Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aquinas on the non-comprehensive sight of the beatific vision

"The blessed soul of Christ himself does not have this comprehensive understanding; only the unique Son of God who is in the womb of the Father enjoys it. . . . No one . . . [will ever] comprehend [(comprend)] the divine essence except God alone, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [(Anima autem Christi Deum cognoscendo non comprehendit, quia hoc non dicitur, nisi de unigenito, qui est in sinu patris. . . . Nullus enim divinam comprehendit essentiam, nisi solus Deus pater, et filius, et spiritus sanctus)]."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Super evangelium S. Ioannis lectura, cap. 1, l. 11, as quoted by J.-P. Torrell, in his "Saint Thomas d'Aquin, maître de vie spirituelle," Revue des sciences religieuses 71, no. 4 (1997): 456 (442-457), italics mine. The Latin is taken from the Turin (i.e. Marietti) edition of 1952 ed. Raffaele Cai, as reproduced by Corpus Thomisticum here: http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/cih01.html#87429 (where there is much more, including the distinction between seeing the divine essence tota and totaliter).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pesch on the properly THEOLOGICAL thrust of the Second Part of the Summa

"The IIa Pars [of the Summa theologiae] doesn't compile [a list of] does and don'ts, not even divine dos and don'ts [(stellt nicht Forderungen zusammen, was der Mensch tun und lassen soll, und wären es auch göttliche Forderungen)], but [rather] describes what happens of itself when the grace of God gets ahold of a man and all of the powers of his soul [(und seinen ganzen seelischen Kräftehaushalt)]. [The IIa Pars] is therefore theology, [not ethics, and] here, therefore, [the] doctrine of the activity of God in the activity of man."

Otto Hermann Pesch, "Das Streben nach der beatitudo bei Thomas von Aquin im Kontext seiner Theologie: historische und systematische Fragen," Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 52, no. 3 (2005): 436.