Golden Silence

Catholic_tabernacleWhen you first meet a new friend, you spend much time talking to each other. You have a lot of questions. What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you like to do?

As time goes on you get to know the person well and the need for asking questions lessens. In fact, you can tell when your friend is troubled just by the expression on their face. You have reached a point in your relationship where the non-verbal speaks as loud as the verbal conversation.

Beyond this, you find friends and couples who have known each other for decades. They can finish each other’s sentences, know what the other is going to say before they say it and can spend hours next to each other in silence and the time is wonderful.

To reach this stage of a relationship requires that you have truly spent time before with the other person as the center of your attention. Just being together,  hanging out, may not be enough if each of you is in your own little world oblivious of the person next to you. Yet today, all too often, that is exactly what happens as everyone is wired to their smartphone, iPod, etc. Or there is a video, a song, or some other event that has our attention.

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi or the Body and Blood of Christ. In some places, processions will occur with the Priest holding a Monstrance that contains the Host. The focus will be on Jesus. At Mass, always, the focus should be on Jesus. But is it?

Are we focused on Jesus or on the next hymn we are supposed to sing? Are we focused on Jesus or where we have to be after Mass? Do we recite the prayers concentrating on their meaning or have they become automatic responses without thought?

Do we find moments of silence unbearable?

To sit in a Church, in silence, and to allow ourselves to dwell on the True Presence in the tabernacle, to still our thoughts of our needs, our wants, our fears, and to try to hear Him who is truly present, is akin to the relationship of the couples who have lived together and grown together for decades.

It is not easy and will never become easy unless you put in the time. Mass attendance is of course vital. For Catholics, it is the required minimum. How long would a friendship last if each only did the minimum? Other forms of worship, like Benediction, are wonderful but there we are involved in a directed form of prayer that gives little opportunity for quiet reflection, the deep, wonderful silence that two close friends can share and even cherish.

Modern life is practically devoid of times of silence and many people say they need background noise, that it calms them. They are not comfortable with their own thoughts. Yet it was in the silence that Jeremiah heard the voice of God, not in the storm or the avalanche.

There is a God-shaped hole in our lives. He is calling out to us but can we hear Him above the background din? Try to find time to spend some quiet moments with Jesus in the tabernacle.It is a challenge! Many churches are locked for security but not all. Finding free moments is a challenge as well. But if you truly wish to spend eternity with Jesus then now is the time to begin. Even five minutes to start is a great beginning. He is there in the tabernacle waiting for you.

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Now is the Time for Saint Joseph

You don’t need to be a news junkie or a sociologist to know that families worldwide are hurting. Marriages do not last until death do us part, indeed many fail within a short three years. Only about half of the children living today will live with both of their biological parents until they reach age 18.

Absentee fathers, one or both parents in prison, drugs, gangs, and poverty brought on by all these factors plus high employment creates a nearly unstoppable force that shears apart that very fabric of the family.

War, disease and evil governments have torn apart families since time began but today, even families that dwell in rich countries with stable governments that are at peace with their neighbors, and who have access to modern medicine and ample opportunities for personal growth still fall apart at alarmingly high rates.

Many young adults come from families that experienced divorce and they have grown-up with the idea that forming a life-long commitment with one person is a fairy tale. The parts of the marriage vows that speak of in sickness, for poorer, and for worse are easily forgotten in a society where divorce no longer carries a stigma and has almost become a right of passage for adults.

True self-sacrificial love is a foreign concept to many people and no wonder. Much of the modern media preaches the Gospel of Self-Fulfillment at best while other examples glorify the abuse of others.

Certainly, there are individuals who are willing to sacrifice their very lives for others. You can find them among the Police, the Military, the Religious as well as within families and among select true friends. But sadly, many people decide staying is too hard, helping comes at too high a cost and only a fool would get involved.

