Saturday, March 31, 2012

Has Wolfgang Smith gone too far?

I only noticed that he had written this book today: Christian Gnosis

From the description:
Smith maintains that Eckhart has not in fact transgressed a single Trinitarian or Christological dogma; what he does deny implicitly, he shows, is none other than the creatio ex nihilo, which in effect Eckhart replaces with the Kabbalistic creatio ex Deo. In this shift, moreover, Smith perceives the transition from ‘exoteric’ to ‘esoteric’ within the integral domain of Christian doctrine.
Pope's Homily at Mass for the 400th anniversary of Our Lady of Charity

More notes on the virtue of religion

You can see evidence for the evolution of my answer to the question of whether the virtue of religion is possible if one is not in the state of grace and in possession of the virtue of charity on the blog. In my most recent post addressing this question I maintain that one cannot have the virtue of religion without charity. Now it is clear that Aquinas maintains religion is a moral virtue and not a theological one. Is it also an infused virtue? (It seems that this ordering is required both respect to the will and practical reason. One must first know and will the end [God] before one can will the means [the acts of religion] to that end .)

If religion is not an infused virtue, but an acquired virtue, can one not still have the acquired virtue even if the infused virtue of charity is lost? Yes, but I would maintain it would not be exercised (or strengthened) when one is ostensibly performing the acts proper to it. One can perform those acts out of a sense of duty, but it is motivated by his concern with what is right/fitting (and ultimately self-love), and not out of the supernatural love of God. There would be something missing in the ratio of those acts to render them something than true acts of religion. I hesitate to call them acts of some counterfeit habit. Quasi-acts of religion?  "Paying lip service." Rendering what is due to God without the proper spirit seems futile, since acts of religion are not required for God's benefit but ours. This realization would be a reminder to us, if we are in a state of sin, that we should be converted unto Him instead of resisting.

Still, maybe I will switch back to my previous position after some more thought.

It reminds me that I should peruse Anscombe's Intention. (IEP entry on that topic)

An Anscombe bibliography.
Rome excommunicates four bishops in Ukraine- Constantinople deposes two bishops in America

Doctrinal Congregation Statement on "Greek-Catholic Bishops of Pidhirci"
"These priests continue to challenge ecclesiastical authority, causing moral and spiritual damage"

Catholic Culture
Fr. Z

Would there be any Orthodox objections to this action or to the ecclesiology it represents?

Zenit: Vatican Approves Blessing for Child in the Womb

Iraq: Our land Is a Land of Abraham
Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Speaks About His Suffering Church
Does the Rhine Flow into the Tiber, Bosphorus, or Both? An Interview with 2 Former Lutherans

Friday, March 30, 2012

Edward Feser, What is a soul?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I usually wouldn't post a Michael Voris video, but this may be of interest --

There are probably some valid criticisms of traditionalists, but the fact that often their community is weak is not due to their fault alone, especially with the issue of Summorum Pontificum. (And given the homeschooling networks that exist, traditionalist parishes may be as strong or stronger than your typical American NO-only parish.) If bishops were concerned to foster communities of traditionalists Catholics, they should make the extraordinary form of the Roman rite more readily available in their parishes, so that traditionalists would not have to travel so far in order to attend a liturgy in the rite to which they are legitimately attached.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Committed to salvaging the legacy of the council?

Benedict XVI: " The Second Vatican Council is a true sign of God"

Given the lack of new dogmatic definitions in addition to the confusion following the council, the cynic or traditionalist may say that the fact that there hasn't been a complete abandonment by Roman-rite Catholics is a sign of God's presence. The Church is always in need of renewal and purification as its members are burdened by sin and struggle for holiness, but did the council really understand the problems of the Church as it confronted "modernity"? But might not that be part of the problem, the overintellectualizing of a spiritual and moral crisis in the Church? (Bad intellectual history leading to an incorrect assessment of both the problem and its causes?)
Roger Nutt, Recent Books on Aquinas' Theology: Matthew Levering's Contribution

Monday, March 26, 2012

The new definition of the common good

Repeated here, and which finds support in various documents of the Church after Vatican 2: Why I am Not a Libertarian by Nathan Schlueter

The common good of the political association consists in the ensemble of conditions in which persons and associations can more easily flourish. These are nicely summarized in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: “to . . . establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
It seems to be implicitly tied to the modern conception of the (nation-)state, in which associations are not identical to the state. (An implicit recognition that the nation-state is too large?)