Verba Dei arcana
Hidden words of God
12:3 Et scio hujusmodi hominem sive in corpore, sive extra corpus nescio, Deus scit: [n. 458]
12:3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I do not know: God knows): [n. 458]
12:4 quoniam raptus est in paradisum: et audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui. [n. 461]
12:4 That he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. [n. 461]
12:5 Pro hujusmodi gloriabor: pro me autem nihil gloriabor nisi in infirmitatibus meis. [n. 464]
12:5 For such a one, I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. [n. 464]
12:6 Nam etsi voluero gloriari, non ero insipiens: veritatem enim dicam: parco autem, ne quis me existimet supra id quod videt in me, aut aliquid audit ex me. [n. 468]
12:6 For even if I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think more of me than what he sees in me, or anything he hears from me. [n. 468]
458. Posito primo raptu, ponitur consequenter secundus raptus. Et duo facit:
458. Having spoken of the first rapture, the Apostle speaks of a second rapture.
primo ponitur raptus,
First, he mentions the rapture;
secundo raptus excellentia, ibi audivit arcana, et cetera.
second, its excellence, at and heard secret words.
459. Sed notandum, quod Glossa dicit istum raptum esse alium a primo. Et si bene consideretur, bis legitur aliquid de Apostolo, ad quod possunt isti duo raptus referri. Nam Act. IX, 9 legitur de eo quod stetit tribus diebus non videns et nihil manducans, neque bibens, et ad hoc potest referri primus raptus, ut scilicet tunc fuerit raptus usque ad tertium caelum. Sed Act. XXII, 17 legitur quod factus est in templo in stupore mentis, et ad hoc refertur iste secundus raptus.
459. It should be noted that a Gloss says that this rapture was distinct from the first, and if one considers the matter well, two things are written of the Apostle to which these two raptures can be referred. For in Acts it is recorded that he remained for three days without seeing and without taking food or drink (Acts 9:9); and the first rapture can be referred to this event, namely, that he was rapt to the third heaven at that time. But in Acts it also says that he was in a trance in the temple (Acts 22:17); hence the second rapture can refer to this.
Sed hoc non videtur verisimile, quia quando in stupore mentis factus fuit, missus iam fuerat in carcerem Apostolus; sed hanc epistolam scripsit Apostolus diu ante, unde prius scripta fuit haec epistola, quam Apostolus fuisset in stupore.
But this does not seem to be a similar case, because when he was in the trance, the Apostle had been cast into prison; but the Apostle wrote this epistle long before that, whence before this letter was written, the Apostle had been in a trance.
Et ideo dicendum est, quod differt iste raptus a primo, quantum ad id in quod raptus est. Nam in primo raptus est in tertium caelum; in secundo vero in Paradisum Dei.
Therefore it must be said that this rapture differs from the first in regard to that into which he was rapt. For in the first rapture he had been rapt to the third heaven, but in the second to the paradise of God
460. Si vero aliquis tertium caelum acciperet corporaliter, secundum primam acceptionem caelorum superius positam, vel si fuerit visio imaginaria, posset similiter dicere paradisum corporalem, ut diceretur quod fuerit raptus in paradisum terrestrem.
460. But if you take the third heaven in a corporeal sense according to the first acceptation of the heavens, as mentioned above, or if it was an imaginary vision, it could be called a bodily paradise, so that he was rapt to an earthly paradise.
Sed hoc est contra intentionem Augustini, secundum quem dicimus, quod fuit raptus in tertium caelum, id est visionem intelligibilium, secundum quod in se ipsis et in propriis naturis videntur, ut supra dictum est. Unde secundum hoc oportet non aliud intelligere per caelum, et aliud per paradisum, sed unum et idem per utrumque, scilicet gloriam sanctorum, sed secundum aliud et aliud.
