Summa - Supplement 1721

Whether the bodies of the damned will rise again with their deformities?


Objection 1: It would seem that the bodies of the damned will rise again with their deformities. For that which was appointed as a punishment for sin should not cease except the sin be forgiven. Now the lack of limbs that results from mutilation, as well as all other bodily deformities, are appointed as punishments for sin. Therefore these deformities will not be taken away from the damned, seeing that they will not have received the forgiveness of their sins.

Objection 2: Further, just as the saints will rise again to final happiness, so the wicked will rise again to final unhappiness. Now when the saints rise again nothing will be taken from them that can pertain to their perfection, therefore nothing pertaining to the defect or unhappiness of the wicked will be taken from them at the resurrection. But such are their deformities. Therefore, etc.

Objection 3: Further, just as deformity is a defect of the passible body, so is slowness of movement. Now slowness of movement will not be taken from the bodies of the damned at the resurrection, since their bodies will not be agile. Therefore for the same reason neither will their deformity be taken away.

On the contrary, It is written (
1Co 15,52): "The dead shall rise again incorruptible"; where a gloss says: "The dead, i.e. sinners, or all the dead in general shall rise again incorruptible, i.e. without the loss of any limbs." Therefore the wicked will rise again without their deformities.

Further, there will be nothing in the damned to lessen the sense of pain. But sickness hinders the sense of pain by weakening the organ of sense, and in like manner the lack of a limb would prevent pain from affecting the whole body. Therefore the damned will rise again without these defects.

I answer that, Deformity in the human body is of two kinds. One arises from the lack of a limb: thus we say that a mutilated person is deformed, because he lacks due proportion of the parts to the whole. Deformities of this kind, without any doubt, will not be in the bodies of the damned, since all bodies of both wicked and good will rise again whole. Another deformity arises from the undue disposition of the parts, by reason of undue quantity, quality, or place---which deformity is, moreover, incompatible with due proportion of parts to whole. Concerning these deformities and like defects such as fevers and similar ailments which sometimes result in deformity, Augustine remained undecided and doubtful (Enchiridion xcii) as the Master remarks (Sent. iv, D, 44). Among modern masters, however, there are two opinions on this point. For some say that such like deformities and defects will remain in the bodies of the damned, because they consider that those who are damned are sentenced to utmost unhappiness wherefrom no affliction should be rebated. But this would seem unreasonable. For in the restoration of the rising body we look to its natural perfection rather than to its previous condition: wherefore those who die under perfect age will rise again in the stature of youth, as stated above (Question [81], Article [1]). Consequently those who had natural defects in the body, or deformities resulting therefrom, will be restored without those defects or deformities at the resurrection, unless the demerit of sin prevent; and so if a person rise again with such defects and deformities, this will be for his punishment. Now the mode of punishment is according to the measure of guilt. And a sinner who is about to be damned may be burdened with less grievous sins and yet have deformities and defects which one who is about to be damned has not, while burdened with more grievous sins. Wherefore if he who had deformities in this life rise again with them, while the other who had them not in this life, and therefore, as is clear, will rise again without them, though deserving of greater punishment, the mode of the punishment would not correspond to the amount of guilt; in fact it would seem that a man is more punished on account of the pains which he suffered in this world; which is absurd.

Hence others say with more reason, that He Who fashioned nature will wholly restore the body's nature at the resurrection. Wherefore whatever defect or deformity was in the body through corruption, or weakness of nature or of natural principles (for instance fever, purblindness, and so forth) will be entirely done away at the resurrection: whereas those defects in the human body which are the natural result of its natural principles, such as heaviness, passibility, and the like, will be in the bodies of the damned, while they will be removed from the bodies of the elect by the glory of the resurrection.

Reply to Objection 1: Since in every tribunal punishment is inflicted according to the jurisdiction of the tribunal, the punishments which in this temporal life are inflicted for some particular sin are themselves temporal, and extend not beyond the term of this life. Hence although the damned are not pardoned their sins, it does not follow that there they will undergo the same punishments as they have in this world: but the Divine justice demands that there they shall suffer more severe punishment for eternity.

