Summa - Supplement 1642

Whether all will be equally impassible?


Objection 1: It would seem that all will be equally impassible. For a gloss on
1Co 15,42, "It is sown in corruption," says that "all have equal immunity from suffering." Now the gift of impassibility consists in immunity from suffering. Therefore all will be equally impassible.

Objection 2: Further, negations are not subject to be more or less. Now impassibility is a negation or privation of passibility. Therefore it cannot be greater in one subject than in another.

Objection 3: Further, a thing is more white if it have less admixture of black. But there will be no admixture of passibility in any of the saints' bodies. Therefore they will all be equally impassible.

On the contrary, Reward should be proportionate to merit. Now some of the saints were greater in merit than others. Therefore, since impassibility is a reward, it would seem to be greater in some than in others.

Further, impassibility is condivided with the gift of clarity. Now the latter will not be equal in all, according to 1Co 15,41. Therefore neither will impassibility be equal in all.

I answer that, Impassibility may be considered in two ways, either in itself, or in respect of its cause. If it be considered in itself, since it denotes a mere negation or privation, it is not subject to be more or less, but will be equal in all the blessed. on the other hand, if we consider it in relation to its cause, thus it will be greater in one person than in another. Now its cause is the dominion of the soul over the body, and this dominion is caused by the soul's unchangeable enjoyment of God. Consequently in one who enjoys God more perfectly, there is a greater cause of impassibility.

Reply to Objection 1: This gloss is speaking of impassibility in itself and not in relation to its cause.

Reply to Objection 2: Although negations and privations considered in themselves are not increased nor diminished, yet they are subject to increase and diminution in relation to their causes. Thus a place is said to be more darksome from having more and greater obstacles to light.

Reply to Objection 3: Some things increase not only by receding from their contrary, but also by approach to a term: thus light increases. Consequently impassibility also is greater in one subject than in another, although there is no passibility remaining in any one.

Whether impassibility excludes actual sensation from glorified bodies?


Objection 1: It would seem that impassibility excludes actual sensation from glorified bodies. For according to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 11), "sensation is a kind of passion." But the glorified bodies will be impassible. Therefore they will not have actual sensation.

Objection 2: Further, natural alteration precedes spiritual* alteration, just as natural being precedes intentional being. Now glorified bodies, by reason of their impassibility, will not be subject to natural alteration. [*"Animalem," as though it were derived from "animus"---the mind. Cf.
I-II 50,1,3m; I-II 52,1,3m.] Therefore they will not be subject to spiritual alteration which is requisite for sensation.

Objection 3: Further, whenever actual sensation is due to a new perception, there is a new judgment. But in that state there will be no new judgment, because "our thoughts will not then be unchangeable," as Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 16). Therefore there will be no actual sensation.

Objection 4: Further, when the act of one of the soul's powers is intense, the acts of the other powers are remiss. Now the soul will be supremely intent on the act of the contemplative power in contemplating God. Therefore the soul will have no actual sensation whatever.

On the contrary, It is written (Ap 1,7): "Every eye shall see Him." Therefore there will be actual sensation.

Further, according to the Philosopher (De Anima i, 2) "the animate is distinct from the inanimate by sensation and movement." Now there will be actual movement since they "shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds" (Sg 3,7). Therefore there will also be actual sensation.

I answer that, All are agreed that there is some sensation in the bodies of the blessed: else the bodily life of the saints after the resurrection would be likened to sleep rather than to vigilance. Now this is not befitting that perfection, because in sleep a sensible body is not in the ultimate act of life, for which reason sleep is described as half-life. [*This is what Aristotle says: "The good and the bad are in sleep least distinguishable: hence men say that for half their lives there is no difference between the happy and the unhappy" (Ethic. i, 13)] But there is a difference of opinion as to the mode of sensation.

