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Muslim paradise versus Christian paradise

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Submitted by Rajesh (India), Sep 18, 2006 at 08:37

Let's take your word that there is no sex implied. But even then, Muslim paradise is a sensual and a carnal place with "rivers of wine," "spouses," "couches," "finding peace and inner fulfillment with and in one another," etc. Only a carnal mind can promise such things as rewards for righteousness. Real cheap.

In contrast, the God of the Bible promises the greatest gift of all to the righteous, the gift of Himself. Now that's something to look forward to.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches "Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face.(1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthian 13:12, Revelation 22:4).

"This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity... is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness."

"Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory 'the beatific vision.'"

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God, will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for."


As St Augustine puts it "... you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."

'The song of Adam driven from Paradise,' beloved of many an Orthodox ascetic tells us something of what exactly Adam experienced in Paradise: "My soul yearns for you, O Lord, and with tears I seek you. Look on my affliction and lighten my darkness, so that my soul may rejoice. How can I forget you? Your serene and gentle gaze allured my soul and gladdened my spirit in Paradise where I used to see your face."

In the Psalms, we see this longing for God: As a deer yearns for running streams, so my soul yearns for you, my God (Psalm 42:1).

And St Augustine having experienced God says this in his Confessions:
"Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new.
Late have I love you.
In my ugliness
I plunged into the beauties that you have made.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
You called me, you cried out, you shattered my deafness.
You blazed forth, you shone, you scattered my blindness.
You breathed perfume, I drew in my breath, now I pant for you.
I tasted and now I am hungry and thirsty for you.
You touched me and now I burn with desire for your peace."


Nothing about wine, women, or song in the Christian version of Heaven. It just about God, God, and more God. Definitely, something very much different from the Muslim version.

Rajesh

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