What Is a Heavenly Life?

The Lord's Divine Providence has as its end a heaven from the human race (Divine Providence 27)

The Lord created each of us because He wants us to be eternally happy as angels in heaven. On earth we can practice this by striving to live a heavenly life.

Every individual is created with a unique part to play in the Lord's Kingdom. Because of this, there will be great variety in the way each individual lives a heavenly life, but there will be some things that will be similar, general principles that can be applied to any life. For simplicity’s sake we'll just identify 4 principles: shunning evil in ourselves, being useful to others, living in community, and being grateful to the Lord.

Shunning evil in ourselves is the first principle we identify because the rest cannot happen in the presence of evil. A simple example. How useful is a plumber if they are dishonest? Their usefulness is dependent on their honesty. No one is perfect, except the Lord, but working to shun evil in our own lives will help us love others.

Being useful is the principal way we can love others. This doesn't just mean serving in soup kitchens or similar charitable works, though it can involve these. Being useful shows up most in our daily lives. Whatever you spend most of your day doing, be it your job or other aspects of your day-to-day life, that's how you most can serve others. An honest worker is not just useful to the community, in their work they can be an expression of love to their neighbor. Obviously not all jobs or endeavors are as useful as others, but we should not overthink this or be too self-critical. So long as we are shunning evil in our own lives and striving to be useful to others, we are loving the neighbor.

Love consists in willing what one has to be another's, and in feeling the other's delight as delight within oneself. That is what it is to love. (Divine Love and Wisdom 47)

And we are not meant to live alone. This should seem obvious, but you can't love the neighbor if you don't have neighbors. What is more, we can't be loved by our neighbors, if we live isolated. Further there is so much more that we each can do in service to others when we work together. It is easier to hold on to our values and remember what is right when we surround ourselves with those who share those values. So the Lord calls us to live in worshipful communities in service to the world around us.

Lastly a word about gratitude. A beautiful secret about shunning evil, serving others and living in community, is that the Lord fills such a life with joy. There is satisfaction in a job well done. There is delight in sharing the goodness and the Lord’s blessings with those around us. The Lord wants us to be happy. He wants us to feel that loving joy. And part of being grateful to the Lord is letting ourselves feel that joy. When we do, we may give praise and thanks to the source of the love that infills this life, our heavenly Father, the Lord God Jesus Christ.

Daily Inspiration

"Loving our neighbor as ourselves is simply not dealing dishonestly or unfairly with people, not harboring hatred or burning with revenge against them, not speaking ill of them or slandering them, not committing adultery with their spouses, and not doing anything of that nature to them."

Divine Providence 94