Category Archives: Metaphysics

Many Dwelling Places

This excerpt from the Gospel Reading for today’s Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Easter is a favorite of mine. It is John 14:2-3.

“In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If there were not, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will return again, and then I will take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be.”

via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.

I have often comforted myself by fantasizing what my dwelling place might be like, assuming I make it to Heaven. Some translations read “mansion” instead of “dwelling place”; I think the latter is more accessible and leaves things more open to one’s imagination. I don’t care what my abode in Heaven might be, a rundown shack would be fine. πŸ˜‰

Home. Our true home, which we will always possess and never lose. Safety and security are not even worries. Our place, for all eternity where we can host and entertain loved ones and countless others.

Sometimes I wonder if the place is a combination home and, for lack of a better term, museum. If we make it to Heaven, will our homes there be also a sort of “museum” of our life on Earth? That the rooms may represent different distinct eras of our lives, filled with things from that era, as a sort of reliquary of “souvenirs” or “mementos” of our Earthly exile?

Not that it would be important, but it’s an interesting curiosity of mine, and probably means that I’m still too attached to things. πŸ˜‰ But it would be fascinating to see such dwelling places from people of different centuries.

Just some odd thoughts that come to me when I think of 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? πŸ˜‰ 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"

Relationships in Heaven

In my ongoing series of blogposts that I am late with, here is one referring you all to an article by one of my favorite defenders and explainers of the Faith, Jimmy Akin. In it he answers a rather probing series of questions regarding human existence and activity after death:

Marriage, Sex, New Heaven, New Earth: “”

(Via Jimmy Akin.)

Read, and enjoy!!!

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Dying on the Cross

The meditation of the Fifth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, Dying on the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.)

The soul nears the end of its journey. It faces its final purging, that of finally and completely casting off all vestiges and traces of its attachment to Earthly things.

This is the soul’s final “dying” unto itself. It refused the opportunities to do so on Earth. All the times when Jesus might have increased within the life of the soul went for nothing. It was afraid of surrendering itself on Earth to God, fearful perhaps because of the perception that it will “lose” itself, its autonomy, its independence.

That was the World speaking, falsely misrepresenting its own allures to the soul.

But the soul, now having been purged within the cleansing fires of Purgatory of nearly all things Earthly, can finally achieve it desired end: annihilation of its Earthly attachments and springing into the arms of the Lord, forever united with Him and all its loved ones that have preceded it.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Carrying the Cross

The meditation of the Fourth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Carrying of the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Perhaps the biggest pains reserved for the suffering souls would be for the times they refused to carry their cross while on Earth. For those born into the discipleship of Christ (those born Christian and those who eventually converted to Christianity) the need to accept and carry the cross of Christ was a mark of that discipleship.

Many were called, but few accepted. Lured by the trappings of the World, with its false promises of joy and happiness, these souls opted for a comfortable Christianity.

“Go to Mass or worship services once a week, and all is good.”

Well, no. Life is not one of comfort. While at time we are rewarded with goodness and peace, overall life on Earth is an exile from our true home. And so it is filled with an emptiness, a kind of suffering that the souls seeks to satisfy with the false promises of the World. Fame, money, power, carnality, acceptance and other such vanities that pass.

And so now they realize what their intended mission was, and they are paying the price for it.

Now they suffer in place of what they could have done on Earth. Here, in the fires of Purgatory they suffer the pains of the cross.

Heaven is delayed, when it could have been attained already.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Crowning with Thorns

The meditation of the Third Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Crowning with Thorns (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Their journey continues. The souls move ever closer to their ultimate goal, complete union with God for all eternity. But still their progress forward is slowed.

Their thoughts while on Earth did not give due attention to God’s will. Their thoughts were oftentimes consumed with worries, anxieties and fears of Earthly trials. Rather than rest in comfort in the Lord’s arms, certain that Divine Providence will come to eventual fruition, they avoided this reliance. They turned their thoughts to Earthly solutions, to attempts of their own to solve the problems. Or, not even this, their thoughts dwelt upon silly and frivolous things. Too often they were concerned with the ordinary day-to-day events, and rarely turned their thoughts to things from above.

