"It is because the contemporary alternatives seem so one-sided and are not more evidently solutions to the problems which Thomas faced, and partly solved, that we return to him and to the tradition of theology and philosophy in which his Summa Theologiae appears: theology as the science of the first principle and this as the total knowledge of reality in its unity." -- Wayne J. Hankey, God in Himself (Oxford University Press, 1987), p.159.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Q41 A2: Whether the notional acts are voluntary?
What can exist in different ways is far from the divine nature, whereas it belongs to the nature of a created being (because God is of Himself necessary being, whereas a creature is made from nothing).
The Arians, wishing to prove the Son to be a creature, said that the Father begot the Son by will, taking will in the sense of principle. But we, on the contrary, must assert that the Father begot the Son, not by will, but by nature.
Q41 A1: Whether the notional acts are to be attributed to the persons?
Every origin is designated by an act. In God there is a twofold order of origin: one, inasmuch as the creature proceeds from Him, and this is common to the three persons; and so those actions which are attributed to God to designate the proceeding of creatures from Him, belong to His essence.
Another order of origin in God regards the procession of person from person; wherefore the acts which designate the order of this origin are called notional; because the notions of the persons are the mutual relations of the persons (Q32, A2).
The notional acts differ from the relations of the persons only in their mode of signification; and in reality are altogether the same.
Q41: The persons in reference to the notional acts
- Are the notional acts to be attributed to the persons?
- Are these acts necessary, or voluntary?
- As regards these acts, does a person proceed from nothing or from something?
- Does there exist in God a power as regards the notional acts?
- What does this power mean?
- Can several persons be the term of one notional act?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Q40 A4: Whether the properties presuppose the notional acts?
Generation is the operation of the person of the Father. But paternity constitutes the person of the Father. Therefore in the order of intelligence, paternity is prior to generation.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Q40 A3: Whether the hypostases remain if the relations are mentally abstracted from the persons?
As regards the abstraction of the form from the matter, if the non-personal properties are removed, then the idea of the hypostases and persons remains; as, for instance, if the fact of the Father's being unbegotten or spirating be mentally abstracted from the Father, the Father's hypostasis or person remains.
If, however, the personal property be mentally abstracted, the idea of the hypostasis no longer remains. For the personal properties are not to be understood as added to the divine hypostases, as a form is added to a pre-existing subject: but they carry with them their own "supposita," inasmuch as they are themselves subsisting persons; thus paternity is the Father Himself. For hypostasis signifies something distinct in God, since hypostasis means an individual substance.
Person does not add to hypostasis a distinguishing property absolutely, but a distinguishing property of dignity, all of which must be taken as the difference. Now, this distinguishing property is one of dignity precisely because it is understood as subsisting in a rational nature. Hence, if the distinguishing property be removed from the person, the hypostasis no longer remains; whereas it would remain were the rationality of the nature removed; for both person and hypostasis are individual substances. Consequently, in God the distinguishing relation belongs essentially to both.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Q40 A2: Whether the persons are distinguished by the relations?
The persons are the subsisting relations themselves. Hence it is not against the simplicity of the divine persons for them to be distinguished by the relations.
The divine persons are not distinguished as regards being, in which they subsist, nor in anything absolute, but only as regards something relative. Hence relation suffices for their distinction.
Relation presupposes the distinction of the subjects, when it is an accident; but when the relation is subsistent, it does not presuppose, but brings about distinction. For when it is said that relation is by nature to be towards another, the word "another" signifies the correlative which is not prior, but simultaneous in the order of nature.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Q40 A1: Whether relation is the same as person?
There are properties in God designated by abstract terms, being forms, as it were, of the persons.
Since relation, considered as really existing in God, is the divine essence Itself, and the essence is the same as person (Q39, A1), relation must necessarily be the same as person.
Person and property are really the same, but differ in concept. Consequently, it does not follow that if one is multiplied, the other must also be multiplied. We must, however, consider that in God, by reason of the divine simplicity, a twofold real identity exists as regards what in creatures are distinct. For, since the divine simplicity excludes the composition of matter and form, it follows that in God the abstract is the same as the concrete, as "Godhead" and "God." And as the divine simplicity excludes the composition of subject and accident, it follows that whatever is attributed to God, is His essence Itself; and so, wisdom and power are the same in God, because they are both in the divine essence.
