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Chapter 7: The Church as a Communion of Saints

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Title: Chapter 7: The Church as a Communion of Saints


1
Chapter 7 The Church as a Communion of Saints
  • THE CHURCH Sacrament of Salvation

2
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Anticipatory Set
  • Work with a partner to analyze the use of the
    word communion in the difficult, four-paragraph
    excerpt from the Congregation for the Doctrine of
    the Faith that begins this chapter.

3
1. The Communion of Saints
  • BASIC QUESTIONS
  • What is the Communion of Saints?
  • What is an indulgence?
  • What is a saint?
  • KEY IDEAS
  • The Communion of Saints is the unity of all the
    members of the Mystical Body of Christ on earth,
    in Purgatory, and in Heaven.
  • The members of the Mystical Body of Christ on
    earth can assist the members in Purgatory through
    indulgences, that is, remission of the temporal
    punishment due to sin that is already forgiven.
  • A saint is a member of the Churchthe Mystical
    Body of Christon earth, in Purgatory, or in
    Heaven. The Church may declare officially a
    member of the Church in Heaven to be a saint by
    canonization, adding him or her to the calendar
    and promoting his or her public veneration.

4
1. The Communion of Saints
  • THE CHURCH AS A COMMUNION OF SAINTS
  •  
  • What is the relationship between the holy
    catholic Church and the communion of saints?
  • In a sense they mean the same thing.
  •  
  • In the present phase of salvation history, what
    are the three states in which the Church exists?
  • (1) The Church Militant, which is the Pilgrim
    Church on earth, is comprised of Christs
    faithful on earth (2) the Church Suffering is
    comprised of those in Purgatory who have died in
    communion with God but who have not yet been
    purified fully and (3) the Church Triumphant is
    comprised of the heavenly Church in glory.
  •  
  • What is the Communion of Saints?
  • It is the union within the Church between God and
    man and among men.

5
1. The Communion of Saints
  • What is the work of the entire Church in all
    three states?
  • To continue the saving work of Jesus Christ.
  •  
  • What is the work of the Church Triumphant?
  • To intercede for the Church on earth.
  •  
  • What is the work of the Church Militant?
  • To remain united to Christ and to bring the
    entire world into union with him.
  •  
  • What is the work of the Church Suffering?
  • To become purified so as to be able to enter
    Heaven.

6
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Break down the selection from the Catechism of
    Pius X (material before footnote 2) into bullet
    points to show the three ways that the Church, in
    its different states, is one.
  •  

7
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Sidebar WHAT IS AN INDULGENCE?
  •  
  • What is the literal meaning of indulgence?
  • A freeing from a penalty.
  •  
  • Is an indulgence the forgiveness of sin?
  • No. It is the remission of the temporal
    punishment due to sins whose guilt has already
    been forgiven.
  •  
  • What is the source of an indulgence?
  • The treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and
    the saints.
  •  
  • Who can dispense the treasure of the
    satisfactions of the Church?
  • The Church herself because she is the minister of
    salvation.

8
1. The Communion of Saints
  • What is the distinction between a partial and
    plenary indulgence?
  • A partial indulgence removes part of the temporal
    punishment due to sin, whereas a plenary
    indulgence removes all of the punishment due to
    sin.
  •  
  • Who can gain indulgences?
  • The faithful can gain them for themselves or
    apply them to the dead.
  •  
  • What is the basis of the efficacy of an
    indulgence?
  • An indulgence is an act of faith on the part of a
    member of the Church Militant that requires an
    offering of some prayer, sacrifice, or work of
    service in imitation of Christ and the saints.
    This act builds virtue and disposes us to receive
    grace. For this act, the Church rewards us from
    the treasury of meritsthe abundance of grace
    won for us by Christ and by his faithful people
    down through the ages.
  •  

9
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Think/Pair/Share
  •  
  • How does the doctrine of indulgences reflect the
    solidarity that exists among the members of the
    Church in her three states?
  •  

10
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • A Think/Pair/Write/Share
  •  
  • Given what this lesson teaches about indulgences,
    what would you say to someone who objects that
    indulgences are corrupt because people can use
    them to buy forgiveness of sins even before they
    have committed them?

