Bear with me...but I am anxious and maybe even scared by heaven!

This seems like a very strange thing to state, and possibly shows an enormous immaturity in faith. I’m not sure.

I’ve been learning more about heaven and what we know about it.

I understand we will be souls/spirits. I understand we may not all have a common language. Peter Kreeft suggests we may all ‘sing’ instead. What I know is the soul will have no need for faith, or hope; only love. So in heaven we will all be love, so to speak, and perfectly loving and praising God.

I hope this doesn’t come out the wrong way, but I’m sure you understand. Is heaven really what our souls yearn for? Because in my case, I as a person, feel more comfortable with the idea of heaven as being ‘me’ looking and seeing ‘as I am’ and ‘seeing’ others I know and love, as well as meeting people from the past.

We often hear about ‘asking so-and-so’ something when we reach heaven.

This implies we will have minds and memories. However we leave our bodies behind.

What ‘concerns’ me is that me- my mind, may be different to my soul. My soul, I am told, yearns for truth and seeks the perfect love which heaven offers. Me- my brain, and my body, seeks a physical concept of heaven.

As we go through this life, with our physical trials, thoughts, moods, etc. will we almost reach heaven as completely different people? In other words, as in my case I feel there might be a difference between body and soul in that my soul will leave behind my body and thoughts and moods, etc. It almost feels like I would give birth to something new when I die; although part of me, it isn’t me, and I am left behind…dead.

I feel this would be easier to swallow if we were present in heaven body + soul; thoughts + feelings. I understand this will happen after the General Judgement when the body is resurrected.
But, until this point, what will we be like in heaven? We know we can pray to the saints for intercession, so they must be able to hear us. They must also ‘know themselves’; their past lives, their identity- otherwise they wouldn’t know why they were patron of something or what they were even doing in heaven!

By the way- I am being presumptuous about reaching heaven! Obviously I do hope to go there, with a pit stop in purgatory along the way, no doubt!

Ernest Becker said something I think pertains to this.

He wrote that God has to be an abstract concept because only a God can take in the whole of creation and make sense out of it.

You (humanity) which is split into a reflexive and symbolic creature can only take in portions of life at a time.

No one can gazed upon god and NOT die, and only Angels can handle the joy of God.

He compared it to when people experience a great event in their life and say things like “I’m so happy I could cry”.

It’s too much for a mortal being to handle.

He puts forth a much more extensive sophisticated argument, of course, but I think it’s worth contemplating about.

It’s from a book called “The denial of Death” by Ernest Becker.

He was an anthropologist.

You might like it.

Hope that helps.

As separated souls we will be aware of who we are and we will retain all the knowledge we had when alive and we will be able to think and pray. And that is about all we can say about our separated souls. And of course we will no doubt receive mental communications from God, and the angles and saints ( or devils :eek:( )

Once our bodies are reunited with our souls there is no reason not to think we will be able to " converse " with all we meet, including Mary and Jesus ( we will see him in the flesh as the Apostles did after the Resurrection ). But I think our speech will understood by all no matter their personal language, a sort of " speaking in tongues. " And I think we will do all the things we do in this life, except there will be no sex, and we will not need material sustinence. And we will be able to go where we want, at a mere thought, and we will not be hampered by matter. And I think we will be in a " renewed and perfect world, " as the Bible tells us," there will be a new heaven and a new earth." And unlike Peter Kreeft, I don’t think we will be standing around " singing. " And of course we will enjoy the Beatific Vision ( God will make his presence felt in our souls and will enlighten our intellects with the wonders of his nature ). " It has not entered the mind of man what my Father has prepared for them that love him. "

Linus2nd

Your mind is a process of your soul.

But your soul is the soul of your body! Therefore our minds depend upon our bodies!

Although the Human or “Natural Body” we know will be lost to death, in Heaven we will be re-embodied! Saint Paul calls this new body a “spiritual body,” or pneumatikon soma.

