This new website has been set up by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Sections include: What is dying well? Talking about death. Facing death personally. Losing a loved one. Caring for the dying. The address of this new website is http://www.artofdyingwell.org (external link).
Tag Archives: after death
WHAT HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR DEATH?
Every one will be judged [believers and non-believers] at death, as well as at the Last Day: ‘Since men only die once, and after that comes judgment’ (Heb 9:27)”; and in the profession of faith: “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…he will come again to judge the living and the dead.”
FOR EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.
(From the writings of St Alfonsus Liguori.)
MEDITATION FOR THURSDAY. On Judgment.
“Consider how the soul, as soon as it has left the body [soul and body separate at the moment of physical death], will be immediately taken before the tribunal of God, to be judged. Your Judge is Almighty God, offended and enraged with you. Your accusers are the devils, your enemies. You are to be judged for your sins. [God is just and fair, it is your smaller and bigger sins that you wilfully committed where you knew better that punish you.] The judgment is one which cannot be recalled; the punishment is hell.
There, you have no companions, no parents, no friends; you will be alone there, you and your God. Then you will feel all the enormity of your sins, and you will no longer be able to excuse them as you have before. All the sins you have committed, in thought, word, or deed, will be examined; all the sins of over-indulgence, of omission, and of commission [looking on or even abetting someone else/other people doing something wrong and not doing anything against it etc.]. (Here examine into the vast number of your sins.) Everything will be weighed in the great balance of divine justice, and if in any one point you are found guilty, you will be eternally lost. My Jesus, thou who wilt be my judge, pardon me before thou judgest me. (Excite a tender sorrow for your sins and make a firm resolution.)
II. Consider how the divine justice will judge all people in the valley of Jehosaphat, when, at the end of the world, their bodies will arise, that, together with the soul, they may receive reward or punishment according to their works. [Works: e.g. James 2:24, Titus 3:8-11, Matthew 25.] Remember that if condemned, you will again receive your body, which will serve for the eternal prison of your soul. Then will the soul curse the body, and the body the soul, so that body and soul, which are now united in the search for forbidden pleasures, will be again united to torment each other after death. If, on the other hand, you are saved, then will your body arise in perfect beauty, radiant and incapable of suffering, so that both soul and body will be worthy of eternal life.
Thus will this life, like the acting of a drama, end. All the delight, as well as the pomp of this world, will end. All is over then. Nothing remains but two eternities, the one of glory and the other of punishment; one of bliss, the other of misery; one of joy, and the other of suffering; the just in heaven, the sinners in hell. (Examine how you stand, and especially with regard to your besetting sin.) Poor, then, will be that man who has loved the world, and who, for the miserable joys of this world, has lost everything – everything, soul, body, heaven, and God. (Awaken your contrition, and make a firm resolution.)
III. Consider the eternal sentence. Jesus Christ the judge will turn against the reprobate and say: It is all over with you; now, ungrateful souls,all is over! My hour is now come; the hour of truth and justice, the hour of wrath and vengeance. ‘DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE’ (Matt XXV.) Away, ye sinners. You have loved cursing, and now let it come upon you. Accursed be ye all, now and throughout all eternity! Depart from My presence; go, deprived of all you possessed, laden with torments, go into eternal fire! (In view of this judgment, examine yourself on your besetting sin.)
Then will Jesus turn to the elect, and say: “Come, blessed children of My Father, come receive the kingdom which is prepared for you; come, no more to bear the cross with Me, but with Me to wear the crown. Come and be heirs of My kingdom, companions of My glory, come to praise My mercy through all eternity; come from exile to your home, come from misery to joy, come from weeping to rejoicing, come from suffering to eternal rest!’ KCome, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you.’ O my Jesus! I also hope to be among these blessed ones. I love thee above all things. O give me thy blessing now. And do thou, my mother Mary, bless me also. (Make a fervent act of contrition, with a firm resolution to prepare during life for judgment.)”