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On Entering Eternity


So death brings us to the moment of truth, the terrible meeting with our Creator, with our Judge, our God, the infinite Good, the Author of all Truth.  Suddenly the earth which seemed so solid and sure, which preoccupied so much of our time and attention before, literally fades away before true reality.  All at once we see through and beyond this world of material as though curtains were being drawn back.  It then becomes so unimportant to us;  all of its worries, fears, needs, hopes and plans do not matter anymore.

Suddenly we see this world for what it really is, a mere veil standing before the great reality - a curtain in front of true life and Being.  Everything here at best is only a vague shadow and imitation of that true life with God and of Heaven.  The brightest lights here are dim by comparison with this divine light.

There is really a wonderful, beautiful light waiting for us just beyond the darkness of this world, like nothing on this earth.  "There was a man, one sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came as a witness, to bear witness concerning the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not himself the light, but was to bear witness to the light.  It was the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world" (Jn. I: 6-9).  This light is not a mere figure of speech, but a really wonderful, unearthly, light which is very bright and filled with all delights.  So as our bodily eyes and the rest of our  bodily senses grow weak and cease to function, and when everything is ending, or so it appears to onlookers, a great new light and a new awareness of truest reality overwhelms one.


This is the first step only, and it is an awakening to a whole new world of great wonders, all of which were hidden from us before.  Here we will know directly and immediately, without words and languages.  This light is so beautiful it can only be described as the light of glory.  The wonders of this supernatural light and life with it, then begin to come over us;  a life in this glory that is far, far greater than all that ever was here on earth.  Now the actual poverty, the darkness, the weakness, and the foolishness of all this world has to offer is obvious.

There is a great new opening up of brilliant light, a wonder that far surpasses all we ever dreamed of, as the splendor of God's presence begins to appear.  All at once we see, with eyes of our mind, and we see an unbelievable new world that is so great we are lost in wonder, and already it brings tears of joy to our bodily eyes, even in the state of near death, as we learn from those who experience it.  "The splendor of God will be as light" (Roman Breviary).

Then we see another great marvel, far greater yet, and it is that God has been very near all the time, at arm's length, so to speak, right before us all through life, so near it would seem we could have reached out and touched Him;  so near that He certainly was with us all the while on earth, observing our actions, passing judgment on them, and awaiting patiently for our love and service.  All the while He was holding out His supporting hands to us, waiting for us to take them.  And this is only the beginning of our introduction to the divine presence:  only the beginning of our true awareness of God and eternity.


Then the second step begins, and with it a very serious problem appears.  The modern mind would like to believe every man will immediately enter into glory:  but what really happens?  The great moment and confrontation of our life is at hand.  All we are and have made ourselves to be by our own free choice is how we stand before Him Who contains all wonders.  He gave us freedom to choose, to act as we wanted, even helped us with His graces, so we are totally responsible for what we have become.

The divine justice is absolute, perfect and infinite and the time for judgment has come.  So as we are, we come before such a terrible Judge, and into His presence with all His divine perfections and wonders of every imaginable kind, and many which we never even dreamed of, in the splendor of His presence which is so brilliant, so pure and beautiful.

But coming into this wonder is a terrible sinner, ourselves, lowly, earth bound, materialistic, selfish, lacking in true love for God, and neighbor whom God loves and has created;  we are so full of excessive love for creatures of God, in place of Him their Creator.  Here we stand, the creature whose treasures, wealth and property, whose 'gods' are on earth.  But the earth has been left far behind and left with it are all its treasures, which we held so dear.  We who are impure because of earth's impurities, come before the God Who is absolutely pure, free of all defilement of earth, a Pure Spirit, Who is absolutely, infinitely good.  We the speck of dirt come before the God of all:  the untold wonders of God before a foolish sinful man.