Fr. Altman: What would happen if you died in 15 minutes?

Fr. James Altman offers a reflection on the four last things.

Fr. James Altman/Alpha News

Fr. James Altman of La Crosse, Wisconsin, reflected in a homily Sunday on what the Christian tradition calls the four last things — death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

“Heaven or hell. Salvation or damnation. Those are the only two options here,” said Altman. “A lot of non-Catholics like to say, ‘I’m saved. Salvation is assured.’ Sadly, many Catholics now run around acting as if they were saved, as if what they do or not do doesn’t matter very much.”

“Jesus taught that our daily cooperation with grace — daily — it’s a prerequisite to salvation,” he continued.

Altman shared his experience of being in Hawaii in January 2018 when a false ballistic missile alert was broadcast throughout the state.

“I got out of bed, immediately prayed the act of contrition, and went out and sat on the balcony to wait the inevitable blast with internal peace. ‘Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit,'” said Altman. “So are we prepared, each and everyone of us, to meet Jesus if we discovered we would be dead in 15 minutes? Dear family, the Kingdom of God actually is at hand.”

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