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Three Important Things You Should Know About Heaven

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Three Important Things You Should Know About Heaven

This past week we celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary which has been so beautifully depicted in this masterpiece by Titian, an Italian painter who was the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. Perhaps because of this feast day, Catholics have traditionally reflected on heaven in the month of August. Here are three important things about heaven which we can learn while reflecting on this masterpiece of Mary's assumption:

1) In Titian's depiction of the assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven we see the Father gazing at her, eager to welcome her into glory, delighted in the beauty of this woman who had been the mother of his son. In that gaze we see the Father's desire also to delight us, to embrace us, to bring us home. "In heaven, the sight of God will afford us every sense of well-being, every delight, every satisfaction, every joy; our souls will be immersed in a sea of delight and will enjoy a degree of happiness far greater than that which we can ever hope to attain. For heaven is the eternal possession of God, our true happiness and in him the possession of every other good" (Daughters of St. Paul, Heaven, Pauline Books & Media, (c) 1950, 40, 37).

2) I remember speaking with a woman who was mourning the unexpected and abrupt loss of her deaf and mute thirty-year-old son. One day I said to her with tears in my eyes, "When you walk through the gates of heaven, you will hear for the first time in your life from the lips of your son the words: 'Mom, I love you!'" She responded to me incredulously, "You mean, he isn't suffering in heaven?" It was my turn to be astounded. "No," I cried. "In heaven there is no more suffering or tears or pain or sorrow."

Jesus told us, "Do not be troubled at all. You believed in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. Were it not so I would have told you, because I am going now to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I am coming back again, and I will take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am" (cf. Jn. 14:1-3). Saint Paul, after being caught up to the “third heaven,” wrote: "Our eye has not seen, nor our ear heard, nor has it even entered into our hearts or imaginations what things God has prepared for those who love him" (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9).

3) The Church in her liturgy has us pray in trust to the God who has saved us that we might merit eternal happiness in heaven. Life is a process of learning trust and surrender and faith in the midst of all kinds of contradictory situations. Naturally speaking, as we grow up we grow stronger, more capable, more certain of ourselves. As we develop a greater capacity in the things of the spirit, we—like Mary—glory in our weakness. We trust in the midst of uncertainty; we believe when we can't change things that God is there bending over us with compassion, smoothing the way to eternal glory. Mary, assumed into heaven, reminds us that where she has gone we will follow. Saint Lomman, an abbot living in seventh century Ireland, prayed to Mary: "Our eyes and hearts are lifted to you. Hear the cry of your children. You, our Mother, will hasten to help. You gladden the hearts that mourn and dry the eyes that weep. Mother of the widow and orphan, safe home of the outcast, the mighty and the lowly find peace in your presence. Your smile is peace."

Joy of the Father, Love of the Son, Delight of the Holy Spirit, Mary, assumed into heaven, pray for us. Amen.

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Comments

  • My mum died this year and I am finding it difficult to live without her in a physical sense. Her name was Pauline and she was very close to Our Lady and God. She was ready to go to heaven and she wasnt scared, she was very much at peace. She had been lying in a hospital bed unable to move for more than a week when a few hours before her death she lifted her arms to the ceiling and said "She's here". I believe Mary or God was calling for her and asking where is pauline. I believe in heaven and know that mum is there but I miss her words. I wait impatiently to be reunited with Mum and Dad and Jesus, Mary and Joseph. God bless
    9/21/2013 6:20:59 PM Reply
  • I took my mum to have cataract surgery on her left eye she wanted to go to Mass on the vigil of the Assumption she is from the island of Malta were St Paul was shipwrecked and brought the gospel to the maltese and they have a great love of Mary our blessed mother there is a church dedicated to our Lady on the sister island of Malta called Gozo may helaings have occured in this great church dedicated to our Blessed mother. We live in Sydney Australia and as i worked with the daughters of St Paul in there store in San Francisco and there new store in Redwood City I have always felt very much apart of the Pauline family and continue to pray for there ministry here we also now have a store locally run by the Paulist priests and brothers and our bishop Ars ony Fisher blessed it recently it is named after our first Australian Saint Mary Mackillop. Blessings to all the sisters from Anthony Sciberras especially Srs Bernardine Susan James, Sr Guadalupe Sr Donna and conratulations on the new CD hope to buy it as I have most of the CD's.
    8/18/2013 3:34:40 PM Reply
    • @Anthony Sciberras: Anthony, It is great to hear from you. I'll pass along your message to the sisters. Sr. Kathryn
      8/19/2013 4:16:45 PM Reply
  • Thank you Sisters and Daughters of St Paul for your spiritual reflections. I don't always comment, but I do read them and enjoy your teachings and am inspired with a glimpse of your spirituality. I am a member of Holy Family Institute, so also a member of ST Paul Society. With the Love of our Divine Master, Jesus Christ, I thank you.
    8/17/2013 3:39:25 PM Reply
    • @Mary Jane Madeline: Good to hear from another Pauline!
      8/19/2013 4:18:27 PM Reply
  • Thank you, Sisters. My older sister, Debbie, died from complications due to Multiple Sclerosis. She suffered very much on earth; I am sure she is happy in Heaven today with Jesus and Mary, and can walk and even run and jump again!
    8/17/2013 10:40:11 AM Reply
    • @Donna: I often picture those who have suffered so much on earth finally being able to shed their pain and run again with joy!
      8/19/2013 4:21:49 PM Reply
  • What inspiration for the Assumption of Our Mother into Heaven. My mum died of dementia and heart attack ten years ago . I have always believed that she is now in Heaven with my dad. God Bless you and many thanks.
    8/17/2013 7:48:20 AM Reply
  • My wife died Sept 14, 2011. She had been in a coma four days. Our Priest administered the Sacrament of the Sick. A few moments later she opened her eyes, but could not speak. I told her she was going to Heaven to see our son, her mother & Father, my mother & father and to be with Jesus. I asked if this was OK. She responded with a nod of her head, yes. Was there any fear, she responded with a nod, no. I said my good byes & love to her. Our children & grandchildren said their goodbyes and at the last goodbye she died. I know she was assumed into Heaven. God is so generous.
    8/17/2013 6:00:35 AM Reply
    • @AL. Phelps: You were so blessed to be with her and help her.
      8/19/2013 4:21:02 PM Reply
  • There is such hope and joy in that message especially for older people who are a little closer to that door to heaven
    8/17/2013 5:46:49 AM Reply
    • @barbara culbreath: You have much wisdom to share now that you are nearer to eternal day.
      8/19/2013 4:20:31 PM Reply
  • This is so beautiful. I recently lost my son in law. This gives me such hope that he is now happy. Thank you.
    8/17/2013 5:07:27 AM Reply
    • @Heather : Let us trust in Mary and entrust all our loved ones to her.
      8/19/2013 4:19:48 PM Reply
  • My mom who has dementia has such peace now in her later years and this article reaffirms my belief that she will again be as she used to be. thanks.
    8/17/2013 3:21:21 AM Reply
  • My mom who has dementia has such peace now in her later years and this article reaffirms my belief that she will again be as she used to be. thanks.
    8/17/2013 3:19:13 AM Reply
    • @Carol Ann Allison: Yes, she will be. She is very dear to God.
      8/19/2013 4:19:06 PM Reply
  • It was so beautiful and inspirational. It gives one hope.
    8/17/2013 1:39:25 AM Reply

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