Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(08-05-2011, 05:14 PM)Melkite Wrote: So then, is seeing the face of God literally seeing the face of God, or is it metaphoric for comprehending God in some sense that we are incapable of comprehending now?  In the east, we have theosis, of which I'm sure you're aware, but that isn't a constant, it's ever increasing.  Is the beatific vision gaining greater clarity of God?  And is there any sesne in the beatific vision of a divine essence that is eternally unknowable?

We will never, ever, ever fully understand God in Heaven.  It is an eternal "now" and a complete lack of successsion of time.  Every "second" we will grow in knowledge (I think I heard a priest say that once) but we will never fully understand Him.  I think that is mind-shatteringly beautiful.

Fr Altier said that Christ's human nature will also never fully understand God, but of course in His divine nature He does.  Crazy, huh?  [Image: 20100108063328!Exploding-head.gif]
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Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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(08-05-2011, 08:53 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 05:14 PM)Melkite Wrote: So then, is seeing the face of God literally seeing the face of God, or is it metaphoric for comprehending God in some sense that we are incapable of comprehending now?  In the east, we have theosis, of which I'm sure you're aware, but that isn't a constant, it's ever increasing.  Is the beatific vision gaining greater clarity of God?  And is there any sesne in the beatific vision of a divine essence that is eternally unknowable?

We will never, ever, ever fully understand God in Heaven.  It is an eternal "now" and a complete lack of successsion of time.  Every "second" we will grow in knowledge (I think I heard a priest say that once) but we will never fully understand Him.  I think that is mind-shatteringly beautiful.

Fr Altier said that Christ's human nature will also never fully understand God, but of course in His divine nature He does.  Crazy, huh? 

From the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologiae (I-II, qq. 2-5), the Beatific Vision could be said to be "perceiving" perfectly the divine essence of God Himself, which is a gift granted to the intellect of man when God joins them directly to himself without any intermediary. Since, in beholding this perfect vision of Who God is, we grasp also his perfect goodness, this act of "seeing" and "perceiving" the divine essence is simultaneously a perfect act of loving God as the highest and infinite goodness. It is complete unity with Him. This is why the Beatific Vision is referred to as literally (not materially) seeing the "face of God". (Obviously, God does not have a material face, so one could not see what does not exist. Instead, we behold perfectly the divine essence, which is often likened unto the "face of God" since we cannot understand how it is possible to perceive an infinite essence.)
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(08-05-2011, 08:53 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 05:14 PM)Melkite Wrote: So then, is seeing the face of God literally seeing the face of God, or is it metaphoric for comprehending God in some sense that we are incapable of comprehending now?  In the east, we have theosis, of which I'm sure you're aware, but that isn't a constant, it's ever increasing.  Is the beatific vision gaining greater clarity of God?  And is there any sesne in the beatific vision of a divine essence that is eternally unknowable?

We will never, ever, ever fully understand God in Heaven.  It is an eternal "now" and a complete lack of successsion of time.  Every "second" we will grow in knowledge (I think I heard a priest say that once) but we will never fully understand Him.  I think that is mind-shatteringly beautiful.

Fr Altier said that Christ's human nature will also never fully understand God, but of course in His divine nature He does.  Crazy, huh?  [Image: 20100108063328!Exploding-head.gif]

That's a horrifying watermelon-like explosion.

It's even more horrifying if you consider the possibility that it is a real explosion of a human head.
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(08-05-2011, 09:14 PM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 08:53 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 05:14 PM)Melkite Wrote: So then, is seeing the face of God literally seeing the face of God, or is it metaphoric for comprehending God in some sense that we are incapable of comprehending now?  In the east, we have theosis, of which I'm sure you're aware, but that isn't a constant, it's ever increasing.  Is the beatific vision gaining greater clarity of God?  And is there any sesne in the beatific vision of a divine essence that is eternally unknowable?

We will never, ever, ever fully understand God in Heaven.  It is an eternal "now" and a complete lack of successsion of time.  Every "second" we will grow in knowledge (I think I heard a priest say that once) but we will never fully understand Him.  I think that is mind-shatteringly beautiful.

Fr Altier said that Christ's human nature will also never fully understand God, but of course in His divine nature He does.  Crazy, huh?  [Image: 20100108063328!Exploding-head.gif]

That's a horrifying watermelon-like explosion.

It's even more horrifying if you consider the possibility that it is a real explosion of a human head.


It's not real. It's from the movie Scanners.
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(08-05-2011, 05:11 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 04:59 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 03:31 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: As this relates to efficacious grace:

Efficacious grace is in many ways like the effect produced by the Beatific Vision. They are the same in that both efficacious grace and the Beatific Vision never allow one to be finally condemned or damned to hell. They are different in that one may continue to sin after having received efficacious grace, but one cannot sin after having seen the Beatific Vision. (The infinite chasm between not beholding the face of God and beholding the face of God accounts for this difference.) But even those who still sin (due to fallen human nature) while co-operating with efficacious grace will not turn from God in the end; nor will they choose to finally abandon God. This is not to say that they have forfeited the power of their free will; instead, this is to say that the effects of efficacious are irresistible to the soul created in the image and likeness of God.

