This is part two of a three-part series on the afterlife. Last week, we started with Hell in order to get it out of the way so we can focus on more hopeful topics. Although we can never fully know what Heaven is like until we get there, there are things that we can know: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him,” (1 Cor 2:9).
Let’s first see how the Catholic Church defines the basics of Heaven.READ MORE
This article is the first in a three-part series on the afterlife – Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory. I am intentionally beginning with Hell in order to facilitate a trajectory of hope, rather than despair, through this series. So, with this being the least hopeful portion, please keep in mind that there is more to come.
Let’s start with a very brief catechesis on judgement. The Catholic Church distinguishes between the particular judgement and the final or last judgement. “The Last Judgement will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming,” (CCC #1040). When this time comes, all things on earth will come to light.READ MORE
Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This feast and devotion was given to us by Jesus Himself through St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, better known as simply St. Faustina. I would like to spend some time explaining this beautiful Catholic devotion.
I will not go into an in-depth biography of St. Faustina’s life, but briefly, she was the third of ten children born to a poor peasant family and given the name Helen in Glogowiec, Poland on August 25, 1905. Even as a child, she exhibited piety, obedience, gentleness, and great devotion to prayer. She felt called to religious life, but her parents were adamantly opposed, so she took on work as a housekeeper to help support her family. Eventually, however, she was able to join the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on August 1, 1925, where she took the name Sister Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. During her time in religious life, Faustina received many visions and communications directly from Jesus and enjoyed a very close relationship with Him. She was also given many sufferings, both physical and spiritual to serve as atonement for all of the sinners of the world because, as we know, with great love comes great suffering and she deeply loved Jesus.READ MORE
A blessed Easter to all, the holiest of days in the entire liturgical calendar. We spent our journey through Lent reflecting on the Stations of the Cross, where we meditated on the tremendous sufferings Jesus endured for us on His ascent to Calvary and His ultimate crucifixion. We then reflected on Palm Sunday and the jubilant celebration in the streets of Jerusalem because the promised Messiah had finally arrived. Imagine the confusion, as well as the emotional and spiritual suffering, all the people experienced – going from the highest of highs on Palm Sunday, to the lowest of lows on Good Friday. Not one of them could have anticipated the cruel execution of their Savior and so they spent three days in darkness, not understanding what had happened or what would come next. Then, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead and gave new meaning to the word hope!READ MORE
Today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. It signifies the day Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem and begins the series of events that mark His final days of life on earth. Palm Sunday itself carries with it much scriptural importance, which we will examine now.
Beginning in the Old Testament, we look to the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was prophesying the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem because the corruption that was occurring within it was very offensive to God. He describes the “vile abominations” (Ez 8:9) occurring within the walls and the “creeping things and loathsome beasts and all the idols of the house of Israel” (Ez 8:10) that are being brought inside. Ezekiel further describes men turning their backs to the temple and its altar to worship the sun in the East (Ez 8:16). Needless to say, the things going on in the temple of the Almighty God were not good and God was not happy about it.READ MORE