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Summa Theologica
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Whether there was sensible pain in Christ?

Objection 1: It would seem that there was no true sensible pain in Christ. For Hilary says (De Trin. x): "Since with Christ to die was life, what pain may He be supposed to have suffered in the mystery of His death, Who bestows life on such as die for Him?" And further on he says: "The Only-begotten assumed human nature, not ceasing to be God; and although blows struck Him and wounds were inflicted on Him, and scourges fell upon Him, and the cross lifted Him up, yet these wrought in deed the vehemence of the passion, but brought no pain; as a dart piercing the water." Hence there was no true pain in Christ.

Objection 2: Further, it would seem to be proper to flesh conceived in original sin, to be subject to the necessity of pain. But the flesh of Christ was not conceived in sin, but of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin's womb. Therefore it lay under no necessity of suffering pain.

Objection 3: Further, the delight of the contemplation of Divine things dulls the sense of pain; hence the martyrs in their passions bore up more bravely by thinking of the Divine love. But Christ's soul was in the perfect enjoyment of contemplating God, Whom He saw in essence, as was said above (Q[9], A[2]). Therefore He could feel no pain.

On the contrary, It is written (Is. 53:4): "Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows."

I answer that, As is plain from what has been said in the FS, Q[35], A[7], for true bodily pain are required bodily hurt and the sense of hurt. Now Christ's body was able to be hurt, since it was passible and mortal, as above stated (Q[14], AA[1],2); neither was the sense of hurt wanting to it, since Christ's soul possessed perfectly all natural powers. Therefore no one should doubt but that in Christ there was true pain.

Reply to Objection 1: In all these and similar words, Hilary does not intend to exclude the reality of the pain, but the necessity of it. Hence after the foregoing he adds: "Nor, when He thirsted, or hungered, or wept, was the Lord seen to drink, or eat, or grieve. But in order to prove the reality of the body, the body's customs were assumed, so that the custom of our body was atoned for by the custom of our nature. Or when He took drink or food, He acceded, not to the body's necessity, but to its custom." And he uses the word "necessity" in reference to the first cause of these defects, which is sin, as above stated (Q[14], AA[1],3), so that Christ's flesh is said not to have lain under the necessity of these defects, in the sense that there was no sin in it. Hence he adds: "For He" (i.e. Christ) "had a body---one proper to His origin, which did not exist through the unholiness of our conception, but subsisted in the form of our body by the strength of His power." But as regards the proximate cause of these defects, which is composition of contraries, the flesh of Christ lay under the necessity of these defects, as was said above (Q[14] , A[2]).

Reply to Objection 2: Flesh conceived in sin is subject to pain, not merely on account of the necessity of its natural principles, but from the necessity of the guilt of sin. Now this necessity was not in Christ; but only the necessity of natural principles.

Reply to Objection 3: As was said above (Q[14], A[1], ad 2), by the power of the Godhead of Christ the beatitude was economically kept in the soul, so as not to overflow into the body, lest His passibility and mortality should be taken away; and for the same reason the delight of contemplation was so kept in the mind as not to overflow into the sensitive powers, lest sensible pain should thereby be prevented.

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