Reading Aquinas has inspired me to think of the life to come and to what it means to man. I believe that man finds himself and perfect joy in perfect Love. It is love that man seeks above all, even in the corruption of self-love.
I believe that the meaning of life is in relationships, the heart of which is love. Love binds and preserves relationships and sin breaks and destroys relationships. Love is the source of all virtue because he who loves his brother will not sin against him.
God is love. When God is all is all then love is all in all. This unites all men, who are willing to love all men because in Christ all men are united transcending time and space. We share complete relationships with all without ceasing in time of separation in space. This is what gives man perfect joy and it is all in love. Sadly, one who hates his brother can have no part in this or will be eternally tormented by this because there is no escape from those one hates. They are there always in a union far transcending the union of man and wife. We no long live looking at the other separate from us but live in them and united with them without confusion. What joy! What wonder! But who is ready for this? Who can endure such close relationships? For man this is impossible but for God all things are possible, if we are willing.
It is sharing in the life of God that in love that is the perfection of man. In sharing in the Divine Energies of God, man shares in this life and love; God’s life and love becomes man’s life and love Man “sees” and “knows” God in His Energies even if the Essence of God remains transcendent of man and unknowable. This does not concern man who finds his joy in the love and life of God, living in infinitely dynamic relations with all in God. Loving and being loved. Man is perfectly happy in love and perfect happiness can consist in nothing else. “Seeing” and “knowing” are the participation in the Life of God when one sees God in love and knows God in love by sharing this love and knowing it for oneself and seeing and receiving it in and from all. This is knowing God in truth and deed, in living as He lives, loving as He loves and being loved by Him. I believe that in God men will love and know those even in hell; for those in God, there is no lose of loved ones because they love all and know all. Only for those rejecting the love of God is there loss.
Monks do not run from relationships but to relationships. In separating from the limits of human relationships and seeking to unite with the life of God monastics, in acquiring the Holy Spirit, begin to live the Life of God on earth; they share God’s love and knowledge of all. They begin to know all and love all; praying for all and weeping for all. They know themselves with all and in all. Surely, they are most blessed; but this is the hope of us all in Christ.