For some say that the glorified bodies will be impassible, and consequently "not susceptible to impressions from without" [*Cf. Question [74], Article [4], On the contrary] and much less so than the heavenly bodies, because they will have actual sensations, not by receiving species from sensibles, but by emission of species. But this is impossible, since in the resurrection the specific nature will remain the same in man and in all his parts. Now the nature of sense is to be a passive power as the Philosopher proves (De Anima ii, text. 51,54). Wherefore if the saints, in the resurrection, were to have sensations by emitting and not by receiving species, sense in them would be not a passive but an active power, and thus it would not be the same specifically with sense as it is now, but would be some other power bestowed on them; for just as matter never becomes form, so a passive power never becomes active. Consequently others say that the senses will be actualized by receiving species, not indeed from external sensibles, but by an outflow from the higher powers, so that as now the higher powers receive from the lower, so on the contrary the lower powers will then receive from the higher. But this mode of reception does not result in real sensation, because every passive power, according to its specific nature, is determined to some special active principle, since a power as such bears relation to that with respect to which it is said to be the power. Wherefore since the proper active principle in external sensation is a thing existing outside the soul and not an intention thereof existing in the imagination or reason, if the organ of sense be not moved by external things, but by the imagination or other higher powers, there will be no true sensation. Hence we do not say that madmen or other witless persons (in whom there is this kind of outflow of species towards the organs of sense, on account of the powerful influence of the imagination) have real sensations, but that it seems to them that they have sensations. Consequently we must say with others that sensation in glorified bodies will result from the reception of things outside the soul. It must, however, be observed that the organs of sense are transmuted by things outside the soul in two ways. First by a natural transmutation, when namely the organ is disposed by the same natural quality as the thing outside the soul which acts on that organ: for instance, when the hand is heated by touching a hot object, or becomes fragrant through contact with a fragrant object. Secondly, by a spiritual transmutation, as when a sensible quality is received in an instrument, according to a spiritual mode of being, when, namely, the species or the intention of a quality, and not the quality itself is received: thus the pupil receives the species of whiteness and yet does not itself become white. Accordingly the first reception does not cause sensation, properly speaking, because the senses are receptive of species in matter but without matter. that is to say without the material "being" which the species had outside the soul (De Anima ii, text. 121). This reception transmutes the nature of the recipient, because in this way the quality is received according to its material "being." Consequently this kind of reception will not be in the glorified bodies, but the second, which of itself causes actual sensation, without changing the nature of the recipient.

Reply to Objection 1: As already explained, by this passion that takes place in actual sensation and is no other than the aforesaid reception of species, the body is not drawn away from natural quality, but is perfected by a spiritual change. Wherefore the impassibility of glorified bodies does not exclude this kind of passion.

Reply to Objection 2: Every subject of passion receives the action of the agent according to its mode. Accordingly if there be a thing that is naturally adapted to be altered by an active principle, with a natural and a spiritual alteration, the natural alteration precedes the spiritual alteration, just as natural precedes intentional being. If however a thing be naturally adapted to be altered only with a spiritual alteration it does not follow that it is altered naturally. For instance the air is not receptive of color, according to its natural being, but only according to its spiritual being, wherefore in this way alone is it altered: whereas, on the contrary, inanimate bodies are altered by sensible qualities only naturally and not spiritually. But in the glorified bodies there cannot be any natural alteration, and consequently there will be only spiritual alteration.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as there will be new reception of species in the organs of sensation, so there will be new judgment in the common sense: but there will be no new judgment on the point in the intellect; such is the case with one who sees what he knew before. The saying of Augustine, that "there our thoughts will not be changeable," refers to the thoughts of the intellectual part: therefore it is not to the point.

Reply to Objection 4: When one of two things is the type of the other, the attention of the soul to the one does not hinder or lessen its attention to the other: thus a physician while considering urine is not less but more able to bear in mind the rules of his art concerning the colors of urine. And since God is apprehended by the saints as the type of all things that will be done or known by them, their attention to perceiving sensibles, or to contemplating or doing anything else will nowise hinder their contemplation of God, nor conversely. Or we may say that the reason why one power is hindered in its act when another power is intensely engaged is because one power does not alone suffice for such an intense operation, unless it be assisted by receiving from the principle of life the inflow that the other powers or members should receive. And since in the saints all the powers will be most perfect, one will be able to operate intensely without thereby hindering the operation of another power even as it was with Christ.

Whether in the blessed, after the resurrection, all the senses will be in act?


Objection 1: It would seem that all the senses are not in act there. For touch is the first of all the senses (De Anima ii, 2). But the glorified body will lack the actual sense of touch, since the sense of touch becomes actual by the alteration of an animal body by some external body preponderating in some one of the active or passive qualities which touch is capable of discerning: and such an alteration will then be impossible. Therefore all the senses will not be in act there.

