The Four Last Things:
Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell
This week I attended an ‘end times’ conference – a loaded concept that is fundamental to how we live our lives. Of the many sub-topics mentioned above, there are haloes which impart great hope. Please stay with me.
Who isn’t afraid of dying???
I was afraid of death – until my mother became ill for a long time. I spent more time sharing my heart with her and prayed daily to Saint Joseph to bring her to a ‘happy death’ meaning for her to experience a peaceful transition. A month before she died, her pastor assured me she was ready to meet God. That’s when I decided to strive for holy transformation – not an impossible feat with God’s grace!
“It is appointed for men to die once.” Hebrews 9:27
The conference presented every aspect of death, particular judgment, heaven, purgatory, hell, the second coming, the resurrection of the dead, the general judgment and finally eternity and the new Jerusalem as found in Holy Scripture. The primary theme echoes ‘don’t wait for transformation until death. Put selfishness to death from vice to virtue and live to be transformed into the mind of Christ.’ The choice is ours to live for good or evil.
I became excited when heaven and the beatific vision was explained. In heaven each one of us will be perfectly unique in beauty and gifts; we will be reunited with our families and friends; our bodies will have special abilities and creation will be restored for our enjoyment; we will be perfectly happy – all done by grace – forever.
Saints who have gone before us recount their secrets to joyful living; they anticipated heavenly delights which influenced their actions, as seen by their haloes on holy cards. They witness to us degrees of holiness in heaven. Jesus said “there are many mansions in my Father’s house.” We will never see our own haloes, but we will see and enjoy God’s love and light in others’ haloes. What loving images haloes will bring to us, don’t you think?
“Live so as not to fear death.
For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening but sweet and precious.”
St. Rose of Viterbo
I hope to see you all in heaven one day!
sincerely, your scribe for love, truth and peace