In 1862, The Vienne Post said that there was a book that “deserves a distinguished place in all Christian libraries, and should be on the table of every pious family that faithfully preserves and celebrates the memory of its deceased members.”
The book they were talking about is In Heaven We’ll Meet Again: The Saints and Scripture on our Heavenly Reunion, by Father François René Blot, S.J.
If you have lost a loved one, you may be worried that you wont’ recognize them in Heaven. Or maybe you’re afraid that Heaven will be boring. But, as Father Blot points out, Heaven is not boring. It’s not filled with days upon days of singing ‘Hallelujah’ while dressed in white robes. It is so much more – full of beauty, peace, and union with our loved ones, the saints, and our Lord.
The book was originally written in the 1800s, an exchange of letters between a mother who had just lost her child and a priest who was comforting her with the truth about Heaven and the world to come. But death is not the end! The saints and the Bible point to an eternity filled with perfected friendships, reunion with those who have gone before us, and the beauty of being free from all sins and regrets.
Here are six saint quotes that point to the beauty of the world to come and remind us that death is not the end, but just the beginning!
1. Don’t be angry at yourself for grieving
“Why condemn the mourning of holy mortals? Did not Jesus Himself weep for Lazarus, whom He loved? Did He not deign to commiserate our unhappiness so far as to shed tears over one that was dead? Did He not, humbling Himself to the level of human infirmity, weep for him whom He was about to raise to life by means of His divine nature? It is for this, O my brother, that your tears are pious and holy; for a similar affection causes them to flow; and if you weep for a worthy and chaste companion, it is not that you have doubts of the resurrection, but that your love has its regrets and its desires.” – St. Paulinus, bishop of Nola
2. Remember that in Heaven, you’ll know and recognize those who have gone before you
“Do you wish to behold him whom death has snatched from you? Lead, then, the same life as he in the path of virtue, and you will soon enjoy that blessed sight. But you would wish to see him even here. Ah! Who prevents you? It is both easy and allowable, if you are virtuous; for the hope of future goods is clearer than the possession itself.”
– St. John Chrysostom
3. God is mourning with you
“The more we are united to God, the fuller we are of love. Now, if God cannot know anguish Himself, He can and does commiserate ours; for to pity the wretched and to pardon the guilty is a thing peculiar to Him.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
4. Your loved ones in Heaven cannot wait for you to share in their joy
” Since we live here below as strangers and travelers, let us sigh for the day that will restore us to home, and give us back our place in the kingdom of Heaven. Who, being in exile, would not long to return to his country? Who, hastening home by sea, would not desire a favorable breeze to waft him the sooner to the embraces of his dear ones? Heaven is our home, and the patriarchs, our ancestors, are there before us. Many who are dear to us are expecting us; a considerable number of relations, brothers, children, are anxiously waiting for our arrival. They are certain now of their own eternal happiness and are full of solicitude for our salvation. To see, to embrace them – what joy both for them and us!” St. Cyprian
5. We look forward to a Heaven filled with perfect friendship with the Saints
“With whom shall we be in Heaven With God, who is our Father; with Jesus Christ, who is our Brother; with the Blessed Virgin, who is our Mother; with the angels and saints, who are our friends. A king, in his last moments, said with deep regret, ‘Must I then quit my kingdom to go into a country where no one is known to me?’ He had never thought of the happiness of Heaven. We must make friends there henceforth, in order that we may meet them after death; and then we shall not be afraid, like that king, of not knowing anyone in the other world.” – St. Ambrose
6. There is no shame in missing the ones you love
“We could be tempted to wish that all good friends might wait to die on the same day. Those who have no affection would bury the whole human race with dry eyes and light hearts, such men are unworthy to live. Our sensibility to friendship costs us much, but those who possess it would be ashamed to be without it – they would rather suffer than be devoid of feeling.” – Francois Fenelon, archbishop of Cambrai
In 1862, The Vienne Post said that Father Blot’s book “deserves a distinguished place in all Christian libraries, and should be on the table of every pious family that faithfully preserves and celebrates the memory of its deceased members.”
If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, or are struggling with grief after a death, then Fr. François René Blot’s book can be a great source of help and hope.