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Dipping into the Catechism p205-211

What happens to our body and our soul after death ?
After death, which is the separation of the body and the soul, the body becomes corrupt while
the soul, which is immortal, goes to meet the judgment of God and awaits its reunion with the
body when it will rise transformed at the time of the return of the Lord. How the resurrection
of the body will come about exceeds the possibilities of our imagination and understanding.
What does it mean to die in Christ Jesus ?
Dying in Christ Jesus means to die in the state of God’s grace without any mortal sin. A
believer in Christ, following His example, is thus able to transform his or her own death into
an act of obedience and love for the Father. “This saying is sure: If we have died with him,
we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11).
I believe in life everlasting
What is life everlasting ?
Eternal life is that life which begins immediately after death. It will have no end. It will be
preceded for each person by a particular judgment at the hands of Christ who is the Judge of
the living and the dead. This particular judgment will be confirmed in the final judgment.
What is the particular judgment ?
It is the judgment of immediate retribution which each one after death will receive from God
in his immortal soul in accord with his faith and his works. This retribution consists in
entrance into the happiness of heaven, immediately or after an appropriate purification, or
entry into the eternal damnation of hell.
What is meant by the term “heaven” ?
By “heaven” is meant the state of supreme and definitive happiness. Those who die in the
grace of God and have no need of further purification are gathered around Jesus and Mary,
the angels and the saints. They thus form the Church of heaven, where they see God “faceto-face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). They live in a communion of love with the Most Blessed
Trinity and they intercede for us.
What is purgatory ?
Purgatory is the state of those who die in God’s friendship, assured of their eternal salvation,
but who still have need of purification to enter into the happiness of heaven.
How can we help the souls being purified in purgatory ?
Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to
help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage (intercession, pleading, on their
behalf) for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice (the Mass) They also help them by
almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance.