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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."

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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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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"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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