On Heaven, Part I

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I miss my kids every day. Sometimes there will be an external object or event that triggers a memory, and sometimes, in the midst of something totally unrelated, I become aware of the dull ache in my chest, and I remember, “oh, yeah, my babies died.” I am comfortable with the sadness, as it is a sign that love exists between people who are separated. It is hard to explain how I can say that but also claim to be a generally very happy person, but we Catholics are okay with the tension of paradox, so I will just make the claim. I’m generally very happy. And thanks to the smallest member of our household, we are always laughing.

So, the sadness I can handle. What makes me lose my peace is when I am fighting God. When I am feeling not just the pain of the ones I once had and then lost, but the loss of what I thought I was ENTITLED to have and didn’t get. This is what I think makes us angry at God: a sense of injustice in the face of his will for us. The idea that God took something from me, or God is getting in the way of my plans. What he did is not fair.

And then I think:what is injustice? Not giving someone their due. Taking something that is not yours. Can this ever apply to God, who made the whole world and owns it all? God gave up his very life for us so that we may attain to the highest and best good a human can aspire to: HEAVEN. What room is there to complain that in the process of giving me heaven, he takes some stuff I wanted? Even my precious children are his, and so, yes, he has every right to take them to paradise before I was ready to say goodbye.

This line of thinking can lead us to a new kind of “why me?” meditation. To be totally honest, I deserve hell. Instead, I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful intercessors and the goofiest preschooler in the world. Not to mention my family of origin, amazing friends, a fulfilling job, a house with a great sledding hill…

Plus, Jesus himself, God made man, did not come into his earthly life with any plans of his own, but made it his mission to do only what his Father wanted. “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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