According to this twofold identity, property in God is the same person. For personal properties are the same as the persons because the abstract and the concrete are the same in God; since they are the subsisting persons themselves, as paternity is the Father Himself, and filiation is the Son, and procession is the Holy Ghost.
But the non-personal properties are the same as the persons according to the other reason of identity, whereby whatever is attributed to God is His own essence. Thus, common spiration is the same as the person of the Father, and the person of the Son; not that it is one self-subsisting person; but that as there is one essence in the two persons, so also there is one property in the two persons (Q30, A2).
Q40: The persons as compared to the relations or properties
Friday, August 25, 2006
Q39 A8: Whether the essential attributes are appropriated to the persons in a fitting manner by the holy doctors?
In considering any creature four points present themselves to us in due order.
Firstly, the thing itself taken absolutely is considered as a being.
Secondly, it is considered as one.
Thirdly, its intrinsic power of operation and causality is considered.
The fourth point of consideration embraces its relation to its effects.
Hence this fourfold consideration comes to our mind in reference to God.
Q39 A7: Whether the essential names should be appropriated to the persons?
Now the essential attributes of God are more clear to us from the standpoint of reason than the personal properties; because we can derive certain knowledge of the essential attributes from creatures which are sources of knowledge to us, such as we cannot obtain regarding the personal properties.
As, therefore, we make use of the likeness of the trace or image found in creatures for the manifestation of the divine persons, so also in the same manner do we make use of the essential attributes. And such a manifestation of the divine persons by the use of the essential attributes is called "appropriation."
If the essential attributes were appropriated to the persons as exclusively belonging to each of them, then it would follow that one person would be as a form as regards another; which Augustine altogether repudiates (De Trin. vi, 2), showing that the Father is wise, not by Wisdom begotten by Him, as though only the Son were Wisdom; so that the Father and the Son together only can be called wise, but not the Father without the Son.
But the Son is called the Wisdom of the Father, because He is Wisdom from the Father Who is Wisdom. For each of them is of Himself Wisdom; and both together are one Wisdom. Whence the Father is not wise by the wisdom begotten by Him, but by the wisdom which is His own essence.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Q39 A6: Whether the persons can be predicated of the essential terms?
The divine essence is not only really the same as one person, but it is really the same as the three persons.
Whence, one person, and two, and three, can be predicated of the essence as if we were to say, "The essence is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost."
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Q39 A5: Whether abstract essential names can stand for the person?
The difference between substantive and adjectival names consist in this, that the former carry their subject with them, whereas the latter do not, but add the thing signified to the substantive. Whence logicians are wont to say that the substantive is considered in the light of "suppositum," whereas the adjective indicates something added to the "suppositum."
Therefore substantive personal terms can be predicated of the essence, because they are really the same; nor does it follow that a personal property makes a distinct essence; but it belongs to the "suppositum" implied in the substantive.
But notional and personal adjectives cannot be predicated of the essence unless we add some substantive. We cannot say that the "essence is begetting"; yet we can say that the "essence is a thing begetting," or that it is "God begetting," if "thing" and God stand for person, but not if they stand for essence. Consequently there exists no contradiction in saying that "essence is a thing begetting," and "a thing not begetting"; because in the first case "thing" stands for person, and in the second it stands for the essence.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Q39 A4: Whether the concrete essential names can stand for the person?
This word "God" sometimes stands for the essence, as when we say "God creates"; because this predicate is attributed to the subject by reason of the form signified--that is, Godhead.
But sometimes it stands for the person, either for only one, as when we say, "God begets," or for two, as when we say, "God spirates"; or for three, as when it is said: "To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God," etc. (1 Timothy 1:17).
Q39 A3: Whether essential names should be predicated in the singular of the three persons?
