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158 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

this will happen. But we do know that God will make this hap-

pen. At the end of time, “The universe itself, which is so closely

related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will

be perfectly re-established in Christ.” (LG, no. 48)


We do not like to think about death. There is much in our culture that

distracts us from reflection about our final destiny. We are encouraged

to think only about the present moment and to fulfill today’s needs. But

the Christian embraces the total reality of life and God’s call to the full-

ness of life after death. Thus, for example, Christians assist those whose

earthly journey is coming to an end. “The dying should be given atten-

1. What happens when we die?

By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the

resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body,

transformed by reunion with our soul. Just as Christ is

risen and lives for ever, so all of us will rise at the last day.

(CCC, no. 1016)

2. What is the beatific vision?

Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he

is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s imme-

diate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The

Church calls this contemplation of God in heavenly glory

“the beatific vision.” (CCC, no. 1028)

3. What does the Last Judgment call people to do?

The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conver-

sion while God is still giving them the “acceptable time . . .

the day of salvation.” (CCC, no. 1041, citing 2 Cor 6:2)