“If we desire knowledge, there will be most perfect knowledge, because we shall know all the natures of things and all truth–and whatever we wish, we shall know. We shall possess whatever we desire to possess, together with eternal life itself.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas,” pg. 152. Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.
Do any of you ever feel as if you could stay at the feet of your favorite teacher for days on end, just absorbing all of the new, fascinating information that teacher gives? I’m sure the disciples of Our Lord felt the same way, but in a superlative degree, when they heard Our Lord speaking and teaching. Although they often could not quite grasp the depth of the truths He was speaking, they still gathered with the crowds to listen, to absorb, to be enriched by His words, the very Word Itself speaking truth to them. We as human beings crave knowledge, and this is only natural, for in our inmost souls we long to know God as He is–this is our greatest Good, after all.
What a comforting and motivating thought it is, then, to hear our Saint tell us that in heaven, we shall have perfect knowledge, perfect understanding, and that all shall be revealed to us. “We shall know all the natures of things and all truth–and whatever we wish, we shall know.” This makes me a little giddy just thinking about it–forever at the feet of God, forever learning, forever (as I imagine it) as a child with eyes open wide and mouth agape in wonder! What else could be desired? And the most perfect of these gifts of knowledge–knowing God, seeing Him face to face, and knowing that He has known us so intimately, has cared for us so tenderly, and now is revealing His glory to us, giving to us the very best and most priceless gift He has to offer–Himself! To be rapt in this beatific vision should be the prize we all run for, and the motivation to persevere through all trials and temptations.
Let us, then, fix our eyes upon God now, upon the truths that we see so dimly now but still fill us with awe, as a little child looking to its Father and its Teacher, longing for the day when we shall see and understand, when all shall be revealed to us, and when we shall be drawn and bound forever to God with tender cords of love, of most perfect knowledge and bliss. This should be our desire, our goal, our prize, and our treasure always–let us pray that we may always desire heaven, desire our God, above all else, using this Holy Season of Lent to detach ourselves from the world and attach our desires to those things which shall never pass away, and which only God can give, for only He can give to us of Himself, Who is our only and greatest Good!