Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 195.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM

REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P. 


To all these advantages must be added, that of living in the company of angels, of enjoying the conversation of all those sublime spirits, and of seeing those noble troops of saints, who are more bright and glorious than the stars of heaven. There the patriarchs shall appear with glory, for their perfect obedience, and the prophets, for their lively hope; there you shall behold the martyrs adorned with crowns, dyed in their own blood, and the virgins clothed in white robes, in token of their chastity. But what tongue shall be able to express the majesty of the sovereign Monarch, who resides in the midst of them all ? Were we every day to suffer fresh torments, nay, should we undergo for some time the pains of hell itself, that we might see the Lord in his glory, and enjoy the happy company of his elect, it would certainly be worth our while to endure all this, that we might arrive at such a height of happiness. Thus far St. Augustine.

If, therefore, this be so great a blessing, how happy shall those eyes be, that are to be always fixed on those objects! What a happiness must it be, to see this stately city, to behold these honourable citizens in all their glory, to have a sight of the face of this Creator, the magnificence of these buildings, the riches of these palaces, and the common joy of this heavenly country ! What must it be, to behold all the orders of these blessed spirits, the authority of this sacred senate, and the majesty of those venerable elders, whom St. John saw seated on thrones in the presence of God! Apoc. iv. 4. What a pleasure must it be, to hear these angelic voices, these charming singers, and this harmonious music, not in four parts, as ours here is, but in as many parts and of as many different voices as there are blessed souls in heaven! How shall we be charmed when we hear them sing this most ravishing song, which the same St. John once heard: "Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen;" ch. vii. 12. And, if it be so pleasing a thing to hear the harmony of these voices, how much more delightful must it be to see the unity and concord of these unanimous souls and bodies!  to observe what a union there will be between men and angels, but more particularly between men and God! What a happiness shall it be, to see these fine fields, these fountains of life, and these pastures on the mountains of Israel! Ezek. xxxiv. 14. What a glorious thing will it be, to sit down at this sumptuous table, to have a place amongst the guests, to eat of the same dish with Jesus Christ, that is, to share with him in his glory! There the blessed shall be at rest, and have a full enjoyment of eternal bliss. It is there that they shall sing and praise, and be perpetually entertained with the most delicious banquets. Since, therefore, faith tells us, that such great blessings as these are the rewards of virtue, can any man stand so much in his own light as not to resolve on an immediate pursuit after it, in hope of so large a recompense ?