The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Thursday, May 04, 2017

about animals

It seems to me that animals have a dignity and goodness and beauty to them which points at every moment to their creator.
Everything he makes he makes well.
What he makes has an eternal quality.
Certainly as near as scientists can presently conceive, the energy and matter in the universe cannot be destroyed, only converted from one form to another.
Scientists have also rather presumptively suggested that matter and energy cannot be created when what they mean is we cannot create them.
If even scientists postulate that matter and energy have an eternal quality, I am suggesting that creatures and the spirits of creatures may also have such a quality.
I mean when God makes something, it is intrinsically touched with a quality of the eternal.
Why else do I think animals go to heaven?
Well I want them to.
The Christian understanding of heaven comprises in part a notion that God made it for us to rejoice in.
He actually cares about what we want.
He understands our wants.
Remember he designed us.
If you've ever found animals a source of rejoicing, harbingers of joy, bringers of healing, a testimony to God's goodness and love for you here on earth, as I have, then we might conceive together that God in his graciousness will grant that the animals will be with us in heaven too.
Then there's the notion that heaven is much closer than we think.
Jesus, whom Christians say is God, is reported by his followers to have said: "The kingdom of heaven does not admit of observation. For look. The kingdom of heaven is in your midst,"
This saying is endlessly beautiful.
In some mystical sense, it implies that heaven is here now already if we know how to look for it.
It hints perhaps that where Jesus is, heaven is, even in our hearts.
The writer CS Lewis suggested that once you believe in Jesus you are in a strange way already partly in heaven.
He added an odd speculation that the grace of belief in Jesus works retrospectively back in time as well as forward into your future, and that the more you believe in Jesus, the more you will realise that in spite of your worst sufferings you have always somehow been in heaven.
Jesus' saying to the apostles that the kingdom of heaven is in your midst (or "at hand" or "upon you") might on these lines imply that heaven is somehow this place on earth, transformed by his presence.
Heaven might be simply a version of where we are now but made perfect.
Or something very close to this world, but just with all the evils we now see, absolutely defeated.
In that case the animals in their perfected spiritual souls might be a perfectly natural part of a perfect heaven.
What else is Jesus supposed to have said about animals?
There was a line: "Behold the sparrows in the market place. You can get five for a penny. Yet not one of them is unknown to the Father."
He also said something like: "You see the birds flying south for the winter. Not one of them drops from the sky without your Father in heaven knowing."
If God knows every sparrow on earth, there might just be a reason for it.
I think there is.


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