Objection 2: Further, the sense of taste assists the action of the nutritive power. Now after the resurrection there will be no such action, as stated above (Question [81], Article [4]). Therefore taste would be useless there.

Objection 3: Further, nothing will be corrupted after the resurrection because the whole creature will be invested with a certain virtue of incorruption. Now the sense of smell cannot have its act without some corruption having taken place, because smell is not perceived without a volatile evaporation consisting in a certain dissolution. Therefore the sense of smell is not there in its act.

Objection 4: Further, "Hearing assists teaching" (De Sensu et Sensato i). But the blessed, after the resurrection, will require no teaching by means of sensible objects, since they will be filled with Divine wisdom by the very vision of God. Therefore hearing will not be there.

Objection 5: Further. seeing results from the pupil receiving the species of the thing seen. But after the resurrection this will be impossible in the blessed. Therefore there will be no actual seeing there, and yet this is the most noble of the senses. The minor is proved thus: That which is actually lightsome is not receptive of a visible species; and consequently a mirror placed under the sun's rays does not reflect the image of a body opposite to it. Now the pupil like the whole body will be endowed with clarity. Therefore it will not receive the image of a colored body.

Objection 6: Further, according to the science of perspective, whatever is seen is seen at an angle. But this does not apply to the glorified bodies. Therefore they will not have actual sense of sight. The minor is proved thus. Whenever a thing is seen at an angle, the angle must be proportionate to the distance of the object seen: because what is seen from a greater distance is less seen and at a lesser angle, so that the angle may be so small that nothing is seen of the object. Therefore if the glorified eye sees at an angle, it follows that it sees things within a certain distance, and that consequently it does not see a thing from a greater distance than we see now: and this would seem very absurd. And thus it would seem that the sense of sight will not be actual in glorified bodies.

On the contrary, A power conjoined to its act is more perfect than one not so conjoined. Now human nature in the blessed will be in its greatest perfection. Therefore all the senses will be actual there.

Further, the sensitive powers are nearer to the soul than the body is. But the body will be rewarded or punished on account of the merits or demerits of the soul. Therefore all the senses in the blessed will also be rewarded and in the wicked will be punished, with regard to pleasure and pain or sorrow which consist in the operation of the senses.

I answer that, There are two opinions on this question. For some say that in the glorified bodies there will be all the sensitive powers, but that only two senses will be in act, namely touch and sight; nor will this be owing to defective senses, but from lack of medium and object; and that the senses will not be useless, because they will conduce to the integrity of human nature and will show forth the wisdom of their Creator. But this is seemingly untrue, because the medium in these senses is the same as in the others. For in the sight the medium is the air, and this is also the medium in hearing and smelling (De Anima ii, 7). Again, the taste, like the touch, has the medium in contact, since taste is a kind of touch (De Anima ii, 9). Smell also which is the object of the sense of smell will be there, since the Church sings that the bodies of the saints will be a most sweet smell. There will also be vocal praise in heaven; hence a gloss says on
Ps 149,6, "The high praises of God shall be in their mouth" that "hearts and tongues shall not cease to praise God." The same is had on the authority of a gloss on 2 Esdra 12:27, "With singing and with cymbals." Wherefore, according to others we may say that smelling and hearing will be in act there, but taste will not be in act, in the sense of being affected by the taking of food or drink, as appears from what we have said (Question [81], Article [4]): unless perchance we say that there will be taste in act through the tongue being affected by some neighboring humor.

Reply to Objection 1: The qualities perceived by the touch are those which constitute the animal body. Wherefore the body of an animal has, through its tangible qualities according to the present state of life, a natural aptitude to be affected with a natural and spiritual alteration by the object of touch. For this reason the touch is said to be the most material of the senses, since it has a greater measure of material alteration connected with it. Yet material alteration is only accidentally related to the act of sensation which is effected by a spiritual alteration. Consequently the glorified bodies, which by reason of their impassibility are immune from natural alteration, will be subject only to spiritual alteration by tangible qualities. Thus it was with the body of Adam, which could neither be burned by fire, nor pierced by sword, although he had the sense of such things.

