Is perfection in eternity logical?


#1

Doesn’t it seem logical that if we were to live for eternity that we would eventually become perfect, like our Heavenly Father? Don’t we strive even now for perfection? Does God not want us to attain our maximum potential? At what point would our progression stop? Woudn’t our Heavanly Father want us to grow up just like him? Are we his pets, slaves, toys?

Any thoughts?

Wademann


#2

[quote=wademann]Doesn’t it seem logical that if we were to live for eternity that we would eventually become perfect, like our Heavenly Father? Don’t we strive even now for perfection? Does God not want us to attain our maximum potential? At what point would our progression stop? Woudn’t our Heavanly Father want us to grow up just like him? Are we his pets, slaves, toys?

Any thoughts?

Wademann
[/quote]

The bible indicates a heavenly chain of command structure. There is God at the top then the angels which are lead by Michael I believe. This would indicate that there can be only one God/Holy Trinity. Lucifer tried to exault himself as God in pride. His name is satan now and he was cast from heaven. I would say that we will be in heaven but we will never be as Gods ourselves. We are called to worship him not to match him. This does not at all mean that the Saints will not be honored in Heaven.

-D


#3

If you can get a hold of any good books about St. Maximus Confessor, he is an excellent resource on this subject. His view of the uncreated divine images (logoi) that can be found in every human being and his theology of recapitulation provide one of the most beautiful expressions of redemption imaginable. Some authors to consider include Hans Urs von Balthasar, Lars Thunberg, Polycarp Sherwood, and Joseph P. Farrell.


#4

Can’t you reach perfection and still respect God as your elder and ruler? If you were to reach perfection wouldn’t that mean that you would be perfect in humility, that you would only want to serve others? Didn’t satan want the power and glory of God, and that was why he was thrown out? Is Mary perfect or imperfect now? If you can be perfect through Christ, what does that mean?


#5

[quote=wademann]Can’t you reach perfection and still respect God as your elder and ruler?
[/quote]

The Son of God was Divinely perfect, and yet He submitted to His Father unto death. I don’t see why we in our human perfection would do less. God designed us – I’m sure He thought all these things out first.


#6

Wademann, perhaps you are already familiar with the work of St. John of the Cross. If not, I’d like to recommend them to you, particulary The Spiritual Canticle where the depths of the mystery of our union with God in Christ is addressed so beautifully.

Three brief excerpts:

“. . .the Bridegroom [Christ] communicates Himself to the soul by means of the adornment of these virtues, He feeds on the soul, transforming her into Himself, now that she is prepared and seasoned with the flowers of virtues, gifts, and perfections, the seasonings with which, and among which, He feeds on her. By means of the Holy Spirit, who prepares the dwelling, these virtues delight the Son of God so that through them He may feed more on the love of the soul. This is the characteristic of the Bridegroom: to unite Himself with the soul amid the fragrance of these flowers.” Stanza 17, #10.

"Turn Your face toward the mountains. . .The face of God is the divinity, and the mountains are the soul’s faculties (memory, intellect, and will). This verse is like saying: Let Your divinity shine on my intellect by giving it divine knowledge, and on my will by imparting to it divine love, and on my memory with the divine possession of glory.
“The soul asks in this line for everything she possibly can ask of Him. She is no longer satisfied with the knowledge and communication of the “back” of God - which was His communication to Moses [Ex. 33:23] - and which is knowledge of Him in His effects and works; she can only be satisfied with God’s face, which is an essential communication of the divinity of the soul. This communication is not brought about through any means, but through a certain contact of the soul with the divinity. This contact is something foreign to everything sensory and accidental, since it is a touch of naked substances - of the soul and the divinity.” Stanza 19, #4

“. . .Beloved, first turn to the interior of my soul, and be enamored of the company - the riches - You have placed there, so that loving the soul through them You may dwell and hide in her. For, indeed, even though they are Yours, since You gave them to her, they also belong to her.” Stanza 19, #6.

I should note that these passages speak of what can be experienced in this life by souls very advanced in their transformation in Christ.


#7

St. Gregory of Nyssa is good on this. God is infinite so we can grow infinitely in grace without ever getting anywhere near His perfection.

Edwin


#8

I believe that we can, and will, reach moral perfection in heaven. Moral perfection consists in freedom from sin and being filled to our own capacity with the grace and life of God. But we can never reach ontological perfection–which is perfection in being.

God’s essence is “to be.” His essence is his existence.
All his infinte perfections of goodness, eternity, mercy, omnipotence, justice, are identical and infinitely coextensive with his very existence.