11
1. The Communion of Saints
  • WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SAINT?
  •  
  • What is the first meaning of the term Communion
    of Saints?
  • Through the Mass and especially in the reception
    of the Eucharist, the members of the Pilgrim
    Church on earth are in communion with the Church
    in Heaven.
  •  
  • What is the second meaning of the term Communion
    of Saints?
  • Through our union with Christ, we are brought
    into communion with everyone else who is united
    to him, that is, the entire Church on earth, in
    Purgatory, and in Heaven.
  •  
  • How do we enter the Communion of Saints?
  • By Baptism we are adopted as sons and daughters
    of the Father, thus making us brothers and
    sisters in Christ.

12
1. The Communion of Saints
  • What is the literal meaning of the word saint?
  • It means holy one.
  •  
  • What is the specific meaning of the word saint in
    the Catholic Church?
  • This title refers to those Christian men and
    women who remained faithful during their time on
    earth and have reached the glory of Heaven.
  • What is the official process for declaring
    someone a saint called?
  • Canonization.
  •  
  • What does canonization establish?
  • The Church proclaims that the person canonized
    practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to
    Gods grace.

13
1. The Communion of Saints
  • What is the importance of saints for the Pilgrim
    Church?
  • The Church proposes them to us as models and
    intercessors, that is, as people we can imitate
    and pray to for help.
  •  
  • What is celebrated on November 1 in the Churchs
    liturgy?
  • The Solemnity of All Saints, which celebrates all
    of the unknown saints who are now in Heaven.
  •  
  • What do all the saints, except the Blessed Virgin
    Mary, have in common with us?
  • They were sinners just like us, who had to
    struggle to overcome temptation. Like them we are
    saints-in-the-making.
  •  
  • Why is it right for us to ask the saints in
    Heaven for help?
  • Their work in Heaven is to intercede constantly
    for the Church on earth.

14
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Closure
  •  
  • Write a paragraph explaining the concept of the
    Communion of Saints.
  •  

15
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Homework Assignment
  • Reading
  • Intercession of the Saints through Veneration of
    the Saints.
  • Questions
  • Study Questions 15.
  • Workbook Questions 15.

16
1. The Communion of Saints
  • Alternative Assessment
  •  
  • Free write for five minutes on the solidarity
    that exists among the members of the Body of
    Christ regardless of whether they are on earth,
    in Purgatory, or in Heaven.

17
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Anticipatory Set
  •  
  • Listen to a recording of the litany of the
    saints. There are several on the Internet.

18
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • BASIC QUESTION
  • Why do Catholics venerate the saints?
  • KEY IDEA
  • The Sacred Scriptures, the early Church, and the
    Magisterium all testify that it is a good thing
    to venerate the Saints in Heaven and pray for
    their intercession. 

19
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS
  •  
  • To what mystery of the Church does the
    intercession of saints conform?
  • The mystery of the Church as communion.
  •  
  • What has always been the attitude of the Pilgrim
    Church to the saints?
  • The Church has always venerated the Apostles, the
    martyrs, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the angels
    and has asked for their help.
  •  
  • What is the relationship of the saints to Christ?
  • They are his friends and co-heirs.

20
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Do the saints help us by their own power?
  • No. They can obtain benefits from God through
    Jesus Christ.
  •  
  • Where does the New Testament support the idea
    that the members of the Church should pray for
    one another?
  • St. Paul instructed his disciple St. Timothy that
    supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
    thanksgivings be made for all men something
    which is good, and pleasing to God our Savior.
    (1 Tm 214)

21
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Intercessory Prayer
  •  
  • What is intercessory prayer?
  • It is praying to God on behalf of another.
  •  
  • How is the Roman centurion an example of
    intercessory prayer?
  • He interceded for his servant, asking Christ to
    heal his servant.
  •  
  • If God already knows our needs and the needs of
    our neighbor, why should we pray?
  • Intercessory prayer is a powerful way to express
    love for others.