Reply to Objection 2: Taste, in so far as it is the perception of food, will not be in act; but perhaps it will be possible in so far as it is cognizant of flavors in the way mentioned above.

Reply to Objection 3: Some have considered smell to be merely a volatile evaporation. But this opinion cannot be true; which is evident from the fact that vultures hasten to a corpse on perceiving the odor from a very great distance, whereas it would be impossible for an evaporation to travel from the corpse to a place so remote, even though the whole corpse were to be dissolved into vapor. This is confirmed by the fact that sensible objects at an equal distance exercise their influence in all directions: so that smell affects the medium sometimes, and the instrument of sensation with a spiritual alteration, without any evaporation reaching the organ. That some evaporation should be necessary is due to the fact that smell in bodies is mixed with humidity; wherefore it is necessary for dissolution to take place in order for the smell to be perceived. But in the glorified bodies odor will be in its ultimate perfection, being nowise hampered by humidity: wherefore it will affect the organ with a spiritual alteration, like the odor of a volatile evaporation. Such will be the sense of smell in the saints, because it will not be hindered by any humidity: and it will take cognizance not only of the excellences of odors, as happens with us now on account of the very great humidity of the brain, but also of the minutest differences of odors.

Reply to Objection 4: In heaven there will be vocal praise (though indeed some think otherwise), and in the blessed it will affect the organ of hearing by a merely spiritual alteration. Nor will it be for the sake of learning whereby they may acquire knowledge, but for the sake of the perfection of the sense and for the sake pleasure. How it is possible for the voice to give sound there, we have already stated (Sent. ii, D, 2; Question [2], Article [2], ad 5).

Reply to Objection 5: The intensity of light does not hinder the spiritual reception of the image of color, so long as the pupil retains its diaphanous nature; thus it is evident that however much the air be filled with light, it can be the medium of sight, and the more it is illumined, the more clearly are objects seen through it, unless there be a fault through defective sight. The fact that the image of an object placed in opposition to a mirror directly opposite the sun's rays does not appear therein, is not due to the reception being hindered, but to the hindering of reflection: because for an image to appear in a mirror it must needs be thrown back by an opaque body, for which reason lead is affixed to the glass in a mirror. The sun's ray dispels this opacity so that no image can appear in the mirror. But the clarity of a glorified body does not destroy the diaphanous nature of the pupil, since glory does not destroy nature; and consequently the greatness of clarity in the pupil renders the sight keen rather than defective.

Reply to Objection 6: The more perfect the sense the less does it require to be altered in order to perceive its object. Now the smaller the angle at which the sight is affected by the visible object, the less is the organ altered. Hence it is that a stronger sight can see from a distance more than a weaker sight; because the greater the distance the smaller the angle at which a thing is seen. And since the sight of a glorified body will be most perfect it will be able to see by the very least alteration (of the organ); and consequently at a very much smaller angle than now, and therefore from a much greater distance.



We must now consider the subtlety of the bodies of the blessed. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether subtlety is a property of the glorified body?

(2) Whether by reason of this subtlety it can be in the same place with another not glorified body?

(3) Whether by a miracle two bodies can be in the same place?

(4) Whether a glorified body can be in the same place with another glorified body?

(5) Whether a glorified body necessarily requires a place equal to itself?

(6) Whether a glorified body is palpable?

Whether subtlety is a property of the glorified body?


Objection 1: It would seem that subtlety is not a property of the glorified body. For the properties of glory surpass the properties of nature, even as the clarity of glory surpasses the clarity of the sun, which is the greatest in nature. Accordingly if subtlety be a property of the glorified body, it would seem that the glorified body will be more subtle than anything which is subtle in nature, and thus it will be "more subtle than the wind and the air," which was condemned by Gregory in the city of Constantinople, as he relates (Moral. xiv, 56).

Objection 2: Further, as heat and cold are simple qualities of bodies, i.e. of the elements, so is subtlety. But heat and other qualities of the elements will not be intensified in the glorified bodies any more than they are now, in fact, they will be more reduced to the mean. Neither, therefore, will subtlety be in them more than it is now.

Objection 3: Further, subtlety is in bodies as a result of scarcity of matter, wherefore bodies that have less matter within equal dimensions are said to be more subtle; as fire in comparison with air, and air as compared with water, and water as compared with earth. But there will be as much matter in the glorified bodies as there is now, nor will their dimensions be greater. Therefore they will not be more subtle then than now.

