Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quick review: What is heaven?

I cannot offer a haphazard description of the joys in heaven, so I will instead offer of the writings of St. John Chrysotom, the apostle of charity:

Let us quell this cruelty; let us cast out this brutal spirit, as befitting thereby ourselves rather than others. For to these we give money and bread and clothing, but for ourselves we are laying up beforehand very great glory, and such as there is no putting into words. For we receive again our bodies incorruptible, and are glorified together and reign together with Christ. How great this shall be we shall see from hence- or rather there is no means of making us see it clearly now. But to start from our present blessings and to get from them at least some kind of scanty notice of it, I will endeavour so far as I may be able to put before you what I have been speaking of. Tell me then if you were grown old and were living in poverty and any one were to promise suddenly to make you young, and to bring you to the very prime of life, and to make you very strong, and pre-eminently beautiful, and were to give you the kingdom of the whole earth for a thousand years, a kingdom in a state of perfect peace, what is there that you would not choose to do and to suffer to gain this promise? See then Christ promises not this, but much more than this. For the distance between old age and youth is not to be compared with the distance of corruption and incorruption, nor that of a kingdom and poverty to that of the future glory and the present, but the difference is that of dreams and a reality.

St. John Chrysostom is clearly showing us how worthy a pursuit the kingdom of heaven is, such that anything that exists in this world should be esteemed as nothing more than a dream in comparison. If you want to obtain this promise of Christ, convert to the true Catholic Faith, outside of which there is no salvation.

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