Category: Four Last Things

Some articles may overlap between this section and the spiritual life, but, in general, here you will find any postings that treat of death, the judgment, heaven, or hell. Purgatory also fits into this category, closely associated as it is with judgment. Three of the four last things are inevitable for us all. The purpose of meditating on these realities is to instill a wholesome fear of God and a dread of His power, especially His power to cast into hell. Eternity may also be a proper subject for this section because it is the measure of duration that the saved will experience forever. Technically, the life of the damned is everlasting, not eternal. Only God lives in eternity, for that immutable now belongs to His own nature, which is without beginning or end, past or future. The blessed share in His eternal life, so their everlasting happiness, or beatitude, is also called eternal life. The beatific vision of God is eternal life. “This is eternal life,” Jesus taught His apostles, “to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent” (John 17:3).


My first thought when I saw in my e-mail one morning a few weeks ago that Sister Mary Bernadette had died: What would things be like at the Center now that she was gone? I wasn’t wondering what they would … Continue reading

The Real Gospel of Life

The moral teachings of the Church are of a piece with her teachings on faith. Christ’s supernatural revelation to the Church, along with the natural law also entrusted to her, constitute a “seamless garment”1 of truth about God, man, and … Continue reading

Proving Purgatory

The doctrine of Purgatory, central to Christianity, is brutally attacked by certain non-Catholic polemicists. Their typical view of the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory is that it was either concocted by the Church in the Middle Ages for filthy lucre’s sake, … Continue reading

The Fire of Pentecost

Summer begins on my calendar after our May Procession. In meteorological time, it begins June 1. What this means is that the season of summer extends through the warmest months of the year, which in the Northern Hemisphere are June, … Continue reading

Who is next?

It need not be the one, expecting to depart, The one with the ailing lungs or failing heart. Not always one engaged in a bloody strife Or one embracing danger in a ventureful life.

Imagine There’s No Hell

The doctrine of hell is certainly not one of our faith’s more consoling teachings. Neither is it especially attractive to outsiders (ever hear someone say, “I converted because of your teachings on hell”?). Nor, finally, does it produce the most … Continue reading

Apocalypse Now

Imagine that you are thrust into the most captivating film plot about the end of the world. Reality as it is portrayed in the most special-effects-ridden movie Hollywood can make, complete with a Hans Zimmer musical score, suddenly and inescapably … Continue reading