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The Catechism of the Catholic Church Today on Heaven.


  • The Catechism Today
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This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states on this issue:


As was done in the Confession and Sacred Scripture portion of "The Catechism of the Catholic Church Today" tab, the entire section from the Catechism on the Particular Judgment, Heaven, Purgatory and Hell can be read on this page, while the appropriate portions of Puragatory and Hell, have been duplicated on their corresponding pages.


Chapter One: I Believe In God The Father
Article I: "I Believe In God The Father Almighty, Creator Of Heaven And Earth"
Paragraph 5: Heaven and Earth


325 The Apostles' Creed professes that God is "creator of Heaven and earth". The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes "all that is, seen and unseen".


326 The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites Heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in Heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God. (Psalm 115:16; 19:2; Matthew 5:16)


327 The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God

"from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body."


(Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3002 and Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God § 8)

In Brief


Summary: God created both Heaven and earth, all that is seen and unseen, creation in its entirety. The earth is the world of men; Heaven the world of angels and saints.




Chapter Three: I Believe In The Holy Spirit
Article 12: "I Believe In Life Everlasting"


1020 The Christian who unites his own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him and an entrance into everlasting life. When the Church for the last time speaks Christ's words of pardon and absolution over the dying Christian, seals him for the last time with a strengthening anointing, and gives him Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, she speaks with gentle assurance:

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you.
Go forth, faithful Christian!
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. . . .

May you return to [your Creator]
who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints
come to meet you as you go forth from this life. . . .
May you see your Redeemer face to face.


(Order of Christian Funerals, Prayer of Commendation)

I. The Particular Judgment


1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. (cf. 2 Timothy 1:9-10) The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul--a destiny which can be different for some and for others. (cf. Luke 16:22; 23:43; Matthew 16:26; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 9:27; 12:23)


1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of Heaven -through a purification (cf. Council of Lyons II (1274):DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304- 1306; Council of Trent (1563):DS 1820) or immediately, (cf. Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000-1001; Pope John XXII, Ne super his (1334):DS 990) — or immediate and everlasting damnation. (cf. Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1002)

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.


St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64

II. Heaven


1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face: (1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:4)

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into Heaven - have been, are and will be in Heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.


(Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000; cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 49)

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.


1025 To live in Heaven is "to be with Christ." The elect live "in Christ," (Philippians 1:23; cf. John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17) but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name. (cf. Revelation 2:17)

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.


(St. Ambrose, In Luc.,10,121:PL 15 1834A)

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" Heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.


1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."
(1 Corinthians 2:9)


1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of Heaven with the righteous and God's friends.


(St. Cyprian, Ep. 58,10,1:CSEL 3/2,665)

1029 In the glory of Heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5; cf. Matthew 25:21,23)


III. The Final Purification, Or Purgatory


1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.


1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.


(cf. Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563):DS 1820; (1547):1580; see also Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000)


The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire: (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:15; 1 Peter 1:7)

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.


(St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39:PL 77, 396; cf. Matthew 12:31)

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (2 Maccabees 12:46) From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. (cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856) The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.


(St. John Chrysostom, Homily in 1 Corinthians 41,5:PG 61,361; cf. Job 1:5)

IV. Hell


1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:14-15) Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."


1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. (cf. Matthew 5:22,29; 10:28; 13:42,50; Mark 9:43-48) Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire," (Matthew 13:41-42) and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!" (Matthew 25:41)


1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of Hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell, where they suffer the punishments of Hell, "eternal fire." (cf. Denzinger-Schonmetzer 76; 409; 411; 801; 858; 1002; 1351; 1575; Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God § 12) The chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.


1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of Hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."


(Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 48 § 3; Matthew 22:13; cf. Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 25:13,26,30,31-46)

1037 God predestines no one to go to Hell ; (cf. Council of Orange II (529):DS 397; Council of Trent (1547):1567) for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":
(2 Peter 3:9)

Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.


(Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) 88)

V. The Last Judgment


1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust," (Acts 24:15) will precede the Last Judgment. This will be "the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29) Then Christ will come "in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:31,32,46)


1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare. (cf. John 12:49) The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:

All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in Heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."


(St. Augustine, Sermo 18, 4:PL 38,130-131; cf. Psalm 50:3)

1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death. (cf. Song of Songs 8:6)


1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them "the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the "blessed hope" of the Lord's return, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed." (Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10)


*VI. The Hope Of The New Heaven And The New Earth


1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:

The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of Heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.


(Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 48; cf. Acts 3:21; Ephesians 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Peter 3:10-13)

1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, "new heavens and a new earth." (2 Peter 3:13; cf. Revelation 21:1) It will be the definitive realization of God's plan to bring under a single head "all things in [Christ], things in Heaven and things on earth." (Ephesians 1:10)


1044 In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men. (cf. Revelation 21:5) "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)


1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been "in the nature of sacrament." (cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 1) Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, "the holy city" of God, "the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:2,9) She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community. (cf. Revelation 21:27) The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion.


1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common destiny of the material world and man:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God . . . in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay. . . . We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.


(Romans 8:19-23)

1047 The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, "so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just," sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ. (St. Irenæus, Adv. Hæres. 5,32,1:PG 7/2,210)


1048 "We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 39 § 1)


1049 "Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 39 § 2)


1050 "When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise . . . according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 39 § 3) God will then be "all in all" in eternal life: (1 Corinthians 5:28)

True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life.


(St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. illum. 18,29:PG 33,1049)

In Brief


1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.


1052 "We believe that the souls of all who die in Christ's grace . . . are the People of God beyond death. On the day of resurrection, death will be definitively conquered, when these souls will be reunited with their bodies." (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God § 28)


1053 "We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of Heaven, where in eternal blessedness they see God as he is and where they are also, to various degrees, associated with the holy angels in the divine governance exercised by Christ in glory, by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern." (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God § 29)


1054 Those who die in God's grace and friendship imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God.


1055 By virtue of the "communion of saints," the Church commends the dead to God's mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf.


1056 Following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the "sad and lamentable reality of eternal death" (General Catechetical Directory 69), also called "hell."


1057 Hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.


1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible". (Matthew 19:26)


1059 "The holy Roman Church firmly believes and confesses that on the Day of Judgment all men will appear in their own bodies before Christ's tribunal to render an account of their own deeds." (Council of Lyons II [1274]:DS 859; cf. DS 1549)


1060 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will then be "all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28), in eternal life.




1061 The Creed, like the last book of the Bible, (cf. Revelation 22:21) ends with the Hebrew word amen. This word frequently concludes prayers in the New Testament. The Church likewise ends her prayers with "Amen."


1062 In Hebrew, amen comes from the same root as the word "believe." This root expresses solidity, trustworthiness, faithfulness. And so we can understand why "Amen" may express both God's faithfulness towards us and our trust in him.


1063 In the book of the prophet Isaiah, we find the expression "God of truth" (literally "God of the Amen"), that is, the God who is faithful to his promises: "He who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth [amen]." (Isaiah 65:16) Our Lord often used the word "Amen," sometimes repeated, (cf. Matthew 6:2,5,16; John 5:19) to emphasize the trustworthiness of his teaching, his authority founded on God's truth.


1064 Thus the Creed's final "Amen" repeats and confirms its first words: "I believe." To believe is to say "Amen" to God's words, promises and commandments; to entrust oneself completely to him who is the "Amen" of infinite love and perfect faithfulness. The Christian's everyday life will then be the "Amen" to the "I believe" of our baptismal profession of faith:

May your Creed be for you as a mirror. Look at yourself in it, to see if you believe everything you say you believe. And rejoice in your faith each day.


(St. Augustine, Sermo 58,11,13:PL 38,399)

1065 Jesus Christ himself is the "Amen." (Revelation 3:14) He is the definitive "Amen" of the Father's love for us. He takes up and completes our "Amen" to the Father: "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God": (2 Corinthians 1:20) Through him, with him, in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
almighty Father,
God, for ever and ever.




  1. St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220)
    St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258)
    St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428)
St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220), Greek; theologian, a scholar of Pantaenus, to whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, Egypt. His writings display great acquaintance with the Gentile philosophy. He wrote with the express design of hiding the mysteries of the Christian religion from the Pagans, and the uninitiated, while at the same time, laboring to show the immense practical superiority of the Christian code of morals over that of every Pagan sect and system of philosophy.

"Oh pupils of a blessed education, let us complete the beautiful person of the Church, and let us run, like children, to the good mother; and if we are hearers of the Word, let us glorify the blessed economy, through which man is instructed, and sanctified as the child of God, and becomes a citizen of Heaven; his instruction having been carried on below, and he then receives, as a father, Him whom he learns on earth. The Word both does, and teaches, all things, and acts the part of the Pedagogue in all things And since the Paedagogue, having brought us unto the Church, has united us to Himself, to the Word, the teacher and universal overseer, it would be well for us, being there, to send up to the Lord, as a return of just thanksgiving, praise befitting a good education."

Padag. L. iii. pp. 310, 311.

