RCIA Class 15 December 14, 2016

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1 RCIA Class 15 December 14, 2016 The Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell Chapter 13 Our Eternal Destiny Death the end of the earthly life when the physical body can no longer support life. Death does not affect the life of the soul. At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love. Perfect love will make possible entrance into heaven, imperfect love will require purification, and a total lack of love will mean eternal separation from God. St. John of the Cross From the Catechism: 1012 The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church:584 Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven Death is the end of man s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When the single course of our earthly life is completed,586 we shall not return to other earthly lives: It is appointed for men to die once. 587 There is no reincarnation after death The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the ancient litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord ;588 to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us at the hour of our death in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death. ( ) The soul is immaterial it is not quantifiable or measurable. When body and soul separate, it is traumatic for the soul to be separated. This is not the way it is supposed to be. With the original sin of Adam and Eve, this unnatural separation was forced upon us. Death is the beginning of the eternal life. Our life on earth is a pilgrimage we are moving toward something better. We believe that on the Last Day Judgment Day, our body and soul will be reunited. For the justified, they will have a glorified body. (We re not sure what happens to the damned.) This is what was intended from the beginning we do know that all will be in a state of perfection. Using Christ s glorified body as the model, he was flesh and bone, he ate, and he had a light about him. He had impassibility he had the inability to suffer pain

2 and he could pass through walls and doors. These are clues to what our glorified bodies may be like. The bodies of the damned may be deformed in the shape of the particular sin in which they persisted. But we don t know for sure and have only guesses. On the last day, all will be revealed. Every sin will be revealed, all our thoughts will be revealed but not to our shame but to God s glory and to bring into light God s plan and his masterpiece in its glory. We will see that we made it to Heaven in spite of ourselves and to the credit of Christ s mercy and sacrifice. Particular judgment when the individual soul appears before Christ and receives his sentence salvation or damnation. General Judgment on the Last Day all bodies rise from the grave and all who have not yet been judged will be judged. On the Last Day, everything will be revealed. All the evil that has ever been perpetrated will make sense. All the good will make sense. And all of God s plan will be revealed. Mortal sin that which kills the relationship between man and God. Venial sin doesn't separate us from God but weakens our relationship with him. When we commit a sin, we create a rift between ourselves and God. The way to repair venial sins is the Eucharist. The way to repair mortal sin is Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we commit a sin we incur temporal punishment. We do penance given by the priest to alleviate some of the temporal punishment. We can either work out the rest of the temporal punishment on earth by doing penance on earth or we can work it out in purgatory. Nothing that is not pure or perfect can enter Heaven. If we make it to purgatory, we know we are getting to heaven. There is nothing to be afraid of about Purgatory. Purgatory is joyful because it is a step closer to Heaven and you don t want to be in Heaven until you are completely cleansed. Beatific true happiness. The beatific vision is more than we can imagine. Love itself is what is in heaven. Heaven exists out of time. It s always an eternal now. It is always fresh, it is always new, it is always happening now. Despair a taste of what it is like of existence without God. Complete abject loneliness without God. Hell is like that to infinity.

3 Satan and his angels experience despair and separation from God. They hate us because they have no hope of regaining God and we do. There is never a time in this life when we don t have hope. All we have to do is make an honest act of contrition. That s how much God wants us to be with him. Purgatory: CCC 1030 All who die in God s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. In Purgatory, there is suffering but it is a joyful suffering because souls there are assured of eventual entrance into Heaven. Hell: an eternal separation from God with no hope of ever being united. God doesn't send anyone to Hell. People choose to go to Hell by purposely separating themselves from God. God exists outside of time so eternity is an eternal now. Nothing is lacking in Heaven. Sin - an offense against God - has to be rectified either temporally or eternally - either here on earth or in Purgatory. Before Jesus ascended, he gave the Apostles the ability to forgive sins. Therefore the Church has the ability to forgive sins. A plenary indulgence is the prayer of the Church that all temporal punishment is remitted. A partial indulgence remits part of the temporal punishment. Rather than collect indulgences, it is better to work to avoid sin. Apostolic Pardon - a blessing that the priest can give, with the authority of the Holy See, when someone in danger of death that commutes all temporal punishment. Encyclical a letter the pope writes when he has a message he wants to get across. Apostolic Exhortation a summary exhortation of a synod (a meeting of bishops on a specific topic) Death is the natural and inevitable end of life on earth. We change, we grow old, and even death seems appropriate after a full life. And the dust returns to earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it (Eccl 12:7). The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must

