Today’s Aquinas: Why a Trinity? Why not a Quaternity?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Today's post is from Chapter 56, "Impossibility of More Than Three Persons in God".To some, the doctrine of the Trinity might reasonably seem like a magic trick: given a single God, we pull three persons out of our theological hat. So if three, why not four? Why not ten? Why not a whole pantheon?In fact, Thomas has carefully ruled this out by his argume … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: One God in Three Persons

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Today's post is from Chapter 55, "Personal Distinction in God through the Relations".Thomas continues his analysis of the Trinity by affirming that the three members of the trinity are persons, and are so precisely because the relations that define them are subsistent.Since distinction in the Godhead is accounted for by relations that are not accidental … [Read more...]

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On Being A Turtle

My apologies to those who have commented recently; I confess I've not been paying much attention.As I might have mentioned a few weeks ago, the project I'd been on for many years came to an abrupt end, meaning that I need to quickly transition onto something else. I'm now working on two projects, each half-time, which means that I'm trying to climb not just one but two learning curves at the same time. What's worse, the two projects are just similar enough to cause confusion. I'm working … [Read more...]

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Celebrating the Dominican Jubilee with Lectio Divina #OP800

This past Sunday, the Western Province of the Dominican Order opened the Order's 800-year Jubilee with mass at the various Dominican parishes around the province—or, at least, that's what happened at St. Dominic's in Eagle Rock, where my Lay Dominican chapter meets. The opening of the Jubilee year was celebrated at each of the masses on Sunday, and I and several of my chapter sisters had the privilege of representing the Dominican Laity at the 9AM mass on Sunday morning. It was a joyful time, a … [Read more...]

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Did We Expect Too Much From the Synod?

So the Synod on the Family concluded recently, as you very well know if you’ve been following Catholic social media recently; and as a result, I’ve been pondering.During the past weeks I heard two major areas of concern, from two disparate groups. The first was that the Synod was rigged to change Catholic pastoral discipline in a way counter to Catholic teaching on marriage. Sufficient pixels have been spilled about this, and I’m not going to add to them. The second, which got less airtime bu … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: The Trinity is no Accident

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Today's post is from Chapter 54, "Relations in God Not Accidental".Thomas has explained that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinguished from each other by their relations with each other. The Father is the begetter, the Son the begotten; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and not the other way around. Now he goes on to explain that t … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: The Trinity Isn’t All in your Head

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Today's post is from Chapter 53, "Nature of the Relations Whereby the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Are Distinguished".Last week Thomas looked at the relations between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and showed that it is these relations that distinguish the Father from the Son. The Son is distinguished from the Father as the thing unders … [Read more...]

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Alarums and Excursions

Just a point of administrivia: blogging has been light recently (you might have noticed) due to upheavals at work* and the beginning of the school year; and now I'm off to a conference for the rest of the week. I hope to have "Today's Aquinas" up next week, and get back into a normal blogging schedule sometime after that.____ * For the record, my job is not endangered. However, prayers for peace and a better attitude will be gratefully accepted. … [Read more...]

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The Glory of God and the Total Perspective Vortex

Douglas Adam’s book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe features a hellish device called the “Total Perspective Vortex”: When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it there's a tiny little speck, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, "You are here." The notion is that this will fill you with a sense of your smallness and inadequacy in the face of the magnitude of the Universe, an … [Read more...]

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