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YOUCAT Series 19 – What We Believe: “I Believe … in Life Everlasting

Questions 156 to 165
Among the topics studied in this section are the Personal Judgment, the Last Judgment; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

Q. 156
See The Vocation of the Soul to Eternal Life by St Edith Stein:

The individual soul with its unique individuality is thus not something transitory, destined merely to impress upon itself for a limited span of time the stamp of its specific particularity, and during this span of time to hand on this specific particularity to its progeny so as to preserve it beyond the duration of the life of the individual. Rather, the soul is destined for eternal being, and this destination explains why the soul is called upon to be an image of God in a wholly personal manner.

Q. 157
Read The Catholic Encyclopedia on Particular Judgment.

Q. 158
Go to Thirty-five Facts About Eternity by Peter Kreeft:

In the light of Heaven, everything we do and everything we experience takes on two new meanings. On the one hand, everything becomes infinitely more important, more serious, more weighted with glory than before. If we are practicing only for a casual pastime, our practice is not terribly important, but if we are practicing for the world championship, it is.

On the other hand, Heaven makes everything earthly seem light and trivial by comparison. Saint Theresa says that the most horrible, suffering-filled life on Earth, looked at from Heaven, will seem no more than a night in an inconvenient hotel. Saints and martyrs know the value of this life and this world; they love it because God loves it. But they lightly give it all up for Heaven.

Q. 159
See The Obvious Truth About Purgatory by Pope Benedict XVI:

A great many of us hope that there is something in us that can be saved, that there may be in us a final desire to serve God and serve human beings, to live in accordance with God. Yet there are so very many wounds, there is so much filth. We need to be prepared, to be purified. This is our hope: even with so much dirt in our souls, in the end the Lord will give us the possibility, he will wash us at last with his goodness that comes from his cross. In this way he makes us capable of being for him in eternity …

Q. 160
Read Purgatory and Prayer for the Dead:

But the practice of praying for the dead is very ancient. It goes back to Judaism and is mentioned in the second book of Maccabees (2 Mac. 12,43-46). The author tells how a number of Jews, who had fallen in battle, were found with idolatrous amulets, forbidden by the law, and how Judas Maccabeus took up a collection and sent the money to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice offered for their sin.

Q. 161
See How to Win the Culture War by Peter Kreeft.

Q. 162
Read Why Do Some Go To Hell If God Loves Them?:

Love doesn’t always equal nice, clean and pretty. Love isn’t about feeling good. It is about what is best for the other, despite the cost to myself. As a parent this is certainly the case. I see parents make the common mistake of being a friend to their children and end up not disciplining them, which leads to spoiled brats. They then ask how they could have turned out as they did. I remember the first time I punished my oldest child. I cried more than she did. But, I did it because I truly love her.

Q. 163
Read The Catholic Encyclopedia on General Judgment.

Q. 164
This explains the Catholic view compared to other Christian views on the end times.

Q. 165
Find out what the word ‘Amen’ means from here:

Amen is a Hebrew word related to the word for “believe”. It expresses solidity, trustworthiness, faithfulness. “Amen” expresses both God’s faithfulness towards us and our trust in him. (1062)
“Thus the Creed’s final ‘Amen’ repeats and confirms its first words: ‘I believe.’ To believe is to say ‘Amen’ to God’s words, promises and commandments; to entrust oneself completely to him who is the ‘Amen’ of infinite love and perfect faithfulness. The Christian’s everyday life will then be the ‘Amen’ to the ‘I believe’ of our baptismal profession of faith: ‘May your Creed be for you as a mirror. Look at yourself in it, to see if you believe everything you say you believe. And rejoice in your faith each day.'” (1064)
“Jesus Christ himself is the ‘Amen.’ He is the definitive ‘Amen’ of the Father’s love for us. He takes up and completes our ‘Amen’ to the Father: ‘For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.'” (1065)

Reflection Questions
• What is Americanism?
See The Happy-Clappy, Individualist and Subjective Americanist Church.

• What is Humanism?
See True and False Humanism.

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YOUCAT Series 11 – What We Believe: Fallen Man

Questions 67 to 70
A closer look at man’s fallen nature due to original sin; our inclination to sin, or reject God, and the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior.

Q. 67
In this passage called The Catholic View of Sin, it gives a quick snapshot of the Church’s teaching on sin; including mortal and venial sin, indulgences and then focuses some important issues;

Catholic theology divides the punishment for sin into two parts: eternal and temporal (‘temporal’ in this context means lasting only for a limited period of time). Normally, the eternal punishment for sin can be remitted through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as we saw above. However, the church maintains that there is still a temporal punishment to be borne, as all sin is an affront to God. This then leads to the idea of Purgatory as a place where unremitted sin can be removed in the afterlife.

Q. 68
Original sin as looked at in Theology of the Body;

As an expression and symbol of the covenant with God broken in man’s heart, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil delimits and contrasts two diametrically opposed situations and states: that of original innocence and that of original sin, and at the same time man’s hereditary sinfulness which derives from it. However, Christ’s words, which refer to the “beginning,” enable us to find in man an essential continuity and a link between these two different states or dimensions of the human being.

Here is the full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s quotation in this question also.

Q. 69
From Sins of Omission by Archbishop, Cardinal Henry Edward Manning;

Every day of your life pray God to give you light to see yourselves just as He sees you now: to show you what sin is in all its hideousness, in all its subtlety, and to show you those secret sins which now you do not see in yourselves. Every day of your life ask this of God. Remember the young man who came to our Lord, and asked what he should do to inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Our Lord said: “Sell all thou hast and give to the poor, and come and follow me.” (Matt. 19:21).

Q. 70
A great discussion on salvation: Defining Salvation and its 4 Individual Aspects: Sanctification, Redemption, Forgiveness, and Justification

Also, here from the encyclical on the Redeemer of Man;

The Church’s fundamental function in every age and particularly in ours is to direct man’s gaze, to point the awareness and experience of the whole of humanity towards the mystery of God, to help all men to be familiar with the profundity of the Redemption taking place in Christ Jesus. At the same time man’s deepest sphere is involved-we mean the sphere of human hearts, consciences and events.

Reflection Questions
• What is Phenomenology?
See: Philosophy: Edith Stein & the call of the philosophical life

• What is Postmodernism?
See: 7 characteristics of postmodernism in Generation Y