4 see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the Sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God (CCC, no 2299). The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy (CCC, no. 2300). The traditional designation of the four Last Things refers to death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Chapter 14 The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ Liturgy: from a greek term meaning public work or work done on behalf of the people. Liturgy always referred to an organized community a work done by an individual or a group was a liturgy on behalf of the larger community. All the worshipers are expected to participate actively in each liturgy. Catholics have two main liturgies: The Mass and the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours. Liturgy is centered on the Holy Trinity the action of worship is directed to the Father through the Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit. We praise the Father who first called us to be his people by sending his Son as our Redeemer and giving us the Holy Spirit so that we can continue to gather to remember what God has done for us. Paschal Mystery of Christ his passing through death from this life into eternal glory The liturgies of the Church also help to teach us about Jesus Christ and the meaning of the mysteries we are celebrating. All worship is directed to the Father, through the Son, in union with the Holy Spirit. A mystery is a reality that is both visible and hidden. Jesus death and resurrection are hidden now in the eternity of God but are visible in the gathering of the community for worship and we share in them through the liturgy of the Church. The Nicene Creed - Was established during the councils of Nicea and Constantinople to summarize what we believe as Catholics Council of Trent - established the Tridentine reforms - set the 7 sacraments, set Latin as the universal language of the Church

5 The Second Vatican council in the 1960s decided that the vernacular (language) would be used around the world in the Mass. Up to that point, Masses were conducted in Latin (except for the homily). The International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) set a Latin dynamic equivalent in 1975 but it was not exactly an accurate translation. It was a friendlier, more accessible translation rather than a careful, exact translation. The recent translation is a much more careful translation from Latin. The Paschal Mystery - the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ liturgy - public work or work done on behalf of the people. All people are expected to participate - it is not entertainment or a spectator event. Active participation means being engaged physically and spiritually in the Mass - preparing for the reception of Holy Communion, praying the prayers, singing the hymns. We praise the Father, through the Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Paschal - refers to the Passover when Christ was crucified - a mystery is a reality that is both visible and hidden - Liturgy has a broader application than that of Sacrament for it embraces all the official prayer life of the Church Who celebrates the liturgy? Liturgy is a public event so the celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized. The priest acts as a mediator on behalf of the people. In persona Christi Copitus (head of the Church) - priest can consecrate the Eucharist, forgive sins, preach the gospel How do we celebrate? Liturgy of the Word is part of all sacramental celebrations. The reading of Sacred Scripture is meant to awaken a response of faith in the listeners. The homily is the Word explained. The profession of faith. That is the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. Liturgical Traditions and the Catholicity of the Church Roman The overwhelming majority of Latin Catholics and of Catholics in general. Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Mass celebrated in accordance with the Missale Romanum of 1970, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, currently in its third edition (2002). The vernacular editions of this Missal, as well as the rites of the other sacraments, are translated from the Latin typical editions revised after the Second Vatican Council. Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Mass celebrated in accordance with the Missale Romanum of 1962, promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII. The other sacraments are celebrated according to the Roman Ritual in force at the time of the Second Vatican Council. The Extraordinary Form is most notable for being almost entirely in Latin. In addition to institutes which have the faculty to celebrate the Extraordinary Form routinely, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the

