[quote=1_fisherman]My first question is who answers my questions? Is it a lay person, priest, or sister?
If you post in the “Ask an Apologist” forum, it will be answered either by a priest or layman on the Catholic Answers staff. Most of the people on the rest of the forums are laymen. Many of them, though, are very knowledgable about the faith (I would say perhaps as knowledgable as some of the Catholic Answers apologists). Many people who answer questions will also post quotes from Canon Law or the Catechism to back up their answers.
My brother brought up the creed we say at mass every Sunday, “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Does this mean we are not judged until Jesus returns? I always thought we were judged on the day we died.???
There are two judgments, the particular judgment and the general judgment. When we die, our sins are laid bare before us and the Lord. Those who die in His friendship (i.e. are not guilty of mortal sin) will go to Heaven (possibly after a time in Purgatory). Those who do not go to Hell.
The general judgment will occur at the end of time. My understanding is that at this time, our sins will be laid bare not only between us and God, but for every soul who has ever lived. We will see the consequences of our actions, both good and bad, and see how they fit into the overarching plan of Salvation.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
**On the General Judgment **
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.581 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.582 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.583 Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.584 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."585
On the Particular Judgment
1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification592 or immediately,593-or immediate and everlasting damnation.594
At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.595