The Goals of Heaven

by Paul F. Strack
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Welcome, my child. Please be seated. I wish that I could answer all your question, but unfortunately, even exalted spirits such as ourselves do not know all the Mysteries. Why are we here? The brief answer is simple. We are the shepherds of humanity. As the pastor to his flock, so are we to men.

What is it we wish men to do? Ah, now that is why things are so complicated. The Highest wishes men to be good. Not simply to *do* good, but to *be* good. Actions alone are meaningless. One have the proper frame of mind to truly please the Divine. Humans have many names for this mental state: Faith, Grace, Enlightenment. They must strive all their life to achieve it, or perhaps even for several lives.

That is why we cannot reveal ourselves to men and give them God's word ourselves. If we did so, they would be doing good to please us. For Grace, they must do good because they know it is the right thing to do. Yes, we have been more open in the past, but times were simpler then. Now humanity is an collage conflicting cultures and urges of ever increasing complexity. More subtle means are needed, lest men mistake angels for their goal and forget about the Highest.

Thus we move silently among them, encouraging them where we may; a hint there, a small suggestion here, a few good deeds for those who need them most desperately. We can only advise and cajole, never command or proclaim. We must always respect their fragile free wills, giving them enough guidance to come to the Path while leaving the ultimate choice of walking that Path to them.

Oh it is marvelously difficult. It is a razor's edge we balance on. There are those among us who say we should not be here at all, that even our slight interference is too much. I can see that you are frustrated. There are easier ways available to be sure. Simply make your way Downwards and they can give you all sorts of easy answers. Are you ready yet to pay the price?

I am glad to see that you are not. If for no other reason, the presence of Diabolicals forces us to intervene. They would never leave mankind alone, so neither can we. We must guard mankind against this unseen foe, and be ever vigilant to foil the plans of the Adversary. You shall meet the demons soon enough. They are not all utterly evil. Some of them can be decent enough at times, but never believe anything they say. They are deluded fools, having spurned the greatest gift ever given. Their selfish goals are designed to draw men away from God and into their fiendish clutches.

There you have it, the reasons that we are here. We battle against our Fallen brethren, protecting the innocents from their scheming. We must gently prod humanity back towards the divine. It's not always obvious what is the best thing to do. Sometimes the salvation of a single soul can be more important that the doom of an entire nation. Not all angels agree on methods we should use. I regret to say that at times we bicker as fervently as demons. The Highest has given us only guidelines, and like men, we must muddle on as best we can to interpret Her Word.

No, this is not some sort of joke on the part of the Highest. You are perhaps too young to remember. She has told all we needed to know when we were in the higher reaches of the Empyrium. To fulfill those task we had to descend to the mortal plane, however. The corporeal realm is a place of limits. By necessity we must assume some of the restrictions of living men. It is impossible for the finite mind to wrap itself around the concepts that are Her Word. The upper spheres are now but a half remember dream to us, and we must rely on our own judgment.

Humans are even more confused than we are. Never believe that you are better than them, though. Mankind, with its freedom, is capable of heights and depths unknown to Celestials. They are capable of deeds so vile that it would chill the soul of Shedim. Yet they are also capable of acts of such sweet charity that it would make the a Cherubim weep. It is precisely because they have limits that they can do so much more. And when they have fulfilled their potential, they ascend to heights of Heaven denied even to us. It is they, in the end, that will determine the outcome of the War.




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