Monday, April 29, 2013

An Analogy with Literature - Part 2

And it can never be emphasized more strongly and more frequently enough - that every creature and making act of God is just that: an absolutely transcendent, a-temporal Act – involving no process at all, but instantaneously causing the appearance, rather, the real existence of the substantial form in the case of the plants and animals, just as narrated in Genesis One, and the proper parts on Day Four, just as narrated in Genesis One. (Please see this writer’s previous works on the “work” of God for each of the Six Days.)
Oh, that God would raise up an Apostle of Creation! What needs to be emphasized here, I think, is that only God can perform miracles, or those to whom He gives the power to be His instrument. Contrary to what some Protestants say, Creation is not a miracle. Nothing recorded in Genesis I is a miracle. It is rather the very establishment of all the natural, physical laws which miracles suspend temporarily or permanently speed up, as in the cases of healing. To put it more succinctly, every miraculous event presupposes Creation. In fact, everything – every form, function, natural act and process, presupposes Creation – what God has revealed to us in Genesis.
2. Following the hierarchical order indicated by the narrative of Genesis One, on Day Three of Creation Week, God began the work of “Adornment”, but He also created the substantial forms of the plant/kinds: animal and human kinds on the specified day. The herbs or grasses; those that go to seed and the trees bearing fruit. These constituting the first living forms, appear when God said: “Let the earth bring forth..” (Gen.1:11-13). This is tremendously significant, because it indicates transference of certain elements from their inanimate state as part of the earth, to constitute the accidental forms of the newly-created plant kinds that are living forms. Some of the Protestant creationists think of the elements that today constitute the structural identity or form (accidental forms in themselves, but now and on Day Three, as by their specific arrangement identifying the plant kind) – some consider these elements to be dead things. But I must contest this idea for this reason: in their first state, as the elements of the periodic table, let us think of the elements simply as inanimate – as created on Day One. When these precious elements enter into the living forms of plants, animals and humans, as they do by the process of nutrition, they become subservient to – and obedient servants of the specific substantial form, whether plant, animal or man, into which they have entered! They thus become – I suggest – not necessarily living – but at least animate, (we may say they participate in some way with the life-giving principle,) - for they are destined by the various physical cycles, to return to the inanimate state until the cycle begins again. All this was initiated and established by God, the Most Blessed Trinity, on Days Three, Five and Six of Creation Week. The substantial forms created during Creation Week, constitute and establish for all time, the natural laws that govern the functioning, that is the processes flowing from the nature of the form specified. The Protestants have yet to learn to distinguish clearly between the natural order of things and the supernatural order of Divine Grace.
This is where Taxonomy must begin – with the substantial form. And great changes must be acknowledged as having happened at and after the great chastisement and catastrophic event of the Universal Flood. But did any substantial changes occur? I do not think so. As great as they were, the changes were climatologically and geographically, that is geologically topographical. The Protestant creationists have done exceedingly valuable work in this area of Flood Geology. That Catholic theologians and scientists have wholly neglected these evidences as demonstrated by Flood Geology, is certainly one of those major crimes for which the modernists and those complicit, will one day have to answer. And even now, as reported in Acts and Facts, the scientists of ICR are doing most valuable work in predation and parasitism, - putting Catholics to shame.
The earth was quite a different place – perhaps even the entire universe was – but not substantially, only accidentally. This is clearly evidenced by the Fossil Record. All plants and animals today find their pre-flood relatives in the Fossil Record. This is clear evidence that the substantial forms of all the kinds created in the first Six Days of the World, have been faithfully transmitted through generation –despite many accidental variations, even through so catastrophic a change in the earth and even the cosmos as that caused by the Universal Flood. This is because the substantial form is the primary governing and limiting principle in every composite being. Even in the Angels, the existential, substantial form limits, determines, governs each Angel’s sphere of operations. And so it is with the natural order as a whole – and even in the supernatural order – grace builds on nature and so, in a very real sense, grace is limited by nature. A human being will never become an angel, even though some human beings, by a special mission given them by God, may be as pure as the purest angel, as in the ever-Virgin Mary, Queen of the Angels, by Her divine vocation as God’s Mother. And some saints such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Bernadette. St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows, edify us by their exceptional purity. But no human being, even Our Blessed Lady and Christi in His Human Nature – ever even aspired to be an angel – let alone become such by any natural law. The hierarchy of being is static, vertical, immutable, both in the natural and supernatural orders. That any kind of being should ever become another kind of being, is metaphysically and theologically impossible - because of the created – established laws of Act and Potency ruling every finite, created being from the Body of the Universe composed of Prime Matter and Spherical-Hierarchical form up to the highest seraphim. All finite creatures are a composite of two principles, each limiting the other by immutable laws which Theologians and the Natural Scientists should cooperate in explaining to us.
The two principles governing every finite being are: 1. Existence and Essence….2. Act and Potency….. 3. Form and Matter ….and 4. Substance and accidents. The angels are composed only of act and potency – presupposing existence and essence! Even in these two principles – there is the principle of hierarchy, because there is no essence without a first existence. Rather we should say, nothing (no thing) –possesses an essence without first existing or being. Thus, a man or woman wishing to compose a poem or write a novel or paint a picture or carve a statue or build a church or a house - must first himself exist. Then his plans to make something beautiful or simply useful, require that he have certain materials at hand with which to make the object he has in mind. If we desire to compose a poem, or a sonata, or a picture – whatever we desire to make, we are limited by the potentialities of language in the case of a literary construct, or by the potentialities of the musical octave in the case of a musical composition, or by the potentialities of line and color in the case of painting, and so on. It is the principle of matter – which is that of potency –defined by the essence that allows both for virtually – innumerable variations on a theme, the “theme” being analogous to the immutable – substantial form, and the stability of the substantial form – the Genesis kind, throughout time. Thus the Order of Generation, because of the laws of nature, preserves the Order of Creation – wherein all such laws were first established. How true it is that everything presupposes Creation!

