Easter: The Fulfillment of Philosophy

There is a sense in which the Resurrection of the Body transcends philosophy while it is at the same time complimentary to it. Natural reason teaches that man has an immortal soul that does, in fact, persist at the death of the body. The soul, though, is essentially the form of the body, and it therefore draws its identity from the matter that it informs. This is true even after death. In other words, my soul is still the actualizing principle of the matter out of which I am made. Now once I am dead, my soul is no longer animating my body in order to sustain the matter-form compound that is myself, but it must still bear this relation to me somehow. This means that, after death, the soul is still what it is because of the matter that it once informed.

Philosophy finishes speaking to us at this point. Natural reason cannot guide us any further along the road, but it is certainly suggestive. A person cannot be a person without both body and soul, so even though the soul persists after death there is a sort of incompleteness about it. This holds true even of the blessed in heaven. We are by our nature composites of matter and form, so there is, in a sense, something unnatural about our souls persisting perpetually after death without the body.

We have been shown, though, that this unnatural separation cannot continue eternally. Philosophy has not shown us this, but philosophy guides us towards this conclusion. We need something, then, that fulfills philosophy in all of its limitations. We need an answer to this question. How can we be shown whether or not death, the separation of the soul (form) and body (matter), is final?

By The One Who Has Conquered Death.

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