Can catholics have different interpretations of this?


#1

speculations of what will be in the new heaven and the new earth?

for example, taking scripture and at face value, it seems like there will be lions and lambs and all kinds of animals present as well as streets of gold, ETC.i realize that not all catholics think this is literal which is fine. but can we take it literally if we want to?

I know, there is the argument of animals not having immortal souls, but God is God, if he wants to recreate something from scratch, isn’t he certainly free to do so? I don’t mean the beatific vision, that’s a separate issue.

and I am not talking about heaven being insufficient without these things. we really don’t need anything, food, cars, whatever. but we might have these things for pure enjoyment if God so chose, couldn’t we?

there does not appear to be specific church teaching on this so I’m wondering if it is permissible to have different interpretations. I’m not saying everyone has to agree if you think something different


#2

Yes, there is room for the belief that there will be animals in heaven. After the General Resurrection we will all have physical, albeit glorified, bodies. It stands to reason that there will be some sort of physical environment as well.


#3

I have to tell you angell, that I often think about what it could/might be like. :slight_smile:

I’m really curious about it, like if our beloved pets, and the pets of other friends and other family members will be there as well.

I think that that would be wonderful, to see all of the various animal friends that we loved so much in our lives.

Can you imagine if it would be like that? :hmmm:

I don’t know if it will or not…


#4

Just so long as I get there…it can all be a huge surprise.
I’m trying really hard right now to do His will.
One thing at a time. :wink:


#5

Totally agree!

I’m right there with you!

Some days I literally feel like I’m dragging myself around to get there! :o


#6

How would they get to heaven without being baptised? Which dog will get to heaven and which dog will not. Also suppose a dog bit and chewed a young child, killing her. Will that dog go to hell or will he still go to heaven, even though he murdered a young defenseless child?
Personally, I don’t like these vicious attack dogs which are growling and barking day and night ready to attack and bite and possibly even kill you if they were able to. I would hate to have them around in heaven. I wouldn’t want to be near any place where these vicious killer dogs are around.


#7

There is room for speculation, but I image all our speculations will fall short of what it really is, so we quantify it as best we can, with the little resources we have.


#8

Children ask me this all the time. Their assertion is that some saints and scholars say that we will be in bliss worshiping God 24-7 as the angels do.
They query is this " Won’t that get boring? No offense, God". :o

That’s why I really hate this kind of speculation.
Some people who may not be as well catechized as you angel, may think
“wow, what’s so great about that!”
Sounds ridiculous to grown ups, but that’s the kind of thing little kids ask. :smiley:

I suffice it to say “It will be beyond our imagination. No one can fathom how beautiful it will be to see Jesus”.

And leave it at that.
peace, dear one.


#9

I don’t know if that’s all tongue-in-cheek, but since you raised the question. Animals are not moral agents and therefore not deserving of eternal reward or punishment. Heaven for them would not be a reward; they would be part of the material landscape for the enjoyment of man. Second, all creatures in heaven are in perfect harmony with one another. Third, even if there were ferocious animals, a glorified human body is impassible, invulnerable. Fourth, no mention was made of the resurrection of animals, nice or mean. angel1 asked about them being “made from scratch.”


#10

Don’t confuse dying and going to Heaven and the new earth and Heaven.

What we do know is that animals do not have immortal souls and when they die their souls cease to exist and these animals do not go to Heaven. It is a Church teaching that only humans have immortal souls.

As to whether there will be animals at the end of time in the new earth and heaven we are free to believe yes or no. The Church does not have a teaching on this.


#11

Good point.
There is a distinction here.
Thanks!


#12

In the book of Revelation, we read that God creates “a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1). That is, our future lives with God will not be just “in heaven” but in a whole new creation, a new heaven and a new earth. What this will be like we do not know, because it hasn’t happened yet – the souls of the just are in heaven, the “current” heaven, the “old” heaven.

We also read that God makes “all things new” (21:5), which can mean animal life as well. We may not meet our pets in the new heaven and new earth, but perhaps we will encounter perfected animal life, which is able to glorify God along with us.


#13

Ferocious dogs in heaven would be very unpleasant for me. It would recall memories of vicious dogs attacking me as I was riding a bicycle. They bit my leg and ripped my new pair of pants. I had to buy a new pair of pants. Further, these vicious attack dogs in our neighborhood are ready to jump on you and kill, barking and growling constantly. I would like to land in a peaceful place without having to bring back these horrible memories.
I don’t like the idea of dogs in heaven. Further, I don’t lkike the idea of other animals such as crocodiles, rattlesnakes, killer bees, rats, lions, etc. in heaven. There was a famous circus performer who loved his lion and boasted how friendly he was. That went well for a while, until the lion bit off the head of the performer, killing him.
If you demand that there be animals in heaven, I suppose that I could make an exception for a small bunny or a small tropical gold fish.


#14

I believe the animal question is still up for grabs, if Scripture is an authority, because Scripture leaves it as an open question:
From Ecclesaistes 3:18ff.
“I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.
All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?”

And then there is the incident with Balaam’s donkey, whose mouth God opened - he only opened his mouth, it does not claim that God put suddenly intelligence in the donkey , but only opened his mouth. But what came out of his mouth were reasoned questions and considerations.
Some would say that it was just a story, but where does the story end and reality begin? Did God tell Balaam what to say to the King? or was that just a story, and did Balaam just think up himself what God would have said if God were to reveal his words to people? Was there also no angel with a sword ready to kill Balaam and let the donkey live?
The reality behind this incident is that those people believed that this animal, and perhaps all animals do know what is going on, but it is not their place to interact with their knowing.

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now…”


#15

At least some of the fathers and doctors of the Church such as Augustine and Aquinas hold that it was a good angel, a messenger of God, that spoke through Balaam’s donkey and I totally agree with them here. The devil spoke through the serpent or snake in the garden of Eden to Eve. We should not be surprised in the least that angels whether good or bad can do such things. They have a superior nature than the corporeal nature. Demons even talk through possessed human beings.


#16

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