Monday, November 3, 2008

Bishop Aquila of Fargo: Hell is real; we will be judged on how we lived.

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header_original_modBishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo marked the completion of the 40 Days for Life campaign in his diocese with a reflection on the Final Judgment.

"Judgment is real, just as heaven and hell are real,” the bishop said at the Mass on Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. “When the soul separates from the body and comes before God, we will be judged on how we lived. It’s important to understand the reality of that judgment.”

Since Sept. 24, hundreds of volunteers fasted and prayed for an end to abortion in conjunction with similar campaigns in more than 170 cities across the nation. Volunteers also prayed in one-hour shifts, 24-hours-a-day outside the only abortion facility in the state.

Bishop A! quila urged the nearly 200 people in attendance at the closing Mass to reflect upon the four last things and how they apply to the 40 Days for Life effort.

"An intrinsic evil is anything that is always and at every time wrong -- that can never be seen as a ‘good,’” he noted.

He said abortion, contraception, premarital sex, same-sex acts and the taking of innocent human life during war are all intrinsic evils: “No society, and no person if he is Catholic, can ever support an intrinsic evil nor can he or she ever vote for someone who supports intrinsic evil. It is important to understand that, and to understand that truth especially in the upcoming election.

"Because, yes, all of us will be judged by how we vote. And, yes, there are many Catholics with erroneous consciences who have made prudential judgments that are wrong and have consistently made prudential judgments that are wrong.

"Either they d! o not fully understand the teaching of the Church or they choose to ignore that teaching and they choose an evil, and an intrinsic evil.”

Order of God

“For any society to be just, it must reflect the order of God,” Bishop Aquila said. “There are fundamental rights that no one can violate and those are the inalienable rights that our forefathers recognized so clearly -- and note the order -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

He said people must be concerned about the economy, the war in Iraq, the questions about immigration and other issues, but “we must recognize that first must come the fundamental right to life … the respect for human life from the moment of conception to natural death.”

“It is important for us to never give up the battle that is taking place within our country,” he said. “Even as we close these 40 days, I encourage each of you to continue to! stand for the gift of life." Zenit

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