The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas


By the reception of these Sacraments, man is led to future eternal glory which consists in seven gifts, three of the soul and four of the body. The first gift given to the soul is the vision of God in His essence, according to the words: "We shall see Him as He is."[36] The second gift is comprehension, or that understanding of God as the reward of our merits: "So run that you may obtain."[37] The third is perfect enjoyment, wherein we shall have full happiness in God: "Then shalt thou abound in delights of the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face to God."[38]

The first gift which shall be enjoyed by the body is that of impassibility,[39] for "this corruptible must put on incorruption."[40] The second gift is brilliancy: "Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father."[41] The third is agility, through which they can instantly be present wheresoever they wish: "They shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds."[42] The fourth is the gift of subtility, whereby they can penetrate wherever they desire: "It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body."[43] To all of which may He lead us, who liveth and reigneth forever and ever! Amen.

(For "Questions for Discussion" see Chapter 6.)


36. I John, iii. 2.

37. I Cor., ix. 24.

38. Job, xxii. 26.

39. For another description of these gifts, see above, p. 61.

40. I Cor., xv. 53

41. Matt., xiii. 43.

42. Wis., iii. 7

43. I Cor., xv. 14.