To counteract this destructive force we need a role model to look up to, a person who exhibited courage even when they were faced with incredible hardship and danger. A person who stood their ground and is now in a position to help us as we struggle daily in this world where hardship and disappointment are all too common.

That person is Saint Joseph. He was born the descendant of royalty but that very fact placed his life in constant danger. He lived in enemy occupied land with a murdering madman, Herod, on the throne as Rome’s puppet. He became a refugee, fleeing to Egypt to save the life of his bride, Mary and her child, Jesus. He existed as a stranger in a strange land for years supporting his family with hard physical labor.

He lived a quiet life living obscurely so as to protect Mary and Jesus. He quaked at the pronouncement of a prophet who saw a sword would pierce his wife’s heart.  He accepted the fact that he was the least worthy of their family but in obedience served as Master of their Home. He felt the anguish parents feel when their child is lost. He knew fear, fatigue, and bewilderment. But each day he rose, trusted God and then did what was required, all out of love for Mary and Jesus.

This pure self-sacrificial love is what is needed in our families today. Fidelity to our vows, humility to recognize our failings and courage to face each challenge while always being alert to the promptings of  God.

Now, as the family is under demonic assault, is the Time for Saint Joseph. Ask for his protection and help. He is powerful in his intercession.St_Joseph,_portrayed_as_a_young_man (1) - Hospital Universitario Austral, Pilar Partido. Author Gabriel Sozzi

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Productive Obscurity

No matter the occupation, most workers have one thing in common; they spend their workdays in obThe Youth of Our Lord John Herbertscurity.  The plumber, the trash hauler, the cable installer and the short-order cook, are rarely the subject of news headlines. To be sure when our sewer is backed up, when the internet and television stop working, when the trash piles up or we are ravenously hungry, then we are keenly aware of their contributions. But otherwise, their day to day efforts do not rate notice as opposed to the professional athlete, Hollywood celebrity or even a powerful politician whose every move is considered noteworthy.

Today, May 1st is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Joseph spent his days in his workshop quietly doing the work of a Tekton (often translated as a Carpenter). A Tekton worked in any hard material, wood, stone or metal. Tradition (small “t”) speaks of his skill as a craftsman, a skill he handed on to his (foster)son Jesus.

But beyond being a skilled craftsman, Joseph’s life was, for the most part, lived in obscurity. He was among the working poor, that class of people whose live their lives unnoticed by the rich and powerful. But there was a reason for this obscurity, an important, vital purpose whose success had eternal ramifications for all of all us.

Joseph’s plainness provided the perfect camouflage for God’s Plan of Salvation. A virgin shall give birth to the Messiah!

Mary’s pregnancy would have drawn notice, and people have always liked to talk. Herod sought to kill the King of Kings and word would have eventually got back to him. But Joseph took her into his home, they were after all espoused, this concealed the Divine Incarnation from prying eyes. They fled to Egypt but even upon their return years later, Joseph’s simple work life concealed the God-Man from His enemies, both the mortal and the demonic.

The obscurity afforded by honest hard work kept Jesus hidden until it was time for Him to reveal Himself. It provided for the necessities of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and helped foster the Father’s Plan.

The quiet dignity of simple work proved to be the most powerful solution to the machinations of the mightiest powers of Earth and Hell. This truth we should keep in mind as we too go about our labors. If we offer our efforts up to God, we too may play a part in bringing about some small part of God’s Plan.

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Excerpt from The Diaries of Joseph and Mary

Life at Nazareth

The years have passed quickly. Jesus is a man in age and in body. His hands now look like The Youth of Our Lord John Herbertmine, brown, calloused from the work. His arms are strong and his fingers sure as they shape wood and stone.

I find I grow weary now early in the afternoon. My knees are often stiff making it difficult to kneel or climb as the job requires. Jesus knows. He works the difficult spots so I have the easier task.

He helps me and Mary. Alone in our home, we pray together and He says things about God that are most profound. He understands in an intimate way the Scriptures. How did I not see what He sees so plainly? As a child, I taught him but for years now He has taught us.