I agree with you about the good angels receiving the beatific vision; thanks for the enlightening information from St. Thomas. Your explanations are excellent.

But one can receive efficacious grace once or more, and still be among the damned, if he is not in the state of Sanctifying Grace when he dies.  Unlike the grace given to angels, grace given to man does not guarantee the beatific vision at the end. Grace is to help us efficaciously to holiness in life, which will help us to heaven, but it is not a guarantee of holiness or heaven at the end.

Maybe I'm not following the usual ordering of these posts, but I'm going to copy an earlier post of mine in its entirety here. 

Note I may well be wrong in some of what I say (I certainly need to learn more about efficacious grace and a lot of things), but it is what I think now. Teach me more about efficacious grace from St. Thomas and other reliable Catholic sources if you can.

I am talking about someone who co-operates with efficacious grace, not someone who receives it but then at some point fails to co-operate with it and rejects it (like Solomon). Someone who receives efficacious grace must, by deduction, be co-operating with it when they receive it. Assuming that they continue to co-operate with it and continue receiving it, though they may still be capable of committing sin, they will be saved when they die. These are the elect.

Does that help to clarity what I mean? If not, then I will address the rest of what you have posted.

Ok,  those who die in the state of grace are the elect.  They must have been cooperating with grace at least at the end.  But they may have rejected it during their life,  and later received it  and cooperated again when their sins were forgiven (this could happen many times).  It never assures salvation until they actually die cooperating with it.

But you said first
INPEFESS Wrote:But even those who still sin (due to fallen human nature) while co-operating with efficacious grace will not turn from God in the end; nor will they choose to finally abandon God.

God knows and causes the elect not to turn from God in the end, but from our own point of view we don't see God's plans and there is no guarantee for anyone, not knowing the elect. I think we need to see things from our own point of view sometimes, and how we see one bit at a time.  Efficacious grace comes to us as we stumble through life, and we cooperate for a time and then reject it and later receive and cooperate again. A single grand infusion of some kind of grace in the elect, that makes God irresistible, may have been had by some Saints but I don't believe it it is a general experience.
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(08-05-2011, 09:46 PM)Silouan Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 09:14 PM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 08:53 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 05:14 PM)Melkite Wrote: So then, is seeing the face of God literally seeing the face of God, or is it metaphoric for comprehending God in some sense that we are incapable of comprehending now?  In the east, we have theosis, of which I'm sure you're aware, but that isn't a constant, it's ever increasing.  Is the beatific vision gaining greater clarity of God?  And is there any sesne in the beatific vision of a divine essence that is eternally unknowable?

We will never, ever, ever fully understand God in Heaven.  It is an eternal "now" and a complete lack of successsion of time.  Every "second" we will grow in knowledge (I think I heard a priest say that once) but we will never fully understand Him.  I think that is mind-shatteringly beautiful.

Fr Altier said that Christ's human nature will also never fully understand God, but of course in His divine nature He does.  Crazy, huh?  [Image: 20100108063328!Exploding-head.gif]

That's a horrifying watermelon-like explosion.

It's even more horrifying if you consider the possibility that it is a real explosion of a human head.


It's not real. It's from the movie Scanners.

Thank you, Silouan, for the explanation.  It looks so real, though.  You can see brain mass, veins, arteries, cerebral tissue, bone cranium and blood flying all over the place. 
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(08-05-2011, 08:52 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: This is why terminological precision is absolutely essential. By "literally" seeing God I do not mean "materially". I considered the possibility that Melkite meant "materially" seeing the face of God, but since he said "literally" and not "materially" I responded according to what he actually said and not what he might have meant. If by "literally" he was thinking "materially", then my answer would change.

I hadn't thought about that difference, but now that you mention it, I think I was thinking more materially.
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(08-05-2011, 11:29 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 05:11 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 04:59 PM)Doce Me Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 03:31 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: As this relates to efficacious grace:

Efficacious grace is in many ways like the effect produced by the Beatific Vision. They are the same in that both efficacious grace and the Beatific Vision never allow one to be finally condemned or damned to hell. They are different in that one may continue to sin after having received efficacious grace, but one cannot sin after having seen the Beatific Vision. (The infinite chasm between not beholding the face of God and beholding the face of God accounts for this difference.) But even those who still sin (due to fallen human nature) while co-operating with efficacious grace will not turn from God in the end; nor will they choose to finally abandon God. This is not to say that they have forfeited the power of their free will; instead, this is to say that the effects of efficacious are irresistible to the soul created in the image and likeness of God.

I agree with you about the good angels receiving the beatific vision; thanks for the enlightening information from St. Thomas. Your explanations are excellent.

