Subject: Earth or Eternity
Author: Claire Towle
Date:   7/14/2017 10:18 pm 
Throughout our lives we are required to make changes and leave things behind. The same is true in our spiritual lives--in order to draw closer to God we must adapt, change, pick up good habits, and finally leave behind our vices. This is a constant struggle that will last us our entire lives and even time in Purgatory. This struggle is what we are called to as Christians.

In his, book The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis writes about a group of people who board a bus from Hell to get to Heaven. Once they get there they are forced to leave behind things that they are attached to. Throughout the book many people leave the outskirts of Heaven and return to Hell because they are unwilling to leave their attachments behind. C. S. Lewis claims that it is impossible to get to Heaven while having bits of Hell with them.

Even Jesus looked to the reward of Heaven as His motivation to keep going with what the Father had given Him to accomplish, as we see in Heb 12:1-3, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart."

So did Moses in Heb 11:24-26, "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; he chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. He considered the reproach of the Anointed greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the recompense."

The "recompense" is supposed to offer motivation for us to persevere when times get tough, and to out-shine everything that is only temporary. We are to truly judge the real value of the earthly and the eternal, and then choose to pursue what has far greater value. If we give up everything now, we will merit a rich inheritance then.

Consider Mt 19:27-30, "Then Peter said to him in reply, 'We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?' Jesus said to them, 'Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.'"

So, can we have it both ways? The only answer must be no; if we desire to love God and be with him, praising him for all eternity, then we should also have a desire to leave behind the things that keep us away from God. Loving God involves giving up one’s love of earthly things--other people, one’s pride, art, etc. Most people are afraid of giving up these things for God. When you look at your life, check to see if you have any attachment to things like food, drink, physical pleasure, or anything of the sort. Strive to abandon these and follow the God of Truth and Love by prayer, fasting, going to Mass, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, and picking up habits that draw you closer to God.
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 Topics Author  Date      
 Earth or Eternity    
Claire Towle 7/14/2017 10:18 pm 
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