The following is a conversation that took place on a social media website following the first day of legal, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. I thought the views expressed were interesting and I enjoyed participating in and reading the discussion. Ultimately, the comments resolve to a discussion of religion so for those who are uninterested in such things, you may want to skip this post. The names have all been changed and I, the author of this blog, represent one of the views expressed. I hope that’s not pretentious or self-aggrandizing.
Jack – The pride I have with respect to living in Colorado has been seriously tarnished today after watching the media coverage of this “Momentous” day as legal recreational marijuana sales start in earnest. It’s a Sisyphean type of disappointment. Thousands line up today to participate in this “amazing event”. I think this is a perfect example of the applicability of the concept of entropy in terms of the degradation of society. Some say its progress, but progress towards what? Entropy is the physical law that everything progresses from order to disorder, organization to chaos, simply speaking. I have a feeling we are well on our way. “The sale of marijuana will be monitored similar to the methods used to control the consumption of alcohol”. Control is an illusion aptly demonstrated by the number of deaths (13365) from DUI just in 2010 in the US alone. 1.4 million DUI arrests in 2010 and 37 billion dollars annual cost to US tax payers as a result of this behavior. Not to mention the amount of alcohol related crimes not involving automobiles – murder, rape, suicide, domestic violence, etc. And it’s laughable to think that the age restriction will stick when 11% of all alcohol consumption in the US is done by individuals under the age of 21. Especially with the pop status the drug has gained over the last couple of decades. What are we to make of a society that glamorizes the use of psychotropic drugs and popularizes the decadent sexual exploits of porn stars and Miley Cyrus’s alike? It is in decay. That is the only conclusion one can come to. We are under a terrifying delusion that a Pelagian approach to perfecting society is within our grasp. I feel as though I understand more every day, the meaning of the verse where Christ says “My kingdom is not of this world.” So much of our failure as human beings has been the result of attempting to bring about the realization of the Kingdom of God in this world. My error was in maintaining some level of pride in dwelling anywhere but in the moment and in prayer. Looking forward instead of looking up.
But what use am I to society if I am only ever concerned with the spiritual matters?
It is my only usefulness.
What is society to me if it prevents me from concerning myself so?
A sign of the times.
Killian – Genesis 2: 20-22. The doctor is the one killing my city. Then when the pills run out the heroin man is there. Smoking doesn’t make you a bad person. Just like going to church doesn’t make you a good one.
Jack – You’re confusing condemnation with justification. I am against both.
Jack – Interesting perspective though…
Killian – I think it’s a good thing. Prohibition created Capone. Reagan created the cartel. Use every tax dollar for the schools and every dollar not spent on fighting it can fight the drugs that ruin people…there are natural cures to illness or issues that are better for you than a labs creation…pharm companies make profits, not cures. I would rather have a city full of stoners (usually working folk) than a city of drunken, pill popping, junkies. P.S. The stoners they show on TV do not reflect well on most of us.
Killian – A lack thereof is the reason for the conversation. Insomnia and anxiety is no fun when I have to go to work in 6 hours.
Jack – You assume I have no understanding of the reality of the “stoners” that populate your professed ranks. I have worked with the homeless population here in Colorado for a while and my wife is a therapist who has daily interaction with people who suffer from the need for such external alleviation. I can assure you pharmaceutical companies do create effective treatment for illnesses that would otherwise be exacerbated by the use of psychotropic drugs like marijuana. I had myself sought refuge at the bottom of a bottle for years to “alleviate” PTSD symptoms. Every drink made the hole that much more black. Again I am not in a place to condemn anyone. That is not the point. The degradation of the moral code used to “govern” society is the target. But I have seen what works (not just for me) and what doesn’t work. This legislation is the product of our own hedonism. Plain and simple.
Jack – You might also consider the possibility that the substance you lack is the cause of said insomnia and anxiety. Just a thought.
Killian – I don’t know about hedonism. Its not like LSD. Here’s the gist of it: drug addicts will smoke pot. Most potheads aren’t drug addicts. I fight depression and was diagnosed with PTSD when I was younger (after my girlfriend suicide). I drank for a long time. I do not like the chemicals that are in pills. The effect may take weeks to start and longer to stop. If you get edgy, smoke or eat. Good to go. A few hours later the effects are gone. I’m sure it affects memory but I do not believe “it makes you stupid”. This country can’t be ruled by the bible. Who’s bible? Catholic? Southern Baptists? This country is God’s proving ground.
