QUESTION 82: OF THE IMPASSIBILITY OF THE BODIES OF THE BLESSED AFTER THEIR RESURRECTION
We must now consider the conditions under which the blessed rise again,
and (1) the impassibility of their bodies; (2) their subtlety; (3) their
agility; (4) their clarity. Under the first head there are four points of
(1) Whether the bodies of the saints will be impassible after the
(2) Whether all will be equally impassible?
(3) Whether this impassibility renders the glorious bodies?
(4) Whether in them all the senses are in act?
Article 1: Whether the bodies of the saints will be impassible after the resurrection?
Objection 1: It seems that the bodies of the saints will not be impassible
after the resurrection. For everything mortal is passible. But man, after
the resurrection, will be "a mortal rational animal," for such is the
definition of man, which will never be dissociated from him. Therefore
the body will be passible.
Objection 2: Further, whatever is in potentiality to have the form of another
thing is passible in relation to something else; for this is what is
meant by being passive to another thing (De Gener. i). Now the bodies of
the saints will be in potentiality to the form of another thing after the
resurrection; since matter, according as it is under one form, does not
lose its potentiality to another form. But the bodies of the saints after
the resurrection will have matter in common with the elements, because
they will be restored out of the same matter of which they are now
composed. Therefore they will be in potentiality to another form, and
thus will be passible.
Objection 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (De Gener. i), contraries
have a natural inclination to be active and passive towards one another.
Now the bodies of the saints will be composed of contraries after the
resurrection, even as now. Therefore they will be passible.
Objection 4: Further, in the human body the blood and humors will rise again, as stated above (Question , Articles ,4). Now, sickness and such like passions arise in the body through the antipathy of the humors. Therefore the bodies of the saints will be passible after the resurrection.
Objection 5: Further, actual defect is more inconsistent with perfection than
potential defect. But passibility denotes merely potential defect. Since
then there will be certain actual defects in the bodies of the blessed,
such as the scars of the wounds in the martyrs, even as they were in
Christ, it would seem that their perfections will not suffer, if we grant
their bodies to be passible.
On the contrary, Everything passible is corruptible, because "increase
of passion results in loss of substance" [*Aristotle, Topic. vi, 1]. Now
the bodies of the saints will be incorruptible after the resurrection,
according to 1 Cor. 15:42, "It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in
incorruption." Therefore they will be impassible.
Further, the stronger is not passive to the weaker. But no body will be
stronger than the bodies of the saints, of which it is written (1 Cor. 15:43): "It is sown in weakness, it shall rise in power." Therefore they
will be impassible.
I answer that, We speak of a thing being "passive" in two ways [*Cf. FS,
Question , Article ]. First in a broad sense, and thus every reception is called
a passion, whether the thing received be fitting to the receiver and
perfect it, or contrary to it and corrupt it. The glorious bodies are not
said to be impassible by the removal of this kind of passion, since
nothing pertaining to perfection is to be removed from them. In another
way we use the word "passive" properly, and thus the Damascene defines
passion (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) as being "a movement contrary to nature."
Hence an immoderate movement of the heart is called its passion, but a
moderate movement is called its operation. The reason of this is that
whatever is patient is drawn to the bounds of the agent, since the agent
assimilates the patient to itself, so that, therefore, the patient as
such is drawn beyond its own bounds within which it was confined.
Accordingly taking passion in its proper sense there will be no
potentiality to passion in the bodies of the saints after resurrection;
wherefore they are said to be impassible.
The reason however of this impassibility is assigned differently by
different persons. Some ascribe it to the condition of the elements,
which will be different then from what it is now. For they say that the
elements will remain, then, as to substance, yet that they will be
deprived of their active and passive qualities. But this does not seem to
be true: because the active and passive qualities belong to the
perfection of the elements, so that if the elements were restored without
them in the body of the man that rises again, they would be less perfect
than now. Moreover since these qualities are the proper accidents of the
elements, being caused by their form and matter, it would seem most
absurd for the cause to remain and the effect to be removed. Wherefore
others say that the qualities will remain, but deprived of their proper
activities, the Divine power so doing for the preservation of the human
body. This however would seem to be untenable, since the action and
passion of the active and passive qualities is necessary for the mixture
(of the elements), and according as one or the other preponderates the
mixed (bodies) differ in their respective complexions, and this must
apply to the bodies of those who rise again, for they will contain flesh
and bones and like parts, all of which demand different complexions.
