Meeting up in heaven

Q. When we join our parents, spouses and relatives in heaven, will we recognize them? What shape will our spirits have in heaven?

J.S., Murray, Utah

A. Here’s a reply from OSV columnist Msgr. M. Francis Mannion:

The funeral liturgy of the Church, as well as the breadth of Catholic tradition, speak of the truth that we shall be reunited in the kingdom of God and that we shall all be together again. This is what the Communion of Saints means.

We will not be reunited as abstract entities but as the persons we were on earth -- body and soul -- but utterly transfigured and transformed by the Resurrection.

What shape will our spirits have? The shape of our bodies. Keep in mind that we are made of body and soul, both profoundly interconnected. The body is the shape of the soul, and the soul is the shape of the body.

Our communal lives in heaven will be in continuity with our lives on earth; and yet there will be a complete transformation. We hold both aspects -- continuity and discontinuity -- in creative tension.

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