Heaven

Anglo-Saxon: heofon

In Holy Writ the term heaven is used to designate the dwelling-place of God, His angels, and saints, as well as their happiness, and is called the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5), the kingdom of God (Mark 9), the kingdom of Christ (Luke 22), the house of the Father (John 14), the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrew 12), the holy place (Hebrew 9), paradise (2 Corinthians 12), life everlasting (Matthew 19), the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25), crown of life (James 1), crown of justice (2 Timothy 4), crown of glory (1 Peter 5), eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9). The existence of heaven is denied by atheists, materialists, pantheists, and those rationalists who deny the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. Reason proves that God in His infinite wisdom and justice must give virtue its due reward. Experience teaches that the just do not receive an adequate reward here, since evil often triumphs over good. Hence there must be an eternal recompense hereafter for the soul which is immortal. The supernatural beatitude of heaven fundamentally consists in the intuitive vision of God, i.e., the seeing of God face to face and in experiencing perfect happiness through this beatific vision. Texts of Holy Writ, such as, “I will be thy reward exceeding great,” “I shall be satisfied when Thy glory ap- peareth,” prove that God, the Supreme Author of creation, will be the object of the creature’s eternal delight. Finally, such texts as: “In My Father’s house there are many mansions” (John 14), “Each shall receive his own reward according to his own toil” (1 Corinthians 3), indicate that there are various degrees of happiness among the blessed.