I ask questions. Mary for her part does not. Instead, she listens and ponders what He says. I often see her in contemplation as she works in the kitchen or with needle and thread. Her hands crafting dinner or a cloth yet her mind sees more resplendent images. Her face at these times is so serene. She can get so lost that she does not hear me when I first call her name.

I am content. I have a wonderful wife. My heart leaps for joy each time I am near her. As I fall asleep at night I thank God for the blessing that is Mary. My heart and soul are so full of love for her and from her. I think of Jesus and how I have watched Him grow into a man. In my mind, I remember times when we played and laughed together.

We have been blessed. We have been blessed with sufficient means to eat as we need and have other material goods as we needed yet not so much that they burdened us. Jesus and Mary with me in our home. I feel a joy such that my heart will burst forth from my chest. No man has ever been so richly blessed.

Joseph

Life at Nazareth

My two men. They rise early and help me prepare our meal. Jesus brings wood and Joseph tends the fire. They leave for the shop or to run an errand for work.

Joseph is so protective of me he refuses to travel for work such that I am alone. He tells Jesus to stay with me if he must leave overnight.

Jesus is a perfect Son. Only once in his life has he caused me concern. The time he got lost from us and we found him in the Temple. Since then he has been loving, obedient, caring and supportive of me and Joseph.

His actions give me no cause for concern but His words give me much to pray about. He knows. He understands. The Scriptures to Him are alive and deep. Every passage has so many layers to dwell on and He guides us to understand them.

My two men. They take care of me and serve me. I for my part try to serve them. We all serve each other and grow more in love as a family by doing so. Life is so normal and beautiful in so many ways and yet it is blessed with a supernatural abundance of what work and money cannot provide. And we have been given it freely. Jesus my Son!

Mary

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Stories from the Early Church on the Birth of Mary

September 8th. is the day we celebrate the birth of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. The readings and the gospel for that day speak appropriately of the Messiah however they also speak of what preceded Jesus’ birth and how God is truly the Lord of History.

Mary by herself is only another human, as is her husband Joseph. But Mary and Joseph are forever joined to Jesus. To study Joseph you must study Mary, and to study Mary you must speak of Jesus. They are the Holy Family. It is because of their close relationship to Jesus that we speak of Joseph and Mary and Mary always says, “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do.” Joseph, though silent of words, always stands ready to serve God the Father by giving his all to Jesus and Mary.

It is dogma that Joseph and Mary always lived a chaste life as husband and wife. Some believe that Joseph was previously married and that his first wife died. They point to the scripture passage where the brothers and sisters of Jesus are mentioned as proof. But other theologians of high regard from the Early Church adamantly insisted that Joseph only ever had one wife and that was Mary.

Jacob was the father of Joseph. Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary. Joseph’s mother’s name is lost in time. We do know that Jacob was related to Anne, and thus Joseph and Mary are related, both of them descending from the House of David.

Tradition, with a small ‘”t”, relates how Joseph decided to take a vow of celibacy while he was young man so he could totally serve God in any capacity he was called to. This vow he kept a secret from all.

Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents, lived twenty years together as husband and wife without the gift of a child. Tradition, again small “t”, tells how on a visit to the Temple they each vowed to God that if He favored them with a child, they would dedicate the child to God.

Being childless was considered a curse by the culture of the day. One story speaks how Jacob was chastised by a Temple Priest for even presenting himself in the Temple when he was so obviously a sinner and under God’s wrath. Despite the pronouncement of the Priest, God heard the fervent prayers of Joachim and Anne and she became pregnant with Mary.

Some believe that Joseph used his skills as a Tekton, often translated as Carpenter, in the expansion and adornment of the Temple that Herod ordered. Herod undertook this project as a political move to gain the approval of the Jews. If Joseph did indeed work on the Temple, he would have lived in Jerusalem. If that is so, then Joachim and Anne would certainly have visited him when they traveled to Jerusalem for the various feasts. Joseph would have been aware of the sadness the holy couple felt at the barrenness of their marriage. As such, he also would have joined in their delight when Anne finally conceived.

