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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, November 27, 2006

At this end of the Church’s Year the theme of Judgment is prominent in the liturgy.
What is personal Judgment? The assessment in the light of the love of God upon us at the moment of our death of our fitness to share His life in Heaven.

What is fitness? Having the life of the Holy Spirit in us.
How do we receive the Holy Spirit? Normally by meeting Christ in the Sacraments, receiving them worthily, that is with a certain openness to God.
What is Heaven? Heaven is the state of being where we are sons and daughters of God the Father by adoption, together praising Him. It is the “fullness of life”.
What is unfitness? Having expelled the Holy Spirit from our lives or having never received His indwelling.

How can this happen? Through our closing in upon ourselves such that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell within us. This is through an unrepented mortal sin. That is taking a course of action that is completely incompatible with the God of Love living within us. This means deliberately doing something revealed by Christ as seriously wrong (e.g. against the ten commandments as interpreted by Christ in the Church), which we know is seriously wrong --- and (deliberately) not saying sorry for it through Confession.

What is Hell? The state of being after death where people wilfully & painfully reject the continuing love of God, in a futile attempt to be the centre of their universe, look down upon all others. It is the final and full wilful failure to follow to respond to God.

What about those who have never had the chance to know God, or Christ or His Catholic Church? If it is not clearly their fault then God can and will still get through in extraordinary ways. This lack of fault can very sadly more easily happen in our secular society. God will always give the grace to resist the temptation to mortal sin – and also to repent of it.

Does that mean it doesn’t really matter what you believe or what Church you belong to? No. The normal human means of coming to know the Father through Christ is through His Church. It will always be best, most wholesome and least risky to come to know Christ explicitly, humanly. It may even affect the depth of our capacity for God in heaven.

Is that not unfair to those who have not been able to hear of Christ or to understand the beauty of his work in the Church? In a sense yes. ‘No man is an island’. We are all ‘our brother’s keeper’. We influence each other for good or ill. We affect each other’s capacity for God. We have an incredible power delegated to us. But through the Cross Christ has ensured that none will be lost who manage to cooperate with him even in a minimal way.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 10:43 am