Tag Archives: love

Traces of Heaven and Hell in the most meaningful and painful experiences of life

What’s Heaven like?

I believe we already know. Well, we’ve inklings of what it’s like in our flesh, in our deepest and most meaningful human experiences.

As far as I’m concerned all the important stuff foreshadows eternity.

So what’s the best thing that ever happened to you?

Most people will say; love… when it’s true of course!

Or they’ll say; my children.

Before the birth of our children we were living – the only life we knew – but it was a life of a much lower quality.

Sometimes at weddings I ask the couple to think of their individual lives before they met.

You can almost see the emptiness registering!

Before meeting they had a life but it was life of a much lower quality.

Before your children you had a life too… but of a different quality altogether. Few want to go back.

The quality of life after the experience of true love or after the birth of your children – the deep and deeper meaning – is a reflection of gaining or stepping-up to the life of Heaven.

The life of Heaven is a step-up in quality again. In fact, it’s the ultimate quality of life.

After death nobody ever wants to come back except the souls in trouble. They want to come back to undo so much but can’t… that’s their suffering.

Imagine if you had to go back to your life before true love or to your life before your children.

Can you imagine it?

Do you ever really get back? Are you not always bereft?

Evening falls over the River Slaney… can you see the path of your life condensed into a single day?

That’s reflecting the soul’s loss of Heaven.

The loss of true love or of a child and it’s impact on the quality of life is actually a reflection of what it’s like for the soul to lose Heaven.

In the most meaningful and painful spaces of our lives we’re always reflecting eternity… glimpsing eternity.

Love is the standard by which God will judge us – but it is love of a much higher standard than we realize

Jesus has taught us that there’s a definitive standard – love defined as love of God and love of neighbour – by which we will all be judged.

But don’t be complacent about God’s love… and be careful of presumption…

Because this love is of a much higher standard than most people realize. Remember Jesus’ teaching that his new standard is higher than the old; love your enemies.

Or the widow who put in one small coin. She put in more than all the others although the others put in much bigger amounts… because she gave everything she had.

He’s indicating different levels of love… which correspond to different levels in the next life, in the kingdom of God.

When Jesus speaks about love he really means all-consuming charity, charity that no longer experiences even a hint of self denial. He’s not really thinking about romantic love.

So be careful… sometimes people use Jesus emphasis on love to include stuff that may be contrary to Jesus intentions; may be contrary. Some TV personalities are quite adept at this!

Here’s a good illustration of the inner dynamics of judgement; suppose I’m buying a car. For many it’s an ordinary enough event and few would even relate it to God. But for others it’s far from an everyday event. I could splash out 20,000 or 50,000 or even 80,000. What we do not suspect is that we’ll relive that choice – and every other choice – from within the standard of God’s love at the moment of our judgement; how did I love God and how did I love my neighbour in these choices?

In our judgment we’ll see what we actually did with what we had, and what we could have done – and much of it will be stuff that we don’t even connect with God, stuff that we might call “business” or “the market” or some other name whereby we remove whole areas of our lives from God, as if God could be excluded, but seeing what we could have done, but didn’t do, at this level – in the presence of God – is actually pure punishment.

So while we might think that a man or woman has been successful, that same success may prove their downfall at the moment of their judgement.

The criteria of judgment will always be; how did I love God and love my neighbour in my everyday choices and no area of human life, endeavour or enterprise escapes God’s attention.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus taught that the poor are blessed? Partly, because they avoid this responsibility and thus they avoid this kind of judgement. But that’s only part of the reason.

The bigger part is how success, more often than not, deceives and empowers our small ego lives into choking our need for big life, for God.

But that’s another day’s work!