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Pints With Aquinas

If you could sit down with St. Thomas Aquinas over a pint of beer and ask him any one question, what would it be? Every episode of Pints With Aquinas revolves around a question, a question that St. Thomas addresses in his most famous work, The Summa Theologica. So get your geek on, pull up a bar stool, and grab a cold one. Here we go!
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Now displaying: 2019
Mar 19, 2019

Today we're joined around bar table by my good mate, Michael Gormley (Gomer) of Catching Foxes to discuss a wide range of topics through a Thomistic lens.

We discuss:

- Virtue ethics

- Heresy, schism, and apostasy

- The difference between material and formal heresy

- Bishop Robert Barron's interview with Ben Shapiro

- Why the institutional church is often more tolerant of Fr. James Martin types than Michael Voris types.

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Mar 12, 2019

Sup, Thomists!

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Today Fr. Dominic and I take a look primarily at ST. III, Q. 9, A. 1.:

 

Whether Christ had any knowledge besides the Divine?

Objection 1. It would seem that in Christ there was no knowledge except the Divine. For knowledge is necessary that things may be known thereby. But by His Divine knowledge Christ knew all things. Therefore any other knowledge would have been superfluous in Him.

Objection 2. Further, the lesser light is dimmed by the greater. But all created knowledge in comparison with the uncreated knowledge of God is as the lesser to the greater light. Therefore there shone in Christ no other knowledge except the Divine.

Objection 3. Further, the union of the human nature with the Divine took place in the Person, as is clear from III:2:2. Now, according to some there is in Christ a certain "knowledge of the union," whereby Christ knew what belongs to the mystery of Incarnation more fully than anyone else. Hence, since the personal union contains two natures, it would seem that there are not two knowledges in Christ, but one only, pertaining to both natures.

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Incarnat. vii): "God assumed the perfection of human nature in the flesh; He took upon Himself the sense of man, but not the swollen sense of the flesh." But created knowledge pertains to the sense of man. Therefore in Christ there was created knowledge.

I answer that, As said above (Article 5), the Son of God assumed an entire human nature, i.e. not only a body, but also a soul, and not only a sensitive, but also a rational soul. And therefore it behooved Him to have created knowledge, for three reasons. First, on account of the soul's perfection. For the soul, considered in itself, is in potentiality to knowing intelligible things. since it is like "a tablet on which nothing is written," and yet it may be written upon through the possible intellect, whereby it may become all things, as is said De Anima iii, 18. Now what is in potentiality is imperfect unless reduced to act. But it was fitting that the Son of God should assume, not an imperfect, but a perfect human nature, since the whole human race was to be brought back to perfection by its means. Hence it behooved the soul of Christ to be perfected by a knowledge, which would be its proper perfection. And therefore it was necessary that there should be another knowledge in Christ besides the Divine knowledge, otherwise the soul of Christ would have been more imperfect than the souls of the rest of men. Secondly, because, since everything is on account of its operation, as stated De Coel. ii, 17, Christ would have had an intellective soul to no purpose if He had not understood by it; and this pertains to created knowledge. Thirdly, because some created knowledge pertains to the nature of the human soul, viz. that whereby we naturally know first principles; since we are here taking knowledge for any cognition of the human intellect. Now nothing natural was wanting to Christ, since He took the whole human nature, as stated above (Article 5). And hence the Sixth Council [Third Council of Constantinople, Act. 4] condemned the opinion of those who denied that in Christ there are two knowledges or wisdoms.

Reply to Objection 1. Christ knew all things with the Divine knowledge by an uncreated operation which is the very Essence of God; since God's understanding is His substance, as the Philosopher proves (Metaph. xii, text. 39). Hence this act could not belong to the human soul of Christ, seeing that it belongs to another nature. Therefore, if there had been no other knowledge in the soul of Christ, it would have known nothing; and thus it would have been assumed to no purpose, since everything is on account of its operation.

Reply to Objection 2. If the two lights are supposed to be in the same order, the lesser is dimmed by the greater, as the light of the sun dims the light of a candle, both being in the class of illuminants. But if we suppose two lights, one of which is in the class of illuminants and the other in the class of illuminated, the lesser light is not dimmed by the greater, but rather is strengthened, as the light of the air by the light of the sun. And in this manner the light of knowledge is not dimmed, but rather is heightened in the soul of Christ by the light of the Divine knowledge, which is "the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world," as is written John 1:9.

