Sunday, August 30, 2009

Q117 A3: Whether man by the power of his soul can change corporeal matter?

No. Man cannot change corporeal matter by the power of his soul because the apprehension of the human soul does not suffice to work a change in exterior bodies, except by means of in impression from the body united to it.

Homo per virtutem suae animae non potest materiam corporalem immutare quia ad exteriora corpora immutanda apprehensio animae humanae non sufficit, nisi mediante immutatione proprii corporis.

As stated above (Q110 A2), corporeal matter is not changed to (the reception of) a form, save either by some agent composed of matter and form, or by God Himself, in whom both matter and form pre-exist virtually, as in the primordial cause of both.

Sicut supra dictum est materia corporalis non immutatur ad formam, nisi vel ab agente aliquo composito ex materia et forma, vel ab ipso Deo, in quo virtualiter et materia et forma praeexistit, sicut in primordiali causa utriusque.

Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 8): "Corporeal matter obeys God alone at will."

Dicit Augustinus, in III de Trin., quod "materia corporalis soli Deo obedit ad nutum."

Wherefore of the angels also we have stated (Q110 A2) that they cannot change corporeal matter by their natural power, except by employing corporeal agents for the production of certain effects. Much less therefore can the soul, by its natural power, change corporeal matter, except by means of other bodies.

Unde et de Angelis supra dictum est quod materiam corporalem immutare non possunt naturali virtute, nisi applicando corporalia agentia ad effectus aliquos producendos. Multo igitur minus anima sua virtute naturali potest immutare materiam corporalem, nisi mediantibus aliquibus corporibus.

The saints are said to work miracles by the power of grace, not of nature.

Sancti dicuntur miracula facere ex potestate gratiae, non naturae.

Hence then when a soul is vehemently moved to wickedness, as occurs mostly in little old women, according to the above explanation ("the evil eye" [oculus fascinans]: Q117 A3 ad 2), the countenance becomes venomous and hurtful, especially to children, who have a tender and most impressionable body. It is also possible that by God's permission, or from some hidden deed, the spiteful demons co-operate in this, as the witches may have some compact with them.

Sic igitur cum aliqua anima fuerit vehementer commota ad malitiam, sicut maxime in vetulabus contingit, efficitur secundum modum praedictum ["oculi fascinantis"] aspectus eius venenosus et noxius, et maxime pueris, qui habent corpus tenerum, et de facili receptivum impressionis. Possibile est etiam quod ex Dei permissione, vel etiam ex aliquo facto occulto, cooperetur ad hoc malignitas Daemonum, cum quibus vetulae sortilegae aliquod foedus habent.