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CC in brief
of Time in the Afterlife
sanctifying the Sunday at home, I read in a sermon recently that stated:
“Time is a blessing which we enjoy only
in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in
this true that there is no time in heaven or in hell?
is time in heaven and in hell.
that there are bodies which move, there is time. In fact, time is the measure
of the motion of a body. When a body moves, there is a “before” and an “after”
of time, with the movement continuing between this beginning and its ending. By
contrast, angels are not, properly speaking, in time because they do not have
hold that it will be possible for the blessed to move their bodies in heaven. We
hold that they will be able to smile, to sing, and to move from place-to-place.
In fact, they will have the gift of agility in their glorified bodies. This will
make their movement effortless and extremely fast. We reject the idea that the
bodies of the blessed will be frozen in perpetual immobility. Because the
blessed will move their bodies, there will a “before” and an “after” to these
movements and there will be time in heaven.
we hold that it will be possible, e.g., for Our Lord and the Blessed
Mother to turn their heads and to smile upon the saints.
of all such movements, there will certainly be time in heaven.
The limbo of the babies is a part of hell (but is not a part of the hell of the
damned). We hold that limbo is a place of natural happiness. We hold that the
resurrection of the bodies at the end of the world will include the bodies of
those in limbo. We hold that those persons in limbo will be able to move their
those in limbo will stroll in beautiful surroundings. Perhaps they will sing
or talk together. Any such activities (which are part of living in natural
happiness) will involve their bodies and will require movement and, thus, time.
the hell of the damned
would seem that the damned in hell will not be able to do any activities which
will give them relief or enjoyment. So, in that regard, they might be fixed in
immoveable pain and misery.
there are some bodily activities that might occur in hell. Perhaps the damned
will torture each other, or scream at each other, or shout curses and words of
hatred at each other.
is there time in heaven and hell?
we hold that there is unending time in heaven, in the limbo of the babies, and
in the hell of the damned.
is there eternity?
fact, one could ask whether there is any eternity in hell. Loosely
speaking, never-ending time is sometimes called eternity. Since the
time in hell is literally unending, we could loosely call it “eternal” in this
we talk about an unpleasant experience being eternal. For example, if the
dentist was drilling my tooth for a long time, we might say, as a manner of
expression, that “I sat in the dentist’s chair for an eternity.”
strictly speaking, it seems that eternity belongs most properly
only to heaven, and not to hell. Whereas time is similar to a point moving
along a line, and for which there is a “before” and an “after”, by contrast,
eternity is an ever-present “now” which is like a point that does not move.
properly speaking, God is in eternity. He never moves in any way. He thinks
only one thought and has only one act of love without end.
blessed in heaven are also, properly speaking, in eternity not as
they smile at Our Lord (or whatever other acts they do which involve their
bodies), but rather as they are immersed in the greatest happiness of heaven,
which is the Beatific Vision.
this vision, their minds will see God in His essence, without any movement. As
the blessed see God, their minds will not go from “point to point” in the
manner in which we think on this earth. Their minds will see a single vision
of God’s essence without movement or weariness, without end.
in summary, God, the angels, and the saints are in eternity, properly speaking
in the Beatific Vision. The blessed in heaven are also in unending time, along
with all humans in limbo and in hell.