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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.

"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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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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