St Thomas Aquinas - Philosophy and Faith with Francis Selman on Totus2us


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Fr Francis: "Aquinas said 'Human beings exist on the border, in confinio, between the material and immaterial.' Thus we are a kind of microcosm of the whole world as we alone combine the material and the immaterial. We are made to get our knowledge through the senses of the body, but we can also think of things not just as they exist in matter, which is as particular or individual things, but also generally. It is not clear what Aristotle thought of about the immortality of the soul. This presented a difficulty for him since it seems that if the soul is a form of the body, it cannot exist on its own separately, but must perish with the body. However Aquinas showed that as the mind is immaterial, it has an activity, thinking, which is not a part of the body. So the soul can exist on its own because it is in some way independent of the body. In Aquinas's view, we reach our end by our actions. We only reach our proper end when our actions are directed to our end. These are virtuous actions in accord with right reason. But our end is not so much happiness but beatitude. We can only reach this by actions helped by grace, which we receive through Jesus Christ who, as He is God and man, is our way of returning to God, our end." Visit for more.

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