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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have some very specific (but sincere) questions about the Catholic Church's views on love and the afterlife. I know that many of the answers to these questions, in practice, have to be based on what you feel is right but I am very curious about the "textbook" answers, or the Biblical theory.

I wonder about all these things and they weigh on my mind. The fourth and fifth questions are,
by far, the most important.

  1. Do Catholics believe in "soul mates"?

  2. In Heaven we get to be with the people that we love, but wedding vows say "until death do us part". Does that mean that in the afterlife, you no longer have to be attached to your spouse?

  3. Catholics don't believe in divorce, but as far as I know, it is OK in the eyes of God for widows to remarry. In that case, which spouse would a woman find waiting for her in Heaven?

  4. If someone that you KNOW was your true love died at a young age, before you were able to marry, is it OK to marry someone else you care for, and spend your earthly life honoring them, even though, in your heart, you know the first lost love was the only one you would truly wish to spend eternity with?

  5. Or would the righteous thing be to spend the rest of your physical life alone?

Anonymous

  { Questions about soul mates, spouses that have passed from this life and living alone. }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Anonymous,

You said:

  1. Do Catholics believe in "soul mates"?

"Soul mates" is not a technical term, but a romantic one for a person whom one feels spiritually destined for. Still, I believe that God has a plan, and if we cooperate with Him and seek His will He will give us the spouse He wants for us.

You said:

  1. In Heaven we get to be with the people that we love, but wedding vows say "until death do us part". Does that mean that in the afterlife, you no longer have to be attached to your spouse?

No, it does not mean that. Jesus explained it: in heaven we are not married. This is because marriage is of the flesh, for the propagation of the species and the mutual support of the spouses. However, LOVE is forever, and we will be perfectly united with all those we love. Marriage is an earthly image of the union of love we will have with God and with all who are in God.

You said:

  1. Catholics don't believe in divorce, but as far as I know, it is OK in the eyes of God for widows to remarry. In that case, which spouse would a woman find waiting for her in Heaven?

Jesus answered that question. He said that you misunderstand.

    "In heaven, they are neither married nor given in marriage, but are like the angels."
A woman would find waiting for her in heaven all the people whom she loved and who loved her, provided that they made it to heaven. The love would be far greater than on earth.

You said:

  1. If someone that you KNOW was your true love died at a young age, before you were able to marry, is it OK to marry someone else you care for, and spend your earthly life honoring them, even though, in your heart, you know the first lost love was the only one you would truly wish to spend eternity with?

Of course you may marry another after the death of a "true love" but be sure and be fair to the person ... don't just marry out of convenience or pity or because you "care for the person", unless both you know that and want that and are willing to live a lifetime that way.

As for spending eternity, eternity is not a place where we pair up for romantic reunions. Married love is a faint image of the love we will all share in eternity, and we will spend eternity with the true spouse of our souls, Jesus Christ. in the love of the Holy Spirit in praise of the Father.

You said:

  1. Or would the righteous thing be to spend the rest of your physical life alone?

See above

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

Paul replied:

Hello Anonymous,

You said:

  1. Do Catholics believe in "soul mates"?

It depends on what you mean by that, but generally, no. "Soul mate" is not a theological concept. We could successfully mate with many persons as long as God's grace is involved.

You said:

  1. In Heaven we get to be with the people that we love, but wedding vows say "until death do us part". Does that mean that in the afterlife, you no longer have to be attached to your spouse?

There is no reason why you would not commune in heaven with people you've been close with on earth, if they are in heaven too. However, there is no marriage in heaven as we know it on earth.

You said:

  1. Catholics don't believe in divorce, but as far as I know, it is OK in the eyes of God for widows to remarry. In that case, which spouse would a woman find waiting for her in Heaven?

The only marriage in heaven is the one between Christ and His Church. As for the possibility of marriage in heaven, as we know it on earth, see Luke 20:27-38.

You said:

  1. If someone that you KNOW was your true love died at a young age, before you were able to marry, is it OK to marry someone else you care for, and spend your earthly life honoring them, even though, in your heart, you know the first lost love was the only one you would truly wish to spend eternity with?

Yes, you may marry someone after someone else that you loved has died. If you end up in heaven you will spend eternity with all the saints there as well as the angels and God. Nothing will be missing or left unfulfilled. God is the fulfillment of every human heart; not another human.

You said:

  1. Or would the righteous thing be to spend the rest of your physical life alone?

That would not be "the righteous thing" unless you sincerely believe God is calling you to remain single. Deceased persons in heaven are extremely happy with God, and would want you to be happy for your short time on earth. Your ultimate goal is to please God, not someone on earth or in heaven.

Feel free to elaborate on any of these if you'd like.

Peace,

Paul

Anonymous replied:

Hi, Paul —

Then do you mean, in the Catholic view, in Heaven, everyone loves each other equally, and no other being besides [God|Jesus} is particularly bonded to you?

Anonymous

Paul replied:

I would think that there is a bond of unity between all the Communion of Saints, all those in heaven with God.

Loving God and loving neighbor will be perfectly lived in heaven.

Paul

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