Choose a topic from Vol 3:


Reason proves God's existence
Primitive monotheism
Mystery of God's inner nature
Personality of God
Providence of God and the problem of evil


Immortal destiny of man
Can earth give true happiness?
Do human souls evolve?
Is transmigration possible?
Animal souls
Freedom of will
Free will and faith


Religion and God
The duty of prayer
The mysteries of religion
Can we believe in miracles?

The Religion of the Bible

Historical character of the Gospels
Canonical Books of the Bible
Original Manuscripts
Copyists' errors
Truth of the Bible
New Testament "contradictions"

The Christian Religion

Christianity alone true
Not the product of religious experience
Compared with Buddhism, Confucianism, Mahometanism, Bahaism, etc.,
Rejected by modern Jews
The demand for miracles
The necessity of faith
Difficulties not doubts
Proofs available
Dispositions of unbelievers

A Definite Christian Faith

One religion not as good as another
Changing one's religion
Catholic convictions and zeal
Religious controversy
The curse of bigotry
Towards a solution

The Problem of Reunion

Efforts at the reunion of the Churches
The Church of England as a "Bridge-Church"
Anglicans and the Greek Orthodox Church
The "Old Catholics" of Holland
Reunion Conferences
Catholic Unity
The Papacy as reunion center
Protestant hostility to Catholicism
The demands of charity

The Truth of Catholicism

Necessity of the Church
The true Church
Catholic claim absolute
A clerical hierarchy
Papal Supremacy
Temporal Power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Catholic attitude to converts
Indefectible Apostolicity
Necessity of becoming a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic belief in the Bible
Bible-reading and private interpretation
Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"
Guidance of the Church necessary

The Dogmas of the Catholic Church

Dogmatic certainty
Credal statements
Faith and reason
The voice of science
Fate of rationalists
The dogma of the Trinity
Creation and evolution
The existence of angels
Evil spirits or devils
Man's eternal destiny
The fact of sin
Nature and work of Christ
Mary, the mother of God
Grace and salvation
The sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
Man's death and judgment
Resurrection of the body
End of the World

Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church

Catholic intolerance
The Spanish Inquisition
Prohibition of Books
Liberty of worship
Forbidden Socieities
Church attendance
The New Psychology
Deterministic philosophy
Marriage Legislation
Birth Prevention
Monastic Life
Convent Life
Legal defense of murderers
Laywers and divorce proceedings
Judges in Divorce
Professional secrecy

The Church in Her Worship

Why build churches?
Glamor of ritual
The "Lord's Prayer"
Pagan derivations
Liturgical symbolism
Use of Latin
Intercession of Mary and the Saints

The Church and Social Welfare

The Church and Education
The Social Problem
Social Duty of the Church
Catholicism and Capitalism


965. Some people say that we shall all have the same degree of happiness in heaven. Is that true?

No. God will render to everyone according to his works. One who loves God ardently, and tries daily to please Him, bearing countless trials and crosses bravely because they are God's holy will, and very seldom offending God through human frailty will have a much higher degree of happiness in heaven than one who has led a sinful life, and only at the end perhaps turns to God and barely secures the salvation of his soul. Our Lord said, "In My Father's house there are many mansions," thus hinting at various degrees of grace and glory and happiness in heaven. It is quite certain that not all will be equal there. Those who have lived better lives here on earth will be nearer and dearer to God in heaven, and correspondingly happier for all eternity.

966. If we expiate our sins in purgatory, will not that make us equal in heaven?

No. Purgatory is proportioned to the evil we have done, heaven to the positive good we have accomplished. It is quite possible for a soul to have more purgatory and be higher in heaven whilst another has less purgatory yet will be lower in heaven.Thus a man who lived sixty years could easily have done more good and more evil than a young man who died in the twenties. I say that this is possible. Allowance must always be made for God's special graces, and the intensity of virtues and vices which can easily offset the differences in years.

967. The brain-power of babies is not developed, and that of the aged failing, when they die. Will they remain like that, or will all get the same level of intelligence in heaven?

