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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE TWELFTH ARTICLE: "Life everlasting. Amen."
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Whatever is delightful will be there in abundant fullness. Thus, if

pleasures are desired, there will be the highest and most perfect pleasure,

for it derives from the highest good, namely, God: "Then shalt thou abound

in delights in the Almighty."12 "At the right hand are delights even to the

end."13 Likewise, if honors are desired, there too will be all honor. Men

wish particularly to be kings, if they be laymen; and to be bishops, if

they be clerics. Both these honors will be there: "And hath made us a

kingdom and priests."14 "Behold how they are numbered among the children of

God."15 If knowledge is desired, it will be there most perfectly, because

we shall possess in the life everlasting knowledge of all the natures of

things and all truth, and whatever we desire we shall know. And whatever we

desire to possess, that we shall have, even life eternal: "Now, all good

things come to me together with her."16 "To the just their desire shall be



Again, most perfect security is there. In this world there is no perfect

security; for in so far as one has many things, and the higher one's

position, the more one has to fear and the more one wants. But in the life

everlasting there is no anxiety, no labor, no fear.


"And My people shall sit in the beauty of peace,"18 and "shall enjoy

abundance, without fear of evils."19


Finally, in heaven there will be the happy society of all the blessed, and

this society will be especially delightful. Since each one will possess all

good together with the blessed, and they will love one another as

themselves, and they will rejoice in the others' good as their own. It will

also happen that, as the pleasure and enjoyment of one increases, so will

it be for all: "The dwelling in thee is as it were of all rejoicing."20


12. Job, xxii. 26.


13. Ps. xv. 11. "To enumerate all the delights with which the souls of the

blessed will be filled, would be an endless task. We cannot even conceive

them in thought. The happiness of the Saints is filled to overflowing of

all those pleasures which can be enjoyed or even desired in this life,

whether they pertain to the powers of the mind or the perfection of the

body" ("Roman Catechism," "loc. cit.," 12).


14. Apoc., v. 10


15. Wis., v. 5. "How distinguished that honor must be which is conferred by

God Himself, who no longer calls them servants, but friends, brethren, and

sons of God. Hence, the Redeemer will address His elect in these infinitely

loving and highly honorable words: 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess

you the kingdom prepared for you' " ("Roman Catechism." "loc. cit.," 11).


16. Wis.. vii. 11.


17. Prov., x. 24.


18. Isa., xxxii. 10. This is in the Vives edition, Chapter XV.


19. Prov., i. 33.


20. Ps. lxxxvi. 7.


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