Reply to Objection 2: There is no parity between the good and the wicked, because a thing can be altogether good, but not altogether evil. Hence the final happiness of the saints requires that they should be altogether exempt from all evil; whereas the final unhappiness of the wicked will not exclude all good, because "if a thing be wholly evil it destroys itself," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 5). Hence it is necessary for the good of their nature to underlie the unhappiness of the damned, which good is the work of their perfect Creator, Who will restore that same nature to the perfection of its species.

Reply to Objection 3: Slowness of movement is one of those defects which are the natural result of the principles of the human body; but deformity is not, and consequently the comparison fails.

Whether the bodies of the damned will be incorruptible?


Objection 1: It would seem that the bodies of the damned will be corruptible. For everything composed of contraries must necessarily be corruptible. Now the bodies of the damned will be composed of the contraries whereof they are composed even now, else they would not be the same, neither specifically nor, in consequence, numerically. Therefore they will be corruptible.

Objection 2: Further, if the bodies of the damned will not be corruptible, this will be due either to nature, or to grace, or to glory. But it will not be by nature, since they will be of the same nature as now; nor will it be by grace or glory, since they will lack these things altogether. Therefore they will be corruptible.

Objection 3: Further, it would seem inconsistent to withdraw the greatest of punishments from those who are in the highest degree of unhappiness. Now death is the greatest of punishments, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. iii, 6). Therefore death should not be withdrawn from the damned, since they are in the highest degree of unhappiness. Therefore their bodies will be corruptible.

On the contrary, It is written (
Ap 9,6): "In those days men shall seek death, and shall not find it, and they shall desire to die, and death shall fly from them."

Further, the damned will be punished with an everlasting punishment both in soul and body (Mt 25,46): "These shall go into everlasting punishment." But this would not be possible if their bodies were corruptible. Therefore their bodies will be incorruptible.

I answer that, Since in every movement there must needs be a principle of movement, movement or change may be withdrawn from a movable in two ways: first through absence of a principle of movement, secondly through an obstacle to the principle of movement. Now corruption is a kind of change: and consequently a body which is corruptible on account of the nature of its principles may be rendered incorruptible in two ways. First by the total removal of the principle which leads to corruption, and in this way the bodies of the damned will be incorruptible. For since the heaven is the first principle of alteration in virtue of its local movement, and all other secondary agents act in virtue thereof and as though moved thereby, it follows that at the cessation of the heavenly movement there is no longer any agent that can change the body by altering it from its natural property. Wherefore after the resurrection, and the cessation of the heavenly movement, there will be no quality capable of altering the human body from its natural quality. Now corruption, like generation, is the term of alteration. Hence the bodies of the damned will be incorruptible, and this will serve the purpose of Divine justice, since living for ever they will be punished for ever. This is in keeping with the demands of Divine justice, as we shall state further on (Article [3]), even as now the corruptibility of bodies serves the purpose of Divine providence, by which through the corruption of one thing another is generated.

Secondly, this happens through the principle of corruption being hindered, and in this way the body of Adam was incorruptible, because the conflicting qualities that exist in man's body were withheld by the grace of innocence from conducing to the body's dissolution: and much more will they be withheld in the glorified bodies, which will be wholly subject to the spirit. Thus after the general resurrection the two aforesaid modes of incorruptibility will be united together in the bodies of the blessed.

Reply to Objection 1: The contraries of which bodies are composed are conducive to corruption as secondary principles. For the first active principle thereof is the heavenly movement: wherefore given the movement of the heaven, it is necessary for a body composed of contraries to be corrupted unless some more powerful cause prevent it: whereas if the heavenly movement be withdrawn, the contraries of which a body is composed do not suffice to cause corruption, even in accordance with nature, as explained above. But the philosophers were ignorant of a cessation in the heavenly movement; and consequently they held that a body composed of contraries is without fail corrupted in accordance with nature.

Reply to Objection 2: This incorruptibility will result from nature, not as though there were some principle of incorruption in the bodies of the damned, but on account of the cessation of the active principle of corruption, as shown above.