Some essential names signify the essence after the manner of substantives; while others signify it after the manner of adjectives. Those which signify it as substantives are predicated of the three persons in the singular only, and not in the plural. Those which signify the essence as adjectives are predicated of the three persons in the plural.
We say that Socrates, Plato and Cicero are "three men"; whereas we do not say the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are "three Gods," but "one God"; forasmuch as in the three "supposita" of human nature there are three humanities, whereas in the three divine Persons there is but one divine essence.
On the other hand, the names which signify essence in an adjectival manner are predicated of the three persons plurally, by reason of the plurality of "supposita." For we say there are three "existent" or three "wise" beings, or three "eternal," "uncreated," and "immense" beings, if these terms are understood in an adjectival sense.
But if taken in a substantive sense, we say "one uncreated, immense, eternal being," as Athanasius declares.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Q39 A2: Whether it must be said that the three persons are of one essence?
Form, in the absolute sense, is wont to be designated as belonging to that of which it is the form, as we say "the virtue of Peter." On the other hand, the thing having form is not wont to be designated as belonging to the form except when we wish to qualify or designate the form. In which case two genitives are required, one signifying the form, and the other signifying the determination of the form, as, for instance, when we say, "Peter is of great virtue [magnae virtutis]," or else one genitive must have the force of two, as, for instance, "he is a man of blood"--that is, he is a man who sheds much blood [multi sanguinis].
So, because the divine essence signifies a form as regards the person, it may properly be said that the essence is of the person; but we cannot say the converse, unless we add some term to designate the essence; as, for instance, the Father is a person of the "divine essence"; or, the three persons are "of one essence."
In the objects of the senses (whence the intellect derives its knowledge) the nature of the species is made individual by the matter, and thus the nature is as the form, and the individual is the "suppositum" of the form.
So also in God the essence is taken as the form of the three persons, according to our mode of signification. (Divine things are named by our intellect, not as they really are in themselves -- for in that way it knows them not -- but in a way that belongs to things created.)
Only those things can be said to be of "one essence" which have one being. So the divine unity is better described by saying that the three persons are "of one essence," than by saying they are "of one nature."
Because "nature" designates the principle of action while "essence" comes from being [essendo], things may be said to be of one nature which agree in some action, as all things which give heat.
Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii) that the word homoousion, which the Council of Nicaea adopted against the Arians, means that the three persons are of one essence.
Hilary says (De Synod.): "It would be prejudicial to holy things, if we had to do away with them, just because some do not think them holy. So if some misunderstand homoousion, what is that to me, if I understand it rightly? . . . The oneness of nature does not result from division, or from union or from community of possession, but from one nature being proper to both Father and Son."
Friday, August 18, 2006
Q39 A1: Whether in God the essence is the same as the person?
In creatures, relations are accidental, whereas in God they are the divine essence itself.
Thence it follows that in God essence is not really distinct from person, and yet that the persons are really distinguished from each other.
There cannot be a distinction of "suppositum" in creatures by means of relations, but only by essential principles, because in creatures relations are not subsistent.
But in God relations are subsistent, and so by reason of the opposition between them they distinguish the "supposita", and yet the essence is not distinguished, because the relations themselves are not distinguished from each other so far as they are identified with the essence.
Divine things are named by us after the way of created things. And since created natures are individualized by matter which is the subject of the specific nature, it follows that individuals are called "subjects," "supposita," or "hypostases." So the divine persons are named "supposita" or "hypostases," but not as if there really existed any real "supposition" or "subjection."
Q39: The persons in relation to the essence
- Is the essence in God the same as the person?
- Should we say that the three persons are of one essence?
- Should essential names be predicated of the persons in the plural, or in the singular?
- Can notional adjectives, or verbs, or participles, be predicated of the essential names taken in a concrete sense?
- Can the same be predicated of essential names taken in the abstract?
- Can the names of the persons be predicated of concrete essential names?
- Can essential attributes be appropriated to the persons?
- Which attributes should be appropriated to each person?
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Q38 A2: Whether "Gift" is the proper name of the Holy Ghost?
A gift is properly an unreturnable giving, as Aristotle says (Topic. iv, 4)--i.e. a thing which is not given with the intention of a return--and it thus contains the idea of a gratuitous donation.
