If heaven is outside of space or time

wouldn’t that mean that we were either always in it, or never in it at all?

i.e. there is no point of “entrance” into heaven since that would imply change over time

It would?

since that would imply change over time

How so?

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) –

POPE-ASSUMPTION Aug-15-2008

Heaven is God, not an imaginary place, Pope Benedict says

Heaven is not an abstract idea or an imaginary place, but heaven is God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Celebrating an early morning Mass Aug. 15, the pope said the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary “urges us to raise our gaze toward heaven, not a heaven of abstract ideas nor an imaginary heaven created in art, but the true reality of heaven which is God himself. God is heaven.”

During the Mass in the small parish Church of St. Thomas, located on the main square in Castel Gandolfo, the pope said that while Mary’s assumption is “totally unique and extraordinary,” it also assures believers that their destiny, like hers, is to be with God forever.

God is “our goal, He is the dwelling place from which we came and toward which we are called,” the pope told about 200 people who had crowded into the church, while hundreds of others watched on a large screen erected in the square.

“We are all children of God the father, brothers and sisters of Jesus, children of our mother Mary,” the pope said. “And all of us want happiness, and that happiness is found in God.”

Pope Benedict said Mary, as the loving mother of her son’s followers, “helps us, encourages us so that every moment of our existence would be a step in this journey toward God.”

“Gazing at Mary, assumed into heaven, we understand better that our everyday lives – although marked by problems and difficulties – flow like a river toward the divine ocean, toward the fullness of joy and peace,” he said.

The pope said that in a world marked by “the sad spectacle of so much false joy and, at the same time, so much agonizing pain,” Christians must learn to be like Mary, “signs of hope and consolation.”

At midday, Pope Benedict recited the Angelus with visitors gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer villa.

He said that while the last mention of Mary in the Bible places her with the apostles awaiting the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the church teaches that she was taken, body and soul, “from the earth to heaven.”

“This firm conviction of the church found its coronation in the dogmatic definition of the Assumption pronounced by my venerable predecessor Pius XII in the year 1950,” he said.

“From paradise, the Blessed Mother continues always, especially in difficult hours of trial, to watch over her children, whom Jesus himself entrusted to her before dying on the cross,” the pope said.

Pope Benedict said the hundreds of Marian shrines around the world testify to the fact that millions of Christians have and continue to experience her maternal love.

The pope specifically mentioned the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, which he will visit during a Sept. 12-15 trip to France.

“Mary assumed into heaven indicates to us the ultimate aim of our earthly pilgrimage,” he said.

“She reminds us that our whole being – spirit, soul and body – is destined for the fullness of life, that one who lives and dies in love for God and for one’s neighbor will be transfigured into the image of the glorious body of the risen Lord, that the Lord casts down the mighty and raises up the humble,” the pope said.

Instead of ‘If’, you must first establish that ‘heaven is outside of space or time’. Didn’t God create heaven and earth? Heaven is a created thing, as the earth is, so, how can it be ‘outside of space and time’?

Always and never, as you are using them, are time words. Hard to use em about heaven.

I like to think of being in/out of time like this (though it is, of course, only a visualization aid).

Consider time to be a line extending on to infinity. A person within time would be a dot that moves along that line. and can see only his immediate surroundings. God, being outside of time, sees the entire structure in it’s totality.

I see a couple possibilities for the timelessness of Heaven (these are just thoughts of mine, and could very well be completely wrong):

  1. Heaven is timeless in a sense like you say - the moment of judgment is an eternal moment which we enter into when we die. Thus, upon our deaths we (could) see the judging of not only ourselves and our ancestors, but people who will die thousands of years after we did as well. The result of judgment is also eternal, so all people who are in Heaven are in Heaven “always,” but casually after the events of their lives. (i.e. before and after in a time sense on earth have nothing to do with heaven whatsoever, though causality is maintained.)

  2. There is no time in heaven, but there is something analogous to an outsider looking at the line mentioned above. That is, each point on the line represents a time-like moment, but all those in heaven see all the moments all the time. Some of those time like moments correspond to “times” when people entered. If one were to look at these moments one after another, it would appear that time is flowing (and things changing), but since all the moments coexist eternally, there is in fact no change in the structure. So part of Heaven would correspond to how things were (causally) before your death and judgment and part (causally) after.

  3. Something (more) mind boggling.

To be honest, I’m betting on number 3, but I use both 1 and 2 as a sort of visualization aid when I’m thinking about things, just to have some way to try to imagine the unimaginable. I like 1 better myself, but there’s no way to know (unless there’s a teaching somewhere I missed).

