Monday, August 9, 2010

Are You Ready to Be Judged By God If You Were To Die Today ?

"The World Trade Center, symbol of economic power and prosperity, was snuffed out in a short span of time. All of the fallen faced their Creator without their home, their education, their investments or their car."

"As a Catholic priest I have often seen death close at hand. For almost twenty years, I have prayed at the side of little babies, children, teen-agers, adults in their prime, and adults in the twilight of their lives as they died. Death comes at any age.

"No matter how many advances science may bring to our contemporary world, no one will ever be able to keep people from dying. Dying is a part of life. It is part of our earthly existence.

"When we were little children we learned the simple, yet profound truth from our catechism lessons about our existence. Why did God make me? God made me to know him, to love him, to serve him in this world and to be happy with him in everlasting life. Here lies the plain truth about our life on earth. We will not be here forever.

"Life is like a bus ride. We move forward with our bags packed, hoping that when the bus stops and the door opens, we will be at the right location. We must remember the fundamental truth of Revelation: eternity consists of three states: heaven, purgatory and hell. To deny the existence of purgatory and hell is to deny Christianity. To tell people that everyone is going to heaven is to deprive them of the truth. It is a lie to tell people that everyone is saved. Moreover, when people accept this lie, the very lie may even endanger their eternal salvation because they will no longer be using the necessary means of salvation in order to gain eternal life.

“Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator” (Colossians 3: 5-10).

"One day each of us will stand before God for judgment. We will stand before God without a lawyer, without family and friends to support us. We will stand alone before Almighty God. Each day could be our last day on earth. We should each ask ourselves today, if I were to die today, how would God judge me? Is there any particular sin, attachment, or attitude that might be an obstacle to my eternal salvation? Rather than becoming sad when we consider our own death, the reality of leaving this life and facing God for judgment should lead us to continual conversion.

"Let us remember the words from this Sunday’s gospel passage: 'Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions' (Luke 12: 15)."

~ Fr. James Fargaglia: Excerpts from Stepping Stones to Eternity ~

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