Need to know if this is 'officially' the view of Catholicism?

As many of you are aware, I have been on a long, drawn out search over the past few years, trying to suss out the various beliefs of different churches whilst often struggling with periods of doubt or disbelief.
I had wandered if Earthly loves are fulfilled through the being of God when we see Him in Heaven. Much of my focus was on how ‘all’ of these loves may reflect what we may find in Him; even loves some may dissmiss because they don’t understand them, because they’re snobbish towards them or because we don’t usually accociate such things with God. Many of you will recall may questions of ‘will the (television program) Dr Who or its fictional monsters (the cybermen) be fulfilled?’
If Tolkien’s notion (in ‘Tree and Leaf’) that fiction reflects the Almighty is correct, thus it must be.
F.J. Sheed (a Catholic writer) says of our pleasure in things or happenings, “…we shall have (*them) in greater measure, because whatever reality is in any created thing is there by the gift of God. It is therefore, in infinite perfection, in God Himself, and with Him we shall be in living contact.”
However, I have heard counter claims- including that God is a good ‘seperate’ in kind from the goods He makes or that only some things reflect Him. Many don’t understand my enjoyments and probably even find it insulting that I would want a fulfillment of fictional monsters via the Almighty, seeing only evil in such pleasures in the first place…I will defend my enjoyment and would happily attempt to describe it to those willing to listen.

But the interesting thing (which is probably why I go around in circles and can never seem to get a direct answer) is that I am Protestant but my ‘theological’ reading has been largely Catholic (or CS Lewis who was pretty much a Catholic in his views in all but name). I like the thrilling idea of a God of infinite qualities and that Creation is endlessly fulfilled in Him, but I am knocked back in this idea by some who say this platonist idea has no reasonable basis and that saying God is ‘infinite’ good makes about as much sense as saying the Tower of Pisa is infinite structure.
But the people who do seem to agree with me are Catholics. Please say it is so! This wretched journey to clarify the answer is destablizing my faith because platonist views was what the basis of my faith was built on in the first place!

Is it ‘officially’ so that (all!) things reflect God and are perfected in Him infinitely? (And I don’t mean ‘infinitely’ in a hyperbole sense.)

I don’t know if it’s been “officially” taught, but certainly according to mainstream theology God is infinite goodness. All creatures, on the other hand, possess finite goodness. The human being is naturally ordered to love goodness, and so we are attracted to the finite goods we observe in Creation (including even the “trivial” things you describe like popular entertainment). All these finite goods have their source in God, and when one experiences the Beatific Vision the general longing for good, which previously took the form of longing after these finite goods, is fulfilled entirely in God.

That’s not to say we can’t also enjoy lesser goods simultaneously in heaven, such as the joy of meeting lost loved ones again. But even without these extras we would still be perfectly happy in heaven because of that experience of ultimate good.

You ask too much. The Catholic Church does not have an " official " teaching on every thought that crosses our mind. But the Church does teach that God is Good and Perfect in every way, that in him is no evil, that he has called us by name even before we were dreamed of by our parents, indeed, even before they were born. We also know that “…it has not entered the heart of man what the Father has prepared for those that love him…” We also know that the Father wants us to trust him.

So let’s trust him. We don’t know anything positive about our future heavenly existence except that we will be like Christ after his Resurrection, that we will possess the Father and the Holy Spirit in our hearts ( they will make their presence known to our intellectual vision), that in heaven " every tear will be wiped away," that our individual capacity for joy and happiness and contentment ( based on our merits ) will be made perfect, that our bodies will be made perfect, and that it will all last for eternity.

Anything you read about beyond these things is really speculation and can’t be banked on. Really, what more could we hope for?

Linus2nd

Yes, I think it is.

I am with you on the fact that some kind of Platonism is for me personally the only really solid intellectual reason for believing in God at all (i.e., the idea that what we see on earth is a shadow of something eternal which we call God). Without that, we might have some kind of powerful being who created the world, but that would just be a very mighty god, not God.

It’s hard to answer your question about Catholic teaching definitively, because the Church doesn’t endorse particular philosophical systems explicitly. But in the sense I defined Platonism in the previous paragraph, I think it is implicit in Church teaching and that Catholic doctrine couldn’t exist as we know it without such an assumption.

I admit that I find your affection for the Cybermen a bit incomprehensible, but in principle I entirely empathize and agree with the feelings you are expressing. I think Tolkien put it best in a poem that is actually based on a conversation he had with Lewis (which was instrumental in convincing Lewis to believe in God):

He sees no stars who does not see them first
of living silver made that sudden burst
to flame like flowers bencath an ancient song,
whose very echo after-music long
has since pursued. There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jewelled tent
myth-woven and elf-pattemed; and no earth,
unless the mother’s womb whence all have birth.
The heart of Man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons, 'twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we’re made.

Edwin

“Every hair on your head is numbered”. What could that mean but our Creator made us, gave us free will to explore, master, and create in our little worlds, yet knows each and every little cranny, turn, tangent, obsession, success, failure, pitfall, and loss? We don’t know the results; our work is to please and praise God in our pursuits and avoid attaching too excessively to things, or, on the other hand, avoid not appreciating the gifts we receive.

I agree with Edwin. I am a writer who loves my “evil” characters as much as my “good” ones (taking into account that there is good and evil in all of us). :yup:

Let’s take dragons, for instance. What are they but personfications of spoiled greatness? They are mighty beings wiht great powers that if used for good could be wonderfully beneficial for all other creatures who might have recourse to their gifts. But instead they squander their gifts by bullying others and sitting on stolen gold.

I would venture to say that what you love about the cybermen isn’t that they are soulless but that they are persons who could have been perfected, no more illness or perhaps death, but their maker, a man obsessed with living without emotion, spoiled them by denying them part of their humanity, the only thing that would have made living forever in any form of physical state apart from the glory of being resurrected, worthwhile.

One doesn’t need a degree in philosophy or support any particular philosopher or theologian to enjoy a good villain. We know that each of us has the potential to be a villain or a hero, neither one completely without fault or goodness. It’s why we can relate to them.

I’m afraid some of our Protestant brethren, usually of the more Fundamentalist kind, don’t understand these things even if they secretly hold the same feelings about them. C. S. Lewis is quite popluar among Evangelicals who, by and large, have a very distorted understanding of the goodness/evils of the flesh. They have a love of Lewis’ writings because they cannot help but be drawn to the villains as much as to the heros no matter what they may think they believe about them. :wink:

Many of you will recall may questions of ‘will the (television program) Dr Who or its fictional monsters (the cybermen) be fulfilled?’

More importantly, will there be blink angels in heaven! Don’t Blink!!! — sooo scarrry!!! :smiley:

God bless,
Ut

I have so wondered if love in this life is a way of understanding the love of God in the next.

But what I do know is that all relationships and creations here just point to something that is much better. Anything in the “natural” is less than the “supernatural”. But the natural has small characteristics of that from which it came. That is why we can admire beauty and good art because it points to the greatest good but it is not the greatest good in itself. Marriage is a microcosm of the Trinitarian life in that two love each other and can pro-create to make a third.

The platonic love is just a higher level of love in that it is set aside as a sacrifice of pleasure for a gift to the world. Not all are called to it but it is a real lifestyle that points to the love of God for us.

God Bless

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.