A recent EWTN interview of a woman who was a victim of sex abuse by a priest when she was 15 years old ended with a testimony of her faith: "Our ultimate goal is to get to heaven . . . and my husband and I want to encourage our children to have the same goal when they are grown. . ."
Maybe she did not realize how her words affected her hearers. To me, hearing that statement from someone who has suffered unjustly but is unmoved in her faith confirms the importance of proclaiming the Faith as our Lord wants us to do. (Mt 28:19)
To those who have the same cherished value, the truth of those words sinks deeper into one's consciousness and enhances the resolve to live by it. She may not have so intended but her words may have led some people to be more serious in living by this guiding principle and thus come closer to God.
That our ultimate goal is to get to heaven is the most important goal in life is taught by the Lord and His Church. It truly makes sense. It is also the fundamental belief of most theistic religions. But it is also something that is easy to forget or to ignore.
There are other more attractive and more pressing pursuits that make people put this goal in the back burner, resulting in disastrous consequences. They include inordinate desire for power, wealth and sinful pleasure, even at the expense of and injury to other people. All these put at serious risk the final goal, and if one is unrepentant at life's end, the goal is not achieved.
Sin presents itself as attractive. But hell, the effect of grave sin unforgiven, is real, as heaven is real.
People would like to hide their sins precisely because sin is evil and shameful, especially if committed by those who are least expected to succumb to or even indulge in it. However, it is better for them that they be uncovered here and now. Hopefully, that revelation, with all its shame, can be the wake-up call for the guilty to come to their senses, repent and make atonement, receive appropriate punishment, and amend their lives. For there is always hope for all sinners as long as they live. God's mercy is boundless like the sea.
But one thing is sure -- all the details of our lives, either beautiful or sordid, will be revealed when we appear before the judgement seat of God, when there can no longer be appeals to God's mercy. He has given all the chances all throughout our lives. It is all a matter of our choice.
Our ultimate goal is to get to heaven. We should work to inculcate this fact on our loved ones and others. May we not lose sight of this goal -- that we are made for God and it is only He Who gives meaning to our lives. #
"And the world is passing, and its lust, but he that does the will of God abides for eternity." 1 John 2:17