Theological Virtues Per St Augustine, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Hippo (354-430AD)
The Enchiridion, or Handbook, is addressed to Laurentius, in answer to his questions. One manuscript calls him a deacon, another a notary of the city of Rome. St. Augustine wrote it sometime after the death of Jerome (September 30, 420), for he alludes in Chapter 87 to Jerome of blessed memory. St Jerome is one of four Doctors of the Church in this age, and baptized St Augustine into “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” About this page:… Source. Translated by J.F. Shaw. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887.) Revised and edited for New Advent, edited & illustrated by CityOfGod.blog.
Faith cont. Chapters (84-91)
Chapter 84. The Resurrection of the Body Gives Rise to Numerous Questions.
Now, as to the resurrection of the body, — not a resurrection such as some have had, who came back to life for a time and died again, but a resurrection to eternal life, as the body of Christ Himself rose again — I do not see how I can discuss the matter briefly, and at the same time give a satisfactory answer to all the questions that are ordinarily raised about it. Yet that the bodies of all men — both those who have been born and those who shall be born, both those who have died and those who shall die — shall be raised again, no Christian ought to have the shadow of a doubt.
Chapter 85. The Case of Abortive Conceptions.
Hence in the first place arises a question about abortive conceptions, which have indeed been born in the mother’s womb, but not so born that they could be born again. For if we shall decide that these are to rise again, we cannot object to any conclusion that may be drawn in regard to those which are fully formed. Now who is there that is not rather disposed to think that unformed abortions perish, like seeds that have never fructified? But who will dare to deny, though he may not dare to affirm, that at the resurrection every defect in the form shall be supplied, and that thus the perfection which time would have brought shall not be wanting, any more than the blemishes which time did bring shall be present: so that the nature shall neither want anything suitable and in harmony with it that length of days would have added, nor be debased by the presence of anything of an opposite kind that length of days has added; but that what is not yet complete shall be completed, just as what has been injured shall be renewed.
Chapter 86. If They Have Ever Lived, They Must of Course Have Died, and Therefore Shall Have a Share in the Resurrection of the Dead.
And therefore the following question may be very carefully inquired into and discussed by learned men, though I do not know whether it is in man’s power to resolve it: At what time the infant begins to live in the womb: whether life exists in a latent form before it manifests itself in the motions of the living being. To deny that the young who are cut out limb by limb from the womb, lest if they were left there dead the mother should die too, have never been alive, seems too audacious. Now, from the time that a man begins to live, from that time it is possible for him to die. And if he die, wheresoever death may overtake him,
” I cannot discover on what principle he can be denied an interest in the resurrection of the dead.” Augustine
Mystical City of God. Book 1 The Conception #219 (page 179) the following potential. #3 Introduction (page 5)
In this speculation by Augustine, “The City” sees light in Augustine’s conclusion drawn from theology, that babies of the womb, soul are not be denied Mercy from God. Augustine correctly states that man cannot solve this dilemma of life. The Church can never know without furtherance in private revelation, or from the economy of science, in the development upon the natural order as to soul. Presently 1600 years later it remains incomprehensible how or when God’s intertwining commingle of the flesh and her soul of each embryo becomes manifest. The best the Church in the earliest of Councils deduced for unborn infants, was that the newborn and the mother could not be separated to perform a Baptism in the womb, until the breath of this world. However thru private revelation it is possibly revealed, in the Mystical City of God.#219, when the souls, embryos souls, are fully activated by God.
#219. The day on which the first Conception of the body of the most holy Mary happened, was a Sunday, corresponding to the day of the week on which the angels were created,(#4) whose exalted Queen and Lady she was to be. For the formation and growth of other human bodies, according to the natural order, many days are necessary in order to organize and fit them for the reception of the rational soul. Thus for a man-child are required forty and for a female, eighty (80) days more or less, according to the natural heat and disposition of the mothers. The Almighty accelerated that to 7 days instead of 80 to receive the most holy soul of her daughter. (“Mary”)
#03. But the thoughts and judgments of the Most High are exalted as much above our own as heaven is exalted above the earth and know one knows his mind and no one can counsel Him in his works. (Rom11:34); He it is that holds the scales of the sanctuary in His hands (Rev6:5) and who weighs the winds (Job28:25), and who by equity of his holy counsels, disposes of all things with weight and measure (Wis11:21), assigning to each one opportune time and place. He dispenses the light of wisdom (Eccl24:37) and by most equitable bounty He distributes it, and no one can ascend to the heavens to draw it down (Baruch3:29), or fetch it from the clouds, or know its ways or investigate the hidden paths thereof (Baruch3:31). He alone observes it as it is in itself, and transfuses it as a vapor and emanation of His immense charity. (Wis7:25) as the brightness of eternal light , as flawless reflection and image of His eternal bounty, through holy souls among the nations in order to make them friends of the Most high and constitute them as prophets (Wis7:27). The Lord alone knows why and for what purpose He thus prepared me , the last of his creatures; why He thus called and raised me, obliged and compelled me to write the life of his most holy Mother, our Queen and Lady.
Chapter 87. The Case of Monstrous Births.
We are not justified in affirming even of monstrosities, which are born and live, however quickly they may die, that they shall not rise again, nor that they shall rise again in their deformity, and not rather with an amended and perfected body. God forbid that the double limbed man who was lately born in the East, of whom an account was brought by most trustworthy brethren who had seen him — an account which the presbyter Jerome, of blessed memory, left in writing; — God forbid, I say, that we should think that at the resurrection there shall be one man with double limbs, and not two distinct men, as would have been the case had twins been born. And so other births, which, because they have either a superfluity or a defect, or because they are very much deformed, are called monstrosities, shall at the resurrection be restored to the normal shape of man; and so each single soul shall possess its own body; and no bodies shall cohere together even though they were born in cohesion, but each separately shall possess all the members which constitute a complete human body.
Chapter 88. The Material of the Body Never Perishes.
Nor does the earthly material out of which men’s mortal bodies are created ever perish; but though it may crumble into dust and ashes, or be dissolved into vapors and exhalations, though it may be transformed into the substance of other bodies, or dispersed into the elements, though it should become food for beasts or men, and be changed into their flesh, it returns in a moment of time to that human soul which animated it at the first, and which caused it to become man, and to live and grow.
Chapter 89. But This Material May Be Differently Arranged in the Resurrection Body.
And this earthly material, which when the soul leaves it becomes a corpse, shall not at the resurrection be so restored as that the parts into which it is separated, and which under various forms and appearances become parts of other things (though they shall all return to the same body from which they were separated), must necessarily return to the same parts of the body in which they were originally situated. For otherwise, to suppose that the hair recovers all that our frequent clippings and shavings have taken away from it, and the nails all that we have so often pared off, presents to the imagination such a picture of ugliness and deformity, as to make the resurrection of the body all but incredible. But just as if a statue of some soluble metal were either melted by fire, or broken into dust, or reduced to a shapeless mass, and a sculptor wished to restore it from the same quantity of metal, it would make no difference to the completeness of the work what part of the statue any given particle of the material was put into, as long as the restored statue contained all the material of the original one; so God, the Artificer of marvelous and unspeakable power, shall with marvelous and unspeakable rapidity restore our body, using up the whole material of which it originally consisted. Nor will it affect the completeness of its restoration whether hairs return to hairs, and nails to nails, or whether the part of these that had perished be changed into flesh, and called to take its place in another part of the body, the great Artist taking careful heed that nothing shall be unbecoming or out of place.
Chapter 90. If There Be Differences and Inequalities Among the Bodies of Those Who Rise Again, There Shall Be Nothing Offensive or Disproportionate in Any.
Nor does it necessarily follow that there shall be differences of stature among those who rise again, because they were of different statures during life; nor is it certain that the lean shall rise again in their former leanness, and the fat in their former fatness. But if it is part of the Creator’s design that each should preserve his own peculiarities of feature, and retain a recognizable likeness to his former self, while in regard to other bodily advantages all should be equal, then the material of which each is composed may be so modified that none of it shall be lost, and that any defect may be supplied by Him who can create at His will out of nothing. But if in the bodies of those who rise again there shall be a well-ordered inequality, such as there is in the voices that make up a full harmony, then the material of each man’s body shall be so dealt with that it shall form a man fit for the assemblies of the angels, and one who shall bring nothing among them to jar upon their sensibilities. And assuredly nothing that is unseemly shall be there; but whatever shall be there shall be graceful and becoming: for if anything is not seemly, neither shall it be.
Chapter 91. The Bodies of the Saints Shall at The Resurrection Be Spiritual Bodies.
The bodies of the saints, then, shall rise again free from every defect, from every blemish, as from all corruption, weight, and impediment. For their ease of movement shall be as complete as their happiness. Whence their bodies have been called spiritual, though undoubtedly they shall be bodies and not spirits. For just as now the body is called animate, though it is a body, and not a soul [anima], so then the body shall be called spiritual, though it shall be a body, not a spirit. Hence, as far as regards the corruption which now weighs down the soul, and the vices which urge the flesh to lust against the spirit, it shall not then be flesh, but body; for there are bodies which are called celestial. Wherefore it is said, Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; and, as if in explanation of this, neither does corruption inherit incorruption. What the apostle first called “flesh and blood,” he afterwards calls “corruption;” and what he first called the kingdom of God, he afterwards calls incorruption. But as far as regards the substance, even then it shall be flesh. For even after the resurrection the body of Christ was called flesh. The Apostle, however, says: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body;” (1Cor15:44) because so perfect shall then be the harmony between flesh and spirit, the spirit keeping alive the subjugated flesh without the need of any nourishment, that no part of our nature shall be in discord with another; but as we shall be free from enemies without, so we shall not have ourselves for enemies within.
CityOfGod.blog continues to post the ” Enchiridion Faith Hope and Charity” next, day 13 .. schedule 3/26/19.