"Eye has not seen..." Heaven on Earth?

Hi!.. I posted this same question in another section, so sorry if you come across them both.

I just got into a conversation yesterday with some great Catholic friends. We were debating whether or not one can experience “heaven on earth.” Clearly, one experiences this in a way through the Sacraments and especially the Mass. The topic of the spiritual ‘ecstasy’ of some of the saints was also brought up.

In light of all this… I was still inclined to argue that we cannot fully experience heaven on earth and I am partially drawing this conclusion from 1 Cor. 13:12 and perhaps 1 Cor. 2:9.

My most important question here is can anyone help me dissect this problem? I am pretty convinced that the Sacraments play a unique role in the answer.

Secondly, I would like to hear how the Church understands 1 Cor. 2:9-13. Because upon further inspection it seems that God has revealed these these things (that eye has not seen and ear has not heard) through the Spirit. Personal interpretations are welcome but please identify them as such… Although I am really looking for a Church commentary on the subject.

Thanks in advance for the responses!

[quote=dcs6f4-Hi!.. I posted this same question in another section, so sorry if you come across them both.
]Secondly, I would like to hear how the Church understands 1 Cor. 2:9-13.

9But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit."

Haydock’s Cath. Commentary: v. 13: "Ver. 13. Which mysteries and divine truths, we apostles (even when we speak to the more perfect sort of men) deliver not in the learned words of human wisdom, not in the fine language, studied periods and sentences arranged by the art of rhetoric, but in the doctrine of the Spirit, that is, as the Spirit of God within us teacheth us for the good of those that hear us. — Comparing spiritual things with spiritual, that is, treating of spiritual things with persons that are more spiritual and more perfect, adapting our discourses to the capacity of those we speak to. Others will have the sense to be: we compare spiritual things with spiritual things, that is, we treat of such matters after a spiritual manner, with proofs and examples out of the revealed Scriptures, St. Paul seems in this place to answer an objection that might be brought against him. If, as you say, you are gifted with a knowledge of mysteries, who do you not reveal those mysteries to us? To this he seems to answer, because to spiritual persons, we impart spiritual knowledge

CCC 763 It was the Son’s task to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation in the fullness of time. Its accomplishment was the reason for his being sent. “The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Reign of God, promised over the ages in the scriptures.” To fulfill the Father’s will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth. The Church "is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery."

In a most perfect, compelling and complete way Heaven meets earth in Chrsit in catholic Holy Communion:thumbsup:

1 Cor 13:12 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.” (RSV). In answer to your question, I would suggest that, while we can come close to “heaven on earth”, we cannot “understand fully” while we are in the flesh.

**i agree. i believe we can only get a small foretaste of the Perfection of God in Heaven.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!



Thanks for the very good response. I think your answer hits at the real heart of my initial question.

New Question #1… I was hoping you could expand a bit on the very last thing you said. I believe this is also my understanding, it is such a beautiful reality and thought to contemplate…

But to clarify, are you saying the ability to fully experience heaven on earth in the Eucharist? or that it is the most complete way we can experience the kingdom of heaven while on earth?

So if you would please expand on those questions/points it would help me out!

Some food for thought…

CCC para. 1404

The Church knows that the Lord even comes now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is also veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist “awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ,” asking “to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, Our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord.”

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