Saturday, July 04, 2009

Q106 A1: Whether one angel enlightens another?

Yes. One angel enlightens another because a superior angel knows more about the formal aspects of the Divine works than an inferior angel, and concerning these the former enlightens the latter; and as to this Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that the angels "are enlightened by the formal aspects of existing things."

Unus Angelus illuminat alium quia superior Angelus plura in Deo de rationibus divinorum operum cognoscit quam inferior; et de his eum illuminat. Et hoc est quod dicit Dionysius, IV cap. de Div. Nom., quod "Angeli existentium illuminantur rationibus."

For the superior angel receives the knowledge of truth by a kind of universal conception, to receive which the inferior angel's intellect is not sufficiently powerful, for it is natural to him to receive truth in a more particular manner. Therefore the superior angel distinguishes, in a way, the truth which he conceives universally, so that it can be grasped by the inferior angel; and thus he proposes it to his knowledge.

Superior enim Angelus notitiam veritatis accipit in universali quadam conceptione, ad quam capiendam inferioris Angeli intellectus non esset sufficiens, sed est ei connaturale ut magis particulariter veritatem accipiat. Superior ergo Angelus veritatem quam universaliter concipit, quodammodo distinguit, ut ab inferiori capi possit; et sic eam cognoscendam illi proponit.

Thus it is with us that the teacher, in order to adapt himself to others, divides into many points the knowledge which he possesses in the universal. This is thus expressed by Dionysius (Coel. Hier. xv): "Every intellectual substance with provident power divides and multiplies the uniform knowledge bestowed on it by one nearer to God, so as to lead its inferiors upwards by analogy."

Sicut etiam apud nos, doctores, quod in summa capiunt, multipliciter distinguunt, providentes capacitati aliorum. Et hoc est quod Dionysius dicit, XV cap. Cael. Hier., "unaquaeque substantia intellectualis datam sibi a diviniore uniformem intelligentiam, provida virtute dividit et multiplicat, ad inferioris sursum ductricem analogiam."

An angel does not enlighten another by giving him the light of nature, grace, or glory; but by strengthening his natural light, and by manifesting to him the truth concerning the state of nature, of grace, and of glory.

Unus Angelus non illuminat alium tradendo ei lumen naturae vel gratiae vel gloriae; sed confortando lumen naturale ipsius, et manifestando ei veritatem de his quae pertinent ad statum naturae, gratiae et gloriae.