Friday, July 19, 2019

"When my spirit is faint, thou knowest my way."

     Ps 142:3a RSV.

בְּהִתְעַטֵּ֬ף עָלַ֨י רוּחִ֗י וְאַתָּה֮ יָדַ֪עְתָּ נְֽתִיבָ֫תִ֥י

When my spirit faints away on me, you know my path.
When my courage [(רוּחִ֗י)] fails me, you know where the [trap-free] footfalls are (v. 3b).

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sola fide

"The presence of Christ's true body and blood in this sacrament cannot be detected by sense, nor understanding, but by faith alone [(sola fide)], which rests upon Divine authority.  Hence, on Luke 22:19: 'This is My body which shall be delivered up for you,' Cyril says: 'Doubt not whether this be true; but take rather the Saviour's words with faith; for since He is the Truth, He lieth not.'"

"verum corpus Christi et sanguinem esse in hoc sacramento, non sensu deprehendi potest, sed sola fide, quae auctoritati divinae innititur."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, ST III.75.1 ("Whether the body of Christ be in this sacrament in very truth, or merely as in a figure or sign?").Resp.  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.
     This may be the passage to which the Dominican Fr. Thomas Joseph White refers when, in a podcast on the Thomistic Institute website, he notes that, according to St. Thomas, Protestants of the sola fide have already everything they need for an adherence to a robust doctrine of the transubstantiation of the elements.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"the laws of the political community [are supposed to] direct the life of human beings to the virtues"

"the political community was originally instituted for the sake of living, namely, that human beings adequately find the means to be able to live.  But the political community's existence results in human beings living, and living well insofar as the laws of the political community direct the life of human beings to [the] virtue[s]."

"est enim primitus facta gratia vivendi, ut scilicet homines sufficienter invenirent unde vivere possent: sed ex eius esse provenit, quod homines non solum vivant, sed quod bene vivant, inquantum per leges civitatis ordinatur vita hominum ad virtutes."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle's Politics I.1.23 (17 in Regan), trans. Richard J. Regan ((Indianapolis:  Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2007), 15).  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.  See also ST I-II.92.1.Resp., trans. FEDP:
the proper effect of law is to lead its subjects to their proper virtue [(hoc sit proprium legis, inducere subiectos ad propriam ipsorum virtutem)]: and since virtue is 'that which makes its subject good,' it follows that the proper effect of law is to make those to whom it is given, good [(proprius effectus legis sit bonos facere eos quibus datur)], either simply or in some particular respect. For if the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on true good, which is the common good regulated according to Divine justice, it follows that the effect of the law is to make men good simply. If, however, the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on that which is not simply good, but useful or pleasurable to himself, or in opposition to Divine justice; then the law does not make men good simply, but in respect to that particular government.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Being in dialogue should not be confused with authentic vitality. In fact, dialogue is not always a sign of vitality. It’s sometimes a sign of decline, decadence, and capitulation."

"A living Thomism must not only transmit the integral knowledge of principles, but also engage contemporary issues in the service of evangelization.  Here we should be careful.  Being in dialogue [with the thought world of one’s age] should not be confused with authentic vitality.  In fact, dialogue is not always a sign of vitality.  It’s sometimes a sign of decline, decadence, and capitulation.  But . . . you don’t win over the culture of your age unless you can solve its internal intellectual problems.  Now this includes, of course, the internal culture of the Church. . . ."

     Thomas Joseph White, "Thomism after Vatican II," Dominicans and the renewal of Thomism, Thomisitic Institute, 13 July 2013, 21:18 ff.

Friday, July 12, 2019

"We must esteem them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject"

"And since in choosing or rejecting opinions of this kind a person should not be influenced either by a liking or dislike [(amore vel odio)] for the one introducing the opinion, but rather by the certainty of truth, [Aristotle] therefore says that we must respect both parties [(oportet amare utrosque)], namely, those whose opinion we follow, and those whose opinion we reject. For both have diligently sought the truth and have aided us in this matter. Yet we must 'be persuaded by the more certain,' i.e., we must follow the opinion of those who have attained the truth with greater certitude."

