Thursday, July 31, 2008

Logic I, Lesson 3: The Five Predicables, Pt. 1: Genera & Species


A. The Predicables. Every proposition has a subject and a predicate. The predicates are divided into five basic kinds (which we call "the five predicables") according to how they relate to the subject of the proposition. Predicates name one of the following five aspects of the subject:

  • The genus of the subject of the proposition: "Socrates is an animal."
  • The species of the subject: "Socrates is a man"
  • The subject's specific difference: "Socrates is rational."
  • An essential trait or property (proprium) of the subject: "Socrates is risible (i.e., able to laugh)."
  • An unessential trait or accident of the subject: "Socrates is white."
B. Genus & Species. A genus (plural, "genera") is a class of things that differ in kind--e.g., "animal" is a genus, because it is a class of things (e.g., cats, dogs, cows, etc.) that differ in species. A species is a class of things that differ in number (i.e., many individuals) but not in kind--e.g., "man" is a species, because it is a class of numerous individuals of the same kind. A genus is thus divided into different species and a species is divided into different individuals.

Now, the term "species" can be extended to include narrower genera that fall under broader genera. Therefore, the narrower genera relate to the broader genera as species to a genus and, thus, may be called "species" with respect to their broader genus--e.g., "animal" and "plant," though they are genera (with respect to different species of animal and plant), may themselves be called "species" of "living thing"; "living thing," though a genus with respect to "animal" and "plant," is a species of "body" (i.e., physical substance).

In the end, there will be ultimate genera (summum genus or genus generalissimum) which are not species of any broader genera; there will also be ultimate species (infima species or species specialissima) that are have no species under them, but only individuals.

C. Predication. Whatever is true of the genus is true of the species (but not vice versa), and whatever is true of the species is true of the subject or individual (but not vice versa); therefore, whatever is true of the genus is true of the individual.

From Aristotle's Categories 3 (explanatory notes in brackets):

When one thing is predicated of another [in a proposition consisting of a subject and a predicate], all that which is predicable of the predicate will be predicable also of the subject. Thus, 'man' is predicated of the individual man [e.g., "this individual is a man"]; but 'animal' is predicated of 'man' [e.g., "man is an animal"]. Therefore, it [i.e., animal] will be predicable of the individual man also [e.g., "this individual in an animal"]: for the individual man is both 'man' and 'animal'.

From Porphyry's Isagoge to Aristotle's Categories, 1-2:

[Preface to the Work.] Since it is necessary, Chrysaorius, to know about [the five predicables, namely] genus, specific difference, species, exclusive property, and accident, both for understanding Aristotle’s theory of the categories and for assigning definitions, and generally for questions of classification or demonstration (the study of all of which is most useful), I shall give you a concise exposition, and I shall attempt, briefly and in the manner of an introduction, to approach what the ancients said, leaving alone the deeper questions, but making a few reasonable conjectures about simple ones. [...]

[The Five Predicables.] [O]f predicates [within propositions], some are (A) predicable of one thing alone, as individuals, for instance, "Socrates," and "this man," and "this thing;" but others are (B) predicable of many, as are (1) genera, (2) species, (3) differences, (4) properties, and (5) accidents, predicated in common, but not peculiarly to any one thing. Now (1) genus is such as "animal," (2) species as "man," (3) difference as "rational," (4) property as " risible," (5) accident as "white," "black," "to sit."

[The First Two Predicables: Genera & Species] [G]enus is that which is predicated of many things differing in species, in answer to [questions concerning] what a thing is, e. g. "animal." [...] That is called species also, which is under the genus stated, according to which we are accustomed to call "man" a species of "animal," "animal" being genus, but "white" a species of "colour," and "triangle" of "figure."

Nevertheless, since when we define the genus, we make mention of species, saying "that which is predicated of many things differing in species in reply to [questions concerning] what a thing is," and call species "that which is under the assigned genus," we ought to notice that, since genus is the genus of something, and species the species of something, each of each, we must necessarily use both in the definitions of both.

[Subaltern Genera & Species.] They, therefore, define species thus: (1) "species is what is arranged under genus, and of which genus is predicated in reply to [questions concerning] what a thing is." [They] also [define it] thus, (2) "species is what is predicated of many things differing in number in reply to [questions concerning] what a thing is." This [second] definition [of species], however, belongs to the most specific [species] (species specialissima), and which is species only, but no longer genus also, but the other [definition] will pertain to such as are not the most specific [species] (species specialissima).

Now, what we have stated will be evident in this way: in each category there are certain things most generic, and again, others most special, and between the most generic and the most special, others which are alike called both genera and species, but the most generic is that above which there cannot be another superior genus, and the most special that below which there cannot be another inferior species. Between the most generic and the most special, there are others which are alike both genera and species, referred, nevertheless, to different things.

[This] may become clear [by way of example] in one category. "Substance" indeed, is itself a genus; under this is "body" [i.e., physical substance], under "body" is "living body," under which is "animal"; under "animal" is "rational animal," under which is "man,"* under "man" is Socrates, Plato, and particular men. Still, of these, "substance" is the most generic [genus] (summum genus), and that which is genus only; but "man" is most specific [species] (species specialissima), and that which is species only; yet "body" is a species of "substance," but a genus of "living" body, also "living body" is a species of "body," but a genus of "animal"; again, "animal" is a species of "living body," but a genus of "rational animal," and "rational animal" is a species of "animal," but a genus of "man," and "man" is a species of "rational animal,"* but is not the genus of particular men, but is only the species [to which they belong], and every thing prior to individuals being proximately predicated of them, will be species only, and no longer genus also. As then, "substance" being in the highest place, is most generic [genus] (summum genus), from there being no genus prior to it, so also "man"--being a species after which there is no other species, nor any thing capable of division into species, but individuals (for Socrates, Plato, Alcibiades, and this white thing, I call individual)--will be species alone, and the last species, and as we say the most specific [species] (species specialissima).

[*NB. Porphyry is wrong in saying that "man" is a species of "rational animal." In fact, "man" and "rational animal" are the same thing, the latter being the definition of the former. However, he accurately explains the general logical principle of the subordination of species and genera.]

Yet the media [i.e., the intermediate genera/species] will be the species of such as are before them, but the genera of things after them, so that these have two conditions, one as to things prior to them, according to which they are said to be their species, the other to things after them, according to which they are said to be their genera.

The extremes [i.e., the summum genus and the species specialissima], on the other hand, have one condition, for the most generic [genus] (summum genus) has indeed a condition as to the things under it, since it is the highest genus of all, but has no longer one as to those before it, being supreme, and the first principle, and, as we have said, that above which there cannot be another higher genus. Also, the most specific has one condition, as to the things prior to it, of which it is the species, yet it has not a different one, as to things posterior to it, but is called the species of individuals, so termed as comprehending them, and again, the species of things prior to it [i.e., its genera], as comprehended by them, wherefore the most generic genus (summum genus) is thus defined to be "that which being genus is not species," and again, "that above which there cannot be another higher genus"; but the most specific species (species specialissima), as "that which being species is not genus", and "that which being species we can no longer divide into species"; and also "that which is predicated of many things differing in number, in reply to [questions concerning] what a thing is."