But this is against the author’s intention, according to whom we say that he was rapt to the third heaven, i.e., to a vision of intelligible things according to which they are seen in themselves and in their own natures, as has been said above. Hence, according to this we must not understand one thing by heaven and another by paradise, but one and the same thing by both, namely, the glory of the saints, but according to one thing in one case and according to another thing in the other case.
Caelum enim dicit altitudinem quamdam cum claritate, paradisus vero quamdam iucundam suavitatem. In sanctis autem beatis et angelis Deum videntibus sunt excellenter haec duo, quia est in eis excellentissima claritas, qua Deum vident, et summa suavitas, qua Deo fruuntur. Et ideo dicuntur esse in caelo quantum ad claritatem, et in paradiso quantum ad suavitatem. Is. LXVI, 14: videbitis et gaudebitis, et cetera.
For heaven suggests a certain loftiness accompanied by brightness, but paradise a certain joyful pleasantness. Now these two things are present in an excellent way in the saints and angels who see God, because there is present in them a most excellent brightness by which they see God, and a supreme agreeableness by which they enjoy God. Therefore, they are said to be in heaven as to the brightness and in paradise as to the pleasantness. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice (Isa 66:14).
Fuit ergo utrumque collatum Apostolo, ut scilicet sublimaretur ad illam altissimam claritatem cognitionis, et hoc significat cum dicit ad tertium caelum, et ut sentiret suavitatem divinae dulcedinis, unde dicit in paradisum. Ps. XXX, 20: magna multitudo dulcedinis tuae, et cetera. Apoc. II, 17: vincenti dabo manna absconditum, et cetera. Et ista dulcedo est gaudium de divina fruitione, de qua Matth. XXV, 21 dicitur intra in gaudium Domini tui.
Therefore, both of these were conferred on the Apostle, namely to be raised up to that most excellent clearness of knowledge, which he signifies when he says, to the third heaven, and to experience the agreeableness of the divine sweetness; hence he says, into paradise: O how great is the multitude of your sweetness, O Lord (Ps 31:20); to him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna (Rev 2:17). This sweetness is the delight experienced in enjoying God, and is mentioned: enter into the joy of your master (Matt 25:13).
Sic ergo patet terminus raptus, quia in paradisum, id est in eam dulcedinem, qua indeficienter reficiuntur illi, qui sunt in caelesti Ierusalem.
Thus the terminus of the rapture is clear, namely, into paradise, i.e., into that sweetness with which those who are in the heavenly Jerusalem are unceasingly refreshed.
461. Sequitur consequenter ipsius raptus excellentia, quia audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui. Et hoc potest dupliciter exponi. Uno modo, ut homini construatur cum licet et loqui; et sensus est: audivit arcana verba, id est percepit intima cognitione, secreta de Dei essentia quasi per verba, quae scilicet verba non est licitum ut homini dicantur.
461. Then he mentions the excellence of that rapture, because he heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. This can be explained in two ways: in one way so that the word, man, is construed with granted to and utter. Then the sense is this: he heard secret words, i.e., he perceived an intimate understanding of God’s secret essence, as though by words, which words it is not lawful to be uttered by a man.
Alio modo, ut homini construatur solum cum non licet, et tunc est sensus: audivit verba, etc., quae verba non licet homini loqui, homini scilicet imperfecto.
In the other way, so that man is construed only with not granted to. Then the sense is this: he heard words, which it is not lawful to utter to a man, i.e., to an imperfect man.
462. Sciendum autem, quod secundum Augustinum, Paulus est raptus ad videndum divinam essentiam, quae quidem non potest videri per aliquam similitudinem creatam. Unde manifestum est, quod illud quod Paulus vidit de essentia divina nulla lingua humana potest dici, alias Deus non esset incomprehensibilis.
462. But it should be noted according to Augustine that Paul was rapt to a vision of the divine essence, which of course, cannot be seen by any created likeness. Hence, it is clear that what Paul saw of the divine essence cannot be described by any human tongue; otherwise, God would not be incomprehensible.