Moreover, according to this, impassibility could not be one of their
gifts, because it would not imply a disposition in the impassible
substance, but merely an external preventive to passion, namely the power
of God, which might produce the same effect in a human body even in this
state of life. Consequently others say that in the body itself there will
be something preventing the passion of a glorified body, namely the
nature of a fifth [*The other four being the elements; this fifth element
was known to the peripatetic philosophers as the quintessence, of which
they held heavenly bodies to be formed]: or heavenly body, which they
maintain enters into the composition of a human body, to the effect of
blending the elements together in harmony so as to be fitting matter for
the rational soul; but that in this state of life, on account of the
preponderance of the elemental nature, the human body is passible like
other elements, whereas in the resurrection the nature of the fifth body
will predominate, so that the human body will be made impassible in
likeness to the heavenly body. But this cannot stand, because the fifth
body does not enter materially into the composition of a human body, as
was proved above (Sent. ii, D, 12, Q. 1, Article ). Moreover it is absurd to
say that a natural power, such as the power of a heavenly body, should
endow the human body with a property of glory, such as the impassibility
of a glorified body, since the Apostle ascribes to Christ's power the
transformation of the human body, because "such as is the heavenly, such
also are they that are heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:48), and "He will reform the
body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory, according to the
operation whereby also He is able to subdue all things unto Himself"
(Phil. 3:21). And again, a heavenly nature cannot exercise such power
over the human body as to take from it its elemental nature which is
passible by reason of its essential constituents. Consequently we must
say otherwise that all passion results from the agent overcoming the
patient, else it would not draw it to its own bounds. Now it is
impossible for agent to overcome patient except through the weakening of
the hold which the form of the patient has over its matter, if we speak
of the passion which is against nature, for it is of passion in this
sense that we are speaking now: for matter is not subject to one of two
contraries, except through the cessation or at least the diminution of
the hold which the other contrary has on it. Now the human body and all
that it contains will be perfectly subject to the rational soul, even as
the soul will be perfectly subject to God. Wherefore it will be
impossible for the glorified body to be subject to any change contrary to
the disposition whereby it is perfected by the soul; and consequently
those bodies will be impassible.
Reply to Objection 1: According to Anselm (Cur Deus Homo ii, 11), "mortal is
included in the philosophers' definition of man, because they did not
believe that the whole man could be ever immortal, for they had no
experience of man otherwise than in this state of mortality." Or we may
say that since, according to the Philosopher (Metaph. vi, 12), essential
differences are unknown to us, we sometimes employ accidental differences
in order to signify essential differences from which the accidental
differences result. Hence "mortal" is put in the definition of man, not
as though mortality were essential to man, but because that which causes
passibility and mortality in the present state of life, namely
composition of contraries, is essential to man, but it will not cause it
then, on account of the triumph of the soul over the body.
Reply to Objection 2: Potentiality is twofold, tied and free: and this is true
not only of active but also of passive potentiality. For the form ties
the potentiality of matter, by determining it to one thing, and it is
thus that it overcomes it. And since in corruptible things form does not
perfectly overcome matter, it cannot tie it completely so as to prevent
it from sometimes receiving a disposition contrary to the form through
some passion. But in the saints after the resurrection, the soul will
have complete dominion over the body, and it will be altogether
impossible for it to lose this dominion, because it will be immutably
subject to God, which was not the case in the state of innocence.
Consequently those bodies will retain substantially the same potentiality
as they have now to another form; yet that potentiality will remain tied
by the triumph of the soul over the body, so that it will never be
realized by actual passion.
Reply to Objection 3: The elemental qualities are the instruments of the soul, as
stated in De Anima ii, text. 38, seqq., for the heat of fire in an
animal's body is directed in the act of nutrition by the soul's power.
When, however, the principal agent is perfect, and there is no defect in
the instrument, no action proceeds from the instrument, except in
accordance with the disposition of the principal agent. Consequently in
the bodies of the saints after the resurrection, no action or passion
will result from the elemental qualities that is contrary to the
disposition of the soul which has the preservation of the body in view.
