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On Knowing an Ineffable God Personally: A Study in the Joy of the Saints

David Worsley

Abstract

What might it mean for a person’s joy to be ‘complete’? Granting that such conditions obtain at the beatific vision, I suggest beatific enjoyment requires a specific kind of knowledge of God; namely, fundamental personal knowledge. However, attaining such personal knowledge necessitates the divine gifting of a special grace, that is, a power to know God’s infinite essence. Furthermore, this power, and so, this knowledge, can come in an infinite number of degrees. Granting this, one saint could come to a greater degree of fundamental personal knowledge of God than another, and therefore, one saint might experience a greater intensity of joy than another. Despite this difference in intensity, however, both saints may have their joy ‘complete’. 

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