Meeting Aquinas along the Via Negativa, Pt 3

Well my reading of Aquinas was put on hold for the past few days because I misplaced my copy (actually the university’s copy). And then I looked up and there it was on the shelf. Bizarre.

I am skipping ahead to article 7: “Can a created mind comprehend God’s essence?”

  • To begin with, Aquinas discusses the argument that proposes “that those who see the essence of God comprehend him.” (1a, 12, 7, 1)
    • Aquinas quotes Paul who speaks of his journey towards comprehending God. (cf. Phil 3.12, I Cor 9.26)
  • But this raises the question, what do we see when we comprehend God (if we can see and if we can comprehend God in his essence).
    • Augustine: “We say that something is comprehended when the whole of it is so visible that nothing of it is hidden.” (De Videndon Deum)
    • This would lead to the conclusion that to see God is to comprehend him in his totality since “nothing is hidden” because “God is altogether simple.” (1a, 12, 7, 2)
    • God is totally seen in his totality because “we shall see him just as he is.”
    • “Whoever, therefore, sees God in his essence sees him totally, and this is to comprehend.” (1a, 12, 7, 3)

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