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THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL

Copyright © 1995-2019, Father Scannell. All rights reserved.

Human beings are the link between the material world and the spiritual world. Our bodies are matter and are part of the material world, however, our souls are spiritual and a part of the spirit world.

Yes, our bodies are mortal. We carry about within us the seeds of death. From the moment we are born, we begin to die. But our souls are immortal. They will live forever. Today, I wish to review for you some of the proofs of the immortality of your soul.

(l) The soul is immortal because it is spiritual. The soul is spiritual because some of its actions are independent of matter. It acts independently of matter because it forms abstract and universal ideas, as honesty, truth, goodness, etc. Such ideas cannot be formed by the senses. They can be formed only by a faculty that resembles themselves in being immaterial. If the soul were a material thing and had extension as the senses, it could never pass beyond the picture of concrete things with their definite shape, color, hardness, etc. It could never deduce conclusions from known truths. It could never get a notion of God, or desire Him above all things in the visible world. The soul is spiritual because it moves and directs itself, as it does in the exercise of free-will, while matter moves only as it is moved; matter gets its motion and direction of it motion from without. While the soul is united to the body, the senses supply it with the materials from which it derives its knowledge, but in its life and action, it is as independent of the senses as the painter is of the men who supply him with brushes and colors. Since it acts independently of the body, it can exist even when the body perishes, and can continue to seek the truth and to love the good. The destruction of the body, then does not involve the destruction of the soul. The soul, unlike the body, is immaterial. It is not made up of parts distinct and separate. Therefore, after death, it cannot perish of itself or through the agency of any creature. God alone can destroy it.

(2) Proof of the desire of perfect happiness common to all people. There must be a future life in which it can be found.

(3) Conscience implies the existence of a Supreme Lawgiver who will reward the good and punish the wicked.

(4) The final and absolute proof: The words of Christ.

Take away the thought of immortality, and we have nothing really to live for.

It is narrated that, in one of Ingersall’s lectures, the noted American infidel orator derided the Catholic Faith, calling it a beautiful empty dream. At the close of the lecture, an old Irish washerwoman arose from her place in the audience and spoke to the great orator as follows:

"What do you give me in exchange for my faith in a future live, a faith which has sustained me, yea, made my rough, hard life these many years, in the main, a peaceful, happy one?" Then, answering her own question, she continued: "You give me only despair; you leave me without hope, with my faith shattered, nothing to live for; or you try to leave me thus—but sir, even granted, which I do not, that you are right, I still maintain I am happier in my faith and hope—happier even though it were but a dream."

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Copyright © 1995-2019, Father Scannell. All rights reserved.