Heaven is a place where one day the body and the soul of the just person will possess the Beatific Vision. Those in Heaven have the Beatific Vision, meaning that they have the perfect direct communication with God (i.e. they see God face-to-face). The definition of being a saint is to be in Heaven and thus possess the Beatific Vision for all eternity.
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CHAPTER IV. On the Number of the Saved
IN the three previous chapters it has been our pleasurable task to point out how beauteous is the celestial paradise, how great is the happiness enjoyed by the redeemed. And doubtless in the heart of each one of our readers a fervent desire has arisen to gain admission to the realms of eternal light, and become a partaker of its joys. Perhaps each one will feel sure that his hopes in this respect will be fulfilled.
It is, however, greatly to be feared that many a one will come short of the goal, and will be forever excluded from the kingdom of Heaven, as this chapter is intended to demonstrate. Let me, however, beg all who peruse it, not to allow what is said to discourage them, and render them pusillanimous, but rather to let it increase in them the spirit of humility and salutary fear, and stimulate them to greater energy and diligence in working out their salvation, if this appear to them less easy than they were inclined to imagine. My only motive in writing this chapter is to open the eyes of the reader, and show him his danger. For were I not to do this he might go on blindly on the wrong road, and only become aware that it is the road to perdition when it is too late to retrace his steps, when the hand of death draws the veil from his eyes. Thereupon I consider that I shall do the wanderer a service if I enlighten him as to the risk he is incurring, and endeavour to direct his steps into the path to Heaven.
Let me ask thee, O reader, what proportion thinkest thou of all who live upon this earth will be saved? Half? or a third part? or perhaps a quarter? Alas, I fear, and not without good reason, that the number will not be nearly so large. Jesus Christ, Who is eternal Truth, His holy Apostles, and the Fathers of the Church, all tell us that so it will be.
What does Christ say about the number of the elect? His words are these: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” He repeats these words when He speaks of the guest who had not on a wedding garment: “Bind his hands and his feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness. For many are called, but few chosen.” Were nothing more to be found to this intent in the whole of the Scriptures, this passage could not fail to alarm us. But there are many other similar ones, of which I will quote one or two.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew we read that Our Lord said: “Enter ye in at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that lea... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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