Date: 10/15/02 03:20:45 AM

Name: Michael


Subject: Re: Re: Re: To Tell the Truth or Will the Real Aquinas Please Stand Up

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To Mo4 (Vicki)

I suppose we am rich in our tradition if we consider that "rich" is only a relative description implying a ranking scale.

Sorry if I also came off offensive. One of my imperfections is my image of myself as a granter or mover of cognitions. Like I can induce people into cognitions like passing out playing cards! Whenever I try to do that I always fail. I don't attempt to do that as much as I did when I was young(er), but old habits are hard to break!

Michael in Qatar

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Replying to:

I kinda gratuitously through in that "Thomas the mystic" based only on his statement about the Summa seeming as so much straw. I wish I was more familiar with other biographical or anecdotal material on him, not to mention Thomistic philosophy and theology. We are rich in our tradition, eh Michael? And this may be OT, also, but I hope I haven't been too hard on you, personally, in these exchanges of electrons. I have enjoyed your postings, for the most part, until certain of your speculations seemed very insulting of many of us. Maybe they would not have come across that way at all given a less sterile interactive environs, to be sure, as you have pointed out. In fact, I'm sure of it, again based on the overall tone and tenor of all your other posts. So, I apologize, Michael. No harm. No foul here, either.

Vicki Lawrence

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Replying to:

This may be OT, but seems like I remember reading something about Aquinas later in life saying something like "I have seen or experienced something that makes all my writings straw!"

The presumption is that this was some mystic experience or vision. We seldom thing of "Thomas the mystic".

There are other good devotional and perhaps folklorish accounts of mystic events of Aquinas, maybe true, maybe not true. One such account: When he was praying before a crucifix he had some of his documents pretaining to the Eucharist or Blessed Sacrament the corpus came down from the crucifix and stood on the documents and said "You have written well of My Body Thomas!" Did this happen only in the Angelic Doctor's mind? Who knows.

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Replying to:

If there is an active role for human reason in the finding and application of the moral law, and there exist an inner law of practical reason called natural law and our God's eternal law finds its expression therein, and if we can turn to Aquinas to differentiate between the natural and eternal law and to explore their relationship, then

1) Do we read Thomas, the theologian?
2) Do we read Thomas, the philosopher?
3) If we read both, then how do we distinguish between those tasks of ours that are philosophical and those that are theological that we might properly apply Thomism?

If we have:

a) the positive or revealed law, distinguished from
b) the natural law, and, within the economy of salvation,
c) the old law and
d) the new law,

then why does Veritatis Splendor, on one hand, suggests that

a) we need go to the heart of the Gospel's moral teaching and grasp its profound and unchanging content, while, on the other hand, it suggests that

b) the natural law is the eternal law itself, implanted in beings endowed with reason, and inclining them towards their right action and end; it is none other than the eternal reason of the Creator and Ruler over the universe?

To the extent Veritatis Splendor had, as one of its aims, the undergirding of Humane Vitae, it seems worthwhile to consider, here, what place human reason is accorded in the encyclical insofar as, again and again, we find the place of reason relegated in the ordinary magisterium's teachings and conservative Catholics discussions, subordinated to authority and tradition.

The reason I bring Aquinas into the equation is to suggest that Thomas more carefully attends to the nuances of our discussions about "law", makes very wise distinctions between
1) law in connection with the Holy Spirit versus
2) law in the broadest sense with the term having a clearly analogical character.

Could the proper use of Aquinas clear this up? That is, could the use of human reason have gained more prominence in 20th century papal encyclicals and CDF declarations had their authors not missed the points made by Thomas the philosopher, Thomas the theologian and even, finally, Thomas, both mystic and lover of God and fellow man?

In essense, I suppose I am suggesting that wherever we encounter human reason taking a real back seat in Church teachings, someone has not listened carefully enough to the Angelic Doctor.


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