Saturday, January 12, 2008
Please Don't Interrupt Me When I'm Ignoring You
We've had some warmer sunny days. It's been very cold here and is still cold at night. Not cold the way some of you are cold in, say, Maine. But cold enough to make it unpleasant to take Sister Mary Fiacre out for an airing.
So yesterday we took Sister Mary Fiacre out for an airing. We went over to what Sister St. Aloysius calls the "Frank Sinatra Mall". She calls it that because there is outdoor music there. It is almost always Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett. Amazed that I can tell them apart? Me, too.
We took some sandwiches and ate by the fountain. There is a fountain. All the little sparrows were eating our most tiny crumbs. No wonder St. Francis of Assisi talked to them. They look up at you, look you right in the eye as though they are hanging on your every word.
They're not, of course, St. Francis notwithstanding. They're just waiting for more crumbs to fall and paying attention in case you suddenly try to kill them. I love animals, but I'm not stupid about what's really going on at any moment in their bird brains.
I'd better answer this question before I have to go stand in the corner or kneel on dried peas for not answering it. It seems I in in some sort of trouble.
I found your blog and wanted to ask a question, since that is the name of your blog, but have been TOTALLY IGNORED. Can I ask a question here or not?
I guess I'll try one more time. . .
We always talk about heaven, but the prayer says: "on EARTH as it is in heaven" (like the title of your blog today) ... so if this prayer came true tomorrow, what would it be like here on earth, because we pray "His kingdom come on EARTH as it is in heaven"?
I am looking for an answer, and no one seems to care. (Maybe you won't ignore me this time . . . maybe.)
I had you on the list of questions I need to answer. There are questions ahead of you. Perhaps you could go dust the pews for me so I can catch up.
Which reminds me....we took all the Christmas trees down in church the other day and put them out on the curb because the city is going to do a special pick up. Within hours the pile had doubled! It seems everyone in the neighbor tossed their tree onto the pile! There were some REALLY dried up trees on there. Were they all spying out their front windows for the day the Church tosses their trees, or was it just an irresistible moment of opportunity. We'll never know.
I did have your question on my list, but to be honest, I can't make heads or tails of it. You have taken this phrase, "on earth as it is in heaven," out of context. What do you mean, "if this prayer came true tomorrow"? Here's the prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Which simply means we hope to follow God's Will here on earth as it is followed in heaven.*
Which was my point in using it as a title. All the constant fussing about what everybody is up to at Mass and people going to different services, churches and bowing they heads and clenching their hands to avoid contact with the human being next to them so they can have their prayers to themselves always makes me wonder how anyone is going to manage in heaven. No matter how much time is spent explaining that the hand holding issue is about an infraction of what we can and can't do at Mass, the real issues seem to be individual 'touching' comfort levels, germs and death grips. Certainly those things are brought up without fail in the discussion. We hope all the people that annoy us are going to heaven, which means we'll never escape them. We can't go to the heaven across town or go to the five o'clock heaven where they don't hold hands. That was my point.
If earth became like heaven tomorrow no body would be complaining about anything, including how hot McDonald's coffee is, what's the matter with Britany Spears and her sister, or people who have more than 10 items in the 10 items or less line.
It seems you are asking what heaven will be like. The answer is, no one knows.
I can't think of a single time, although many saints have been taken to hell and Purgatory or had visits from people in Purgatory, that anyone has had a visit to heaven. There are saints who have spent a lot of time in ecstasy (not to be confused with "on" ecstasy, as a recent convert I spoke with did), even levitating, but they have kept there traps shut about heaven if they actually got to go for a moment. They do talk about having glimpses--and the operative word here is 'glimpses'--of Heavenly Glory, which is why they are in floating about the pew in ecstasy. But they make it clear that if this is so wonderful, imagine what the whole enchilada might be.
Which is exactly the issue. We can't. We have some guesses.
The true nature of Heaven itself remains a Sacred Mystery. "Sacred Mystery" is Catholic for 'just let it go.'
*The Catechism of the Catholic Church also makes this assertion: "It would not be inconsistent with the truth to understand the words, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," to mean: "in the Church as in our Lord Jesus Christ himself".