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Reflections: Catholic Basics Section (Judgment)

Jesus Speaking From Boat

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"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 25:31-46)

"Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 5:25-30)

"[W]e shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So (then) each of us shall give an account of himself (to God)." (Rom 14:10-12)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil." (2 Cor. 5:10)

"Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows" (Gal. 6:7)

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27)

"Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire." (Rv. 20:11-15)

"Fear the day of judgement." (St. Benedict)

"Two events await each person: death and judgment."

"In the day of judgement no one can excuse himself." (Pope Pelagius II, c. 585 A.D.)

"Live in fear of the day of judgement and have a great horror of hell." [St. Benedict (Rule)]

"Let none then doubt that the last judgment will be by Christ Himself." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"When God comes to judge you, you will not be able to say that you did not know what you should have done." (St. John Vianney)

"For no one is redeemed except through unmerited mercy, and no one is condemned except through merited judgment." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"The rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment are heaven, purgatory, or hell." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The resurrection of the dead shall take place at the end of the world, and shall be followed by the General Judgment." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The judgment which will be passed on all men immediately after the general resurrection is called the general judgment." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The judgment which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death is called the particular judgment." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Let no one, because judgement is delayed, tickle himself with flattery in respect to deserved punishment; for His wrath is kindled suddenly." (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church)

"My children, God will not say to us at the Day of Judgment, 'Give Me an account of thy body'; but, 'Give Me an account of thy soul; what hast thou done with it?'" (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"Consider that when the soul quits the body, it must go either to the left hand or to the right. Whither will yours go? Which will be its path? Even such as it has chosen while on earth." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Most just is it also that He who was most iniquitously condemned by the judgment of men should Himself be afterwards seen by all men sitting in judgment on all." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The Sacred Scriptures inform us that the general judgment will be preceded by these three principal signs: the preaching of the Gospel throughout the world, a falling away from the faith, and the coming of Antichrist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"We always have two secretaries: the devil, who writes down our bad actions, to accuse us of them; and our good angel, who writes down our good ones, to justify us at the Day of Judgment." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"Nothing but crosses will reassure us at the Day of Judgment. When that day shall come, we shall be happy in our misfortunes, proud of our humiliations, and rich in our sacrifices!" (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"We know that we shall all stand before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may receive in accord with those things he did in the body, whether good or evil, and not according to what he might have done had he lived longer." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Q: "If everyone is judged immediately after death, why will there be a general judgment?" A: "Although everyone is judged immediately after death, it is fitting that there be a general judgment in order that the justice, wisdom, and mercy of God may be glorified in the presence of all." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Our catechism tells us, my children, that all men will undergo a particular judgment on the day of their death. No sooner shall we have breathed our last sigh than our soul, without leaving the place where it has expired, will be presented before the tribunal of God. Wherever we may die, God is there to exercise His justice." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

Q: "If every one has to be judged by Jesus Christ in particular judgment immediately after death, why must all be judged in the general judgment?" A: "We must all be judged in the general judgment for several reasons: (1) That God may be glorified; (2) That Jesus Christ may be glorified; (3) That the Saints may be glorified; (4) That the wicked may be confounded; (5) That along with the soul the body may receive its sentence of reward or punishment." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Since we know these things and are well aware of that terrible day and of that fire, and have in mind those terrible torments, let us turn aside at last from the path on which we have strayed. For the hour will come when the theater of this world will be dissolved, after which there will be no more contending for the prize, no more exertions to be made after the end of this life, no more crowns to be merited after the collapse of this theater. This is the time for repentance, that the time of judgment." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Moreover, we declare that according to the common arrangement of God, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin immediately after their death descend to hell where they are tortured by infernal punishments, and that nevertheless on the day of judgment all men with their bodies will make themselves ready to render an account of their own deeds before the tribunal of Christ, 'so that everyone may receive the proper things of the body according as he has done whether it be good or evil' [2 Cor. 5:10]." (Pope Benedict XII, 1336 A.D.)