22
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Who are the saints who can pray for us?
  • They are all members of the Body of Christ, both
    those in Heaven and those on earth, that is,
    other Christians.
  • In his Epistle to the Colossians, to whom does
    St. Paul use the word saint to refer?
  • Both the living members of the Church and those
    in light, that is, those who are now in Heaven.
  •  
  • How do we know from Sacred Scripture that the
    saints in Heaven are praying for us?
  • In the Book of Revelation, the angels bear the
    golden bowls full of incense, which are the
    prayers of the saints.

23
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • What is one thing the saints pray for according
    to the Book of Revelation?
  • They cry out to God to right the wrongs that have
    been committed on earth.
  •  
  • How do Sts. Dominic and Therese of Lisieux
    testify to a belief in the power of the saints in
    Heaven to help the saints on earth?
  • St. Dominic told his followers that he would be
    more useful to them after his death, and St.
    Therese said she wanted to spend her Heaven doing
    good on earth.

24
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Sidebar St. Therese of Lisieux
  •  
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Work with a partner to write and answers three
    focus questions on what you consider the three
    most important points from the sidebar on St.
    Therese of Lisieux.
  •  

25
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Veneration of the Saints
  •  
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Work with a partner to come up with three
    examples of veneration of the saints in the early
    Church.
  •  

26
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Closure
  •  
  • Write a paragraph summarizing the Pilgrim
    Churchs veneration of the saints according to
    the following
  • as an expression of the Communion of the Saints
  • as a channel of petitions through which their
    intercession is entreated and
  • as a means of providing the faithful with
    examples to emulate.

27
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Homework Assignment
  • Reading
  • The End of History through Holy Mass Is a
    Participation in the Heavenly Liturgy.
  • Questions
  • Study Question 6.
  • Practical Exercise 2.
  • Workbook Questions 610.

28
2. Veneration of the Saints in Heaven
  • Alternative Assessment
  •  
  • Class Discussion
  • Why is it reasonable to pray to the saints in
    Heaven and to hope to receive help back from
    them?
  •  

29
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Anticipatory Set
  •  
  • Think/Pair/Share
  •  
  • How does the Catechism, no. 2796, reveal the
    Pilgrim Church, i.e., us, as a divided people?
    (p. 276)
  •  

30
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • BASIC QUESTIONS
  • What is the Final Judgment?
  • What is the relationship between the heavenly and
    earth liturgies?
  • KEY IDEAS
  • At the Final Judgment, every person will be
    judged by his or her good and evil acts and by
    how we responded to the grace Christ offered to
    us.
  • The Mass is a participation in a liturgy that is
    constantly taking place in Heaven with Christ as
    the Eternal High Priest.

31
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • THE END OF HISTORY A New Heaven and a New Earth
  •  
  • On what basis will we be judged at the end of the
    world?
  • We will be judged according to our acceptance or
    refusal of the grace that Christ has offered us.
  •  
  • Should we be afraid of the end of the world?
  • If we are united to Christ, the end of history is
    a promise rather than a threat.
  •  
  • What is the lot of all Christians at all times of
    the history of the Church?
  • In every age the Pilgrim Church endures trial and
    persecution.

32
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Summarize the section The End of History A New
    Heaven and a New Earth (pp. 250251) by
    answering the following question
  •  
  • What four things do we know about the end of the
    world from Sacred Scripture?
  •  

33
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • ST. JOHNS VISION OF THE HEAVENLY LITURGY
  •  
  • What is the Book of Revelation?
  • A prophetic vision of the end times.
  •  
  • What does apocalypse mean literally?
  • Unveiling (in Greek, apokalypsis).
  •  
  • What are the three subjects of the Book of
    Revelation?
  • The ongoing spiritual struggle of the Pilgrim
    Church against the demonic forces of Satan
  • The solidarity and Communion of Saints and angels
    in Heaven and on earth and
  • the intimate union shared by Christ and his
    Bride, the Church, in their glorious Marriage
    Feast.

34
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • What is an event told in the Book of Revelation
    that is already past?
  • The destruction of Jerusalem.
  •  
  • What is an event told in the Book of Revelation
    that is in the future?
  • The unveiling of a new heavens and a new earth.
  • What is the primary focus of the Book of
    Revelation?
  • The heavenly liturgy offered to the Father by
    Christ with the angels and saints.
  •  
  • How is Christ portrayed as both priest and victim
    in the Book of Revelation?
  • Christ not only wears the robes of the high
    priest but also appears as the Lamb, standing,
    as though it had been slain.

