Personalities of Spirits?


In the past I have heard that we will recognise deseased members of our family after we are dead.

What is the Catholic teaching? If we go to purgatory or finally to Heaven, will we recognise our family members who died before us? I have on two occasions heard dying family members say that they see their ancestors waiting for them.


I don’t believe the Church has any official teaching on this matter. Personally, I believe we will see our relatives in Heaven. If we make it there of course :). The one thing I’ve always wondered about is what if we make it to Heaven only to find that one of our loved ones didn’t make it. I’ve asked a priest this and he said that we’d be so consumed with God’s presence that it would not bother us.


The idea that we will know one another in heaven comes from 1 Cor. 13:12: At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

I don’t know if that can/should be interpreted as meaning we’ll all recognize one another or not. It seems, within the context of the verse, that Paul is not talking about that here. And, I don’t think there is any Church teaching that says exactly how this verse must be understood, either. So, it is merely speculation, as far as I can tell.


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