But one can receive efficacious grace once or more, and still be among the damned, if he is not in the state of Sanctifying Grace when he dies.  Unlike the grace given to angels, grace given to man does not guarantee the beatific vision at the end. Grace is to help us efficaciously to holiness in life, which will help us to heaven, but it is not a guarantee of holiness or heaven at the end.

Maybe I'm not following the usual ordering of these posts, but I'm going to copy an earlier post of mine in its entirety here. 

Note I may well be wrong in some of what I say (I certainly need to learn more about efficacious grace and a lot of things), but it is what I think now. Teach me more about efficacious grace from St. Thomas and other reliable Catholic sources if you can.

I am talking about someone who co-operates with efficacious grace, not someone who receives it but then at some point fails to co-operate with it and rejects it (like Solomon). Someone who receives efficacious grace must, by deduction, be co-operating with it when they receive it. Assuming that they continue to co-operate with it and continue receiving it, though they may still be capable of committing sin, they will be saved when they die. These are the elect.

Does that help to clarity what I mean? If not, then I will address the rest of what you have posted.

Ok,  those who die in the state of grace are the elect.  They must have been cooperating with grace at least at the end.  But they may have rejected it during their life,  and later received it  and cooperated again when their sins were forgiven (this could happen many times).  It never assures salvation until they actually die cooperating with it.

But you said first
INPEFESS Wrote:But even those who still sin (due to fallen human nature) while co-operating with efficacious grace will not turn from God in the end; nor will they choose to finally abandon God.

God knows and causes the elect not to turn from God in the end, but from our own point of view we don't see God's plans and there is no guarantee for anyone, not knowing the elect. I think we need to see things from our own point of view sometimes, and how we see one bit at a time.  Efficacious grace comes to us as we stumble through life, and we cooperate for a time and then reject it and later receive and cooperate again. A single grand infusion of some kind of grace in the elect, that makes God irresistible, may have been had by some Saints but I don't believe it it is a general experience.

O.K., I think I see what you're saying. I didn't mean to say that it was a single grand infusion, though I can see how this could be inferred from what I was saying. You have put it more aptly.
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GO ahead with your questions INPEFSS. The more, the merrier.
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I'd like to explain my current rough view on what it is to be among the "reprobate".  I am trying to be consistent with St. Augustine and St. Thomas (what little I know), but you can judge as to that, and teach me where I am deviating from them but especially from the truth.  I am sure I will not have all the theological terminology right, but I'm hoping to get at some general truths.

To make things simpler for now, I will consider only the elect and the reprobate among baptized Catholics. Obviously St. Thomas and St. Augustine are including all others, but even considering only Catholics the problems of predestination, grace and free-will remain.

I believe that what I am saying best matches what is called "Conditionally Passive Reprobation" (from Gregory's recent post) - as held by St. Thomas Aquinas but compatible with St. Augustine's views: In conditionally passive reprobation, God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give them grace.  He does not will their damnation, He simply chooses to pass them over because of their sinfullness.

Christ died for all men, the elect and the reprobate, as to the sufficiency of His grace.  The catechism says "God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven".  It is not God's purpose for any of us to be reprobates.  In a very real sense "God wills all to be saved" - each and every one of us.  I believe what St. Thomas teaches on this (a long quote I included in another thread), even if St. Augustine says "all" only applies to categories of men.  But "wills" does not rule out God's permission of the damnation of some.  God wills all men to do His will, but our doing evil does not take away anything from His power even though, in a certain sense, His will is not done.

I think God truly OFFERS sufficient grace for salvation to each man, even to the reprobate. But "God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give [efficaciously communicate, as opposed to just offer]" the grace to them - the grace is rejected.  God foreknows the grace will be rejected, and permits this from all eternity, and works it into His Divine plan working good out of evil.  He could stop the willing of the evil  but He chooses to permit it it

It is true that "God's foreknowing and not selecting the reprobate (to be among the elect)" means they will be damned.  But isn't that just stating the obvious?  The real cause of damnation (of God's non-selection, of the elect being few) is our sin - just as we thought before we ever considered predestination.  (God does not send non-sinners to hell)

God works efficacious grace unto salvation in some men and not others, and more for some than for others.  But He doesn't utterly refuse to offer efficacious grace sufficient for salvation to anyone.  This is not because we deserve heaven but because He loves us and died for us. (Remember we are Catholics) But God permits us to refuse.

God may offer sufficient grace only once or a few times, and then, because He knows a man would reject it,  refuse to offer it again. But I don't think Christ would die on the cross for a man and then not offer him sufficient grace at all - grace truly sufficient for heaven if the man would accept it. I think Christ suffered on the Cross for each of us because of the grace we actually are offered and refuse, not just the grace He chose not to offer.

Considering how God works GOOD in our wills  (grace and predestination of the elect) I think is more interesting, because it deals with the GOOD God does, not just the EVIL  He abhors and only permits, for purposes we do not see.
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