Possessed Priest and Valid Sacraments
#51
(09-28-2011, 09:41 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: Free will must--absolutely must--co-operate with God's grace by freely corresponding to goodness in order to enjoy the Beatific Vision. If you deny this, you undermine everything we know about God, His goodness, the whole purpose we are here in the first place, and Christianity itself.

This includes the angels.

God does not just make things appear and then force them to be in His presence. Such an act is not to create rational beings; it is to create robots.

Love is a choice. Creating beings that don't choose to love you but are forced to do so anyway can't really be said to love. Yet God is all love. So, in order to be united to God, who is perfect love, a rational being must first be able to choose to love by co-operating with the grace of God. One cannot be intimately united to God's perfect love if one doesn't have perfect love in the first place.

The Beatific Vision is perfect love. One can't enjoy it unless one has freely chosen to do so. It makes absolutely know sense to claim otherwise because perfect love involves having the capacity to freely choose to love. Even God Himself chooses to love mankind. 

The angels freely chose to love when they chose to serve man. Those who chose not to serve God were not forced to do so, and so they lost the opportunity to see God.

To claim that God just makes a tree and then forces it to love Him and then putting it in His presence undermines everything we know about love.

Love is not a feeling; it is a choice. 

This is all a non sequitur.  But, be that as it may, if an unbaptized infant can't make a choice to love God, then neither can a baptized infant.  If a baby dies 5 minutes after he is baptized, he goes to heaven.  Why?  Has he made a choice to choose God?  No.  Does he have the capacity to freely choose and love God?  No, none at all.  And yet we would unanimously say the child went to heaven.  So perhaps what I should say is that scholasticism run-amock is what happens when someone gets so focused on the logic that they completely forget to consider common sense.
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#52
(09-28-2011, 11:35 PM)Melkite Wrote: This is all a non sequitur.  But, be that as it may, if an unbaptized infant can't make a choice to love God, then neither can a baptized infant.  If a baby dies 5 minutes after he is baptized, he goes to heaven.  Why?  Has he made a choice to choose God?  No.  Does he have the capacity to freely choose and love God?   No, none at all.  And yet we would unanimously say the child went to heaven.  So perhaps what I should say is that scholasticism run-amock is what happens when someone gets so focused on the logic that they completely forget to consider common sense.

It's not just scholasticism though... you don't seem to understand that.

This isn't just post-12th century Latin theology, the early Eastern fathers came to the same conclusion.
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#53
(09-29-2011, 01:15 AM)K3vinhood Wrote:
(09-28-2011, 11:35 PM)Melkite Wrote: This is all a non sequitur.  But, be that as it may, if an unbaptized infant can't make a choice to love God, then neither can a baptized infant.  If a baby dies 5 minutes after he is baptized, he goes to heaven.  Why?  Has he made a choice to choose God?  No.  Does he have the capacity to freely choose and love God?   No, none at all.  And yet we would unanimously say the child went to heaven.  So perhaps what I should say is that scholasticism run-amock is what happens when someone gets so focused on the logic that they completely forget to consider common sense.

It's not just scholasticism though... you don't seem to understand that.

This isn't just post-12th century Latin theology, the early Eastern fathers came to the same conclusion.

The Syriacs thought the Greeks were too scholastic.  The Early Eastern fathers came to the conclusion that unbaptized babies couldn't go to heaven.  The Eastern Fathers, as far as I know, correct me if you know otherwise, however did NOT conclude that it was because infants have to make a choice to love and follow God, so that they could merit heaven, because baptized babies DO go to heaven, and also have had no capacity to choose to love and follow God for themselves.  It is the idea that limbo must exist because infants don't have the capacity to merit heaven that I was saying was too scholastic, at least in my last post, and that idea is held solely by the Latins.
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#54
(09-28-2011, 11:35 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(09-28-2011, 09:41 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: Free will must--absolutely must--co-operate with God's grace by freely corresponding to goodness in order to enjoy the Beatific Vision. If you deny this, you undermine everything we know about God, His goodness, the whole purpose we are here in the first place, and Christianity itself.

