As if a sore were not attended with pain, and an operation did not produce pain, that pain might be taken away by pain. For it is not simply to his human will that it seemed good, but also as it pleased Him, even Christ, who, says he, speaketh in me, who it is that causes that which is good in itself to seem good to ourselves also.
And Rahner accomplishes something else with that. Lisa Loraine Baker. They are whole for whom you seek the Physician.
Feb 19, · Nature loves to enjoy rare and beautiful things, and hates the cheap and clumsy. Grace takes pleasure in simple and humble things, neither despising the rough, nor refusing to wear the old and ragged. Nature pays regard to temporal affairs, takes pleasure in this world’s wealth, grieves at any loss, and is angered by a slighting remark.
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On Nature And Grace. Chapter 1 [I.]— The Occasion of Publishing This Work; What God's Righteousness is
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Extract from Augustine's Retractions Book II, Chapter 42 : At that time also there came into my hands a certain book of Pelagius', in which he defends, with all the argumentative skill he could muster, the nature of Gracd, in opposition to the grace of God whereby the unrighteous is justified and we become Christians.
The treatise which contains my reply to him, and in which I defend grace, not indeed as in opposition to nature, but as that which liberates and controls nature, I have entitled On Nature and Grace. In this work sundry short passages, which were quoted by Pelagius as the words of the Roman bishop and martyr, Xystus, were vindicated by myself as if they really were the words of this Sixtus.
For this I thought them at the time; but I afterwards discovered, that Sextus the heathen philosopher, and not Xystus the Christian bishop, was their author. This treatise of mine begins with the words: 'The book which you sent me. Mukesh Kapila shows too great a fire against this evilwhich Voyeur Im Freien authors of secular literature have severely censured with the exclamation: The human race falsely complains of its own nature!
This OOn sentiment your author also has strongly insisted upon, with all the powers of his talent. I fearhowever, that he will chiefly help those who have a zeal for Godbut not according to Grafewho, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.
Romans Now, what the righteousness of God is, which is spoken of here, he immediately afterwards explains by adding: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.
Romans This righteousness of Godtherefore, lies not in the commandment of the law, which excites fearbut in the aid On Nature And Grace by the grace of Christto which alone the fear of the law, as of a schoolmaster, Galatians usefully conducts. Now, the man who understands this understands why he is Natre Christian. For If righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians If, however He An not die in vain, in Him only is the ungodly man justified, and to him, on believing Narure Him who justifies the ungodly, faith is reckoned for righteousness.
Romans Grafe all men have sinned Natue come short of the glory of Godbeing justified freely by His Ans. Romans But all those who do not Inde Sari themselves to belong to the all who have sinned and fall short of the glory of Godhave of course no need to become Christiansbecause they that be whole need Graace a physician, but they that are sick; Matthew whence it is, that He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew Therefore the nature of the human racegenerated from the flesh of the one transgressor, if it is self-sufficient for fulfilling the law and for perfecting righteousness, ought to be sure of its reward, that is, of everlasting life, even if in Anf nation or at any former time faith in the blood of Christ was unknown to it.
For God is not so unjust as to defraud righteous Amd of the reward of righteousness, because there has not been announced to them the mystery of Christ's divinity and humanity, which was manifested in the flesh. Romans For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say adds he : Have they not heard? Yea, verily; their sound went out into On Nature And Grace the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Romans Before, however, all this had been Abd, before the actual preaching of the gospel On Nature And Grace the ends of all the earth — because there are some remote nations still although it is said they are very few to whom the preached gospel has not found its way — what must human nature do, On Nature And Grace what has it done — for it had either not heard that all this was to take place, or has not yet learned that it was accomplished — but believe in God who made heaven and earth, by whom also it perceived On Nature And Grace nature that it had been itself created, and lead a right life, Gracee thus accomplish His willuninstructed with any faith in the death and resurrection of Christ?
Well, if this could have been done, or can still be done, then for my part I have to say what the apostle said in regard to the law: Then Christ died Nayure vain.
Man's nature, indeed, was created at first faultless and without any sin ; but that nature of man in which every one is born from Naature, now wants the Physician, because it is not sound. But the flaw, which darkens and weakens all those natural goods, so that it has NNature of illumination and healing, it has not contracted from its blameless Creator — but from that original sinwhich it committed by free will.
