Catholic Beliefs Vs Individual Beliefs Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Catholic Beliefs vs. Individual BeliefsReligion and beliefs vary from person to person. What humans come to believe is a direct result of each individual's background, family, friends, society, and materialistic things surrounding them. This holds true for the subject of death and resurrection. Not only are ideas about Jesus' death and resurrection confusing, but also many people do not contemplate what happens to them after they die. Although Catholic faith has a general teaching on death and resurrection, individuals seem to have their own beliefs of what happens to our body and soul after death.Death is "the ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell" (Encarta). Death is a natural process in life in which all humans are destined to experience. Many people fear death because it is an end to what they are used to. People are not comfortable with change; especially changes that they know will hurt their loved ones.Resurrection is what comes after death. It is a separation between the soul (soma) and the flesh (sarx); the soul rises to be with God and the flesh is left on earth. The soul is a part of the body, and both live inside the flesh. When the flesh is cleansed from sin, the body and soul can then be resurrected from the flesh.The Catholic faith teaches that Jesus "was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end" (Marthaler. Nicene Creed).Jesus was sentenced to die under the ruler of Pontius Pilate. Prior to his time of death, Jesus was forced to carry the cross that he would later die on. Once Jesus and the community "witnesses" arrived, Jesus was stripped of his cloths and nailed to the cross. He was left there to die. After he passed, he was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb. As scripture has told, he rose from the dead on the third day and took his place with God.Jesus' death is slightly different than that of everyone else. The Catholic faith teaches that death is the "moment when loved ones are left, meriting ends, and mercy becomes justice" (Brantl 227). At the moment of death, the soul is set free from the body.How each individual lives his or her life plays a role in the life of the soul. If we die in sin, the soul is freed in sin; if we die in righteousness, the soul is freed in righteousness. What happens to the soul is determined by what the Catholic Faith recognizes as judgment. "At the moment of his death every man is judged according to his deserts. The time for merit is over; a man is either a friend or an enemy of God and so he remains for eternity" (Brantl 232). Time is only relevant to the living. Humans use time to earn their "good-standing" with God. Once death occurs, time no longer matters because the soul is in the hands of God. Judgment...

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