An Analogy with Literature - Part 1

I came to my final conviction - that the elements of the Periodic Table are accidental forms of some larger substance, and not in themselves substantial forms, as the Neo-Scholastics were saying. I came to this conviction, and repeatedly confirmed it by my study of literary form and by extension of all art forms. St. Thomas says many times, that all art forms are accidents - that is essentially and existentially or metaphysically, the properties of the already existing materials of which they are made - or forms imposed. With literary forms, the materials out of which they are made, are the sounds and meanings of the author's language. But language itself is but a property, although a necessary - accidental property, of the substantial form that is human nature. Here we see immediately that the analogy is not complete. In fact, the Scholastic axiom holds that every analogy "limps". 
The big difference is that in the case of all literary constructs, from the lowest and shortest colloquial exclamation, to the most sublime poetic discourse, the substantial form in which the elemental accidents of literature ultimately inhere, is some human being with a specific language - whereas the elements of the Periodic Table - the atomic elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire - in their natural state as prime matter and inanimate forms - ultimately inhere in the substantial form of the Body of the Universe, created on Day One, as narrated in the first five verses of Genesis One. The modern cosmologists, guided by the structure of reality itself, at least in this one regard, distinguish between atomic "matter" and light. And so does Genesis 1-5! Here is a most fertile field for further research and especially for educating the public in and about a truly Catholic Cosmology.
And so, in the case of the atomic elements and light, the substantial form in which they inhere/adhere as accidental properties and forms, is the physical Body of the Universe itself. In literature, the smallest elements of sound and meaning are analogous to the chemical elements. In language, the smallest meaningful element is the phoneme. The phoneme is meaningful only as part of a meaningful structure. Take the expletive WOW! The - w - alone is meaningless. So is the O. These two letters of the English Alphabet only have the totally abstract "meaning" of the 15th and 23rd letters of the otherwise meaningless alphabet. But, in the specific structural arrangement of WOW! - they convey the expletive meaning we recognize when spoken..(as by Pope John Paul II in his meetings with young people) and when we see it in print. The exclamation point is a conventional sign limited to the print or written medium. But in all cases, you can see it in the structure - the arrangement of the letters that means something. And, so it is with the chemical elements. H20 "means" - or actually defines the state of matter - we know as liquid water - or simply water - as quite different from the single signs H and O as two of the elements in the Periodic Table. Their mathematical identity is one and eight, respectively, and these numbers - the atomic number - are vastly more meaningful than the single signs O and W as the 15th and 23rd letters of the English alphabet. At least now.
In any case, there is an analogy that may be helpful in understanding both kinds of structure. Both are accidental forms. Here is an example. I think it is Bobby Burns, the 19th century Scottish Poet, who
is famous for the following, - very moralistic verse:
There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us - that it ill behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.
But you dare not change one word of this verse without altering the entire fabric/form in some way.
* Here should be pointed out that the non-conceptual apprehension of the formal principle of an artistic structure - or one we term beautiful. The verse just quoted is perhaps best described as a pleasing - really comical structure of rhymes and rhythms, the internal rhymes especially causing the formality to stand out - as if saying "Look at this!" Notice, this is not the same as the conceptual form of the verse, something of a limerick and emphasizing the mechanics of the verse.
And so it is, also, with the formula for photosynthesis: CO2 + 2H2O - Cm (H20)n + H20 + 02
One cannot change any element in the structural formula, as it exists in reality - that is - as the formula represents what actually happens in reality - without disrupting the process of photosynthesis and preventing the natural result. One can perhaps learn just as much from the differences in the analogy as from the similarities. And these will all, both differences and similarities, be due, ultimately to the fact that the verse by Robert Burns, is a man-made artifact, and the form made by the man out of linguistic materials, will remain in a state of potential realization as an artistic form, until it is read or recited; whereas the process of photosynthesis, thanks to God's creative Act on Day Three, is a natural process, that began once the plant's substantial form was created. Function following upon form, in the natural order of creation - absolutely independently of any other creature - for all the necessary elements were present for photosynthesis as Day Three --- light and the structure of the plant. 
