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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.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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