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Lecture XIII: The Virtues of Faith and Hope Spiritual Theology (THE 390) July 26, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture XIII: The Virtues of Faith and Hope Spiritual Theology (THE 390) July 26, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture XIII: The Virtues of Faith and Hope Spiritual Theology (THE 390) July 26, 2011

2 The Virtue of Faith –Faith itself Definition –“virtue infused by God in the intellect by which we firmly assent to divinely revealed truths on the authority of God who reveals them” (Royo, 364). –quod = God and His revealed truths –quo = authority of god revealing –Faith is the beginning and foundation of justification –Objective faith = what is believed –Subjective faith = the infused virtue

3 –infidelity or paganism – a universal unbelief –heresy – disbelief or denial of a particular truth –apostasy – complete abandonment of the Christian faith –blasphemy –blindness of heart –dullness of spiritual sense Sins against faith

4 Increase in Faith –“The just man lives by faith” (Rom. 1:17) – This is the goal of the spiritual life. –Faith can increase objectively (in the extension to numbers of revealed truths) and subjectively (in the purity and intensity of the act of faith) –Increase of faith in beginners: be convinced of the gratuitous nature of faith “I do believe, Lord, help my disbelief”

5 reject whatever is a danger to faith i. use the indirect attack in dealing with temptations against the faith ii. use prudence in reading material iii. avoid intellectual pride study Catholic doctrine make frequent acts of faith

6 Increase of faith in advanced souls: practice of beholding God in faith without selfish motives believing firmly despite aridity and lack of consolation make every effort to evaluate all things in accord with the teachings of the faith especially in accord with the Beatitudes recall the words of Scripture, “This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” (1Jn. 5:4) Walk in faith during times of suffering and adversity this gives meaning and joy in suffering

7 Gift of Understanding Definition –“a supernatural habit infused in soul with Sanctifying Grace by which the human intellect, under the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, is made apt for a penetrating intuition of the speculative and practical revealed truths, and even for natural truths, so far as they are related to the supernatural end” (Royo, 370). –resides in the speculative intellect –formal object = penetrating intuition

8 –it is basically infused contemplation – simplex intuitus veritatis –its is a penetration of truths by a simple apprehension without making any judgments concerning them wisdom – judgment relating to divine things knowledge – judgment relating to created things counsel – judgment relating to particular actions

9 Effects –Gift of understanding enables us to see the substance of things which are hidden under their accidental manifestations Holy Eucharist Peasant to Cure of Ars: “I look at Him and He looks at me.” –Discloses the hidden meaning of Sacred Scripture Road to Emmaus: “He opened their minds to the meaning of the Scriptures” (Lk. 24:45). E.g. of Saints: St. Therese of Lisieux for little way and for her vocation

10 –Reveals mysterious significance of symbols and figures E.g. in Sacred Scripture Paul comes to understand the rock in desert as signifying Christ: “And the rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4). –Reveals spiritual realities under sensible appearances liturgical ceremonies of the Church –One contemplates effects present in their causes e.g. Mary at Foot of Cross to souls in her bosom as Mother of the Church

11 –One contemplates causes through their effects e.g. flowers of the field to God –Eventually, a person comes to live entirely by this divine instinct. St. Thomas says, “In this very life, when the eye of the spirit is purified by the gift of understanding, one can in a certain way see God” (IIa IIae, Q. 69, a. 2, ad. 3).

12 Beatitudes –Mt. 5:8 “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” –Fruits: faith – the certitude of faith joy – spiritual joy Means to employ for progress –Practice living a vital faith with the assistance of ordinary grace the soul must do all that it can in exercising the infused virtues to dispose oneself for the activation of the Gifts

13 –Endeavor to live in perfect purity of soul and body dullness of spirit and spiritual blindness, originating in carnal desires and attachments, are incompatible with the activation of the Gift of Understanding constantly call to mind the beatitude: “Blessed are the pure, they shall see God.” –Practice interior recollection God tells us, “I shall lead her to the desert and I shall speak to her heart” (Hosea 2:14). We must enter the “desert” of interior recollection

14 –Fidelity to grace “Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 4:30) “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95:8). –Constantly invoke the Holy Spirit

15 Gift of Knowledge Definition –“a supernatural habit, infused with grace, through which the human intellect, under the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, judges rightly concerning created things as ordained to the supernatural end” (Royo, 378). –it enables an appreciation of the connection between created things and our supernatural end. –it is primarily speculative and secondarily practical –intellect apprehends and judges by a certain divine instinct or connaturality

