Mystical City of God/Beatific Vision?

My mother is reading “Mystical City of God” in which it says that Mary received the Beatific Vision early in her life:
stoic-catholic.org/books/MysticalCityofGod/book1c7.shtml

I’m having trouble understanding this since I always thought that the Beatific Vision took away free will since if we see God as He Is, we will never not want to do His will. That would seem to me to take away from Mary’s work here on earth. What am I missing?

Hi,
Without referring to your book there are certain areas of Catholic belief that encompass your question to gain an answer:

  1. Did Satan and his cohorts of angels that rebelled against God, have the beatific vision prior to their rebellion = YES

  2. Was Satan’s rebellion an act of his own free will = YES

  3. Therefore, what is the conceptual relationship between the truth of free will being exercised in the presence of the beatific vision?

  4. Free Will is the greatest gift God has given humankind as it allows His creatures to choose to love Him, the Creator. Would a parent love his/her child less or more if the child’s love for the parent was through no choice or manipulation/coercion etc?

  5. Mary according to Catholic Doctrine is fully human with a fully functioning free will who was assummed into Heaven body and soul who is now receiving the beatific vision.

  6. Regardless of whether she received the beatific vision on earth, (I find this personally doughtful), or now in heaven, it is the realisation of the intense love from God given to her through grace that caused her not to sin through love.

To consider her free will to be taken away by the beatific vision would suggest that God manipulates us to love him or worse still, our free will is anilhiliated and replaced by His Will, which is the heresy of Quietism.

Luke

[quote=LukeQ]1. Did Satan and his cohorts of angels that rebelled against God, have the beatific vision prior to their rebellion = YES
[/quote]

Could you cite something that substantiates this? I had always heard and believed that any intellegent creature who beheld God in all His Glory could not possibly turn from it - the desire to be united with God (when you really see God as He is) would overcome all contrary desires. Therefore, the pre-fall angels could not have enjoyed the fullness of beatific vision.

I also have to disagree with your first point. In fact, I think that if one was to experience the Beatific Vision and then be damned for eternity it would be unbearable.

I found some information here which state that it may still be possible to sin after receiving the Beatific Vision:

newadvent.org/cathen/07170a.htm

Hi Madia,

Your link provides some of the answer and here is a quote from it:

IV. ETERNITY OF HEAVEN AND IMPECCABILITY OF THE BLESSED

It is a dogma of faith that the happiness of the blessed is everlasting. This truth is clearly contained in the Holy Bible (see Section I); it is daily professed by the Church in the Apostles’ Creed (credo . . . vitam aeternam), and it has been repeatedly defined by the Church, especially by Benedict XII (cf. Section III).

Further on in the section it states that theologians are undecided as to the cause of it being impossible for a human to sin, either in heaven or pergatory.

Therefore, my rationale in applying the case of the fallen angels in heaven was not appropriate. However, my point 1. does raise an interesting topic on its own ie: if an angel is in heaven and see the beatific vision, how is it that the fallen angels fell? The question does not apply to us though - thank goodness! :slight_smile:

We still have no answer to your original question about Mary receiving the beatific vision on earth. My understanding is no, particularly after reading your recent link which states that no other creature comes between God’s beatific vision and the soul. Mary had all the distractions we had here on earth - how would a human brain be able to function on earth going about daily chores while seeing God in His Magesty?

Luke

However, my point 1. does raise an interesting topic on its own ie: if an angel is in heaven and see the beatific vision, how is it that the fallen angels fell? The question does not apply to us though - thank goodness! :slight_smile:

I think you’re assuming that the angels received the Beatific Vision before the fall. My understanding is that there was some test and then those angels who were obedient to God received the Beatific Vision and those who disobeyed him were cast out and never received the Beatific Vision. If you want, you can read from “The Mystical City of God”:

stoic-catholic.org/books/MysticalCityofGod/book1c3.shtml

That may give you some idea what happened but I particuraly think that since angels are pure spirit our minds as they now are simply cannot comprehend exactly what happened.

I’m probably getting into some heavy theology with my original question and most likely it isn’t something I need to know.

My understanding is that there was some test and then those angels who were obedient to God received the Beatific Vision and those who disobeyed him were cast out and never received the Beatific Vision.

This is the general theological opinion.

No, it is not possible to sin after recieving the Beatific Vision.

Not because it takes away our Free Will, but because in the Beatifc Vision, God becomes the Ultimate Act of our Free Will.

I do not think Mary could have recieved the Beatific Vision before death…

Hi,

I hope that those who say that the Beatific Vision cannot be given by God to those who are still living on earth especially to the Blessed Virgin, be not hasty in forming conclusions lest you commit grave mistakes. Moses is holy but he is conceived in original sin, the only creature who is not is Mary. We must also remember that The Mystical City of God was examined very carefully on the subject of Faith and Morals before the Holy Mother Church gave her approbation through her leaders. I will quote a passage from the updated Wikipedia:

“As soon as the book appeared in print after Venerable Mary’s death on May 24,1665, the Spanish Inquisition scrutinized it for fourteen years (!) and,finding nothing contrary to faith or morals, allowed the books to be read (Carrico, 86). Lest one will think the Spanish Tribunal was prejudiced in favor of the Spanish nun claiming revelations, but certainly the opposite was true, since in that epoch of Spanish history false mystics were numerous, this being, in fact, a primary reason the Inquisition was revived, not excepting even the great St. Teresa of Avila from its scrutiny.”

And another quote from one of the approbations that can be found inside the Book itself. This one is of His Excellency, Franz Albert, Archbishop of Salzburg and Primate of Germany, to testify what one of the most learned men of his time said (Conception, p. xxii-emphasis of Tim Duff of Daily Catholic):

“The learned and pious Cardinal D’Aguirre says that he considers all the studies of fifty years of his previous life as of small consequence in comparison with the doctrines he found in this book, which in all things are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Fathers and Councils of the Church.”

Are we so proud then as to think that we can think better than these holy learned men?

Sources:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystical_City_of_God
dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm

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