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Spiritual pleasures ⋙ carnal pleasures.

Started by Geremia, May 16, 2019, 08:35:48 AM

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Intellectual and especially spiritual pleasures are greater than carnal/bodily pleasures, St. Thomas shows in Ia IIae, q.31, a.5. This explains what attracts the religious to leave the world by taking vows of poverty and chastity.

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.'s Life Everlasting (pt. 1, §3 "Soul Immensity and Beatific Vision"):
QuoteFollowing St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas writes: Temporal goods appear desirable when we do not have them; but when we do have them, we see their poverty, which cannot meet our desire and which therefore produces disillusion, lassitude, and often repugnance. In spiritual goods the inverse is true. They do not seem desirable to those who do not have them and who desire especially sensible good. But the more we possess them the more we know their value and the more we love them.⁴ For the same reason, material goods, the same house, the same field, cannot belong simultaneously and integrally to many persons. Spiritual goods, on the contrary, one and the same truth, one and the same virtue, can belong simultaneously and completely to all. And the more perfectly we possess these goods, the better we can communicate them to others.⁵ This is especially true of the sovereign good. 

See also SCG III qq. 26-44, where he addresses questions like "That human felicity does not consist in pleasures of the flesh," "That ultimate felicity does not lie in the act of prudence," "That felicity does not consist in the operation of art," ending with (q. 37) "That the ultimate felicity of man consists in the contemplation of God." But he goes further, arguing "That human felicity does not consist in the knowledge of God gained through demonstration" and even that "Human felicity does not consist in the knowledge of God which is through faith"!


This topic makes me think of a difference between Thomism and Scotism, which is ultimate happiness being in the intellect vs. the will.


Quote from: Kephapaulos on May 26, 2019, 11:09:28 PMThis topic makes me think of a difference between Thomism and Scotism, which is ultimate happiness being in the intellect vs. the will.
I know Scotism holds the will, not the intellect, is primary (against Thomistic Thesis #21), but I'm not familiar with Scotus's views regarding the Beatific Vision. Could you explain? thanks


St. Alphonsus, La vera sposa di Gesù Cristo, cites S. Bernardus, epist. 111, n. 3:
Quotegustato spiritu, desipit omnis caro
"The spiritual tasted, all flesh is insipid."
[or:] "When one tastes the spiritual, all flesh becomes tasteless."


Beauty of soul
Hexameron lib. 6 cols. 271-2:
Quote from: St. AmbroseQuæ est pulchra in mulieribus, nisi anima, quæ in utroque sexu præstantiam possidet pulchritudinis?
What is beautiful in women, if not the soul, which in either sex possesses excellence in beauty?
(quoted in Krug, De pulchritudine divina p. 64)

Spiritual beauty > corporeal beauty
lib. 1 De virginib. c. 6
Quote from: St. AmbroseSolus formæ arbiter petatur Deus, qui etiam in corpore minus pulchro diligat animas pulchriores.
Let God alone be sought as the judge of loveliness, Who loves even in less beautiful bodies the more beautiful souls.
(quoted in Krug p. 67)