Part 3: Heavenly Imagination

About finishing what Fr. Rahner left undone, here’s the third point about eternal life. We left it at our need for redemption.

So what’s this Good News that Jesus came to bring?  And what are we so hopeful about? 

It’s that we are redeemed – AND we can know it.  So Jesus said, “I have come for judgment, so that those who were blind can see and those who ‘can see’ will be blind” – and now I can see the evil around and in me – and repent, turning over to the merciful God the eradicating from my self what is not my self but sin.

Adam and Eve were blinded by their own action; but we have been given light, not by our action, but by Christ’s. We have to accept His action – we have to agree with what He has done. As St. Paul put it, we are now…” no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.”

When each of our pilgrimages is ended, we will go back into the primitive state – we will be in “the household of God” – in eternity – in heaven – redeemed and whole. Our imagination will be in its primitive state – and look at what freedom this will bring:

In God, each knowing just what all are knowing – each choosing personally what all are choosing in communion – all of this in Christ Jesus, according to the will of the Father. That’s theology.

Imagine what will be real:  Jesus came back in His flesh – why? At least to “drink this cup” when the Kingdom is established – which in eternity is NOW. So there’s Merlot and Johannesberg Riesling and good dark beer. Because heaven is a heavenly banquet – in our own flesh.

We remain finite, so that the contentment that I feel in heaven is full and entire – but limited, which is right, so I am still invited to and free to reach another and another contentment – and what was “hope” in time has now transmuted into “certainty” that I have everything I need, everything I want, when and as I want it. And all of us together will want the same thing – like the Persons of the Trinity – wanting the same thing at the same time.

Which means we will be reconciled. When I was in graduate school, I knew a family well. Dean and Helen had several children. Helen fell in love with me – I was unconscious of it, so self-absorbed with school that I didn’t recognize it – one day, my brother called to say that Dean had told him: “If you come, he’ll kill you.” I wrote, of course. It was inadequate. We tried to meet once but it didn’t work. He’s dead and I’ll soon be and then we’ll reconciled entirely.

How many things like that in our lives will be sorted out in heaven? We will know ourselves as the marvels that we are, untarnished and clean. We will know each other that way, too.

There is no “memory” in heaven – because all is NOW in God. So when what we do now when we remember a pleasant, joyful time and place – somehow, in God’s great mysterious power – we will be in that pleasant, joyful “time” and place. In our own flesh. With everyone else who can remember it.

There what we are in is not an earthly atmosphere but the Being of God. We will dance like a flame in a fire. God is that fire. We will sing all together – and each one’s voice and song will be their own – and yet it will be the sound and song of all of us together. God is that Together. God is that song.

What each wants, all will want and it will be joy and delights one after another. And that wanting that each feels and satisfaction that all feel will be Love, for God is love. And we will be in God – in Love.

Imagine that!