Running To and Fro

Be still and see that I am God.

Psalm 45:11

The just shall shine,

and shall run to and fro

like sparks among the reeds.

Wisdom 3:7

We have it on the best authority that eternal life consists in knowing “the only true God” (Jn 17:3).

The vision of God, whose goodness is infinite and for whom we are created, cannot help but fill our being with endless satisfaction.

In heaven, there will be no need to do anything but “be still and see” the source of our abundant joy. Yet to picture paradise as a motionless stare is inconsistent with revelation as well as reason.

Of “they that hope in the Lord,” Isais assures us that they “shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (41:31).

Why all this activity? Pondering this question, St. Thomas confirms that, being perfect according to their own nature, and sharing in the Divine goodness, the bodies of the saints will have no need—strictly speaking—of any motion.

But there is need, and then there is need.

Though the glorified need not stir for the sake of preservation, perfection, or happiness, “it is likely that they will sometimes move according as it pleases them.”

And it is likely to please them, inasmuch as God will have given them bodies possessing tremendous powers of motion. Showing off these powers will enable them to “show forth the excellence of Divine wisdom.”

Additionally, there will be other persons and things to look at in heaven. Though they will see God himself, the vision of the blessed may yet be “refreshed by the beauty of the variety of creatures, in which God’s wisdom will shine forth with great evidence.”

Since God “will be everywhere present to them,” all the motion in the world can never interfere with the primary basis of the saints’ heavenly bliss.

Resting in the vision of their Creator, they will run to see him reflected in the splendor of his creatures.

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