Saturday, May 3, 2014

"the good is said to be diffusive of its being in the way the end is said to move."

     "bonum dicitur diffusivum sui esse, eo modo quo finis dicitur movere."

     Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae 2, trans. Ralph McInerny.
     I.e. the good is diffusive of its being qua final (not formal or efficient, and certainly not material) cause.
     Diffundere is to spread by pouring out.  Yet for Aquinas the good is "diffusive" (spreads itself abroad) by drawing in (attracting) "in the way [a final cause] is said to move".

Friday, May 2, 2014

"in future the evidence of rewards will reverberate in the bodies of the saints"

"You ought to consider that in future the marks of rewards [(indicia premiorum)] will reflect [(resultabunt, will reverberate, give off an echo)] in the bodies of the saints [cf. 1 Tm 4.8c] in accordance with the merits of the graces [(secundum merita gratiarum)].  Also, in our days the marks of the affections [(indicia affectus)] show [(demonstrant, are a sign of [this], evident)], as we see clearly in St. Francis:  the marks of Christ's Passion [(indicia passionis Christi)] were in [his body], because he was intensely affected by the Passion of Christ.  Likewise, the marks of mercy [(indicia misericordie)] reflect [(resultant, reverberate, give off an echo)] in St. Nicholas, for 'oil dripped from his tomb' as a sign that he was a man of great mercy.  Dt 32.13:  'So that he may cause honey to flow from the rock, and oil from the hardest stone.'  That belongs to a king."

     Thomas Aquinas, Academic sermon 16 (Inveni David; sermon on the Feast of St. Nicholas, the sixth of December), 2.4 (The academic sermons, Fathers of the church, Medieval continuation 11, trans. Mark-Robin Hoogland, C.P. (Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America Press, 2010), 240).  I was put onto this by Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P., "Les stigmates de saint François vus par Thomas d'Aquin et quelques autres prédicateurs dominicains," Archivum franciscanum historicum 90 (1997):  342-343 (341-347).
      Hoogland, following Bataillon, traces the phrase "'oil dropped from his tomb'" to the ninth "responsory from the [Dominican] night office [i.e. Matins] of the Feast of St. Nicholas.  This legendary oil is called the 'manna of St. Nicholas'" (240n32).
     1 Tim 4:8:  "nam corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est pietas autem ad omnia utilis est promissionem habens vitae quae nunc est et futurae" (RSV:  "for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come").

Monday, April 28, 2014

"in the same sense and the same meaning"

"Certainly there is a need to seek out and to discover the most adequate formulation [(formula)] for universal and permanent moral norms in the light of different cultural contexts, a formulation most capable of ceaselessly expressing their historical relevance, of making them understood and of authentically interpreting their truth.  This truth of the moral law — like that of the 'deposit of faith' — unfolds down the centuries [(per saecula explicatur)]: the norms expressing that truth remain valid in their substance, but must be specified and determined [(substantialiter firmae, sed sunt definiendae et terminandae)] 'eodem sensu eademque sententia' [(Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium Primum, c. 23: PG 50, 668)] in the light of historical circumstances by the Church's Magisterium...."

     Veritatis splendor 53.  Clearly, one could lay the stress on either 1) the necessity of definition and circumscription ("definiendae et terminandae") or 2) the necessity that said definition and circumscription retain "the same sense and the same meaning".  Here I, following Fr. Hunwicke, stress the latter.  But both must be held together.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"He who would valiant be | 'gainst all disaster,..."

John Bunyan,
by Thomas Sadler (1684).
National Portrait Gallery no. 1311.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Dearmer's bowdlerization is more explicitly theological, but BUNYAN'S ORIGINAL SOUNDS MORE LIKE SOMETHING A HOBBIT WOULD SING, and especially as sung by Maddy Prior with the Carnival Band on Sing lustily and with good courage (also on Spotify):

   Who would true Valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will Constant be,
Come Wind, come Weather.
There’s no Discouragement,
Shall make him once Relent,
His first avow’d Intent,
To be a Pilgrim.

   Who so beset him round,
With dismal Storys,
Do but themselves Confound;
His Strength the more is,
No Lyon can him fright,
He’l with a Gyant Fight,
But he will have a right,
To be a Pilgrim.

   Hobgoblin, nor foul Fiend,
Can daunt his Spirit:
He knows, he at the end,
Shall Life Inherit.
Then Fancies fly away,
He’l fear not what men say,
He’l labour Night and Day, 
To be a Pilgrim.

     Pilgrim's progress, pt. II (1684), as reproduced in The pilgrim's progress from this world to that which is to come, by John Bunyan, ed. James Blanton Wharey, 2nd ed., ed. Roger Sharrock (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1960), 295.  Cf. Pilgrim's progress as originally published by John Bunyan, being a fac-simile reproduction of the first edition (London:  Elliott Stock, 1875), 181.  A modernized version follows:

1 Who would true valour see,
let him come hither;
one here will constant be,
come wind, come weather;
there's no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avow'd intent
to be a pilgrim.

