Pictured, The Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas.
At the end of his life St. Thomas stopped writing, he lived in silence. He had a mystical experience, a revelation, that led him to declare everything he had written was as straw. (Therefore, we may conclude that this painting does not represent Heaven, much less an appropriate entrance into Heaven. No one is going to be comparing notes on what Thomas wrote, nor what anyone else wrote.)
Who does God approve?
Someplace, in the psalms we are told,
"This is the man I approve, the lowly and afflicted..."
I cannot remember which psalm it is, yet we know from Our Lady's Magnificat that it is the humble the Lord exalts...
"He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
...the rich He has sent away empty."
Sometimes, the liturgical controversies, the ecclesial conspiracies, the theological speculations...everything that gets religious people going, all of that wearies me.
I so wish I could be like a very simple, and obviously poor old man I would occasionally see at Mass, quietly kneeling in the most profound recollection after everyone else had left the Church. He appeared to be a retired worker, the years of hard labor lined in his face. I recognized that he was probably not a man with university degrees, nor a man of much sophistication, and I could tell he was alone in life. Yet he seemed to me to be very close to God and undistributed by the world or the tumult in the Church. He was united to Jesus, and it radiated from his face, as he knelt, eyes closed, his head slightly uplifted toward heaven.
This is the man God approves.