And as noted previously, the miracle of transubstantiation, being of an infinitely higher Order, that of the supernatural, is absolutely unique. Of all substantial changes - all other substantial changes issue in death of the individual plant, animal or man/woman. The miracle of transubstantiation alone issues in, or results in, the increased life of grace, the spiritual life of the soul - or - in the case of unworthy reception of the "Living Bread" - an increase of spiritual hardness and degree of reprobation in Hell, unless there is repentance. So we may sum up with these three kinds of change or process: 
1. The miracle of transubstantiation. In this one unique miracle, there is a true and unique substantial change in which the two substances, that of the wheaten bread and the grapen wine, merge or fuse and change into the One Divine Substance of the Word of God, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity - made Man with the Flesh of the Most Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary. The only other miracles that involve a real, substantial change, are those recorded of raising a person from the dead. We know by Faith that all human deaths are temporary - because we will be re-united with our bodies at the General Resurrection. However, to bring a person back from the dead, especially if corruption has set in, as it had in the case of Lazarus, whom Our Lord called forth from the tomb after four days - (John 11: 14, 17), - is a far greater miracle than that performed by Eliseus. This prophet, disciple of Elias, had to lay upon the child twice before he returned to life, (4 Kings 4:28-38) whereas Lazarus came forth immediately at the words of Our Lord to "Come forth!" And he had but to touch the bier of the widow's son and but to speak to the little girl of the ruler. For He is the very Word of God - who brought all things into existence. * John 8:25
His name is Principium - the Alpha and the Omega! Oh, what a great doctrine is this of Creation and how much the Church loses today by allowing it to be neglected in the literal sense of Genesis One! All other miracles, even the most stupendous, do not involve substantial change - unless one considers the celestial bodies to be substances. And this is a question to be disputed and solved. My own position is that this miracle of Joshua's long day, in which both the sun and the moon ceased their movement so that Joshua and his army could defeat the Amorites, involves only accidental change, (Joshua 10:10-14). But read about this great miracle in Sungenis (Synopsis (pp.52-60) - if you can't manage the monumental - 2 volume - Galileo Was Wrong, the Church was Right. 
That the sun and moon revolving daily around our central, stationary earth, are but parts of the larger universal body. Genesis specifies that they were made as “two great lights“… made in the firmament…” (Genesis 1:14-19). I am suggesting that God“made” as opposed to “created from nothing”, using the light created on Day One, the Sun, Moon and Stars. My QPB Science Encyclopedia tells me that the Sun is 70% hydrogen, about 30% helium - with other elements making up less than 1%. My Catholic Cosmology has no “solar system” until after the Noachian deluge. I suggest the so-called “solar system” is an effect of the Flood. It is very reasonable to believe this in the light of the evidences brought forth by Walt Brown and his hydroplate theory. But, this is just one of those disputed questions to be solved or reasonably resolved in the future, in the light of a much greater and stronger divine Catholic Faith. In any case, my proposed Catholic Cosmology sees the Sun, Moon and Stars, as made directly by God, with the elements of Prime Matter created on Day One, to function as parts - accidental, non-substantial, but necessary parts of the Body of the Universe. Modern scientists have no clue as to the moon’s origin, nor do they know what elements constitute it. The most popular theory is that the moon is an offshoot of the earth. Some Catholics, namely the followers of Fernand Crombette (d.1970) believe this also, and Gregory Groebner has some interesting photographic evidence. These scientists also claim that the moon originally was much more luminous than now. The truth of this opinion seems to be strongly indicated by scripture itself - because God, on Day Four, says that the moon is but a“lesser light” to rule the night..” (Gen.1: 16). It must have been quite a sight to rule the night! I don’t see how any chunk of earth could do that, do you?
When it comes to body parts, analogies utterly fail. The celestial spheres, the celestial bodies - sun, moon, galaxies, and above all, the angelic choirs that govern them. All these are like the arms of a gigantic parent embracing, guarding, protecting the little earth at the center of all things: “the still point of the moving world”, as T.S. Eliot has it somewhere.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Bit of Literary Theory Concerning the Literary Form of Genesis 1-11