The first reading for September 8 says,

Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne…

While the second reading states,

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …

It is estimated by some of the Early Church Fathers that Joseph was in his twenties to thirties when he married Mary, she being fourteen years old at the time. This is in conflict with many of the images depicting Joseph as a man of advanced years, but it makes sense when you consider how arduous the work was that Joseph did to support Jesus and Mary, not to mention their trek to Egypt to escape Herod’s plot to kill Jesus.

If this is correct, then we see God at work in calling Joseph to remain celibate and also the delay in the conception of Mary.

Joachim and Anne fulfilled their promise to God by sending Mary to live in the Temple at the age of three. Small “t” tradition states that while she lived in the Temple, Mary felt called to make a vow of celibacy herself, a decision contrary to her culture. By the time she was fourteen, her father had died and she was now in need of a guardian as was her mother. According to Jewish law, it fell to a relative to marry her. Enter Joseph, an unmarried male relative with the skills of a craftsman to earn a living.

To select an appropriate husband, the small “t” tradition says, Joseph was summoned to the Temple along with other eligible bachelors. They were instructed to leave their staffs with the Priest. The next day it was discovered that a lily had sprouted from Joseph’s staff indicating that he was God’s choice.

So we can now put the chain of events together. Mary’s birth is momentous. The Angels in heaven must have rejoiced as they knew this was part of the Plan of Salvation. But it is tied to Joseph’s earlier decision to remain celibate and also to the period of childlessness of Joachim and Anne. With his selection by the Sign of the Flowering Staff, Joseph’s can keep his vow as the chaste husband of Mary and Mary is also permitted to remain celibate with Joseph as her husband.

God’s timing and methods are always perfect although for us they may be difficult to understand.

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Hateful Unions

There you sit at the head of the table, with your lovely wife of fifty-five years. Around the table are your eight children, your 12 grandchildren, and a few special friends. They are there to celebrate your anniversary.

Through the door of the restaurant burst a cohort of armed men, all wearing uniforms of the federal government’s Special Cadre for Undiscriminatory Marriage, also known as S.C.U.M. Your public display of faithful love for your spouse is now classified as a hate crime because it encourages others to participate in practices that are discriminatory to non-binary people.

Is this a parody skit on a late night talk show? No. It is, however, a possible glimpse of the future if the progressives of the American Bar Association succeed in their efforts.

As reported in the Washington Times and covered by EWTN’s World News Nightly, the American Bar Association has adopted Model Rule 8.4.

What’s that, you ask, and why should I care?

Model Rule 8.4 defines as unethical behavior any speech or membership in any organization, including churches, which hold to a traditional view of marriage, sexuality. gender and other related issues. A lawyer who is found to be engaged in unethical behavior stands to lose their license to practice law.

The American Bar Association does not control the practice of lawyers, that power lies with the State Bar Judiciary. The problem is, most states use the American Bar Association decisions as a template for their particular state’s rules.

A lawyer can, therefore, lose their license because they are a member of a Church, Mosque or Synagogue that upholds the teaching of marriage as the union between one Man and one Woman.

The leaders of the A.B.A. understand the impact this change will have, in fact, it is their intent to force lawyers to change their personal beliefs and get in line with the new normal.

Our Federal and State legislative bodies are overrun with lawyers. How long until Model Rule 8.4 morphs into a new Federal Law that declares believing or participating in traditional marriage is a hate crime?

Traditional marriage and the family are under a vicious, unrelenting attack. The assailants will not cease their onslaught until all worship at the altar of their LGBTQ manifesto. We have seen Bakers and Florists who have lost their livelihood. Now lawyers are in the gun sights. Everything held as true from a traditional Judeo-Christian perspective is considered worthy of prosecution.

