THE BREATH OF HAPPINESS
In this chapter we are stepping into the region of unspeakable things, of things that are properly seen only by the eye of God, into a region that has been one of impenetrable darkness to the mind of man from the beginning. It is a region of mysterious and paradoxical things, like lights too bright to be seen or sounds too loud to be heard; like sights and sounds that leave a man blind and deaf by their very superabundance. Yet to us it is a friendly, familiar darkness, like the darkness in a home we have known from infancy, or of a house that has been so perfectly described to us that we find our way about easily, without fear, without stumbling, without hesitation, even very often without wonder.
In this chapter we are to examine nothing less than the movement of divinity, the activity of the Holy Ghost. It was a field particularly dear to St. Thomas as a Dominican, for a Dominican is himself a paradox whose only explanation is a burning love of truth; and of course one in love with truth is enthusiastically interested in every detail of the doings of the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost.
- Historical visits of the Holy Ghost:
- Annunciation, Baptism of Christ, Pentecost and the Apostles
There is a certain characteristic in these activities of the Spirit of Truth, we might say almost a divine trademark stamping them as belonging to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. It is somehow fitting that we should depict the Holy Ghost under the symbol of a dove; for the outstanding characteristic that marks His works is one of flowing grace, swift power silently speeding down only to soar up to greater heights. When the angel Gabriel told Mary of the coming work of the Holy Ghost he insisted that “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee”; at the baptism of Christ, the dove was seen to come down, hovering over His head; on Pentecost Sunday there was the sound of a mighty wind filling the house, and tongues of fire sat upon each one of them. In each case that powerful sweep from above. And in each case a soaring to heights, possible to men only by a very great change. From the low hills of Galilee the pure maid of the royal house was snatched up to the heights of divine maternity; the simple Carpenter of Nazareth, by a change not real but symbolic for our instruction, became the crusading Messiah whose victorious throne was a cross; twelve weak, badly frightened men became the fearless apostles whose footsteps made the square stones of every Roman road echo a march of victory wider than a Caesar’s dream. And men, looking on, saw only darkness: a quiet woman from an obscure Jewish village, a criminal hanging on the cross, twelve madmen whose end could only be death.
Christ’s promise of the Holy Ghost and His work
All this was not the end but only the beginning of an activity by the Holy Ghost which would become so frequent as to be commonplace to us, though it always remained impenetrable darkness to a mere spectator. Christ at the last supper encouraged the despondent apostles by His assurance that He would not leave them alone, that He would not leave them orphans, but would send them the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who would teach them “all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you”. A significant promise! It is an assurance of the constant presence and activity of the Comforter and the supreme Teacher, of the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of Truth; an assurance that men, for all the coming centuries, will be soaring to ever new heights of truth and love, while other men peer into darkness.
- The Holy Ghost and Christ’s followers to-day:
- The Church; Individual Catholics: gifts, fruits and beatitudes
Men, understand; not merely an institution. Twenty centuries of infallible pronouncement and defence of truth, twenty centuries of dogged loyalty to the Master on the part of the Church do not exhaust that promise. It is a promise made also to individuals. A very rich meal masterfully cooked, is rarely appreciated by those to whom it is served; it is more or less taken for granted by jaded appetites. But let a hungry man express his appreciation, not by words but by actions; or give the gourmand the time and opportunity to savour each morsel! Very often we Catholics are neither starved for spiritual things nor have we the keen, critical, insatiable appetite that alone does credit to the spiritual banquets served to us. And so the fact that this activity of the Holy Ghost is a personal matter to everyone of us, that every individual Catholic by the gifts, fruits and beatitudes of the Holy Ghost is the subject of this breath-taking activity of the Spirit of Truth, is practically taken for granted. Yet in us, as in those others, the divine trade-mark is always the same.
Immediate preparation for divine-human action — the gifts
The activity of the Spirit of Truth within us is summed up prosaically in the three terms: the gifts, fruits and beatitudes of the Holy Ghost. But even such a cursory glance as we are able to give these three reveals something of the glory of Pentecost in our daily lives, something of the divine trade-mark of the Holy Ghost.