"Since 'in many things we all offend' (Jas. 3:2), each one ought to keep severity and judgment in view as well as mercy and goodness. Neither should anyone pass judgment on himself, even if he is conscious of no wrong, because the entire life of man should be examined and judged not by human judgment, but by the judgment of God who 'will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and make manifest the counsels of hearts; and then everyone will have his praise from God' (1 Cor 4:5), who, as it is written, will render to every man according to his works (see Rom 2:6)." (Council of Trent)

"Notwithstanding the uncertainty of death, the uncertainty of the judgment conduces to watchfulness in two ways. First, as regards the thing ignored, since its delay is equal to the length of man's life, so that on either side uncertainty provokes him to greater care. Secondly, for the reason that a man is careful not only of his own person, but also of his family, or of his city or kingdom, or of the whole Church, the length of whose duration is not dependent on the length of man's life. And yet it behooves each of these to be so ordered that the day of the Lord find us not unprepared." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We shall rise again, therefore, our souls united again to our bodies, the latter now made incorruptible and having put corruption aside; and we shall stand before the awesome tribunal of Christ. And the devil and his demons, and the man that is his, the Antichrist, and the impious and the sinners shall be consigned to everlasting fire, not material fire such as we know, but such fire as God would know. And those who have performed good actions will shine like the sun with the angels in eternal life, with our Lord Jesus Christ, seeing Him forever and being ever in His sight, and deriving increasing joy from Him, praising Him with Father and Holy Spirit in the infinite ages of ages. Amen." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"I think that not all who have received this earthly body will be judged in the same way by the just Judge; for there are external circumstances far different with each of us which must cause judgement to vary for each of us. The combination of circumstances to which we are subject and which are not in our power but are involuntary, makes our sins more grievous or even renders them lighter...[If someone who falls into sin] had many invitations to better things - education, teachers, hearing more divine discussions, salutary readings...if he falls into the same sin as the other [who did not have these things], how were it possible, when he is called to account for his life, that he would not be deserving of a more severe penalty than the other?" (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Oh, what a day that will be, and how great when it comes, dearest brethren! When the Lord begins to survey His people and to recognize by examining with divine knowledge the merits of each individual! To cast into hell evildoers, and to condemn our persecutors to the eternal fire and punishing flame! And indeed, to present to us the reward of faith and devotion! What will be that glory, and how great the joy of being admitted to the sight of God! To be so honored as to receive the joy of eternal light and salvation in the presence of Christ the Lord, your God! To greet Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the patriarchs, apostles, prophets, and martyrs! To rejoice with the just and with the friends of God in the Kingdom of heaven, in the delight of the immortality that will be given! To receive there what eye has not seen nor ear heard, what has entered into the heart of man!" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 253 A.D.)

"It has likewise defined, that, if those truly penitent have departed in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by the worthy fruits of penance for sins of commission and omission, the souls of these are cleansed after death by purgatorial punishments; and so that they may be released from punishments of this kind, the suffrages of the living faithful are of advantage to them, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other works of piety, which are customarily performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the institutions of the Church. And that the souls of those, who after the reception of baptism have incurred no stain of sin at all, and also those, who after the contraction of the stain of sin whether in their bodies, or when released from the same bodies, as we have said before, are purged, are immediately received into heaven, and see clearly the one and triune God Himself just as He is, yet according to the diversity of merits, one more perfectly than another. Moreover, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds." (Council of Florence, 1439 A.D.)

