The Gospel Truth

Nude Beaches in Heaven? PART I | November 30, 2011

Now that I have gotten your attention.

I will get to the beaches later on.

What I really want to write about is different concepts of Heaven–real and only imagined.

I am at the age that every waiting room I sit in makes me think that this could be God’s Waiting Room.

I believe that throughout history most people have believed in a God.

And with that necessarily follows certain questions of eschatology…that is the meaning of life and the advent of an afterlife.

Socrates did and he believed in an afterlife as well.

History is riven with acts of the utmost cruelty and brutality.

It is also  replete with countless acts of acts of nobility and charity that underscore the duality of man.

This by necessity raises the question of reward and punishment and our understanding of Heaven and Hell.

I think most people have similar ideas on the latter but it is Heaven and what must go on there that fascinates, intrigues and maybe just fills us with a great sense of anticipation and maybe even fear.

The major drawback is that you have to die to get there.

Since no one, except Jesus has ever experienced Heaven, and then come to earth, what we really know about it is at best sketchy.

There is something Christians call the Beatific Vision — a face to face encounter with God that promises to be so overpowering the human imagination just can’t image it.

This encounter is supposed to fill us with an over-powering sense of joy that St. Paul said in Corinthians 2:9, is so spectacular that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

This is really saying something special since there are so many natural wonders and beauties in this life that anything  much greater would literally blow our human minds.

As a man I find all the natural wonders–from the curvaceous shape of a beautiful woman  on the beach to the rolling hills of Virginia and the sandy beaches of Maui so uplifting that I have trouble imagining anything much more emotionally satisfying.

In the Book of Revelation, the most incomprehensible and most misunderstood book in the Bible, St. John writes of celestial choirs and a great deal of heavenly pomp and circumstance that doesn’t really seem all that appealing to the average person.

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A God of Love more than a God of Majesty?

The God that we have been taught to love is all-knowing, and more importantly all-loving.

Loving is giving of Himself and I would think as the Divine host he would focus a little more on His guests.

He could give us the grand tour as a proud and generous Host would do in earthly life.

And lets face it we would be His eternal guests since we did literally nothing to earn or warrant His beneficence.

I think He would take us around and introduce us to some of the most famous guests that have shared His love.

Then there would be reunions with friends and families and the meeting new people.

I would love to sit around the campfire or at a sidewalk Bistro and talk history with some of our former presidents and generals.

I would love to meet Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and pick is enormous brain.

I would also love to know who really killed the Kennedys, maybe Marilyn and Princess Di and if FDR  knew about the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor.

File:Clint Hill on the limousine.jpg

We haven’t heard the last yet!

I will be truly saddened if my father were not there.

He never joined the Catholic Church and quite frankly though he respected my mother’s faith, he never made any outward allegiance to any religion.

But I have to think and hope that my mother’s 15 years as an Alzheimer’s victim was applied to whatever debt he may have owed.

If Heaven is supposed to be a perfect happiness and fulfillment of our earthly lives, if some of my closest relatives and friends are not there, what will that do to my happiness?

I think that and God’s infinite mercy are the two best arguments for a quasi universal salvation.

Another writer on Heaven recently said that we would get to meet the saints.

That is a scary proposition because so many led what seemed like impeccable lives that I would have tremendous feelings of inferiority around them.

I mean what do you say to people who loved God so much that they were devoured by wild animals.

File:Dirce.jpg

A tough act to follow

St. Thomas Aquinas would be someone to spend a day with but my knowledge of Thomistic philosophy is limited but he did have a clear way of explaining things.

I would like to meet someone after my own heart–St. Thomas More, who loved God as much as anyone but was reluctant to stick out his neck–until King Henry backed him into his fatal encounter with his executioner.

His way was the only way I could have done what our martyrs have done.

I never volunteer for anything but when push comes to shove…

I would have shot my mouth off to the king and then it would have been too late.

St. Augustine is another story.

His Manichean background and the sexual sins of his early years soured him on anything to do with the human body and its sexuality.

And while he renounced this heresy, its views had already permeated his approach to sex, sin and the human body.

Sex was dirty and our bodies unclean.

He was plagued by this wretched sin of lust most of his life.

It affected the Church’s teaching on marriage and stained its  sacramental importance.

Lust plagued his life and attitudes

I know John Paul II tried to do a lot to erase that stain with his Theology of the Body but there is still a long way to go.

The confusion attendant to the Biblical account of creation just complicates our understanding of sex, nudity and marriage.

Our first parents, whether it was an allegory or an actual fact, were created in their natural state.

Since they had complementary sexual organs, it is not much of a stretch to say that they did engage in lots of love-making, just as God had intended.

But I wonder if this was just reproductive sex since child-bearing became one of the negative results of the fall of man.

I  dare not say punishment lest I sound like our esteemed president.

Boston College theologian Peter Kreft believes there will be sex in Heaven for all for whom it was an integral part of their saintly lives on earth.

His ideas on spiritual sex are provocative and engaging.

The Kiss by Rodin   (Permission by Mark Harden; http://www.artchive.com)

Kreft and spiritual sex–see below

How that would work is another of the many mysteries of the afterlife.

There were no clothes necessary because they were in a state of pristine beauty, just as God had intended.

But the serpent on the vine changed things for all eternity.

After they partook of the fruit of good and evil, they realized they were naked and sin entered the world and with it lust.

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Paradise Lost

Lust can be defined as the innate desire to use another human being merely for the pleasure of the act or thought.

Most often the subject matter is sex.

As a result because of their shame they covered their loins.

Some theologians say theirs was a sexual sin but I have found nothing to confirm that.

But they must have been naked sometime after that because they had at least two children–Cain and Abel.

And there had to be some daughters too.

That raises the question of incest out of necessity.

Millions of married couples today are comfortable in their spouses’ company and even sometimes, the extended family without the benefits of any clothing.

Have they lost their shame?

Or are they treating their bodies more like God intended?

www.peterkreeft.com/topics/sexinheaven.htm

MAKE CERTAIN TO LOOK FOR NUDE BEACHES II NEXT WEEK

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8 Comments »

  1. I thought that was already accepted in scripture. Jesus commended His spirit to His/our Heavenly Father. That’s good enough for me, even without any lavish send offs.

    Comment by L. Newington — November 30, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  2. O where to begin — let’s try God’s revelation recorded in Mark 12: 24-25, out of Our Dear Lord’s own mouth:
    Do Ye not, therefore, err?? since you apparently know neither the Scriptures nor the Power of God — for when they shall rise from the dead, they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, for they shall be as angels which are in heaven.

    sounds definitive enough for me.
    Joyhan

    Comment by JHough — December 1, 2011 @ 1:43 am

  3. I agree with JHough. I would have quoted the same scripture. Sex does not absorb my mind.

    Comment by Mary B — December 1, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  4. Hi Bill:

    Regarding your father: Apparently he was a very good man who loved you and your mother, provided well
    for you both, taught you by example the virtues
    and paid for you to attend Catholic Schools.

    When our mutual friend Fr. H. celebrated my dads funeral Mass I recall he said that Dad was a devoted
    husband and father and a good friend to many and
    that the world would be a better place if there were more men like him. I would guess you could say the same of your father.

    We have some friends who are very good people but
    never belonged to a Church. One day I asked their
    son why. He said they felt that too many churchgoers
    were hypocrits. They were indeed honest people who taught their children right from wrong and were
    married for over 50 yrs. though they married when they were teenagers. AND they sent religous Christ-
    mas cards!!!

    At the end of the world we are told we will get our bodies back but aren’t they supposed to be glori-
    fied? That would mean that we would not be subject
    to any type of disease or pain. At the same time we
    will not enjoy a cold beer or physical love making.
    However, we will live in the love of the Lord, our
    Heavenly Mother Mary and all those who we have
    loved here on earth. Can’t imagine anything better
    than that.

    Regarding St. Augustine: He did seem to go from one
    extreme to the other. Haven’t we all known people like that? I guess they try very hard to make up for the past.

    MF.

    Comment by M. F. — December 1, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    • Dear Mary:

      Just back from the Apple where I spent some quality time with a cousin whom I have known for her 65 years and a friend whom I have known since 1st grade—62 years. Thanks for the kind comments. Bb

      Comment by bbprof — December 7, 2011 @ 3:46 am

  5. “The resurrection of the Dead and Life ever after”
    We will be pure Spirits dedicated to Worship God forever in Heaven.
    Our First and Only Love and Dedication.

    Comment by Jim — December 1, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

    • Not according to some of the sources I have read. Our bodies are to be raised at the end of time and since they are so much a part of what our lives have been, we would be incomplete without them in heaven. I think all this pure spirit stuff is for the angels and we are not angels…and just what does made in the image and likeness of God mean? This is the essence of the TOB. Bb

      Comment by bbprof — December 7, 2011 @ 3:49 am

  6. To all who do not believe in the resurrection of the human body, the Church teaches:

    The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns to earth, he will physically raise all those who have died, giving them back the bodies they lost at death.

    These will be the same bodies people had in earthly life—but our resurrection bodies will not die and, for the righteous, they will be transformed into a glorified state, freed from suffering and pain, and enabled to do many of the amazing things Jesus could do with his glorified body (cf. 1 Cor. 15:35–44, 1 John 3:2).

    The resurrection of the body is an essential Christian doctrine, as the apostle Paul declares: “[I]f the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor. 15:13–18).

    Because, as Paul tells us, the Christian faith cannot exist without this doctrine, it has been infallibly defined by the Church. It is included in the three infallible professions of faith—the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed—and has been solemnly, infallibly taught by ecumenical councils.

    The Fourth Lateran Council (1215), infallibly defined that at the second coming Jesus “will judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad [Rom. 2:6–11]” (constitution 1).

    Most recently, the Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterated this long-defined teaching, stating, “‘We believe in the true resurrection of this flesh that we now possess’ (Council of Lyons II). We sow a corruptible body in the tomb, but he raises up an incorruptible body, a ‘spiritual body’ (cf. 1 Cor 15:42–44)” (CCC 1017).

    As the following quotes from the Church Fathers show, this has been the historic teaching of the Christian faith on the matter since the very beginning.

    Comment by bbprof — December 7, 2011 @ 4:35 am


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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