Thursday, May 14, 2009

Charles De Koninck: Works in philosophy

The website includes the following:


Letter On The Common Good

Charles de Koninck


December 22, 1961




Dear Sister Margaret Ann:

The book you mention was out of print six weeks after publication. A new printing will appear in France some time next year.

I wrote that little work to defend Aristotle and St. Thomas when they say that, within a given genus, the common good is always more divine than the proper or personal good. This proposition had been under attack for some time. The reasoning behind this open attack even by well-known Thomists assumed that "common good" is a univocal expression, i.e. with one single meaning, and that one can therefore pass from one genus to the other. Yet in fact the common good of the family (namely, the offspring) and that of the political community (the well-being of the citizens, which, in the end, consists in virtuous activity) are one only in proportion. When said of the Church, we must distinguish between the intrinsic common good, which is the inherent good of the whole made up of parts; and the extrinsic common good, which is God in his very Deity. The latter is a common good in still another sense, for it refers to what St. Thomas calls a "totum ante partes", not "ex partibus." When we say that the creature participates in God's perfection, we do not mean that it is part of God the way a slice of bread is part of the whole loaf. It means simply that the fulness of God's perfection is such that, no matter how perfect the creature or even the ensemble of all creation, it will never compare to God except in the way in which what is only partial compares to the whole. Hence, had God created only one single person, he would still have the nature of common good in the latter sense; so that this person would have to love God as a good that far exceeds the measure of any created person. And this is the basis of charity towards neighbour, whom we must love qua "capax Dei". This is so true that one cannot love God without love of neighbour. Had God produced but one person, this person would still have to love God in his super-abundant communicability to others. This applies even to the soul of Christ, which, in the beatific vision does not see God comprehensively.

It is one thing to compare the member of a society to the society as a whole. The society is for the sake of the common good of its members who are individual persons. Hence society is for man, not man for society. But it does not follow from this that the common good of society must be broken down into individual goods, the way a loaf of bread is shared at the table. In the Eucharist, however, which St. Thomas calls the spiritual common good of the whole Church, "Sumit unus, sumunt mille, quantum iste, tantum ille."

You say: "If we are part of the whole living Christ, then I conclude that the part exists for the whole, and not the whole for the part." Concerning the Mystical Body, three kinds of good are involved. If you consider the perfection of this complex whole as such, then each member, the humanity of Christ most of all, contributes to the perfection or good of the whole; and, in this respect, the member is for the whole the way feet and eyes are for the good of the whole body. But the perfection of the whole flows back to the members, though to the members as their common good. Finally, if we consider the ultimate purpose of the Mystical Body, it is the Deity itself, the extrinsic common good, achieved, immediately, by the individual persons severally. The point is that in God's designs we are in fact dependent upon one another; he has chosen teachers, ministers of the Sacramenta, etc. Now, all this bespeaks dependence on the part of those who are taught and partake in the Sacraments. But we cannot day that the ultimate good of the Mystical Body is the good that is intrinsic to it as an orderly whole of parts; this itself is for the sake of something else, namely, the extrinsic good which is God in his Deity.

Let me put it this way, by analogy: The proper good of the eye is to see; but its seeing contributes to the good of the whole man; but the whole man is not for the sake of the eye's seeing; yet, without sight, the whole would be maimed. But here is where the comparison breaks down: eyes are for seeing and for nothing else; but the teacher, whom St. Thomas calls an eye of the Mystical Body, is not, in all that he is, for the sake of teaching. The immediate good of the teacher is to enlighten those whom he teaches; It is good for him to do so, and good for those taught. But teaching is not his ultimate end as a person; his teaching serves this end, which is to know God as he is in Himself; and he wants those whom he teaches to attain this same end, and to attain it in their individual persons.

See also: Charles de Koninck Archive and the Charles De Koninck Scribd group.

Charles De Koninck, the Common Good, and the Human Environment (pdf)
I have a copy of Love and Responsibility somewhere. Source of the following.

From Love and Responsibility , written by Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II’s pre-papal name) way back in 1960..

