Mercy. That oh so confusing attribute of God. In the bible (specifically Psalm 116:5) we are told God is both just and merciful and I believe that. But sometimes that idea still confuses me. How can a God that is perfectly just, who can and does punish people rightly for their sin, also be perfectly merciful and “relenting in punishment?” (Joel 2:13) Well, these words of Jesus gives us all an opportunity to see how. In the gospel passage surrounding this verse, we are introduced to Read more [...]
Tag Archives: heaven
Nicholas was known for his generosity. As tradition goes, he was so selfless that (although he, too, was poor) he helped his likewise poor neighbor support and pay for his daughters’ weddings. Nicholas snuck up to his neighbor’s house at night and dropped a handful of gold coins through the open window so that the eldest daughter could afford to get married. He would later repeat the generous act two more times. From there, the Santa legend grew into what we now know today – stockings, chimneys, a belly like jelly and all that good stuff.
That’s why it’s so exciting to think about heaven, right? The moment we are free — no more “too fat,” “too short,” or “too skinny.” We’ll never have to worry about bad hair days, annoying wrinkles, or our bellies protruding over our belts after chowing down on Thanksgiving dessert.
In heaven, we’re going to be spiritual beings, floating on white fluffy clouds (and holding baby puppies) . . . Right?
In the Gospel Jesus compares heaven to life, light, peace, a wedding feast, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, and paradise. But ultimately, we don’t know what it’s like. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The fact is, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“What do you mean, wait and see,” you ask. “I thought people have visions of heaven! So don’t we know?” . . .
Life is hard. We will feel pain, but the pain we face as we struggle along in our journey will one day make sense as we reach our “finish line” and experience perfect joy for all eternity in heaven. It is here where we will be welcomed for who we are, congratulated on the “race” we ran, and showered with an eternal feast the likes of which we could never have imagined. You see, no matter what we may face in this life, it’s worth it because of what lies ahead in the next.
No matter what, I stuck to this plan. When it got colder outside, I kept training. When this cold air, combined with the dryness of the desert caused me to gag on some of my morning runs, I kept training. When I was chased by a dog and was almost hit by several cars, I kept training. When I had to travel on 7 different weekends during those 18 weeks, I adjusted to make sure I didn’t miss a run.
Why? Because I had a goal and nothing was going to stop me from achieving it.
We all have goals in life, things we want to achieve with the gifts we’ve been given. But having a goal is simply not enough. We need to have a plan to get there.
Yes, guardian angels really do exist! In fact, every year on October 2nd the Church celebrates a Feast Day in honor of Guardian Angels. Your guardian angel is one of God’s greatest gifts to you. They are a source of His power. They never leave your side yet they are constantly looking upon the face of God, too. Guardian angels are not only real they are very active. You should invite yours into your day. Invite your angel to pray with you, to protect you, to help keep you focused on God and to protect you from evil and from harm.
Did you promise to pray more during Lent this year? Then this free download is just for you! We pulled out some pages from Life Teen’s book 40 More to help keep you going in this fourth week of Lent. In the download, you’ll read a verse from the Bible, some questions about how it applies to your own life, a reflection, and a closing prayer. This week it’s about understanding Jesus’ challenging words about salvation. Download: Is Everyone Getting into Heaven? Read more [...]
Have you ever been talking to that friend – the one who acts like a teenage philosopher, frequently dismissing God and faith and organized religion with their own brand of “logic” and (what they believe to be) “common sense?”
I had a lot of those friends in high school. I had a lot of those teachers and those professors, too. Some were annoying. Others were lost. Still others were carrying some deep-seeded hurts in their life and God and the Church became easy targets to blame.
The most common question I heard from my self-proclaimed agnostic and atheist friends was, “If God is forgiving and all-loving, why does this God send people to Hell?”
It says in the Creed that Christ descended into Hell. What did He do there?
Olivia, Mark Hart, and Fr. J talk about one man’s death letting all of us into Heaven.