I've confused myself (regarding heaven)

Ok, so, my mind was drifting and I came upon the topic of: Heaven. I know that we a) don’t know exactly what it is b) can’t comprehend what it is and c) won’t know what it is until we (hopefully) get there. But I want to know if I’m thinking along the right lines after reading multiple ideas of what heaven is.

We will be dwelling in eternity with God, but won’t be looking at him as if he’s standing in front of us, correct? It’ll be more of a sense, a feeling, a knowledge of sorts. If I’ve got this part wrong, please explain.

We won’t be capable of injury, any pain or disease at all, and no sin. That’s an obvious one. There’ll be no tears of sadness, but happiness and joy. But will that be more of just a sense, or will it be from having a good laugh with your uncle joe? Which leads me to my next question.

Are we going to have “bodies,” will I be able to talk with friends “face-to-face,” or again, will it be more of a sense? To suggest that we are in our “own heaven” with God and no other souls would be, strange, and probably wrong. So will we be communicating with each other? Singing hymns of praise? Chatting with St. Peter? Or is that unlikely, because those are worldly things?

I know the best answer to these questions is “we don’t know,” but basically I want to know what the Church says about what exactly heaven is, and what you guys think. Is it supposed to remain a mystery as we see throughout the Bible when it says things alone the lines of “man does not know and can’t comprehend what heaven is.”

Thanks guys.

Essentially, will we be like perfected humans, free of pain, disease, injury, and other things that happen to our body, but yet still be able to think and feel things? Is it a perfected world, or a perfect “realm” of existence?

We will be embodied, but in renewed, “spiritual bodies” in Saint Paul’s term.

We will be able to see, at least, our LORD.

And because we will be embodied, we will know everybody else, as well.

ICXC NIKA!

One of the dogmas of our Catholic faith is the “resurrection of the dead” on the last day.

For the section in the Catechism titled “I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body”:
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P2G.HTM#13

I am not sure when we use our senses such as sight , hearing is though our optic/auditory nerves or through spiritual senses. What would be the purpose of having a body then in heaven if we don’t need them to function as it is on earth. We don’t need to go to the bathroom I suspect, or need a hair/nail cut, If we don’t need to walk, why have legs and so on. If we can communicate through thought, why need a mouth to speak or I guess eating is not a necessity either. Or a nose or lungs to breathe. We already passed the stage of requiring such functions to live.

Just wondering.

We do know something of what our resurrected body can be like. Jesus body was a normal human body like ours and we have the Scripture accounts of His bodily resurrection. He walked, talked, ate … normal things. But He could also pass thru material objects (walls/doors) as when He appeared suddenly to the apostes in the room whose doors were locked. His body was such that the apostles could not only see it, but could touch and feel it (John 20:19-28) .could also alter His physical appearance (as when Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Him at the tomb (John 20:14) and neither did 2 of His followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).

In Heaven, the blessed have souls only, no bodies. They know God directly, by the gifts of reason, free will, and the Beatific Vision. They participate in the love, knowledge, and eternity of God.

After the general Resurrection, the blessed have glorified bodies united to their souls. There will be a new Heaven and a new earth, so they will make use of their bodies in the beautiful new earth, while still maintaining the Beatific Vision of God.

There will still be sights, sounds and smells! We will be human beings, and that means beings who see, smell, move, etc.

Because there will be sight, we will have eyes (would you rather spend forever blind?!)

Because there will be smells, we will have noses. (You also need your nose, neck, tongue, lungs, etc, in order to have a voice!)

Our minds need our heads to live in; which need in turn, the neck to support them, and the limbs for movement.

(I’d imagine that in Heaven, we’d be leaping around rather than walking, but still using our legs!!!:))

And for me, the highlight of Heaven would be to be **hugged **and held by our LORD, and **breathe **with HIM! For that I’d need my skin, my limbs, my lungs, nose, etc, pretty much my whole body!

To be human, it is absolutely necessary to be somebody!

ICXC NIKA!

We will be dwelling in eternity with God, but won’t be looking at him as if he’s standing in front of us, correct? It’ll be more of a sense, a feeling, a knowledge of sorts. If I’ve got this part wrong, please explain.

The blessed in heaven see God in His essence. This doctrine is called the beatific vision. This does not mean that they always see God sat on His throne; it means that no matter where they are or whey they are looking with their bodily eyes, they will always have present in their minds the vision of God in all His infinite goodness.

We won’t be capable of injury, any pain or disease at all, and no sin.

Correct.

There’ll be no tears of sadness, but happiness and joy. But will that be more of just a sense, or will it be from having a good laugh with your uncle joe? Which leads me to my next question.

Are we going to have “bodies,” will I be able to talk with friends “face-to-face,” or again, will it be more of a sense? To suggest that we are in our “own heaven” with God and no other souls would be, strange, and probably wrong. So will we be communicating with each other? Singing hymns of praise? Chatting with St. Peter? Or is that unlikely, because those are worldly things?

Yes, the blessed in heaven after the resurrection will be in their resurrected bodies (this is part of the ancient Apostolic Creed, it’s one of the most basic doctrines of the faith!). They will be able to “have a good laugh with uncle Joe”, but, of course, it will be an infinitely better “laugh” than we have on earth, it will be an angelic laugh, because their souls will be so full of charity. The blessed will certainly sing hymns, just as the angels have done since the beginning of time. I’m sure that every one of the blessed will get to talk to St. Peter at least once during eternity :smiley: Unless some of the saints are so humble that they would always refuse to speak to St. Peter directly; I think that is a possibility. There will be conversation in heaven, but it will be conversation suited to heaven, it will be holy.

I know the best answer to these questions is “we don’t know,” but basically I want to know what the Church says about what exactly heaven is, and what you guys think. Is it supposed to remain a mystery as we see throughout the Bible when it says things alone the lines of “man does not know and can’t comprehend what heaven is.”

Some of these things we DO know. They are Church doctrine. If you want a detailed account you can read St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa:

newadvent.org/summa/5.htm

Scroll down to the heading, “The Resurrection”.

When I’m just musing upon heaven in my imagination, I love to read some of the “heavenly” visions granted by God that are recorded in Scripture:
Book of Revelation contains so many – Chapters 4, 5, 7 (vs 9-17); 15, 19, 21, 22;
Isaiah 6:1-3;
Ezekiel 1:26-28 and chapter 10; Daniel 7:9 et seq.

You will be exactly as you look now only made of light and any weakness or infirmities will be replaced by strength and vigour.
Heaven is made of light and is vast. You will be able to see the earth beside you and at a thought zoom in as it were across continents to a single person walking across the earth.
Far in the distance or maybe near there will be what looks like a throne made of powerful light and Christ will be your constant companion at your shoulder.
Far away you will see stacks of rooms made of light endless in height where some people might be found considering the work they loved to do in life.

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.