The Catholic Defender: The Last Four Things, Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven
Pope St. Pius X once said, "All the strength of Satan's reign is due to the easy going weakness of Catholics".
Pope Felix III once said, "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them".
Pope Leo XIII once said, "To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth is the part of a man devoid of character or who entertains doubt as truth of what he professes to believe. The only ones who wins when Christians stay quiet are the enemies of truth. The silence of Catholics is particularly disturbing because frequently a few bold word's would have vanquished the false ideas".
The four last things that are true at all times. In the United States today, despite Modernism, nothing that man does any where can change the ultimate outcome. We do well by holding onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His holy Catholic Church that is the answer.
Death is the ultimate consequence of sin and a fallen race. It is the separation of the Soul from the body. In America, especially from a military foundation, we prepare for death by insuring Wills are done, Life Insurance, Funerals, taking care of family in case of death for the Soldier on the battlefield.
Yet, the secularization of America is really challenging life in that we somehow think we are invincible. We really are not. Living life we do have short term-long term plans. Consider 100 years from now, what is the most important thing for us? In eternity, our salvation is the most important. Yes, I love my passions, I love my family, what God has given me. My Kansas City Chiefs have finally won a Super Bowl and could win another one! There are things we must do to be responsible in this life. Following our Catholic Faith is number one, but how many are living it?
2 Corinthians 6:1-3 states, Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in any one’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,
The death of a sinner is the worst thing - reality for eternity. Covid-19 not withstanding, here is today's average death toll around the world:
8 deaths per 1000 per day
1.80 deaths per second
105 deaths per minute
6,316 deaths per hour
151,600 deaths per day
4,608,333 deaths per month
55,300,000 deaths per year
For many these statistics simply become numbers read in a newspaper, unless it is close to home we are not preparing ourselves for eternity. Jesus warns:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many." Matthew 7:13
God in the past have established a series of Covenants with mankind, we see them from the beginning:
Adam and Eve was a Covenant of Marriage
Noah was a Covenant of family
Abraham was a Tribal-Covenant
Moses became a national Covenant
King David became a kingdom dynasty
Jesus became a world wide Covenant, a Catholic Covenant
John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life".
In the New Testament God promises five crowns to those who pick up their cross and follow him.
1. The Incorruptible Crown - For mastery over sin. "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath (crown), but we an imperishable". 1 Corinthians 9:25
From the context, through the discipline of our bodies, the training and living our faith, we overcome sin and death.
2. The Crown of Righteousness - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing". 1 Corinthians 9:25
3. The Crown of Life - "Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him". James 1:12
4. The Crown of Joy - For leading other to Christ and His holy Catholic Faith, "Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved". Philippians 4:1
5. The Crown of Gory - For fulfilling your calling and finishing the work assigned: "And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory". 1 Peter 5:4
The Greek word Martus is where the word Martyr is derived. Jesus said that His Church will be His witnesses until the end of the age. St. Stephen is known as the first such martyr of the Catholic faith, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God". Acts 7:56
We also read of the Woman of Revelation 12:1 having a Crown of 12 Stars showing that the Virgin Mary is the Queen of Heaven. Psalms 45:9
These Crowns are promises that the faithful will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, this should be our long term goal in this life. Everything we do should be with the coming Judgement in our preparation of the Coming of the King.
In this Judgement we will be judged by our Virtues or by our vices. All mankind will have to endure this judgement. Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save it. This is His purpose of establishing the Catholic Faith, to help prepare us for His Second Coming:
"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”. John 20:23
"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation". 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
"And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal". 1 John 5:15-17
As Catholic, we should go to Confession often:
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare especially if you have committed Mortal Sin.
Pray for final repentance - the State of Grace
Rosary/Sacred Heart, the First Five Saturdays and other important Catholic Devotions
Don't waste time, avoid Sloth - time counts - tic-toc-tic-toc
Acts of charity - works and prayer
"My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins". James 5:19-20
One Confession is worth more than a hundred exorcisms. Do not conceal your sins in the Confessional. Proverbs 28:13 states, "Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy". There are four important steps to Reconciliation with God through His Church:
Contrition - sorrow for sin
Confession - do not conceal
The Confession goes as follows:
Enter the Confession, make the decision to go
Begin your Confession
Confess your sins giving a good examination of conscience
Say an Act of Contrition
Receive Absolution - This is important, when we die, this mercy seat will carry God's Judgement
The Priest giving Absolution will state:
"God, the Father of mercies through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins: Through the Ministry of the Church may God give pardon and peace and I absolve your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".
To hear this should send thrills up your spine. This is what we all should hear if we are in the State of Grace.
Concerning the prayers of the Divine Mercy, Jesus said:
"The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the Conversion for Sinners. Know, my Daughter (St. Faustina), that this prayer is always heard and answered."
If a teacher pounds the desk, stomps on the floor preparing for a text, perhaps we should take note on the answers. Hosea 4:6 warns, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children".
Jesus says "You are either with me or against me. You either gather with me or you scatter". Matthew 12:30
At the end of each life, the demons come to claim their property, the soul of the unrepentant Sinner as St. Paul warns, "The wages of sin is death". Romans 6:23
From Scripture and divine Revelation I can write books on the subjects of Heaven and Hell. For this writing I will share a couple of examples from Jesus revelation to St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy:
St. Faustina shares a vision of Hell that should be a wake up call:
"The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes Hell is the loss of God; the second is the perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it - a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. (...) Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. (...) But I noticed on thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terrible souls suffer there!" (Diary of St. Faustina, 741)
Heaven has a whole different future for the faithful, 1 Corinthians 15:55 states, " For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? Where, O death, is thy sting?”
The Lord gave St. Faustina another revelation that hopefully we all prefer: "Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in it essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures".
Pope St. Pius X one day asked a group of his Cardinals "What is the need to save society"
One Cardinal responds, "Build Catholic Schools". Another cried out "build more churches", and another answered, "speed up the recruiting of priests".
Pope St. Pius X responds, "No, the most necessary thing of all at this time is for every parish to posses a group of laymen who will be at the same time virtuous, enlightened, resolute, and truly Apostolic".
We must train ourselves to be leaders among our families, our country, and the world for all who have recourse to follow Christ into His Kingdom.