✟ The Unity and Trinity of God ✟
The Nature of God
Revealed Truth (Defined Dogma)

The immediate vision of God transcends the natural power of
cognition of the human soul, and is therefore supernatural.

Lay Catechist Notes
    The human soul has its foundation and its creation from God and requires supernatural life in order to function as it was intended. The immediate vision of God is a gift absolutely exceeding all natural capabilities of every created and creatable intellect and hence it is absolutely supernatural in nature - it is totally and utterly inaccessible to human nature. A human being can't even look at the sun without becoming blind - how much more impossible to look upon the creator of the sun.
Divine Revelation (Scriptural Proof)
  • 16Who only hath immortality, and inhabiteth light inaccessible, whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16)
  • 18No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)
  • 10For with thee is the fountain of life; and in thy light we shall see light. (Psalms 35:10)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • 1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live forever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face: By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.
  • 1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision": How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.
  • 1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."
Ecumenical Council Documents
  • General Council of Vienne (1311)
    • 28 - Denounced as "sacrilegious" the perverse doctrine taught by the Beghards and Beguines:
      • 5. "Fifthly, that any intellectual nature in itself is naturally blessed, and that the soul does not need the light of glory to elevate it to see God and enjoy Him blissfully."(this, the Council concluded, was perverse doctrine)
Fathers and Doctors of the Church Documents
  • Summa Theologica - The One God (1265) - The Highest Study of God - Thomas Aquinas
    • Whether the First Man Saw God Through His Essence"
      • "On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 15:46): "That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural." But to see God through His Essence is most spiritual. Therefore the first man in the primitive state of his natural life did not see God through His Essence."
      • "I answer that, The first man did not see God through His Essence if we consider the ordinary state of that life; unless, perhaps, it be said that he saw God in a vision, when "God cast a deep sleep upon Adam" (Gen. 2:21). The reason is because, since in the Divine Essence is beatitude itself, the intellect of a man who sees the Divine Essence has the same relation to God as a man has to beatitude. Now it is clear that man cannot willingly be turned away from beatitude, since naturally and necessarily he desires it, and shuns unhappiness. Wherefore no one who sees the Essence of God can willingly turn away from God, which means to sin. Hence all who see God through His Essence are so firmly established in the love of God, that for eternity they can never sin. Therefore, as Adam did sin, it is clear that he did not see God through His Essence."

  • Summa Theologica - On Man (1265) - The Highest Study of God - Thomas Aquinas
    • "Whether the Created Intellect Needs Any Created Light in Order to See the Essence of God?"
      • "Reply to Objection 1: The created light is necessary to see the essence of God, not in order to make the essence of God intelligible, which is of itself intelligible, but in order to enable the intellect to understand in the same way as a habit makes a power abler to act. Even so corporeal light is necessary as regards external sight, inasmuch as it makes the medium actually transparent, and susceptible of color."
      • "Reply to Objection 2: This light is required to see the divine essence, not as a similitude in which God is seen, but as a perfection of the intellect, strengthening it to see God. Therefore it may be said that this light is to be described not as a medium in which God is seen, but as one by which He is seen; and such a medium does not take away the immediate vision of God." 
    • "Whether the Essence of God Is Seen by the Created Intellect Through an Image?"
      • "Therefore it must be said that to see the essence of God, there is required some similitude in the visual faculty, namely, the light of glory strengthening the intellect to see God, which is spoken of in the Psalm (35:10), "In Thy light we shall see light." The essence of God, however, cannot be seen by any created similitude representing the divine essence itself as it really is." 
    • "Whether the Essence of God Can Be Seen with the Bodily Eye?"
      • "I answer that, It is impossible for God to be seen by the sense of sight, or by any other sense, or faculty of the sensitive power. For every such kind of power is the act of a corporeal organ, as will be shown later. Now act is proportional to the nature which possesses it. Hence no power of that kind can go beyond corporeal things. For God is incorporeal, as was shown above. Hence He cannot be seen by the sense or the imagination, but only by the intellect."
      • "Reply to Objection 1: The words, "In my flesh I shall see God my Saviour," do not mean that God will be seen with the eye of the flesh, but that man existing in the flesh after the resurrection will see God."