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13 February 2012

Joseph Ratzinger, FTW

We can also note, according to these witnesses, the anchoring of a person in the Church is not something which death disrupts or destroys.  Even when they have crossed over the threshold of the world beyond, human beings can still carry each other and bear each others' burdens.  They can still give to each other, suffer for each other, and receive from each other.  More clearly at Alexandria than in the Western tradition, this conviction rests on the Pauline-Johannine belief that the real frontier runs not between earthly life and not-life, but between being with Christ, on the one hand, and, on the other, being without him or against him.  The decisive step is taken in baptism: while the fundamental option of the baptismal candidate becomes definitively established with death, its full development and purification may have to await a moment beyond death, when we make our way through the judging fire of Christ's intimate presence in the companionable embrace of the family of the Church. 
Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology, p. 227
(emphasis added) 

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