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Catholic Faith
Vol. 3 - #3, May / Jun 1997

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Q.  When we are judged by Our Lord after our death, must we account for every thought, word, or action of our lives? —M.Y., Ontario

A.  Yes, we shall account for every thought, word, and action of our lives. However, the word “judgement” can be misleading. God’s judgement covers both the good and the bad deeds of our lives. We shall be rewarded for our good deeds. Moreover, we shall also be rewarded for our repentance of the sinful deeds we had committed. Three possibilities exist. Assuming that we are in the state of God’s grace, we shall either immediately enter heaven, or spend some time in purgatory to expiate the temporal punishment that may still be due for our sins. Please God, we shall not suffer what St. John calls “the second death” of eternal separation from our Lord.

Q.  Is it right to say that, “Belief in a caring God is more important than the church we belong to or squabbles about doctrine?” —D.P.K., North Carolina

A.  It is a mistake to separate “belief in a caring God” from “the church we belong to or squabbles about doctrine.” Belief in a caring God depends on the church we belong to and the doctrine we believe. The Catholic Church is the universal Sacrament of Salvation. No one is saved except through the graces which God confers through the Catholic Church. To speak of squabbling about doctrine, is the language of those who do not realize that we are to serve God first of all with our minds. We must believe what God has revealed. We must accept with our minds everything which He has told us is true. The first condition for salvation is faith which is the humble submission of our intellects to God's revealed truth. In the closing chapter of St. Mark's gospel, Christ commanded His apostles to, “Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16). On these submission to God's revealed truth is a condition for salvation.

Q.  Though the Church no longer requires women to wear a head covering in church, would it not be a commendable act for women to do so as St. Paul advises? —L.B., Tennessee

A.  In answer to the question, it is highly commendable for women to have their heads covered in church. I asked a devout Catholic woman why she has her head covered in church. Every word of the following statement is quoted verbatim from her answer. She said: “The first reason I cover my head in church is to show reverence for the second person of the Blessed Trinity who became man so that He could humble Himself to accept death, even death on a cross, out of love for me, a sinful person. The second reason I cover my head in His true presence is to make reparation to Him for the many sisters who have made vows to be His bride and now are walking around like proud Eves instead of humble Marys. They no longer wear their sign of humble submission to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The third reason is to remind myself and others that Jesus Christ is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity here in the tabernacle, and that we should act with the greatest reverence toward the God who became man for us to suffer and die in our place, that we may one day enter into eternal happiness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Catholic Faith
Vol. 3 - #3, May / Jun 1997

Copyright © 1997 by Inter Mirifica
No reproductions shall be made without prior written permission

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