The Joy of Heaven

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Ever since we were kids we wondered what Heaven would be like. We fantasized about pools and popsicles, sunshine, and endlessly long meadows. Who doesn’t enjoy dreaming of a place of paradise? But what exactly will Heaven be like?

Of course, as St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2, Heaven is quite literally better and beyond anything we can imagine. There is a great and beautiful mystery to it. That said, we do know a lot about Heaven and we know what makes it so wonderful.

What makes Heaven so great is not just the absence of pain and death, though that is part of it, it is not just an earthly paradise, though our resurrected bodies will be glorified. What ultimately makes Heaven so great is our profound communion with God Himself!

In Heaven, we share without interruption or frustration in the very life of the Holy Trinity. Just as the Father and Son have joyfully given Themselves to each other in an eternal exchange of love, we too will love God and all the saints perfectly and without end. There we will see Him who is Truth and the source of all goodness face to face! We will enjoy the Beatific Vision (CCC 1023-1024).

So what is Heaven like? It is like the greatest moment of spiritual consolation you have ever experienced, infinitely magnified and lasting for all eternity. It is like when a married couple looks at each other in perfect contentment and love. But if there is an experience that is closest to Heaven it is the moment we go to receive Holy Communion and we behold our Lord!

It is good to reflect on the infinite joy of Heaven, the promise of eternal communion with God. By keeping Heaven at the forefront of our minds it gives us the hope and courage to endure any and all sufferings of this life. But with Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension, we have already partially entered the New Age.

Jesus will come again, and the fulfillment of all our desires have yet to be definitely fulfilled. But the joy of Heaven is communion with God. That means by turning our hearts and lives to Him here in this life means we can already begin to share in the joy of Heaven right now! What a good Father we have who cares for us now and forever!

“To bear my exile now, within this world of tears,
the holy tender glance of Christ, my Lord, I need.
That glance, surcharged with love, consoles me through the years;
His loveliness displays foretaste of heaven indeed.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

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