Saturday, June 15, 2019

"He who devoutly treads an endless road, though he reach no conclusion. . . . will be the better for the effort made."

"Penetrate into the mystery, plunge into the darkness which shrouds that birth, where you will be alone with God the Unbegotten and God the Only-begotten. Make your start, continue, persevere [(Incipe, procurre, persiste)]. I know that you will not reach the goal, but I shall rejoice at your progress. For He who devoutly [(pie)] treads an endless road [(infinita)], though he reach no conclusion, will profit by his exertions. Reason will fail for want of words, but when it comes to a stand it will be the better for the effort made."

     Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 2.10, trans. Schaff & Wace, NPNF, 2nd ser., vol. 9.  Latin from PL 10, col. 58 until I can get to a critical edition.  Cf. Simone Weil on attention.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Faith seeking understanding

"pedagogical disputations in schools [are] meant not for removing error but for instructing their hearers so that they might be led to understand the truth; . . . those investigating the root of truth and making known how what’s said is true must rely on [2] reasons; otherwise, if a teacher determines a question with bare [1] authorities, the hearer will indeed be assured that something is so, but he will acquire [(acquiret)] no science or understanding and will go away with an empty head."

     Thomas Aquinas, Quodlibet IV.ix.3.Resp., trans. Thérèsa Bonin (with the Latin), italics mine.  On "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you," see, for example, The Big Apple.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Grace and truth

"The pastoral and the truthful are in the same 'hylomorphic' unity as body and spirit. They are inseparable—and any attempt to separate them will, in the end, prove to be something far worse than a mere failure. And the highest price will be paid by those who most badly needed to hear the whole truth proclaimed."

     Robert P. George, "To Fr. Jim Martin, a good and kind man--and my friend," Mirror of Justice, 11 June 2019.