Heaven doesn't sound that great; why?

Pondering heaven, it seems it would be a rather dull place. It must be either static/ unchanging (i.e. a saint and a rock have basically the same experience in heaven) or it must be cyclic (i.e. a saint is fated to repeat the same things over and over again). Ditto for hell… I would experience no more displeasure in a static hell than the rock upon which I figuratively sat. Or, alternately, I am the Catholic incarnation of Sisyphus… in a sense, no different than one of my computer programs locked in an infinite loop.

Logically, then, would it not be correct assume that only my current and temporal existence has any real meaning to me? And, that since heaven offers no “real” reward nor hell no “real” punishment, why should it dictate the choices of my present existence? Whether I am Sisyphus in the afterlife, or the rock he rolls, it seems to me I would be better off simply not existing.

Two notes if you respond. 1) Mathematically I believe that God’s domain can’t have a temporal aspect (purely a matter of math/logic I can equate it to requiring God to be able to count to infinity… an impossibility of the “can God make a rock so heavy God can’t lift it?” form). So, I am merely superimposing a temporal aspect on my characterization much like Schroedinger uses the half dead/half alive cat to superimpose a wave function over our temporal perception of the universe. 2) I am prepared to justify my rather broad strokes with hard math not with some pleasant platitudes about “heaven is a place where all tears will be wiped away”. Infinities (mathematical ones, not theological ones) are rather unforgiving entities. Nor am I interested in the typical waving of the magical wand stating “we don’t understand God or heaven”. Both God and I understand 1 + 1 is 2; and it is 2 both here and hereafter.

Dear friend,

Heaven is ALL about God. To approach any serious consideration of God, you will need to think outside of the human box, where you are very much entrenched. I know this is difficult, but the security of mathematical precision will be of no help whatsoever. So we are left with the ‘via negativa’ by which we can say what God is not—or with analogy, which is helpful, but limps.

The best place to learn about God is Scripture where He has revealed much about who He is. Of course, He revealed the most about Himself on Good Friday. There the God-Man demonstrated divine love in a human way. That God would allow Himself to be tortured and put to death by creatures He created from nothing—for their ultimate benefit, shows us how incapable our minds are to fully grasp a Love that is unlimited. But it shows us enough to have faith in Him—if we choose to.

Heaven may seem dull to us–not because of heaven’s limitations, but because of ours!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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