Monday, February 28, 2005

John Paul II, Esse, and the Ideologies of Evil in "Memory and Identity."

Prolegomenon to the articles on "Esse" following this advertance by John Paul II.
"To clarify the problem better, it is necessary to go back to the period before the Enlightenment and, specifically, to the revolution that presupposed the thought of Descartes in philosophy. The "cogito, ergo sum" - I think, therefore I am - involved an inversion in the way of doing philosophy. In the pre-Cartesian period, philosophy, and therefore the "cogito", or better "I know," was subordinated to "esse," which was considered primordial. For Descartes, on the other hand, "esse" appeared secondary to him, while he considered the "cogito" primary. In this way, not only was there a change in the direction in the way of doing philosophy, but also there was a decisive abandonment of what philosophy had been up to that moment, and particularly, for St. Thomas Aquinas: the philosophy of "esse." He (St. Thomas) interpreted everything from the prism of "esse" and from this perspective, he sought an explanation of everything. God, as fully self-sufficient Being ("Ens subsistens), was considered the indispensable foundation of every "ens non subsistens, ens participatum," of all created beings, and therefore, also man. The "cogito, ergo sum" produced the rupture with this way of thinking. The primordial point now was the "ens cogitans." So that, from Descartes on, philosophy converted into the science of pure thought: everything that had been "esse" - the created world as well as the Creator - was assumed into the world of thought - the "cogito" - as the content of human consciousness. Philosophy was concerned about beings in the measure that they are contained in conscience and not in so far as they exist outside of it" (My translation from the Spanish edition: "Memoria and Identity" 21-22).

Relational Esse and the Person

My purpose in this paper is to propose the Thomistic act of existence as the explanation of the relational dimension of person as well as its unique substantiality. Both relation and substantiality are equal as dimensions of that act of existence. Relation is not considered as the predicamental "accident" but as the constitutive expansiveness of the act of existence understood "intensively." That act of existence, when it is intensively intellectual, is the person.
The topic falls under the rubric of "Christian Philosophy" because as the act of existence or esse, as I will now refer to it, may have involved the revealed notion of creation for its discovery, the notion of person certainly involves the revelation of the Trinity of three Persons in one God. If this is so, and if the One God is considered substantial Being, then the Three Persons, revealing themselves in dialogue, can only be subsistent relationalities, dialogue being a relational ontologic. St. Augustine remarks: "In God there are no accidents, only substance and relation."1 Explaining himself, Augustine says: "He is not called Father with reference to himself but only in relation to the Son; seen by himself he is simply God."2
Cardinal Ratzinger comments that "this means that the First Person does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. Only as this act is it person...."3 What is being affirmed here is that the notion of person is constitutively expansive as relation. Therefore, the notion of being has to be rethought and reformulated in the dyadic terms of substance or intrinsic existence and its constitutive relationality.4 So also, the purpose of this paper is to confront the challenge which Cardinal Ratzinger throws down to a metaphysic which has affirmed being only as substance without a constitutive relational dimension: `Wherein lies concealed a revolution in man's view of the world: the undivided sway of thinking in terms of substance is ended; relation is discovered as an equally valid primordial mode of reality. .. a new plane of being comes into view "5 It could also be mentioned here that the Second Vatican Council has wanted to suggest the parallel between the relational character of the Divine Persons and the relational character of the human person when it says: "man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself."6 I might also insert here the recent statement of Walter Kasper which says that theology needs a metaphysics which has been developed precisely within theology. He comments:

The regaining of the metaphysical dimension appears to me, therefore, one of the most important tasks of contemporary theology. This holds true, even though many contemporary theologians, to use Hegel's terms, keep a safe distance from metaphysics as if it were a leper. But without a transcendent ground and point of reference, statements of faith are finally only subjective projections or social and ecclesial ideologies cannot ... adopt this theologically necessary metaphysics `from the outside.' Rather, one must develop it on the basis of the testimonies of revelation and the understanding
of reality implicit in them ...7
Up to this moment, the analysis of person has traditionally been made from the bottom up.8 That is to say, man has been viewed as a part of nature to which has been superadded the distinguishing ingredients of rationality and free will. This has also been the analytical procedure of Aristotelian anthropology, shepherded through the Middle Ages under the guiding thought of Boethius in to the present day. Boethius defined person as the naturae rationales individua substantia. Person, then, has traditionally been defined from the side of essence as substance, which in Thomistic existentialism is the source of finitude and limit. Even when it has not been defined that way, as in the case of Capreolus, esse was seen only as the actuality of essence and not as intensive in itself and intrinsically expansive.9 Hence, even when person was constituted from the side of esse, esse was not considered in its expansiveness but as the "thin" actuality of essence. Therefore, as long as the metaphysical model for describing a person was Aristotelian substance and relation was always an accident, then being as relation would never be able to pass from its immanentized domestication within the Trinity, to man and thereon to all reality as relational being. The cultural effect of understanding being to be relational in its very intrinsicness has been admirably presented by David Schindler in a number of articles in recent years. The proposal, then, is to accept the theological elaboration of person as constitutively relational as expansive and offer the Thomistic esse as the ontological explanation of that expansiveness.
Three major points will be considered: (1) esse as intensive act; (2) the relation of intensive esse and agere; and (3) the transmutation of the subject or person from limiting essence to expansive esse. We will assume the dynamic character of the Thomistic esse as expounded by Gerald Phelan when he comments:

What was my joy, then, to read in the very first article of St. Thomas's Quaestio Disputata De Veritate, that reality, unity, truth and all the transcendentals were general modes of being (modi essendi), not properties or attributes of beings (entia) and that all those things we are accustomed to designate by nouns-substance, quantity, quality, relation and the rest-are likewise modes of being [(modi essendi, mark you, not modi entis or modi entium)]. They are, therefore, more accurately expressed by adverbial adjuncts to the verb "to be" than by the customary substantives."11
The proposal, then, is to see this "to be" (esse), not as an actuality of a substance, but as an intensive act in its own right of which substantiality is a "mode." By intensive, I mean that esse is expansive as an agere, and expansiveness as an agere is another "mode" of that same esse. Thus, agere is "esse-becoming" and so constitutive of "esse's fulfillment. Furthermore, substance and relation are dyadic modes of the one esse. I will offer a presentation of essence as limit not as "exercising" subject of esse. The final development will be to suggest the transference of agency from essence to esse. When esse is intelligere the agent is the person.
The first order of business is to establish the priority of esse as origin and source of all reality. Rev. Gerald B. Phelan was taught at Louvain that esse is the only act which "God gives when he creates,"12 and he understood it to mean that "God gives esse and nothing more .... Just as in God there is nothing but ESSE, writ large, so in things there is nothing but esse, writ small."13 `The act of existence (esse)," says Fr. Phelan,

is not a state, it is an act and not as any static definable object of conception. Esse is dynamic impulse, energy, act-the first, the most persistent and enduring of all dynamisms, all energies, all acts. In all things on earth, the act of being (esse) is the consubstantial urge of nature, a restless, striving force, carrying each being (ens) onward, from within the depths of its own reality to its full self-achievement...14
Our purpose here is to see what kind of act esse is so as to be able to discern if it is merely the actuality of essences which would be the subjects receiving and exercising esse. Rather, might it be a constitutive relationality because of its intensity as intelligible act and so be a worthy candidate for the ontological category of person. The gambit then is: where there is intensity, there is relationality. Relationality means intensity. Vivere, sentire, intelligere are hierarchical gradings of directly proportional relationalities and corresponding intensities of being. If personality is defined by relationality (and we saw that this was the offering from trinitarian theology and reinforced today by the Magisterium of the Church) then the principle of relationality should be the principle of personality as intensity. If we can show the Thomistic esse to be intensive and therefore relational, it should be the principle of personality. And if essence, thick or thin, is to be considered merely as limit of esse, then finite esse, as limited, should not only be considered the principle of personality but the subject, the being of the person himself.
I have three texts of St. Thomas on a major issue, namely, the "kind" of esse that belongs to the soul, that enables it to be immaterial and by nature intrinsically related to matter at the same time. The whole conundrum of whether an intellectual soul can be at the same time the form of the body is resolved by St. Thomas through his understanding of esse:

...the human soul exists through its own esse; and matter shares in this esse up to a point without completely enveloping it, because the dignity of such a form transcends the capacity of matter. And that is why nothing prevents the soul from having an operation or power beyond the reach of matter. 15

Now, the esse of the soul which becomes the esse of the body is not just the actuality of the soul extended to the body, but an intelligere which is of a completely different order of intelligible density than the esse of the composite. Esse as intelligere is not "thin."17 It has an intensity, a "thickness," an intelligibility, and an immateriality which the body cannot exhaust in its own way of being. Man exists, then, "in his totality and in his compositeness through an act of existence which is wholly intellectual."19 Anton Pegis sums up his article on the subject affirming that "Man is an intellect, an incarnate intellect, and this by nature."
To clarify the use of the word "intelligere," St. Thomas makes a distinction between two meanings of the word: "Sensation and intelligence, and the like, are sometimes taken for the operations, sometimes for the existence (ipso esse) of the operator. "21
And so, St. Thomas is talking about esse, but not as some homogeneous actuality or facticity, but about a real "quo" which is on a different level of density in a hierarchy of real beings.
Exactly the same idea appears in his De Spiritualibus Creaturis, when he answers the 14th objection:

Intelligere is sometimes understood as an operation, and as such its origin is a power of the soul or habit. At other times it is understood to be the existence (ipso esse) of an intellectual nature. And so, the origin of this "intelligere" is the essence of the intellective soul. 2

Again what he is affirming is that the esse of the intellectual nature is not just simply esse as facticity or actuality but an expanding and relational esse which, as finite and immaterial, has the power of becoming, as intelligere, an infinity of other beings in an immaterial, intentional way and thus increasing its density as act. As finite act, this being is only this being. As an expanding esse, an intelligere, it has the power to become all things. St. Thomas's first part of the answer to objection 14 presents the point clearly:

the soul, in so far as it is the form of the body, according to its essence as substantial form, gives esse to the body. But it also gives an esse of a certain kind which is vivere, in so far as it is such a form, i.e., soul. And it also gives a vivere of a certain kind, i.e., of an intellectual nature, in so far as it is a certain kind of soul, i.e., intellective.23

The same point is made in the ` reatise on Separate Substances" where St. Thomas says:

I)n immaterial substances, their esse itself is their vivere, and their vivere is not other than their intellectivum esse. Therefore they are living and understanding from the same principle by which they are beings. 24

And again, in the "Quaestiones de Animal,' in that all important first question, St. Thomas answers the 17th objection in the following manner:

Although esse is the most formal of all perfections, still it is also the most communicable, although it is not shared in the same way by those beings that are lower and higher. Hence the body shares in the esse of the soul but not so excellently as the soul itself does. 25

Notice that the esse of the human body is of a higher intensity than what would be the esse of body taken as mere material conglomeration. It is much more than a given order of heterogeneous parts. It is a dynamic ordering. And ordering always involves an intellect sighting a purpose. There is no order that is not purposeful, that is not relational toward a "telos." The very to be of the body is relational to the "telos" of the person. The eye is an ordering of parts "for sight." But one sees in order to know. This expansiveness of the esse of the person, immaterial
at its level of intelligere, impacts on every organized structure from the biochemical through the physiological to the gross anatomical.
The body is an instrument of relationality, of knowledge and love. It is person enfleshed. Notice that St. Thomas emphasizes that this esse in man who is mineral, vegetable, sentient and intelligent is one: "It is necessary, if a soul is the form of a body, that there be common to both one esse which is the esse of the composite."27 This esse of the body is the intelligere that I am suggesting to be the very person. The teleology of the body orienting it toward the very goals of the person is due to the fact that its esse is the personal intelligere. My point here is that esse is not just actualization of essence or facticity of being but rather it is relational, teleological, even in its generation of the body. If "person" means relationality on the level of intelligere, then esse as intelligere is "person."
Having considered esse as intensive act, let us now consider it as expansive. In so doing, we take up more directly the challenge of Cardinal Ratzinger: "relation is discovered as an equally valid primordial mode of reality... a new plane of being comes into view." Esse as expansive and hence relational must do so as agere. The question, then, is: what is the relation between esse and agere?
The Greek Fathers of the Church, particularly Gregory of Nyssa, offer light on this point in their implicit and original metaphysics where ousia and energeia are one and the same simple Reality, the Trinity of Persons. The magisterium of the Church responded to the rationalism of an Arius or a Eunomius with the homousios. This term meant that the one simple Being of the Godhead was at the same time a generating and proceeding reality. The ousia or esse of God is constituted by the energeia or agere of generation and procession. The same is true of Jesus Christ; Cardinal Ratzinger affirms that the starting point of all Christology is "the identity of work and being, of deed and person. 28
The point of this section is to lay heavy stress on finite agere as an intrinsic and constitutive dimension of esse rather than as an accident of substance. The best way to consider it is to see agere as finite esse itself in its state of expansion. Gilson glosses the mind of St. Thomas in the following way:

Not: to be, then to act, but: to be is to act. And the very first thing which "to be" does, is to make its own essence to be, that is, "to be a being." This is done at once, completely and definitively. ... But the next thing which "to be" does, is to begin bringing its own individual essence somewhat nearer its completion. (29)

Gilson makes it clear that the primacy of esse as dynamism radically transforms the Aristotelian dynamism of form. When St. Thomas made this transformation,

the whole philosophical outlook on reality at once became different .... Instead of a self-achieving end, form becomes an end to be achieved by its own esse, which progressively makes it an actual being. To be (esse) is to act (agere), and to act is to tend (tender to an end wherein
achieved being may ultimately rest. (29)

This is a critical point of the proposal because expanding esse (i.e., relational esse), which is implied in the magisterial formulations concerning the Trinity and in the theology of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Greek Fathers, is axiomatic to Thomistic metaphysics. Esse achieves its expansion precisely as agere.
Now, to the charge that agere must always be an accident of created being, let me suggest the following. Agere varies according to the hierarchy of being. The more limited the esse, the more extrinsic or transitive the action is, the greater the effect on the exterior and the more limited the extent of relation. The charge of a bull or a landslide are almost totally extrinsic, devastating and limited. On the other end of the spectrum, the higher the degree of being, the more immanent the action, the less the exterior manifestation and the wider the extent of relation. A man in love with God may have a zero exterior manifestation yet with an intense universal relation to every man and to creation itself. From the perspective of substance, we place the charge of the bull in the category of "action" while the love of God would be categorized as "quality." They would both be accidents.
From the point of view of esse as the primum metaphysicum, however, they would both be manifestations of esse, as "modes," according to the degree of limit constricting it. To see substance as a subject receiving, specifying and exercising esse with agere and intelligere as accidents of it is to miss the intensive character of the Thomistic esse while reducing it to the actualization of reified metaphysical components, substance being one of them. Again, if Fr. Phelan is correct in his evaluation of De Veritate, 1,1, (p. 7, n. 16), substance is a mode of being, a kind of limited way of seeing esse.31 Therefore, instead of seeing different kinds of accidents, it would be truer to see hierarchical levels of limitation of esse producing different kinds of agere, remote and sporadic like the charge of a bull, or intrinsic and constitutive like the thought and love of a man. Thus, instead of seeing agere as the manifestation of the nature of a substance and hence an accident of the substance, it would be more true to see it as esse itself at various levels of limitation. The less limited manifestations would be levels of intelligere and velle. Where there is no limitation, esse is agere as in the case of the Person of Christ and the inner life of the Trinity. My point is to connect esse and agere as states of one another32 without perfectly identifying them except where they reach infinity. As Fr. de Finance remarks:

Esse accidentale will not be anything else than a particular aspect of the unique act of existence; operation (agere) will truly be more being, not another being (l'operation verait vraiment un plus etre, non un etre de plus). 33

We will see below how esse/agere correspond to the two states of esse itself: intrinsic existence and relationality.
Up to this point, the positive aspect of the proposal has consisted in highlighting the intensive character of esse as well as its expansive tendency as agere. We now come to the negative side of the proposal that is to suggest that essence be downgraded from its traditional role as limiting and exercising subject and be restricted to the lesser role as limit of esse. Two theories of essence as limit suggest themselves. The one is the "thin" theory pioneered in this country by G.B. Phelan and advanced by William Carlo,34 and W. Norris Clarke, S.J.35 It maintains that since esse, in the mind of St. Thomas, is all the act and reality there is in being, so as not to fall into contradiction by assigning "reality" to a "really distinct" essence which "receives," "exercises" as well as limits this esse, they maintain that essence "is an intrinsic principle of limitation only, that makes no positive contribution of its own but merely limits or 'contracts'...what would otherwise be the de se plenitude of existence.... 36
The traditional or "thick" Thomistic notion of essence as the limitation of esse consists in esse limiting itself mediately, through essence which in this case is positive, distinct from esse but derived from it. Esse "autodetermines" itself. By "determining" is meant to confer a perfection and to limit a perfection. Esse does both. It gives reality to essence, which in turn limits esse specifying and limiting it to be this kind of being and this individual existent.
Both theories of essence as limit have advantages and disadvantages. The "thin" theory is coherent with the vision that esse is the entire act there is in being. As we saw above from Gerald Phelan: "God gives esse and nothing more." But it limps explaining how "nothing" limits esse to be this "chunk" of esse; i.e., there is no explanation because there is nothing there,37 since esse is all there is. It also limps explaining the "plasticity" or "tending" of esse. By denying the reality of a distinct potency, it introduces, without warrant, potency into esse.
The thick theory is the temptress/haven of the reification of principles. Even when essence is not presumed real as "receiving" and "exercising" esse, the awkward situation of esse limiting itself arises because it has recourse to distinct levels of causality. On the positive side, however, it does give an explanation of limit of esse and potency of being.
Still in both cases, essence as limit should be disqualified as ontological candidate for personality precisely because person is coming to us from its theological origin as an expansive dynamic, not a limiting principle. Hence, if essence is only a limit of expanding esse, it cannot be the principle of personality.
Having presented the act of existence positively as intensive and expansive and the essence as reduced to limit and specification of that act, I would like to focus attention on a Thomistically heterodox yet crucial conclusion. If esse as intensive (intelligere) is relational, and person is characterized by relationality, then esse should be the principle of personality. Essence as principle of limit of act and therefore limit of relationality should be rejected as subject of being and hence person. The pinpointing of esse as the intersection of intensiveness and relationality can be made clearer with this gloss by Josef Pieper on St. Thomas's Summa Contra Gentiles 4, 11. He shows the direct proportionality, between esse as intrinsic existence and its outreach as relation, as agere. The greater the relationality of the agere, the more intensive the esse.
The principle that I want to be faithful to here is that which sees person as relational energy in God and as image and likeness of God in man. Josef Pieper's gloss on Summa Contra Gentiles 4, 11 could put the proposal on display. St. Thomas begins the question:

Following a diversity of natures, one finds a diverse manner of emanation in things, and, the higher a nature is, the more intimate to the nature is that which flows form it.

Pieper gives an elucidation of this principle. He says:

For the notion of "having an intrinsic existence" corresponds to "being able to relate," so that the most comprehensive ability to relate-namely, the power to "conform to all that is"-implies at the same time also the highest form of intrinsic existence, of selfness.39

Pieper identifies "having an intrinsic existence" with a "self" and makes it the "core" of the emanations or relationalities (agere). He obviously means `being an intrinsic existence" as opposed to "having" and to that effect, says:

The concept of "intrinsic existence" refers to that dynamic core of an entity from which all active manifestations originate and toward which all endurance and receptivity are focused and directed. An entity endowed with an intrinsic existence is ontologically a "subject," a self-contained unified being. 40

I see esse as "that dynamic core of an entity from which all active manifestations originate." Pieper goes on to explain how a rock has no intrinsic existence (from a common sense perspective) and therefore no proper relationality.

Plants do possess a true intrinsic existence; animals even more so. The most genuine and highest form of intrinsic existence is the spirit-endowed self.4

The "emanations" of which St. Thomas spoke, Pieper translates as relation, not as accident of substance, but as an orientation of the subject itself, from the "inside." He says:

Only in reference to an inside can there be an outside, Without a self-contained "subject" there can be no "object." Relating-to, conforming-with, being-oriented- toward-all these notions presuppose an inside starting point .... The higher the form of intrinsic existence, the more developed becomes the relatedness with reality, also the more profound and comprehensive becomes the sphere of this relatedness: namely, the world. And the deeper such relations penetrate the world of reality, the more intrinsic becomes the respective subject's existence.42
The rock relates only in the sense of placement. The plant reaches into the soil and toward the sun. The animal senses all material reality and moves with regard to it. Man does all of that and besides he knows all being and relates correspondingly with love, transcending all created reality. He sums up:

to have (or to be) an "intrinsic existence" means "to be able to relate" and "to be the sustaining subject at the center of a field of reference. The hierarchy of existing things, being equally a hierarchy of intrinsic existences, corresponds on each level to the intensity and extension of the respective relationship in their power, character and domain... .These two aspects, combined-dwelling most intensively within itself, and being capax universi, able to grasp the universe-together constitute the essence of the spirit. Any definition of "spirit" will have to contain these two aspects as its core.43

My proposal is that that core is esse itself as intensive. Although the essence is "thick" or "thin" in its function as limit, it is not a substantialized essence that is the subject at various hierarchical levels but rather intensive esse itself is that subject.(44) There is no doubt that I am transmuting esse from its status as created quo to that of created quis or quod.45 As quis or quod I understand it to be the principle and subject of all operations. As such, "I" am this finite esse which is this intelligere and velle. As created,46 this esse is finite. 7 As such, it cannot be God, nor can it be strictly identified with agere which alone takes place in God. That is why there is a systole and a diastole between the going forth as relation and the return as self-actualization (an intrinsic existence). I become myself by giving myself. But it is from esse that agere issues. Fr. Phelan comments:

From esse issue all operations, immanent and transient, as from a living source of dynamic power, while essence or nature gives direction and determinant character to that ceaseless flow of entitative energy within which the being (ens) rows and waxes stronger, becoming more and more itself. (48)

The ramifications of a proposal such as this are many. The first, which is the proposal of the paper, is that esse as person subject is the principle of expansion and relation, not the principle of limit. If relation is a dimension constitutive of being itself, then love and ultimately relation to others will not be accidental but constitutive. Sanctity would then be of the essence of personality and not an adjunct to it. So also, freedom would be transmuted from the narrowness of freedom of choice as indetermination before the finite good, to the dynamic, both divine and human now, of "being-for-the-other." As Cardinal Ratzinger says:

The real God is bound to himself in threefold love and is thus pure freedom. Man's vocation is to be this image of God, to become like him.... For this reason, the person who has become at one with his or her essential nature, at one with truth
itself, is free.49

The migration of subject and person from the limiting essence to the expanding esse redefines the relationship between God, man and reality. It puts the relationship more in agreement with the Fathers of the Church, particularly the Greek Fathers. Instead of there being a gap between God and creation, there is ontological common ground: infinite esse and exWnding esse. Instead of a heteronatural relationship, it is connatural. Freedom and sanctity become constitutive requirements for ontological development instead of accidental exceptions for the elite. The ultimate closing of ground is found in that ontological center where God became man that men might become gods. This is not pantheism but divinization of the created, i.e, finite and expanding esse is touched by Divine Grace and actualized in its steady drive towards union with the Infinite.
If "person" is a being with the relational dimension of knowing and loving, and esse, as intensive and expansive, gives that dimension, and essence is only a limit of esse, then esse as intelligere is the prime candidate to be "person." This would give us a new and more coherent profile of finite being, fashion a more relevant tool for theological speculation, reintroduce metaphysics to ethical reasoning which yearns for a dynamic grounding and give us an ontologic of freedom and personal sanctity: the pro-structure of being. Being has become love. This would be the truth that makes us free in its metaphysical formulation.

South Orange, New Jersey


1. De Trinitate, V, 5, 6 (Patrologia Latina [PL] 42, 913f).
2. Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos, 68,1, 5, in CCL 39,905 (PL 36,385). 3. J. Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (New York: Herder and Herder,
4. Gregory of Nyssa complained of Eunomius, the Arian, because "he suppresses the names of "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" and speaks of a "Supreme and Absolute Being" instead of the Father, of "another existing through it, but after it" instead of the Son, and of "a third ranking with neither of these two" instead of the Holy Ghost." He complains that this substitution robbed the revelation of the Trinity of its constitutive relational dimension. Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, Book I, par. 14 from A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. P. Schaff and H. Wace (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Erdmans, 1892), 51-52.5. !bid, 132.
5. J. Ratzinger, op. cit., p. 132.
6. Gaudium et Spes, #24.
7. Walter Kasper, "Postmodern Dogmatics" in Communio, Summer 1990, 189-90.
8. "Whereas in the days of Aristotelian hegemony the task was to integrate the world of the person into that of nature, the task now is to constitute the world of personhood (both interhuman and divine-human) and then integrate the world of physical nature into it (ecology). Now only persons are transcendent in that they alone can constitute a world of mutually intelligent interaction. Only personal relationship can be normative, and even the `otherness' of physical nature can only be respected when mediated by the doctrine of creation seen from the vantage point of the covenant with God." Quoted from David Novak by David Bruckbauer in The Recovery of Classical Reason in The Wanderer, 9/18/90,7. RELATIONAL ESSE AND PERSON 265

9. Capreolus affirms that "the human person adds something positive over the individuated nature. That positive "something," however, is the actus naturae... i.e., the ease actualis existentiae which is the actus essentiae. Even though person is ease, ease only actualizes a nature. Person continues unrelational." Ref. Defensiones Theologiae Divi Thomae Aquinatis, ed. Paban-Pegues, t. V, 105a.
10. "Is America Bourgeois?," Communio 14 (1987), 264-90; "Catholicity and the State of Contemporary Theology: The Need for an Ontologic of Holiness," Communio 14 (1987), 426-50; "Once Again: George Weigel, Catholicism and American Culture," Communio 15 (1988),92-120; "On Meaning and the Death of God in the Academy," Communio 17 (1990), 192-206; "U.S. Catholicism: a Moment of Opportunity'?", 30 Days (1989) 57-60.
11. G.B. Phelan, "Being, Order and Knowledge," Selected Papers (Toronto: PIMS, 1967), 127.
12. Ibid., 125-26.
13. Ibid., 126-27.
14. Ibid., "The Existentialism of St. Thomas," 77.
15. De Unitate Intellectus, III; Editio Critics, Leo W. Keeler, S.J., Romae, aupd Aedes Pont. Universitatis Gregorianae, 1957, 53.
16. The same point can be found in the answer to the 18th objection of Question 1 of the Questions on the Soul: "Although the esse of a soul belongs in some way to the body, still the body does not succeed in participating in the esse of the soul according to the soul's full excellence and power; and consequently there is an operation of soul in which the body does not share."J. Robb, Questions on the Soul (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1984), 51.
17. This notion would seem to differ from the "orthodox" position as exemplified in the works of Fr. Joseph Owens. Following the vocabulary of St. Thomas himself, Fr. Owens always refers to esse as "actuality." The intelligible density and operational power which I am attributing to esse, for him, seem to come from the form of which esse is the actuality. But esse itself is not "dense." In this regard he says: "The positive character of the essence, however, is actually positive only through the being that actualizes the essence. Considered in priority to the actualization by being, the form can function only as potency. .. it is receiving its actuality." `The Accidental and Essential Character of Being in the Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, Medieval Studies 20 (1958), 38.
18. "In the verb exists we have the act of existing, or a super-intelligible. To say that which exists is to join an intelligible to a super-intelligible; it is to have before our eyes an intelligible engaged in and perfected by a super-intelligibility." J. Maritain, Existence and the Existent (need place of publisher: Pantheon, 1948), 34.
19. J. Robb, "Intelligere Intelligentibus Est Esse,"An Etienne Gilson Tribute,
ed. Ch. O'Niele (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1959), 224.
20. A Pegis, "St. Thomas and the Unity of Man," Progress in Philosophy
(Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955), 1972.
21. Summa Theologiae, I, q. 18,2, ad 1m.
22. De Spiritualibus Creaturis, Art. XI, obj. 14 and ad 14m. 23. Ibid.
24. De Substantiis Separatis, XI, #61, ed. Lescoe, 100-01.
25. St. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones de Anima, ed. J.H. Robb (Toronto: PIMS, 1968), p. 63.
26. "I will argue here that organisms are systems which are intrinsically teleologically organized and that this fact is a permanent obstacle to reduction. This is not to say that organisms are made of any special matter or that biological phenomena will not be a complete account. The claim I will explicate is that because of the teleological organization of organisms there is an explanatory relation that goes from the level of organization of the entire entity as a system to the subsystems and parts and processes that constitute the entity. There is an intimate relation between the character of organisms as complex, developing wholes and their being teleologically organized ... Hierarchical organization is explanatory with respect to (at least some of) its components and not merely consequent upon them." Jonathan Jacobs, "Teleology and Reduction in Biology" in Biology and Philosophy 1 (place of publisher: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1986) 389-99.
27. Quaestiones de Anima, q.1. ad 13m, 62, op. cit.: ( anima est forma corporis, quod animae et corporis sit unum esse commune quod est esse compositi).
28. J. Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 168.
29. E. Gilson, Being and Some Philosophers (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1949), 184.
30. Ibid., 184-86.
31. G.B. Phelan, "Being, Order and Knowledge," Selected Papers (Toronto: PIMS, 1967), 126.
32. The union of action and its agent is therefore much closer than that of subject and its accidents ... Is there a perfect existential unity? Does the same "esse" bring about the substance and its act at the same time? It seems so... Would it not be more in conformity with the unity of being to conceive the accident, and more particularly, the operation (action) as expanding, so to speak, the capacity of the subject with regard to its "esse," in permitting it to exercise its function more? Accidental "esse" would not be anything other than a particular aspect of the unique act of existence: operation (action) will truly be a plus-titre de plus" (translation mine). J. de Finance, Etre et Agir Dons la Philosophie de Saint Thomas (Roma: Librairie Editrice de l'Universite Gregorienne, 1969),248-49.
33. Ibid., 249.
34. W. Carlo, The Ultimate Reducibility of Essence to Existence in Existential Metaphysics (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966),1003-104. Also, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophic Association, 1957, 127-28.
35. `The Role of Essence Within St. Thomas' Essence-Existence Doctrine: Positive or Negative Principle? A Dispute Within Thomism," from Atti del Congresso Internazionale, no. 6: "L'Essere."
36. Ibid., 112.
37. Carlo's thesis that essence is where esse stops does not explain what makes esse stop. Joyce Little comments: `To say that essence is the place where esse stops does nothing more than state a fact of our266 RELIGIONS AND THE VIRTUE OF RELIGION
24. De Substantiis Separatis, XI, #61, ed. Lescoe, 100-01.
25. St. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones de Anima, ed. J.H. Robb (Toronto: PIMS, 1968), p. 63.
26. "I will argue here that organisms are systems which are intrinsically teleologically organized and that this fact is a permanent obstacle to reduction. This is not to say that organisms are made of any special matter or that biological phenomena will not be a complete account. The claim I will explicate is that because of the teleological organization of organisms there is an explanatory relation that goes from the level of organization of the entire entity as a system to the subsystems and parts and processes that constitute the entity. There is an intimate relation between the character of organisms as complex, developing wholes and their being teleologically organized ... Hierarchical organization is explanatory with respect to (at least some of) its components and not merely consequent upon them." Jonathan Jacobs, "Teleology and Reduction in Biology" in Biology and Philosophy 1 (place of publisher: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1986) 389-99.
27. Quaestiones de Anima, q.1. ad 13m, 62, op. cit.: ( anima est forma corporis, quod animae et corporis sit unum esse commune quod est esse compositi).
28. J. Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 168.
29. E. Gilson, Being and Some Philosophers (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of
Mediaeval Studies, 1949), 184. 30. Ibid., 184-86.
31. G.B. Phelan, "Being, Order and Knowledge," Selected Papers (Toronto: PIMS, 1967), 126.
32. The union of action and its agent is therefore much closer than that of subject and its accidents ... Is there a perfect existential unity? Does the same "esse" bring about the substance and its act at the same time? It seems so... Would it not be more in conformity with the unity of being to conceive the accident, and more particularly, the operation (action) as expanding, so to speak, the capacity of the subject with regard to its "esse," in permitting it to exercise its function more? Accidental "esse" would not be anything other than a particular aspect of the unique act of existence: operation (action) will truly be a plus-etre de plus" (translation mine). J. de Finance, Etre et Agir Dans la Philosophie de Saint Thomas (Roma: Librairie Editrice de l'Universite Gregorienne, 1969), 248-49.
33. Ibid., 249.
34. W. Carlo, The Ultimate Reducibility of Essence to Existence in Existential Metaphysics (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), 1003-104. Also, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophic Association, 1957, 127-28.
35. "The Role of Essence Within St. Thomas' Essence-Existence Doctrine: Positive or Negative Principle? A Dispute Within Thomism," from Atti del Congresso Internazionale, no. 6: "L'Essere."
36. Ibid., 112.
37. Carlo's thesis that essence is where esse stops does not explain what makes esse stop. Joyce Little comments: 'To say that essence is the place where esse stops does nothing more than state a fact of our everyday expereince, i.e., RELATIONAL ESSE AND PERSON 267
that things are finite. Such a description supposes the capacity (potency) of esse to stop, but provides no analysis of the conditions of possibility which would permit esse to stop." 7bward a Thomistic Methodology (Lewiston, New York: Mellen Press, 1988), 92.
38. "Whatever we imagine determines the act-of-being ... it cannot be pure nothingness. Therefore, it is something pertaining to being in virtue of an act-of-being." E. Gilson, The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York: Random House, 1966), 36.
39. J. Pieper, Living the Truth (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius, 1989), 81.
40. Ibid, 81.
41. Ibid, 82.
42. Ibid, 82.
43. Ibid, 83.
44. This coincides with the phenomenological analysis of Karol Wojtyla, but not necessarily with his metaphysical analysis. Phenomenologically, he asserts that self-determination is the constituting element of the person: -I do' means that 'I am the efficient cause' of my action, of the actualization of myself as the subject ... The concept of self-determination contains more than the concept of agency: man not only performs his actions, but by his actions he becomes, in one way or another, his own 'maker'. Doing is accompanies by becoming; and, what is more, the two are organically fused together." K. Wojtyla, "The Structure of Self-Determination as the Core of Theory of the Person," in Congresso Internazionale Tbmasso DAquino nel suo Settimo Centenario (Rome/Naples, 1974), 38 and 40.
45. Frs. Dewan and Owens have debated recently (The New Scholasticism, [1989], 173-82; and ACPQ, [1990], 261-64) over the essential or accidental relation of esse to essence. Insofar as they both weigh essence as suppositum specifying esse (Dewan) or exercising esse (Owens), esse will always be of essence and incoherent with the vision of De Veritate, 1, 1.
46. For those who affirm that only Infinite Esse is, and finite esse cannot be, in the sense of being its own subject, do so by viewing esse as "thin" actuality, i.e., as the non-intensive power actualizing an essence which is its subject. Therefore, to say that "actuality is" is to say the "God is." As a result, any attempt to subsistentialize esse outside of Infinite Esse would be pantheism.
My answer to that charge is to suggest the intensive and relational character of esse making it suitable as subject, combined with its finiteness which characterizes its creatureliness. Cf. Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, The Paradoxical Structure of Existence (Albany: PCP, 1989), chs. 4 and 6.
47. The finitude of "thick" esse is sufficient to dispel any charge of pantheism since finitude of intensity means participation; i.e., the finite being has only "part" of the full intensity of Infinite Being.
48. G.B. Phelan, The Existentialism of St. Thomas, 81.
49. J. Ratzinger, "Freedom and Liberation," in Church, Ecumenism and Politics (New York: Crossroad, 1987), 274.
50. V. Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (Cambridge and London: James Clarke & Co., Ltd., 1957),10,91-113; also, T. Paul Verghese, The Freedom of Man (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1968), 68.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Person As Resonating Existential

The Person as Resonating Existential
by Robert A. Connor
The undivided away of thinking in terms of substance is ended; relation is discovered as an equally valid primordial mode of reality.'

The question of finite substance and relation as equally valid primordial modes of reality is ultimately the question of being and time, of truth as absolute yet advancing. It is ultimately the question of the reconciliation of the absolute and the relative. If substance is being A.v;"
truth, then it must be absolute and unchanging. Time, change and
progress must be accidental appendages to substance and of secondary importance. If time, change and progress enjoy reality in a primordial way, then there can be no truth or unchanging being in a primordial
way. Since Hegel, being and time have conceptually become more and more intertwined. "Being itself is regarded as time: the logos becomes
itself in history.' The philosophic question of the utmost importance that needs to be addressed today is whether there is an identity of man
with himself throughout history. Is there a truth that remains true in every historical time because it is true? Ultimately, the question be
comes, what is man?
In this light, then, the above stated thesis of Joseph Ratzinger is at
the core of the most important topic ending this millennium and beginning the next. That topic grapples with the nature of the person and
hence the central concept on which the very meaning of society and civilization is built. 'he problem of the subjectivity of the person, and
especially this problem in relation to the human community, imposes itself today as one of the central questions concerning the world outlook.
ing. Therefore, it seems that relations are indeed "had" by substance as accidents. To be a relation, simply in itself, is unthinkable.
This brings us to a point of stock-taking: (1) either man is a substantial Ubermensch with no relationality except that of dominion, and such a relation, which is ultimately for self, would be necessarily accidental; or (2) man is pure relation (as becoming) or a nexus of relations with no underlying or developing substantiality; or, (3) we are looking for a new model of being where substance and relation would be "equally valid primordial mode(s) of reality."
The provocative cause for refocusing the discussion of the interplay between substance and relation is the enormous ground swell that pretends to explain person as a relational being. The quiet introduction of this notion began in the years 1918 and 1919 with Ebner, Buber, Marcel and Rosenzweig. Von Balthasar calls this "simultaneous emergence of the 'dialogue principle' in thinkers who could not be farther apart ... one of the strangest phenomena of 'acausal contemporaneity' in the history of the intellect."10 With the introduction of the notion of person in the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, #24, as "achieving self by the gift of self," the notion of person as "gift," and hence as relation, has universally and constantly been offered as the core concept in all the papal pronouncements and magisterial offerings in the last 26 years since Vatican II and particularly in the last 13 years in the pontificate of John Paul II. That this notion has impacted heavily in the East as a rallying point for Solidarity and in the collapse of Marxism, as well as in the West where it collides with the individualism of what we could call the "autonomous man," gives testimony to the enormous import of the notion. Hence the need to review the metaphysical state of the question and probe possible new solutions to explain it.
Fr W. Norris Clarke, S.J., confronted with the reduction of being "to nothing more than a pattern of relations with no subjects grounding them" proposes a return to the classical notion of substance and relation of A-r4:~i:~ tle as absorbed within the existentialism of St. Thomas and enlightened by such process thought as Alfred North Whitehead's. Fr. Clarke understands substance to be "the integrating center of a being's activities, a center which is constantly pouring over into self-expression
e Frederick Wilhelmsen, "Creation as a Relation in St. Thomas Aquinas," in Being and Knowing, (Albany, NY: Preserving Christian Publications, Inc., 1991), 143.
1oHans Urs von Balthasar, Theo-Drama I, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), 626.
through its characteristic actions and at the same time constan integrating or actively assimilating all that it receives from the act of other substances on it."" This dynamic center is changing; yet ii self-identical because, Clarke says, the change is accidental. Again, calls it a "perduring principle of dynamic self-identity in an interacti system." Fr. Clarke gives heavy emphasis to St. Thomas's notion of 1 act of existence (else) which "powers" that center but itself is not tl center. That center is "substance." Consequently, sensitive as Clarke is to the relational dynamics entering into and pouring forth fri substance, still, being means substance. Ultimately, relation will ways be accidental and therefore not an "equally valid primordial me of reality" with substance.
Lewis S. Ford, a process philosopher, in his treatment of a to, intimately connected with the interconnection of substance and re tion, viz., divine immutability (substance) and God's knowledge contingent things (relation), offers the proposal that the dynamics relation (knowledge of contingents) could take precedence over t immutability of substantial structure. Without getting into the polen of the article, I would like to highlight Ford's suggestion. He says,
Given a totality that is both dynamic and static, what would the whole be? It could not be static, for if it changed in any part, then the whole would be changed to that extent. Only the dynamic could be the more inclusive. If there is also divine intentional consciousness, it would include any immutable inner being .... As subject it includes all intentional being as its object, as well as God's inner being. 12
Basically what Ford is objecting to is the hegemony of substance in t ontology of St. Thomas and Clarke. He is not objecting to the notion substance, but he is objecting to the one-sided identification of substar with being and the real. Ford is implying with Whitehead, modifyi. him, that being is self-creative; that the process of relationality w precede substance in some way and develop it. "For Thomas, G creates the being by communicating to it its act of being. In r modification of Whitehead, God communicates to the creature its pow of becoming whereby the creature acts by creating itself."13 This noti will meld with the following presentation of Maclntyre.
Alasdair Maclntyre richly develops the thesis in "After Virtue" th there is no subject, self or substance outside of the context of relatior
hist:,Yy,)r story. Germane to the topic, Maclntyre affirms that historical, genetic, familial relations are in no way "accidental" to the identity of the subject, self or substance. He says that

[i]n many pre-modern, traditional societies it is through his
or her membership in a variety of social groups that the
individual identifies himself or herself and is identified by others. I am brother, cousin and grandson, member of this household, that village, this tribe. These are not characteristics that belong to human beings accidentally, to be stripped away in order to discover 'the real me.' They are part of my substance, defining partially at least and sometimes wholly my obligations and my duties. Individuals inherit a particular space within an interlocking set of social relationships; lacking that space, they are nobody, or at best a stranger or an outcast. To know oneself as such a social person is however not to occupy a static and fixed position. It is to find oneself placed at a certain point on a journey with a set of goals; to move through life is to make progress-or to fail to make progress-toward a given end...'Call no man
happy until he is dead .,14
Maclntyre then goes on to balance this thesis concerning the constitutive character of relations by affirming with equal emphasis and scholarship the thesis of structural self-identity (substance). He maintains that the social, historical, narrative context (relation) is "[n]ot more n rc<'•.amental than that of personal identity (substance). The concepts of narrative, intelligibility and accountability presuppose the applicability of the concept of personal identity (substance).... The relationship is one of mutual presupposition."' He dramatizes the question, "What am I to do?" and answers it with "Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?" In other words, I am this self from the context and the self-determination in the context in which I find myself. The relation defines how I will freely define myself. Throughout the work, Maclntyre seems to be calling for the perception of the relational context as "an equally valid primordial mode of reality."
I would like to introduce a narrative, according to the line suggested by Maclntyre, which would dramatize a shift from substance to subject,

from substance to person. The value of employing a narrative technique consists in lifting the entire question out the realm of philosophical abstraction where the person is precisely left out of the analysis because he is treated as substance. Narrative returns the subject or person to the field of analysis so that the very interaction as relation which is the plot of the narrative can be studied. The narrative account which reveals personality in its sharpest terms is the gospel account of the rich young man.16 The rich young man asks Jesus Christ the question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Christ answers first with the law of nature, for Everyman let us say, on the level of substance, i.e., have you kept the commandments? Have you lived according to your nature? This is a key question for Everyman, and the answer for all should be the same because the requirements are the same.
I would compare this part of the narrative with a distinction drawn by Karol Wojtyla as an introduction to his own thought. He distinguishes between the metaphysical abstraction of the Aristotelian definition of man as "rational animal" or the Boethian "individual substance of a rational nature," both of which are on the level of substance, and the work of phenomenological description which must be made to sketch out the "irreducible subject" who is the "I." He insists that in order to be realists, we must be faithful to the lived experience of subjectivity (erlebnis) and come to grips with the person in his unique existential reality as subject. He distinguishes this clearly from subjectivism and its consequent idealism. 17 We might call the stage of the questioning of the rich young man concerning the commandments the cosmological stage preparing for the next level, the personalist, which begins with Christ "looking" at him and "loving him."
Here the calling forth of the person begins. There is a shift to a new phase which suggests to me in the light of Wojtyla's analysis that there is a shift from the abstraction of substance which has left the individual subject out of consideration to focus on that subject. And, the focus on that subject takes place precisely by the relation of "looking," "loving" and "calling."
Receiving love: The first step in what we could call "personagenesis" seems to be passivity, receptivity of love from another. "It is only through God's calling Adam, 'Where art thou?' that the latter's 'Here I am' reveals to man, in the answer, his being as related to God. The ego is at the outset wrapped up in itself and dumb; it waits for its being

called-directly by God and indirectly by the neighbor.-18 Josef Pieper
concurs that
[o] does not suffice us simply to exist; we can do that `anyhow.' What matters to us, beyond mere existence, is the explicit confirmation: it is good that you exist; how wonderful that you are! ... That is an astonishing fact when we consider it closely. Being created by God actually does not suffice, it would seem; the fact of creation needs continuation and perfection by the creative power of human love. 19
And so, Christ's looking on him and loving him is translated into the post personal vocation, "Come follow me." If the rich young man says yes," he ceases to be Everyman, to be mere substance, and becomes the Beloved "I." ,i contradistinction to the notion of substance, the subject, he "I," &? iL es "I" only by ha
erson. "In the love of the mother lthe child received love ~from ness Land
s self. In the mother's heart it finds the support to firm its groping, agile existence into a form." Going a step back, we arrive at the very .lation of creation itself where esse is a relational gift that cannot iticipate substance but must coincide with it. In a word, there is no ich thing as non-relational substantiality, even less a non-relational ibject or person.
Glossing Summa Contra Gentiles 1V, 11, of St. Thomas, Josef Pieper emphasizes the phenomenon of direct proportionality between "intrinsic existence" and relationality throughout the hierarchical range of being
from rock to person. The implication is that there is an originating intrinsicness and relatedness are manifestations. It suggests that reality is not osubstantial being with accidental relations to the "outside" but rather that it is precisely "an inside" that is relating.
It is essential for any genuine relationship to originate from an inside and extend toward an outside....The higher the form of intrinsic existence, the more developed becomes the relatedness with reality, also the more profound and comprehensive becomes the sphere of this relatedness: namely the world. And the deeper such relations penetrate the world of
reality, the more intrinsic becomes the respective subject's

Having established that, for the sake of true realism, subject or person is to be erected on the "metaphysical siteWL2 of substance (otherwise we would be dealing with an abstraction) and that the subject or person is a dyad of subject and received relation of love, we return to our narrative of the rich young man. Now, awakened as affirmed and called forth from substance to subjectivity, he must choose to act in response to the call: "Come!" But having been loved and called in that love, he is raised to a new level as person and must choose from that new level. He is "more an 'I' " than before he was loved and called.
Giving love: The narrative solidifies us in the existential and relational (non- abstract) world of the subject. Wojtyla isolates this moment as precisely the moment of "becoming a person." Let us call this the heart of the dynamism of "personagenesis." For it, he reserves the name "vertical transcendence" in which the will, "as the essential of the person"23 and not as a power (see below), determines itself. That means that in order to give the self to another (or, sadly, back to oneself), the self, as will, must actualize itself, "structuralize" itself, in order to give itself. That is the same as saying that the person determines himself in the very act of transcending self in performing an act as service for another. Th transcend self and be relational are the same concept. It is important to note that as the awakening of the "I" as a substance was initiated by the love and call of another person affirming it (the "I'), so also, there can be no growth of the "I," no further self-determination, no increased structuralization, without the gift of self to another person. Therefore, "you only become what you do." This is tantamount to saying that doing precedes being, ease sequitur agere, process coalesces into structure.
Since the dynamic is "personagenesis," let it be noted immediately that any human action performed by a person must be "for someone." It is always for a person, self or other? And since the nature of being is

intrinsically relational because it is created in the image and likeness
of the Divine Persons who are relationalities in themselves, "to-be-for
another" becomes the very meaning of morality and the reason for the
"growth" in being by a self-determination which is for another and not
self-referential. Therefore, [m]an cannot give himself to a purely
human plan for reality, to an abstract ideal or to a false utopia. As a
person, he can give himself to another person or to other persons, and
ultimately to God, who is the author of his being and who alone can full
accept his gift." y
Karol Wojtyla explains the dynamic in the following way:
The term `self-determination' means that man as subject of his action not only determines this action as its agent ... but through this very act at the same time determines his own self. The moment of transcendence [i.e., relation] of the person by an act is based on self-determination ... Thus human } ctlon not only transcends its subject, but at the same time remains in it, keeping its intransitivity in its subject `man'.... While determining them [his actions] he is at the same time fully aware that owing to their personal quality, owing to their moral value, whether positive or negative, they
in turn determine him; moreover, they continue to determine him even when they have passed.

We could say that his actions "continue to determine him" because he
has most literally become what he did. Agere has become esse. This must affect the notion of virtue as we shall see below.
The dynamic seems to be mutual interaction of structure and relation in the simultaneous moment of self-determination. The more he receives, the more he is himself. The more he gives himself as gift, yet more is he himself. The more he is himself, the more he is able to give, the greater the outreach and depth of the relation. Again, the more I relate the more I become myself; the more I become myself, the more I relate. First agere precedes esse, then esse precedes agere. This is the free moral moment of "personagenesis." The whole process must begin with a minimum self2 who chooses this act in behalf of another person.
But to choose this act, I am co-creating-letting the Divine Motion actualize through me-a more definite, determined, actualized "Me." I most literally achieve myself, determine, fulfill, actualize, "substantial
ize" myself at the precise moment that I transcend myself (relate) and give myself away to another in act. I become what I do. Esse sequitur agere. Then, I do what I have become. And, besides, the moral correctness of the act-if done true-to-being-translates into joy, because it is an "ek-stasis" of the self which is what it means to be in the image of the trinitarian Persons. The free process of transcending relation is so ontologically profound that, as it takes place, the "to be" (esse) coalesces into an ever increasingly substantial structure. This structure, the more developed "I," now a-growing, in turn self-determines in ever more extensive and profound choices of self-gift. The result is an ever increasing relationality and intrinsic existence the asymptote of which, in the order of grace, is to be "alter Christus.' °
This coincides with the notion that man as person is an "unfinished being" who is his own project. Of course, there must be some minimum of substantiality given with the creation of man, because every relation of love (and creation is an immense act of love) coalesces into some ontological structure. 'he dynamic structure of self-determination tells man every time anew that he is simultaneously given to himself as a gift and imposed upon himself as a task ... as someone who is an assignment to himself.' Ratzinger sums up this dynamic as exemplified in John Henry Newman: "All of Newman s life was a process of conversion; he `transformed' himself often, and in this way remained
always himself while becoming ever more himself."3°
Let us return to our initial reference to finite being in which we are seeking the solution to reconciling being and time, the absolute and the

relative, substance and relation, truth and process, the static and the
dynamic. The answer is always before our eyes in life itself. In all living
things, growth means becoming more identically self. The body devel
ops from : - c::,aturity to maturity through a constant process, yet be
comes ever more identically itself. In a seven year period, all the numerical matter is replaced in the human body. A 56 year old man (myself) has a completely new material organism down to the bones, eight times over. Yet, it is always his body. Scientists are less reluctant, today, to affirm this dynamic teleology of the living organism embracing under its rubric the phenomena of "homeostasis, immunological response or lactation."31 When there occurs a lesion of an organ, it can be frequently compensated by a spectacular transmutation of other already specified tissue into the structure and function of the "more necessary" pathological organ. A similar phenomenon is mirrored in the development of thought insofar as thought is an imaging of reality. It grows without changing. St. Vincent of Lerins, followed by John Henry

Newman, said the following:
Development (of the Faith) means that each thing expands to be itself, while alteration means that a thing is changed from one thing into another. The understanding, knowledge and wisdom of one and all ... ought ... to make great and vigorous progress with the passing of the ages and the centuries, but only along its own line of development, that is, with the same doctrine, the same meaning and the same import.32
I would like to propose a Heisenberg-like solution where the ultimate
reality we are discussing is neither substance nor relation in isolation
but rather an existential core which is mysterious in itself but emergent
as a resonating two-dimensional structure, a dyad, of progressive sub
stantiality disc: relationality.33 John Caputo offers a rich phenomenol
ogy along the lines of a dyadic nature of rson which is identity and non-identity, face/surface and sub-face. He defines person as "the being in whom these two, identity and surpassal, intersect." He speaks of person as "the locus of transcendence ... the resonance.. .(as)the rumbling of ...transcendence."

It is in this context that I would like to suggest my own proposal. John Caputo describes the person in such terms as "deep ground,"
the place within us which [is] ... mystery, ambiguity, undecida

bility, the desert and which lies at the far remove of proof and

disproof, of scientific determination ... ambiguity [that] does

not dissolve, even though we make a decision,...a deep deci

sion, a deep hermeneutic resolve, a deep construal.38
He does not want to resolve the ambiguity but rather "to point to an ontological structure."

I believe that the "deep ground" is an ontological structure beyond both the increasing (or decreasing) structure of the "I" and the relational self-gift of that "I." I believe the underlying reality to be the "I" itself as existential core. The proposal is to identify the "I" with the Thomistic act of existence (esse), and the kind of existence we are dealing with is what St. Thomas calls "to understand" (intelligere). St. Thomas understands the act of existence to be the source of every dynamism since it is the source of every operation and action. He understands it to be intrinsically and constitutively expansive and self-developing, self-determining and relational in our case, unless limited by a really distinct principle. 37 "Ib understand" would be a human and personal "to be," limited at the level of immateriality which is thought and will with its infinite openness to all reality and its corresponding intrinsicness (structure). This kind of act of existence, because of its degree of immateriality and intellectuality, is a freedom which would be self-de
tz~? r .r ng. What I envision to be going on is this simultaneous "relating-to-other/structuring-of-self" process which "intelligere" undergoes in its dynamic of expansion and which is constitutive of this kind of act of existence as created and "intensive" else. Since there is a double dimension to it, each one forming a higher stage for the next the more relational, the more determination of structure, the more structure, the greater the relation-the concept of 'esonating" suggests itself as the best description, even though they are simultaneous. Also, to apply the concept of "resonance" to the dynamics of the process impedes the reifying tendency of the human intellect to polarize the person with the structure alone which becomes identified with substance. I believe this to be the cause of the continual identification of person or subject with substance leaving relation always in the secondary position of "accident." Ultimately, then, being will not mean substance. "Substance"
will be one of the resonating modes of "to be" which, in turn, is deeper and "beyond" substance as person. Self-identity will not take place on the level of substance, but on the level of this existence, this subject. Substance will actually be a relativized, growing intrinsicness as the relationality becomes more expansive and profound.

The question can be raised, "What is operative virtue?" The question is germane since virtue has been the classical site to locate the actualizing of finite being. But all actualizing has been seen to be accidental. Operative virtue has traditionally been defined as the habit of a power. A^ =c:h, virtue is a habit of a power of a subject, i.e., it is an accident of an accident of a substance. To make it clear that the treatise on the virtues is using substance as its model, St. Thomas says, 'The name 'habit' is taken from having .... [I]f to have refers to a thing's being conditioned in a certain way in itself or in regard to something else, then habit is a quality...." The "having" is done by substance and the "quality"
is an accident of substance; "...quality, properly speaking, implies son mode of a substance.
Now, in the light of my analysis above and the common experienc of men, the suggestion is being made that there may be a different mod to explain the becoming of the person as person. As Ratzinger said Newman, "he 'transformed' himself often, and in this way remain always himself while becoming ever more himself." That model beir suggested would be the resonating dynamic of the act of existence whic (who), instead of increasing accidentally in being, would be increasir in substantial determination. By exercising myself in true-to-bein actions, I have the experience of actually "being more myself" by m self-giving. Wojtyla affirms that "while determining them [his free] chosen actions], [man] is at the same time fully aware that ... they [hi actions] in turn determine him; moreover, they continue to determin him even when they have passed."40 It seems clear that Wojtyla i referring to the structural state of self-determination rather than to a accidental status of virtue. The failure to move away from the substar tialist model, used to explain the increase of actuality through true-tc being activity, tends to obliterate the real nature of self-definition an relegate it to the secondary status of accidental accretion, virtue, adde on to substance extrinsically. This has tended to mire us in extrinsicisr (as will be exemplified below in the Schindler/Weigel debate) and obfu_ cate the real issue of the virtues, i.e., to be more.
By way of example, consider such simple, obvious cases as under standing a concept better only after having explained it. One learns t do by doing. There is not first the full, "substantial" appreciation of th concept in all of its detail and application, and then the explanatior Rather, the explanatory process precedes the substantial fullness. I seems that reality grows (structure) as it is lived (relation). And livinj as we saw, always involves this resonating between increasing relatior ality and intrinsicness of existence (structure).
There is, besides, a most telling example being given to us concernin this transmutation of the notion of virtue. The notion of faith has, unt: the Second Vatican Council, been construed as a virtue of supernaturf origin informing the faculties of intellect and will. The act of faith itse. was considered formally a conceptual act under the impulse of the wil The act of acceptance in conceptual terms responded to the revelatio: by God in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ. As such, the act of fait: is considered as an accident of the faculties of intellect and will. Th document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum, of Vatican II moves to ne, terrain. It puts faith on the plane of a total conversion of self to th Person (Jesus Christ) of the revealing God. "The obedience of faith
must be given to God as he reveals himself. By faith man freely commits his entire self to God...(#5)." It is evident from this example that we are not dealing with virtue as an accident of a power but with the giving of the substantial self contained in the notion of conversion. The center of focus moves from virtue as accident to the enhancing of the subject as the locus of self-giving and self-determining. It takes place at the intrinsic core of being, not at its periphery. Ratzinger says,

The phrase 'I believe' could here be literally translated by 'I hand myself over to'....In the sense of the Creed, and by origin, faith is not a recitation of doctrines, and acceptance of theories about things of which in themselves one knows nothing and therefore asserts something all the louder, it signifies a movement of the human existence; to use Heidegger's language, one could say that it signifies an 'about turn' by the whole person which from then on constantly structures one's
Think also of such structurally-enhancing realities as being forgiven in the very inea .ire that we forgive; or "blessed is she who believed" or "my soul magnifies the Lord because he has seen the lowliness of his handmaid" where the structural state of blessedness and greatness is the result of the relational "obedience of faith" and humble service.

Karol Wojtyla makes a crucial distinction between the will as a power (and therefore an accident of substance) and the will as an "essential of the person" (i.e., "substantial" as intrinsic). He says, "Man owes his structural `inalienability' (incommunicability) to the will to the extent to which self-governance is realized by the will, and in acting this is expressed and manifested as self-determination. If this structural trait of the whole person were to be left out of our discussion, it would be impossible to understand the will correctly and to interpret it adequately." It is the will, not as power, but as " essential or the person" that we can understand self-determination and "personagenesis." As such a way as to make a gift of self by self-determination. "The essential function of acts of will, whether of simple willing or of that more complex choice resulting from counteracting motives, is not the tending itself to the object (to the value as object), but the determining of the subject. Only by the determining of the subject will there be what he calls "vertical transcendence" which is the gift of self to another self. It is clear from the analysis, that whatever the will is, it is identified with the person, the self, in his deepest reality and not to be confused with the extrinsic or accidental. It seems , then, that "will" in this sense is the very "to be," the intellegere" which is the person.
The above distinction lends itself to immediate application in an important polemic. It is the very nub of the disagreement in the debate of David Schindler vs. George Weigel, i.e., whether American culture is bourgeois. Wig, eems naively to assume that the ontological l model of man is substance-cum-atal operations whic~tently exrinsic: c urc attendance, voluntary services, etc. i He assumes that since the doings are relational, man must be relation-al., What he fails to question (and Weigel considers this "arid terrain") iwhether such relat' • t :__ s extrinsic or intrinsic, accidental or constitutive. Extrinsic relation seems to s ice or im. of or ~chindler. Schinaler maintains that what seems to be a strong sense of relation (community) in the American founding was not really strong but essentially "voluntaryist," i.e., insufficient insofar as it is extrinsic. He finds the ontological model of American society to be individual substance, i.e., "... relation (community) is not given with human being: ...the human being, precisely in its ontologic, remains autonomous (unrelated)."47 Schindler is convinced, with Ratzinger, that only the intrinsic relationality to God of persons seeking personal sanctity can heal a society. Hence, Schindler is in search of an ontologic of intrinsic structure and relationality which would be an "equally valid primordial
the o
Karol Woityla makes a crucial distinction •- w- t will as power and therefore an accident of subs and the will as an
"essential of the ^n" (i "btil"
o.e.,susanta :. intrinsic e says, "Man
owes his structural 'inalienabi ity (incomm ca ity) to the will to the extent to which self-governance is realized the will, and in acting this is expressed and manifested as self-determination. If this structural trait of the whole person were to be left out of our discussion, it would be imposss2 ble to understand the will correctly and to interpret it adeJuately It is the will noas power, but a$ "essential of the person`43 :hat we can un" ers~tand self-determination and "personagenesis- As . )OW r e will can desire the ood and choose, but it does not choose
• •1_ • - + o self b selfdetermiti 'Th -naone essenti
unction of acts of will, whether of sun le willing or of that more comp ex hoice res mg m coup racing motives, is not the tending itself

mode(s) of reality." He rejects, with Wojtyla and Ratzinger, the substance)accident model to best describe the human person.

We began with the challenge of Joseph Ratzinger, originating in the theology of the Trinity, to offer an ontological model of being in which substance and relation were each primordial modes of reality. The topic coincides with the perennial struggle to reconcile being with time, the absoluteness of truth with change. The topic has historically been 'hni;d x}ed on the level of an abstraction where either absolute substance (Nietzsche) or absolute relation (Bergson) prevailed; or a combination of both, such as substance and accident (Aristotle) or essence and the "to be" of St. Thomas where both gave an adequate explanation of the antinomies up to a point. But none of them has been able to give a satisfactory ontological model to explain this ever-emerging awareness of person as an intrinsically relational being. It would be patently false to affirm person as `nothing but" relation as it would be patently false to straitjacket the notion with a relationality which would be mere accident, and hence not intrinsic nor constitutive.
Karol Wojtyla may have provided us with such a model in his change of methodology to a phenomenology of the acting subject who is a self-determining existential whom he calls the person. By emphasizing the double effect of the person as intrinsic will, i.e., (a) the transcending action itself and (b) the immanent and lasting determination within the agent (the literal self-determination), we have a model for growth by relating. Such a model relativizes what hitherto we may have been "reifying" as substance, be it static or dynamic. Whatever the case, the identity of the self has been perennially located in substance. With the Wojtyla model, the substance "grows," i.e., it is relativized, thus liberating the absolute and experiential identity of the self into an existential absoluteness, a deeper freedom, which is identical as he grows in his structural intrinsicness. My effort consists in proposing a metaphysical solution for the phenomenological description of self-determination. This proposal consists in seeing substance and relation as two resonating dimensions manifesting a deeper core, a kind of Heisenberg constart-.which is the act of existence itself. As an act of existence, the person would be unconceptualizable, not as lacking intelligibility but as a superfluity of it, while yet manifesting facets variously, now as act, now as growing (or diminishing) structure in a resonating mutual causality. Since all ethical and social structure flows from what we understand person to be, the ramifications of such a proposal as offered above are many and deep. Such a notion represents a task to be achieved, a project for the next millenium.
South Orange, New Jersey


(an Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983),

Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Theology, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990), 132.
2 Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 16.
11 W. N. Clarke, S.J. "What is Most and Least Relevant in the Metaphysics of; Thomas Today?", International Philosophical Quarterly, 14 (1974), 426. 12Lewis S. Ford, from The Universe As Journey: Conversation with W. Nor
Clarke, S.J., eds., Gerald A. McCool, SJ., and W. Norris Clarke, SJ. (New Yoi
Fordham, 1988),119.
191bid., 125.
14MacIntyre, 33-34.
1'MacIntyre, 218, (parentheses mine).
1°Mark 10:17.
17K. Wojtyla, "Subjectivity and the Irreducible in Man," Analecta Husserliana, 7 (Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1978),107-14.
I Lowitli, in Fill Herberge Fpm Marxism to Judaism: Essays 11 Herberg, (New York: Markus Wiener Public
>f Pieper, An Anthology, (San Francisco: I hung: 1989)' C80oll,ected
Jrs von Balthasar Convergences, S gnatius Press, 1989),30.
21Josef Pieper, Living the 7}uth, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989), 81-83.
22This is the phrase Wojtyla uses to describe the definition of person as substance. He says: "...the definition of Boethius determines above all the
,metaph sical site,' or in other words the dimension of being in which the persona subjectivity of man is realized, creating, so to speak, the right conditions for building upon this 'site' on the ground of experience. "Subjectivity," 109. The 'etaphysical site,' according to Wojtyla, is the abstraction of the definition "rational animal," or "individual substance of a rational nature." This is useful and necessary, but incomplete as noetically
unrealistic. This is the locus of the insertion of phenomenology into the philosophical methodology.
23Analecta Husserliana, (Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1978), vol. 10, The Acting Person, by Karol Wojtyla, 107.
24 The ultimate explanation of this universally verifiable experience can only be found in the theology of'Irinity where person means relation and relation means person. Refer to Ratzinger's Introduction, 131-32.
25John Paul 11, Centessamus Annus, May 1, 1991, USCC Publication, #41.
26K. Wojtyla, 'The Degrees of Being from the Point of View of the Phenomenology of Action, " Analecta Husserliana, 11 (1981), 127.
2 "Ha-'i zg o'-me substantially into existence, man changes one way or another
with all his actions and with all that happens in him: both these forms of the dynamism proper to him make something of him and at the same time they, so to speak, make somebody of him." Wojtyla, The Acting Person, 96-97.
28Guardini describes, with Kierkegaard, this ascending resonance of being and doing as "leaps" of decision and daring in the process of becoming a person. He
describes it as coming to the brink of his hitherto existing level of existence: "he divines the new level and its demand upon him. In order to satisfy the demand,
he must let go of the present level and leap' to the next. He must leap, because he receives no guarantee from his old position that he will gain a foothold on
the new one, for the latter is of a higher kind and thus 'other'. He must thus take the risk. Between the two levels lies an abyss, an obscurity. Man must,
in the earnestness of the decision, gather himself together, raise himself out of himself, and throw himself across. Then he gains a footing and is able to exist on a higher level; his eyes are opened to a new and superior reality; a new power of evaluation awakens and he is able to appreciate and to love on a higher level." From Pascal For Our 7lme, (New York: Herder and Herder, 1966) 2 29K. Wojtyla, "Subjectivity," 112.
-30 Days, (July-August, 1990), 59.
91Jonathan Jacobs, 'eleology and Reduction in Biology," in Biology and
Philosophy 1, (1986), 389-99. Also, the whole body forms a homeostatic or
self-regulating system, with a dynamic stability in which a constant in-put of
matter and energy is balanced by a constant out-put of activity and wastage by
devices which adjust the flow to meet environmental variation. See Benedict
M. Ashley, 02, Theologies of the Body: Humanist and Christian (Braintree,
MA: The Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1985), 24.
as St. Vincent of Lerins, From the First Instruction, 23; PL 50, 667-68.
33 I would like to note that Norris Clarke calls for a modification in the traditional as well as Thomist notion of substance and relation (as accident): "Father Clarke believes, (that) unless Thomism's metaphysics of relations is radically modified, it cannot do justice to the world of our contemporary experience. For,
in that world, dynamic substances do not live in self-sufficient isolation. They exist as members of a system. Far from being related to other substances in a purely accidental way, each substance, in some way or other, is intrinsically
constituted by its relation to a system that integrates the individuals within it
into a higher unity. .. Thus although each substance retains its subsisting identity, its relation to the system in which it exists can enter into its essential
constitution ...Thomists must admit that fact and adapt their metaphysics of relations to integrate the reality of system into their category scheme. The
Universe as Journey, 34-35.
34 Fr. Clarke responds to Caputo's reflections with his own analysis of the
mystery of person. He agrees with Caputo on the experience of being as mystery

but assigns the cause of this mystery to finitude and the defectiveness of being. He says: "...each finite being is an act of existence imitating the divine, but mixed
in with a limiting element, which means a,partial negation, almost a kind of infection by non-being, a shadow element. W. N. Clarke, The Universe as Journey, 156.
J. Caputo, "Being and the Mystery of the Person," in The Universe As Journey,
a6Ibid., 110-11.
3This really distinct principle would be the essence composed of form and
matter which would receive all of its reality fi-cm esse but in a distinct order of causality (formal); it would limit e8se to be this esse and this kind of esse. The matter of the essence would receive its being from the "intelligere" which is a completely immaterial kind of esse. This could be the explanation for the "language of the body" where the body is ruled by the same rhythms as the person: love-making is inseparably connected with life-giving. '18St. Thomas Aquinas, "Virtue designates a certain kind of perfection of a power. ... powers are determined to their acts ... by habits. Therefore, human habits are virtues." Summa Theologiae, 1, 55, 1, c.
ST, I, 49, 2, c.
Wojtyla, "T'he Degrees of Being" (1981) 127.
Ratzinger, Introduction, 55. Wojtyla, The Acting Person, 107.
'For St. Thomae the will appears to be first of all a power, which makes man :termine hi. ds,:', actio .' The Acting Person, n. 39, 309.
"The very intentionality of volition as it is revealed in the act of choice does not create the essential dimension of the transcendence which is so marked in the human act, since it is not its constitutive factor. That is why even the analysis of intentional acts alone fails here. The transcendence of the person in action (act) is not reducible to the intentionality of cognitive acts or even to the intentionality of volition itself ... The essential function of acts of will, whether of simple willing or of that more complex choice resulting from counteracting motives, is not the tending itself to the object (to the value as object), but the determining of the subject." Wojtyla, 'he Degrees of Being, 127.
46 What is at stake here is a partial identity between "to be" and "to act" where willing is the very dynamic of "to be" itself (somewhat like the ousiaJenergeia complex elaborated by Gregory of Nyssa when defending the homo-ousion of God the Father engendering God the Son. "Agennetos and gennetos ...designate properties of hupostaseis within the first ousia.") See Bernard C. Barmann, The Cap doc ian Triumph Over Ariani8m, Stanford University Ph.D. dissertation, 1 r,26 1.
*8"Is America Bourgeois?", Crisis (October 1986), 5-10.
47David Schindler, "Once Again: George Weigel, Catholicism and American Culture," Communio, (1988), 97.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Gift of Self

“And in the end You could put aside our world. You may let it crumble around us and, above all else, in us. And then it will transpire that YOU remain whole only in the SON, and He in You – whole with Him in YOUR LOVE, Father and Bridegroom.
“And everything else will then turn out to be unimportant and inessential, except for this: father, child, and love.”
“Love and Responsibility” (96-99)

“Betrothed love differs from all the aspects or forms of love analysed hitherto. Its decisive character is the giving of one’s own person (to another). The essence of betrothed love is self-giving, the surrender of one’s `I.’ This is something different from and more than attraction, desire or even goodwill. These are all ways by which one person goes out towards another, but none of them can take him as far in his quest for the good of the other as does betrothed love. `To give oneself to another’ is something more than merely `desiring what is good for another – even if as a result of this another `I’ becomes as it were my own, as it does in friendship. Betrothed love is something different from and more than all the forms of love so far analysed, both as it affects the individual subject, the person who loves, and as regards the interpersonal union, which it creates. When betrothed love enters into this interpersonal relationship something more than friendship results: two people give themselves each to the other….

(The imaging of the divine is now understood as radical)

“But what is impossible and illegitimate in the natural order and in a physical sense, can come about in the order of love and in a moral sense. In this sense, one person can give himself or herself, can surrender entirely to another, whether to a human person or to God, and such a giving of the self creates a special form of love which we define as betrothed love [here footnote 7 on “On the Meaning of Betrothed Love – contribution to a Discussion,” which I have had translated but not published]. This fact goes to prove that the person has a dynamism of its own and that specific laws govern its existence and evolution [here go to GS #24 for the law of the person which is the “law of the gift”]….

“The fullest, the most uncompromising form of love consists precisely in selfgiving, in making one’s inalienable and non-transferable `I’ someone else’s property. This is doubly paradoxical: firstly in that it is possible to step outside one’s own `I’ in this way, and secondly in that the `I’ far from being destroyed or impaired as a result is enlarged and enriched – of course in a super-physical, a moral sense….

“Self-giving,’ in the sense in which we are discussing it, should not be identified (confused) with the sensation of self-surrender, still less with surrender in a merely physical sense. As far as surrender in the first (the psychological) sense is concerned, it is only the woman, or at any rate it is above all the woman, who feels that her role in marriage is to give herself; the man’s experience of marriage is different, since `giving oneself’ has as its psychological correlative `possession.’ However, the psychological approach is insufficient here for if we think the problem through objectively, and that means ontologically, what happens in the marital relationship is that the man simultaneously gives himself, in return for the woman’s gift of herself to him, and thus although his conscious experience of it differs from the woman’s it must none the less be a real giving of himself to another person. If it is not there is a danger that the man may treat the woman as an object, and indeed an object to be used. If marriage is to satisfy the demands of the personalistic norm it must embody reciprocal self-giving, a mutual betrothed love. The acts of surrender reciprocate each other, that of the man and that of the woman, and though they are psychologically different in kind, ontologically they combine to produce a perfect whole, an act of mutual self-surrender (emphasis mine)….

“(T)his giving of oneself… cannot… have a merely sexual significance. Giving oneself only sexually, without the full gift of the person to validate it, must lead to those forms of utilitarianism [which were analyzed and rejected previously].”

The Recovery of the “I” Before Sin

The historical experience of man after sin conceals the primordial experience of man as “I” before sin as he came forth in innocence from the hands of God, revealed to be a triple “I” (Yahweh). John Paul II takes note of Christ’s invitation to cross the threshold to that original experience of what it meant to be man, male and female, “from the beginning.” He takes us across that threshold to “the beginning” by using the blend of a phenomenology of experience which stays objective as a metaphysics of being and makes the analysis and hermeneutic of the first two chapters of Genesis. The goal is to disclose the underlying anthropology and thereby disclose the non-reductive anthropology of the human “I” and its dynamic as self-gift, and what has become for him, “the law of the gift.” Therefore, the appearance of “self-gift” as a unique and radical experience in Love and Responsibility implies that Wojtyla had been glimpsing this profound pre-lapsarian experience for some time which he discloses explicitly for the first time in the first Wednesday addresses which follow:

1. The Discovery of the “I”: The meaning of the experience of solitude in the first man (prior to the re-creation as male and female): Man is not like the sensible world that he tills (subdues [works]) nor the animals that he names (naming is also subduing – working and getting dominion over):

Meaning of Man's Original Solitude (10 October 1979)
“The problem of solitude is manifested only in the context of the second account of the creation of man. The first account ignores this problem. There man is created in one act as male and female. "God created man in his own image...male and female he created them" (Gn 1:27). As we have already mentioned, the second account speaks first of the creation of the man and only afterward of the creation of the woman from the "rib" of the male. This account concentrates our attention on the fact that "man is alone." This appears as a fundamental anthropological problem, prior, in a certain sense, to the one raised by the fact that this man is male and female. This problem is prior not so much in the chronological sense, as in the existential sense. It is prior "by its very nature." The problem of man's solitude from the point of view of the theology of the body will also be revealed as such, if we succeed in making a thorough analysis of the second account of creation in Genesis 2” (emphasis mine).

“Man's subjectivity is already emphasized through this. It finds a further expression when the Lord God "formed out of the ground every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to man to see what he would call them" (Gn 2:19). In this way, therefore, the first meaning of man's original solitude is defined on the basis of a specific test or examination which man undergoes before God (and in a certain way also before himself). By means of this test, man becomes aware of his own superiority, that is, that he cannot be considered on the same footing as any other species of living beings on the earth.
As the text says, "Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name" (Gn 2:19). "The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man [male] there was not found a helper fit for him" (Gn 2:20).

"All this part of the text is unquestionably a preparation for the account of the creation of woman. However, it possesses a deep meaning even apart from this creation. Right from the first moment of his existence, created man finds himself before God as if in search of his own entity. It could be said he is in search of the definition of himself. A contemporary person would say he is in search of his own "identity." The fact that man "is alone" in the midst of the visible world and, in particular, among living beings, has a negative significance in this search, since it expresses what he "is not."
Nevertheless, the fact of not being able to identify himself essentially with the visible world of other living beings (animalia) has, at the same time, a positive aspect for this primary search. Even if this fact is not yet a complete definition, it constitutes one of its elements. If we accept the Aristotelian tradition in logic and in anthropology, it would be necessary to define this element as the "proximate genus" (genus proximum).
However, the Yahwist text enables us to discover also further elements in that admirable passage. Man finds himself alone before God mainly to express, through a first self-definition, his own self-knowledge, as the original and fundamental manifestation of mankind. Self-knowledge develops at the same rate as knowledge of the world, of all the visible creatures, of all the living beings to which man has given a name to affirm his own dissimilarity with regard to them. In this way, consciousness reveals man as the one who possesses a cognitive faculty as regards the visible world. With this knowledge which, in a certain way, brings him out of his own being, man at the same time reveals himself to himself in all the peculiarity of his being. He is not only essentially and subjectively alone. Solitude also signifies man's subjectivity, which is constituted through self-knowledge. Man is alone because he is "different" from the visible world, from the world of living beings. Analyzing the text of Genesis we are, in a way, witnesses of how man "distinguishes himself " before God-Yahweh from the whole world of living beings (animalia) with his first act of self-consciousness, and of how he reveals himself to himself. At the same time he asserts himself as a "person" in the visible world.”

Corroborating Experience: Helen Keller:

“We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly then rapidly, I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motion of her finders. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten – a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers trill, it is true, abut barriers that could in time be swept away.
I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me. On entering the door I remembered the doll I had broken. [She had earlier destroyed the doll in a fit of temper.] I felt my way tot he hearth and picked up the pieces. I tried vainly to put them together. Then my eyes filled with tears; for I realized what I had done, and for the first time I felt repentance.” Walker Percy comments: “Here in the well-house in Tuscumbia in a small space and a short time, something extremely important and mysterious had happened. Eight-year-old Helen made her breakthrough from the good responding animal which behaviorists study so successfully to the strange name-giving and sentence-uttering creature who begins by naming shoes and ships and sealing wax, and later tells jokes, curses, reads the paper, writes La sua volontade e nostra pace, or becomes a Hegel and composes an entire system of philosophy.”

Priesthood: The subduing of the animals, as well as the tilling of the earth gave man the experience – through his body – that he was not an object like everything else, but a subject. This subjective experience was revealed to us by Christ as priestly whereby the subject becomes mediator of his own existence. By the free subduing of self, one becomes priest of his/her own existence. That is, the offering that is made is one’s very self as gift. Josef Ratzinger’s quote on this is crucial: “Thus the Logos adopts the being of the man Jesus into his own being and speaks of it in terms of his own I: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (Jn. 6, 38). In the Son’s obedience, where both wills become one single Yes to the will off the Father, communion takes place between human and divine being. The `wondrous exchange,’ the `alchemy of being,’ is realized here as a liberating and reconciling communication, which becomes a communion between Creator and creature. It is in the pain of this exchange, and only here, that that fundamental change tales place in man, the change which alone can redeem him and transform the conditions of the world. Here community is born, here the Church comes into being. The act whereby we participate in the Son’s obedience, which involves man’s genuine transformation, is also the only really effective contribution toward renewing and transforming society and the world as a whole.” As Christ subdued himself to make the radical gift of Himself to death on the Cross, so also baptism and the Mass empower us to make the radical gift. Christian marriage, seen in this light, is the priestly act of self-giving (as Christ love the Church ).

Body as “I” is not “Thing”“Thus formed, man belongs to the visible world; he is a body among bodies. Taking up again and, in a way, reconstructing the meaning of original solitude, we apply it to man in his totality. His body, through which he participates in the visible created world, makes him at the same time conscious of being "alone." Otherwise, he would not have been able to arrive at that conviction which he reached (cf. Gn 2:20), if his body had not helped him to understand it, making the matter evident. Consciousness of solitude might have been shattered precisely because of his body itself. The man,'adam, might have reached the conclusion, on the basis of the experience of his own body, that he was substantially similar to other living beings (animalia). On the contrary, as we read, he did not arrive at this conclusion; he reached the conviction that he was "alone." The Yahwist text never speaks directly of the body. Even when it says that "The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground," it speaks of man and not of his body. Nevertheless, the narrative taken as a whole offers us a sufficient basis to perceive this man, created in the visible world, precisely as a body among bodies.”
The body, then, is not an object, nor a “thing” understood in the modern sense of a machine or reducible to machinery. Notice the most recent remark of the major evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould: “The collapse of the doctrine of one gene for one protein, and one direction of causal flow from basic codes to elaborate totality, marks the failure of reductionism for the complex system that we call biology – and for two major reasons.
“First, the key to complexity is not more genes, a but more combinations and interactions generated by fewer units of code – many of these interaction (as emergent properties, to use the technical jargon) must be explained at the level of their appearance, for they cannot be predicted from the separate underlying parts alone. So organisms must be explained as organisms, and not as a summation of genes.”
2. The experience of being alone is positive as disclosing the uniqueness of the “I.” It is negative as “Not Good” for man to be alone.

“In this way, the second narrative could also be a preparation for understanding the Trinitarian concept of the "image of God," even if the latter appears only in the first narrative. Obviously, that is not without significance for the theology of the body. Perhaps it even constitutes the deepest theological aspect of all that can be said about man. In the mystery of creation - on the basis of the original and constituent "solitude" of his being - man was endowed with a deep unity between what is, humanly and through the body, male in him and what is, equally humanly and through the body, female in him. On all this, right from the beginning, the blessing of fertility descended, linked with human procreation (cf. Gn 1:28).
In this way, we find ourselves almost at the heart of the anthropological reality that has the name "body." The words of Genesis 2:23 speak of it directly and for the first time in the following terms: "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." The man uttered these words, as if it were only at the sight of the woman that he was able to identify and call by name what makes them visibly similar to each other, and at the same time what manifests humanity.
In the light of the preceding analysis of all the "bodies" which man has come into contact with and which he has defined, conceptually giving them their name (animalia), the expression "flesh of my flesh" takes on precisely this meaning: the body reveals man. This concise formula already contains everything that human science could ever say about the structure of the body as organism, about its vitality, and its particular sexual physiology, etc. This first expression of the man, "flesh of my flesh," also contains a reference to what makes that body truly human. Therefore it referred to what determines man as a person, that is, as a being who, even in all his corporality, is similar to God.
We find ourselves, therefore, almost at the very core of the anthropological reality, the name of which is "body," the human body. However, as can easily be seen, this core is not only anthropological, but also essentially theological. Right from the beginning, the theology of the body is bound up with the creation of man in the image of God. It becomes, in a way, also the theology of sex, or rather the theology of masculinity and femininity, which has its starting point here in Genesis.
The words of Genesis 2:24 bear witness to the original meaning of unity, which will have in the revelation of God an ample and distant perspective. This unity through the body - "and the two will be one flesh"possesses a multiform dimension. It possesses an ethical dimension, as is confirmed by Christ's answer to the Pharisees in Matthew 19 (cf. Mk 10). It also has a sacramental dimension, a strictly theological one, as is proved by St. Paul's words to the Ephesians'`' which refer also to the tradition of the prophets (Hosea, Isaiah, Ezekiel). This is so because, right from the beginning, that unity which is realized through the body indicates not only the "body," but also the "incarnate" communion of persons - communio personarum - and calls for this communion.
Masculinity and femininity express the dual aspect of man's somatic constitution. "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Furthermore, through the same words of Genesis 2:23, they indicate the new consciousness of the sense of one's own body. It can be said that this sense consists in a mutual enrichment. Precisely this consciousness, through which humanity is formed again as the communion of persons, seems to be the layer which in the narrative of the creation of man (and in the revelation of the body contained in it) is deeper than his somatic structure as male and female. In any case, this structure is presented right from the beginning with a deep consciousness of human corporality and sexuality, and that establishes an inalienable norm for the understanding of man on the theological plane.”

3. Since the experience of solitude is bad for a being made in the image and likeness of a Three, the gift of the “I” is its achievement as Image.

(By the Communion of Persons Man Becomes the Image of God [14 November 1979)])

“In the first chapter, the narrative of the creation of man affirms directly, right from the beginning, that man was created in the image of God as male and female. The narrative of the second chapter, on the other hand, does not speak of the "image of God." But in its own way it reveals that the complete and definitive creation of "man" (subjected first to the experience of original solitude) is expressed in giving life to that communio personarum that man and woman form. In this way, the Yahwist narrative agrees with the content of the first narrative.
If, vice versa, we wish to draw also from the narrative of the Yahwist text the concept of "image of God," we can then deduce that man became the "image and likeness" of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons which man and woman form right from the beginning. The function of the image is to reflect the one who is the model, to reproduce its own prototype. Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. Right "from the beginning," he is not only an image in which the solitude of a person who rules the world is reflected, but also, and essentially, an image of an inscrutable divine communion of persons.”

John Paul concludes that man images God not as an individual, but as a person who, to reflect the prototype, must be in union with another. This means further that to be man, one can never be alone. To be human is to be in relation as the Divine is a trinity of Relations. The ramifications for sexual morality as well as for political and economic reality are profound and far reaching.

The Methodology of Wojtyla Enabling This Disclosure of the “I” As Gift: The Experience of Self-Determination.
His fundamental discovery is the experience of the “I” as being. Experience is always about reality, and therefore about being. In modern thought, the “I” has been identified with consciousness, or the thought about thinking. Reflective thought, not experience, was the access. Wojtyla experiences himself as the cause of free action. His “I” is not the result of reflection on the act of thinking or willing. It is discovered as the cause of an experience of (free, not instinctual or stimulus-response mechanism) self-determination as a free act. “But as the need increases to understand the human being as a unique and unrepeatable person, especially in terms of the whole dynamism of action and inner happenings proper to the human being – in other words, as the need increases to understand the personal subjectivity of the human being – the category of lived experience takes on greater significance, and, in fact, key significance. For then the issue is not just the metaphysical objectification of the human being as an acting subject, as the agent of acts, but the revelation of the person as a subject experiencing its acts and inner happenings, and with them its own subjectivity."
Perhaps, the analytical genius of Wojtyla comes to the fore precisely here.
The “I” is being, not consciousness. But the experience which discloses the “I” as being is the work of consciousness. He distinguishes the consciousness of the experience of sensible things - which is taken from the experience (sensible perception) of the external world: this pink cloud – from the consciousness of the experience of the self (“I”) in the act of self-determination in the moment of morality: responsibility or guilt. In its (non abstractive) mirroring function, consciousness grasps the subject (not yet experienced as “I”), which has been objectified by reflective (not “reflexive,” in the terminology of Wojtyla) thought, and then “actualized” (subdued/mastered) by itself. He distinguishes between the reflectiveness of the mind turning back on its own act of knowing things and the reflexiveness of consciousness which captures both the reflections of the subject in potency to self-determine, and in the act of moving itself. This capturing both states of the self as pre and post self-determination, as potency and act with respect to itself, constitutes the experience of the “I” as “I.” And he corroborates this when he remarks in Fides et Ratio #83 that “In a special way, the person constitutes a privileged locus for the encounter with being, and hence with metaphysical enquiry.”
He remarks in the Acting Person: “The consequence of the reflexive turn of consciousness is that this object – just because it is from the ontological point of view the subject – while having the experience of his own ego also has the experience of himself as the subject. In this interpretation `refexiveness’ is also seen to be an essential as well as a very specific moment of consciousness. It is, however, necessary to add at once that this specific moment becomes apparent only when we observe and trace consciousness in its intrinsic, organic relation to the human being, in particular, the human being in action. We then discern clearly that it is one thing to be the subject, another to be cognized (that is, objectivized) as the subject, and a still different thing to experience one’s self as the subject of one’s own acts and experiences… This discrimination is of tremendous import for all our further analyses, which we shall have to make in our efforts to grasp the whole dynamic reality of the acting person and to account for the subjectiveness that is given us in experience.
Indubitably, Man is, first of all, the subject of his being and his acting; he is the subject insofar as he is a being of determinate nature, which leads to consequences particularly in the acting. In traditional ontology that subject of existing and acting which man is was designated by the term suppositum – ontic support – which, we may say, serves as a thoroughly objective designation free of any experiential aspects, in particular of any relation to that experience of subjectivity in which the subject is given to itself as the self, as the ego. Hence suppositum abstracts from that aspect of consciousness owing to which the concrete man – the object being the subject – has the experience of himself as the subject and thus of his subjectivity. It is this experience that allows him to designate himself by means of the pronoun I. We know I to be a personal pronoun, always designating a concrete person. However, the denotation of this personal pronoun, thus….
Hence not only am I conscious of my ego (on the ground of self-knowledge) but owing to my consciousness in its reflexive function I also experience my ego. I have the experience of myself as the concrete subject of the ego’s very subjectiveness. Consciousness is not just an aspect but also an essential dimension or an actual moment of the reality of the being that I am, since it constitutes its subjectiveness in the experiential sense.”
****** It is important to go back to see that the original recovery of the “I” as “alone” - “from the beginning” - was precisely in the experience of subduing the self (self-determination) on the occasion of work (naming the animals and tilling the garden). Then, God reveals the axiology of the person: “It is not good for man to be alone.” The re-creation of man as male and female is the occasion for them both to increase in their ontological density as “I” by the respective subduing of self to be gift to each other. The failure to subdue the self was the fact of sin that constituted the loss of the experience of imaging the Three. Man lost the experience of the “I” and forgot who he was. Go to Percy’s “Lost in the Cosmos.”

John Paul II explicitly links the Magisterial GS #24 with his understanding of self-determination: Hence: The Personal Structure of Self-Determination:IV
“In Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, we read that "the human being, who is the only creature on earth that God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself or herself except through a disinterested gift of himself or herself" (24)….

"As I said earlier, in the experience of self-determination the human person stands revealed before us as a distinctive structure of self-possession and self-governance. Neither the one nor the other, however, implies being closed in on oneself. On the contrary, both self-possession and self-governance imply a special disposition to make a "gift of oneself," and this a "disinterested" gift. Only if one possesses oneself can one give oneself and do this in a disinterested way. And only if one governs oneself can one make a gift of oneself, and this again a disinterested gift. The problematic of disinterestedness certainly deserves a separate analysis, which it is not my intention to present here. An understanding of the person in categories of gift, which the teaching of Vatican II reemphasizes, seems to reach even more deeply into those dimensions brought to light by the foregoing analysis. Such an understanding seems to disclose even more fully the personal structure of self-determination.
Only if one can determine oneself—as I attempted to show earlier—can one also become a gift for others. The Council's statement that "the human being...cannot fully find himself or herself except through a disinterested gift of himself or herself" allows us to conclude that it is precisely when one becomes a gift for others that one most fully becomes oneself. This "law of the gift," if it may be so designated, is inscribed deep within the dynamic structure of the person. The text of Vatican II certainly draws its inspiration from revelation, in the light of which it paints this portrait of the human being as a person. One could say that this is a portrait in which the person is depicted as a being willed by God "for itself" and, at the same time, as a being turned "toward" others. This relational portrait of the person, however, necessarily presupposes the immanent (and indirectly "substantial") portrait that unfolds before us from an analysis of the personal structure of self-determination….
I have attempted, however, even in this short presentation, to stress the very real need for a confrontation of the metaphysical view of the person that we find in St. Thomas and in the traditions of Thomistic philosophy with the comprehensive experience of the human being. Such a confrontation will throw more light on the cognitive sources from which the Angelic Doctor derived his metaphysical view. The full richness of those sources will then become visible. At the same time, perhaps we will better be able to perceive points of possible convergence with contemporary thought, as well as points of irrevocable divergence from it in the interests of the truth about reality.”
This paper was presented by then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla at an international conference on St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and Naples, 17-24 April 1974. It can be found in the book “Person and Community: Selected Essays” by Karol Wojtyla, published as part of a series “Catholic Thought from Lublin” by Peter Lang.

Finally, Dominum et Vivificantem #59 spells out this recovery of the “I” – Gift as the very meaning of Christian anthropology and with Novo Millennio Ineunte and the discovery of the face of Jesus Christ, the blueprint for the year 2001, the 21st century and the Third Millennium.

“As the year 2000 since the birth of Christ draws near, it is a question of ensuring that an ever greater number of people “may fully find themselves...through a sincere gift of self,” according to the expression of the Council already quoted. Through the action of the Spirit-Paraclete, may there be accomplished in our world a process of true growth in humanity, in both individual and community life. In this regard Jesus himself "when he prayed to the Father, 'that all may be we are one' (Jn 17: 21-22)...implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine persons and the union of the children of God in truth and charity." The Council repeats this truth about man, and the Church sees in it a particularly strong and conclusive indication of her own apostolic tasks. For if man is the way of the Church, this way passes through the whole mystery of Christ, as man's divine model. Along this way the Holy Spirit, strengthening in each of us “the inner man,” enables man ever more “fully to find himself through a sincere gift of self.” These words of the Pastoral Constitution of the Council can be said to sum up the whole of Christian anthropology: that theory and practice, based on the Gospel, in which man discovers himself as belonging to Christ and discovers that in Christ he is raised to the status of a child of God, and so understands better his own dignity as man, precisely because he is the subject of God's approach and presence, the subject of the divine condescension, which contains the prospect and the very root of definitive glorification. Thus it can truly be said “the glory of God is the living man, yet man's life is the vision of God”: man, living a divine life, is the glory of God, and the Holy Spirit is the hidden dispenser of this life and this glory. The Holy Spirit—says the great Basil—“while simple in essence and manifold in his virtues...extends himself without undergoing any diminishing, is present in each subject capable of receiving him as if he were the only one, and gives grace which is sufficient for all.”
—From the Pastoral Letter, "Lord and Giver of Life," promulgated by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, on May 18, 1986

The evil of contraception and the positive use of NFP can only be understood within the context of the anthropology of GS #24. This is the reason John Paul II wants everyone to be apprised of the NFP even before marriage. He does not see the moral determinant to be nature, which cannot morally be contradicted, the large family as the secure affirmation of moral goodness. Rather, he sees the self-giving of the spouses as persons as the moral determinant.
Regarding NFP, he comments in Familiaris consortio:

“Authentic ecclesial pedagogy displays its realism and wisdom only by making a tenacious and courageous effort to create and uphold all the human conditions –psychological, moral and spiritual – indispensable for understanding and living the moral value and norm.
There is no doubt that these conditions must include persistence and patience, humility and strength of mind, filial trust in God and in His grace, and frequent recourse to prayer and to the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation….
But the necessary conditions also include knowledge of the bodily aspect and the body’s rhythms of fertility. Accordingly, every effort must be made to render such knowledge accessible to all married people and also to young adults before marriage, through clear, timely and serious instruction and education given by married couples, doctors and experts. Knowledge must then lead to education in self-control: hence the absolute necessity for the virtue of chastity and for permanent education in it. In the Christian view, chastity by no means signifies rejection of human sexuality or lack of esteem for it; rather it signifies spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it towards it full realization.
…Yet this discipline [with regard to periodic continence] which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort, yet, thanks to its beneficent influence, husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual value/ Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace, and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one’s partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility. By its means, parents acquire the capacity of having a deeper and more efficacious influence in the education of their offspring.”(#33).

Since contraception is the precisely the failure to make the gift of self as body (where sperm and egg are withheld), and NFP is the self-determination to make the gift of self by abstaining from sexual intercourse during fertility, we are dealing with two radically distinct anthropologies, one as person-gift, the other as individual-for-self. John Paul II comments:

“Theological reflection is able to perceive and is called to study further the difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the thythm of the cycle: it is a difference which is much wider and deeper than is usually thought, one which involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.”(#32)