"It is because the contemporary alternatives seem so one-sided and are not more evidently solutions to the problems which Thomas faced, and partly solved, that we return to him and to the tradition of theology and philosophy in which his Summa Theologiae appears: theology as the science of the first principle and this as the total knowledge of reality in its unity." -- Wayne J. Hankey, God in Himself (Oxford University Press, 1987), p.159.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Q64 A4: Whether our atmosphere is the demons' place of punishment?
Now the procuring of men's salvation is prolonged even to the judgment day: consequently, the ministry of the angels and wrestling with demons endure until then. Hence until then the good angels are sent to us here; and the demons are in this dark atmosphere for our trial: although some of them are even now in hell, to torment those whom they have led astray; just as some of the good angels are with the holy souls in heaven. But after the judgment day all the wicked, both men and angels, will be in hell, and the good in heaven.
Q64 A3: Whether there is sorrow in the demons?
Moreover, they are deprived of happiness, which they desire naturally; and their wicked will is curbed in many respects.
Fear, sorrow, joy, and the like, so far as they are passions, cannot exist in the demons; for thus they are proper to the sensitive appetite, which is a power in a corporeal organ. According, however, as they denote simple acts of the will, they can be in the demons.
Q64 A2: Whether the will of the demons is obstinate in evil?
Consequently man's will adheres to a thing movably, and with the power of forsaking it and of clinging to the opposite; whereas the angel's will adheres fixedly and immovably. Therefore, if his will be considered before its adhesion, it can freely adhere either to this or to its opposite (namely, in such things as he does not will naturally); but after he has once adhered, he clings immovably.
So it is customary to say that man's free-will is flexible to the opposite both before and after choice; but the angel's free-will is flexible either opposite before the choice, but not after.
Q64 A1: Whether the demons' intellect is darkened by privation of the knowledge of all truth?
The knowledge of truth is twofold: one which comes of nature, and one which comes of grace. The knowledge which comes of grace is likewise twofold: the first is purely speculative, as when Divine secrets are imparted to an individual; the other is effective, and produces love for God; which knowledge properly belongs to the gift of wisdom.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Q63 A9: Whether those who sinned were as many as those who remained firm?
Q63 A8: Whether the sin of the highest angel was the cause of the others sinning?
Although the demons all sinned in the one instant, yet the sin of one could be the cause of the rest sinning. For the angel needs no delay of time for choice, exhortation, or consent, as man, who requires deliberation in order to choose and consent, and vocal speech in order to exhort; both of which are the work of time.
Q63 A7: Whether the highest angel among those who sinned was the highest of all?
This seems to be the more probable view: because the angels' sin did not come of any proneness, but of free choice alone. Consequently that argument seems to have the more weight which is drawn from the motive in sinning. Yet this must not be prejudicial to the other view, because there might be some motive for sinning in him also who was the chief of the lower angels.
On this account Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii), that the highest of those who sinned was set over the terrestrial order. This opinion seems to agree with the view of the Platonists, which Augustine quotes (De Civ. Dei vii, 6,7; x, 9,10,11). For they said that all the gods were good; whereas some of the demons were good, and some bad; naming as 'gods' the intellectual substances which are above the lunar sphere, and calling by the name of "demons" the intellectual substances which are beneath it, yet higher than men in the order of nature.
Nor is this opinion to be rejected as contrary to faith; because the whole corporeal creation is governed by God through the angels, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4,5). Consequently there is nothing to prevent us from saying that the lower angels were divinely set aside for presiding over the lower bodies, the higher over the higher bodies; and the highest to stand before God. And in this sense Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii) that they who fell were of the lower grade of angels; yet in that order some of them remained good.
Q63 A6: Whether there was any interval between the creation and the fall of the angel?
For since the angels attain beatitude by one meritorious act (Q62, A5), if the devil, created in grace, merited in the first instant, he would at once have received beatitude after that first instant, if he had not placed an impediment by sinning.
Q63 A5: Whether the devil was wicked by the fault of his own will in the first instant of his creation?
Q63 A4: Whether any demons are naturally wicked?
Now it is manifest that every intellectual nature is inclined towards good in general, which it can apprehend and which is the object of the will.
Hence, since the demons are intellectual substances, they can in no wise have a natural inclination towards any evil whatsoever; consequently they cannot be naturally evil.
Q63 A3: Whether the devil desired to be as God?
Q63 A2: Whether only the sin of pride and envy can exist in an angel?
Q63 A1: Whether the evil of fault can be in the angels?
Q63: The malice of the angels with regard to sin
- Can there be evil of fault in the angels?
- What kind of sins can be in them?
- What did the angel seek in sinning?
- Supposing that some became evil by a sin of their own choosing, are any of them naturally evil?
- Supposing that it is not so, could any one of them become evil in the first instant of his creation by an act of his own will?
- Supposing that he did not, was there any interval between his creation and fall?
