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What is eternal life?

Eternal life begins with Baptism. It continues through death and will have no end.

Even when we are simply in love, we want this state of affairs to last forever. “God is love”, says the First Letter of John (1 Jn 4:16). “Love”, says the First Letter to the Corinthians, “never ends” (1 Cor 13:8). God is eternal because he is love; and love is everlasting because it is divine. If we are in love, we enter into God’s endless presence.

Will we be brought to judgment after death?

The so-called particular or personal judgment occurs at the moment of death of the individual. The general judgment, which is also called the Last Judgment, occurs on the Last Day, at the end of the world, when the Lord comes again. In dying every man arrives at the moment of truth. Now it is no longer possible to repress or conceal anything; nothing more can be changed. God sees us as we are. We come before his tribunal, where all is made right, for if we are to be in God’s holy presence at all, we must be “right” with him – as right as God wanted us to be when he created us. Perhaps we will still have to undergo a process of purification, or maybe we will be able to fall into God’s arms immediately. But perhaps we will be so full of wickedness, hatred, and denial of everything that we will turn our face away from love forever, away from God. A life without love, however, is nothing but hell.