Delve into the celestial realm with Saint Anselm of Canterbury and contemplate the extraordinary connections between souls in heaven. Experience the unity, strength, and unparalleled bliss that will define our relationships in paradise. Begin your exploration now.

Friendship In Heaven

What will our relationship with other souls be like in heaven? Reflect with Saint Anselm of Canterbury as he meditates upon the wonderful friendship among the souls in heaven and the concord, power, and perfect joy that we will experience together in paradise.


The Wonderful Friendship Amongst The Souls In Heaven

Does it not follow from the wisdom described in the previous chapter [whereby all will know and understand each other perfectly], that a certain marvelous and all-encompassing friendship shall prevail amongst the souls in heaven? By means of this unitive and unanimous friendship, each will embrace the other with sincere fervor of love.

For I cannot see how it should be otherwise, since all are members of the very same body of Christ. And Christ, Who Himself is our peace, shall be the one head of all. In the same way that no members of a body, even the lesser ones, are not truly loved by the body itself and all the other members which comprise it, even so will all the souls in the kingdom of heaven be united in affection and perfect solidarity.

You will love all your heavenly companions just as they will all love you. Consider how much love and friendship you shall thus enjoy in the shared possession of that glorious kingdom of eternal joy and peace!

Nevertheless, let us pass from the friendship which will exist among the souls of the blessed and contemplate now another good thing which shall come to you in that future life in heaven. For there will be One Who loves you more than you love yourself, and more than all the other blessed beings combined could possibly love you. And you also shall love this One—Who is God Himself—more than you love all others and more than you love yourself. And that divine love will be of a sweetness that exceeds all description and a delight which transcends all comprehension!

Concord

It is known that even among people who sincerely love each other, disagreements and differences are apt to spring up from time to time. One person sees things in one way, while another views them in another. One desires what another flees from, and vice versa. For this reason, it is pertinent to add to our enumeration of the good things of heaven the fact that as well as universal love and friendship, there will also be universal concord or agreement. For without this concord, there would be a certain impairment of, or blemish upon, the perfect goodness and peace which shall there prevail.

There will indeed be such concord and unanimity there that you shall never sense anyone who differs in the least from what you will yourself. We shall all truly be one Body, one Church, and one Spouse of Christ. There will be no more discord than there is between the different members of the same body. Just as you will observe in the motion of your eyes, whenever you turn one eye to look in a particular direction the other eye automatically turns its gaze in the same direction, so shall the will of all those in heaven be united in the same intention, without any discrepancy whatsoever.

Power

For all souls who have attained entrance into the kingdom of heaven, their will shall always be in perfect accord with the will of God Himself. They shall want everything that God wants and not wish for anything which God does not want. Now, if your own will is identical to the will of God, it necessarily follows that there can be nothing which you desire which you are not able to attain. In this regard, you shall share in the omnipotence of God, since whatever He wills (which will be exactly the same as what you will) is done; thus you shall be, effectively, omnipotent yourself!

Perfect Joy

If there is anyone whom you love just as much as you love yourself, you will rejoice in the happiness of that person just as much as you will rejoice in your own. So, if there was such a person who possessed blessings and joys which were equal to your own, would not your own happiness be thereby doubled? Would it not be the case that if there were two, or even more, whom you loved just as much as yourself, your own happiness would increase when you perceived that their own joys equaled yours?

If you recall what we have written about the universal and perfect friendship which shall redound in the kingdom of heaven, you will realize that you shall love all the other souls of the blessed as much as yourself, and they will likewise love you with an equal love. And there shall be there a thousand times a thousand souls who enjoy the perfection of happiness, or rather a thousand times a hundred thousand, or rather a number which is utterly incomprehensible and uncountable! And, [applying the principle we have just described], each one shall have their own joys multiplied in perceiving the joys of all the others.

This supreme joy, therefore, will be both inside and outside, joy above and joy below, joy surrounding the soul in every direction and in every aspect! And this, as we have said at the beginning of our discourse, is “what God has prepared for those who love him.” This is what, in my judgment, can be described—insofar as it is possible to be described—as eternal beatitude, eternal happiness, the perfect fullness of all possible comforts and delights, in which nothing at all shall be lacking. This is what all the friends of God will possess in the unending life to come! Nevertheless, we do not claim to have fully or adequately described it. For it is, to be sure, infinitely more than all we have managed to convey in our humble and simple words.

This article is taken from a chapter in The Glories of Heaven: The Supernatural Gifts that Await Body & Soul in Paradise by Saint Anselm of Canterbury which is available from TAN Books

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