Lawyers who hold traditional views will, without a doubt, bring to bear all the legal cunning they can muster to defend their livelihood. But those of us, non-lawyers, should also make it clear to our legislators that we are aware of this undermining of our rights. You stop an infection at the earliest stage possible. You do not wait until the patient is at death’s door. Traditional marriage and the nuclear family will soon be on life-support if this juggernaut of political correctness is not stopped.

Please, check out the facts and then share with your family and friends.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/17/how-the-lawyers-plan-to-stifle-speech-and-faith/

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Violence is the Answer

What has recently happened in Dallas is a tragedy for the families of the officers killed, a shocking event for the families of the wounded and most importantly of all, a clarion call for pure unvarnished truth to be spoken.

As if their reactions were pre-written, a chorus of voices arose demanding that more restrictions be placed on guns. Others pleaded for calm and begged that we find a way to come together as a nation to prevent more senseless death.

To the first group, I say the obvious, a person intent on killing will find a weapon to kill with be it a gun, a vehicle, a bomb or a knife. Inanimate objects are not our problem.

To the second I say you have a nice message, but it needs to be clearly defined.

The answer to Dallas and to all the other violence has been right before our eyes for ages. It is a cornerstone of most of the world’s religions and practically ignored by men and women worldwide.  It is often called the Golden Rule and is usually stated as Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.

The answer to Dallas is we all must live our lives according to the dictates of love.

Stay with me, this is not some hippy-dippy, sweet-sappy collection of feel-good sayings.

To start with, if we truly are going to live our life according to the dictates of love we must immediately begin to do violence unto ourselves.

We must grasp our anger and choke it until it is dead. We must ensnare our egos and grind them into oblivion. We must arrest our me-first attitudes and lock them away in some dark and forgotten spot never to see the light of day again.

Only by doing violence unto ourselves can we be victorious and achieve the life we all dream of.

Love is a Choice! We must choose to be patient when we feel anger. We must choose to act kindly when we want to denigrate another. We must force ourselves to be repulsed when evil is inflicted on another.

As an athlete pushes through the pain of training we must persevere in our choices to follow the path of LOVE!

No matter what we have been taught growing up, no matter what our instant reflex reaction is in any situation, we must use our free will to force ourselves to act in love!

To everyone reading this, I promise you, if you decide to enter on this path, it will be the most arduous and painful journey you have ever experienced. There will be moments of high elation interspersed with periods of pain all joined by long fatiguing intervals of struggle. This will continue until you take your last breath.

But I also promise you, if you walk this path and teach and encourage your brother, your sister, your spouse, your parent, your children, your friends to do the same, that together we will accomplish the impossible.  We will not eliminate hatred and evil from this world but we will make hatred and evil very uncomfortable. Our victories within ourselves will spread and create an environment where those who are tempted to choose the other path will hesitate and question why they want to hate and not love. And over time we can make this world the best it can be this side of heaven.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous. Love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude. Love does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

                                                                                                1 Corinthians 13 verses 4 -8

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Sitrep

Our sons have autism and other challenges. The experts wrote them off. The experts were wrong!

It has been a long road. Nineteen years ago our son Kenneth was changed overnight (literally) from the sweet loving child he was into something uncontrollable. The experts – medical, psychological, educational, etc. were worse than useless in our search for answers. After three years of struggle, Sue and I discovered the word Autism. Stephen was also affected but in a different way. Joseph nearly died at age one due to a three-hour grand mal seizure brought on by a fever. The drugs they gave him to stop the seizure depressed his respirations so much he was life-flighted to a major medical center for care. Devon was almost missed in our efforts to care for Ken, Stephen, and Joe but he too was struggling in some ways and we discovered he

Ready to train!

Ready to train!

was also legally blind in one eye. More visits to experts who only said that we should accept that our four youngest children would NEVER be able to care for themselves and would REQUIRE assistance their entire life.

