Is heave here on Earth

Fluffy clouds and harps aside, what is heaven really like and what is it’s true location? Based on a Belinda Carlisle song dating back to 1987, heaven is a place on earth. It was a great song, it was very sweet, but not very convincing in a theological sense. It did serve to highlight the age old question though, where is this place we go to when we die and what is it like there?

Two thousand years ago in Luke 17:21, Jesus Christ spoke of the Kingdom of God, which is a term considered interchangeable and synonymous with the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ told us in that verse that this Kingdom of God (or heaven) is within us, interpreted by some as amidst us. But regardless of which interpretation you use it means the same thing, the Kingdom of God, and heaven has already been with us, right here on earth for a long, long time. The experts of Christ’s era were apparently missing that fact, just as we seem to be in our modern era. But with all out angst, poverty, war and injustice, how can heaven possibly be here on earth?

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From the last paragraph of the blog post:

Heaven is not a place we “go to” though. Heaven is the existence of spirit after it’s been freed from flesh. … Once freed from the flesh, our spirit, joined with God’s greater Spirit, will pervade the universe just as God Himself already does. We will be in heaven, and heaven will be with the one, true, omnipresent God; it will be on Earth, on Saturn, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the entirety of the expanding universe.

This sounds to me like Gnosticism or some form of Hindu / New Age theology. According to Church teaching, we are separated from our bodies only temporarily, and will be reunited with them at the general resurrection (cf. CCC 989 ff); thereafter we will have bodies eternally. And according to Catholic theology we do not attain to omnipresence, but rather a supernatural gift of agility (cf. ST, S84).

We are without our bodies for the interim and when reunited with them, I believe the relationship between body and spirit is basically reversed. Currently, our body is too dominant and spirit too small. Once the reunification takes place, (after we have existed for a time without body) the spirit will dwarf the body. The idea of spirit dwarfing the body is the correct relationship, the way it was before original sin…in my opinion.

Very similar to another thread posted earlier (not sure if by same poster), but the gist of the answer is that we’ve always known that the kingdom of God is everywhere, but that heaven refers to the afterlife which is distinct, and that while we should work to make our current world conform to the standards of the kingdom of God, that’s not actually possible before the final judgement.

We have not forgotten that this is the Kingdom of God as well, as evidenced by the large amount of work Catholics do and are encouraged to do to improve the lives of others on this earth, and the fact does not in any way make using the word “heaven” to refer to the union with God that we will hopefully experience after death make any less sense.

That’s how we further the Kingdom of God on earth, even though some will say we can’t do that.
It may only be by a fractional micro-percentage that we further the Kingdom on earth but it can be done. If one person buys a $2.00 chicken sandwich from Carls Jr for a homeless person…the Kingdom has been furthered.

And they’re correct. :wink:

What we do, although it might be in line with God’s will, and might be our way to follow Jesus’ teachings… doesn’t “further” or ‘bring about’ the kingdom, per se. What it does, naturally, is witness to the presence of the kingdom and the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Does it, in any conceivable way, though, “bring about” the kingdom? No… that’s purely God’s work. To suggest otherwise is to suggest a certain utopianism that the Church does not teach: our efforts witness to God’s will, but they don’t take the place of God’s will and His action.

It may only be by a fractional micro-percentage that we further the Kingdom on earth but it can be done. If one person buys a $2.00 chicken sandwich from Carls Jr for a homeless person…the Kingdom has been furthered.

The Kingdom has been witnessed to, in those actions. “Fractional micro-percentages” sound nice, but they’re the same ‘utopianism’ trap. After all, a sufficient number of “fractional micro-percentages” add up to 100%; if you suggest that this is possible, then all we have to do is give you enough time to collect micro-percentages, and then mankind will have created the Kingdom of God by its own talents. That’s not what the Church teaches… :wink:

Ouch… no, I don’t think that this fits well with teachings in the Catholic tradition.