Reply to Objection 3. On the part of what are united we hold there is a knowledge in Christ, both as to His Divine and as to His human nature; so that, by reason of the union whereby there is one hypostasis of God and man, the things of God are attributed to man, and the things of man are attributed to God, as was said above (III:3:1 and III:3:6). But on the part of the union itself we cannot admit any knowledge in Christ. For this union is in personal being, and knowledge belongs to person only by reason of a nature.

 

Mar 6, 2019

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Mar 5, 2019

Sup! 

Today we chat with Aquinas about the 3 reasons we should fast.

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Here's what Aquinas had to say on the matter:

I answer that, An act is virtuous through being directed by reason to some virtuous [honestum] [Cf. II-II:145:1] good. Now this is consistent with fasting, because fasting is practiced for a threefold purpose.

First, in order to bridle the lusts of the flesh, wherefore the Apostle says (2 Corinthians 6:5-6): "In fasting, in chastity," since fasting is the guardian of chastity. For, according to Jerome [Contra Jov. ii.] "Venus is cold when Ceres and Bacchus are not there," that is to say, lust is cooled by abstinence in meat and drink.

Secondly, we have recourse to fasting in order that the mind may arise more freely to the contemplation of heavenly things: hence it is related (Daniel 10) of Daniel that he received a revelation from God after fasting for three weeks.

Thirdly, in order to satisfy for sins: wherefore it is written (Joel 2:12): "Be converted to Me with all your heart, in fasting and in weeping and in mourning." The same is declared by Augustine in a sermon (De orat. et Jejun. [Serm. lxxii (ccxxx, de Tempore)]): "Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one's flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity."

Mar 4, 2019

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Feb 26, 2019

Today I'm joined by Fr. Damian Ference to discuss Aquinas & Augustine. How they complement each other, how Aquinas builds upon Augustine, and why you still should be reading Augustine even if you're an Aquinas geek. ... Like me.

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Here's what we read from Aquinas in today's episode:

On the contrary, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. vi, 12): "Man's excellence consists in the fact that God made him to His own image by giving him an intellectual soul, which raises him above the beasts of the field." Therefore things without intellect are not made to God's image.

I answer that, Not every likeness, not even what is copied from something else, is sufficient to make an image; for if the likeness be only generic, or existing by virtue of some common accident, this does not suffice for one thing to be the image of another. For instance, a worm, though from man it may originate, cannot be called man's image, merely because of the generic likeness. Nor, if anything is made white like something else, can we say that it is the image of that thing; for whiteness is an accident belonging to many species. But the nature of an image requires likeness in species; thus the image of the king exists in his son: or, at least, in some specific accident, and chiefly in the shape; thus, we speak of a man's image in copper. Whence Hilary says pointedly that "an image is of the same species."

ST I, Q. 93 A. 2.

 

Feb 22, 2019

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Feb 19, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Chris Pietraszko about the sin of sloth.

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Here's the texts we read:

I answer that, Sloth, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 14) is an oppressive sorrow, which, to wit, so weighs upon man's mind, that he wants to do nothing; thus acid things are also cold. Hence sloth implies a certain weariness of work, as appears from a gloss on Psalm 106:18, "Their soul abhorred all manner of meat," and from the definition of some who say that sloth is a "sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good."

Now this sorrow is always evil, sometimes in itself, sometimes in its effect. For sorrow is evil in itself when it is about that which is apparently evil but good in reality, even as, on the other hand, pleasure is evil if it is about that which seems to be good but is, in truth, evil. Since, then, spiritual good is a good in very truth, sorrow about spiritual good is evil in itself. And yet that sorrow also which is about a real evil, is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses man as to draw him away entirely from good deeds. Hence the Apostle (2 Corinthians 2:7) did not wish those who repented to be "swallowed up with overmuch sorrow."

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Objection 2. Further, a capital sin is one to which daughters are assigned. Now Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) assigns six daughters to sloth, viz. "malice, spite, faint-heartedness, despair, sluggishness in regard to the commandments, wandering of the mind after unlawful things." Now these do not seem in reality to arise from sloth. For "spite" is, seemingly the same as hatred, which arises from envy, as stated above (II-II:34:6); "malice" is a genus which contains all vices, and, in like manner, a "wandering" of the mind after unlawful things is to be found in every vice; "sluggishness" about the commandments seems to be the same as sloth, while "faint-heartedness" and "despair" may arise from any sin. Therefore sloth is not rightly accounted a capital sin.

