I met her on a dating website, and she and I are such a great match, we have so much in common, she likes me and I like her. Should I break everything off? If I do start something with her, I plan on trying to convert her. Most likely that will scare her off, but maybe she is in a state of questioning her beliefs. She may be receptive to conversion or at least learning more about the Catholic faith.
Whether you are single, dating, in a relationship, engaged or married, you will definitely relate to this conversation. In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly. Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community. The same applies to other historic sciences, as the history of dogma, of councils, of heresies, patrology, symbolics, and Christian archaeology.
Pastoral theology, which embraces liturgy, homiletics, and catechetics, proceeded from, and bears close relationship to, moral theology; its dependence on dogmatic theology needs, therefore, no further proof. The relation between dogmatic theology and philosophy deserves special attention.
To begin with, even when they treat the same subject, as God and the soul, there is a fundamental difference between the two sciences. For, as was said above, the formal principles of the two are totally different. But, this fundamental difference must not be exaggerated to the point of asserting, with the Renaissance philosophers and the Modernists, that something false in philosophy may be true in theology, and vice versa. But no less fatal would be the other extreme of identifying theology with philosophy, as was attempted by the Gnostics, later by Scotus Eriugena d.
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To counteract this bold scheme, the Vatican Council Secs. III, cap. But what is the precise relation between these sciences? The origin and dignity of revealed theology forbid us to assign to philosophy a superior or even a coordinate rank. When philosophy came into contact with revelation, this subordination was still more emphasized and was finally crystallized in the principle: Philosophia est ancilla theologiae.
But neither the Church nor the theologians who insisted on this axiom, ever intended thereby to encroach on the freedom, independence, and dignity of philosophy, to curtail its rights, or to lower it to the position of a mere slave of theology. Their mutual relations are far more honorable. Theology may be conceived as a queen, philosophy as a noble lady of the court who performs for her mistress the most worthy and valuable services, and without whose assistance the queen would be left in a very helpless and embarrassing position.
That the Church, in examining the various systems, should select the philosophy which harmonized with her own revealed doctrine and proved itself to be the only true philosophy by acknowledging a personal God, the immortality of the soul, and the moral law, was so natural and obvious that it required no apology. Such a philosophy, however, existed among the pagans of old, and was carried to an eminent degree of perfection by Aristotle.
Not only for non-Catholics, but also for Catholic laymen it may be of interest to take a brief survey of the questions and problems generally discussed in dogmatic theology. While the arguments, strictly so called, for the existence of God are given in philosophy or in apologetics, dogmatic theology insists, upon the revealed doctrine that God may be known from creation by reason alone, that is, without external revelation or internal illumination by grace.
From this it follows at once that Atheism must be branded as heresy and that Agnosticism may not plead mitigating circumstances.
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Nor can Traditionalism and Ontologism be reconciled with the dogma of the natural knowableness of God. Likewise, to assume with Descartes an inborn idea of God idea Dei innata is out of the question; consequently, the knowableness of God by mere reason, means in the last analysis that His existence can be demonstrated, as the anti-Modernist oath prescribed by Pius X expressly affirms.
But this method of arriving at a knowledge of God is toilsome; for it must proceed by way of denying imperfection in God and of ascribing to Him in higher excellence eminenter whatever perfections are found in creatures; nor does the light of revelation and of faith elevate our knowledge to an essentially higher plane. Hence all our knowledge of God on this earth implies painful deficiencies which will not be filled except by the beatific vision.
The metaphysical essence of God is generally said to be self-existence, which means, however, the fulness of being Gr. The so-called positive aseity of Prof.
Schell, meaning that God realizes and produces himself, must be as uncompromisingly rejected as the Pantheistic confusion of ens a se with the impersonal ens universale. Intermediary between these two objectionable extremes is the formal distinction of the Scotists. But the virtual distinction of the Thomists deserves preference in every regard, because it alone does not jeopardize the simplicity of the Divine Being. If self-existence is the fundamental attribute of God, both the attributes of being and of operation must proceed from it as from their root.
The first class includes infinity, simplicity, substantiality, omnipotence, immutability, eternity, and immensity; to the second category belong omniscience and the Divine will. Besides, many theologians distinguish from both these categories the so-called moral attributes: veracity, fidelity, wisdom, sanctity, bounty, beauty, mercy, and justice. For it is here that both Thomists and Molinists throw out their anchors to gain a secure hold for their respective systems of grace, the former for their praemotio physicsthe latter for their scientia media.