Before answering this question, we must carefully distinguish between the brain and the intellect of man. The brain is a material bodily organ which the soul of man uses, just as any other organ, for the purpose of his composite life in this world. Now the soul is a spiritual being endowed with a spiritual intellectual faculty, just as God, or the angels, have the spiritual power of intelligence. And just as the soul can exist without the body, so its intelligence can be operative without the brain, once it is released from the restrictions of union with the body. The material brain, therefore, belongs to the body; intelligence belongs to the soul. Now we may proceed further. When the soul is released from the body by death, it no longer derives its knowledge from sense-date, nor does it require the brain as a material organ of thought. It receives its knowledge, either by God infusing necessary ideas, or by the immediate intuition of God's own essential and infinite perfection and truth. In purgatory, it will receive infused ideas according to its relative necessities. But in heaven, all the souls of the blessed will have the same intuitive vision of the full truth in God. Yet whilst the same range of truth will be known to every intelligent soul, capacity to appreciate that truth and to rejoice in it will vary according to merit and virtue during one's life of probation on earth. All this applies to separated souls of whatever age, prior to the resurrection of the body, to which the brain as a material organ belongs. At the resurrection, it is the common opinion of Catholic theologians that the bodies of all, whether of children or of the aged, will rise in a state of perfect development, yet wholly changed and spiritualized in character, even though essentially the same bodies as those in which we served God during life. If we can speak of brain-power in such risen bodies, all will attain the same level of development.

968. If so, do all attain the same level immediately after death?

The attaining of an equally developed material brain as a bodily organ cannot occur immediately after death, but will occur at the general resurrection of men's bodies. The attaining of an equal level of intelligence as far as the purely intellectual faculty of the soul is concerned does not occur during the stage of purification in purgatory, but occurs only when the soul is admitted to the very Vision of God in heaven, a Vision which is of course possible before the general resurrection of our bodies. But even in heaven, whilst the object known is the same for all, so that all intelligences are on the same level from that point of view, capacity to appreciate that object will vary according to one's meritorious service of God in this life. The extent of one's knowledge and the intensity of one's knowledge are two different things. Two men can equally have read ten books. But one's powers of comprehension and appreciation might be much greater than the other's. In heaven, this difference in power of penetration will depend, not upon grades of knowledge in this life which do not necessarily make men better men, but upon goodness of life and the degree of virtue and love of God attained.

969. Is heaven God alone, or will we be happy in the society of friends and relatives also?

Essentially, heaven is God alone, for He is the bond of union with all other beings. But contact with God does not exclude contact with our fellow creatures. Such relations with others will be richer and closer in God. We shall possess our loved ones as never on earth. Earthly companions will be recognized, loved and enjoyed. Grace does not destroy nature. It perfects nature. And since we are social beings by nature, there will be a social happiness in the Communion of Saints in heaven. But God gives us all this in giving us Himself. Seek God, and attain your eternal union with Him, and all the rest will be added. Of course, in all the mutual relationships of created beings in heaven, material interests will be entirely spiritualized.

970. If a mother and daughter die, and go to heaven, will they know one another there, or will they be unable to see one another?

They will undoubtedly know one another and be happy in each other's company forever, even as both are happy in God's eternal company. We believe in the Communion of Saints, and that means in the common union of Saints. All who die in God's love and friendship will be united in heaven, and will appreciate that union. And the noble love of a mother and child, which is but a reflection of God's love, will have its own special joy in eternity.

971. Will men and women still fall in love with each other in heaven, or will there be no sex attraction there?

There will be no sex attraction in heaven, and men and women will certainly not fall in love with each other in any earthly sense of the word. All in heaven will love each other for purely spiritual reasons according to their union with and in God. Sex attraction will therefore cease with this earthly life. Our Lord Himself simply said, "In the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married, but shall be as the angels of God in heaven." Matthew XXII., 30. We know that God has implanted in bodily human nature two strong attractions or appetites, the appetite for food, and the sex attraction. But it is obvious that both are chiefly concerned with life in this world. The hunger appetite is to induce people to eat, or in other words, it is to keep the individual alive. Sex attraction is intended for the purpose of keeping the human race alive. Now just as the necessity of taking food is confined to this earthly existence, so that the individual who attains heaven and lives by the principles of a purely spiritual life will no longer experience hunger for material food, so also the sex attraction which is ordained to the propagation of the human race on earth will cease with the conditions of earthly life. After all, sex attraction is but a means to an end, and is based upon a difference, not of soul, but of material formation. When the end in view is abrogated, so also will be abrogated the means to that end. And above all we must note that the body itself will not remain subject to the conditions of its present material nature. St. Paul tells us that we bury a natural body, but that it will rise a spiritual body; that such as are heavenly things, so will be those who are heavenly; that we shall not be wholly changed, but that we shall certainly be changed, the mortal putting on immortality.

