I previously posted this on my webpage. I thought it needed to be here, too.
Why do I believe in Heaven?
When I was small, one of the first things I remember about Faith was that we went to Sunday School. I grew up in the Methodist faith, so Sunday School was a big deal. Our minister was a really tall, large built man, with a deep booming voice. His wife, was short, plump, with grey hair.photo © 2008 Irina Patrascu | more info (via: Wylio)
She taught me to sing “Jesus Love Me” and I can still see her beaming smile. Rev. Hogeland always led the processional at the beginning of church, with the choir in their robes following behind, and singing, every Sunday, “Holy, Holy, Holy”. Every Sunday. Singing. Music. And my Dad nodding off to sleep during the sermon, or before, every Sunday!
I trusted these people who loved me.
I trusted the love of my parents, my grandparents.
I FELT their love, in the hugs, the kisses, the praises, the smiles.
I believe that the love I felt was ultimately from the Source of Love, whom I have learned to called God.
God, as my Father, as my brother, Jesus, and as the One Who inspires and leads me into Truth, the Holy Spirit.
These Truths about the Trinitarian Godhead I have learned as an adult, especially as I have continued to seek the Truth as taught by the Roman Catholic Church.
With a foundation of Love and learning Who God is, in my life, I consider Heaven. I suppose my first thoughts of death were at a funeral of a dear cousin, who died of cancer when I was a little girl. He always teased my sisters and I. He called us, Wiggles #1, Wiggles #2 and Wiggles #3. I was number 2.
Later, my Grandparents died, when I was a young adult. I don’t remember being upset really with any of these deaths, but had a trust, a faith in the idea of Heaven..that I would see them all again. Where did I get that trust, that faith? I don’t know. But the explanation given in our family history (the Bible) says that God gave me the faith.
When my Dad passed away, if was after a long, long time of suffering with Parkinson’s disease.photo © 2011 ekea7 | more info (via: Wylio)
His body had wasted away, he could not talk, and gradually was unable to eat or drink. My mother cared for him at home; in the home he had built himself (which is awesome, by the way.) We set his bed in the living room so he could see the mountain, which he had built. Yes, a mountain! And we set up the water hose to run the waterfall off the rocks, into the pond. That part was never actually finished, so we improvised.
The last few days, Dad was getting weaker. The Hospice people said it would not be long. I called my husband, Mike, to come from Kansas. My brother’s son, Daniel was there, too. My brother had passed away several years before, after suffering with Schizophrenia. The night came. Mom and Daniel said their last goodbyes. My sisters, who were not able to be there, called, and said their goodbyes, I told Dad the things that God put on my heart to say. Then early in the morning, I was sitting beside Dad, and noticed that he was breathing differently. I told Mom that I thought Dad would be dying very soon. She got up, went to find her glasses, but before she got there, Dad just stopped breathing. It was as if I could actually see his Spirit just leave..just float away…and he was not really there any more. Mom returned, and she was totally at peace. We called the sisters, the funeral home, woke the kids up, and we just waited, and then assisted getting the body out of the house. It was no longer Dad. And we were all at peace..that Peace that passes all understanding. It was beautiful.
The next morning, at about the same time Dad had died the previous morning, I awoke, sort of. It was as if I was in a dream-like state, but I was awake at the same time. I “saw” nothing but a very bright light that was everywhere, like a luminous cloud. I “heard” nothing, but my Dad was “speaking” to me, somehow, in a manner I can not describe. I “knew” what was being said, but could not tell you what it was. It lasted for about 30 minutes, in “real” time. And I remember it like it happened yesterday. I don’t know if my Dad was in Heaven or not. I guess I am not even sure if it WAS my Dad or not. But I know that something took place that was not ordinary. It was very special.
When the Apostles were scared and ran away at the Crucifixion, and then were doubtful when Jesus appeared before them, I can relate to their experiences. Even though they had seen, and heard and touched Jesus when He was with them, they still weren’t sure about all this..it was so unreal. We have had 2000 some years to hear those stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and it is still hard to really believe them. HOWEVER, they did come to recognize and learn and remember and pass on to us all of these experiences….so that we might believe.
Our parents, and friends of faith, have passed them on to us, including the stories about dying, and having life eternal, with Jesus, and with our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. I am not sure I have always done a great job of story telling. I hope that showing love, hugging, kissing, playing and reading stories, celebrating birthday parties and Christmas, Easter, and all the rest will mean as much in the future as those first songs of faith mean to me today. I hope they will remember my husband and I, their grandparents and other faith-filled friends. I hope they connect the two families….this one on earth, and the extended family in Heaven. I hope they understand that death does NOT separate us. We are closer than ever.
One more touch of Heaven. I have had three miscarriages in 1981, 1994 and 1995. Through working in the pro-life movement, I learned about the healing nature of naming a baby that you may have aborted, and decided that it would probably be healing for me to name MY babies, as well. The names would not come, no matter how hard I tried. Several years ago, as my husband and I walked up the sidewalk for Mass, on an Easter Sunday, the names were just there.photo © 2007 Carlos Goulão | more info (via: Wylio)
The eldest in Edward Joseph (named for my husbands middle name and his Confirmation name), the second is Micah Patrice ( and I’m not sure it this is a boy or a girl), and the last is Lucia Marie (named for the little girl who saw Mary at Fatima, and for Mary, the Mother of God). So, I have nine children!!! My three in Heaven are special in my heart. I think of them often. I have them added in my family Rosary I made for myself.
A while after they were named, I had another “dream”. I saw the eldest, Edward Joseph, peering out towards me. I could see him as he was very close to me..only a few feet away. He looked much like my son Patrick did, at about age 8 or nine. He was wearing white, and the whole episode reminded me of the scripture that says something about “looking through a glass darkly…but someday we will be face to face.” This “dream” could have happened because I had seen the movie, “Tilly”, based upon the book by Frank Perretti. It could have happened because it was just a dream. But I KNOW it was my son. And I know that some day I WILL see him face to face. But for now, he is in the care of my Heavenly Father, with his brother and sister, with my father, my husband’s parents, grandparents…all with Jesus and Mary and the whole company of Angels and Saints!
And the people all say…AMEN!