In Conversation With God Weekly Reflection
6th Week of Easter: How Hoping for Heaven Will Help Me Now

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal


2/82.1 We have been created for Heaven. Fostering hope.

During this forty-day period between Easter and the Ascension of Our Lord, the Church asks us to keep our eyes on Heaven, our final dwelling place, to which Our Lord is calling us. This invitation becomes more pressing as we approach the day on which Jesus went up to the right hand of his Father.

Our Lord had promised his disciples that in a little while he would be with them forever. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.[2127] Our Lord has kept his promise in this period when he stays close to his loved ones. But this presence will not end when he goes up with his glorious body to his Father, because, by his Passion and Death he has prepared for us a place in his Father’s house, where there are many mansions.[2128] I will come again, he tells them, and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.[2129]

The Apostles, who had been saddened by the prediction of Peter’s denials, are comforted by the hope of Heaven. The return to which Our Lord is referring includes his second coming at the end of the world,[2130] and the meeting with each soul when it leaves the body. Our death will be just that: a meeting with Christ, whom we have tried to serve throughout our lifetime. He will bring us to the fullness of glory, the meeting with his Heavenly Father, who is also our Father. There in Heaven, where we have a place prepared for us, Jesus awaits us, the same Jesus who is with us, who awaits us in prayer and with whom we have often been in intimate friendly conversation.

From our regular conversations with Our Lord is born the desire to be with him. Faith sweetens much of the bitterness of death. Our love for Jesus completely changes the meaning of that last moment which comes for everybody. Those in love try to see each other. People in love have eyes only for their love. That’s logical, isn’t it? The human heart feels this need. I would be lying if I denied my eagerness to contemplate the face of Jesus Christ. ‘Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram!’ I will seek your countenance, O Lord.[2131]

The thought of Heaven will help us to be detached from the things of this world and to overcome difficult situations. We make God very happy when we foster that theological virtue of hope, which is united with faith and love. There will be times when we need it a lot. At the time of temptation think of the love that awaits you in Heaven: foster the virtue of hope – this is not a lack of generosity.[2132] It will be likewise at moments of great sorrow and trial, and when we find it very hard to be faithful or persevering in our work or apostolate. The reward is a big one, and it is just around the corner, not long from now.

Meditating on Heaven, which is our destination, ought to spur us on to be more generous in our daily struggle, because hope of the reward comforts the soul unto doing good works.[2133]

The thought of that final meeting of love to which we are called will help us to be on our guard in big things and in little things, giving them the finishing touch, as if each one were to be the last before going to meet our Heavenly Father.

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[2128] cf John 14:2

[2129] John 14:3

[2130] cf 1 Cor 4:5; 11:26

[2131] St. J. Escrivá, quoted in Newsletter No.1 for the Cause of his beatification

[2132] ibid, The Way, 139

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.


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