Being the cornerstone of the Christian religion, the doctrine of the Trinity is thoroughly and extensively discussed, all the more because the Liberal theology of the Protestants has relapsed into the ancient error of the Antitrinitarians. The combat which the Fathers waged against Monarchianism, Sabellianism, and Subordinationism Arius, Macedonius aids considerably in shedding light on the mystery. Great importance attaches to the logos-doctrine of St.
John; but as to its relation to the logos of the Stoic Neoplatonists, the Jewish Philonians, and the early Fathers, many points are still in an unsettled condition. The reason why there are three Persons is the twofold procession immanent in the Godhead: the procession of the Son from the Father by generation, and the procession of the Holy Ghost from both the Father and the Son by spiration.
In view of the Greek schism, the dogmatic justification of the addition of the Filioque in the Creed must be scientifically established.
A philosophical understanding of the dogma of the Trinity was attempted by the Fathers, especially by St. The most important result was the cognition that the Divine generation must be conceived as a spiritual procession from the intellect, and the Divine spiration as a procession from the will or from love. Active and passive generation, together with active and passive spiration, lead to the doctrine of the four relations, of which, however, only three constitute persons, to wit, active and passive generation Father, Sonand passive spiration Holy Ghost.
The reason why active spiration does not result in a distinct fourth person, is because it is one and the same common function of the Father and the Son. The philosophy of this mystery includes also the doctrine of the Divine properties, notions, appropriations, and missions. Finally, with the doctrine of circuminsession, which summarizes the whole theology of the Trinity, the treatment of this dogma is brought to a fitting conclusion. The theologian investigates both the activity itself and the work produced.
These momentous truths not only perfect and purify the theistic idea of God, they also give the death-blow to heretical Dualism God, matter and to the Protean variations of Pantheism.
As the beginning of the world supposes creation out of nothing, so its continuation supposes Divine conservation, which is nothing less than a continued creation. It enters into every action of the creature, whether necessary or free. On this question Thomists and Molinists differ widely. The former regard the Divine activity as a previous, the latter as a simultaneous, concursus. According to Molinism, it is only by conceiving the concursus as simultaneous that true freedom in the creature can be secured, and that the essential holiness of the Creator can be maintained, the fact of sin notwithstanding.
The work produced by creation is divided into three kingdoms, rising in tiers one above another: world; man; angel. To this triad correspond dogmatic cosmology, anthropology, angelology.
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In discussing the first of these, the theologian must be satisfied with general outlines, e. Anthropology is more thoroughly treated, because man, the microcosm, is the center of creation. Above all, it tells us of supernatural grace with which man was adorned and which was intended to be a permanent possession of the human race.
But original sin, the willful repudiation of the supernatural state, is one of the most important chapters.
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Its existence must be carefully proved from the sources of faith; its nature, the mode of its transmission, its effects, must be subjected to a thorough discussion. The fate of the angels runs in many respects parallel to that of mankind: the angels also were endowed with both sanctifying grace and high natural excellences; some of them rose in rebellion against God, and were thrust into hell as demons.
While the devil and his angels are inimical to the human race, the faithful angels have been appointed to exercise the office of guardians over mankind. Its three main divisions: Christology, Soteriology, Mariology, must ever remain in the closest connection.
As in Christology the leading idea is the Hypostatic Union, so here the main idea is the natural mediatorship of Christ. After having disposed of the preliminary questions concerning the possibility, opportuneness, and necessity of redemption, as well as of those regarding the predestination of Christ, the next subject to occupy our attention is the work of redemption itself.
This work reaches its climax in the vicarious satisfaction of Christ on the cross, and is crowned by His descent into limbo and His ascension into heaven. From a speculative standpoint, a thorough and comprehensive theory of satisfaction remains still a pious desideratum, though promising attempts have often been made from the days of Anselm down to the present time.
It will be necessary to blend into one noble whole the hidden elements of truth contained in the old patristic theory of ransom, the juridical conception of St. Anselm, and the ethical theory of atonement. The central position is occupied by the high-priesthood of Christ, which manifests the death on the cross as the true sacrifice of propitiation, and proves the Redeemer to be a true priest.
