Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Stretching his hand up to reach the stars,
too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.
Jeremy Bentham, English philosopher, economist and
exponent of Utilitarianism; he was born on this date,
Why have we humans thought of Heaven? Simple, I think. Human life has its large share of pain and challenge. It’s a “given” of being human. Emotionally and psychologically, it is really helpful to have a vision ahead of us where that pain and challenge loses power. After all, we humans can benefit from a hope which not only calms our fears, but which also energizes us to make the best of this earthly life.
I long ago come to the conclusion that Earthly Life is a kind of parallel preparation for Eternity. To put it another way, if we don’t “get it” here, we won’t “recognize it” there. If we can’t understand how to love here in the Earth, “Heaven” is not possible. Heaven may exist … but we will have opted out
However: the Mystery is, We can’t fully know the “mind of God” ….. and God is infinitely more compassionate than we are able to be.
“Not forgetting the flowers at our feet” is a deep Gospel principle. It is what Jesus Incarnate is all about - that the Divine is found manifested in the Earth. It reminds us that if we are always “stuck in the hereafter”, living for what we gain after death, we will not understand Life … and God wants us to live this Life fully.
The “stars” can call us on, since we are all the children of stars. But, the stars are not now our “home”, despite what Paul says about “here we have no abiding city”.
I think we must passionately live this earthly Life. In doing so, we clothe ourselves in the garments of Eternity.