“Do people in Heaven still have free will?”
Our conversation started with evolution and gradually meandered to angels, free will, and humanity. I told them that angels had free will and they asked if angels could still rebel. Explaining that angels will their decision to follow or not follow God with their entire beings, they then asked if people in Heaven could sin. When I said they wouldn’t, they wondered how free will could be found in a place where there was no sin.
“It seems like free will would just be an illusion,” they said, when I told them that in Heaven we would be purified and would always choose to follow God, even while exercising our free will.
I needed to make a correlation that they would understand. One student compared it to pizza. If he said he would eat pizza for the rest of his life, he wouldn’t be free to eat anything other than pizza. That wasn’t quite the comparison I was looking for in order to explain the situation to them.
I’m not always very quick on my feet. Sometimes, I want to beg them for more time and to consider than I am a slow thinker, a muller of thoughts and ideas. Instead, I tried to think of something tangible that they could understand. How could one make a particular choice that was forever and yet still exercise their free will?
Now that I consider it, I could have referenced Jesus or Mary. Instead, I used vocations.
“Priests, religious, and married persons make vows that they intend to follow forever and yet they freely choose to will those decisions daily. Our free will in Heaven is kind of like that, but we are able to perfectly will it always.”
A couple committed to marriage make vows to love the other in a free, total, faithful, and fruitful way. They still have a free will, but they have publicly voiced their desire to always will the good of the other. This doesn’t make them less free. Instead, their commitment allows them to experience the freedom of total gift of self to another. Yes, they could choose to cheat or leave or lie. But if they follow the vows, they will freely choose to not do those things. Continue reading “Is there free will in Heaven?”