Philosophy

Summary Against Modern Thought: Our Minds Are Directed To God Via Our Senses

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Connatural: Connected by nature; united in nature; inborn; inherent; natural (Webster, 1913).

THAT OUR MIND IS DIRECTED TO GOD BY CERTAIN SENSE OBJECTS

1 Since it is connatural for man to receive knowledge through his senses, and since it is very difficult to transcend sensible objects, divine provision has been made for man so that a reminder of divine things might be made for him, even in the order of sensible things. The purpose of this is that the intention of man might be better recalled to divine matters, even in the case of the man whose mind is not strong enough to contemplate divine things in themselves.

Notes Not for the first time we learn all men are not equal.

2 And it was for this reason that sensible sacrifices were instituted: man offers these to God, not because God needs them, but so that man may be reminded that he ought to refer both his own being and all his possessions to God as end, and thus to the Creator, Governor, and Lord of all.

Notes Just remember: God already owns everything. A god that required sacrifices because of the thing sacrificed is not worthy of worship.

3 In fact, certain blessings using sensible things are provided for man, whereby man is washed, or anointed, or fed, or given drink, along with the expression of sensible words, so that man may be reminded through sensible things that intelligible gifts come to him from without, and from God, Whose name is expressed in sensible words.

4 So, certain sensible works are performed by man, not to stimulate God by such things, but to awaken man himself to divine matters by these actions, such as prostrations, genuflections, vocal ejaculations, and hymns. These things are done not because God needs them, for He knows all things, and His will is immutable, and the disposition of His mind does not admit of movement from a body for His own sake; rather, we do these things for our sakes, so that our attention may be directed to God by these sensible deeds and that our love may be aroused. At the same time, then, we confess by these actions that God is the author of soul and body, to Whom we offer both spiritual and bodily acts of homage.

Notes This is why singing badly is not bad; though do try to do it quietly, like Yours Truly.

5 For this reason, it is not astonishing if heretics who deny that God is the author of our body condemn such manifestations. This condemnation shows that they have not remembered that they are men when they judge that the representation of sensible objects to themselves is not necessary for inner knowledge and for love. For it is evident from experience that the soul is stimulated to an act of knowledge or of love by bodily acts. Hence, it is obvious that we may quite appropriately use even bodily things to elevate our mind to God.

Notes In which our good Saint salutes the fedora tippers.

6 Now, the cult of God is said to consist in these bodily manifestations to God. For we are said to cultivate those things to which we devote effort through our works. Indeed, we show our zeal in regard to God by our activity, not, of course, to benefit Him (as we are said to do, when we cultivate other things by our actions), but because we approach more closely to God by such acts. And since we directly tend toward God through interior acts, we therefore properly give cult to God by interior acts. Yet exterior acts also pertain to the cult of God, according as our mind is lifted up to God by such acts, as we have said.

7 Also, this cult of God is called religion, because in some way man binds himself by such acts, so that he will not wander away from God, and also because man feels that he is obligated by some sort of natural prompting to pay, in his own way, reverence to God, from Whom comes the beginning of man’s being and of all good.

8 As a consequence, too, religion takes the name piety. For piety is the means whereby we pay due honor to our parents. Hence, the fact that honor is rendered to God, the Parent of all beings, seems appropriately to be attributed to piety. And for this reason, those who are opposed to these things concerned with the cult of God are called impious.

9 And because God is not only the cause and source of our being, but also because our entire existence is within His power, and because we owe Him everything that is present in us, and as a consequence He is truly our Lord, what we offer Him in homage is called service.

10 Of course, God is not a lord in the accidental sense, as one man is over another; He is so through nature. And so, service is owed to God in one way, and to man in another, for we are accidentally subject to a man whose lordship over things is limited and also derivative from God. Hence, the service which is owed to God is technically called latria among the Greeks.

Categories: Philosophy, SAMT

3 replies »

  1. Love it! Absolute clarity!! A prayer for those who refuse this truth. Help them believe You, dear Lord God of Hosts!

    God bless, C-Marie

  2. Love it! Absolute clarity!! A prayer for those who refuse this truth. Help them believe You, dear Lord God of Hosts!

    God bless, C-Marie

    re-sending due to incorrect email on first send.

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