Page 5, 28th August 1970

28th August 1970
Page 5
Page 5, 28th August 1970 — Eternal life without the beatific vision

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Eternal life without the beatific vision

I REGRET that Fr. Symon wrote of eternal life without mention of the beatific vision (Aug. 21). But I am con

cerned here with his statement : "in heaven our bodies will not he those we possess here on earth . . . they will not be subject . . to the conditions of space and time."

The second part is. I am sure, above reproach. but not the first. The Eleventh Council of Toledo (675 A.D.) decreed : "We confess the resurrection of the flesh of all the dead. And we believe that we shall rise again. not in any ethereal or different flesh (as some have foolishly supposed) but in the flesh in which we live and move and are."

The Fourth Lateran Council (1215 A.D.) with greater authority and precision taught that all men "will rise again with their own bodies which they now hear about with them." This r el crates Tertullians "all flesh. the identical flesh." The doctrine of the resurrection of this body is found in the writings of St. Justin, St. Clement of Rome, Athenagoras, St. Trenaeus, Tartian, St. Hippolytus and St. Agustine.

There tire difficulties involved in the doctrine, as in other mysteries. Athenagoras (plus 180 A.D.) expounded them. But are the difficulties less formidable in the light of new knowledge? If matter is a form of energy, the , if we were able to ask God "What is my body?", the reply might not be an inventory but an equation. After all. i have the same body that I had thirty years ago, but have I one cell left of the structure of 1940? (Fr.) John McKee Linton.


IREAD with interest the comments of Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas in his column on page 4 of the CATHOLIC' HERALD (14th August) where he asks — as well might we all

— "How can people be aroused out of their indifference to the Christian Gospel?"

I hope it will ,not appear naive to suggest that since the heart of the Gospel is love God's boundless love for mankind as revealed supremely in the Passion of Jesus Christ — our fellow-countrymen need to be made aware of this through the quiet example of the Christians living in their midst.

Before all else. before teaching, exhortation, admonishing. people need to be assured of God's love for them and of their great need of His love if they are to develop their full potential as human beings. We must show that we love our fellow men and women as Our I.ord did, not in the first place to make them Christians. but simply because they are men and women. for whom Christ died.

If this simple. though far from easy. approach were to be more effectively attempted perhaps we should see our countrymen flock to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as the people of New Testament days did to Our Lord moving among them as man. "And 1, if i be lifted up. shall draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).

John G. Evans Walsall. Staffs.

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