Mariology, or the doctrine of the Mother of God, cannot be separated either from the person or from the work of the Redeemer and therefore has the deepest connection with both Christology and Soteriology. These singular privileges are four: her Immaculate Conception, personal freedom from sin, perpetual virginity, and her bodily Assumption into heaven.
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For the three former we have doctrinal decisions of the Church, which are final. Of course, it is clear that the mediatorship of Mary is entirely subordinate to that of Her Divine Son and derives its whole efficacy and power therefrom. For the most part, dogmatic theologians prefer to treat these latter subjects under eschatology, together with the Communion of Saints.
Grace De gratua. A distinction is made between actual and sanctifying grace, according as there is question of a supernatural activity or merely the state of sanctification. But the crucial point in the whole doctrine of grace lies in the justification of the sinner, because, after all, the aim and object of actual grace is either to lay the foundation for the grace of justification when the latter is absent, or to preserve the grace of justification in the soul that already possesses it.
The three qualities of actual grace are of the utmost importance: its necessity, its gratuitousness, and its universality. But actual grace is absolutely necessary for each and every salutary act, since all such acts bear a causal relation towards the supernatural end of man. From the supernatural character of grace flows its second quality: gratuitousness. So entirely gratuitous is grace that no natural merit, no positive capability or preparation for it on the part of nature, nor even any purely natural petition, is able to move God to give us actual grace.
But the salvific will, in as far as it is consequent and deals out just retribution, is no longer universal, but particular, for the reason that only those who persevere in justice, enter heaven, whereas the wicked are condemned to hell.
The question of the predestination of the blessed and the reprobation of the damned is admittedly one of the most difficult problems with which theology has to deal, and its solution is wrapped in impenetrable mystery. The same may be said of the relation existing between grace and the liberty of the human will.
It would be cutting the Gordian knot rather than loosing it, were one to deny the efficacy of grace, as did Pelagianism, or again, following the error of Jansenism, deny the liberty of the will. The difficulty is rather in determining just how the acknowledged efficacy of grace is to be reconciled with human freedom.
For centuries Thomists and Molinists, Augustinians and Congruists have been toiling to clear up the matter. And while the system of grace known as syncretic has endeavored to harmonize the principles of Thomism and Molinism, it has served but to double the difficulties instead of eliminating them. The second part of the doctrine on grace has to do with sanctifying grace, which produces the state of habitual holiness and justice. The Protestant conception of justifying faith as a mere fiducial faith is quite as much at variance with revelation as is the solo fides doctrine.
Catholics also differ from Protestants in explaining the essence of justification itself. According to Catholic teaching, the forgiveness of sin and the sanctification of the soul are but two moments of one and the same act of justification, since the blotting-out of original and mortal sin is accomplished by the very fact of the infusion of sanctifying grace.
Although we may, to a certain extent, understand the nature of grace in itself, and may define it philosophically as a permanent quality of the soul, an infused habit, an accidental and analogous participation of the Divine nature, yet its true nature may be more easily understood from a consideration of its so-called formal effects produced in the soul.
These are: sanctity, purity, beauty, friendship with God, adopted sonship. Sanctifying grace is accompanied by additional gifts, viz.
This latter it is that crowns and completes the whole process of justification. We must also mention three qualities special to justification or sanctifying grace: its uncertainty, its inequality, and the possibility of its being lost.
All of them are diametrically opposed to the Protestant conception, which asserts the absolute certainty of justification, its complete equality, and the impossibility of its being lost. Finally, the fruits of justification are treated. These ripen under the beneficent influence of sanctifying grace, which enables man to acquire merit through his good works, that is to say, supernatural merit for heaven. The doctrine on grace is concluded with the proof of the existence, the conditions, and the objects of merit.
After having defined exactly what is meant by the Christian sacraments, and what is meant by the sacrament of nature and the Jewish rite of circumcision as it prevailed in pre-Christian times, the next important step is to prove the existence of the seven sacraments as instituted by Christ.
The essence of a sacrament requires three things: an outward, visible sign, i. In the difficult problem as to whether Christ himself determined the matter and form of each sacrament specifically or only generically, the solution must be sought through dogmatic and historical investigations.