35
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • How is Christs offering of himself in Heaven
    different from his offering of himself on earth?
  • On earth, the Sons Sacrifice on the Cross was
    bloody. In the Heavenly liturgy, however,
    Christs Sacrifice on the altar is bloodless.
  •  
  • What does the Epistle to the Hebrews reveal about
    Christs work in Heaven?
  • He always lives to make intercession for those
    who draw near to God through him (Heb 725).
  •  
  • Who else takes part in this heavenly liturgy?
  • The Book of Revelation reveals that all of
    Heaven?angels and saints?takes part in this
    liturgy, worshiping God and giving thanks for the
    salvation received through Christ.

36
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • THE HOLY MASS IS A PARTICIPATION IN THE HEAVENLY
    LITURGY
  •  
  • What elements of our own Liturgy of the Mass do
    we see in St. Johns description of the heavenly
    liturgy?
  • An altar robed priests candles incense the
    Gloria readings from Scripture the Holy, Holy,
    Holy chalices and the Lamb of God.
  •  
  • What is the marriage supper of the Lamb in the
    Book of Revelation?
  • It is when God comes to dwell with his people in
    the New Jerusalem.
  •  
  • What is the marriage supper of the Lamb on
    earth?
  • It is the Mass, where the Pilgrim Church shares
    in fullest communion with Christ.
  •  
  • How does God already dwell with his people?
  • Through the Real Presence of Christ in the
    Eucharist.

37
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Perform a focused reading of the final four
    paragraphs of this section, beginning with the
    paragraph Nevertheless, the Mass (p. 253),
    using the following question
  •  
  • How is the Mass both a foreshadowing of and an
    actual participation in the heavenly liturgy?
  •  

38
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Closure
  •  
  • Write a paragraph summarizing the main lessons we
    can draw from the Book of Revelation.

39
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Homework Assignment
  •  
  • Reading
  • The Last Things through Purgatory, including
    Praying for the Holy Souls.
  • Questions
  • Study Questions 713.
  • Workbook Questions 1118.

40
3. The Divine Liturgy in Heaven and on Earth
  • Alternative Assessment
  •  
  • Work with a partner to complete Practical
    Exercise 3 about how we already participate in
    the heavenly glory that we pray will come about.

41
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Anticipatory Set
  •  
  • Earlier in this chapter we looked at indulgences
    and what they can do for the Holy Souls in
    Purgatory.
  • Free write for a few minutes on the following
    question
  •  
  • Why doesnt the Pilgrim Church simply free all
    the Holy Souls from Purgatory as an act of mercy?
  •  

42
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • BASIC QUESTIONS
  • What is the Particular Judgment?
  • What is Purgatory?
  • Can we help the Holy Souls in Purgatory?
  •  
  • KEY IDEAS
  • The Particular Judgment is when each soul is
    judged by Christ immediately upon death and then
    enters either Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell.
  • Purgatory is a state in which a just soul
    undergoes a purification that involves both joy
    and suffering before finally entering Heaven.
  • We can aid the Holy Souls in Purgatory through
    our prayers, Masses, indulgences, alms, and
    sacrifices.

43
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • THE LAST THINGS
  •  
  • Why is death the end of our opportunity to shape
    our supernatural destiny?
  • At death, the possibility of merit, demerit, or
    conversion ceases.
  • What are the three possibilities each soul faces
    upon its Particular Judgment?
  • Immediate entry to the state of Heaven, Hell, or
    Purgatory, as deserved.
  •  
  • What passages from the Gospels support the idea
    of immediate judgment upon death?
  • Two are Christs words to the good thief, Today
    you will be with me in Paradise, and his parable
    in which Lazarus is in a state of happiness and
    the rich man is in torment. In the first case,
    the good thief would need to be judged as fit for
    Heaven in order to enter it that very day. In the
    parable, the rich man is being punished and
    Lazarus is being rewarded, which implies judgment
    has taken place.
  •  
  • According to St. John of the Cross, what is the
    ultimate criterion by which we will be judged?
  • By how much we have loved.