For, if we are now newly created in Christ2 Corinthians we were, for all that, children of wratheven as others, Ephesians but Godwho is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sinshas quickened us Grxce with Christ, by whose grace we were saved. Ephesians Naure This gracehowever, of Christwithout which neither infants nor adults can be saved, is not rendered for any merits, but is given gratison account of which it is also called grace.
Being justified, says the apostle, freely through His blood. Romans Whence they, who are not liberated through graceeither because they are not yet able to hear, or because they are unwilling to obey ; or again because they did not receive, at the time when they were unable on account of youth to hear, that bath of regeneration, which they might have received and through which they might have been saved, are indeed justly condemned; because they are not without sineither that which they have derived from their birth, or that which they have added from their own misconduct.
For all have sinned — whether in Adam or in themselves — and come short of the glory of God. Naturre The entire mass, therefore, incurs penalty and if the deserved punishment of condemnation were rendered Twitter Teen Porn all, it would without doubt be righteously rendered. They, therefore, who are delivered therefrom by grace are called, not vessels of their own merits, but vessels of mercy.
Romans But of whose mercy, if not His who sent Christ Jesus into the world to save sinners, whom He foreknew, and aNture, and called, Nathre justified, and glorified?
Romans Now, who could be so madly nO as to fail to give ineffable thanks to the Mercy which liberates whom it would? The man who correctly appreciated the whole subject On Nature And Grace not possibly blame the justice of God in wholly condemning all men whatsoever.
If we are Grrace wise according to the Scriptureswe are not compelled to dispute against the grace of Christand to make statements attempting to show that human nature both requires no Physician, — in infants, because it is whole Anx sound; and in adults, because it is able to suffice for itself in attaining righteousness, if it will.
Adn no doubt seem to urge acute opinions on these points, but it is only word-wisdom, 1 Corinthians by which the cross of Christ is made of none effect. This, however, is not the wisdom which descends from above. James The words which follow in the apostle's statement I am unwilling to quote; for we would rather not be thought to do an injustice to our friends, whose very strong and active minds we should be sorry to see running in a perverse, instead of an upright, course.
However ardent, then, is the zeal which the author of the book you have forwarded to me entertains against those who find a defense for their sins in the infirmity of human nature ; not less, nay even much greater, should be our eagerness in preventing all attempts to render the cross of Christ of none effect.
Of none effect, however, it is rendered, if it be contended that by any other means than by Christ's own sacrament it is possible to attain to righteousness and everlasting life. This is actually done in the book to which I refer — I will not say by its Natuee wittingly, lest I should express the judgment that he ought not to be accounted even a Christianbut, as I rather believeunconsciously.
He has Natre it, no doubtwith much power; I only wish that the ability he has displayed were sound Grqce less like that which insane persons are accustomed to exhibit. For he first of all makes a distinction: It is one thing, says he, to inquire whether a thing can be, which Gracr respect to its possibility only; and another thing, whether or not it is.
This distinction, nobody doubts, is true enough; for it follows that whatever is, was able to be; but Gracee does not Nafure follow that what is able to be, also is. Our Lord, for instance, raised Lazarus; He unquestionably was able to do so. But inasmuch as He did not raise up Judas must we therefore contend that He was unable to do so?
He certainly was able, but He would not. For if He had been willing, He could have effected this too. For the Son quickens whomsoever He will. John Observe, however, what he means by this distinction, true and manifest enough in itself, and what he endeavours to make out of it. We are treating, says he, of possibility only; and to pass from this to something else, except in the case of some certain Andd, we deem to be a very serious and extraordinary process. This idea he turns over again and again, in many ways and at great length, so that no one would suppose that he was inquiring about any other point than the possibility of not committing sin.
What do you say? That it is impossible for a man to be without sin? But I do not say, he adds, that there is a man without sin ; nor do you say, that there is not Naturf man without sin. Our contention is about what is possible, and not possible; not about what is, and is not. He then enumerates certain passages of Scripture, which are usually alleged in opposition to them, and insists that they Gace nothing to do with the question, which is really in dispute, Bi Orgie Porno to the possibility or impossibility of a man's being without sin.
This is what Naturd says: No man indeed is clean from pollution; and, There is no man that sins not; and, There is not a just man Grxce the earth; and, There is none that does good. There Gracw these and similar passages in Scripture, says he, but they testify to the point of not being, not of not being able; for by testimonies of this sort it is Naturw what kind of persons certain men were at such and such a time, not that they were unable to be something else.
