Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Journey of Life

Life is a journey and every journey has a destination. The destination that awaits us at the end of our lives is only one of two places. Luckily the place we will end up spending all of eternity is totally our choice.

At one end of the journey we have heaven where we get to have the beatific vision of God. A person cannot begin to understand what true love really is until they are fully immersed in love itself. There are no words in any language that can describe what it is like to be in the presence of God.

At the other end of the journey is hell. In hell there is only total love of self. Again, there are no words that can describe what it is like to be in hell.

God created man to live with him forever in heaven. God sends no man to hell. God finds man there by his own choosing. If hell is such a horrible, horrible place why would any person ever willingly choose to go there?

God is ἀγάπη, agape, sacrificial love. It is the total love of the other. Someone who chooses hell has only total love of self. For someone who only has love of self agape is hated above all else. Agape can be physically painful. They will do everything they can to get as far away from it as possible. This means choosing hell, choosing total love of self, over being in the presence of love itself.

God offers heaven to each and every man when we pass from this life into the next. To borrow an image from scripture, we will stand alone with Jesus over a charcoal fire. For the person who had never been introduced to Jesus he will be his best advocate for them. As he did with Saint Peter he will ask each of us a simple question – do you love me above all else (agape)? Very few of us can answer that with a truthful yes. As long as our answer is not no we will be given a chance to perfect the love we do have until only agape remains.

For those who answer no to his question Jesus will honor their choice made freely and they will be left utterly alone with only their love of self. They will be in hell.

Which direction are you traveling in this life? Is what you do done for the glory of God in love and service of others or is what you do done for love of self? One way leads to eternal happiness and the other leads to utter loneliness.

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