Are dogs in Heaven Father Stefan Chimes in

St Paul writes, ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope…”

We read in catechism, “Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory.” (2637) In some sense Heaven is a return to the garden of Eden. A paradise where Adam and Eve walked in the Garden in peace. We read in Isaiah, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Is 11:6-9)

The Story of Saint Francis and brother wolf gives us a glimpse of what the new creation will look like. Francis made friends with the wolf who was threatening the town. We read in the flower of St Francis, “The wolf lived two more years, and it went from door to door for food. It hurt no one, and no one hurt it. The people fed it courteously and it is a striking fact that not a single dog ever braked at it. Then the wolf grew old and died. And the people were sorry, because it went through the town, its peaceful kindness and patience reminded them of the virtue and holiness of St Francis.”

At mass we bring up the bread and wine for communion. The bread and wine are images of creation. The priest says about the wine, “Fruit of the earth it will become our spiritual drink.” After the priest says the prayers of consecration the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. In this the Eucharist is a sign of the new creation. At the second coming of Jesus all of creation will pulsate with the Holy Spirit. The catechism says about the Eucharist, “The Eucharist the pledge of glory to come. There is no surer pledge or clearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth…than the Eucharist.”

Raniero Cantalamessa in his book, ‘The Mystery of the Transfiguration’ writes, “Even in antiquity there were some who saw not only our own final transformation but also that of the whole cosmos prefigured in the Transfiguration. On Tabor, says Anastasius of Sinai, Christ ‘transfigured all of creation into his image and recreated it in an even more sublime way.”

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