Today’s post is a small excerpt from The Happiness of Heaven: The Joys and Rewards of the Eternal Glory by Fr. J. Boudreau, S.J. I came across this excerpt a few weeks ago, and liked it very much; and I think you will, too. According to one publisher of this book, Tan Publishing, Fr. Boudreau was:
…a priest of the Society of Jesus and author of the nineteenth century. His work The Happiness of Heaven: The Joys and Rewards of Eternal Glory was originally published in 1872 by John Murphy & Company, Maryland. It discusses the infinite joy of the souls in Heaven, as well as the fact that all baptized persons are capable of obtaining it, no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be. Father Boudreau’s book was also reset and published by TAN in 1984 with the Imprimatur.
Tan Publishing states that The Happiness of Heaven shows how:
…the joys of Heaven stem from the direct vision of God–the joys of the heart; of the mind; of physical beauty; of the senses; of friendship; and of perfect love of God. Tells of the magnificent variety in Heaven. How Mary Magdalen’s glory exceeds that of many innocent souls; etc. Explains that a high degree of glory in Heaven is within the reach of all baptized souls; however poor; ignorant or insignificant they may be here.
The book may be purchased online, and it may also be read for free, here. The following is the small excerpt I mentioned, above, wherein Fr. Boudreau compares the soul to a diamond which God polishes and forms in this life, so as to live with Him in happiness in the life to come:
A diamond, carefully cut and perfectly polished, sparkles and shines in the sun with exceeding brilliancy. It not only reflects the light, but also absorbs it into itself, so as to shine even in the dark with the light it has absorbed. It actually becomes, as it were, a little sun, shining with its own light. It is thus become a partaker of the sun’s nature, while it retains its own peculiar diamond nature and individuality. This is an image of what takes place in the Beatific Vision. While the soul was in this world, God had polished her by the sacraments and by sufferings; and now that she is in His presence, and sees Him as He is, she shines and sparkles in His light with unspeakable splendor. She reflects and absorbs the divine light and beauty of God. She is like God, because she sees Him as He is; she is made a partaker of the divine nature, while she retains her own human nature and personal identity.
…. But remember, too, that God, who created you without your cooperation, will not save you without it. He will never polish your soul into a jewel fit for Heaven in spite of yourself. You must, therefore, cooperate with Him, and do His holy will in all things. However painful may be the trials He sends you, they are all so many strokes to take away some roughness or deformity which would prevent your soul from being perfectly like Him.
This nineteenth century Jesuit warns us to cooperate with God, doing “His holy will in all things,” vs. doing our own will; which seems to be the advice du jour in some, not all, Jesuit circles today. It seems if we accept that we shall undergo sufferings and “strokes” from God, it makes them easier to bear, remembering that He is taking away some roughness or deformity which would prevent your (our) soul(s) from being perfectly like Him (paraphrase from book excerpt, above).
Diamonds, today is the twenty-fifth day of the month: may you have a good Little Christmas.