Reflections on Loving God #2: God Loves You through the Gift of Your Life

Reflections on Loving God is a series about understanding love, seeing how God loves you, and learning how to love God more. God has loved you before you were born. Take the first step today to loving him back. You won’t regret it!

How God Loves You

God loves you so much, he wants you to be in heaven with him for all eternity, but God is holy. Anything that is not holy cannot be in his presence, so God gave you life on earth to grow in holiness. God is all-knowing (omniscient), so he knows everything that has and will happen to you. While still respecting your free will, he somehow uses every moment of your life for the purpose of helping you become holy and make the choice to be with him in heaven (predestination, CCC 600). God has already loved you by giving you this life and putting you on this path to holiness, but he continues to love you every moment of your life, guiding you to heaven.

You have bad times and good times in life. During bad times, you make mistakes or others treat you badly and it causes you to suffer, sometimes greatly. Whatever the case, God knows exactly where you are in holiness. He knows exactly what virtues you need to grow in or sins you need to conquer to be with him in heaven. That bad time didn’t just happen randomly. God saw the possibility for you to grow in a virtue and permitted that time of suffering so that you might be one step closer to heaven.

God is not the cause of your suffering and doesn’t want you to suffer, but God is able to use all things for his purposes. His purposes in your life, indeed all lives, all come down to teaching you to love. He wants you to love him and everyone else in your life. Growing in holiness is simply growing in your ability to love others. God wants you to give everything of yourself to the people in your life, holding nothing back.

Just when the bad times become unbearable God gives you a break with good times. God knows when it’s too much. He knows when you need rest. He gives you what you need when you need it. The good times are not just about resting though. During these times, God shows you how much he knows the deepest longings of your heart. He gives you what you need uniquely in that moment to be happy or pleased. He does this because he loves you but even more, to give you a taste of heaven. That pleasing moment is just a taste of what God has in store for you. He knows exactly what you need and will gladly give you that for all eternity. All you have to do is love him and his creation, your fellow brothers and sisters on earth.

In summary, think of every moment of your life as part of your path to being with God, the one who loves you. No matter what’s going on, God is there helping you learn the truth. The truth is the only thing that matters is love. That is what your heart desires. That is what God desires. You’ve resisted love so many times and chosen evil instead. Why not put an end to that today and commit yourself to love always?

Prayer to Love God in Every Moment

Lord, help me to see the work of your hands in every moment of my life. Grant that I can accept the bad times as part of my salvation journey and see the good times as a taste of your loving plans for me in heaven. My God, I put my whole trust in you to lead me to eternal happiness. Amen.

Your friend in Christ,
Jared

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Time in Heaven

In the past, there were a lot of theories about how much “time” people needed in purgatory to be purified before entering heaven, but now the Church believes the spiritual world does not have time. I personally think there has to be some sense of time just because I know that for a living body to move, there must be time. Without time, we would be stuck in stasis, unmoving. Now spirits maybe are not bound by time. God and Jesus are present in all ages. They don’t get older or younger. It’s the same with the angels. However, humans are different. We have a physical body which requires time to move. Even in heaven, we will have a physical body of some sort (CCC 990), so I think heaven will have time. There will be a massive difference between earth and heaven though.

Time will still exist in heaven. It just won’t matter. Everyone in heaven is in eternal paradise with God (CCC 1721). They don’t much care about the past or the future because every moment is as good as it can possibly be. There is no need to look at the happy moments of the past because right this second is the happiest they’ve ever been. At the same time, there are no sad moments in the past because heaven is always paradise. There is nothing to learn from the past, so they can improve themselves in the present or future. Also, since they are as happy as can be in the present, they don’t care about the future much either. Heaven will continue to be as it is, exactly the same, for all time. It won’t change, so they don’t need to think about the future either. Time will still exist, so that we are able to move our bodies in our worship of God, but there will be no sense of history.

This idea is hard to fathom from my vantage point down here on the fallen earth. How could heaven be unchanging like that? A big reason my life stays interesting is because it is constantly changing. Then again, it may only be interesting because I look forward to better times. It’s like someone addicted to gambling. They are always trying for the next big win. In my life, I’m always reaching for the next height. I’m not truly satisfied staying where I am. I have to be making progress. In heaven though, there will be no progress to be made. I will be perfected in holiness during purgatory (CCC 1030), so I won’t need to make anymore progress in heaven.

In heaven, we will experience the most pleasure possible, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It will be like a combination of all our best times on earth but never ending. This makes me feel better, but I’m still not ready yet. I really enjoy things on earth like writing on this site. I’m not ready to give it up, but I will have to get used to that idea before I die. I guess there’s always purgatory, but the closer I can get to holiness on earth the easier my purification will be (CCC 1471-1473).

May God bless you with his abundant grace,
Jared