CCC 163 Faith makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here below. Then we shall see God “face to face”, “as he is”.1 So faith is already the beginning of eternal life:
When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall one day enjoy.2
CCC 1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:3
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.4
CCC 1161 All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the “cloud of witnesses”5 who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man “in the image of God,” finally transfigured “into his likeness,”6 who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ:
Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.7
CCC 1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God’s gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become “children of God,”8 “partakers of the divine nature.”9 Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ.”10 They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.
CCC 2519 The “pure in heart” are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him.11 Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as “neighbors”; it lets us perceive the human body – ours and our neighbor’s – as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.
CCC 2772 From this unshakeable faith springs forth the hope that sustains each of the seven petitions, which express the groanings of the present age, this time of patience and expectation during which “it does not yet appear what we shall be.”12 The Eucharist and the Lord’s Prayer look eagerly for the Lord’s return, “until he comes.”13
CCC 2822 Our Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”14 He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”15 His commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”16 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.
1 1 Cor 13:12; I Jn 3:2.
2 St. Basil De Spiritu Sancto 15, 36: PG 32, 132; cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 4, 1.
3 1 Jn 3:2; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 22:4.
4 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49.
5 Heb 12:1.
6 Cf. Rom 8:29; 1 Jn 3:2.
7 Council of Nicaea II: DS 600.
8 Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1.
9 2 Pet 1:4.
10 Phil 1:27.
11 Cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2.
12 1 Jn 3:2; Cf. Col 3:4.
13 1 Cor 11:26.
14 1 Tim 2:3-4.
15 2 Pet 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14.
16 Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Lk 10:25-37.