Catechism Cath. Church 992
992 God revealed the resurrection of the dead to his people progressively. Hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead established itself as a consequence intrinsic to faith in God as creator of the whole man, soul and body. The creator of heaven and earth is also the one who faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity. It was in this double perspective that faith in the resurrection came to be expressed. In their trials, the Maccabean martyrs confessed: The King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.(538) One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him.(539)
993 The Pharisees and many of the Lord's contemporaries hoped for the resurrection. Jesus teaches it firmly. To the Sadducees who deny it he answers, "Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?"(540) Faith in the resurrection rests on faith in God who "is not God of the dead, but of the living."(541)
994 But there is more. Jesus links faith in the resurrection to his own person: "I am the Resurrection and the life."(542) It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood.(543) Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life,(544) announcing thereby his own Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this unique event as the "sign of Jonah,"(545) the sign of the temple: he announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third day.(546)
995 To be a witness to Christ is to be a "witness to his Resurrection," to "(have eaten and drunk) with him after he rose from the dead."(547) Encounters with the risen Christ characterize the Christian hope of resurrection. We shall rise like Christ, with him, and through him.
996 From the beginning, Christian faith in the resurrection has met with incomprehension and opposition.(548) "On no point does the Christian faith encounter more opposition than on the resurrection of the body."(549) It is very commonly accepted that the life of the human person continues in a spiritual fashion after death. But how can we believe that this body, so clearly mortal, could rise to everlasting life?
538 2M 7,9
539 2M 7,14 2M 7,29 Da 12,1-13
540 Mc 12,24 Mc 11,24 Ac 23,6
541 Mc 12,27
542 Jn 11,25
543 Jn 5,24-25 Jn 6,40-54.
544 Mc 5,21-42 Lc 7,11-17 Jn 11
545 Mt 12,39
546 Mc 10,34 Jn 2,19-22
547 Ac 1,22 Ac 10,41 Ac 4,33.
548 Ac 17,32 1Co 15,12-13
549 St. Augustine, En. in Ps 88,5, PL 37, 1134.
997 What is "rising"? In death, the separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body. God, in his almighty power, will definitively grant incorruptible life to our bodies by reuniting them with our souls, through the power of Jesus' Resurrection.
998 Who will rise? All the dead will rise, "those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment."(550)
999 How? Christ is raised with his own body: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself";(551) but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, "all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear," but Christ "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body," into a "spiritual body":(552)
But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel ....What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.... The dead will be raised imperishable.... For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.(553)
1000 1000 This "how" exceeds our imagination and understanding; it is accessible only to faith. Yet our participation in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of Christ's transfiguration of our bodies:
Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God's blessing has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but Eucharist, formed of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly: so too our bodies, which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but possess the hope of resurrection.(554)
1001 1001 When? Definitively "at the last day," "at the end of the world."(555) Indeed, the resurrection of the dead is closely associated with Christ's Parousia:
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.(556)
550 Jn 5,29 Da 12,2
551 Lc 24,39
552 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 801 Ph 3,21; 2Co 15,44
553 1Co 15,35-53.
554 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 4-5: PG 7/1, 1028-1029.
555 Jn 6,39-54 Jn 11,24 LG 48
556 1Th 4,16
1002 1002 Christ will raise us up "on the last day"; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. For, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth a participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ:
And you were buried with him in Baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead .... If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.(557)
1003 1003 United with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains "hidden with Christ in God."(558) The Father has already "raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."(559) Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we "also will appear with him in glory."(560)
1004 1004 In expectation of that day, the believer's body and soul already participate in the dignity of belonging to Christ. This dignity entails the demand that he should treat with respect his own body, but also the body of every other person, especially the suffering:
The body (is meant) for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? .... You are not your own; .... So glorify God in your body.(561)
557 Col 2,12 Col 3,1.
558 Col 3,3 Ph 3,20
559 Ep 2,6
560 Col 3,4
561 1Co 6,13-15,19,
1005 1005 To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must "be away from the body and at home with the Lord."(562) In that "departure" which is death the soul is separated from the body.(563) It will be reunited with the body on the day of resurrection of the dead.(564)
562 2Co 5,8.
