Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Necessity of Grace

"IN the state of corrupt nature, man falls short of what he could do by his nature, so that he is unable to fulfil it by his own natural powers. Yet because human nature is not altogether corrupted by sin, so as to be shorn of every natural good, even in the state of corrupted nature it can, by virtue of its natural endowments, work some particular good, as to build dwellings, plant vineyards, and the like; yet it cannot do all the good natural to it, so as to fall short in nothing; just as a sick man can of himself make some movements, yet he cannot be perfectly moved with the movements of one in health, unless by the help of medicine he be cured.

"And thus in the state of perfect nature man needs a gratuitous strength superadded to natural strength for one reason, viz. in order to do and wish supernatural good; but for two reasons, in the state of corrupt nature, viz. in order to be healed, and furthermore in order to carry out works of supernatural virtue, which are meritorious. Beyond this, in both states man needs the Divine help, that he may be moved to act well."

~St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 2.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Divine care"

“DIVINE care supplies everybody with the means necessary to salvation, so long as he on his part does not put up obstacles.”

~St. Thomas Aquinas: Disputations concerning Truth, 14, 11.

The Church as the Path to Salvation (east wall), by Andrea da Firenze. Fresco, 1366-67; Cappellone degli Spagnoli, Santa Maria Novella, Florence.

Jacques Maritain: "Machiavellian perversion of politics"

"FOR not only do we owe to Machiavelli our having become aware and conscious of the immorality displayed, in fact, by the mass of political men, but by the same stroke he taught us that this very immorality is the very law of politics. Here is that Machiavellian perversion of politics which was linked, in fact, with the Machiavellian prise de conscience of average political behavior in mankind. The historic responsibility of Machiavelli consists in having accepted, recognized, indorsed as normal the fact of political immorality, and in having stated that good politics, politics conformable to its true nature and to its genuine aims, is by essence non-moral politics."

~Jacques Maritain: The Range of Reason, Chap. 11.

Selected quotes concerning the rational soul

■ "But death primarily involves the dissolution of the entire psychophysical personality of man. The soul survives and subsists separated from the body, while the body is subjected to gradual decomposition according to the words of the Lord God, pronounced after the sin committed by man at the beginning of his earthly history: You are dust and to dust you shall return." ─Pope John Paul II: Salvifici Doloris, IV.

■ “What constitutes man is principally the soul, the substantial form of his nature. From it, ultimately, flows all the vital activities of man. In it are rooted all the psychic dynamisms with their own proper structure and their organic law. It is the soul which nature charges with the government of all man’s energies, in so far as these have not yet acquired their final determination.” ─Pope Pius XII: Address to the 5th Int. Congr. of Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology. (Apr. 13, 1953)

■ “It is one thing to ask the meaning of the word animal, and another to ask its meaning when the animal in question is man.” ─St. Thomas: Summa Theologica, Ia. q. 29, a. 4.

■ “Human souls and pure spirits [angels] are different kinds of things.” ─St. Thomas: Summa Theologica, Ia. q. 75, a. 7.

■ “THE human soul is the actuality of an organism, which is its instrument—not, however, for every activity, for some activities of the soul surpass the range of the body.” ─St. Thomas: Disputations Concerning the Soul, 2. 

■ “The mind is a subsisting form, and is consequently immortal. Aristotle agrees that the mind is divine and perpetual.” ─St. Thomas: Disputations Concerning the Soul, 14.

■ “The soul is that through which we have communion with animals, spirit that through which we have intercourse with spiritual substances. Nevertheless it is one and the same substance which quickens body and which, by its power called mind, is able to understand." ─St. Thomas: Commentary on Hebrews, 4, lect. 2.

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