d) Heaven

Heaven God offering helpQuotes At-A-Glance: Heaven

(See Further Down the Page for the Full Quotes.)

  1. “You know the way to the place where I am going.” (Jesus)
  2. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (St Paul)
  3. “There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘heaven’ ridiculous by saying they not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them.” (CS Lewis)
  4. “Heaven, the Scriptures assure us, will be enjoyed within the communal embrace of billions of persons of every temperament, race, background, and ideology imaginable.” (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  5. “Heaven means that other divine summit from which we all come and to which we are all meant to return.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  6. “What we are to be in the future has not been revealed.” (St John the Evangelist)
  7. “We will indeed be judged on the basis of how we treated the poor in this life.” (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  8. “Christianity believes that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty and our energy.” (CS Lewis)
  9. “The Church today thinks of Purgatory as a process of maturing rather than a punishment or paying a debt. The image of ‘fire’ is an earthly image and not a bit useful.” (Fr George Wadding)
  10. “Purgatory will be learning to let go of our worldly attachments. In the end, we will become transformed and purified by the intensity of God’s burning love for us. Our selfish ego, that part of us that always sought self-satsifaction, will have died forever.” (Fr George Wadding)
  11. “Today it might be more helpful to think of purgatory as a school in holiness, a place where we learn to truly grow into the image and likeness of the God in whose image we have been created… a type of finishing school.” (Dr Fainche Ryan)
  12. “What we call ‘Purgatory’ is a process of healing, a transformative meeting with the risen Lord, in which the frozen areas of our hearts melt through encountering pure love.” (Fr Brian Grogan, S.J.)
  13. “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (in a parable that Jesus told)
  14. “Are you too busy to take God seriously? ‘God can wait!’ Do you give God the brush off? How? Why?” (Fr Eamon Devlin, C.M.)

Full Quotes:
Heaven

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

—Jesus (in John 14)

“Resurrected life is not more of the same—it is something totally new, like the difference between the acorn and the oak tree that grows from it.”

—Fr Kieran Cronin, OFM, St Anthony Brief, Jan 2005

“But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

—St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2.9)

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world….

There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘heaven’ ridiculous by saying they not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’.

The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc) is, of course, a merely symbolic attempt to express the inexpressible.

Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it.”

—CS Lewis, in his book ‘Mere Christianity’ (in the chapter ‘Hope’, page 113-114 of the 1997 edition by Fount Paperbacks, London)

“Heaven, the Scriptures assure us, will be enjoyed within the communal embrace of billions of persons of every temperament, race, background, and ideology imaginable. A universal heart will be required to live there. Thus, in this life, it is good to get some practice at this… when we gather only with persons of our own kind, the heart need not and generally does not stretch. Going to church is one of the better cardio-vascular spiritual exercises available.”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser

“Heaven, then, means that other divine summit from which we all come and to which we are all meant to return.”

—Pope Benedict XVI in his first book as Pope: ‘Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration’, 2007

“My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not been revealed; all we know is that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.”

—The first letter of St. John (1 John 3:2-3)

“The Kingdom in heaven is a place where everyone is equal, everyone is respected and cared for; where nobody feels rejected, unwanted, marginalised or looked down upon.”

—Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, page 14 of his book ‘Jesus: Social Revolutionary?’, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 2008

“Jesus teaches that when we stand before God in judgement, we will indeed be judged on the basis of how we treated the poor in this life. He makes the practice of justice the very criterion for salvation (Mt 25:31-46).”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser

“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”

—GK Chesterton

“Birth and death are very similar. Maybe on the other side when we die here, we’re being born there.”

—John O’Donohue, in a TG4 documentary on him

“Christianity believes that… some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty and our energy.”

—CS Lewis

“The Church today thinks of Purgatory as a process of maturing rather than a punishment or paying a debt. The image of ‘fire’ is an earthly image and not a bit useful. I prefer to use the image of convalescence…. Our sins are forgiven but our souls have been weakened and must be built up and strengthened again. In this life this happens through the Mass, through prayer, through good works… In the next life, this work will continue. At death we shall come into the presence of God who is love…. Purgatory will be learning to let go of our worldly attachments. In the end, we will become transformed and purified by the intensity of God’s burning love for us. Our selfish ego, that part of us that always sought self-satsifaction, will have died forever. We shall become utterly unselfish, capable of perfect love, capable of sharing God’s own life.”

—Fr George Wadding, CSsR, in the Redemptorists’ ‘Reality’ magazine, November 2007

“Might Purgatory be understood as precisely as being embraced by God in such a way that (God’s love) dwarfs our earthly concepts of love and knowledge….

True purgation happens only through love because it is only when we experience love’s true embrace that we can see our sin and drink in, for the first time, the power to move beyond it. Only light dispels darkness and only love casts out sin… Only when we are embraced by love do we actually understand what sin is and, only there, are we given the desire, the vision, and the strength to live in love and truth.”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser, ‘Purgatory as Seeing for the First Time‘, 4th November 2012, ronrolheiser.com

“Limbo is a term that was used to describe where babies were deemed to have gone if they were unfortunate enough to die before baptism. This belief, which was never an official teaching of the church, caused immense pain to many mothers and fathers over the centuries…. The teaching on limbo came about not to condemn babies but to emphasise the importance of baptism… Today we have developed liturgies for babies who die without having the opportunity for baptism… This development brings our practice into line with official church teaching that… God’s love is not limited to baptised members of the church….

A belief in purgatory, or perhaps to use a better phrase, a belief in a time of purgation, of purification, has been a constant teaching of the Catholic Church… another opportunity to learn how to be holy. In the past this time after death and before heaven was thought in terms of a purifying fire. Today it might be more helpful to think of purgatory as a school in holiness, a place where we learn to truly grow into the image and likeness of the God in whose image we have been created… a type of finishing school.”

—Dr Fainche Ryan, the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine, November 2008

“What we call ‘Purgatory’ is a process of healing, a transformative meeting with the risen Lord, in which the frozen areas of our hearts melt through encountering pure love.”

—Fr Brian Grogan, S.J., in the September 2014 printed edition of ‘The Sacred Heart Messenger’ magazine in an article ‘Where To From Here (21): Remedial Education in Loving’, one of a series of articles adapted from his book ‘Where To From Here? The Christian Vision of Life After Death’ (Dublin, Veritas, 2011)

“Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good,and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend ?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

—Gospel of Matthew (Mt 22:1-14, the Parable of the Wedding Banquet)

“Thinking about that gospel (the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Mt 22:1-14), are you too busy to take God seriously? “God can wait!” Do you give God the brush off? How? Why?”

—Fr Eamon Devlin, C.M., in a sermon on Mt 22:1-14, 9th October, 2011

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