Now, the reason of donation being gratuitous is love; since therefore do we give something to anyone gratuitously forasmuch as we wish him well.
So what we first give him is the love whereby we wish him well.
Hence it is manifest that love has the nature of a first gift, through which all free gifts are given. So since the Holy Ghost proceeds as love, He proceeds as the first gift.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Q38 A1: Whether "Gift" is a personal name?
In one sense, "gift" is the same as "the giver," but not the same as the one to whom it is given. The Holy Ghost gives Himself in that sense.
In another sense, a thing is another's as a possession, or as a slave; and in that sense gift is essentially distinct from the giver; and the gift of God so taken is a created thing.
In a third sense, "this is this one's" through its origin only; and in this sense the Son is the Father's; and the Holy Ghost belongs to both.
Therefore, so far as gift in this way signifies the possession of the giver, it is personally distinguished from the giver, and is a personal name.
The divine essence is the Father's gift in the first sense, as being the Father's by way of identity.
Gift is not so called from being actually given, but from its aptitude to be given. Hence the divine person is called Gift from eternity, although He is given in time.
Nor does it follow that it is an essential name because it imports relation to the creature, but that it includes something essential in its meaning, as the essence is included in the idea of person (Q34, A3).
Q37 A2: Whether the Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost?
Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 7): "Who dares to say that the Father loves neither Himself, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, except by the Holy Ghost?"
Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 5): "The Holy Ghost is He whereby the Begotten is loved by the one begetting and loves His Begetter."
When the idea of an action includes a determined effect, the principle of the action may be denominated both from the action, and from the effect; so we can say, for instance, that a tree flowers by its flowering and by its flower.
When, however, the idea of an action does not include a determined effect, then in that case, the principle of the action cannot be denominated from the effect, but only from the action. For we do not say that the tree produces the flower by the flower, but by the production of the flower.
So when we say, "spirates" or "begets," this imports only a notional act. Hence we cannot say that the Father spirates by the Holy Ghost, or begets by the Son.
But we can say that the Father speaks by the Word, as by the Person proceeding, "and speaks by the speaking," as by a notional act; forasmuch as "to speak" imports a determinate person proceeding; since "to speak" means to produce a word.
Likewise to love, taken in a notional sense, means to produce love; and so it can be said that the Father loves the Son by the Holy Ghost, as by the person proceeding, and by Love itself as a notional act.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Q37 A1: Whether "Love" is the proper name of the Holy Ghost?
Although to understand, and to will, and to love signify actions passing on to their objects, nevertheless they are actions that remain in the agents, yet in such a way that in the agent itself they import a certain relation to their object. Hence, love also in ourselves is something that abides in the lover, and the word of the heart is something abiding in the speaker; yet with a relation to the thing expressed by word, or loved.
But in God, in whom there is nothing accidental, there is more than this, because both Word and Love are subsistent. Therefore, when we say that the Holy Ghost is the Love of the Father for the Son, or for something else, we do not mean anything that passes into another, but only the relation of love to the beloved, as also in the Word is imported the relation of the Word to the thing expressed by the Word.
We are obliged to employ circumlocution as regards the person Who proceeds, and the relations following from this procession which are called "procession" and "spiration," and yet express the origin rather than the relation in the strict sense of the term. Nevertheless we must consider them in respect of each procession simply.
When a thing is understood by anyone, there results in the one who understands a conception of the object understood, which conception we call word. In this way, the thing understood is in the one who understands.
When anyone loves an object, a certain impression results, so to speak, of the thing loved in the affection of the lover (by reason of which the object loved is said to be in the lover).
Thus when anyone understands and loves himself he is in himself, not only by real identity, but also as the object understood is in the one who understands, and the thing loved is in the lover.
Words have been found to describe the mutual relation of the one who understands the object understood, as appears in the word "to understand"; and other words are used to express the procession of the intellectual conception--namely, "to speak," and "word."
Hence in God, "to understand" is applied only to the essence; because it does not import relation to the Word that proceeds.