Special importance attaches to the causality of the sacraments, and an efficacy ex opere operato is attributed to them. Theologians dispute as to the nature of this causality, i. In the case of each sacrament, regard must be had to two persons, the recipient and the minister. The objective efficacy of a sacrament is wholly independent of the personal sanctity or the individual faith of the minister.
The only requisite is that he who confers the sacrament intend to do what the Church does. As regards the recipient of a sacrament, a distinction must be made between valid and worthy reception; the conditions differ with the various sacraments. But since the free will is required for validity, it is evident that no one can be forced to receive a sacrament.
Furthermore, as regards the sacraments in particular, the conclusions reached with reference to the sacraments in general of course hold good. Thus, in the case of the first two sacraments, baptism and confirmation, we must prove in detail the existence of the three requisites mentioned above, as well as the disposition of both the minister and the recipient.
The question whether their reception is absolutely necessary or only of precept must also be examined. More than ordinary care is called for in the discussion of the Eucharist, which is not only a sacrament, but also the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Everything centers of course around the dogma of the Real Presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. His presence there is effected by means of the transubstantiation of the Eucharistic elements and lasts as long as the accidents of bread and wine remain incorrupt.
The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each individual species the whole Christ, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, is really present. The Holy Eucharist is, of course, a great mystery, one that rivals that of the Holy Trinity and of the Hypostatic Union. It presents to us a truth utterly at variance with the testimony of our senses, asking us, as it does, to assent to the continued existence of the Eucharistic species without their subject, a sort of spiritual existence, unconfined by space, yet of a human body, and, again, the simultaneous presence of Christ in many different places.
The sacramental character of the Eucharist is established by the presence of the three essential elements. The outward sign consists in the Eucharistic forms of bread and wine and the words of consecration. Its institution by Christ is guaranteed both by the promise of Christ and by the words of institution at the Last Supper. Finally, the interior effects of grace are produced by the worthy reception of Holy Communion.
As Christ is wholly present in each species, the reception of the Eucharist under one species is sufficient to obtain fully all the fruits of the sacrament.
Hence the chalice need not be communicated to the laity, though at times the Church has so allowed it to be, but not in any sense as though such were necessary. Not everyone is capable of pronouncing the words of consecration with sacramental effect, but only duly ordained bishops and priests; for to them alone did Christ communicate the power of transubstantiation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
A distinct phase of the Eucharist is its sacrificial character. This is proved not only from the oldest Fathers and the liturgical practice of the early Christian Church, but also from certain prophecies of the Old Testament and from the Gospel narrative of the Last Supper. To find the physical essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass, we must consider its essential dependence on, and relation to, the bloody sacrifice of the Cross; for the Mass is a commemoration of the latter, its representation, its renewal, and its application.
This intrinsically relative character of the sacrifice of the Mass does not in the least destroy or lessen the universality and oneness of the sacrifice on the Cross, but rather presupposes it; likewise the intrinsic propriety of the Mass is shown precisely in this, that it neither effects nor claims to effect anything else than the application of the fruits of the sacrifice of the Cross to the individual, and this in a sacrificial manner. The essence of the sacrifice is generally thought to consist neither in the Offertory nor in the Communion of the celebrant, but in the double consecration.
Widely divergent are the views of the theologians as to the metaphysical essence of the sacrifice of the Mass, that is to say, as to the question how far the idea of a real sacrifice is verified in the double consecration. A concurrence of opinion on this point is all the more difficult owing to the fact that the very idea of sacrifice is involved in no little obscurity, As regards the causality of the sacrifice of the Mass, it has all the effects of a true sacrifice: adoration, thanksgiving, impetration, atonement.
Most of its effects are ex opere operatowhile some depend on the cooperation of the participants. As at the time of Montanism and Novatianism it was a question of vindicating the universality of this power, so nowadays it is a matter of defending its absolute necessity and its judicial form against the attacks of Protestantism. These three qualities manifest at the same time the intrinsic nature and the essence of the Sacrament of Penance.
The universality of the power to forgive sins means that all sins without exception, supposing, of course, contrition for the same, can be remitted in this sacrament. Owing to its absolute necessity and its judicial form however, the sacrament really becomes a tribunal of penance in which the penitent is at once plaintiff, defendant, and witness, while the priest acts as judge. The matter of the sacrament consists in the three acts of the penitent: contrition, confession, and satisfaction, while the priestly absolution is its form.