This includes the angels.

God does not just make things appear and then force them to be in His presence. Such an act is not to create rational beings; it is to create robots.

Love is a choice. Creating beings that don't choose to love you but are forced to do so anyway can't really be said to love. Yet God is all love. So, in order to be united to God, who is perfect love, a rational being must first be able to choose to love by co-operating with the grace of God. One cannot be intimately united to God's perfect love if one doesn't have perfect love in the first place.

The Beatific Vision is perfect love. One can't enjoy it unless one has freely chosen to do so. It makes absolutely know sense to claim otherwise because perfect love involves having the capacity to freely choose to love. Even God Himself chooses to love mankind. 

The angels freely chose to love when they chose to serve man. Those who chose not to serve God were not forced to do so, and so they lost the opportunity to see God.

To claim that God just makes a tree and then forces it to love Him and then putting it in His presence undermines everything we know about love.

Love is not a feeling; it is a choice. 

This is all a non sequitur.

Please explain. I don't see how it doesn't follow from the discussion.

Quote:  But, be that as it may, if an unbaptized infant can't make a choice to love God, then neither can a baptized infant.  If a baby dies 5 minutes after he is baptized, he goes to heaven.  Why?  Has he made a choice to choose God?  No.  Does he have the capacity to freely choose and love God?   No, none at all.  And yet we would unanimously say the child went to heaven.  So perhaps what I should say is that scholasticism run-amock is what happens when someone gets so focused on the logic that they completely forget to consider common sense.

No, you are so quick to criticize scholasticism that you aren't interested in being objective. You have already made your decision, as your comment makes clear.

I have discussed these issues with you before, but you always return to argue from your conclusion: that scholasticism is the problem. You already answered your own question with an attack on scholasticism, which shows me you are not interested in a response.

If you are going to be objective and ask questions with a sincere desire to understand and not simply argue, then I will try to help. But since you seem insistent on making up your own mind regardless of what answers are provided, I don't have the free time to waste.

Please approach the manner in an honest, truth-seeking way if you are truly honest and truth-seeking.  
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#55
(09-29-2011, 07:09 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: No, you are so quick to criticize scholasticism that you aren't interested in being objective. You have already made your decision, as your comment makes clear.

I have discussed these issues with you before, but you always return to argue from your conclusion: that scholasticism is the problem. You already answered your own question with an attack on scholasticism, which shows me you are not interested in a response.

If you are going to be objective and ask questions with a sincere desire to understand and not simply argue, then I will try to help. But since you seem insistent on making up your own mind regardless of what answers are provided, I don't have the free time to waste.

Please approach the manner in an honest, truth-seeking way if you are truly honest and truth-seeking.  

I'm sorry you got that impression.  I haven't already come to my conclusion.  From my perspective, if all I had was a pre-conceived notion, I wouldn't have bothered to come to unbaptized vs. baptized babies question.
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#56
(09-29-2011, 07:12 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(09-29-2011, 07:09 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: No, you are so quick to criticize scholasticism that you aren't interested in being objective. You have already made your decision, as your comment makes clear.

I have discussed these issues with you before, but you always return to argue from your conclusion: that scholasticism is the problem. You already answered your own question with an attack on scholasticism, which shows me you are not interested in a response.

If you are going to be objective and ask questions with a sincere desire to understand and not simply argue, then I will try to help. But since you seem insistent on making up your own mind regardless of what answers are provided, I don't have the free time to waste.

Please approach the manner in an honest, truth-seeking way if you are truly honest and truth-seeking.  

I'm sorry you got that impression.  I haven't already come to my conclusion.  From my perspective, if all I had was a pre-conceived notion, I wouldn't have bothered to come to unbaptized vs. baptized babies question.