2 Whoso beset him round
with dismal stories,
do but themselves confound;
his strength the more is.
No lion can him fright;
he'll with a giant fight,
but he will have a right
to be a pilgrim.

3 Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
can daunt his spirit;
he knows he at the end
shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away;
he'll not fear what men say;
he'll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

     The latter (set to MONK'S GATE) is the version that appears in the Liturgy of the hours (Morning prayer, Common of holy men, vol. 3 (1975), p. 1817; Christian prayer no. 183), except that "Hobgoblin nor foul fiend" is replaced by "No power of evil fiend", thus distinguishing it from the original (above) as well as the Dearmer bowdlerization ("He who would valiant be").
     Bunyan, an Independent, fought under Cromwell and penned Antichrist and his ruin (1692) "against the Church of Rome, whose influence in England under James II he much feared" (ODCC3rev). Yet today "Who would true valour see" could (in the English, not Liturgia horarum) celebratefor exampleIgnatius of Loyola.
     That Bunyan is pleased I wouldn't venture. But I am.

The "structural elements of man" (who is "one in body and soul") that are "permanent" on 1) the level of nature and 2) the even more fundamental (!) level of grace

"To call into question the permanent structural elements of man which are connected with his own bodily dimension would not only conflict with common experience, but would render meaningless Jesus' reference to the "beginning" [("principii")], precisely where the social and cultural context of the time had distorted the primordial meaning and the role of certain moral norms (cf. Mt 19:1-9). This is the reason why 'the Church affirms that underlying so many changes there are some things which do not change and are ultimately founded upon Christ, who is the same yesterday and today and for ever' [(Gaudium et spes 10)]. Christ is the "Beginning" [("Principium")] who, having taken on human nature, definitively illumines it in its constitutive elements and in its dynamism of charity towards God and neighbour."

     Veritatis splendor 53.  "in its constitutive elements and in its dynamism of charity", i.e. 1) in nature (cardinal), and 2) in grace (theologal).

"the body, which has been promised the resurrection," or: "You are not your own; you were bought with a price."

"This moral theory does not correspond to the truth about man and his freedom. It contradicts the Church's teachings on the unity of the human person, whose rational soul is per se et essentialiter the form of his body.  The spiritual and immortal soul is the principle of unity of the human being, whereby it exists as a whole — corpore et anima unus — as a person. These definitions not only point out that the body, which has been promised the resurrection, will also share in glory. They also remind us that reason and free will are linked with all the bodily and sense faculties. The person, including the body, is completely entrusted to himself, and it is in the unity of body and soul that the person is the subject of his own moral acts. The person, by the light of reason and the support of virtue, discovers in the body the anticipatory signs, the expression and the promise of the gift of self, in conformity with the wise plan of the Creator. It is in the light of the dignity of the human person — a dignity which must be affirmed for its own sake — that reason grasps the specific moral value of certain goods towards which the person is naturally inclined. And since the human person cannot be reduced to a freedom which is self-designing, but entails a particular spiritual and bodily structure, the primordial moral requirement of loving and respecting the person as an end and never as a mere means also implies, by its very nature, respect for certain fundamental goods, without which one would fall into relativism and arbitrariness."

     Veritatis splendor 48.  "body and soul are inseparable: in the person, in the willing agent and in the deliberate act, they stand or fall together" (49).  Latin:

"Haec moralis disciplina cum veritate de homine eiusque libertate non congruit. Ea quidem Ecclesiae doctrinae de hominis unitate repugnat, cuius rationalis anima est per se et essentialiter forma corporis (Cfr. CONC. OECUM. VIENNEN. Const. Fidei Catholicae: DENZ.-SCHÖNM., 920; CONC. OECUM. LATERANEN. V Bulla Apostolici Regiminis: DENZ.-SCHÖNM., 1440). Spiritalis et immortalis anima principium est unitatis hominis, id scilicet est per quod veluti unum exsistit – corpore et anima unus (Gaudium et Spes, 14) – qua persona. Definitiones hae non modo ostendunt etiam corpus, cui resurrectio promittitur, gloriae fore particeps; verum et vincula rationis liberaeque voluntatis cum corporeis sensibilibusque facultatibus commemorant. Persona, corpore incluso, sibi ipsi penitus concreditur, atque in animae corporisque unitate ipsa suorum actuum moralium fit subiectum. Persona, per rationis lumen et virtutis fulcimentum, signa praenuntia in suo corpore detegit, significationem pariter atque donationis sui ipsius promissionem, ad similitudinem sapientis propositi Creatoris. Dignitate personae humanae prae oculis habita – per se ipsa confirmanda – ratio bonum morale nonnullorum beneficiorum peculiare percipit, in quod persona naturaliter tendit. Quandoquidem persona humana redigi non potest ad libertatem quandam quae de se ipsa disponat, sed spiritalem corporeamque structuram certam sibi vindicat, primigenia necessitas moralis amandi observandique personam humanam, quae est semper finis non merum instrumentum, intrinsece prae se fert nonnullorum bonorum praecipuorum obsequium, sine quo in relativismum et in arbitrium procumbitur."