Sunday, September 20, 2009

Radio Replies First Volume - The resurrection of the body

1012. You have spoken repeatedly of the day of resurrection and of judgment. Are all to rise from the dead, or only some?

All are to rise from the dead. "The hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." Jn 5:28-29. Thus, too, St. Paul tells us, "Behold I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again." 1 Cor 15:51.

1013. What is the purpose of the resurrection?

In order that complete man, body and soul, may attain an eternal destiny, and that the body which good people have mortified for the love of God, and which evil people have wickedly indulged for the love of self, may share the fate of the soul. Human beings in their complete nature will thus glorify God's mercy and justice.

1014. What of souls already in hell, heaven, or purgatory?

When their bodies rise from the grave, each soul will be re-united with its own proper body, the body sharing the fate merited for it by the soul. On that last day, of course, which will be the day of judgment for all mankind, purgatory will cease to exist. Our Lord tells us that there will be but two sentences. Mt 25:34-41. The souls which have not finished their purification will be purified completely on the day itself, intensity supplying for any lack of duration. God will find no difficulty in arranging that.

1015. What will the body be like?

These self-same bodies will rise, but not entirely as they are at present because while the substance remains the same, the qualities of that substance will be changed. They can never completely change their nature so as to become purely spiritual beings, such as God Himself, or the angels. Thus St. Paul says, "The dead shall rise again incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Cor 15:51-52. Our bodies, then, will not be purely spiritual, but rather spiritualized. They will share sufficiently in the spiritualizing influence of the soul to be rendered no longer subject to the possibility of death. Rightly, however, St. Paul says, "I tell you a mystery." For how all will eventuate, and exactly what will happen, is known to God alone. We know merely the fact that all human bodies will rise again at the last day.

1016. Are you aware how many millions there will be? This makes me doubt even the existence of God!

Now I must ask you to take this reasonably. That there will be millions of human beings proves the existence of God. How can their number disprove it? Each being is a reason for God's existence, and if anything, the multiplication of beings is the multiplication of reasons for His existence. Meantime I am not aware how many millions there will be on the day of judgment. I know merely that there will be many millions. But that affords no difficulty save for my imagination.

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