Rodney Pelletier writes for ChurchMilitant.com — Lent is the penitential season in the Church that’s dedicated to our final end — a theological term for the question, “Where will I go after I die?”
But now, with talk of the coronavirus dominating nearly every aspect of life, death is on the mind of most people right now.
While some are scrounging up supplies for the possibility of long quarantines, at some point we’ll all face death sooner or later. It’s been a traditional Catholic devotion to have a representation of a skull in view so that in our daily duties, death may never be forgotten and we might do everything with the view of eternity in mind.
Each of us will face three of the four last things: death, judgment and then either Hell or Heaven.
Death is a punishment for sin, a consequence of Adam’s sin according to the teaching of the Church. In the book of Romans, St. Paul declares: “Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin, death.”
People can convert and amend their sinful lives before death but thereafter, there is no opportunity to do so. At death, a person cannot become better or worse, they are fixed as they are.
Judgment also comes to us all. Theologian Fr. John Hardon describes the two judgments we will all face, “one that will take place the moment we die and the other that will take place the moment the world dies.”
Either Hell or Heaven are the final destination for us all. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and took on our human flesh in order to enable us to get to Heaven. The sin of Adam closed off the gates of Heaven to mankind and until Our Lord paid our penalty on the Cross, no humans went to Heaven.