The basic premise of the book is the Personalistic norm:—the person is the kind of good which does not admit of being used and cannot be treated as an object of use and as such the means to an end. In its positive form the norm confirms this: the person is a good towards which the only proper and adequate attitude is love. (i.e. love your neighbor as yourself)

JP II extends this personalistic principle to the sexual act in the following excerpt pg. 272-275:

“Sexual ethics, the ethics of marriage, must examine closely certain facts on which clinical sexology can provide precise information. We have defined love as an ambition to ensure the true good of another person, and consequently as the antithesis of egoism. Since in marriage a man and a woman are associated sexually as well as in other respects the good must be sought in this area too. From the point of view of another person, from the altruistic standpoint, it is necessary to insist that intercourse must not serve merely as a means of allowing sexual excitement to reach its climax in one of the partners, i.e. the man alone, but that climax must be reached in harmony, not at the expense of one partner, but with both partners fully involved. This is implicit in the principle which we have already so thoroughly analysed, and which excludes exploitation of the person, and insists on love. In the present case love demands that the reactions of the other person, the sexual ‘partner’ be fully taken into account.

Sexologists state that the curve of arousal in woman is different from that in man—it rises more slowly and falls more slowly. Anatomically, arousal occurs in the same way in women and in men (the locus of excitement is in the cerebro-spinal system at S2-S3). The female organism, as was mentioned above, reacts more easily to excitation in various parts of the body, which to some extent compensates for the fact that the woman’s excitement grows more slowly than that of the man. The man must take this difference into account, not for hedonistic, but for altruistic reasons. There exists a rhythm dictated by nature itself which both spouses must discover so that climax may be reached both by the man and by the woman, and as far as possible occur in both simultaneously. The subjective happiness which they then share has the clear characteristic of the enjoyment which we have called ‘frui’, of the joy which flows from harmony between one’s own actions and the objective order of nature. Egoism on the other hand—and in this context it is obviously more likely to be egoism on the part of the man—is inseparable from the ‘uti’ in which one party seeks only his own pleasure at the expense of the other. Evidently, the elementary teachings of sexology cannot be applied without reference to ethics.

Non-observance of these teachings of sexology in the marital relationship is contrary to the good of the other partner to the marriage and the durability and cohesion of the marriage itself. It must be taken into account that it is naturally difficult for the woman to adapt herself to the man in the sexual relationship, that there is a natural unevenness of physical and psychological rhythms, so that there is a need for harmonization, which is impossible without good will, especially on the part of the man, who must carefully observe the reactions of the woman. If a woman does not obtain natural gratification from the sexual act there is a danger that her experience of it will be qualitatively inferior, will not involve her fully as a person. This sort of experience makes nervous reactions only too likely, and may for instance cause secondary sexual frigidity. Frigidity is sometimes the result of an inhibition on the part of the woman herself, or of a lack of involvement which may even at times be her own fault. But it is usually the result of egoism in the man, who failing to recognize the subjective desires of the woman in intercourse, and the objective laws of the sexual process taking place in her, seeks merely his own satisfaction, sometimes quite brutally.

In the woman this produces an aversion to intercourse, and a disgust with sex which is just as difficult or even more difficult to control than the sexual urge. It can also cause neuroses and sometimes organic disorders (which come from the fact that the engorgement of the genital organs at the time of sexual arousal results in inflammation in the region of the so-called little pelvis, if sexual arousal is not terminated by detumescence, which in the woman is closely connected with orgasm). Pyschologically, such a situation causes not just indifference but outright hostility. A woman finds it very difficult to forgive a man if she derives no satisfaction from intercourse. It becomes difficult for her to endure this, and as the years go her resentment may grow out of all proportion to its cause. This may lead to the collapse of the marriage. It can be prevented by sexual education—and by this I mean more than merely instruction in sexual matters. For it must be emphasized yet again that physical disgust does not exist in marriage as a primary phenomenon, but is as a rule, a secondary reaction: in women it is the response to egoism and brutality, in men to frigidity and indifference. But the woman’s frigidity and indifference is often the fault of the man, when he seeks his own satisfaction while leaving the woman unsatisfied, something which masculine pride should in any case forbid. But in some particularly difficult situations natural pride may not be enough in the long run—everyone knows that egoism may either blind a man and rob him of his pride or, on the contrary, result in a morbid hypertrophy of pride, which causes him to lose sight of the other human being. Similarly, the natural kindness of a woman, who (so the sexologists tell us) sometimes ‘shams orgasm’ to satisfy a man’s pride, may also be unhelpful in the long run. These are mere palliatives, and cannot in the end give satisfactory solutions to the difficulties experienced in intercourse. There is here a real need for sexual education, and it must be a continuous process. The main objective of this education is to create the conviction that ‘the other person is more important than I’. Such conviction will not arise suddenly and from nothing, merely on the basis of physical intercourse. It can only be, must be, the result of an integral education in love. Sexual intercourse itself does not teach love, but love, if it is a genuine virtue, will show itself to be so in sexual relations between married people as elsewhere. Only then can ‘sexual instruction’ bestow its full benefits: without education in our sense it may even do harm.