Killian – It maybe, but its better than driving or eating or fighting in your sleep like the last stuff they said would help – Ambien.
Jack – By definition potheads are drug addicts whose addiction is, in most cases psychological versus chemical. In the case of Ambien, I wouldn’t take it either because I had heard of the negative impacts. My point in writing the post was not that I think this country should be ruled by the bible but that my disappointment in the current legislation was misplaced. I was disturbed by what I perceived as a deviation from a moral code used to govern society. My conclusion is that there was truly nothing to be disappointed about. It is the natural course of events for “this world”. And although I agree that going to church does not make me a Good person, I promise you it makes me a Better person. Don’t be so quick to assume I am or anyone else is judging you. In so doing you pass judgment yourself. None of us has a right to judge another person. My only judgment is self-directed. Am I what I was created to be? There is an “Other” implied in this process. That’s where I take issue with hedonism.
Killian – Well, now were getting into what it is. An addict will steal from friends, family, strangers, even their own children. Potheads don’t. I’m not saying they are not addicts but they don’t live for the next high. I’m good with myself and my relationships with my family and my God. No man can judge me (not saying you were) but the stereotype is not always true. If I “go knock a couple back” I’m just one of the guys. If I smoke then play catch or ride my bike with my sons I’m doing something wrong…you are not better because you walk thru the door. You’re better because you live righteously and have a relationship with the creator and savior. Righteousness is not doing what we think is right. Its doing what God wills. If you do this you are serving the intended purpose of your existence.
Killian – Gnostic
Jack – I am ONLY better because I walk through that door. If I live righteously it is not of me but it is a matter of the grace provided to me through the sacramental ministry of the Church. God may choose to work in others by different means but all are ultimately meant to be doxological, Eucharistic beings, i.e. praising and thanking God. In the end without the presence of God’s grace, any attempt to do God’s will, culminates in doing what “I” think is right. That’s essentially the point. There is no other authority except my own intuition which is characteristically flawed. I agree that there is an arbitrary social stigma placed on smoking marijuana that is not applied to the use of alcohol but removing that stigma doesn’t solve anything unless the goal is to create an superficial sense of equality for those who utilize chemicals to create a sense of psychological and spiritual balance. I use chewing tobacco. An addiction? Yes. Do I steal from my friends or children or live for the next nicotine high? No but I do get irritated much easier. I am not criticized for chewing tobacco in front of my family as you might be for smoking marijuana in front of them. I am however, told on a daily basis how bad it is for me and how I should stop via ads on TV and the internet which my children see and the affect is as intended. They harass me about it. But in the end I know they are right. It is yet another attempt in a line of many to chemically and artificially address a problem that is essentially psychological and spiritual. There are two logical conclusions I can draw form this. One something is wrong and two, what I am doing to address it chemically isn’t working. That’s where walking through those doors is vital. There are some issues that are purely biochemical but the specific drugs used to treat these issues such as Bipolar Disorder (Rx lithium) can only be obtained through authorized prescription. I myself struggle with depression and anxiety and require medication to balance the biochemical makeup in my brain so I can be myself. The biochemistry of my brain is in balance when I take these drugs. The use of alcohol or marijuana would only mask the symptoms and not treat the cause. The recreational use of Paxil is not high on any lobbyist’s list of priorities. The reason is because when used in the right patients with the right symptoms the drug normalizes the patients biochemical makeup and they are relieved of the unnatural situation they were forced to deal with. Alcohol, marijuana and other drugs create the same type of biochemical imbalance that drugs like Paxil are designed to regulate in patients who are naturally imbalanced. Recreational unbalancing of biochemical systems I think is a bad idea. Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean the process behind the scenes is not as damaging as having the natural imbalance of those same chemicals on the other end of the spectrum. Except that in using those types of drugs recreationally we are setting out to create an imbalance for the sake of a pleasurable experience while compromising our natural state. The drive behind this concept is hedonism.
Jack – Are you saying you are a gnostic?
Nina – I worked with marijuana addicts during my career. Careful Colorado with what you did, it may have serious consequences.
