What do Catholics believe about going to heaven?

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Catholic Answer

Heaven is being in intimate communion with God, it is perfect happiness when we have left the world, as we now know it and "see through a glass darkly" into unimaginable light, where everything that God has made us for is fulfilled. Only the perfect can enter heaven (nothing imperfect can enter there) and we will not enter heaven just because we believe, "even the demons believe and tremble" and they are most certainly not in heaven. When we die, we face the particular judgment, we stand before Our Blessed Lord and He judges whether we died with sin on our soul. If that sin is mortal ("deadly" or serious sin) we are cast immediately into hell. If there is still venial (less serious sin on our soul), then we cast ourselves into purgatory where these imperfections are removed. Finally, the perfect, who are judged that way by God (see St. Matthew 25:31-46) are admitted to the sight of God.

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Catholics believe that when you die, Satan throws forth all of his efforts and that, unless we are firmly grounded in God, really through a lifetime of getting there, we will not be able to withstand this final onslaught of the Evil One. So, we spend our entire lives doing the Will of God for us so that we are becoming perfect, and can cling closely to him through the final agony.

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The primary way in which we are strengthen for this final onslaught is through the Sacraments, one must be baptized, and should be confirmed. Then one regularly receives the sacraments of confession and Eucharist to grow in grace.

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from Modern Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, S.J. Doubleday & Co., Inc. Garden City, NY 1980

Heaven. The place and condition of perfect supernatural happiness. This happiness consists essentially in the immediate vision and love of God, and secondarily in the knowledge, love, and enjoyment of creatures. Until the final resurrection, except for Christ and His Mother, only the souls of the just are in heaven. After the last day, the just will be in heaven in body and soul. Although the same God will be seen by all and enjoyed by all, not everyone will have the same degree of happiness. The depth of beatitude will depend on the measure of God's grace with which a person dies, and this in turn will be greatly conditioned by the merits that one earns during life on earth. Heaven is eternal because it will never cease. It is continuous because its joys never stop. It is communal because the happiness is shared with the angels and saints and the company of those who were known and love on earth.

Answer

The teaching is basically that any person who is baptized in a Christian faith, who tries to be a good person, and feels guilt when they fail, goes to confession, and receives the Eucharist and other Sacraments will go to heaven, eventually. Catholics are taught that very few people go directly to heaven when they die, -that is a privilege reserved for only the most saintly people, someone like Mother Teresa for example. Most Catholics will go to Purgatory before going to heaven. The idea is that only a perfect soul can be admitted to heaven, as nothing imperfect can exist in the presence of Almighty God. There are a lot of different ideas about what exactly Purgatory is, but basically it's a place the soul goes to be cleansed from all the effects of sin and made perfect.

Answer

The only way a Catholic can "get to Heaven" is through the grace of God. One must accept the grace of God and live according to it. You will be judged at the end of your life on how well you are living according to the grace that God has given you. Indeed, following the 10 Commandments is part of living with that grace, but there is so much more. Nevertheless it all begins and ends with Our Blessed Lord: Jesus Christ, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We can do nothing under our own power, certainly not get into heaven.

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Catholics believe that anyone who dies with no mortal sin on their soul will go to heaven, eventually. If there are still imperfections and venial sins, these will need to be cleansed in purgatory, but there are only two destinations: heaven or hell, and the only determining factor is if you die in a state of mortal sin or in a state of grace. If you die in a state of grace, you will go to heaven, with or without the purgatory, if necessary. The leading a good life, praying, frequenting the Sacraments, etc. are all preparation for that last battle when you are dying and the devil is putting forth all his efforts: you need all the strength and grace that you can muster, with God's help, to face that final battle. Bottom line? Catholics believe you get to heaven by the grace of God given you through His Son, Jesus Christ - it is only through His Strength, and His Grace, that you will make it through this life, and the final battle to arrive victorious. Baptism is the necessary groundwork for this life long battle.

Answer

Jesus said you must believe that he is the Son of God. Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one goes to the father except through me. You must live your life as Christ-like as possible, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, because what you do to others, you do to Jesus. You must repent for all your sins for they offend God.