Sunday, 1 February 2015

What about Heaven?

If you do a Google image search on Heaven, the results are not exactly that interesting. Try it. A bit of Jesus and some clouds. That's it, apparently.

There is plenty of graphic imagery available concerning Hell, but artists are not that imaginative about Paradise. It is as if we have no idea what to expect, which really we don't. 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has in store for those that love Him.'

What we do know is that Heaven will, if we are granted entry to it, be beyond any joy we can imagine. Union with God for eternity in the company of the Angels and the Saints. And the Church maintains as an infallible teaching that there are plenty, many, shed-loads of souls there in that abode of eternal joy and blessedness, where earthly suffering was turned, in an instant (or after purification in Purgatory) into happiness beyond compare.

I suppose that if God had simply left us to rot after the Original Sin, abandoning His creation entirely, or even left us to rot after our personal sins, with no hope of Salvation, then yes, Stephen Fry would be, not right, but justifiably disappointed and sad that God had created a world simply doomed to embrace oblivion.

But that is not the Christian God. Jesus Christ chose the Cross as the implement of our redemption to open up the gates of Heaven for us. Suffering and pain in this life, horrible as it is to our senses, is a blink of the eye in terms of Eternity. That is, forever and ever. And ever. And ever. Knowing the Glory and everlasting happiness that eventually awaits those who hold firmly onto the Cross of Jesus Christ does not make us indifferent to the suffering in the world, but does give us Hope that cannot disappoint.

If Our Lord Jesus Christ had not unlocked the gates of Heaven by His Passion, Death and Resurrection, perhaps Stephen Fry could say that God had created a world that now endures pain and suffering for seemingly no purpose whatsoever but our punishment. In light of the Fall, to leave us in that State would not make God evil, but we know because of what Jesus has done for us, with the immaculate co-operation of Our Blessed Lady that God is supremely Good above all our expectations.

The doctrine of Heaven does not, of course, obliterate our concern for the suffering in the world, but it should at least make us aware that our time in this vale of tears is transitory and that, if we are faithful, something incredible and eternally joyful beyond compare awaits us.

In considering Stephen Fry's comments, one might ask, having given his Creator a piece of his mind, Mr Fry would say to the Devil. After all, if God is 'utterly, utterly evil', then what can we say of His diabolical adversary and his legions of fallen angels. Even the Devil would probably inform the comedian that God is Just and Supremely Good, so 'whatever you thought "evil" was, you ain't seen nothin' yet.'

The remarkable media coverage of Mr Fry's comments bashing God serve to remind us how quickly Stephen Fry's love-affair with fame, fortune, success, earthly status, influence and earthly glory would disappear were he to become a Catholic, a Christian.

Oh, how quickly that phone would stop ringing if he embraced Catholicism. How quickly the BBC would think twice about renewing his contract. He'd make new friends of course, but suddenly the popularity, fame and coverage would dwindle until he was dancing on ice with like Ann Widdicombe once a year...maybe. Let's face it, Stephen Fry, the atheist is the media darling because he's Stephen Fry, the atheist.

It all makes one wonder who Stephen Fry, who has pretty much everything money and fame can buy, which, as even pre-Christian wisdom would tell us usually excludes happiness, should thank for his continued media popularity and worldly acclaim. Sadly, it would seem that in the world of celebrity, you don't get to the top of the pile and stay there without a little bit of help from Old Nick. Of course, that's true for the world, but things are very different in the Church...we pray. 

Pray for the souls of all atheists that their ignorant judgments of God will not bring them the kind of judgement to always be feared but that they may find the joy of Salvation and thereby attain the happiness of Heaven, the everlasting abode of the blessed. God is Good, Good beyond our puny comprehension of 'good'. We didn't merit the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Stephen, but ultimately, Jesus Christ thought you, and I, were worth it. That's why we call it Good Friday.


umblepie said...

Good post. We will only find peace with God, and we includes Stephen Fry.

Liam Ronan said...

Marvellous post, Bones!

The possibility of being cast into hell for all eternity should be absolutely terrifying for all. Hell is a reality. Our Lady even showed a vision of hell to three little children at Fatima. Children!

We must all urgently repent and amend our lives so that we may be transformed in Christ Jesus and, through His Grace, worship God Our Father in Spirit and in Truth.

Undertake the 5 First Saturdays according to Our Lady's instructions and as the angel with the flaming sword cried at Fatima, "Penance! Penance! Penance!"

- "As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were an ocean of fire.

Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.)

The demons could be distinguished (from the souls of the damned) by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent

This vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother who, at the first apparition, had promised to take us to Heaven. Without this promise, I think we would have died of fright." - Sister Lucia of Fatima (Memoirs)

James said...

Good post, but remember: Heaven is not the end in itself of Christian existence. It is a mere holding camp (a more pleasant purgatory, if you will) until the New Earth and the New Heaven are raised. We will not *live* in Heaven for eternity, as such. We will *live* a bodily existence on the New Earth, and God will inhabit the New Heaven as our King. We will come closer to knowing His ways each day for all time without ever fully comprehending the,. Such is the mystery of life the Bible and Church Fathers have given us.

Dymphna said...

Don't pay Fry any attention other than praying for him. He used to be so funny but he comes off as pretty wretched inside.

Liam Ronan said...


I agree with your sentiments. Poor man has admitted to severe mental problems. Bipolar illness, etc. Who knows what ails him? We can never be sure.

Pray for him and for those in the media who shamelessly exploit his wretchedness(though he would not think it so.).

"Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God." Luke 4:34

Liam Ronan said...

Not to overdo the moral culpability of the media in this sad Stephen Fry episode, but just such publicity as this means their performer is still viable at the box office. If he turned to Christ there'd be no profit in that surely.

Recall this episode from Acts 16:16-19 which I believe is apropos of this instance:

"16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,..."

John Vasc said...

When I read Stephen Fry's words, my first reaction was that it sounded as if he was desperately trying to convince himself, having had perhaps a momentary glimpse of the Truth, either as a 'what-if?' or in its most direct form, and aware that if he were for one moment to entertain it he would have to change his whole way of life.
Nobody likes doing that - it can be extremely painful.
Fry has a history of mental illness and depression. For all we know that may have brought him quite close to the God he purports to hate. I think many of his most lacerating remarks come out of a well of loneliness and need, and we should pray ardently for his conversion.

Right now imo he needs a wise and patient priestly counsellor.

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