How the Blessed Will Go Up Into Heaven After the Judgment: (Part II)

Next will come the choir of archangels, and with them those saints who have deserved a place in this second angelic choir. God-fearing married people, devout widows, besides other pious persons who have lived in the world, will, adorned in marvellous beauty, laud and magnify God with the archangels.

 In the third place will come the choir of powers, amongst whom will be all priests who have led a holy life on earth. The choir of the principalities will come next, with all the saintly bishops and prelates who have ruled the Church to the glory of God and the salvation of those who have been subject to them.

The choir of virtues will come fifth with the doctors of the Church and all who, by their doctrine and preaching, have converted unbelievers, and brought them to the knowledge of the true faith.

 In the sixth place will come the choir of the dominations, with the confessors who suffered great persecution for the faith, and died in misery and destitution for Christ’s sake.

 The choir of the thrones will follow next, with the holy martyrs who shed their blood, and gladly gave up their lives for the name of Christ.

The eighth choir is that of the cherubim, amongst whose ranks will be those holy virgins who have not merely kept their chastity unsullied, but who, consumed by divine charity, have led a life of highest perfection

The ninth and highest of the angelic choirs is that of the seraphim. With them will be the holy apostles and servants of Christ, who, following in the footsteps of the Redeemer, have lived on earth an angel’s life.

In a word, every one of the blessed will have his place assigned him in whichever of the angelic choirs for whose company his virtues render him most fit.

 How glorious will be the procession of the choirs, and how melodious the celestial canticles they will sing! Words fail us when we attempt to describe it. And to close the triumphal cortège the King of heaven and earth comes, crowned with splendor, Christ, the first begotten Son of the heavenly Father, accompanied by His most blessed Mother the Virgin Mary. He is surrounded with such beauty and majesty that heaven and earth, angels and men, are struck with amazement. In fact this ascension into heaven will be in every respect attended with such grandeur and glory, it will be so inexpressibly sublime and beautiful, that the lips even of an angel would fail to give an adequate idea of it.

Consider what will be the rapture of the redeemed when they soar aloft through the air, both soul and body, as if they were pure spirits, ascending ever and ever higher, beyond the shining orbs of heaven with their golden refulgence, approaching nearer and nearer to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God. And oh! what ecstatic joy will inebriate them when they enter through the golden gates, and behold the splendor and magnificence of the city of God. When the Queen of Saba saw the magnificence of Solomon’s palace, she was struck dumb with astonishment. But a greater than Solomon is there, and the majesty and loveliness of the palace of the King of kings is infinitely greater than that of any earthly monarch.

Hence we may surmise what the blissful rapture of the blessed will be, when it is granted them to behold what God has prepared for them that love Him. Dost thou not desire, O pious Christian, to dwell with the redeemed and enjoy the unspeakable delights of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem?

This article is taken from a chapter in The Four Last Things by Fr. Martin von Cochem, which is available from TAN Books.

Fr. Martin von Cochem (1630-1712) was a celebrated German
theologian, preacher and ascetical writer who was a renowned professor of sacred theology.