Heaven??

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James_2_24

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Can we know what it will be like?

I always wonder if we will recognize people who were loved ones on earth. And if the answer is yes, how does that affect us if, say, we get there and a loved one never makes it (they go to h*ll instead).

Also, I have a hard time thinking our relationships will just disintegrate. I have an especially hard time with the saying of Jesus that there will be no marriage in heaven. I mean, it doesn’t seem right that relationships now, especially marriage, will be totally torn apart and obsolete in heaven. Isn’t a sacrament a foretaste of something in heaven? Thus, wouldn’t marriage only move to a higher and deeper level?
 
At the General Judgement everyone will see how everyone else’s actions have affected others, for good or bad. Obviously we will recognize everyone at that point, so I don’t see why God them promptly make us forget everyone directly after that.
 
Heaven shouldn’t make our relationships disintigrate, but should make our good relationships stronger and our bad ones have better understanding for each other. As for marriages on earth and continuing in heaven, keep in mind that not everyone has had good marriages. My almost two years of marriage was like hell on earth and almost destroyed the person I was. I still remember the man I thought that I had married and the one I found myself married to, I far prefer the first. That is the man I would like to be friends with when we find ourselves reunited in heaven.
  • Laura
 
I think that all the little questions and interpersonal relationships won’t really matter in heaven and this is why, we are with GOD! I have heard a priest say that that all the little questions that you plan on asking God when you get to heaven won’t even matter and I agree with that, all we will do for eternity is bask in the glory of God and contemplate the beuitific (misspelled sorry) vision.
 
In heaven we willl have the fullness of faith and all the knowledge in existance, except for the knowlege of God himself.
 
Will we recognize people we knew on Earth? Of course. Our individual personalities will not cease to exist, nor will our memories. If they did, eternal salvation (or God forbid, eternal damnation) would have no meaning. Therefore, though until Christ’s return we will leave our bodies behind, our individuality is still imprinted on our souls. Through he power of the Beatific Vision, our eyes will be opened to perceive God’s creation as it was meant to be. Ergo, we will be able to ‘look’ upon each soul and recognize them.

We can also be confident that relationships will not ‘disintegrate’. When Christ raised from the dead, both His divine nature and His human nature knew the Apostles, and they knew Him. Christ also speaks about the final judgment, when those who did His will will enter into eternal life. They are depicted as saying “when did we feed you…clothe you…visit you…”. Notice that they say this as a group. It stands to reason that there is a knowledge or relationship with each other after death.

You say that it doesn’t seem right that marriage will be “totally torn apart and obsolete”. Your first part is correct. When Christ says that in heaven people are neither “married nor given in marriage”, He does not mean that Marriage is destroyed (remember, “what God hath joined together, let no one put asunder”). But marriages will most definitely be “obsolete” because they are built on imperfect, human love. The relationships we have with our spouses in Heaven will be so far beyond human comprehension, the love will be so perfect, that the term “marriage” will indeed be obsolete. Additionally, one has to look at the primary purpose for marriage, namely, to provide a permanent, safe environment for procreation. God created marriage for the purpose of uniting man and woman (“the two become one flesh”). The two-fold meaning of this being that they become one flesh both in the marital embrace, as well as more literally in the consequence of that embrace, i.e., children.

In heaven there will be no need for procreation, as procreation only occurs on Earth (no new human souls are created in Heaven). In addition, the unitive power of the conjugal act will also be rendered obsolete by the new love between husband and wife, made perfect in the presence of Almighty God. How lucky will we be that marriage will pass away! And even more good news: that perfect love, freed from the necessity of the unitive conjugal act, will be the constant state of being between every relationship we have in heaven! So much as we love our spouses on earth, indeed, even moreso, we will love and be loved in every relationship, family and friends!

Finally, you asked how knowledge that a loved one did not make it to heaven will affect us. A beautiful explanation of this was given by St. Thomas Aquinas. He said that the suffering of the damned in Hell will actually add to the elation of the elect in Heaven. He realized that, by virtue of the Beatific Vision, we will have full knowledge of everything a person in Hell did to end up there. Therefore, in seeing God’s divine justice at work, we will understand His perfect love even more.

Ultimately, we know that Heaven is a place of perfect, eternal happiness. We may not (indeed, cannot) understand what it would be like to exist in such a state of bliss, but we should trust in the Lord’s promise regardless.
 
There a Catholic Answers Live program that was aired on December 15, 2003 entitled: A TRAVEL GUIDE TO HEAVEN featuring Anthony DeStefano. You would want to listen to that program, I am sure it would help you.

I bought a copy of that book for me and my brother for Christmas last year. It’s good.

I had a concern too. That after my father died, I felt a great concern and sorrow for him not knowing whether he made it to heaven. I was worried for him, since he became Catholic a year and a half before he died at 78, and that I did not recall him ever going to confession. (My brother who is a priest consoled me in that God would take care of the confession part – my father did not fully understand the aspect of confession during his advanced stage of age).

P.S. Listen closely to the callers, you will recognize one! 😉

Glory be the Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!
 
James_2:24:
Can we know what it will be like?

I always wonder if we will recognize people who were loved ones on earth. And if the answer is yes, how does that affect us if, say, we get there and a loved one never makes it (they go to h*ll instead).

James, I don’t think that we will know or remember loved ones that didn’t make it to heaven because the Word tells us that there will be no tears shed and that we will have joy. I don’t think we could be joyful knowing that a loved one didn’t make it.
 
You need to keep in mind James_2:24 that when in Heaven we are in God’s house and with Him. Even if a family member does not recieve Eternal Happiness, we will not even be able to be sad for them. We will be filled with God’s presence and totally engulfed in being happy with Him that it won’t even cross our mind to be sad about things like that.

Let me give you this analogy: When you were littile, did you ever have a pet that died and then you asked your parents if God would let it go to Heaven? Of course, they said yes, but we all know that animals do not pass on. They should have said to you that you could ask God to see your pet. By the time you got to Heaven, you really would not care because you were with Him and that’s all that matters.
 
Dr. Colossus:
Finally, you asked how knowledge that a loved one did not make it to heaven will affect us. A beautiful explanation of this was given by St. Thomas Aquinas. He said that the suffering of the damned in Hell will actually add to the elation of the elect in Heaven. He realized that, by virtue of the Beatific Vision, we will have full knowledge of everything a person in Hell did to end up there. Therefore, in seeing God’s divine justice at work, we will understand His perfect love even more.
Pass the marshmallows! Hey, look at that one burn! Hope I get a good seat!

It is this mentality that made me leave the church. No way was I going to pass this on to my kids. Apparently you will be rejoicing over (and warming your hands over) the souls of me and my kids for all eternity. Hope you enjoy the show.

cheddar
 
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