A great deal of us meditate and write on hell, because it is a little easier to imagine than heaven. But we need to also daily meditate on the joys of heaven as well. Here is some more from St. Catherine of Siena’s writings on what God told her about heaven. Take some time to read this. Let it flood into your soul, to console you and encourage you.
“Just souls who end in loving charity and are bound by love can no longer grow in virtue once time has passed. But they can forever love with that same affection with which they came to me, and by that measure will it be measured out to them. They desire me forever, and forever they possess me, so their desire is not in vain. They are hungry and satisfied, satisfied yet hungry-but they are far from bored with satiety or pained in their hunger.
Forever they rejoice in love at the sight of me, sharing in that goodness which I have in myself and which I measure out to them according to the measure of love with which they have come to me. They are established in love for me and for their neighbors. And they are all united in general and special love, both of which come from one and the same charity. They rejoice and exult, sharing each other’s goodness with love and affection, besides that universal good which they all possess together. They rejoice and exalt with the angels, and they find their places among the saints according to the different virtues in which they excelled in the world.
And although they are all joined in the bond of charity, they know a special kind of sharing with those whom they loved most closely with a special love in the world, a love through which they grew in grace and virtue. They helped each other proclaim the glory and praise of my name in themselves and in their neighbors. So now in everlasting life they have not lost that love; no, they still love and share with each other even more closely and fully, adding their love to the good of all.
For I would not have you think this special good they have is only for themselves. No, it is shared by all of their just companions, my beloved children, and by all of the angels. For when a soul reaches eternal life, all share in her good and she in theirs. Not that anyone’s vessel can get any larger or have need of filling. They are full and can grow no larger. But they experience a new freshness in their exaltation- a mirthfulness, a jubilation, a gladness- in knowing this soul. They see that by mercy they have been lifted up from the earth in the fullness of grace, and so they are exultant in me over the good that soul has received from my goodness.
And that soul finds joy in me and in all these souls and blessed spirits, seeing and tasting in them the sweetness of my love. Their desires are a continual cry to me for the salvation of others, for they finished their lives loving their neighbors, and they did not leave that love behind but brought it with them when they passed through that gate which is my only-begotten Son. So you see that whatever bond of love they finish their lives, that bond is theirs forever and lasts eternally.
They are so conformed to my will that they can will only what I will. When time came to an end for them and they died in grace, their freedom was so bound with the chains of charity that they are no longer capable of sin. Their will is so one with mine that even if a father and mother saw their child in hell, or a child its parent, it would not trouble them: They would even be content to see them punished, since they are my enemies. Nothing puts them at variance with me. All of their desires are fulfilled…
The goodness of these souls is beyond what your mind’s eye can see or your ear hear or your tongue describe or your heart imagine. What joy they have in seeing me who am all good! What joy they will yet have when their bodies are glorified! But while they do not have this latter good until the general judgment, they do not suffer. They lack no happiness, for the soul is filled, and in this good fullness the body will share…. These souls wait for divine judgment with gladness, not fear. And the face of my Son will appear to them neither terrifying nor hateful, because they have finished their lives in charity, delighting in me, and filled with good will toward their neighbors. The different appearances of his face when he comes in my majesty for judgment will not be in him but in those who are to be judged by him. To the damned he will appear with just hatred, but to the saved, with mercy and love.”
Oh how wonderful to have no fear of dying. We can have no fear of dying when we are:
1) Doing everything possible to do God’s will.
2) Humbling going to confession often.
3) Not in a state of mortal sin.
3) Daily praying with love.
4) Forgiving and praying those who have harmed us.
5) Doing some spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
6) Believing, obeying, and practicing the 2000 years of traditions of the Catholic Church.
7) Loving souls and doing everything possible to help them get to heaven.
8) Making sacrifices.
So as traditional Catholics we see that our life is meant to grow in love and prayerful union with God. It is also for charity toward our neighbor, working to save their souls and helping them in other kind ways. God’s words to St. Catherine remind us that we are on the right road and to stay firmly there.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.