No Drama in Heaven…

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” (1 Cor 13:4-6)

One day while at prayer, the following phrase popped into my mind: “There is no drama in heaven.” Such a cryptic and unexpected thought, I felt, was worth pondering.

Life is full of drama. There is a natural drama to life that flows from the struggle to survive and to get along with the other members of fallen humanity. But increasingly there is a more unnatural drama that has sin and vice as its source and sustenance. I think we have all met people who are addicted to the latter form of drama. It almost seems epidemic. The culture that idolizes entertainment and obsesses over celebrity certainly fosters and feeds this phenomenon. The more drama there is, the more frenzy and chaos abound.

“There is no drama in heaven.” What meaning can be taken from this simple sentence? Certainly, in heaven, the natural drama of the struggle to survive and get along with others is eliminated. All our needs are met in super-abundance, and the perfect unity of love between saints, angels, and the Blessed Trinity precludes all dis-harmony, as the scripture passage above so eloquently describes.

Needless to say all the frenzy and chaos of a world addicted to the drama of sin is completely obliterated in heaven—probably even from the memory of those who have participated in it, those holy souls having been purged of it before passing through the heavenly gates. The drama that we sometimes think makes life on earth “interesting”, is replaced by the surpassing joy and constant wonder of heaven. I have heard the wonder of heaven described as eternally feeling as if we have only just arrived.

“There is no drama in heaven.” What can this mean to us now? And what can it mean to those striving to live the life of penance? As I have reflected on this simple message, I have come to understand that is above all a call to detachment. Certainly all the Baptized are called to detachment from sin, from the glamor of evil, from the frenzy and chaos that are the fruits of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, and pride. All the Baptized are called to reject the unnatural drama of the culture of death. But are we not also called to go further? To detach ourselves from the natural drama of life by surrendering our every moment, our every relationship to God?

St. Francis is a perfect example of the life of detachment. In his relationships he subjected himself to everyone as to Christ. Certainly if one is in a position of authority one cannot allow the students to run the classroom, for example. But one can serve their ultimate good as if one were serving Christ. We can try to let go of our worries and place all our trust in God’s loving providence. This is not a call to inaction, but a call to do what God puts in front of us each day without worrying about the results.

Perhaps we might consider living heaven on earth by detaching from the drama in which we are daily immersed. For example, watching TV is not sinful, but perhaps we are annoyed when we are interrupted when watching our favorite show. That’s drama. In the spirit of detachment, we would accept the interruption as God’s holy will for us in that moment. Perhaps we are drawn into conversation that is dramatic in nature; someone else’s life issue is discussed in far too much detail. We should consider how to detach from that conversation, or at least from full participation in it if we can’t get away from it entirely.

These are just examples, and certainly as sinful sojourners in a fallen world avoiding drama altogether would be difficult to accomplish perfectly. However, spending, for example what is left of Lent trying to detach from drama, could be a useful exercise in the spiritual life of a penitent. Certainly the saints were strong promoters of detachment.

“In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility.” –St. John of the Cross

“Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them.” –St. Philip Neri

Lord Jesus, grant us a spirit of detachment. Outside of grace it is impossible for us, but by your grace and mercy all things are possible. Holy saints and angels, pray for us.


From my other blog: https://pelianitoblog.wordpress.com:

Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ.

“My beloved child, do you see that those who are awaiting the coming of the returning King must discipline themselves and reject all that does not lead to Christ? Train yourselves, my children. Do not let the passing fads of the world distract you from your mission. This is the time to focus your attention on what the Lord is asking. The enemy will try to distract you in many ways, for he knows the best way to tempt you. That is why you must fast and pray. While food strengthens the body, fasting strengthens the spirit. Little one, pray to discern the call of God in the present moment. Then fulfill your duty with joy and faithfulness. In this way you will please God and advance the Kingdom.”

Jesus, in your mercy keep me from the distractions that interfere with the heavenly plan. Help me to live only and always in your will. Show me each day the fast I should keep so that all you desire may be accomplished in me, through the intercession of our Mother. Amen.

 

 

 

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5 responses

  1. Wow, I just this moment arrived home from a run and walk around the city (and the email of this post came into my inbox just as I logged on to my computer). On my way back I passed by a group of women screaming at each other, and a police officer had just arrived. I was struck by how it seems, increasingly each day, the world is becoming more and more overcome by hatred, anger, division, and discord of all stripes. “Drama,” in a word. We must pray, pray, pray, and remind ourselves that this is nothing but the devils’ final fury, for he knows his time is incredibly short.

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    • Yes, his time is incredibly short! Praise God! Today I came across something quoted from the apparitions of Our Lady of Quito a.k.a Our Lady of Good Success, which I had plucked from this article:

      “For, in the end, Our Lady of Quito’s prophecies do not end with spiritual catastrophe. In a later apparition she foretold that ‘In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Most Holy Son will destine for that restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and much confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions when everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This, then, will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration.’” (my emphasis)

      Certainly confirmed by what Charlie Johnston says and what we see happening before our eyes. Maranatha!

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  2. What a soothing balm this writing was for me this morning. Thank you for these words of wisdom and direction. Just spent the weekend in, probably, unrealistic expectations from other people and was sorely disappointed all around. I got caught up in their drama and am really paying the price. Your words lead me immediately back to Christ and to His desires for my heart. Now for some quiet time to recharge and redirect my mind and heart.

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  3. I want to completely trust in Jesus, but keep seeing the areas where I am not. This post on detachment really spoke volume to me today. I was spending my hour before the Blessed Sacrament and believe this word was for me, Detachment (I even texted my sister and told her ‘my word’). Then tonight, just about an hour ago, I received my first try at it. It involved standing up for traditional marriage with a family member. I unfortunately didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but I thanked our Lord for the opportunity. It allowed me to see where I need to detach and trust completely in him. Family is hard to detach, but I know He’ll walk me through it.

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    • Yes, Mary Anne, that is a recurring theme in my life. Right now I seem to be making a series of mistakes, big and small. I feel I am being called to “let it go”, to detach from “results”. The sooner I learn the lesson the better off I’ll be! Mother Mary teach me, help me!

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