6 Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, any Latin Rite priest may now offer the Mass and other sacraments in accordance with norms of Summorum Pontificum. Anglican Use. Since the 1980s the Holy See has granted some former Anglican and Episcopal clergy converting with their parishes the faculty of celebrating the sacramental rites according to Anglican forms, doctrinally corrected. Mozarabic The Rite of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) known from at least the 6th century, but probably with roots to the original evangelization. Beginning in the 11th century it was generally replaced by the Roman Rite, although it has remained the Rite of the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Toledo, Spain, and six parishes which sought permission to adhere to it. Its celebration today is generally semi private. Ambrosian The Rite of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy, thought to be of early origin and probably consolidated, but not originated, by St. Ambrose. Pope Paul VI was from this Roman Rite. It continues to be celebrated in Milan, though not by all parishes. Bragan Rite of the Archdiocese of Braga, the Primatial See of Portugal, it derives from the 12th century or earlier. It continues to be of occasional use. Dominican Rite of the Order of Friars Preacher (OP), founded by St. Dominic in Carmelite Rite of the Order of Carmel, whose modern foundation was by St. Berthold c Carthusian Rite of the Carthusian Order founded by St. Bruno in We celebrate on Sunday in observance of Jesus' Resurrection. Catholics are required to honor the Lord's Day, also a day of rest and recreation. It is also a day when the faithful can devote themselves to works of mercy and to the apostolate. Sunday Mass is the community coming together to worship - the physical and the metaphysical community. It is imperative that we have an individual relationship with Christ and a relationship as part of a community. Liturgical Seasons: Advent (four weeks before Christmas) - The first day of Advent is our Liturgical New Year. Violet (and rose) Christmas goes until the Baptism of Our Lord. White Ordinary Time - Green Lent (50 days) - Starts with Ash Wednesday. Violet (and Rose) Easter (50 days) - white Ordinary Time - Green On feasts days of saints who were martyred, priests wear red. Feast days honoring the Holy Spirit (Pentecost, for example), the priest wears red. For funerals, the priest can wear white or black.

7 Four main liturgical colors: Green (ordinary time), white (feast or solemnity), red (feast of the Holy Spirit or feast of martyrs), violet (Lent or Advent) (rose (Gaudete and Laetare) black) Saint feasts days Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office (Opus Dei) - required to be prayed by those in Holy Orders and Religious Orders - designed to sanctify the day - consists of five primary orders (Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline Also called Office of Reading, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, Nighttime Prayer ** over four weeks, all 150 psalms are prayed 3 psalms, a reading from Scripture, a cantical or song from the gospel a series of intercession and a closing prayer and a meditation prayed for the good of the Church and the world - praying in their role as intercessors, prayed throughout the day to sanctify the day Sacrament: An outward sign instituted by Christ to confer grace (a share in God's divine life), Christ has given us physical signs and symbols as instruments of his grace. Sacraments make present that which it signifies. They are not just symbolic. 7 Sacraments Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist Sacraments of Healing: Penance and Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders and Matrimony efficacious signs - they are effective - we know without doubt that they make the sacraments real and the reality they signify Baptism: done with the Trinitarian formula (in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), water poured three times, the baptism is absolutely effective because Christ is working through the minister performing the Sacrament Christ instituted the Sacraments and entrusted them to the Church. All Sacraments have their origin in Scripture. The Church protects the integrity of the Sacraments and ensures that they are licit and valid. The Sacraments transmit divine life. Sacraments must have: Matter: the physical substance involved in the commission of the Sacrament (Eucharist is wheat flour and water host, the wine has to have a certain amount of wine)

8 Form: the words that are spoken during the commission of the Sacrament must be said properly Proper Matter + Proper Form = Proper Sacrament The Sacrament must be performed by the appropriate minister and he must have the intention of performing the Sacrament. He cannot perform a Sacrament by accident. By the same token, the recipient must have the proper intention to receive the Sacrament. We are limited by the Sacraments but God is not. Sacraments transmit divine life - they give us certitude that they are effective. At Mass we do not recrucify Christ or symbolically recreate - because God exists out of time, he is able to make present the sacrifice of his body that happened that one time during Mass. Christ is the primordial sacrifice. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers of the divine nature. Sunday is a holy day of obligation. Catholics are obliged to participate in Mass and other holy days of obligation. We are also obliged to refrain from unnecessary work and to use that time for family and loved ones. The Church Mass readings adhere to a three year cycle, A, B, C. On the first day of Advent, a new liturgical year begins and a new set of readings begin. A - Matthew B - Luke C - Mark The Gospel of John is read during Christmas and Easter throughout all three years. The entire Old Testament and New Testament is read during Mass through the three year cycle. The same is true for the daily readings during daily Mass. Year 1 is for the years ending in odd numbers and Year 2 for years ending in even numbers.

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