The Glorified Human Body

Ascension of Christ by Fritz von Uhde

Father Cassilly describes the resurrected, glorified human body: “As Christ’s body shone in the resurrection so will ours, for His rising is a type of ours. In heaven there will be no need of sun or moon, for the Lamb shall be the light thereof, and each glorified body will be a light to itself. At set of sun the windows in the east reflect back its glory until countless suns are beaming with borrowed light. And the bodies of the just in heaven will be refulgent with the reflected glory of God and the overflow of splendor and beauty from the soul. We have Christ’s own word for it that ‘the just shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father’ (Matt 13:43). Night and darkness then will be things of the past, to be remembered but as the shadows of an earthly existence.”

“Here we possess ideals of human beauty, of its varying types, suitable to youth and manhood and age, but seldom do we meet one who is perfect in form, in vigor, grace and complexion. . . . All this will be changed in heaven.”

“Whatever is repellent, disgusting in the body will disappear, for, according to St. Paul, it will no longer be an animal body but a spiritual body. Not that our body will cease to be material and become entirely spiritual, for man, being essentially a compound of matter and spirit, can never cease to have a bodily nature, can never become a pure spirit as the angels are. But the animal body we now possess shall be so purified and sublimated, so purged and refined of what is gross and vile and offensive as to resemble a spiritual nature.”

“Coarse pleasure, arising from the gross material needs of our animal nature, will be replaced by that which is suitable to the spiritualized condition of the glorified body. St. John, rapt in vision, saw wondrous sights of beauty in Heaven, and he heard canticles sung by the saints and angels, of which he preserved for us some of the words and refrains. And we know that even the angels themselves can descend to earthly melody, as was shown in the hymn they sang on the first Christmas night.”

Quotations from Francis Cassilly, A Story of Love, 2d ed. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917).

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