All people wish to go to heaven—even those who deny God, if they are honest. But what exactly is heaven? In The Happiness of Heaven, first published in 1872, Father J. Boudreau, S.J., calls it “the possession and enjoyment of God Himself in the Beatific Vision, as well as the perfect satisfaction of every rational craving of our nature in the glorious resurrection of the body.” In short, it is the soul's total consumption by God and of God. Through riveting, enlightening, and often deeply moving analogies, Father Boudreau explains the threefold nature of heavenly beatitude: heaven is to see God, to love Him, and to possess Him.
Father Boudreau covers:
- The natural pleasures and powers of the glorified bodies of the just, including Agility, Subtlety, Impassibility, and Immortality;
- The wonders of the heavenly intellect, which will be angelic in its penetration;
- And, most of all, the magnificent ecstasy of beholding God, the love of Whom will render all else, even heavenly delights, as mere straw.
St. John tells us no one has ever seen God; in heaven, we will finally gaze upon Him Whom the angels are privileged to adore without ceasing, the Divine Image after which we are all made. Ultimately, Father Boudreau shows us that the best way to think of heaven is to think of God—for God is love, and love with Him, in Him, and for Him is the all-consuming fire that sets heaven ablaze with ardent delirium.
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