Beatific Vision


#1

okay so I’ve been hearing alot about this but what is the Beatific Vision? I’ve heard that it is seeing GOD face to face. But I’m not to sure:confused: well hopefully I can get some help on this


#2

That’s it, Ivan. :slight_smile: Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the subject:

II. HEAVEN

1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:596

[quote]By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.597

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live "in Christ,"598 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.599

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.600

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."601

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.602

1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."603
[/quote]


#3

Beatific Vision

The immediate knowledge of God which the angelic spirits and the souls of the just enjoy in Heaven. It is called “vision” to distinguish it from the mediate knowledge of God which the human mind may attain in the present life. And since in beholding God face to face the created intelligence finds perfect happiness, the vision is termed “beatific”. For further explanation of the subject, see HEAVEN.

newadvent.org/cathen/02364a.htm


#4

see but ive also heard that god doesnt have a body which leads me to think that he has no face or anything at all,Are they trying to say that he doesn’t have a corporal body?


#5

That’s right, God has no corporal Body (except the Risen Body of Our Lord, of course). “Face to face” simply means that we will have an intellectual vision that beholds God as He is in Himself - Pure Spirit. It will be similar to the spiritual insights we at times receive; in heaven these insights will be perpetual and glorious.


#6

Ivan, a book you would find helpful in better understanding this is Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners; it’s often recommended here. :slight_smile:


#7

spiritual insights? such as those experienced by people who have had a near death experience?


#8

I’ve heard testimonies of near-death experiences which approach the kinds of experiences some of the mystics in our Catholic tradition have had. In any case the mystics tell of the direct apprehension of God by being in His immediate presence, with no sensory perception involved. This is always a gift from Him, an infused experience we’re not capable of achieving by any efforts of our own.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.