Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics measure spirituality by faith, hope, and love...

...is that these are the only things that we take with us when we die.

St. Paul tells us that “only these remain” (1 Cor 13:13) and the Church takes this very seriously. In heaven we won’t have wealth, we won’t compete for any sort of advantage, we won’t even be married anymore (Mt 22:30). All that will remain is our confession that Jesus Christ is our Lord (faith), our confidence in his promises and the eternal quality of them (hope), and joy at being in God’s presence and gratitude for all the hosts surrounding us (love). The Church teaches that heavenly existence is a simple thing; but not necessarily an easy thing.

How hard is it to simply have faith, hope, and love? How hard is it to rest in God’s presence and just be with him? I constantly struggle with this. I want to be doing something for Jesus and have a hard time idling down to just being with him.

Life can be summed up as a time to practice these theological virtues so when we move on to the next life we’re at home there. Hell may be little more than a rejection of spending the rest of eternity with God living in faith, hope, and love. It’s worth struggling now to learn how to live in these virtues so the choice is obvious when it really matters.

That only faith, hope, and love remain with us hereafter and that we can learn them now is yet another reason Catholics focus so much on them.

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