Category Archives: Church Triumphant

The Phrase “Good-bye”…

…does not exist in any language spoken in Heaven.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Heaven is…

… like an eternal summer vacation.

I write that as my wife and I have been host to a dear friend of ours for the past several weeks. She is leaving to go back home in a few days, and I have been looking at pictures my wife and I took and posted to Facebook that were taken during various trips about the area we live. It got me thinking (as is usual) about the peace and joy of Heaven and how once there, we will never be separated from those we love.

It is like a vacation that never ends, where we do not have to return to the drudgery and toil of “real life.”

{{{sigh}}}

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord

In this blog I occasionally wax longingly to “go Home,” that is, to be in Heaven with the Lord, the Saints and my loved ones who have gone on before me. I usually write the disclaimer that my desire isn’t suicidal nor any type of morbidity. It is just the natural longing of one for their true Home. For this Earth is but our exile.

Death is just a passage leading us to our Home.

The following Psalm describes for me this longing:

Psalm 83 (84):

{83:1} Unto the end. For the wine and oil presses. A Psalm to the sons of Korah.

{83:2} How beloved are your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

{83:3} My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have exulted in the living God.

{83:4} For even the sparrow has found a home for himself, and the turtle-dove a nest for herself, where she may lay her young: your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

{83:5} Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord. They will praise you from age to age.

{83:6} Blessed is the man whose help is from you. In his heart, he is disposed to ascend


{83:7} from the valley of tears, from the place which he has determined.

{83:8} For even the lawgiver will provide a blessing; they will go from virtue to virtue. The God of gods will be seen in Zion.

{83:9} O Lord, God of hosts, hear my prayer. Pay attention, O God of Jacob.

{83:10} O God, gaze upon our protector, and look upon the face of your Christ.

{83:11} For one day in your courts is better than thousands elsewhere. I have chosen to be lowly in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.

{83:12} For God loves mercy and truth. The Lord will give grace and glory.

{83:13} He will not withhold good things from those who walk in innocence. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who hopes in you.

Source: Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today my Mom would have been 97. She passed away in November 2005.

As usual, it is a day of melancholy for me. I miss her, but I also am grateful that my Catholic faith tells me that our relationship isn’t dead, just because she is gone from the word. I believe that she is in Heaven. Perhaps she is in Purgatory, but I feel she passed through quickly, as much as the passage of time has any meaning there. As a result, I feel as if I can still connect with her through prayer and the Mass. And I long for the day when we can be reunited. (My usual disclaimer, not being morbid or suicidal, I just long for the day when I can go Home.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Solemnity of All Saints

In his Angelus message for today, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on, quote: “the liturgical feast, and how it draws our earthly gaze toward Heaven. He spoke of how the Saints, those we are familiar with and those known only to God, are where heaven and earth meet because formed and opened by the spirit of Christ already here on earth, encountered in the communion of his Mystical Body, the Church.”

The Saints, where heaven and earth meet

(Via Vatican Radio.)

Today is an special solemnity in the Church’s liturgical calendar. It is the day we celebrate all those in the Church Triumphant, all of those in Heaven, whether formally canonized or known only to God. This is why I called it “special,” because it is one that can be very personal in that it is the feast day of all of our loved ones who have gone on before us, whom we hope are resting in the Beatific Vision of eternity.

It is a day of great healing and hope for me, as I yearn to some day be united with my loved ones, in that place where there is no loss, sorrow, pain or parting.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

No Harm or Ruin on all My Holy Mountain

The First Reading from the Office of the Reading in today’s Liturgy of the Hours has some nice imagery that some interpret as a depiction of Heaven, after all things are made new by the coming of the Lord and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom:

Isaiah 11: 6-9: “Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord,
as water covers the sea.”

(Via Divine Office.org.)

Peaceful imagery of what our true home may be like. Welcome Jesus into your life today (Christmas) and everyday. The Divine Healer will lead you home.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Shutting out the fear of Death

An excerpt from “The treatise of St Cyprian on mortality, ‘Let us shut out the fear of death and meditate upon immortality'” contained in the Office of Readings for Friday, 34th Week of Ordinary Time: has encouraging words for those who long for Heaven: “We ought never to forget, beloved, that we have renounced the world. We are living here now as aliens and only for a time. When the day of our homecoming puts an end to our exile, frees us from the bonds of the world, and restores us to paradise and to a kingdom, we should welcome it. What man, stationed in a foreign land, would not want to return to his own country as soon as possible? Well, we look upon paradise as our country, and a great crowd of our loved ones awaits us there, a countless throng of parents, brothers and children longs for us to join them. Assured though they are of their own salvation, they are still concerned about ours. What joy both for them and for us to see one another and embrace! O the delight of that heavenly kingdom where there is no fear of death! O the supreme and endless bliss of everlasting life!

There, is the glorious band of apostles, there the exultant assembly of prophets, there the innumerable host of martyrs, crowned for their glorious victory in combat and in death. There in triumph are the virgins who subdued their passions by the strength of continence. There the merciful are rewarded, those who fulfilled the demands of justice by providing for the poor. In obedience to the Lord’s command, they turned their earthly patrimony into heavenly treasure. My dear brothers, let all our longing be to join them as soon as we may. May God see our desire, may Christ see this resolve that springs from faith, for he will give the rewards of his love more abundantly to those who have longed for him more fervently.”

