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30 Sep 2016 News Comments (5)

Shocking train wreck leaves trail of complete destruction, but only three deaths -- Was this St. Michael's intercession?

A New Jersey transit train crashed into the Hoboken station Thursday morning in the midst of rush hour - Luckily, today is St. Michael's feast day and by his in…

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09 Dec 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Cardinal Peter Turkson: "A great deal is at stake for every country"

During the ongoing COP-21 UN Climate Change Summit in Paris which ends on Friday, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Turkson, s…

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31 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (8)

Why did Christ visit hell after his death?

Full Question Why did Christ visit hell after his death? Answer He didn’t, if you mean by hell the place of the damned. There would have been no …

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16 Dec 2016 Exhortations Comments (2)

Pope Francis revealed that “There are far more disabled saints than you think"

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21 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (10)

Vatican announces commission to streamline marriage process

Vatican City, Sep 21, 2014 / 12:09 am .- Pope Francis will establish a commission to review the matrimonial process in canon law with the goal of simplifying th…

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04 Feb 2016 Articles Comments (12)

Should Catholics Go to Non-Denominational Bible Studies?

Every day, Catholics are invited by coworkers, neighbors, and even family members to "ecumenical" Bible studies. Should they go? Certainly all of us would benef…

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19 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Christ is our only hope – Syrian Christians pray for miracles amid Islamists' carnage

Syrian natives who have ministered to refugees from the civil war there are trusting in God to protect their fellow Christians. There are many “satans” in th…

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10 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Portuguese bishops applaud nomination of new UN secretary-general

The former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres, a Catholic, has been nominated as UN secretary-general The Portuguese Bishops Conference praised former …

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02 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A No comments

What is the source of the Church's authority?

The source & nature of Church authority is one of the major issues that beginning Catholics have to examine and come to terms with. The Catholic Church m…

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Is heaven a meritocracy?

Full Question

Is heaven a meritocracy? That is, do the declared saints occupy a higher, happier place in heaven? If everyone is equally happy, how can extra works of charity, extra praying, and extra receiving of sacraments in this life do us any good? Or is it that the more souls there are in heaven, the happier it is, so the extra works of are not done in vain but make everyone in heaven more (but still equally) happy?


Souls will not be equal in beatitude in heaven, though whether one is a declared saint does not of itself make one more blessed in heaven. Neither does the number of other souls in heaven. Being declared a saint or sharing heaven with other souls might give souls more natural happiness, but they would only increase a soul’s beatitude—supernatural happiness—in that the soul recognizes them as things that please God.

The source of beatitude in heaven is God. Frequenting the sacraments and performing acts of charity lead to greater sanctifying grace, which leads to greater capacity to receive God’s beatitude, which leads to greater supernatural happiness in heaven.

Incidentally, the point you make about doing extra good was made in the fourth century by Jerome, who wrote:

It is our task, according to our different virtues, to prepare for ourselves different rewards. . . . If we were all going to be equal in heaven it would be useless for us to humble ourselves here in order to have a greater place there. . . . Why should virgins persevere? Why should widows toil? Why should married women be content? Let us all sin, and after we repent we shall be the same as the apostles are! (Against Jovinian2:32 [A.D. 393])



  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    “The source of beatitude in heaven is God. Frequenting the sacraments and performing acts of charity lead to greater sanctifying grace, which leads to greater capacity to receive God’s beatitude, which leads to greater supernatural happiness in heaven.” Just HOW do you know ANY of this is true? Can it be verified outside of Christianity?

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    How can there be a meritocracy when everyone is a zombie? The prayer says, “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s Yahweh’s will, not ours. We must lose free will in heaven, otherwise how could any decent person be happy, knowing billions of people were suffering for eternity in hellfire? Only by wiping our minds clear of every decent, human feeling we have for each other, could we accept the evil that Yahweh propagates on those who were born sick, and commanded to be well, but fell short of the target. How could anyone find peace and joy if they still had their minds, and their consciousness and they knew that millions upon millions of innocents who committed the grievous sin of dying before being baptized, were languishing in Hell or the mythical Limbo, never to be “saved.” How could any decent person find joy in that?
    The only way to achieve a blissful state in heaven is if you strip away every decent thing about humanity, such that we would not care about the fate of those whom Yahweh sentenced to eternal suffering – particularly those who were completely innocent. Fortunately there is no more evidence for this zombie heaven than there is for eternal hell.

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