instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Short History of a Thomist

Among several new posts on the Dominican Province of St. Joseph's Vocations Blog is an interview with Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P., whose A Short History of Thomism I started a couple of days ago. Fr. Cessario identifies three things St. Thomas can teach theologians today:
First, that theology remains at the service of the Church and therefore is subject to the pleasure of the Roman Pontiff...

Second, that the Christian thinker must interest himself in both nature and grace, faith and reason, Church and State....

Third and finally, that the Christian thinker himself must live a holy life.
By "a holy life," Fr. Cessario means something other than sinlessness:
To live a holy life in the Thomist sense is to observe the rhythms of sin and forgiveness, of sacramental mediation and the personal renewal that it ensures, and to keep one's eye on the mystery of God's love which always exceeds our expectations and our imaginations. Aquinas lived his own life according to the adage that God loves us not because we are good but because He alone is good. The creature can only participate in this goodness, which for angelic and human persons includes the possibility of elevation to divine friendship through grace.
From this perspective, the distinction isn't between a holy person and a sinner, but between someone who seeks friendship with God and someone who doesn't. In a sense, whether the one seeking divine friendship sins matters little more than whether the one not seeking it doesn't sin.