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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where on Earth is Heaven?



Last Sunday morning as I was making my way to Church for the Eucharistic Celebration, I came across a Buddhist sticker behind a car windscreen which read, “You can go to Heaven if you do good!”

These nine simple words flung me into a deep reflection.  Is that all there is to life?  Is life truly that simple as many people would think or like to believe?  Just doing good and heaven is there for you?  Is doing good the only thing that will get a person to heaven?  Are all religions the same then, since most teach us to do good?  Why would a Buddhist follower even believe in the existence of Heaven; not reincarnation?  For that matter, isn’t the thought of Heaven generally associated with Christianity?  Where is Heaven?  Can anyone dare claim that their place in Heaven is guaranteed?...


Humans are truly funny creatures, they believe what they want to believe, they start a new christian sect whenever they do not agree with certain teachings.  They twist and turn things to their own favor.  Most humans do not even know what they themselves believe in!  In the case of this Buddhist with the car sticker pronouncing Heaven...what do you call this...fusion Buddhism??


My reflective thoughts just came streaming through my mind.  Perhaps I too have been a little too pre-occupied with my new job...trying my best to settle in...to deliver a professional level of work...it’s been exactly two months...the opportunity cost? ...neglecting my favorite reflective times...times which I so cherished, spending with the Lord when I was on my Sabbatical for slightly more than a year.  Now I tend to speak to Him in a rush, rush mode.  Here I am now trying to get that balance back...that equilibrium to be able to share more of my thoughts in this little “SimplyQuiet” corner.

Perhaps that car sticker was God's simple way of reminding me...are my actions these days, my priorities...sending the message that if I do good, I will go to Heaven??  Whatever happened to my life and actions being for the glory of God?

Coming back to the sticker...for me, I know that my life is about being constantly in a loving relationship with God, with Jesus Christ...trusting...believing...carrying that hope...the same hope and obedience carried by the Prophets throughout the Old Testament and having this hope come to fulfillment in the New Testament.  Life is about surrendering our journey to Jesus and allowing Him to walk with us as our best companion.  Truly, the beautiful religion of Christianity...especially Catholic Christianity is such a beautiful gift from God...sharing His Real Presence with us in the transubstantiation of the Bread and Wine into His Body and Blood...

One cannot know Heaven if one does not know Jesus...and if one does not know Jesus, how can one know God...know Heaven?

If only many others are humble enough to open their hearts...to realize that it was God that chose them and created them...made them to love Him, to serve Him...if only people today take up the gift of Jesus Christ...if only we humans take time to know how Jesus gave up His Divinity to die the most humiliating of death on the Cross for us...that we may come back to Him with all our heart...with all our sinfulness.  Sadly, human beings have drifted away into many other world religions, new age beliefs, no beliefs, self beliefs, obsession with the gods of Facebook, Twitter, what have you...

At the end of the day, only if one knows Jesus and is willing to share this life with Him...allowing Him to enter...to purify us...to cleanse us.  Only when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior... Only when we bend our knees...get rid of our ego...recognise our own sinfulness...only then will Heaven beacons...only then will the land filled with milk and honey become a reality.  Only then will our Spirit become one with God.

You can go to Heaven if you do good?  Perhaps not entirely true, if you have no relationship with Jesus.  ...One of the privilege of Christianity is that you can live and experience the same Heaven on earth at this present moment if only you repent and open the door of your heart to let Jesus in.  You can go to Heaven only if you recognize Jesus around you...today and everyday...touching lives...making this world a little better...


The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven was given to Peter, the first Pope of the Catholic Church...therein within the universality of the Church and its Sacraments, coupled with the intercession of Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven and all the Holy Saints and Angels, with the power of the Holy Spirit lies the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Come one, come all...seek and you shall find...ask...and it shall be given to you...open the door and let Jesus in today....don’t just go through life like a car sticker...stuck on the surface with no depth on the knowledge of God behind a car.  Instead, allow Jesus to be the lens through which you view and live the world today...I am sure, in that way, you will begin to get a glimpse and experience the richness and peace of Heaven on earth now.

“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11, Douay Rheims)

6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings. Lloyd

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  2. Lloyd, many thanks for your encouragement. We are but mere instruments trying our best to reflect the Light of Christ to others. By His grace, should any little part of this Light is able to brighten up someone else's path, in any small way; offering a bit more hope in this journey through life, it would bring that much more joy into my heart. May God Bless You Even More!

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and your comments were appreciated. God's blessings. Lloyd

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  4. Some interfaith sharing.

    In Buddhism, there are 31 planes of existence. One of the higher plane is called Tusita Heaven. This is a place in another dimension. Only two planes are visible to human beings, the human realm and the animal realm. They exist on the same dimension.

    Outside of these 31 planes, there is Nirvana (Sanskrit) or Nibanna (Pali). The is no direct English translation of this word and neither is it easy to define. So to make it easy for layman to understand, Heaven is used as an equivalent concept. Yet, Nirvana is not a place like the Heaven. So you can't go there because it's not a place.

    As Buddhist becomes more advance in their practice, the concept of Nirvana become easier to understand. The Buddhist scriptures contains information on how to realise Nirvana. Nirvana is to be realised before death.

    I have tried to make it short, hopefully this will not confuse the readers.

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  5. I left out one important point.

    When a human being become enligthened, he/she realises Nirvana. All others will be reborn in the 31 planes of existence. 26 higher planes of blissful existence, the human plane followed by the last four planes of woeful existence (demons, ghosts, animal and hell).

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  6. CT,

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, we should have more respectful inter-religious dialogue for mutual understading and society enrichment.

    From my humble limited understanding, Buddhism proclaims that the world brings with it only suffering and the only way to transcend these suffering is to acknowledge the reality that there is no self. Self or ego in Buddhism is a mere illusion; all suffering comes from this fallacy. There is no eternal soul, no self and no God in Buddhist philosophy; Buddhism is simply not interested in the question of God.

    On the other hand, Christians believe that Heaven is the ultimate place where one finds peace, contentment, happiness and most importantly, union with God our Father.

    Christians are people of hope, the theological virtue by which we desire the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Following this, eternal life becomes our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Christian teaching of Heaven bears absolutely no resemblance to nirvana in Buddhist teaching; the latter being every person’s own path to enlightenment.

    The Catholic Church teaches that while suffering is not part of God's perfect plan, it does bring us closer to Christ and unite us more intimately with our Suffering Lord.

    Perhaps Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy, best sums this up when he contrasts the striking differences between Buddha and Jesus: “Buddha's clear answer to this question was: ‘I am a man, not a god’; Christ's clear answer was: ‘I am both Son of Man and Son of God.’ Buddha said, ‘Look not to me, look to my dharma [doctrine]’: Christ said, ‘Come unto me.’ Buddha said, ‘Be ye lamps unto yourselves’; Christ said, ‘I am the Light of the world.’”

    “For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

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