Now, the media of the extremes they call "subaltern species and genera," and admit each of them to be species and genus, when referred indeed to different things, for those which are prior to the most specific, ascending up to the most generic, are called "subaltern genera and species." [...]

[Predication: Genus, Species, and Individual.] Genus then, and species, being each explained as to what it is, since also genus is one, but species many, for there is always a division of genus into many species, genus indeed is always predicated of species, and all superior of inferior, but species is neither predicated of its proximate genus, nor of those superior, since it does not reciprocate. For it is necessary that either equals should be predicated of equals, as "neighing" of "a horse," or that the greater should be predicated of the less, as "animal" of "man," but the less no longer of the greater, for you can no longer say that "animal" is "man," as you can say that "man" is "animal."

Of those things however whereof species is predicated, that genus of the species will also be necessarily predicated, also that genus of the genus up to the most generic; for if it is true to say that Socrates is "a man," but that "man" is "an animal," and that "animal" is "a substance," it is also true to say that Socrates is "an animal" and "a substance." At least, since the superior are always predicated of the inferior, species indeed will always be predicated of the individual, but the genus both of the species and of the individual, and the most generic of the genus (or the genera, if the media and subaltern be many) of the species, and of the individual. For the most generic is predicated of all the genera, species, and individuals under it, but the genus, which is prior to the most specific species, is predicated of all the most specific species and individuals; but what is species alone of all its individuals, but the individual of one particular [thing] alone. Now, an individual is called "Socrates," "this white thing," "this man who approaches," "the son of Sophroniscus" (if Socrates alone is his son), and such things are called individuals, because each consists of properties of which the combination can never be the same in any other, for the properties of Socrates can never be the same in any other particular person; the properties of "man," indeed, (I mean of him as common) may be the same in many, or rather in all particular men, so far as they are men. Wherefore the individual is comprehended in the species, but the species by the genus, for genus is a certain whole, but the individual is a part, and species both a whole and a part; part indeed of something else, but a whole not of another, but in other things, for the whole is in its parts. Concerning genus then, and species, we have shown what is the most generic, and the most specific, also what the same things are genera and species, what also are individuals, and in how many ways genus and species are taken.

Logic I, Lesson 2: Univocal, Equivocal, & Analogical Terms

From Aristotle's Categories 1:

Things are said to be named 'equivocally' when, though they have a common name, the definition corresponding with the name differs for each. Thus, a real man and a figure in a picture can both lay claim to the name 'animal'; yet these are equivocally so named, for, though they have a common name, the definition corresponding with the name differs for each. For should any one define in what sense each is an animal, his definition in the one case will be appropriate to that case only.

On the other hand, things are said to be named 'univocally' which have both the name and the definition answering to the name in common. A man and an ox are both 'animal', and these are univocally so named, inasmuch as not only the name, but also the definition, is the same in both cases: for if a man should state in what sense each is an animal, the statement in the one case would be identical with that in the other.

From Ralph McInerny's Aquinas & Analogy, p. 96:

Things are to be named analogously when, though they have a name in common, the definitions corresponding with the name are partly the same and partly different, with one of those definitions being prior to the others... "For example, 'healthy' as said of urine signifies a sign of the health of the animal, but said of medicine it signifies the cause of the same health" [St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae I.15.5c].

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Logic I, Lesson 1: Terms and Propositions

From Aristotle's Categories, 2 [explanatory notes in brackets]:

Forms of speech are either simple* [i.e., terms] or composite [i.e., propositions or judgments]. Examples of the latter are such expressions as 'the man runs', 'the man wins'; of the former 'man', 'ox', 'runs', 'wins'.

[*NB. The entire work of the Categories, and the whole of Logic I that corresponds to it, deals with simple forms of speech, i.e., with terms, which is the object of the first operation of the intellect. Aristotle's work On Interpretation, which corresponds to Logic II, deals with propositions. Cf. Preliminary lesson.]

Logic, Preliminary Lesson: Division of Logic


[O]ne should view the parts of logic according to the diversity among the acts of reason. Now there are three acts of the reason, (A) the first two of which belong to reason regarded as an intellect.

(1) One action of the intellect is the understanding [i.e., simple apprehension] of indivisible or uncomplex things, and according to this action it conceives what a thing is. And this operation is called by some the informing of the intellect, or representing by means of the intellect. To this operation of the reason is ordained the doctrine which Aristotle hands down in the book of Predicaments, [i.e., Categories].

(2) The second operation of the intellect is its act of combining or dividing [i.e., judgment], in which the true or the false are for the first time present. And this act of reason is the subject of the doctrine which Aristotle hands down in the book entitled On Interpretation [i.e., Peri hermeneias or De interpretatione].

(B) But the third act of the reason is concerned with that which is peculiar to reason, namely, to advance from one thing to another [i.e., discursive reasoning] in such a way that through that which is known a man comes to a knowledge of the unknown. And this act is considered in the remaining books of logic. It should be noted that the acts of reason are in a certain sense not unlike the acts of nature [...]. Now in the acts of nature we observe a threefold diversity [...]. These three are found also in the acts of the reason. For there is (1) one process of reason which induces necessity, where it is not possible to fall short of the truth; and by such a process of reasoning the certainty of science is acquired. Again, there is (2) a process of reason in which something true in most cases is concluded but without producing necessity. But (3) the third process of reason is that in which reason fails to reach a truth because some principle which should have been observed in reasoning was defective.

(1) Now the part of logic which is devoted to the first process is called the judicative part, because it leads to judgments possessed of the certitude of science [...]. Furthermore, the certitude obtained by such an analysis of a judgment is derived either (a) from the mere form of the syllogism—and to this is ordained the book of the Prior Analytics which treats of the syllogism as such—or (b) from the matter along with the form [...]—and to this is ordained the book of the Posterior Analytics which is concerned with the demonstrative syllogism.

(2) To the second process of reason another part of logic called investigative is devoted. For investigation is not always accompanied by certitude [...]. But just as in the works of nature which succeed in the majority of cases certain levels are achieved [...] so too in that process of reason which is not accompanied by complete certitude certain levels are found accordingly as one approaches more or less to complete certitude.

For (a) although science is not obtained by this process of reason, nevertheless belief or opinion is sometimes achieved (on account of the provability of the propositions one starts with), because reason leans completely to one side of a contradiction but with fear concerning the other side. The Topics or dialectics is devoted to this. For the dialectical syllogism which Aristotle treats in the book of Topics proceeds from premises which are provable.

At times, however, (b) belief or opinion is not altogether achieved, but suspicion is, because reason does not lean to one side of a contradiction unreservedly, although it is inclined more to one side than to the other. To this the Rhetoric is devoted.

At other times (c) a mere fancy inclines one to one side of a contradiction because of some representation, much as a man turns in disgust from certain food if it is described to him in terms of something disgusting. And to this is ordained the Poetics. For the poet’s task is to lead us to something virtuous by some excellent description.

And all these pertain to the philosophy of the reason, for it belongs to reason to pass from one thing to another.

