How we live each day of our lives culminates in an intense moment of truth at the time of death.


I recall the special graces associated with the passing of an aunt.

She was married but her husband preceded her into eternal life. She did not have children because she was always the caregiver of extended family.  She was in the process of dying a natural death in the warmth of the family home. It was not necessary that she be hooked up to machines; no intravenous drips of morphine or any other painkiller was needed.

We sat around her bed and conversed with her as she went in and out of consciousness.

Suddenly she said, “The room is filled with them. There is hardly enough room for all of them. Don’t you see them?  Angels are all over this room.”

I believed her because she was credible and the existence of angels is part of Catholic doctrine.

She continued, “Oh, John (her deceased husband) is here.  He is extending his hand to me. There are other family members too.  I see them.”  Then, speaking first person to her deceased husband she said, “Oh John, I want to go, but I will miss all these people. I am not quite ready please.”

This no nonsense woman of faith was utterly believable. It seemed the natural order of things for a good woman who served others selflessly all of her life.  We told her that we would miss her but we would be together again; it would be alright if she went to meet the Lord and her husband.

The next day, with her face illumined, she looked up as if acknowledging the presence of someone we could not see and then she closed her eyes and peacefully breathed her last.

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Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love. Please Explain.

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Q: Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love. Please Explain.

A: Catholics have always understood that God’s apparent attitude towards humanity was and is primarily a function of grace … which is a share in God’s very own divine life.

Grace comes in two varieties:

Actual grace … which empowers both saints and sinners to do God’s will.

Sanctifying grace … which transforms, makes one holy,
and which is typically required for admittance to heaven.

After Adam’s fall, and prior to Christ, the world was totally devoid of God’s sanctifying grace, dominated by Satan, and in open rebellion against God.

A technical state of war existed, and earth was a virtual hell … with mankind fighting on the side of Satan … in a form of forced slavery … under pain of death.

While we were still grevious sinners, and out of infinite love, God acted to redeem us. And by the power of actual grace, he raised up generations of priests, prophets, and kings, in order for his divine and perfect son … in the fullness of time … made of woman … under the law … to come into the world, as a man.

Before we could be redeemed, and before sanctifying grace and forgiveness could be offered to all, it was first necessary to destroy Satan’s evil dominion.

Jesus brought about the destruction of Satan’s earthly “reign of terror” by permitting himself to be put to death by Satan “The Prince of this World” … and his more than willing minions.

And since under God’s most fundamental law … no one … not even the devil … had the power or the authority to take the life of a sinless man … let alone the only begotten Son of God … the moment Jesus died, Satan was through!  

Once the dominion of evil had been destroyed, Jesus was raised up, and appointed the new and sinless head of all mankind.

The “New Adam”.

Under these new “terms” and under this new and divine leadership … God was more than willing to grant forgiveness, sanctifying grace, and peace to anyone willing to swear faithful allegiance to his son, Jesus … typically through the sacrament of baptism … which (among other things) also makes one an official member of the Church … “The People of God”.

The Catholic Church is God’s primary dispenser of grace in the world today. It does this freely … and it does this primarily by means of the seven sacraments … which were all personally instituted by Jesus … for that express purpose. 

Now .. thanks to God .. and through the work of Christ … we live in an era of grace … freely available to all … abundantly dispensed by and through the Catholic Church … the ONLY Church  that Jesus ever founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, … for the purpose of our salvation.

This divinely appointed era of peace between God and man was precisely what the angels foretold, on the first Christmas:

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
Luke 2:9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people:
Luke 2:11 For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.
Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

Peace be to you!