Fitted with the Heavenly Body, your mind and knowing will be better than ever.

Reread Peter Kreeft, he says quite a bit about Heavenly embodiment.

ICXC NIKA

I had the same train of thought as you about this once, and I still think I do have it partially. My current standing is that ‘ourselves’ aren’t really ‘ourselves’. All of us humans, with the exception of the human nature of Jesus and Mary, inherit original sin from our common ancestors Adam and Eve. We are BORN in original sin. Original sin is a part of us. Humans themselves, along with original sin, are imperfect creatures, though we are intended by God to be. This is because of the defiance of our ancestors that we ever so inherited. Our REAL selves are what we become in heaven. This is our divine and perfect nature that God planned for us. When you do ascend to Heaven, you won’t miss your imperfect self. This ‘shell’ we’re in right now isn’t ‘us’ in entirety, it is our testing grounds. This doesn’t mean we should use our bodies as some type of tool, since the body protects the spirit. Anyways, back to what I was saying: You will fully embrace your true perfect, divine self as you ascend and get ready for beatific vision. :thumbsup:

Thanks so much for your replies everyone!

So, in essence, the soul does retain the personality of the person? ‘I will know myself’ in heaven, and likewise others will know me? And the soul will have a ‘mind’ which recalls what it learned on earth?

I suppose we must know ourselves in order to be in God’s presence. Since, at judgement, we will need to feel remorse before entering purgatory. We can’t feel remorse if we do not know what we did wrong?

I think most people fear death and fear Heaven because they think they will somehow lose some of their identity or somehow be missing something. I think Heaven will make us even more aware of who we are, and instead of something being loss, we will be made more complete. Although we will initially be souls in spirit only, at the resurrection, all will recover their bodies as Christ did after His Resurrection.

Except I suspect our new bodies will be much better than what we have now. It will not age or get sick.

Yes, your “soul will have a mind,” your own human mind. Your mind is a process of your soul; it just needs your head to hold it together.

Although your head will stop working when you can’t breathe, in Heaven you will be fitted with a “spiritual body” (Greek: pneumatikon soma) and therefore a new head. Your mind will survive.

ICXC NIKA.

It has not entered the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love Him

We can know something of Heaven from Church teaching, and from the lives of the saints.
For one, our knowledge is limited by our union of body which limits our capacity for understanding, and knowledge the powers of the soul. We experience fatigue, and incomplete knowledge of the truth. When we are separated from our bodies, the soul will experience a freedom from physical limitations. We will know as we are known. The world of truth will open up to us, we will see God as He is. and we will know each other with an intimate knowledge, relationships will not be restricted to our earthly knowledge, there will be universal love for all, there will be union of all through love there will be union in God We will be united with our bodies at the Last Judgement. They will be spiritualized, and the glory of the soul will radiate through it, it will never suffer corruption, fatigue, it will enjoy the power of the spirit as did the body of the Resurrected Christ.

I have had dreams of loved ones who have died.

My grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s and had been in a wheelchair at the end of her life,
was standing and seemed able to walk in the dream I had. We had a short conversation. Grandma definitely remembered life on Earth, and my relationship to her, and the events of our lives.

My father, who had a stroke and used a walker or wheelchair,
was standing and I don’t think I saw a walker in the dream. He spoke to me. And again, the words he spoke definitely indicated he remembered life on Earth, and his relationship to me, and the events of our lives.

My best friend, who had been bedbound, used a wheelchair, lived in extreme poverty, and had been losing her hair at the end of her illness,
was standing up, wearing beautiful clothes (not poor people’s clothes at all), and had beautiful long hair. It seems God did not wish her to speak with me, but I heard her speak from another room and say to other people, “Thank you for your prayers.”

And a cousin of mine, I think she came in a dream to ask for prayers for herself and her immediate family in purgatory. She mentioned my photography.

I don’t want to describe the dreams in detail,
but they definitely have given me hope.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.