Presentation on theme: "“We Believe” Life, Death, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and other weighty matters… Wednesday, April 16."— Presentation transcript:
“We Believe” Life, Death, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and other weighty matters… Wednesday, April 16
Life and Death How can we believe that there is an afterlife? It’s ‘logical’? Why doubt it? Near death experiences? There is no hope without it? What do you mean by afterlife? Does it need to be a ‘personal’ afterlife? Faith is the only sure bet.
Life and Death parent First possibility: nothing but body death
Life and Death Second possibility: reincarnation parent death parent Body Soul
Life and Death parent death Third possibility: soul trapped in body Body Soul
Life and Death parent death Body Soul Catholic proposal: soul and body in union
Life and Death In heaven, the human body and soul will be reunited in new life. Look to the Garden of Eden for a hint: death only came as an effect of sin.
Life and Death What is the destiny of the human person? – Creation in an act of a loving God. – God created out of love to share life and show forth his unique glory. – The destiny of humanity is to be happy with God
Life and Death Sin – Sin defaces creation, making it something God did not intend. – Sin is willful disobedience to the will of the Creator. – Sin makes a person something other than what he was created to be. – Sin turns a person in on himself/herself… it is not about the glory of God, but the glory of self. “You will be gods” – A savior was to be sent to set things right again.
Life and Death Death – Sin is a ‘turning way’ from God. – We were created for life, but in sin we die. – Death is a consequence of sin… – …and that consequence affects all of creation. – The effects of sin from even our earliest ancestors abounds in creation, separating us all from intimate union with God we were created for.
Life and Death: Our Destiny Our destiny is heaven. – In heaven, we find the fulfillment of our savior’s mission, that our life as created beings will be restored to the original perfection of the garden. – We are made for heaven, not for death. The greatest joy of heaven is the “beatific vision”, the happy, blessed vision of God, our creator.
Life and Death Heaven is without time or place in creation. – God is not ‘contained’ in heaven. – Think of it as a ‘state of being’ The “Kingdom” of Heaven Heaven is a pure gift from God. – Heaven is not a reward for the goodness of creation – God alone judges who is in heaven and…
Life and Death So what about sin? Christ came to take away the guilt of sin, placing all sin upon himself as he offered himself to God the Father in sacrifice. Every sin is redeemed in the cross. Jesus, who is the ‘way and the truth and the life’ calls sinners to follow him that they may receive the merits of the cross.
Life and Death Those who accept the cross join Christ in overcoming the power of sin remaining in creation… – an economy of plenty… God’s grace. Those who do not accept the cross of Christ find themselves hopelessly caught in the power of the world – an economy of scarcity… lacking God’s grace.
Life and Death Judgment: – “Particular Judgment” – the judgment each person faces before the throne of God. Are you prepared to partake in the “beatific vision” Pass/Fail? Has that been determined by God or really by the person? What of those who are turned away from God and turned into ones self? – Following our natural death, our ‘orientation’ is set.
Life and Death Can a good God allow Hell to exist? God is a God of Love; he wants to fulfill us with our deepest desire (God himself). If we turn away from God, all we have is what we can see and grasp. (Which isn’t God.) If a person truly refuses to love God, God’s love is punishment in itself.
Life and Death What else is there? Purgatory: a place of purification for those whose love of God is not perfect. Those in purgatory have hope… they know that they are heaven-bound, but they do not have the full vision of God. The sacrifices of the Church assist these souls. Purgatory is ‘resolved’ in the ‘final judgment’ when Jesus returns.
Life and Death Other destinies? – Limbo? – Universal Salvation?
Questions for Consideration Why do you believe in an afterlife? How do you explain heaven to a child? How do you explain heaven to a non-believer? Is Dante right in his vision of hell? Does it make a difference? “Dare we hope that all are saved?” Is this a reasonable hope in your mind? Do you view limbo as part of heaven, part of hell, or something else altogether?