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The Profession of Faith

267

that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of

heaven—through a purification

594

or immediately,

595

—or imme-

diate and everlasting damnation.

596

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.

597

II.

H

eaven

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:

598

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following:

According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all

the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving

Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of

purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or

will need some purification, when they have been purified

after death, . . . ) already before they take up their bodies

again and before the general judgment—and this since the

Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven​

—have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly

Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the

company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of

our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the

divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face,

without the mediation of any creature.

599

1024

This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity—this commun­

ion 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.

1025

To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in

Christ,”

600

but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their

own name.

601

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there

is the kingdom.

602

594 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439): DS

1304-1306; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820.

595 Cf. Benedict XII,

Benedictus Deus

(1336): DS 1000-1001; John XXII,

Ne super

his

(1334): DS 990.

596 Cf. Benedict XII,

Benedictus Deus

(1336): DS 1002.

597 St. John of the Cross,

Dichos

64.

598

1 Jn

3:2; cf.

1 Cor

13:12;

Rev

22:4.

599 Benedict XII,

Benedictus Deus

(1336): DS 1000; cf.

LG

49.

600

Phil

1:23; cf.

Jn

14:3;

1 Thess

4:17.

601 Cf.

Rev

2:17.

602 St. Ambrose,

In Luc.,

10, 121: PL 15, 1834A.

1470

954

260, 326

2794, 1718

1011