Catholic View of Heaven


#1

This thread is being started in response to a question from an LDS member with regards to the Catholic understanding of Heaven. The quotes I have at this point are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend that anyone looking into the Catholic Church read the Catechism.


#2

1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:[596] By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.[597]

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,”[598] but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.[599] For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.[600]

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ. cont…


#3

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”[601]

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”: How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.[602]

1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him “they shall reign for ever and ever.”[603]

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.[604] The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:[605] As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.[606]

1053 “We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven, where in eternal blessedness they see God as he is and where they are also, to various degrees, associated with the holy angels in the divine governance exercised by Christ in glory, by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern” (Paul VI, CPG # 29).

1060 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will then be “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28), in eternal life.


#4

769 “The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,”[179] at the time of Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.”[180] Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.”[181] The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ . . . be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence.”


#5

The Handbook for Todays Cathllic
Copyright 1994 Liguori Publications.
Used with permission to www.catholic-rcia.com

Grace, God’s presence within you, is like a seed—a vital, growing seed that is destined one day to break forth full-grown. God has given himself to you, but in a hidden way. For the time being, you seek him even as you possess him. But the time will come when your seeking will be over. You will then see and possess God completely. This has been revealed. In his first letter Saint John tells us: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but what we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). And in his first letter to the Corinthians,


#6

From the Hand book for today’s Catholic

Used with permission

Grace, God’s presence within you, is like a seed—a vital, growing seed that is destined one day to break forth full-grown. God has given himself to you, but in a hidden way. For the time being, you seek him even as you possess him. But the time will come when your seeking will be over. You will then see and possess God completely. This has been revealed. In his first letter Saint John tells us: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but what we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). And in his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul says: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (1 Cor 13:12). This is heaven: direct face-to-face vision of God as he is—Father, Son, and Spirit; total and perfect union with God, an ecstasy of fulfillment beyond human imagining; the “now” of eternity in which everything is ever new, fresh, and present to you; the warm flood of joy in the company of Jesus, his Mother, and all the people you have ever known and loved; a total absence of pain, regret, bad memories; the perfect enjoyment of all your powers of mind and (after the resurrection on Judgment Day) of body. This is heaven. That is to say, this is a pale, human indication of what God has promised to those who love him, of what Christ has gained for us by his death and Resurrection.


#7

[quote=catholic-rcia]From the Hand book for today’s Catholic

Used with permission

Grace, God’s presence within you, is like a seed—a vital, growing seed that is destined one day to break forth full-grown. God has given himself to you, but in a hidden way. For the time being, you seek him even as you possess him. But the time will come when your seeking will be over. You will then see and possess God completely. This has been revealed. In his first letter Saint John tells us: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but what we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). And in his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul says: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (1 Cor 13:12). This is heaven: direct face-to-face vision of God as he is—Father, Son, and Spirit; total and perfect union with God, an ecstasy of fulfillment beyond human imagining; the “now” of eternity in which everything is ever new, fresh, and present to you; the warm flood of joy in the company of Jesus, his Mother, and all the people you have ever known and loved; a total absence of pain, regret, bad memories; the perfect enjoyment of all your powers of mind and (after the resurrection on Judgment Day) of body. This is heaven. That is to say, this is a pale, human indication of what God has promised to those who love him, of what Christ has gained for us by his death and Resurrection.
[/quote]

That is a good one!!!


#8

It is a really good booklet. It was given to me at the RCIA Class five years ago. You can find this book at Catholic Answers I am sure.

God Bless


#9

WOW, thank you very much for looking that up for me.

So for lds heaven is just another place to grow endure trials and aventually some day maybe become a god. Then you have the trials of raising endless spirit children who rebel and cause you sorrow ect.

For catholics it is the completion of all things with God. I like that idea.

I am not sure I understand the totality of it but I think that is one of the temptations of my former faith. Easy concrete answers with few mysteries on things that really are beyond our comprehension at this time.


#10

[quote=Jodi]WOW, thank you very much for looking that up for me.

So for lds heaven is just another place to grow endure trials and aventually some day maybe become a god. Then you have the trials of raising endless spirit children who rebel and cause you sorrow ect.

For catholics it is the completion of all things with God. I like that idea.

I am not sure I understand the totality of it but I think that is one of the temptations of my former faith. Easy concrete answers with few mysteries on things that really are beyond our comprehension at this time.
[/quote]

You are very welcome! Yes, for Catholics, Heaven is the perfect completion of a life lived in communion with God and man. It is the perfect completion of life.

One of the greatest things about Heaven for me is that we have no way of truly knowing how GREAT it will be. Our greatest imagination of perfection can’t even come close to how perfect it will be to spend eternity with an ever-loving God, in perfect communion with Him and fellow believers.


#11

The Pope made some interesting comments a while back about Heaven,Purgatory,and Hell. The Holy Father said that we are not to look upon these as being places, but rather other forms of being. This weekend we will hear the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Jesus. For a brief time, he was in another state of being. This is possibly a preview of the spiritual state.

God bless,
deacon tony


#12

I have heard and I believe that angels do not wear wristwatches.

Angels do not use umbrellas. There are no news papers in heaven.

All this is to say that there is no rain in heaven and there is no passage of time.

If heaven is outside of the earth’s “time line” there will be no time .


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