Reply to Objection 3: Although death is simply the greatest of punishments, yet nothing prevents death conducing, in a certain respect, to a cessation of punishments; and consequently the removal of death may contribute to the increase of punishment. For as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 9), "Life is pleasant to all, for all desire to be . . . But we must not apply this to a wicked or corrupt life, nor one passed in sorrow." Accordingly just as life is simply pleasant, but not the life that is passed in sorrows, so too death, which is the privation of life, is painful simply, and the greatest of punishments, inasmuch as it deprives one of the primary good, namely being, with which other things are withdrawn. But in so far as it deprives one of a wicked life, and of such as is passed in sorrow, it is a remedy for pains, since it puts an end to them. and consequently the withdrawal of death leads to the increase of punishments by making them everlasting. If however we say that death is penal by reason of the bodily pain which the dying feel, without doubt the damned will continue to feel a far greater pain: wherefore they are said to be in "everlasting death," according to the Psalm (48:15): "Death shall feed upon them."

Whether the bodies of the damned will be impassible?


Objection 1: It would seem that the bodies of the damned will be impassible. For, according to the Philosopher (Topic. vi), "increase of passion results in loss of substance." Now "if a finite thing be continually lessened, it must needs at length be done away" (Phys. i, 4). Therefore if the bodies of the damned will be passible, and will be ever suffering, they will at length be done away and corrupted: and this has been shown to be false (Article [2]). Therefore they will be impassible.

Objection 2: Further, every agent likens the patient to itself. If then the bodies of the damned are passive to the fire the fire will liken them to itself. Now fire does not consume bodies except in so far as in likening them to itself it disintegrates them. Therefore if the bodies of the damned will be passible they will at length be consumed by the fire, and thus the same conclusion follows as before.

Objection 3: Further, those animals, for instance the salamander, which are said to remain living in fire without being destroyed, are not distressed by the fire: because an animal is not distressed by bodily pain, unless the body in some way is hurt thereby. If therefore the bodies of the damned can, like the aforesaid animals, remain in the fire without being corrupted, as Augustine asserts (De Civ. Dei xxi, 2,4), it would seem that they will suffer no distress there: which would not be the case unless their bodies were impassible. Therefore, etc.

Objection 4: Further, if the bodies of the damned be passible, the pain resulting from their suffering, seemingly, will surpass all present bodily pain, even as the joy of the saints will surpass all present joy. Now in this life it sometimes happens that the soul is severed from the body through excess of pain. Much more therefore if those bodies will be passible, the souls will be separate from the bodies through excess of pain, and thus those bodies will be corrupted: which is false. Therefore those bodies will be impassible.

On the contrary, It is written (
1Co 15,52): "And we shall be changed": and a gloss says: "We---the good alone---will be changed with the unchangeableness and impassibility of glory."

Further, even as the body co-operates with the soul in merit, so does it co-operate in sin. Now on account of the former co-operation not only the soul but also the body will be rewarded after the resurrection. Therefore in like manner the bodies of the damned will be punished; which would not be the case were they impassible. Therefore they will be passible.

I answer that, The principal cause of the bodies of the damned not being consumed by fire will be the Divine justice by which their bodies will be consigned to everlasting punishment. Now the Divine justice is served also by the natural disposition, whether on the part of the passive body or on the part of the active causes; for since passiveness is a kind of receptiveness, there are two kinds of passion, corresponding to two ways in which one thing is receptive of another. For a form may be received into a subject materially according to its natural being, just as the air receives heat from fire materially; and corresponding to this manner of reception there is a kind of passion which we call "passion of nature." In another way one thing is received into another spiritually by way of an "intention," just as the likeness of whiteness is received into the air and in the pupil: this reception is like that whereby the soul receives the likeness of things: wherefore corresponding to this mode of reception is another mode of passion which we call "passion of the soul." Since therefore after the resurrection and the cessation of the heavenly movement it will be impossible for a body to be altered by its natural quality, as stated above (Article [2]), it will not be possible for any body to be passive with a passion of nature. Consequently as regards this mode of passion the bodies of the damned will be impassible even as they will be incorruptible. Yet after the heaven has ceased to move, there will still remain the passion which is after the manner of the soul, since the air will both receive light from the sun, and will convey the variety of colors to the sight. Wherefore in respect of this mode of passion the bodies of the damned will be passible. But the glorified bodies, albeit they receive something, and are in a manner patient to sensation, will nevertheless not be passive, since they will receive nothing to distress or hurt them, as will the bodies of the damned, which for this reason are said to be passible.

