I have a question regarding the "properties" of heaven. As far as I understand heaven is place outside of space and time. I imagine it like this since it is the only way i can make sense of eternity. However if we believe in resurrection, then it we will have our bodies which are material. If we are alive then our hears will beat. If there is a beat then time must exist since a beat represents a change between 2 instants. How does Catholic doctrine reconcile this (possible) paradox?

  • "As far as I understand heaven is place outside of space and time" has anything in particular given you the impression Christians, or Catholics in particular, think this? Please edit to explain.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


All the human body parts (the heart, fluids, genitals, hair, nails, etc.) will rise again, since they pertain to the natural human perfection (Summa Theologica suppl. q. 80 a. 1 "Whether all the members of the human body will rise again?").

Christ in His glorified body was able to move locally when He ascended, and He was able to perform the changes in His body's digestive system when He proved He has a real body by eating the fish and honey (Lk. 24:42-43).

But once a glorified body is in heaven, they will be able to move, "yet movement will nowise diminish their happiness which consists in seeing God, for He will be everywhere present to them" (Summa Theologica q. 84 a. 2 co.).

The question "Whether the movement of the saints will be instantaneous?" (Summa Theologica q. 84 a. 3) is very interesting, since it involves what is meant by place (is heaven a place?), motion, infinity, and the possibility (or not) of locomotion in a vacuum (provided a vacuum can exist…).

cf. Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds by Catholic historian of medieval physics Pierre Duhem

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