Reply to Objection 4: According to Augustine (Ep. ad Consent. cxlvi) "the Divine
power is able to remove" whatever qualities He will "from this visible
and tangible body, other qualities remaining." Hence even as in a certain
respect "He deprived the flames of the Chaldees' furnace of the power to
burn, since the bodies of the children were preserved without hurt, while
in another respect that power remained, since those flames consumed the
wood, so will He remove passibility from the humors while leaving their
nature unchanged." It has been explained in the Article how this is
Reply to Objection 5: The scars of wounds will not be in the saints, nor were
they in Christ, in so far as they imply a defect, but as signs of the
most steadfast virtue whereby the saints suffered for the sake of justice
and faith: so that this will increase their own and others' joy (Cf. TP,
Question , Article , ad 3). Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xxii, 19): "We
feel an undescribable love for the blessed martyrs so as to desire to see
in that kingdom the scars of the wounds in their bodies, which they bore
for Christ's name. Perchance indeed we shall see them for this will not
make them less comely but more glorious. A certain beauty will shine in
them, a beauty though in the body, yet not of the body but of virtue."
Nevertheless those martyrs who have been maimed and deprived of their
limbs will not be without those limbs in the resurrection of the dead,
for to them it is said (Lk. 21:18): "A hair of your head shall not
Article 2: Whether all will be equally impassible?
Objection 1: It would seem that all will be equally impassible. For a gloss on
1 Cor. 15:42, "It is sown in corruption," says that "all have equal
immunity from suffering." Now the gift of impassibility consists in
immunity from suffering. Therefore all will be equally impassible.
Objection 2: Further, negations are not subject to be more or less. Now
impassibility is a negation or privation of passibility. Therefore it
cannot be greater in one subject than in another.
Objection 3: Further, a thing is more white if it have less admixture of
black. But there will be no admixture of passibility in any of the
saints' bodies. Therefore they will all be equally impassible.
On the contrary, Reward should be proportionate to merit. Now some of
the saints were greater in merit than others. Therefore, since
impassibility is a reward, it would seem to be greater in some than in
Further, impassibility is condivided with the gift of clarity. Now the
latter will not be equal in all, according to 1 Cor. 15:41. Therefore
neither will impassibility be equal in all.
I answer that, Impassibility may be considered in two ways, either in
itself, or in respect of its cause. If it be considered in itself, since
it denotes a mere negation or privation, it is not subject to be more or
less, but will be equal in all the blessed. on the other hand, if we
consider it in relation to its cause, thus it will be greater in one
person than in another. Now its cause is the dominion of the soul over
the body, and this dominion is caused by the soul's unchangeable
enjoyment of God. Consequently in one who enjoys God more perfectly,
there is a greater cause of impassibility.
Reply to Objection 1: This gloss is speaking of impassibility in itself and not
in relation to its cause.
Reply to Objection 2: Although negations and privations considered in themselves
are not increased nor diminished, yet they are subject to increase and
diminution in relation to their causes. Thus a place is said to be more
darksome from having more and greater obstacles to light.
Reply to Objection 3: Some things increase not only by receding from their
contrary, but also by approach to a term: thus light increases.
Consequently impassibility also is greater in one subject than in
another, although there is no passibility remaining in any one.
Article 3: Whether impassibility excludes actual sensation from glorified bodies?
Objection 1: It would seem that impassibility excludes actual sensation from
glorified bodies. For according to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 11),
"sensation is a kind of passion." But the glorified bodies will be
impassible. Therefore they will not have actual sensation.
Objection 2: Further, natural alteration precedes spiritual* alteration, just
as natural being precedes intentional being. Now glorified bodies, by
reason of their impassibility, will not be subject to natural alteration.
[*"Animalem," as though it were derived from "animus"---the mind. Cf. FS,
Question , Article ,3m; FS, Question , Article ,3m.] Therefore they will not be subject
to spiritual alteration which is requisite for sensation.
Objection 3: Further, whenever actual sensation is due to a new perception,
there is a new judgment. But in that state there will be no new judgment,
because "our thoughts will not then be unchangeable," as Augustine says
(De Trin. xv, 16). Therefore there will be no actual sensation.
Objection 4: Further, when the act of one of the soul's powers is intense, the
acts of the other powers are remiss. Now the soul will be supremely
intent on the act of the contemplative power in contemplating God.
Therefore the soul will have no actual sensation whatever.
On the contrary, It is written (Apoc. 1:7): "Every eye shall see Him."
Therefore there will be actual sensation.
