The Spirit of Truth

The Holy Spirit’s Role in a Deeper Understanding of Revelation

Jesus, who identified himself as the truth (Jn 14:6), indicated that it was “to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you” (Jn 16:7). Indeed, Christ promised to pray to the Father to send another Counselor to be with us forever, “the Spirit of truth” (Jn 14:16–17). Not unlike the Word who is the truth, “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16:13), and Christ includes the further assurance that “he will teach you all things” (Jn 14:26).

Based on these words of Christ, there is some definite and inextricable link between the working of the Holy Spirit and our grasping the truth more profoundly. However, it is not immediately apparent why our appropriation of the truth should be attributed to the operation of the Holy Spirit in particular, nor what the Third Person of the Trinity contributes to the mission of Christ who “perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself” (Dei Verbum §4).

Thus, this essay proceeds in four parts. First, it briefly examines three contemporary magisterial documents which indicate the role of the Spirit in granting us a deeper understanding of revelation. Second, it utilizes passages from Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on the Gospel of John relating to the Spirit of truth in order to clarify the necessary links between the Spirit’s eternal procession, his temporal mission, and our deeper participation in truth, which is a sharing in the trinitarian life itself. Then, an exploration of Thomas’ commentary sheds light on the special mode of the Spirit’s teaching in the economy, precisely as the Holy Spirit is named both spirit and love. Finally, I offer some reflections on practical consequences of this trinitarian vision, and the importance of the role of the Spirit, for the life of the Church today.

An Ever Deeper Understanding of Revelation

The central and indispensable role of the Spirit of truth can be seen in three contemporary ecclesial documents which speak in terms of our fuller understanding of divine revelation. First, Vatican II’s Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, affirms the necessary help of the Holy Spirit in making an act of personal faith. However, the Spirit’s divine assistance does not terminate with the initial act of faith. Dei Verbum goes on to say that “to bring about an ever deeper understanding of revelation the same Holy Spirit constantly brings faith to completion by His gifts” (DV §5).

The submission of intellect and will involved in the act of faith does not necessarily imply a complete understanding of its object. Far from it. The work of the Holy Spirit continues after the initial movement of faith, assisting in a progressively more profound grasp of the object of belief. In another context, speaking now in an ecclesial framework regarding the place of sacred scripture in the life of the Church, Dei Verbum says that “the Church taught by the Holy Spirit, moves toward a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures so that she may increasingly feed her sons with the divine words” (DV §23). Not only the individual, but also the Church as a whole throughout the centuries grows in understanding of the revealed word of God contained in the scriptures under the tutorship of the Holy Spirit.

Nowhere are the faithful fed with the divine words as abundantly as the sacred liturgy. A second source for our consideration, the General Introduction to the Lectionary speaks of the Holy Spirit’s role in bringing to fruition the liturgically proclaimed word of God:

The working of the Holy Spirit is needed if the word of God is to make what we hear outwardly have its effect inwardly. . . . But the Spirit also brings home to each person individually everything that in the proclamation of the word of God is spoken for the good of the whole gathering of the faithful (§9).1

The emphasis here is on the interiorization for each individual of what has been proclaimed corporately. In other words, more is required than the human attention of the faithful at the liturgy if the scriptural word is to bear fruit. More is required than the articulation of the lector or the quality of the sound system. More is required than even the inspiration of the sacred scriptures themselves. If the proclaimed word is to have its ultimate effect in each person, it must be accompanied by the simultaneous operation of the Holy Spirit in the mind and heart of the hearer.

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI compellingly and unequivocally makes the same point in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini:

There can be no authentic understanding of Christian revelation apart from the activity of the Paraclete. This is due to the fact that God’s self-communication always involves the relationship of the Son and the Holy Spirit, whom Irenaeus of Lyons refers to as “the two hands of the Father” (VD §15).

Beyond moving us to a deeper or fuller understanding, the Holy Father Emeritus categorically denies any authentic understanding of divine revelation in the absence of the Holy Spirit’s operation. Marshaling citations from John Chrysostom, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and Richard of St. Victor, Pope Benedict argues that “without the efficacious working of the ‘Spirit of Truth’ (Jn 14:16), the words of the Lord cannot be understood” (VD §16).

