The Communion of Saints and Eternal Life

Authored by Fr. Richard Conrad in Issue #32.2 of The Sower

Heaven is exciting. I do not think this is always made clear. You have doubtless seen several pictures of the Last Judgement. There was often one on the West wall of Mediaeval Churches to remind the departing faithful to live in such a way that they would be among the sheep, not the goats. Many such paintings show the just being welcomed into Heaven, and the wicked cast into hell. Often you suspect that the artist enjoyed painting hell more than he enjoyed painting heaven!

One particular painting, for example, shows Heaven as a city wall, with Angels playing trumpets, while, below, hell is more interesting – a huge dragon breathing fire, inside whom the damned are being boiled in cauldrons, while demons push wheelbarrows full of the wicked into its mouth. You get the impression that the most interesting thing to do in Heaven is to look over the wall and watch what is going on in hell! A limited, even boring, picture of heaven is often seen in modern cartoons showing harps and clouds; a recent survey of children’s views of Heaven showed that they imagined things like endless ice cream. I wonder whether some artists and preachers of the past put too much energy into frightening people off hell because they found it hard to think of ways to attract them into Heaven; and I wonder how many modern preaches and teachers know how to speak excitingly about heaven.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Kerygmatic Catechesis and the New Directory
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The much-anticipated Directory for Catechesis is finally here! So many of us involved in the work of catechetical renewal have eagerly awaited its publication. This directory is the third of its kind, following 1971 and 1997 directories that each proposed a vision for catechesis intended to prepare Catholics to live in the modern world as well-... Read more
An Invitation to a Faithful, Dynamic Renewal of Catechesis
By Jem Sullivan
Free This article explores c hapters 1-2 of the new Directory for Catechesis. The publication of a Directory for Catechesis by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization could not have arrived at a more providential moment as the universal Church seeks a renewal of Christian faith in local churches struggling through the effects... Read more
Becoming Windows for the Light of the Living God
By Brad Bursa
This article explores chapters 3-4 of the Directory for Catechesis. O ne could liken c hapters t hree (The Catechist) and f our (The Formation of Catechists) of the new Directory for Catechesis to a meditation on windows and how they are made. Identity and Vocation of the Catechist In the early Church, those who followed the Way were often called... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now