Subtlety, Agility, Clarity
October 17, 2014

Matthew Levering has a delightful summary of Thomas’s delightful description of the resurrection body as subtle, agile, and full of “clarity” (Christ’s Fulfillment of Torah and Temple, 133-4).

Subtlety, Levering explains, is “the ability of the body to penetrate.” Bodies will remain bodies, but “the penetration of glorified bodies enables them to move together in harmony, without causing disturbance or friction, because bodies will be entirely subject to their souls as their form. There will be no crowding in the divine liturgy of heaven, no matter how many resurrected human beings are present” - no bumping and jostling either, presumably. Subtlety is the resurrected body’s fulfillment of creaturely perichoresis, our ability to indwell and be indwelled by God and others.

And we’ll be agile, like Christopher Smartt’s cat Geoffrey. Because the soul will move the body without inhibition, the body “will perfectly reflect its glorified soul’s spiritual movements of praise. The praise offered bodily by the blessed in heaven will not be laborious or burdensome, and so they will not tire out or need to rest.”

And clarity: “This “will not erase the body’s natural color,” Thomas says, but it “will make the body resplendent, in proportion to the soul’s degree of charity. Like Christ’s transfigured body, the glorified bodies of the saints will be more resplendent than the sun,” though Thomas is quick to add, lest anyone worry, that “this light will not be blinding when looked at directly.”

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