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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE ELEVENTH ARTICLE: "The Resurrection of the Body."
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Concerning the first, our faith and hope in the resurrection is beneficial

in four ways. Firstly, it takes away the sorrow which we feel for the

departed. It is impossible for one not to grieve over the death of a

relative or friend; but the hope that such a one will rise again greatly

tempers the pain of parting: "And we will not have you ignorant, brethren,

concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others

who have no hope."3


Secondly, it takes away the fear of death. If one does not hope in another

and better life after death, then without doubt one is greatly in fear of

death and would willingly commit any crime rather than suffer death. But

because we believe in another life which will be ours after death, we do

not fear death, nor would we do anything wrong through fear of it: "That,

through death He might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is to

say, the devil. And might deliver them who through fear of death were all

their lifetime subject of servitude."4


Thirdly, it makes us watchful and careful to live uprightly. If, however,

this life in which we live were all, we would not have this great incentive

to live well, for whatever we do would be of little importance, since it

would be regulated not by eternity, but by brief, determined time. But we

believe that we shall receive eternal rewards in the resurrection for

whatsoever we do here. Hence, we are anxious to do good: "If in this life

only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."5


Finally, it withdraws us from evil. Just as the hope of reward urges us to

do good, so also the fear of punishment, which we believe is reserved for

wicked deeds, keeps us from evil: "But they that have done good things

shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done

evil, unto the resurrection of judgment."6


3. I Thess., iv. 12.


4. Heb., ii. 14.


5. I Cor., xv. 19.


6. John, v. 29


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