Heavenly Heirarchy?


I realize that heaven is beyond our imaginations; but I am wondering about this.

How is it that everyone could possibly have an equal glory with such monumental souls as the saints and martyrs? Isn’t theirs the greater glory? Yet still we would all be as happy as each one of us could be. St. Therese, in “The Story of a Soul” mentioned her father saying that a cup holds more water than a thimble; yet if you fill them both with water, each is equally full (for its capacity). So in heaven we can be with the saints, martyrs and angels and be wonderfully joyous; but perhaps not as close to God as they are?:confused:

Also, priests and religious and those giving more to their spiritual life while on earth – wouldn’t they have a greater degree of glory after the saints and martyrs?



Hi Rosalie,

This is a touchy issue, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

If you take the example which St. Therese provides in her autobiography, then what we see is that when in heaven neither the thimble nor the cup nor even the bucket is aware of how much beaitific vision someone else is experiencing because they themselves are filled to the absolute brim. So, yes, we will be communing with the likes of angels and saints and dead relatives, but each will experience the Lord differently.

Think of it this way: Our Lady, the Mother of the Incarnate Word, sits at the right of her Son, and she who was full of grace while on Earth experiences the Divine unlike anyone else in all of heaven – greater than even the angels. Are we jealous of Our Mother because she was given such graces by the Father for her Son through the Holy Spirit? Probably not! Rather, it causes us to love her all the more!

What about St. Francis of Assisi? Here is a man who has been called “The Mirror of Perfection,” “The Perfect Christian,” and “The Seraphic Father.” He followed Christ so completely and so thoroughly that his own body was conformed to that of Christ’s through the stigmata!

Point is: there are some buckets among us and there are some thimbles among us. We shouldn’t get jealous, though, or feel that we’re being cheated when we get to heaven! (Simply making it there is all I care to do!) Rather, I doubt it will even be noticed since, St. John mentions in the Apocalypse, we’ll all be too busy worshipping God anyway!

Take some time to read this thread which I recently opened:



Remember that every soul in heaven is a saint. Canonization of a person is the Church’s declaration, using the evidence of miracles and other proof, that the soul of this real person has ascended from Purgatory and is in heaven. Even if St. Stephen took the short road of martyrdom and you took the long road of a full life on earth without any major religious/social influence, both of you had enough grace and love of God in your hearts to join Him in Heaven for all eternity.


I really like your opening post in your thread. Thing is, I’ve experienced some disappointment at not having lived in the earthly time of Christ, not having known him when he was here, not being close to Mary his mother or blessed, not being a saint or even a formal religious, but an awkward dandelion tossed by the storm and far from the magnificent roses in the sunlight.:shrug:


But you DO know Christ, you’ve been comforted in the arms of His mother, Mary, you’ve been lifted from sin and danger by the grace of the angels, and you’ve been defended by the sacrifice and holiness of the saints. Ours is a living faith, where we share in the same fullness of Christ, Mary, Joseph, His disciples, and all the saints and martyrs throughout the ages. God’s plan for all of us is unique, so maybe your dandelion will add a little color to the grayness of the times. Perhaps your seeds will be taken by the wind and grow in barren ground, inspiring others to cultivate their beauty for the Lord.


Thank you for that.:slight_smile:


first of all i am not good in English to express my concept abt this fully.But I will try my best.

While reading the above replies, I noted that everyone is like a saint in heaven. I think it is wrong.

There is also the separation like our govt or social system … some persons are there at the top like the president of a country, then governor etc… Do you feel that, i am writing meaningless words ? No…

While talking with Thobith, the Raphael told that, he has the permission to see Gods face…

And another reply is that, Saint Mary is sitting on the right side of jesus… i can’t agree… there is no specific reason…

But one thing I am sure, there is no such problems in between the soul regarding their position. But there is chances of such situation, like Bible said at the beginning…


yes, there are greater degrees of glory in heaven. St. THeres’s father gave a great example of hoe this is possible. we are not all created equal, but we are all loved infinitly. Some souls can hold more water than others, and in that sense they are not equal, but in the sense of happiness, every soul in heaven is as happy as it can be. Also, we share in each other’s happiness in heaven. I will never (on my own) now the glory and gappiness of being the Mother of God (especially as a man), but when i go to heaven, Mary can share that experiance with me in a deeper way than we communicate here on earth, and so I will know and experiance that glory and happiness, though it belongs to her.
Does this help? I know that alot of people feel like they were lied to because this information is usually left out of homilies and catechesis, but it makes perfect sense.

closed #9

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.