Saturday, May 22, 2010


 I lost a very dear friend of mine David Cruise after his 7 month battle with leukemia.  I wanted to write something to share with everyone about David.  Really didn't know what to tell since it was a shock that he was even sick.  You would never have known it before he was diagnosed with leukemia.  I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on Heaven since I know that is were he is now, and the fact that he is standing before our Lord with a perfected body for all eternity.

“Heaven: this is the torch before which the vivid appeal of earthly things fades, the light that, by transforming our judgments, makes us cherish poverty, sickness, and the insignificance of our state of life as a good, and makes us regard riches, the glamour of honors, the favor and praise of the world as an evil.  The thought and expectation of heaven impelled Paul to face the most arduous labors and the most formidable perils, giving him a superabundance of joy amidst his sufferings and afflictions…
“Heaven is something that we have not seen.  We travelers, wandering in this valley of darkness and tears, are reduced, like captive Israel on the banks of the Euphrates, to hanging our harps and zithers upon the weeping willows of this wretched, human life.  No human voice, no lyre can ever succeed in producing songs and tunes in unison with the melodies and sweet harmonies with which that indescribable city resounds…
“Even the inspired word itself cannot rise to realities that extend beyond the bounds of reason and surpass all the strength and capacity of our nature.  Let us listen to the great apostle Paul, immersed in the most exalted raptures, conveyed in spirit as far as the third heaven, and into splendors more profound and ineffable than those experienced by the Eagle of Patmos, as he exclaims: Heaven is not as you tell us; it is a thousand leagues above the analogies and descriptions you are offering us. ‘Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him…’ [emphasis in the original]
“Heaven is God’s ideal, the repose of His intellect.  Let us add: it is the repose of His heart.  The heart goes further than the mind.  It has aspirations and impulses, unknown to genius, which go beyond all the bounds of inspiration and thought…  The transports that the divine vision will arouse in the elect will make their hearts superabound in the most unutterable joys; it will be a flood of delights and raptures, life in its inexhaustible richness and the very source of all good and all life.  It will be, as St Augustine goes on to say, like a gift from God of His own Heart, so that we may love and rejoice with all the energy of the love and joys of God Himself… The contemplation of God will not mean immobility but, above all, activity, an ever-ascending progression, where movement and repose will be bound together in ineffable harmony… They will go from glory to glory, from joy to joy…
“How sweet it will be to contemplate at a single glance all the marvels of the Most High God in the realm of nature as well as in the order of grace and glory… In heaven we shall see and recognize one another; and in heaven we shall love one another… All the objects and causes that captivate our hearts and arouse love in this world will act with an intensity a thousand times greater, and without encountering any obstacle, on the hearts of the elect…
“In heaven… their awareness of happiness is not distinct from their awareness of God… the effect of this multifarious delight is not to induce them, by reflection, to withdraw into excessive preoccupation with themselves and the perfection of their nature, but rather to inspire them to soar upward with inexhaustible energy and lose themselves in the ever-closer embrace of God, who imbues them with His fullness through all their senses and penetrates every pore of their being.  On their lips the cry of joy blends with the cry of adoration and gratitude… they exclaim, ‘Holy, holy, holy is God Almighty…’
“In heaven, happiness is stable, since the elect, confirmed in glory, are beyond all fear.  The ages will succeed one another without diminishing their happiness, without a single line creasing their brows.  The certainty of eternally possessing the benefits they hold dear multiplies their sweetness a hundredfold.  What a source of jubilation when, after thousands of centuries have elapsed, they reflect upon the day in the distant past when they made their triumphant ascent, and say, ‘Nothing is finished yet; I reign today, today I am in possession of my happiness, and I shall possess it as long as God remains God—forever and ever!’”
Those are just a few snippets of this long chapter, which the author himself admits is just a crude and rough sketch.  But doesn’t it make the furtive and fleeting pleasures of this life—that is, those pleasures that are not part of our life in God—pale into complete insignificance and even wretchedness?  No wonder the Lord said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”  He came from Heaven; He knows what it is like; He has been inviting us there for millennia and warning us how grievous a loss it would be to forsake his Kingdom for the sake of selfish gains in this life.  Heaven will be the super-superlative of every good thing we can imagine or desire, and the experience of joys and wonders we can’t even begin to imagine.  The more we fix our minds on Heaven, the more free we will be in relation to things of this Earth, and we will do whatever it takes to join that blessed company who enjoy the utter fullness of life and blessing, the superabundance of love in the Light of the Face of Him who loved us first, and who awaits us in his heavenly Paradise.

Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me.  And thank you for the time I have got to spend with David and his family.  Today, I realize that I do not have an endless supply of days here on this earth. Help me to use my days well and to make everyday count. Help me to be a blessing to You and others with each day that You give to me.  Thank You that You took the time to die for me so I could be forgiven. May I now take the time to live for you so others may know the joy and purpose I have found. Help me daily to stay focused and live for You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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