Reply to Objection 1: The Philosopher is speaking of the passion whereby the patient is changed from its natural disposition. But this kind of passion will not be in the bodies of the damned, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 2: The likeness of the agent is in the patient in two ways. First, in the same way as in the agent, and thus it is in all univocal agents, for instance a thing that is hot makes another thing hot, and fire generates fire. Secondly, otherwise than in the agent, and thus it is in all equivocal agents. In these it happens sometimes that a form which is in the agent spiritually is received into the patient materially: thus the form of the house built by the craftsman is materially in itself, but spiritually in the mind of the craftsman. On the other hand, sometimes it is in the agent materially, but is received into the patient spiritually: thus whiteness is materially on the wall wherein it is received, whereas it is spiritually in the pupil and in the transferring medium. And so it is in the case at issue, because the species which is in the fire materially is received spiritually into the bodies of the damned; thus it is that the fire will assimilate the bodies of the damned to itself, without consuming them withal.

Reply to Objection 3: According to the Philosopher (De Prop. Element.), "no animal can live in fire." Galen also (De simp. medic.) says "that there is no body which at length is not consumed by fire"; although sometimes certain bodies may remain in fire without hurt, such as ebony. The instance of the salamander is not altogether apposite, since it cannot remain in the fire without being at last consumed, as do the bodies of the damned in hell. Nor does it follow that because the bodies of the damned suffer no corruption from the fire, they therefore are not tormented by the fire, because the sensible object has a natural aptitude to please or displease the senses, not only as regards its natural action of stimulating or injuring the organ, but also as regards its spiritual action: since when the sensible object is duly proportionate to the sense, it pleases, whereas the contrary is the result when it is in excess or defect. Hence subdued colors and harmonious sounds are pleasing, whereas discordant sounds displease the hearing.

Reply to Objection 4: Pain does not sever the soul from the body, in so far as it is confined to a power of the soul which feels the pain, but in so far as the passion of the soul leads to the body being changed from its natural disposition. Thus it is that we see that through anger the body becomes heated, and through fear, chilled: whereas after the resurrection it will be impossible for the body to be changed from its natural disposition, as stated above (Article [2]). Consequently, however great the pain will be, it will not sever the body from the soul.




In the next place we must treat of those things which follow the resurrection. The first of these to be considered will be the knowledge, which after rising again, men will have at the judgment, concerning merits and demerits; the second will be the general judgment itself, as also the time and place at which it will be; thirdly we shall consider who will judge and who will be judged; fourthly we shall treat of the form wherein the judge will come to judge; and fifthly we shall consider what will be after the judgment, the state of the world and of those who will have risen again.

Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether at the judgment every man will know all his sins?

(2) Whether every one will be able to read all that is on another's conscience?

(3) Whether one will be able at one glance to see all merits and demerits?

Whether after the resurrection every one will know what sins he has committed?


Objection 1: It seems that after the resurrection everyone will not be able to know all the sins he has committed. For whatever we know, either we receive it anew through the senses, or we draw it from the treasure house of the memory. Now after the resurrection men will be unable to perceive their sins by means of sense, because they will be things of the past, while sense perceives only the present: and many sins will have escaped the sinner's memory, and he will be unable to recall them from the treasure house of his memory. Therefore after rising again one will not be cognizant of all the sins one has committed.

Objection 2: Further, it is stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 43), that "there are certain books of the conscience, wherein each one's merits are inscribed." Now one cannot read a thing in a book, unless it be marked down in the book: and sin leaves its mark upon the conscience according to a gloss of Origen on
Rm 2,15, "Their conscience bearing witness," etc. which mark, seemingly, is nothing else than the guilt or stain. Since then in many persons the guilt or stain of many sins is blotted out by grace, it would seem that one cannot read in one's conscience all the sins one has committed: and thus the same conclusion follows as before.

