As per the creation Chapters ,God created heaven, earth and man ,but there nothing to suggest that the heaven was created to accommodate man.God changed the plan when Adam committed the original sin ? If so ,was it not indeed a very substantial and crucial change in His plan of creation of man ?
One suggestion is the fact He created heaven. Is there another reason you have for the creation of heaven?
Man was always intended, according to Church teachings, to be divinized. Adam couldn’t remain neutral- he was expected to make a choice, to remain in obedience to God, and draw nearer to Him, or to disobey and turn away from Him. To be near to God and be divinized by Him means to be in union with Him, to be in His immediate presence. And “God is heaven”, as Pope Benedict said-in ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ if I remember correctly.
If Im not mistaken, heaven has numerous ‘levels’, the one God resides on is different from the one the angels live on, and different from the one human souls go when they die, I believe they are referred to as the second, third, etc heavens.I cannot recall where I read this though.
Yes, differences in beatification.
I read a book by Scott Hahn about the history of man and God. He said that if man had not sinned that perhaps we would have departed the world in a celebratory way. It was interested. The name of the book was A Father Who Keeps His Promises. Great book.
As far as different levels in Heaven, I did read that Pope Benedict said that as happiness is different for everyone that Heaven would be as well. Not that Heaven is subjective but that God loves his children as they need to be loved. It was in a book called Eschatology I believe. I haven’t read it yet but I own it. Looks interesting.
Please note that Genesis 1:1 refers to heavens in the plural. The context which follows refers to items such as the lights in the dome of the sky and water under the sky gathered into single basin. These are not the spiritual world of God which is also known as heaven singular.
Genesis 1: 27 is especially clear that humans could eventually live in joy eternal in the presence of the Beatific Vision.
OMG! In heaven also there are different sections and areas and different levels of happiness? The saved humans,angels and God live at different places? From where these funny ideas originated? Definitely not from the scriptures!
Putting God in a box (levels) is not a good idea.
When God created the “heavens” He created a boundary for our existence and a place we can physically imagine as God’s domain beyond our reach. It has been placed there to provide a hope to our finite spatial existence.
But God is not up beyond the edge of the universe. Heaven is a spiritual shift.
2 Kings 6:17.
And Eliseus prayed, and said: Lord, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw: and behold the mountain was full of horses, and chariots of fire round about Eliseus.
You are experiencing partial recollective fuzziness where you have the overview but fill in the missing gaps with projections.
3 heavens. 1. birds and clouds 2. Sun moon planets and stars (and an occasional nasa probe?). 3. God.
The problem of course with the three heaven model is that 2 are physical and tangible, the third is supernatural beyond the realm of the first two because it is impossible to limit God and His realm to time and space.
But if the third heaven is a spiritual shift into beyond time and space, we can be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but at the same time are not aware of them (I could word that better, as Blessed Mary, Mother of God, has appeared), and we can see the possibility of a truly transcendent God also being truly immanent.
I should need to read Eschatology but have heard Dr. Hahn discourse on the subject including overhearing him speaking to a nun and student when visiting Stuebenville. Clearly not valid information in a scholarly sense, still there it is and I feel a blessing that now has punctuality of sense.
Augustine discusses structural components of Creation as a Doctor of the Church. These have temporal elements that are altered by The Fall and more imperatively by The Passion. The levels are in a sense epochs or demonstrations of God’s healing grace before the angels and saints. Gabriel and The Annuciation as one example of state change in the virtues, earthly sacrifices and economy of Sacraments. God’s ways are not our ways but He understands our ways in the minutest details as He was made Flesh and dwelt among us.
Hope this sheds light on the Heavens in temporal relation to the church militant on earth.
This is exactly what I suspected in the OP. The Fall,Our Lord’s Passion etc.clearly changed God’s original plan and intention of creation…
The catechism says “God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise” (CCC#1721). This is what the Baltimore Catechism says too, namely, Why did God make you? God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with him forever in heaven.
The end of every human being is the beatific vision which is heaven, the paradise of which the CCC#1721 speaks of, union with God and sharing in his divine life and beatitude forever. This end is the only one that can fully satisfy the heart and deepest longings for happiness of every human being and angel too. As St Augustine said ‘our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.’
