Great essay by Fr. James Schall, SJ on “The Catholic Difference.”

Read it all at Catholic World Report.  The money quote

So, in conclusion, what is the Catholic difference? The difference is that Catholicism provides a coherent, logical, and true description of what our lives are about, of their importance, and of their consequences. By insisting that our thoughts and actions are of transcendent significance, it makes us realize the truth of that famous comment of C. S. Lewis: “I have never met a mere mortal.” Or to put it another way, the doctrine of hell means that, at any moment, each of us can do something that merits eternal damnation. The life we lead may be delightful or grim, but it reaches eternity. This teaching is not primarily intended to frighten us but to teach us of the enormous importance of each human life and the way we affect one another. We are judged in this context.

The Catholic distinction, in short, is that it holds this account of our purpose to be true. It is a truth addressed to our reason. It is a truth we did not give to ourselves, but one given to us as a gift, a gift of light. Kingdoms rise and fall. We may even be in them as they rise or fall. But the narrative of the importance of each of us remains the same in all regimes. We are not mere mortals. No lasting city is found among us. All men die no matter how long they live. And all are promised resurrection according to God’s graces and their choices of how they lived their live. We have been offered mercy and forgiveness, but not a free ride in which we will be all right no matter what we do. The Catholic difference is that, in the end, no other difference counts.

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