Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Catholics Believe

Every now and then, I'm going to share a random teaching/tenant of our faith 'cause it sure seems like there is MUCHO confusion out there--among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Today's pearl is about death. More specifically: What happens to us when we die? The answer that a knowledgeable Catholic will give you just might fall into your new information category. Turns out, it's a two-part saga. Like Rocky I and II. Or Star Wars and the Empire Strikes back. OK, before I date myself any more, here goes:

First, if you've made the cut, so to speak, your immortal soul goes to Heaven. You experience immeasurable love, joy, and happiness as you commune with God and the angels and saints for all eternity. But gets better. Sort of.

When we recite the Creed in Church, we speak of Jesus coming back "to judge the living and the dead." We're not joking around on this point. We believe in the resurrection of the body. At the end of time, all of creation will be judged and chosen bodies will join souls in Heaven. So, a word to the wise...If I were you, I would start thinking about taking care of that sacred vessel. Wouldn't it be a letdown to actually make it into Heaven and then, at the end of time, be reunited with an old broken down hoopty of a body? Talk about motivation for an exercise plan!

As a side note...the Church allows cremation. You just can't be cremated BEFORE your funeral Mass. I don't know how the Lord will put all of those cremated body parts back together but then again, He is, you know, God. Who am I to question His engineering capabilities?

If you think I'm off of my rocker, be sure to reference numbers 686, 999-1000 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I know--not exactly light reading. Still, I thought I ought to provide a source so you don't think I'm making up stuff as I go along. I'll leave that to the nuns. Just kidding.

*Credit also given to "In the Know With Father Joe"--a column written by Fr. Joseph Krupp.


JoannaB said...

This is a good start but maybe it should be expanded on with regards to 'a new body' after death that Jesus will give us and a 'new name' that only He knows and a bit about purgatory. As a Catholic Convert I am always interested to know a bit more about this latter subject.

Leigh said...

Point taken. I've got a few more questions myself.