The very nature of any form proclaims first, its existence in the real world, if such be so - and secondly, its essence or natural identity. In the case of a literary construct, being composed of the words of a certain language, there is presupposed - a certain degree of literacy. Additionally, in the case of the Bible today, most of us must depend on a translation of the original (Greek in the New Testament, - Hebrew for the Old). All that granted, let us look at Genesis One. 
Let us point out, also, that what we are asking the text alone and of itself to tell us, is the formal principle, - in other words, what the text is, assuming its existence. I am maintaining that because of certain literary facts, the text itself proclaims itself to be an historical narrative. How so? 
First of all, the Voice speaking. It is a 3rd person telling us very plainly, with practically no embellishment, just what God did on each of the seven days of the first week of the world. To Whom is the Voice speaking? There is no specified audience, and so we may fairly assume the speaker is addressing anyone and everyone. Even us! And most importantly, what is this speaker's intention? Is there any way to know this from the text alone, of itself? Yes, there is. We know the speaker's intention by the way in which He speaks, by the form He has chosen to use in order best to convey His message. And what is this mode of discourse? What is the literary form the speaker has chosen? If I asked a seven year old these questions, what do you think he or she would say? I think he or she would see clearly that this speaker was not beginning or continuing to tell us a "fairy tale" or a made-up story. This text has all the characteristics of a plain, historical narrative. We could compare it with some such narratives in the history of literature. (I attempted some such demonstration in my analysis of Cardinal Ratzinger's booklet – In The Beginning, available on request.) It is impossible to search out the intent of the author, as the modernists tell us we must do. It is impossible because the very form of the speech will forestall him and betray him if need be, by revealing what he actually accomplishes by means of his speech. A good example is Milton’s – Paradise Lost. The poet announces early in the poem that his explicit intention is to justify the ways of God to men. This is an explicitly, rhetorical purpose: to convince his readers of God’s great justice in all that happened as a result of the Original Sin. Does the epic poem achieve this purpose? I invite any reader of the poem to answer this question as honestly as he can. 
As a matter of fact, and as a student at one time, of this very poet, Milton rather achieved the purpose of the poetic mode of discourse, which is to make a speech-construct that stands on its own, as it were, apart from any other goal – end – purpose or intention, than simply to be admired, even astonished at the epic’s architectonic structure. Such a structure as was necessary to befit the poem’s real hero – Lucifer, the great Rebel – Satan as Head and Leader of the Fallen Angels, embodying all of their evil thoughts and will in himself throughout this astounding poetic discourse. There are masterpieces of rhetorical discourse in the poem, but they are contained – just as the dialogue in a great drama are contained and define the formal principle of the construct. And so it is with the text of Genesis. I like to think of all of scripture as a Divine Rhetoric, because, whatever the literary form, God’s intent is always to speak to our minds in the literal/historical sense and to our wills/hearts in the spiritual sense! These two senses are never to be separated and of course, can never contradict each other. This is what is so important about Genesis 1-11: the account of Creation and then of the Great Flood due to the wickedness of the descendants of Cain. 
The tradition – the Sacred Tradition of the Church, at one with scripture and the magisterium, was never castigated as “fundamentalism”until the evolutionary modernists began to gain control of biblical exegesis. I have documented much of this progress of error in – Canonized Heresies, and yet more in the Wiseman papers and the – Power of Darkness, but much more work remains to be done in all areas of the relation between theology and the natural sciences. Contrary to the opinion of most traditionalists today, this relationship is not only desirable but absolutely necessary. See how atheism thrives today, causing the loss of innumerable souls, all because the Church in her theology, has lost the science - the highest natural science of metaphysics, which shows us how best to demonstrate the existence of God and His necessary attributes - from natural reason alone.

