Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'll Not Get to Heaven

“Only God is in heaven.” I read that statement and jumped in my seat, my mind and feelings racing. That can’t be, for so many reasons that I could not even begin to think of them individually. But then I realized: that could ONLY be, for perhaps even more and even bigger reasons.

Mankind, for as long as it has existed, has had a common existence. Certain parts of our DNA, scientists say, are in common, tracing us back to some common ancestors, Adam and Eve, if you were to give them names. All humanity is connected in some mysterious way which science likely will never fully understand, but we are all part of this one human family, together.

Many men have taught that mankind is not yet at its fullest potential; that the human being is set up for more, a higher level of perfection is possible, and some men say it is naturally evolving toward that. Certain philosophers taught that some men can force that to happen, jump start evolution, to create the “superman,” the perfect man. In the last century we’ve seen the failures of those philosophies, with much death and destruction --- but no perfection, to say the least. I suppose there will always be some men like that, with big enough egos to think THEY know the way. But there has only been one man who knew the way to perfection, and He WAS the Way.

God became man, to break into this family of mankind; it’s like the story of the geese lost in the storm. I’m sure you heard it. Someone had to become a goose to lead them to shelter, or the flock would not follow to safety. They could not imagine someone they could trust except one of their own. Jesus, God, became one of us to lead us to safety, to lead us to heaven. If man were to continue evolving, perhaps he’d reach some greater point of perfection, but then he could go no higher. But he could still be more if he could somehow reach that plane of his Creator, or if his Creator somehow invited him into His plane of existence, His house, if you will. Jesus did just that.

Heaven is God’s house, where He exists. As men, we can’t even conceive of such a perfect place, much less fit into it. It would be like a dog trying to fit into our house, to live in and run it even as one of our family. No, a dog can only exist in our house through our will, and even then he must be on his best behavior, or we will throw him out. In his normal “dog state”, he does not fit in our house at all.

In our normal “man state” we don’t fit into heaven either. I’m honest, and looking at myself I’ll admit that I cannot conceive of me fitting into heaven (there are some who might say I don’t even fit too well in my earthly home). Heaven, fit for a God, could never accept me being there. I certainly am not worthy, and never will be. But neither, by himself, will be any man. Jesus breaking into mankind’s family, however, getting into our DNA if you will, connects mankind to something and someone on a plane higher than mankind could reach alone. He connects us to heaven, in mysterious ways that our feeble minds can never fully understand --- so we’ll just have to accept His revelation on this. But He gives us a way to heaven, through Him. He is the Way.

In heaven, only God can exist, but we can exist there through Him, even as He existed in mankind. We won’t be totally separated from Him in heaven, like at a cocktail party where everyone mills around the host. We will be united with Him in some way there, part of His body, but He the head. United to that perfection, what more could we ever want? And it’s a gift to us, this perfection in heaven, if we choose to accept it.

This is the teaching of the Catholic Church. When I began to grasp this teaching, I yearned even more for this union with Jesus, wanting it, some taste of it, even now. And that is another teaching of the Catholic Church, which it explains is Jesus’ teaching: I can get a taste of heaven now, a union with Jesus, in the Eucharist. And in the mass when men gather, presenting themselves in worship as one family, they become one with Him also. Oh, I can’t fully grasp it all, all the wisdom, all the beauty, all the love, but it makes me yearn for it always.

If Jesus was the opening to the door of heaven, I want to walk through that door with Him. He said He went to prepare a place for me; I had no idea it was so close to Him, being one with Him. His home and me being there, not as a God who naturally belongs there, but as one of His adopted children, held very close.

Only God is or will be in heaven. I can understand that. But I can’t wait to get there.

Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior,
I know for sure
All of my days are held in Your hand;
Crafted into Your perfect Plan.

You gently call me into your presence,
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit;
Teach me, dear Lord,
To live all my life through Your eyes.

I’m captured by Your holy calling,
Set me apart,
I know You’re drawing me to Yourself;
Lead me Lord, I pray.

Take me, mold me, use me, fill me;
I give my life to the Potter’s hand.
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me;
I give my life to the Potter’s hand.

The Potter’s Hand, by Darlene Zschech / Hillsongs, Australia


  1. All of that is so beyond me I have a hard time reading it much less writing about it. However, I do like the lyrics of that song. When subjects involving end times come up, I am more than happy to fall back on my vocal prayer, trust in God and 'faith of a child'. I just don't get it ... no matter how much I read and study about it, in fact the more I read, the less I understand.

  2. Oh Booklady, I do not mean to confuse. I wrote these things to explain how I became un-confused.

    In my youth I was never taught what heaven was, and the silly images of flying on clouds eating bon-bons, etc. just didn't make sense, so I had no great yearnings to get there. As I grew wiser with years (and much reading and meditation), I saw and understood what the Church teaches, and it made sense --- despite the fact that "eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared."

    For simpler, shorter explanations, try paragraphs 460 -- about why the Word became Flesh, and paragraphs 1026 and 1027 --- about heaven. I have read many meditations of saints and holy men which give more depth and meaning, which I tried to summarize above. (These thoughts came about after hearing someone speak aloud his confused thoughts about heaven)

  3. oops -- those were paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.