"For I confess that all men from Adam, even to the consummation of the world, having been born and having died with Adam himself and his wife, who were not born of other parents, but were created, the one from the earth, the other... however, from the rib of the man [cf. Gen. 2:7, 22], will then rise again and stand before the Judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he has done, whether it be good or bad [Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10]; and indeed by the very bountiful grace of God he will present the just, as vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory [Rom. 9:23], with the rewards of eternal life; namely, they will live without end in the society of the angels without any fear now of their own fall; the wicked, however, remaining by choice of their own with vessels of wrath fit for destruction [Rom. 9:22], who either did not know the way of the Lord, or knowing it left it when seized by various transgressions, He will give over by a very just judgment to the punishment of eternal and inextinguishable fire, that they may burn without end. This, then, is my faith and hope, which is in me by the gift of the mercy of God, in defense of which blessed Peter taught [cf. 1 Pet 3:15] that we ought to be especially ready to answer everyone who asks us for an accounting." (Pope Pelagius, from the letter "Humani generis" to Childebert I, 557 A.D.) 

"[T]he details mentioned in the Gospels and Epistles in connection with the last advent are not sufficient to enable us to determine the time of the judgment, for the trials that are foretold as announcing the proximity of Christ's coming occurred even at the time of the Early Church, in a degree sometimes more sometimes less marked; so that even the days of the apostles were called the last days (Acts 2:17) when Peter expounded the saying of Joel 2:28, 'It shall come to pass in the last days,' etc., as referring to that time. Yet it was already a long time since then: and sometimes there were more and sometimes less afflictions in the Church. Consequently it is impossible to decide after how long a time it will take place, nor fix the month, year, century, or thousand years as Augustine says in the same book (Ep. 199 ad Hesychius). And even if we are to believe that at the end these calamities will be more frequent, it is impossible to fix what amount of such calamities will immediately precede the judgment day or the coming of Antichrist, since even at the time of the Early Church persecutions were so bitter, and the corruptions of error were so numerous, that some looked forward to the coming of Antichrist as being near or imminent; as related in Eusebius' History of the Church vi,7 and in Jerome's book De Viris Illustribus lii." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But, perhaps there are some rich people, who, although they are not wont to help the Church's poor by bounteous gifts, yet keep other commands of God, and among their many meritorious acts of faith and uprightness think they will be pardoned for the lack of this one virtue. But this is so important that, though the rest exist without it, they can be of no avail. For although a man be full of faith, and chaste, and sober, and adorned with other still greater decorations, yet if he is not merciful, he cannot deserve mercy: for the Lord says, 'blessed are the merciful, for God shall have mercy upon them.' And when the Son of Man comes in His Majesty and is seated on His glorious throne, and all nations being gathered together, division is made between the good and the bad, for what shall they be praised who stand upon the right except for works of benevolence and deeds of love which Jesus Christ shall reckon as done to Himself? For He who has made man's nature His own, has separated Himself in nothing from man's humility. And what objection shall be made to those on the left except for their neglect of love, their inhuman harshness, their refusal of mercy to the poor? as if those on the right had no other virtues and those on the left no other faults. But at the great and final day of judgment large-hearted liberality and ungodly meanness will be counted of such importance as to outweigh all other virtues and all other shortcomings, so that for the one men shall gain entrance into the Kingdom, for the other they shall be sent into eternal fire." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Some men have held the opinion that the souls of the saints shall not be rewarded in heaven, nor the souls of the lost punished in hell, until the Judgment-day. That this is false appears from the testimony of the Apostle (2 Corinthians 5:8), where he says: 'We are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body, and to be present with the Lord': that is, not to walk by faith but by sight, as appears from the context. But this is to see God in His Essence, wherein consists eternal life, as is clear from John 17:3. Hence it is manifest that the souls separated from bodies are in eternal life. Consequently, it must be maintained that after death man enters into an unchangeable state as to all that concerns the soul: and therefore there is no need for postponing judgment as to the reward of the soul. But since there are some other things pertaining to a man which go on through the whole course of time, and which are not foreign to the Divine judgment, all these things must be brought to judgment at the end of time. For although in regard to such things a man neither merits nor demerits, still in a measure they accompany his reward or punishment. Consequently all these things must be weighed in the final judgment... Although the reward or punishment of the body depends upon the reward or punishment of the soul, nevertheless, since the soul is changeable only accidentally, on account of the body, once it is separated from the body it enters into an unchangeable condition, and receives its judgment. But the body remains subject to change down to the close of time: and therefore it must receive its reward or punishment then, in the last Judgment." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Each man is both an individual person and a part of the whole human race: wherefore a twofold judgment is due to him. One, the particular judgment, is that to which he will be subjected after death, when he will receive according as he hath done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10), not indeed entirely but only in part since he will receive not in the body but only in the soul. The other judgment will be passed on him as a part of the human race: thus a man is said to be judged according to human justice, even when judgment is pronounced on the community of which he is a part. Hence at the general judgment of the whole human race by the general separation of the good from the wicked, it follows that each one will be judged. And yet God will not judge 'the same thing a second time,' since He will not inflict two punishments for one sin, and the punishment which before the judgment was not inflicted completely will be completed at the last judgment, after which the wicked will be tormented at the same time in body and soul... The sentence proper to this general judgment is the general separation of the good from the wicked, which will not precede this judgment. Yet even now, as regards the particular sentence on each individual, the judgment does not at once take full effect since even the good will receive an increase of reward after the judgment, both from the added glory of the body and from the completion of the number of the saints. The wicked also will receive an increase of torment from the added punishment of the body and from the completion of the number of damned to be punished, because the more numerous those with whom they will burn, the more will they themselves burn.... The general judgment will regard more directly the generality of men than each individual to be judged, as stated above. Wherefore although before that judgment each one will be certain of his condemnation or reward, he will not be cognizant of the condemnation or reward of everyone else. Hence the necessity of the general judgment." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"I answer that, Judgment cannot be passed perfectly upon any changeable subject before its consummation: just as judgment cannot be given perfectly regarding the quality of any action before its completion in itself and in its results: because many actions appear to be profitable, which in their effects prove to be hurtful. And in the same way perfect judgment cannot be passed upon any man before the close of his life, since he can be changed in many respects from good to evil, or conversely, or from good to better, or from evil to worse. Hence the Apostle says (Hebrews 9:27): 'It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the Judgment.' But it must be observed that although man's temporal life in itself ends with death, still it continues dependent in a measure on what comes after it in the future. In one way, as it still lives on in men's memories, in which sometimes, contrary to the truth, good or evil reputations linger on. In another way in a man's children, who are so to speak something of their parent, according to Ecclesiasticus 30:4: 'His father is dead, and he is as if he were not dead, for he hath left one behind him that is like himself.' And yet many good men have wicked sons, and conversely. Thirdly, as to the result of his actions: just as from the deceit of Arius and other false leaders unbelief continues to flourish down to the close of the world; and even until then faith will continue to derive its progress from the preaching of the apostles. In a fourth way, as to the body, which is sometimes buried with honor and sometimes left unburied, and finally falls to dust utterly. In a fifth way, as to the things upon which a man's heart is set, such as temporal concerns, for example, some of which quickly lapse, while others endure longer. Now all these things are submitted to the verdict of the Divine Judgment; and consequently, a perfect and public Judgment cannot be made of all these things during the course of this present time. Wherefore, there must be a final Judgment at the last day, in which everything concerning every man in every respect shall be perfectly and publicly judged." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"When shall we die? Alas! will it be in a year, in a month? Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps today! May not that happen to us which happens to so many others? It may be that at a moment when you are thinking of nothing but amusing yourself, you may be summoned to the judgment of God, like the impious Baltassar. What will then be the astonishment of that soul entering on its eternity? Surprised, bewildered, separated thenceforth from its relations and friends, and, as it were, surrounded with Divine light, it will find in its Creator no longer a merciful Father, but an inflexible Judge. Imagine to yourselves, my children, a soul at its departure from this life. It is going to appear before the tribunal of its Judge, alone with God; there is Heaven on one side, Hell on the other. What object presents itself before it? The picture of its whole life! All its thoughts, all its words, all its actions, are examined. This examination will be terrible, my children, because nothing is hidden from God. His infinite wisdom knows our most inmost thoughts; it penetrates to the bottom of our hearts, and lays open their innermost folds. In vain sinners avoid the light of day that they may sin more freely; they spare themselves a little shame in the eyes of men, but it will be of no advantage to them at the day of judgment; God will make light the darkness under cover of which they thought to sin with impunity. The Holy Ghost, my children, says that we shall be examined on our words, our thoughts, our actions; we shall be examined even on the good we ought to have done, and have not done, on the sins of others of which we have been the cause. Alas! so many thoughts to which we abandon ourselves - to which the mind gives itself up; how many in one day! in a week! in a month! in a year! How many in the whole course of our life! Not one of this infinite number will escape the knowledge of our Judge. The proud man must give an account of all his thoughts of presumption, of vanity, of ambition; the impure of all his evil thoughts, and of the criminal desires with which he has fed his imagination. Those young people who are incessantly occupied with their dress, who are seeking to please, to distinguish themselves, to attract attention and praise, and who dare not make themselves known in the tribunal of Penance, will they be able still to hide themselves at the day of the judgment of God? No, no! They will appear there such as they have been during their life, before Him who makes known all that is most secret in the heart of man. We shall give an account, my children, of our oaths, of our imprecations, of our curses. God hears our slanders, our calumnies, our free conversations, our worldly and licentious songs; He hears also the discourse of the impious. This is not all, my children; God will also examine our actions. He will bring to light all our unfaithfulness in His service, our forgetfulness of His Commandments, our transgression of His law, the profanation of His churches, the attachment to the world, the ill-regulated love of pleasure and of the perishable goods of earth. All, my children, will be unveiled; those thefts, that injustice, that usury, that intemperance, that anger, those disputes, that tyranny, that revenge, those criminal liberties, those abominations that cannot be named without blushes..." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

