There Will Come A Time of Perfect Clarity
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It is God, then, Who will pronounce judgment on the souls of men at the moment of death. But, in another sense, it is men who will pass judgment on themselves. At the moment of judgment, the soul which has left its body in death will see clearly its own merits and demerits, its own love or lack of love for God. In a moment of blinding clarity, God will infuse this perfect self-knowledge into the soul which has left the world of time and space. The soul will see the absolute justice of the judgment of God. In that very instant, the soul will ascend to the heights of heaven, fall to the fires of purgatory for a time, or descend forever into hell. In that “Hour of truth” each soul will know itself perfectly and see the truth of its own judgment.
Walter Farrell, O.P., S.TM. and Martin J. Healy, S.T.D.