Reply to Objection 2. Gregory fittingly assigns the daughters of sloth. For since, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 5,6) "no man can be a long time in company with what is painful and unpleasant," it follows that something arises from sorrow in two ways: first, that man shuns whatever causes sorrow; secondly, that he passes to other things that give him pleasure: thus those who find no joy in spiritual pleasures, have recourse to pleasures of the body, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. x, 6). Now in the avoidance of sorrow the order observed is that man at first flies from unpleasant objects, and secondly he even struggles against such things as cause sorrow. Now spiritual goods which are the object of the sorrow of sloth, are both end and means. Avoidance of the end is the result of "despair," while avoidance of those goods which are the means to the end, in matters of difficulty which come under the counsels, is the effect of "faint-heartedness," and in matters of common righteousness, is the effect of "sluggishness about the commandments." The struggle against spiritual goods that cause sorrow is sometimes with men who lead others to spiritual goods, and this is called "spite"; and sometimes it extends to the spiritual goods themselves, when a man goes so far as to detest them, and this is properly called "malice." On so far as a man has recourse to eternal objects of pleasure, the daughter of sloth is called "wandering after unlawful things." From this it is clear how to reply to the objections against each of the daughters: for "malice" does not denote here that which is generic to all vices, but must be understood as explained. Nor is "spite" taken as synonymous with hatred, but for a kind of indignation, as stated above: and the same applies to the others.

Feb 12, 2019

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Here's the text from Aquinas we read this week:

From all this then is seen the effect of the passion of Christ as a remedy for sin. But no less does it profit us as an example. St. Augustine says that the passion of Christ can bring about a complete reformation of our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly need do nothing other than despise what Christ despised on the cross, and desire what Christ desired. There is no virtue that did not have its example on the Cross.

So if you seek an example of charity, then, “greater love than this no one has, than to lay down his life for his friends” [Jn 15:13]. And this Christ did upon the Cross. If, therefore, He gave His life or us, we ought to endure any and all evils for Him: “What shall I render to the Lord for all the things that He has done for me?” [Ps 15:12].

If you seek an example of patience, you will find it in its highest degree upon the Cross. Great patience is exemplified in two ways: either when one suffers intensely in all patience, or when one suffers that which he could avoid if he so wished. Christ suffered greatly upon the Cross: “All you who pass by the way, look and see if there is any sorrow like My sorrow” [Lam 1:12]. And with all patience, because, “when He suffered, He did not threaten” [1 Pet 2:23]. And again: “He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb before His shearer, and shall not open His mouth” [Is 53:7]. He could have avoided this suffering, but He did not: “Do you think that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give Me presently more than twelve legions of Angels?” [Mt 26:23]. The patience of Christ upon the cross, therefore, was of the highest degree: “Let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us; looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who, having joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” [Heb 12:1-2].

If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him who is crucified; although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to be put to death: “Your cause has been judged as that of the wicked” [Job 36:17]. Truly “that of the wicked,” because: “Let us condemn Him to a most shameful death” [Wis 2:20]. The Lord chose to die for His servant; the Life of the Angels suffered death for man: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” [Phil 2:8].

If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him who was obedient to the Father unto death: “For by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just” [Rom 5:19].

If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him who is the King of kings, the Lord of rulers, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom; but on the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall, and finally put to death. How falsely, therefore, is one attached to riches and raiment, for: “They divided My garments amongst them; and upon My robe they cast lots” [Ps 21:19]. How falsely to honors, since “I was covered with lashes and insults;” how falsely to positions of power, because “taking a crown of thorns, they placed it upon My brow;” how falsely to delicacies of the table, for “in My thirst they gave Me to drink of vinegar” [Ps 68:22]. Thus, St. Augustine, in commenting on these words, “Who, having joy set before Him, endured the Cross despising the shame” [Heb 12:2]. says: “The man Christ despised all earthly things in order to teach us to despise them.

 

Feb 5, 2019

Today I sit down with philosopher Dr. Michael Gorman to discuss faith and reason. What a great episode. Great a beer, here we go!