Perhaps we can understand this best if we keep in mind that notion of breathing upon, of inspiration, of swift, easy movement. Looking upon man as the subject of movement, as one moved, we can see immediately that the movers of man, the effective movers, are just two: reason within man himself, and God. Now the whole purpose of the gifts is to get man ready for the movement of God, to dispose him for easy speeding along the path towards the altogether supernatural goal of the vision of God. That some special preparation is necessary seems evident. Quite recently in this country we turned to high-speed railroad travel. On some roads the desired speed was obtained by simply perfecting the locomotives, on others not only the locomotives but every car on the train was specially built with that high speed in mind. The difference between a ride on a very old coach behind one of these high-speed locomotives and a trip on one of the streamlined trains makes concrete the difference between a perfect disposition in the thing moved and a disposition not nearly so perfect. Or, to take an example much nearer home, in the explanation of a particularly difficult doctrine the preliminary notions, the foundations which prepare the mind for that doctrine, are absolutely essential; and the more difficult the doctrine, the more perfect must be that preparation.
That is precisely the work of these gifts. They are gifts, not merely because they come from God, but because they prepare us, in a way totally above our own powers, for prompt, easy movement under the inspiration of God. For the movement of reason, man is prepared by the virtues; for the movement of God, by the gifts of the Holy Ghost. We have summed up the absolute need of that preparation by the virtues by saying that if the same effort were required for every one of his acts as is necessary for the first, all man’s progress, indeed all his action, would soon cease from sheer exhaustion. If, for example, every man had to put the same effort into walking as does the infant just learning to walk, how many twenty-mile hikes would ever have been taken? But after habits have been acquired, after man is more perfectly disposed for the movement by reason, the actions flow ever more easily, more perfectly. The preparation for the movement by God is no less necessary.
Their necessity for salvation
In fact so necessary is this preparation for divine action, that every man must have these gifts of the Holy Ghost if he is to save his soul. A young externe, starting his career as a surgeon, does quite a good job with an experienced surgeon looking over his shoulder; but he needs that older head for a while because the art of surgery is not yet perfectly his. The moon on a summer night does a fair job of shining; but because the light it gives is not its own, it badly needs the sun if it is to continue to give that silvery light. With us, in what is our own, what belongs to our very nature, we need no particular help. But the fact is the whole supernatural life, supernatural action and supernatural goal are not our own, they are not a part of our very nature; the supernatural virtues do a good job of making that supernatural life possible, but we need something more to follow the swift divine instinct which makes supernatural action an actuality.
That extra help we get through the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Just what are they? Let us turn back for a moment to our chapters on the virtues. There we said that the whole work of the moral virtues was to make the appetites of man, rational and sensitive, readily obedient to man; the gifts of the Holy Ghost can be accurately compared to these moral virtues. As the appetites of man are made obedient, easily subordinate, to reason by the moral virtues, so the whole man is made obedient, easily subordinate, readily moved by the Holy Ghost through the gifts. Like the moral virtues, then, these gifts are habits. Thoroughly mysterious, extraordinary in their effects, yes. But utterly prosaic in their character of habits. They are a part of the supernatural furnishings of the house of our souls; we can bump into them, stumble over them, profit by them, forget about them as we do with an old familiar chair. That is often exactly what we do. It would seem as though it were a part of our human pride to be unimpressed until we are overwhelmed and to forget as quickly as possible that we have been overwhelmed.
The gifts have all the characteristics of other habits; but they are in no sense prosaic. True enough, like all habits, they are immediate principles of action. If we are looking for them we have only to look where all the other habits of man are crowded together like a mass of intricate cables, in the two great power-houses of human activity: the reason and the appetites of man. In reason we will find the gifts of understanding, knowledge, wisdom and counsel; in the appetite there are the gifts of piety, fortitude and fear. Like all other habits they have a solid permanency about them that makes us look on them as a part of us, like friendly slippers or a comfortable chair. But unlike all other habits, they produce their acts in a fashion not human but angelic or divine.