Cara – A bit off topic, but the idea that prescription psychotropic drugs “fix” existing chemical imbalances has been called into question in recent years. There is some argument that those drugs actually cause or worsen chemical issues in the brain. See the article below or the book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” for more info.
Killian – Never in front of them. I don’t smoke in the house or my car. I’m a hider…I have read some gnostic literature. Or what little there is. You are the church. The church is in you. I am a Christian impartial to another’s interpretation of the word. I will be in front of the white throne taking my judgment. Not someone else’s. I wouldn’t put my trust in an industry that has profit as a goal. My wife is a pharmaceutical technician so I’ve had this discussion with her many times. There are many forms and strains of pot. Some strong, some more physical effects than mental. How can we have all the study info on Paxil but no long term research for pot??? Keep in mind this is capitalism…the oil guy says turbines are bad, fracking is good. I sell h2o for a living. They don’t want you to be fixed, they want you to keep buying pills. I would like to meet these awful potheads we should be careful of. There are politics behind this on many levels. How many prisoners are we supporting because of a plant? How much money goes through the legal system in fines and probation? Fifteen years, no arrests, never in back seat. And I grew up in the highest crime area in the country. Same job for fourteen years. Faithfully married for thirteen. I have raised two honor students and I’m sure a third on the way. I have coached for ten years and know without a doubt I have helped young men be more Christ like. But I guess if I took the Vicodin for back shoulder and leg. Ambien for sleep and Xanax when I got edgy with a nice glass of expensive red wine then I would be a star citizen. Christ with in.
Killian – Only four sober hours of sleep. Pop an Adepex that will get me through the day. Hope its not conflicting with Vastatin. Been a little off since the Lovenox and Coumadin. At lunch I have to remember my Celebrex and restless leg syndrome pill I’ll take it with cranberry and orange juice to help kidneys. Wait one of those I can’t have, any citrus. Never mind. I’ll have a smoke about 7 after dinner.
Ken – It’s an absolute shame that pot is legal. Not only am I embarrassed by the state government that passed the law but also the citizens that voted for it. What a joke. Gee I don’t understand why we don’t get taken seriously anymore on a global level.
Killian – Ken, maybe our “we’re better and smarter than you” attitude is why we are not respected globally. Or because we tell the world how to operate when we are a mess. Or because a % of our politicians are war mongering hypocrites. Or because the greatest economy has the highest per capita poverty rate. Or because we are under educating our children or… etc.
Remy – As a Nonsmoker, I am in full support of what Colorado is doing. I’ve seen and experienced what prescription drugs can do internally to the body and mind… aside from “curing” the disease. I’m always in support of a holistic approach. BUT this isn’t about Medical Marijuana, it’s about Recreational Marijuana. Education is key. Not the hyped up stories of pot being the gateway drug that we grew up on. I, personally, know plenty of well-educated teachers, lawyers, nurses, and business entrepreneurs that smoke pot occasionally in a social setting, as well as daily.
If you want to keep marijuana illegal, then put down your glass of wine (which Jesus made of water) and make alcohol illegal or how about food for that matter!!! People are addicted to food and gluttony never seems to come up in these discussions
Killian – Freedom is not oppressing rights of others that you disagree with…the most important thing you can do as an American is support rights of others especially the one you disagree with. Freedom.
