Author Topic: The purpose of life?  (Read 860 times)

Offline John Lamb

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1459
  • Thanked: 1590 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2019, 06:17:33 PM »
The Scholastics, and Western theology in general, again with pre-eminent stupidity, appear to have miserabley failed to identify the spiritual subject, and this only continued with the Cartesian revolution, in which everything not "body" is merged into "mind", down  to today in which we speak of "consciousness" without distinction among the one who is aware, the awareness, and the immediate object of that awareness or "content of consciousness". They cannot even attempt to solve the problem of transcendence and immanence while being unable to distinguish between the I and its active and passive interactions with the rest of reality, particularly conflating actor with act and sufferer with suffering, at the most general level. The debilitating effect this kind of blindness has had upon its musings over nature of God is evident. We see that above.

The scholastics had the term "suppositum" which I believe satisfies your demand "to identify the spiritual subject".

Quote from: Aquinas
Further, nothing can be subject to itself. But person is subject to essence; whence it is called "suppositum" or "hypostasis." Therefore person is not the same as essence.

* * *

Divine things are named by us after the way of created things, as above explained (I:13:3). And since created natures are individualized by matter which is the subject of the specific nature, it follows that individuals are called "subjects," "supposita," or "hypostases." So the divine persons are named "supposita" or "hypostases," but not as if there really existed any real "supposition" or "subjection."

* * *

The difference between substantive and adjectival names consist in this, that the former carry their subject with them, whereas the latter do not, but add the thing signified to the substantive. Whence logicians are wont to say that the substantive is considered in the light of "suppositum," whereas the adjective indicates something added to the "suppositum." Therefore substantive personal terms can be predicated of the essence, because they are really the same; nor does it follow that a personal property makes a distinct essence; but it belongs to the "suppositum" implied in the substantive. But notional and personal adjectives cannot be predicated of the essence unless we add some substantive.

* * *

Person has a different meaning from "nature." For nature, as has been said (Article 1), designates the specific essence which is signified by the definition. And if nothing was found to be added to what belongs to the notion of the species, there would be no need to distinguish the nature from the suppositum of the nature (which is the individual subsisting in this nature), because every individual subsisting in a nature would be altogether one with its nature. Now in certain subsisting things we happen to find what does not belong to the notion of the species, viz. accidents and individuating principles, which appears chiefly in such as are composed of matter and form. Hence in such as these the nature and the suppositum really differ; not indeed as if they were wholly separate, but because the suppositum includes the nature, and in addition certain other things outside the notion of the species. Hence the suppositum is taken to be a whole which has the nature as its formal part to perfect it; and consequently in such as are composed of matter and form the nature is not predicated of the suppositum, for we do not say that this man is his manhood. But if there is a thing in which there is nothing outside the species or its nature (as in God), the suppositum and the nature are not really distinct in it, but only in our way of thinking, inasmuch it is called "nature" as it is an essence, and a "suppositum" as it is subsisting. And what is said of a suppositum is to be applied to a person in rational or intellectual creatures; for a person is nothing else than "an individual substance of rational nature," according to Boethius. Therefore, whatever adheres to a person is united to it in person, whether it belongs to its nature or not. Hence, if the human nature is not united to God the Word in person, it is nowise united to Him; and thus belief in Incarnation is altogether done away with, and Christian faith wholly overturned. Therefore, inasmuch as the Word has a human nature united to Him, which does not belong to His Divine Nature, it follows that the union took place in the Person of the Word, and not in the nature.

* * *

Thirdly, because to the hypostasis alone are attributed the operations and the natural properties, and whatever belongs to the nature in the concrete; for we say that this man reasons, and is risible, and is a rational animal. So likewise this man is said to be a suppositum, because he underlies [supponitur] whatever belongs to man and receives its predication.

* * *

According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v), substance is twofold. In one sense it means the quiddity of a thing, signified by its definition, and thus we say that the definition means the substance of a thing; in which sense substance is called by the Greeks ousia, what we may call "essence." In another sense substance means a subject or "suppositum," which subsists in the genus of substance. To this, taken in a general sense, can be applied a name expressive of an intention; and thus it is called "suppositum." It is also called by three names signifying a reality—that is, "a thing of nature," "subsistence," and "hypostasis," according to a threefold consideration of the substance thus named. For, as it exists in itself and not in another, it is called "subsistence"; as we say that those things subsist which exist in themselves, and not in another. As it underlies some common nature, it is called "a thing of nature"; as, for instance, this particular man is a human natural thing. As it underlies the accidents, it is called "hypostasis," or "substance." What these three names signify in common to the whole genus of substances, this name "person" signifies in the genus of rational substances.

* * *

The term "what" refers sometimes to the nature expressed by the definition, as when we ask; What is man? and we answer: A mortal rational animal. Sometimes it refers to the "suppositum," as when we ask, What swims in the sea? and answer, A fish. So to those who ask, Three what? we answer, Three persons.

Quote from: Catholic Encyclopedia, "Person"
The classic definition is that given by Boethius in "De persona et duabus naturis", c. ii: Naturæ rationalis individua substantia (an individual substance of a rational nature).