563 Ph 1,23
564 Cf. Paul VI, CPG 8.
1006 1006 "It is in regard to death that man's condition is most shrouded in doubt."(565) In a sense bodily death is natural, but for faith it is in fact "the wages of sin."(566) For those who die in Christ's grace it is a participation in the death of the Lord, so that they can also share his Resurrection.(567)
1007 1007 Death is the end of earthly life. Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life. That aspect of death lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment:
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, . . . before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.(568)
1008 1008 Death is a consequence of sin. The Church's Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man's sin.(569) Even though man's nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin.(570) "Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" is thus "the last enemy" of man left to be conquered.(571)
1009 1009 Death is transformed by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, also himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition. Yet, despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to his Father's will.(572) The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing.(573)
565 GS 18
566 Rm 6,23 Gn 2,17
567 Rm 6,3-9 Ph 3,10-11
568 Qo 12,1-7.
569 Gn 2,17 Gn 3,3 Gn 3,19 Sg 1,13 Rm 5,12 Rm 6,23 DS 1511
570 Sg 2,23-24
571 GS 18# 2; 1Co 15,26
572 Mc 14,33-34 He 5,7-8
573 Rm 5,19-21
1010 1010 Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."(574) "The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we will also live with him.(575) What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already "died with Christ" sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ's grace, physical death completes this "dying with Christ" and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act:
It is better for me to die in (eis) Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. Him it is I seek - who died for us. Him it is I desire - who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth .... Let me receive pure light; when I shall have arrived there, then shall I be a man.(576)
1011 1011 In death, God calls man to himself. Therefore the Christian can experience a desire for death like St. Paul's: "My desire is to depart and be with Christ. "(577) He can transform his own death into an act of obedience and love towards the Father, after the example of Christ:(578)
My earthly desire has been crucified; . . . there is living water in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the Father.(579)
I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die.(580)
I am not dying; I am entering life.(581)
1012 1012 The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church:(582)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.(583)
1013 1013 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,(584) we shall not return to other earthly lives: "It is appointed for men to die once."(585) There is no "reincarnation" after death.
1014 1014 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";(586) 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.
Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience .... Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from death? If you aren't fit to face death today, it's very unlikely you will be tomorrow ....(587)Praised are you, my Lord, for our sister bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape. Woe on those who will die in mortal sin! Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will, for the second death will not harm them.(588)
574 Ph 1,21
575 2Tm 2,11
576 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1-2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 217-220.
577 Ph 1,23
578 Lc 23,46
579 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1- 2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 223-224.
580 St. Teresa of Avila, Life, chap. 1.
581 St. Therese of Lisieux, The Last Conversations.
582 1Th 4,13-14
583 Roman Missal, Preface of Christian Death I.
584 LG 48 3.
585 He 9,27
586 Roman Missal, Litany of the saints.
587 The Imitation of Christ, 1, 23, 1.
588 St. Francis of Assisi Canticle of the Creatures.
1015 "The flesh is the hinge of salvation" (Tertullian, De res. 8, 2: PL 2, 852). We believe in God who is creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem the flesh; we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, the fulfillment of both the creation and the redemption of the flesh.
1016 By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. Just as Christ is risen and lives for ever, so all of us will rise at the last day.
1017 "We believe in the true resurrection of this flesh that we now possess" (Council of Lyons II: DS 854). We sow a corruptible body in the tomb, but he raises up an incorruptible body, a "spiritual body" (cf. 1Co 15,42-44).
1018 As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" (GS 18).
1019 Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to the will of God, his Father. By his death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men.
1020 1020 The Christian who unites his own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him and an entrance into everlasting life. When the Church for the last time speaks Christ's words of pardon and absolution over the dying Christian, seals him for the last time with a strengthening anointing, and gives him Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, she speaks with gentle assurance:
Go forth, Christian soul, from this world in the name of God the almighty Father, who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who suffered for you, in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon you. Go forth, faithful Christian!
May you live in peace this day, may your home be with God in Zion, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with Joseph, and all the angels and saints....
May you return to (your Creator) who formed you from the dust of the earth. May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth from this life....
