“We must live and work in time

   bearing within us the nostalgia for heaven.” (John Paul II, 22 Oct 1985)



“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind,

   I strain forward to what is before,

   I press on towards the goal,

   to the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14)


“Foster the glorious hope of heaven.” (St Josemaría, The Way, 668)


In the concordance of Scripture,

“coelum” comes out 269 times, “infernus” 50 times.



“And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,

‘Behold, the dwelling of God is with man.

He will dwell with them,

   and they shall be his people,

   and God himself will be with them;

he will wipe away every tear from their eyes,

and death shall be no more

neither shall there be mourning,

      nor crying,

      nor pain anymore,

for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4)


“They will see the Lord face to face

   and his name will be written on their foreheads.

It will never be night again

   and they will not need lamplight or sunlight,

   because the Lord God will be shining on them.

They will reign forever and ever.” (Rev 22:4-5)


The question “What is heaven like?” = “What is God like?”



“Here indeed we groan,

   …we sigh with anxiety….” (II Cor 5:2,4)


“As a hart longs for flowing streams,

   so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and behold the face of God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

   while men say to me continually,

      ‘Where is your God?’ …

Why are you cast down, O my soul

   and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

   my help and my God.” (Ps 42: 1-3, 5/11)



“One thing have I asked of the Lord,

   that I will seek after;

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

   all the days of my life,

      to behold the beauty of the Lord …

You have said, ‘Seek my face.’

My heart says to you,

   ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’

Hide not your face from me.

I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord

   in the land of the living!

Wait for the Lord;

   be strong, and let your heart take courage;

yes, wait for the Lord!” (Ps 28:4,8-9,13-14)



“Think how pleasing to our Lord is the incense burnt in his honor.

Think also how little the things of the earth are worth;

   even as they begin they are already ending.

In Heaven, instead, a great Love awaits you,

   with no betrayals and no deceptions.

The fullness of love, the fullness of beauty

   and greatness and knowledge.” (St Josemaría, The Forge, 995)


“Non est vir fortis pro Deo laborans,

   cui non crescit animus

      in ipsa rerum difficultate,

etiam si aliquando corpus dilanietur.” (St Bernard of Claraval)


“Grow in the face of obstacles!” (St Josemaría, The Way, 12)


“Five times the Jews scourged me,

   and spared me but one lash in forty;

three times I was beaten with rods,

once I was stoned;

I have been shipwrecked three times,

I have spent a night and a day as a castaway at sea.

What journeys I have undertaken,

   in danger from rivers,

   in danger from robbers,

   in danger from my own people,

   in danger from the Gentiles;

   danger in cities,

   danger in the wilderness,

   danger in the sea,

   danger among false brethren!

I have met with toil and weariness,

   so often been sleepless, hungry and thirsty;

   so often denied myself food, gone cold and naked.

And all this, over and above something else

   which I do not count;

   I mean the burden I carry everyday,

      my anxious care for all the churches.” (II Cor 11:24-28)



“I had gone begging from door to door in the village path,

when your golden chariot appeared in the distance

like a gorgeous dream,

and I wondered who was this King of kings!


My hopes rose high

   and I thought my evil days were at an end.

I stood waiting for alms

   given without having been asked,

and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.


The chariot stopped where I stood.

Your glance fell on me

   and you came down with a smile.

I felt that the luck of my life had come at last.


Suddenly, you held out your right hand and said:

   ‘What can you give me?’

Ah, what a kingly jest it was to open your palm to a beggar to beg!

I was confused and stood undecided.


Then from my sack I slowly took out a little grain of wheat

   and gave it to you.

But how great was my surprise when at the day’s end

   I emptied my bag on the floor and found

   a little grain of gold among the poor heap!

I bitterly wept

   and wished that I had had the heart to give you my all!

(Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali, no. L)



“Do you not know that in a race

   all runners compete,

   but only one receives the prize?

So run that you may obtain it.” (I Cor 9:24)


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\jmom RETREAT\crt_07Heaven.rtf

Revised 25 March 2005