972. If there will be sex appeal, will it he as the Moslems understand it in the sensual sense?

There will be no sex attraction at all in heaven. There will be a sex differentiation insofar as both sexes will be represented according to the conditions of a heavenly and spiritualized destiny. But the difference between the sexes will not lead to individual attractions as a means to happiness any more than the difference between human beings and angels. Each will find such happiness in God, that no additional happiness will be sought save in God as represented in others. We will find admiration in God's work, and in all God's ways. There will be no love in heaven apart from one's love of God. Any love there for individuals considered apart from God is inconceivable. In other words there will be no love of others for their own sakes, but all will be for God's sake. The Moslem idea of love in the sensual sense is absurd. Love is an inclination or attraction awakened within us by something that appeals to us. If a thing appeals to our merely bodily nature, the love will be a blind sensitive longing. If man's intelligence enters into it, we shall have love as a sentiment or passion, our sensitive nature reacting under the intelligent perception of what we think to be good. But there is a still higher love possible to man, not in virtue of his sensitive bodily attractions only, nor in virtue of his composite nature consisting of both body and soul. Even naturally there can be a love almost entirely of the soul, consisting in the will to benefit others independently of sentimental or sensual love. And this is the highest and noblest love of all. When man is perfected in heaven, all lower and imperfect forms of love will be eliminated, and that will mean the elimination of love or sex appeal in the sensual sense of the word.

973. When husbands and wives meet in heaven, will they still love each other?

I would say that any truly spiritual and supernatural element in their earthly love will persist, but that the elements of the purely natural passion of love will not persist.

974. Will second marriages be recognized in heaven?

Marriage is a contract until death separates the parties concerned. It is not a contract which is operative for all eternity, though of course it will remain forever true that, if a man was married twice during his earthly life, he was married twice. But in heaven conditions will be entirely different from those we know on earth, and there will be no matrimonial bonds there. Thus in St. Matthew XXII., 28, we read that the Sadducees tried to show that the resurrection will be absurd on the score that if a woman had several husbands successively on earth, all would claim her simultaneously in the resurrection. But our Lord told them that they were mistaken precisely because they took it for granted that the same condition of things must prevail after the resurrection. "You err," He said. "For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven." The state of marriage is ordained essentially to the propagation of the human race on earth. And as there will be no further propagation of human beings in heaven, so there also the state of marriage will not exist.

975. As there is no pain in heaven, what do we mean when we say that our Lord goes through the bitter agony of His passion again when we offend Him?

Firstly we mean that our Lord still takes the same view of sin as He did when He endured such fearful sufferings in order to expiate it. It is true that, in His glorified and risen humanity, He can no longer experience the actual sufferings of His passion and death. But he who commits sin does a thing which warranted such sufferings, and which would cause that same dreadful experience again had not our Lord already endured it. Jesus can still point to His passion and say to us, "See what I think of sin." And the man who would deliberately sin with that before his eyes manifests the will at least to inflict that agony and passion upon Christ once more. But besides the fact that sin would inflict such actual suffering upon Christ now, if it could, and besides the fact that it means an evil of which He takes the same view now as He did then, sin accomplishes much present injury to Christ. It tarnishes His glory, defiles the members of His body which is the Church, robs the crucifixion of its fruits, makes His sufferings unprofitable, and His blood of no avail. Where it finds faith, it sows unbelief; purity it defiles; humility it turns to pride; trust to despair, and love to hate. If He could appear to Saul, even after His resurrection and ascension, and complain, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" much more could He say to every Christian who sins, "Why betrayest thou Me?" All these, and other considerations into which I cannot enter now, justify St. Paul's words that those who sin crucify again to themselves the Son of God, making Him a mockery. Elementary devotion to the passion and sufferings of Christ inspires the resolution to avoid that which was the cause of those sufferings, sin. And if one does not, every sin he commits increases his responsibility for the passion of Christ, and is a present dishonoring of Christ.

976. To my mind, the whole notion of seeking eternal happiness is based on selfishness.

Does unselfishness demand that we seek eternal misery? Was man made for that? If you say that we should be indifferent as to whether we attain happiness or misery, I reply that equally we could not have been made for that. Such a notion is an obvious violation of reason. As a matter of fact, the Christian hope for eternal happiness is not really selfish. God could not have created us save in order that we might attain perfect happiness, and we owe it to God Himself to try to attain the destiny for which He created us, and thus fulfill His purpose. And the really Christian motive is to work for God's glory, knowing that our own happiness will result, rather than for our own happiness, knowing that God's glory will result. We thus love God more than self, and that rules out selfishness. If anything is to be regarded as a by-product, it is not God's glory, but our happiness. We do will our own good because we are obliged by God to do so. But we first love God in Himself, and then self in God; or rather, if you wish, God even in self.



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