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Jan 29, 2019

Today I sit down with philosopher, Dr. Frey to discuss life. A much more difficult issue than you might think.

Here's two of the main texts' from Aquinas that Dr. Frey and I reference ... I bet if you read these excerpts after listening to the show they'll make a lot more sense. 

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Whether life is properly attributed to God?

I answer that, Life is in the highest degree properly in God. In proof of which it must be considered that since a thing is said to live in so far as it operates of itself and not as moved by another, the more perfectly this power is found in anything, the more perfect is the life of that thing. In things that move and are moved, a threefold order is found. In the first place, the end moves the agent: and the principal agent is that which acts through its form, and sometimes it does so through some instrument that acts by virtue not of its own form, but of the principal agent, and does no more than execute the action. Accordingly there are things that move themselves, not in respect of any form or end naturally inherent in them, but only in respect of the executing of the movement; the form by which they act, and the end of the action being alike determined for them by their nature. Of this kind are plants, which move themselves according to their inherent nature, with regard only to executing the movements of growth and decay.

Other things have self-movement in a higher degree, that is, not only with regard to executing the movement, but even as regards to the form, the principle of movement, which form they acquire of themselves. Of this kind are animals, in which the principle of movement is not a naturally implanted form; but one received through sense. Hence the more perfect is their sense, the more perfect is their power of self-movement. Such as have only the sense of touch, as shellfish, move only with the motion of expansion and contraction; and thus their movement hardly exceeds that of plants. Whereas such as have the sensitive power in perfection, so as to recognize not only connection and touch, but also objects apart from themselves, can move themselves to a distance by progressive movement. Yet although animals of the latter kind receive through sense the form that is the principle of their movement, nevertheless they cannot of themselves propose to themselves the end of their operation, or movement; for this has been implanted in them by nature; and by natural instinct they are moved to any action through the form apprehended by sense. Hence such animals as move themselves in respect to an end they themselves propose are superior to these. This can only be done by reason and intellect; whose province it is to know the proportion between the end and the means to that end, and duly coordinate them. Hence a more perfect degree of life is that of intelligible beings; for their power of self-movement is more perfect. This is shown by the fact that in one and the same man the intellectual faculty moves the sensitive powers; and these by their command move the organs of movement. Thus in the arts we see that the art of using a ship, i.e. the art of navigation, rules the art of ship-designing; and this in its turn rules the art that is only concerned with preparing the material for the ship.

But although our intellect moves itself to some things, yet others are supplied by nature, as are first principles, which it cannot doubt; and the last end, which it cannot but will. Hence, although with respect to some things it moves itself, yet with regard to other things it must be moved by another. Wherefore that being whose act of understanding is its very nature, and which, in what it naturally possesses, is not determined by another, must have life in the most perfect degree. Such is God; and hence in Him principally is life. From this the Philosopher concludes (Metaph. xii, 51), after showing God to be intelligent, that God has life most perfect and eternal, since His intellect is most perfect and always in act.

ST I, Q. 18, A. 3

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Whether death and other bodily defects are the result of sin? 

I answer that, One thing causes another in two ways: first, by reason of itself; secondly, accidentally. By reason of itself, one thing is the cause of another, if it produces its effect by reason of the power of its nature or form, the result being that the effect is directly intended by the cause. Consequently, as death and such like defects are beside the intention of the sinner, it is evident that sin is not, of itself, the cause of these defects. Accidentally, one thing is the cause of another if it causes it by removing an obstacle: thus it is stated in Phys. viii, text. 32, that "by displacing a pillar a man moves accidentally the stone resting thereon." In this way the sin of our first parent is the cause of death and all such like defects in human nature, in so far as by the sin of our first parent original justice was taken away, whereby not only were the lower powers of the soul held together under the control of reason, without any disorder whatever, but also the whole body was held together in subjection to the soul, without any defect, as stated in the I:97:1. Wherefore, original justice being forfeited through the sin of our first parent; just as human nature was stricken in the soul by the disorder among the powers, as stated above (Article 3; I-II:82:3), so also it became subject to corruption, by reason of disorder in the body.

Now the withdrawal of original justice has the character of punishment, even as the withdrawal of grace has. Consequently, death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin. And although the defects are not intended by the sinner, nevertheless they are ordered according to the justice of God Who inflicts them as punishments.

Reply to Objection 1. Causes that produce their effects of themselves, if equal, produce equal effects: for if such causes be increased or diminished, the effect is increased or diminished. But equal causes of an obstacle being removed, do not point to equal effects. For supposing a man employs equal force in displacing two columns, it does not follow that the movements of the stones resting on them will be equal; but that one will move with greater velocity, which has the greater weight according to the property of its nature, to which it is left when the obstacle to its falling is removed. Accordingly, when original justice is removed, the nature of the human body is left to itself, so that according to diverse natural temperaments, some men's bodies are subject to more defects, some to fewer, although original sin is equal in all.

Reply to Objection 2. Both original and actual sin are removed by the same cause that removes these defects, according to the Apostle (Romans 8:11): "He . . . shall quicken . . . your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwelleth in you": but each is done according to the order of Divine wisdom, at a fitting time. Because it is right that we should first of all be conformed to Christ's sufferings, before attaining to the immortality and impassibility of glory, which was begun in Him, and by Him acquired for us. Hence it behooves that our bodies should remain, for a time, subject to suffering, in order that we may merit the impassibility of glory, in conformity with Christ.

Reply to Objection 3. Two things may be considered in actual sin, the substance of the act, and the aspect of fault. As regards the substance of the act, actual sin can cause a bodily defect: thus some sicken and die through eating too much. But as regards the fault, it deprives us of grace which is given to us that we may regulate the acts of the soul, but not that we may ward off defects of the body, as original justice did. Wherefore actual sin does not cause those defects, as original sin does.

Article 6. Whether death and other defects are natural to man?
Objection 1. It would seem that death and such like defects are natural to man. For "the corruptible and the incorruptible differ generically" (Metaph. x, text. 26). But man is of the same genus as other animals which are naturally corruptible. Therefore man is naturally corruptible.

Objection 2. Further, whatever is composed of contraries is naturally corruptible, as having within itself the cause of corruption. But such is the human body. Therefore it is naturally corruptible.

Objection 3. Further, a hot thing naturally consumes moisture. Now human life is preserved by hot and moist elements. Since therefore the vital functions are fulfilled by the action of natural heat, as stated in De Anima ii, text. 50, it seems that death and such like defects are natural to man.

On the contrary, (1) God made in man whatever is natural to him. Now "God made not death" (Wisdom 1:13). Therefore death is not natural to man.

(2) Further, that which is natural cannot be called either a punishment or an evil: since what is natural to a thing is suitable to it. But death and such like defects are the punishment of original sin, as stated above (Article 5). Therefore they are not natural to man.

(3) Further, matter is proportionate to form, and everything to its end. Now man's end is everlasting happiness, as stated above (I-II:2:7; I-II:5:3-4): and the form of the human body is the rational soul, as was proved in the I:75:6. Therefore the human body is naturally incorruptible.

I answer that, We may speak of any corruptible thing in two ways; first, in respect of its universal nature, secondly, as regards its particular nature. A thing's particular nature is its own power of action and self-preservation. And in respect of this nature, every corruption and defect is contrary to nature, as stated in De Coelo ii, text. 37, since this power tends to the being and preservation of the thing to which it belongs.

On the other hand, the universal nature is an active force in some universal principle of nature, for instance in some heavenly body; or again belonging to some superior substance, in which sense God is said by some to be "the Nature Who makes nature." This force intends the good and the preservation of the universe, for which alternate generation and corruption in things are requisite: and in this respect corruption and defect in things are natural, not indeed as regards the inclination of the form which is the principle of being and perfection, but as regards the inclination of matter which is allotted proportionately to its particular form according to the discretion of the universal agent. And although every form intends perpetual being as far as it can, yet no form of a corruptible being can achieve its own perpetuity, except the rational soul; for the reason that the latter is not entirely subject to matter, as other forms are; indeed it has an immaterial operation of its own, as stated in the I:75:2. Consequently as regards his form, incorruption is more natural to man than to other corruptible things. But since that very form has a matter composed of contraries, from the inclination of that matter there results corruptibility in the whole. In this respect man is naturally corruptible as regards the nature of his matter left to itself, but not as regards the nature of his form.