To act as judge in the Sacrament of Penance, the confessor needs more than priestly ordination: he must also have jurisdiction, which may be restricted more or less by the ecclesiastical superiors. As the validity of this sacrament, unlike that of the others, depends essentially on the worthiness of its reception, great attention must be paid to the acts of the penitent.
Most important of all is contrition with the purpose of amendment, containing, as it does, the virtue of penance. The opinion, held by many of the early Scholastics, that perfect contrition is required for the validity of the absolution, is quite irreconcilable with the ex opere operato efficacy of the sacrament; for sorrow, springing from the motive of perfect love, suffices of itself to free the sinner from all guilt, quite antecedent to, and apart from, the sacrament, though not indeed without a certain relation to it.
According to the mind of the Council of Trent, imperfect contrition attritioneven when actuated by the fear of hell, is sufficient for the validity of the sacrament, though we should, of course, strive to call in nobler motives. Therefore the addition of a formal caritas initialis to attrition, as the Contritionists of today demand for the validity of absolution, is superfluous, at least so far as validity is concerned.
The contrite confession, which is the second act of the penitent, manifests the interior sorrow and the readiness to do penance by a visible, outward sign, the matter of the sacrament.
Since the Reformers rejected the Sacrament of Penance great care must be bestowed upon the Biblical and patristic proof of its existence and its necessity. The required satisfaction, the third act of the penitent, is fulfilled in the penances prayers, fasting, alms which, according to the present custom of the Church, are imposed by the confessor immediately before the absolution.
This power of granting indulgences, both for the living and the dead, is included in the power of the Keys committed to the Church by Christ. Extreme Unction may be considered as the complement of the Sacrament of Penance, inasmuch as it can take the place of the latter in case sacramental confession is impossible to one who is unconscious and dangerously ill. While the five sacraments of which we have treated so far were instituted for the welfare of the individual, the last two, Holy Orders and Matrimony, aim rather at the well-being of human society in general.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is composed of various grades, of which those of bishop, priest, and deacon are certainly of a sacramental nature, whereas that of subdeacon and the four minor orders are most probably due to ecclesiastical institution. The decision depends on whether or no the presentation of the instruments is essential for the validity of ordination. In the case of the subdiaconate and the minor orders this presentation indeed occurs, but without the simultaneous imposition of hands.
The common opinion prevalent today holds that the imposition of hands, together with the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is the sole matter and form of this sacrament. The ordinary minister of all orders, even those of a non-sacramental character, is the bishop.
But the pope may delegate an ordinary priest to ordain a subdeacon, lector, exorcist, acolyte, or ostiarius. Beginning with the subdiaconate, which was not raised to the rank of a major order until the Middle Ages, celibacy and the recitation of the Breviary are of obligation.
Three disciplines treat the Sacrament of Matrimony: dogmatic theology, moral theology, and canon law. Dogmatic theology leads the way, and proves from the sources of faith not merely the sacramental nature of Christian marriage, but also its essential unity and indissolubility. The bond of a non-consummated marriage between Christians may be dissolved in two cases: when one of the parties concerned makes the solemn profession of religious vows, or when the pope, for weighty reasons; dissolves such a marriage.
According as we consider either the individual or mankind in general, there is seen to be a double consummation of all things.
For the individual the last things are death and the particular judgment, to which corresponds, as his final state and condition, either heaven or hell. The consummation of the human race on doomsday will be preceded by certain indications of the impending disaster, right after which will occur the resurrection of the dead and the general judgment.
As for the opinion that there will be a glorious reign of Christ upon earth for a thousand years previous to the final end of all things, suffice it to remark that there is not the slightest foundation for it in revelation, and even a moderate form of Chiliasm must be rejected as untenable.
The imposing edifice of Catholic theology has been reared not by individual nations and men, but rather by the combined efforts of all nations and the theologians of every century. Nothing could be more at variance with the essential character of theology than an endeavor to set upon it the stamp of nationalism: like the Catholic Church itself, theology must ever be international.
In the history of dogmatic theology, as in the history of the Church, three periods may be distinguished: I the patristic; 2 the medieval; 3 the modern.
