The body has an innate meaning as a gift of person to person, a gift oriented towards the establishment of communion. This is the foundation of the “image and likeness of God” in our incarnate, material being. With the acknowledgment of this profound truth I began this book, and also brought it to conclusion—in a faith-filled and longing gaze towards the awesome destiny that awaits us at the end of time. In the new creation, I tried to show, the spousal meaning of the body will find utter fulfillment, and will do so precisely as the body’s “virginal state.” By virginal state is meant the complete “integration” and “consolidation” of my whole subjectivity—in both body and soul—in union with the Trinity. And this union comes about, comes to full flower, precisely through the complete reciprocal surrender of myself to God who has first given himself to me. In this reciprocal surrender an exchange occurs, an exchange of person and person, of gift and gift, of subjectivity and subjectivity, such that I come to participate in the divine nature, in God’s innermost secret, which is to be an eternal exchange of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And this union occurs precisely as the consummation and fulfillment of the spousal meaning of the body. This union occurs as the fulfillment of my body’s capacity to be a gift, and to receive the gift of another, such that we become one in a “single act” of mutual self-donation. And this act establishes us in an “intersubjectivity” of love in which “I” and “Thou” become “We” without ceasing to be “I” and “Thou.” Rather, “I” and “Thou” are simply actualized in their full capacity as gift and reception—as lover and beloved—in the sheer gratuitous affirmation of the dignity and beauty of each person for their own sake, precisely within and through the embrace of the other. Here I “find myself” precisely through the “sincere gift of my self” into the welcoming embrace of God: I find myself in the innate relationality of my created being, in sheer loving dependence upon God’s gift and in the gratuitous reception of the communication of his very uncreated Being, and in letting my own being, harnessed by this gift, be carried back to him in response. It is this total acceptance and total reciprocal gift, in a fully conscious and alert gaze, touch, and embrace of love, that is the “response worthy of a personal subject to God’s gift of himself” (TOB 68:3). And this gathers me together in my whole being, in all of its parts, unifying me in the whole of my created being in the virginal state of intimacy with God.

And in and from this place, with my whole body-spirit existence “virginalized” through union with the Trinity, I am enabled to enter into communion with other created persons on the basis of the virginal love of the Trinity. And these created relationships follow the same Trinitarian order as exists between the divine Persons, and between the divine Persons and the singular human being: transposing the circulation of love and gift that occurs eternally between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into the circulation of love and gift that occurs between created persons. Here God is alive in human communion, and he is alive in human communion because he is alive in each singular human person—affirming them in their virginal integrity in his presence—and drawing them into intimacy with one another precisely on the basis of this integrity.

Here we see how the innate meaning of “original solitude” (to go back to a theme of earlier reflections) is totally restored, and indeed super-fulfilled in the direct, unmediated, face-to-face encounter with the Trinity. Here the innate richness of my own subjective world as a person, and my own incomparable uniqueness as an individual, is safeguarded, affirmed, and fulfilled by God himself, and in union with him. Here my capacity for relation with another is fulfilled, and it fulfills me in all the faculties of my being and in the whole of my subjective consciousness, from the core of my innermost heart and through the very sensations of my body. Thus my heart’s inner sanctuary becomes again permeated by the presence of the Trinity, who fills my whole being with the sweetness and intensity of his virginal gift and the joy of his presence. And this joy of union floods my consciousness, touches and harnesses my mind, imagination, will, affectivity, emotion, and the sensations of my entire body—utterly enraptured in the experience of intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and in co-living with them their own experience of the divine life. Here I co-operate with God, I co-live and co-experience with him his own eternal experience (according to my own created mode and capacity): the circulation of love ever passing between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the happiness of perfect intimacy that is forever sealed and consummated in this gift.

And, as I said in the previous reflection, this circulation of love, gift, and tenderest affirmation also permeates my relations with other persons and, in fact, with the whole created world (cosmos). In this way the deepest meaning and beauty of each and every created thing is both unveiled before my gaze and also carried to its own consummation: it is carried to consummation because it is lifted up into the knowledge and love of created persons, who share in the very knowledge and love of God for all that he has made. Thus the universe itself, in some way, shares in the intimacy of human persons with God, being the stage in which the circulation of mutual love and the flowering of communion manifests and expresses itself. Of course, now the universe no longer needs to be “sacramental” in the way that it used to be—in other words, to make visible the invisible so that we can enter into relation with it. Rather, the gratuitous beauty of creation is revealed precisely when it is no longer necessary or important in mediating the divine to us. Now, rather than glimpsing God through created realities, we simply love and affirm created realities, each in its own special beauty, in and through God. We thus pronounce, with God and in God, the same word that he ceaselessly speaks: “Behold, it is very good!” (Gen 1). And precisely this gratuitousness, this sheer joy in the beauty of creation, fulfills creation’s inmost meaning.

This is the very living content of the new creation, the very “stuff” of eternal life! It is the ceaseless dance of rejoicing and the lighthearted, playful embrace of persons in the sheer certainty and security of love. It is the wonder-filled gaze and the awe-filled cry that sees and rejoices in the ravishing beauty of the Persons of the Trinity, in the beauty of each and every created person—incomparably precious in their singular way—and in the beauty of every created reality. And in this seeing, in this gaze of love, it is affirmation, it is embrace, it is the converging of hearts, lives, bodies, and persons in the shared intersubjectivity that constitutes them in true intimacy. For now every last semblance of loneliness and isolation is definitively done away with, even as the deepest meaning of solitude is eternally fulfilled. For now solitude is wholly relational, even while affirming the incomparable distinctness of the person. Solitude is wholly open in love, wholly unveiled as gift in its true beauty, and wholly open to receive the gift of the other. In a word, solitude is wholly naked, wholly vulnerable, and in this vulnerability perfectly safe. For there is no longer any need for defenses, for the clothing of self-protection. All shame has been absorbed by love—and above all by the Trinity’s Love—such that nakedness is known, seen, and lived as pure gift, pure meeting-place, pure mutual self-communication. And thus this solitude-given-through-nakedness is consummated, at every moment and for all of eternity, in communion, in the sheer and limitless joy of intimacy.

Here we see how all of the promises of love in the temporal world are fulfilled, even as they are also surpassed in depth, intensity, and totality. Here we see how every desire and aspiration of the human person is affirmed in its goodness, even as it makes contact with the object to which it is oriented—such that human consciousness, human subjectivity, becomes “objective to the very depths” (TOB 19:1), thus finding fulfillment and rest. Now objective and subjective are united, bound together, as the subject is totally irradiated by the light of truth, by the light of God’s own vision and love of all things, which constitutes them precisely in the objective meaning of what they are.

If this is truly what we were created for, and what awaits us in the new creation, then we have arrived at the “convergence point” of all things: the point which is nothing but the innermost life of the Trinity, and our participation in this life. And this point thus draws together all the diverse lines of creation into a unity within the embrace of God. All the diverse forms of relationship lived throughout this life come together in the center-point, all the incomparable beauty of each created reality is drawn into this space, and the unique dignity of each human person is drawn into this place, as all is affirmed, safeguarded, fulfilled.