If, at one point, you were not in heaven, but then, at a later point, you were in heaven, than the content of heaven would have changed over time.

Not really. :slight_smile: If you are in a current of water and move out of it into the greater ocean you were in the current, which flows and changes position and then in the ocean, which doesn’t. Time is the current and the “eternal now” is the ocean. We live in the current, as does our universe, so it’s hard for us to understand how there’s no passage of time once we leave it. It all has to do with the Big Bang and relativity/E=MC2–space and time being dependent on one another, influencing each other in the created universe. Being in the middle of that and dependent on it as physical beings makes it difficult to take in how it could be any different, doesn’t it?

You are applying the ideas of time to Heaven, which is backward. Time was created by God as well.

Time is non existant in heaven, heaven cannot be found if searched for. There is no point applying any psysics to this, because there is none. Heaven is not a place and time is a flow, neither apply since heaven is as God is.

God is not an old man and heaven is not on the map of this universe or any other.

Of course, I didn’t say that heaven is a “place” and time is a “flow”, I used the ocean and it’s currents merely as a metaphor–an aid to understanding. You may recall that Jesus employed metaphors to explain eternal concepts too. So please, let’s not make an issue where there is none or we won’t be helping anyone with anything. Okay? :slight_smile:

Calm down you, I was aiding your idea by projecting your meaning for the OP/ Brickwall.

Sorry to have misunderstood you. :blush: For me the physical realities are intricately tied to the spiritual. As a former Pentecostalist who bordered on all but denying the need for the body, and having come to a fuller incarnational understanding of Christ and the Church I’m a bit sensitive to spiritualizing away the truth of the resurrection of the body that some seem to have embraced (not that anyone here has done that, just saying). If any of that makes any sense at all. LOL! Heaven is indeed union with God, but precisely how and the “where” of that we cannot know. Our Lady is certainly with God in the body as well as the spirit, living the eternal life promised in Christ. Looking to her example informs me how I view our ultimate bond with the Trinity. If we will have what she is now enjoying, that’s got to be a good thing. :slight_smile:

Not really.

The only change connected with Heaven is when you enter it. Before that, you are still in time, but “then” you are in Eternity and there are no “changes” such as we understand them.

We can’t fully understand because our human minds are timebound.

ICXC NIKA

:heart:

For me the physical realities are intricately tied to the spiritual. As a former Pentecostalist who bordered on all but denying the need for the body, and having come to a fuller incarnational understanding of Christ and the Church I’m a bit sensitive to spiritualizing away the truth of the resurrection of the body that some seem to have embraced (not that anyone here has done that, just saying). If any of that makes any sense at all. LOL! Heaven is indeed union with God, but precisely how and the “where” of that we cannot know. Our Lady is certainly with God in the body as well as the spirit, living the eternal life promised in Christ. Looking to her example informs me how I view our ultimate bond with the Trinity. If we will have what she is now enjoying, that’s got to be a good thing. :slight_smile:

The way I see it is that you have it all in a nutshell explained there. It can’t really get much easier. It’s eye opening just to think that even (as you put it) a little shred of what Mary has can be experienced by us, then what a wonderful feeling heaven will be.

This book, Flatland, helped out a lot in understanding this sort of issue.

lol

Fatland!

XD

Don’t mention “fatland”. Now there’s another problem of a whole other dimension. Ha!

C. S. Lewis likened our understanding of heaven and eternity to that of a mother and child confined to a prison with nothing but paper and pencils for the mother to show what the world outside looks like. For the child the world was two-dimensional so that when they were released he was astonished to find it in three dimensions and many-colored. I rather think Lewis was on to something with that. We now see “darkly, as in a mirror”–mirrors at St. Paul’s time being burnished metal or polished wood in which images were distorted and off-color. We see like that too, now. But when we see God “face to face” it will all make sense and be more than we can imagine.

Do you really think we will see Him face to face though?

Why after death only, why not now?

That’s like God saying “I hate you because you are what you are, and you are what I made you to be.”

We see God in the face of Jesus, yes? Now we see through the eyes of faith, but when we enter eternity we will truly see. God has made it that way because he wants us to trust in him because of his word not because we have proof of our senses.

That’s like God saying “I hate you because you are what you are, and you are what I made you to be.”

I’m afraid I’m not following you here. What’s like saying that. I missed a beat somewhere. :confused:

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