Summary Against Modern Thought: Understanding The Trinity IV

Summary Against Modern Thought: Understanding The Trinity IV

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A blessed short and easy Chapter after 11!


1 However, since what is said of the divine Wisdom has been brought to bear on the generation of the Word, one should in consequence show that by the divine Wisdom, from whose person the words adduced came forth, the Word of God can be understood.

2 And in order to arrive at a knowledge of divine things from things human, this must be considered: One calls wisdom in a man a kind of habit by which our mind is perfected in knowledge of the highest matters, and the divine are of this kind. But, when in accord with the habit of wisdom a conception of divinity is formed in our intellect, that same conception of the intellect which is its interior word usually receives the name of wisdom. This follows that manner of speaking in which acts and effects are named by the names of the habits from which they proceed, for what is done justly is sometimes called justice, and what is done courageously is called courage, and, generally speaking, what is done virtuously is called virtue. And in this manner, that which is wisely thought out is called someone’s wisdom.

3 Now, that there is wisdom in God must certainly be said by reason of the fact that God knows Himself; but, since He does not know Himself by any species except His own essence, in fact, His very act of understanding is His essence, the wisdom of God cannot be a habit, but is God’s very essence. But from what has been said, this is clear: The Son of God is the Word and conception of God understanding Himself. It follows, then, that the same Word of God, as wisely conceived by the divine mind, is properly said to be “conceived or begotten Wisdom”; and so the Apostle calls Christ: “the Wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24).

4 But the very word of wisdom conceived in the mind is a kind of manifestation of the wisdom of the one who understands, just as in our case all habits are manifested by their acts. Since, then, the divine Wisdom is called light (for it consists in the pure act of cognition, and the manifestation of light is the brightness proceeding therefrom) the Word of divine Wisdom is named “the brightness of light.” Thus the Apostle speaks of the Son of God: “Who being the brightness of His glory” (Heb. 1:3). Hence, also, the Son ascribes to Himself the manifestation of the Father. He says in John (17:6): “Father, I have manifested your name to men.”

5 But note: Although the Son who is the Word of God is properly called “conceived Wisdom,” the name of “wisdom” must, nonetheless, when taken absolutely, be common to the Father and the Son; since the wisdom resplendent by the Word is the Father’s essence, as was said; but the Father’s essence is common to Him and to the Son.

Notes The reader might have wondered why this series of Chapters is entitled the Trinity when the Holy Ghost has not yet been mentioned. That’s coming!


  1. C-Marie

    Well written, St. Thomas Aquinas!

    Regarding Wisdom of the Book of Wisdom, In that Book, Wisdom is personnified and is called female, and, from my belief, much is wrongly stated in that book as compared to what Jesus taught. I think that the Book of Wisdom, along with the Song of Songs, ought not to have been included in our Bible.

    Anyway, God bless us all and keep is on His straight and narrow with Christ, our Lord, our God, our Saviour.

  2. Dean Ericson

    Bring on the Holy Ghost.

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