Monday, 10 February 2014

At Heaven's Doorstep



I stood at the doorsteps of Heaven in full anticipation. It was not a large Pearly Gate shining brightly as we’ve often been told and is depicted in some pictures; no … this was just a small wooden door. A humble ordinary wooden door with no sign or any distinguishing features foretelling where it led to.

I remembered the quote from the Bible: “Knock and it shall be opened to you …”

I knocked and as my luck would have it the door opened outwards and hit me in the face.

An old bearded man stood there and asked: “Yes … what do you want?”

“I … I … want to enter Heaven …” I mumbled hesitantly.

“Why?” he asked abruptly.

“Because I want to spend eternity with God …” I replied still fumbling for suitable words.

“And what makes you think He wants to spend an eternity with you?” retorted St Peter sternly.

It was a good question. We often assume that because we’re good Christians our entry to Heaven is guaranteed, but are we judging ourselves by our standards or God’s standards? I may believe that I am good to enter Heaven; but am I really?

The Saint noticed my discomfort and asked: “Who are you anyway?”

I gave him my name and he produced an electronic tablet and started punching his finger on the screen. I thought he was quite an up-to-date Saint technologically speaking considering his age.

“Ah yes … your name’s here …” he said finally, “I had to check. You’d be surprised how many people we get here expecting to enter Heaven as if it were a hotel. It isn’t an open house for all and sundry, you know. Just because some people attended church on Sunday and did not eat meat on Friday does not automatically give them free access to Heaven.

“As my friend Matthew quoting Jesus wrote: ‘Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do.’

“Look it up in Matthew’s Gospel at 7:21.

“He always had an affectation of numbering every sentence he wrote, old Matthew did. But don’t tell him I said so!”

I smiled feebly not knowing what to say.

The Saint continued: “The trouble with the world today is that too many people do the bare minimum and expect they are in God’s good book. Over the years they have interpreted the Ten Commandments to be ten suggestions and debating points to discuss and amend as they wish to suit their selfish lifestyles.

“The reason God asked Moses to write them in stone is so that they don’t get altered. Admittedly, Moses broke the first set; but fortunately there was another copy available.

“Over the years people have broken every Commandment even though they were set in stone.

“As I was saying to some of the disciples over tea this morning … people these days are no different to the Pharisees and Sadducees of my time on earth.”

I could see Saint Peter was rather upset which was indicative to what we’d learnt about him in the Gospels. Sometimes outspoken and short-tempered. For he it was who hit a priest’s servant with a sword when Jesus was arrested. I stepped slightly backwards in case he hit me with his electronic tablet.

He looked at me and chuckled, “I see here that you’re due a short spell at the Purification Center” he said, “Some of you lot call it Purgatory … it’s a bit like a car wash where you’re cleaned up and made ready to enter Heaven for eternity. I’ll be seeing you again shortly!”

I woke up with a smile on my face.

12 comments:

  1. I love your sense of humor, Victor - this story is awesome!

    Your comment about the "Purification Center" had me rolling - especially after our conversation the other day :) The picture of the "Hellmouth" kept going through my head. I think I prefer the "car wash" analogy that you have here.

    “And what makes you think He wants to spend an eternity with you?” retorted St Peter sternly - Victor, I was chuckling when I read this!

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    1. Hi Mary,

      Glad you enjoyed this post. I sent a copy of this text to Father Francis Maple and he said that I'd covered Catholic teachings in a memorable way.

      The sentence you quote: “And what makes you think He wants to spend an eternity with you?” I believe is perhaps pertinent. A lot of people, I feel, think that by doing the minimum they'll go to Heaven. Jesus must have meant what He said in the Matthew quote. We shouldn't just pay lip service to our Christianity.

      (Thinks) I hope I am doing what God in Heaven wants me to do.

      I find that quote quite frightening. Am I a role model of Christianity.

      Thank you Mary for your encouragement and support.

      God bless.

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    2. Yes, I think your combination of humor and teaching helps things sink in more deeply :)

      God bless you too, Victor!

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  2. Victor, this reminded me of my Protestant days, when we were taught to ask this question as we evangelized: If you died today, why should God let you into His Heaven?
    If I had your sense of humor and creative way of presenting great theology with a smile I could win many more converts. +

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    1. What a kind thing to say. Thank you Caroline. I hope that what we all write in our Blogs, however serious or humourous, might bring someone somewhere closer to Our Lord. I believe that we Christians perform a great duty with our Blogs in spreading the Good News.

      May God bless you.

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  3. Love it! Especially that quote from St Peter that Mary mentioned.
    Thanks Victor!
    God bless!

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    1. Thank you Colleen. I pray and hope that when He looks down on us there are many people that God would wish to spend an eternity in Heaven with.

      God bless.

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  4. Hi Victor! ( I have heard that joke about the door swinging out...maybe you were writing this when you visited me? )

    I love that question about 'what makes you think he wants to spend an eternity with you?' And your point about doing just the minimum..yeah. There's something for me to think about today.
    The best part of getting the 'car wash' sentence is that you will see St. Peter again! Yay! Now there's some Good News.
    Good to see you again my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. You're so right Ceil. I used the phrase "door opening outwards" when commenting on your Blog and then ... hey presto ... the idea came to me to write a story about Heaven's door opening outwards. Sometimes stories come to mind out of the blue - it's as if they write themselves and all I do is just tap at the keyboard.

      At other times days go by without a story in my head.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this story Ceil. Thanx for taking the time to write me about it.

      God bless you.

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  5. So you reminded Saint Peter that he used a little violence contrary to what "Jesus" had been teaching him. Good thing that YA didn't also call him a cry baby for having denied "Jesus" "Three Times" cause who knows he really might have thrown his spiritual electronic device at YA! :)

    What a dream? (lol)

    Peace

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    1. In a way, Peter was a bit like us.

      God bless and Peace to you too.

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