Can anyone explain "What eye hath not seen"? St. Paul


#1

I’m going to try this again, by clarifying my question. Read if you will the passage from St. Paul below:

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.

9 But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But to us God hath revealed them, by this Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God; that we may know the things that are given us from God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the learned words of human wisdom; but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Is the “That eye has not seen…” part referring to Heaven? Our CCC 1027 says yes, but so many non-Catholic commentators say no.

Which is it?** Can anyone speak to this for me?**


#2

There has to be some people who can offer some insight here no? There seems to be a lot of experts around, but no one for this passage?

I’ve read some eloquent responses on other threads. I remain hopeful! :slight_smile:


#3

It can be interpreted more than one way, since we do not know the full circumstances which prompted St. Paul to write this mysterious verse.

It can refer to heaven and the delights of the Beautific Vision–it certainly lends itself to that interpretation and I think it’s a good one for us in our day, but I’m not sure that’s what St. Paul had in mind. He may have been referring to the great things God was yet to do, such as convert the whole of Europe when that seemed like an impossibility at the time. Or he may have been thinking of the words of Jesus when he said, “Greater things than this shall you do.” Jesus directed this to his disciples, knowing that they would do what he, in his limited human pre-resurrection form, could not do–take the Gospel to the whole world.

Scripture often has more than one meaning. As the CCC tells us:

The four ways of interpreting Scripture: #s 115-119.

The senses of Scripture
115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83
117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.84
  2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.85
  3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86
    118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
    The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
    The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87

119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgment. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.89

I hope that helps you. :slight_smile:


#4

It absolutely does help me thank you so much! It is a very thoughtful response! - but can I ask you one further question if I may? :slight_smile:

Then do I under stand from a reading of CCC 1027 - where it states:

** "This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.**”

That we are to understand that St. Paul did mean to allude towards Heaven with this passage?


#5

Not necessarily. The quotation of this verse in the CCC does not mean that this is the only viable interpretation. Rather, it merely signifies that which it is meant to–that we have a home prepared for us in heaven. Alluding to a verse is commonly used to bolster a position, but it does not mean that it is the only way we can read that verse.


#6

Thank you and bless you!


#7

:tiphat:


#8

Yes!
Wonderful answer. Thank you Della.
I feel sorry for Paul. He was so sure of his Righteousness before his conversion, the shock of his trip to Damascus must have almost killed him.
And of course, he was blinded by it. Blinded to the world, he could experience what no eye could see. It was evidently more compelling than all his considerable learning and human understanding.

Coming before the Blessed Sacrament would not mean anything if there was not something there that the eye cannot see. So Catholics accept invisible truth all the time.

“The Lamp of the Body”, the temple lamp within us, is that not what we should learn to “see” with?


#9

[quote="Columba_Tom, post:8, topic:344443"]
Yes!

Wonderful answer. Thank you Della.
I feel sorry for Paul. He was so sure of his Righteousness before his conversion, the shock of his trip to Damascus must have almost killed him.
And of course, he was blinded by it. Blinded to the world, he could experience what no eye could see. It was evidently more compelling than all his considerable learning and human understanding.

Coming before the Blessed Sacrament would not mean anything if there was not something there that the eye cannot see. So Catholics accept invisible truth all the time.

"The Lamp of the Body", the temple lamp within us, is that not what we should learn to "see" with?

[/quote]

Fantastic stuff. Thanks for offering this insight!


#10

From the beginning of the world they have not heard, nor perceived with the ears: the eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee, what things thou hast prepared for them that wait for thee. (Is 64:4 D-R)-The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate (Is 64:4).

Never was deliverance more unexpected or miraculous. S. Paul quotes this passage, to shew the wisdom manifested in the incarnation. 1 Cor. 2:9. It is commonly applied to the glory of heaven.-Haydock, G. L. (1859).

The work is redemption; 1 Cor 2:9. Heaven CCC 1027) is redemption’s destination,
Paul quotes from the Prophet Isaiah:

Never was deliverance more unexpected or miraculous. S. Paul quotes this passage, to shew the wisdom manifested in the incarnation. 1 Cor. 2:9. It is commonly applied to the glory of heaven.-Haydock, G. L. (1859). (Is 64:4).


#11

Thank you!! :slight_smile:


#12

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