A few years back I was watching the Saturday afternoon matinee-I don’t know if you all remember that program on KSTW Seattle. If you don’t, it was a program in which they showed some low quality movie each week on Saturday from 2-4:00 p.m. On this particular day they were showing “What Dreams May Come,” starring Robin Williams. It’s the story of some guy whose kids die and his wife gets real depressed and has to go to a mental hospital. The story is told through flashbacks so it’s tough to keep things straight, but the basic premise is that the guy himself dies and goes to “heaven,” and meets all these people he had known in life and they talk etc. Anyway, the reason I mention it is that “heaven” in the film is some place that is contingent on your own perception and keeps switching up as the guy wanders around, and the final climax is the guy and his wife being reincarnated so that they can fall in love again; to say the least it’s theologically incorrect.
I was watching it with some buddies who were also of a churchly bent so we had a field day skewering the movie. As time has passed though I have come to realize that more people than I thought believe something similar to the films portrayal. The realization came back to me the other night as I listened to one of my sappy country songs on my way back from Seattle. The artist was singing about getting his angel wings and riding on drops of rain, both of which are no-go’s in Heaven. Now before you go and think I’m just being a party pooper think about this: when you have the option of looking at Love Himself for all eternity or goofing around, what do you do? You see, God has something special planned for us and He laid out that plan with His Son.
God has given us a preview of coming attractions in the celebration of the Mass. That’s right; we get to enter Heaven each week when we come to Mass and we truly look upon the face of God when we receive the Eucharist. I told this to bunch of 2nd graders once and one kid exclaimed, “That’s boring!” Well at least he was being honest. It’s only boring if you don’t know what’s going on, so if you agree with the kid it might be time for a little study at home. God has great things planned for us, now we just have to start following His lead so He can give them to us. Prayers Always, Fr Joseph Altenhofen