PART III: LIFE IN CHRIST
Section Two: The Ten Commandments
Chapter 2: “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”
Article 10, The Tenth Commandment (cont’d)
IV. “I Want to See God”
§ 2548 Desire for true happiness frees man from his immoderate attachment to the goods of this world so that he can find his fulfillment in the vision and beatitude [blessedness] of God. “The promise [of seeing God] surpasses all beatitude…In Scripture, to see is to possess…Whoever sees God has obtained all the goods of which he can conceive” (DB 6: PG 44, 1265A).
§ 2549 It remains for the holy people to struggle, with grace from On High, to obtain the good things God promises. In order to possess and contemplate God, Christ’s faithful mortify their cravings and, with the grace of God, prevail over the seductions of pleasure and power.
§ 2550 On this way of perfection, the Spirit and the Bride call whoever hears them (cf. Revelations 22:17) to perfect communion with God:
- “There will true glory be, where no one will be praised by mistake or flattery; true honor will not be refused to the worthy, nor granted to the unworthy; likewise, no one unworthy will pretend to be worthy, where only those who are worthy will be admitted. There true peace will reign, where no one will experience opposition either from self or others. God Himself will be virtue’s reward; He gives virtue and has promised to give Himself as the best and greatest reward that could exist… ‘I shall be their God and they will be my people…’ This is also the meaning of the Apostle’s words: ‘So that God may be all in all.’ God Himself will be the goal of our desires; we shall contemplate Him without end, love Him without surfeit, praise Him without weariness. This gift, this state, this act, like eternal life itself, will assuredly be common to all” (DCD 22, 30: PL 41, 801-802; cf. Leviticus 26:12; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28).
§ 2551 “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
§ 2552 The Tenth Commandment forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power.
§ 2553 Envy is sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to have them for oneself. It is a capital sin.
§ 2554 The baptized person combats envy through good-will, humility, and abandonment to the Providence of God.
§ 2555 Christ’s faithful “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24); they are led by the Spirit and follow His desires.
§ 2556 Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. “Blessed are the poor in spirit (Mt 5:3a)”
§ 2557 “I want to see God” expresses the true desire of man. Thirst for God is quenched by the water of eternal life (cf. John 4:14).
Tomorrow – Part IV: Christian Prayer
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “DB” – St. Gregory of Nyssa, “De Beatitudinibus [About Happiness]”
- “DCD” – St. Augustine, “De Civitate Dei [City of God]”
- “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1857‑1866 A.D.)
- “PL” – “Patrologia Latina [Latin Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Latin language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1841‑1855 A.D.)