Today’s Aquinas: The Spirit is the Love of 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 began building towards the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son.  This week he continues, by showing that the love one finds in God is best described as “spirit”.  We’ll break it down piece by piece. Since the object known is in the knower and the beloved is in the lover, the different ways of existing in something must be co … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: We Love the Good We Know

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We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having described the generation of the Word by the Father, Thomas now goes on to discuss the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. As the object known is in the knower, to the extent that it is known, so the beloved must be in the lover, as loved. We can only love what we know, though we might know it very imperfectly.  To know a thing is to have … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Consubstantial with the Father

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We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.My plan is to faithfully step through each of the chapters in the Compendium Theologiae, one each week, until I’ve gotten through the whole thing; otherwise, I’d be mightily tempted to skip the current chapter as it offers very little that’s new. However, things are busy just now, and the previous chapter took me three weeks to get through, so I’m going to take m … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Begotten, Not Made

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We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the past two weeks, Thomas has shown how the Word is not distinct from God in time or in species; finally, he shows that the Word is not distinct from God in nature: that is, the nature of God and the nature of the Word are identical. Lastly it is impossible for the Word to differ from God according to nature, since it is natural for God to understand Himsel … [Read more...]

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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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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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