Godtalk: A Life of Pleasures
POST BY PKnott
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 17:02
In one of his conferences St Thomas Aquinas spoke of the pleasures of life everlasting with God. “It is fitting that the last article of faith in the creed should give expression to that which is the end of all our desires, namely eternal life, in the words, ‘Life everlasting, Amen.’"
The first thing to be noted is that in eternal life we are united to God, since God himself is our reward and the end of all our labours: 'I am your shield and your very great reward’:
This union with God consists in seeing God perfectly: 'Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.’. It consists in perfect praise. In the words of the prophet: 'Joy and gladness will be found in God, thanksgiving and the voice of praise.'
Eternal life is the perfect fulfilment of desire; inasmuch as each of the blessed will have more than we desired or hoped for. The reason for this is that in this life no one can fulfil completely his or her desires, nor can any creature fully satisfy our craving; for God alone satisfies and infinitely surpasses our desire, which for that reason is never at rest save in God. In the words of Augustine, 'You have made us, O Lord, for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in you.’
“And since in heaven the saints will possess God perfectly, it is evident that their desire will be satisfied and ,that their glory will surpass their expectation; hence Our Lord said: 'Enter into the joy of your Lord.’
Thus if we desire pleasure, there will be supreme and most perfect delight, in that its object will be God the sovereign good: 'In your right hand are pleasures for evermore..'
Finally, eternal life consists in the joyful companionship of all the blessed, a companionship which is full of delight; since each one will possess all good things together with all the blessed, for they will all love one another as themselves, and, therefore, will rejoice in one another's happiness as if it were their own, and consequently the joy and gladness of one will be as great as the joy of all.” From the Divine Office Week 33 . (edited)