- Was the highest of them who fell, absolutely the highest among the angels?
- Was the sin of the foremost angel the cause of the others sinning?
- Did as many sin as remained steadfast?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Q62 A9: Whether the beatified angels advance in beatitude?
Merit and progress belong to this present condition of life. But angels are not wayfarers travelling towards beatitude, they are already in possession of beatitude.
Q62 A8: Whether a beatified angel can sin?
Consequently the angel beholding God is disposed towards God in the same way as anyone else not seeing God is to the common form of goodness.
Now it is impossible for any man either to will or to do anything except aiming at what is good; or for him to wish to turn away from good precisely as such.
Therefore the beatified angel can neither will nor act, except as aiming towards God.
Q62 A7: Whether natural knowledge and love remain in the beatified angels?
Q62 A6: Whether the angels receive grace and glory according to the degree of their natural gifts?
Q62 A5: Whether the angel obtained beatitude immediately after one act of merit?
Q62 A4: Whether an angel merits his beatitude?
The angel had grace ere he was admitted to beatitude, and that by such grace he merited beatitude.
Q62 A3: Whether the angels were created in grace?
Monday, December 11, 2006
Q62 A2: Whether an angel needs grace in order to turn to God?
To see God in His essence, wherein the ultimate beatitude of the rational creature consists, is beyond the nature of every created intellect (Q12, AA4-5). Consequently no rational creature can have the movement of the will directed towards such beatitude, except it be moved thereto by a supernatural agent. This is what we call the help of grace.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Q62 A1: Whether the angels were created in beatitude?
To be established or confirmed in good is of the nature of beatitude. But the angels were not confirmed in good as soon as they were created; the fall of some of them shows this. Therefore the angels were not in beatitude from their creation.
Now there is a twofold ultimate perfection of rational or of intellectual nature. The first is one which it can procure of its own natural power; and this is in a measure called beatitude or happiness. Hence Aristotle (Ethic. x) says that man's ultimate happiness consists in his most perfect contemplation, whereby in this life he can behold the best intelligible object; and that is God. Above this happiness there is still another, which we look forward to in the future, whereby "we shall see God as He is." This is beyond the nature of every created intellect, as was shown above (Q12, A4).
So, then, it remains to be said, that, as regards this first beatitude, which the angel could procure by his natural power, he was created already blessed. Because the angel does not acquire such beatitude by any progressive action, as man does, but, as was observed above (Q58, AA3-4), is straightway in possession thereof, owing to his natural dignity.
Q62: The perfection of the angels in the order of grace and of glory
- Were the angels created in beatitude?
- Did they need grace in order to turn to God?
- Were they created in grace?
- Did they merit their beatitude?
- Did they at once enter into beatitude after merit?
- Did they receive grace and glory according to their natural capacities?
- After entering glory, did their natural love and knowledge remain?
- Could they have sinned afterwards?
- After entering into glory, could they advance farther?
Q61 A4: Whether the angels were created in the empyrean heaven?
Strabus, commenting on the text "In the beginning God created heaven and earth," says: "By heaven he does not mean the visible firmament, but the empyrean, that is, the fiery or intellectual firmament, which is not so styled from its heat, but from its splendor; and which was filled with angels directly it was made."
The angels were created in a corporeal place, not as if depending upon a body either as to their existence or as to their being made; because God could have created them before all corporeal creation, as many holy Doctors hold. They were made in a corporeal place in order to show their relationship to corporeal nature, and that they are by their power in touch with bodies.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Q61 A3: Whether the angels were created before the corporeal world?
This stands in evidence from the relationship of creature to creature; because the mutual relationship of creatures makes up the good of the universe. But no part is perfect if separate from the whole.
Consequently it is improbable that God, Whose "works are perfect," as it is said Dt. 32:4, should have created the angelic creature before other creatures.
Q61 A2: Whether the angel was produced by God from eternity?
An angel is above that time which is the measure of the movement of the heavens; because he is above every movement of a corporeal nature.
Nevertheless he is not above time which is the measure of the succession of his existence after his non-existence, and which is also the measure of the succession which is in his operations.
Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. viii, 20,21) that "God moves the spiritual creature according to time."
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Q61 A1: Whether the angels have a cause of their existence?
Q61: The production of the angels in the order of natural being
Q60 A5: Whether an angel by natural love loves God more than he loves himself?
Otherwise, if either of them loved self more than God, it would follow that natural love would be perverse, and that it would not be perfected but destroyed by charity.
Q60 A4: Whether an angel loves another with natural love as he loves himself?
Q60 A3: Whether the angel loves himself with both natural love, and love of choice?
It is manifest that in things devoid of knowledge, everything naturally seeks to procure what is good for itself; as fire seeks to mount upwards. Consequently both angel and man naturally seek their own good and perfection. This is to love self.
Hence angel and man naturally love self, in so far as by natural appetite each desires what is good for self. On the other hand, each loves self with the love of choice, in so far as from choice he wishes for something which will benefit himself.