16 effects –teaches the soul to judge rightly concerning created things in relation to God experience the emptiness of creatures experience the vestige of God in creatures –guides the soul with certitude concerning what must be believed or not believed the soul possesses the sensus fidei in an exceptional manner Eg. St. Teresa of Avila, without study, rejected the position that one must pass beyond the humanity of Jesus in order to arrive at God in higher grades of prayer

17 –the state of one’s soul is seen promptly and with certitude soul judges rightly concerning its interior acts, movements, motives, merits and demerits. –the soul sees the correct path by which his neighbor must travel in order to help him a preacher knows what he must urge his people to at this particular point director knows the spiritual need of the soul before him

18 –it detaches the soul from the things of this world –it teaches the soul how to use created things in a holy way –it fills the soul with repentance and sorrow for past sins

19 Beatitude –“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt. 5:5). –Fruits: faith and joy (these are the same for the gifts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom)

20 Vices opposed to the Gift of Knowledge –ignorance occupying oneself in vain things or without proper moderation relying by presumption too much on one’s own knowledge and judgments this is why so many mystics are not learned: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the learned and wise and have revealed them to the little ones” (Mt. 11:25).

21 Means of Progress –consider the vanity of created things one should accomplish as much as possible in this regard through discursive meditation on the subject –Refer habitually all created things to God so as to pass through the contemplation or use of creatures to God

22 –oppose energetically the spirit of the world recall the words of the apostle James: “Love for the world is hatred for God.” –Recognize the hand of God’s providence in all that befalls us –Be preoccupied with purity of heart fidelity in fulfilling one’s duties practice of custody of the heart

23 The Virtue of Hope –Hope Itself Definition –“a theological virtue infused by God into the will, by which we trust with complete certitude in the attainment of eternal life and the means necessary for reaching it, assisted by the omnipotent help of God” (Royo, 386). –hope resides in the will

24 Sins against hope –despair the defect of the virtue of hope it is usually caused by spiritual sloth and lust –presumption the excess of the virtue of hope it is usually a result of vainglory and pride

25 Growth in hope –beginners need to raise their eyes to heaven so as to: disdain the things of earth “What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Mt. 16:26). be consoled in midst of labors and sufferings Romans 8:13 2 Cor. 4:17 encouraged in the practice of virtue

26 –Those advanced in the spiritual life need to practice the following: never be preoccupied with anxious concern for tomorrow Cf. Mt. 6:25-34 simplify prayer Cf. Mt. 6:7-13 advance in detachment from all earthly things advance with great confidence along the path of union with God

27 –Perfect souls will possess the following operations of hope: universal confidence in God E.g. audacity of the saints “hope against hope” (Rom. 4:18) “even should He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15)

28 Indestructible peace and serenity Cure of Ars when he was unexpectedly slapped, “Friend, the other cheek will be envious” Desirous of death in order to enter the promised land of heaven By nature no one wants to die when hope has been perfected the soul sighs, “I die because I do not die” (St. Augustine) Heaven begins on earth “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20)

29 The Gift of Fear Definition –“a supernatural habit by which the just soul, under the instinct of the Holy Spirit, acquires a special docility for subjecting itself completely to the divine will out of reverence for the excellency and majesty of God, who is capable of inflicting punishment on us” (Royo, 392). Types of fear –mundane fear – sinful –servile fear – imperfect –filial fear – perfect

30 Effects –lively sentiment of the grandeur and majesty of God soul is overwhelmed with sentiments of reverence and submission to God humility here is perfected praise is taken by the soul as ridicule great reverence and care for the things of God –great horror for sin and sorrow for past sins mortal anguish is experienced; especially in the passive night of spirit soul experiences the greatest horror and anguish for the slightest faults and offenses against God

31 –extreme solicitude to avoid the slightest offense against God such souls instantly flee near occasions of sin –perfect detachment from all created things in comparison to the grandeur and majesty of God, all created things are considered base

32 Beatitudes –“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). –“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt. 5:5). –Fruits: modesty – a result of reverence for the Divine Majesty continence and chastity – a result of moderation of concupiscible appetites by the Gift of Fear

33 Vices opposed to Gift of Fear –Pride –Presumption Means of Progress –frequent meditation on the infinite grandeur and majesty of God –cultivation of a reverent and confident converse with God –frequent meditation on the horror and malice of sin fidelity to the daily examination of conscience

34 –Exercise of meekness and humility in relating to one’s neighbor reminding oneself of how merciful God has been to me avoiding the opposite sentiment: Cf. Mt. 18:23-35 Beseech the Holy Spirit for a reverential fear of God

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