C. AGILITY OF THE BODY

Agility means will be in complete dominion of the soul.

Earth: copyright 2001 The Living Earth/http://livingearth.com

We live on a moving planet which rotates at 25,000mph, revolves around the sun at 45,000mph and our solar system moves toward the constellation Herculis at 66,000mph.

Our body is bound to earth by gravity. Each of us is born on one spot on earth, moves here and there and finally dies on another place on earth. Even in outer space, we can never fully escape gravity and if we could, we would die.

We have learned to travel faster by use of our machines and even dream of reaching the stars, but for most of us it is just a dream, or is it?

How Is this dream to be realized?

The Ascension reveals the movement of Christ in his transfigured body from earth to Heaven.
In Acts 1:9 we read:

"As they [the apostles] were looking on,
he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight."

Cardinal Avery Dulles states that the risen body is no longer governed by the laws of physics because it is totally under the dominion of the soul.

It is in the nature of the human soul to be open to the universe through its body. The human body extends further than its skin since it cannot survive without gravity, air and sunlight. Our human senses allow us to gather information and our ability to move gives the human intelligent person a role to play in the cosmic nature of things.

Karl Rahner says that with death, the surrendering of our bodily limitations, the soul becomes pancosmic, or fully open toward the universe, and in some way becomes a "co-ordinating factor of the universe as the ground of the personal life of other spiritual corporal beings."20

Does the resurrection of the body mean the loss of the soul's openness toward the universe? Karl Rahner once again states: "A corporeality which is the actual expression of spirit, though concrete, remains open for maintaining or entering into a free and unhampered relation with all things."

What is the purpose of movement of the risen body? None other than St. Thomas Aquinas gives us an answer: "It is likely that they will sometimes move according as it pleases them; so that by actually putting into practice that which is in their power, they may show forth the excellence of Divine Wisdom, and that furthermore their vision may be refreshed by the beauty of the variety of creatures, in which God's wisdom will shine forth with great evidence." (Summa Q.84, Art 2) Their movement will not lessen their happiness since God will be everywhere present to them.

Lastly we must consider the body's movement among the heavenly dwelling places because Christ said:
"In my Father's house
there are many dwelling places."(Jn 14:2)

Fractal art: Courtesy of Doug Harrington

This indicates that a fitting place is assigned to each glorified body befitting his or her dignity. St. Thomas says that since the place is a reward, it is not diminished when the body is outside its place, that is, the place receives its splendor from the glorified body. (Q.84, Art. 2, reply to Objection 5)

St. Augustine sees the agility also expressed in bodily movements as follows:

"The movements of our bodies
will be of such unimaginable beauty
...such poise, such grace, such beauty
as becomes a place where
nothing unbecoming will be found."
(City of God, Book XXII, Ch. 30)

But, what are we to say of the bodies of the damned?

St. Paul tells us:
"Behold, I tell you a mystery.
We shall all indeed rise again:
but we shall not all be changed." (1Cor. 15:51)
From the Douay-Rheims version of theBible

The bodies of the damned will not be agile, that is, obeying the soul without difficulty, but rather ponderous and heavy and unsupportable to the soul, even as their soul by disobedience turned away from God. 21 Here the law of universal gravity will make them suffer in their struggle to move within the limited sphere of their
hellish domain.