Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another way of looking at the Beatific Vision

Can I admit it? I can almost agree with people who say they are afraid Heaven is boring. After all, you have to be pretty advanced in the spiritual life to think that a "Beatific Vision" is going to keep you interested for more than a day or two. Maybe that is why Pope John Paul's offhand reference (in the Theology of the Body) struck me so intensely last night as I read it.

Pope John Paul envisions the life of Heaven as a reciprocal "gift of self" in which we finally experience and fully participate in what it means to be the "image and likeness of God." God, the Trinity (complete and eternal gift of self already) makes that full and compete gift of self to us all along; in Heaven, all the barriers to our responsive gift of self will be done away with, and God's gift to us, still full and complete, will finally receive an answer.

Heaven is not a passive gaze at an inert (but glorious) Deity; it is a spousal reality "foretold" here an now in the mystery of our being "the image of God, male and female."

1 comment:

Silver S. Parnell said...

I've dreamt about heaven many times. It looks like Ireland. I look like i did when i was 24, and there are tables dotting the green hills, full of food and drink, none of which has any calories. (don't ask me how i know this. i just know.) Being there feels like bliss, and there is no boredom. Just sharing the same "space" with God, if you can call it that, is enough "excitement." There are little homes here and there and everyone moves in and out of them freely. We all belong to each other. We are all family. The whole thing is beautiful and joyful, with a serenity not experienced often here on earth. If heaven is ANYTHING like my dream, i'll never get bored, because there is no boredom in heaven. (Or calories.)