Short post. I’ve been reading Aquinas’s commentary on John lately (particularly, examining his Christology and Incarnational/Two Nature theory). Anyway, ran across this text of his about God ordaining punishment. I’ve written on this before: in particular Aquinas seemed to hold that God ordains punishment (even eternal, never ending, tormenting punishment) for the “perfecting of the universe.” This to me seems a wicked thing to do, and inconsistent with saying that God loves creatures. Anyway, here is the quote.
Commenting on John 17:11
A Gloss says that a “son of death is one who is predestined to perdition.” It is not customary to say that one is predestined to evil, and so here we should understand predestination in its general meaning of knowledge or orientation. Actually, predestination is always directed to what is good, because it has the double effect of grace and glory; and it is God who directs us to each of these. Two things are involved in reprobation: guilt, and punishment in time. And God ordains a person to only one of these, that is, punishment, and even this is not for its own sake. That the scripture, in which you predicted that he would betray me ‑ “Wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me” (Ps 109:2) ‑ might be fulfilled.