Whos Who in Heaven: Real Saints for Families in Plain English

HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY
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Saint Francis of Assisi and others devoted to poverty understand this paradox. Saint Paul speaks of "having nothing, and yet possessing all things" [52] because possessed by God: "all [things] are yours; and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's. Heaven is pure communism. There is no private property in Heaven.

Earthly communism, even when not atheistic, is another "too-soon" mistake of Utopianism. If any there took upon him to call anything his own, he would straightway be thrust out into hell and become an evil spirit. As MacDonald says, "the heart cannot hoard", [56] only the hand. As Marcel says, the true self cannot possess or have anything because I do not have my own body as my body has things: I am my body. No one can possess goodness, truth, beauty, love, life, light, God.

But Heaven is these things. Therefore no one can possess Heaven. Whenever, even now, we think of truth or goodness as something we have we become self-righteous, narrow, and defensive. To have truth is to be dogmatic; to have goodness is to be proud; to have beauty is to be vain; to have joy is to be miserable with fear of losing it. God, I AM, pure subject, is the only Haver. He cannot be had, nor can His attributes or His Kingdom of Heaven.

Thus, we must learn detachment to enter Heaven. Willy-nilly, death detaches us from everything, even ourselves. We must learn to "die before you die. There is no chance after. Asked whether he thought he would possess any of his beloved library books in Heaven, C.

THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST

Lewis replied, "Only those I gave away on earth. Those who claim to have caught glimpses of Heaven report a strange and surprising answer to this question; and the fact that so many have said the same surprising thing without previous acquaintance with each other lends weight to the testimony. They say that it is hard to classify the blessed as either clothed or naked.

If naked, it is shameless and not arousing erotic desires. It is not the result of "naking", [62] the process of taking off the clothes that in our present state are natural, thus attaining a state of nudity that is in our present state unnatural. Nudist camps are not "natural". The principle behind the naturalness of Heavenly clothing is the overcoming of the distinction between appearance and reality. In Heaven, light reigns; we know and are known. When reality appears and no longer hides, so will we.

The clothing of Heaven is described in Scripture as "white garments". Light reveals. On earth, clothes partly conceal and partly reveal, just as language does. Here, truth is aletheia , overcoming of Lethe : forgetfulness, appearance, concealment. So clothing hides the body, and the truth about the body is reached by unveiling, naking.

In Heaven, the truth will be in the appearances fully revealed, fully apparent , so the truth of the resurrection body will be revealed in its clothes. As the Son perfectly expresses the Father, clothes will express the body. Our heavenly clothes may express our earthly story and success.

Socrates will have his philosopher's robe. Heroes will wear the clothes associated with their heroism. Each thorn will be a diamond. The simplest answer is: Why not? How irrational is the prejudice that would allow plants green fields and flowers but not animals into Heaven! Lewis' speculation that we will be "between the angels who are our elder brothers and the beasts who are our jesters, servants, and playfellows". Lewis supposes that animals are saved "in" their masters, as part of their extended family.

It would seem more likely that wild animals are in Heaven too, since wildness, otherness, not-mine-ness, is a proper pleasure for us. Would the same animals be in Heaven as on earth? God can raise up the very grass; [75] why not cats? Though the blessed have better things to do than play with pets, the better does not exclude the lesser. We were meant from the beginning to have stewardship over the animals; [76] we have not fulfilled that divine plan yet on earth; therefore it seems likely that the right relationship with animals will be part of Heaven: proper "petship".

And what better place to begin than with already petted pets? Secondly, great earthly music is particularly Heavenly, a sign or pointer beyond itself to Heaven. What was dimly suggested in all earthly music that moved us so much that the ancients necessarily ascribed it not to men but to gods [78] goddesses, the nine Muses is precisely Heavenly music. That is why we were moved here; it reminded us of There, which is our home. Third, it may well be in music that the world was created, [79] and that music is the original language.

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Spoken poetry is to music what prose is to poetry. Prose is ossified poetry, [81] and poetry is half of music. It is not that music is in Heaven; Heaven is in music. Heaven is "the region where there is only life, and therefore all that is not music is silence". The very nature of space, and therefore of size, changes in Heaven.

Meaning determines size, rather than size, meaning. Heaven is big enough so that billions of races of billions of saved people are never crowded, yet small enough so that no one gets lost or feels lonely. And we can travel anywhere in Heaven simply by will.

The very distinction is too funny to take seriously. The distinction between humor and seriousness is strictly earthly. Here on earth, much humor is "comic relief " from the grim business of "real" life. But in Heaven, humor is high seriousness. It is the inner secret of God and the blessed.

A Morning Resolve

Even on earth, saints play with their lives in the most outrageous way. Saint Thomas More ended his life with a bad joke, telling the axman "please do not chop my beard in two; it has not committed treason. But the most perfect humor is in the very situation itself, especially irony, [88] the contrast between appearance and reality.

It could be more clumsily and directly rendered, "You judgmental fools are worse than that adulteress - taking out splinters with logs in your eyes.

Lucifer: The Fallen Angel (Biblical Stories Explained)

Who do you think you are anyway? Finally, there is Jesus' ironic remark to Nicodemus, who cannot understand being "born again" and asks whether he must return to his mother's womb: "Are you a teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand this? Jesus is our best indicator of Heaven, and if there is humor in Jesus, there is humor in Heaven. Jesus is the manifestation of the Father, and if there is humor in the personality of the Son, there is humor in the personality of the Father.

For some reason, people think of the Persons of the Trinity as lacking personality, as nebbishes. In fact, the three fullest personalities in all reality are the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. They are characters!

Saint Roch

They designed ostriches, for goodness' sake literally. And supreme joke us. Many of the resuscitated perceive and share Heavenly humor, even God's laughter at repented and forgiven sins. The saint can laugh at life in his martyrdom, and once freed from sin but not till then we can laugh even at sin in Heaven. Detachment is necessary for humor. And in Heaven there is perfect detachment, even from self ek-stasis , "standing-outside-oneself" Therefore in Heaven there is perfect humor.

The saint and the clown share the secret of levity, the union between the two meanings of "light": truth opposite of falsehood and darkness and levity opposite of gravity and heaviness. Saints levitate!