Yes, I got that impression because of what you said. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but I think you'll agree that it is reasonable for me to get the impression that I did from what you said. You asked a few questions and the answered them yourself:
Quote:Why?  Has he made a choice to choose God?  No.  Does he have the capacity to freely choose and love God?   No, none at all.  And yet we would unanimously say the child went to heaven.  So perhaps what I should say is that scholasticism run-amock is what happens when someone gets so focused on the logic that they completely forget to consider common sense.

You the concluded that logic excludes common sense (we won't get into the contradictions involved in saying that), so I understood that to mean that you had already decided that logic wouldn't convince you because, even if I presented rock-solid logic, you would contend that it forsakes common sense. So I decided not to waste the time.

If what you said is not actually what you meant, however, then that is a relief. But the answer to your objection comes down to a whole set of differences between the Scholastic and the Mystic. In order to understand the answer, it means that you have to accept (or at least understand) the Thomistic view of grace, predestination, Original Sin, fallen human nature, freedom, and free will.

These Thomistic views are the same ones you have already strongly and repeatedly rejected. I think this is primarily so because of the difficulty in understanding them from the subjective lens of humanity. But based on your objections to these concepts in the past (and your unwillingness to consider that they make sense), there is no reason to think that you will accept the Thomistic answer, which requires that you first have a thorough appreciation for the Thomistic approach to those concepts.

This is why I don't think that an answer to your question is going to help you at this point in your view of Scholasticism.

For the record, I would like you to take note of the fact that, though Latins criticize Easterners on this forum, you don't see Latin Catholics going around poking fun at, ridiculing, or mocking Mysticism. I, for one, do not. I do not do this because I respect it as being an authentically Catholic system which, though I believe it suffers from many pitfalls, has nevertheless produced saints as well. I only ask that you Scholasticism the same respect and only ask questions about it if you are sincerely interested in understanding why the Church has adopted Scholasticism as Her own, and why God Himself praised the system. It does not fear contradiction; it is not afraid to approach these deep theological questions; it is prepared to accept whatever conclusion it may reach. With such rigid logic, it seems only inevitable that it would, at some time, meet a contradiction. Interestingly enough, however, it does not, and this is what makes Scholasticism so fascinating. It does not fear rigid logic, and it does not fear to search for the truth no matter what the consequence. It does not shy away from difficult theological questions that the world might mock.

The fundamental difference between the systems, I would say, is in their perspectives: the Thomist attempts to view reality from the mind of Creator--the objective perspective; the Mystic, by contrast, views reality from the mind of the creature--the subjective perspective. How God views us and how we view God is one the primary differences between the systems. They both have their time and place, and they both have produced saints. Nevertheless, they both come from such different perspectives that it is difficult to avoid all controversy between them. The objective perspective is difficult to understand from the eyes of someone who is viewing reality through His own perspective. Similarly, the Thomist struggles to understand how true knowledge of God and His ways--as mysterious as they are--can be reached through the lens of fallen human nature, which is so imbued with selfishness that it runs the risk of subjecting God to its own wishes and desires. Reality isn't always how it seems to us, so there is naturally going to be a strain when one views the objectivity of God through a subjective lens.

If you do not choose to embrace the system, that is fine. You can be perfectly Catholic and not be a Thomist. Nevertheless, I think that it deserves a little more respect; its re-conciliatory approach has converted countless proud atheists and intellectuals who scoff at the vagueness and imprecision of Mysticism.
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#57
(09-29-2011, 07:13 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: You the concluded that logic excludes common sense (we won't get into the contradictions involved in saying that), so I understood that to mean that you had already decided that logic wouldn't convince you because, even if I presented rock-solid logic, you would contend that it forsakes common sense. So I decided not to waste the time.

If what you said is not actually what you meant, however, then that is a relief. But the answer to your objection comes down to a whole set of differences between the Scholastic and the Mystic. In order to understand the answer, it means that you have to accept (or at least understand) the Thomistic view of grace, predestination, Original Sin, fallen human nature, freedom, and free will.

