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BIS LIVES Blog

Longing for Heaven + Living on Earth

I want everything to be perfect. I’ve always been a perfectionist. Some people see this as a bad thing, and in some ways it can be. Sometimes I obsess over wanting things to go my way, and then I am crushed when it doesn’t turn out how I planned.

Can the desire for perfection be a positive thing? I think it can be, if we understand where it comes from and don’t become obsessed with earthly perfection.

I would guess that most of us are perfectionists, to some degree. We all want the perfect job, the perfect boyfriend or husband, the perfect family, the perfect vacation, perfect health, the perfect house… and the list goes on. Most of us get at least a little disappointed when things don’t go our way.

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Homesick for Heaven

What I’ve come to realize is that our human preoccupation with perfection and getting what we want is the manifestation of our homesickness for Heaven. Heaven is our home. It’s where we will experience perfect joy in the Beatific Vision and freedom from suffering and disappointment. Heaven is perfect happiness with God, and all the angels and saints. We were created for this. We were made to joyfully sing the praises of God and be unified with Him forever.

Living on Earth

Yes, we can still be happy, and we can and should sing God’s praises while we’re here on earth. We shouldn’t give up or desire for things to go well, but we also shouldn’t obsess over perfection. Until we can become saints, what can we do to rightfully order our perfectionism, and quell our homesickness for Heaven?

1. Partake in the Sacraments.

The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation were given to us by Jesus to help make us more perfect, more like Him. What if you can’t get to a church to receive Communion or go to Confession due to less than perfect circumstances? Call your parish, or any parish, and request to have a priest come to you. They are more than happy to help.

What if you physically cannot receive the Eucharist? You can make a spiritual communion until you are able to receive the Body of Christ. The Sacraments bring us as close to Heaven as we can get while we are on Earth.

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2. Establish a prayer routine.

There are so many ways to make prayer a part of your daily routine. There are many prayers to choose from to begin implementing a prayer routine, including the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a 3 o’clock devotion, the Angelus, the Liturgy of the Hours, novenas, and more.

I started with spending one minute meditating on Christ’s Passion during the 3 o’clock hour. I set a recurring alarm on my phone to remind me to pray at the same time each day. Saying a Morning Offering before your feet even touch the floor in the morning is another easy way to structure your day around prayer. Having a prayer routine reminds me of my purpose: to glorify God.

3. Dedicate time to spiritual reading.

This can include but isn’t limited to Scripture readings, the lives of the Saints, books about how to grow in relationship with God, encyclicals, or daily meditations.

If you’re just getting started with spiritual reading, I recommend starting with the daily Mass readings and Blessed is She devotions. I like to spend a couple minutes pondering what I’ve read and try to understand what it means for my life. Spiritual reading is admittedly not easy for me, but has helped me dive more deeply into the mysteries of God, and has made me more attuned to His voice.

4. Spend time in silent meditation.

Time spent in silence is so difficult, especially during the busy seasons of life. If you have an hour a day to get to the Adoration chapel, that’s wonderful! Unfortunately, spending time in a daily Holy Hour isn’t doable for most people, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend time listening to God.

Start slow, spending one minute a day in silence. No music, no TV, no cell phone, no other tasks. Ask God to speak to your heart, and just sit, listening, for one minute. If you’re able to spend more time, by all means, do it! Even just one minute in silence, listening for God’s voice, brings you closer to His Heart.

Desire for Perfection and Desire for Him

In the past year, I’ve realized that my desire for everything to be perfect is a God-given desire. It’s a desire that we all have, to some degree, because we were made for it. We were made to be in eternal, perfect happiness with Him.

While we can’t experience the perfect joy of Heaven just yet, there are things we can do that will bring us closer to God. Intentionally making time for prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, and the Sacraments has helped me focus less on my hunger for perfection and more on my relationship with Christ. He’s given us the gift of His Church, in all Her richness, to help us become saints and attain eternal joy and perfection in the next life.

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Kelly Schroeder is a wife, mom, embroidery enthusiast, and former 1st grade teacher. She enjoys making custom and religious embroidery and cross-stitch, and occasionally writes for her blog. You can find out more about her here.

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