For it is said, ‘To him that has shall be given' (Matthew 25:29; Luke 19:26): to faith, knowledge; and to knowledge, love; and to love, the inheritance. And this takes place¸ whenever one hangs on the Lord by faith, by knowledge, by love, and ascends along with Him to where the God and guard of our faith and love is. Whence at last (on account of the necessity for very great preparation and previous training in order both to hear what is said, and for the composure of life, and for advancing intelligently to a point beyond the righteousness of the law) it is that knowledge is committed to those fit and selected for it. It leads us to the endless and perfect end, teaching us beforehand and future life that we shall lead, according to God, and with gods; after we are freed from all punishment and penalty which we undergo, in consequences of our sins, for salutary discipline. After which redemption the reward and the honors are assigned to those who have become perfect; when they have got done with purification, and ceased from all service, though it be holy service, and among saints. They become pure in heart, and near to the Lord, there waits them restoration to everlasting contemplation; and they are called by the appellation of gods, being destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Saviour.

Stromata, Book 7, Chapter 10

St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258), North African; bishop; biblical scholar, martyr.

Oh, what and how great will that day be at its coming, beloved brethren, when the Lord shall begin to count up His people, and to recognize the deservings of each one by the inspection of His divine knowledge, to send the guilty to Gehenna, and to set on fire our persecutors with the perpetual burning of penal fire, but to pay to us the reward of our faith and devotion! What will be the glory and how great the joy to be admitted to see God, to be honored to receive with Christ, your Lord God, the joy of eternal salvation and light—to greet Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles, and martyrs—to rejoice with the righteous and the friends of God in the kingdom of Heaven, with the pleasure of immorality given to us—to receive there what neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man! For the apostle announces that we shall receive greater things than anything that we here either do or suffer, saying,

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come hereafter which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

When that revelation shall come, when that glory of God shall shine upon us, we shall be as happy and joyful, honored with the condescension of God, as they will remain guilty and wretched, who, either as deserters from God or rebels against Him, have done the will of the devil, so that it is necessary for them to be tormented with the devil himself in unquenchable fire.

Letters (Exhortation to the People of Thibaris), 55:10

St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428), North African; born in Tagaste in A.D. 354, baptized in Milan in A.D. 387, ordained a priest in A.D. 391 and appointed bishop of Hippo in A.D. 395, Augustine is one of our greatest theologians. His numerous works display genius of the highest order, and have ever had great weight in the Christian churches. He is also a Doctor of the Church.

From all this, it will readily occur to any one that the blessedness which an intelligent being desires as its legitimate object results from a combination of these two things, namely, that it uninterruptedly enjoy the unchangeable good which is God; and that it be delivered from all dubiety, and know certainly that it shall eternally abide in the same enjoyment.

The City of God, Book 11, Chapter 13





Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face. (1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:4)

In the glory of Heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5; cf. Matthew 25:21, 23)


The Church's Scriptures on Heaven:

Jesus thanks His Father, Lord of Heaven and earth

25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; 26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.


Matthew 11:25-26

Jesus speaks of His Father in Heaven

17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven".


Matthew 16:17

The Commissioning of the Disciples

18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Matthew 28:18-20

The existence of Heaven

Isaiah 65:17
"I am about to create new heavens and a new earth"
Matthew 5:18-19
"until Heaven and earth pass away ... least in the kingdom of Heaven."
Luke 15:7
[More joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than 99 righteous.]
Luke 15:10
"rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents"
Luke 16:19-25
[Parable of the rich young man and Lazarus.]
John 3:5
"no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit"
John 3:18-21
[Whoever believes will not be condemned.]
Hebrews 9:24
[Christ entered Heaven to appear on our behalf.]
1 Peter 1:3-4
"new birth to a living hope ... inheritance that is imperishable"
2 Peter 3:13
"we await new heavens and a new earth"
Revelation 21:1
"I saw a new Heaven... the former Heaven and the former earth had passed away"

Also read:


The Joys of Heaven

Psalms 16:11
"abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand"
Daniel 12:3
"wise shall shine brightly ... shall be like the stars forever"
Matthew 5:12
"your reward will be great in Heaven"
Matthew 13:43
"righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
John 12:26
"where I am, there also will my servant be"
John 14:3
[Jesus says he is going to prepare a place for us so we can be with him.]
John 17:24
[Jesus tells his Father that he wants us to be with him and see his glory.]
1 Corinthians 13:12
"see ... face to face ... then I shall know fully, as I am fully known"
Revelation 7:16
[No hunger or thirst in Heaven, no sun or heat shall touch the saved.]

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