44
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • PARTICULAR JUDGMENT
  •  
  • What are the two judgments spoken of in the New
    Testament?
  • There is (1) the final meeting with Christ when
    he will come again and (2) the retribution
    immediately after each persons death as a
    consequence of his or her faith and deeds.
    Extension Retribution in this context means both
    rewards and punishment rather than simply payback
    for evil.
  •  
  • What is the Particular Judgment?
  • Each persons immortal soul, upon death, stands
    before the judgment seat of Christ and receives
    his or her eternal reward a period of
    purification, to heavenly glory, or to eternal
    condemnation.
  •  
  • On what actions is the Particular Judgment based?
  • It is based on what the person has done in the
    body, i.e., while alive on earth.

45
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • A Think/Pair/Write/Share
  • According to the paragraph beginning, The
    Particular Judgment is an act (p. 255), how is
    this act both a judicial judgment and a
    realization?

46
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • PURGATORY
  •  
  • Why does Purgatory exist?
  • A soul must be completely purified of evil and
    perfected before entering Heaven.
  •  
  • Who is in Purgatory?
  • The souls of those who, having died in grace,
    have not fully paid the punishment for their
    pardoned mortal sins or their venial sins.
  •  
  • How long will Purgatory be in existence?
  • Only until the Final Judgment.

47
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Is Purgatory a place?
  • No. It is a state, or condition, of existence.
    The separated souls, being spirits, do not occupy
    space, even if in common language some people
    refer to Purgatory as a place for these souls.
  •  
  • What is the basis of the joy of the Holy Souls in
    Purgatory?
  • It is the assurance that they will enter the joy
    of Heaven.
  •  
  • What is the basis of the suffering of the Holy
    Souls in Purgatory?
  • It is the delay in seeing God caused by their own
    fault.
  •  
  • How does one avoid Purgatory?
  • Avoid sin, strive to do the will of God, and
    accept with joy the trials and sufferings of
    life, which are a preparation for Heaven.

48
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Perform a focused reading of the paragraph
    beginning, Therefore, in Purgatory (p. 257),
    using the following question
  •  
  • Why is separation from Godsomething that does
    not seem to bother many souls before
    deathsuddenly so painful in Purgatory?

49
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Sidebar WHY PRAY FOR THE DEAD?
  •  
  • How is Purgatory revealed in the Old Testament?
  • In the Second Book of Maccabees, Judas Maccabeus
    took up a collection among all his soldiers to
    make a sacrifice to atone for his dead soldiers
    who, he discovered, had committed idolatry. The
    passage concludes, It is a holy and wholesome
    thought to pray for the dead.
  •  
  • How is Purgatory reflected in the practice of the
    Jews of Christs time and today?
  • The Jews prayed for the dead, and modern-day Jews
    pray the Kaddish, which are prayers to reduce the
    time spent in Gehenna for those who have died.

50
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • What is the logic behind belief in the existence
    of Purgatory?
  • If those who are have died are in Heaven, they do
    not need prayers. If they are in Hell, prayers
    will not do them any good. So there must be a
    place where our prayers do some good, i.e.,
    Purgatory.
  •  
  • How does St. Paul support the idea of Purgatory?
  • He revealed that Christians who sin will be
    saved, but only as it were through fire.
  •  
  • Who were some early Fathers of the Church who
    wrote about Purgatory?
  • Tertullian and St. Cyrpian.
  •  
  • Which Ecumenical Councils confirmed the Churchs
    teaching on Purgatory?
  • The Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons in 1274
    and later the Ecumenical Councils of Florence
    (1439) and Trent (1563).

51
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • Complete a paragraph shrink on the passage by
    Pope Benedict XVI beginning, The encounter with
    him (p. 256), in order to see how there is
    nothing cruel or vindictive about the fire of
    Purgatory.