Substantia -- "Substance" is used to exclude accidents: "We see that accidents cannot constitute person" (Boethius, op. cit.). Substantia is used in two senses: of the concrete substance as existing in the individual, called substantia prima, corresponding to Aristotle's ousia prote; and of abstractions, substance as existing in genus and species, called substantia secunda, Aristotle's ousia deutera. It is disputed which of the two the word taken by itself here signifies. It seems probable that of itself it prescinds from substantia prima and substantia secunda, and is restricted to the former signification only by the word individua.

Individua — Individua, i.e., indivisum in se, is that which, unlike the higher branches in the tree of Porphyry, genus and species, cannot be further subdivided. Boethius in giving his definition does not seem to attach any further signification to the word. It is merely synonymous with singularis.

Rationalis naturae -- Person is predicated only of intellectual beings. The generic word which includes all individual existing substances is suppositum. Thus person is a subdivision of suppositum which is applied equally to rational and irrational, living and non-living individuals. A person is therefore sometimes defined as suppositum naturae rationalis.

The definition of Boethius as it stands can hardly be considered a satisfactory one. The words taken literally can be applied to the rational soul of man, and also the human nature of Christ. That St. Thomas accepts it is presumably due to the fact that he found it in possession, and recognized as the traditional definition. He explains it in terms that practically constitute a new definition. Individua substantia signifies, he says, substantia, completa, per se subsistens, separata ab aliia, i.e., a substance, complete, subsisting per se, existing apart from others (III, Q. xvi, a. 12, ad 2um).

If to this be added rationalis naturae, we have a definition comprising the five notes that go to make up a person: (a) substantia-- this excludes accident; (b) completa-- it must form a complete nature; that which is a part, either actually or "aptitudinally" does not satisfy the definition; (c) per se subsistens--the person exists in himself and for himself; he is sui juris, the ultimate possessor of his nature and all its acts, the ultimate subject of predication of all his attributes; that which exists in another is not a person; (d) separata ab aliis--this excludes the universal, substantia secunda, which has no existence apart from the individual; (e) rationalis naturae--excludes all non-intellectual supposita.

To a person therefore belongs a threefold incommunicability, expressed in notes (b), (c), and (d). The human soul belongs to the nature as a part of it, and is therefore not a person, even when existing separately. The human nature of Christ does not exist per se seorsum, but in alio, in the Divine Personality of the Word. It is therefore communicated by assumption and so is not a person. Lastly the Divine Essence, though subsisting per se, is so communicated to the Three Persons that it does not exist apart from them; it is therefore not a person.
As many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (John 1:12)
 

Offline Xavier

  • O Felix Culpa! Quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem ... O inaestimabilis Dilectio Caritatis: ut servum redimeres, Filium tradidisti!
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3280
  • Thanked: 2680 times
  • Indian Catholic
    • Marian Apostolate Life Offering.
  • Religion: Catholic Christian (Roman Rite Latin Traditionalist)
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2019, 10:57:18 AM »
Yes, as others have said. The purpose of life is to know and love God, to serve Him in this life and enjoy Him eternally in the next, to prepare well by constant prayer and ceaseless labors in this life, to attain complete mystical union of love with Him, by our hearts being made one with His Sacred Heart. In the language of the Eastern Fathers, this mystical union with God, the purpose of Christian life, is called theosis. All the Fathers and Doctors like to say things like, God became One with Man that Man might become One with God.

St. Athanasius states, "The Word was made flesh in order that we might be made gods. ... Just as the Lord, putting on the body, became a man, so also we men are both deified through his flesh, and henceforth inherit everlasting life." and also "For the Son of God became Man so that we might become God."

In an excellent work, "The Three Ages of the Interior Life" and in his other writings, Traditional Thomist Fr. Garrigou Lagrange has shown the mystical and ascetical theology of St. Thomas remarkably concurs with the mystical experiences of St. John of the Cross. St. John explains, "In thus allowing God to work in it, the soul (having rid itself of every mist and stain of the creatures, which consists in having its will perfectly united with that of God, for to love is to labor to detach and strip itself for God’s sake of all that is not God) is at once illumined and transformed in God, and God communicates to it His supernatural Being, in such wise that it appears to be God Himself, and has all that God Himself has. And this union comes to pass when God grants the soul this supernatural favour, that all the things of God and the Soul are One in participant Transformation; and the Soul seems to be God rather than a soul, and is indeed God by participation; although it is true that its natural being, though thus transformed, is as distinct from the Being of God as it was before, even as the window has likewise a nature distinct from that of the ray, though the ray gives it brightness."
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own! Let us Offer our Lives in Sacrifice to Jesus and Mary Today, to save, if it were possible, all souls everywhere.
 

Offline John Lamb

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1459
  • Thanked: 1590 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2019, 04:30:46 PM »
The purpose of life is happiness. In particular, the kind of happiness called blessedness or "well-being" (in Greek: eudaimonia, literally "good spirit").

If you like, the final or ultimate purpose of life is to give glory to God, but the immediate and formal purpose of life itself is its own happiness or flourishing. God created things so that they could have their own goodness and, in the case of spiritual creatures, their own proper happiness. This isn't a selfish or individualist view of life, because the true happiness of spiritual creatures like angels & men is in sharing in the Supreme Good: God.
As many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (John 1:12)