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26. The Beatitude of God

1. Beatitude, or happiness, or blessedness, is the perfect good of an intellectual nature. It consists in the fact that an intellectual being (that is, being with understanding and free will) knows that it possesses its true good in sufficient measure,and that it is in control of its actions. Now, God is infinitely aware of himself as absolute good, and his perfect will is in absolute control. Hence God is infinitely happy. God is infinite beatitude.

2. In our human way of understanding, we attribute the divine happiness in a special way to the divine intellect. Yet we repeatedly remind ourselves that God's intellect is really God himself, for it is one with the divine essence.

3. Only God is infinitely happy; that is, only God is infinite beatitude. Rational creatures (men and angels) seek God as the object that will fulfill them, and make them perfectly happy: God is their objective happiness. And the possession of God in the beatific vision constitutes their subjective happiness, that is, the happiness which is in them as its possessors or subjects. Inasmuch as all the blessed in heaven have not all the same degree of charity and its resultant measure of the light of glory, there are in heaven different subjective beatitudes.

4. The infinite beatitude of God perfectly embraces all beatitudes.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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