have our dreams.
Here is my understanding: If you drop dead right now, your body stays here and rots. Your soul heads off to Heaven, or Purgatory, if you've managed to lead some sort of decent life. If you haven't, your soul will go to Hell forever. Terrible news for you. That happens because when you die, you have a personal judgment.
The Last Judgement is a general judgment. During the Last Judgment, Jesus comes back and you are reunited with your body. I know, it rotted away to nothing, but it's back. It's in great shape. Even if you never liked your chin, you'll love it now. Cellulite? What cellulite?
Why do you get your body back? You don't really need it in heaven.
You get it back so that you can feel even more bliss.
If you've gone to Hell, you'll get it back so you can feel even more suffering. If you're missing any parts now, you'll get them back, too, so you can have two legs to burn in Hell forever instead of one. Rohm Emanuel with have his finger back, for example.
So that will be a big party for some people and some terrible news for others. During all of that, Jesus will judge the nations. That's because sins have a way of hanging around and being repeated by generation after generation. Is America the best country in the world? We'll see. In my opinion, just like Lucy, we have some s'plainin' to do.
Here's how New Advent explains what will happen and what it's all about. Prepare ye the way for your eye to glaze over:
The Roman Catechism thus explains why, besides the particular judgment of each individual, a general one should also be passed on the assembled world: "The first reason is founded on the circumstances that most augment the rewards or aggravate the punishments of the dead. Those who depart this life sometimes leave behind them children who imitate the conduct of their parents, descendants, followers; and others who adhere to and advocate the example, the language, the conduct of those on whom they depend, and whose example they follow; and as the good or bad influence or example, affecting as it does the conduct of many, is to terminate only with this world; justice demands that, in order to form a proper estimate of the good or bad actions of all, a general judgment should take place. . . . Finally, it was important to prove, that in prosperity and adversity, which are sometimes the promiscuous lot of the good and of the bad, everything is ordered by an all-wise, all-just, and all-ruling Providence: it was therefore necessary not only that rewards and punishments should await us in the next life but that they should be awarded by a public and general judgment."
Speaking of glaze, I'm not looking forward to cleaning the stove again, either. Purgatory will be empty soon.
As for the spewing...I think we have to take the New Testament to mean what it says. That's why the Catholic church has all sorts of fun and interesting ways to keep you worked up about God. Advent wreaths and nativity scenes, lenten candles and Easter baskets, martyrs and shrines, rosaries and missals. It's like a continual pep rally. That's exactly why we're making advent calendar candy bags. The sugar rush should help your excitement level some, too.