Q60 A2: Whether there is love of choice in the angels?
Q60 A1: Whether there is natural love or dilection in an angel?
Now nature comes before intellect, because the nature of every subject is its essence. Consequently whatever belongs to nature must be preserved likewise in such subjects as have intellect.
But it is common to every nature to have some inclination; and this is its natural appetite or love. This inclination is found to exist differently in different natures; but in each according to its mode.
Consequently, in the intellectual nature there is to be found a natural inclination coming from the will; in the sensitive nature, according to the sensitive appetite; but in a nature devoid of knowledge, only according to the tendency of the nature to something.
Q60: The love or dilection of the angels
Q59 A4: Whether there is an irascible and a concupiscible appetite in the angels?
Since there exists in the angels only an intellective appetite, their appetite is not distinguished into irascible and concupiscible, but remains undivided; and it is called the will.
Q59 A3: Whether there is free-will in the angels?
Consequently, wherever there is intellect, there is free-will. It is therefore manifest that just as there is intellect, so is there free-will in the angels, and in a higher degree of perfection than in man.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Q59 A2: Whether in the angels the will differs from the intellect?
Knowledge comes about in so far as the object known is within the knower; consequently the intellect extends itself to what is outside it, according as what, in its essence, is outside it is disposed to be somehow within it.
On the other hand, the will goes out to what is beyond it, according as by a kind of inclination it tends, in a manner, to what is outside it.
Now it belongs to one faculty to have within itself something which is outside it, and to another faculty to tend to what is outside it.
Consequently intellect and will must necessarily be different powers in every creature.
It is not so with God, for He has within Himself universal being, and the universal good. Therefore both intellect and will are His nature.
Q59 A1: Whether there is will in the angels?
Q59: The will of the angels
Q58 A7: Whether the morning and evening knowledge are one?
For by beholding the Word, they know not merely the being of things as existing in the Word, but the being as possessed by the things themselves; as God by contemplating Himself sees that being which things have in their own nature.
If, therefore, it be called evening knowledge, insofar as when the angels behold the Word, they know the being which things have in their proper nature, then the morning and the evening knowledge are essentially one and the same, and only differ as to the things known.
If it be called evening knowledge, insofar as through innate ideas they know the being which things have in their own natures, then the morning and the evening knowledge differ.
Q58 A6: Whether there is a "morning" and an "evening" knowledge in the angels?
But their knowledge of the very being of the thing created, as it stands in its own nature, is termed evening knowledge; because the being of things flows from the Word, as from a kind of primordial principle; and this flow is terminated in the being which they have in themselves.
Augustine (Gen. ad lit. iv, 22,31; De Civ. Dei xii, 7,20) divides the knowledge of the angels into morning and evening knowledge.
Q58 A5: Whether there can be falsehood in the intellect of an angel?
But since the minds of demons are utterly perverted from the Divine wisdom, they at times form their opinions of things simply according to the natural conditions of the same. Nor are they ever deceived as to the natural properties of anything; but they can be misled with regard to supernatural matters; for example, on seeing a dead man, they may suppose that he will not rise again, or, on beholding Christ, they may judge Him not to be God.
The perversity of the demons comes of their not being subject to the Divine wisdom; while nescience is in the angels as regards things knowable, not naturally but supernaturally.
Q58 A4: Whether the angels understand by composing and dividing?
As in the intellect, when reasoning, the conclusion is compared with the principle, so in the intellect composing and dividing, the predicate is compared with the subject. For if our intellect were to see at once the truth of the conclusion in the principle, it would never understand by discursion and reasoning.
In like manner, if the intellect in apprehending the quiddity of the subject were at once to have knowledge of all that can be attributed to, or removed from, the subject, it would never understand by composing and dividing, but only by understanding the essence.
Thus it is evident that for the self-same reason our intellect understands by discursion, and by composing and dividing, namely, that in the first apprehension of anything newly apprehended it does not at once grasp all that is virtually contained in it. And this comes from the weakness of the intellectual light within us.
But the intellectual light is perfect in the angel, for he is a pure and most clear mirror, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv).
Q58 A3: Whether an angel's knowledge is discursive?
But human souls which acquire knowledge of truth by the discursive method are called "rational"; and this comes of the feebleness of their intellectual light. For if they possessed the fulness of intellectual light, like the angels, then in the first aspect of principles they would at once comprehend their whole range, by perceiving whatever could be reasoned out from them.
Q58 A2: Whether an angel can understand many things at the same time?
Friday, November 17, 2006
Q58 A1: Whether the angel's intellect is sometimes in potentiality, sometimes in act?
But with regard to things divinely revealed to them, there is nothing to hinder them from being in potentiality.
An angel's intellect can be in potentiality with regard to things learnt by natural knowledge; for he is not always actually considering everything that he knows by natural knowledge.