That we cannot reach, because we are created, not creator.


#9

[quote=FCEGM]Wademann, perhaps you are already familiar with the work of St. John of the Cross. If not, I’d like to recommend them to you, particulary The Spiritual Canticle where the depths of the mystery of our union with God in Christ is addressed so beautifully.

Three brief excerpts:

“. . .the Bridegroom [Christ] communicates Himself to the soul by means of the adornment of these virtues, He feeds on the soul, transforming her into Himself, now that she is prepared and seasoned with the flowers of virtues, gifts, and perfections, the seasonings with which, and among which, He feeds on her. By means of the Holy Spirit, who prepares the dwelling, these virtues delight the Son of God so that through them He may feed more on the love of the soul. This is the characteristic of the Bridegroom: to unite Himself with the soul amid the fragrance of these flowers.” Stanza 17, #10.

"Turn Your face toward the mountains. . .The face of God is the divinity, and the mountains are the soul’s faculties (memory, intellect, and will). This verse is like saying: Let Your divinity shine on my intellect by giving it divine knowledge, and on my will by imparting to it divine love, and on my memory with the divine possession of glory.
“The soul asks in this line for everything she possibly can ask of Him. She is no longer satisfied with the knowledge and communication of the “back” of God - which was His communication to Moses [Ex. 33:23] - and which is knowledge of Him in His effects and works; she can only be satisfied with God’s face, which is an essential communication of the divinity of the soul. This communication is not brought about through any means, but through a certain contact of the soul with the divinity. This contact is something foreign to everything sensory and accidental, since it is a touch of naked substances - of the soul and the divinity.” Stanza 19, #4

“. . .Beloved, first turn to the interior of my soul, and be enamored of the company - the riches - You have placed there, so that loving the soul through them You may dwell and hide in her. For, indeed, even though they are Yours, since You gave them to her, they also belong to her.” Stanza 19, #6.

I should note that these passages speak of what can be experienced in this life by souls very advanced in their transformation in Christ.
[/quote]


#10

Hi FCEGM,

I messed up trying to put your previous response in this post, I’ll try to figure that out later. I’m not a computer guy.

I read the canticle and it was good but, what happens after that, we just hang out feeling good forever? Do we do anything productive? If we reach a certain point of perfection then thats it no more progression, I mean we are talking eternity here. Why did God just decide to make us out of nothing? Was he bored? Are there certain eternal laws that he is subject to. I appreciate reading things that would answer these ?s but, it would be better if you gave me a summary of what you guys believe or if you don’t know thats ok too. I know that some things will be a mystery, but there are some great LDS teachings that answer some of these ?s that sound and feel very logical.


#11

I appreciate reading things that would answer these ?s but, it would be better if you gave me a summary of what you guys believe or if you don’t know thats ok too.

Recall that being perfect in Christ also includes bringing all things together in Christ, so that He is all in all. That’s the active part of perfection, the ever-moving rest in God, the dynamis. Perfection is not a static condition, but a dynamic one, involving us eternally living in relationship with one another. Consider the perfect union between spouses for which all married couples strive. Can one ever exhaust the depths to which one can love one’s spouse? Yet so long as the union is not broken, it is always perfect.

If you’ve already read LDS answers on the subject, then you really ought to consider reading the authors we’ve recommended. Otherwise, you’re going to have a partial and limited understanding of the subject that may be worse than no understanding at all.


#12

The only progression that there is a procession back to the grace of God.

To be with God as Jesus always has. To have what Jesus has always had. A gift given to creation out of a love that cannot be contained. Once back to Gods grace where else would there be to progress? It is easy to offer all of those things that we as Americans would think that we would want. But Gods ways our not our ways, nor His thoughts like our thoughts. Progression to any other place except to God is indeed very much human thought, human ways. It is this very concept that has gotten us into trouble, the reason Christ came to die for us.

 “Grace, God’s presence within you, is like a seed—a vital, growing seed that is destined one day to break forth full-grown.  God has given himself to you, but in a hidden way.  For the time being, you seek him even as you possess him.  But the time will come when your seeking will be over.  You will then see and possess God completely.  This has been revealed.  In his first letter Saint John tells us:  “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but what we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). And in his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul says:  “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (1 Cor 13:12). This is heaven: direct face-to-face vision of God as he is—Father, Son, and Spirit; total and perfect union with God, an ecstasy of fulfillment beyond human imagining; the “now” of eternity in which everything is ever new, fresh, and present to you; the warm flood of joy in the company of Jesus, his Mother, and all the people you have ever known and loved; a total absence of pain, regret, bad memories; the perfect enjoyment of all your powers of mind and (after the resurrection on Judgment Day) of body. This is heaven.  That is to say, this is a pale, human indication of what God has promised to those who love him, of what Christ has gained for us by his death and Resurrection.

