Choose a topic from Vol 2:


Proof of God's existence
God's nature
Supreme control over all things and the problem of suffering and evil


Destiny of man
Immortality of man's soul
Pre-existence denied
The human free will
Determinism absurd


Necessity of religion
Salvation of the soul
Voice of science
Religious racketeers
Divine revelation
Revealed mysteries
Existence of miracles

The Religion of the Bible

Gospels historical
Missing Books of the Bible
The Bible inspired
Biblical account of creation
New Testament problems
Supposed contradictions in Sacred Scripture

The Christian Faith

Source of Christian teaching
Jewish rejection of Christ
Christianity a new religion
Rational foundation for belief
Causes of unbelief

A Definite Christian Faith

Divisions amongst Christians
Schisms unjustified
Facing the problem
The wrong approach
Is one religion as good as another?
Obligation of inquiry
Charity and tolerance

The Protestant Reformation

Meaning of "Protestant"
Causes of the Reformation
Catholic reaction
Reformers mistaken
The idealization of Protestantism
The Catholic estimate

The Truth of Catholicism

Meaning of the word "Church"
Origin of the Church
The Catholic claim
The Roman hierarchy
The Pope
The Petrine text
St. Peter's supremacy
St. Peter in Rome
Temporal power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolicity of the Church
Indefectibility of the Church
Obligation to be a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic attitude towards the Bible
Is Bible reading forbidden to Catholics?
Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Douay Version
Principle of private interpretation
Need of Tradition
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church

The Dogmas of the Church

Revolt against dogma
Value of a Creed
The divine gift of Faith
Faith and reason
The "Dark Ages"
The claims of science
The Holy Trinity
Creation and evolution
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
The Catholic Priesthood
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
The resurrection of the body
The end of the world

The Church and Her Moral Teachings

The Inquisition
Other superstitions
Attendance at Mass
Sex education
Attitude to "Free Love"

The Church in Her Worship

Magnificent edifices
Lavish ritual
Women in Church
Catholics and "Mother's Day"
Liturgical Days
Burial rites
Candles and votive lamps
The rosary
Lourdes water
The Scapular

The Church and Social Welfare

Social influence of the Church
The education question
The Church and world distress
Catholic attitude towards Capitalism
The remedy for social ills
Communism condemned
The Fascist State
Morality of war
May individuals become soldiers?
The Church and peace
Capital punishment
Catholic Action

Comparative Study of Non-Catholic Denominations

Defections from the Catholic Church
Coptic Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Anglican Episcopal Church
The "Free" or "Nonconformist" Churches
Church of Christ
Seventh Day Adventists
Plymouth Brethren
Catholic Apostolic Church or Irvingites
Salvation Army
Christian Science
British Israelism
Liberal Catholics
Witnesses of Jehovah
Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"
From Protestantism to Catholicism

To and From Rome

Conversion of Cardinal Newman
Why Gladstone refrained
The peculiar case of Lord Halifax
Gibbon the historian
Secession of Father Chiniquy
Father Tyrrell, the modernist
Bishop Garrett's departure
Judgment on lapsed Catholics
Protestant apathy towards conversion of Catholics
Principles for converts to Catholicism
God's will that all should become Catholics

The end of the world

883. Do Catholics believe in the Second Coming ofChrist?


884. What does the expression in the Creed mean:From thence He shall come to judge both the living and thedead?

Those words refer to the general judgment of the whole humanrace at the end of the world. God has revealed that, in due time,our Lord will come in great power and majesty to judge allmankind.

885. An atheist friend of mine says that, if that betrue, we should not believe that a person is judged the moment hedies.

That does not follow. Each individual soul is judged by God asit leaves this world. So Scripture tells us, "It is appointedunto men once to die, and after this the judgment." Heb. IX.,27. Your friend will say, "If each soul has its particularjudgment as it goes from this world, then why the general judgmentof all collectively at the end?" There are many reasons forthat. The first and particular judgment is for us; the second andgeneral judgment is for God, whose justice will then be manifestedto all creatures. Again, at the particular judgment the soul only,in a state of separation from the body, is judged; at the lastjudgment the souls of men will be reunited to their bodies, andthey will experience a reiteration of their judgment in theircomplete personalities, and the bodies in which men have served Godor sinned will share in the happiness or misery which is the lot ofthe soul. Furthermore, man is not only individual; he isessentially a social being. We live in society, a common life inwhich mutual influences, good and evil, are constantly in evidence.Now a common life should have a common ending. Our Lord tells usthat there is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed. For wisereasons time keeps its secrets; but time, at the end, will revealall to all under the eyes of the great Judge. And all that God hasdone or permitted will be justified before the whole universe.Those who have died in the grace and friendship of God will findthis general judgment to their glory and happiness. But those whohave died at enmity with God will find it to their disgrace andmisery. So God will triumph either in His mercy or in Hisjustice.

