How can I know if my loved one is in heaven?
FREE Catholic Classes
How do we know our loved ones are in heaven? For those of us grieving the loss of a loved one, there may be no greater question, and no greater comfort than knowing our beloved is with God. Is it possible to know for sure?
We look forward to the fulfillment of the promise made to us.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Anyone who makes it into heaven is a saint. That's what the word means. The Church recognizes thousands of individuals who are certain to be saints. All of the saints lived meritorious lives, and died in a state of grace and friendship with God. In many cases, these individuals devoted their entire lives to Jesus Christ. Following investigation by the Church, and based on evidence, we can reliably say some people are saints. But what about the rest of us ordinary folks?
Ordinary people can and certainly do go to heaven. While the Church recognizes thousands of saints, it is not the Church who decides who is a saint. God alone is responsible for particular judgement. Particular judgement occurs at the moment of death, and is when we are judged to go one place or another. It is virtually certain there are millions to billions more saints than recognized by the Church.
For ordinary folks who die as followers of God, but who are still imperfect in some ways, there is Purgatory. Purgatory is a place of purification, open to those without mortal sin, but whose venial sin must still be cleansed. These souls will eventually reach heaven, but nobody knows how long this process takes. We know the prayers of the faithful on Earth help them, and this is why we celebrate All Souls Day.
As for telling if our loved one is in heaven, the best we can do is ask for a sign. What form that sign might take is subject to wide interpretation. Unfortunately, there is no process whereby we can ask the question and receive a definitive answer.
There are people who claim they can answer the question, but you should avoid these people. Mediums and others who dabble in the occult and claim to channel spirits are charlatans at best. At worst, you are toying with demonic possession. Consulting and engaging the services of such people is a dangerous activity that could place your soul in mortal peril. The same goes for people who use Ouija boards and other methods of communicating with the deceased. People who have made this error should immediately speak to their priest. It's understandable that people might be tempted to do this, but it is also dangerous.
It is disappointing to hear there is no list one can check, or form a person can submit to get an answer, but heaven is not a bureaucracy. Instead, we are called to have faith that God is just, merciful and loving.
If our loved one sought to be Good, then we can reasonably expect that God's mercy and grace will have worked in this person's life to deliver them from evil. We serve these loved ones by offering prayers in their name, in the hope that our devotion hastens their departure from Purgatory.
We never forget or fully heal from the loss of a loved one, because our wounds are more than physical. All we can do is have faith and pray. The Holy Spirit comforts those of us who grieve, if we allow it. It's okay to grieve. It's okay to be sad, to visit the resting place, and to want to hold on to the memories of those who have departed. And while life must go on, we will never forget. We may cry and be mournful, this is allowed, but we must also allow room for faith and hope. We must trust in God's mercy and grace.
The greatest memorial we can provide is our prayers, and to lead good lives. We do this so that someday when we close our eyes for the last time in this realm, we can open them in the next to see our beloved smiling at us in heaven. At that moment, all sorrow will be banished forever. Let us have faith in God, who keeps His Holy word. Let us have faith in Love.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always ... continue reading
El rector del Santuario de Lourdes (Francia), P. Andre Cabes, acaba de inaugurar el "Ano Bernardita" o ano jubilar de Santa Bernardette ... continue reading
Joseph was a humble man. There was not an ounce of false bravado or machismo in this servant of God. Named after the great Patriarch who ... continue reading
San Alfredo fue rey de Wessex, uno de los siete reinos principales que precedieron al reino de Inglaterra. Se hizo celebre por defender su ... continue reading
Las Santas Tais y Pelagia fueron dos mujeres pecadoras que se arrepintieron, encontraron la misericordia de Dios y se volvieron penitentes. ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Victoria parliament considers ending daily Our Father
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - Day 16
- St. Enda: Saint of the Day for Thursday, March 21, 2019
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 21, 2019
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 22nd, 2019 HD Video
- Colombian diocese has served 1 million meals to Venezuelan migrants
- morning prayer
- Saint Elizabeth
- St. Augustine
- Saint Anne
- st agnes
- saint monica
- saint catherine
- Saint Lucy
- saint clare
- saint rose
- st rose of lima
- immaculate conception
- st augustine
- st monica
- saint of the day
- St. Elizabeth
- john bosco
- st catherine
- st. cecilia
- st. paul
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 21st, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, March 18th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.