Catholic Dictionary




The complete possession of the perfect good. That which fully satisfies all human desires. Imperfect happiness falls short of the perfect in some way by not satisfying all human desires or, if all of them, not all of them fully. Natural happiness, when perfect, is called natural beatitude. It satisfies those cravings which spring from human nature alone. It is the kind of happiness that human beings would have been destined to, had they been left on a purely natural plane. Mere reason cannot pass beyond this point. Christian revelation adds to this the prospect of supernatural happiness. When perfect, in the life to come, it consists of the Beatific Vision, which supposes a free gift of God lifting humanity above its natural capacity and enabling it to share in the very happiness of God.