But as to the knowledge of the Word, and of the things he beholds in the Word, he is never in this way in potentiality; because he is always actually beholding the Word, and the things he sees in the Word. For the bliss of the angels consists in such vision; and beatitude does not consist in habit, but in act, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 8).
Q58: The mode of angelic knowledge
- Is the angel's intellect sometimes in potentiality, and sometimes in act?
- Can the angel understand many things at the same time?
- Is the angel's knowledge discursive?
- Does he understand by composing and dividing?
- Can there be error in the angel's intellect?
- Can his knowledge be styled as morning and evening?
- Are the morning and evening knowledge the same, or do they differ?
Monday, November 13, 2006
Q57 A5: Whether the angels know the mysteries of grace?
Q57 A4: Whether angels know secret thoughts?
Q57 A3: Whether angels know the future?
God's one glance is cast over all things which happen in all time as present before Him; and He beholds all things as they are in themselves.
Q57 A2: Whether an angel knows singulars?
As things proceed from God in order that they may subsist in their own natures, so likewise they proceed in order that they may exist in the angelic mind.
But administration, providence and movement are of singulars, as they are here and now existing.
Q57 A1: Whether the angels know material things?
All material things pre-exist in the angels more simply and less materially even than in themselves, yet in a more manifold manner and less perfectly than in God.
Q57: The angel's knowledge of material things
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Q56 A3: Whether an angel knows God by his own natural principles?
Yet he does not behold God's essence; because no created likeness is sufficient to represent the Divine essence. Such knowledge then approaches rather to the specular kind; because the angelic nature is itself a kind of mirror representing the Divine image.
Since an angel's intellect and essence are infinitely remote from God, it follows that he cannot comprehend Him; nor can he see God's essence through his own nature. Yet it does not follow on that account that he can have no knowledge of Him at all: because, as God is infinitely remote from the angel, so the knowledge which God has of Himself is infinitely above the knowledge which an angel has of Him.
Q56 A2: Whether one angel knows another?
One angel knows another by the species of such angel existing in his intellect, which differs from the angel whose image it is, not according to material and immaterial nature, but according to natural and intentional existence. The angel is himself a subsisting form in his natural being; but his species in the intellect of another angel is not so, for there it possesses only an intelligible existence.
God made every creature proportionate to the universe which He determined to make. Therefore had God resolved to make more angels or more natures of things, He would have impressed more intelligible species in the angelic minds; as a builder who, if he had intended to build a larger house, would have made larger foundations. Hence, for God to add a new creature to the universe, means that He would add a new intelligible species to an angel.
Q56 A1: Whether an angel knows himself?
Monday, November 06, 2006
Q55 A3: Whether the higher angels understand by more universal species than the lower angels?
This plenitude of knowledge is found in created intellects in a lower manner, and less simply. Consequently it is necessary for the lower intelligences to know by many forms what God knows by one, and by so many forms the more according as the intellect is lower.
An example of this can in some measure be observed in ourselves. For some people there are who cannot grasp an intelligible truth, unless it be explained to them in every part and detail; this comes of their weakness of intellect: while there are others of stronger intellect, who can grasp many things from few.
Q55 A2: Whether the angels understand by species drawn from things?
Q55 A1: Whether the angels know all things by their substance?
The intellective power of the angel extends to understanding all things: because the object of the intellect is universal being or universal truth.
The angel's essence, however, does not comprise all things in itself, since it is an essence restricted to a genus and species. This is proper to the Divine essence, which is infinite, simply and perfectly to comprise all things in Itself.
Therefore God alone knows all things by His essence. But an angel cannot know all things by his essence; and his intellect must be perfected by some species in order to know things.
Q55: The medium of the angelic knowledge
Q54 A5: Whether there is only intellectual knowledge in the angels?
In our soul there are certain powers whose operations are exercised by corporeal organs; such powers are acts of sundry parts of the body, as sight of the eye, and hearing of the ear.
There are some other powers of the soul whose operations are not performed through bodily organs, as intellect and will: these are not acts of any parts of the body.
The separated substances (i.e., angels), however, are divided into intellect and will. And it is in keeping with the order of the universe for the highest intellectual creature to be entirely intelligent; and not in part, as is our soul. For this reason the angels are called "intellects" and "minds," (Q54, A3, ad 1).
Experience can be attributed to the angels according to the likeness of the things known, although not by likeness of the faculty knowing them. We have experience when we know single objects through the senses: the angels likewise know single objects, as we shall show (Q57, A2), yet not through the senses.
But memory can be allowed in the angels, according as Augustine (De Trin. x) puts it in the mind; although it cannot belong to them in so far as it is a part of the sensitive soul. In like fashion 'a perverted phantasy' is attributed to demons, since they have a false practical estimate of what is the true good; while deception in us comes properly from the phantasy, whereby we sometimes hold fast to images of things as to the things themselves, as is manifest in sleepers and lunatics.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Q54 A4: Whether there is an active and a passive intellect in an angel?
The distinction of active and passive intellect in us is in relation to the phantasms, which are compared to the passive intellect as colors to the sight; but to the active intellect as colors to the light, as is clear from De Anima iii, text. 18. But this is not so in the angel. Therefore there is no active and passive intellect in the angel.
The necessity for admitting a passive intellect in us is derived from the fact that we understand sometimes only in potentiality, and not actually. Hence there must exist some power, which, previous to the act of understanding, is in potentiality to intelligible things, but which becomes actuated in their regard when it apprehends them, and still more when it reflects upon them. This is the power which is denominated the passive intellect.
The necessity for admitting an active intellect is due to this--that the natures of the material things which we understand do not exist outside the soul, as immaterial and actually intelligible, but are only intelligible in potentiality so long as they are outside the soul. Consequently it is necessary that there should be some power capable of rendering such natures actually intelligible: and this power in us is called the active intellect.
But each of these necessities is absent from the angels.
Q54 A3: Whether an angel's power of intelligence is his essence?
An angel is called "intellect" and "mind," because all his knowledge is intellectual: whereas the knowledge of a soul is partly intellectual and partly sensitive.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Q54 A2: Whether in the angel to understand is to exist?
The action of the angel, as also the action of any creature, is not his existence.
The essence of an angel is the reason of his entire existence, but not the reason of his whole act of understanding, since he cannot understand everything by his essence. Consequently in its own specific nature as such an essence, it is compared to the existence of the angel, whereas to his act of understanding it is compared as included in the idea of a more universal object, namely, truth and being. Thus it is evident, that, although the form is the same, yet it is not the principle of existence and of understanding according to the same formality. On this account it does not follow that in the angel "to be" is the same as "to understand".
The being of every creature is restricted to one in genus and species; God's being alone is simply infinite, comprehending all things in itself, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v). Hence the Divine nature alone is its own act of understanding and its own act of will.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Q54 A1: Whether an angel's act of understanding is his substance?
It is impossible for anything which is not a pure act, but which has some admixture of potentiality, to be its own actuality: because actuality is opposed to potentiality. But God alone is pure act. Hence only in God is His substance the same as His existence and His action.
Q54: The knowledge of the angels
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Q53 A3: Whether the movement of an angel is instantaneous?
In every change there is a before and after. Now the before and after of movement is reckoned by time. Consequently every movement, even of an angel, is in time, since there is a before and after in it.
Q53 A2: Whether an angel passes through intermediate space?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Q53 A1: Whether an angel can be moved locally?
And the angel can also all at once quit the whole place, and in the same instant apply himself to the whole of another place, and thus his movement will not be continuous.
The continuity of movement is according to the continuity of magnitude; and according to priority and posteriority of local movement, as the Philosopher says (Phys. iv, text 99).
But an angel is not in a place as commensurate and contained, but rather as containing it. Hence it is not necessary for the local movement of an angel to be commensurate with the place, nor for it to be according to the exigency of the place, so as to have continuity therefrom; but it is a non-continuous movement.
For since the angel is in a place only by virtual contact (Q52, A1), it follows necessarily that the movement of an angel in a place is nothing else than the various contacts of various places successively, and not at once; because an angel cannot be in several places at one time (Q52, A2).
Nor is it necessary for these contacts to be continuous. Nevertheless a certain kind of continuity can be found in such contacts, because there is nothing to hinder us from assigning a divisible place to an angel according to virtual contact (Q52, A1), just as a divisible place is assigned to a body by contact of magnitude.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Q52 A3: Whether several angels can be at the same time in the same place?
This is evident in every class of causes: for there is one proximate form of one thing, and there is one proximate mover, although there may be several remote movers.
Nor can it be objected that several individuals may row a boat, since no one of them is a perfect mover, because no one man's strength is sufficient for moving the boat; while all together are as one mover, in so far as their united strengths all combine in producing the one movement.
Hence, since the angel is said to be in one place by the fact that his power touches the place immediately by way of a perfect container (Q52 A1), there can be but one angel in one place.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Q52 A2: Whether an angel can be in several places at once?
An angel's power and nature are finite, whereas the Divine power and essence, which is the universal cause of all things, is infinite: consequently God through His power touches all things, and is not merely present in some places, but is everywhere.
Now since the angel's power is finite, it does not extend to all things, but to one determined thing. For whatever is compared with one power must be compared therewith as one determined thing.
Consequently since all being is compared as one thing to God's universal power, so is one particular being compared as one with the angelic power. The entire body to which he is applied by his power, corresponds as one place to him.
Q52 A1: Whether an angel is in a place?
A body is said to be in a place in such a way that it is applied to such place according to the contact of dimensive quantity; but there is no such quantity in the angels, for theirs is a virtual one.
An incorporeal substance virtually contains the thing with which it comes into contact, and is not contained by it: for the soul is in the body as containing it, not as contained by it.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Q51 A3: Whether the angels exercise functions of life in the bodies assumed?
