Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Q105 A5: Whether God works in every agent?

Yes. God works in things in such a manner that things have their proper operation because God not only gives things their form, but He also preserves them in existence, and applies them to act, and is moreover the end of every action.

Intelligendum est Deum operari in rebus, quod tamen ipsae res propriam habeant operationem, quia Deus non solum dat formas rebus, sed etiam conservat eas in esse, et applicat eas ad agendum, et est finis omnium actionum.

God works sufficiently in things as First Agent, but it does not follow from this that the operation of secondary agents is superfluous.

Deus sufficienter operatur in rebus ad modum primi agentis, nec propter hoc superfluit operatio secundorum agentium.

In order to make this clear, we must observe that as there are few kinds of causes, matter is not a principle of action, but is the subject that receives the effect of action. On the other hand, the end, the agent, and the form are principles of action, but in a certain order. For the first principle of action is the end which moves the agent; the second is the agent; the third is the form of that which the agent applies to action (although the agent also acts through its own form); as may be clearly seen in things made by art.

Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod, cum sint causarum quatuor genera, materia quidem non est principium actionis, sed se habet ut subiectum recipiens actionis effectum. Finis vero et agens et forma se habent ut actionis principium, sed ordine quodam. Nam primo quidem, principium actionis est finis, qui movet agentem; secundo vero, agens; tertio autem, forma eius quod ab agente applicatur ad agendum (quamvis et ipsum agens per formam suam agat); ut patet in artificialibus.

Thus then does God work in every worker, according to these three things.

Sic igitur secundum haec tria Deus in quolibet operante operatur.

It is written (Isaiah 26:12): "Lord, Thou hast wrought all our works in us."

Dicitur Isaiae XXVI, omnia opera nostra operatus es in nobis, domine.