Further, according to the Philosopher (De Anima i, 2) "the animate is
distinct from the inanimate by sensation and movement." Now there will be
actual movement since they "shall run to and fro like sparks among the
reeds" (Wis. 3:7). Therefore there will also be actual sensation.
I answer that, All are agreed that there is some sensation in the bodies
of the blessed: else the bodily life of the saints after the resurrection
would be likened to sleep rather than to vigilance. Now this is not
befitting that perfection, because in sleep a sensible body is not in the
ultimate act of life, for which reason sleep is described as half-life.
[*This is what Aristotle says: "The good and the bad are in sleep least
distinguishable: hence men say that for half their lives there is no
difference between the happy and the unhappy" (Ethic. i, 13)] But there
is a difference of opinion as to the mode of sensation.
For some say that the glorified bodies will be impassible, and
consequently "not susceptible to impressions from without" [*Cf. Question ,
Article , On the contrary] and much less so than the heavenly bodies, because
they will have actual sensations, not by receiving species from
sensibles, but by emission of species. But this is impossible, since in
the resurrection the specific nature will remain the same in man and in
all his parts. Now the nature of sense is to be a passive power as the
Philosopher proves (De Anima ii, text. 51,54). Wherefore if the saints,
in the resurrection, were to have sensations by emitting and not by
receiving species, sense in them would be not a passive but an active
power, and thus it would not be the same specifically with sense as it is
now, but would be some other power bestowed on them; for just as matter
never becomes form, so a passive power never becomes active. Consequently
others say that the senses will be actualized by receiving species, not
indeed from external sensibles, but by an outflow from the higher powers,
so that as now the higher powers receive from the lower, so on the
contrary the lower powers will then receive from the higher. But this
mode of reception does not result in real sensation, because every
passive power, according to its specific nature, is determined to some
special active principle, since a power as such bears relation to that
with respect to which it is said to be the power. Wherefore since the
proper active principle in external sensation is a thing existing outside
the soul and not an intention thereof existing in the imagination or
reason, if the organ of sense be not moved by external things, but by the
imagination or other higher powers, there will be no true sensation.
Hence we do not say that madmen or other witless persons (in whom there
is this kind of outflow of species towards the organs of sense, on
account of the powerful influence of the imagination) have real
sensations, but that it seems to them that they have sensations.
Consequently we must say with others that sensation in glorified bodies
will result from the reception of things outside the soul. It must,
however, be observed that the organs of sense are transmuted by things
outside the soul in two ways. First by a natural transmutation, when
namely the organ is disposed by the same natural quality as the thing
outside the soul which acts on that organ: for instance, when the hand is
heated by touching a hot object, or becomes fragrant through contact with
a fragrant object. Secondly, by a spiritual transmutation, as when a
sensible quality is received in an instrument, according to a spiritual
mode of being, when, namely, the species or the intention of a quality,
and not the quality itself is received: thus the pupil receives the
species of whiteness and yet does not itself become white. Accordingly
the first reception does not cause sensation, properly speaking, because
the senses are receptive of species in matter but without matter. that is
to say without the material "being" which the species had outside the
soul (De Anima ii, text. 121). This reception transmutes the nature of
the recipient, because in this way the quality is received according to
its material "being." Consequently this kind of reception will not be in
the glorified bodies, but the second, which of itself causes actual
sensation, without changing the nature of the recipient.
Reply to Objection 1: As already explained, by this passion that takes place in
actual sensation and is no other than the aforesaid reception of species,
the body is not drawn away from natural quality, but is perfected by a
spiritual change. Wherefore the impassibility of glorified bodies does
not exclude this kind of passion.
Reply to Objection 2: Every subject of passion receives the action of the agent
according to its mode. Accordingly if there be a thing that is naturally
adapted to be altered by an active principle, with a natural and a
spiritual alteration, the natural alteration precedes the spiritual
alteration, just as natural precedes intentional being. If however a
thing be naturally adapted to be altered only with a spiritual alteration
it does not follow that it is altered naturally. For instance the air is
not receptive of color, according to its natural being, but only
according to its spiritual being, wherefore in this way alone is it
altered: whereas, on the contrary, inanimate bodies are altered by
sensible qualities only naturally and not spiritually. But in the
glorified bodies there cannot be any natural alteration, and consequently
there will be only spiritual alteration.