Finally, Pope Benedict draws a provocative and intriguing analogy between the Holy Spirit’s work in the Eucharistic epiclesis and the Spirit’s operation in making present the word of God: “Just as the word of God comes to us in the body of Christ, in his Eucharistic body and in the body of the Scriptures, through the working of the Holy Spirit, so too it can only be truly received and understood through that same Spirit” (VD §16). Just as one may receive the Eucharist sacramentally without eating spiritually and receiving its full effects,2 one may receive divine revelation without understanding in the absence of the Holy Spirit.

Given these various affirmations regarding the role of the Holy Spirit in understanding divine revelation, one may rightly ask why this work is ascribed specifically to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. What is it about the Holy Spirit that particularly warrants this attribution? Here we will turn to Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on the Gospel of John to explore that question. Based on Thomas’ commentary on a cluster of texts dealing with the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:17; 14:26; 15:26; 16:13),3 I will argue that the Holy Spirit’s role in our understanding of revelation is rooted in the eternal procession of the Spirit and the Spirit’s corresponding temporal mission. Moreover, impelled by the Spirit, that deeper grasp of the truth is a participation in trinitarian life itself.

Aquinas on the Spirit of Truth: Procession, Mission, and Participation

Jesus refers to the Paraclete as the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:17). Aquinas explains that Christ adds this descriptor, “because this Spirit proceeds from the truth and speaks the truth, for the Holy Spirit is nothing else than love.”4 Thomas thus lays out two notions which are essential for elucidating the relationship between the Holy Spirit and our more profound understanding of revelation: 1) the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son, and 2) the Holy Spirit as love.

The ultimate foundation and reason for the Holy Spirit’s role in our deeper grasp of revealed truth is found in the eternal procession of the Spirit. More specifically, in this context Thomas focuses on the procession of the Spirit from the Son.5 As Thomas says, “the Holy Spirit leads to the knowledge of the truth, because he proceeds from the truth, who says, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”6 For Thomas, since Christ claimed to be the truth, the phrase “the Spirit of truth” can be understood synonymously with the phrase “the Spirit of Christ.”7 In other words, because 1) the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Son; and 2) the Son is truth; therefore, 3) the Spirit proceeds from the truth. Thus, as the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son-Truth in the inner life of the Trinity, so the Spirit is also the fitting guide leading back to the truth.

This connection between the eternal procession of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit leading to or manifesting the truth in the finite order introduces the idea of a temporal mission.8 Later in the commentary, Thomas explains the principle underlying the relationship between the eternal procession and this temporal mission of the Holy Spirit: “For everything which is from another manifests that from which it is. Thus the Son manifests the Father because he is from the Father. And so because the Holy Spirit is from the Son, it is appropriate that the Spirit will glorify the Son.”9 Sunlight manifests the sun from which it came. The river points back to its source and brings its water. Jesus manifests the Father, for the Father sent the Son (Jn 5:37; 20:21), and to see Jesus is to see the Father (Jn 14:9). The procession has an analogue in the economy as a revelatory mission.

In like fashion, the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit is manifested in a temporal mission. Commenting on John 14:26 (“He will teach you all things”), Thomas says that “just as the effect of the mission of the Son was to lead us to the Father, so the effect of the mission of the Holy Spirit is to lead the faithful to the Son. Now the Son, once he is begotten Wisdom, is truth itself: I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).”10 The Spirit proceeds eternally from the Son, the Son is truth, so it is the proper temporal mission of the Holy Spirit to manifest and lead us to truth. As Dominic Legge says, “to receive the Holy Spirit is also to be brought to know the Son precisely as the divine Word of the Father.”11 The key point here is that attributing the work of manifesting the truth to the Holy Spirit is neither arbitrary nor a theologically void statement, nor could it be equally fittingly attributed to the other divine Persons. The mission of the Holy Spirit to deepen our understanding of truth is founded on the very inner life of God, the eternal procession of the Spirit from the Truth.

