Someone told me that, when we go to heaven, we will see God face-to-face. Is that true?
Indeed it is. Theologians call this the “Beatific Vision” (the word “beatific” is the adjective form of the word “beatitude,” which means “a state of supreme joy”).
Scripture says that the angels already behold the face of God:
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 18:10)
Paul says that we will see the Lord face to face on the day when everything imperfect will pass away:
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.” (1 Cor 13:12)
John echoes this same sentiment:
“Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2)
There are two other passages of Scripture that scholars think may pertain to this vision as well:
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” (Mt 5:8)”As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with beholding thy form” (Psa 17:15).
I think the Beatific Vision should be the passionate desire of every Christian, just as it was of Job:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
What’s amazing about the Beatific Vision is that within the invisible God is the Son, who took on a visible body in the person of Jesus Christ. Our minds aren’t yet capable of grasping such a thing, but when we stand before Him, we will finally understand, and we will bask in the glow of the amazing mystery that is our Trinitarian Lord and Savior.
Peace of Christ to you,
WIMM Board Member
Director of Religious Education, Blessed Mother Catholic Church
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