I had always thought, which seemed consistent with my Catholic upbringing, that Heaven was the ultimate pinnacle of our existence – i.e. there was nothing better than being in Heaven.
Yet in the last few years, I have heard theories that Heaven isn’t the same for everyone – that there are different “levels” to Heaven, some closer to God and greater than others.
A biblical passage that is often referred to in support of this is the Matt 5:19:
Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
This same passage is also often quoted in support of Purgatory, as it appears to show that one can sin (“relax” one of the commandments), yet still enter Heaven, even though as the “least in the kingdom”.
I have also read about various saints who had visions where certain things were promised to them (and others) in response to faith and fidelity to God. Things like being part of the choir of angels, drinking from a special fountain, etc. All things that were apparently “privileges” and not an ordinary part of the glory of Heaven.
So, what does the Church say about “levels” in Heaven? It certainly sounds like it’s not going to be a solitary “just me and God” kind of experience.
What do you think?