Heaven is for real is the name of a movie we attended at a local theatre on Saturday. The story stems from a child, who at the tender age of four, has undergone emergency surgery to remove his appendix. During the ordeal, he claims to have visited heaven. Prior to the operation, as with many young children, he became quite ill, having, I believe a fever of 104 degrees, at one point.
After viewing the movie, many questions remain. Examining the facts, over and over, I recall it was said that he did not die. Can you go to heaven if you don't die? He was able to see and hear things while being operated on, and it was claimed that he was looking down on the surgeons as they tended him. This movie was based on the facts as "he" saw them.
Some of the things he said was that there were "animals" in heaven. That he saw his sister, who had been miscarried by his mom, whom she resembled. Of course, he had no prior knowledge of this fact. He claims to have observed his dad having a conversation with God, with pretty good accuracy. Unbeknown to his father.
Other details were revealed by this child such as: the age of people and the fact that no one there wore glasses. Certainly there were animals. Can animals, who don't have souls go to heaven?
He enters a church, with pews and as I noticed, it looked a lot like the church he attended with his family, having the same carpeting. Yet, the background of the front wall becomes for him sort of like a sky with angels, and the next thing you know is that he is escorted out with a robed young person, possibly Jesus.
I think I heard him say that Jesus had markers on his hands and feet, and we get the message that in heaven no one is going to hurt you.
One thing I can say is that heaven is REAL. Not because of this movie or anything anyone else has claimed to have seen. But, because Jesus tells us it is a real place, where someday many will live with Him after He comes to judge the living and the dead. This will be done as He separates the sheep from the goats, and joins the soul and body which will be reunited. It is a final destination. We are told that some will not be heaven bound. Yes, we will be changed.
There is a line between truth and fantasy. We somehow want to believe that there are souls in heaven right now, before the day of judgement. It is comforting somehow when we must bury our dead. But if that were the case, it would be in direct conflict with biblical teaching. We learn that in death the soul leaves the body for a time.
Heaven is present where the King is...and He is to be found in the Eucharist, (the Body and Blood of Christ) each and every time Liturgy is served and we receive Him through faith. And that's where you'll find heaven.
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