This is what St. Thomas did in his Five Ways of proving God's existence, (ST, I, q.2, a3). In the Summa, Part I, q.1, a6, - St. Thomas clearly states the relation of theology, - that is of divine Catholic Faith, to the natural sciences. First of all, it must be recognized that the truths of faith constitute the highest wisdom, that knowledge through and by which all other knowledge is set in order. (ST, I, q.1, a6, ad1.) And so, theology, being concerned with the truths of faith found in Holy Scripture and Tradition, is not concerned to prove the principles of the other sciences, but only to judge them. For whatsoever is found in other sciences, but contrary to any truth of this science, must be condemned as false. And he quotes 2 Cor.10:4,5. And so, how can the Church fail to condemn as false - a theory, posing as science, which tells us that man is really made in the image of the apes rather than of God?

Genesis 1-11 and all of the Old Testament historical books are just that - real history that we ignore to our peril. And especially now, it seems to me imperative for all who call themselves traditionalists, to proclaim in their periodicals and websites, that the so-called science of evolution in all its malignant forms, masquerading as progress, is error and worse, it is heresy because it attacks the truths of Faith revealed in Sacred Scripture and proclaimed in our Credo.

Kyrie, Eleison!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scott Hahn's "Salvation History"

Scott Hahn's "salvation history" is certainly one of the worst deviations from Sacred Tradition to be blamed on Vatican II. And yet, I have not yet seen it so blamed. On the contrary, this term, "salvation history", seems to have become the main way we are supposed to approach the bible. As Scott and Kimberly Hahn say on page 96 of Genesis to Jesus, “If we want to understand the bible, we need to understand its “plot.” That plot is salvation history, - the story of how God’s plan for human salvation unfolds in the course of human events!! Now it is time that Pope Pius XII in the Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, did encourage the use of “literary forms” in the study of scripture…but to reduce the bible as a whole to one literary form – that with a plot – even in quotes – seems to me a totally unwarranted assumption.
Next, completely skipping over creation, as if it had never happened, the Hahn’s briefly relate the incident of “The Emmaus Road”, in Luke 24. The third heading tells us that “The Mass: The Key to the Bible” is so because Our Lord’s words concerning Moses and the Prophets, reveal His Coming and His Mission. Now this leaves a terrible gap in the Hahn’s “story”, because it really assumes that there never really was an original State of Innocence lost by a really awful original sin on the part of two exceptionally gifted human beings, in fact, our First Parents.