(3) The third process of reasoning is served by that part of logic which is called sophistry, which Aristotle treats in the book On Sophistical Refutations [i.e., Elenchorum].

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Old and New CIC on the Magisterium, Compared

Codex iuris canonici (1917): On the Ecclesiastical Magisterium

Can. 1322 (cf. 1983 CIC Can. 747-8)

§ 1. Christ the Lord entrusted the deposit of faith to the Church, so that she, with the unfailing assistance of the Holy Spirit, would maintain in a holy way revealed teaching and faithfully expound it.

§ 2. The Church has the right and duty, independent of any civil power, of teaching all peoples evangelical doctrine: and thus, by divine law, all are bound to embrace the Church of God and rightly to heed her truth.

Can. 1323 (cf. 1983 CIC Can. 749-50)

§ 1. All of those things are to be believed with a divine and Catholic faith that are contained in the written word of God or in tradition and that the Church proposes as worthy of belief, as divinely revealed, whether by solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium.

§ 2. It belongs to an Ecumenical Council or to the Roman Pontiff speaking ex cathedra to pronounce solemnly this sort of judgment.

§ 3. A thing is not understood as dogmatically defined or declared unless this is manifestly established.

Can. 1324 (cf. 1983 CIC Can. 754)

It is not enough to avoid heretical depravity, but also those errors should be diligently fled that more or less apprach [heresy]; therefore, all must observe the constitutions and decrees by which these sorts of depraved opinions are proscribed and prohibited by the Holy See.

Can. 1325 (cf. 1983 CIC Can. 751, 755)

§ 1. The faithful of Christ are bound to profess their faith whenever their silence, evasiveness, or manner of acting encompasses an implied denial of the faith, contempt for religion, injury to God, or scandal for a neighbor.

§ 2. After the reception of baptism, if anyone, retaining the name Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts something to be believed from the truth of divine and Catholic faith, [such a one is] a heretic; if he completely turns away from the Christian faith, [such a one is] an apostate; if finally he refuses to be under the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church subject to him, he is a schismatic.

§ 3. Let Catholics beware lest they have debates or conferences, especially public ones, with non-Catholics without having come to the Holy See or, if the case is urgent, to the local Ordinary.

Can. 1326 (cf. 1983 CIC Can. 753)

Bishops also, although individually and even gathered in particular Councils they do not partake of infallibility in teaching, nevertheless, for those faithful committed to their care under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, they are truly doctors and teachers.

Codex iuris canonici (1983): Teaching Function of the Church

Can. 747 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1322)

§1. The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine it more closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right, independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also using the means of social communication proper to it.

§2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even about the social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.

Can. 748 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1322)

§1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.

§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against their conscience.

Can. 749 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1323)

§1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

§3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.

Can. 750 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1323)

§1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

§2. Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firm-ly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Can. 751 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1325)

Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Can. 752 (NA)

Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

Can. 753 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1326)

Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.

Can. 754 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1324)

All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth.

Can. 755 (cf. 1917 CIC Can. 1325)

§1. It is above all for the entire college of bishops and the Apostolic See to foster and direct among Catholics the ecumenical movement whose purpose is the restoration among all Christians of the unity which the Church is bound to promote by the will of Christ.

§2. It is likewise for the bishops and, according to the norm of law, the conferences of bishops to promote this same unity and to impart practical norms according to the various needs and opportunities of the circumstances; they are to be attentive to the prescripts issued by the supreme authority of the Church.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Domingo undécimo después de Pentecostés

Lecturas litúrgicas y sermón del P. Romo
(Nuevo sacerdote de la FSSP en Guadalajara, México)


Lectura de la 1a Epístola de San Pablo a los Corintios (15:1-10):

Hermanos: Os recuerdo el Evangelio que os prediqué y que vosotros habéis recibido y en el que perseveráis, por el cual alcanzáis la salvación; mirad, si lo conservaís como yo os lo prediqué, porque, si no, en vano lo hubierais abrazado. Yo os enseñé lo que aprendí: que Cristo murió por nuestros pecados, según las Escrituras: que fue sepultado y que resucitó al tercer día, según las mismas Escrituras: después fue visto por Pedro y por los once Apóstoles. Más tarde se manifestó a más de quinientos hermanos juntamente, muchos de los cuales viven aún, y otros han muerto ya. Aparecióse después a Santiago y a los demás Apóstoles; y últimamente a mí, que vengo a ser como un abortivo; porque soy el último de los Apóstoles; y ni aun de este nombre de Apóstol soy mercedor, porque antes perseguí la Iglesia de Dios. Pero por su gracia soy lo que soy, y su gracia no ha sido estéril en mí.

Continuación del Santo Evangelio según San Marcos (7:31-37):

En aquel tiempo, saliendo Jesús de los confines de Tiro, vino por Sidón hasta el mar de Galilea, atravesando la Decápolis. Lleváronle un sordomudo y le rogaron que le impusiese las manos. Mas Él, separándole de en medio de la multitud, puso los dedos en sus orejas; y con un poco de saliva, tocó su lengua; y mirando al cielo, arrojó un suspiro y dijo: Effeta, que significa: Abríos. Y al momento se le abrieron los oídos, se le soltó la lengua y empezó a hablar bien. Y les mandó que no dijeran nada a nadie. Pero cuanto más les decía que callasen, más ellos lo publicaban y crecía su admiración diciendo: Ha hecho bien todas las cosas; Él ha hecho oir a los sordos y hablar a los mudos.

“Por su gracia soy lo que soy...”
Es una gran alegría y honor celebrar mi primera misa dominical en México, en la tierra de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, en la ciudad de Guadalajara, con Uds, especialmente con los miembros de Una Voce México, que nos han apoyado mucho para poder venir aquí. Me llamo Padre Jonathan Romanoski, pero será más facil que me llamen “Padre Romo,” como me dicen mis amigos. Y por eso quiero reclamar el patronaje de Santo Toribio para mi ministerio sacerdotal aquí en Guadalajara. Fui ordenado recientemente en la fiesta del Sagrado Corazón por el Cardenal Castrillón Hoyos en los EEUU, como miembro de la Fraternidad Sacerdotal San Pedro, una sociedad sacerdotal fundada por Su Santidad Juan Pablo II para conservar y mantener las tradiciones litúrgicas antiguas. Y gracias a la invitación del Cardenal Juan Sandoval Íniguez ahora comenzamos con nuestro primer apostolado en México en la arquidiócesis de Guadalajara. Hasta que venga el superior de este apostolado en septiembre, cuando nos mudaremos a nuestra propria iglesia, vamos a celebrar la misa aquí con el permiso generoso de su reverencia el Padre Trinidad.

A partir de mi primera visita a Mexico hace unos años, siempre fue mi sueño trabajar algún día en este país, y particularmente en Guadalajara, donde quedé encantado de ver lo que permanece de la Cristiandad--una cultura que, aunque va disminuyendo, es más católica que muchas otras partes del mundo. Dicha cultura católica fue un regalo de la Madre de Dios, la Reina misma del cielo y de la tierra. Así leemos bajo la tilma--Non fecit taliter omni nationi, que quiere decir--No ha hecho así con ninguna otra de las naciones.

