“...AND life everlasting. Amen.”
It’s that part of the Credo that should be taken more seriously. It’s not just about the mythical fountain of youth; there’s no myth there and after one’s short life as earthlings, it’s there to be faced whether one likes it or not, and it’s going to be forever.
If each one takes seriously that last part of the Credo, the world would be a much better place to live in. That’s not the case, however, so we see profiteers, plunderers, politicians. And a long etcetera through the risings of the sun and sleepless nights.
It’s also that part of the Credo that has always fascinated me and pushed me to dive into every information about it: Heaven, and even Purgatory and hell. So readers must have noticed how much space I have devoted to share information about eschatology. Again this time, I am focusing on Heaven
In his earthly sojourn, St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori told a story shared with him by a Jesuit superior who encountered the soul of a departed priest gone into Heaven. This was what the disembodied priest related to the Jesuit:
“Now I am in heaven, Philip II, king of Spain, is in heaven as well. We both are enjoying the eternal rewards of paradise, but they are very different for us. My happiness is much greater than his, for it is not like when we were still on earth, for then he was royalty and I was a commoner. We were as far apart as the earth and sky, but now it has been reversed: As lowly as I was compared to the king on earth, I now exceed him in glory in heaven. However, we are both happy, and our hearts are completely satisfied.” (End of quote.)
One of the most wonderful statement about Heaven is from Pope St. Gregory the Great, as he assured us that in Heaven, we are to unite with those known on earth.
Citing the communion of saints and the apparently seamless knowledge of those in Heaven, St. Gregory said: “Beside all this, a more wonderful grace is bestowed upon the Saints in heaven: for they know not only them with whom they were acquainted in this world, but also those whom before they never saw, and converse with them in such familiar sort as though in times past they had seen and known one another: and therefore when they shall see the ancient fathers in that place of perpetual bliss, they shall then know them by sight, whom always they knew in their lives and conversation. For seeing they do in that place with unspeakable brightness, common to all, behold God, what is there that they know not, that know him who knoweth all things?’ (End of quote.)
Then, too, Bosconians must be familiar with that vision that St. John Bosco had with his departed student St. Dominic Savio in 1876, when the latter, in a vision, appeared to him in Heaven. I have already shared this in a past column but I am repeating some excerpts from St. John Bosco’s experience as follows:
“It suddenly seemed to me that I was standing on a small mound or hillock, on the rim of a broad plain so far-reaching that the eye could not compass its boundaries lost in vastness. All was blue, blue as the calmest sea, though what I saw was not water. It resembled a highly polished, sparkling sea of glass. Stretching out beneath, behind and on either side of me was an expanse of what looked like seashore.
“Broad, imposing avenues divided the plain into grand gardens of indescribable beauty, each broken up by thickets, lawns, and flower beds of varied shapes and colors. Each species and each single plant sparkled with a brilliance of its own.
“None of the plants we know could ever give you an idea of those flowers, although there was a resemblance of sorts. The very grass, the flowers, the trees, and the fruit – all were of singular and magnificent beauty. Leaves were of gold, trunks and boughs were of diamonds, and every tiny detail was in keeping with this wealth. The various kinds of plants were beyond counting.
“Each species and each single plant sparkled with a brilliance of its own. Scattered throughout those gardens and spread over the entire plain I could see countless buildings whose architecture, magnificence, harmony, grandeur and size were so unique that one could say all the treasures of earth could not suffice to build a single one.”
What St. John Bocso saw was not the ultimate level of Heaven but what St. Dominic Savio described as Heaven’s mere lower level “abode of happiness, where one experiences every joy, every delight.” St. Dominic said that at that level, souls experience only “natural happiness, though greatly magnified,” as against the superior supernatural happiness.
And to think that such Heaven would be without end for those who choose God in this life, the dire messages of Catholic mystics of our days should not cause us panic, for the messages are for conversion that directs towards heavenly life everlasting.
I now share again a message conveyed by our Blessed Mother to mystic Gisella Cardia on July 13, 2021:
“Dear children, thank you for being here in prayer. My children, put your lives in order and have a strong faith: it will help you to adapt to the changes that will come. Do not be astonished at what is happening around you; remember that the more iniquity spreads, the more love among you will grow cold. God’s anger, which cannot be stopped, will befall this humanity, but my faithful children will be protected. The transformation of everything will occur before your eyes. God always puts your faith to the test, and if I am still here, it is to show you the way to follow in order to come faithfully to God and to obtain great rewards.
“My children, be wary of those who ask you to put the things of the world before God; listen carefully when someone speaks to you — listen and you will understand whether their words are of God or not. In these times, I see some of my children neglecting the recitation of the Holy Rosary for frivolous things, but once again I say to you: the Holy Rosary is the strongest of weapons for fighting evil. So I ask you, my children: on which side do you want to be?
“I ask you to make Adoration because it will bring many spiritual and other benefits. Be like the first apostles: pray with the joy of the Holy Spirit, be faithful to Sacred Scripture. My beloved children, enough of grudges, judgments, ego and envy: no one is better than anyone else before me; you are all my children and I would like to lead you towards the Light. Do not grieve me, but testify to the triumph of my Immaculate Heart. You will never have to fear: my protection will be for all of you who are faithful and humble. Now I leave you with my maternal blessing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”