Sunday, December 31, 2006

Q64 A4: Whether our atmosphere is the demons' place of punishment?

Yes. Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. iii, 10), that "the darksome atmosphere is as a prison to the demons until the judgment day" because a twofold place of punishment is due to the demons: one, by reason of their sin, and this is hell; and another, in order that they may tempt men, and thus the darksome atmosphere is their due 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?

Yes. Sorrow must be said to exist in them because it is of the very notion of punishment for it to be repugnant to the will.

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?

Yes. The demons remain ever obstinate in their malice because the angel's apprehension differs from man's in this respect, that the angel by his intellect apprehends immovably, as we apprehend immovably first principles which are the object of the habit of "intelligence"; whereas man by his reason apprehends movably, passing from one consideration to another; and having the way open by which he may proceed to either of two opposites.

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?

No. Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that, "certain gifts were bestowed upon the demons which, we say, have not been changed at all, but remain entire and most brilliant" because the knowledge of truth stands among those natural gifts.

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.

Q64: The punishment of the demons

  1. Their darkness of intellect
  2. Their obstinacy of will
  3. Their grief
  4. Their place of punishment

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Q63 A9: Whether those who sinned were as many as those who remained firm?

No. More angels stood firm than sinned because sin is contrary to the natural inclination, while that which is against the natural order happens with less frequency; for nature procures its effects either always, or more often than not.

Q63 A8: Whether the sin of the highest angel was the cause of the others sinning?

Yes. The sin of the highest angel was the cause of the others sinning because it did not compel them but rather induced them by a kind of exhortation.

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?

Yes. He who sinned was probably the very highest of all because the motive of pride is excellence, which was greater in the higher spirits.

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?

No. The devil proabably sinned at once after the first instant of his creation because this must be maintained if it be held that he elicited an act of free-will in the first instant of his creation, and that he was created in grace (Q62, A3).

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?

No. It was impossible for the angel to sin in the first instant by an inordinate act of free-will because the agent which brought the angels into existence, namely, God, cannot be the cause of sin.

Q63 A4: Whether any demons are naturally wicked?

No. The demons are not naturally wicked because everything which exists, so far as it exists and has a particular nature, tends naturally towards some good, since it comes from a good principle.

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?

Yes. Without doubt the angel sinned by seeking to be as God according to likeness because he desired resemblance with God in this respect -- by desiring, as his last end of beatitude, something which he could attain by the virtue of his own nature, turning his appetite away from supernatural beatitude, which is attained by God's grace.

Q63 A2: Whether only the sin of pride and envy can exist in an angel?

Yes. After the sin of pride, there followed the evil of envy in the sinning angel, whereby he grieved over man's good, and also over the Divine excellence, according as against the devil's will God makes use of man for the Divine glory because as to affection only those sins can be in the demons which can belong to a spiritual nature.

Q63 A1: Whether the evil of fault can be in the angels?

Yes. An angel or any other rational creature considered in his own nature can sin because only in the Divine will can there be no sin, whereas there can be sin in the will of every creature, considering the condition of its nature.

Q63: The malice of the angels with regard to sin

  1. Can there be evil of fault in the angels?
  2. What kind of sins can be in them?
  3. What did the angel seek in sinning?
  4. Supposing that some became evil by a sin of their own choosing, are any of them naturally evil?
  5. 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?
  6. Supposing that he did not, was there any interval between his creation and fall?
  7. Was the highest of them who fell, absolutely the highest among the angels?
  8. Was the sin of the foremost angel the cause of the others sinning?
  9. Did as many sin as remained steadfast?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Q62 A9: Whether the beatified angels advance in beatitude?

No. The beatified angels can neither merit nor advance in beatitude because every rational creature is so led by God to the end of its beatitude, that from God's predestination it is brought even to a determinate degree of beatitude; consequently, when that degree is once secured, it cannot pass to a higher degree.

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?

No. The beatified angels cannot sin because the beatified angel can neither will nor act, except as aiming towards God since beatitude consists in seeing God through His essence (and God's essence is the very essence of goodness).

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?

Yes. Natural knowledge and love remain in the angels because so long as a nature endures, its operation remains; but beatitude does not destroy nature, since it is its perfection.

Q62 A6: Whether the angels receive grace and glory according to the degree of their natural gifts?

Yes. It is reasonable to suppose that gifts of graces and perfection of beatitude were bestowed on the angels according to the degree of their natural gifts because it seems that God destined those angels for greater gifts of grace and fuller beatitude, whom He made of a higher nature, and because the angel is not a compound of different natures, so that the inclination of the one thwarts or retards the tendency of the other; as happens in man, in whom the movement of his intellective part is either retarded or thwarted by the inclination of his sensitive part.

Q62 A5: Whether the angel obtained beatitude immediately after one act of merit?

Yes. The angel was beatified instantly after the first act of charity, whereby he merited beatitude because grace perfects nature according to the manner of the nature; as every perfection is received in the subject capable of perfection, according to its mode.

Q62 A4: Whether an angel merits his beatitude?

Yes. Both man and angel merited their beatitude because ultimate beatitude exceeds both the angelic and the human nature.

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?

Yes. It seems more probable, and more in keeping with the sayings of holy men, that the angels were created in sanctifying grace because sanctifying grace bears the same relation to beatitude as the seedlike form in nature does to the natural effect; hence (1 John 3:9) grace is called the "seed" of God.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Q62 A2: Whether an angel needs grace in order to turn to God?

Yes. It must be said that an angel could not of his own will be turned to beatitude, except by the help of grace, because if there is anything which is above nature, the will cannot be inclined towards it, unless helped by some other supernatural principle.

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?

No. The angels did not have from the beginning of their creation that ultimate beatitude which is beyond the power of nature because such beatitude is no part of their nature, but its end; and consequently they ought not to have it immediately from the beginning.

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

  1. Were the angels created in beatitude?
  2. Did they need grace in order to turn to God?
  3. Were they created in grace?
  4. Did they merit their beatitude?
  5. Did they at once enter into beatitude after merit?
  6. Did they receive grace and glory according to their natural capacities?
  7. After entering glory, did their natural love and knowledge remain?
  8. Could they have sinned afterwards?
  9. After entering into glory, could they advance farther?

Q61 A4: Whether the angels were created in the empyrean heaven?

Yes. It was fitting for the angels to be created in the highest corporeal place, as presiding over all corporeal nature (whether it be styled the empyrean heaven, or whatever else it be called) because spiritual creatures were so created as to bear some relationship to the corporeal creature, and to rule over every corporeal creature.

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?

No. The more probable opinion holds that the angels were created at the same time as corporeal creatures because the angels are part of the universe: they do not constitute a universe of themselves; but both they and corporeal natures unite in constituting one universe.

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?

No. God alone (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) is from eternity because the Catholic Faith holds this without doubt (and everything to the contrary must be rejected as heretical).

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."