This paragraph from Garrigou-Lagrange's "Le sens commun" reads like a manifesto for the renewal of university philosophy faculties, Catholic and otherwise.
"The philosophy of being, like common sense itself, is at once clear and obscure: clear by the place that it gives to act, obscure by the place that it gives to potency: 'Each thing is known inasmuch as it is in act, however, not inasmuch as it is in potency.'"
"Should we be astonished at this obscurity? At bottom, this relative absence of determination and intelligibility is what enables us to make room for divine and human freedom, to conceive of the existence of the created next to the Uncreated, the finite next to the Infinite..."
"...the multiple and changing next to the One and Immutable God. God alone is fully intelligible in all that he is, for he is Being Itself, Pure Actuality. The world, by contrast, to the degree it contains multiplicity and becoming, is a 'non-being that is,' as Plato says."
"By this very fact, it is something obscure in itself. Such is the hardiest affirmation of Platonic, Aristotelian, and Thomistic metaphysics: there is a middle between being and pure nothingness, non-being, or, potency."
"The creature is distinct from God on account of the fact that it is a composite of non-being and being, of potency and act, of real essence and existence, of operative potency and action. This affirmation, however abstract and paradoxical as it may appear..."
"...merely makes explicit an insight of common sense. One does not need to have intensely studied Plato's 'Sophist' or Aristotle's 'Metaphysics' in order to find a meaning for this utterance by God to Moses: 'I am who am' (as though to say..."
"...Him in comparison to whom those mutable things that have been made are not); or this word of our Savior to Saint Catherine of Siena: 'I am He Who Is, you are she who is not.' Common sense, such as we have defined it, has the same value as the principle of identity."

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More from @FrAquinasOP

9 Jul
"The physical sciences are not truly fruitful in a society that loses its attachment to the moral order."
"Today's savants cannot excel except by sequestering themselves within a narrow specialty. Consequently, in the use of their faculties there follows a phenomenon analogous to that which results for artisans from the extreme division of the manufacturing art."
"The expert grows, but the man is diminished, especially if a preoccupation for moral truths does not preserve in him a certain breadth of mind."
Read 4 tweets
7 Jul
"The formidable vice that heralds the fall of empires is the antagonism that divides our society into different enemy camps."
"The struggle to which I refer is not the one that arises from personal questions or incidental quarrels between a few great persons disputing for influence and power. Rather, it exists in the smallest subdivisions of the social body, in the village, workshop, and family."
"The evil consists above all in this, that the superior classes, instead of acting together to lead society into a better path, mutually neutralize one another by attempting to make contrary political principles prevail by force at the risk of destroying the social order."
Read 7 tweets
11 Mar
“God is seen by those who have the capacity to see him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open. All have eyes, but some have eyes that are shrouded in darkness, unable to see the light of the sun.”
“Because the blind cannot see it, it does not follow that the sun does not shine. The blind must trace the cause back to themselves and their eyes. In the same way, you have eyes in your mind that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds.”
“A person’s soul should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light. If there is rust on the mirror his face cannot be seen in it. In the same way, no one who has sin within him can see God.”
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct 20
"If a young priest takes hold of St. Augustine and, in the space of two decades, reads all of his major writings and studies secondary works that explain his doctrine and, then, consequently, if all his sermons retreats, catechesis, and articles . . ."
". . . are based on the teaching of the bishop of Hippo, the young priest will not be confused. Such a priest will deal not only with current themes raised by the vociferous media. He will respond not only to those questions, usually simple ones, that people raise."
"He himself will address his own questions to the great tradition of the Church. Immersed in it and in its light, he will understand better how to lead himself and how to direct others better. If such a study is accompanied by true prayer, the priest will not go astray . . ."
Read 6 tweets
30 Sep 20
"In the spiritual life, the habit of persisting in union with God, of remembering Him and doing everything for His pleasure has to be developed. When some action is undertaken, either at the initial state of intention, or in the deliberation about its appropriateness . . ."
". . . or in the decision itself, or in the final execution, or else in the struggling against difficulties or laziness, divine light and assistance may be repeatedly invited in faith. In this it is important that one's own projects not be stubbornly forced upon God . . ."
". . . but that the divine perception and power be brought into them by faith. This means that personal ideals should not be treated as final or absolutely necessary, but instead there should be an acceptance of God's ways that may differ from one's own plans and designs."
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep 20
Too quick a reading of "Samaritanus bonus," released yesterday by the CDF, will focus only on the guidelines for the pastoral care of the sick and dying outlined at the end of the letter. That's where the "juicy" parts of the text are found, after all.
But this facile reading misses the letter's core concern, which is to offer pastors and faithful a theological and spiritual lens through which to understand the mystery of death and dying.
Because a person's final illness represents the perfection of his entrance into the Paschal Mystery, all care given to the dying--by doctors, nurses, pastors, chaplains, family, friends, etc.--should aim at assisting him to enter fully into graced intimacy with Christ on Calvary.
Read 4 tweets

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