Et ideo secundum primam expositionem dicendum est audivit, id est consideravit arcana verba, id est magnificentiam divinitatis, quam nullus homo potest loqui.
Therefore, according to the first explanation it must be said: he heard, i.e., considered, secret words, i.e., the magnificence of the godhead, which no man can utter.
Dicit autem audivit pro vidit, quia illa consideratio fuit secundum interiorem actum animae, in quo idem est auditus et visus, secundum quod dicitur Num. XII, 8: ore ad os loquitur ei et palam, et cetera. Dicitur autem illa consideratio visio, inquantum Deus videtur in hoc, et locutio, inquantum homo in ipsa instruitur de divinis.
He says heard for saw because that consideration was according to an interior act of the soul, in which the same is heard and seen, as it is said: for I speak to him mouth to mouth (Num 12:8). That consideration is called a vision, inasmuch as God is seen in it; and an utterance inasmuch as man is instructed about divine things in it.
463. Et quia huiusmodi spiritualia non sunt pandenda simplicibus et imperfectis, sed perfectis, secundum quod dicitur I Cor. II, 6: sapientiam loquimur inter perfectos, ideo, secundo modo, exponitur quod secreta, quae ibi audivit, non licet mihi loqui homini, id est imperfectis, sed spiritualibus, inter quos loquimur sapientiam. Prov. XXV, 2: gloria Dei est celare verbum, id est hoc ipsum, quod necesse est celare magnalia Dei, pertinet ad gloriam Dei. Psalmus secundum translationem Hieronymi: tibi silet laus, Deus, id est quod incomprehensibilis est verbis nostris.
463. And because such spiritual things are not to be disclosed to the simple and imperfect, but to the perfect, as it is said: yet among the mature we do impart wisdom (1 Cor 2:6), it is explained in the second way, so that the secrets he heard there it is not granted to man to utter, i.e., to the imperfect, but to the spiritual, among whom we speak wisdom: it is the glory of God to conceal things (Prov 25:2), i.e., the fact that it is necessary to conceal the marvelous things of God pertains to God’s glory. The psalm is according to the translation of Jerome: your praise, O God, is silent to you (Ps 108:2), that is, cannot be comprehended by our words.
464. Deinde cum dicit pro huiusmodi gloriabor, etc., ostendit quomodo se habet ad gloriam. Et
464. Then when he says, for such a one, I will glory, he shows how he reacted to this glory.
circa hoc tria facit.
In regard to this he does three things.
Primo ostendit se non gloriari de huiusmodi revelationibus;
First, he shows that he did not glory in such revelations;
secundo insinuat se habere aliquid praeter illud unde gloriari possit, ibi nam et si voluero, etc.;
second, he suggests that he has something else in which to glory, at for even if I should have a mind to glory;
tertio assignat causam, quare non gloriatur de omnibus, ibi parco autem, ne quis, et cetera.
third, he gives the reason why he does not glory about all things, at but I forbear, lest any man.
465. Circa primum sciendum est, quod hoc quod dicit pro huiusmodi autem gloriabor, etc., potest dupliciter legi.
465. In regard to the first it should be noted that the statement, for such a one, I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities, can be read in two ways.
Uno modo, ut Apostolus ostendat se esse ipsum pro quo gloriatur, ut scilicet ipse sit qui vidit has visiones; alio modo, ut ostendat quod alius sit qui vidit has visiones.
In one way so that the Apostle is showing that he is the one in whom he glories, i.e., that he is the one who saw these visions. In another way, to show that it was someone else who saw these visions.
Sciendum est enim, quod in homine duo possunt considerari, scilicet donum Dei et humana conditio. Si ergo aliquis gloriatur in aliquo dono Dei, ut a Deo accepto, illa est bona gloria, quia sic in domino gloriatur, ut dictum est supra, X, 17. Sed si gloriatur de illo dono, sicut a se habito, tunc mala est gloriatio huiusmodi. I Cor. IV, 7: quid habes quod non accepisti? Si autem accepisti, quid gloriaris quasi non acceperis?