This is where the ‘culture of marital relations’ comes in and what it means. Not the ‘technique’ but the ‘culture’. Sexologists often put the main emphasis on technique, whereas this should rather be thought of as something secondary, and often perhaps even inimical to the purpose which it is supposed to serve. The urge is so strong that it creates in the normal man and woman a sort of instinctive knowledge ‘how to make love’ whereas artificial analysis (and the concept of ‘technique’ implies this) is more likely to spoil the whole thing, for what is wanted here is a certain spontaneity and naturalness (subordinated of course to morality). This instinctive knowledge must subsequently mature into a ‘culture of marital relations’. I must refer here to the analysis of ‘tenderness’ to be found in section 3 of Chapter II. This ability to enter readily into another person’s emotions and experiences can play a big part in harmonization of marital intercourse. It has its origin in ‘sentiment’, which is directed primarily towards the ‘human being’ and so can temper and tone down the violent reactions of sensuality, which is so oriented only towards the ‘body’ and the uninhibited impulses of concupiscence. Precisely because a slower and more gradual rise in the curve of sexual arousal is characteristic of the female organism the need for tenderness during physical intercourse, and also before it begins and after its conclusion, is explicable in purely biological terms. If we take into account the shorter and more violent curve of arousal in the man, an act of tenderness on his part in the context of marital intercourse acquires the significance of an act of virtue—specifically, the virtue of continence, and so indirectly the virtue of love (see the analysis in Section 3 of Chapter III). Marriage cannot be reduced to the physical relationship, it needs an emotional climate without which the virtues—whether that of love or that of chastity—become difficult to realize in practice."
(Emphasis mine)

Christopher West even states in his book Theology of the Body for Beginners which explains Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and incorporates the teaching of his book Love and Responsibility that “behind virtually every abortion is a man of lust.” But if one operates by the personalistic norm and values sex as it should be valued--in the context of marriage, then this won't happen.

Based on the above foundation, you might see why I have no need to stimulate arousal by reading posts in this forum. Nor would my wife for that matter.

A Summary of Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility by William E. May
Naked without Shame
Love & Responsibility Foundation
Holy Spirit Interactive: Edward P. Sri - Love and Responsibility
Christopher West's blind spot
TOB has to be seen through Church's historical teachings

A guest post by FR. ANGELO GEIGER F.I. at Dawn Eden's blog

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Books by Fr. Louis Bouyer


Recently, Editions du Cerf has been republishing books by Fr. Bouyer, including Dom Lambert Beauduin: Un homme d'Église, Newman: Sa vie – Sa spiritualité, Architecture et Liturgie, La Bible et l'Évangile Le sens de l'Écriture : du Dieu qui parle au Dieu fait homme, Le Mystère pascal: Paschale sacramentum — Méditation sur la liturgie des trois derniers jours de la Semaine Sainte, Le Rite et l'homme: Sacralité naturelle et liturgie, Introduction à la vie spirituelle: Précis de théologie ascétique et mystique, Le Sens de la vie monastique, and Le Sens de la vie sacerdotale.

There is also this study of his theology:
Connaissance et mystère: L'itinéraire théologique de Louis Bouyer by Davide Zordan.

Google Books: The invisible Father: approaches to the mystery of the divinity

Louis Bouyer: Author's Page at Ignatius Insight
Musings of a Pertinacious Papist: Fr. Louis Bouyer, rest in peace
Fr. Neuhaus

Original source of the following (apparently the blog no longer exists):
Obituary for
Louis Bouyer
1913-2004
by Jean-Robert Armogathe*

Gruff, and sometimes hot-tempered, Louis Bouyer was a hard man to get to know. He was more comfortable talking about his numerous books th an about his life. And yet, it is impossible to understand his theological work without knowing some of the unusual features of his life.

Bouyer was born in 1913 into a pious Protestant family. He very early displayed the theological curiosity that would accompany him throughout his life. After studies in the Protestant faculty of theology in Paris, he became a pastor in the French Reformed Church. In 1938, Pastor Bouyer--then twenty-five years old--published a dazzling commentary, Introduction to John's Gospel. His intellecual personality and his deep knowledge of the Bible found their rood in the liberal Protestantism that he vigorously (and somewhat unfairly) denounced in a pseudonymous pamphlet that he published in 1941.

Bouyer then converted to Catholicism in 1939. He then redid his studies at Paris' Institut Catholique. He was a remarkable student: during his time at the Institut, he complete a thesis on Athanasius ... that he published in 1943 and a five-hundred page account of ... The Pascal Mystery, which was to become a classic reference of the Jewish origins of the Eucharistic liturgy. A few years later, in 1954, Bouyer published a book-length reflection on Protestantism. His conclusion: the best Protestant doctrines were either incomplete or poorly understood Catholic ones.

After his ordination as a preist of the French Oratory, Bouyer taught humanities at Juilly... He was then offered a positionin the history of dogma and of spirituality at the Institut Catholique. The novelty of his positions, together with his sometimes rude manner, earned him the opposition of his Jesuit colleagues, especially of Father--later Cardinal--[Jean] Danielou. Violent intellectual polemics prompted him to leave the "Catho" and France.

Bouyer nonetheless continued to teach, and was active for many years in the United States, first at Notre Dame, and then at the University of San Francisco in California. English speaking readers proved more open to him than their French counterparts, just at the time that the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar was making him known to a German-speaking publish. Bouyer was a tireless writer. Alongside his theological works, he registered his disapointment with post-conciliar trends in popular writings like ... Catholicism Falls Apart. He also pursued his literary bent, penning works of fiction (which he enjoyed dedicating to neighbors) under various pseudonyms.

The Paschal Mystery had earned Bouyer the reputation of being a modernist, but the liturgical reforms begun by Pius XII and continued by the Council proved him right. He became a respected expert on the liturgy, who was equally opposed to the "neomedieval" restorations of the nineteenth century and the often harebrained creations oif the present. Eucharistie (1966), one of his best books, insists on the Jewish origins of the Mass and shows the full richness of the new Eucharistic prayers. For many years, Bouyer was a member of the International Theological Commission founded by Paul VI.

During the 60's, Maxime Charles, the rector of the Sacre-Coeur in Montemartre, asked Bouyer to form a group of young graduate students from the Ecole Normale Superieure during his stays in France. Among these young men were Jean-Luc Marion, Remi Barque, and Jean Duchesne. The sessions Bouyer held with them at the Normal monastery of La Lucerne were decisive for the group that called itself ["Resurrection"], which was the nucleus of what would become the French edition of Communio. Basing himself on material developed during his cources and sessions, Bouyer published his great triple trilogy, the last systematic theology to appear in France.

Bouyer's attention to Scripture, his preference for the Fathers over the Scholastics, and his knowledge of contemporary authors enabled him to construct astonishingly modern work. It is novel, not in the sense of being fashionable, but in the sense of refusing ready-made positions and looking with fresh eyes on Jewish and Christian tradition.

Alongside the Dominican Yves Congar and the Jesuits Jean Danielou and Henri de Lubac, the Oratorian Louis Bouyer was one of the four great post-war French theologians. Unlike the other three, though, Bouyer was never named a Cardinal. John Paul II honored him with a letter of tribute on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Like Newman, he liked to remined people that converts are often a nuisance in the Church.--Translated by Adrian Walker

*Jean-Robert Armogathe is an editor of the French edition of Communio. This obituary comes from the Winter, 2004 edition of Communio (pg. 688-689). The next issue (summer), which is yet to be released, will contian Jean-Marie Lustiger's Homily for the Funeral Mass for Father Louis Bouyer and Jean Duschesne's Who Is Still Afraid of Louis Bouyer? Also, for those interested in Communion and Liberation, the Winter 2004 edition had Ratzinger's funeral homily for CL founder, Luigi Giussani.

-- Justin Nickelsen

Monday, May 11, 2009

James Chastek's take on scholastic theology: The first principle of scholasticism

The first principle scholastic thought was that all the authors of Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, and (to a lesser extent) Aristotle formed a unified body of thought, so much so that all apparent contradictions were, as a rule, merely apparent and ultimately even beneficial. For a scholastic, when John said that no one had ever seen God (Jn. 1) and Paul said that God is clearly seen by all since the foundation of the world (Rm. 1) both were speaking of the same truth (the knowability of God) in different ways. It would be contrary to the very nature of Scholasticism to look at the difference between John and Paul and to take it as a principle for utterly distinct- or even different- Johannine and Pauline theologies.A fortiori, the scholastic thinker would have never seen his own theology as a differnt sort of theology from Paul, Augustine, John, Gregory of Nyssa, St. Basil, Dionysius an Aristotle etc…

Scholasticism died when it was no longer taken for granted that there was a single unifying reality that held together the authors of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church. Aristotle, for his own part, was isolated from the other infuences he was once mixed with to make him so much more powerful and effective.


Also of interest: The double reality of dignity and Why the soul is a particular thing but not a substance

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Robert Gay, OP: Spiritual notes from a small island...... The Cloud of Unknowing

Pope's Address Upon Visiting Mosque

Pope's Address Upon Visiting Mosque

"Ideological Manipulation of Religion ... Is the Real Catalyst for Tension and Division"



AMMAN, Jordan, MAY 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of the discourse Benedict XVI gave today after he visited the King Hussein bin Talal Mosque and the adjacent Hashemite Museum and subsequently met with Muslim religious leaders.

* * *



Your Royal Highness,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a source of great joy for me to meet with you this morning in this magnificent setting. I wish to thank Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammed Bin Talal for his kind words of welcome. Your Royal Highness's numerous initiatives to promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue and exchanges are appreciated by the people of the Hashemite Kingdom and they are widely respected by the international community. I know that these efforts receive the active support of other members of the Royal Family as well as the nation's government, and find ample resonance in the many initiatives of collaboration among Jordanians. For all this, I wish to express my own heartfelt admiration.

Places of worship, like this splendid Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque named after the revered late King, stand out like jewels across the earth's surface. From the ancient to the modern, the magnificent to the humble, they all point to the divine, to the Transcendent One, to the Almighty. And through the centuries these sanctuaries have drawn men and women into their sacred space to pause, to pray, to acknowledge the presence of the Almighty, and to recognize that we are all his creatures.

For this reason we cannot fail to be concerned that today, with increasing insistency, some maintain that religion fails in its claim to be, by nature, a builder of unity and harmony, an expression of communion between persons and with God. Indeed some assert that religion is necessarily a cause of division in our world; and so they argue that the less attention given to religion in the public sphere the better. Certainly, the contradiction of tensions and divisions between the followers of different religious traditions, sadly, cannot be denied. However, is it not also the case that often it is the ideological manipulation of religion, sometimes for political ends, that is the real catalyst for tension and division, and at times even violence in society? In the face of this situation, where the opponents of religion seek not simply to silence its voice but to replace it with their own, the need for believers to be true to their principles and beliefs is felt all the more keenly. Muslims and Christians, precisely because of the burden of our common history so often marked by misunderstanding, must today strive to be known and recognized as worshippers of God faithful to prayer, eager to uphold and live by the Almighty's decrees, merciful and compassionate, consistent in bearing witness to all that is true and good, and ever mindful of the common origin and dignity of all human persons, who remain at the apex of God's creative design for the world and for history.

