Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 267 that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven—through a purification 594 or immediately, 595 —or imme- diate and everlasting damnation. 596 At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love. 597 II. H eaven 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: 598 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. 599 1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity—this commun­ ion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed—is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. 1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,” 600 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name. 601 For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom. 602 594 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304-1306; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820. 595 Cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000-1001; John XXII, Ne super his (1334): DS 990. 596 Cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1002. 597 St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64. 598 1 Jn 3:2; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 22:4. 599 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49. 600 Phil 1:23; cf. Jn 14:3; 1 Thess 4:17. 601 Cf. Rev 2:17. 602 St. Ambrose, In Luc., 10, 121: PL 15, 1834A. 1470 954 260, 326 2794, 1718 1011