Each year as the leaves start to turn and fall, as the nights get longer and the temperature drops, my mind at least turns towards the transience of living things.
These things come into existence, they grow, they flourish and then over days, weeks or years they move towards their end.
For Catholic Christians November begins with the feast of All Saints on 1 November, when we remember that we alone of living things have a destiny that takes us beyond this life, beyond, birth, life and death and points us to eternity.
Throughout November, Catholics remember both their dead and also their own destiny, themes that will continue into the season of Advent. And now since 1918 has come into this Month of the Holy Souls the call to remember those who have died in conflict. Our remembrance of our dead is not just a looking back, or a hope for a better world to come. It is as Paula Gooder writes a challenge for us today for: “Believing in heaven is the ultimate rebellion against the idea that this world is all that there is.”
Believing in heaven allows us to catch a glimpse not just of the world as it is but of the world as it might be.
A world not shaped solely by the things of earth and humanity, but by heaven and by the love and compassion of a God in whom absolute righteousness, justice and mercy reside; a world not governed by principles of self interest and self survival but by God’s principles of love, justice and compassion.
Believing in heaven introduces a new dimension to the life we live today.