The Body of the Universe

In my Catholic Cosmology, the Body of the Universe has no soul. And yet, as a substantial form, the first substantial form and the first secondary cause, it performs all the functions of a substantial form, the main one of which is to dictate and govern the functioning order of the elements in their natural, inanimate state, that is, before they enter into a living form and come under the dictation and governance of a living plant, animal or human substantial form. And so it is fair to ask: What takes the place of the "soul" of the body of the universe? What or Who is responsible for the majestic order we observe in the celestial bodies and in such phenomena as the lines of force that constitute earth's magnetic field? 
I think there are only two possibilities, and I cannot yet decide between them - though I favor the first. I believe that the angels, in their nine celestial choirs, have each been appointed as God's special delegates and, as in some mysterious way, mirroring the elements, to govern and preside over, keeping the order of each celestial body in its special sphere. After all, the angels are very much a part of the created universe. They are so much the top of the hierarchy of being as to be out of sight for us, and thus not mentioned in Genesis 1-3, except in the person of their fallen leader, Lucifer, who brought about the fall of our first parents. So you see how very much a part of our world the angels must be! John Milton summed up a great deal of tradition in his epic poem, Paradise Lost. And, although not all of it is trustworthy, it does show us how much knowledge of our real ancestry we have lost. For it is not amongst the primates we are to search, but rather amongst the Canaanites and their descendants - dispersed from the Tower of Babel - especially into the Near East and Egypt. The only other source for the order we see amongst the elements in their inanimate state is God Himself. And it is said that of all the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, only St. Jerome favored this position.
And so there it is.
The Protestant Creationists of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) - are so far ahead of all other scientists - especially so-called Catholic scientists, in providing emperical evidences for such problematic issues as predation and parasitism after the Fall, and the adaptations to such severe habitats as the arctic penguins. Did you know that the penguins have a special anti-freeze glycoprotein in their blood? Did it evolve, as the evolutionists will tell you? No, it did not. Our Catholic science refers to the higher principle of potency and holds that those flightless birds, the penguins, had in their gene pool, the potency for that special protein which automatically "kicked in" when the ecological conditions so required. Too glib?
Read Acts and Facts, ICR’s free publication, for the up-to-date research on all such “disputed questions”.
Kyrie, Eleison.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Creatio Prima & Creatio Secunda - Part 2

Whatever makes the literal sense more clear is what I prefer. Most important, however, is the fact that each time God said "Let the earth bring forth" and "Let the waters bring forth", (Days Three, Five and Six), something totally new was produced, because in each new substantial form, even the already created elements from the Earth and Air and Waters, took on a totally new and kind-specific arrangement or structure, a permanent, immutable and stable form to last throughout time in the Order of Generation that thereby preserves the Order of Creation. It is in this sense that not only do all things presuppose creation, but the Order of Creation is the source and foundational pool for all things that must endure if any societal communities were ever to exist. In brief, the Order of Creation is the source of all Law and Order.

St. Thomas continues: "Creation is the production of a thing in its entire substance, nothing being presupposed either uncreated or created."

Comment: This last phrase, "either uncreated or created" would certainly rule out an already created earth for the creation of the Plant Kingdom. I suggest that the earth here refers to a totally new arrangement of newly created elements - thus each plant kind in its "entire substance." You can see how very important the elements are, and how we really must have a theology of the elements as a necessary part of the material cause in the hylemorphic structure of the Body of the Universe. For as the physics of the elements requires, each element, although but an accidental form of the Substantial Form that is the Body of the Universe, as such, it has of necessity, its own little hylemorphic (matter-form) structure. (This, by the way, is how the analogy with literary form can be helpful. Each literary construct, according to its mode of discourse, has its own genre - specific matter and form.) This is very evident in Theodore Grey's book, ThElements, because it shows every material-formal aspect of each element, as far as it is known today. It makes very clear, too, that the essence of each element is quantitative and that the qualities we perceive (color, sound, etc.) all have their basic existential character, in some unique quantity.

