As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "this perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed is called "heaven'. Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfilment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness" n. Today we will try to understand the biblical meaning of "heaven", in order to have a better understanding of the reality to which this expression refers.
In biblical language "heaven"", when it is joined to the "earth", indicates part of the universe. Scripture says about creation: Metaphorically speaking, heaven is understood as the dwelling-place of God, who is thus distinguished from human beings cf. He sees and judges from the heights of heaven cf.
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However the biblical metaphor makes it clear that God does not identify himself with heaven, nor can he be contained in it cf. The depiction of heaven as the transcendent dwelling-place of the living God is joined with that of the place to which believers, through grace, can also ascend, as we see in the Old Testament accounts of Enoch cf.
Thus heaven becomes an image of life in God. In this sense Jesus speaks of a "reward in heaven" Mt 5: The New Testament amplifies the idea of heaven in relation to the mystery of Christ. To show that the Redeemer's sacrifice acquires perfect and definitive value, the Letter to the Hebrews says that Jesus "passed through the heavens" Heb 4: Since believers are loved in a special way by the Father, they are raised with Christ and made citizens of heaven. It is worthwhile listening to what the Apostle Paul tells us about this in a very powerful text: The fatherhood of God, who is rich in mercy, is experienced by creatures through the love of God's crucified and risen Son, who sits in heaven on the right hand of the Father as Lord.
After the course of our earthly life, participation in complete intimacy with the Father thus comes through our insertion into Christ's paschal mystery. St Paul emphasizes our meeting with Christ in heaven at the end of time with a vivid spatial image: Therefore comfort one another with these words" 1 Thes 4: In the context of Revelation, we know that the "heaven" or "happiness" in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity.
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It is our meeting with the Father which takes place in the risen Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit. It is always necessary to maintain a certain restraint in describing these "ultimate realities" since their depiction is always unsatisfactory. Today, personalist language is better suited to describing the state of happiness and peace we will enjoy in our definitive communion with God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church sums up the Church's teaching on this truth: The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ" n. This final state, however, can be anticipated in some way today in sacramental life, whose centre is the Eucharist, and in the gift of self through fraternal charity.
If we are able to enjoy properly the good things that the Lord showers upon us every day, we will already have begun to experience that joy and peace which one day will be completely ours. We know that on this earth everything is subject to limits, but the thought of the "ultimate" realities helps us to live better the "penultimate" realities. We know that as we pass through this world we are called to seek "the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" Col 3: May you have a happy and blessed summer! Hell is the State of Those who Reject God.
In his catechesis, the Pope said that care should be taken to interpret correctly the images of hell in Sacred Scripture, and explained that "hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy".
God is the infinitely good and merciful Father. But man, called to respond to him freely, can unfortunately choose to reject his love and forgiveness once and for all, thus separating himself for ever from joyful communion with him. It is precisely this tragic situation that Christian doctrine explains when it speaks of eternal damnation or hell.
It is not a punishment imposed externally by God but a development of premises already set by people in this life. The very dimension of unhappiness which this obscure condition brings can in a certain way be sensed in the light of some of the terrible experiences we have suffered which, as is commonly said, make life "hell". In a theological sense however, hell is something else: It is the state of those who definitively reject the Father's mercy, even at the last moment of their life.
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To describe this reality Sacred Scripture uses a symbolical language which will gradually be explained. In the Old Testament the condition of the dead had not yet been fully disclosed by Revelation. Moreover it was thought that the dead were amassed in Sheol, a land of darkness cf. The New Testament sheds new light on the condition of the dead, proclaiming above all that Christ by his Resurrection conquered death and extended his liberating power to the kingdom of the dead.
Redemption nevertheless remains an offer of salvation which it is up to people to accept freely. This is why they will all be judged "by what they [have done]" Rv By using images, the New Testament presents the place destined for evildoers as a fiery furnace, where people will "weep and gnash their teeth" Mt All this is narrated in the parable of the rich man, which explains that hell is a place of eternal suffering, with no possibility of return, nor of the alleviation of pain cf.
The Book of Revelation also figuratively portrays in a "pool of fire" those who exclude themselves from the book of life, thus meeting with a "second death" Rv. Whoever continues to be closed to the Gospel is therefore preparing for 'eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" 2 Thes 1: The images of hell that Sacred Scripture presents to us must be correctly interpreted.
They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God. This is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes the truths of faith on this subject: This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called 'hell'" n. In reality, it is the creature who closes himself to his love.
Damnation consists precisely in definitive separation from God, freely chosen by the human person and confirmed with death that seals his choice for ever. God's judgement ratifies this state. Christian faith teaches that in taking the risk of saying "yes" or "no", which marks the human creature's freedom, some have already said no. They are the spiritual creatures that rebelled against God's love and are called demons cf. Fourth Lateran Council, DS What happened to them is a warning to us: Eternal damnation remains a real possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it.
Don't let your demons take you to Hell. Introduce 'em to Heaven!
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Gourdan Banks] Some niggas go to college, some niggas go to jail Some make it into Heaven, some make it into Hell Nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, nobody wanna kill The things we do just to make it through But nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, we're just tryna live our life [Verse 1: Gourdan Banks] Some niggas go to college, some niggas go to jail Some make it into Heaven, some make it into Hell Nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, nobody wanna kill The things we do just to make it through But nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, we're just tryna live our life [Verse 2: Gourdan Banks] Some niggas go to college, some niggas go to jail Some make it into Heaven, some make it into Hell Nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, nobody wanna kill The things we do just to make it through But nobody wanna lose, nobody wanna fail Nobody wanna die, we're just tryna live our life.
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