Reply to Objection 3: Just as there will be new reception of species in the
organs of sensation, so there will be new judgment in the common sense:
but there will be no new judgment on the point in the intellect; such is
the case with one who sees what he knew before. The saying of Augustine,
that "there our thoughts will not be changeable," refers to the thoughts
of the intellectual part: therefore it is not to the point.
Reply to Objection 4: When one of two things is the type of the other, the
attention of the soul to the one does not hinder or lessen its attention
to the other: thus a physician while considering urine is not less but
more able to bear in mind the rules of his art concerning the colors of
urine. And since God is apprehended by the saints as the type of all
things that will be done or known by them, their attention to perceiving
sensibles, or to contemplating or doing anything else will nowise hinder
their contemplation of God, nor conversely. Or we may say that the reason
why one power is hindered in its act when another power is intensely
engaged is because one power does not alone suffice for such an intense
operation, unless it be assisted by receiving from the principle of life
the inflow that the other powers or members should receive. And since in
the saints all the powers will be most perfect, one will be able to
operate intensely without thereby hindering the operation of another
power even as it was with Christ.
Article 4: Whether in the blessed, after the resurrection, all the senses will be in act?
Objection 1: It would seem that all the senses are not in act there. For touch
is the first of all the senses (De Anima ii, 2). But the glorified body
will lack the actual sense of touch, since the sense of touch becomes
actual by the alteration of an animal body by some external body
preponderating in some one of the active or passive qualities which touch
is capable of discerning: and such an alteration will then be impossible.
Therefore all the senses will not be in act there.
Objection 2: Further, the sense of taste assists the action of the nutritive
power. Now after the resurrection there will be no such action, as stated
above (Question , Article ). Therefore taste would be useless there.
Objection 3: Further, nothing will be corrupted after the resurrection because
the whole creature will be invested with a certain virtue of
incorruption. Now the sense of smell cannot have its act without some
corruption having taken place, because smell is not perceived without a
volatile evaporation consisting in a certain dissolution. Therefore the
sense of smell is not there in its act.
Objection 4: Further, "Hearing assists teaching" (De Sensu et Sensato i). But
the blessed, after the resurrection, will require no teaching by means of
sensible objects, since they will be filled with Divine wisdom by the
very vision of God. Therefore hearing will not be there.
Objection 5: Further. seeing results from the pupil receiving the species of
the thing seen. But after the resurrection this will be impossible in the
blessed. Therefore there will be no actual seeing there, and yet this is
the most noble of the senses. The minor is proved thus: That which is
actually lightsome is not receptive of a visible species; and
consequently a mirror placed under the sun's rays does not reflect the
image of a body opposite to it. Now the pupil like the whole body will be
endowed with clarity. Therefore it will not receive the image of a
Objection 6: Further, according to the science of perspective, whatever is
seen is seen at an angle. But this does not apply to the glorified
bodies. Therefore they will not have actual sense of sight. The minor is
proved thus. Whenever a thing is seen at an angle, the angle must be
proportionate to the distance of the object seen: because what is seen
from a greater distance is less seen and at a lesser angle, so that the
angle may be so small that nothing is seen of the object. Therefore if
the glorified eye sees at an angle, it follows that it sees things within
a certain distance, and that consequently it does not see a thing from a
greater distance than we see now: and this would seem very absurd. And
thus it would seem that the sense of sight will not be actual in
On the contrary, A power conjoined to its act is more perfect than one
not so conjoined. Now human nature in the blessed will be in its greatest
perfection. Therefore all the senses will be actual there.
Further, the sensitive powers are nearer to the soul than the body is.
But the body will be rewarded or punished on account of the merits or
demerits of the soul. Therefore all the senses in the blessed will also
be rewarded and in the wicked will be punished, with regard to pleasure
and pain or sorrow which consist in the operation of the senses.
