This may sound like a fantastic and overwhelming exercise, but I believe it is something necessary for us to do if we want to have the proper priorities in life, and thus to be properly guided. Especially these days when we are bombarded with so many fascinating things that can confuse us and lead us astray, we should consider this exercise as indispensable.
Heaven is where our eternal definitive home is. It is where we see God face to face and share in his very divine life that is meant for us. As St. John would put it in his first letter, “We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.” (3,2) Heaven is our ultimate goal, to which all our other goals in life have to be oriented and subordinated.
Meditating on heaven might sound like an impossible exercise, since we have been warned by St. Paul himself that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor 2,9)
But this warning should not stop or discourage us from meditating on heaven. If at all, the unfathomable mystery that heaven is, should only prod us to be ever so curious about it. It is not meant to be a wet blanket, but rather a rouser.
We know that everytime we make an act of love in any of its forms and ways as shown by Christ himself, we would already be approximating heaven. We may not be there yet, but definitely we would be approaching it.
We should be keenly conscious of this truth. There has to be an awareness that there is some progress in our earthly journey toward heaven through the acts of love we should be doing everyday.
We should not stop at any point of that journey, much less, get stranded and trapped. We have to go on, with a growing sense of loving, much like what a pop song of yesteryears expressed: “I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.”
The mystery of heaven should only make us think after we make an act of love, “what would heaven be if this act of love that I am doing now and because of which I am already enjoying its goodness, is nothing compared to it?” With that frame of mind, we would be more motivated to keep on doing good.
The big danger we have nowadays is precisely to get trapped in the many wonders that we are enjoying these days, in spite of the pandemic. We have tremendous technologies, and the amount of knowledge and skills derived from our sciences, though with their limitations and imperfections, is huge and intoxicating. We always have the tendency that these things can be considered our be-all and end-all.
That is why we cannot overemphasize the need to meditate on heaven often. It’s never a futile exercise. Heaven should so elicit in us the strongest desire and passion that we would be willing to sacrifice everything else, including our honor and life itself.
That is precisely the lesson behind the parables of the treasure buried in a field and the merchant who found a pearl of great price. (cfr. Mt 13,44-46) Those who found them were willing to sell everything else they had just to get the field with the treasure and the pearl of great price.
To be sure, to meditate on heaven often does not take away our sense of realism and objectivity. The contrary would be the case if it is done properly. We would know the relative value of everything good and lovable in this world.
And if our loving would involve suffering, as it usually does, our meditation on heaven would convince us that such suffering is worthwhile!*