Is the after-life purely spiritual in nature?


Greetings in Christ. My name is Carlo Juanola.

Can someone please clarify the nature of the after life with regards to Catholic theology?

I am Catholic and I was taught in a theology class that it is more accurate to view the afterlife in terms of a “state of being”. Does this imply that there is absolutely no physical aspects to the after life? Can someone please clarify this?

I am involved in an online discussion at the following link regarding this topic: If you view this link, can someone key in on the last two posts by me and Bro. Ignatius Mary?

A religious by the name of Bro. Ignatius Mary had stated the following: “What the Church is saying about hell as a “state of being” is not that there is no physical place at all, but that the experience of hell, heaven, purgatory is a state of being; it is not physical in the sense we know physical in this world.”

Is this accurate and/or a fair statement? I hate “splitting hairs” but I would like to hear a Catholic Apologist’s take on this.


Carlo, Br. Ignatius Mary is correct; if one teaches otherwise, then one has to answer for the disbelief in Our Lord’s bodily resurrection. Now we know that Our Lord wasn’t a resusitated corpse like Lazarus, but had a real, though now glorified, body. His is the pattern for our own resurrection.



Thank you very much.

Is it fair to say that we will be pure spirit when we enter into eternity in the afterlife, yet there is a physical sense that is different from what we know and experience in this world?

In Christ,


Not quite, Carlo. (Sorry for the delay.) When we die our soul survives - in God’s beatitude, we pray! - and is purely spirit; at the resurrection, however, our souls will be joined to our bodies and enjoy - or not - what and where our fidelity to Christ and His grace while in our bodies on earth has brought us to. (Our bodies, since they played their part in bringing us to God - or separating us from Him - receive their reward, too, since we are not purely spirit-creatures as the angels.) So there will be a physical dimension to our existence although what that entails we hardly know now, although we have the hope of it in and through Christ’s own Resurrection.


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