(Via Universalis.)

These are excellent words to meditate upon, for we should not have a fear of death. After all, it is just a passage through which we leave our Earthly exile and go home.

If desire for God and holiness can be turned into a prayer, then we can make one out of some of St. Cyprian’s words:

Oh, Heavenly Father, we beseech You with the groanings of our heart the longing we have for our true home with You. May Christ our Mediator see our resolve to finish the journey and “increase our faith.”(Luke 17:5) so that we may enter into your eternal Kingdom and see You and all the Saints in Heaven, together with our loved ones who have gone before us.

We ask you this in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Fifteen years ago today, my father died

NOTE: This is reposted from an earlier date:

On this date in 1995 my father died.

He and I weren’t very close, (“fathers and sons …”) generational and attitudinal differences separated us.

As a result, I didn’t really grieve over his death. I mean, I was saddened and did feel the loss, but I wasn’t ripped apart by his death like I was over my Mom’s 10 years later.

This relative lack of impact was aided by the fact that I was 2,500 miles away and hadn’t seen him in 4 years.

I went home for his funeral, and reconnected with the family, but when I returned home to California I continued life as usual. I had started drinking heavily to cope with life’s problems a year before (failed romance) and my drinking picked up a little more upon my return, so that may have softened the need to grieve in a sober manner.

The point of this is that although I wasn’t too close to Dad during his life, I am much closer to him now. That would seem strange to non-Catholics, but for believers with a knowledge of the Communion of Saints, that shouldn’t seem strange at all.

Death doesn’t end a life. Death is just a passage from this life to another. This life is temporary, everything “is”, and then passes away to dust and a dim memory. The life after is eternal. Whether that life is spent in Heaven or Hell depends on what you do in your Earthly life.

There is a connection between those of us still here on Earth and those deceased. It is called, as I referenced in a previous paragraph, the Communion of Saints . (Via New Advent.) This is comprised of the “Church Militant” (those still on Earth), the “Church Suffering” (those in Purgatory) and the “Church Triumphant” (those in Heaven). Only the souls that have damned themselves to Hell are excluded.

“Communion” implies a community, wherein the members still can relate to one another. This relation is conducted by the means of prayer. We pray to the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering for their intercessory power with God. We can somehow sense their presence (although admittedly that “sensing” may be wishful thinking).

They are there to help, comfort and console us. We are separated from them by the chasm of death, but that chasm can be crossed eventually by our own deathly passage.

I said earlier in this post that I am much closer to Dad now than while he was alive. I have grown to be much like him, at least with regard to the practice of my Catholic Faith. (I still haven’t taken up woodworking as a hobby, nor returned to fishing as a pastime, but may in time. I do enjoy yardwork, like he did, and love baseball, too.) I understand him better as the years progress and as I grow older.

To anyone who has lost a parent (or anyone beloved) to death, fear not. They are not gone from you permanently. Consider them as just having moved far away, and the distance you need to travel to meet with them again will take the rest of your life.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Today would have been Mom's birthday

Today, January 20th, would have been my Mom’s birthday. She would have been 93. She died a few years ago, just shy of her 90th. The fact that she led and lived a full life doesn’t minimize her death. (“Well, Paul, she did live a long time.”)

I miss her. I have the hope of seeing her, and other loved ones, again in Heaven.

I am trying to spiritually develop so that my yearnings for Heaven are proper, that is I desire to get to Heaven to be united with God and not just so that I am reunited with my lost loved ones and God just happens to be there, too. That takes God for granted and that Heaven is just a perpetual playground or wonderful endless happy family reunion with Christmas and Easter dinners and picnics all thrown together.

Yearn for the face of the beloved, and all else will fall into place, as well. Trust in God.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

November!

November is my favorite month. Mainly because of The Feasts of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd.

This leads to November being considered the “month of the dead”. While some may find that rather gruesome and macabre, I do not. I like November and its focus on the dead because of the reminder that what is around us is not the whole story, and that something greater lies beyond our reach. But not forever. We too, shall cross over to what lies beyond, and we should always be mindful of our death.

November and its associations with the dead also help me to connect with my loved ones that have died. They do not seem so far away. My Mom died in November (2005) and her death shattered my life, but out of that wreckage came a new life for me. My Dad died years earlier, and I find that I am becoming more like him. There are others hopefully in Heaven or Purgatory, and I think about them often.

Anyway, November shall be a “Big Deal” here at this blog, and probably the most active month. The rest of the year has rather sporadic postings (which may change, we’ll see) but in November I plan to focus on this blog a lot more than usual. You may want to make it an annual “devotional”, as in “Oh, it’s November, I gotta surf over to Paulcoholic’s “death blog.” Plenty enough time to get caught up on postings from the rest of the year, if posting frequency doesn’t change much.

So, have a Good November, everyone. (May that salutation be likened to a wish for a happy death. (A “Happy Death” in Catholicism is a death in which you end up in Heaven.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"