These Thomistic views are the same ones you have already strongly and repeatedly rejected. I think this is primarily so because of the difficulty in understanding them from the subjective lens of humanity. But based on your objections to these concepts in the past (and your unwillingness to consider that they make sense), there is no reason to think that you will accept the Thomistic answer, which requires that you first have a thorough appreciation for the Thomistic approach to those concepts.

This is why I don't think that an answer to your question is going to help you at this point in your view of Scholasticism.

For the record, I would like you to take note of the fact that, though Latins criticize Easterners on this forum, you don't see Latin Catholics going around poking fun at, ridiculing, or mocking Mysticism. I, for one, do not. I do not do this because I respect it as being an authentically Catholic system which, though I believe it suffers from many pitfalls, has nevertheless produced saints as well. I only ask that you Scholasticism the same respect and only ask questions about it if you are sincerely interested in understanding why the Church has adopted Scholasticism as Her own, and why God Himself praised the system. It does not fear contradiction; it is not afraid to approach these deep theological questions; it is prepared to accept whatever conclusion it may reach. With such rigid logic, it seems only inevitable that it would, at some time, meet a contradiction. Interestingly enough, however, it does not, and this is what makes Scholasticism so fascinating. It does not fear rigid logic, and it does not fear to search for the truth no matter what the consequence. It does not shy away from difficult theological questions that the world might mock.

The fundamental difference between the systems, I would say, is in their perspectives: the Thomist attempts to view reality from the mind of Creator--the objective perspective; the Mystic, by contrast, views reality from the mind of the creature--the subjective perspective. How God views us and how we view God is one the primary differences between the systems. They both have their time and place, and they both have produced saints. Nevertheless, they both come from such different perspectives that it is difficult to avoid all controversy between them. The objective perspective is difficult to understand from the eyes of someone who is viewing reality through His own perspective. Similarly, the Thomist struggles to understand how true knowledge of God and His ways--as mysterious as they are--can be reached through the lens of fallen human nature, which is so imbued with selfishness that it runs the risk of subjecting God to its own wishes and desires. Reality isn't always how it seems to us, so there is naturally going to be a strain when one views the objectivity of God through a subjective lens.

If you do not choose to embrace the system, that is fine. You can be perfectly Catholic and not be a Thomist. Nevertheless, I think that it deserves a little more respect; its re-conciliatory approach has converted countless proud atheists and intellectuals who scoff at the vagueness and imprecision of Mysticism.

I did say earlier that scholasticism is not inherently bad, but only when it is overused and stripped from mysticism.  Does that not count as respect for scholasticism, at least to a degree?  Do you not see it as possible to take Scholasticism to a degree that goes beyond what is correct?  And if so, why would it be good to respect that.  I understand what you mean about Latins not being disrespectful of mysticism, but I think that is in large part because what most Latins understand as mysticism is much watered down from what Eastern Christians see mysticism to be.  A good analogy would be the use of icons.  Latins don't disparage iconography, yet most Latins don't realize that iconography is more than just a flat picture of a saint, or a large holy card made of wood and paint.

As far as Thomism goes, is Thomism merely a subset of Scholasticism, or has the Thomist model become so thorough in the West that Thomism and Catholic Scholasticism are virtually interchangeable?  Do Latins not even consider it possible that basing all of one's theology off of one or two men might be problematic?  Why is that not a red flag for Latins.
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#58
"Baptism of Desire" would seem to fit right into the case of someone who has received invalid baptism, but is unaware of this fact and is morally certain of having in fact been baptized.
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#59
(09-29-2011, 10:46 PM)Melkite Wrote: As far as Thomism goes, is Thomism merely a subset of Scholasticism, or has the Thomist model become so thorough in the West that Thomism and Catholic Scholasticism are virtually interchangeable?  Do Latins not even consider it possible that basing all of one's theology off of one or two men might be problematic?  Why is that not a red flag for Latins.

