When someone says the word Heaven, what is the first thing that pops to mind? Consider the following story.
After a righteous man dies surrounded by his friends and family, he is brought into Heaven. St. Peter greets him, but the righteous man asks, “What are we supposed to do here for all eternity?”
“Well.” St. Peter ran his fingers through his beard. “Some humans turn into flying babies playing harps.”
The man winces. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”
St. Peter begins counting.
“If you don’t want that, you have a few other options. You could either get sent to the eternal picnic, join the 24/7 chorus, or turn into a flying baby.”
“But you already said some humans turn into flying babies.”
“I said it again because some humans just turn into flying babies that only know how to cry, eat, and sleep.”
“Don’t you think Heaven is such a wonderful place to be?”
An Important Note
Fear not Cat’s fate on the cover of this article. That is not Heaven will be like. What I’m going to give you, however, is what Christians actually believe Heaven is like. The eternal bliss of Heaven does not come from friends, family, events, and food, as many articles distort this to make Heaven relevant to the modern world.
Yet eternal bliss in Heaven is not appealing unless we explain why it never will get old.
To understand how Christians believe Heaven will be devoid of boredom, you have to understand what we believe the meaning of life is. I believe that is what you want to read, not a watered-down Secular Heaven to appeal with the modern human.
The Christian Meaning of Life
Let’s begin with the Baltimore Catechism’s reason for God creating us. While the Baltimore Catechism has been replaced by YouCat, this sentence rings true in today’s catechisms.
“God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.”Baltimore Catechism Lesson First Q. 6
That might sound cheesy to you if you’re not a Christian. We need to dissect that sentence further.
The first part says that the Judaeo-Christian God made us to know Him. This means that Christians believe we can know God.
Why? Because one of the reasons God made us is to know Him.
How can we know God? By God deciding to have mercy on creatures He doesn’t need. Through a conscious decision, He allows us to know that He exists. This is not to be confused with completely understanding God’s nature.
The second part says that God also made us to love Him. That is usually the part that makes non-Christians uncomfortable. To remove this uncomfortable feeling, we must evaluate what the word love means.
In this sentence, love means sacrificing things for others. It means to love someone not for your sake but for that individual’s sake. The Baltimore Catechism is not referring to the warm, fuzzy feeling, although that emotion can be a side effect of love.
After this, the Baltimore Catechism says that God made us to serve Him along with everything it has mentioned so far. This involves accepting that you are not the Supreme Being and never will be. It also involves doing good works with His help, surrendering to God since you want to love Him, and doing what He wants.
Finally, the Baltimore Catechism says that God made us… to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.
That does not sound like being forced to play a harp.
Defining the Happiness of Heaven
Congratulations for still being here! I am going to sip my cup of peppermint tea.
Hang on a second…
Now that we have defined the Christian meaning of life, we are ready to define what makes Heaven special. Let’s read St. Faustina’s description of Heaven, who was a nun known for receiving visions from God.
“Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; (…)”Divine Mercy in My Soul 777
Regardless of whether you believe St. Faustina actually received visions from God, you have to admit this seems more interesting than the watered-down, Secular Heaven you’re used to.
Remember that the Supreme Being would have infinite power: omnipotence. Of course God would be infinitely enough to satisfy our need for stimulation because He can do anything. And He has personality. He’s not a faceless Master.
Recall that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at once. Recall also that God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. He can maintain a friendship with each human being He has ever created like that person is the only creature He ever created.
So you’re able to talk to your Creator, have a relationship with Him, and praise Him eternally (not just singing, although you might), all under God’s eternal joy?
See how much He loves you. He didn’t have to make Heaven like that.
That leads me to another point. The Judaeo-Christian God is infinitely loving (loving as in the description provided earlier). What else are these creatures doing in Heaven? St. Faustina describes still more.
St. Faustina intends God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to be read as God, [who is] the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Reading that as a list of four beings grossly distorts Christian beliefs about God.
“(…) and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. (…)”Divine Mercy in My Soul 777
We’ll never get bored. There’s always something new to learn.
As for who the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are, that’s a concept which is inseparable from the Judaeo-Christian God. This concept is called the Holy Trinity, and it is the very nature of God Himself. Since the Holy Trinity is a difficult concept to understand, don’t jump to conclusions until you do your research. I will write an article about the Holy Trinity and link it here in the future.
Lastly, St. Faustina explains the incomprehensible nature of the joy that Heaven brings its inhabitants so well there is no need for me to elaborate.
“(…) This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul, who said, “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.”Divine Mercy in My Soul 777
Thanks for joining me on our quest to prove that Heaven does not consist of flying babies!
In case you’re interested in St. Faustina’s thoughts on God, I have quoted another section from her writings. She wrote it directly after the section that I quoted regarding Heaven.
“And God has given me to understand that there is but one thing that is of infinite value in His eyes, and that is love of God; love, love and once again, love; and nothing can compare with a single act of pure love of God. Oh, with what inconceivable favors God gifts a soul that loves Him sincerely! Oh, how happy is the soul who already here on earth enjoys His special favors! And of such are the little and humble souls.”Divine Mercy in My Soul 778
Such is Christianity presented as it is. There’s no theology buried under the problem of relevancy, no watered-down theology in an attempt to make Heaven sound normal.
It’s just the truth about what Christians believe.
Kowalska, Faustina. Divine Mercy in My Soul. Marian Press, 2005.
Catholic Church. Baltimore Catechism. 1885.