The Will and the Intellect: Something That Surprised Me

| | Comments (1)

Although I suppose, in fact, it should not have:

from Christian Perfection and Contemplation
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

He [St. Thomas Aquinas] tells us in substance [footnote here referring to Ia, q82, 2.3] that although one faculty may by itse very nature be superior to another, as sight is to hearing, it is possible that an act of the second may be superior to an act of the first, as the hearing of a sublime and very rare symphony is of a higher order than the sight of an ordinary color. Thus, although the intellect by its very nature (simpliciter) may be superior to the will which it directs, because it has a simpler, more absolute, more universal object, yet in certain circumstances (secundum quid) and with relation to God, the intellect in this life reamins inferior to the will; in other words, here on earth the love of God is more perfect than the knowledge of God; while it is better to know inferior things than to love them. A profound observantion on which one cannot meditate too much.

I don't know why it surprised me. As I said, I suppose it shouldn't have; however, when reading Thomists I get all twisted around and nothing seems to be sitting at the right angle any more. But all the great saints have said it. Nevertheless it is critical to note as well that one cannot love well what one does not know well. You might start in love, and love would seek to cultivate more extensive knowledge. But love, to some degree depends on knowledge and tends to grow with greater knowledge. So it isn't as though one can forego knowing God in favor of loving Him, one must do both.

Bookmark and Share


Even in loving another, particularly in romantic love, the lovers talk for hours and days telling stories, asking questions, and in general getting to know each other: love hungers for knowledge, and knowledge feeds love.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 5, 2004 12:24 PM.

Secondary Question: Then Is the Carmelite Way for Everyone? was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests 4/5/04 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll