Heaven is the state of eternal union with God after death. Our desires and longings and often transient happiness here on early reflect in a poor way what we will experience in heaven, God willing. The Catechism states: “Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfilment of the deepest human longings. It is the state of supreme definitive happiness.” Using the human analogy of marriage, and St Paul’s analogy of the union of Christ and the Church, Fr Robbie explores this subject in light of the teaching of the Church.
Fr Robbie refers to the Divine Comedy by Dante to begin his talk quoting from a translator of this work, D L Sayers: “Hell is the place of condition of lost souls after death… hell in the Allegory (Divine Comedy) is the condition in which a soul reduces itself due to a stubborn determination to evil…” Hell is often described as eternal separation from God, a state which we chose for ourselves, which is not imposed upon us. Fr Robbie explores this rarely discussed subject.
There is much confusion surrounding the use of the word ‘judgement’ in today’s world. To judge something or someone is often taken in the negative sense of being ‘judgemental’. Furthermore, the concept of a ‘final’ judgement seems almost lost to modern man. Fr Robbie explores this in the light of the teaching of the Church and the Bible both of which are clear about the existence of a final judgement and our need to prepare for it – Cf. Matthew Chapter 25.
We are pleased to be able offer you this series of spiritual reflections for Advent by Fr Robbie Low. Death, Judgement, Hell and Heaven are known in traditional church teaching as the ‘Four Last Things’. In this first talk Fr Robbie explores various ways in which mankind has thought of the experience of human death. Christians believe, in the words of St Paul, that ‘death is swallowed up in victory’. Fr Robbie explains what we mean by this Christian hope. These talks were recorded in 2009 at Fowey Retreat.