Furthermore, the temporal mission, which mirrors the eternal procession, causes in us a like participation. “And so the effect of this kind of mission,” says Thomas, “is to make us sharers (participes) in the divine wisdom and knowers of the truth. The Son, since he is the Word, gives teaching to us; but the Holy Spirit enables us to grasp it.”12 The Holy Spirit does not add any new content to the revelation given by the Son, but neither is the Holy Spirit superfluous. As Legge explains, “divine revelation, which is accomplished above all through the Son’s incarnation, is a work of the Trinity. . . . In this work, each divine person has a proper role.”13

The action of the Holy Spirit is necessary in addition to that of the Word because of the inseparability of their missions. Thomas explains the joint missions of the Son and the Spirit in terms of an interior understanding of exteriorly delivered divine teaching: “ . . . no matter what a person may teach by his exterior actions, he will have no effect unless the Holy Spirit gives an understanding from within. For unless the Spirit is present to the heart of the listener, the words of the teacher will be useless. . . .”14 Thomas highlights the necessity and inseparability of the Spirit from the mission of Christ by applying this principle to the teaching of Jesus himself during his earthly ministry: “This is true even to the extent that the Son himself, speaking by means of his human nature, is not successful unless he works from within by the Holy Spirit.”15

The interior action of the Holy Spirit not only leads us to know the truth more fully; the Spirit also works to conform us to that truth, to participate in divine wisdom. Thomas explains this connection between mission and participation: “. . . because the word ‘spirit’ suggests a kind of impulse and every motion produces an effect in harmony with its source, as heating makes something hot, it follows that the Holy Spirit makes those to whom he is sent like the one whose Spirit he is. And since he is the Spirit of truth he will teach you all truth (John 16:13).”16 Hence, the eternal procession of the Spirit from the Son (Truth) explains the temporal mission in which the Spirit manifests the truth in us as a fuller understanding of revelation, conforming us to that which we come to know. In other words, our ever-deeper grasp of revealed truth, insofar as it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s operation, is an aspect of the created likeness of the eternal spiration of the Holy Spirit within us, uniting us to and conforming us to the divine Truth from whom the Spirit proceeds. This movement ever deeper into divine truth is, finally, a preparation for and foretaste of heavenly consummation:

“For since the Holy Spirit is from the truth, it is appropriate that the Spirit teach the truth, and make those he teaches like the one who sent him. He says, all truth, that is, the truth of the faith. He will teach them to have a better understanding of this truth in this life, and a fullness of understanding in eternal life, where we will know as we are known (cf 1 Cor 13:12).”17

Conforming us to the Truth: Spirit and Love

Aquinas gives two further reasons for the fittingness of the Spirit’s operation in deepening our understanding of revelation based on the names spirit and love. First, Thomas analyzes the term spirit:

The Spirit is a most excellent gift because he is the Spirit of truth. He is called Spirit to show the subtlety or fineness of his nature, for the word “spirit” is used to indicate something which is undiscoverable and invisible. And so what is invisible is usually referred to as spirit. The Holy Spirit also is undiscoverable and invisible. . . . He is also called the Spirit to indicate his power, because he moves to act and work well. For the word “spirit” indicates a certain impulse, and that is why the word “spirit” can also mean the wind.18

We might summarize by saying that, given the fittingness of the name “spirit,” it is particularly suitable to attribute to the Holy Spirit the powerful, invisible works of God. As one sees the effects of a powerful wind while the wind itself remains unseen, so the effects of God’s invisible power are rightly appropriated to the Holy Spirit.

