...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.
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.