The Church teaches that God created Adam and Eve with the original gift of holiness and justice which among other gifts included sanctifying grace which is a participation in the divine nature and the divine life. This sanctifying grace which human beings possess on earth is the seed as it were of eternal life, heavenly glory, the beatific vision. It is already a participation in eternal life which the full flowering of or development of is the beatific vision or heaven. So, the end for which God created Adam and Eve as well as of all their descendants, all other human beings, is the beatific vision which is heaven, seeing God face to face and being happy with him forever.
It is commonly taught that if Adam and Eve had kept the commandment God them to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, after their time of probation on earth, they would have been transported body and soul to heaven probably much like the ascension of Jesus into heaven after his resurrection and the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary body and soul to heaven. Jesus opened the gates of heaven by his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. The gates of heaven were closed by the fall of Adam and Eve. This is symbolized in Genesis I think where God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and set before the entrance to the garden the cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life. As the CCC says as well, God placing Adam and Eve in the garden of paradise is a sign of their familiarity with God, that is, sanctifying grace which is a participation in the divine life. Their banishment from the Garden is a sign that they lost this gift of sanctifying grace through their sin of disobedience.
“Heaven” commonly refers to the Beatific Vision, where we are fully adopted as sons of God, sharing in the Inner Life of God like the Son, seeing God like He sees Himself, and loving God similarly to how He loves Himself. This lifestyle, prepared for the Blessed, is pure joy and happiness.
Man was never meant to be an incorporeal being by dying, which is why it is the punishment for sin.
Does that make sense? "Being in Heaven refers to the Beatific Vision and theosis, not really a particular “place,” at least literally.
Attributes of Beatitude
…There are various degrees of beatitude in heaven corresponding to the various degrees of merit. This is a dogma of faith, defined by the Council of Florence (Denz., n. 693 — old, n. 588). The Bible teaches this truth in very many passages (e.g., wherever it speaks of eternal happiness as a reward), and the Fathers defend it against the heretical attacks of Jovinian. It is true that, according to Matthew 20:1-16, each labourer receives a penny; but by this comparison Christ merely teaches that, although the Gospel was preached to the Jews first, yet in the Kingdom of Heaven there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, and that no one will receive a greater reward merely because of being a son of Judah. The various degrees of beatitude are not limited to the accidental blessings, but they are found first and foremost in the beatific vision itself. For, as we have already pointed out, the vision, too, admits of degrees. These essential degrees of beatitude are, as Francisco Suárez rightly observes (“De beat.”, d. xi, s. 3, n. 5), that threefold fruit Christ distinguishes when He says that the word of God bears fruit in some thirty, in some sixty, in some a hundredfold (Matthew 13:23). And it is by a mere accommodation of the text that St. Thomas (Supp:96, aa. 2 sqq.) and other theologians apply this text to the different degrees in the accidental beatitude merited by married persons, widows, and virgins…
To say that there are various degrees of beatitude in heaven depending upon one’s merit is to ignore the basic concept as to what we get in heaven and what we are supposed to do there ,which are the cause for the beatitude.
We are able to directly see God.We are supposed to praise and glorify him.Nothing else.Where is the question of lesser or more beatitude in these?Also if such distinction is there,why in none of our prayers we ask for the higher degree of beatitude and not just the everlasting life there?
This depends on God’s Omniscience.
If God knows every possible path we could take AND which paths we would take then he already knew about The Fall before it happened and planned accordingly. This has some problems, because if God knows the future then that makes it pre-determined and means some people were destined for Hell before they were even conceived.
If God knows every possible path we could take but doesn’t (perhaps by choice) know which ones we’ll take then he planned for every possible contingency. This allows for a universe with free will because it means the people in Hell could have theoretically have chosen a path that lead to Heaven, but has a problem of limiting God.
O Jesus, Thou hast set me apart from the world; what, then, shall I seek therein? Thou hast created me for Heaven; what, then, have I to do with the world? Depart from me, deceitful world, with thy vanities! Henceforth I will follow the Way of the Cross traced out for me by my Redeemer, and journey onward to my heavenly home, there to dwell forever and ever.
–St. Francis of Assisi