Certainly, the Spirit’s influence by which we come to a deeper understanding of revealed truth is an example of this powerful yet invisible work. Indeed, in explaining that the Holy Spirit “will not speak of himself” (Jn 16:13), but from that which he receives from the Father and the Son, Thomas writes: “He will speak, not in a bodily way but by enlightening your minds from within.”19 This interior illumination, powerful and invisible, is, as Fr. Legge says, “a way of influencing man’s intellect that is especially fitting to the Holy Spirit.”20

Both Francesco Lambiasi in The Dictionary of Fundamental Theology and Yves Congar in his The Meaning of Tradition give a similar account of the work of the Spirit. The former refers to the pneumatology of the Second Vatican Council in relation to revelation in terms of universalization and interiorization. While the incarnate Lord, as man, was confined to one particular place at one particular time, which limits his immediate sphere of influence, through the work of the Spirit, “the unique event of Christ acquires an abiding presentness.”21 The Spirit adds nothing objectively new to the work of Christ, which is lacking nothing. Rather, redemption is made universal and completed from within by the Spirit. Congar similarly states that the role of the Spirit is to confirm from within that people in all places and times partake in the truth of the Gospel. “He is able to do this, being ‘Spirit,’ that is, a presence that is ethereal and not bound by frontiers, at the same time universal and interior.”22

Second, the Holy Spirit accomplishes this work by the special mode of his teaching, which is through the modality of love.23 Naming the Spirit love is another consequence of the eternal procession of the Third Person of the Trinity. To explain the divine processions, Aquinas builds on the likeness of the rational creature to God. The rational creature has two immanent actions: that of the intellect and that of the will. Just as the object known is in the knower, the object loved remains in the lover. If the Son proceeds by way of an intellectual procession (generation), the Spirit proceeds by way of the will, the operation of which is love. Thus, he says in the Summa Contra Gentiles,

because the beloved in the will exists as inclining, and somehow inwardly impelling the lover toward the very thing beloved, and an impulse of a living thing from within belongs to a spirit, this is suitable: that God proceeding by way of love be called His “spirit;” as it were a kind of existing spiration.24

Thomas has already said that the Spirit leads to the Son-Truth, because the Spirit proceeds from the Son-Truth. Now in his commentary on John, he adds the Spirit’s procession as love to the formula, and offers an anthropological analogy: “In us, love of the truth arises when we have conceived and considered truth. So also in God, love proceeds from conceived truth, which is the Son. And just as love proceeds from the truth, so love leads to knowledge of the truth. . . .”25 In other words, just as there is a reciprocal movement in us between loving a known truth, and coming to know the truth through love, so the Love which proceeds eternally from the Truth also leads back to knowledge of that Truth.26 “Love,” explains Gilles Emery, “causes men to seek the truth, to fix their attention on the truth and to give it welcome. It is love that renders man capable of receiving the truth.”27

Thomas further relates the Holy Spirit as love to his manifesting truth, introducing as well the idea of friendship: “It is a characteristic of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth because it is love which impels one to reveal his secrets: ‘I have called you friends; because all things whatsoever I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you’ (John 15:15).”28 Why do we attribute the revelation of truth to the Holy Spirit? We do so because the Holy Spirit is eternally-proceeding Love, and love does such things. Love seeks to be known by the beloved. Thomas expands on this notion of friendship in the Summa Contra Gentiles:

Of course, this is the proper mark of friendship: that one reveal his secrets to his friend. For, since charity unites affections and makes, as it were, one heart of two, one seems not to have dismissed from his heart that which he reveals to a friend. . . . Therefore, since by the Holy Spirit we are established as friends of God, fittingly enough it is by the Holy Spirit that men are said to receive the revelation of the divine mysteries.29

Proceeding eternally according to the mode of love, the indwelling Holy Spirit is the source of charity in us. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). This gift of charity establishes us in the friendship of God, and as one friend reveals his secrets to another, the Holy Spirit enables us to more deeply understand the secret things of God given in divine revelation (cf. 1 Cor 2:10–11).

Practical Implications for the Life of the Church

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16:13); “he will teach you all things” (Jn 14:26). These profound promises, rooted as they are in the trinitarian life of God in which we are called to participate, ought not to remain theological abstractions. The divine pattern and pedagogy should find concrete expression in the life of the Church and the lives of the faithful. I conclude here with six brief implications of the theology articulated above.

