Question: I have tried to ask my question before...and a few kind people have answered, but I was hoping for a few religious or theologically trained persons to have some input and so far, none...Not that I don't appreciate the responses I have received...I just was hoping for an "expert." Is it true that all souls will be consecrated souls in heaven and that some souls are chosen to live that reality already on earth? (The kind of life we will all live in heaven?) Or will there still be a difference in heaven between those who are consecrated and those who aren't in heaven? Secondly, do religious vows leave an indelible mark on the soul? It can be a little frustrating to see that people who are being argumentative or unkind on the forums get responses much more quickly than this little, polite question of mine.
Thanks and God bless you!
would like to premise my remarks by saying that I am not a theologian
and my words are not absolute. There will be other more qualified
people here on CAF who can better answer your questions. But I think I
may have some answers to offer.
Your first two questions: Is
it true that all souls will be consecrated souls in heaven and that
some souls are chosen to live that reality already on earth?
fact of the matter is that we were all consecrated to God the day we
were baptized. The sacrament of baptism is necessary for entrance to
heaven. Souls who make it to heaven are consecrated by virtue of their
baptism here on earth. Religious life or the Consecrated life is a
state of life where the consecration effected in baptism is lived out
intensely and more intimately. In other words, those called to
religious life are called to manifest the life of full intimacy and
union with Christ even when still on earth. I like to borrow Elizabeth
of the Trinity's words of "living heaven on earth." This is the main
purpose of religious life- to make visible here on earth the life we are
promised in heaven. This is what the Church calls "eschatological
reality", It is a life characterized by the public profession of vows,
in a stable life approved and recognized by the Church. It is a
particular calling, a vocation, not given to all Just like St. Paul's
analogy of different members of the one body, religious life is one form
or "style" of living out one's baptismal consecration. In the final
judgment, we will be judged according to how faithful we had been to our
baptismal and religious consecration while still in the flesh.
Secondly, do religious vows leave an indelible mark on the soul?
I do not believe so. The "indelible mark" you are referring to pertain
to the Sacraments- more specifically to the Sacraments of Baptism,
Confirmation and Holy Orders. Religious Vows are not part of the
sacraments. They are Evangelical Counsels. They are voluntarily
embraced for the sake of the Kingdom. We have to remember that
religious life is not part of the sacramental life of the Church
(comprising of the seven sacraments.) On the other hand it is
"sacramental" because it points to Christ and when lived to the full,
unites us perfectly with Christ.
I hope I answered some, if not all, of your questions.