52
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Praying for the Holy Souls
  • How can the Holy Souls in Purgatory be helped?
  • They are consoled by the angels and are helped
    both by the prayers and suffrages of the Pilgrim
    Church and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    and the saints. Extension A suffrage is a short
    intercessory prayer.
  •  
  • Why are prayers for the dead a work of piety?
  • Piety is the fulfillment of obligation toward
    family members. We should pray for those in our
    own natural and supernatural families.
  •  
  • Why is prayer for the dead a work of mercy?
  • The Holy Souls in Purgatory cannot do anything
    for themselves therefore, we show mercy to them
    by asking that their time be shortened.

53
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Why is prayer for the dead an act of charity?
  • We have to wish for the good of others.
  • Why is praying for the dead an obligation of
    justice?
  • Some souls may be detained in Purgatory partly
    through our fault because of our sins of
    commission or omission, e.g., by scandal.
  •  
  • What is the best way of helping the Holy Souls in
    Purgatory?
  • Offering the Sacrifice of the Mass.

54
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • What is special about All Souls Day?
  • On November 2 all the priests of the Latin Church
    offer Mass for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
    Extension The Eastern Churches set aside certain
    Saturdays during Lent to offer prayers and
    Liturgies for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
  •  
  • What are other ways to help the Holy Souls in
    Purgatory?
  • Apply indulgences to the souls of the dead, give
    alms in their memory, and offer up sacrifices and
    penances on their behalf.

55
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Closure
  •  
  • Write a paragraph summarizing the Churchs
    doctrine on Purgatory.
  •  

56
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Homework Assignment
  • Reading
  • Hell through Conclusion.
  • Questions
  • Study Questions 1419.
  • Practical Exercise 3.
  • Workbook Questions 1926.

57
4. Last Things The Particular Judgment and
Purgatory
  • Alternative Assessment
  •  
  • Work with a partner to develop apologetical
    arguments in favor the Churchs teachings on
    Purgatory.

58
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Opening Prayer The Prayer to St. Michael.
  •  
  • St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle
    be our protection against the wickedness and
    snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we
    humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the
    heavenly host, by the power of God cast into
    hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl
    about the world for the ruin of souls.Amen.

59
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • BASIC QUESTIONS
  • What is Hell?
  • What is Heaven?
  • What is the Parousia?
  • KEY IDEAS
  • Hell is the state of self-chosen eternal
    separation from God, who is the only source of
    life and happiness.
  • Heaven is the state of complete happiness with
    the rest of the blessed souls in enjoying the
    vision of God.
  • The Parousia is the Second Coming of Christ and
    the Final Judgment at the end of time.

60
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • HELL
  • How is sin a form of death according to St. John?
  • St. John revealed, He who does not love remains
    in death. Any one who hates his brother is a
    murderer, and you know that no murderer has
    eternal life abiding in him.
  •  
  • What is the result of dying in a state of mortal
    sin without repentance?
  • It is remaining separated from God forever
    because of our free choice.
  •  
  • What is Hell?
  • It is eternal self-exclusion from communion with
    God and the blessed in Heaven.

61
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • What images did Christ use to describe Hell?
  • He spoke often of Hell as fire and darkness
    where there will be weeping and gnashing of
    teeth as condemned souls are tormented by the
    worm that dies not.
  •  
  • What is the chief punishment of Hell according to
    the Catechism, no. 1035?
  • The chief punishment of Hell is eternal
    separation from God, in whom alone a human being
    can possess the life and happiness for which he
    or she was created and for which the soul longs.

62
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • A class discussion on Hell.
  • Here are some basic questions
  •  
  • Does Gods goodness preclude the existence of
    Hell?
  • Can God save someone who refuses to be saved?
  • Is it possible that someone would freely choose
    Hell, including freely staying there?

63
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • HEAVEN
  •  
  • What is Heaven?
  • It is the state of everlasting life in which we
    see God, become like him in glory, and enjoy
    eternal happiness.
  •  
  • Are there different degrees of happiness in
    Heaven?
  • Yes. The souls in Heaven enjoy various degrees of
    happiness according to their degree of love and
    friendship with God during their earthly life.
    However, each person receives the full measure of
    happiness he or she can possess. Extension An
    analogy to explain this paradox is containers
    filled with water. Every container can be filled
    to the brim, but because they can be of different
    sizes, one may contain more than another.
  •  
  • What are some images of Heaven revealed in
    Scripture?
  • Life, light, peace, a wedding feast, the wine of
    the kingdom, the Fathers house, the Heavenly
    Jerusalem, paradise.