I answer that, There are two opinions on this question. For some say
that in the glorified bodies there will be all the sensitive powers, but
that only two senses will be in act, namely touch and sight; nor will
this be owing to defective senses, but from lack of medium and object;
and that the senses will not be useless, because they will conduce to the
integrity of human nature and will show forth the wisdom of their
Creator. But this is seemingly untrue, because the medium in these senses
is the same as in the others. For in the sight the medium is the air, and
this is also the medium in hearing and smelling (De Anima ii, 7). Again,
the taste, like the touch, has the medium in contact, since taste is a
kind of touch (De Anima ii, 9). Smell also which is the object of the
sense of smell will be there, since the Church sings that the bodies of
the saints will be a most sweet smell. There will also be vocal praise in
heaven; hence a gloss says on Ps. 149:6, "The high praises of God shall
be in their mouth" that "hearts and tongues shall not cease to praise
God." The same is had on the authority of a gloss on 2 Esdra 12:27, "With
singing and with cymbals." Wherefore, according to others we may say that
smelling and hearing will be in act there, but taste will not be in act,
in the sense of being affected by the taking of food or drink, as appears
from what we have said (Question , Article ): unless perchance we say that there
will be taste in act through the tongue being affected by some
Reply to Objection 1: The qualities perceived by the touch are those which
constitute the animal body. Wherefore the body of an animal has, through
its tangible qualities according to the present state of life, a natural
aptitude to be affected with a natural and spiritual alteration by the
object of touch. For this reason the touch is said to be the most
material of the senses, since it has a greater measure of material
alteration connected with it. Yet material alteration is only
accidentally related to the act of sensation which is effected by a
spiritual alteration. Consequently the glorified bodies, which by reason
of their impassibility are immune from natural alteration, will be
subject only to spiritual alteration by tangible qualities. Thus it was
with the body of Adam, which could neither be burned by fire, nor pierced
by sword, although he had the sense of such things.
Reply to Objection 2: Taste, in so far as it is the perception of food, will not
be in act; but perhaps it will be possible in so far as it is cognizant
of flavors in the way mentioned above.
Reply to Objection 3: Some have considered smell to be merely a volatile
evaporation. But this opinion cannot be true; which is evident from the
fact that vultures hasten to a corpse on perceiving the odor from a very
great distance, whereas it would be impossible for an evaporation to
travel from the corpse to a place so remote, even though the whole corpse
were to be dissolved into vapor. This is confirmed by the fact that
sensible objects at an equal distance exercise their influence in all
directions: so that smell affects the medium sometimes, and the
instrument of sensation with a spiritual alteration, without any
evaporation reaching the organ. That some evaporation should be necessary
is due to the fact that smell in bodies is mixed with humidity; wherefore
it is necessary for dissolution to take place in order for the smell to
be perceived. But in the glorified bodies odor will be in its ultimate
perfection, being nowise hampered by humidity: wherefore it will affect
the organ with a spiritual alteration, like the odor of a volatile
evaporation. Such will be the sense of smell in the saints, because it
will not be hindered by any humidity: and it will take cognizance not
only of the excellences of odors, as happens with us now on account of
the very great humidity of the brain, but also of the minutest
differences of odors.
Reply to Objection 4: In heaven there will be vocal praise (though indeed some think otherwise), and in the blessed it will affect the organ of hearing by a merely spiritual alteration. Nor will it be for the sake of learning whereby they may acquire knowledge, but for the sake of the perfection of the sense and for the sake pleasure. How it is possible for the voice to give sound there, we have already stated (Sent. ii, D, 2; Question , Article , ad 5).
Reply to Objection 5: The intensity of light does not hinder the spiritual
reception of the image of color, so long as the pupil retains its
diaphanous nature; thus it is evident that however much the air be filled
with light, it can be the medium of sight, and the more it is illumined,
the more clearly are objects seen through it, unless there be a fault
through defective sight. The fact that the image of an object placed in
opposition to a mirror directly opposite the sun's rays does not appear
therein, is not due to the reception being hindered, but to the hindering
of reflection: because for an image to appear in a mirror it must needs
be thrown back by an opaque body, for which reason lead is affixed to the
glass in a mirror. The sun's ray dispels this opacity so that no image
can appear in the mirror. But the clarity of a glorified body does not
destroy the diaphanous nature of the pupil, since glory does not destroy
nature; and consequently the greatness of clarity in the pupil renders
the sight keen rather than defective.
Reply to Objection 6: The more perfect the sense the less does it require to be
altered in order to perceive its object. Now the smaller the angle at
which the sight is affected by the visible object, the less is the organ
altered. Hence it is that a stronger sight can see from a distance more
than a weaker sight; because the greater the distance the smaller the
angle at which a thing is seen. And since the sight of a glorified body
will be most perfect it will be able to see by the very least alteration
(of the organ); and consequently at a very much smaller angle than now,
and therefore from a much greater distance.