Whereas "Word" is said personally, because it signifies what proceeds; and the term "to speak" is a notional term as importing the relation of the principle of the Word to the Word Himself.
On the other hand, on the part of the will, with the exception of the words "dilection" and "love," which express the relation of the lover to the object loved, there are no other terms in use, which express the relation of the impression or affection of the object loved, produced in the lover by fact that he loves--to the principle of that impression, or "vice versa."
And therefore, on account of the poverty of our vocabulary, we express these relations by the words "love" and "dilection": just as if we were to call the Word "intelligence conceived," or "wisdom begotten."
The Holy Ghost is said to be the bond of the Father and Son, inasmuch as He is Love; because, since the Father loves Himself and the Son with one Love, and conversely, there is expressed in the Holy Ghost, as Love, the relation of the Father to the Son, and conversely, as that of the lover to the beloved.
But from the fact that the Father and the Son mutually love one another, it necessarily follows that this mutual Love, the Holy Ghost, proceeds from both. As regards origin, therefore, the Holy Ghost is not the medium, but the third person in the Trinity; whereas as regards the aforesaid relation He is the bond between the two persons, as proceeding from both.
As it does not belong to the Son, though He understands, to produce a word, for it belongs to Him to understand as the word proceeding; so in like manner, although the Holy Ghost loves, taking Love as an essential term, still it does not belong to Him to spirate love, which is to take love as a notional term; because He loves essentially as love proceeding; but not as the one whence love proceeds.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Q36 A4: Whether the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost?
The Father and the Son are in everything one, wherever there is no distinction between them of opposite relation.
Although this word "principle" signifies a property, it does so after the manner of a substantive, as do the words "father" and "son" even in things created. Hence it takes its number from the form it signifies, like other substantives. Therefore, as the Father and the Son are one God, by reason of the unity of the form that is signified by this word "God"; so they are one principle of the Holy Ghost by reason of the unity of the property that is signified in this word "principle."
If we consider the spirative power, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as they are one in the spirative power, which in a certain way signifies the nature with the property. Nor is there any reason against one property being in two "supposita" that possess one common nature. But if we consider the "supposita" of the spiration, then we may say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as distinct; for He proceeds from them as the unitive love of both.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Q36 A3: Whether the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son?
If we consider in the Father and the Son the power whereby they spirate the Holy Ghost, there is no mean, for this is one and the same power.
But if we consider the persons themselves spirating, then, as the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son; and thus He is said to proceed from the Father through the Son.
The same spirative power belongs to the Father and to the Son; and therefore the Holy Ghost proceeds equally from both, although sometimes He is said to proceed principally or properly from the Father, because the Son has this power from the Father.
As the begetting of the Son is co-eternal with the begetter (and hence the Father does not exist before begetting the Son), so the procession of the Holy Ghost is co-eternal with His principle. Hence, the Son was not begotten before the Holy Ghost proceeded; but each of the operations is eternal.
There is no order of power between Father and Son, but only order of 'supposita'; and hence we say that the Father spirates through the Son; and not conversely.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Q36 A2: Whether the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son?
If from the one Person of the Father, two persons proceed, the Son and the Holy Ghost, there must be some order between them. Nor can any other be assigned except the order of their nature, whereby one is from the other.
It must be said that the Holy Ghost is from the Son. For if He were not from Him, He could in no wise be personally distinguished from Him.
The order of the procession of each one agrees with this conclusion because the Son proceeds by the way of the intellect as Word, and the Holy Ghost by way of the will as Love.
Now love must proceed from a word. For we do not love anything unless we apprehend it by a mental conception. Hence also in this way it is manifest that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.
The Word in God is not taken after the similitude of the vocal word, whence the breath [spiritus] does not proceed; for it would then be only metaphorical; but after the similitude of the mental word, whence proceeds love.
It cannot be said that the divine Persons are distinguished from each other in any absolute sense; for it would follow that there would not be one essence of the three persons: since everything that is spoken of God in an absolute sense, belongs to the unity of essence.
