by Fr. John Trigilio
As the Angelic Doctor explains in the Summa, the Angels, or ANY
being for that matter, once in possession of the Beatific Vision, can
NEVER be tempted to any evil whatsoever. In cruder terms, it is like
winning the Publishers' Clearing House Sweepstakes and getting 10 million
dollars. Once you have it, no one can bribe you with a penny ($0.01) to
commit a crime with them. That enormous disparity between one cent and
ten million dollars pales to the chasm between the Beatific Vision and any
created good in the universe. Ergo, once an Angel or Human Being HAS the
Beatific Vision, they are COMPLETELY and TOTALLY and PERFECTLY satisfied.
St. Thomas says that the object of the intellect is truth and the object
of the will is goodness. God IS the Truth and He IS the Supreme Good
(SUMMUM BONUM). As the perfection of TRUTH and GOODNESS, being the Truth
and the Good, then once the intellect and will possess the VISION of
Divine Essence, then their souls are "finally at rest" in the words of St.
Had the Angels been in Heaven, they would have had the Beatific
Vision. Having the Beatific Vision, they metaphysically could NOT have
been tested or tempted and Lucifer and his accomplices would NEVER have
rebelled and sinned. They must have existed in some state, not a place as
they were pure spirit and had no bodies, ergo, they took up no space.
Being spirits, they could exist in a state or dimension, but having no
matter or mass, they did not need a place to be. The Beatific Vision is
the final reward, hence, the Angels had to be worthy of such a gift just
as man needed to prove himself. Luckily for us, our wills are not
angelic. We can change our minds are therefore we are reformable and we
can convert from our evil ways and turn back to God. Angels are frozen
for eternity by a single act of their will.