The Great Fathers of the Church and the ecclesiastical writers of the first years rendered important services by their positive demonstration and their speculative treatment of dogmatic truth. It is the Fathers who are honored by the Church as her principal theologians, excelling as they did in purity of faith, sanctity of life, and fulness of wisdom, virtues which are not always to be found in those who are known simply as ecclesiastical writers.
But even some of the Fathers, e. Cyprian d. Gregory of Nyssa, went astray on individual points; the former in regard to the baptism of heretics, the latter in the matter of apocatastasis. It was not so much in the catechetical schools of Alexandria, Antioch, and Edessa as in the struggle with the great heresies of the age that patristic theology developed.
This serves to explain the character of the patristic literature, which is apologetical and polemical, parenetical and ascetic, with a wealth of exegetical wisdom on every page; for the roots of theology are in the Bible, especially in the Gospels and in the Epistles of St.
Although it was not the intention of the Fathers to give a methodical and systematic treatise of theology, nevertheless, so thoroughly did they handle the great dogmas from the positive, speculative, and apologetic standpoint that they laid the permanent foundations for the centuries to follow.
Quite justly does Mohler call attention to the fact that all modes of treatment may be found in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: the apologetic style is represented by the letter of Diognetus and the letters of St.
Ignatius; the dogmatic in pseudo-Barnabas; the moral, in the Pastor of Hermas; canon law, in the letter of St. Clement of Rome; church history, in the Acts of the martyrdom of Polycarp and Ignatius. Although the different epochs of the patristic age overlap each other, it may be said in general that the apologetic style predominated in the first epoch up to Constantine the Great, while in the second epoch, that is to say up to the time of Charlemagne, dogmatic literature prevailed.
We can here only trace in the most general outlines this theological activity, leaving to patrology the discussion of the literary details.
When the Christian writers entered the lists against paganism and Judaism, a double task awaited them: they had to explain the principal truths of natural religion, such as God, the soul, creation, immortality, and freedom of the will; at the same time they had to defend the chief mysteries of the Christian faith, as the Trinity, Incarnation, etc.
The attacks of the Fathers were not, of course, aimed at the Israelitic religion of the Old Testament, which was a revealed religion, but at the obstinacy of those Jews who, clinging to the dead letter of the Law, refused to recognize the prophetic spirit of the Old Testament. But far greater profit resulted from conflict with the heresies of the first eight centuries. As the flint, when it is struck by the steel, gives off luminous sparks, so did dogma, in its clash with heretical teaching, shed a new and wonderfully brilliant light.
As the errors were legion, it was natural that in the course of the centuries all the principal dogmas were, one by one, treated in monographs which established their truth and provided them with a philosophical basis. In the mighty struggle against Monarchianism, Sabellianism, and Arianism an opportunity was afforded to the Fathers and the ecumenical councils to establish the true meaning of the dogma of the Trinity, to secure it on all sides and to draw out, by speculation, its genuine import.
When the contest with Eunomianism broke out, the fires of theological and philosophical criticism purified the doctrine of God and our knowledge of Him, both earthly and heavenly. Of world-wide interest were the Christological disputes, which, beginning with the rise of Apollinarianism, reached their climax in Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and Monothelitism, and were revived once more in Adoptionism.
As the contest with Pelagianism and Semi-pelagianism purified the dogmas of grace and liberty, providence and predestination, original sin and the condition of our first parents in Paradise, so in like manner the contests with the Donatists brought out more clearly and strongly the doctrine of the sacraments baptismthe hierarchical constitution of the Church, her magisteriumor teaching authority, and her infallibility.
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In all these struggles it was Augustine who ever led with indomitable courage, and next to him came Optatus of Mileve and a long line of devoted disciples. The last contest was decided by the Second Council of Nicaea ; it was in this struggle that, under the leadership of St.
John Damascene, the communion of saints, the invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics and holy images were placed on a scientific basis. It may be seen from this brief outline that the dogmatic teachings of the Fathers are a collection of monographs rather than a systematic exposition.
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But the Fathers broke the ground and furnished the material for erecting the system afterwards. In the case of some of them there are evident signs of an attempt to synthesize dogma into a complete and organic whole. Irenaeus Adv. His work against Celsus, on the other hand, is a classic in apologetics and of lasting value. Gregory of Nyssa d.