On the contrary, It is written (
1Co 15,44): "It is sown a corruptible body, it shall rise a spiritual," i.e. a spirit-like, "body." But the subtlety of a spirit surpasses all bodily subtlety. Therefore the glorified bodies will be most subtle.

Further, the more subtle a body is the more exalted it is. But the glorified bodies will be most exalted. Therefore they will be most subtle.

I answer that, Subtlety takes its name from the power to penetrate. Hence it is said in De Gener. ii that "a subtle thing fills all the parts and the parts of parts." Now that a body has the power of penetrating may happen through two causes. First, through smallness of quantity, especially in respect of depth and breadth, but not of length, because penetration regards depth, wherefore length is not an obstacle to penetration. Secondly, through paucity of matter, wherefore rarity is synonymous with subtlety: and since in rare bodies the form is more predominant over the matter, the term "subtlety" has been transferred to those bodies which are most perfectly subject to their form, and are most fully perfected thereby: thus we speak of subtlety in the sun and moon and like bodies, just as gold and similar things may be called subtle, when they are most perfectly complete in their specific being and power. And since incorporeal things lack quantity and matter, the term "subtlety" is applied to them, not only by reason of their substance, but also on account of their power. For just as a subtle thing is said to be penetrative, for the reason that it reaches to the inmost part of a thing, so is an intellect said to be subtle because it reaches to the insight of the intrinsic principles and the hidden natural properties of a thing. In like manner a person is said to have subtle sight, because he is able to perceive by sight things of the smallest size: and the same applies to the other senses. Accordingly people have differed by ascribing subtlety to the glorified bodies in different ways.

For certain heretics, as Augustine relates (De Civ. Dei xiii, 22), ascribed to them the subtlety whereby spiritual substances are said to be subtle: and they said that at the resurrection the body will be transformed into a spirit, and that for this reason the Apostle describes as being "spiritual" the bodies of those who rise again (1Co 15,44). But this cannot be maintained. First, because a body cannot be changed into a spirit, since there is no community of matter between them: and Boethius proves this (De Duab. Nat.). Secondly, because, if this were possible, and one's body were changed into a spirit, one would not rise again a man, for a man naturally consists of a soul and body. Thirdly, because if this were the Apostle's meaning, just as he speaks of spiritual bodies, so would he speak of natural [animale] bodies, as being changed into souls [animam]: and this is clearly false.

Hence certain heretics said that the body will remain at the resurrection, but that it will be endowed with subtlety by means of rarefaction, so that human bodies in rising again will be like the air or the wind, as Gregory relates (Moral. xiv, 56). But this again cannot be maintained, because our Lord had a palpable body after the Resurrection, as appears from the last chapter of Luke, and we must believe that His body was supremely subtle. Moreover the human body will rise again with flesh and bones, as did the body of our Lord, according to Lc 24,39, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see Me to have," and Jb 19,26, "In my flesh I shall see God," my Saviour: and the nature of flesh and bone is incompatible with the aforesaid rarity.

Consequently another kind of subtlety must be assigned to glorified bodies, by saying that they are subtle on account of the most complete perfection of the body. But this completeness is explained by some in relation to the fifth, or heavenly, essence, which will be then predominant in them. This, however, is impossible, since first of all the fifth essence can nowise enter into the composition of a body, as we have shown above (Sent. D, 12, qu. 1). Secondly, because granted that it entered into the composition of the human body, it would be impossible to account for its having a greater predominance over the elemental nature then than now, unless---either the amount of the heavenly nature in human bodies were increased (thus human bodies would not be of the same stature, unless perhaps elemental matter in man were decreased, which is inconsistent with the integrity of those who rise again)---or unless elemental nature were endowed with the properties of the heavenly nature through the latter's dominion over the body, and in that case a natural power would be the cause of a property of glory, which seems absurd.