886. Scientists say that the earth will last formillions of years, gradually cooling down till all life is frozenout.

If we allow for purely natural factors that is most probable.That is, the earth will probably go on for millions of years,gradually cooling down, provided God Himself does not step in and bring the existing state of affairsto an end in a way beyond the comprehension of men.

887. Is it after this scientific conclusion that theDay of Judgment is expected?

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ will certainly comeagain to judge the living and the dead and that will end thepresent era as far as mankind is concerned. And that will be beforeall life is frozen out from this globe. When it shall occur is notknown to men and not included in the teachings of the Church. Also,whilst this coming of Christ will affect the human beings whoinhabit the earth, the Church has nothing to say as to what willhappen to the globe itself. It may go on cooling till it is as coldas the moon, perhaps by some cataclysm to be reduced to a nebulousvapor once more and begin a cycle of condensation all over again.That all rests with God, and matters little to men whose fate willlong have been decided ere such possibilities can materialize. Thescientists would say: Judging by the apparent natural laws weobserve, and abstracting from any untoward and supernaturalintervention by God, we think the world will go on for millions ofyears, and eventually grow so cold as to freeze all life out ofexistence. If you ask them: But is there any likelihood of asupernatural intervention by God? they would reply: Speaking purelyas natural scientists, we don't know. Natural science is notcompetent to speak on such a subject positively. Christ hasrevealed that such an intervention will take place at some futuretime, and we scientists cannot say that it will not happen, nor canwe say that there are any reasonable grounds for refusing tobelieve in the authority and capacity of Christ to fulfill Hispredictions.

888. St. Paul speaks of "That Day," of thecrown of justice laid up for him, and of the blessed hope whichlooks forward to the glorious appearing of the great God, and ourSavior Jesus Christ. When will this appearing take place?

There are two judgments, the particular judgment of eachindividual which takes place immediately after death; and thegeneral judgment which will occur at the end of the world. In theparticular judgment, each soul will answer for its life on earth,and will be rewarded or punished accordingly. St. Paul knew thatour Lord is not outdone in generosity, and after all his labors andsufferings, knew that he could confidently expect a crown ofjustice to be received as soon as his life was over. Therefore, hesaid, "Having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ,a thing by far the better." Phil. I., 23. The day of eachone's death, therefore, is "That Day" from theviewpoint of the individual's eternal fate. But the gloriousappearing of our Savior Jesus Christ refers to the general judgmentof all mankind at the end of the world, when Christ will come inall His majesty and power to manifest His triumph in the sight ofmen and angels. When this final consummation of the ages will occurno man can say. God has revealed that it will occur, but purposelyrefrained from revealing when. Jesus, therefore, said expressly,"Of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels ofheaven, but the Father alone." Matt. XXIV., 36.

889. What did our Lord mean when He said,"Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My word shall not passaway." Matt. XXIV., 35.

He primarily meant that His teachings were eternally true. It isas if He said: Though all else should fail, My doctrine can neverfail. It will last forever.

890. Will this earth ever be destroyed?

Certainly in its present form and structure. Our Lord Himselfhas said that the heavens and earth will pass away, but that Hiswords never fail. In speaking to men, He was speaking of the heavens and of the earth as theysaw them, meaning that things as they are now will cease to be so.We are told that all is to end in a vast cataclysm, both materialand moral. An extraordinary transformation will come over the wholematerial universe, and Christ, who came as an infant in mercy, willappear as a Judge to administer justice.

891. Will heaven pass away?

No. Our Lord was referring to the heavens, not to heaven as astate of eternal happiness. The visible universe as we see it nowis in a state of transition. At least in its present formation itwill pass away sooner or later, even by merely natural processes.But apart from this, the final coming of Christ will mean a shockto the existing visible order of things, and a vast change in it.Through all such changes, however, the doctrine of Christ remainsunchangeably true, and all that He has taught will most certainlybe verified.

892. What is meant by a new heavens and a newearth?

Even were the present universe left as it is, every soul thatgoes out of this life must see a new heavens and a new earth, ifonly because it will see things from a completely different aspect.Science tells us that the atoms and molecules of even the mostrigid objects are in motion and at an incalculable speed. If thesoul could get a truly scientific vision of the dance of atoms andmolecules, and of the very stars, it would certainly see theuniverse under a very new aspect. But the change to come should notonly be attributed to the changed condition of the soul. There willbe a change in the actual scheme of earth and the heavens. Therewill be a new order, and a perfect adaptation of all things to anew end. Christ will be the organizer, as He has organized theChurch and humanity. It is quite possible that all may bespiritualized and submitted to the elect, the elect to Christ, andChrist to God. Thus, St. Paul himself says that all creation waitsfor the manifestation of the children of God. Exactly what willoccur, of course, is a mystery which God has not deigned to reveal.But He has revealed the fact that Christ will come again in someglorious way to judge mankind. And we Catholics accept that fact onthe authority of God's word.