Y me encanta celebrar el rito de la misa de hoy, en la misma forma de culto que formó esta cultura, el rito que formó la vida espiritual de tantos sacerdotes, como San Felipe de Jesús, el Beato Miguel Pro, Santo Toribio Romo, San Padre Pío, y de hecho, todos los santos del rito romano desde la edad de San Gregorio Magno.

¿Pero porqué les digo estas cosas? ¿Para ensalzarlos, o para alardearlos? Al contrario, para que nos llenemos de humildad, porque el tema principal de nuestro rito antiguo, el tema principal de la Nación mejicana, de mi sacerdocio, y de nuestra fraternidad, nos es explicado por las lecturas de hoy. “Por su gracia soy lo que soy.”

La liturgia que celebramos hoy, es “la misa de siempre” que “no ha sido nunca jurídicamente abrogada,” como dijo Su Santidad Benedicto XVI. Él añade que “lo que para las generaciones anteriores era sagrado, también para nosotros permanece sagrado y grande y no puede ser improvisamente totalmente prohibido o incluso [considerado como] perjudicial.” Este es el rito que él mismo celebró cuando vino a nuestro seminario todavía cuando era Cardenal, y que elogió como un gran tesoro de la Iglesia. Es entonces un regalo de Dios que recibimos por medio de nuestra Santa Madre Iglesia, que ni nuestros padres merecieron, ni nosotros, sino más bien lo recibimos para transmitirlo intacto, a las generaciones venideras, ya que es una expresión de la fe, o más bien la expresión más efectiva de la fe, como lo dijo el Papa Pío XI:

A la gente se le enseñan las verdades de la fe, a apreciar los gozos interiores de la religión, mucho más efectivamente a través de la celebración anual de nuestros sagrados misterios que a través de cualquier declaración oficial de las enseñanzas de la Iglesia. Tales declaraciones usualmente llegan a poca gente, y más a los fieles con educación que a cualquier otra persona; las fiestas de la Iglesia llegan a todo el mundo. Las declaraciones hablan sólo una vez; las fiestas hablan cada año—de hecho, por siempre.
He aquí la importancia de la sagrada liturgia, donde la ley de la oración establece eficazmente la ley de la creencia.

Así nos encontramos, como el surdomudo de hoy, delante de los sagrados misterios de la liturgia divina, en los cuales escuchamos mucho silencio, que llama la atención de ellos que la ven por primera vez, y aveces los pone incómodos. ¿Como entenderlo entonces? Es un silencio que habla, en que sólo Dios habla. Recuerden que San Elías no escuchó la voz de Dios sobre la montaña ni en los truenos ni los rayos, mas en el susurro de un viento suave, cual silencio nos enseña la verdad mas importante que Santa Catalina recibió en todas sus revelaciones, y ella escribió libros enteros en un estado de écstasis. Sobre todo, Jesús le dijo que la suma de todo que le reveló, lo más importante de recordar, era lo siguiente, que “yo soy el que soy, y tú eres lo que no es;” que somos más pasivos delante de Dios que activos; que sólo podemos alabarle, glorificarle, y amarle, en proporción al grado que recibamos su gracia y amor. Así esperaron los paganos de esta tierra sin la gracia de Dios, hasta que Jesucristo, el Dios hecho carne, les puso su dedo divino en sus oidos, y por un milagro palpable de la Virgen de Guadalupe, dijo “abríos,” y luego las aguas bautismales corrieron sobre la tierra seca, y esclavos de satanás fueron hechos hijos de Dios, partícipes de la naturaleza divina, por la gracia de Dios saltando a la vida eterna.

Y así debemos continuar imitando a Nuestra Señora, el modelo ejemplar de nuestra participación en la liturgia, con las manos juntas, en silencio al pié de la cruz, participando en el sacrificio de Jesucristo a tal grado que mereció el titulo de Correndentora. Esa es la manera más facil y profunda de participar en la sagrada liturgia, meditando sobre la verdad fundamental que Dios nos quiere comunicar—“Cristo murió por nuestros pecados.”

Así también recibí yo mi sacerdocio, pasando por las manos del Cardenal Castrillón, cuya gracia él recibió de las manos de sus predecesores, y ellos de los Apóstoles, y los Apóstoles de las manos sagradas de Jesucrísto mismo.

Y también nuestra Fraternidad recibió su aprobación como una sociedad de vida apostólica en la Iglesia, eregida gratuitamente por las llaves de San Pedro. Pero en ocasión de esta epístola, quiero decir un poquito más sobre nuestra fundación, ya que las palabras “tradidi quod et accepi,” “enseñé lo que recibí,” me recuerdan al Monseñor Marcel Lefevbre, quien tiene estas palabras sobre su lápida, y de quien nos separamos en 1988. Uno de sus consejeros, P. Josef Bisig, ahora el rector de nuestro seminario en los EE. UU., nos dio conferencias sobre nuestro origen en el seminario. Y de hecho, comenzó a explicar nuestra identidad con la persona del Mons. Lefevbre y su trabajo después del Concilio Vaticano II, tratando de conservar la misa que nunca fue abrogada. Nuestros fundadores recibieron a través de él, además de su formación, un gran amor por la misa, por la fe, y por la Iglesia. Fue también un ejemplo de humildad. Nos explicó el P. Bisig que cuando los sacerdotes y los fieles se reunían con él, y alguien haría brindis en su honor, profesando su gratitud, y su lealdad hasta la muerte, el Arzobispo se levantaría para corregirlos, diciendo que “yo soy solamente un hombre de la Iglesia, puedo errar. Si me equivoco, síguela a Ella y no a mí.” Así reconoció él su flaqueza y falibilidad.

Y así nuestros fundadores se sintieron obligados a concordar con este consejo, el momento en que él decidió consagrar obispos contra la voluntad del Santísimo Padre, un hecho que, si no me equivoco, jamás ha sido aprobado en la historia de la Iglesia. A veces algunos santos obispos consagraban obispos sin el permiso del Papa, pero nunca contra su voluntad. Es una cuestión, pues, teológica--de la unidad de la Iglesia--y no sólo canónica, ya que toca a la autoridad suprema que Jesucristo le encargó a San Pedro. Nuestros fundadores, pues, tomaron con mucho dolor una decisión de conciencia al apartarse de la Fraternidad de San Pío X, ya que estaban muy agradecidos por lo que recibieron del Mons. Lefevbre, pero con el único propósito de continuar su obra, de continuar la misa de siempre y la fé de siempre, permaneciendo adentro de la Iglesia de siempre, reconociendo que todo es una gracia que Dios le ha entregado a su Iglesia, la única arca de salvación, que, como dicen las Escrituras, es negra por los pecadores que están en ella, pero hermosa por su santidad intrínseca, que nunca podrá perder, que gaurantiza la conservación de la fe, la tradición y la liturgia hasta el fin del mundo. No lo digo en un espíritu polemico, pero sólo para decir que nuestra decisión de permanecer bajo el Santísimo Padre no fue un acuerdo de compromiso, sino al contrario, una decisión de tratar de conservar la tradición entera, con la única que la garantiza por siempre, nuestra Santa Madre Iglesia.