  • Trinitarian theology is the most practical of all matters because, as Fr. Dominic Legge writes, “we return to God according to the same pattern as the world was created, namely, the pattern of the eternal processions themselves.”30 The discussion above is only one specific instance of a universal principle. All of theology, nay, all of reality finds its center of gravity in the trinitarian life of God. Created in the image and likeness of a God who is trinitarian love, our ultimate destiny is communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit. Explorations that lead from eternal processions, to temporal missions, to our participation in deification disclose the ultimate reality standing under and behind the seemingly mundane and quotidian with which we are usually preoccupied. Theology is reality, and causes us to see reality for what it really is, charged with the grandeur of God as Gerard Manley Hopkins has said.
  • The Holy Spirit, as we have seen, manifests Truth because he is Love. According to this divine pedagogy, the more we love someone, the more we will wish to manifest the truth to that person. Priests motivated by pastoral charity will preach and teach the truth. The false dichotomy between that which is doctrinal and that which is pastoral is to be avoided. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it. With the same conviction as my predecessor [Paul VI], I therefore repeat: ‘To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls’” (Familiaris Consortio 33).
  • The Holy Spirit works within us for a deeper understanding of divine revelation because he is Love. Thus, we must beware the dangerous division between learning and love. Not everyone is called to be another Thomas Aquinas. But neither is there any foundation for a spirit-filled anti-intellectualism. Arguments over the priority of head or heart should give way to a vital circle of mutual enrichment in which deeper knowledge of the truth leads to greater love, which in turn opens pathways to deeper understanding.
  • Understanding God’s revelation is not a merely human endeavor. We would all do well to cultivate renewed devotion to the Holy Spirit: as professional theologians who systematically study revelation; as priests and deacons tasked with preaching liturgical homilies; as lay persons engaged in scripture study; as participants in the Liturgy of the Word. Veni Sancte Spiritus.
  • A good place to begin is by praying for the gift of understanding, counted among the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thomas Aquinas distinguishes the gift of understanding from the other gifts pertaining to the intellect by saying that through understanding, the things proposed to faith for belief are penetrated or grasped by the intellect.31 Adolphe Tanquerey identifies the primary means for cultivating this gift: “The main disposition required to obtain this gift is a lively and simple faith which humbly implores divine light, the better to lay hold of revealed truth.”32
  • Finally, the study of revealed truth should be highly esteemed and seen as a preparation disposing us to divinization. While this may seem a bold claim, it follows from what has been demonstrated above. The eternal procession of the Holy Spirit according to the mode of love finds expression in a temporal mission by which we are conformed to and participate in divine wisdom. The eternal trinitarian processions are given created likeness in us as the Holy Spirit, through the charity that he bestows, manifests more profoundly to us divine truth. Tanquerey points to study as the second way to cultivate the gift of understanding from the Holy Spirit: “The better to grasp these truths however, we must love them, we must study them, even more with the heart than with the mind, and above all with a humble spirit.”33 Study animated by charity, then, disposes us for our ultimate destiny in which learning gives way to possessing. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (1 Cor 13:12).
  1. See The Liturgy Documents, Volume One (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2004), 126.
  2. See ST III, q. 80, art. 1: “so sacramental eating, whereby the sacrament only is received without its effect, is divided against spiritual eating, by which one receives the effect of this sacrament, whereby a man is spiritually united with Christ through faith and charity.”
  3. For the relevance of Thomas’ Commentary on the Gospel of John to this topic, I am indebted to both Gilles Emery, Trinity, Church, and the Human Person: Thomistic Essays (Naples, FL: Sapientia Press, 2007); and Dominic Legge, The Trinitarian Christology of St Thomas Aquinas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  4. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 4 (no. 1916). All English translations taken from St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary of the Gospel of John, Biblical Commentaries vols. 35–36, ed. The Aquinas Institute, trans. Fr. Fabian R. Larcher, O.P. (Green Bay, WI: Aquinas Institute; Emmaus Academic), 2013.