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The catechetical instructions of St. Cyril of Jerusalem d. Epiphanius d. Ambrose d. In regard to the Trinity and Christology, St. Cyril of Alexandria d. Though all the writings of St. Augustine d. His disciple Fulgentius of Ruspe d. Towards the end of the Patristic Age Isidore of Seville d. Following closely the teachings of St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, St. Isidore proposed to collect all the writings of the earlier Fathers and to hand them down as a precious inheritance to posterity.
The work of St. John Damascene d. Greek theology has never gone beyond St. John Damascene, a standstill caused principally by the Photian schism The only Greek prior to him who had produced a complete system of theology was Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, in the fifth century; but he was more popular in the West, at least from the eighth century on, than in the East.
Although he openly wove into the genuine Catholic system neo-Platonic thoughts and phrases, nevertheless he enjoyed an unparalleled reputation among the greatest Scholastics of the Middle Ages because he was supposed to have been a disciple of the Apostles. For all that, Scholasticism did not take its guidance from St.
John Damascene or Pseudo-Dionysius, but from St. Augustine, the greatest of the Fathers. Augustinian thought runs like a golden thread through the whole progress of Western philosophy and theology. It was Augustine who led everywhere, who always pointed out the right path, and from whom all schools sought direction.
The seven habits of highly defective dating reveals that we can't fix many of dating's problems by merely "dating right." When I was a kid, my mom taught me two rules of grocery shopping. First, never shop when youre hungry everything will look good and youll spend too much money. And second, make.
Even the heretics tried to bolster up their errors with the strength of his reputation. Today his greatness is recognized and appreciated more and more, as specialized research goes more deeply into his works and brings to view his genius. The English-speaking world may well be proud of the Venerable Bede d. John Damascene. Owing to his unusually solid education in theology, his extensive knowledge of the Bible and of the Fathers of the Church, he is the link which joins the patristic with the medieval history of theology.
The beginnings of Scholasticism may be traced back to the days of Charlemagne d. Thence it progressed in ever-quickening development to the time of Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Peter the Lombard, and onward to its full growth in the Middle Ages first epoch, The most brilliant period of Scholasticism embraces about years second epoch,and with it are connected the names of Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus.
From the beginning of the fourteenth century, owing to the predominance of Nominalism and to the sad condition of the Church, Scholasticism began to decline third epoch, Anselm of Canterbury, the theologians were more concerned with preserving than with developing the treasures stored up in the writings of the Fathers. The sacred science was cultivated nowhere with greater industry than in the cathedral and monastic schools, founded and fostered by Charlemagne.
The earliest signs of a new thought appeared in the ninth century during the discussions relative to the Last Supper Paschasius Radbertus, Ratramnus, Rabanus Maurus. These speculations were carried to a greater depth in the second Eucharistic controversy against Berengarius of Tours d. Unfortunately, the only systematic theologian of this time, Scotus Eriugena d.
But the one who fully deserves this title is St. Anselm of Canterbury d. For he was the first to bring a sharp logic to bear upon the principal dogmas of Christianity, the first to unfold and explain their meaning in every detail, and to draw up a scientific plan for the stately edifice of dogmatic theology. Taking the substance of his doctrine from Augustine, St. Anselm, as a philosopher, was not so much a disciple of Aristotle as of Plato, in whose masterly dialogues he had been thoroughly schooled.
Another pillar of the Church was St. Bernard of Clairvaux d. It is upon the doctrine of Anselm and Bernard that the Scholastics of succeeding generations took their stand, and it was their spirit which lived in the theological efforts of the University of Paris. Victor His works are characterized throughout by a close adherence to St.
I imagine that most Catholics also do especially if you work. Ah yes, exactly! I am sitting in a room full of Catholics.
Catholic theology of dating
Right now. I just find it tedious. Pagans are not terrified of Catholics. Some are wary and often with enough experiences to make that reasonable. I think you know that. Moving on. In the future, when stuff about kids comes up, you know that you have to stick to your guns: your children have to be raised Catholic.
There is no compromise on that issue. When I was an agnostic, do you think any amount of exhortation could turn me to the faith?
Not even the Pope himself could convert me. What do you hope to accomplish by trying to convert her? Live a Catholic life. Be generous, kind, patient, understanding listen above all else.
Do not argue and exhort when religion comes up, but understand and quietly, firmly, respectfully hold your ground. Know when to dialogue and when someone is just railing because they are hurt and wounded- which is most of the time!