Heaven and Heavenly Joy (Continued)

Those who know how to share love are constantly advancing into the springtime of their youth in heaven, and the more millennia they live, the more joyful and happy that springtime is. Their progress continues forever, its never-ending increase determined by their development and growth in the capacity for sharing love, in charity, and in faith.

A woman who dies old, worn out by age, and who lived a life marked by faith in the Lord, charity toward her neighbors, and a happy, loving marriage with her husband—such a woman develops more and more of the bloom of mid- and early womanhood with the passage of years. She takes on a loveliness that eclipses any conception of beauty ever seen by the eye. Virtue and kindness are what shape her and make her a likeness of themselves. They cause the joy and beauty of neighborly love to shine out from the smallest details of her face, so that she becomes a form of charity itself. Some observers have been struck speechless on seeing these women.

The inner workings of charity are such that charity itself is what provides the visible form and is the thing expressed in that form too. This is clear from actual experience in the other life. The whole angel, especially the face, is charity, which is both clearly presented to view and clearly perceived. To see the form is to see inexpressible beauty that touches the deepest, living reaches of the mind, filling them with charity. The beauty of the form provides an image in which religious truth is displayed—truth that is also perceived from that form.

Those who have lived a life marked by faith in the Lord, that is, by the faith that comes of charity, become these visible forms—these beauties—in the next life. All angels are such forms, in unlimited variety. Of them heaven is made.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 553

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