Category Archives: Heaven

To dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life

The Second Reading from the Office of Readings for Sunday in the 29th week of Ordinary Time of the Liturgy of the Hours is “From a letter to Proba by Saint Augustine, bishop:”

Why in our fear of not praying as we should, do we turn to so many things, to find what we should pray for? Why do we not say instead, in the words of the psalm: I have asked one thing from the Lord, this is what I will seek: to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, to see the graciousness of the Lord, and to visit his temple? There, the days do not come and go in succession, and the beginning of one day does not mean the end of another; all days are one, simultaneously and without end, and the life lived out in these days has itself no end.

Courtesy: DivineOffice.org

Indeed, why do we pray for so many things when Heaven fulfills all our desires?

From the Gospel According to Matthew:

Matthew 6:33 “Therefore, seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added to you as well.”

Courtesy: The Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

From God come all things; we seek Heaven above them all. If we seek with all our desire to live in the Lord’s house all the days of our life, and place that above all other things, how can He not give us what we need?

It is such an earnest prayer. It is a prayer in which we desire to come Home most of all, away from this life’s troubles.

Just remember, there’s a difference between praying for what we want and praying for what we need.

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"

Death is gain

The Second Reading from Today’s Mass for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philiippians:

Philippians 1: 20C-24: “Brothers and sisters:Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

via USCCB.

This is one of the two essential “missions” for this blog. One being to discuss certain things that don’t get much traffic in Twelve Step meetings; the other is a way to express my yearnings for the afterlife.

The latter is by no means a suicidal wish for I will remain on the Earth for as long as God wishes to keep me here.

But I do long to “depart this life and be with Christ,” for that is truly better. But, unless I am mistaken, I feel that He still has plans for me in this life, plans I continue to discern and carry out to the best of my ability. Which quite often seems very insufficient.

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"

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"

No Temples in Heaven

There are no temples in Heaven, not now, nor after the Second Coming and Resurrection of the Dead. This serious beginning belies a fanciful development.

Revelation 21:22 – “And I saw no temple in it. For the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lamb.”

(Via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.)

Why do I bring this up? Why, because today is St. Patrick’s Day. Although his feast day has no real connection in and of itself to the afterlife (apart from being the day of his death and entry into Heaven) it sparked a certain nostalgia for me because as it is St. Patrick’s Day, I am wearing a hoodie sweatshirt emblazoned with “St. Patrick’s School” across the front. That school was my elementary and junior high (middle school in some places) when I was a kidlet in Oneida, New York, USA . My Mom bought the hoodie for me at a Knight’s of Columbus Breakfast back home, some 10 or so years ago.

In my nostalgia, I thought about the long number of years that parish has been around (mid-19th Century) and of all the people who have been members. Those dead, those currently living, and perhaps those yet to be born.

Now I start to get fanciful.

I often think about what Heaven (the post-Resurrection version) might be like. Whatever form the “New Earth and a New Heaven,” might actually take, I like to think of Heaven as a place where all the Saved, despite the times they had lived in, can meet and come together in whatever manner and capacity that we would have. I think that is interesting, that we will no longer be separated by space and time. No longer restricted to the time we were born in, we might be able to see Earth as it was long ago, or far ahead. How else would everyone be able to fit? 😉 People can move in time as well as space, and with the eternal nature of time, cause and effect may be meaningless.

We can meet those who didn’t live during our time on Earth, centuries ago and centuries hence. Since time is different in Eternity, we can see Earth in various periods. Earth could be like it is now, albeit good and pure and everlasting. For example, one might travel to the space corresponding to Germany, in the time corresponding to the early 1940s, but the horror will not be there. A pure and paradisiacal 1940s Germany, stripped of the Nazi evil, would be that corner of the “New Heaven and the New Earth.” “All things are made new.”

Many of the Scriptural images of Heaven depict it as a feast. A wedding feast or other some sumptuous banquet. This next part may be even more fanciful, but the sentimental and nostalgic side of me thinks that while many things may be “made new again” in Heaven, what will become of the churches that once were? Churches, temples, and such have always been a part of human communities. Obviously there is no need for temples in Heaven, as we will be in the presence of God and can worship Him directly. Heaven itself is the temple. Here’s the potentially fanciful thing: I think that churches, and other places of worship, will be the “banquet halls,” where many of the feasts take place. Imagine that: you’re in Heaven, and dining at a feast. The “dining hall” you’re in corresponds to where your childhood parish was, or the parish you shared in adulthood with your spouse and children, only since it no longer serves as a temple of worship, it now serves as that place where all who were ever members of it can dine together. Across the generations and even centuries of time, all can continually meet and dine together in one continuous banquet. Come and go as you please, there will always a table, never any waiting.