Their relation to the virtues
This last point is important for an understanding of the gifts. That divine-human action which proceeds from the gifts is our action but produced in a way far superior to our mode of acting. Take, for example, the gifts perfecting the intellect by completing the virtue of faith. By the gift of understanding we penetrate revealed truths, not by pondering over them, deducing conclusions from them or thinking up arguments to bolster them; but swiftly, instantaneously, intuitively, with an action like the flashing dart of an angelic intellect or the probing glance of God. By the gifts of knowledge and wisdom we judge created things and divine things in this same way; not by laboriously comparing concepts as a child might painfully trace the resemblance of two pictures, but rather in a flash that gives us the conclusion without the slow hobbling steps of reason down the hill to that conclusion. By the gift of counsel we apply these truths to individual works, but again in that swift, infallible, angelic way. The gift of piety perfecting the proper action of justice, i.e. the actions which have reference to others, fortitude perfecting the appetite against fear of dangers, fear perfecting the appetite against inordinate pleasure, all have this same divine mode of action. The Holy Ghost is breathing upon us.
But these actions are ours. It is a mistake many authors make today to suppose that we are passive instruments under the action of the Holy Ghost; that He is doing the moving and we are passively moved. An adult makes an error against tact when he offers to carry a child who has just learned to walk, or to work out a puzzle for a child who is quite sure it can solve the problem alone. The child is insulted, resentful at this reflection on its own powers. God is never tactless. What we can do He allows us, indeed encourages us to do, He demands that we use our powers to their utmost; what we cannot do He generously makes possible to us by His help. God is very careful not to do our thinking, our knowing, our desiring for us; in fact not even God could know or desire for us. That we must do for ourselves. The astonishing beauty of this whole action of the Holy Ghost in us is not the marvel of divine action — we have long known the infinite possibilities of God; it is the fact that these actions are ours. The mode of acting is God’s, the very possibility of the action comes from God, but it is our reason that intuitively penetrates, judges, counsels; it is our appetite that plunges instantly to the heart and perfection of good. That vital assimilation of truth and goodness can come from no other but ourselves.
With all their glory, there is a note of humility about the gifts which brings them close to our human hearts. Utter perfection, unless it be the warm, sharing perfection of God, frightens us by its cold beauty. So in human affairs, high walls shutting off one heart from another often come tumbling down at some little sign of weakness — a tear, a stumble, a defeat. It is not with real regret but with a feeling of friendliness that we see the gifts taking second place among the virtues. Their work is very much like the work of the moral virtues: the one perfects the faculties of man in relation to the movement of reason, the other, the whole man in relation to the movement of the Holy Ghost. Just as the moral virtues are inferior to and dependent on the intellectual virtues perfecting reason itself, so the gifts are inferior to and dependent on the theological virtues which have God Himself for their object. Again, just as the moral virtues are connected in and dependent on prudence, so the gifts are connected one with another in charity and dependent on charity. They come together with grace and charity, and with charity they go; there is no such thing as the possession of one gift without the others, though indeed the operation of one may predominate in one individual.
Divine-human action — the fruits and beatitudes
The gifts prepare us. With these divine habits in our soul we are like an aeroplane drawn up to a starting line as its motors get the last warming up; it is straining to go, almost lifting itself off the ground, in need only of the petty touch of the pilot’s hands to go soaring off. But in our case, we are not merely driven as is the ‘plane; the flight is ours as well as the Holy Spirit’s. We are ready for the divine-human action which is called the fruit of the Holy Ghost. That is the very simple difference between the virtues, the gifts and the fruits; the virtues and gifts are habits, the fruits are the result of habits — they are acts.
That action in general — the fruits of the Holy Ghost
The term “fruit ” is itself significant. It practically demands a bit of dreaming, as the scent of a flower in mid-winter will snatch us out of ourselves into a forgotten summer day’s caress of sun and wind. We are almost doing the word an injustice if we do not have a picture of long rows of old trees, gnarled like an old woman’s hands which have seen too much hard work. And there is in the word “fruit” something like the pride of accomplishment, that makes the woman forget her hands, looking back over the years and see what those hands have made possible for a son or a daughter. Just so a tired old tree could look back through the long days from the first budding leaves, through the beauty of blossom and the anxious days of young fruit, to this final day when the ripe, luscious fruit is offered as the supreme accomplishment and the tree prepares to die for another winter.
