Welcome, John XXIII and John Paul II, to Heaven!
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Francis William Bessler
April 27th, 2014
I used to believe that I had to be a “member” of an organization or community of saints to be a saint myself; but I have long ago given up such a belief because, upon analysis, it makes no sense to me - mostly because of the scenario of “Infinity.” Infinity translates as “endless” - and endless does not allow one place to be more “Heavenly” than another. If every place is equally worthy because it contains the same Infinity - or Divinity - then every place must be Heaven. It is only a matter of being aware that all is “Divine” and acting accordingly. That, for me, is what “Heaven” is all about; and since “Heaven” is the “abode” of the “saints,” then everyone is a saint as well. It is only a matter of knowing it, being aware of it, and loving who and what you are that amounts to “Sainthood.”
Saint Francis (of Laramie, Wyoming)
Today is a very special day, however, for those who believe that sainthood is a matter of belonging to a community - or nation of believers. Today, two who believed that “membership” is required for sainthood are being “canonized” as being dignified members of a “community of Heaven.” I think it is wonderful that Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are being canonized as saints because, as you know, I am a very committed believer in sainthood, but I wonder why these two and so many others have not realized that sainthood cannot be a “membership” oriented matter.
I am not alone in my thinking either. Am I? I am reminded of the 4th Century when a debate raged within Christian communities about that very thing. Some believed that Jesus taught that Heaven is an “awareness” (of worth) thing; and others taught that Jesus taught that Heaven is a “membership” thing. As it happened, the very sincere believers in Heaven as a community won that debate - if you want to call what happened “winning.”
Who knows, though? I may well have been among the “winners” of the debate that raged so long ago. I may have been one who considered “organization” to be absolutely essential for any community - let alone a community that prided itself on being all about getting to Heaven. I may have been one to have been outraged that some “others” tried to teach otherwise; and I might have been one of the eventual order of bishops who chose to “outlaw” all thinking of Heaven as being “awareness” oriented simply because such an approach would have left no room for “law and order” - and “authority.” Yes, I might have been one of the ignorant (and arrogant) had I lived in the 4th Century - and before that century - or even since that century.
And then again, I might have been one of the “losers” who were overridden and commanded to teach organization over awareness under the penalty of derision for failure to comply - or even some form of execution for challenging the status quo. Who knows? I might have been one of those stoned to death - or fired to death at a stake - or whatever.
In truth, I do not know about where I might have been in some distant past - and what views I might have held - but I do know where I stand today - about this matter called “Heaven.” I know that if I had been born on some island on Jupiter and never heard of having to “belong” to a community to know my worth, I would have been just as worthy as those huddled in some community on Earth offering obedience to some “authority” in order to “know worth.” It is in knowing that worth cannot be tied to any planet or nation or community that I “know” that sainthood cannot be dependent upon any “law and order” to achieve sainthood.
Am I crazy? Why not come to my little tent on Jupiter and find out for yourself? Keep in mind, though, that I might not stay on Jupiter. I might even leap on to Mars or Saturn or Neptune or even some far out distant planet of another universe. Infinity has no boundaries. Does it? No matter where I might go, though, I will be in “Heaven” because no matter where I might go, God, being Infinity Itself, will be there - and that is what Heaven is all about for me.
Again, I think it is wonderful that two of my fellow saints - Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II - are in Heaven. They deserve to be there - and “here” - just like everyone ever born deserves the same. None of us deserves to be “excluded” from Heaven when Heaven is really everywhere. I wonder when people on Earth will ever realize that, though - and stop looking for Heaven someplace else.
I am reminded of a passage in one of my favorite gospels - THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE - a gospel, by the way, that was “outlawed” by the “winners” of the 4th Century who insisted that law and order must be the rule of the day lest chaos ensue and a Heaven of Law and Order never be realized.
Of course, the story can be pure fiction - as any story about Jesus might be because all gospels were written by men subject to telling tales as if they were truth - but it seems right to me. That is why I believe it. When the Jesus of that tale commented about “the good news of the kingdom” in the 1st verse of the few verses that remain in THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE, he commented as such: “Be careful that no one leads you astray by saying, ‘Look here’ or ‘Look there.’ The child of humanity is within you. Follow that. Those who seek it will find it. Go and preach the good news of the kingdom. Do not lay down any rules other than that which I have given you, and do not establish law, as the lawgiver did, or you will be bound by it.” When he said this, he left them.
As it turned out, that idea was demonized as “heretical” - and that is pretty much the way it has been since then. I wonder what Pope John XXIII or Pope John Paul II thought about it - or did they even know about it? It was outlawed long before they reigned as popes and they may have never been given a chance to review it; or they may have known about it and agreed with the many bishops of the 4th Century that decided it could not stand. Who knows?
In any case, Welcome to Heaven - John XXIII and John Paul II! You will find life here rather amazing and fulfilling! I am so glad you finally made it!
St. Francis (of Laramie, Wyoming)