Good evening Father,
Could you please tell me how to live a christian life in order to achieve a high level of glory in Heaven? HWhat should I do to be closer to Jesus and to Our Lady in Heaven? How can I accumulate so much glory that I will get close to them in Heaven? I want to improve myself.
Thank you very much.
1. The degree of glory in Heaven will be proportionate to the degree of charity we have achieved on Earth. In the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, jesus recalls that the final judgement will be all about charity: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:35-37).
2. Now, in order to understand what Jesus said, we need to define what Charity is. Almsgiving, which is often identified with Charity, is just an expression of it.
3. Charity is God’s own way to love, and also the way all of those who have received this gift from God love. St. Paul states this when he affirms that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
4. Therefore, Charity has God as its object. It is a theological virtue precisely for this reason: because its purpose is to love God.
5. To love means to give. A problem immediately arises: what can we give to God, if everything we have, or can do, comes from Him?
6. We can give Himself to those who do not yet possess it. Here the love of God intersects with the love of the others, because the love of God generates the love of neighbor and the love of neighbor preserves the love of God. St. John clearly attests this when he says: “Whoever loves him who has begotten also loves whoever was begotten by him” (1 Jn 5,1). He also says: “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 Jn 4,19-21).
7. We show our love for God with actions of charity towards our neighbour, by making sure that he has everything he needs for God to dwell in him, and him in God. It is a kind of love that starts from the most material, corporeal needs, as St. James teaches: “If a brother or sister is without clothes and without daily food and one of you says to them: «Go in peace, warm up and fill yourselves», but don’t give them what is necessary for the body, what is it for? So too is faith: if it is not followed by works, it is dead in itself” (Jas 2,15-17).
8. It starts from the material needs, but it does not stop at them, because the greatest good to give others is God. For this reason, St. Thomas says that “the reason for loving our neighbor is God: in fact in our neighbor we must love his insertion into God: from which we deduce that the act with which we love God is the same as that with which we love our neighbor” (Summary of Theology , II-II, 25, 1). Therefore we love our neighbor with love of Charity only when we finally want to give him God. Otherwise it is a question of human love, surely good, but not yet of divine order. For this reason St. Thomas specifies: “The neighbor is loved with the love of Charity because God lives in him and because in him lives God. Consequently, it is clear that with the same habit of Charity we love God and neighbor. But if we loved our neighbor for ourselves and not for the love of God, our love would belong to another order: for example, natural or political love” (Quaest. disp. de caritate, a. 4).
9. I have shown you the way to go to increase the glory of Heaven. It is the way of God’s love, which in fact is concretized in love of neighbor, in Charity. Of that Charity which according to Sacred Scripture is magnanimous, benevolent, which is not envious, does not boast, does not swell with pride, does not lack respect, does not seek its own interest, does not get angry, does not take evil into account received, he does not enjoy injustice but rejoices in the truth. Indeed, he excuses everything, believes everything, hopes everything, endures everything” (cfr. 1 Cor 13,4-7). It is a beautiful itinerary. It is worthwhile to follow it in the best way.
With this wish, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.
Translated by Rossella Silvestri