I’ve been thinking about my pretty constant desire through the years to go to heaven during my retreat. It is good to desire to go to heaven. It is necessary to desire to go to heaven, so as to glorify the Lord and love Him all the more. This is not presumptuous, for it doesn’t cancel out altogether the fear of hell, and has one participate in all the sacraments all the more, such as Confession! We must trust in the Lord, and use all the means we have to get on our way to heaven as He Himself draws us there.
One’s fear of going to hell is not to be equated with a desire to go to heaven!
Do you want to go to heaven? Yes.
Why? To be happy.
What’s that? You know, it’ll be nice…
And that, my friends, is simply the fear of hell, which is not the same as desiring to go to heaven, which leaves us with the question of what a true desire to go to heaven is all about…
• Heaven is about love, since God is love.
• Heaven is about truth, since God is truth.
• Heaven is about seeing the Father through, with and in Jesus, the Mystical Body of Christ.
• Heaven is rejoicing in the good of the other as one’s own good since that will be true, as that good will be God Himself. This is the joy of the Holy Spirit.
But let’s make this a bit more personal. I asked Jesus about a desire to go to heaven while before Him in the Blessed Sacrament today.
I felt that all the mercy He’s given me is just bursting to give glory to Him in the sense that I would be happy, so happy, for all to know all the sins I’ve ever committed in the sense that no one would care about that sin — all that arrogance, all that pride — except to let that fact of my life on this earth be an occasion for them to praise the Lord for His mercies for me right unto heaven. All others would see that good of the Lord’s grace turned to glory within me as their own good, and that would be right, as that good would be theirs, the Lord’s good love for us all. And, again, I would see my good in them, that good being God Himself.
That’s my desire to go to heaven. Without the Lord, I would desire to go to hell. Yikes! Not that! But, again, this cannot just be about a desire to escape hell. There is so much more to desiring to go to heaven. Remember: We can’t get there from here; He has to draw us, who are here, from there. It’s not about us. It’s about Him, loving Him, praising Him, thanking Him, worshiping Him: going to the Father through, with and in Jesus, the Mystical Body of Christ, by the fiery love of the Holy Spirit.
Am I ready to go to heaven? That’s another story altogether. I think if I were to die now, I would spend the rest of time in purgatory, awaiting the end of the world! So, more to do on this earth while, please God, being drawn by our Lord to heaven! A good way to skip purgatory is to pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Our Lord said that it is they who, having reached heaven before us, will welcome us into the eternal habitations. And that’s very, very wonderful.
Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen!