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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 1/4 - SECOND PART OF THE SECOND PART (SS) (QQ[1]-189)
      • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF RAPTURE (SIX ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF RAPTURE (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider rapture. Under this head there are six points of
inquiry:

(1) Whether the soul of man is carried away to things divine?

(2) Whether rapture pertains to the cognitive or to the appetitive
power?

(3) Whether Paul when in rapture saw the essence of God?

(4) Whether he was withdrawn from his senses?

(5) Whether, when in that state, his soul was wholly separated from his
body?

(6) What did he know, and what did he not know about this matter?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the soul of man is carried away to things divine?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the soul of man is not carried away to things
divine. For some define rapture as "an uplifting by the power of a higher
nature, from that which is according to nature to that which is above
nature" [*Reference unknown; Cf. De Veritate xiii, 1]. Now it is in
accordance with man's nature that he be uplifted to things divine; for
Augustine says at the beginning of his Confessions: "Thou madest us,
Lord, for Thyself, and our heart is restless, till it rest in Thee."
Therefore man's soul is not carried away to things divine.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. viii) that "God's justice is
seen in this that He treats all things according to their mode and
dignity." But it is not in accordance with man's mode and worth that he
be raised above what he is according to nature. Therefore it would seem
that man's soul is not carried away to things divine.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, rapture denotes violence of some kind. But God rules us
not by violence or force, as Damascene says [*De Fide Orth. ii, 30].
Therefore man's soul is not carried away to things divine.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Cor. 12:2): "I know a man in Christ
. . . rapt even to the third heaven." On which words a gloss says: "Rapt,
that is to say, uplifted contrary to nature."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, Rapture denotes violence of a kind as stated above
(OBJ[3]); and "the violent is that which has its principle without, and
in which he that suffers violence concurs not at all" (Ethic. iii, 1). Now everything concurs in that to which it tends in accordance with its
proper inclination, whether voluntary or natural. Wherefore he who is
carried away by some external agent, must be carried to something
different from that to which his inclination tends. This difference
arises in two ways: in one way from the end of the inclination - for
instance a stone, which is naturally inclined to be borne downwards, may
be thrown upwards; in another way from the manner of tending - for
instance a stone may be thrown downwards with greater velocity than
consistent with its natural movement.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Body Para. 2/4

Accordingly man's soul also is said to be carried away, in a twofold
manner, to that which is contrary to its nature: in one way, as regards
the term of transport - as when it is carried away to punishment,
according to Ps. 49:22, "Lest He snatch you away, and there be none to
deliver you"; in another way, as regards the manner connatural to man,
which is that he should understand the truth through sensible things.
Hence when he is withdrawn from the apprehension of sensibles, he is said
to be carried away, even though he be uplifted to things whereunto he is
directed naturally: provided this be not done intentionally, as when a
man betakes himself to sleep which is in accordance with nature,
wherefore sleep cannot be called rapture, properly speaking.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Body Para. 3/4

This withdrawal, whatever its term may be, may arise from a threefold
cause. First, from a bodily cause, as happens to those who suffer
abstraction from the senses through weakness: secondly, by the power of
the demons, as in those who are possessed: thirdly, by the power of God.
In this last sense we are now speaking of rapture, whereby a man is
uplifted by the spirit of God to things supernatural, and withdrawn from
his senses, according to Ezech. 8:3, "The spirit lifted me up between the
earth and the heaven, and brought me in the vision of God into Jerusalem."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] Body Para. 4/4

It must be observed, however, that sometimes a person is said to be
carried away, not only through being withdrawn from his senses, but also
through being withdrawn from the things to which he was attending, as
when a person's mind wanders contrary to his purpose. But this is to use
the expression in a less proper signification.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: It is natural to man to tend to divine things through the
apprehension of things sensible, according to Rm. 1:20, "The invisible
things of God . . . are clearly seen, being understood by the things that
are made." But the mode, whereby a man is uplifted to divine things and
withdrawn from his senses, is not natural to man.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: It belongs to man's mode and dignity that he be uplifted to
divine things, from the very fact that he is made to God's image. And
since a divine good infinitely surpasses the faculty of man in order to
attain that good, he needs the divine assistance which is bestowed on him
in every gift of grace. Hence it is not contrary to nature, but above the
faculty of nature that man's mind be thus uplifted in rapture by God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The saying of Damascene refers to those things which a man
does by himself. But as to those things which are beyond the scope of the
free-will, man needs to be uplifted by a stronger operation, which in a
certain respect may be called force if we consider the mode of operation,
but not if we consider its term to which man is directed both by nature
and by his intention.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether rapture pertains to the cognitive rather than to the appetitive
power?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that rapture pertains to the appetitive rather than
to the cognitive power. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv): "The Divine
love causes ecstasy." Now love pertains to the appetitive power.
Therefore so does ecstasy or rapture.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gregory says (Dial. ii, 3) that "he who fed the swine
debased himself by a dissipated mind and an unclean life; whereas Peter,
when the angel delivered him and carried him into ecstasy, was not beside
himself, but above himself." Now the prodigal son sank into the depths by
his appetite. Therefore in those also who are carried up into the heights
it is the appetite that is affected.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a gloss on Ps. 30:1, "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let
me never be confounded," says in explaining the title [*Unto the end, a
psalm for David, in an ecstasy]: "{Ekstasis} in Greek signifies in Latin
'excessus mentis,' an aberration of the mind. This happens in two ways,
either through dread of earthly things or through the mind being rapt in
heavenly things and forgetful of this lower world." Now dread of earthly
things pertains to the appetite. Therefore rapture of the mind in
heavenly things, being placed in opposition to this dread, also pertains
to the appetite.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, A gloss on Ps. 115:2, "I said in my excess: Every man
is a liar," says: "We speak of ecstasy, not when the mind wanders through
fear, but when it is carried aloft on the wings of revelation." Now
revelation pertains to the intellective power. Therefore ecstasy or
rapture does also.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, We can speak of rapture in two ways. First, with regard
to the term of rapture, and thus, properly speaking, rapture cannot
pertain to the appetitive, but only to the cognitive power. For it was
stated (A[1]) that rapture is outside the inclination of the person who
is rapt; whereas the movement of the appetitive power is an inclination
to an appetible good. Wherefore, properly speaking, in desiring
something, a man is not rapt, but is moved by himself.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

Secondly, rapture may be considered with regard to its cause, and thus
it may have a cause on the part of the appetitive power. For from the
very fact that the appetite is strongly affected towards something, it
may happen, owing to the violence of his affection, that a man is carried
away from everything else. Moreover, it has an effect on the appetitive
power, when for instance a man delights in the things to which he is
rapt. Hence the Apostle said that he was rapt, not only "to the third
heaven" - which pertains to the contemplation of the intellect - but also
into "paradise," which pertains to the appetite.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Rapture adds something to ecstasy. For ecstasy means simply
a going out of oneself by being placed outside one's proper order [*Cf.
FS, Q[28], A[3]]; while rapture denotes a certain violence in addition.
Accordingly ecstasy may pertain to the appetitive power, as when a man's
appetite tends to something outside him, and in this sense Dionysius
says that "the Divine love causes ecstasy," inasmuch as it makes man's
appetite tend to the object loved. Hence he says afterwards that "even
God Himself, the cause of all things, through the overflow of His loving
goodness, goes outside Himself in His providence for all beings." But
even if this were said expressly of rapture, it would merely signify that
love is the cause of rapture.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 2: There is a twofold appetite in man; to wit, the
intellective appetite which is called the will, and the sensitive appetite known as the sensuality. Now it is proper to man that his lower
appetite be subject to the higher appetite, and that the higher move the
lower. Hence man may become outside himself as regards the appetite, in
two ways. In one way, when a man's intellective appetite tends wholly to
divine things, and takes no account of those things whereto the sensitive
appetite inclines him; thus Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "Paul
being in ecstasy through the vehemence of Divine love" exclaimed: "I
live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 2/3

In another way, when a man tends wholly to things pertaining to the
lower appetite, and takes no account of his higher appetite. It is thus
that "he who fed the swine debased himself"; and this latter kind of
going out of oneself, or being beside oneself, is more akin than the
former to the nature of rapture because the higher appetite is more
proper to man. Hence when through the violence of his lower appetite a
man is withdrawn from the movement of his higher appetite, it is more a
case of being withdrawn from that which is proper to him. Yet, because
there is no violence therein, since the will is able to resist the
passion, it falls short of the true nature of rapture, unless perchance
the passion be so strong that it takes away entirely the use of reason,
as happens to those who are mad with anger or love.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 3/3

It must be observed. however, that both these excesses affecting the
appetite may cause an excess in the cognitive power, either because the
mind is carried away to certain intelligible objects, through being drawn
away from objects of sense, or because it is caught up into some
imaginary vision or fanciful apparition.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Just as love is a movement of the appetite with regard to
good, so fear is a movement of the appetite with regard to evil.
Wherefore either of them may equally cause an aberration of mind; and all
the more since fear arises from love, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv,
7,9).


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether Paul, when in rapture, saw the essence of God?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that Paul, when in rapture, did not see the essence
of God. For just as we read of Paul that he was rapt to the third heaven,
so we read of Peter (Acts 10:10) that "there came upon him an ecstasy of
mind." Now Peter, in his ecstasy, saw not God's essence but an imaginary
vision. Therefore it would seem that neither did Paul see the essence of
God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the vision of God is beatific. But Paul, in his rapture,
was not beatified; else he would never have returned to the unhappiness
of this life, but his body would have been glorified by the overflow from
his soul, as will happen to the saints after the resurrection, and this
clearly was not the case. Therefore Paul when in rapture saw not the
essence of God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, according to 1 Cor. 13:10-12, faith and hope are
incompatible with the vision of the Divine essence. But Paul when in this
state had faith and hope. Therefore he saw not the essence of God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, as Augustine states (Gen. ad lit. xii, 6,7), "pictures
of bodies are seen in the imaginary vision." Now Paul is stated (2 Cor.
12:2,4) to have seen certain pictures in his rapture, for instance of the
"third heaven" and of "paradise." Therefore he would seem to have been
rapt to an imaginary vision rather than to the vision of the Divine
essence.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine (Ep. CXLVII, 13; ad Paulin., de videndo Deum)
concludes that "possibly God's very substance was seen by some while yet
in this life: for instance by Moses, and by Paul who in rapture heard
unspeakable words, which it is not granted unto man to utter."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Some have said that Paul, when in rapture, saw "not the
very essence of God, but a certain reflection of His clarity." But
Augustine clearly comes to an opposite decision, not only in his book (De
videndo Deum), but also in Gen. ad lit. xii, 28 (quoted in a gloss on 2
Cor. 12:2). Indeed the words themselves of the Apostle indicate this. For
he says that "he heard secret words, which it is not granted unto man to
utter": and such would seem to be words pertaining to the vision of the
blessed, which transcends the state of the wayfarer, according to Is.
64:4, "Eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast
prepared for them that love [Vulg.: 'wait for'] Thee" [*1 Cor. 2:9].
Therefore it is more becoming to hold that he saw God in His essence.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Man's mind is rapt by God to the contemplation of divine
truth in three ways. First, so that he contemplates it through certain
imaginary pictures, and such was the ecstasy that came upon Peter.
Secondly, so that he contemplates the divine truth through its
intelligible effects; such was the ecstasy of David, who said (Ps.
115:11): "I said in my excess: Every man is a liar." Thirdly, so that he
contemplates it in its essence. Such was the rapture of Paul, as also of
Moses [*Cf. Q[174], A[4]]; and not without reason, since as Moses was the
first Teacher of the Jews, so was Paul the first "Teacher of the
gentiles" [*Cf. FP, Q[68], A[4]].

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The Divine essence cannot be seen by a created intellect
save through the light of glory, of which it is written (Ps. 35:10): "In
Thy light we shall see light." But this light can be shared in two ways.
First by way of an abiding form, and thus it beatifies the saints in
heaven. Secondly, by way of a transitory passion, as stated above (Q[171]
, A[2]) of the light of prophecy; and in this way that light was in Paul
when he was in rapture. Hence this vision did not beatify him simply, so
as to overflow into his body, but only in a restricted sense.
Consequently this rapture pertains somewhat to prophecy.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Since, in his rapture, Paul was beatified not as to the
habit, but only as to the act of the blessed, it follows that he had not
the act of faith at the same time, although he had the habit.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 4: In one way by the third heaven we may understand something
corporeal, and thus the third heaven denotes the empyrean [*1 Tim. 2:7;
Cf. FP, Q[12], A[11], ad 2], which is described as the "third," in
relation to the aerial and starry heavens, or better still, in relation
to the aqueous and crystalline heavens. Moreover Paul is stated to be
rapt to the "third heaven," not as though his rapture consisted in the
vision of something corporeal, but because this place is appointed for
the contemplation of the blessed. Hence the gloss on 2 Cor. 12 says that
the "third heaven is a spiritual heaven, where the angels and the holy
souls enjoy the contemplation of God: and when Paul says that he was rapt
to this heaven he means that God showed him the life wherein He is to be
seen forevermore."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 2/3

In another way the third heaven may signify a supra-mundane vision. Such
a vision may be called the third heaven in three ways. First, according
to the order of the cognitive powers. In this way the first heaven would
indicate a supramundane bodily vision, conveyed through the senses; thus
was seen the hand of one writing on the wall (Dan. 5:5); the second
heaven would be an imaginary vision such as Isaias saw, and John in the
Apocalypse; and the third heaven would denote an intellectual vision
according to Augustine's explanation (Gen. ad lit. xii, 26,28,34).
Secondly, the third heaven may be taken according to the order of things
knowable, the first heaven being "the knowledge of heavenly bodies, the
second the knowledge of heavenly spirits, the third the knowledge of God
Himself." Thirdly, the third heaven may denote the contemplation of God
according to the degrees of knowledge whereby God is seen. The first of
these degrees belongs to the angels of the lowest hierarchy [*Cf. FP,
Q[108], A[1]], the second to the angels of the middle hierarchy, the
third to the angels of the highest hierarchy, according to the gloss on 2
Cor. 12.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 3/3

And since the vision of God cannot be without delight, he says that he
was not only "rapt to the third heaven" by reason of his contemplation,
but also into "Paradise" by reason of the consequent delight.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether Paul, when in rapture, was withdrawn from his senses?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that Paul, when in rapture, was not withdrawn from
his senses. For Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 28): "Why should we not
believe that when so great an apostle, the teacher of the gentiles, was
rapt to this most sublime vision, God was willing to vouchsafe him a
glimpse of that eternal life which is to take the place of the present
life?" Now in that future life after the resurrection the saints will see
the Divine essence without being withdrawn from the senses of the body.
Therefore neither did such a withdrawal take place in Paul.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Christ was truly a wayfarer, and also enjoyed an
uninterrupted vision of the Divine essence, without, however, being
withdrawn from His senses. Therefore there was no need for Paul to be
withdrawn from his senses in order for him to see the essence of God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, after seeing God in His essence, Paul remembered what he
had seen in that vision; hence he said (2 Cor. 12:4): "He heard secret
words, which it is not granted to man to utter." Now the memory belongs
to the sensitive faculty according to the Philosopher (De Mem. et Remin.
i). Therefore it seems that Paul, while seeing the essence of God, was
not withdrawn from his senses.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 27): "Unless a man in
some way depart this life, whether by going altogether out of his body or
by turning away and withdrawing from his carnal senses, so that he truly
knows not as the Apostle said, whether he be in the body or out of the
body, he is not rapt and caught up into that vision.*" [*The text of St.
Augustine reads: "when he is rapt," etc.]

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The Divine essence cannot be seen by man through any
cognitive power other than the intellect. Now the human intellect does
not turn to intelligible objects except by means of the phantasms [*Cf.
FP, Q[84], A[7]] which it takes from the senses through the intelligible
species; and it is in considering these phantasms that the intellect
judges of and coordinates sensible objects. Hence in any operation that
requires abstraction of the intellect from phantasms, there must be also
withdrawal of the intellect from the senses. Now in the state of the
wayfarer it is necessary for man's intellect, if it see God's essence, to be withdrawn from phantasms. For God's essence cannot be seen by means of
a phantasm, nor indeed by any created intelligible species [*Cf. FP,
Q[12], A[2]], since God's essence infinitely transcends not only all
bodies, which are represented by phantasms, but also all intelligible
creatures. Now when man's intellect is uplifted to the sublime vision of
God's essence, it is necessary that his mind's whole attention should be
summoned to that purpose in such a way that he understand naught else by
phantasms, and be absorbed entirely in God. Therefore it is impossible
for man while a wayfarer to see God in His essence without being
withdrawn from his senses.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As stated above (A[3], OBJ[2]), after the resurrection, in
the blessed who see God in His essence, there will be an overflow from
the intellect to the lower powers and even to the body. Hence it is in
keeping with the rule itself of the divine vision that the soul will turn
towards phantasms and sensible objects. But there is no such overflow in
those who are raptured, as stated (A[3], OBJ[2], ad 2), and consequently
the comparison fails.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The intellect of Christ's soul was glorified by the habit
of the light of glory, whereby He saw the Divine essence much more fully
than an angel or a man. He was, however, a wayfarer on account of the
passibility of His body, in respect of which He was "made a little lower
than the angels" (Heb. 2:9), by dispensation, and not on account of any
defect on the part of His intellect. Hence there is no comparison between
Him and other wayfarers.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Paul, after seeing God in His essence, remembered what he
had known in that vision, by means of certain intelligible species that
remained in his intellect by way of habit; even as in the absence of the
sensible object, certain impressions remain in the soul which it
recollects when it turns to the phantasms. And so this was the knowledge
that he was unable wholly to think over or express in words.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether, while in this state, Paul's soul was wholly separated from his
body?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that, while in this state, Paul's soul was wholly
separated from his body. For the Apostle says (2 Cor. 5:6,7): "While we
are in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, and
not by sight" [*'Per speciem,' i.e. by an intelligible species]. Now,
while in that state, Paul was not absent from the Lord, for he saw Him by
a species, as stated above (A[3]). Therefore he was not in the body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a power of the soul cannot be uplifted above the soul's
essence wherein it is rooted. Now in this rapture the intellect, which is
a power of the soul, was withdrawn from its bodily surroundings through
being uplifted to divine contemplation. Much more therefore was the
essence of the soul separated from the body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the forces of the vegetative soul are more material than
those of the sensitive soul. Now in order for him to be rapt to the
vision of God, it was necessary for him to be withdrawn from the forces
of the sensitive soul, as stated above (A[4]). Much more, therefore, was
it necessary for him to be withdrawn from the forces of the vegetative
soul. Now when these forces cease to operate, the soul is no longer in
any way united to the body. Therefore it would seem that in Paul's
rapture it was necessary for the soul to be wholly separated from the body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Ep. CXLVII, 13, ad Paulin.; de videndo
Deum): "It is not incredible that this sublime revelation" (namely, that
they should see God in His essence) "was vouchsafed certain saints,
without their departing this life so completely as to leave nothing but a
corpse for burial." Therefore it was not necessary for Paul's soul, when
in rapture, to be wholly separated from his body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[1], OBJ[1]), in the rapture of which
we are speaking now, man is uplifted by God's power, "from that which is
according to nature to that which is above nature." Wherefore two things
have to be considered: first, what pertains to man according to nature;
secondly, what has to be done by God in man above his nature. Now, since
the soul is united to the body as its natural form, it belongs to the
soul to have a natural disposition to understand by turning to phantasms;
and this is not withdrawn by the divine power from the soul in rapture,
since its state undergoes no change, as stated above (A[3], ad 2,3). Yet,
this state remaining, actual conversion to phantasms and sensible objects
is withdrawn from the soul, lest it be hindered from being uplifted to
that which transcends all phantasms, as stated above (A[4]). Therefore it
was not necessary that his soul in rapture should be so separated from
the body as to cease to be united thereto as its form; and yet it was
necessary for his intellect to be withdrawn from phantasms and the
perception of sensible objects.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: In this rapture Paul was absent from the Lord as regards
his state, since he was still in the state of a wayfarer, but not as
regards the act by which he saw God by a species, as stated above (A[3],
ad 2,3).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: A faculty of the soul is not uplifted by the natural power
above the mode becoming the essence of the soul; but it can be uplifted
by the divine power to something higher, even as a body by the violence
of a stronger power is lifted up above the place befitting it according
to its specific nature.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The forces of the vegetative soul do not operate through
the soul being intent thereon, as do the sensitive forces, but by way of
nature. Hence in the case of rapture there is no need for withdrawal from
them, as from the sensitive powers, whose operations would lessen the
intentness of the soul on intellective knowledge.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Did Paul know whether his soul were separated from his body?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that Paul was not ignorant whether his soul were
separated from his body. For he says (2 Cor. 12:2): "I know a man in
Christ rapt even to the third heaven." Now man denotes something composed
of soul and body; and rapture differs from death. Seemingly therefore he
knew that his soul was not separated from his body by death, which is the
more probable seeing that this is the common opinion of the Doctors.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it appears from the same words of the Apostle that he
knew whither he was rapt, since it was "to the third heaven." Now this
shows that he knew whether he was in the body or not, for if he knew the third heaven to be something corporeal, he must have known that his soul
was not separated from his body, since a corporeal thing cannot be an
object of sight save through the body. Therefore it would seem that he
was not ignorant whether his soul were separated from his body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 28) that "when in
rapture, he saw God with the same vision as the saints see Him in
heaven." Now from the very fact that the saints see God, they know
whether their soul is separated from their body. Therefore Paul too knew
this.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (2 Cor. 12:3): "Whether in the body, or
out of the body, I know not, God knoweth."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, The true answer to this question must be gathered from
the Apostle's very words, whereby he says he knew something, namely that
he was "rapt even to the third heaven," and that something he knew not,
namely "whether" he were "in the body or out of the body." This may be
understood in two ways. First, the words "whether in the body or out of
the body" may refer not to the very being of the man who was rapt (as
though he knew not whether his soul were in his body or not), but to the
mode of rapture, so that he ignored whether his body besides his soul,
or, on the other hand, his soul alone, were rapt to the third heaven.
Thus Ezechiel is stated (Ezech. 8:3) to have been "brought in the vision
of God into Jerusalem." This was the explanation of a certain Jew
according to Jerome (Prolog. super Daniel.), where he says that "lastly
our Apostle" (thus said the Jew) "durst not assert that he was rapt in
his body, but said: 'Whether in the body or out of the body, I know not.'"

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Body Para. 2/4

Augustine, however, disapproves of this explanation (Gen. ad lit. xii, 3
seqq.) for this reason that the Apostle states that he knew he was rapt
even to the third heaven. Wherefore he knew it to be really the third
heaven to which he was rapt, and not an imaginary likeness of the third
heaven: otherwise if he gave the name of third heaven to an imaginary
third heaven, in the same way he might state that he was rapt in the
body, meaning, by body, an image of his body, such as appears in one's
dreams. Now if he knew it to be really the third heaven, it follows that
either he knew it to be something spiritual and incorporeal, and then his
body could not be rapt thither; or he knew it to be something corporeal,
and then his soul could not be rapt thither without his body, unless it
were separated from his body. Consequently we must explain the matter
otherwise, by saying that the Apostle knew himself to be rapt both in
soul and body, but that he ignored how his soul stood in relation to his
body, to wit, whether it were accompanied by his body or not.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Body Para. 3/4

Here we find a diversity of opinions. For some say that the Apostle knew
his soul to be united to his body as its form, but ignored whether it
were abstracted from its senses, or again whether it were abstracted from
the operations of the vegetative soul. But he could not but know that it
was abstracted from the senses, seeing that he knew himself to be rapt;
and as to his being abstracted from the operation of the vegetative soul,
this was not of such importance as to require him to be so careful in
mentioning it. It follows, then, that the Apostle ignored whether his
soul were united to his body as its form, or separated from it by death.
Some, however, granting this say that the Apostle did not consider the
matter while he was in rapture, because he was wholly intent upon God,
but that afterwards he questioned the point, when taking cognizance of
what he had seen. But this also is contrary to the Apostle's words, for
he there distinguishes between the past and what happened subsequently,
since he states that at the present time he knows that he was rapt
"fourteen years ago," and that at the present time he knows not "whether
he was in the body or out of the body."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] Body Para. 4/4

Consequently we must assert that both before and after he ignored
whether his soul were separated from his body. Wherefore Augustine (Gen.
ad lit. xii, 5), after discussing the question at length, concludes:
"Perhaps then we must infer that he ignored whether, when he was rapt to the third heaven, his soul was in his body (in the same way as the soul
is in the body, when we speak of a living body either of a waking or of a
sleeping man, or of one that is withdrawn from his bodily senses during
ecstasy), or whether his soul went out of his body altogether, so that
his body lay dead."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Sometimes by the figure of synecdoche a part of man,
especially the soul which is the principal part, denotes a man. or again
we might take this to mean that he whom he states to have been rapt was a
man not at the time of his rapture, but fourteen years afterwards: for he
says "I know a man," not "I know a rapt man." Again nothing hinders death
brought about by God being called rapture; and thus Augustine says (Gen.
ad lit. xii, 3): "If the Apostle doubted the matter, who of us will dare
to be certain about it?" Wherefore those who have something to say on
this subject speak with more conjecture than certainty.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The Apostle knew that either the heaven in question was
something incorporeal, or that he saw something incorporeal in that
heaven; yet this could be done by his intellect, even without his soul
being separated from his body.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[175] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Paul's vision, while he was in rapture, was like the vision
of the blessed in one respect, namely as to the thing seen; and, unlike,
in another respect, namely as to the mode of seeing, because he saw not
so perfectly as do the saints in heaven. Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad
lit. xii, 36): "Although, when the Apostle was rapt from his carnal
senses to the third heaven, he lacked that full and perfect knowledge of
things which is in the angels, in that he knew not whether he was in the
body, or out of the body, this will surely not be lacking after reunion
with the body in the resurrection of the dead, when this corruptible will
put on incorruption."





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