Sunday, September 18, 2011

A strange thought

Then Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?"
 – Genesis 18:23
I was reading about St. Thomas' proof of the existence of God and had a strange thought.

What if the act of creation is not a singular event? What if each moment in time and space needs God to create it or at least shall we say to sustain it?

What if this continual act of creation depends on us to believe in God? Then when the last believer dies, the universe will cease to exist. Because God will destroy it.

This is what God did in the case of Sodom. Abraham asked if he would spare the city if there were only a handful of believers. In fact it seems possible that God might have spared it -- even if there were only one righteous person who truly feared God.

There is a tradition which is the Liturgy of the Hours. It consists of prayers that are said throughout the day. It is almost as if the monks believed that if they stopped praying that the world would end.

In fact the ancient Egyptians had such a belief. They had priests that would pray throughout the night to guarantee that the sun would rise in the morning.

I'm not trying to make a gnostic argument here for the need to worship God in order for the universe to continue existing. I am trying to stick to basic biblical fundamentals and Catholic beliefs.

We believe that God created the world. We also believe that the world will end one day. We don't know when that day will come. We know that the ancient Hebrews were punished when they strayed from their faith.

We see how faith in God is being destroyed in our modern world. Some don't believe in God at all. And some believe that God simply created the world and then plays no active part in his creation. This is rejected by Christian beliefs. We believe that God has an active role in his creation

I believe that God is love. It is that love that sustains and nourishes the world. I can't imagine a day where no one believes in God.

Man is God's creation which he created in his own image. How can we deny his existence. But perhaps it is not simply a matter of affirming his existence, but also of realizing his power over us. Is this what the Bible ultimately means by "God fearing"?

We know that we will be judged when we die. And we will be judged again at the end of time.

I heard an interesting explanation for this second judgement recently. At the end of time we will be judged for the consequences that resulted from our actions after we died. I don't know how prevalent that idea is within the Catholic faith, but it has an air of plausibility. And I had been wondering about this.

Some say that we don't go to Heaven (or Hell) when we die but must wait for the Second Coming. The Catholic Church does not agree with this. So I had been wondering, how does this work?

Could we be judged worthy of Heaven at the time of death and then unworthy later on? Would we then have to go through a second Purgatory, or is Purgatory even an option at that time?

Somehow it seems to me that the rule must be: once in Heaven, always in Heaven.

Perhaps there might be souls trapped in Purgatory that might not be so fortunate. So it would behoove those souls in Purgatory to pray mightily for those who they have influenced during their time among the Church Militant. And we in turn should pray just as fervently for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory.

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Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.

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