What is Heaven?

“The famous evangelist Billy Graham once visited a small town to preach at the local church. Before he went to the church he needed to mail a letter back home, so he went looking for the post office. He pulled his car over to the side of the road and asked a boy walking his dog where it was and the boy politely answered.

Mr. Graham then invited the boy to attend the church where he’d be preaching. He said, “You can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.” The boy simply replied, “I don’t think I’ll be there. You don’t even know your way to the post office!”

What Is Heaven Like?

“How do I get to heaven?” is one of the most important questions a person can ask. But what do we mean by the word “heaven?”

In some cases, the Bible uses the word “heaven” to refer to the sky, or to the place of the sun, stars, and moon. This is seen in passages like Psalm 19:1, which says, “The heavens are telling the glory of God.” Other times, “heaven” refers to the place where God dwells, as in the Lord’s Prayer, where we address “Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). Finally, “heaven” is used to refer to the eternal dwelling place of those who love God. St. Paul says, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20, NIV).

Many people imagine this heaven to be a place in the clouds where saints and angels play harps for all eternity. But while the Bible does use earthly imagery like wedding feasts to describe heaven, the Catechism says, “This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description” (CCC 1027). Paul, quoting the promises given to the prophet Isaiah, said, “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

Our inexact knowledge of heaven does not mean that we are ignorant of heaven in general. According to Pope St. John Paul II, “The ‘heaven’ or ‘happiness’ in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity.” In heaven we won’t be angels; we will be reunited with our bodies and will experience both spiritual and physical joy in the presence of God. The Catechism teaches us, “Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness” (CCC 1024).”

Love, eager to join you in the Kingdom!! Pray for me!
Matthew

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