Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Q89 A8: Whether separated souls know what takes place on earth?

No. By natural knowledge, of which we are treating now, the souls of the dead do not know what passes on earth because the separated soul has knowledge of singulars, by being in a way determined to them, either by some vestige of previous knowledge or affection, or by the Divine order.

Secundum naturalem cognitionem, de qua nunc hic agitur, animae mortuorum nesciunt quae hic aguntur quia anima separata cognoscit singularia per hoc quod quodammodo determinata est ad illa, vel per vestigium alicuius praecedentis cognitionis seu affectionis, vel per ordinationem divinam.

The souls departed are in a state of separation from the living, both by Divine order and by their mode of existence, whilst they are joined to the world of incorporeal spiritual substances; and hence they are ignorant of what goes on among us.

Animae autem mortuorum, secundum ordinationem divinam, et secundum modum essendi, segregatae sunt a conversatione viventium, et coniunctae conversationi spiritualium substantiarum quae sunt a corpore separatae. Unde ea quae apud nos aguntur ignorant.

The souls of the blessed who see God do know all that passes here. For they are equal to the angels, of whom Augustine says that they know what happens among those living on earth. But as the souls of the blessed are most perfectly united to Divine justice, they do not suffer from sorrow, nor do they interfere in mundane affairs, except in accordance with Divine justice.

Animae sanctorum Deum videntes, omnia praesentia quae hic aguntur cognoscant. Sunt enim Angelis aequales, de quibus etiam Augustinus asserit quod ea quae apud vivos aguntur non ignorant. Sed quia sanctorum animae sunt perfectissime iustitiae divinae coniunctae, nec tristantur, nec rebus viventium se ingerunt, nisi secundum quod iustitiae divinae dispositio exigit.

The souls of the departed may care for the living, even if ignorant of their state; just as we care for the dead by pouring forth prayer on their behalf, though we are ignorant of their state. Moreover, the affairs of the living can be made known to them not immediately, but the souls who pass hence thither, or by angels and demons, or even by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Animae mortuorum possunt habere curam de rebus viventium, etiam si ignorent eorum statum; sicut nos curam habemus de mortuis, eis suffragia impendendo, quamvis eorum statum ignoremus. Possunt etiam facta viventium non per seipsos cognoscere, sed vel per animas eorum qui hinc ad eos accedunt, vel per Angelos seu Daemones, vel etiam spiritu Dei revelante.

That the dead appear to the living in any way whatever, is either by the special dispensation of God (in order that the souls of the dead may interfere in affairs of the living--and this is to be accounted as miraculous), or else such apparitions occur through the instrumentality of bad or good angels, without the knowledge of the departed.

Hoc quod mortui viventibus apparent qualitercumque, vel contingit per specialem Dei dispensationem (ut animae mortuorum rebus viventium intersint, et est inter divina miracula computandum), vel huiusmodi apparitiones fiunt per operationes Angelorum bonorum vel malorum, etiam ignorantibus mortuis.