Sensation is entirely a vital function. Consequently it can in no way be said that the angels perceive through the organs of their assumed bodies. Yet such bodies are not fashioned in vain; for they are not fashioned for the purpose of sensation through them, but to this end, that by such bodily organs the spiritual powers of the angels may be made manifest.
Properly speaking, the angels do not talk through their assumed bodies; yet there is a semblance of speech, in so far as they fashion sounds in the air like to human voices.
Properly speaking, the angels cannot be said to eat, because eating involves the taking of food convertible into the substance of the eater.
Although after the Resurrection food was not converted into the substance of Christ's body, but resolved into pre-existing matter; nevertheless Christ had a body of such a true nature that food could be changed into it; hence it was a true eating. But the food taken by angels was neither changed into the assumed body, nor was the body of such a nature that food could be changed into it; consequently, it was not a true eating, but figurative of spiritual eating. This is what the angel said to Tobias: "When I was with you, I seemed indeed to eat and to drink; but I use an invisible meat and drink" (Tobit 12:19).
As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xv): "Many persons affirm that they have had the experience, or have heard from such as have experienced it, that the Satyrs and Fauns, whom the common folk call incubi, have often presented themselves before women, and have sought and procured intercourse with them. Hence it is folly to deny it. But God's holy angels could not fall in such fashion before the deluge. Hence by the sons of God are to be understood the sons of Seth, who were good; while by the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain. Nor is it to be wondered at that giants should be born of them; for they were not all giants, albeit there were many more before than after the deluge."
Still if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor from their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterwards of a man; just as they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii), so that the person born is not the child of a demon, but of a man.
Q51 A2: Whether angels assume bodies?
Angels need an assumed body, not for themselves, but on our account; that by conversing familiarly with men they may give evidence of that intellectual companionship which men expect to have with them in the life to come.
Moreover that angels assumed bodies under the Old Law was a figurative indication that the Word of God would take a human body; because all the apparitions in the Old Testament were ordained to that one whereby the Son of God appeared in the flesh.
Q51 A1: Whether the angels have bodies naturally united to them?
It was the opinion of some that every being is a body; and consequently some seem to have thought that there were no incorporeal substances existing except as united to bodies; so much so that some even held that God was the soul of the world, as Augustine tells us (De Civ. Dei vii).
As this is contrary to Catholic Faith, which asserts that God is exalted above all things, according to Ps. 8:2: "Thy magnificence is exalted beyond the heavens"; Origen, while refusing to say such a thing of God, followed the above opinion of others regarding the other substances; being deceived here as he was also in many other points, by following the opinions of the ancient philosophers.
Bernard's expression can be explained, that the created spirit needs some bodily instrument, which is not naturally united to it, but assumed for some purpose, as will be explained (Q51 A2).
Augustine speaks, not as asserting the fact, but merely using the opinion of the Platonists, who maintained that there are some aerial animals, which they termed demons.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Q50 A5: Whether the angels are incorruptible?
When it is said that all things, even the angels, would lapse into nothing, unless preserved by God, it is not to be gathered therefrom that there is any principle of corruption in the angels; but that the nature of the angels is dependent upon God as its cause.
For a thing is said to be corruptible not merely because God can reduce it to non-existence, by withdrawing His act of preservation; but also because it has some principle of corruption within itself, or some contrariety, or at least the potentiality of matter.
Q50 A4: Whether the angels differ in species?
Q50 A3: Whether the angels exist in any great number?
Objection 3. The proper effect of the separate substances seems to be the movements of the heavenly bodies. But the movements of the heavenly bodies fall within some small determined number, which we can apprehend. Therefore the angels are not in greater number than the movements of the heavenly bodies.
Reply to Objection 3. This is Aristotle's argument (Metaph. xii, text 44), and it would conclude necessarily if the separate substances were made for corporeal substances. For thus the immaterial substances would exist to no purpose, unless some movement from them were to appear in corporeal things. But it is not true that the immaterial substances exist on account of the corporeal, because the end is nobler than the means to the end. Hence Aristotle says (Metaph. xii, text 44) that this is not a necessary argument, but a probable one. He was forced to make use of this argument, since only through sensible things can we come to know intelligible ones.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Q50 A2: Whether an angel is composed of matter and form?
For a thing is understood according to its degree of immateriality; because forms that exist in matter are individual forms which the intellect cannot apprehend as such.
But things distinguished by the intellect are not necessarily distinguished in reality; because the intellect does not apprehend things according to their mode, but according to its own mode.
Hence material things which are below our intellect exist in our intellect in a simpler mode than they exist in themselves.
Angelic substances, on the other hand, are above our intellect; and hence our intellect cannot attain to apprehend them, as they are in themselves, but by its own mode, according as it apprehends composite things; and in this way also it apprehends God.
