The ecclesial dimension of Christian existence in death
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This article draws attention to one of the important dimensions of the Christian vision of death, namely its ecclesial dimension. Human existence, after the pilgrimage, is not a solitary existence. Since the Church is one, as we profess in the Creed, all those who belong to Christ, both the living and the dead, belong to the one reality of the Church. The dead are thus not just pious memories in the human mind, but a continuing real presence in the Church, each according to one’s proper state. The Second Vatican Council recalled the three dimensions of the Church - the earthly, heavenly, and the being at the stage of purification. Since ancient times, the Church prays and encourages prayers for the dead, and recalls the communication of spiritual goods. While individual persons are responsible for their actions, including the preparation of the definitive meeting with the Lord, the whole Church still intercedes for them. With the reality of purgatory, which is, in fact, an experience of the mercy of God, persons closely united to Christ and His Church are able to achieve the measure of sanctification, which they failed to achieve during their earthly life.
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