For some people the big fear beyond death is judgment. For most of Christian history this has been what Christianity was really all about””preparing you to face the finality of judgment, and its bifurcation between heaven and hell ”¦. While we may not imagine perpetual fire or gnashing of teeth, it’s not hard to imagine being alone forever, a very gloomy prospect. And if one adds to that the possibility of everlasting pain, it’s too oppressive to think about….
In the face of this, St. Paul writes these stirring words, which conclude the eighth chapter of his Letter to the Romans: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”