Today’s Aquinas: God of God, Light of Light, True God of True God

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We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Last week, Thomas showed that God’s Word is not distinct from God in time, that is, that God and His Word are co-eternal.  Next, Thomas shows that there is no distinction between God and His Word according to species.  Remember that two things are of different species if they belong to the same genus but are distinguished by some specific difference; thus, oak tre … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Born of the Father Before All Ages

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Thomas is nothing if not thorough.  Having established that God’s Divine Word is identical to God Himself, he then goes on to eliminate the various ways that God’s Divine Word might have been distinct from God Himself. Among things that are not distinct in essence, there can be no distinction according to species, time, or nature. Therefore, since the Word is con … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Consubwhatsis with the Father?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.This chapter is surprisingly topical given last year’s new English translation of the Roman Missal.  In the Profession of Faith the phrase that had been translated “of one being with the Father” is now translated “consubstantial with the Father”.  This is a difficult phrase, to be sure, but it has the advantage that at least it isn’t deceptively clear.  Thomas has … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: The Son and the Father are One

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having explained just how the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, is generated from the Father from all eternity, Thomas goes on to explain that, in John the Evangelist’s words, “the Word was God.” Since natural existence and the action of understanding are distinct in us, we should note that a word conceived in our intellect, having only intellectual existen … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: What Did John Say about the Word?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the previous chapter, Thomas showed a way in which we can say that the First and Second Persons of the Trinity are related as Father and Son; and he clarifies his usage in this chapter: Hence in the rule of Catholic faith we are taught to profess belief in the Father and Son in God by saying: “I believe in God the Father, and in His Son.” And lest anyone, on h … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Why is the Word the Son of the Father?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In this Chapter Thomas continues building up a model of the Trinity in Aristotelian terms.  I must note that this is not the definitive model of the Trinity; as Augustine famously noted, the Trinity is a mystery that we cannot encompass.  But it's a way of thinking about the Trinity that Thomas found spiritually useful.He continues from the previous chapter, i … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: What is the Word of God?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the last chapter, Thomas concluded the purely philosophical part of his discussion of God; now we move on to the Trinity, and specifically to the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word of God.  As we’ll find, Thomas doesn’t regard that title, “Word”, as purely symbolic, but as reflecting a deep truth about the nature of the Trinity.The Trinity is a murky su … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: How Far Toward God Can We Reason?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the preceding  thirty-five chapters, Thomas has been addressing natural theology, reasoning about God in the Aristotelian manner from first principles and what we can observe about the world around us: The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number of pagan philosophers, although some of them erred concerning these matters. And t … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Natural Theology in a Nutshell

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We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Chapter 35 of Thomas’ Compendium Theologiae is a nutshell summary of everything that has gone before: From all the details of doctrines thus far discussed, we can gather that God is one, simple, perfect, and infinite, and that He understands and wills. All these truths are assembled in a brief article of our Creed, wherein we profess to believe “in one God, almig … [Read more...]

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