Thoughts of Heaven comfort me.

The book, A Travel Guide to Heaven, by Anthony DeStefano, influences my thoughts. It comforted me greatly in the trying times after Mom’s death.

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"

Dying, One Day at a Time

Quite often you read or hear about how we Christians are supposed to keep our “eyes on the prize.” In other words, be mindful of death. (In Latin, that is “Memento Mori.” That was to be the name of this blog way back in one of its early incarnations, but the domain name was unavailable)

We should try to keep our minds on our ultimate goal, Heaven, and remember that we will be judged upon our death. Doing this may help us become focused and get our act together concerning whatever it is that God placed us here for.

We all probably fall into the trap of thinking that death is far off. And so the urgency to “become focused and get our act together” may not always be there. There is a way, however, to keep it in mind every day. Borrow a powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements and combine it with the realization that death may come at a moment’s notice.

Any day may be our last. Today, even.

So, taking the “powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements,” which is the philosophy of “One Day at a Time” and merging it with the possibility that each day may be our last, may help us to realize that sense of urgency. We each have a specific mission that God placed us here for, a mission that we are each uniquely qualified to do. We do not have all the time in the world to do it. “One day at a time” helps us cope with that falsely satisfying feeling that we have years ahead of us. We may only have today. This sort of turns around the 12 Step basis of “one day at a time,” which is intended to help people in recovery with the idea that they have to be clean and sober for the rest of their lives, which may be for a long time. That may be hard to fathom, but just focusing on today is do-able. “Just for today, I can stay away from the drinking or the drugging.” So, “Just for today,” is all that I may have left. What can I do?”

So, each day when we wake up, we should think, “Today may be my last day alive. What must I do today in case that were to become true? What can I do to mitigate any accounting I may have to make before the Lord?”

And then we should, to borrow a phrase from Pope Blessed John Paul II, “Arise, and let us be on our way,” and set out to achieve something.

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"

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"

Saint Maria Faustina’s Visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven

A blog I ran across sometime ago posted a series of excerpts from the The Diary of St. Faustina (Via Diary.)

Saint Maria Faustina’s Visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven

(Via In God’s Company2.)

In it St. Faustina describes her visions of the afterlife. It is for our own spiritual progress and development that she was permitted to see these, and report them in her writings.

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"

Things said at Funerals

From Matthew Archbold who blogs at the Creative Minority Report comes this reminder on the state of modern Catholic funerals:

Please Say This at My Funeral

He makes an excellent point. Perhaps the subject of what Mr. Archbold writes about is a sign of either political correctness or misplaced sensitivity, but it is also what I’ve witnessed.

There is no reason to assume that the deceased is already in Heaven. While that may be comforting to us, it may also be cruel to the deceased if they are in Purgatory, being there as a result of being insufficiently detached from Earthly desires and pleasures at the time of death. We as a culture dislike talking about sin, as if that makes us “judgmental” about other people’s behavior. We seek to avoid offending them. And in doing so behavior stands uncorrected and people perhaps wind up paying for it in the afterlife.

I have little idea what was said or done at funerals before, say, 1970. I do know that priests wore black vestments. Perhaps they focused less on Jesus’ Resurrection than is common today and more on the suffering and death of Jesus. I would imagine that Purgatory was referred to in a respectful and prayerful manner, so as to provide an awareness to the living about the reality of it, and some comfort to the loved ones of the deceased that people would be praying for their soul. I don’t know.

I echo Mr. Archbold’s request. At my funeral, I want the priest to wear black, and go on and on about Purgatory. Maybe the funeral home can have selected The Four Last Things blogposts printed out and stapled to my Holy Cards.

But don’t assume I’m 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"

Blessed are they who mourn

An excerpt from the Gospel for today Mass on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time has comforting words for those suffering the loss of a loved one:

Matthew 5:4:”Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

We are reminded in Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”

(Via USCCB.)

We who have lost loved ones to death are to not be sorrowful like those who have no hope in the afterlife. We shall be comforted, either by our hopeful reunion with them in Heaven, our by our realization that they are not really separated from us forever. They are still a part of our lives, for death only separates them from us by time. Time passes, and just as those who have gone on before us have travelled through the passage of death into the afterlife, we shall hopefully follow.

We yearn for them. We miss them. We long to be with them. Let this yearning be a way to burn away here on Earth the sinful tendencies of our lives which only increases our separation from them, and from 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"