Friday, March 23, 2007

Eternity with the Trinity. Boring?

At this point the question spontaneously arises, What will we do from this point on? Won't it be boring to spend all eternity with the same three Persons, even if they are divine? We could answer with another question: is it ever boring to enjoy feeling wonderful? People get bored of everything except "feeling wonderful," and eternity brings "infinite well-being." ...

... The best answer to the question "What will our life be like with the Trinity?" is found in a legend narrated by a modern German author. In a medieval monastery there were two monks, Rufus and Rufinus, who had a deep friendship. They spent all their free time trying to imagine and describe what eternal life would be like in the heavenly Jerusalem. Rufus was a builder, so he imagined it as a city with golden doors studded with precious stones; Rufinus was an organist, so he imagined it as full of heavenly melodies.

They ended up making a pact that whichever of them died first would return the following night to reassure the other that things were indeed as they had imagined. One word would do. If things were as they had imagined, he would simply say Taliter! ("Exactly!"). If things were different -- but this seemed completely impossible -- he would say, Aliter! ("Different!).

One night while he was playing the organ, Rufinus died of a heart attack. his friend stayed awake anxiously all night, but nothing. He kept vigil and fasted for weeks and months, but nothing. Finally on the anniversary of his death, Rufinus entered his friend's cell at night in a circle of light. Seeing that Rufinus was silent, Rufus -- sure of an affirmative answer -- asked his friend, "Taliter? That's right isn't it?" But his friend shook his head no. Desperate, Rufus cried out, "Aliter! Different?" Again his friend shook his friend no.

Finally his silent friend breathed forth only two words: "Totaliter aliter -- Completely different." Rufus understood in a flash that heaven was infinitely more than what they had imagined and could not be described. He also died shortly after because of his desire to go there. This story is a legend, but its content is nevertheless biblical:
No eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him.
(see 1 Corinthians 2:9)
Now that's something to think about, isn't it? Knowing that my vision is limited, nevertheless, I always have imagined Heaven as a divine library, which tells you where my passions lie (as if y'all didn't know that already).

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