What happens when I die?

Published on 23 Aug 2016
Grave, Credit Greg Ortega via Unsplash

I believe somehow I shall be confronted by Infinite Love and invited to find my best self by responding to that love. What corner or aspect of the universe it is which  can be described in those terms I do not know.

I do not believe it can be totally discontinuous with the universe as we understand it (to the extent that we do), and I believe that the religious experience of some of our great mystics gives us some glimpse of the full riches of the divine reality to which we belong.

Whether either heaven or hell are straightforwardly places depends on whether you think human beings can survive in a bodiless state.  I think our bodies are essential to us, and hence that we need to be embodied, and hence in some place or other. Whether this place is experienced as hell or as heaven depends on whether we have developed in such a way as to rejoice in giving and receiving love from others, and especially from God.

But I like to think that in the long run there is nobody who will deliberately choose a life of selfish ill-doing when faced with God rather than a life of learning that love and forgiveness are far better than any pure self-regard can provide. Perhaps, somewhere, sometime, we can all have learned that lesson. I am big on hope!

Gerard J Hughes SJ