Friday, September 6, 2013

Procession of Love

I'm now reading the Summa Theologiae on the Trinity again for a class.

I was reading about how there is a procession of love distinct from the procession of the intellect. Then I thought about the way St. Augustine approaches the notion of the interior word. He starts with the most obvious sense of word, the spoken word. From there he moves to the imagined word and then to the concept which comes forth when one thinks, and then says this is the closest we come to understanding God's word.

When we talk about the procession of love, I think it is from an analogy with the procession of the intellect, but we start with the interior/intellectual word as that from which we move to the will. Is there a visible/exterior procession of love that corresponds to the spoken word? It seems that it would be either an exterior action, or perhaps even a loving word. These more obviously have the account of impelling or moving, since by exterior actions you cause other things to move. I want to use the word fruit here for these exterior acts that proceed from love. And just as a word can proceed from truth or falsehood in one's mind, so fruits can proceed from the love of either the good or the bad. You will know them by their fruits.

After making that connection, I started reading the article on whether this procession is generation. Now fruits (in the case of trees) certainly seem to be generated (or at least brought forth..) by the tree. That makes me wonder if it is a good idea to call these fruits... I wonder if, just as St. Thomas was able to state what is essential to generation, it would be possible to consider what is essential in the account of fruit and find out how it fits in the whole picture.

(Unfortunately I'm in a hurry, or I would look at the I-II quaestio on fruits of the Holy Spirit...)

Another note, this consideration is moving from considering the interior procession of love to the exterior procession of love. Yet this exterior procession is more known, and by considering the relation between the two processions, hopefully this will help us to be reminded of God's interior life in every procession of love that we see.

Short update (9/13/13): I was reading a little from the section of the Summa on whether "Gift" is a proper name of the Holy Spirit (it is), and perhaps I ought to look at that more. I'm not sure why I like the word fruit so much...the confusion with birth could happen. Then again, Gift as well as Fruit both imply origin (which is important), and there is relationship between the ideas of one-born and gift that I haven't thought much

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