(written in a self-reflective mode, with no claims on Catholic theology)
Have you felt that you’re fighting against death, with you slowly losing to it, an inch at the time?
According to Catholic beliefs, embracing life means embracing death. But this is for another topic. What would be discussed now is the form which the afterlife would take.
So question: Is there an afterlife? And if so, how would it be life?
Starting with the possibility that our desires and hopes in this life (not afterlife), it is possible to see how our perceptions shape our view of the afterlife. So let me start with one example: I hope that ‘life’ in the afterlife would be an easy one, because I’m feeling lazy. Upon reflection, I know that this wish is kinda childish and impetuous at best, with this notion not being fully led in the Spirit. ‘Life’ will probably be moderate in terms of difficulty, with the extremes in earthly variations being not too present.
Hence we come to what will be and will not be in the ‘afterlife’. Self-reflection in the right spirit, that that tries to rest in the Spirit, can be a source of self discovery.
So, is the belief or disbelief of an afterlife out of fear, impetuosity or something else?
The last point in self-discovery in this little write up is being open to being surprised and that certain mysteries. What God may do with things can be both surprising and delightful. The afterlife can be more wonderful and refreshing because of God!
So important thing: is there salvation—a belief that pertains to faith, while another is the desire for salvation.
Many Catholics may harbour the belief of the salvation, or at least entertain that notion and not disagree with it outright. To believe in salvation to Catholics is to belief that there is a heaven, where God has transfigured everyone into beings as He hath ordained. Dying and resurrection. What a pretty picture which is hard to believe in. This is a test of faith.
However humans are creatures which faith and desire may be distinct. While faith and desire can be separated, as with ‘heart’ and ‘mind’, both would depreciate and devolve without the other. Without faith, desire is short-lived at best; without desire, faith (and life) is lifeless.
Do you desire for your salvation? And the salvation of others, love ones in especial? It is hard, not impossible through the grace of God, to give hope without the desire and hope in the salvation. But in matters in life and death, ‘salvation’, ‘resurrection’ and ‘heaven’ are pivots in the consolation. That being said, the inner desire for salvation will show.
To desire for salvation is to take up beliefs and practices that seeks salvation for yourself, which slowly evolves into a desire for salvation of others, and lastly into a universal salvation. Along with this growth in desire, such faith has to increase as well. To seek the daily ‘dying’ to things that give not life, and the ‘rising’ into life-giving life. Sound quite cyclical.
With the desire for salvation, one holds your earthly desires, fears, worries and cares in one hand, and beliefs and sacraments for the kingdom of God in the other hand. Through the grace of God, both will become one as one grows and understands better.
May God bless you with greater faith, hope and desire for the kingdom of God.