Heaven: Divine Dullness? Print
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 07:56
A Catholic News Service piece from Jan 19 raises an interesting question: how does our image of heaven affect our eagerness to preach the Gospel and persevere as disciples?

Divine dullness: Usual images of heaven don't impress Christians

" . . .an Italian biblicist, Father Carlo Buzzetti, has approached the question from a different angle: The modern church, he said, does a lousy job imagining what heaven is like and communicating it to the faithful. Most Catholics, Father Buzzetti said, understand heaven as a vague place of eternal survival, where happiness can become monotonous and where the absence of human passions creates an "anemic" atmosphere. In other words, boring. And if heaven is seen as a dull routine of perpetual bliss, how can it possibly stimulate people to live a good and moral life in this world? Father Buzzetti posed the questions in a long article in a recent issue of Italian Clergy Review. He based his analysis on extensive discussions with pastors, who told him the traditional images of heaven -- a vision of God, a banquet or eternal repose -- were making little or no impression on modern Christians.

Is this just an Italian phenomena? What gives? Is it because our lives in the west are affluent and protected in a way that previous generations did not know? Or is something else at work?

What is the most compelling image of heaven you have encountered and how does it affect (or not) your desire to live as an intentional disciple now?

One of my favorites is from St. Thomas More:

"There is no sorrow on earth that heaven cannot heal."