Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
Image: “The eyes fixed upon the true and everlasting kingdom to which
we are striving to attain. It is a very great thing always to bear this in mind, especially at first.” (Life 15.11)
This post was published in November 2018, which was All Saints Day (1st Nov)
Mental prayer is “the road to Heaven” (Life 8.5) To celebrate All Saints Day and Day of the Dead, leads us to talk about Heaven for Saint Teresa. She proposes three ways of looking when initiating spiritual life: ”Let us fix our eyes in Christ” in “the centre” and “The eyes fixed upon the true and everlasting kingdom to which we are striving to attain. It is a very great thing always to bear this in mind, especially at first; later, we realize it so
clearly” (Life 15.11)
What is her idea of Heaven? We need a certain bit of imagination to understand her visual world, the one she sees with the soul eyes. It is based on the book of Revelation and the book of Tobit. She starts from the description written by Laredo and she reinterprets it her own way. Heaven is an enormous rectangle where the blessed are taken. A glorious Christ is inthe centre full of light and warmth.
The Father and the Holy Spirit above Him. The Virgin Mary next to them. The guests are situated in a hierarchical way. First, the different categories of angels; next, the founders of the main religious orders which have done a great deal of good to Church; finally, the multitude of the faithful. It is an eternal party full of peace and joy, where- unlike the biblical texts- nobody
eats. Those who live there are just satisfied with the presence of the risen Christ in flesh glorified.
When Jesus just risen allows Teresa to see what is happening inside, she sees that just a minority has reached Heaven without having been before in purgatory. Just a few have gone directly. Below Heaven, Purgatory can be found. The vision of cosmos is identical to the Judaism one where Heaven is above and below Earth, Hell is found. There is a space among them, the intermediate area. She eliminates the inhabitants of the intermediate area known in antiquity, angels of varied categories, etc. This area is also occupied by Christ just risen with spiritual body. Christ fills everything up. Angels are placed (by Teresa) in Heaven. She knows that its inhabitants are
waiting for trial at Christ´s second coming, although it seems that she sees people already risen in their spiritual bodies, easy to be recognized, her parents among them. It is an endless party.
Even more. Jerusalem´s Temple is an exact copy of Heaven, Mount Zion. She goes a step further, every person´s heart is a replica of Heaven. Every one of us are a small heaven. The other is not hell, he is another heaven as you are. Heaven is built in our heart by following Christ, and the future of humanity is to turn the World into Heaven.
It encourages and gives strength to life the fact of maintaining and increasing this future hope. Christ will be All in all. The victims of the world will achieve the justice hidden by the world. Let´s dream of Heaven and let´s set our eyes in the One who loved us up to the point of giving His life. Today, 28 th of March is Teresa´s birthday. She will celebrate it from Heaven. We dream of Heaven and we celebrate it with her.
Very happy birthday to Teresa of Jesus.