Why I Don't Need "Proof" of Heaven
There is an interest in life-after-death experiences, even among the faithful and clergy. Movies and books such as Proof of Heaven and Heaven is for Real are hugely successful. I don't think anything is wrong with these stories, especially as they encourage so many to ponder the after-life and increase a desire for heaven. However, I don't really need them and frankly, I don't need any proof.
I feel that these stories, while inspiring, create more questions for me than answers. Scripture says, ”What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him," (1Corinithians 2:9) so why do these individuals attempt to describe the indescribable? Isn't that where trust comes in?
The Church recalls stories of Saints such as St. John Bosco and St. Faustina, who have been shown visions of hell (so that they might understand the need for repentance), so why then are some (former) skeptics, atheists and others shown heaven? The answer, I'm sure, is so they might hope!
However, the message can be misinterpreted to be, "It's all wonderful and no matter what choices you have made, you will end up there (along with all those you love). Don't get me wrong, I believe in a merciful God who may grant this, but this seems a bit contrary to most of Christian teaching. We choose heaven or hell by our choices on earth and ultimately by our love (or lack of it) for God and others. These wonderful stories of heaven can inspire, but I also fear they can create an attitude of presumption.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church encourages us to contemplate the last four things: heaven, hell, death and judgement (CCC 1020-1050), not just heaven.
The last reason I do not need proof, is because I have Christ's promise in John 14:2, "In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" Although heaven is the goal, it is not the goal because of the place it is. Heaven is my goal, because I love the Lord and never want to be separated from him! That is all I need to know. God bless!