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428

Part Three

1719

The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the

ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This

vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the

Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have

accepted the promise and live from it in faith.

III.

C

hristian

B

eatitude

1720

The New Testament uses several expressions to charac-

terize the beatitude to which God calls man:

— the coming of the Kingdom of God;

16

— the vision of God: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall

see God”;

17

— entering into the joy of the Lord;

18

— entering into God’s rest:

19

There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall

love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end.

For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom

which has no end?

20

1721

God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him,

and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us “partakers of the

divine nature” and of eternal life.

21

With beatitude, man enters into

the glory of Christ

22

and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.

1722

Such beatitude surpasses the understanding and powers

of man. It comes from an entirely free gift of God: whence it is called

supernatural, as is the grace that disposes man to enter into the

divine joy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It is

true, because of the greatness and inexpressible glory of God,

that “man shall not see me and live,” for the Father cannot

be grasped. But because of God’s love and goodness toward

us, and because he can do all things, he goes so far as to grant

those who love him the privilege of seeing him. . . . For “what

is impossible for men is possible for God.”

23

16 Cf.

Mt

4:17.

17

Mt

5:8; cf.

1 Jn

2;

1 Cor

13:12.

18

Mt

25:21-23.

19 Cf.

Heb

4:7-11.

20 St. Augustine,

De civ. Dei

22, 30, 5: PL 41, 804.

21

2 Pet

1:4; cf.

Jn

17:3.

22 Cf.

Rom

8:18.

23 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

4, 20, 5: PG 7/1, 1034-1035.

1950

1027

260

1028

294