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Heaven is perfect happiness with God in the next life. St. Paul tells us 1 Cor 2:9 “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” The greatest happiness of heaven is the beatific vision, seeing God face to face as He really is for all eternity.
The Blessed Trinity illuminates all of heaven. Below God is Mary the Queen of Heaven, and below her the nine choirs of angels, billions of angels in all. And with them are the souls of men and women who have passed their earthly trial and live forever in paradise. Christ compared heaven to a wedding feast. Mt 22:2 St. John told us that heaven is a society, Rv 21:2 “the holy city, New Jerusalem.” Our desire for pleasant companionship will be experienced in the company of the blessed. Each person in heaven will share with all the others whatever he has and rejoice in their happiness. Thus the joy and gladness of each one will be as great as the joy of all.
Each person is as happy as he can be, but some are happier than others. 1 Cor 15:41 “Star differs from star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead.” Some of us develop a sense of radiant joy, a delight in Christ’s presence and a bountiful love of all we meet. Others make less use of God’s gifts. 2 Cor 9:6 “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully.”
The souls in heaven experience pure joy; there is no remorse. They do not think, “Oh, my poor brother was condemned to hell.” They see truth and reality as God does, and delight in His perfect judgment. The Revelation tells us, Rv 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” Jesus told us, Mt 16:27 “The Son of man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man for what he has done.” St. Paul confirms it. 1 Cor 3:8 “Each shall receive his wages according to his labor.” In heaven there is no sorrow, pain or sickness, but complete unending joy. We will know our family and friends, as well as the angels and saints in heaven. Eph 2:19 “You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
CCC 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.” 1 Jn 3:2, cf 1 Cor 13:12, Rev 22:4
CCC 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.”
CCC 1025 “To live in heaven is to be with Christ. The elect live in Christ, but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.
CCC 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.”
CCC 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.” 1 Cor 2:9
CCC 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.”
CCC 1029 “In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to enjoy all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him they shall reign for ever and ever.
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