Sunday, April 19, 2009

Q89 A3: Whether the separated soul knows all natural things?

No. Separated souls know all natural things not with a certain and proper knowledge but in a general and confused manner because the separated soul, like the angels, understands by means of species, received from the influence of the Divine light; nevertheless, as the soul by nature is inferior to an angel, to whom this kind of knowledge is natural, the soul apart from the body through such species does not receive perfect knowledge.

Animae separatae de omnibus naturalibus cognitionem habent, non certam et propriam, sed communem et confusam quia anima separata intelligit per species quas recipit ex influentia divini luminis, sicut et Angeli, sed tamen, quia natura animae est infra naturam Angeli, cui iste modus cognoscendi est connaturalis, anima separata per huiusmodi species non accipit perfectam rerum cognitionem.

Separated souls, therefore, have the same relation through such species to imperfect and confused knowledge of natural things as the angels have to the perfect knowledge thereof. Now angels through such species know all natural things perfectly; because all that God has produced in the respective natures of natural things has been produced by Him in the angelic intelligence, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. ii, 8).

Sicut igitur se habent Angeli ad perfectam cognitionem rerum naturalium per huiusmodi species, ita animae separatae ad imperfectam et confusam. Angeli autem per huiusmodi species cognoscunt cognitione perfecta omnia naturalia, quia omnia quae Deus fecit in propriis naturis, fecit in intelligentia angelica, ut dicit Augustinus, super Gen. ad Litt.

As the soul separated from the body does not perfectly understand separate substances, so neither does it know all natural things perfectly.

Anima separata non perfecte intelligit substantias separatas ita nec omnia naturalia perfecte cognoscit, sed sub quadam confusione.