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92. Heaven: The Beatific Vision

1. In heaven the blessed will directly see the veryessence of God. "We shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).God is supremely intelligible or understandable, and is himself thedetermining of the creatural intellect to know him in hisessence. To know God thus is to behold the beatific vision.

2. After the general resurrection when bodies and soulswill be reunited, the blessed will not behold God's essencewith their bodily eyes. For bodily eyes, even when theyare glorified, behold bodily things, and God's essence is notbodily. Those that see God in heaven (before or after theresurrection of the body) see him with the mind, theintellect-strengthened, elevated, and illumined by the Light ofGlory.

3. No creature can know God exhaustively, so as to knowall thatGod knows. This would mean the encompassing of theinfinite by a finite understanding; this is utterly impossible.Therefore, the blessed see God in his essence, but they do not seeall that God sees. Even the angels "who know all things inGod," do not know all that God knows. The term "allthings" means "all that they know."

"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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