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[gthomas] BEATIFIC VISION

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  • anhang bill
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    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 31, 1998
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      >
      >In technical theolgican language the essential joy of heaven is called
      >Beatific Vision. By this is meant the immediate face-to face experience of
      >God in which the human person finds ultimate fulfilment after death.
      >
      >SCRIPTURE
      >
      >Scripture uses many metaphores to speak of the mystery of heaven. The OT
      >offers little textual basis for the notion of Beatific Vision. In the NT
      >there are a number of significant texts . In Mathew 5:8 Jesus assures us
      >that the Pure of Heart are blest "for they shall see God". Mathew 18:10
      >describes heaven as "beholding the face of the Father, and 1 Jn 3:2 speaks
      >of a future state in which we shall see the mystery of the divinity as it
      >is. In 1Cor. 13:11ff Paul draws a sharp contrast between our present
      >knowledge of God and the future, heavenly knowledge ; "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. " The vision of
      >God for which the human person is destined is more intimate than any
      >experience of God while on earth. According to Jn, the person who enjoys
      >such vision will be transformed into the likeness of God (1 Jn 3:2) .
      >
      >Teaching of the majesterium the most important papal text is the
      >Constitution Benedictus Deus of Benedict XII (D.S. 1000-1001) . This
      >document speaks of seeing the divine essence by an "intuitive vision and
      >face-to face" without the mediation of any creature . The divine essence
      >will manifest itself "plainly, clearly, and openly." The principal
      >concilliar text, which is much less explicit in it s language , comes from
      >the council of Florence (D.S. 1305) ; "The souls of those who have
      >committed no sins at all after the reception of baptism, and the souls of
      >those who have committed sin but have been purged either while in the body
      >or after they have left the body behind.....are take immediately into
      >heaven and clearly see God Himself, One and Three, and as He is; some more
      >perfectly than others in accordance with the diversity of their merits ."
      >This teaching is reaffirmed with no additions in more recent documents ,
      >such as Pope Paul VI Credo of the People of God (1968) and the "Letter
      >on certain questiones concerning eschelogical " of the Congregation for
      >the Doctrine of the Faith (1979). From this it is clear that the
      >magisterium teaches that the essential object of heavenly joy is the very
      >mystery of the divinity in its triune reality in as far as this is know
      >immediately and intuitively by the blessed. This knowledge and the joy
      >flowing from it are proportionate to the merit of each individual .
      >
      >THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
      >
      >All other details in the understanding of theabeatific vision are derived
      >from various forms of theological speculation. While the term Vision in
      >itself would seem to place great empasis on the intellectual dimesion of
      >our relation with God, this ought not to be understood in a one sided
      >rationalistic way. This vision is not some sort of theoreatical
      >knowleage, nor a simple apprehension of the divine. However the beatific
      >ison is to be understood in particular, it must abe kept in mind that the
      >final fulfillment of humanity does not reside in the fulfillment of one
      >faculty alone but in the fullfillment of the whole of the person
      >inacluding the full acitvation of all the person's spiritual faculties.
      >The concept of beatific vision is best understood if we think of it in
      >terms of a living, personal exchange between God and the human person.
      >God offers the mystery oif the divine presence to the creature. The human
      >person, on theiother hand, is freed from self -seeking and stands before
      >God in total openness. The acts which constitute the heavenly beatitude
      >are knowlege, love and joy. The basic, unifying act for those who follow
      >Thomas Aquinas is tha of Will. Scholastic theology emphasize the
      >totally supernatural character .......
      >
      >



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    • Mike Grondin
      In private correspondence with Anhang Bill (I still don t know which is his last name and which is his first), some light has been shed on the passage he
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 31, 1998
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        In private correspondence with Anhang Bill (I still don't know which is his
        last name and which is his first), some light has been shed on the passage
        he quoted earlier, which has some similarity to GThom #2. Evidently Bill
        (or so I will call him) downloaded some text from a website he can no
        longer locate. From what Bill has sent me (which comprises sayings numbered
        1-3 and 57-59), the text appears to have some interest to our discussion
        group, if we can but find it. I'll quote the end of what he sent me, in
        hopes that someone can locate the site where this appears:

        > 57 Jesus saith unto the disciples, If ye love me, keep my
        > commandments, for Love cannot rebel but seeketh total unity and
        > perfect peace.
        >
        > 58 Jesus saith, Ye walk in mists of darkness which is the heritage
        > of this world, but within ye have a Light which burneth with
        > Eternal Fire. This will light your Way unto God.
        >
        > 59 Jesus saith, Raise your children in Love and Truth. Cover them
        > with Love and show them the Way of Life through your godly example
        > and they will not depart from it.
        >
        > Home Sacred Scripture Other Revelations Study Helps Feedback

        The last line confirms that this is indeed from a website. Other than that,
        I'm intrigued by the fact that these sayings, while similar to the Coptic
        GThom, seem to combine phrases that occur in different spots in the Coptic
        text. (BTW, I don't know whether #59 is the last one in the collection, or
        just the last one on this particular page.)

        Can anybody locate this website, so we can find out the source of this
        material?

        Mike
        ------------------------------------
        Resources for the Study of NH Codex2
        http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068

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      • Paul Miller
        For those who s e mail system will not recieve a web page within the e mail form here is the url to Bill s lost page
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 31, 1998
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          For those who's e mail system will not recieve a web page within the e mail
          form here is the url to Bill's lost page
          http://www.eagle-net.org/shulemna/jesus.htm

          Paul Miller


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        • Mike Grondin
          Thanks, Paul, for finding this page. Having now looked at it, I have to apologize to listmembers for suggesting that it might be of interest. The website
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 1, 1999
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            Thanks, Paul, for finding this page. Having now looked at it, I have to
            apologize to listmembers for suggesting that it might be of interest. The
            website itself is run by some kind of neo-Mormon group, and the contents of
            the site (aside from standard Mormon fare) are not to be trusted. In
            particular, the "Sayings of Jesus" presented on that site (from which
            Anhang Bill quoted) seems to be composed of bits and pieces of various
            other writings (including GThom), modified and strung together by an
            individual who claims to be under the spell of the Holy Spirit. I think
            that says everything we need to know about the value of this piece of work.

            Mike

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