Although there is no composition of matter and form in an angel, yet there is act and potentiality. And this can be made evident if we consider the nature of material things which contain a twofold composition.
The first is that of form and matter, whereby the nature is constituted. Such a composite nature is not its own existence but existence is its act. Hence the nature itself is related to its own existence as potentiality to act.
Therefore if there be no matter, and supposing that the form itself subsists without matter, there nevertheless still remains the relation of the form to its very existence, as of potentiality to act. And such a kind of composition is understood to be in the angels; and this is what some say, that an angel is composed of, "whereby he is," and "what is," or "existence," and "what is," as Boethius says. For "what is," is the form itself subsisting; and the existence itself is whereby the substance is; as the running is whereby the runner runs.
But in God "existence" and "what is" are not different. Hence God alone is pure act.
Q50 A1: Whether an angel is altogether incorporeal?
Yes. There are some incorporeal things comprehensible by the intellect alone because intellect is above sense.
The perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to "here" and "now." Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature.
The ancients, however, not properly realizing the force of intelligence, and failing to make a proper distinction between sense and intellect, thought that nothing existed in the world but what could be apprehended by sense and imagination. And because bodies alone fall under imagination, they supposed that no being existed except bodies, as the Philosopher observes (Phys. iv, text 52,57). Thence came the error of the Sadducees, who said there was no spirit (Acts 23:8).
Q50: The substance of the angels absolutely considered
QQ50-64: Treatise on the Angels
INTELLECT: His power (Q54) and medium (Q55) of knowledge. The immaterial (Q56) and material (Q57) objects known. The manner (Q58) whereby he knows them.
WILL: The will itself (Q59) and its movement, which is love (Q60).
ORIGIN: How they were brought into natural existence (Q61) and perfected in grace (Q62). How some of them became wicked: Their sins (Q63) and punishment (Q64).
Q49 A3: Whether there be one supreme evil which is the cause of every evil?
No being is called evil by participation, but by privation of participation. Hence it is not necessary to reduce it to any essential evil.
Evil can only have an accidental cause. Hence reduction to any per se cause of evil is impossible.
In the causes of evil we do not proceed to infinity, but reduce all evils to some good cause, whence evil follows incidentally.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Q49 A2: Whether the supreme good, God, is the cause of evil?
The form which God chiefly intends in things created is the good of the order of the universe.
Now, the order of the universe requires, as was said above (Q22, A2, ad 2; Q48, A2), that there should be some things that can, and do sometimes, fail.
And thus God, by causing in things the good of the order of the universe, consequently and as it were incidentally, causes the corruptions of things, according to 1 Kgs. 2:6: "The Lord killeth and maketh alive." But when we read that "God hath not made death" (Wisdom 1:13), the sense is that God does not will death for its own sake.
Nevertheless the order of justice belongs to the order of the universe; and this requires that penalty should be dealt out to sinners.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Q49 A1: Whether good can be the cause of evil?
Evil is the absence of the good which is natural and due to a thing. But that anything fail from its natural and due disposition can come only from some cause drawing it out of its proper disposition.
But only good can be a cause; because nothing can be a cause except inasmuch as it is a being, and every being, as such, is good.
If we consider the four special kinds of causes, we see that the agent, the form, and the end, import some kind of perfection which belongs to the notion of good. Even matter, as a potentiality to good, has the nature of good.
Now that good is the cause of evil by way of the material cause was shown above (Q48, A3). For it was shown that good is the subject of evil.
But evil has no formal cause, rather is it a privation of form.
Likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end.
Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but incidentally.
Evil has a deficient cause in voluntary things otherwise than in natural things. For the natural agent produces the same kind of effect as it is itself, unless it is impeded by some exterior thing; and this amounts to some defect belonging to it. Hence evil never follows in the effect, unless some other evil pre-exists in the agent or in the matter.
But in voluntary things the defect of the action comes from the will actually deficient, inasmuch as it does not actually subject itself to its proper rule. This defect, however, is not a fault, but fault follows upon it from the fact that the will acts with this defect.
Evil has no direct cause, but only an incidental cause.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Q48 A6: Whether pain has the nature of evil more than fault has?
God is the author of the evil of pain, but not of the evil of fault. And this is because the evil of pain takes away the creature's good, which may be either something created, as sight, destroyed by blindness, or something uncreated, as by being deprived of the vision of God, the creature forfeits its uncreated good. But the evil of fault is properly opposed to uncreated good; for it is opposed to the fulfilment of the divine will, and to divine love, whereby the divine good is loved for itself, and not only as shared by the creature. Therefore it is plain that fault has more evil in it than pain has.
Although fault results in pain, as merit in reward, yet fault is not intended on account of the pain, as merit is for the reward; but rather, on the contrary, pain is brought about so that the fault may be avoided, and thus fault is worse than pain.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Q48 A5: Whether evil is adequately divided into penalty and fault?
