Book Club Gold: Is Heaven our Destiny?–The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life
[Read slowly and with intention. Meditate on the words being written for you. Then, read it again.]
“Our destiny is an enigma, which reason alone cannot explain; but faith elevates our thoughts, strengthens our courage, and inflames our hope.
It tells us: have no fear; you are not wandering along some lost and uncertain path. Beyond our mortal years, there is a new life, of which the present one is only a representation and an image. On this earth, we are travelers; but, beyond the stars and all space, our heritage and native land is found up-above.
Pilgrims and exiles, we now live under tents; in the world to come, the Lord will build us permanent dwelling-places.
The fool, who has no understanding of our destiny and our hopes, accuses the Creator of injustice, pointing out signs of imperfection in the designs of divine Wisdom. He is like a savage or an inhabitant of a remote island who one day goes into one of our building yards. There he sees stones scattered about, materials lying on top of one another, workmen carving metals and cutting away marble; and in the spectacle presented by this activity, he sees only a picture of confusion and ruin. He does not know that the apparent disorder will, one day, engender an order of admirable perfection.
In the same way, we err in our judgments on the conduct of God toward men; we see nothing more than a pointless harshness in the mystery of suffering; we bear the burden of life without courage or dignity, because we do not know how to raise our eyes and our hopes above the limited sights and perspectives of the present life, and because we do not reflect upon their destiny and end.
Our destiny is the possession of God and eternal life: to live in that abode from which all evil is absent and where we enjoy a multitude and abundance of every good a place that is commonly called Heaven” -Fr. Charles Arminjon.
An excerpt from The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life by Fr. Charles Arminjon.
Father Charles Arminjon was a highly esteemed preacher in France. His book consists of nine conferences that he preached at the Chambery Cathedral. He delivered these conferences with the express purpose of combatting “the fatal error and great plague of our century,” which he described as “the absence of the sense of the supernatural, and the profound neglect of the great truths of the future life.”
“Reading this book was one of the greatest graces of my life. I read it at the window of my study, and the impression I received from it is too sweet for me to express… All the great truths of religion, the mysteries of eternity, plunged my soul into a happiness not of this earth… I experienced already what God reserves for those who love Him (not with the eye of man, but with that of the heart), and seeing that the eternal rewards had no proportion to the light sacrifices of life, I wanted to love, to love Jesus with passion, and to give Him a thousand proofs of love while I still could” –St. Therese of Lisieux.