Therefore it must be said that the divine persons are distinguished from each other only by the relations. Now the relations cannot distinguish the persons except forasmuch as they are opposite relations; which appears from the fact that the Father has two relations, by one of which He is related to the Son, and by the other to the Holy Ghost; but these are not opposite relations, and therefore they do not make two persons, but belong only to the one person of the Father.
If therefore in the Son and the Holy Ghost there were two relations only, whereby each of them were related to the Father, these relations would not be opposite to each other, as neither would be the two relations whereby the Father is related to them. Hence, as the person of the Father is one, it would follow that the person of the Son and of the Holy Ghost would be one, having two relations opposed to the two relations of the Father. But this is heretical since it destroys the Faith in the Trinity.
Therefore the Son and the Holy Ghost must be related to each other by opposite relations. Now there cannot be in God any relations opposed to each other, except relations of origin. And opposite relations of origin are to be understood as of a "principle," and of what is "from the principle." Therefore we must conclude that it is necessary to say that either the Son is from the Holy Ghost; which no one says; or that the Holy Ghost is from the Son, as we confess.
The Holy Ghost is distinguished from the Son, inasmuch as the origin of one is distinguished from the origin of the other; but the difference itself of origin comes from the fact that the Son is only from the Father, whereas the Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son -- for otherwise the processions would not be distinguished from each other.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Q36 A1: Whether this name "Holy Ghost" is the proper name of one divine person?
The appropriateness of this name may be shown in two ways.
Firstly, from the fact that the person who is called "Holy Ghost" has something in common with the other Persons. For, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 17; v, 11), "Because the Holy Ghost is common to both, He Himself is called that properly which both are called in common. For the Father also is a spirit, and the Son is a spirit; and the Father is holy, and the Son is holy."
Secondly, from the proper signification of the name. For the name spirit in things corporeal seems to signify impulse and motion; for we call the breath and the wind by the term spirit. Now it is a property of love to move and impel the will of the lover towards the object loved. Further, holiness is attributed to whatever is ordered to God. Therefore because the divine person proceeds by way of the love whereby God is loved, that person is most properly named "The Holy Ghost."
And by adding the word "holy" we signify the purity of divine goodness. But if Holy Spirit be taken as one word, it is thus that the expression, in the usage of the Church, is accommodated to signify one of the three persons, the one who proceeds by way of love.
Q36: The person of the Holy Ghost
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Q35 A2: Whether the name of Image is proper to the Son?
Although the Holy Ghost is like to the Father and the Son, still it does not follow that He is the Image.
The Holy Ghost, although by His procession He receives the nature of the Father, as the Son also receives it, nevertheless is not said to be "born"; so, although He receives the likeness of the Father, He is not called the Image.
The Greek Doctors commonly say that the Holy Ghost is the Image of both the Father and of the Son; but the Latin Doctors attribute the name Image to the Son alone. For it is not found in the canonical Scripture except as applied to the Son; as in the words, "Who is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creatures" (Colossians 1:15) and again: "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance." (Hebrews 1:3).
The image of a thing may be found in something in two ways. In one way it is found in something of the same specific nature; as the image of the king is found in his son. In another way it is found in something of a different nature, as the king's image on the coin.
In the first sense the Son is the Image of the Father; in the second sense man is called the image of God; and therefore in order to express the imperfect character of the divine image in man, man is not simply called the image, but "to the image," whereby is expressed a certain movement of tendency to perfection.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Q35 A1: Whether image in God is said personally?
In corporeal things the specific sign consists chiefly in the figure. For we see that the species of different animals are of different figures but not of different colors. Hence if the color of anything is depicted on a wall, this is not called an image unless the figure is likewise depicted.
Further, neither the similitude of species or of figure is enough for an image, which requires also the idea of origin; because, as Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 74): "One egg is not the image of another, because it is not derived from it."
Image, properly speaking, means whatever proceeds forth in likeness to another.
That to the likeness of which anything proceeds, is properly speaking called the exemplar.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Q34 A3: Whether the name "Word" imports relation to creatures?
God by knowing Himself, knows every creature. Now the word conceived in the mind is representative of everything that is actually understood.
