Knockin' on heaven's door - Catholic Courier

Knockin’ on heaven’s door

I always knew that one day my sons would be smarter than me.

I just never thought that day would come so soon!

In early May, Joey (6) and John (5) asked me questions about heaven. The conversation started with John, who one night began crying as I readied him for bed. He said that he didn’t want to go to heaven to be with Jesus — as if it were going to happen right then!

I realized his concern about the afterlife was a result of being old enough to understand Holy Week and Easter. Less than two weeks earlier, I had explained to both boys that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so one day we could go to heaven to be with him. What was a joyful thought for me apparently unsettled John. So I told him that he’d likely be an old man before he went to heaven, and that calmed his fears. But just in case, I revisited the subject with both boys.

And they had quite a few questions — you know, the kind you can’t answer!

"Can I bring my blanket to heaven?" "Can I bring my bed to heaven?" "Who will live in our house when we go to heaven?" "Can I hug God when I get there?"

Their queries made me realize that we Christians don’t know all the ins and outs of the afterlife. So I told the boys I didn’t have all the answers, but that I know heaven is perfect and what we love and need would be there.

I don’t know if that was the best explanation, but it helped turn their fear of the unknown into excitement about our lives to come.

How do you explain such faith concepts to your children?

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