World beyond the womb: before birth and after death
May 31, 2013 Leave a comment
For the fetus, the world is the womb–a dark place, but full of sounds with time counted by his mother’s heartbeat: rub-dub, rub-dub, rub-dub. And there are voices:
“Ah, that’s a voice of someone who encloses me, who bears me, who feeds me, who loves me. If she is sad, I am also sad. If she is happy, I am also happy. If she does not want me and wants to abort me, I can feel it, and I brace myself and hold on to whatever I can grasp for dear life.
“Ah, that’s the voice of someone who is distinct from she-who-is-my-world. But his voice soothes and strengthens me, because I can feel that she-who-is-my-world is also strengthened. When he touches my world, the sound is amplified by the waters, and each rhythmic pattern gives me joy.
“Someday, I may see them face-to-face. But I don’t know what seeing is; I only know that they exist because I hear them. To hear is to believe.
After 9 months, the fetus leaves the womb–the world that he ever knew. This leaving is a form of death, but a death that leads to a new life. The new world is far different from what he can ever imagine, for now he has acquired the use of his other sense: the sense of sight. If the baby can speak of the glorious sights, he will say:
“All things bright and beautiful. All creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful. The Lord God made them all.”
As Scripture says: “Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?” (Mt 21:16).
From the world of the womb, man is brought forth to the world of the earth, grass, sun, stars, clouds, water, and air. Man is still enclosed in a womb layered into spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, plasmasphere, heliosphere, and the spheres of stars and galaxies. Atheists may say that this is the only world that we have; but our Faith says that there is a world beyond–beyond the farthest stars visible to the most powerful telescopes, before the beginning of time. In that world, there is Someone-Who-Loves-Us, because He was revealed to us by His Voice, His Word, His Son Who became Flesh like one of us–Jesus Christ. Christ, God the Son, reveals God the Father. As Christ said to Philip:
“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.” (Jn 14:9-11)
It is difficult to imagine what would life be in the other world and what would our resurrected bodies look like. St. Paul describes it best:
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.43It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”
But this we know: in heaven we shall see God face-to-face in a beatific vision.
“I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. 23* The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,o for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.” (Rv 21:22-23)
And we shall be full of happiness, for what we believed from His Word is true: indeed, we have a Father in heaven–that other world–and so we have the courage to say as adopted sons, “Abba, Father!”