Madre de la divina gracia: ruega por nosotros.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Even More Updates to ITOPL!!!

Share/Bookmark (For the full catalog and instructions, go to the ITOPL page.)


  • Sertillanges, O.P. Foundations of Thomistic Philosophy.
  • John of St. Thomas, O.P. Outlines of Formal Logic.
  • Bittle, O.F.M.Cap. The Science of Correct Thinking: Logic.
  • Munier. A Manual of Philosophy: Cosmology & Philosophical Psychology.
  • Brennan, O.P. Thomistic Psychology: A Philosophic Analysis of the Nature of Man.
  • Oesterle. Ethics: The Introduction to Moral Science.
  • McCormick, S.J. Scholastic Metaphysics.
  • Klubertanz, S.J. Introduction to the Philosophy of Being.
  • H.D. Gardeil, O.P. Initiation à la philosophie de Saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 1: Logique.
  • H.D. Gardeil, O.P. Initiation à la philosophie de Saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 2: Cosmologie.
  • H.D. Gardeil, O.P. Initiation à la philosophie de Saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 3: Psychologie.
  • H.D. Gardeil, O.P. Initiation à la philosophie de Saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 4: Métaphysique.


  • Tanquerey. Manual of Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1.
  • Tanquerey. Manual of Dogmatic Theology, vol. 2.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 1: Institutiones propedeuticae.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 2: De Deo Uno et Trino.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 3: De Deo Creante et Fine Ultimo.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 4: De Verbo Incarnato; De Sanctis.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 5: De gratia; De lege.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 6: De Sacramentis I.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 7: De Sacramentis II.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 8: De virtutibus theologicis.
  • Pesch, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 9: De virtutibus moralibus; De novissimis.


  • Ryan & Boland. Catholic Principles of Politics.
  • Prummer, O.P. Manuale Juris Canonici.
  • Ramstein, O.F.M.Conv. A Manual of Canon Law.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Updates to ITOPL!!!



  • Index of Forbidden Books (1948).
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De immutabilitate Traditionis contra modernam haeresim evolutionismi.
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De Deo Uno et Trino: Commentarius in Primam Partem S. Thomae.
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De personali et originali peccato: Commentarius in Primam Secundae (Qq. 71-89).
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De gratia: Commentarius in Primam Secundae.
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De virtutibus infusis: Commentarius in Secundam Partem S. Thomae: De virtutibus infusis in genere, et theologicis in specie.
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De Verbo Incarnato: Commentarius in Tertiam Partem S. Thomae.
  • Card. Billot, S.J. Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi sive Continuatio theologiae de Verbo Incarnato (Tomus prior: De credibilitate Ecclesiae, et de intima ejus constitutione).
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De Ecclesiae Sacramentis: Commentarius in Tertiam Partem S. Thomae (Tomus prior: De Sacramentis in communi, De Baptismo, De Confirmatione, De Eucharistia).
  • Card. Billot, S.J. De Ecclesiae Sacramentis: Commentarius in Tertiam Partem S. Thomae: (Tomus posterior: De Poenitentia, Extrema Unctione, Ordine, et Matrimonio).
  • Perrone, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 1-2: De vera religione; De locis theologicis.
  • Perrone, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 3-4: De locis theologicis (cont.); De Deo Uno et Trino.
  • Perrone, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 5-6: De Deo Creatore; De Incarnatione et cultu sancto.
  • Perrone, S.J. Praelectiones dogmaticae, t. 7-9: De gratia et Sacramentis in genere.


  • Bl. Ildelfonso Schuster. The Sacramentary.
  • Solesmes. The Liturgy: Papal Teachings.
  • Wapelhorst. Compendium sacrae liturgiae.
  • Oppenheim. Principia theologiae liturgiae (Institutiones VII).
  • Montague. Problems in the Liturgy.
  • De Herdt. Sacrae liturgiae.
  • Haegy. Manuel de liturgie et cermonial.
  • Sterky. Manuel de liturgie et cermonial.
  • Moretti. De sacris functionibus.
  • Stehle. Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies.
  • Mueller, S.J. Handbook of Ceremonies.
  • Rev. O’Brien. In Sacristy and Sanctuary.
  • Rev. Kavanagh. The Altar Boy’s Ceremonial.
  • Rev. McManus. The Rites of Holy Week.
  • Zualdi & O’Callaghan, C.M. Sacred Ceremonies of Low Mass.
  • Baumer & Biron. Histoire du Breviaire.
  • Ceremoniale Episcoporum.
  • Vavasseur. Cermonial des ordinations.
  • O'Connel. The Ceremonies of Holy Week, Solemn Rite and Simple Rite: A Commentary.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

St. Thomas' "Sexta Via"?

Share/Bookmark From St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II.2.8c:

It is impossible for any created good to constitute man's happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which lulls the appetite altogether; else it would not be the last end, if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, i.e. of man's appetite, is the universal good; just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that naught can lull man's will, save the universal good. This is to be found, not in any creature, but in God alone; because every creature has goodness by participation. Wherefore God alone can satisfy the will of man, according to the words of Psalm 102:5: "Who satisfieth thy desire with good things." Therefore God alone constitutes man's happiness.

Respondeo dicendum quod impossibile est beatitudinem hominis esse in aliquo bono creato. Beatitudo enim est bonum perfectum, quod totaliter quietat appetitum, alioquin non esset ultimus finis, si adhuc restaret aliquid appetendum. Obiectum autem voluntatis, quae est appetitus humanus, est universale bonum; sicut obiectum intellectus est universale verum. Ex quo patet quod nihil potest quietare voluntatem hominis, nisi bonum universale. Quod non invenitur in aliquo creato, sed solum in Deo, quia omnis creatura habet bonitatem participatam. Unde solus Deus voluntatem hominis implere potest; secundum quod dicitur in Psalmo CII, qui replet in bonis desiderium tuum. In solo igitur Deo beatitudo hominis consistit.

From Garrigou-Lagrange, Providence, pt. 1.4:

"[Aquinas' text on the five ways or proofs] for the existence of God contains implicitly another which St. Thomas develops elsewhere, Ia IIae, q. 2, a. 8. He shows that beatitude or true happiness, the desire for which is natural to man, cannot be found in any limited or restricted good, but only in God who is known at least with a natural knowledge and loved with an efficacious love above all things. He proves that man's beatitude cannot consist in wealth, honors, or glory, or in any bodily good; nor does it consist in some good of the soul, such as virtue, nor in any limited good. His argument for this last is based on the very nature of our intellect and will. [6]

Let us consider (1) the fact which is the starting-point of the proof, (2) the principle on which the proof rests, (3) the culminating point of the proof, and (4) what the proof cannot extend to.

1) The fact of experience: true, substantial, and enduring happiness cannot be found in any passing good

We can ascend to the sovereign good, the source of perfect and unalloyed happiness, by starting either from the notion of imperfect subordinate goods or from the natural desire which such goods never succeed in satisfying.