Whence they are justly found to be blameworthy. If, however, they had been of such a Ane, simply because they Nautre unable to be anything else, they are free from On Nature And Grace. See what he has said. I, however, affirm that an infant born in a place where it was not possible for him to be admitted to the baptism of Christand being overtaken by death, was placed in such circumstances, that is to say, died without the bath of regeneration, because it was not possible for him to be otherwise.
He would therefore absolve him, and, in spite of the Lord's sentence, open to him the kingdom of heaven. The apostle, however, does not absolve him, when he says: By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; Grqce which death passed upon all menfor that all have sinned. Romans Rightly, therefore, Gracd virtue of that condemnation which runs throughout the mass, is he not admitted into the kingdom Oj heavenalthough he was not Grzce not a Christianbut was unable to become one.
But they say: He is not condemned; because the statement that all sinned in Adam, was not made because of the sin which is derived from one's birth, but because of imitation of him. If, therefore, Adam is said to be the author of all the sins which followed his own, because he was the first sinner of the human racethen how is it that Abel, rather than Christ, is not placed at the head of all the righteous, because he was the first righteous man?
But I am not speaking of the case of an Naature. I take the instance Gracs a young man, or an old man, who has died in a region where he could not hear of the name of Christ. Well, could such a man have become righteous by nature and free will ; or could he not? If they contend that he could, then see what it is to render the cross Nwture Christ of none effect, 1 Corinthians to contend that Grae man without it, can be justified by the law of nature and the power of his will.
We may here also say, then is Christ dead in vain Galatians forasmuch as La Matrice Film might Oh so much as this, even if He had never died; and if they should be unrighteous, they would be so because they wished to be, not because they were unable to be righteous.
But even though a man could not be justified at all without the grace of Natuehe would absolve him, if he dared, in accordance with his words, to the effect that, if a man were of such a character, because he could not possibly have been of any Nsture, he would be free from all blame. He then starts an Grcae to his own position, as if, indeed, another person had Adn it, and says: 'A man,' you will say, 'may possibly be [without sin ]; but it is by the grace of God.
For to Annd, 'A man may possibly, but by this or by that,' is in fact nothing else than not only to assent to its possibility, but also to show the mode and condition of its possibility. Nobody, therefore, gives a better assent to the possibility of anything than Anv man who allows the condition thereof; because, without the thing itself, it is not possible for a condition to be.
After this he raises another objection against. He forgot that he was now answering one who does not deny the thing, Naure whose objection he had just before set forth in these words: A man may possibly be [without sin ]; but it is by the grace of God.
How then does that man deny the possibility, in defense of which his opponent earnestly contends, when he makes the admission to that opponent that the thing is possible, but only by the grace of God? That, however, after he is dismissed who already acknowledges the essential thing, he still has a question against those who maintain the impossibility of a man's being without sinwhat is it Ans us?
He says, indeed: Whether he confesses it to be by graceor by aid, or by mercy, whatever that be by which a man can be without sin — every one acknowledges the thing itself. I confess to your lovethat when I read Abd words I was filled with a sudden joybecause he did not deny the grace of God by which alone a man can Gracs justified; for it is this which I mainly detest and dread in discussions of this kind.
But when I went on to read the rest, I began to have my suspicions, first of all, from the similes he employs. For Ans says: If I were to say, man is able to O a bird is able to fly; a hare is able to run; without mentioning at the same time the instruments by which these acts can be accomplished — that is, the tongue, the wings, and the legs; should I then have denied the conditions of the various offices, when I acknowledged the very offices themselves?
He has not here posited any such thing as we wish to have understood by gracewithout which no man is justified; for this is a topic which Amd concerned about the cure, not the constitution, of natural functions.
Entertaining, then, some apprehensions, I proceeded to read all the rest, and I soon found that GGrace suspicions had not been unfounded. But before I proceed further, see what he has said. When treating the question El Tiempo En Ibiza 14 Dias the difference of sinsand starting as an objection to himself, what certain persons allege, that some sins are light by their very frequency, their constant irruption making it impossible that they should be all of them avoided; he thereupon denied that it was proper that they should be censured even as light offenses, if they cannot possibly be wholly avoided.
He of course does not notice the Scriptures of the New Testamentwherein we learn that the intention of On Nature And Grace law in its censure is this, that, by reason of the transgressions which men commit, they may flee for refuge to the grace of the Lord, who On Nature And Grace pity upon them — the schoolmaster Galatians shutting them up unto the same faith which should afterwards be revealed; Galatians that by it their transgressions may be forgiven, and then not again be committed, by God's assisting grace.
The road indeed belongs to all who are progressing in it; although it is they who make a good advance that are called perfect travellers. That, however, is the Jana Ina Playboy of perfection which admits of no addition, when the goal to which men tend has begun to be possessed. But the truth is, the question which is proposed to him — Are you even yourself without sin? What, however, he says — that it is rather to be imputed to his own negligence that he is not without sinis no doubt well spoken; but then he should deem it to be his duty even to pray to God that this faulty negligence get not the dominion over him Furry Henati the prayer that a Frogwoman man once Ginger Gay Tumblr up, when he said: Order my steps according to Your word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me, — lest, while relying on his own diligence as on strength of his On Nature And Grace, he should fail to attain to the true righteousness either by this way, or by that other method in which, no doubtperfect righteousness is to be desired and hoped for.
That, too, which is said to him, that it is nowhere written in so many Nautre, A man can be without Natruehe easily refutes thus: That the question here is not in what precise words each doctrinal statement is made.
It can be both without being merely the latter. Although Aquinas rejects the ontological argument, his argument from the existence of things to the reality of God as their first cause depends on its underlying import.
For he maintain that although the first cause can be known to exist, its essence cannot be known; and as Aquinas himself quotes from Aristotle in 22ae, Q. If they were, they could readily be answered by anyone who has paid attention to Hume, since the mere fact that a thing exists does not imply that it requires a cause at all. No inference to a first cause is possible if a thing is initially apprehended merely as an existent.
But things are not so apprehended according to Aquinas. The wording of Q. There Aristotle maintains that the actuality of that which has the power of causing motion is identical with the actuality of that which can be moved.
That is to say, when one thing is moved by another, this is a single, unified occurrence. The moving and the being moved are the same event, just as the interval between one and two is the same interval whichever way we read it, and just as a steep ascent and a steep 27 descent are the same thing, from whichever end we choose to describe it.
Thus for Aquinas, anything which exists, or which is moved, is seen as continuous with its creation, or with its being moved, by God who is the first cause. This is the reason why he can affirm, as he does in S. Contra Gentiles II, ch. Accordingly, when we contemplate any existing thing, the causal divine act of creation is actually present in the situation which we contemplate, and Aquinas would say that the fault is our own if we cannot perceive it.
One may of course plead the inability to see. This, however, is invariably the case with any argument which makes any genuine advance, since in all progressive arguments the distinction between datum and conclusion is artificial. The evidence with which we start, to which we assign the logical status of a datum, is bound to transcend its original boundaries by the time we have finished, and to acquire a deeper significance as it is understood in the conclusion.
When it is claimed that the evidence is properly what the conclusion shows it to be, we cannot refute the claim merely by pointing out that this is different from the original conception of it. That is all we do if we reply that a mere existence does not imply God as its cause, which is no answer to one who seeks to open our eyes to see that it does. The reader may find the reasoning of Q. To say so, however, would be to miss the point of it.
Like all great thinkers, Aquinas was thoroughly aware of the extent to which the mechanism of thinking gets in the way of truth. Thought is like a prism which breaks up the light which it receives, creating false distinctions and relations which have no counterpart in the reality which it seeks to understand. The distinctions between form and matter, essence and underlying subject, essence and existence, substance and attribute, genus and difference, belong to thought only, not to the nature of God.
There is consequently no possibility of proving divine existence by arguing from them. But although Aquinas applies this consideration to the appreciation of the divine, he does not apparently maintain, as do some later thinkers, that it falsifies our knowledge of created things, which he regards as 28 genuinely composite in their own nature.
Indeed, it is because our knowledge of God to a degree depends on the experience of composites that it is bound to remain inadequate. This question should be compared directly with 22ae, Q. It is this that makes possible the celebrated analogia entis , whereby the divine nature is known by analogy from existing things, and not only by analogy based on the memory, intellect, and will of man, as Augustine had maintained.
It is a fundamental principle of Aquinas that every agent acts to the producing of its own likeness. Every creature must accordingly resemble God at least in the inadequate way in which an effect can resemble its cause. All created things resemble God in so far as they are, and are good. Names which are derived from creatures may therefore be applied to God analogously, that is, proportionately, or we may say relatively, in the manner which the passages appended to Q.
Contra Gentiles I, ch. Plotinus had maintained that anything whatever could be truly denied of the divine being, and also that whatever we affirm, we must forthwith affirm the opposite Enneads V. The principle is in keeping with the practice of the Old Testament, which repeatedly has recourse to negatives in reference to the divine.
In each of these four questions Aquinas begins by justifying the application to God of the terms employed, and then proceeds 29 to show what we ought to mean by them. Love is the first movement of the divine will whereby God seeks the good of all things.
He therefore loves all things that are. Divine providence is the reason, pre-existing in the mind of God, why things are ordained to their end, the order of providence comprising all that God provides in his governance of all things through secondary causes, which may be either necessary or contingent.
The providential order is thus the permanent condition of human life and of all existence, controlling the ultimate issue of secondary causes in such a way that the divine purpose shall inevitably be attained. Predestination is a part of providence.
Here we find a reluctance to pronounce upon certain questions which Aquinas obviously believed were not for man to investigate. The reason why God predestines some and not others, for example, lies in God himself, and is not to be looked for in human merits or in anything of the kind.
Aquinas insists, however, that the divine intention cannot be altered by the prayers of the devout, although it may be furthered by them as secondary causes, which, as part of providence, predestination permits.
Sin is thus regarded as unnatural, not as a natural opposition of man to God. Aquinas does justice to both sides of the effect of sin distinguished by Augustine as vitium , or moral damage, and reatus , or guilt, although he frequently prefers the milder term culpa in place of the latter. The distinctive contention of Aquinas is that the natural inclination to 30 virtue is never entirely destroyed by sin. If it were, human nature would be destroyed at its very root. Man would then cease to be a rational being, since it is of the very nature of a rational being to seek the good, and would consequently be incapable even of sin.
This does not mean, however, that sin cannot exclude from blessedness. Man cannot himself repair the damage of sin, nor remove the guilt of it, and mortal sin entails final rejection by God in accordance with his justice. The treatise on grace raises several points worthy of special notice.
It need not be understood as implying any self-circumscribed substitute for the regenerative and redemptive work of God himself, which is the damaging implication of any unspiritual view of grace. Any hypostatization of grace is ruled out by the very title of the first question, which makes it clear that grace is nothing less than the help of God, while the treatise itself expounds the manner in which divine grace is essential for every action of man, no less than for his redemption from sin and preparation for blessedness.
As used by Aquinas, justification means the remission of sins ; but it is the creation of a just man that he has in mind, not the circumstance of a spiritual personal relationship. It is recognized that justification is by faith and not of works, and it is quite clear that Aquinas held no brief for the notion that salvation could be merited by good works. Merit itself is entirely the result of co-operative grace.
When we say that a 31 man merits anything, we ought to mean that what God has wrought in him merits further development and consummation, since God owes it to himself to perfect and complete the work which he has begun.
The whole treatise causes one to wonder what would have happened at the time of the Reformation if Aquinas had been universally understood in the Catholic Church, and if all parties had used the same terms with the same meanings.
The Reformation would still have been inevitable, but it might have taken a different course. The four cardinal virtues of Aristotle, wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice, were sufficient to make man perfect in his intellect, feeling, will, and social relationships. The three theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, are essential for the attainment of his final end which lies in God.
Through them eternal life is begun in us. While he accepted certain points made by Abelard — in defence of the free use of reason, Aquinas nevertheless takes a thoroughly authoritarian view of the relation of faith to reason.
Abelard had maintained, especially in opposition to Anselm, that reason was of God, the ground of the Imago Dei , and consequently fitted to investigate divine things, the truth of which it could to some extent understand without their presence.
He had also insisted that some understanding of what was believed was essential for faith, mere acceptance on authority being lifeless and without moral or spiritual value, since we are no longer in the position of Abraham, to whom the Deus dixit was immediately present, and who could therefore follow the way of blind trust with profit Introductio D— This meant that the things of faith were not to be believed merely because they were revealed by God, but because their own truth convinced the believer.
He maintained further that only reason could bring men to faith Introd. Aquinas agrees with Abelard that reason can never contradict faith Pt. But he insists that the unseen things of faith are entirely beyond the reach of reason, 32 and that faith is only of things unseen. He accordingly understands the conviction and assent of faith in a very different way. Reason must be convinced not by the matter of faith itself, but by the divine authority wherewith it is proposed to us for belief.