Their significance and distinction from beatitudes
In this case man is the tree. The fruit of man is his action. There is the same note of finality about the actions of man, a finality to be explained only by looking back along the rough road that made this action a reality; and there is the same fullness, the same lusciousness about them, for in them is packed all that man has to offer. It is the final offering, the supreme accomplishment of virtues, natural and supernatural, and of the gifts. Sometimes the fruit is rotten, and its rottenness finds its explanation deep in the man who produced it. This was the foundation of Paul’s startling contrast: “Now the works (i.e. fruits) of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witch crafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like.. . . ” “. . . But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law” (Gal. v. 19).
There is a humourless trick which consists in the endless enumeration of details when the details are infinite and simply cannot be enumerated. It is the trick which has made so unpleasant huge tomes bent crooked with their load of footnotes, university dissertations with their staggering bibliographies and philosophers with endless authorities for things that need apology rather than confirmation. Fortunately St. Paul had a sense of humour. What a weary book he would have written if he had tried to name all the fruits of man and the Holy Ghost! One can find plenty of reasons for Paul’s stopping at twelve.
Even with these twelve St. Paul, in the estimation of St. Thomas, covered roughly the field of human action. After all, the joint work of ourselves and the Holy Ghost is limited by our very nature; when we have spoken of man’s actions in relation to himself, to his equals and to his inferiors, we have fairly covered the human field, for of course in perfecting himself he is acting in relation to his superiors. It is under these three headings that St. Thomas divides the fruits of the Holy Ghost as given by St. Paul.
The disposition of a man in himself is either to good or evil. In other words, we start from the rock-bottom of all human activity and see man disposed to good through love and we have the first of the fruits, “charity” — an act, not the theological virtue. Then comes the immediate consequence of love which is “joy”, followed by the perfection of joy which is “peace” — not the stagnant peace of inactivity, but the progressive, vigorous peace of a heart undisturbed by outside attractions and free from the horrors of civil war, a streamlined peace of ordered energies concentrating on the one goal.
In relation to evil, man is protected from the confusion and turmoil of imminent evil by “patience”; and from the over-long delay of looked-for good by “longanimity”.
The field of this action: man in himself, among his equals, towards his inferiors.
Relative to our neighbour, we will to do him good and the fruit is “goodness”; we can put that will to work and we have “benignity”; receiving evil from our neighbour, we tolerate it with equanimity and we have “meekness”; we refrain from injuring that neighbour by deceit or cheating and we have “faith”. Relative to inferiors, we have “modesty” in external actions, and “continency” and “chastity ” in our internal actions. The whole is in vigorous contrast to the subversive, disintegrating, befouling fruits of the flesh enumerated by St. Paul.
- In particular — in its perfection: the beatitudes:
- Distinction from virtues and gifts
In this matter of detailed enumeration, his Master showed a greater sense of humour than did Paul; surely He showed a profound knowledge of and consideration for us who were to try so clumsily to follow the long strides He took on His way to the Father. Out of all these fruits of man and the Holy Ghost, Christ carefully picked the outstanding, the most perfect, we might say the heroic fruits; then He gave His special blessing to those who should produce these fruits, leaving us the eight beatitudes as the cream of the crop, the most proper effects of the divine-human action coming from the gifts of the Holy Ghost. There is no mistaking Christ’s special emphasis on these eight acts; but with an eye to our facility for making mistakes where mistakes are apparently impossible, He outlined these eight targets of our highest efforts in a way that made them conspicuous to the blindest of human beings. To each of these acts He attached an explicit reward. Not only an eternal reward which might be far distant, but a reward that should begin here on this earth, a reward that we can reach out for now and put in our pockets.
Their double content: disposition and beginning of heavenly life (merit and reward)
In each of these beatitudes, then, a double element is to be seen: an element of merit (the act itself) and an element of reward. It was as though Christ, knowing we would always remain children, realized that we would most certainly forget many things while running that short errand from birth to death; but with rewards promised immediately for these eight fruits, surely we would not forget them. Looking at this double element of the beatitudes from the vantage point of happiness, we see the element of merit as a disposition for happiness, the reward itself as the beginning, or — in heaven — the consummation of happiness.
