Thursday, 4 September 2014

Unequal rewards in Heaven

The good thing about hopping from one Blog to another on the Internet is that I learn something new everyday - well almost!

The problem though, is to know whether what I have learnt is true, or just someone's opinion.

For example, I learnt the other day that when we get to Heaven our "rewards" will not be the same, but will be commensurate with how well we responded to God's grace when here on earth.

I'll admit this confused me somewhat. I never realised there were rewards as such in Heaven. I thought that once there that was reward enough; if reward is the right word to use in this context.

I doubt very much that if Heaven was a mansion with many rooms, some Saint or other would have the top penthouse apartment facing whatever one faces when looking out of Heaven's window, and I would have a dingy cupboard space somewhere deep in the bowels of said mansion.

That's not how I imagined Heaven. I thought I'd be free to go around everywhere and meet such famous Saints like Peter and ask him what hot drink he drank on earth before they discovered coffee, tea and hot cocoa!

But it seems, from what I've read so far, that this notion of rewards was (or still is) Catholic dogma. Apparently, many years ago, the Council of Florence declared in some Latin entitled document that this is so.

Now as a Catholic I tend to get easily confused between what Christ taught, and what the Church has over the years interpreted and declared as truth (dogma) and woe betides you if you don't believe it and obey it.

So ... to clear up my confusion, and to help me find better accommodation than a small dark cupboard, would any of you please let me know what you think about this?

13 comments:

  1. Victor, I seem to remember that St. Therese of Lisieux described Heaven in terms of a full cup. As far as I can remember, she wrote that everyone's cup of happiness will be overflowing but those who have responded more perfectly to God's grace on earth will have a larger share than others. I think this means that we will all be perfectly happy (no jealousy or discontent) but some will receive more greatness than others. I guess we will have to wait to see what this means in reality - although, we could perhaps look to the angels to see that there are different orders in Heaven, perhaps?

    I like to think of how we will all be as happy as the greatest saints, despite our greater failings.

    :-)

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    1. Thanx again for visiting me Vicky.

      I seem to remember vaguely the quotation you mention about St Therese. I have difficulty with this though. It reminds me of last day of Summer term at school when some children got prizes for doing well and improving through the year whilst others didn't. I didn't realise there was a meritocracy in Heaven based on how well we "progressed" here on earth.

      I believed that God loves us all and wishes us all to be with Him for eternity. Not have different class citizens with some having more or less access to Him and the Saints.

      I'm now more confused than ever!

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. What greater reward than being in the presence of Jesus--who paid the admission price for us to enter the Pearly Gates. There is a scripture which speaks of the crowns we will be given and us putting them at the feet of Jesus. Our very best---is still not good enough---so HE is the ticket and the glory of His presence will be the only reward I ask.

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    1. I tend to agree with you Lulu.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  3. Hi Victor,
    It doesn't have so much to do with "merits" per se as it has to do with our capacity for love - the greater the souls capacity for receiving God's love (and giving it) the more it is filled. Here on earth as well. Really, it's all about love. It's that simple. Meriting is just a way to explain in human terms that our spiritual growth happens here on earth (in time). Truthfully, all "merits" rest in Jesus Christ anyway and we are simply partakers in those merits.

    Interestingly, St. Therese claimed to have no merits, therefore she needed Jesus' merits :) No wonder I like her so much...

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    1. I think I understand, Mary. But isn't our capacity for/to love, part of our make-up? God created us with that capacity. Some people are by nature very loving and see the good/positive in everyone. Others are less so. Are the latter ones (those with less merits, or like St Therese with none), to receive less ... love (?) in Paradise?

      Thanx for writing in Mary. I find this a difficult subject to understand. I presume it is Catholic dogma. If so, why is it not shouted from the pulpits on Sundays?

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. We are all given the capacity to love but we have to remember that love is a choice more than an emotion. We choose to love with our will. Those who are "by nature" loving aren't necessarily the most loving. I would go so far as to say that those who love even when loving is very difficult are the ones who have loved the most. Like Mother Teresa who, no matter what the circumstances she faced, CHOSE to love at all cost despite her great interior suffering and feeling as if God was far away and had abandoned her. It didn't matter to her whether the person was hard to love either. She chose it.

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  5. After seeing Vicky's comment:
    In other words - she was a very large cup!

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    1. Thanx Mary for taking the time to explain this. Much appreciated.

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. Hi Victor! I don't recall this doctrine. I am familiar with St. Teresa of Avila's mansion idea, but I never thought that one room was better than the other. I tend to vote with the idea that we are so happy to be there, and so busy praising God, we won't be spending much time in that room anyway.
    Comparison is a human exercise. I don't think there will any of that in heaven.
    Interesting!!
    Ceil

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    1. I agree with you Ceil. I never thought or imagined there'd be differentiations and comparisons between us in Heaven.

      I hope though that God has a sense of humour; otherwise I'm doomed.

      God bless.

      Delete
  7. ((( The good thing about hopping from one Blog to another on the Internet is that I learn something new everyday - well almost! )))

    Gee! I don't know if you've been visiting some of the same Blogs cause I've learned that it is a FACT: Christians DON’T Believe in the Immortality of the Soul ...

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cosmostheinlost/2014/09/02/fact-christians-dont-believe-in-the-immortality-of-the-soul/?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cosmostheinlost/2014/09/02/fact-christians-dont-believe-in-the-immortality-of-the-soul/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Catholic%2009.04.14%20(1)&utm_content=&spMailingID=46892865&spUserID=NDEwMTQ5ODg1NTES1&spJobID=520435076&spReportId=NTIwNDM1MDc2S0

    Long story short! Relax Victor #1 cause I believe that we're all equal in Heaven but most of us who get there keep convincing Saint Peter that we still have a LOT more work to do down here on earth so He quietly let's us out of our room until recess is over these heavenly days. Go tell where some souls will go while waiting for "The Judgement Day" if YA get my drift?...lol

    God Bless

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    1. So many different beliefs ...

      God bless you and yours.

      Delete

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God bless you.

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