What Will Be the Happiness
of the Blessed
Every object which then it will see in God Himself will overwhelm it with delight: it will see the righteousness of His judgments, the harmony of His degrees regarding every soul, all directed to His own divine glory and the good of each soul.
It will especially perceive, in respect to itself, the boundless love which God has entertained toward it in becoming man and sacrificing His life upon the Cross through love of it. Then will it know what an excess of goodness is contained in the mystery of the Cross, in the sight of God-become-a-servant and dying crucified upon an infamous gibbet, and in the mystery of the Eucharist, in the sight of God concealed beneath the species of bread and become the food of His creatures.
The soul will perceive in particular all the graces and favors bestowed on it, which until then had been hidden. It will see all the mercies He has shown it in waiting for it and pardoning its ingratitude. It will see the many calls and lights and aids which have been granted to it in abundance. It will see that those tribulations, those infirmities, those losses of property or of kindred, which it regarded as punishments, were not really punishments, but loving dispensations on the part of God to draw it to a perfect love for Him.
In a word, all these things will make known to it the infinite goodness of its God and the boundless love which he deserves. Hence, no sooner will it have reached Heaven than its sole desire will be to see Him blessed and happy; and at the same time, comprehending that the happiness of God is supreme, infinite and eternal, it will experience only a joy which is not infinite, because a creature is not capable of anything infinite. It will enjoy, nevertheless, a delight which is immense and complete, and will fill it with joy, and with that same joy which belongs to God Himself; and thus will be fulfilled in it the words: "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:23).
The Blessed are happy, not so much through the delight which they experience in themselves, as through the happiness which God enjoys. For as the Blessed love God immensely more than themselves, so the well-being of God delights them immensely more than their own on account of the love which they bear to Him. And this love for God will make them forget themselves, and all their delight will be to please their Beloved.
And this is that holy and loving inebriation which causes the Blessed to lose all thought of themselves, to occupy themselves solely in praising and loving the Dear Object of all their love, which is God. "They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house." (Psalms 35:9). Happy from their first entrance into Heaven, they continue, as it were, "lost," and so to say, "drowned" in love, in that boundless ocean of the goodness of God.
Wherefore every blessed soul will lose all its vain desires and will have no other desire but to love God and to be loved by Him; and knowing itself secure of always loving God and of being always loved by Him, this will be its blessedness, which will fill it with joy and will make it throughout eternity so satiated with delight that it will desire nothing more.
In a word, this will be the Paradise of the Blessed, to rejoice in the happiness of God. And therefore, he who in this life rejoices in the blessedness which God enjoys, and will enjoy eternally, can say that even in this life he enters into the joy of God and begins to enjoy Paradise.
Meanwhile, O my sweet Savior and the Love of my soul, I still see myself in this vale of tears surrounded by enemies, who seek to separate me from Thee. O my beloved Lord, permit me not to lose Thee; make me always love Thee, both in this life and in the next, and then dispose of me as Thou pleasest.
O Queen of Paradise, it thou prayest for me, assuredly I shall be with thee eternally, to bear thee company and to praise thee in Paradise.
[Excepted from 'Devout Reflections and Meditations' by St. Alphonsus Liguori] (Public domain)