after death

Now I’m a little confused here. After one dies it is said that they sleep, unless that is there’s a serious problem somewhere. Anyway they wait for the awakening but also when we die we go to heaven. Now which is it? Is there a certain part of the person that sleeps when dead and a part that goes to heaven?


Have you taken Catechism class?
Usually, it is explained, in some detail, what happens after a person stops breathing for a while.

It is said, that a newly deceased person gets whisked away to meet Jesus Christ face-to-face.
During this conversation, a sentence is agreed upon, for how much time to “wait” in Purgatory before he can go to Heaven.
Then, that person is whisked off into Purgatory, to wait for Heaven.

The concept of “Sleep” is much-less-Clear, at least to me (nor do I care very much about it).

The way I see it, is that before the Death of Jesus Christ, there was NO way into Heaven for a Good-nik.
So, that is why the Bible is filled to references to “Sleep” (they were asleep, waiting for Jesus).
Then, after the Resurrection, Jesus gathered up the “people” He wanted to allow into Heaven (and transported them to Heaven)…
But, I defer to anyone who has the Church’s take on the Issue.

The answer I think depends on who you ask. To a philosopher, he may well likely conclude, after using his human reason, that man is composed of soul and body and that “the soul is shown to be immortal, and since immortal, indestructible” and for which “death is merely a separation of the soul and body” (Plato).

Mainstream Christianity agrees with Plato (actually Plato got the idea from his teacher, the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates), but goes further to say that the soul of a person who dies in grace goes to heaven immediately after death (“particular” judgment) while His body remains on earth, to be reunited with his soul later at the “general” judgment.

But if you consult the Scriptures, it will give you a different answer. God’s revelation says that “the dead know not anything” (Ecc. 9:5) – that at the time of one’s death, “in that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:4). And then there will come a time, “when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25). All the dead on this earth – “…all that are in the graves [not in heaven or some other place]” – “shall hear his voice, and shall come forth (be alive again); they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life (be given immortal life), and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29).

Sleep is a body function; only bodies can sleep.

And, when the human body is asleep, the human mind is not in abeyance, but is often more active (dreaming) than when the limbs and eyes are in use.

Dead human bodies often look asleep, once the eyes have been sealed, etc. So Scripture uses the word sleep as a comforting euphemism for death.

But as with actual human sleep, this dies not mean that one’s mental being is in abeyance.


Yes; your human body.

& a part that goes to heaven?


Yes; your soul or mind.

Heaven lies in Eternity, outside of time, so your transformed body will be there and you can resume being alive.


Hi Bill,

Let’s look at what the Church teaches.

As soon as we die, we face our particular judgment. (New Advent Catholic Dictionary ), where we will be assigned one of three judgments (Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory). We will keenly be aware of our own sin. We go to our period of refinement, punishment, or reward.

It is said that we are “asleep,” but the full phrase is that we are “asleep in the Lord.”

This is because those both living and those who have faced their Particular Judgment will participate in the “General Judgment” of the Second Coming of Christ, when all will be aware of what we have done in our lives and how we have affected each other.

To the living who cannot know the dispositions of the souls of the dead, we appear “sleeping” until the General Judgment, or Parusia ( The living do not know what has happened to the souls of the dead and cannot presume to know if they are in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory – until the Parusia (the link is really great, just scroll to the appropriate heading).

From EWTN ( and the Catechism:

"For those who have died and already have faced the particular judgment, their judgment will stand. Those living at the time of the Second Coming will receive judgment. Those who have rejected the Lord in this life, who have sinned mortally, who have no remorse for sin and do not seek forgiveness, will have condemned themselves to hell for all eternity. “By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love (Catechism, No. 678).”

Certain catechists and self proclaimed mystics who claim to pass on “personally interpreted truth” don’t bother to look up what the Church teaches, but this is the basis of much Church doctrine; but pass on misinformation detrimental to another’s soul instead (which is reprehensible per Lk17:2, Matt 8:16,and Mk 9:42). Be wary, friend. And be blessed.

We are hybrids. We are body and soul. When we die, the body and soul separate; the soul leaves the body to experience particular judgment by God and goes to heaven, hell or purgatory. The body stays behind, “sleeping” if you will, until final judgment when our souls will be reunited with our glorious bodies (awakening) and live in eternity. “Sleeping” is really a metaphor for death; we are not really asleep, with dreams and snoring.

Ok I see. I have heard people also say the person is at rest. That must be talking about the body.

For the most part, that is true.

But your soul can also be at rest, in a place of comforting being without the conflict that is the norm of natural human life.

“Rest” does not imply inertness or lifelessness.


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