« Prev Chapter LXXXV. That the Bodies of the Risen… Next »

CHAPTER LXXXVThat the Bodies of the Risen shall be otherwise organised than before

THOUGH the bodies of the risen are to be of the same species with our present bodies, still they will be otherwise organised (aliam dispositionem habebunt); and chiefly in this, that all the bodies of the risen, of good men and evil men alike, will be incorruptible. For that, three reasons may be assigned. First, in respect of the end of the resurrection, which is reward or punishment for the things done in the body; and both the one and the other is to be everlasting (B. III, Chapp. LXII, CXLV). 409Secondly, in respect of the formal cause of the resurrection, which is the soul. Since the recovery of the body is a provision for the perfection of the soul, it is fitting that the body be organised in such fashion as shall suit the soul (Chap. LXXIX. But the soul is incorruptible, therefore the body shall be restored to it incorruptible. A third reason may be found in the efficient cause of the resurrection. God will restore to life bodies already corrupted and fallen to decay: much more will He be able, once He has restored life to them, to ensure that life abiding in them everlastingly.

This body, now corruptible, will be rendered incorruptible in such sort that the soul shall have perfect control over it, giving it life.10411041Anima in ipsum perfecte dominabitur quantum ad hoc quod ipsum vivificet (see further Chap. LXXXVI). This axiom seems to furnish the key to the whole situation of risen humanity. No longer dependent on energy supplied from external nature in the shape of food and oxygen, man’s soul shall breathe its own spiritual energy direct into his body. The case is otherwise with mortal man. Whatever in us the will insists on having done, even the very act of the will so insisting, is paid for out of the store of physical energy belonging to the body, and latent somewhere in the animal system. Witness the reaction and prostration that follows sooner or later upon every heroic effort. The effort is only made by what we may call a forced loan of bodily energy, raised by the will, or rather by the man willing, for the will is not a motor power distinct, but belongs to the ‘form’ of the body. But in man risen and immortal, the soul (to use an expressive vulgarism) shall run the body, not merely by directing and whipping up bodily energy, but by communication to the body of the soul’s own energy, proper to it as a spiritual substance, the energy of a spirit either ἰσάγγελος (which Luke xx, 36, seems rather to imply), or minished a little less than the angels (Ps. viii, spoken of mortal man). Nor shall any foreign power be able to hinder this communication of life.10421042Talis communicatio vitae [sc. vitae et virium vitae ab anima ad corpus]. Risen man, we may say, lives on his soul, as mortal man on his food. Risen man then shall be immortal, not by taking up another body, that shall be incorruptible, but by his present corruptible body being made incorruptible. This corruptible mast put on incorruption (1 Cor. xv, 53). So then that saying, Flesh and blood shall not possess the kingdom of God (1 Cor. xv, 50), means that in the risen state the corruption of flesh and blood shall be taken away, while the substance of flesh and blood remains.10431043“Flesh and blood, that is, the body sown in corruption (v. 42), the natural body (v. 44), image of the earthly Adam (v. 49). It is not the substance of flesh and blood that is excluded from heaven, but their mortal accidents, bodily needs, and passions thence resulting. Corruption here means the corruptible body, as such, with all the train of evils attendant thereupon, both moral evils, which go by the name of the flesh in the bad sense of that term, and more particularly, the physical frailty and perishableness of our mortal frame.” Notes on St Paul in h.l.


« Prev Chapter LXXXV. That the Bodies of the Risen… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |