Monday, January 25, 2016

QUOTATION: The Four Qualities of the Glorified Body

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Theologians distinguish four chief qualities in the glorified body: impassibility, subtility, agility, and clarity.

Impassibility is the gift which preserves not only from death, but also from pain. It arises from the perfect submission of the body to the soul.

Agility delivers bodies from the heaviness which weighs down the present life. The risen body can go where the soul pleases, with a swiftness and ease which St. Jerome compares to that of the eagle.

Subtility renders the body capable of penetrating other bodies without difficulty. Thus the glorious body of the risen Christ entered the Cenacle though the doors were closed.

Clarity gives to the body of the saints that brightness, that splendor, which is the very essence of the beautiful. Our Lord  says: "Then shall the just shine as the sun in the kingdom of their father." To give an idea of this quality, He was transfigured before His apostles on Thabor. St. Paul says: "Jesus Christ will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory."  The Israelites in the desert  saw an image of this glory on the forehead of Moses, after He had seen God and received God's words. He was so luminous that their eyes could not endure the splendor.

This clarity is but a reflection, an overflowing, of the glory of the soul on that of the body.  Hence the bodies of the saints will not all have the same degree of clarity, but each will have the degree proportioned to its light of glory. Thus St. Paul says: "Star differeth from star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead."

--Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Life Everlasting