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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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DESIRE FOR BEATITUDE

The natural desire for perfect happiness. It is the basic inclination of humans to be perfectly happy.This universal, for it is found in all people without exception, even in morbid or abnormal persons, though with some distortion. It is also unavoidable, for it lasts throughout life. It is finally irresistible because it insistently demands satisfaction. Ceaseless human unrest, shown in its constant activity, is an expression of this innate desire in varying forms. Theologians discuss whether this instinct for perfect happiness is a natural desire for heaven. The Church's explanation is that grace builds on nature, and therefore the human will inspired by grace can have a strong desire for heaven and the vision of God. But this is already the supernatural virtue of hope and not the longing of mere human nature.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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