Creation’s final praise

Anselm ( Cur Deus Homo , 1.18) offers this lovely description of the consummation of all things.

Creation consists on the one hand of the blessed city that is being built and brought to consummation. Physical creation is also destined to be renewed into something better ( in melius renovandam nec hoc futurum esse ). The latter immediately follows the former, because the higher ( maior ) nature has to be perfected before the lesser ( minor ).

The characteristic of the greater nature is that it is obliged to enjoy God ( Deo frui deberet ), and this it can do because it has the power of will. Yet the lesser creation that is renewed still “rejoices in its own way.” God will make this possible because through His ordinance “an insensible creature” will display naturaliter what is brought to pass by will in a rational nature.”

The result ill be a co-rejoicing ( congaudendo ) of rational beings and lesser creation, each in its own way “joining in eternal rejoicing in its Creator and in itself and in their mutual relations to one another, upon this final fulfillment of itself, so glorious and so amazing.”

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