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Kempis on the 4 Last Things: The Joys of Heaven



The Book of Revelations 21:1,3


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and be their God.


 

Now the good stuff.



This is the last of the 4 last things... and the best. (What an understatement!) This is where each and every one of us should opt to go, and those who don't make it... I weep.


Imagine colors we've never seen, music we've never heard and love we've never felt. Pick the single-most moment in your life where you were the happiest. Now imagine being even happier, each minute of each hour, each hour of each day... every single day of existence. Then top this off with being able to see our Blessed Mother, meet our Guardian Angel who has been with us before we were ever born, meet our patron saint (St. Francis) and, finally, able to look upon Jesus Christ Himself with glory, awe and wonder. Although we won't be able to look God in the eye, we will feel His Love as if He has wrapped us individually in His arms.


Kempis:

"The true nature of the joys of heaven are necessarily beyond our present comprehension and surpass our thoughts, sensations, words, and desires. Nevertheless, it is both possible and helpful to try to imagine them, according to our limited mortal capacities. According to such visions (and to the testimony of Sacred Scripture itself), heaven may be likened to a great city miraculously constructed from the purest gold and the most precious gemstones. But beyond this, consider, my friend, the infinite and unutterable joy which shall arise from the pure and direct perception of the most Holy Trinity! This is the mystic and unfathomable wonder referred to as the “beatific vision." For you will be united with the infinite beatitude, the boundless power, the infinite glory, and the perfect immortality of the Godhead itself. And by Christ’s mysterious union with human nature, your own nature shall be united with that of God." (my emphasis)

That's it! A very short chapter but it packs a punch. Wondering why so much time was spent on the other 3, especially hell? Are we shortchanging Heaven? Ridiculous question I know. For those who are received into Heaven know that they will live in love and God’s grace the rest of their lives.


So, what is Heaven like?


1 Corinthians 2:9

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”


From my reading, our souls will be translucent, but we will know each other. We will hear the choir of angels singing praises to our God. The temperature will be perfect, we will not hunger or thirst and, did I mention, we will be loved like we've never been loved before. We will have no concept of time, as we know it, because God is our time. The demons claim we will be bored in Heaven. Ha! Fooled you.


Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (my emphasis)


But what about my family, friends, people I grew up with? Will I know them? Will I remember them? The short answer is no. We will not remember those who are not in Heaven with us. From a logical point of view, being so happy by the grace of God, it would make no sense to have any remembrance of anyone, where the result is we would have any kind of sadness. God won't allow that.


If Heaven isn't attractive enough to you yet, perhaps this will help. By virtue of the fact we are in Heaven at all, we will be ordained and consecrated saints. We will not have to depend on mankind to decide who is and isn't a saint (example: Venerable Fulton Sheen and Thomas Kempis). Speaking of ordination to sainthood, I want to be a saint, as you should. But I would never want to be ordained by the Vatican. Think about it. If ordained too early, meaning I'm still in Purgatory, people will stop praying for me thinking I'm in Heaven.


Lastly, at the End of Times, we get our bodies back. Perhaps not in the form we might think. Again, according to many, our bodies will be translucent, we will be the age of 33 (Just a coincidence?) and we can be anywhere with the blink of an eye.


James 1:12

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.


I want to go to Heaven. Some might call it a death wish, I call it a Heaven wish. What I tell people is this:.

"I'm not giving up on living, I'm planning to live."


In a sermon he once gave, Bishop Fulton Sheen tells us that we will have three surprises in heaven.

"The first surprise: We will be surprised to see that many people we expected to be in Heaven are not there. The second surprise: We will be surprised to see that the people we never expected to be in Heaven are there. The third surprise: We will be surprised to see that we are in Heaven. It is so because our getting to heaven is purely God’s Grace." (my emphasis)


Finally, Saint Faustina was once given the grace of gaining a glimpse of Heaven. She writes in paragraph 777:

... and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul, who said, "Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.

God Bless you

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