How Large Is Your Heaven?
One of the marks of a Christian heart is the desire for inclusivity, the desire to ultimately be in communion with as many people as possible, to have everyone in heaven with you without demanding that they become just like you to get there. Sadly, we tend to harbor the opposite attitude, though we are slow to admit this.
We all like to think of ourselves as big-hearted, as having wide compassion, and as loving like Jesus did, but too much within both our attitudes and our actions belie this. Our own love, truth, and worship are often unconsciously predicated on making ourselves right by making others wrong.
Too often we have an unconscious mantra that says: I can only be good, if someone else is bad. I can only be right, if someone else is wrong. My dogma can only be true, if someone else's is false. My religion can only be right, if someone else's is wrong. My Eucharist can only be valid, if someone else's is invalid. And I can only be in heaven, if someone else is in hell.
We justify this attitude of separation and moral-religious superiority by appealing to various things: correct dogma, the need for justice, proper morality, right ecclesiology, and correct liturgical practice, among other things.
Our Christian scriptures and our subsequent tradition warn clearly that there are certain rights and wrongs and that certain attitudes and actions can exclude us from the God's Kingdom, heaven. But those same scriptures make it equally clear that God's salvific will is universal and that God's deep, constant, passionate longing is that everyone, absolutely everyone, regardless of their attitude and actions, be somehow brought into the house.
God, it seems, does not want to rest until everyone is home, eating at the same table.
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