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83. The Subtlety of Risen Bodies

1. The risen body will be, in all organic action,perfectly subject to the soul, and instantly responsive to thewill, needing withal no material sustenance. This spirit-likequality of the risen body is called subtlety orsubtility.

2. The subtlety of a glorified body will not enable it tooccupy the same place with another body, unless this be done by amiracle.

3. Now, there is no contradiction in the thought of twobodies being in the same place simultaneously, even though there isnothing in the nature of a body capable of producing this effect.What keeps bodies from compenetration is their external extension,and this is not of the essence or nature of bodies, but is aneffect of quantity, which, in turn, is only a proper accidental ofbodies and not their essence. Hence, there is no conflict orcontradiction in the notion of compenetration of bodies; therefore,since the thing is conceivable, it might be done by a miracle.

4. However, the subtlety of the glorified body does notmake this compenetration possible without a miracle. Besides, inheaven, distinctness of bodily being will be a perfection; ifseveral bodies were to occupy the same place, this distinctness ofbeing would be obscured.

5. The glorified body, just as the natural body on earth,will occupy space, and will be in a place according to itsdimensions.

6. There will be nothing ghostlike in the risen body. Itwill be a true body. But it will have spiritual or spirit-likequalities. It will be something that can be touched and felt. Whenour Lord in his risen and glorified body came in, through closeddoors, to his disciples, he told them he was not a spirit or ghost,and said (Luke 24:39): "Handle and see: for a spirit hath notflesh and bones, as you see me to have."

"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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