64
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Can we grasp what Heaven is like?
  • No. No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the
    heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for
    those who love him.
  • Of what does the essential happiness of Heaven
    consist?
  • The immediate vision of God, the full and perfect
    satisfying of every desire, and in the happy
    society of all the blessed.
  •  
  • Why will we find happiness in each other in
    Heaven?
  • We will love one another as ourselves and so
    rejoice in the good that each possesses. As the
    pleasure and enjoyment of one increases, so will
    it increase for all.

65
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • How does the happiness of Heaven increase?
  • The joy and happiness of Heaven increases as
    other souls enter, as loved ones still on earth
    progress in their spiritual lives, and as ones
    apostolic efforts and sufferings endured in the
    service of God bear fruit on earth with the
    passage of time.
  •  
  • What is the relationship between earthly and
    heavenly happiness?
  • The saints are overflowing with of all those
    pleasures that can be enjoyed or even desired in
    this life, whether in regard to the powers of the
    mind or of the perfection of the body.

66
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Guided Exercise
  •  
  • The principal happiness of Heaven consists in the
    vision of God however, it is difficult to under
    how a person could look at something forever
    and not get bored.
  • Perform a guided meditation on the vision of God
    based on the ideas of goodness, truth, and beauty.

67
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Sidebar St. Michael the Archangel
  •  
  • Of which three Angels do we know the names from
    Scripture?
  • Of the hundreds of references, we know Sts.
    Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
  •  
  • Why are angels called saints and members of the
    Church?
  • The Church is the heavenly assembly of all those
    who have received salvation in Christ, and the
    first among these are the angels. Extension
    Angels are personal beings with rational souls,
    although they do not have material bodies.
  •  
  • Why is St. Michael seen as a great warrior?
  • In the Book of Revelation, he leads the holy
    angels in battle against the Devil and his
    follower angels.
  •  
  • Why should we be devoted to St. Michael?
  • He is a protector of the Church against the
    opposition of the Devil.

68
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • THE PAROUSIA
  •  
  • What is the Parousia?
  • It is the Second Coming of the Lord, at which
    time Christ will appear in power and majesty as
    judge and establish his Kingdomwhich was
    inaugurated at the Incarnationin all its
    fullness.
  •  
  • What is the literal meaning of Parousia?
  • It is Greek for apparition, or presence.
  •  
  • What will happen at the General, or Universal,
    Judgment?
  • Christ will judge every human being personally
    and publicly in the presence of every other human
    being.
  •  

69
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • What will we learn at the Final Judgment?
  • We will understand the ultimate meaning of the
    whole work of creation and of the entire economy
    of salvation the marvelous ways by which Gods
    Providence led everything towards its final end.
    The Last Judgment will reveal that Gods justice
    triumphs over all the injustices committed by his
    creatures and that his love is stronger than
    death. We will learn why God allows the good to
    suffer and the wicked to prosper, and we will see
    the good and bad effects of human acts.
  •  
  • What will happen to us at the Final Judgment?
  • Our souls will be reunited to our glorifiednow
    immortalbodies. They will be reunited in Heaven
    or Hell, to whichever the soul was consigned at
    death.
  •  
  • When will the Last Judgment occur?
  • Only the Father knows the day and the hour.
  •  
  • What will happen to the universe after the Final
    Judgment?
  • The universe will be renewed as all things will
    be perfectly reestablished in Christ.

70
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Closure
  •  
  • Write a paragraph summarizing what we know about
    Heaven and Hell and how the happiness in Heaven
    and the unhappiness of Hell are closely related.
  •  

71
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Homework Assignment
  •  
  • Questions
  • Study Questions 2025.
  • Practical Exercise 1.
  • Workbook Questions 2732.

72
5. Last Things Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia
  • Alternative Assessment
  •  
  • Write a letter to a seven-year-old explaining
    what Heaven is like, trying to explain it as
    clearly and simply as you can.

73
The End
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