Whether There is Hope in the Blessed
Whether there is Hope in the Blessed

We proceed to the second article thus:

1. It seems that there is hope in the blessed. Christ was the perfect comprehensor from the moment of his conception, and he had hope, since it is said in his person in Ps.31:1: "In thee, O Lord, have I hoped," as the gloss expounds it. There can therefore be hope in the blessed.

2. Again, just as to obtain blessedness is an arduous good, so is to continue in blessedness. Men hope to obtain blessedness before they obtain it. They can therefore hope to continue in blessedness after they obtain it.

3. Again, it was said in Art.3 of the preceding question that by the virtue of hope one can hope for blessedness for others as well as for oneself. Now in heaven the blessed hope for the blessedness of others, since otherwise they would not pray for them. There can therefore be hope in the blessed.

4. Again, the blessedness of the saints means glory of the body as well as of the soul. But it appears from Rev., ch.6, and also from what Augustine says in 12 De Gen. ad Litt.35, that the souls of the saints in heaven still await the glory of" the body. There can therefore be hope in the blessed.

On the other hand: the apostle says in Rom.8:24: "for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" The blessed enjoy the vision of God. There is therefore no place in them for hope.

I answer: if that which determines the species of a thing is taken away, its species is taken away, and it cannot continue to be of the same species, any more than a natural body whose form has been removed. Now hope, like the other virtues, derives its species from its principal object, as we said in Q.17, Arts.5 and 6, and in Pt. I, Q.54, Art.2, and its principal object is eternal blessedness as possible through divine help, as we said in Q.17, Arts.1 and 2. But a good which is arduous yet possible can be hoped for only when it belongs to the future. There cannot then be hope for blessedness when it is no longer future, but present. Hope, like faith, is therefore done away in heaven, and there can be neither hope nor faith in the blessed.

On the first point: although Christ was a comprehensor, and therefore blessed in the enjoyment of God, he was nevertheless a wayfarer in respect of the passibility of nature, while subject to nature. He could therefore hope for the glory of impassibility and immortality. But he would not do so by the virtue of hope, the principal object of which is not the glory of the body, but the enjoyment of God.

On the second point: the blessedness of the saints is called eternal life because the enjoyment of God makes them in a manner partakers of the divine eternity, which transcends all time. There is therefore no distinction of past, present, and future in the continuation of blessedness. Hence the blessed do not hope for the continuation of blessedness, but have blessedness itself, to which futurity is not applicable.

On the third point: so long as the virtue of hope endures, it is by the same hope that one hopes for blessedness for oneself and for others. But when the hope with which the blessed hoped for blessedness for themselves is done away, they hope for blessedness for others by the love of charity, rather than by the virtue of hope. In a similar way, although one who has charity loves both God and his neighbour with the same charity, one who does not have charity can love his neighbour with a different kind of love.

On the fourth point: hope is a theological virtue which has God as its principal object. The principal object of hope is therefore the glory of the soul which consists of the enjoyment of God, not the glory of the body. Moreover, although glory of the body is arduous in relation to human nature, it is not arduous to one who has glory of the soul; not only because glory of the body is comparatively less than glory of the soul, but because one who has glory of the soul already possesses the sufficient cause of glory of the body.

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