Hence others say that the aforesaid completeness by reason of which human bodies are said to be subtle will result from the dominion of the glorified soul (which is the form of the body) over the body, by reason of which dominion the glorified body is said to be "spiritual," as being wholly subject to the spirit. The first subjection whereby the body is subject to the soul is to the effect of its participating in its specific being, in so far as it is subject to the soul as matter to form; and secondly it is subject to the soul in respect of the other operations of the soul, in so far as the soul is a principle of movement. Consequently the first reason for spirituality in the body is subtlety, and, after that, agility and the other properties of a glorified body. Hence the Apostle, as the masters expound, in speaking of spirituality indicates subtlety: wherefore Gregory says (Moral. xiv, 56) that "the glorified body is said to be subtle as a result of a spiritual power."

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections which refer to the subtlety of rarefaction.

Whether by reason of this subtlety a glorified body is able to be in the same place with another body not glorified?


Objection 1: It would seem that by reason of this subtlety a body is able to be in the same place with another body not glorified. For according to
Ph 3,21, "He will reform the body of our lowness made like to the body of His glory." Now the body of Christ was able to be in the same place with another body, as appears from the fact that after His Resurrection He went in to His disciples, the doors being shut (Jn 20,19 Jn 20,26). Therefore also the glorified bodies by reason of their subtlety will be able to be in the same place with other bodies not glorified.

Objection 2: Further, glorified bodies will be superior to all other bodies. Yet by reason of their superiority certain bodies, to wit the solar rays, are able now to occupy the same place together with other bodies. Much more therefore is this befitting glorified bodies.

Objection 3: Further, a heavenly body cannot be severed, at least as regards the substance of the spheres: hence it is written (Jb 37,18) that "the heavens . . . are most strong, as if they were of molten brass." If then the subtlety of a glorified body will not enable it to be in the same place together with another body, it will never be able to ascend to the empyrean,* and this is erroneous. [*The empyrean was the highest of the concentric spheres or heavens, and was identified by Christian writers with the abode of God. Cf. I 56,3].

Objection 4: Further, a body which is unable to be in the same place with another body can be hindered in its movement or even surrounded by others standing in its way. But this cannot happen to glorified bodies. Therefore they will be able to be together in the same place with other bodies.

Objection 5: Further, as point is to point, so is line to line, surface to surface, and body to body. Now two points can be coincident, as in the case of two lines touching one another, and two lines when two surfaces are in contact with one another, and two surfaces when two bodies touch one another, because "contiguous things are those whose boundaries coincide" (Phys. vi, 6). Therefore it is not against the nature of a body to be in the same place together with another body. Now whatever excellence is competent to the nature of a body will all be bestowed on the glorified body. Therefore a glorified body, by reason of its subtlety, will be able to be in the same place together with another body.

On the contrary, Boethius says (De Trin. i): "Difference of accidents makes distinction in number. For three men differ not in genus, nor in species, but in their accidents. If we were to remove absolutely every accident from them, still each one has a different place; and it is quite conceivable that they should all occupy the same place." Therefore if we suppose two bodies to occupy the same place, there will be but one body numerically.

I answer that, It cannot be maintained that a glorified body, by reason of its subtlety, is able to be in the same place with another body, unless the obstacle to its being now in the same place with another body be removed by that subtlety. Some say that in the present state this obstacle is its grossness by virtue of which it is able to occupy a place; and that this grossness is removed by the gift of subtlety. But there are two reasons why this cannot be maintained. First, because the grossness which the gift of subtlety removes is a kind of defect, for instance an inordinateness of matter in not being perfectly subject to its form. For all that pertains to the integrity of the body will rise again in the body, both as regards the matter and as regards the form. And the fact that a body is able to fill a place belongs to it by reason of that which pertains to its integrity, and not on account of any defect of nature. For since fulness is opposed to vacancy, that alone does not fill a place, which being put in a place, nevertheless leaves a place vacant. Now a vacuum is defined by the Philosopher (Phys. iv, 6,7) as being "a place not filled by a sensible body." And a body is said to be sensible by reason of its matter, form, and natural accidents, all of which pertain to the integrity of nature. It is also plain that the glorified body will be sensible even to touch, as evidenced by the body of our Lord (Lc 24,39): nor will it lack matter, or form, or natural accidents, namely heat, cold, and so forth. Hence it is evident that the glorified body, the gift of subtlety notwithstanding, will fill a place: for it would seem madness to say that the place in which there will be a glorified body will be empty. Secondly their aforesaid argument does not avail, because to hinder the co-existence of a body in the same place is more than to fill a place. For if we suppose dimensions separate from matter, those dimensions do not fill a place. Hence some who held the possibility of a vacuum, said that a vacuum is a place wherein such like dimensions exist apart from a sensible body; and yet those dimensions hinder another body from being together with them in the same place. This is made clear by the Philosopher (Phys. iv, 1,8; Metaph. ii, 2), where he considers it impossible for a mathematical body, which is nothing but separate dimensions, to be together with another natural sensible body. Consequently, granted that the subtlety of a glorified body hindered it from filling a place, nevertheless it would not follow that for this reason it is able to be in the same place with another body, since the removal of the lesser does not involve the removal of the greater.