Here's a quote of Pope St. Pius X which may be helpful.  It is from the encyclical  COMMUNIUM RERUM, which was mainly about St. Anselm of Aosta:
"Pope St.  Pius X" Wrote:Anselm laid the foundations of the true principles of philosophical and theological studies which other most learned men, the princes of scholasticism, and chief among them the Doctor of Aquin, followed, developed, illustrated and perfected to the great honor and protection of the Church

Pope St. Pius X elsewhere also says that modernists have "contempt for scholasticism".  The Church in many places teaches the importance of scholasticism and especially St. Thomas who was once taught in all seminaries (I don't know about the Eastern Rite).  The main theological principles of the Church are the same for all Rites; what the Pope says applies to all, and at least can not be held at any level of contempt.

Melkite, you also say:
(09-29-2011, 10:46 PM)Melkite Wrote: I did say earlier that scholasticism is not inherently bad, but only when it is overused and stripped from mysticism.  Does that not count as respect for scholasticism, at least to a degree?  Do you not see it as possible to take Scholasticism to a degree that goes beyond what is correct? 

Of course scholastics  may misunderstand the true principles of scholasticism, or wrongly have contempt for mysticism (and in that sense overuse scholasticism).  But will you in turn admit that "mysticism is not inherently bad, but only when it is overused and stripped from scholasticism".?

The Catholic Church has always praised scholasticism as foundational to her teachings - but this is in no way to put down mysticism.  Shouldn't scholasticism and mysticism join hands instead of being at war with each other? St. Thomas had at least one of the greatest of mystical experiences near the end of his life.

I am no expert (to put it  mildly) on either of these philosophies/views of the world, and I have not been following your discussion with INPEFESS too closely, but I hope what I am saying is at least somewhat pertinent.
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#60
(10-01-2011, 01:21 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(09-29-2011, 10:46 PM)Melkite Wrote: As far as Thomism goes, is Thomism merely a subset of Scholasticism, or has the Thomist model become so thorough in the West that Thomism and Catholic Scholasticism are virtually interchangeable?  Do Latins not even consider it possible that basing all of one's theology off of one or two men might be problematic?  Why is that not a red flag for Latins.

Here's a quote of Pope St. Pius X which may be helpful.  It is from the encyclical  COMMUNIUM RERUM, which was mainly about St. Anselm of Aosta:
"Pope St.  Pius X" Wrote:Anselm laid the foundations of the true principles of philosophical and theological studies which other most learned men, the princes of scholasticism, and chief among them the Doctor of Aquin, followed, developed, illustrated and perfected to the great honor and protection of the Church

Pope St. Pius X elsewhere also says that modernists have "contempt for scholasticism".  The Church in many places teaches the importance of scholasticism and especially St. Thomas who was once taught in all seminaries (I don't know about the Eastern Rite).  The main theological principles of the Church are the same for all Rites; what the Pope says applies to all, and at least can not be held at any level of contempt.

Melkite, you also say:
(09-29-2011, 10:46 PM)Melkite Wrote: I did say earlier that scholasticism is not inherently bad, but only when it is overused and stripped from mysticism.  Does that not count as respect for scholasticism, at least to a degree?  Do you not see it as possible to take Scholasticism to a degree that goes beyond what is correct? 

Of course scholastics  may misunderstand the true principles of scholasticism, or wrongly have contempt for mysticism (and in that sense overuse scholasticism).  But will you in turn admit that "mysticism is not inherently bad, but only when it is overused and stripped from scholasticism".?

The Catholic Church has always praised scholasticism as foundational to her teachings - but this is in no way to put down mysticism.  Shouldn't scholasticism and mysticism join hands instead of being at war with each other? St. Thomas had at least one of the greatest of mystical experiences near the end of his life.

I am no expert (to put it  mildly) on either of these philosophies/views of the world, and I have not been following your discussion with INPEFESS too closely, but I hope what I am saying is at least somewhat pertinent.

I think you answered it rather well, actually (and not nearly as verbose as would I have answered it :) ).

I am very busy and unable to provide a proper response at the present time, so thank you!
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