Have you ever truly pondered the mysteries of the afterlife?
On a recent episode of “The Catholic Talk Show,” Ryan Scheel, Ryan Dellacrosse, and Father Rich Pagano break down the “four last things” in Catholic tradition that shape our journey toward eternal salvation.
“The four last things are the four last things that the human soul experiences: death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell,” Scheel shares.
Today, a staggering 90 percent express a desire to discuss end-of-life care with loved ones, but only 27 percent act on it.
As Scheel points out, “Ignoring [death] won’t make it go away.”
In the art and culture of the Church, death and the judgment following it are often seen in unsettling depictions, like artwork that Father Pagano shares from the Old Cathedral of Salamanca conveying the Last Judgment’s stark intensity.
Even though “the artwork in the Church around judgment is always so…alarming,” Scheel explains these pieces are not meant to instill fear, but instead ask us to reflect on how “each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death in a particular judgment.”
Scheel also says believers should find hope in relying on God’s mercy while facing the foreboding concept of judgment, because “if the judgment was only a matter of justice, no one would get to Heaven.”
We often wonder what Heaven will be like.
Is it merely a paradise where worldly desires are fulfilled? Or is it, as Scheel suggests, an eternity of joining “in with the choirs of the angels and singing God’s Praises?”
Interestingly, he says the saints who’ve claimed to see Heaven all describe “colors there that you would not believe–colors that don’t exist.”
While the “last four things” are a critical aspect of our faith that many often skirt around, Scheel reminds us that “meditating on those things in Catholic tradition has been a very powerful source of prayer, understanding of where you are, and where you’re going.”
To be genuinely ready, the guys say it’s essential to meditate upon and understand these profound truths.