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Whether charity remains after this life, in glory?

Objection 1: It would seem that charity does not remain after this life, in glory. Because according to 1 Cor. 13:10, "when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part," i.e. that which is imperfect, "shall be done away." Now the charity of the wayfarer is imperfect. Therefore it will be done away when the perfection of glory is attained.

Objection 2: Further, habits and acts are differentiated by their objects. But the object of love is good apprehended. Since therefore the apprehension of the present life differs from the apprehension of the life to come, it seems that charity is not the same in both cases.

Objection 3: Further, things of the same kind can advance from imperfection to perfection by continuous increase. But the charity of the wayfarer can never attain to equality with the charity of heaven, however much it be increased. Therefore it seems that the charity of the wayfarer does not remain in heaven.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:8): "Charity never falleth away."

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]), when the imperfection of a thing does not belong to its specific nature, there is nothing to hinder the identical thing passing from imperfection to perfection, even as man is perfected by growth, and whiteness by intensity. Now charity is love, the nature of which does not include imperfection, since it may relate to an object either possessed or not possessed, either seen or not seen. Therefore charity is not done away by the perfection of glory, but remains identically the same.

Reply to Objection 1: The imperfection of charity is accidental to it; because imperfection is not included in the nature of love. Now although that which is accidental to a thing be withdrawn, the substance remains. Hence the imperfection of charity being done away, charity itself is not done away.

Reply to Objection 2: The object of charity is not knowledge itself; if it were, the charity of the wayfarer would not be the same as the charity of heaven: its object is the thing known, which remains the same, viz. God Himself.

Reply to Objection 3: The reason why charity of the wayfarer cannot attain to the perfection of the charity of heaven, is a difference on the part of the cause: for vision is a cause of love, as stated in Ethic. ix, 5: and the more perfectly we know God, the more perfectly we love Him.

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