Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Étienne Gilson: "The greatest lesson"

“HAVING to express by gratitude to our common Master, as well as to yourselves, I have thought that the best way for me to do it would be publicly to say what I consider the greatest lesson for which I feel indebted to St. Thomas Aquinas. May I add, for my most modest part, that in the course of an already long life this truth has often been confirmed for me by personal experience? I have known many more cases of philosophers converted to scholastic philosophy by the Catholic faith than of philosophers converted to the Catholic faith by scholastic philosophy. I know that this is how it is; I feel infinitely grateful to St. Thomas Aquinas for having made me understand that this is how it should be. We cannot equal him in genius, and still less in holiness, but there is at least one way for us to prove his true disciples. It is, while exerting to their full limit the power of our intellects, to put ultimate trust, for others as well as for ourselves, in Him in Whose light alone we shall see the Light.”

~Étienne Gilson: "Science, Philosophy, and Religious Wisdom", in A Gilson Reader: Selections from the Writings of Étienne Gilson.


"It must be said that charity can be called the exemplary form of the virtues; not an exemplar in whose likeness the virtues are generated, but an exemplar according to whose likeness the virtues operate in a certain way. Thus, whenever it is necessary to act according to virtue, charity is necessary."

~St. Thomas Aquinas: Disputations concerning Charity, a. 3

Effects of grace

"THERE are five effects of grace in us: of these, the first is, to heal the soul; the second, to desire good; the third, to carry into effect the good proposed; the fourth, to persevere in good; the fifth, to reach glory."

~St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica, I-II, Q. 111, A. 3.

Virgin and Child in Glory with Saints,
 by Giovanni Battista Carlone.
Oil on canvas, 1655; private collection.

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