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Summa Theologica by Aquinas

Whether all will rise again of the same stature?

Objection 1: It would seem that all will rise again of the same stature. For just as man is measured by dimensive quantity, so is he by the quantity of time. Now the quantity of time will be reduced to the same measure in all, since all will rise again of the same age. Therefore the dimensive quantity will also be reduced to the same measure in all, so that all will rise again of the same stature.

Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 4) that |all things in nature have a certain limit end measure of size and growth.| Now this limitation can only arise by virtue of the form, with which the quantity as well as all the other accidents ought to agree. Therefore since all men have the same specific form, there should be the same measure of quantity in respect of matter in all, unless an error should occur. But the error of nature will be set right at the resurrection. Therefore all will rise again of the same stature.

Objection 3: Further, it will be impossible for man in rising again to be of a quantity proportionate to the natural power which first formed his body; for otherwise those who could not be brought to a greater quantity by the power of nature will never rise again of a greater quantity, which is false. Therefore that quantity must needs be proportionate to the power which will restore the human body by the resurrection, and to the matter from which it is restored. Now the selfsame, namely the Divine, power will restore all bodies; and all the ashes from which the human bodies will be restored are equally disposed to receive the action of that power. Therefore the resurrection of all men will bring them to the same quantity: and so the same conclusion follows.

On the contrary, Natural quantity results from each individual's nature. Now the nature of the individual will not be altered at the resurrection. Therefore neither will its natural quantity. But all are not of the same natural quantity. Therefore all will not rise again of the same stature.

Further, human nature will be restored by resurrection unto glory or unto punishment. But there will not be the same quantity of glory or punishment in all those who rise again. Neither therefore will there be the same quantity of stature.

I answer that, At the resurrection human nature will be restored not only in the self-same species but also in the selfsame individual: and consequently we must observe in the resurrection what is requisite not only to the specific but also to the individual nature. Now the specific nature has a certain quantity which it neither exceeds nor fails without error, and yet this quantity has certain degrees of latitude and is not to be attached to one fixed measure; and each individual in the human species aims at some degree of quantity befitting his individual nature within the bounds of that latitude, and reaches it at the end of his growth, if there has been no error in the working of nature, resulting in the addition of something to or the subtraction of something from the aforesaid quantity: the measure whereof is gauged according to the proportion of heat as expanding, and of humidity as expansive, in point of which all are not of the same power. Therefore all will not rise again of the same quantity, but each one will rise again of that quantity which would have been his at the end of his growth if nature had not erred or failed: and the Divine power will subtract or supply what was excessive or lacking in man.

Reply to Objection 1: It has already been explained (A, ad 2) that all are said to rise again of the same age, not as though the same length of time were befitting to each one, but because the same state of perfection will be in all, which state is indifferent to a great or small quantity.

Reply to Objection 2: The quantity of a particular individual corresponds not only to the form of the species, but also to the nature or matter of the individual: wherefore the conclusion does not follow.

Reply to Objection 3: The quantity of those who will be raised from the dead is not proportionate to the restoring power, because the latter does not belong to the power of the body -- -nor to the ashes, as to the state in which they are before the resurrection -- -but to nature which the individual had at first. Nevertheless if the formative power on account of some defect was unable to effect the due quantity that is befitting to the species, the Divine power will supply the defect at the resurrection, as in dwarfs, and in like manner in those who by immoderate size have exceeded the due bounds of nature.

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