The book I referenced last post, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s Everlasting Life, continues to impress me. Simple, and written to be read widely and by anyone 15 or over, it is profound and accurate. I will be citing from it in the days to come.
Today: The Last Judgment. Each of us is judged at the moment he dies. Either heaven, hell, or purgatory. Why, then, a judgment at the end of time? Why shall Christ come “to judge the living and the dead,” as we confess in the creed?
Among the reasons is the setting to rights all the false impressions people have of other people. Say I grab a gun from the suicide-murderer’s hand and thus get my prints and the blood of the murder and his victims on my skin. Then the police find me. Then the courts charge me with guilt. But it was all false. Likewise, suppose all praise me for this or that pseudo-accomplishment. All speak well of me. Few contradict me. The world embraces me. But it was all false; I am a sham and no man.
Well, the last judgment shall set to rights all these false impressions. Let us read:
“Dead men live in the memory of men on earth and are often judged contrary to truth. Spirits, strong and false, like Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel, are judged as if they were great philosophers. False prophets and heresiarchs, such as Luther and Calvin, are considered by many to be masters of religious thought, whereas great saints and doctors are profoundly ignored” (p. 82).
Indeed, we are living in days when the good is called evil, and the evil is called good. When the truly profound and interesting is disregarded as boring, and the titillating and dangerous is breathed in like air and invited home to one’s bed. Evil days be ours. But let us not fear. For God is near, even at the very door.