In the Gospel Jesus told us to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time picturing what such treasures in heaven would look like. But, back in 1947 I had encounters with two men who took Jesus at his word on this.
My first encounter was with Billy Mayer the summer before he entered the Trappist Monastery. We had our last tennis game together, then we sat and talked. I asked Billy what he would get to eat in the monastery. He told me they had wonderful bread and cheese, and I asked what would happen when he got tired of them.
He looked at me like I was an ill informed Christian, and he said, “Why, that’s when the merit begins.”
The second encounter came two months later in my first year at the major seminary. I noticed how an old priests called Doctor Mee kept coming to the school library for Theology books. Now, he was too old to teach or to go out and preach, so I wondered what good all the study would do him. Our Scripture professor saw the puzzled look on my face, so he asked me what was bothering me.
When I told him I didn’t see why Doc Mee was still studying, he said, “I wondered about that too, so I asked Doc about it.”
“What did he say?”
“He said, ‘While all of us will be happy as we can be in heaven, some folks by prayer and study will have expanded their capacity, so they will have much more happiness.’”