The first three objections argue on the side of the matter; while the other three argue on the side of the form. Wherefore in order to solve them, we must observe that the form of man which is the rational soul, in respect of its incorruptibility is adapted to its end, which is everlasting happiness: whereas the human body, which is corruptible, considered in respect of its nature, is, in a way, adapted to its form, and, in another way, it is not. For we may note a twofold condition in any matter, one which the agent chooses, and another which is not chosen by the agent, and is a natural condition of matter. Thus, a smith in order to make a knife, chooses a matter both hard and flexible, which can be sharpened so as to be useful for cutting, and in respect of this condition iron is a matter adapted for a knife: but that iron be breakable and inclined to rust, results from the natural disposition of iron, nor does the workman choose this in the iron, indeed he would do without it if he could: wherefore this disposition of matter is not adapted to the workman's intention, nor to the purpose of his art. In like manner the human body is the matter chosen by nature in respect of its being of a mixed temperament, in order that it may be most suitable as an organ of touch and of the other sensitive and motive powers. Whereas the fact that it is corruptible is due to a condition of matter, and is not chosen by nature: indeed nature would choose an incorruptible matter if it could. But God, to Whom every nature is subject, in forming man supplied the defect of nature, and by the gift of original justice, gave the body a certain incorruptibility, as was stated in the I:97:1. It is in this sense that it is said that "God made not death," and that death is the punishment of sin.

- ST I-II, Q. 85, A. 6 

Jan 28, 2019

To celebrate the feast of Thomas Aquinas we’re doing two really cool things.

First, we’re giving away this FREE audio book, Aeterni Patris: On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, an encyclical by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.

The aim of the encyclical was to advance the revival of Scholastic philosophy (i.e. Thomas Aquinas). Click here to get it! (It’ll only be available to non-patrons for today only).

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Jan 26, 2019

Below is the entire text from Aquinas I wrote, but before that...

Thank God for good bishops like Bishop Rick Stika (@BishopStika) and Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler). Go follow them and thank them for being faithful sons of the Church.

Whether the Church should excommunicate anyone?
Objection 1. It would seem that the Church ought not to excommunicate anyone, because excommunication is a kind of curse, and we are forbidden to curse (Romans 12:14). Therefore the Church should not excommunicate.

Objection 2. Further, the Church Militant should imitate the Church Triumphant. Now we read in the epistle of Jude (verse 9) that "when Michael the Archangel disputing with the devil contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee." Therefore the Church Militant ought not to judge any man by cursing or excommunicating him.

Objection 3. Further, no man should be given into the hands of his enemies, unless there be no hope for him. Now by excommunication a man is given into the hands of Satan, as is clear from 1 Corinthians 5:5. Since then we should never give up hope about anyone in this life, the Church should not excommunicate anyone.

On the contrary, The Apostle (1 Corinthians 5:5) ordered a man to be excommunicated.

Further, it is written (Matthew 18:17) about the man who refuses to hear the Church: "Let him be to thee as the heathen or publican." But heathens are outside the Church. Therefore they also who refuse to hear the Church, should be banished from the Church by excommunication.

I answer that, The judgment of the Church should be conformed to the judgment of God. Now God punishes the sinner in many ways, in order to draw him to good, either by chastising him with stripes, or by leaving him to himself so that being deprived of those helps whereby he was kept out of evil, he may acknowledge his weakness, and humbly return to God Whom he had abandoned in his pride. In both these respects the Church by passing sentence of excommunication imitates the judgment of God. For by severing a man from the communion of the faithful that he may blush with shame, she imitates the judgment whereby God chastises man with stripes; and by depriving him of prayers and other spiritual things, she imitates the judgment of God in leaving man to himself, in order that by humility he may learn to know himself and return to God.

Reply to Objection 1. A curse may be pronounced in two ways: first, so that the intention of the one who curses is fixed on the evil which he invokes or pronounces, and cursing in this sense is altogether forbidden. Secondly, so that the evil which a man invokes in cursing is intended for the good of the one who is cursed, and thus cursing is sometimes lawful and salutary: thus a physician makes a sick man undergo pain, by cutting him, for instance, in order to deliver him from his sickness.

Reply to Objection 2. The devil cannot be brought to repentance, wherefore the pain of excommunication cannot do him any good.

Reply to Objection 3. From the very fact that a man is deprived of the prayers of the Church, he incurs a triple loss, corresponding to the three things which a man acquires through the Church's prayers. For they bring an increase of grace to those who have it, or merit grace for those who have it not; and in this respect the Master of the Sentences says (Sent. iv, D, 18): "The grace of God is taken away by excommunication." They also prove a safeguard of virtue; and in this respect he says that "protection is taken away," not that the excommunicated person is withdrawn altogether from God's providence, but that he is excluded from that protection with which He watches over the children of the Church in a more special way. Moreover, they are useful as a defense against the enemy, and in this respect he says that "the devil receives greater power of assaulting the excommunicated person, both spiritually and corporally." Hence in the early Church, when men had to be enticed to the faith by means of outward signs (thus the gift of the Holy Ghost was shown openly by a visible sign), so too excommunication was evidenced by a person being troubled in his body by the devil. Nor is it unreasonable that one, for whom there is still hope, be given over to the enemy, for he is surrendered, not unto damnation, but unto correction, since the Church has the power to rescue him from the hands of the enemy, whenever he is willing.

 

Jan 22, 2019

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This episode of PWA was recorded LIVE at FOCUS' SEEK conference in Indianapolis, IN earlier this month.

In this episode I sit down with the priests from Catholic Stuff You Should Know to discuss scrupulosity, and how to overcome it.

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Jan 19, 2019

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I sit down with Abigail Rine Favale for nearly 3 hours to discuss her unlikely conversion, why she no longer identifies as a feminist, and postmodernism.

So much postmodernism.

Enjoy!

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Jan 15, 2019

Watch the next Matt Fradd Show here (click "set a reminder") this Friday at 8pm EST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=932&v=6MfsHlJ1I6E

If you've never listened to Pints With Aquinas, today's episode is a GREAT place to begin.

In today's episode I'll share with you 5 contributions Aquinas made to metaphysics. 

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Jan 8, 2019

Today we talk all about Mary, the Mother of God. Enjoy!

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THE MOTHER OF CHRIST

The error of Nestorius, who refused to acknowledge that Blessed Mary is the Mother of God, is likewise excluded. Both Creeds assert that the Son of God was born or was made flesh of the Virgin Mary. The woman of whom any person is born is called his mother, for the reason that she supplies the matter for human conception. Hence the Blessed Virgin Mary, who provided the matter for the conception of the Son of God, should be called the true mother of the Son of God. As far as the essence of motherhood is concerned, the energy whereby the matter furnished by a woman is formed, does not enter into the question. She who supplied matter to be formed by the Holy Spirit is no less a mother than a woman who supplies matter that is to be formed by the energy latent in male seed. If anyone insists on maintaining that the Blessed Virgin ought not to be called the Mother of God because flesh alone and not divinity was derived from her, as Nestorius contended, he clearly is not aware of what he is saying. A woman is not called a mother for the reason that everything that is in her child is derived from her. Man is made up of body and soul; and a man is what he is in virtue of his soul rather than in virtue of his body. But no man’s soul is derived from his mother. The soul is either created by God directly, as the true doctrine has it, or, if it were produced by transplanting, as some have fancied, it would be derived from the father rather than from the mother. For in the generation of other animals, according to the teaching of philosophers, the male gives the soul, the female gives the body.

Consequently, just as any woman is a mother from the fact that her child’s body is derived from her, so the Blessed Virgin Mary ought to be called the Mother of God if the body of God is derived from her. But we have to hold that it is the body of God, if it is taken up into the unity of the person of God’s Son, who is true God. Therefore all who admit that human nature was assumed by the Son of God into the unity of His person, must admit that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. But Nestorius, who denied that the person of God and of the man Jesus Christ was one, was forced by logical necessity to deny that the Virgin Mary was the Mother of God.

Jan 4, 2019

Many of you have asked me to interview Lizzie Reezay—who has well over 200,000 subscribers on Youtube! Well, I heard you, and did just that. We talk about what it was like converting from Protestantism to Catholicism in such a public way.

Learn more about Lizzie here.

See her Youtube channel here.

Jan 1, 2019

Today I'm joined around the bar table by Dr. Jennifer Frey to discuss happiness. What is it? How can we get it? Is it possible to have it perfectly in this life? We take a look at how happiness and virtue are connected and see what Aristotle, Boethius, and Aquinas have to say on the matter.

Here's the part in the Summa where Aquinas lists and explains what ultimately won't make us happy.

Check out Dr. Frey's podcast, Sacred and Profane Love here.

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