Saturday, July 24, 2010

A day in thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere

"however little an intellect can grasp of divine knowledge, that little will be its ultimate end, rather than perfect knowledge of less intelligible things.
". . . to understand God in some way [(quoquo modo)] is man's ultimate end."

Intellectus . . . quantumcumque modicum possit de divina cognitione percipere, illud erit sibi pro ultimo fine, magis quam perfecta cognitio inferiorum intelligibilium.
. . . Est igitur ultimus finis hominis intelligere quoquo modo Deum.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, lib. 3 cap. 25 n. 6-7, trans. Ralph McInerny (Thomas Aquinas: selected writings, ed. & trans. Ralph McInerny (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1998), 265).
"clearly the end of any intellectual creature, even the least, is to understand God" (n. 5).
ST 1:  "'The least knowledge we can have of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge of lesser things,' applying a dictum of Aristotle in a way in which, on Aquinas' account, Aristotle himself never could" (Bruce Marshall, "Quod scit una uetula:  Aquinas on the nature of theology," chap. 1 of The theology of Thomas Aquinas, ed. Van Nieuwenhove & Wawrykow (Notre Dame, IN:  University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), 28n32 (1-35)).

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