Saturday, 2 August 2014

Some Theological Conclusions on Grace and Nature according to St Thomas Aquinas

The following theological conclusions have been recently learned by myself

Whether it is possible for man to love God, the author of nature, above all things by natural powers alone?

1) In the state of pure nature (which never existed) God is capable of attaining to an elicited love of God as the Creator by human powers alone.
2) In the state of integral nature such that Adam originally experienced, humanity also had the above capacity.
3) These two states presuppose the activity of natural concurrence on humanity to reduce potentiality to the relevant actuality.
4) In all states (possible or real) it is utterly impossible for man to obtain a love of God above all things as the author of grace.
5) This is so as each act is specified by its formal object. It is not sufficient for us to state that a supernatural object may be loved by natural powers even if there be a supernatural mode to bring it about.
6) In fallen creation man is unable to produce an affectively efficacious love for God above all things. This is so as a weak man is incapable of performing a work that pertains to the healthy.
7) Man subject to the dictates of concupiscence prefers private immediate goods to his true and lasting end. Human nature is more corrupted in respect of the appetite for good than for the attainment of knowledge. A sin against the eternal law is indirectly an offence against the natural law.
8) As human nature is not destroyed by the fall and the disappearance of integral nature, there remains in him a natural inclination towards God as creator.
9) There also exists in man a natural love for happiness which is present necessarily and can never be effaced from human nature. God here is considered as insufficiently indistinct from multifarious good objects.
10) In addition, man can possess an affective love for God as the creator by human powers alone. There is nothing more than a complacency in God's goodness and general providence according to the natural order.
11) Healing grace is absolutely necessary in fallen creation for man to fulfil evens the precepts of the natural law.

This is the doctrine of classical Thomism which contains the authentic teaching of Saint Augustine as developed by St Thomas and his devoted followers.These conclusions are supported by the Councils of Trent, Second of Orange and Milevum among others.The preceding conclusions have been taken from the Theological Summa of the Angelic Doctor, I II, q 109-114 as expounded by Rev. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange in his treatise ''Grace''.

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