Do You Believe in Resurrection?

/ 24 May 2022

This is the question my grandmother, Dagmar, asked me Easter morning this year. While my response to her was a simple and mostly speedy “Yes,” my truthful answer is not actually nearly that simple.

I do believe in resurrection but I would also like to think that it is not guaranteed for us individually. That is, I would hope that it does exist, for those who may benefit from it and desire it. But I do not fall into that category. Being alive now is one thing (though most times I even question that), but I just am not sure I would want any more than whatever my current life provides me. I feel that if given a choice, I may not accept resurrection myself.

In a similar vein, I’ve increasingly questioned there being a difference between heaven, hell, and such. Instead those, and the more scientific view of the parts that make us up just being incorporated back into the Universe’s shelf of available matter, may all be the same and just a reflection of perspective. To that end, does the fact that I feel bad about myself more of the time mean I will for sure stay in hell following my death? Perhaps it does, but I doubt that I’ll be able to report on my findings here.

Should such a view even be considered a problem? Of course I would say that it shouldn’t. I mean, do we really need to all want to have a future, especially beyond our mortal shells? Maybe the afterlife can’t be overcrowded, and perhaps that is partly because more people may just be alive today than have been in the past, but that does not preclude one from shunning it entirely.

I recognize that these views are both colored by my own experiences these past 30+ years, and do in ways go a different direction from the Roman Catholic faith I supposedly am part of. I do not exactly see that as a problem. Ultimately we all must have our own beliefs, advised in part by whatever faith we practice, but not necessarily subscribing to each and every line item. Also, between my time at CSB/SJU near the Benedictines and my time since a Friend of St. Joseph with the CSJs in Saint Paul, I do feel a deeper connection in faith through those orders than the somewhat stiff hierarchy of the Church. So in that regard, the wider teachings are very much not all I’m exposed to.

As you can infer, my belief in resurrection is not a simple one-word answer. But in truth, questions like this are not ever that simple. I invite you to ponder the question yourself.