Evil is the privation of good, which chiefly and of itself consists in perfection and act. Act, however, is twofold; first, and second. The first act is the form and integrity of a thing; the second act is its operation. Therefore evil also is twofold.
In one way it occurs by the subtraction of the form, or of any part required for the integrity of the thing, as blindness is an evil, as also it is an evil to be wanting in any member of the body.
In another way evil exists by the withdrawal of the due operation, either because it does not exist, or because it has not its due mode and order. But because good in itself is the object of the will, evil, which is the privation of good, is found in a special way in rational creatures which have a will.
Therefore the evil which comes from the withdrawal of the form and integrity of the thing, has the nature of a pain; and especially so on the supposition that all things are subject to divine providence and justice, as was shown above (Q22, A2); for it is of the very nature of a pain to be against the will.
But the evil which consists in the subtraction of the due operation in voluntary things has the nature of a fault; for this is imputed to anyone as a fault to fail as regards perfect action, of which he is master by the will. Therefore every evil in voluntary things is to be looked upon as a pain or a fault.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Q48 A4: Whether evil corrupts the whole good?
To prove this we must consider that good is threefold. One kind of good is wholly destroyed by evil, and this is the good opposed to evil, as light is wholly destroyed by darkness, and sight by blindness. Another kind of good is neither wholly destroyed nor diminished by evil, and that is the good which is the subject of evil; for by darkness the substance of the air is not injured. And there is also a kind of good which is diminished by evil, but is not wholly taken away; and this good is the aptitude of a subject to some actuality.
The diminution, however, of this kind of good is not to be considered by way of subtraction, as diminution in quantity, but rather by way of remission, as diminution in qualities and forms. The remission likewise of this habitude is to be taken as contrary to its intensity. For this kind of aptitude receives its intensity by the dispositions whereby the matter is prepared for actuality; which the more they are multiplied in the subject the more is it fitted to receive its perfection and form; and, on the contrary, it receives its remission by contrary dispositions which, the more they are multiplied in the matter, and the more they are intensified, the more is the potentiality remitted as regards the actuality.
Therefore, if contrary dispositions cannot be multiplied and intensified to infinity, but only to a certain limit, neither is the aforesaid aptitude diminished or remitted infinitely, as appears in the active and passive qualities of the elements; for coldness and humidity, whereby the aptitude of matter to the form of fire is diminished or remitted, cannot be infinitely multiplied. But if the contrary dispositions can be infinitely multiplied, the aforesaid aptitude is also infinitely diminished or remitted; yet, nevertheless, it is not wholly taken away, because its root always remains, which is the substance of the subject. Thus, if opaque bodies were interposed to infinity between the sun and the air, the aptitude of the air to light would be infinitely diminished, but still it would never be wholly removed while the air remained, which in its very nature is transparent. Likewise, addition in sin can be made to infinitude, whereby the aptitude of the soul to grace is more and more lessened; and these sins, indeed, are like obstacles interposed between us and God, according to Is. 59:2: "Our sins have divided between us and God." Yet the aforesaid aptitude of the soul is not wholly taken away, for it belongs to its very nature.
The good which is opposed to evil is wholly taken away; but other goods are not wholly removed, as said above.
The aforesaid aptitude is a medium between subject and act. Hence, where it touches act, it is diminished by evil; but where it touches the subject, it remains as it was. Therefore, although good is like to itself, yet, on account of its relation to different things, it is not wholly, but only partially taken away.
Some, imagining that the diminution of this kind of good is like the diminution of quantity, said that just as the continuous is infinitely divisible, if the division be made in an ever same proportion (for instance, half of half, or a third of a third), so is it in the present case. But this explanation does not avail here. For when in a division we keep the same proportion, we continue to subtract less and less; for half of half is less than half of the whole. But a second sin does not necessarily diminish the above mentioned aptitude less than a preceding sin, but perchance either equally or more. Therefore it must be said that, although this aptitude is a finite thing, still it may be so diminished infinitely, not "per se," but accidentally; according as the contrary dispositions are also increased infinitely, as explained above.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Q48 A3: Whether evil is in good as in its subject?
Evil imports the absence of good. But not every absence of good is evil. For absence of good can be taken in a privative and in a negative sense.
Absence of good, taken negatively, is not evil; otherwise, it would follow that what does not exist is evil, and also that everything would be evil, through not having the good belonging to something else; for instance, a man would be evil who had not the swiftness of the roe, or the strength of a lion.
But the absence of good, taken in a privative sense, is an evil; as, for instance, the privation of sight is called blindness.
The form which makes a thing actual is a perfection and a good; and thus every actual being is a good; and likewise every potential being, as such, is a good, as having a relation to good. For as it has being in potentiality, so has it goodness in potentiality.
Evil is not in existing things as a part, or as a natural property of any existing thing.
Evil is not in the good opposed to it as in its subject, but in some other good, for the subject of blindness is not "sight," but "animal."
Hence one good can coexist with the privation of another good.