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Catholic Focus: The Four Last Things

Matthew Harrison

December 11, 2007
fourlastthings2.jpgDeath. Judgment. Heaven. Hell -- the Four Last Things. A pretty heavy subject – especially this time of year when in most places the eggnog is freely flowing and Christmas carols are ringing in our ears.
On the other hand, perhaps it is an appropriate program this time of year.
Advent is a time to evaluate our lives and to clear out the clutter. When the clutter is swept away, we can make a place for Our Lord to dwell. It's a preparation for the end of our earthly life, and for the Second Coming.
In Wednesday’s edition of Catholic Focus, I sit down with Father Paul Pearson, the Dean of St. Philip’s Seminary, in Toronto, and we explore the Four Last Things from a philosophical and theological perspective. Don’t be intimidated by the terms ‘philosophical’ and ‘theological,’ Father Pearson has a wonderful gift of presenting the material in a very understandable and interesting way.
My only regret in this episode was that we didn’t have enough time for an in-depth discussion on hell. The word hell often reminds me of Dante’s Inferno. There is a wonderful description of souls scrambling (as I guess only souls can!) to get onto the ferry that will take them across the river Acheron to "Hell proper." The souls are fighting to get into hell -- they want to jump the queue! Dante uses his prose to colourfully paint this theological notion: people choose hell by the life they lead. The souls are completely consumed by their self will, their sin, and ignorant of God. You don’t just happen to accidentally fall into hell, it is a deliberate choice by how you live your live, a deliberate rejection of God. That discussion however, will have to wait for another Catholic Focus!
For now though, I invite you to tune in Wednesday, December 12th, at 7pm or 11pm ET (with a Saturday, December 15th encore presentation at the same times), for a discussion on the Catholic view of death, the particular and final judgment, the necessity of purgatory, (a pinch of hell), and the glory of heaven!