Christina – I know Jack….I know……my daughter is being raised in this….We are doing so much talking……move right when this country is promoting wrong….I know…
Jack – A descent into chaos was one of the points of the post. Again, I think we are well on our way. As for the wine, I have chosen never to pick up the glass again. Because I think it’s a “sin” to drink? Not at all. But rather because I am an alcoholic. You are absolutely correct when you say we are neglecting the issue of over eating, but there is a lobby working on that in New York and several other places. Soon our food consumption will be rationed and we can declare Thanksgiving, that ever offensive holiday as national recreational over eating day since the whole concept of giving thanks seems to be going the way of the dodo. Giving thanks to whom and for what? Well, that’s a good question. I doubt our misogynistic, slave owning and therefor hypocritical fore fathers had chemically induced euphoria in mind when they penned their description of certain “inalienable rights”, i.e. the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but that’s just my opinion. And yes I am aware that Jefferson slept with at least one of his slaves. Many of them might have. As for Jefferson, maybe his idea of happiness was to “get some” from his slave girl. Not much access to that sort of thing since his wife was dead and he was such a public figure. In that vein we might legalize prostitution as well because outside of any probable impacts to the institution of marriage it would have no health consequences or otherwise if it was properly controlled. And we could use the tax money to build schools, better educate our children, etc. As for supporting the “rights” of others, both those I disagree with as well as those that I do, my ledger has no red on that score. I have expended blood, sweat and tears to fight for the rights of others. And I have watched my friends give much more. You are sadly ignorant of the historical record if you think those expenditures were simply for oil or the profit of the military complex. It is a clash of civilizations that we are involved in, not some contrived corporate scheme to garner control of the world’s petroleum supply, profit from arms sales and the like. But again you miss the point of my post. My point ultimately was not that the legalization of marijuana was bad, although that is my opinion. The point was that it was inevitable in a fallen world doomed to progress from order to disorder and that my disappointment in the situation as it stands was misguided. My Christian obligation is not to make the world a better place but, through my own salvation and acquisition of the spirit of peace, to look upward instead of forward and hopefully by doing so, be an example to show others the way. That true life, liberty and joy is found not in looking forward, but up. “There is no justice in this world. There is no possibility of a painless, deathless life. But there is the possibility by God’s grace, not to let it win.” Fr. Thomas Hopko.
Killian – G. W. sold hemp to the British. It was put on schedule 1 list the same year DuPont invented nylon. Prostitution is the world’s oldest trade it is legal in places and most prevalent in D.C. Huh, go figure. I would not take advantage of that right but those who choose to will, as they do now. I cannot express in words the thanks I have for you and your brothers doing your job (I was on my way too) that is one thing the separatist in this country cannot achieve like they did in Nam days. God bless them and the families who serve with them. I’m proud of you. For both your service and recognition of your faults. There is no one, no not one… There was once a day when a woman had no voice and a non-white man was a third of a human…
Jack – With respect to Gnosticism, I can sort of understand the appeal, what with established religion being so domineering and all, but are you aware that the underlying concept for Gnosticism is that there is a set of secret teaching laid down by someone, somewhere that is for all intents and purposes inaccessible to the majority of us? That most of us are incapable of attaining any kind of spiritual purity?
Killian – That’s what the Roman Catholic said while they were killing them off. There are secrets that no man can teach. Most will not achieve the grace and glory. No man can save you. No ritual. No tithe. Only you can save you through your relationship with the savior. How did Jesus like the profiteers in the temple? Look what happens when you put an A in front of it [sic gnostic]. That’s why I spell it with an N. Men + money + power = corruptive sin. Christ with in brother.
Jack – I would argue the point that prostitution is most prevalent in D.C. but your point stands. It is however not legal there. But the premise that you would not take advantage of that “right” underlies my point. Our definition of “rights” is progressing toward a morally and ethically baseless concept that we should be allowed to do what we want with the only caveat being that we cannot stop others from doing what they want. Our social contract is “progressing” toward the natural state of man and away from any idea of absolute truth. Since there is no summum bonum (greatest good) in this state the natural state of man is not to be found in a political community that pursues the greatest good. But to be outside of a political community is to be in an anarchic condition. Given human nature, the variability of human desires, and need for scarce resources to fulfill those desires, the state of nature, as Hobbes calls this anarchic condition, must be a war of all against all. Even when two men are not fighting, there is no guarantee that the other will not try to kill him for his property or just out of an aggrieved sense of honor, and so they must constantly be on guard against one another. It is even reasonable to preemptively attack one’s neighbor. In Thomas Hobbes book “Leviathan” he describes this situation as follows: “In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In this fallen world we fight entropy to create order but once this order is established, the entropic law once again takes over. We move toward chaos again. My post was directed at admitting my realization of this process, a process followed through in every society on record.
We require an absolute sense of accuracy when dealing with money, medicine and law. But no sense of absolute accuracy in terms of truth. Especially when that truth conflicts with our own personnel desires. We are as a people, at first willing to set aside the desires that conflict with the truth we are using to establish order. But again, once that order is established we attempt to delegitimize the truth we used to form order out of chaos in favor of fulfilling those desires that initially conflicted with that truth. We progress toward chaos again. But in the end, in this fallen world that process is inevitable and my initial disappointment in the marijuana legislation passed in Colorado was misguided in light of the fact that this process in inevitable in this world.