Here Plato and his Pythagorean predecessors are very valuable, because they classified the geometric shapes of each element - as also does Theodore Gray in his book. This information is most valuable for our cosmology and our theology. St. Thomas continues: Hence it remains that nothing can create except God alone, Who is the First Cause. Therefore, in order to show that all bodies were created immediately by God, Moses said: "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth". Therefore, I suggest, and my Catholic Cosmology demonstrates, that on Day One, or, "In the beginning", God created the Body of the Universe - consisting of spheres surrounding earth at the center. The reply to objection 1 in this same article 3, must be quoted also: "In the production of things an order exists, but not such that one creature is created by another, for that is impossible - but rather such that by the Divine Wisdom, diverse grades are constituted in creatures.

Comment: This hierarchical order is also manifest in the order of the creation of creatures on each of the Six Days. For the inanimate world of the elements, the lowest grade of being, is created first, on Day One. Then appears the plant kingdom, then the sea animals and the birds, then the land animals. Finally man-kind receives the very special attention of God. Moreover, man-kind sums up in his being, or rather subsumes all previous lower grades of perfection, (see the 4th Way of St. Thomas), in his own rational being. By this character, he naturally holds - but is also explicitly given by God, "dominion" over all below him. (Genesis 1:26, 28.) - but not beyond.

Another aspect of the account or theology of creation in St. Thomas - that occasioned the artificial distinction of creatio prima et...secunda is the metaphysically - and theologically necessary doctrine that matter never exists without form. In the Summa, Part I, Question 66, article one, this doctrine is explicated. I quote only the most relevant passages:

"On the contrary...Deut.32:4: The works of God are perfect. Therefore, the work of His creation was, at no time, formless. Further, the formation of corporeal creatures was effected by the work of distinction. But confusion is opposed to distinction, as formlessness to the beginning confusion, called by the ancients chaos, existed in the corporeal creation. (ST, I, q.66, a1.) To say, then, that matter preceded, but without form, is to say that being existed actually, yet without act, which is a contradiction in terms. Nor can it be said that it possessed some common form, on which supervened the different forms that distinguish it. For this would be to hold the opinion of the ancient natural philosophers, who maintained that primary matter was some corporeal thing in act, as fire, air, water, or some intermediate substance.

Comment: Here I base my cosmological theory that the elements are indeed but accidental forms that only effect change. They do not create, by any stretch of the imagination - they do not, therefore, confer substantial form - Absurdity! They do, though, cause change, by the power of the agency they possess as accidents, for this is one of the nine accidents or categories of being - possessed by the substantial form - which acts through, controls, and governs and directs the agencies and corresponding passive dispositions of its accidents. This is seen so wonderfully in the biological processes of living forms, such as photosynthesis in green plants and the protein synthesis specific to various kinds of animals. But also based on these passages of St. Thomas, I hold that primary matter, as St. Thomas asserts, "was not created altogether formless, nor under any one common form, but under distinct forms. (ST, I, q.66, a1, I answer....)

Therefore, I feel secure in holding that Primary Matter - as created on Day One, was and continues to be that potency invested by God in the atoms to take on, according to their immediate environment and the substantial form into which they enter, those accidental forms that preserve and/or benefit in some way - or may harm in some way - as in diseases caused by mutations - those substantial forms under which they, (the atomic structures) can and do act. Keep in mind, please, that accidental forms -- must of necessity -- by the Order of Creation, act and realize their virtual, innate potentialities, only under the formal directives of the substance in which they exist. Here I conclude my attempt to clarify, especially with reference to my own Catholic Cosmology, what I consider to be an artificial, and not really helpful distinction, of a creatio prima and a creatio secunda. It really concerns what God did on Day Three, Day Four, Day Five and Day Six.

I hold that on these Days, God really created, in the full sense, something totally new by reason of each one's hylemorphic (matter-form), structure. I believe the evidences of empirical science will demonstrate this fact. Keep in mind, too, that when God creates, No process - whatsoever is involved. His creative Word - Command - Fiat - is all act and atemporal. No time involved or required. Time only begins with the Form's existence, which then begins to perform its functions. Form comes before function. This is an absolute law of all finite being - even the inanimate. Here is a proof for the existence of the human soul at conception, because the zygote-embryo could not develop into a human being without the directives proceeding only from the Substantial Form, for which the Creative Act of God is absolutely necessary. And exactly so it is also with every Substantial Form. Only God can create/make the Substantial Form. These forms constitute the Order of Creation.