  5. On the procession of the divine Persons, see ST I, q. 27, arts. 1–5. Thomas affirms that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, through the Son (ST I, q. 36, art. 3). For Thomas’ argument for the Spirit’s procession from the Son, see ST I, q. 36, art 2.
  6. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 4 (no. 1916).
  7. See Super Ioan. 15, lec. 5 (no. 2062): “He shows the Spirit as related to the Son when he says, the Spirit of truth, for the Son is the Truth: I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6) . . . So to say that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, is the same as saying the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Son. . . .”.
  8. For the notion of missions, see especially ST I, q. 43, art. 3.
  9. Super Ioan. 16, lec. 4 (no. 2107).
  10. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 6 (no. 1958).
  11. Legge, 225.
  12. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 6 (no. 1958).
  13. Legge, 225.
  14. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 6 (no. 1958).
  15. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 6 (no. 1958).
  16. Super Ioan. 15, lec. 5 (no. 2062).
  17. Super Ioan. 16, lec. 3 (no. 2102).
  18. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 4 (no. 1916). See also ST I, q. 36, art. 1.
  19. Super Ioan. 16, lec. 3 (no. 2103).
  20. Legge, 227. Fr. Legge further explains how the Holy Spirit influences the intellect: “As for the Holy Spirit, his mode of teaching is that of Love. He disposes the disciples to receive Christ’s teaching through love, giving them a pure heart and hence, a ‘sense’ of divine things; and the Holy Spirit, as Love, moves the disciples to know Christ, since love implies impulsion, motion” (Legge, 228).
  21. Francesco Lambiasi, Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, s.v. “Holy Spirit,” ed. R. Latourelle and R. Fisichella (New York: Crossroad, 2000), 456.
  22. Yves Congar, The Meaning of Tradition (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1964), 53.
  23. “The Son . . . teaches the truth by granting men to participate in, or to be assimilated to, his personal property of Word, Wisdom, and Splendor of the Father. As for the Holy Spirit, his action of teaching the truth is especially connected with love, which constitutes his distinctive personal property” (Emery, 106).
  24. SCG IV, ch. 19. See also ST I, q. 37, art. 1.
  25. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 4 (no. 1916).
  26. This vital circle is expressed eloquently by Gilles Emery: “On the one hand, truth flowers in charity. From this standpoint, we can note a participation in the very order of the Trinitarian processions. As the divine Word breathes Love, the knowledge of truth arouses love. In receiving the truth that ‘bursts out forth in love,’ we receive it according to the very pattern of its Trinitarian model. On the other hand, charity exerts a fundamental influence on the mind that knows and receives the truth. And from this standpoint, the movement of the will precedes the illumination of the mind by truth. It is through the ardor of charity that knowledge of the truth is given, for charity moves the mind to grasp the truth and give its assent” (Emery, 109).
  27. Emery, 107.
  28. Super Ioan. 14, lec. 4 (no. 1916).
  29. SCG IV, ch. 21.
  30. Legge, 228.
  31. ST II–II, q. 8, art. 6.
  32. Adolphe Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology, trans. Herman Branderis (Charlotte, NC: TAN Books, 2000), 628.
  33. Tanquerey, 629.
Dr. Michael Brummond About Dr. Michael Brummond

Dr. Michael Brummond is assistant professor of systematic studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI. He holds an STD from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary.

Comments

  1. Avatar Oliver Clark says:

    You write; “Thomas Aquinas distinguishes the gift of understanding from the other gifts pertaining to the intellect by saying that through understanding, the things proposed to faith for belief are penetrated or grasped by the intellect.31 Adolphe Tanquerey identifies the primary means for cultivating this gift: “The main disposition required to obtain this gift is a lively and simple faith which humbly implores divine light, the better to lay hold of revealed truth.”32”

    Why not write that belief is the keeping in uncertainty of the inseparability and qualitative equality of thinking reason and having faith feelings?

    Aquinas did not understand this keeping in consecrated celibate and male female marriage as not knowing of the active contribution of the female in conception in consecrated male female marriage.
    Hence the sexual abuse “worldwide catastrophe” (Pope Francis, 10 June 2021) of “the great majority of sacramental marriages are invalid” (Pope Francis, 15 June 2016).

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