[quote="fieldsparrow, post:16, topic:230633"]
Interesting thoughts, and not strange, and no offense taken. I think you are right that at least as I was taught, Baptists believe in a timeline as you described. It was explained to me that crucifixes with the corpus were offensive because they somehow denied the fact that Christ is now resurrected. The focus was certainly more on a "personal relationship with Jesus" and (I feel) not much emphasis was put on the great sacrifice. Now, my favorite mysteries to pray with the Rosary are the Sorrowful Mysteries, to reflect on that.
The idea of God being outside of time is not something I had really considered before you and another poster pointed it out in this thread. At first when I was going to Mass I think I kind of pictured Jesus with a day planner, listing all the Masses and visiting them... rather than His sacrifice being perpetual.
Anyway, it is something for me to think about and reflect on and read about, and discuss with my priest and RCIA class. It puts everything in a different context for me. I also called to find out how to have a Mass said for my mother, and I would also in future like to add my other relatives who have passed away from this life.
I hope this doesn't count as derailing my own thread.
One thing I was wondering about today, is what Heaven is like. The idea I got of it growing up was that you basically would go hang out with all your friends and relatives in the presence of God, and like... do hobbies, and things, I guess. Sort of like an extremely extended vacation. Now, I read and hear more about it being in the eternal praise of God. But I wonder if we still also get to see people we love? and praise Him together? Another thing to think and learn about.
Here I go again. Your posts are so thought-provoking. I'll quit after this, I promise.
Protestants are not wrong about having a "personal relationship with jesus". We all need that. What they don't realize (some do) is that that's what the Eucharist is the culmination of. We might visit Him. We might pray to Him. We might even have conversations with Him, sort of. I sometimes just talk to Him. He doesn't answer back into my ears, but I do often perceive His presence and His guidance.
Heaven: I don't think anybody really disputes that the human mind seems to have limitless capabilities. We don't, for example, get to a point where we can't learn one more thing because our heads are full. We don't get to a point where we just can't accept any more beauty or any more love because our feelings are full to the top like a milk bottle.
God is infinite, and we will be fully in His presence. There will be no fleshly barriers. No matter how long eternity is, we can never fully plumb His wisdom or knowledge. We can never exhaust His beauty or even behold it all. We can never exhaust His love to the point we can no longer feel it.
But we won't be absorbed either. We won't not be human. We will be ourselves, just glorified, perfect versions of ourselves. We will even have bodies eventually. I think of eternity this way. Personally, I love timber. I love trees. I love the grain and the smell and the feel of it. I love the color of timber, and how it is in the light. Might I, in heaven, be able to go inside a tree, not being limited as a spirit in doing such things? Might I see the nutrients as they climb and build? Might I explore the bowels of the earth and see the magnetic core? Might I explore the inside of a star or a black hole and, wonderously, understand every last chemical process and every last equation involved because every one of them is in God's mind, and He makes them all open to me as I wish? Some saint said if we ever beheld an angel as it really is, we would be sure it was actually God, so wonderful they are. What's an angel's name? Perhaps one who keeps the Quarks doing what Quarks do? Would its name be all of the formulas and forces involved in keeping Quarks going? Does it get all of that from God, because it's joined to God?
Might I know every person who ever lived, better than I know myself now? Might I absolutely marvel at them in their glorified state, and not just the mega-saints, but also the drifters and the mafiosi who made it to heaven by the skin of their teeth, and the Huns and the Roman soldiers and the Chinese guy who lived in 2,000 B.C. and looked on a sunrise and saw the face of God in it and wrote a poem that was lost the next day? Will I perhaps see the beauty in all of that? God does. He loves them all, and so will I. I believe every person who ever lived will be immediately present to me because I will no longer be limited by the physical properties of ears and eyes and hands.
And might I drink in pure beauty from God; just more and more and more, and all the time while I'm doing all that other stuff too? And, while I'm at it, since I will no longer be in time, can I have my first dog back? Will God refuse me that? I doubt it. That dog is still out there, in God's mind because God never forgets. It's existence was necessarily in God's mind, and still is.
And maybe my very existence in all of that wonder will, without my even having to try, be one long song of praise to God? What will that song look like? Will it be in decibels, or the vibration of "strings" or my voice or waves or all sorts of things.
Neat to think about. We can't really get our minds around infinity. We only know that nothing else will do.