Do you believe in heaven?

This is the question my computer keeps asking me. And what is the answer?

A few more details to flesh this out. I have several hundred pictures of my wife and son, though primarily my son, stored on some drive at work. No doubt my company appreciates me using up their server space, but the pictures flicker past my screen as a screen saver, during those moments when I am working away from the computer. Inevitably, I am drawn in to watching them, seeing the various stages of our son’s development. And just as inevitably, I am saddened when I see how fast the time has gone. I can already imagine him leaving for college, or marriage, or any number of things. No doubt this is heavily related to my morose tendency to always look backwards. With sorrow for how time flies. With longing for the care-free days of college. Or the days when my knees weren’t always hurting. Or the days when I could at least muster a full head of hair.

But I suppose there is more to it. I imagine that there is also an aspect wherein I don’t take seriously the statement from the creed: I believe in the life everlasting. More specifically, as the initial question stated, do I believe in heaven? Does my sadness at the swiftness of time imply an underlying supposition that this all will end in dissolution? Is my time with my son finite? Do I have to fit in as many memories as possible only to have them end in nothingness? Of course, I subscribe in faith to all that Holy Mother Church teaches. And that includes heaven. But does that belief filter down into the practicality of daily life? Is it a fixed core of the reality that I live? The answer is clearly, no.

We have no lasting home in this city. We are strangers and sojourners. Pilgrims. We are only passing through on our way home. Please God that I can live my life here and now in such a way as to do all that is in my earthly power to get all of my loved ones there in one piece. And getting them there, may I also find a way in myself. And may there be joy is such living. The nature of all our relationships is destined to change on earth. My son will gradually become my brother, and maybe my father (though always my son). And though it can seem sad that the days when I will be able to roll around with him on the carpeted play-room floor are numbered, nevertheless, we are assured that heaven’s joys will not be less than this, but more. Though I can scarcely conceive of any deeper joy than rolling around with my son, surely they exist, if only in heaven.

May this vision of reality so permeate our lives that all other silly little petty distractions and attachments burn away as the dross they really are. Engulfed in the light of heaven, all other lights and darknesses fade.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, help us. Lord, help me. I am too weak. Give me strength.

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~ by Rob on October 1, 2007.

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