Rorate Caeli

Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini (Easter Sunday)
A Meditation of Saint Alphonsus on Paradise

Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)


for the Paschal Festivity

The Joys of Heaven


Oh, happy are we if we suffer with patience on earth the troubles of this present life! Distress of circumstances, fears, bodily infirmities, persecutions and crosses of every kind, will one day come to an end; and if we be saved, they will all become for us subjects of joy and glory in paradise: Your sorrow (says the Saviour, to encourage us) shall be turned into joy.

So great are the delights of paradise, that they can neither be explained nor understood by us mortals: Eye hath not seen (says the Apostle), nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for those who love Him. Beauties like the beauties of paradise, eye hath never seen; harmonies like unto the harmonies of paradise, ear hath never heard; nor hath ever human heart gained the comprehension of the joys which God hath prepared for those who love Him.

Beautiful is the sight of a landscape adorned with hills, plains, woods and views of the sea. Beautiful is the sight of a garden abounding with fruit, flowers and fountains. Oh, how much more beautiful is paradise!


To understand how great the joys of paradise are, it is enough to know that in that blessed realm resides a God Omnipotent, Whose care is to render happy His beloved souls. St. Bernard says that paradise is a place where “there is nothing that thou wouldst not, and everything that thou wouldst.” There shalt thou not find anything that is displeasing to thyself, and everything thou dost desire thou shalt find: “There is nothing that thou wouldst not.” In paradise there is no night; no seasons of winter and summer; but one perpetual day of unvaried serenity, and one perpetual spring of unvaried delight.

No more persecutions, no jealousies are there; for there do all in sincerity love one another, and each rejoices in each other’s good, as if it were his own. No more bodily infirmities, no pains are there, for the body is no longer subject to suffering; no poverty is there, for everyone is rich to the full, not having anything more to desire; no more fears are there, for the soul being confirmed in grace can sin no more, nor lose that supreme good which it possesses.


“There is everything that thou wouldst.” “Nihil est nolis, totum est quod velis.” In paradise thou shalt have whatsoever thou desirest. There the sight is satisfied in beholding that city so beautiful and its citizens all clothed in royal apparel, for they are all kings of that everlasting kingdom.

There shall we see the beauty of Mary, whose appearance will be more beautiful than that of all the Angels and Saints together.

We shall see the Beauty of Jesus, which will immeasurably surpass the beauty of Mary.

Smell will be satisfied with the perfumes of paradise. Hearing will be satisfied with the harmonies of heaven and the canticles of the blessed, who will all with ravishing sweetness sing the divine praises for all eternity.

Ah, my God, I deserve not paradise, but hell; yet Thy death gives me a hope of obtaining it. I desire and ask paradise of Thee, not so much in order to enjoy, as in order to love Thee everlastingly, secure that it will never more be possible for me to lose Thee.

O Mary, my Mother, O Star of the Sea, it is for thee, by thy prayers, to conduct me to paradise.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
Three Meditations on Paradise for the Easter Festival
[Contributor Francesca Romana]