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88. Time and Place of the General Judgment

1. Each soul is judged, in what is called the particularjudgment, the instant it leaves its body; that is, each man isjudged immediately after death. The general judgment of the lastday will not reverse or change any sentence passed in theparticular judgment; the purpose of the general judgment is tomanifest to all rational creatures the justice of God, as well ashis goodness and mercy.

2. It seems likely that the general judgment will takeplace without words. For all will be judged at once; each will knowhis own sins and the sins of all others; each, then, will know atonce the justice of the judgment in each case. Hence, it seems thatthe general judgment will be conducted without word-of-mouthdiscussions. Indeed, it is most probable that the whole judgmentwill be enacted and received mentally, not audibly.

3. God alone knows the day and the hour of the end of theworld and the last judgment. Scripture says (Mark 13:32): "Ofthat day or hour, no man knoweth"; and (I Thess. 5:2),"The day of the Lord shall so come as a thief in thenight."

4. The prophet Joel says (3:2): "I will gathertogether all nations . . . into the valley of Josephat, and I willplead with them there." This prophecy is usually taken toindicate the place in which the last or general judgment will beheld. The valley of Josephat is near Jerusalem, and is overlookedby Mount Olivet from which our Lord ascended into heaven.

"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Happy is the youth, because he has time before him to do good. "
St Philip Neri

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