The Profession of Faith
that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of
heaven—through a purification
diate and everlasting damnation.
At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.
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:
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.
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.
To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in
but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their
For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there
is the kingdom.
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,
(1336): DS 1000-1001; John XXII,
(1334): DS 990.
596 Cf. Benedict XII,
(1336): DS 1002.
597 St. John of the Cross,
599 Benedict XII,
(1336): DS 1000; cf.
602 St. Ambrose,
10, 121: PL 15, 1834A.