If we begin with those finite limited goods which man is naturally inclined to desire, we very soon realize their imperfection. Whether it be health or the pleasures of the body, riches or honors, glory or power, or a knowledge of the sciences, we are forced to acknowledge that these are but transitory goods, extremely limited and imperfect. But, as we have said repeatedly, the imperfect, or the good mingled with imperfection, is no more than a good participated in by the restricted capacity of the recipient, and it presupposes the pure good completely excluding its contrary. Thus a wisdom associated with ignorance and error is no more than a participated wisdom, presupposing wisdom itself. This is the metaphysical aspect of the argument, the dialectic of the intellect proceeding by way of both exemplary and efficient causality.

But the proof we are here speaking of becomes more vital, more convincing, more telling, if we begin with that natural desire for happiness which everyone feels so keenly within him. This is the psychological and moral aspect of the argument, the dialectic of love founded on that of the intellect and proceeding by way of efficient (productive, regulative) causality or final causality. [7] These, the efficient and final, are the two extrinsic causes, each as necessary as the other. Indeed the final is the first of the causes, so that Aristotle (Metaphysics, Bk. XII, chap. 7) saw more clearly the final causality of God the pure act than His efficient causality, whether productive or regulative. [8]

Following in the wake of Aristotle and St. Augustine, St. Thomas (Ia IIae, q. 2, a. 7, 8) insists on the fact that man by his very nature desires to be happy. Now man's intellect, transcending as it does the sense and the imagination of the brute, has knowledge not merely of this or that particular good, whether delectable or useful—a particular food or a particular medicine, for instance—but of good in general (universal in predication), constituting it as such, as the desirable wherever it is to be found. Since this is so, and since man's inclination is directed to the real good to be found in things, and not simply to the abstract idea of the good, it follows that he cannot find his true happiness in any finite limited good, but in the sovereign good alone (universal in being and causation). [9]

It is impossible for man to find in any limited good that true happiness which by his very nature he desires, for his intellect, becoming immediately aware of the limitation, conceives forthwith the idea of a higher good, and the will naturally desires it.

This fact is expressed in the profound sentence of St. Augustine's Confessions (Bk. I, chap. 1): "Our heart, O Lord, is restless, until it finds its rest in Thee" (irrequietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in Te, Domine).

Who of us has not experienced this fact in his intimate life? In sickness we have the natural desire to recover our health as a great good. But, however happy we are in our recovery, no sooner are we cured than we realize that health alone cannot bring happiness: a man may be in perfect health and yet be overwhelmed with sadness. It is the same with the pleasures of the senses: far from being sufficient to give us happiness, let them be abused ever so little and they bring only disillusion and disgust; for our intellect, with its conception of a universal unlimited good, straightway tells us: "Now that you have obtained this sensible enjoyment which just now had such an attraction for you, you see that it is sheer emptiness incapable of filling the deep void in your heart, of satisfying your desire for happiness."

It is the same with wealth and honors, which many desire eagerly. We no sooner possess them than we realize how ephemeral and superficial is the satisfaction they give, how inadequate they, too, are to fill the void in our hearts. And intellect tells us that all these riches and honors are still but a poor finite good that is dissipated by a breath of wind.

The same must be said of power and glory. One who is lifted up on the wheel of fortune has scarcely reached the top when he begins to descend; he must give place to others, and soon he will be as a star whose light is extinguished. Even if the more fortunate retain their power and glory for a time, they never find real happiness in it; often they experience such anxiety and weariness of mind that they long to withdraw from it all.

The same applies to the knowledge of the sciences. Here it is a case of only an extremely limited good; for the true, even when complete and without admixture of error, is still the good of the intellect, not of man as a whole. Besides the intellect, the heart and will have also their profound spiritual needs, and so long as these remain unsatisfied there can be no true happiness.

Shall we find it in a most pure and exalted form of friend ship? Such a friendship will doubtless bring us intense joy, sometimes affecting our inmost being. But we have an intellect that conceives universal and unlimited good, and here again it will not be long in perceiving that this most pure and exalted form of friendship is still but a finite good. This reminds us of those words of St. Catherine of Siena: "Would you continue long to slake your thirst with the cup of true friendship? Leave it, then, beneath the fountain of living water; otherwise it will speedily be drained and no longer satisfy your thirst." If the thirst is satisfied, it is because the person loved is made better, and in order to be made better he needs to receive a new goodness from a higher source.

Suppose we could look upon an angel and see his suprasensible, purely spiritual beauty. Once. the first sense of wondering amazement had passed, our intellect, with its conception of the universal, unlimited good, would immediately remind us that even this was no more than a finite good and thereby exceedingly poor in comparison with the unlimited and perfect good itself. Two finite goods, however unequal they may be, are equally remote from the infinite; in this respect the angel is as insignificant as the grain of sand.

2) The principle by which we ascend to God

Can it be that this natural desire for happiness, which we all have within us, must forever remain unsatisfied? Is it possible for a natural desire to be of no effect, chimerical, without meaning or purpose?

That a desire born of a fantasy of the imagination or of an error of reason, such as the desire to have wings, may be chimerical, can well be understood. But surely it could not be so with a desire which has its immediate foundation in nature without the intervention of any conditional judgment. The desire for happiness is not a mere hypothetical wish; it is innate, with its immediate foundation in nature itself; and nature again is stable and constant, being found in all men, in all places, and at all times. Furthermore, this desire is of the very nature of the will, which, prior to any act, is an appetitive faculty having universal good as its object. The nature of our will can no more be the result of chance, of a fortuitous encounter, than can the nature of our intellect; because, like the intellect, the will is a principle of operation wholly simple, in no way compounded of different elements that chance might have brought together. Can this natural desire of the will be chimerical?

In answer to this question we say, first, that natural desire in beings inferior to ourselves is not ineffectual, as the naturalists have shown from the experimental point of view. In herbiverous animals the natural desire is for herbaceous food, and this they find; in carnivores the desire is to find flesh to eat, and they find it. Man's natural desire is for happiness, and with him true happiness is not and cannot be found in any limited good. Is this true happiness nowhere to be found? Is man's natural desire, then, to remain a deception and without finality when the natural desire of inferior beings is not in vain?

And this is not purely a naturalist's argument based on experience and the analogy of our own natural desire with that of inferior beings. It is a metaphysical argument based on the certitude of the absolute validity of the principle of finality.

If the natural desire for true happiness is chimerical, then all human activity, inspired as it is by that desire, is without finality, without a raison d'être, and thus contrary to the necessary and evident principle that every agent acts for an end. To grasp the truth of this principle, thus formulated by Aristotle, it is enough to understand the terms of the proposition. Any agent whatsoever, conscious or unconscious, has an inclination to something determinate which is appropriate to it. Now the end is precisely that determinate good to which the act of the agent or the motion of the mobile object is directed.

This principle, self-evident to one who understands the meaning of the words agent and end, may be further demonstrated by a reductio ad absurdum; for otherwise, says St. Thomas (Ia IIae, q. 1, a. 2), "there would be no reason why the agent should act rather than not act, no reason why it should act in this way rather than in another, " why it should desire this object rather than some other.

If there were no finality in nature, if no natural agent acted for some end, there would be no reason why the eye should see and not hear or taste, no reason why the wings of the bird should be for flying and not for walking or swimming, no reason for the intellect to know rather than desire. Everything would then be for no purpose, and be unintelligible. There would be no reason why the stone should fall instead of rising, no reason why bodies should attract rather than repel one another and be dispersed, thus destroying the harmony of the universe.

The principle of finality has an absolute necessity and value. It is no less certain than the principle of efficient causality, that everything that happens and every contingent being demands an efficient cause, and that in the last analysis everything that happens demands an efficient cause itself uncaused, a cause that is its own activity, its own action, and is therefore its existence, since action follows being and the mode of action the mode of being.

These two principles of efficient and final causality are equally certain, the certitude being metaphysical and not merely physical, antecedent to a demonstration of the existence of God. Indeed, without finality, efficient causality is inconceivable: as we have just seen, it would be without a purpose and consequently unintelligible.

3) The term of this ascent

There is, then, a purpose in our natural desire for happiness; its Inclination is for some good. But is this inclination for a good that is wholly unreal, or, though real, yet unattainable?

In the first place, the good to which our natural desire tends is not simply an idea in the mind, for, as Aristotle more than once pointed out, whereas truth is formally in the mind enunciating a judgment, the good is formally in things. When we desire food, it is not enough for us to have the idea: it is not the idea of bread that nourishes, but the bread itself. Hence the natural desire of the will, founded as it is in the very nature of the intellect and the will and not merely in the imagination or the vagaries of reason, tends to a real good, not merely to the idea of the good; otherwise it is no longer a desire and certainly not a natural one.

It will perhaps be said that our universal idea of good leads us to seek happiness in the simultaneous or successive enjoyment of all those finite goods that have an attraction for us, such as health and bodily pleasures, riches and honors, the delight in scientific knowledge, art and friendship. Those who in their mad career wish to enjoy every finite good, one after another, if not all at once, seem for the moment to think that herein lies true happiness.

But experience and reason undeceive us. That empty void in the heart always remains, making itself felt in weariness of spirit; and intelligence tells us that not even the simultaneous possession of all these goods, finite and imperfect as they are, can constitute the good itself which is conceived and desired by us, any more than an innumerable multitude of idiots can equal a man of genius.

Quantity has nothing to say in the matter; it is quality of good that counts here. Even if the whole sum of created goods were multiplied to infinity they would not constitute that pure and perfect good which the intellect conceives and the will desires. Here is the profound reason for that weariness of spirit which the worldly experience and which they take with them wherever they go. They pursue one thing after another, yet never find any real satisfaction or true happiness.

Now if our intellect is able to conceive a universal, unlimited good, the will also, awakened as it is by the intellect, has a range and depth that is limitless. Is it possible, therefore, for its natural desire—which calls for a real good and not merely the idea of good—to be chimerical and of no effect?

This natural desire, which has its foundation not in the imagination but in our very nature, is, like that nature, something fixed and unchangeable. It can no more be ineffectual than the desire of the herbivora or that of the carnivora; it can no more be ineffective than is the natural ordering of the eye for seeing, the ear for hearing, the intellect for knowing. If therefore this natural desire for happiness cannot be ineffective, if it cannot find its satisfaction in any finite goods or in the sum total of them, we are necessarily compelled to affirm the existence of a pure and perfect good. That is, the good itself or the sovereign good, which alone is capable of responding to our aspirations. Otherwise the universal range of our will would be a psychological absurdity, something radically unintelligible and without a purpose.

4) What does not come within the exigencies of our nature

Does it follow that this natural desire for happiness in us demands that we attain to the intuitive vision of God, the sovereign good?

By no means; for the intuitive vision of the divine essence is essentially supernatural and therefore gratuitous, in no way due to our nature or to the nature of angels.

This is the meaning of St. Paul's words: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him. But to us God hath revealed them by His Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (I Cor. 2: 9).

But far inferior to the intuitive vision of the divine essence and to Christian faith, is a natural knowledge of God as the author of nature, which is the knowledge given us by the proofs of His existence.

If original sin had not enfeebled our moral strength, this natural knowledge would have enabled us to attain to a naturally efficacious love for God as the author of nature, who is the sovereign good known in a natural way.

Now had man been created in a purely natural state, he would have found in this natural knowledge and naturally efficacious love for God his true happiness. Of course it would not have been that absolutely perfect and supernatural beatitude, which is the immediate vision of God, but a true happiness, nevertheless, one solid and lasting; for in the natural order, at any rate, the order embracing everything our nature demands, this natural love for God, if efficacious, does really direct our life to Him and in a true sense enables us to find our rest in Him. Such in the state of pure nature would have been the destiny of the immortal souls of the just after the probation of this life. The soul naturally desires to live forever, and a natural desire of this kind cannot be ineffective. (Cf. St. Thomas, Ia, q. 75, a. 6, c, end.)

But gratuitously we have received far more than this: we have received grace which is the seed of glory, and with it t supernatural faith and a supernatural love for God, who is no longer the author merely of nature but also of grace.

And so, for us Christians, the proof we have been discussing receives strong confirmation in the happiness and peace to be found even here on earth through union with God.

In a realm far beyond any glimpse that philosophical reason might obtain, though not yet the attainment of the perfect beatitude of heaven, true happiness is ours to the extent that we love the sovereign good with a sincere, efficacious, generous love, and above all things, more than ourselves or any creature, and to the extent that we direct our whole life daily more and more to Him.

In spite of the occasional overwhelming sorrows of this present life, we shall have found true happiness and peace, at least in the summit of the soul, if we love God above all things; for peace is the tranquillity that comes with order, and here we are united to the very principle of all order and of all life.

Our proof thus receives strong confirmation from the profound experiences of the spiritual life, in which are realized the words of our Lord: "Peace I leave with you: My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you" (John 14:27). It is not in the accumulation of pleasures, riches, honors, glory, and power, but in union with God, that the Savior has given us peace. So solid and enduring is the peace He has given us that He can and actually does preserve it within us, as He predicted that He would, even in the midst of persecutions: "Blessed are the poor.... Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice.... Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5: 10). Already the kingdom of heaven is theirs in the sense that in union with God they possess through charity the beginnings of eternal life, inchoatio vitae aeternae (IIa IIae, q. 24, a. 3 ad 2um).

Epicurus boasted that his teaching would bring happiness to his disciples even in the red-hot brazen bull of Phalaris in which men were roasted to death. Jesus alone has been able to accomplish such a thing by giving to the martyrs in the very midst of their torments peace and true happiness through union with God.

According to the degree of this union with God, the proof we have been discussing is thereby very much confirmed by reason of the profound spiritual experience; for, through the gift of wisdom, God makes Himself felt within us as the life of our life: "For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God" (Rom. 8: 16). God makes Himself felt within us as the principle of that filial love for Him which He Himself inspires in us.



6. Cf. Summa Theologica, Ia IIae, q. 2, a. 8.
7. Cf. ibid., Ia IIae, q. 1, a. 4: "Is there an ultimate end to human life?" "Absolutely speaking, it is impossible in a series to continue to infinity in any direction.... Were there not an ultimate end, nothing would be desired, no action would have a term, nor would the inclination of the agent find repose.

8. If, instead of considering simply the end of this natural desire, we consider its ordering to that end—and this demands an efficient, regulating cause (ordinans vel imperans movet ut agens, non ut finis)—then the argument pertains to the fifth way of St. Thomas, which is that based upon the presence of order in the world: "All design presupposes a designer." In this sense the passive ordering of our will to the bonum honestum or moral good, superior alike to the delectable and to the useful, presupposes a supreme regulator. Or again, moral obligation, which is displayed in remorse of conscience and in the peace that comes from duty accomplished, presupposes a supreme lawgiver. Of this we will speak in the next chapter.

9. Cf. Cajetan, Commentary on Ia IIae, q. 2, a. 7.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Quinta Via and its Bearing on the Spiritual Life

Share/Bookmark From St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I.2.3c:

The existence of God can be proved in five ways.... The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

Quinta via sumitur ex gubernatione rerum. Videmus enim quod aliqua quae cognitione carent, scilicet corpora naturalia, operantur propter finem, quod apparet ex hoc quod semper aut frequentius eodem modo operantur, ut consequantur id quod est optimum; unde patet quod non a casu, sed ex intentione perveniunt ad finem. Ea autem quae non habent cognitionem, non tendunt in finem nisi directa ab aliquo cognoscente et intelligente, sicut sagitta a sagittante. Ergo est aliquid intelligens, a quo omnes res naturales ordinantur ad finem, et hoc dicimus Deum.

From Garrigou-Lagrange, Providence, Pt. 1.2:

It would require the genius of a mathematician to invent and construct a bee-hive; and no chemist has yet succeeded in making honey from the nectar of a flower. Yet the bee is obviously not itself intelligent: it never varies its work or makes any improvement. From the very beginning its natural instinct has determined it to perform its task in the same way, and it will continue to do so forever, without in any way bringing it to perfection. On the contrary, man is continually perfecting the implements of his invention because, through his intelligence, he recognizes their purpose. The bee, too, works with an end in view, but unconsciously; yet it works in a way that excites our admiration....

Is there not a great moral lesson in this proof for the existence of God from the order prevailing in the world? Yes, an important one that is taught us in the Book of Job and more clearly later on in the Sermon on the Mount.

It is this lesson that, if there is such order in the physical world, much more must it be so in the moral world, in spite of all the wickedness human justice allows to go unpunished, as it also leaves unrewarded many a heroic act giving proof of God's intervention in the world.

It is the Lord's answer to Job and his friends. As we shall insist later on, the purpose of the Book of Job is to answer this question: Why so often in this world are the just made to suffer more than the wicked? Is it always in expiation of their sins, their secret sins at any rate?

Job's friends declare that it is, and they blame this poor stricken soul for complaining. Job denies that the trials and tribulations of the just are in every case the result of their sins, even their secret sins, and he wonders why so much suffering should have befallen him.

In the latter part of the book (chaps. 32-42), the Lord replies by pointing out the wonderful order prevailing in the physical world with all its splendors, from the life of the insect to the eagle's flight, as if to say: If there exists such order as this in the things of sense, much more so must there be order in the dispositions of my providence concerning the just, even in their most terrible afflictions. There is in this a secret and a mystery which it is not given to men to fathom in this world.

Later on, in the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord speaks more plainly (Matt. 6: 25) : "Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat.... Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap... and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?... Consider the lilies of the field:... they labor not, neither do they spin. But I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field... God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith." If there is order in the world of sense, a providence for the birds of the air, much more so will there be order in the spiritual world and a providence for the immortal souls of men.

And lastly, to the question put in the Book of Job, our Lord gives the final answer when He says (John 15: I-2): "I am the true vine: and My Father is the husbandman... and everyone that beareth fruit, He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit." God proves a man as He proved Job, that the man may bring forth the splendid fruits of patience, humility, self-abandonment, love of God and one's neighbor—the splendid fruits of charity, which is the beginning of eternal life.

This, then, is the important moral lesson taught us in this sublime proof for the existence of God: If in the world of sense such wonderful order exists, much more must it be so in the moral and spiritual world, in spite of trials and tribulations. There is light enough for those who are willing to see and march on accordingly to the true light of eternity.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Codes of Canon Law and 'Baptism of Desire'

I do not mean to 'beat a dead horse', so to speak, but I recently encountered these texts for the first time: they are yet further support for the Catholic doctrine of 'Baptism of Desire'.

From the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici:

"Can. 737, § 1: Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, necessary for all for salvation in re or at least in desire, is not validly conferred except by washing with true and natural water along with the prescribed formula of words."

Can. 737, § 1: Baptismus, Sacramentorum ianua ac fundamentum, omnibus in re vel saltem in voto necessarius ad salutem, valide non confertur, nisi per ablutionem aquae verae et naturalis cum praescripta verborum forma.

From the 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici:

"Can. 849: Baptism, the gateway to the Sacraments, necessary for salvation in re or at least in desire, through which men are freed from sins, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church, is validly conferred only by a washing of true water with the proper form of words."

Can. 849: Baptismus, ianua sacramentorum, in re vel saltem in voto ad salutem necessarius, quo homines a peccatis liberantur, in Dei filios regenerantur atque indelebili charactere Christo configurati Ecclesiae incorporantur, valide confertur tantummodo per lavacrum aquae verae cum debita verborum forma.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Church & State Not to be Separated in the US

From Leo XIII, Longinqua (1895), On Catholicism in the US

5. That your Republic is progressing and developing by giant strides is patent to all; and this holds good in religious matters also. For even as your cities, in the course of one century, have made a marvellous increase in wealth and power, so do we behold the Church, from scant and slender beginnings, grown with rapidity to be great and exceedingly flourishing. Now if, on the one hand, the increased riches and resources of your cities are justly attributed to the talents and active industry of the American people, on the other hand, the prosperous condition of Catholicity must be ascribed, first indeed, to the virtue, the ability, and the prudence of the bishops and clergy; but in so slight measure also, to the faith and generosity of the Catholic laity. Thus, while the different classes exerted their best energies, you were enabled to erect unnumbered religious and useful institutions, sacred edifices, schools for the instruction of youth, colleges for the higher branches, homes for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and convents and monasteries. As for what more closely touches spiritual interests, which are based upon the exercise of Christian virtues, many facts have been brought to Our notice, whereby We are animated with hope and filled with joy, namely, that the numbers of the secular and regular clergy are steadily augmenting, that pious sodalities and confraternities are held in esteem, that the Catholic parochial schools, the Sunday-schools for imparting Christian doctrine, and summer schools are in a flourishing condition; moreover, associations for mutual aid, for the relief of the indigent, for the promotion of temperate living, add to all this the many evidences of popular piety.

6. The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority. (Emphasis added.)