“Plenty of time to think about death and what happens after,” their souls thought upon Earth, “do not bother me with frightening things like Hell. Leave me alone.”

And so now this Earthly focus hinders their union. And like they underwent a spiritual scourging at a pillar, they now bear a spiritual crown of thorns. In this manner they atone for their sins of thought, for all of those times on Earth they did not give proper attention to God and His will.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Scourging at the Pillar

The meditation of the Second Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Scourging at the Pillar (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

The soul’s progress continues onward, closer to the Lord. It can see God afar off, but the vision is obscured by the smoke and flames of purgation that rage here: about them, among them, within them. Countless souls exist in this place, all possessing a burning desire to unite with the Lord. But shame that they did not pursue Him while on Earth piles agony onto their suffering.

In their pain they cry out for union. They are held back. Knowledge of their physical attachments to worldly pleasures sear their thoughts. Sexual improprieties and follies while on Earth demand purging. The sacred gift from God meant for human unity and cooperation in creation had been perverted. From lust to fornication and other abuses of this gift, these souls now seek a scourging of their worldly desires.

And so they attach themselves to a spiritual pillar. Nothing physical exists here in this place of torment, but in a manner of kind they undergo a scourging at a pillar. The sins of their Earthly flesh are flayed from their souls, they scream in agony.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Agony in the Garden

The meditation of the First Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Agony in the Garden (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

A person has died. The soul stands before God and has been judged. It is found wanting, unfit for entry into Heaven, but has not committed offenses against the Lord which condemn it for all eternity.

It joins other souls who have have entered into a “Garden of Gethsemane” within the afterlife. They begin their suffering in Purgatory, but their wills are still too connected to earthly desires. They are fearful of the journey ahead, and it is long and painful as they are separated from God because of their attachment to the World.

They desire God and His will, but their fear hinders their progress towards Him. They resist the journey and wish that it needn’t be made. Agony permeates their being. It is like a fire that burn through to the core of their selves. They try and pray to relieve their suffering, but cannot. Any wish or desire directed to themselves is impossible, their selfish desires were left back on Earth and any self will here in this burning Garden is for nought.

But their love for God spurs them on. Painful as it is, their desire for the Lord begins to burn away the stains of their earthly sins on their souls. The spiritual rags they wear, clothes not fit for the wedding feast of the Lamb, begin to loosen.

They discover that while they cannot pray or desire anything for themselves, they can do so for others. Herein lies their knowledge that their existence now reaches out to God, and to people left behind in the World.

They begin to pray for others, those still on Earth. In this charity, they grow closer to the Lord. Their journey forward continues.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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 Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory

Today I am posting a series of meditations for the Solemnity of the Commemoration of All Souls. It is based on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and the Death on the Cross.)

It does not depict what I actually think happens in Purgatory, although Catholics familiar with the Church’s teachings on Purgatory should recognize where I got this or that concept.

It should not be interpreted as a chronological timeline of what happens after a soul enters Purgatory, just how each of the Suffering Mysteries may reflect why souls end up there.

I hope you enjoy reading them. Perhaps “enjoy” isn’t the right word, but I did feel rather creative while writing them. I may take these meditations and adapt them somewhat for a work of fiction. I’ve long wanted to write a novel based on Purgatory and these meditations may provide a sort of structure or basis for one. We shall see.

Anyway, these meditations should appear quickly after this post.

For how to say the Rosary:

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

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"

Fire and other things on Purgatory

A heads up to readers:

Is there fire in purgatory? is a question asked by bloggers at
The New Theological Movement.

The question concerns the nature of Purgatory, and obviously whether is fire present as the means of purification in a material sense (real fire) or a spiritual sense (the longing for Heaven is a fire-like pain).

Towards the end of the post the blogger lets us know that there will be additional posts on Purgatory throughout the month of November.

Looks as if November is a popular month over there, as well as here. πŸ™‚

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"