CCC 164 Now, however, “we walk by faith, not by sight”;1 we perceive God as “in a mirror, dimly” and only “in part”.2 Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. The world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it.
CCC 769 “The Church. .. will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,”3 at the time of Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.”4 Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.”5 The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’. .. be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence.”6
CCC 1005 To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”7 In that “departure” which is death the soul is separated from the body.8 It will be reunited with the body on the day of resurrection of the dead.9
CCC 1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.10 The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul--a destiny which can be different for some and for others.11
CCC 1681 The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is “away from the body and at home with the Lord.”12
1 2 Cor 5:7.
2 l Cor 13:12.
3 LG 48.
4 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 18,51:PL 41,614; cf. LG 8.
5 LG 5; Cf. 6; 2 Cor 5:6.
6 LG 2.
7 2 Cor 5:8.
8 Cf. Phil 1:23.
9 Cf. Paul VI, CPG § 28.
10 Cf. 2 Tim 1:9-10.
11 Cf. Lk 16:22; 23:43; Mt 16:26; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; Heb 9:27; 12:23.
12 2 Cor 5:8.