Nina – As a counselor who has had many marijuana users as clients, I know the destruction and devastation that use brings. It destroys marriages, families, etc. and many ruin their lives by driving under the influence and these are just a few of the problems. Colorado, I hope you know what you are doing! And, I hope you have lots of substance abuse and mental health counselors for the long haul.
Jack – The Roman Catholic Church did not even exist when this heresy first reared its head. The purpose of the “church” (the church is the pillar and ground of the truth – 1 Timothy 3:15) is to safe guard the truth against false doctrines arising from personal intuition, lack of understanding outside of tradition, etc. Such as Gnosticism.
Killian – Is that what the men in power said? How does one gain market share? Eliminate the comp… What power would support a group that openly says he doesn’t need you to find salvation? I’ve never met anyone who rehabbed for pot.
Jack – Your bias against the “corporate” system seems to be clouding your judgment in other areas as well. Denying any authority other than oneself is to place oneself at the center of the universe. That is not our place. In terms of truth, can we both be right? Or are you saying I have been duped by the establishment? Christ did not start a movement called Christianity; he started a community, called the church.
Jack – Just because you have never met anyone who has rehabbed for pot, as you say, does not mean they don’t exist. Your acquaintances may very well be avoiding the first of the twelve steps, not to be too cliché, admitting they have a problem.
Killian – My savior is the center of the universe. Not a building or group of humans and for sure not me. I’m sure my antiestablishment side has produced some bias. Have you been duped? That’s not for me to say. I know I follow a man that had a crown of thorns – not gold. I do not pray to saints or statues. Communion is the only ritual I practice, besides constant prayer. (I drive a truck alone all day I have plenty of time for solo conversation). You are the church. That’s the best part. Free will.
Jack – Free will to determine for ourselves what God is to us, or free will to participate in the community established by Christ himself. I ask the saints to pray for me just as I would ask you. I participate in communion. But when I do so I am communing with the body of Christ in the community of believers that has existed since Christ establishes it. There is a sacramental character to it and we all believe the same thing. If there is no statement of belief, no common doctrine among “believers”, what exactly are you “communing” in with regard to the ritual? Do we conduct the communion ritual as a bare memorial regardless of the concept of communion and the discrepancy in our beliefs?
Killian – I’m listening to Savage on the radio. He wants to repeal the right to vote if you smoke or on disability or unemployment.
Jack – Yeah he’s kind of an idiot.
Killian – Free will for one both or none. If we all practiced the same way we would just be Christians. What fun would that be? All in agreement and stuff… We as humans have to be “more” than the next. Our way is better than yours kind of thing. That’s why I’m non-denominational. I ask God for forgiveness not a guy in a box. You are or aren’t. No gray for me. That guy is why I get defensive. 41% of America votes for those guys.
Killian – You don’t have to ask me brother. I did a lot when you were in the sand…and will.
Tina – Jack, your right. God does tell us to keep our eyes looking to the sky, as HIS time is drawing near. The signs are everywhere, and today God just showed us one more sign… HE tells us man’s thinking will change from, what’s wrong is right, and what’s right is wrong. God’s children will be able to see through the lies and deceit of Satan who rules the earth right now. That is why we need to be going to a church that is preaching God’s Truth and reading our Bibles so we are prepared for HIS coming, because He IS coming again to take HIS Bride (THE CHURCH) away! And THE WORLD has been blinded to his truth from the beginning….
Killian – What is (the church)? You, and your spreading of the word? Without people its a building. Without the same ritual practice and different interpretations of the same book we are open to corruption and man’s agenda. When was the world not corrupt? When they lynched on Saturday night and put on a nice suit on Sunday? Or were the good times when they put our great greats on reservations? Or when the inquisition was in full swing? Or probably when Cortez spread the word and left with the gold.
Killian – Look up sure… but watch were you walk. We are all God’s children, even the unsaved. It’s our job to show them the light and hope they see. Not step on them.