893. What is meant by the New Jerusalem?

The very word Jerusalem means City of Peace. The New Jerusalemmeans the finally established and spiritual Kingdom of Christ, inwhich He will reign in eternal happiness and peace with those whoare saved.

894. Let us suppose that the whole drama ofexistence has been played out to its conclusion, and the curtainhas fallen.

I will take your supposition, but must compliment you upon yourimaginative powers, so evident in a description which cold dryreason could have expressed in the four words, the world hasended.

895. Then there are some souls in heaven and somesouls in hell.

Some will be in heaven, and some will be in hell.

896. On the one hand some will be enjoying unlimitedhappiness; on the other, enjoying unlimited misery.

Neither the happiness nor the misery will be without limits.Likewise, those in misery won't be enjoying it. A better wordwould be suffering. If you want reasoning you should try to showthat you allow reason to influence your own statements. Inaccurate and exaggerated statements invite easydismissal rather than serious discussion.

897. What do you suppose God will have got out ofit?

I do not go in for suppositions. I know that God will get thismuch out of it. The very goodness which diffused itself generouslyin the creation of human beings will be acknowledged and proclaimedby those human beings whether they are in heaven or in hell. Andthat, not because it will be of any essential advantage to God, butbecause it is right that it should be so. You will not find itdifficult to conceive this of those who attain heaven. Yourdifficulty will be to conceive it of those who lose their souls andgo to hell. Let me try to help you. God's goodness not onlygave man the gift of existence, but also the dignity of a free willby which he would be master of his own destiny. If man, however,yields to pride, rebels against God, and dies still obstinatelyrefusing to make his peace with God, then unrepentant pride will byits very eternal punishment proclaim the eternal rights of theSupreme Good to be loved above all things. Hell is a proclamationof those rights, exemplifying as it will that supreme hatred ofevil which is a necessary consequence of a supreme love of good.Love and hatred are really one and the same movement in referenceto opposite objects. For evil is opposed to the good, and hatred isthe reaction of love for what is good against the evil opposed tothat good. Were there no love for good there would be no hatred ofevil. And hell, by the very grimness of its penalties upon evil,will proclaim for eternity that the good should have beenloved.

898. How much better off will God be than if thething had never taken place?

Creation, and the consequences of creation, could not add toGod's perfection and happiness. But God is just and willvindicate the rights of justice. Meantime, you have been created.And your chief concern is to fulfill the will of the God who madeyou. Instead of asking how much better off God will be whether yousave your soul or lose it, the practical problem for you is to askhow much better off you will be if you save your soul and avoidhell. So Christ puts the question to you, as to all of us,"For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world,and suffer the loss of his own soul." Matt. XVI., 26. Youcannot ask yourself that question too often.

899. If it had to be, to satisfy Himself in someway, then He is deficient in some respect.

We cannot say that God had to create anybody. God was free tocreate or not to create. Granted, however, that He freely chose tocreate you, endowing you with intelligence, free will, andimmortality of soul, then if you abuse the gifts God gave you, usethem to offend God rather than to serve God, and die without beingreconciled to God, God will have to send you to hell. And He willdo this to vindicate the claims of justice. Far from this implyinga deficiency in God, there would be a deficiency in Him if, havinggiven the moral law, He did not vindicate that law. Men too easilyassume that God's dominion over creatures must not under anycircumstances involve inconvenience for those creatures. Theirliberty must be supreme, even if God is to be deprived of theliberty to appoint the moral laws regulating their conduct. Menmust be allowed to flout those laws, and do as they like, and evenGod has no right to threaten retribution. So men deny hell, and ifthey acknowledge religion at all, it is to be allowed no office butto soothe and comfort them. Genuine love of God casts out fear. Butmen want to cast out fear, without bothering about the love of God. And then they talkabout a deficiency in God if they are not allowed to do so.

900. If God is really the All in All, it is rank foolishness toimagine that He would he complimented in any sense by the schemeyou attribute to Him.

It is not I who attribute any scheme to God. I declare what Hehas revealed to be the eternal counterparts of the good and evilnot only possible, but so evident in human life. And if we take thethree great motives of conduct, what is useful, what is pleasant,and what is right, I have already said that God's treatment ofcreatures will not be based upon utility or pleasure, but upon whatis right and just in itself. And the rank foolishness is to imaginethat God must abandon what is right and just because a creature inrebellion against Him whines about the sacrilegious violation ofits own utility and pleasure.



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