Also See: All Are Tried / Those Who Are Lost Could Have Been Saved | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity (Sacraments Section Reflections) | There is No Confession After Death (Sacraments Section Reflections) | Now is the Time for Repentance | Fear of God | Heaven | Hell / Eternal Damnation | Purgatory | Suffering & Death (Catholic Life Section) | Resurrection | Second Coming | Jesus Christ | No Salvation Outside the Church | Sin | Mortal Sin | Original Sin | Salvation | Few Are Saved | Repentance | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section) | Evil / Satan / Devil | Tough Love in the New Testament | Do All 'Good People' Go To Heaven? / No Salvation Outside the Church | Heaven (Topical Scripture) | Hell (Topical Scripture) | Judgment (Topical Scripture)  

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* Death (Topic Page)

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* Sin (Topic Page)

* Jesus' Second Coming (Topic Page)


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Includes: 365+ Daily Prayers (Jan.-Dec.); Holiday/Seasonal Prayers; Hundreds of Prayers Indexed by Title; Nearly 200 Aspirations/Short Prayers; Over 100 Latin Prayers & Aspirations; 500+ Topics for Meditation; Hundreds of Prayer Tips & Insights; And More...

Includes prayers drawn from Holy Scripture, the liturgy, writings of popes & saints, the Raccolta, the Roman Breviary, the Roman Missal, etc.

A daily prayer companion for Catholics that is 'suitable for any year'!

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Catholic Educational Series, Book 1:

Catholic Bible Facts

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Includes: Bible Facts: Q & A (Over 250 Questions!); Books of the Bible (Info./Lists); The Psalms (Lists); The Beatitudes; Jesus' Parables; Jesus' Emphasized Statements

"I learned a lot from this book, even though I'm Catholic educated and know quite a bit about the Bible." (CBF Previewer)

Kindle Version Just $6.99

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Catholic Bible References (Click For More Information)

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