How The Death Of My Infant Son Brought Me Closer To Heaven
Almighty God, through the death of your Son on the cross, you have overcome death for us. Through his burial and resurrection from the dead you have made the grave a holy place and restored us to eternal life. We pray for those who died believing in Jesus and are buried with him in the hope of rising again. God of the living and the dead, may those who faithfully believed in you on earth praise you forever in the joy of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How the Death of My Infant Son Brought Me Closer to Heaven
We seem to give them back to Thee, 0 God who gavest them to us. / Yet as Thou didst not lose them in giving, / So do we not lose them by their return. / Not as the world giveth, givest Thou 0 Lover of souls. / What Thou givest Thou takest not away, / For what is Thine is ours also if we are thine. / And life is eternal and love is immortal, / And death is only an horizon, / And an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. / Lift us up, strong Son of God that we may see further; / Cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; / Draw us closer to Thyself / That we may know ourselves to be nearer to our loved ones who are with Thee. / And while Thou dost prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, / That where Thou art we may be also for evermore.
I am just a little baby / And I didn't linger there; / I went straight to be with Jesus / And I'm waiting for you here. / Many dwelling here where I live / Waited years to enter in; / Struggled through a world of sorrow / And their lives were marred with sin. / So, dear parents, don't you sorrow, / I'm not held in death's cold tomb. / I have gone to be with Jesus / Wipe those tears and chase the gloom. / Thank you for the life you gave me, / It was brief, but don't complain, / I have all of heaven's glory: / Suffered none of earthling's pain. / Thank you for the name you gave me, / I'd have liked to brought it fame / Had I lingered in earth's shadows / Might instead have brought it shame. / 'Tho you miss me please remember / I'm of all God's lambs most blest; / I'd have loved to stay there with you / But our shepherd knows what's best.
The Master Gardener from Heaven above / Planted a seed in the garden of love / And from it grew a rosebud small / That never had time to open at all / For God in His perfect and all wise way / Chose this rose for his heavenly bouquet / So think of your darling with the angels above / Secure and contented and surrounded by love / And remember that God blessed and enriched your lives too / For in dying, your darling brought Heaven closer to you.
The Master Gardener from Heaven above / Planted two seeds in the garden of love. / And from them grew rosebuds so small / That never had time to open at all / For God in His perfect and all wise way / Chose these roses for his heavenly bouquet. / So think of your darlings with the angels above / Secure and contented and surrounded by love. / And remember that God blessed and enriched your lives too... / For in dying, your darlings brought Heaven closer to you.
Some have said that David simply meant he would join his son in the grave. But that is no comfort! He was not just shrugging off the fact that his child had died, ready to move on. He was encouraged enough to want to worship, clean up, and eat! David knew that he would be in heaven forever after death (Ps 23:6). David also knew that this was the eternal destiny of his baby.
Concerning the unborn, we have it on the authority of Scripture that a child is a person from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Job 10:10-12). And the Lord entered each name into the Book of Life when He laid the foundations of the world (Revelation 17:8). Based on that truth, these unborn ones, for whatever reason they have been unborn, will be taken directly to heaven by the Father. And one day, if we have believed in Christ, we will see our lost little ones again. Remember, our Savior has compassion for little children and infants, and He is not willing that even one of them should perish (Matthew 18:14).
Can infants and mentally disabled individuals be saved and go to heaven? Toanswer that question, we must go back to Adam in the garden of Eden. TheBible affirms humanity's physical and spiritual connection to Adam; hesinned, therefore, "all sinned" (Romans 5:12). Without God's graciousintervention, all humanity-including infants, born and unborn-would becondemned forever. The Bible upholds this view with the words of KingDavid, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my motherconceived me" (Psalm 51:5 NIV). After his newborn son died, David alsosaid, "Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not returnto me" (2 Samuel 12:23 NIV). David's words go beyond affirming thepermanence of death to show his expectation of future fellowship with hisson. David revealed that although babies are sinful from the womb, God hasa place for them in heaven. But how?
Preschool-aged children may start to understand that adults fear death. This age group may view death as temporary or reversible, as in cartoons. Death is often explained to this age group as "went to heaven." Most children in this age group don't understand that death is permanent, that everyone and every living thing will eventually die, and that dead things don't eat, sleep, or breathe. Death should not be explained as "sleep."
... the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless and the heir of my house is [my servant] Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir." But the word of the Lord came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; no one but your own issue shall be your heir." He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And then he said, "So shall your descendants be."
When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of my child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him." Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
7. Finally, when reflecting theologically on the salvation of infants who die without Baptism, the Church respects the hierarchy of truths and therefore begins by clearly reaffirming the primacy of Christ and his grace, which has priority over Adam and sin. Jesus Christ, in his existence for us and in the redemptive power of his sacrifice, died and rose again for all. By his whole life and teaching, he revealed the fatherhood of God and his universal love. While the necessity of Baptism is de fide, the tradition and the documents of the magisterium which have reaffirmed this necessity need to be interpreted. While it is true that the universal salvific will of God is not opposed to the necessity of Baptism, it is also true that infants, for their part, do not place any personal obstacle in the way of redemptive grace. On the other hand, Baptism is administered to infants, who are free from personal sins, not only in order to free them from original sin, but also to insert them into the communion of salvation which is the Church, by means of communion in the death and resurrection of Christ (cf. Rom 6:1-7). Grace is totally free, because it is always a pure gift of God. Damnation, however, is deserved, because it is the consequence of free human choice. The infant who dies with Baptism is saved by the grace of Christ and through the intercession of the Church, even without his or her cooperation. It can be asked whether the infant who dies without Baptism, but for whom the Church in its prayer expresses the desire for salvation, can be deprived of the vision of God even without his or her cooperation.
21. Augustine was the point of reference for Latin theologians throughout the Middle Ages on this matter. Anselm of Canterbury is a good example: he believes that little children who die without Baptism are damned on account of original sin and in keeping with God's justice. The common doctrine was summarized by Hugh of St. Victor: infants who die unbaptised cannot be saved because (1) they have not received the sacrament, and (2) they cannot make a personal act of faith that would supply for the sacrament. This doctrine implies that one needs to be justified during one's earthly life in order to enter eternal life after death. Death puts an end to the possibility of choosing to accept or reject grace, that is, to adhere to God or turn away from him; after death, a person's fundamental dispositions before God receive no further modification.
78. Hope is the all-embracing context of our reflections and report. The Church of today responds to the signs of our own times with renewed hope for the world at large and, with particular regard to our question, for unbaptised infants who die.We must here and now give an account of that hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). In the last fifty years or so, the magisterium of the Church has shown an increasing openness to the possibility of the salvation of unbaptised infants, and the sensus fidelium seems to have been developing in the same direction. Christians constantly experience, most powerfully in the liturgy, Christ's victory over sin and death,God's infinite mercy, and the loving communion of the saints in heaven, all of which increases our hope. There the hope that is in us, that we must proclaim and explain, is regularly renewed, and it is from that experience of hope that various considerations can now be offered. 041b061a72