The beatitudes, as their name implies, fall immediately into the classifications of happiness possible to men. Whether we are looking over the shoulder of Christ two thousand years ago, peering at medieval castles through the eyes of Aquinas seven hundred years ago, or glancing about the streets of a twentieth-century city, we see the same possibilities of happiness seized on by men. Then, as now, men sought happiness in voluptuousness (the affluence of riches, honour or passion), in activity or in contemplation. The first is an impediment to the true happiness of man, the second can well be a disposition to the true happiness of man, while the third in its imperfect state is the beginning of that happiness, in its perfect state, the very essence of that happiness which is the goal of mankind.
Since there is no human act worthy of the name which is not pointed to or away from true happiness, these highest acts of man — the merit of the beatitudes — are most intimately wrapped up with that happiness; they of all others go directly to the goal.
The work of the beatitudes in voluptuous, active and contemplative life
The falseness and irrationality of voluptuousness, the fact that it is a positive impediment to happiness, make it the object of attack for every good habit within man; the attack of the gifts is devastating. While the virtues move a man to moderate the use of riches and honours, the gifts make man totally despise them, make men “poor in spirit”. Again the virtues moderate the fears, hopes and angers of the irascible appetite, while the ‘gifts set man tranquilly free from them, make men “meek “; the virtues counselling moderate use of the concupiscible appetite’s delights and sorrows cannot compare with the bold strokes of the gifts completely rejecting these things when necessary, or voluntarily assuming them in the face of necessity — so there are those “who mourn”.
In the active life the work of the gifts is not to attack, but, with a shouting enthusiasm, to transcend the dreams of men. The happiness of the active life can come only from our double action towards our neighbour: the action of justice or of liberality, of giving what is due or spontaneously giving of our substance to those who are joined to us by some bond. The justice of the gifts is an eager justice, like the grasp of a man dying of thirst for a bottle of water; it is a hungering and thirsting after justice for which eagerness is a languid word. Their liberality is not limited by bonds of union, but by any and every necessity that allows that liberality to come into play; a liberality that is a rampantly charging mercy.
The contemplative life of men on earth is not so much a merit of happiness in itself, but rather a beginning of happiness. It has about it the quiet security and aloofness of a frail child marked for an early entry into heaven. The merit assigned for the beatitudes having to do with the contemplative life is really a merit of the active life, an effect of the gifts and virtues perfecting man in himself, making him clean of heart (unstained by passion or ignorance) or perfecting him in relation to his neighbour by giving him peace.
These are the heights to which men soar on the wings of the Spirit of Love and of Truth: poverty of spirit, meekness of heart, recognition of and regret for mistakes, a hungering justice, an unquestioning mercy, cleanness of heart and peace. In this way shall man escape the fruits of the flesh, to these ends shall man devote the tremendous energies of a nature that mirrors divinity, by these acts shall man taste on earth something of the happiness of heaven.
- The rewards of the beatitudes and of human life,
- voluptuous, active and contemplative
For the rewards are concrete and immediate; yet they are only a beginning, a foretaste of what is to come, like the snack given to a child impatiently waiting for the serving of Christmas dinner. Yet these very rewards are as paradoxical as a virgin who is yet a mother, a Man who is God, or ignorant fishermen who are teachers of all the world. Probably no single truth gives us a clearer insight into the profound meaning of St. Paul’s magnificent paradox than does this truth of the rewards of the beatitudes: ” . . . as dying and behold we live; as chastised and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things”.(2 Cor. vi. 9 and 10)
An accumulation of happiness For the excellence and abundance men seek in honours and riches, the poor in spirit, despising honours and riches, receive the excellence and abundance of the good things of God, the source of all good things — the Kingdom of Heaven. The security and quiet possession that fighting men seek by quarrels and wars, the meek have given them; a solidity of possession of eternal goods that no word of ours will express except that firm, unyielding term “earth”, “land”. For the consolation against life’s labours and sorrows which is sought in the pleasures of the world, those who mourn have the consolation of the Comforter Himself.
It is the same story in the active life of men — the old story, the paradoxical story that is characteristic of the meeting of divinity and humanity, “he that loseth his life shall find it”. While unjust men roam the long highways of the world plundering, taking what belongs to others that they might have their fill of temporal goods, those who thirst for justice shall be filled, filled with the joy and consolation of the Holy Ghost, filled with the good things of God. While men and women carefully push the misery of others from sight and mind in an attempt to escape the inescapable, they merely put themselves outside the bounds of a mercy that belongs to the merciful who have sought out misery to receive mercy. And as the final rewards, rewards which the heart of man cannot conceive, come the vision of God to the clean of heart and the sonship of God to the peacemakers who have so closely imitated their Father Who is in Heaven.
