sussidio november 2016
From the WORD of GOD
Wisdom is a breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; so nothing impure can find its way into her. For she is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God’s active power, and image of his goodness. Although she is alone, she can do everything; herself unchanging, she renews the world, and, generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God’s friends and prophets; for God loves only those who dwell with Wisdom. She enhances her noble birth by sharing God’s life, for the Master of All has always loved her. Indeed, she shares the secrets of God’s knowledge, and she chooses what he will do.(Wisdom 7: 25-28; 8:3-4)
From the DOCUMENTS of the CHURCH
The relationship between theology and philosophy is best construed as a circle. Theology’s source and starting-point must always be the word of God. Yet, since God’s word is Truth (cf. Jn 17:17), the human search for truth—philosophy, pursued in keeping with its own rules—can only help to understand God’s word better. What matters most is that the believer’s reason use its powers of reflection in the search for truth which moves from the word of God towards a better understanding of it. It is as if, moving between the twin poles of God’s word and a better understanding of it, reason is offered guidance and is warned against paths which would lead it to stray from revealed Truth and to stray in the end from the truth pure and simple. Instead, reason is stirred to explore paths which of itself it would not even have suspected it could take. This circular relationship with the word of God leaves philosophy enriched, because reason discovers new and unsuspected horizons. The fruitfulness of this relationship is confirmed by the experience of great Christian theologians who also distinguished themselves as great philosophers, bequeathing to us writings of such high speculative value as to warrant comparison with the masters of ancient philosophy. We see the same fruitful relationship between philosophy and the word of God in the courageous research pursued by more recent thinkers, among whom I gladly mention, in a Western context, figures such as John Henry Newman, Antonio Rosmini, Jacques Maritain, Étienne Gilson and Edith Stein and, in an Eastern context, eminent scholars such as Vladimir S. Soloviev, Pavel A. Florensky, Petr Chaadaev and Vladimir N. Lossky. One thing is certain: attention to the spiritual journey of these masters can only give greater momentum to both the search for truth and the effort to apply the results of that search to the service of humanity. It is to be hoped that now and in the future there will be those who continue to cultivate this great philosophical and theological tradition for the good of both the Church and humanity.(St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, nn. 73-74)
From the WRITINGS of Blessed A. ROSMINI
My dear brother in Jesus Christ, I am glad to hear that you have begun to read the Origin of Ideas. I am fully persuaded, my dear friend, that it will help greatly if we devote our energies to such studies. In my view there is a great and widespread need for this in all branches of knowledge, and especially theology. I have had the consolation of receiving letters showing support, in which men of weighty reputation express their view, upon reading the work, that the teaching in it will one day become the commonly accepted doctrine of the Schools. May God bring this about, for I cannot see wrong ways of thinking being corrected until we have a philosophy held in common and agreed by all men of sound opinions. (To Don Luigi Gentili in Rome, from Domodossola, 14 December 1830, The Ascetical Letters, Vol. I, let.89, p.167; translated and edited by John Morris IC )
My dear Father, my hearty thanks for your letter. May God bring it about that the cause of virtue and religion may advance; and I harbour an unshakeable conviction that it will do so, even in the midst of the dangers it faces and the desperate exertions of the enemy of mankind, for in the end it is the cause of Jesus Christ. It is my belief that a sound philosophy would be a great help to this cause in our day. If good men and those who work for God do not undertake this, who will? It is true that many people think that this approach is too indirect a way to benefit society, and they prefer means that seem closer to hand and more practical. That is all very well; but it remains true that there is a great need to bring Men’s minds back to health, so to speak, by infusing in them sound ideas. It is necessary to go a long way round in order to do this, because people have gone a long way off the right path. There will be no one to employ better means — nor people to respond to them — until we succeed in emptying minds of false ideas which are inwardly corrupt. Also, our human feebleness needs even small helps, especially nowadays. Religion, which has been so damaged by false philosophy, has need of a sound and true philosophy if it is to show forth in unequalled brightness through and through. Or, to put it better, if men are to be in a position to perceive its beauty. I can claim to have thought not a little about the needs of mankind and about the ills that afflict it. I do not think it is a mere vain persuasion on my part if I am so driven by this belief and this hope.
(To Don Giuseppe M. Suryn, Professor of Philosophy in the College of Novara, from Trent, 14 April 1832; The Ascetical Letters, Vol. II, let.18, p.27; translated and edited by John Morris IC.)
LET US PRAY
– O Truth, establish truth in me,
that I may keep your law.
– Father, I ask you for your divine Son and your Spirit.
– Be as gracious as your heart is great.
PASTORAL YEAR 2016 – 2017
INSTITUTE OF CHARITY
ROSMINIAN SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE
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