Heaven: The Answer to Life’s Deepest Longing

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

Heaven is the answer to life’s deepest longing.  One of the proofs of the existence of God and heaven using logic or reason is “The Argument from Desire” authored by C.S.  Lewis.  The argument basically demonstrates that for every natural desire here in this world there is a corresponding satisfaction to it.  There is no natural desire that is left hanging so to speak. With hunger there is food, with thirst there is water, with loneliness there is friendship, with hunger for truth there is knowledge.  But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.  Therefore, there must exist something beyond time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.  That something is what we call “God” or “life with God forever” or “heaven”.

Obviously, we don’t know what heaven will be like, any more than an unborn baby knows what’s the world like outside the womb.  Earth is like a gigantic mother’s womb.  Thus, when we die, we are born into the next world.  St. Paul’s description of heaven when he was given a vision by God was: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) We can only imagine something in our mind if we have seen it or we have previous knowledge of it beforehand.   If we know what a horse and bird is, we can imagine combining the two animals and come up with a winged horse named Pegasus.  When St. Paul saw heaven, he could not compare it with something here on earth, so he made that literally indescribable description.  It is unknown but precisely it is the essence of heaven: it is something exciting. The greatest joys in life are the pleasant surprises.

In one retreat I attended the priest asked, “What is heaven like?” He then answered his own question, “Think of the things you love most here in earth. Do you like playing basketball?  Heaven is playing basketball forever.  Do you like eating ice cream?  Heaven is eating ice cream forever with all of your favorite flavors.”  Make a list of all the things you really love and heaven is everything in that list and even much more in a new, surprising, and perfected form.  But heaven is more than these things, because things do not make us deeply happy, or the happiness they offer is limited.  And what does make us deeply happy?  Truth and love.  The most important thing about heaven is not “what” will be in heaven but “who”; not things but the people.

Even here on earth, relationships make us happier than things.  The two things that will never make us bored is knowing and loving.  Heaven is knowing and loving all the saints and angels there and most importantly knowing and loving an infinite God.  Those who search for the truth and do the most acts of love here in earth are the ones destined for heaven.  We call them saints.  All those who are in heaven are saints and that is why we are all invited to become saints because we are all invited to enter heaven our true home.  No one enters heaven unless he or she is a holy person or a saint.  “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44)

Heaven is the ultimate reason why God created us, so as to be with Him forever in that place.  Thus, we were designed to unable to find perfect, total happiness in this world, even if we possess the whole world.  “For what does it profit to gain the whole world and loses his soul?”  (Mk 8:36) Each single human heart is bigger than the whole world.  We long for the infinite:  infinite truth, infinite goodness (love), and infinite beauty, and we are not totally satisfied with anything less.  And only God is infinite truth, infinite goodness and infinite beauty.  As Dr. Peter Kreeft would say, “What makes heaven heavenly is not heaven, but God.”