Hence there are in ourselves different words for the different things which we understand. But because God by one act understands Himself and all things, His one only Word is expressive not only of the Father, but of all creatures.
And as the knowledge of God is only cognitive as regards God, whereas as regards creatures, it is both cognitive and operative, so the Word of God is only expressive of what is in God the Father, but is both expressive and operative of creatures.
The Word is implied the operative idea of what God makes.
Creatures are known to God not by a knowledge derived from the creatures themselves, but by His own essence. Hence it is not necessary that the Word should proceed from creatures, although the Word is expressive of creatures.
The name of Word is imposed chiefly to signify the speaker, and consequently, relation to creatures, inasmuch as God, by understanding Himself, understands every creature; and so there is only one Word in God, and that is a personal one.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Q34 A2: Whether "Word" is the Son's proper name?
"To be" and "to understand" are not the same in us. Hence that which in us has intellectual being, does not belong to our nature.
But in God "to be" and "to understand" are one and the same: hence the Word of God is not an accident in Him, or an effect of His, but belongs to His very nature. And therefore it must needs be something subsistent, for whatever is in the nature of God subsists.
The Son's nativity, which is His personal property, is signified by different names, which are attributed to the Son to express His perfection in various ways.
To show that He is of the same nature as the Father, He is called the Son.
To show that He is co-eternal, He is called the Splendor.
To show that He is altogether like, He is called the Image.
To show that He is begotten immaterially, He is called the Word.
All these truths cannot be expressed by only one name.
In God the Word proceeding does not differ really from the divine intellect, but is distinguished from the principle of the Word only by relation.
Q34 A1: Whether Word in God is a personal name?
"Word" taken in its proper sense has a threefold meaning; while in a fourth sense it is taken improperly or figuratively:
1. the interior concept of the mind (the signification of the sound)
2. the exterior word spoken by the voice (signifying the interior concept)
3. the imagination of the vocal sound (not pronounced by a vocal word, but uttered in the heart)
4. some deed signified by the word either by way of assertion or of command (that which is signified or effected by a word)
The concept itself of the heart has of its own nature to proceed from something other than itself--namely, from the knowledge of the one conceiving.
Hence "Word," according as we use the term strictly of God, signifies something proceeding from another (which belongs to the nature of personal terms in God, inasmuch as the divine persons are distinguished by origin).
Although Word may be sometimes said of God metaphorically, nevertheless we must also admit Word in the proper sense, and which is said personally.
Nothing belonging to the intellect can be applied to God personally, except word alone; for word alone signifies that which emanates from another. For what the intellect forms in its conception is the word.
Only the Person who utters the Word is "speaker" in God, although each Person understands and is understood, and consequently is spoken by the Word.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Q33 A4: Whether it is proper to the Father to be unbegotten?
Now in things created a first principle is known in two ways: in one way as the first "principle," by reason of its having a relation to what proceeds from itself; in another way, inasmuch as it is a "first" principle by reason of its not being from another. Thus therefore the Father is known both by paternity and by common spiration, as regards the persons proceeding from Himself.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Q33 A3: Whether this name "Father" is applied to God, firstly as a personal name?
But in the creature, filiation is found in relation to God (not in a perfect manner, since the Creator and the creature have not the same nature) but by way of a certain likeness, which is the more perfect the nearer we approach to the true idea of filiation.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Q33 A2: Whether this name "Father" is properly the name of a divine person?
Among us, relation is not a subsisting person. So this name "father" among us does not signify a person, but the relation of a person.
In God, however, it is not so; for in God the relation signified by the name "Father" is a subsisting person.
Hence, as above explained (Q29, A4), this name "person" in God signifies a relation subsisting in the divine nature.
In human nature, a word is not a subsistence, and hence is not properly called begotten or son. But the divine Word is something subsistent in the divine nature; and hence He is properly (and not metaphorically) called Son, and His principle is called Father.
The very fact that in the divine generation the form of the Begetter and Begotten is numerically the same (whereas in creatures it is not numerically, but only specifically, the same) shows that generation, and consequently paternity, is applied to God before creatures.