Contemplating stained glass windows in church and Biblical descriptions of Heaven


…recall that traditional church architecture saw the church as an image of heaven. Hence it’s design was based on the descriptions of heaven found in the Scriptures. Now among other things, heaven is described in the Book of Revelation as having high walls with rows of jewels embedded in the foundations of those walls:

One of the seven angels…showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates….The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.... (Revelation 21:varia)

Thus, because heaven had great high walls, older churches almost always had a lot of verticality. The lower foundational walls gave way to the higher clerestory, and above the clerestory the vaults of the ceiling rise even higher. And in the lower sections of the walls, extending even as high as the clerestory, the jewel-like stained glass recalls the precious jeweled gemstones described in the lower walls of heaven, according to Revelation 21.

The compelling effect of a traditional church is to say to the believer, you are in heaven now.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

Editor’s note: Like many of our modern day “Catholic” theologians, who think they are so much smarter than all those who came before them … but aren’t … many architects of modern day Catholic churches … and some of the bishops who ultimately approve their designs … aren’t very smart, either. And that’s a real shame!

Enjoy the exquisite glass in the Cathedral at Chartres, France

Agnostic Nobel laureate who is no friend of the Catholic Church is impressed by WYD 2011, in Madrid

According to Vargas Llosa, who was born in Peru but is now a Spanish citizen, World Youth Day was “a gigantic festival of teens, students and young professionals who came from every corner of the world to sing, dance, pray and proclaim their adherence to the Catholic Church and their ‘addiction’ to the Pope.”

“The small protests by secularists, anarchists, atheists and Catholics who dissent from the Pope caused some minor incidents, albeit some grotesque, such as the group of lunatics who were seen throwing condoms at a group of girls who … prayed the rosary with their eyes closed,” he recalled.

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Kreeft: How to successfully discern God’s will for your life … and act accordingly.

Does God have one right choice for me in each decision I make?

When we pray for wisdom to discern God’s will when it comes to choosing a mate, a career, a job change, a move, a home, a school, a friend, a vacation, how to spend money, or any other choice, big or little, whenever there are two or more different paths opening up before us and we have to choose, does God always will one of those paths for us? If so, how do we discern it?

Many Christians who struggle with this question today are unaware that Christians of the past can help them from their own experience. Christian wisdom embodied in the lives and teachings of the saints tells us two things that are relevant to this question.

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Interesting social justice quote from the Bible

In the words of Jesus Christ:

Mark 14:7
For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always.

“The unborn child is a human being, not a blob of tissue, and abortion is an act of violence.”

A group that opposes abortion is visiting local colleges this week.

Demonstrators are using some shocking images to get their point across, and that’s caused one school to ban the group from campus.

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Is VP Joe Biden really unaware that Communist China is one of the most vicious regimes on the planet?

Mr. Biden was on the Foreign Relations Committee for many years. Did he miss all of the hearings on this subject? The reports by Amnesty International? Did he miss the Washington Post story about the imprisonment of blind human-rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who served more than four years in ghastly conditions for protesting the brutality of the one-child policy? The Post story mentioned 10,000 forced sterilizations performed in Puning City. Chen revealed that in Linyi County, Shandong Province, alone, there were 130,000 forced abortions in 2005. Is the vice president truly unaware that children born in defiance of the one-child policy are not permitted to enroll in school or see a doctor?

But many, many Chinese babies don’t even get that far. They are ripped from their struggling mothers’ wombs by government goons. The London Sunday Times reported, for example, the trauma of Zhang Linla, the mother of a four-year-old daughter who became pregnant again without permission. “Six days before the due date, 10 strong strangers came to my house, forced me into a truck then took me to a family planning clinic, where the doctor gave me an injection [of a drug to induce labor]. The child began struggling in my womb and one of these scum even kicked me in the abdomen. Then the baby came out and they threw it into a rubbish bin. I could even see it was still moving.”

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A great example of “circular reasoning” and Protestant denial, in the face of irrefutable Catholic truth.

You asserted the Bible was your ONLY divine authority. I asked you to show me where the Bible teaches that assertion. You didn’t give me one. Instead, you gave me a lot of verses extolling the greatness of Scripture. I already know it’s great. I use it all the time. Hence, if you’re not going to answer my specific request, there is no sense in continuing a discussion with someone who can’t prove from the Bible what she claims from the Bible.

Or perhaps you don’t understand the question (and it wouldn’t be the first time). I had a similar discussion with a Protestant a few years ago, and it took him about a month to understand what I was really asking him. Prior to that, he did the same thing you are doing now, that is, he would quote verses indicting the greatness of Scripture. Then one day it finally dawned on him. Unfortunately, he was not able to come up with a verse, and then the discussion stopped. That is where we are right now.

So, here goes. If you find a verse of Scripture that says the Bible is the ONLY divine authority, I will forsake Catholicism in a heartbeat, because you will have proved it to be a false religion. No kidding, Cheryl. Just one verse will do, and I will disown Catholicism faster than you can say “John Paul II.”

Until then, there is nothing else to talk about. You are the one who initiated this conversation, and you are the one who insisted that we deal with Scripture first. I obliged on both counts. But if you’re going to deal with Scripture, then deal with it. Stop putzing around with verses that don’t prove your point. I hope you understand.

Read the entire exchange