May you see your Redeemer face to face. 589
589 OCF, Prayer of Commendation.
1021 1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.(590) 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. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul-a destiny which can be different for some and for others.(591)
1022 1022 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-through a purification(592) or immediately,(593)-or immediate and everlasting damnation.(594)
At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.(595)
590 2Tm 1,9-10
591 Lc 16,22 Lc 23,43 Mt 16,26 2Co 5,8 Ph 1,23 He 9,27 He 12,23
592 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 857-858 Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304-1306 Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820
593 Cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000-1001 John XXII, Ne super his (1334): DS 990
594 Cf. Benedict XII, 8enedictus Deus (1336): DS 1002
595 St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64.
1023 1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face:(596) By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.(597)
1024 1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.
1025 1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." The elect live "in Christ,"(598) but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.(599) For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.(600)
1026 1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.
1027 1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."(601)
1028 1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision": How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.(602)
1029 1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."(603)
596 1Jn 3,2 1Co 13,12 Ap 22,4
597 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000 cf. LG 49
598 Ph 1,23 Jn 14,3 1Th 4,17
599 Ap 2,17
600 St. Ambrose, In Lc 10,121, PL 15, 1834A.
601 1Co 2,9
602 St. Cyprian, Ep 58, 10, 1: CSEL 3/2, 665.
603 Ap 22,5 Mt 25,21,
1030 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.
1031 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.(604) The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:(605) As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.(606)
1032 1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore Judas Maccabeus) made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."(607) From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.(608) The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.(609)
604 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304 Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000.
605 1Co 3,15 1P 1,7.
606 St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; Mt 12,31
607 2M 12,46
608 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856
609 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1Co 41,5, PG 61, 361; cf. Jb 1,5.
1033 1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."(610) Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.(611) To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self- exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."
1034 1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.(612) Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"(613) and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"(614)
1035 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."(615) The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1036 1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."(616) Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."(617)
1037 1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;(618) for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":(619) Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.(620)
610 1Jn 3,14-15
611 Mt 25,31-46
612 Mt 5,22
613 Mt 13,41-42
614 Mt 25,41
615 DS 76 DS 409 DS 411 DS 801 DS 858 DS 1002 DS 1351 DS 1575 Paul VI, CPG 12.
616 Mt 7,13-14
617 LG 48 Mt 22,13 He 9,27 Mt 25,13 Mt 26,30-46.
618 Cf. Council of Orange II (529): DS 397 Council of Trent(1547): DS 1567.
619 2P 3,9.
620 Roman Missal, EP I (Rman Canon) 88.
1038 1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust,"(621) will precede the Last Judgment. This will be "the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear (the Son of man's) voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment."(622) Then Christ will come "in his glory, and all the angels with him .... Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.... And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."(623)
1039 1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare.(624) The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life: All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."(625)
1040 1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death.(626)
1041 1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them "the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation."(627) It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the "blessed hope" of the Lord's return, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all who have believed."(628)
621 Ac 24,15
622 Jn 5,28-29
623 Mt 25,31-46.
624 Jn 12,49
625 St. Augustine, Sermo 18, 4: PL 38, 130-131; Ps 50,3
626 Cf. Ct 8,6.
627 2Co 6,2
628 Tt 2,13; 2Th 1,10
1042 1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:
The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.(629)
1043 1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, "new heavens and a new earth."(630) It will be the definitive realization of God's plan to bring under a single head "all things in (Christ), things in heaven and things on earth."(631)
1044 1044 In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men.(632) "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."(633)
1045 1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been "in the nature of sacrament."(634) Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, "the holy city" of God, "the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."(635) She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community.(636) The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion.
1046 1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common destiny of the material world and man:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God . . . in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay.... We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.(637)
1047 1047 The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, "so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just," sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.(638)
1048 1048 "We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men."(639)
1049 1049 "Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society."(640)
1050 1050 "When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise . . . according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom."(641) God will then be "all in all" in eternal life:(642)True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life.(643)
629 LG 48 Cf. Ac 3,21 Ep 1,10 Col 1,20 2P 3,10-13.
630 2P 3,13 Ap 21,1
631 Ep 1,10
632 Ap 21,5
633 Ap 21,4
634 LG 1
635 Ap 21,2-9 Ap 21,2,
636 Ap 21,27
637 Rm 8,19-23
638 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 5, 32, 1 PG 7/2, 210.
639 GS 39 1.
640 GS 39 2.
641 GS 39 3.
642 1Co 5,28
643 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. illum. 18, 29: PG 33, 1049.
Catechism Cath. Church 992