Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)
'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)
Sunday, 1 February 2015
What about Heaven?
There is plenty of graphic imagery available concerning Hell, but artists are not that imaginative about Paradise. It is as if we have no idea what to expect, which really we don't. 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has in store for those that love Him.'
What we do know is that Heaven will, if we are granted entry to it, be beyond any joy we can imagine. Union with God for eternity in the company of the Angels and the Saints. And the Church maintains as an infallible teaching that there are plenty, many, shed-loads of souls there in that abode of eternal joy and blessedness, where earthly suffering was turned, in an instant (or after purification in Purgatory) into happiness beyond compare.
I suppose that if God had simply left us to rot after the Original Sin, abandoning His creation entirely, or even left us to rot after our personal sins, with no hope of Salvation, then yes, Stephen Fry would be, not right, but justifiably disappointed and sad that God had created a world simply doomed to embrace oblivion.
If Our Lord Jesus Christ had not unlocked the gates of Heaven by His Passion, Death and Resurrection, perhaps Stephen Fry could say that God had created a world that now endures pain and suffering for seemingly no purpose whatsoever but our punishment. In light of the Fall, to leave us in that State would not make God evil, but we know because of what Jesus has done for us, with the immaculate co-operation of Our Blessed Lady that God is supremely Good above all our expectations.
The doctrine of Heaven does not, of course, obliterate our concern for the suffering in the world, but it should at least make us aware that our time in this vale of tears is transitory and that, if we are faithful, something incredible and eternally joyful beyond compare awaits us.
In considering Stephen Fry's comments, one might ask, having given his Creator a piece of his mind, Mr Fry would say to the Devil. After all, if God is 'utterly, utterly evil', then what can we say of His diabolical adversary and his legions of fallen angels. Even the Devil would probably inform the comedian that God is Just and Supremely Good, so 'whatever you thought "evil" was, you ain't seen nothin' yet.'
Oh, how quickly that phone would stop ringing if he embraced Catholicism. How quickly the BBC would think twice about renewing his contract. He'd make new friends of course, but suddenly the popularity, fame and coverage would dwindle until he was dancing on ice with like Ann Widdicombe once a year...maybe. Let's face it, Stephen Fry, the atheist is the media darling because he's Stephen Fry, the atheist.
It all makes one wonder who Stephen Fry, who has pretty much everything money and fame can buy, which, as even pre-Christian wisdom would tell us usually excludes happiness, should thank for his continued media popularity and worldly acclaim. Sadly, it would seem that in the world of celebrity, you don't get to the top of the pile and stay there without a little bit of help from Old Nick. Of course, that's true for the world, but things are very different in the Church...we pray.
Pray for the souls of all atheists that their ignorant judgments of God will not bring them the kind of judgement to always be feared but that they may find the joy of Salvation and thereby attain the happiness of Heaven, the everlasting abode of the blessed. God is Good, Good beyond our puny comprehension of 'good'. We didn't merit the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Stephen, but ultimately, Jesus Christ thought you, and I, were worth it. That's why we call it Good Friday.