What You Need to Know about Death

Alexander Mair, "Memento Mori", 1605.

My recent post about Medjugorje let me reflect about the vast amount of ignorance of basic Christian doctrine that might here and there – instead of the willed rejection of Christian teaching – be present. Whilst only the second would get one a first class seat on the Hell Express, it is necessary for every Christian to be informed of the most elementary truths of Christianity. Most of my readers already know this of course, but a couple of messages on my comment box (deleted, as the comment box on the Medjugorje post was closed) have persuaded me that at times it is better to state the obvious, so there we are.

1. There is no possibility of repentance after death.

“There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (CCC 393)

2. The judgment after death is immediate.

“The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith” (CCC 1021).

“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven […] or immediate and everlasting damnation. (CCC 1022)”.

Besides this concept being a clear tenet of Christianity, and being clearly stated by the Catechism in several places, common sense tells us that it must be so. If we were allowed, as the alleged apparition in Medjugorje apparently states, to have a last shot at salvation after death the absurd consequences would be – to mention just the first ones coming to my mind – as follows:

1. confession would be devoid of every meaning or purpose in the economy of salvation: I’d just wait that I am asked after death.

2. the portals of evildoing would be open to everyone who believes in this tale: every wannabe Stalin would feel free to do whatever he pleases, just paying attention that he doesn’t do anything stupid when he is requested where he would like to reside.

3. the references of Jesus to a hell clearly surprising those who end up there would be devoid of every significance.

The idea that only those would merit hell, who would choose eternal suffering after death, willingly and just out of a great desire to be miserable in all eternity, is naive to the utmost. No Stalin or Hitler ever showed any desire to be miserable during life. Actually, they had a huge desire to be happy; it is only that this desire was ego-driven (and ego-gratification the way of their illusory quest for happiness) rather than tending to God.

It must be clear to everyone devoting two minutes to the matter that such fantasies make a mockery of Christianity and are only good to endanger the souls of those who believe in them; if someone tries to make you believe that the Christian God revealed to us is not merciful enough and that we now need to change our mind as to the way he acts, be sure that that person is doing the work of the devil.

Similarly – and also here, referring to a message I have received a propos Medjugorje -:

3.Private revelations can never change the truth of Christianity. In this case, the example made was from St Giovanni Bosco, who would apparently have had a vision of hell in which people are allowed to choose between heaven and hell after death. Firstly, this is not true as the dream (which you can read here; alas, sedevacantist site, but the text seems faithfully rendered) makes it perfectly clear that when one dies, the time is up. Secondly, a private revelation can never modify Christian tenets; on the contrary, it is the adherence to Christian tenets that is the conditio sine qua non of the private revelation’s credibility.

The dream of St Giovanni Bosco makes for a beautiful reading, and might be the subject of a separate post. But for today’s purposes I’ll leave the details aside.

Apologies to all those who don’t need to be told these elementary truths. Once again, I thought that – in consideration of both the stakes and the dismal situation of Catholic and Christian instruction – it would be better to, for once,  state the obvious.


Posted on July 18, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Mundabor,

    Thank you so much for this post. I have had to learn Catholic theology on my own due to the state of things, and this simple truth had escaped my studies. Thank you very much, and per your request on your profile I will say an Ave Maria for you.

  2. It’s interesting that the Medjugorje business was nailed for the fraud it was immediately in 1981-82, the very first years of its “appearance”, by three observant Catholic thinkers: the late Scottish journalist Hamish Fraser, the Lebanese monk Brother Francis Maluf, MICM and Frere Michel (who investigated it on behalf of the late Abbe de Nantes). The tip-off was the pronouncement by the “vision” that “all religions are pleasing to God”. That was the nail in its coffin because, as should be obvious, Our Lady does not speak heresy.

    Other writers, such as the late Michael Davies, also did yeoman work in exposing this nonsense. And if all that were not enough, does logic allow us to believe that Our Lady makes regular evening appearances – and matinees on Sundays – talking banal platitudes for 30 years??

    Lastly, of course, the competent local authority, the Bishop of Mostar, also pronounced it unworthy of belief. End of story…but not end of the horrible confusion this rubbish has spread.

    • Schmenz, if you have some links for what you have written above, I’d be grateful.

      A problem that I have with Medjugorje is that everytime an heresy of them is mentioned on the internet, the Medjugorje crowd (some of them, perhaps, even in good faith) comes out and writes “this is not true, it’s a rumour spread on the internet to discredit us”. Of course their disobedience discredits them anyway, but I am grateful for every link to some verified “revelations” of the alleged apparition. If I had access to verified sources, I could write more on the subject.


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