It is not boring
Our experience of God
See infinite perfections
Paradise will not be boring. When saved souls are in Paradise, they will experience God. That experience will never grow boring. Not only is God infinite, but also we continue to grow in Paradise. We grow more and more able to experience God.
God is perfect, and God never changes, but our ability to see deeper into the mind of God grows, and our experience of God’s perfection changes. Paradise is never boring. In Paradise, we experience more and more of God’s infinite perfection. That perfection never comes to an end, and no matter how much God reveals to us of His perfection, more of His perfection remains to be revealed.
Of course, God is perfect, and God never changes, but our experience of God can change.
Similarly, our experience of great works of literature such as The Divine Comedycan change, even though the words of The Divine Comedyremain the same. Students often prefer the Inferno, perhaps because they are sinning. Middle-aged adults such as myself often prefer the Purgatory, perhaps because we are regretting our sins. Religious people such as nuns and priests often prefer the Paradise, perhaps because they are readying themselves to see God.
PARADISE: CANTO 33 RETELLING
Buy the Paperback here: DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: A RETELLING IN PROSE
EXCERPT FROM DANTE’S PARADISE:A RETELLING IN PROSE BY DAVID BRUCE (Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce)
Dante the Poet, back on Earth and writingThe Divine Comedy, thought, What I saw reached such heights that both memory and language fail me.
I am like a person who has had a dream and has woken up. Although he cannot remember the dream, he still feels the effect that the dream had on him.
The vision I had fades, but I can still remember the sweetness I felt while having the vision.
Other things fade in the same way. Footprints made in the snow fade when sunshine strikes the snow. The Sibyl would write down her prophecies on leaves — one letter to a leaf — and their meaning would fade when the wind blew and mixed up the leaves.
Now, God, I pray to You as I write: Please give me back a small part of what I experienced when I saw You face to face in Paradise. Let me remember now a small part of what I saw then. And I pray to You to give me enough command of words to reveal to future generations even one small spark of Your Being.
God, if knowledge of Your Being can return briefly to my mind, and if my words can capture even a small part of Your Being, men will know more about Your might.
I remember looking at the Eternal Light. The Light strengthened me so that I was able to see it. If I had looked away from the Light, my senses would have been overpowered and I would have fainted.
I remember that I kept looking at the Eternal Light. My strength grew, and my vision grew.
I remember that my vision united with the Eternal Light. By the grace of God, I saw within the mind of God.
I remember that contained within the mind of God is a book bound by love; that book is the universe. And in the mind of God are all forms and all essences of things. The essence of all things is found in the mind of God. I saw also substance, aka matter, and accident, aka the phases of matter, conjoined and how the two are related. And my words now can give only a hint of what I knew then.
I remember that I saw the conjoining of the temporal and the eternal in the mind of God. I know that I saw that because now as I write this, my heart is joyful.
But in one instant I forgot more than has been forgotten in the 2,500 years since Neptune, god of the sea, looked up in the water and saw the keel of the Argo, the first ship, which took Jason and his Argonauts on their journey to find the Golden Fleece. Both Neptune and I saw something marvelous, but the journey of the Argo2,500 years ago can be remembered with more clearness than I can remember what I saw recently when I looked into the mind of God.
But my mind looked deeply and intently, and the more it saw, the more it wanted to see.
Anyone who looks within the mind of God is transformed and never wants to look away. In the mind of God is everything that is good. If something is not within the mind of God, then that thing is defective.
But now, when I describe the little that I remember of my vision, my words are like the babbling of a baby that still feeds at the mother’s breasts. My words are mere baby talk.
God is perfect, and God never changes, but as my ability to see deeper into the mind of God grew, my experience of God’s perfection changed. Paradise is never boring. In Paradise, we experience more and more of God’s infinite perfection. That perfection never comes to an end, and no matter how much God reveals to us of His perfection, more of His perfection remains to be revealed.
I remember that I saw three circles of different colors all occupying the same space. The first circle reflected the second circle, and the first and second circles reflected the third circle. The Father begets the Son, and the Father and the Son produce the Holy Spirit.
My words as I try to describe this are weak, and “weak” is too weak a word to describe my words’ weakness!
Only God fully understands the mind of God, and God fully loves.
I remember that I looked at the three circles, and one of the circles bore the image of a Man — the incarnation. I stared.
A geometer can try to square the circle — something that is impossible. I remember that like that geometer I tried to understand this new mystery, to understand how the image of a Man can fit in the circle. But my finite human mind could not understand.
I remember that a flash of understanding hit me, and I saw and I understood. I cannot tell you what I saw and understood, but I experienced and felt the Infinite Love that moves the Sun and the other stars.