I have never been one to accept pronouncements from experts as if they were carved in stone unless the expert can demonstrate their ability to walk on water and change water into wine. So Sue and I got up each day and did our best.

We eventually homeschooled our kids, all eight. Ken, Stephen, Joseph, and Devon all became altar servers at church, participated in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, played Miracle League Baseball (not Ken he hates baseball), did Judo and Hapkido. They all received the Sacrament of Confirmation,

Ken asked to go to public high school when he hit 10th grade. With trepidation, we agreed because we could tap into their connections for vocational training. We had to constantly urge the school to challenge Ken to stretch his limits. Stephen, Joe, and Devon also entered public school, and for them too, we pushed the system to push them.

This past week, Ken and Stephen received their Red stripe in Hapkido and Joseph and Devon got their Yellow belt. Ken works about 25 hours a week at Kentucky Fried Chicken and has done so for about a year now. He is doing really good. Stephen is looking for work and now Joe and Devon as well. Devon and Joe also babysit their 2-year-old niece each afternoon so her dad can go to work until mom, my daughter, gets home from work. So much for not being able to do anything.

The journey’s not over and hopefully God will grant me enough years of life to get my sons to the point where they no longer need my or their mom’s help.

The experts were expert ONLY in an academic field. They were not experts on our children. I was and so was Sue. We refused to give up on our kids when we constantly were told to do just that.

To any parent facing similar ordeals, please, Do Not Give Up. The journey is incredibly scary and hard. But I promise you, no one knows the future for your son or daughter. It is better that their reach exceeds their grasp than to set the bar so low that success is truly meaningless to them.

If you know one challenged person – YOU KNOW ONE CHALLENGED PERSON. The biggest obstacle people with mental and physical challenges face are the so-called normal people, especially the experts, who believe they can predict the future and assume incompetence and failure in the disabled. They need to get out of the way.

I do not know how much further my children will go but I will be both alongside them encouraging them and behind them nudging them to go further. One day maybe they will be in front of me as old age slows me down and I will be able to look to them for help. Who knows? Not me.

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The Visitation and Saint Joseph

In the Gospel of Luke we read,

The Angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph …

Mary gives her fiat then sets off to visit her cousin Elizabeth who she is informed is also pregnant.

In art, Mary is often pictured by herself at the door of Elizabeth’s home.  When thoughtful minds think about this, a young, pregnant woman traveling five or more days over bandit-infested roads, the standard answer is she was probably accompanied by an elderly matron.

For the moment, let’s be more thoughtful.

How will an elderly matron protect Mary from harm?Mary was espoused to Joseph.

Now consider these facts:

Mary was espoused to Joseph.

Joseph was selected by God the Father to be the Husband and Guardian of Mary.

When Mary tells Joseph she intends to visit Elizabeth to help her and to celebrate God’s blessing to her, Joseph agrees to allow her to walk several days along dangerous roads only escorted by an older woman while he remains safe at home.

Another point to consider – Joseph is also related to Elizabeth but he decides to not join in the celebration of the good news for Zachary and Elizabeth.

Really?

If this was your relative what would think of him?

What a loser! I feel sorry for Mary being stuck with that guy!

Let’s remember that Joseph is the par excellent example of what a real man should be. He was given that grace by God Himself so he would be a suitable spouse to the Virgin and foster-father to His Son.

Joseph remaining in Nazareth while Mary travels to Hebron just doesn’t sound right.

Saint Bernadine of Siena and Saint Bernard both insisted that Joseph accompanied Mary. They taught how blessed was the house of Zachary to have the entire Holy Family present for the birth of John. Saint Francis de Sales, the founder of the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary, also insisted that Joseph went with Mary.

As a Catholic, when we read the Bible, we must submit ourselves to the teachings of Holy Mother Church. But that does not prevent us from using our minds to seek out what the Bible does not say. We cannot change any part of the Faith, neither adding nor taking away, but we are permitted to try to fill in the blanks.