Accordingly we must say that the obstacle to our body's being now in the same place with another body can nowise be removed by the gift of subtlety. For nothing can prevent a body from occupying the same place together with another body, except something in it that requires a different place: since nothing is an obstacle to identity, save that which is a cause of distinction. Now this distinction of place is not required by any quality of the body, because a body demands a place, not by reason of its quality: wherefore if we remove from a body the fact of its being hot or cold, heavy or light, it still retains the necessity of the aforesaid distinction, as the Philosopher proves (Phys. iv), and as is self-evident. In like manner neither can matter cause the necessity of the aforesaid distinction, because matter does not occupy a place except through its dimensive quantity. Again neither does form occupy a place, unless it have a place through its matter. It remains therefore that the necessity for two bodies occupying each a distinct place results from the nature of dimensive quantity, to which a place is essentially befitting. For this forms part of its definition, since dimensive quantity is quantity occupying a place. Hence it is that if we remove all else in a thing from it, the necessity of this distinction is found in its dimensive quantity alone. Thus take the example of a separate line, supposing there to be two such lines, or two parts of one line, they must needs occupy distinct places, else one line added to another would not make something greater, and this is against common sense. The same applies to surfaces and mathematical bodies. And since matter demands place, through being the subject of dimension, the aforesaid necessity results in placed matter, so that just as it is impossible for there to be two lines, or two parts of a line, unless they occupy distinct places, so is it impossible for there to be two matters, or two parts of matter, without there be distinction of place. And since distinction of matter is the principle of the distinction between individuals, it follows that, as Boethius says (De Trin.), "we cannot possibly conceive two bodies occupying one place," so that this distinction of individuals requires this difference of accidents. Now subtlety does not deprive the glorified body of its dimension; wherefore it nowise removes from it the aforesaid necessity of occupying a distinct place from another body. Therefore the subtlety of a glorified body will not enable it to be in the same place together with another body, but it will be possible for it to be together with another body by the operation of the Divine power: even as the body of Peter had the power whereby the sick were healed at the passing of Peter's shadow (Ac 5,15) not through any inherent property, but by the power of God for the upbuilding of the faith. Thus will the Divine power make it possible for a glorified body to be in the same place together with another body for the perfection of glory.

Reply to Objection 1: That Christ's body was able to be together with another body in the same place was not due to its subtlety, but resulted from the power of His Godhead after His resurrection, even as in His birth [*Cf. III 28,2, ad 3]. Hence Gregory says (Hom. xxvi in Evang.): "The same body went into His disciples the doors being shut, which to human eyes came from the closed womb of the Virgin at His birth." Therefore there is no reason why this should be befitting to glorified bodies on account of their subtlety.

Reply to Objection 2: Light is not a body as we have said above (Sent. ii, Question [13], Article [3]; I 67,2): hence the objection proceeds on a false supposition.

Reply to Objection 3: The glorified body will pass through the heavenly spheres without severing them, not by virtue of its subtlety, but by the Divine power, which will assist them in all things at will.

Reply to Objection 4: From the fact that God will come to the aid of the blessed at will in whatever they desire, it follows that they cannot be surrounded or imprisoned.

Reply to Objection 5: As stated in Phys. iv, 5, "a point is not in a place": hence if it be said to be in a place, this is only accidental, because the body of which it is a term is in a place. And just as the whole place corresponds to the whole body, so the term of the place corresponds to the term of the body. But it happens that two places have one term, even as two lines terminate in one point. And consequently though two bodies must needs be in distinct places, yet the same term of two places corresponds to the two terms of the two bodies. It is in this sense that the bounds of contiguous bodies are said to coincide.

Summa - Supplement 1642