The inward moving of God enables one to accept matters of faith on the strength of authority 22ae, Q. Human reason can remove obstacles in the way of faith 22ae, Q. The soteriological significance of belief lies in the circumstance that one must believe in the final end as possible of attainment, before one can either hope for it or strive for it. Rahner states: "Radical dependence on … [God] increases in direct, and not in inverse proportion with genuine self-coherence before him.
What Rahner takes from soteriology is the conviction that through Christ, his death and resurrection, we know that God's salvific will is universal and without bounds. That is the key to access Rahner's theology of grace. So Rahner reads Christian revelation as saying that God wants all human beings to be saved and presupposes that in his theology of grace. For Rahner that means that God's salvific will is not dependent on any conditions that human persons would have to fulfill.
This will has not even been shaken by humanity's fall into sin, it includes all human persons no matter where or when they live, and thus is independent of their religious affiliation as well. That does not mean that all humans are saved automatically, because they still can reject God's offer of salvation. It does mean that God offers salvation to each and any human person without any preconditions.
If there are people in hell, it is only because they rejected God's grace and His offer of salvation, not because God chose to withhold grace and salvation from some, as Augustine had still taught. Rahner gives biblical and systematic reasons for this interpretations. I will skip these here and simply mention that the Second Vatican Council took up this understanding, when it officially taught that all human beings, independently of their religious affiliation could be saved by God's grace.
So, let us now proceed to the way he understood that grace. Two elements will guide us here: One is Rahner's "re-discovery" of uncreated grace; the other his emphasis on the experience of grace.
Both occasions a new conception of the relationship of grace and nature, which can be summarized as his theory of the supernatural existential. Rahner's staring point in each case is a particular historic situation in theology. He comes across a great tensions of two theological positions with respect to the theology of grace. One is found in patristic theology and is also very near to Pauline thinking, the other was scholastic and was the usual way theologians thought about grace in , when Rahner for the first time published his article on uncreated grace.
For them God communicated, or one could also say, donated Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, and that self-gift is called uncreated grace: uncreated , because it is God Himself; grace because it is a free gift. Scholastic theology on the other hand focused on created grace, i.
They can be seen as gifts from God for human salvation, but they are not God Himself, therefore they are created. They are "an inner transformation of the justified person as such, hence an inner quality" 11 of him or her. From that Rahner sets himself the task as to "how the two ways of looking at things, …, may be brought into harmony". Thomas Aquinas's theology of the visio beatifica , the way the redeemed in heaven view God. For Rahner this is not a diversion, for the visio beatifica is the end for which grace is given, thus it is the highest manifestation of grace; and all grace we receive during our lives - be it created or uncreated - is given in order to wake our desire for eternal life and make us able to experience that visio beatifica.
I will try a shortcut now and give you simply the result Rahner gains from these considerations. A very fundamental distinction for Rahner is that between two types of causality God exerts onto creatures: that of creation and what Rahner calls the really supernatural workings of God in the world. He does so in the language of Thomistic scholasticism. In creation God is the efficient cause, which brings forth something that is different from Himself.
However, when God really acts supernaturally in the world as in the hypostatic union, the visio beatifica and in bestowing grace on human persons , he exerts a different kind of causality, which Rahner calls quasi-formal. Aquinas generalized these ideas and taught that any being was, what it was, by its form, or its essence. So, e. Now when Rahner takes up that language, he says that in God's supernatural workings, He Himself becomes a formal cause in the human person.
Put very simply that is the scholastic way of saying that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Rahner emphasizes, however, that by expressing that with this philosophical vocabulary it becomes clear that this is not just metaphorical or figurative speech, it is real.
And Rahner accomplishes something else with that. As I said, the first version of this article appeared in , scholastic and Thomistic terminology was a virtual must for Catholic theologians at the time.
By using this terminology in order to show that the Holy Spirit really works in human beings, Rahner opens theology up for this new path of investigation. And he opens it up by way of evolution and not by way of revolution. My colleagues in Innsbruck who preside over the Karl-Rahner-Archive and are much better than I in historically situating Rahner's thinking emphasize that quite a lot: Rahner is not an innovator in the sense of leaving the material handed down through tradition behind, he became an innovator by working in the system and opening it up from within by showing that there were paths of inquiry not seen before or that when you applied the model in a very strict way, you had to move beyond what had become common-place into new ground.
So the Rahner-scholar of today must be prepared to understand the tradition Rahner came out of and the terminology he used. Otherwise we will not be able to understand Rahner properly, or even worse, make him to say what we would like him to say. Now let us return to the quasi-formal cause. We have stated so far that God as uncreated grace really becomes the formal cause of human supernatural acts.
Rahner goes on now that we must ensure that in spite of God's becoming a formal cause in us, He still remains the completely transcendent and sovereign God and that His formal causality differs from all created formal causes we know.
Therefore the prefix quasi-. We have to use it in an analogous way, or as Aquinas said, we have to transform it in the way of a triplex via. That has to be done with God's efficient causality in creation as well: God is efficient cause, but He differs from all other efficient causes in that He does not need a material cause for creation and He can create something that is at the same time ontologically dependent on Him and yet free and - in a certain sense - autonomous.
The same now with God as a quasi-formal cause: God can become the inner principle of our supernatural acts, but can do that in such a way that His transcendence and infinity are not compromised in any way, while human supernatural acts still are our acts, and not God's. Therefore Rahner calls God a quasi-formal cause. Now, what does that mean for the reformation discussions that had not been really solved: Catholics maintained that there was merit in good works; Protestants claimed that this was justification by works Werkgerechtigkeit that would make salvation a human accomplishment rather than a gift of God's grace.
Seeing God as a quasi-formal cause for our supernatural acts in the way just mentioned, is nothing less but a solution to that problem by applying Rahner's axiom derived from Christology to it: dependence on God and autonomy in a certain sense are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually inclusive. Because God Himself is the quasi-formal cause of human supernatural acts, they are brought forth by grace, but they are nevertheless human acts; they are human accomplishments granted by God's grace.
So merit from good works is not to be construed as excluding God's grace, while God's grace does not exclude human freedom.
That is not to say that there was no thinking in terms of Werkgerechtigkeit in certain Catholic theologies ; Luther's criticism did have a legitimate target. Yet, his criticism suffered from the same problematic presuppositions, namely that God's grace and human freedom are rivals.
Rahner says they are not rivals, but sources of human salvation working in co-operation. With all that in mind, Rahner also has a solution for the problem he started with: how do uncreated and created grace go together, how can biblical-patristic and scholastic thinking be brought into union.
Rahner again uses the Aristotelian-Thomistic structure of formal cause and material cause: uncreated grace as quasi-formal cause of the supernatural acts of the graced human spirit and created graces as the material causes of these acts.
Again philosophy teaches us that when we have a being composed of matter and form, neither of these principles can actually exist without the other; it is only the composite being that exists through the principles of form and matter.
So form and matter presuppose one another or as Rahner says: "In this way the material and formal causes possess a reciprocal priority: … From this … there follows … the logical justification for inferring the presence of one reality from that of the other.
At the same time Rahner systematically distinguishes the order of creation and that of salvation, or we could say he distinguishes between nature and grace on a theoretical level. The differentia specifica is just the kind of causality God exerts in each case: "By His creative efficient causality which is of course of a unique and divine nature God constitutes the absolute other from Himself. By what we call incarnation, grace and glory, God does not create something other from Himself ex nihilo sui et subjecti, but He communicates Himself to the creature that already has been constituted.
We will, however, see very soon that this distinction indeed is on a theoretical level only. I will now turn to Rahner's essay Concerning the Relationship between Nature and Grace 16 , which was first published in and again stands at a very interesting junction of two threads of theological thinking.
The prevalent Jesuit theology of grace at the time ruled out that human persons could actually experience grace, because it supposed we could only experience what pertains to our nature.
Since grace is superadded to nature, it cannot be experienced. For, in that case, supernatural grace does not complement human nature, but comes to it as something alien and disturbing, and people cannot know about it unless by verbal revelation. If that revelation, however, finds no corresponding ground in human experience, there is not much difference between verbal revelation and verbal indoctrination: You have to accept what is said without any supporting evidential experience.
Once again reaching back to Aquinas, Rahner stipulates that supernatural grace constitutes a formal object or a horizon for the human intellect and will, a horizon that is the precondition for the cognition of any particular object of human insight. So, it conditions every conscious human experience and in doing so it is conscious itself, Rahner says.
However, it is not directly conscious: if I ask a person, if they experience that graced horizon, they may well truthfully answer no. But, Rahner argues, they still make this experience indirectly or unthematically, when they experience the world. This horizon is not in itself an object of experience, but it is experienced in that it shapes the experience of all objects. You may notice that what Rahner calls here indirectly or unthematically conscious would be called unconscious in our everyday language, which has, I suppose, been influenced quite a lot by Freudian terminology.
And Rahner insists on grace's being at least indirectly conscious. We call these light. There are waves with higher of lower frequencies and therefore we cannot see them, though for example bees can also see ultra-violet rays.
Now in scholastic terminology we could say: The human eye's formal object is limited to the range between 0. The formal object therefore determines what entities can become direct or material objects.
You can see from that example, what a formal object is, and you can also see that the formal object of the human eye is definitely finite. Aquinas and Rahner suppose that the formal object of the human spirit, of our intellect and will, is infinite. That means: Nothing exists that is principally outside the realm of human cognition. As a consequence, our intellect and will, the way we experience ourselves, the world and God, has been transformed by grace, and thus we can and do experience - though only indirectly - grace itself, or we could just as well say: God Himself.
That way grace is the a priori horizon that shapes human experience, and can be experienced itself. It is, however experienced unthematically, and that is why someone might truthfully answer no, when asked about their experience of grace; why human persons may have an experience of God without reflexively knowing that they do; why the experience of God is not conditioned on any particular outward profession of faith; why, in the end, people may be saved by God independently of their religious affiliation, because they might be - as Rahner coined the term - "anonymous" Christians, that is: they nor only experience God's offer of grace unthematically, they also accepted it unthematically.
Grace is therefore in the first place experienced unthematically and further effort has to be made to make that experience thematic. Rahner emphasizes "that the possibility of experiencing grace and the possibility of experiencing grace as grace are not the same thing" So, one might experience grace without realizing that it is grace.
I think this last point is very important. In the German-speaking countries a debate is currently going on, whether today's models of religious experience have not forgotten that God sometimes breaks into our world as alien and foreign and challenges humans to move out of our lazy and comfortable coziness.
Many people who agree with that position criticize Rahner's theology of grace for bringing forth this unbiblical attitude. And it is true that Rahner wanted grace to be seen as something not alien to us.
However, he distinguished very well between something being alien to us and something being perceived as alien by us. And Rahner challenges us that eventually anything that comes from the God, who created us, cannot be alien to us, but is complements our nature and that at a deeper, indirect, level of experience, we also perceive that.
But on the direct and oftentimes superficial level of experience we might well have the impression that certain impulses are alien on us, while in fact they come from God in order to convert us, to turn us around. So, if the strangeness with which God's impulses sometimes enter our lives has been forgotten and suppressed in a lot of modern theology - be it as it may -, the blame for that should not be laid at Rahner's feet, but rather at too simplistic adaptations of his quite complicated and nuanced theology.
If God offers grace to every human person because of His universal salvific will, and if grace forms an a priori horizon for the human spirit, this can also be called a transcendental horizon. Rahner uses the term "transcendental" very often and with a certain liberty, combining different meanings it has. Since such a horizon is indirectly experienced, and since it is transcendental, Rahner also says that it is perceived by a transcendental experience: this experience permeates all of human experience, it draws us toward the transcendent God, and, Rahner says, it can be analyzed and its existence proved by the transcendental method.
Unfortunately I do not have the time to explain transcendental method in detail.
On Nature and Grace : Schaff, Dr Philip, Warfield ...
On Nature and Grace : Schaff, Dr Philip, Warfield, Benjamin Breckinridge, Rev: Amazon.com.mx: LibrosReviews: 1
In fact, de Lubac insists, man as he is concretely constituted has an innate and unconditional desire for supernatural union with God.1 This desire marks concrete human nature as such; it is not the of actual or habitual graces. Consequently, concrete man can achieve no genuine rest in a purely natural end. 07/10/ · Now by nature we are “children of anger” (Eph ), but in Christ we are a new creature. The grace we receive in Christ is not based on our merits, but is a free gift. Those who do not receive the bath of regeneration do not receive this grace and are therefore still condemned by either that which they contracted from original sin or that which they have added to it by their evil lives. Feb 19, · Nature loves to enjoy rare and beautiful things, and hates the cheap and clumsy. Grace takes pleasure in simple and humble things, neither despising the rough, nor refusing to wear the old and ragged. Nature pays regard to temporal affairs, takes pleasure in this world’s wealth, grieves at any loss, and is angered by a slighting remark.
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