Friday, November 11, 2011

"a certain beatitude of our body"

     "Thus, although sensible perception, apparently disparaged at the beginning [of the 'Adore te deuote'] (v. 5), is revealed [to be] necessary in order to understand the message and to contemplate the sacramental Christ, one notes that it persists even once glorified.  In eternity, the humanity of Christ will be also the object of our contemplation:  'There will be a certain beatitude of our body, in that it will [continue to] see God in sensible creatures, and in the body of Christ above all' (Sentences IV, d.49 q.2 a.2 [ad 6]), and Thomas specifies elsewhere:  'The blessed contemplate in the first place [(prioritairement)] the divinity of Christ and not his humanity.  But they find their joy in the contemplation of the one and of the other' (Quodlibet VIII, q. 9 a.2 [Resp.]).  This will be an integral and inalienable component of their beatitude.  Thomas, 'in his entirety' glorified, will contemplate [the] glorified Jesus 'in his entirety' [(Thomas, «tout entier» glorifié, contemplera Jésus glorifié «tout entier»)]."

     Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P., "«Adore Te»:  La plus belle prière de saint Thomas," La vie spirituelle no. 726 (mars 1998):  35 (28-36).  The Sed contra of Quodlibet VIII q. 9 a.2 is more explicit than the Respondeo"On the contrary, one does not attain to the end [(extremum)] except through the middle [(medium)]; but the middle between God and men is the humanity of Christ:  1 Tim. 2:5:  ‘the mediator [between] God and men is the man Christ Jesus.’  Therefore the blessed do not attain to the contemplation of the divinity of Christ except by first contemplating his humanity [(Ergo sancti non perveniunt ad contemplationem divinitatis Christi, nisi prius contemplando eius humanitatem)]."  But there is also an "ad Sed contra," something I have yet to see in the Summa.  And it is from this that  Torrell gets his "Thomas specifies elsewhere":  "To that which [the Sed] contra throws up as an obstacle, [it is] to be said that this argument procedes with respect to the state of [life on] the way, in which, since [(sed (but), next clause)] we are not yet perfectly conjoined with God, . . . [(sed)] it behooves us to accede to God through Christ; but since in beatitude we will already be conjoined with God, we [will] intend the divinity of Christ before [(per prius . . . quam)] his humanity."

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