During my first year of college, I took a course on Greek civilization and was particularly interested in the sacrificial systems and notions of the afterlife. This, combined with a somewhat juvenile take on something that my grade school catechist, Fr. Tito Sammut, once said, led me to compose a song called “In the End,” which speculated on life after death. (Incidentally, I also wrote another song on a similar theme called “Divinity,” probably the better of the two songs.)
What Fr. Tito had said is that, ‘in the end’, we judge ourselves and choose how we want to spend life in the world to come. I took this somewhat out of context, but even so, I think that we can learn from my mistake. What Catholicism and Orthodoxy both teach is that our conscience ultimately will judge us, and that we will indeed choose our path into the next life. As C.S. Lewis put it—and I paraphrase—we will either say to God, “Thy will be done,” and enter into happiness, or we will say, “My will be done,” and experience the effects of selfishness and rebellion. These are our two choices. I skipped over that limitation and crafted my own heaven in my song.
[The conclusion to this post will follow next week.]