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Kelle wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What does your faith believe happens after you pass away?

Kelle

  { What does the Church believe happens when you pass away? }

Paul replied:

Dear Kelle,

What Catholics believe is that death occurs when the soul separates from the body.

Immediately there is the "Particular Judgment" when the soul comes "face-to-face" with God, and is judged.

They then either ascend to heaven, descend to hell, or experience purgatory, which is an interim period for the saved, whose soul still must be purified because nothing imperfect can enter the fullness of the presence of God in Heaven. (Revelation 21:27)

At the end of history, Jesus will come back in glory and conduct the General Judgment, when He will "separate the sheep from the goats". (Matthew 25:32) Bodies will be risen and reunited with their souls, and glorified in the image of the Risen Christ. All of creation will also be transformed by God's Life and, as the book of Revelation expresses:

"Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”

(Revelation 21:3-4)

Peace,

Paul

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