What is paradise?
Illustration by Dante’s Paradiso. Ovan ovani di Paolo When a family member or friend dies, we often grasp the question “where are they now?” As mortals, it is a matter of ultimate importance to each of us. Different cultural groups տարբեր Different people within them respond with many, often contradictory, answers to questions about life after death. For many, these questions stem from the idea of being rewarded for good (heaven) and punished for wickedness (hell), where earthly injustices are finally justified. However, these common roots do not guarantee a modern agreement on the nature or even the existence of hell. Pope Francis has raised Catholic eyebrows at some of his comments about heaven, recently telling a young boy that his dead father, an atheist, was with God in heaven because of his careful upbringing, “he had a good heart.” So what is the Christian idea of ”heaven”? Belief in What Happens at Death The earliest Christians believed that Jesus Christ, after His resurrection from the dead, would soon return to complete the preaching of the Kingdom of God. This Second Coming of Christ will put an end to the efforts of all mankind to be united in Christ, will lead to the final resurrection of all the dead, to the moral judgment. Christians believe that when Christ returns, the dead will be resurrected with restored bodies. They are waiting for the word, CC In the middle of the first century AD, Christians were concerned about the fate of their church members who had already died before this Second Coming. Some of the earliest documents of the Christian New Testament, the letters or letters written by the Apostle Paul, provide the answer. They explained that the dead were simply asleep. When Christ returned, the dead would also be resurrected with restored bodies; they would be judged by Christ. After that, they will be united with him forever. In the first centuries of Christianity, several theologians agreed. But there was a growing consensus that the spirits of the dead were kept in a state of anticipation until the end of the world, when they were to be reunited with their bodies in a more perfect form. The Promise of Eternal Life At the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman emperor Constantine legalized Christianity, and the number of Christians increased tremendously. Millions of people converted to the Empire, and the ancient Roman state religion was banned at the turn of the century. According to the Gospels, bishops and theologians emphasized that the promise of eternal life in heaven was open only to the baptized, that is, to those who had undergone a ritual immersion in water that cleansed the soul from sin and marked the entrance to the church. All others were doomed to eternal separation from God and to be punished for sin. In this new Christian empire, baptism was more common for infants. Some theologians challenged this practice because infants could not yet sin. But in the Christian West, the belief in “original sin,” the sin of Adam and Eve, prevailed when they disobeyed God’s command in the Garden of Eden. According to the teachings of the fourth century St. Augustine, in the fifth century AD, Western theologians believed that even infants were born through the sins of Adam Ա Eve, disrupting their spirit and will. But this doctrine raised a worrying question. What can be done about infants who died before baptism? At first, theologians taught that their souls go to Hell, but generally suffer very little. The idea for Limbo evolved from this idea. 13th-century ancestors and theologians taught that the souls of unbaptized infants or young children experienced natural happiness on the “edge” of hell, but as they were severely punished in hell, their presence in hell was denied. God Time of Judgment In ancient times, in medieval times of war or plague, Western Christians often interpreted social chaos as a sign of the end of the world. Centuries later, however, the Second Coming of Christ became a more distant event for most Christians, but it was still awaited but moved into an uncertain future. Instead, Christian theology focused more on the moment of individual death. Judgment, the assessment of each person’s moral condition, was postponed until the end of the world. Each person was first individually judged by Christ immediately after death (“Special” judgment), as he was at the Second Coming (Final or General Judgment). The rites of death, or “Last Rituals,” developed from the earlier rites of the sick repentant, most of whom had the opportunity to confess their sins to the priest, to be anointed, to receive the “last” sacrament before the last breath. Medieval Christians prayed for protection from sudden or unexpected death because they feared that baptism alone would not be enough to enter paradise without these Last Rituals. Another doctrine was developed. Some died still guilty of minor or venous sins, such as ordinary gossip, petty theft, or petty lies that did not completely exhaust the human soul from God’s grace. After death, these souls would first be “cleansed” of the remaining sin or sin in a state called purgatory. After this careful cleansing, which was usually a picture of fire, they would be clean enough to enter heaven. Paradise և Only those who were extraordinarily virtuous, such as the saints, or those who received the Last Rituals, could enter God’s presence. Images of Heaven In ancient times, in the first centuries of the Common Era, the Christian paradise had certain characteristics, both in Judaism and in the posthumous life of the virtuous with the Hellenistic religious thought. One of them was almost physical rest and relaxation, like after a desert trip, which was often accompanied by descriptions of banquets, fountains or rivers. In the Bible book of Revelation, which symbolizes the end of the world, the river that flows through God’s New Jerusalem was called the “river of water of life.” However, in the Gospel of uke ukas, the accursed were suffering from thirst. One was the image of light. The Romans and Jews considered the abode of the wicked to be a place of darkness and shadow, but the divine abode was filled with bright light. Paradise was also blamed for positive emotions. Peace, joy, love, and the joy of fulfillment that Christians call the “Blessed Vision” – the presence of God. Christ was glorified in the court of Heaven. Fra Angelico Visionaries և poets used a number of additional images. Flowering meadows, colors beyond description, fruit trees, company, conversation with family or others in white among the blessed. The bright angels stood behind the dazzling throne of God, praising with subtle melodies. The Protestant Reformation, which began in 1517, would break with the Roman Catholic Church in 16th-century Western Europe. Although both sides argued for the existence of Kavarana, that only God was determined to enter paradise, the existence and general nature of paradise was not an issue. Heaven as God’s Place Today, theologians offer differing views on the nature of the heavens. Anglican KS Lewis wrote that even the animals of one who are united to their masters can be accepted because the masters are in Christ through baptism. Together with Pope Pius IX in the nineteenth century, the Jesuit Carl Rahner taught that even non-Christians and unbelievers could still be saved through Christ if they lived by such values, an idea now found in Catholic Catholicism. The Catholic Church itself abandoned the idea of Limbo, leaving the fate of unbaptized infants to “the mercy of God.” However, one theme remains constant. Heaven is the presence of God in the company of people who have responded to God’s call in their lives. This article is republished from a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing the ideas of academic experts. Read more. How did the Catholic Church oppose birth control? How did Catholic women fight against the Vatican’s ban on contraception? How did celibacy become mandatory for priests? An ոան Մ. Pierce is a Roman Catholic member of the Anglo-Roman Catholic Council of America, a national ecumenical dialogue group sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States.