The Handbook for Today’s Catholic

Copyright 1994 Liguori Publications.
Used with permission.


#13

We have books too. Have you guys read A Marvelous Work And A Wonder by Legrand Richards or, Truth Restored by Gordon B. Hinkley or, Jesus the Christ and Articles of Faith both by James Talmage? What’s nice about modern day revelation is we have answers to some of these questions, that make a lot more sense than what I hear from other religions.


#14

They can’t create a logical problem where there is none, regardless of what they say. Your lack of an argument for your position makes me strongly suspicious that they don’t have one either, or at least not a valid one. And incidentally, I don’t appreciate your tactic of asking what appears to be a sincere question in order to conceal your presentation of an apologetic argument. I wouldn’t have wasted my time answering your question if I knew you were simply trying to convert people to Mormonism, rather than actually studying the issue.


#15

JPrejean,

I am asking sincere questions but, if I’m told to go read a book for the answers, I can say the same thing about these books, because they have answers too. I could also take excerpts from them that would argue my point. The point is they have answers to some of these ?'s that are plausible and easily understood as opposed to “it’s deeper than we can ever understand” as some would say. I don’t think the Gospel was meant to be exclusively for only those with a big brain. Have you ever read any of the books that I mentioned or the Book of Mormon? If not then should I assume you are not sincere in your search for truth. If you will read A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, I will read whatever book you want me to read but, remember I not as smart as you.


#16

The point is they have answers to some of these ?'s that are plausible and easily understood as opposed to “it’s deeper than we can ever understand” as some would say.

I never said that “it’s deeper than we can ever understand.” I’ve given my suggestions for supplementary reading, and I laid out the description of ever-moving rest as clearly as I could. I’m sorry if that isn’t adequate to answer your questions, but it’s the best I can do.

I’m not particularly interested in the Mormon argument. I don’t see any flaws in the Catholic position, so there aren’t any questions that “need answering” in my view. I don’t say that to denigrate the Mormon position (about which I know relatively little), but at this point, I don’t see any reason to look there. My top priority is Orthodox-Catholic relations, followed by Protestant-Catholic relations, and that’s where I focus my energies absent some pressing motive to do otherwise.


#17

Ahh, I see how it is now.

Question: can any being, unaided, make another being as perfect or more perfect than itself?


#18

If you think that we can “grow up” to become gods, then your conception of the One God is too small.

As long as we’re talking about books, try Frank Sheed.


#19

Wademann,
They are right in that you really aren’t interested in what they believe about what happens in eternity. They know what they believe and you know what you believe. Neither side will admit one side might be correct, because each believes devoutly in their own answers.
As for me of course I am LDS also, so the LDS position seems perfectly logical to me and the Catholic explanation of spirits and Jesus and His Mother and all this face to face merging, sounds like as Catholics you will just be as spirits floating around God and feeling really good and happy.
We believe, we will be just the way we are here on earth after the resurrection and just going on for eternity in family units, working as we do here, and continually progressing and learning as spirits reunited with our bodies. We will be in God’s presence and there will be no illness or contention, and all will be according to the works we did on earth, to earn our place in Heaven.
That is just a nutshell from my own words, not from any books, so probably wrong to all of you even the LDS. Just my own feelings and interpretation of things. I know when my friend died, I held his hand and I felt the words come to me to tell him to reach out for his father’s hand. He was afraid to die and he was atheist. His own father had died when he was only 17 and I felt an inspiration in his last hours to tell him to not be afraid, but to reach out and grasp his father’s hand, that his father was waiting to greet him on the other side. I said do not be afraid, it is like going into another room and your family who has gone before will be there. He relaxed and let go and went peacefully. Maybe, this is not the way Catholics believe it happens, but I feel very strongly that I was inspired to say the words I said and I know that I will see my family again and we will be together and progress together as a family in Eternity.
BJ


#20

Just one more thing we may not reach perfection in eternity, because it is an ongoing goal, but I can say one thing, if I believed in the Heaven that the Catholics in this forum have described, I would not want to go. If I can’t be with my family in a family unit then Heaven does not exist for me, because being with my family is Heaven to me. I would not care where I went, it can be oblivion or hell, if my family and my friends are not there with me.
BJ


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