It’s not that the “relationship between body and spirit” is reversed. At the time of the fall of humanity, our intellect became darkened and our will weakened. The ‘body’, per se, had nothing to do with it (although, as seems obvious, our bodies – our sensory apparata – are the means through which our weakened wills and darkened intellects are attacked). So, in heaven, it’s not that our body/soul relationship is ‘reversed’; rather, the ways in which our persons have been damaged will be healed, so that the relationship of body and soul is restored to its initial condition. It’s not that the spirit will “dwarf the body”; it never did, and it’s not the “correct relationship”. Rather, the body and soul will be in perfect harmony, without the effects of sin and concupiscence clouding that harmony. :wink:

The Kingdom of God – paradoxically – is both “not yet” and also “already here.” Jesus initiated the Kingdom, and through the Mass and the sacraments and our participation in the life of the Church, it’s “already here.” Yet, it is still “not yet” present – we are not yet ‘in heaven’, and we long for the fulfillment of God’s promises that we’ll experience in the ‘new heavens and new earth’ of the ‘new Jerusalem’.

Is heaven “here on earth”? With all due respect to Belinda Carlisle… no. At least, not in the sense that what we have here on earth is the entirety of what heaven promises us. But, still, is there something of heaven that we can already experience? Of course! And so, although there are vestiges of the Enemy’s kingdom, with its “angst, poverty, war, and injustice”, there is also a manifestation of God’s Kingdom, with its joy, riches, peace, and justice. :wink:

Thanks for your thoughts, babylon. I can’t say that I agree completely with your theological musings, but it’s been a valuable excursion in re-identifying what the Church teaches about eschatological realities!

I think our fleshy perspective blinds us to the Kingdom. I don’t think it’s here in it’s fulness but there’s a LOT more of the Kingdom here than what we see.

Hmm… I would disagree. In the “new heavens and new earth”, in the eschaton, we’ll still be fleshy, but it’s difficult to see how we’d be considered “blind.” Now, if you’re asserting that it’s our concupiscence that blinds us, I’d agree. But, there’s a big difference between physicality and sinfulness. Mary is physical, but not sinful. Jesus is physical, but not sinful. Are you suggesting that they, too, are “blinded” to the Kingdom?

I think you’re making an interesting point, but are a little off-target. There is something ‘damaged’ about us, but that harm comes from sin, not from being physical. That’s something that the gnostics and particularly, the Manicheans espoused: that the physical was evil and the spiritual good, and therefore, we should eschew the physical since it brings us down. Genesis tells us that, looking upon the creation of humanity in all its physicality, God declared that it was “very good”. Not ‘blind’, not ‘dwarfed by spirit’ or ‘dominated by flesh’, just ‘very good’. :wink:

Except I don’t believe we’re going to create the Kingdom of God. It was already created before we were born anyway. How could anyone believe we will create it?

I think heaven and hell are very real, but exist on a different ‘plane’ then we live in/ on. Scientists have already proven many things exist that we cannot detect or see within our field of perception and vision, Ive heard people who have had NDEs describe death as ‘switching stations on a radio’, our souls go from earth to another plane of existence, so heaven and hell could very well be right here with us, but we just cannot see it or enter it in our human form

Ive often wondered if the continued research into alternative dimensions continue for enough time, if mankind could literally find heaven/hell…that would be amazing, but Im assuming God would not allow that to happen.

I hardly think it fair to claim that all of the Catholic thinkers from the inception of the Church were “missing” any theological “facts”

I’ve wondered about science eventually “finding” God, heaven, hell etc as well. I don’t know that God would not let that happen though. It could be part of his plan.

I think the bigger question would be whether people some people would even accept it if science ever did “prove” these things. Once people are ingrained in atheism, they are very stubborn to admit they were wrong. Eventually almost all of them do before die, but it’s kicking and screaming process all the wa.

No, Earth is Earth. It is material and temporary. Heaven is Eternal.
You’ll know it’s not Earth when you get there.

Sure, Heaven is here on earth, when we attend Mass. The opportunity to join the worship of Heaven and come into physical contact and communion with the Creator of everything and join Him as His Bride. That’s heaven right there.

Earth may be a part of heaven…

Wasnt there a part in the bible where Heavens dimensions are described? I thought I heard it mentioned the dimensions of the outer walls in Jewish els/ cubits, and some other dimensions…anyone know about this?

Nope, 'fraid not.

John is told to measure the temple in heaven in Revelation 11, is that what you mean? And the New Jerusalemis described and measured in ch 21.

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