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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE TWELFTH ARTICLE: "Life everlasting. Amen."
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We must first consider in this Article what is everlasting life. And in

this we must know that in everlasting life man is united to God. God

Himself is the reward and the end of all our labors: "I am thy protector,

and thy reward exceeding great."3 This union with God consists, firstly, in

a perfect vision: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then

face to face."4 Secondly, in a most fervent love; for the better one is

known, the more perfectly is one loved: "The Lord hath said it, whose fire

is in Sion, and His furnace in Jerusalem."5 Thirdly, in the highest praise.

"We shall see, we shall love, and we shall praise," as says St. Augustine.6

"Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of



Then, too, in everlasting life is the full and perfect satisfying of every

desire; for there every blessed soul will have to overflowing what he hoped

for and desired. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill all his

desires, nor can any created thing fully satisfy the craving of man. God

only satisfies and infinitely exceeds man's desires; and, therefore,

perfect satiety is found in God alone. As St. Augustine says: "Thou hast

made us for Thee, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in

Thee."8 Because the blessed in the Fatherland will possess God perfectly,

it is evident that their desires will be abundantly filled, and their glory

will exceed their hopes. The Lord has said: "Enter thou into the joy of the

Lord."9 And as St. Augustine says: "Complete joy will not enter into those

who rejoice, but all those who rejoice will enter into joy." "I shall be

satisfied when Thy glory shall appear."10 And again: "Who satisfieth thy

desire with good things."11


3. Gen., xv. 1.


4. I Cor., xiii. 12. "The blessed always see God present, and by this

greatest and most exalted of gifts, 'being made partakers of the divine

nature' (II Peter, i. 4), they enjoy true and solid happiness" ("Roman

Catechism," Twelfth Article, 9)


5. Isa., xxxi. 9. Note: This second consideration is found in the vives

edition Chapter XV


6. "Ibi vacabimus, et videbimus: videbimus, et amabimus: amabimus, et

laudabimus" ("There we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we

shall love; we shall love and we shall praise," in "The city of God," Book

XXII, Chapter xxx).


7. Isa., li. 3.


8. "Confessions," Book I, 1.


9. Matt., xxv. 21.


10. Ps. xvi. 15.


11. Ps. cii. 5.


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