Thursday, 19 November 2009

On His knee.

Father Ignatius approached the pulpit and in his clear crisp voice he started his Sunday sermon:

“Although Heaven is mentioned often in the Bible there’s one instance where we have a glimpse of a description. In today’s reading from John 14:2 Jesus says: ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.’

“Let’s think about this for a moment. Is Heaven a building somewhere in the sky, or wherever you perceive it to be, with many rooms as Jesus said? Or is it something or some place totally different?

“I suspect that Jesus used the description of a house because He wanted an example that his listeners could relate to. The people of His time were used to seeing palaces and mansions; so describing Heaven as a building is quite an apt description which they can come to terms with in their minds.

“Better than saying Heaven is a state of being where our souls float freely in the presence of God and His angels. Would Christ’s contemporaries understand that I wonder?

“So a large building it is; with many rooms of course.

“Presumably the multiplicity of rooms is to ensure that our Lord keeps all the denominations separately to avoid their incessant arguments and so give Him some peace and quiet in His Heavenly domain.” said Father Ignatius jokingly.

“Why is it” he asked, “that we seem to spend so much time as Christians arguing about the details that separate us rather than rejoice in the Divine facts which unite us?

“One God, one Son of God, the Lord Jesus, and one Holy Spirit sent to help us and to guide us back to our Creator.

“That’s our fundamental message of Christianity” Father Ignatius declared clearly.

After a short pause, he continued:

“People today have different interpretations of what Heaven must be like. Some believe it is a physical place with buildings and a big Pearly Gate. Others see it as a state of consciousness where our souls enjoy God’s presence. In reality, we really don’t know what it’s like but we believe it exists because our Lord told us so.

“Think about it for a moment or two. What do you think Heaven is like?”

He paused again to give his parishioners time to reflect.

“You know … … Someone asked me the other day whether there are animals in Heaven. She wanted to know whether her loved pet dog will be with her there.

“Well, I don’t know about that … Imagine animals in Heaven … I’d hate to come face to face with the Sunday roast admonishing me for what I had done to it !!!”

Father Ignatius waited for the laughter to die down then went on:

“Some time ago, I came across another description of Heaven.

“Imagine for a moment that when we die and meet God, He will sit us on His lap like a loving Father sits his little child.

“And then He will show us our life all over again, exactly as we have lived it. Just like a movie.

“There, sitting on God’s knee, we will see all the good and the bad we have done. We will be reminded of all the opportunities we missed when we could have helped others less fortunate than ourselves. We will re-live all the hurt we have caused to others by what we have done or said, whether intentionally or not.

“All our sins will be there on a big screen for us to see and remember once again. Even those secret sins which we kept hidden to ourselves; never confessed, and never forgiven and absolved.

“And as we see our life once again, there, on His lap, will be our own Heaven or our own hell.”

Father Ignatius stopped for a moment to allow the message to sink in. He then went on in a more soothing voice:

“Now imagine if it were really so … Imagine that one day you will be seeing your whole life once again as a movie … Imagine that this movie or video will be made available for every one else to see …

“Imagine also that you are a famous Film Director … what a marvelous opportunity you have right now, within your grasp, to make sure your own personal movie will have a happy ending !!!”


  1. 'Imagine that this movie or video will be made available for every one else to see …'

    I was going to say, I wouldn't have the time to sit through every one else's life stories. Then I remembered...... it's Eternity we're talking about. I got all the time it takes................Now I just need to work on my patience haha!
    I don't suppose we will be subject to viewing other people's sins though, because some of mine would make a Saint faint, and why should they be subject to that punishment? I prefer to believe that my confessed forgiven sins will be as far as the east is from the west, in Our Lord's Mind, let alone the average earth dweller. Scripture does say this to be the case, after all.(Psalm 103v12).
    Sobering thoughts though, Victor, non the less. Thanks for posting, you always give me something to chew over,(along with my lunchtime sarnie)! It's fried tomatoes on toast today,by the way!

  2. "I don't suppose we will be subject to viewing other people's sins though ..."

    Touché! You are of course right Shadowlands.

    I doubt we'll be sitting to view other peoples' videos; especially if, as you say, our sins have already been forgiven.

    But I dread having to view my own video and be reminded of the times I failed to live up to my Christianity.

    Another tempting recipe I see ... thanx; I just love tomatoes.

    God bless.

  3. I feel so ashamed at the thought of Jesus - let alone everyone else - watching the video of my sins :(

    Will make sure I confess every Sunday before Mass.

    Thanks. I love your stories.

  4. Hi Gabriella,

    Let us all reading this Blog make a deal - no matter how our own individual videos started and played out up to now; from now on we'll all ensure a happy ending. And we'll compare notes when we meet in Heaven !

    God bless.

  5. Victor,

    I love Fr. Ignatius' joke about the different denominations in separate rooms!

    Your Fr. Ignatius must have a twin in my friend, Fr. Don. He gave nearly the same talk about watching the movie of your life with God when he came to talk to the teen group at our parish. It makes sense!

    Great story as usual!

  6. Hello Anne,

    Well well well ... Fr Ignatius has a rival. All the better ... the more priests there are to spread the Word of God the better. Especially this Year of the Priest.

    If Fr Don has a Blog I'd certainly like to read it. Send him my regards please.

    God bless you Anne. All the best.

  7. When I went to Medjugore in 2006, I sat up on apparition hill, where Our Lady first appeared to the children. So many thoughts came to mind. A lot of these thoughts were of time I had wasted, other thoughts were of people that had crossed my life and I was now called to pray for them. But, the people there say that when Our Lady stops appearing a permanent sign will be left that will erase all doubt that Christ is real; they speculate what that might be. Someone wondered if it would be a mirror of our soul, which would be a lot like the movie Fr. was talking about here. I often think about that mirror and I shutter at the thought because I would feel such shame.

    Wonderful post Victor.

  8. Hi Daily Grace,

    It's nice to see you visiting here.

    We all think back on our lives from time to time and wonder what might have been if we did things differently; and perhaps we regret what we did or did not do ...

    But God gives us Hope in that He is willing to forgive time and again and let us start afresh. And that's what Fr Ignatius is saying in this story - no matter what's been recorded in our personal videos so far in life, let's ensure it ends happily with Christ in Heaven.

    God bless you for visiting here and for commenting. See you again soon.

  9. The amount of opportunity God gives us to re-write our endings is mind-boggling in the level of God's compassion and forgiveness that it reflects.

  10. You're so right Elizabeth. God is only a prayer away to forgive us yet again whenever we ask.

    Thank you for visiting here and for your comments.

    God bless.

  11. Victor, I thought I'd let you know that I finished your book a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! I look forward to following more of Father Ignatius here, any plans for a second one?

  12. Hi Christopher,

    Thanx for your nice comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed my book. Please tell others about it.

    I have no plans just yet for another book. This was a one-off with a special message. Meanwhile, I'll publish small stories about Fr Ignatius here.

    God bless you for taking the trouble to write in. I really appreciate it.




God bless you.