aA
aA
aA
Summa Theologica
« Prev Article. 5 - Whether Christ endured all suffering? Next »

Whether Christ endured all suffering?

Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did endure all sufferings, because Hilary (De Trin. x) says: "God's only-begotten Son testifies that He endured every kind of human sufferings in order to accomplish the sacrament of His death, when with bowed head He gave up the ghost." It seems, therefore, that He did endure all human sufferings.

Objection 2: Further, it is written (Is. 52:13): "Behold My servant shall understand, He shall be exalted and extolled, and shall be exceeding high; as many as have been astonished at Him [Vulg.: 'thee'], so shall His visage be inglorious among men, and His form among the sons of men." But Christ was exalted in that He had all grace and all knowledge, at which many were astonished in admiration thereof. Therefore it seems that He was "inglorious," by enduring every human suffering.

Objection 3: Further, Christ's Passion was ordained for man's deliverance from sin, as stated above (A[3]). But Christ came to deliver men from every kind of sin. Therefore He ought to have endured every kind of suffering.

On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 19:32): "The soldiers therefore came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with Him; but after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs." Consequently, He did not endure every human suffering.

I answer that, Human sufferings may be considered under two aspects. First of all, specifically, and in this way it was not necessary for Christ to endure them all, since many are mutually exclusive, as burning and drowning; for we are dealing now with sufferings inflicted from without, since it was not beseeming for Him to endure those arising from within, such as bodily ailments, as already stated (Q[14], A[4]). But, speaking generically, He did endure every human suffering. This admits of a threefold acceptance. First of all, on the part of men: for He endured something from Gentiles and from Jews; from men and from women, as is clear from the women servants who accused Peter. He suffered from the rulers, from their servants and from the mob, according to Ps. 2:1,2: "Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against His Christ." He suffered from friends and acquaintances, as is manifest from Judas betraying and Peter denying Him.

Secondly, the same is evident on the part of the sufferings which a man can endure. For Christ suffered from friends abandoning Him; in His reputation, from the blasphemies hurled at Him; in His honor and glory, from the mockeries and the insults heaped upon Him; in things, for He was despoiled of His garments; in His soul, from sadness, weariness, and fear; in His body, from wounds and scourgings.

Thirdly, it may be considered with regard to His bodily members. In His head He suffered from the crown of piercing thorns; in His hands and feet, from the fastening of the nails; on His face from the blows and spittle; and from the lashes over His entire body. Moreover, He suffered in all His bodily senses: in touch, by being scourged and nailed; in taste, by being given vinegar and gall to drink; in smell, by being fastened to the gibbet in a place reeking with the stench of corpses, "which is called Calvary"; in hearing, by being tormented with the cries of blasphemers and scorners; in sight, by beholding the tears of His Mother and of the disciple whom He loved.

Reply to Objection 1: Hilary's words are to be understood as to all classes of sufferings, but not as to their kinds.

Reply to Objection 2: The likeness is sustained, not as to the number of the sufferings and graces, but as to their greatness; for, as He was uplifted above others in gifts of graces, so was He lowered beneath others by the ignominy of His sufferings.

Reply to Objection 3: The very least one of Christ's sufferings was sufficient of itself to redeem the human race from all sins; but as to fittingness, it sufficed that He should endure all classes of sufferings, as stated above.

« Prev Article. 5 - Whether Christ endured all suffering? Next »

Advertisements


| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |