I had emailed you awhile back concerning the acceptability of certain "sexual acts" with religion. Well, I am really sorry to bother you again. However, I am troubled once again. I was discussing some aspects of religion with one of my close friends last night (specifically, the subject of entering Heaven after death). My friend told me that someone told him that only saints are accepted into Heaven, and everyone else may make it to A "Heaven", but its more of a "lesser" Heaven. In other words, the saints are accepted into Heaven with God, and others are accepted into another Heaven (but are not DIRECTLY with God) (I am assuming it is kind of like a purgatory). First of all, I have never heard of this. So, I was wondering if there was any truth to it and if you can clear it up for me.
Also, there is something else that has been bothering me. I know that we are human, and that we are not perfect. But are we expected to strive to be perfect? I just really get the feeling that perfection is expected of us. Maybe it has alot to do with my disorder (obesseive compulsive disorder, that I mentioned in my last letter); but then again, maybe not. Well, when I think of "near perfection" I think of priests, brothers, and sisters; but I know that not all people are meant to be priests, brothers, or sisters. However, does God want us to all have the desire to be one of these vocations? Is it possible to make it to Heaven and not be a priest, brother, or sister? How do you know if God wants you to be a priest, brother, or sister?
Again, I am EXTREMELY sorry to bother you with all of this. I am just going through a very rough time with life right now. Everything is becoming so confusing to me. I do not know what is right or wrong, or what is expected of us anymore. I know the 10 commandments, and I know that we are expected to follow them (and going against them would result in commiting a sin). But it seems like everyday, I am finding out that something else is a sin. I am starting to feel like everything is sinful. I am starting to feel that the only way I can make it to Heaven would be if I would isolate myself from the world. I do not understand. I am extremely unhappy with life at this point. Please help me,
Scared and Troubled
Only one thing is necessary to get to heaven - to love God. I think you would be helped greatly by reading St. Therese of Lisieux, especially her Autobiography ("Story of a Soul"). Her Little Way and her confidence in God's love, he really does love us like the most tender father. It is true there are a lot of ways we can stumble, but God is always there to pick us up if we just let him. When Jesus said for us to be perfect (Mt 5:48), he placed it in the context of forgiving others as God forgives us. Now I grant that is hard, probably the hardest part about following Jesus, but we always need to pray for that grace -forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Do you see what I mean?
Fr. Phil Bloom
P.S. Don't feel sorry to write. It may take time to get back - and I might even need a reminder - sometime my system is a little disorganized, but I want you to know you are my daughter. Also - there is no "lesser heaven," only heaven and hell. The souls in purgatory are on their way to heaven.