For it should be noted that there are two things to consider in man, namely, the gift of God and the human condition. If a person glories in a gift of God as received from God, that glorying is good, as has been stated above (2 Cor 10:17). But if he glories in that gift as though he had it of himself, then such glorying is evil: what have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? (1 Cor 4:7).
Dicit ergo Apostolus, secundum hoc: pro huiusmodi, scilicet visionibus et donis Dei mihi collatis, gloriabor, pro me autem non, id est non gloriabor inde, quasi a me acceperim, quia a Deo habui. Sed si pro me oportet gloriari, nihil gloriabor, nisi in infirmitatibus meis, id est non habeo unde possim gloriari, nisi de infirma conditione mea.
According to this, therefore, the Apostle says, for such a one, namely, for the visions and gifts conferred on me by God, I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing, i.e., will not glory in them as though I were their source, because I had them from God. But if I must glory for myself, I will glory nothing but in my infirmities, i.e., I have nothing in which I can glory save in my own condition.
466. Si autem exponatur, ut ostendat alium esse, qui vidit, etsi ipse sit, tunc est sensus, ut quasi loquatur de quodam alio, dicens pro huiusmodi gloriabor, id est pro illo homine, qui hoc vidit et qui haec dona recepit, gloriabor; sed pro me, quasi velim manifestare me esse talem, nihil gloriabor, nisi in infirmitatibus meis, id est de tribulationibus quas patior.
466. But if it is explained as showing that it was someone else who saw, even if it was he, then the sense is as though he were speaking of someone, saying, for such a one, I will glory, i.e., for the man who saw this and who received these gifts I will glory; but for myself as wishing to show that I am such a one, I will glory nothing but in my infirmities, i.e., in the tribulations I suffer.
467. Sed quia isti possent sibi dicere: O Apostole, non est mirum si non gloriaris, quia non habes unde glorieris; ideo Apostolus ostendit quod etiam praeter illas visiones habet aliquid unde possit gloriari, dicens: licet pro huiusmodi homine glorier, et non pro me, tamen etiam bene pro me possum gloriari. Nam, si voluero gloriari, etc., vel pro huiusmodi tribulationibus, vel pro aliis mihi a Deo collatis, vel etiam pro infirmitatibus, non ero insipiens, id est non insipienter agam. Et quare? Veritatem enim dicam de aliis, de quibus praeter dictas visiones gloriari possum.
467. But because they could say to him, O Apostle, it is not strange that you do not glory, because you have nothing in which to glory, he shows that even besides these visions he has something in which to glory. Although I might glory in such a man and not in myself, yet I can rightfully glory in myself, for even if I should have a mind to glory either in such tribulations or in other things bestowed on me by God, or even for my infirmity, I shall not be foolish, i.e., I will not act foolishly. Why? For I will say the truth about the other things in which I can glory besides those visions.
Dicit autem non ero insipiens, quia gloriabatur de his quae habebat. Quando enim gloriatur quis de his quae non habet, stulte gloriatur. Apoc. III, 17: dicis quia dives sum, et nullius egeo, et nescis, et cetera. Et quia gloriabatur ex causa sufficienti, ut ex praedictis est manifestum.
He says, I shall not be foolish, because he gloried in the things he had; for when a person glories in things he does not have, he is speaking foolishly: for you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Rev 3:17); and because he gloried with sufficient reason, as is clear from the foregoing.
468. Consequenter autem cum dicit parco autem, etc., ostendit rationem quare non gloriatur de omnibus si potest gloriari; quae quidem ratio est, ut eis parcat.
468. Then when he says, but I forbear, he indicates the reason he does not glory in everything, if he can glory, the reason being that he wishes to spare them.