"Sed, quia in eligendis opinionibus vel repudiandis, non debet duci homo amore vel odio introducentis opinionem, sed magis ex certitudine veritatis, ideo dicit quod oportet amare utrosque, scilicet eos quorum opinionem sequimur, et eos quorum opinionem repudiamus. Utrique enim studuerunt ad inquirendam veritatem, et nos in hoc adiuverunt. Sed tamen oportet nos persuaderi a certioribus, idest sequi opinionem eorum, qui certius ad veritatem pervenerunt."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, Sententia super Metaphysicam 12.9.14 (2566), trans. John P. Rowan.  Rowan, at least, transmits and translates Aristotle (1073β 15) himself as follows:
As to the number of these motions [of the heavenly bodies], in order that we may have some definite number in mind for the purpose of understanding this point, let us now state what some of the mathematicians say; but for the rest, this we must investigate partly for ourselves and partly accept the opinion of other investigators. And if anyone in treating this subject should be found to form a different opinion from the one stated here, we must respect both views but accept the more certain [(φιλεῖν μὲν ἀμφοτέρους, πείθεσθαι δὲ τοῖς ἀκριβεστέροις)].
Tredennick, on p. 157 of the second volume of the Loeb edition, reads
and if those who apply themselves to these matters come to some conclusion which clashes with what we have just stated, we must appreciate both views, but follow the more accurate.
     Aquinas is sometimes translated as follows:
We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.
But the 2nd (2012) edition of the Oxford Latin dictionary (of course more classical than high medieval) does offer both "To have regard for, . . . esteem" and "To be obliged or grateful to" (among others) for amo; and LSJ, "regard with affection", "treat affectionately or kindly, esp. welcome, entertain a guest" for φῐλέω.
     Do note, however, also the context.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe": The sacrament, much more so than the resurrection and ascension, demands of us a parallel (and meritorious) faith in the humanity, too

"Thirdly, it [(the fact that the body of Christ is in this sacrament in very truth, and not merely as in a figure or sign)] belongs to the perfection of faith, which concerns His humanity just as it does His Godhead, according to John 14:1: 'You believe in God, believe also in Me.' And since faith is of things unseen, as Christ shows us His Godhead invisibly, so also in this sacrament He shows us His flesh in an invisible manner."

"Tertio, hoc competit perfectioni fidei, quae, sicut est de divinitate Christi, ita est de eius humanitate, secundum illud Ioan. XIV, creditis in Deum, et in me credite. Et quia fides est invisibilium, sicut divinitatem suam nobis exhibet Christus invisibiliter, ita et in hoc sacramento carnem suam nobis exhibet invisibili modo."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, ST III.75.1.Resp., trans. FEDP.  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.

On the cross was veiled thy Godhead's splendor,
Here thy manhood lieth hidden, too;
Unto both alike my faith I render. . . .

In cruce latebat sola deitas,
     Sed hic latet simul et humanitas.

Ambo uere credens atque confitens. . . .


     St. Thomas Aquinas, "Adoro te deuote" ("Te deuote laudo").  That stuff about merit I've taken from a couple of online lectures by Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., who does not there make the connection to the "Adoro te deuote" ("Te deuote laudo").

Sunday, July 7, 2019

"If you recoil from solitude, . . . you are politically disabled"

University Archives & Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Boston
"in a society stressing as strongly as America does the importance of social participation, everything of supreme importance depends on there being the counterweight of communal solitude. If you have never, all alone, tried to define your major convictions, you cannot enter into truth-seeking conversation and thus are incapable of deep human relations. If you cannot be apart from others, you cannot engage in prayer and meditation and thus cannot enter into genuine relations with God. If you recoil from solitude, it may even be said, you are politically disabled; you necessarily lack the spirit of independence needed to stand for what is right in the public realm."

     Glenn Tinder, "Alone for others," First things 62 (April 1996):  10 (8-10).