Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Smithy: Henry of Ghent on Aquinas and Existence

Henry of Ghent: "The first way of understanding the participation of a creature in being is mistaken; it is not an understanding but a phantastical imagination. For the essence of a creature should not be imagined like the air indifferent to obscurity and luminosity, but like a certain ray in itself apt to subsist, produced by the sun, not by the necessity of nature but by free will."

Isn't it rather petty to complain that an analogy is a phantastical imagination rather than an understanding?

Thomas' image of the air's illumination is an image of one sort of thing being poured into another sort of thing to make it actual in a certain way, but for Henry (and, I might add, the Franciscan tradition in general along with him) existence can't be understood as a different sort of thing than the existing nature and added to it in order that it can be.

But does Aquinas think that existence and nature are two separate things? How can they be distinct without being separate in reality? How is "real" to be understood? After all, St. Thomas's and the Thomistic understanding of the real distinction is what is at issue...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 Patterns of Polemic: Medieval Women and Christian Doctrinal Reform
Zenit: On Beauty as a Way to God
Art "Is Like a Door Opened to the Infinite"

Sandro Magister, Ratzinger's Favorite Bach Cantata
It is the one for the last Sunday of the Lutheran liturgical year, centered on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. All the details of a personal memory of Pope Benedict, on the eve of his next voyage to Germany

Video of Mortimer Adler

Mortimer Adler, The Mike Wallace Interview Women Scientists of the Middle Ages and 1600s

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A website for Josef Pieper. (via First Things)


What are the Greek and Hebrew words which are translated by the word "righteous" or "just"? The Online Etymological Dictionary has the following for "righteous":

early 16c. alteration of rightwise, from O.E. rihtwis, from riht (see right) + wis "wise, way, manner." Suffix altered by influence of courteous, etc. Meaning "genuine, excellent" is c.1900 in jazz slang. Related: Righteousness.

And for right:
right (adj.1)
"morally correct," O.E. riht "just, good, fair, proper, fitting, straight," from P.Gmc. *rekhtaz (cf. O.H.G. reht, Ger. recht, O.N. rettr, Goth. raihts), from PIE base *reg- "move in a straight line," also "to rule, to lead straight, to put right" (see regal; cf. Gk. orektos "stretched out, upright;" L. rectus "straight, right;" O.Pers. rasta- "straight, right," aršta- "rectitude;" O.Ir. recht "law;" Welsh rhaith, Breton reiz "just, righteous, wise"). 
"Straight" as describing the path one takes [to God]?

The word can describe a person with respect to his actions in relation to God. (His moral orientation?) Is this what is conveyed by the Hebrew and Greek?

Coming up at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, NYC

OpStJoseph: Solemn Vespers for All Saints Eve
Liturgy and Lecture at St. Vincent Ferrer with Fr. Uwe Michael Lang

By Fr. Lang:
The Reform of the Liturgy and the Position of the Celebrant at the Altar

The Language of Liturgical Celebration
How Latin Could Serve as a "Bond of Unity"

Fr. Uwe Michael Lang on Latin in the Liturgy