Monday, February 7, 2011

Aquinas on Illumination and Participation

It is necessary to say that the human soul cognizes all things in the eternal reasons, through participating in which we cognize all things. For the intellectual light that is in us is nothing other than a certain likeness of the uncreated light, obtained through participation, in which the eternal reasons are contained. Thus it is said in Psalm 4, Many say, Who shows us good things? To this question the Psalmist replies, saying The light of your face, Lord, is imprinted upon us. This is as if to say, through that seal of the divine light on us, all things are shown to us (Summa theol. 1a 84.5c).

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