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1.43 What happens when we die?

Heaven, hell, or purgatory?

Many people fear death. We are always alone when we die: we leave behind everything that we know and enter a new reality. When we die, our body remains on earth and our soul appears before God. We will be confronted with the way we lived our life.

If we have tried in our lives to love God and our fellow men, we will enter heaven (possibly via purgatory). In heaven we will be happy forever with God. Only those who consciously and permanently reject God’s love will go to hell.

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When you die, you leave everything and everyone behind: your soul is separated from your body and appears before God.

The Wisdom of the Church

This is what the Church Fathers say

Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven 'either in this world or in the world to come' (Mt. 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. [St. Gregory the Great, Dialogues 4:39 (ML 77, 396)]