Objection 3: Further, the greater the cause the greater the effect. Now the cause which makes us grieve for the sins which we recall to memory is charity. Since then charity is perfect in the saints after the resurrection, they will grieve exceedingly for their sins, if they recall them to memory: yet this is impossible, seeing that according to Apoc. 21:4, "Sorrow and mourning shall flee away from them." [*The quotation is from Is 35,10. The text of the Apocalypse has: "Nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more."] Therefore they will not recall their own sins to memory.

Objection 4: Further, at the resurrection the damned will be to the good they once did as the blessed to the sins they once committed. Now seemingly the damned after rising again will have no knowledge of the good they once did, since this would alleviate their pain considerably. Neither therefore will the blessed have any knowledge of the sins they had committed.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx) that "a kind of Divine energy will come to our aid, so that we shall recall all of our sins to mind."

Further, as human judgment is to external evidence, so is the Divine judgment to the witness of the conscience, according to 1S 16,7, "Man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart." Now man cannot pass a perfect judgment on a matter unless evidence be taken on all the points that need to be judged. Therefore, since the Divine judgment is most perfect, it is necessary for the conscience to witness to everything that has to be judged. But all works, both good and evil, will have to be judged (2Co 5,10): "We must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil." Therefore each one's conscience must needs retain all the works he has done, whether good or evil.

I answer that, According to Rm 2,15-16, "In the day when God shall judge" each one's conscience will bear witness to him and his thoughts will accuse and defend him. And since in every judicial hearing, the witness, the accuser, and the defendant need to be acquainted with the matter on which judgment has to be pronounced, and since at the general judgment all the works of men will be submitted to judgment, it will behoove every man to be cognizant then of all his works. Wherefore each man's conscience will be as a book containing his deeds on which judgment will be pronounced, even as in the human court of law we make use of records. Of these books it is written in the Apocalypse (20:12): "The books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books [Vulg.: 'book'], according to their works." According to Augustine's exposition (De Civ. Dei xx) the books which are here said to be opened "denote the saints of the New and Old Testaments in whom God's commandments are exemplified." Hence Richard of St. Victor (De judic. potest.) says: "Their hearts will be like the code of law." But the book of life, of which the text goes on to speak, signifies each one's conscience, which is said to be one single book, because the one Divine power will cause all to recall their deeds, and this energy, in so far as it reminds a man of his deeds, is called the "book of life" [*Cf. FP, Question [24], Article [1], ad 1]. Or else we may refer the first books to the conscience, and by the second book we may understand the Judge's sentence as expressed in His providence.

Reply to Objection 1: Although many merits and demerits will have escaped our memory, yet there will be none of them but will remain somewhat in its effect, because those merits which are not deadened will remain in the reward accorded to them, while those that are deadened remain in the guilt of ingratitude, which is increased through the fact that a man sinned after receiving grace. In like manner those demerits which are not blotted out by repentance remain in the debt of punishment due to them, while those which have been blotted out by repentance remain in the remembrance of repentance, which they will recall together with their other merits. Hence in each man there will be something whereby he will be able to recollect his deeds. Nevertheless, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx), the Divine energy will especially conduce to this.

Reply to Objection 2: Each one's conscience will bear certain marks of the deeds done by him; and it does not follow that these marks are the guilt alone, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 3: Although charity is now the cause of sorrow for sin, yet the saints in heaven will be so full of joy, that they will have no room for sorrow; and so they will not grieve for their sins, but rather will they rejoice in the Divine mercy, whereby their sins are forgiven them. Even so do the angels rejoice now in the Divine justice whereby those whom they guard fall headlong into sin through being abandoned by grace. and whose salvation none the less they eagerly watch over.

Reply to Objection 4: The wicked will know all the good they have done, and this will not diminish their pain; indeed, it will increase it, because the greatest sorrow is to have lost many goods: for which reason Boethius says (De Consol. ii) that "the greatest misfortune is to have been happy."

Whether every one will be able to read all that is in another's conscience?


Objection 1: It seems that it will be impossible for every one to read all that is in another's conscience. For the knowledge of those who rise again will not be clearer than that of the angels, equality with whom is promised us after the resurrection (
Mt 22,30). Now angels cannot read one another's thoughts in matters dependent on the free-will, wherefore they need to speak in order to notify such things to one another [*Cf. FP, Question [107]]. Therefore after rising again we shall be unable to read what is contained in another's conscience.

Objection 2: Further, whatever is known is known either in itself, or in its cause, or in its effect. Now the merits or demerits contained in a person's conscience cannot be known by another in themselves, because God alone enters the heart and reads its secrets. Neither will it be possible for them to be known in their cause, since all will not see God Who alone can act on the will, whence merits and demerits proceed. Nor again will it be possible to know them from their effect, since there will be many demerits, which through being wholly blotted out by repentance will leave no effect remaining. Therefore it will not be possible for every one to know all that is in another's conscience.

Objection 3: Further, Chrysostom says (Hom. xxxi in Ep ad Hebr.), as we have quoted before (Sent. iv, D, 17): "If thou remember thy sins now, and frequently confess them before Cod and beg pardon for them, thou wilt very soon blot them out; but if thou forget them, thou wilt then remember them unwillingly, when they will be made public, and declared before all thy friends and foes, and in the presence of the holy angels." Hence it follows that this publication will be the punishment of man's neglect in omitting to confess his sins. Therefore the sins which a man has confessed will not be made known to others.

Objection 4: Further, it is a relief to know that one has had many associates in sin, so that one is less ashamed thereof. If therefore every one were to know the sin of another, each sinner's shame would be much diminished, which is unlikely. Therefore every one will not know the sins of all.

On the contrary, A gloss on 1Co 4,5, "will . . . bring to light the hidden things of darkness," says: "Deeds and thoughts both good and evil will then be revealed and made known to all."

Further, the past sins of all the good will be equally blotted out. Yet we know the sins of some saints, for instance of Magdalen, Peter, and David. Therefore in like manner the sins of the other elect will be known, and much more those of the damned.

I answer that, At the last and general judgment it behooves the Divine justice, which now is in many ways hidden, to appear evidently to all. Now the sentence of one who condemns or rewards cannot be just, unless it be delivered according to merits and demerits. Therefore just as it behooves both judge and jury to know the merits of a case, in order to deliver a just verdict, so is it necessary, in order that the sentence appear to be just, that all who know the sentence should be acquainted with the merits. Hence, since every one will know of his reward or condemnation, so will every one else know of it, and consequently as each one will recall his own merits or demerits, so will he be cognizant of those of others. This is the more probable and more common opinion, although the Master (Sent. iv, D, 43) says the contrary, namely that a man's sins blotted out by repentance will not be made known to others at the judgment. But it would follow from this that neither would his repentance for these sins be perfectly known, which would detract considerably from the glory of the saints and the praise due to God for having so mercifully delivered them.

Reply to Objection 1: All the preceding merits or demerits will come to a certain amount in the glory or unhappiness of each one rising again. Consequently through eternal things being seen, all things in their consciences will be visible, especially as the Divine power will conduce to this so that the Judge's sentence may appear just to all.

Reply to Objection 2: It will be possible for a man's merits or demerits to be made known by their effects as stated above (Article [1], ad 1), or by the power of God, although the power of the created intellect is not sufficient for this.

Reply to Objection 3: The manifestation of his sins to the confusion of the sinner is a result of his neglect in omitting to confess them. But that the sins of the saints be revealed cannot be to their confusion or shame, as neither does it bring confusion to Mary Magdalen that her sins are publicly recalled in the Church, because shame is "fear of disgrace," as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii), and this will be impossible in the blessed. But this manifestation will bring them great glory on account of the penance they did, even as the confessor hails a man who courageously confesses great crimes. Sins are said to be blotted out because God sees them not for the purpose of punishing them.

Reply to Objection 4: The sinner's confusion will not be diminished, but on the contrary increased, through his seeing the sins of others, for in seeing that others are blameworthy he will all the more acknowledge himself to be blamed. For that confusion be diminished by a cause of this kind is owing to the fact that shame regards the esteem of men, who esteem more lightly that which is customary. But then confusion will regard the esteem of God, which weighs every sin according to the truth, whether it be the sin of one man or of many.

Summa - Supplement 1721