All through this discussion of the beatitudes mention has been made of only seven. The eighth has not really been lost or overlooked. Although with seven gifts, twelve fruits and eight beatitudes to be treated in one chapter, it might seem not unlikely that at least one should be forgotten. The real reason for not mentioning the eighth beatitude has been that it does not need to be mentioned; understanding the other seven, we have a good grasp of the eighth, for the eighth is a summary both of the merit and the reward, of the work and the happiness of the other seven. Martyrdom lifts man to the heights of divine-human action and gives him instantly the fullness of reward; “those who suffer persecution for justice sake” quite fittingly are given the kingdom of heaven. In that work are all works, as in that reward are all rewards.
In fact each of these beatitudes is a summary of what has gone before; they are not disconnected, unrelated acts but progressive steps to always greater happiness. To possess something is much greater than simply to have it for the moment, for much that we have we do not firmly and peacefully possess. Even what is ours is often possessed with difficulty and sorrow to which consolation adds a note of perfection; and being filled with consolation, filled with the Comforter Himself, is much more than a passing smile of pity or a momentary handclasp of sympathy. Going swiftly up these steps — we receive the mercy which, makes consolation unnecessary, we see the face of God which is the supreme mercy and finally we are sons of God. Beyond this even the ingenious generosity of God could lift only one creature making her His mother.
- Conclusion: A justification of astonishment
- –The usual effect of divine action
All this is not only a matter of eternity; it has its beginnings here and now. Now as in the beginning men are astonished. The crowds of Jerusalem were astonished listening to the Apostles and hearing every man his own tongue; and that astonishment never died down while the Apostles lived. Men and nations have never recovered from the astonishment of seeing God nailed to a cross, of seeing a Jewish maiden holding God, her Son, in her arms. Of course they were astonished. Men have always been astonished at sight of divine activity in the world of men. Christ walked up and down Palestine working miracles and leaving behind him a trail of very great fear. For what is astonishment but a form of fear, a fear that either drives us to our knees or sends us raging blindly to destroy what has awakened that fear; to kneel before the Cross with Mary and arise to follow the footprints of the apostles, or to tear Christ from the Cross, Mary from her throne and draw the curtain of oblivion across the dramatic picture of apostolic courage.
Of complete change
Now, as then, men are astonished, are afraid. They see a complete change, a startling change, yet peering they can find no explanation but only impenetrable darkness. The human eye cannot see into these realms, for they are divine. the careful preparation of the soul of man by the virtues and gifts is a secret of God’s and the soul, a secret that might never disturb the equanimity of men. But the divine-human action of the fruits and the beatitudes is something that no human being can ignore, it comes from God, and God, whether we like the fact or not, is the beginning and the end of every human heart. No human being can stand in the crowd along the road and see God passing by without crying out — in prayer or in hatred. the part of the Holy Ghost in this sublime action is itself enough to bring the strong legions of men to a clashing halt.
- Paradoxes of Christian life:
- Having nothing but possessing all things; Losing life and finding it
But when the incredible truth is met face to face, the truth that this soaring to heights undreamt of by men is still the action of men, there is reason for astonishment, for fear, for angry disbelief! To see utterly drab men and women snatching the prizes of happiness by turning their backs on all that the heroes of the world have treasured, is to see again the victory of the Cross and the death in the arena of the conquerors of death. It is to see the gifts of the Holy Ghost at work. It is to come face to face again with the eternal paradox that takes its rise from the blending of the energies of God and man, to meet again the “things that cannot be and that are “, to see men and women having nothing but possessing all things, losing their lives that they might find them. And that is very often too much for the pride of men.
The ordinary Catholic and the breath of divine life
Yet as long as there lives one follower of Christ, this divine breath of happiness will lift men beyond the stars. In the soul of every Catholic in the state of grace there is that full equipment of virtues and gifts. For our very salvation these gifts are necessary — and their acts are the fruits and the beatitudes.