本月「煉靈月」，我們繼續探討「萬民四末」 —— 其中第二項是「審判」；是指每個人都要面對天主的審判，接受永恆生命的定案。「審判」分「私審判」和「公審判」。
我們普遍相信，人的靈魂離開肉身的一刻，要單獨面對基督的審判 —— 「私審判」。當下，基督作為最高權威的審判元首，會對該靈魂作出一個决定性及無可推翻的永恆判斷：如靈魂是純潔的，要被賞天堂永福；不完全純潔的靈魂，要到煉獄接受暫罸的煉淨；有大罪的靈魂，則會被判在地獄中受永罰。
在世界末日，全人類都要面對「公審判」 —— 最後審判。「公審判」是為顯示對天主、基督、善人和惡人的公義。
對天主的公義: 在世上人們公開質疑天主的計劃; 屆時，天主對每一個人曾賦予的蔭庇，祂那涵蓋宇宙上智的安排，將要被完全公開披露和顯揚。
對基督 的公義: 主耶穌個人及祂的肢體(教會的成員) 曾受蔑視和傷害, 祂 屆時將以至尊判官及萬王之王的身份出現。
對善人的公義: 他們像基督一樣忍受了蔑視和傷害, 屆時 也會和基督一起受榮耀。
對惡人的公義: 有些惡人因作惡而自豪, 另一些惡人卻隱密地犯罪; 前者要被貶抑, 後者要受蒙羞。
良心的聲音不是來自個人: 即使我們願意, 也無法埋沒這聲音。這聲音也不是來自父母和老師，他們和我們一樣感受到良心之聲。這聲音是來自天主。故此，每天的省察神修，能幫助我們摯誠地順從天主，妥善準備靈魂，穩步踏入永生。省察可分兩種：總省察和私省察。
What to expect on Judgement Day.
In this month of All Souls we are exploring the four last things to be ever remembered. Last week it was death. The second last thing is judgement, which is the sentence God pronounces upon each person for eternity. There are two judgements: particular judgement and general judgement.
Teachings on judgement
Particular judgement is pronounced at the moment of death. It is called particular because the soul appears alone before Christ. It is commonly believed that particular judgement occurs at the place and time of death.
Christ, the Sovereign Judge, pronounces a definitive and irrevocable sentence of life or death on the soul. If the soul is absolutely pure, it goes to heaven; if the soul has something to expiate, it goes to purgatory; if the soul is stained with mortal sin, it goes to hell.
General judgement will take place at the end time. All people will be judged so that full and entire justice will be done to God, to Christ, and to all people, whether just or sinners.
Justice will be done to God because His providence is being questioned on earth. It is proper that it be publicly justified, and that His wisdom in ordering the events of the world be manifested. Justice will be done to Christ because He was despised and condemned in His own Person and in the members of His Church. It is fitting that He appears then as Sovereign Judge and King of Kings.
Justice will be done to the just because they, like Christ, have been despised and mistreated; it is fitting that they be glorified. Justice will be done to sinners because some of them have been insolent in their crimes and others have concealed their crimes; it is fitting that the former should be humbled and the latter be covered with shame.
The sentence pronounced at the general judgement will be the solemn confirmation of that of the particular judgement, and will not differ from it. Since the general judgement will take place after the general resurrection, sentence will be pronounced on the whole person, body and soul. The body will share the everlasting reward or punishment of the soul.
Examination of conscience
The best way to prepare to face God in judgement is to face one’s own conscience truthfully. Here on earth, conscience is the voice that helps us to judge what is right and what is wrong.
This voice is not just our own: we cannot stop it even if we want to. This voice is not just from our parents and teachers: they too, like us, perceive the same voice. God gives this voice. Examination of conscience is a good daily spiritual exercise to conform our heart to God and to prepare our soul for eternity.
Examination of conscience can be divided into general and particular. General examination of conscience aims at the correction of all kinds of faults. We pass in review the successive hours of the day, noting what faults we have committed in thought, word, deed, and omission. It is very helpful also to examine our motives and reasons for committing faults. We then ask God’s pardon with a firm purpose of amendment.
Particular examination of conscience aims at the correction of one particular kind of fault or the practice of one particular virtue. St. Ignatius Loyola suggested we resolve to avoid a certain fault or to practise a particular virtue in the morning. At noon and at night we examine how often we have committed the fault or have practised the virtue.
We can mark down the number of success or failure, compare numbers with the preceding day, impose penance for each failure, and make concrete resolutions for the future.
Let us judge ourselves now, so that we may be ready for the judgement of God.
Here is a talk I gave to the students at the High School on “Death & Judgement” base on this article and my last article:
Here is the page of all my articles for Pax Sinica: