Mr. Moffat's Comments Redux Mr.


Mr. Moffat's Comments Redux

Mr. Moffat has asked me to call him Ron, and therefore I shall from henceforth, except for my titles, etc. However, he has delivered as promised a thoughtful and thought-provoking response to an ongoing discussion--nearly all of which I agree with. Most particularly I liked:

First, I too, do not consider St. Thomas “spiritual” reading, at least in the sense that I would look, say, to the Summa Theologica as a source of inspiration for prayer or meditation. I would be much more likely to look to Scripture or something from another saint, for example, St. Francis or St. Francis de Sales or St. Augustine, or any number of other saints or spiritual writers. St. Thomas is not what I would call “spiritual” reading. But, St. Thomas, even with his 13th century knowledge of science and technology, has a great deal to say to us today concerning the nature of man and his relationship to God. These things do not change over time; truth is not a function of time. This is why I would, and do try to read St. Thomas at least from time to time.

With which I agree for the most part--although as I delineated in a previous post, I have a broad view of what constitutes "Spiritual Reading," and so I probably do think the Summa falls within that realm, although I have a lot of sympathies with the viewpoint expressed here.

I think he has largely restated what I have intended in almost every particular. I do not think we differ so much--however, I am perhaps just a bit more timid, but take refuge in another clause: "As I have said in other posts, to seek the truth is to seek Christ, to deny truth is to deny Christ. To the extent that there is truth in St. Thomas, and to the extent that we are able and so inclined, we should read St. Thomas. " Able and inclined--perhaps part of my reaction is that I am not so inclined--that lack of inclination the blossom on the flower of pride as it were--better to pinch off the sick rose and save the plant, than to allow that bloom to open and poison the entire plant and the atmosphere around it with its sickly stench--for that is where pride will lead.

One other point of mild demurral--I do not think St. Thomas is necessarily the best place to seek the truth about humankind. While he did dissect and lay open much--there are other sources (most notably the Bible itself) that tells us much, if not all, that we really need to know of humankind. St. Thomas did not so much discover much new in the truth, as lay open for us what was already clearly present. In a sense St. Thomas's work is a demonstration and proof of the concept of "development of doctrine." And St. Thomas himself with his final words on writing makes clear the recognition that his contribution was not in the realm of innovation so much as it was in the realm of explication.

These small points aside, Mr. Moffat and I agree in words that differ. I read nothing there that was either antagonistic nor even largely at odds with what I believe and, I hope, have expressed if at too much length.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 29, 2002 8:21 AM.

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