Comment Blog

Pope Leo XIII:  Aeterni Patris

Fundamental elements:

            a. argues clearly, simply

            b. the great issue of faith or reason:  natural reason is important, but not sufficient for salvation;

            humans can only know the supernatural through revelation


Human reason is autonomous in its realm

In divine mystery … nihil est in intellectu, nisi prius fuerit in sensu.

The intellect perceives nothing that has not first been perceived by the senses.


Quicquid recipitur, secundum modum recipientis recipitur.

Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of being of the receiver.


“There is only one truth, but there are realms of truth to which the unaided human mind cannot attain; there is only one truth, and we can recognize it when we see it; it is therefore not possible for a man to have faith and have natural certainty about one and the same proposition, still less can faith and nature certainty be in opposition.  Moreover, all being and therefore all truth comes from a single source; there is therefore an order and harmony in all the parts.  In the celebrated and characteristic phrase of Aquinas:  ‘Grace does not destroy nature; it perfects her.’  Gratia non tollit sed perficit naturam. (Summa I8)”  David Knowles


Nothing we experience is caused into being by ourselves.  By definition, we cannot be the cause of what we experience, so we experience things caused beyond us.


Existence brings potency of an essence into act, but is itself limited by that potency.


Potency and act


Agere sequitur esse

Nemo dat quod non habet


First Part                     Rome

Second Part First        Paris

Second Part Second    Paris

Third Part                    Naples


 total works


 38 treatises, 612 questions, 3120 articles, 10,000 proposals answered




The Essence of God

The Mystery of the Trinity (Persons)

Creation by God and Creatures Created



On God as he is in the End of Man

Human acts (morality)  Man’s End, Meaning, is to possess God done by human acts, probing nature of the human mind and heart



Virtues and vices

Virtues and vices of some humans, according to their station in life

            Faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance

Gratia gratis datae




  I. Incarnation

 II. The Sacraments

III. Eternal Life


It’s all a great circle!  Part III (Christ) circles to Part II-I (the end of Man to possess God) and how we do it (Part II-II).  That is human essence, given us by the Creator (Part I)