Saul Alinsky spoke of his demise just months before he died in 1972. He was interviewed and here is a copy of some of it:
ALINSKY: … if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.PLAYBOY: Why?ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I’ve been with the have-nots. Over here, if you’re a have-not, you’re short of dough. If you’re a have-not in hell, you’re short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the have-nots over there.PLAYBOY: Why them?ALINSKY: They’re my kind of people.
That Alinsky thought his type of people were in hell and that he wanted to be with them caused me to think of the type of people who will be in heaven. We might think we know what kind of people will be in heaven, but we may be surprised.
Today, I sat opposite a very-run-down man in the bus. He obviously had seen better days. His clothes were not only old, but summery and now, it is winter here. I am wearing a winter coat and boots.
This man, one could see, many years ago, had been handsome. Not today.
Yet, when I prayed for him, I prayed that at the hour of his death, he would receive the Last Sacrament. I felt God answer my prayer in a quiet assurance of His grace and predestination.
Alinsky may have identified with this have-not, but he would have wanted to organize his life, taking away suffering and making his suffering political. When suffering is made political, God is insulted.
That is what too many people have done–made suffering political when it is actually spiritual, as well as physical.
But, some Catholics may not like the people who are in heaven, or who will go there.
Christ’s words continually speak of the humble, the lowly, those who mourn, those who suffer persecution–not exactly the types that are on Church committees, or in the middle-class parishes.
Yes, some people may not only be surprised at those who get to heaven, but may not even want them there–those who were nasty, but forgiven and made gentle; those who were poor and unnoticed; those who had wild youths and moved into holiness in the silence of solitude in their older years; those who are on the other side of the political or liturgical aisle. Yes, even NO people go to heaven.
Heaven may not be full of rad-trads, or those who read the right kind of newspapers, or the right kind of blogs.
I hope I am surprised by who is in heaven, if God grants me this joy. I hope I see this old tramp, or at least recognize him in his new state.
Those who are forgotten may be the very ones not forgotten by grace, by the grand Mercy and Justice of God.