A Framework for Faith/Spiritual Vision
It may be that you will have passed on to heaven before you really appreciate its full value.
- Ciaran of Clonmacnoise, Rule (Irish, 7th century)
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above...
- Colossians 3.1, 2
Is there a difference between hoping for heaven and seeking it? Is there a difference between occasionally thinking about heaven and setting your mind there?
Well, obviously. OK then. Which are we supposed to be doing? How would you counsel a young person to "seek the things that are above"? What would you say to convince him or her that this was worth the effort?
And how can you tell when your mind is set "on things that are above" rather than on all your daily mundane activities and diversions? Does it make any difference?
One of the things I most appreciate about Celtic Christians like Ciaran is that they seem to have had this wonderful ability to live in the then and there, here and now. As was said of Brigid, they could practice the life of heaven on earth, even in the midst of the most ordinary, everyday situations.
Because they sought heaven actively and consistently! They meditated long and deeply on the various Scriptures which give us glimpses of the heavenly glory. They prayed and sang the psalms along with the saints and angels in whose presence they understood themselves to exist. They encouraged one another with visions of Christ on His throne and the "Promised Land of the Saints."
They hungered for heaven, and, more than that, they fed on heaven every day. Their earthly existence, with all its deprivation, sacrifice, and suffering, was fuller, richer, and more filled with joy and thankgiving than our stuff-laden, comfortable existence will ever supply. They lived in heaven, even while they walked the earth.
And they changed their world.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Searchability - It occurs to me that I've never explained the search function at our website, www.ailbe.org. If you type a Scripture text or topic (Spiritual Vision, say) in the search box at the top right, you'll get a Google search of everything on our website containing your interest. Click the title to the right of the brackets in the item your considering, and the whole article will come up. We have over 2,000 archived articles on the site, and they can be helpful for devotional life, preparing to teach, or just searching our views on a particular topic.
ReVision - Can Christians learn anything from non-Christians?