The Bible does not say Joseph went with Mary nor does it explicitly state he remained behind. Thus, it is left to us to decide.

Would the man chosen by God to be the Head of the Holy Family allow anyone else to escort Mary on her journey to Elizabeth?

It does not seem likely in my mind. When Mary visited Elizabeth Joseph was at her side.

 

Dennis P McGeehan is the author of The Diaries of Joseph and Mary, a book based on the teachings of the Early Church Fathers. http://amzn.to/2pQ51zC

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Some Thoughts on Heaven and the Big Bang

Early GalaxiesIn the Bible, God says, “Let there be light.” With His word God brings forth all there is. Father George Lemaitre, a Belgian priest, was the first to postulate the Big Bang Theory. If you close your eyes and envision the results of God’s words you can get a glimpse of creation.

Heaven we are told is the dwelling place of God. We are also told by Jesus that a place in Heaven is prepared for us by Him and that it will be our eternal home. Eternity is a concept that is hard to wrap your brain around.

As mortals we are used to the concept of time. There are twenty four hours in a day. We may work an eight hour day that also requires a forty five minute commute each way. We number our age in years and look forward to retirement around age sixty five.

If you study history, the United States is two hundred and forty years old as of 2016. Jesus was born over two thousand years ago and Moses lived approximately four thousand years ago. Our ability to grasp this span of time is tenuous. But scientists tell us that the Earth is over four and a half billion years old and the universe is about fourteen billion years old. If you were to live to one hundred years, you would need to do that one hundred and forty million times to equal the universe’s existence. And yet that is a blink of the eye when you speak about eternity.

But wait a moment; time itself is part of God’s creation. When He spoke everything into being God did not fill an already existing empty space with energy and matter, He actually brought forth the space in which everything now exists. The universe itself came into being out of nothing and began as an infinitesimally small point that then expanded and continues to expand to this day. It was this expansion, first noted by Edwin Hubble, which led Fr. Lemaitre to conjecture that the expansion had a beginning. Time also was created along with the matter and energy. For a simplification, consider that time is a measure along with distance and velocity that connects all there is in the universe.

Heaven is not located some place many parsecs away from Earth. The universe exists within God. As such, God exists outside of Time and Space. The Bible tells us a million years is like a day and a day is like a million years to God. Angels, the church tells us, are able to move at the speed of thought and we are to become like angels in the next life.

Think about a location other than where you are and you can be there now! If you can think of more than one location, you could theoretically be in two or more places at the same time because you move at the speed of thought. Distance is now meaningless and time is not in the equation for our journeying from place to place.

If our brain had the capacity, we could potentially be everywhere at once if we could simultaneously think of everyplace at one time. That is beyond our ability but it is a trait that we ascribe to God, that is, God is omnipresent.

So eternity in heaven is not measured in years, in fact it is not measured at all. It becomes a state of being for us. We exist at some point of creation with God and with a thought can move to some other point, always remaining with God and experiencing a different aspect of Him.

Our physical universe is huge. It occupies a space about fourteen billion light years across. The Hubble Telescope probes this vastness to reveal new galaxies, thousands of them, each containing millions, some maybe billions, of stars. Each star is a possible home for life. But the universe contains more than stars and planets. Scientists speculate on the existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Their existence is postulated based on observations. Dark Matter may account for seventy percent of the mass of the universe and yet it is invisible to our eyes.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible …

But our dwelling in eternity is infinitely greater because we will dwell in God who Himself is infinite. We will have unlimited time to realize unending truths about Him and His creation. We will not need a telescope to observe because He will gladly reveal to us His sublime nature. We will be able to rejoice in each manifestation and then with a thought be amazed at the next. Our imagination is incapable of comprehending the possibilities.

Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him.

God gave Fr. Lemaitre a gift when He led him to the theory of the Big Bang. He also gave us a gift in that it offers a hint of the indescribable that will be our life with God.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God, but they pale in comparison to Him.

  • Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI and L. Infante (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
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