« Prev Article. 6 - Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost… Next »

Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost remain in heaven?

Objection 1: It would seem that the gifts of the Holy Ghost do not remain in heaven. For Gregory says (Moral. ii, 26) that by means of His sevenfold gift the "Holy Ghost instructs the mind against all temptations." Now there will be no temptations in heaven, according to Is. 11:9: "They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all My holy mountain." Therefore there will be no gifts of the Holy Ghost in heaven.

Objection 2: Further, the gifts of the Holy Ghost are habits, as stated above (A[3]). But habits are of no use, where their acts are impossible. Now the acts of some gifts are not possible in heaven; for Gregory says (Moral. i, 15) that "understanding . . . penetrates the truths heard . . . counsel . . . stays us from acting rashly . . . fortitude . . . has no fear of adversity . . . piety satisfies the inmost heart with deeds of mercy," all of which are incompatible with the heavenly state. Therefore these gifts will not remain in the state of glory.

Objection 3: Further, some of the gifts perfect man in the contemplative life, e.g. wisdom and understanding: and some in the active life, e.g. piety and fortitude. Now the active life ends with this as Gregory states (Moral. vi). Therefore not all the gifts of the Holy Ghost will be in the state of glory.

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Spiritu Sancto i, 20): "The city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem is not washed with the waters of an earthly river: it is the Holy Ghost, of Whose outpouring we but taste, Who, proceeding from the Fount of life, seems to flow more abundantly in those celestial spirits, a seething torrent of sevenfold heavenly virtue."

I answer that, We may speak of the gifts in two ways: first, as to their essence; and thus they will be most perfectly in heaven, as may be gathered from the passage of Ambrose, just quoted. The reason for this is that the gifts of the Holy Ghost render the human mind amenable to the motion of the Holy Ghost: which will be especially realized in heaven, where God will be "all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28), and man entirely subject unto Him. Secondly, they may be considered as regards the matter about which their operations are: and thus, in the present life they have an operation about a matter, in respect of which they will have no operation in the state of glory. Considered in this way, they will not remain in the state of glory; just as we have stated to be the case with regard to the cardinal virtues (Q[67], A[1]).

Reply to Objection 1: Gregory is speaking there of the gifts according as they are compatible with the present state: for it is thus that they afford us protection against evil temptations. But in the state of glory, where all evil will have ceased, we shall be perfected in good by the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Reply to Objection 2: Gregory, in almost every gift, includes something that passes away with the present state, and something that remains in the future state. For he says that "wisdom strengthens the mind with the hope and certainty of eternal things"; of which two, hope passes, and certainty remains. Of understanding, he says "that it penetrates the truths heard, refreshing the heart and enlightening its darkness," of which, hearing passes away, since "they shall teach no more every man . . . his brother" (Jer. 31:3,4); but the enlightening of the mind remains. Of counsel he says that it "prevents us from being impetuous," which is necessary in the present life; and also that "it makes the mind full of reason," which is necessary even in the future state. Of fortitude he says that it "fears not adversity," which is necessary in the present life; and further, that it "sets before us the viands of confidence," which remains also in the future life. With regard to knowledge he mentions only one thing, viz. that "she overcomes the void of ignorance," which refers to the present state. When, however, he adds "in the womb of the mind," this may refer figuratively to the fulness of knowledge, which belongs to the future state. Of piety he says that "it satisfies the inmost heart with deeds of mercy." These words taken literally refer only to the present state: yet the inward regard for our neighbor, signified by "the inmost heart," belongs also to the future state, when piety will achieve, not works of mercy, but fellowship of joy. Of fear he say that "it oppresses the mind, lest it pride itself in present things," which refers to the present state, and that "it strengthens it with the meat of hope for the future," which also belongs to the present state, as regards hope, but may also refer to the future state, as regards being "strengthened" for things we hope are here, and obtain there.

Reply to Objection 3: This argument considers the gifts as to their matter. For the matter of the gifts will not be the works of the active life; but all the gifts will have their respective acts about things pertaining to the contemplative life, which is the life of heavenly bliss.

« Prev Article. 6 - Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection