Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Thomas Aquinas - January 28, 2013

Carvajal: “The Magisterium of the Church has on many occasions recommended that the faithful treat Saint Thomas as a guide in philosophical and theological study. The Church has taken the teachings of Saint Thomas as her own inasmuch as they are the best synthesis available of revealed truth, the writings of the Fathers and the demands of human reason.[1] The Second Vatican Council urged the faithful to obtain a deeper understanding of the mysteries of the Faith with Saint Thomas as teacher .[2]
The Magisterium of the Church does not teach philosophy or theology. It teaches the Divine Person of Jesus Christ, Perfect God, Perfect Man.  Therefore, our Father teaches:  “We cannot conclude from this that we ought to just limit ourselves to assimilating and repeating all of the teachings of St. Thomas and only his.
                “We are talking about something very different: certainly we ought to cultivate the doctrine of the Angelic Doctor, but in the same way as he would develop it now if he were alive. Therefore, sometimes we will have to finish what he was only able to commence; and we also make our own all the discoveries of other authors, when they are compatible with the truth.”
Catechism of the Work: Opus Dei does not have, and will never have, any particular corporate viewpoint or school of thought in any branch of science, nor in any theological or philosophical matters which the Church has left open to discussion. Our Father: “Corporatively we have no other doctrine than what the Magisterium of the Holy See teaches. We accept everything that this Magisterium accepts, and reject al that it rejects. We believe whatever it proposes as a truth of faith and we also make our own everything which is of Catholic doctrine. And within this ample doctrine, each one of us forms his own personal criteria. Why? Because “man is the only earthly being God has willed for itself” (GS #24) and therefore “no one can use a person as a means towards an end, no human being, not even God the Creator.”[3]  The human person is a self-determining freedom.
In what we should the mind of St. Thomas be developed?

Joseph Ratzinger: “Here is the problem: Ought we to accept modernity in full, or in part? Is there a real contribution Can this modern way of thinking be a contribution, or offer a contribution, or not? And if there is a contribution from the modern, critical way of thinking, in line with the Enlightenment, how can it be reconciled with the great intuitions and the great gifts of the faith?

“Or ought we, in the name of the faith, to reject modernity? You see? There always seems to be this dilemma: either we must reject the whole of the tradition, all the exegesis of the Fathers, relegate it to the library as historically unsustainable, or we must reject modernity.
            “And I think that the gift, the light of the fait, must be dominant, but the light of the faith has also the capacity to take up into itself the true human lights, and for this reason the struggles over exegesis and the liturgy for me must be inserted into this great, let call it epochal struggle over how Christianity, over how the Christian responds to modernity, to the challenge of modernity…
            “and it seems to me… that this was the true intention of the Second Vatican Council, to go beyond an unfruitful and overly narrow apologetic to a true synthesis with the positive elements of modernity, to heal it of its illnesses, by means of the light and strength of the faith.
            “Because it was the Council Fathers’ intention to heal and transform modernity, and not simply to succumb to it or merge with it, the interpretations which interpret the Second Vatican Council in the sense of the de-sacralization or profanation are erroneous.
            “Augustine, as you know, was a man who, on the one hand, had studied in great depth the great philosophies, the profane literature of the ancient world.
            “On the other hand, he was also very critical of the pagan authors, even with regard to Plato, to Virgil, those great authors whom he loved so much.
            “He criticized them, and with a penetrating sense, purified them.
            “This was his way of using the great pre-Christian culture: purify it, heal it, and in  this way, also, healing it, he gave true greatness to this culture. Because in this way,  it entered into the fact of the incarnation, no? And became part of the Word’s incarnation.”[4]

            What was the key of the Council to heal the reduction of reality and being to consciousness? Wojtyla: “If we study the Conciliar magisterium as a whole, we find that the Pastors fo the church were not so much concerned to answer questions like ‘What should men believe?’ ‘What is the real meaning of this or that truth of faith?’ and so on, but rather to answer the more complex question: ‘What does it mean  to be a believer, a Catholic and a member of the Church?’”[5] Therefore: Take the metaphysics of St. Thomas and apply it to the believing person as subject.

[1] John XXIII, Address, 17 November 1979.
[2] Vatican II, Optatam totius, 16.
[3] K. Wojtyla, “Love and Responsibility,” Ignatius (1990) 27.
[4] R. Moynihan, “The Spiritual Vision of Pope Benedict XVI – Let God’s Light Shine Forth” Doubleday (2005) 34-36.
[5] K. Wojtyla, “Sources of Renewal” Harper and Row (1979) 17.

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