Jack – As the Apostles said, the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth, the body of believers, the bride of Christ. How can there be different interpretations of the truth? You seem to be opposed to established religion, which is not a phrase I would consider accurate in terms of the Church, because you view it as judgmental. The Church is not judgmental although many believers are, it is doctrinal. I am an Orthodox Christian. We believe in the development of the EXPRESSION of Christian doctrine but not of its operative substance. The doctrine has not changed. What you feel you are experiencing as judgment is simply the opposition of this doctrine to the constant progression of the moral code used to govern society to a state of hedonistic, self-satisfaction as the greatest good.
Killian – That’s half my point. Do Orthodox Christians go to the front of the line? Or the Methodist? Or Roman Catholic? I am antiestablishment because MAN established it. Jesus did not say be one or the other. He said no man unless through me…there are different interpretations. Denomination dictates the interpretation. I read and form my opion. I pray for a loving heart and open mind. In Jesus name, amen. I am a sheep to the true shepherd. Not to a man telling me what he thinks the shepherd said. Joshua 1:9.
Jack – We believe the fullness of the truth lies in the Church but the Spirit flows where He will. Jesus did not say be one or the other because the question had no relevance at the time. He established the Christian community through the apostles who, based on their guidance from the Spirit and Christ’s teachings, which were not all written down as the Evangelist John indicates at the end of his Gospel, passed on the faith through the community of Christian believers and fought against “gospels” other than the one passed on through the Church. Do you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity? That is not expressed in the New Testament. The expression of that doctrine was accomplished through the guidance of the Spirit within the Church tradition to oppose false doctrines about the nature of Christ put forth by heretical sects like the Gnostics. The New Testament itself wasn’t even begun being written for at least 20 years after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and by an Apostle who never even met Jesus during his earthly life. There was no such thing as the bible as we know it for over 300 years. How did the faith persist during those first 300 years? The body of believers in the Church.
Tina – Killian, God established the Church. He tells us in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye SEE the day approaching.” It’s not about a RELIGION; it’s about a REAL personal relationship with Jesus Christ! In everything you do, you should ask yourself, would I do, or say this if Jesus were in front of me?? And you have to believe the BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD, that it’s the Truth, the whole Truth, every word, not just some of it….
Killian – The creator…the savior….I’m hip to the history of how the book came about. And some books that aren’t in it. Ask some they say the ten doesn’t count. To me it does. Why were they heretical??? Because they didn’t fall in line with mainstream thought process? You guys say “the church” but then specify what kind of church… He said be a truck, not a Ford or Chevy or Dodge. It [sic the church] made it through because people hid the scrolls and passed verbal gospel in the shadows.
Killian – Tina you just made my point, thanks.
Killian – Please read early posts…
Tina – There will be ALL KINDS of religions in Heaven Killian. There will be a lot of surprised people when they get to Heaven…
Killian – No Tina, there will be Christians….
Tina – I should have said: There will be People from All kinds of different religions in Heaven Killian….And lots of people who called themselves CHRISTIANS, in Hell…
Jack – Not sure what scrolls you are referring to unless it’s the Dead Sea scrolls. These documents were not canonized by the Church because they did not fall in line, to use your words, with the Gospel taught by Christ and passed on through and safe guarded by the Church. The Gospel wasn’t passed in the shadows as is demonstrated by the number of martyred believers in the first couple of hundred years of church history. In addition I think what you meant instead of “Tina you just made my point” would instead be phrased as follows: “St. Paul you just made my point”. We may have to agree to disagree on this point although I would suggest you look a little deeper in the history of the Early Church. What is your definition of Christians? Will profoundly retarded people who cannot understand the concept of sin, redemption, Christ or the cross, be excluded? Or babies who die too young to ever make a profession of faith? Or they not considered Christians? By what definition?
Jack – Our understanding of heaven and hell is not that Christ performed a substitutionary atonement for our sins but that Christ fulfilled the law and re-established man’s intimacy with the Father in order that we could cooperate with his Grace to become what was intended. Our life’s work is to “become perfect, as God in heaven is perfect”. To love God with our whole heart, mind and spirit. To be doxological, Eucharistic beings, praising and thanking God. And in the afterlife our experience of God’s love will be felt as joy (heaven) or suffering (hell) depending on how much we participated in God’s grace in the process of sanctification.