The resolve of Jordanian educators and religious and civic leaders to ensure that the public face of religion reflects its true nature is praiseworthy. The example of individuals and communities, together with the provision of courses and programmes, manifest the constructive contribution of religion to the educational, cultural, social and other charitable sectors of your civic society. Some of this spirit I have been able to sample at first hand. Yesterday, I experienced the renowned educational and rehabilitation work of the Our Lady of Peace Centre where Christians and Muslims are transforming the lives of entire families, by assisting them to ensure that their disabled children take up their rightful place in society. Earlier this morning, I blessed the foundation stone of Madaba University where young Muslim and Christian adults will side by side receive the benefits of a tertiary education, enabling them to contribute justly to the social and economic development of their nation. Of great merit too are the numerous initiatives of inter-religious dialogue supported by the Royal Family and the diplomatic community and sometimes undertaken in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. These include the ongoing work of the Royal Institutes for Inter-faith studies and for Islamic Thought, theAmman Message of 2004, the Amman Interfaith Message of 2005, and the more recent Common Word letter which echoed a theme consonant with my first encyclical: the unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbour, and the fundamental contradiction of resorting to violence or exclusion in the name of God (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 16).

Such initiatives clearly lead to greater reciprocal knowledge, and they foster a growing respect both for what we hold in common and for what we understand differently. Thus, they should prompt Christians and Muslims to probe even more deeply the essential relationship between God and his world so that together we may strive to ensure that society resonates in harmony with the divine order. In this regard, the co-operation found here in Jordan sets an encouraging and persuasive example for the region, and indeed the world, of the positive, creative contribution which religion can and must make to civic society.

Distinguished friends, today I wish to refer to a task which I have addressed on a number of occasions and which I firmly believe Christians and Muslims can embrace, particularly through our respective contributions to learning and scholarship, and public service. That task is the challenge to cultivate for the good, in the context of faith and truth, the vast potential of human reason. Christians in fact describe God, among other ways, as creative Reason, which orders and guides the world. And God endows us with the capacity to participate in his reason and thus to act in accordance with what is good. Muslims worship God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who has spoken to humanity. And as believers in the one God we know that human reason is itself God's gift and that it soars to its highest plane when suffused with the light of God's truth. In fact, when human reason humbly allows itself to be purified by faith, it is far from weakened; rather, it is strengthened to resist presumption and to reach beyond its own limitations. In this way, human reason is emboldened to pursue its noble purpose of serving mankind, giving expression to our deepest common aspirations and extending, rather than manipulating or confining, public debate. Thus, genuine adherence to religion - far from narrowing our minds - widens the horizon of human understanding. It protects civil society from the excesses of the unbridled ego which tend to absolutize the finite and eclipse the infinite; it ensures that freedom is exercised hand in hand with truth, and it adorns culture with insights concerning all that is true, good and beautiful.

This understanding of reason, which continually draws the human mind beyond itself in the quest for the Absolute, poses a challenge; it contains a sense of both hope and caution. Together, Christians and Muslims are impelled to seek all that is just and right. We are bound to step beyond our particular interests and to encourage others, civil servants and leaders in particular, to do likewise in order to embrace the profound satisfaction of serving the common good, even at personal cost. And we are reminded that because it is our common human dignity which gives rise to universal human rights, they hold equally for every man and woman, irrespective of his or her religious, social or ethnic group. In this regard, we must note that the right of religious freedom extends beyond the question of worship and includes the right - especially of minorities - to fair access to the employment market and other spheres of civic life.

Before I leave you this morning I would like to acknowledge in a special way the presence among us of His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Baghdad, whom I greet most warmly. His presence brings to mind the people of neighbouring Iraq many of whom have found welcome refuge here in Jordan. The international community's efforts to promote peace and reconciliation, together with those of the local leaders, must continue in order to bear fruit in the lives of Iraqis. I wish to express my appreciation for all those who are assisting in the endeavors to deepen trust and to rebuild the institutions and infrastructure essential to the well-being of that society. And once again, I urge diplomats and the international community they represent together with local political and religious leaders to do everything possible to ensure the ancient Christian community of that noble land its fundamental right to peaceful coexistence with their fellow citizens.

Distinguished friends, I trust that the sentiments I have expressed today will leave us with renewed hope for the future. Our love and duty before the Almighty is expressed not only in our worship but also in our love and concern for children and young people - your families - and for all Jordanians. It is for them that you labor and it is they who motivate you to place the good of every human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society. May reason, ennobled and humbled by the grandeur of God's truth, continue to shape the life and institutions of this nation, in order that families may flourish and that all may live in peace, contributing to and drawing upon the culture that unifies this great Kingdom!