In the Order of Generation, these Substantial Forms are only transmitted, by re-production and pro-creation. In the case of plants and animals, only material forms are transmitted, and so, the action of God is required only as First Efficient and Primary Cause, as Providential concurring action preserving all things in existence. Only in the case of the rational-immortal human soul is the immediate and direct creative act required. We can see here that every individual human being is therefore an object of the most special predilection in God's Mind and Heart, - a special object of Divine Love. St. Theresa of Avila saw this when she went into ecstacy at the sight of the beauty of one human soul...And St. Therese of Lisieux suffered a life-long agony of consuming love in order to save as many of these precious souls as she could.

In truth, all things considered...everything presupposes creation. And so, where are the Apostles of Creation today?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Creatio Prima & Creatio Secunda....Part 1

Reading Ludwig Ott's Fundamental’s of Catholic Dogma, (Herder, 6th Ed., 1964), I find that the creation prima and creation secunda are discussed, very briefly but giving the references in the Summa, under the de fide dogma that states, “All that exists outside God, was, in its whole substance, produced out of nothing by God. (De fide.)
I do not see that the distinction of creation into a prima and secunda is de fide, as long as one holds, and can demonstrate that “all that exists outside God, was, in its whole substance, produced out of nothing by God.”  The distinction of prima and secunda, as it was developed by theologians after St. Thomas, has to do with the agency of secondary causes and the relation of matter, which is the principle of potency, to its matching form or act.  I will quote some relevant passages from the Summa, those given by Ludwig Ott on page 79-80 of Fundamentals. 
“Some have maintained that creatures proceeded from God by degrees, in such a way that the first creature proceeded from Him immediately, and in its turn produced another, and so on, until the production of corporeal creatures.  But this position is untenable, since the first production of corporeal creatures is by creation, by which matter itself is produced; for in the act of coming into being the imperfect must be made before the perfect; and it is impossible that anything should be created save by God alone.”  (ST, I, q.65, a3, I answer…)
Here is a reference to the first production of corporeal creatures.  But the context precludes any first and second creation.  The article is to answer, “Whether corporeal creatures were produced by God through the medium of the angels?”  Be it noted that the first sentence is a plain refutation of the main idea of the ideology of evolution!  It also would apply to the Gnostic idea of creation by emanation.  But what I would point out here is that St. Thomas, in his focus on creation by some medium, jumps from creation by God, which issues immediately (no processes involved), in the total form of the corporeal creature, because the form must precede, - come before the functioning.  In the corporeal creature, all the processes proceed from the act and directional form of the being.  All acts, both formal, i.e, substantial and accidental, must, of necessity, proceed from the form.  So here, when St. Thomas jumps, as it were, from the creation of matter, to what looks very like a description of his embryology, or to any accidental change in the Order of Generation, wherein all motion proceeds from an imperfect to a more perfect degree, (not kind) of being.  I think all will come more clear in the following words of the same passage:  And keep in mind that St. Thomas always thinks hierarchically, that is vertically and therefore to a great degree, statically.  I omit much of the foregoing words, since the Summa is readily available to all.  St. Thomas continues:  “In proof thereof, it must be borne in mind that the higher the cause, the more numerous the objects to which its causation extends….thus the thing that underlies primarily all things, belongs properly to the causality of the supreme cause.”
Comment:  This is a direct reference to what St. Thomas elsewhere names as God’s concursus or primary causality absolutely necessary to maintain all things in existence throughout time; and also to concur with the active agency of all secondary causes.  As the first of all secondary causes, the body of the universe – whose matter – as the Prime Matter of the Scholastics, provided the materials for the composite beings of the plant kinds on Day Three, the celestial bodies on Day Four, the marine and bird kinds on Day Five, and the animal and human kinds (one human kind) on Day Six.  With these historical facts in mind, let us allow St. Thomas to continue: 
“Therefore no secondary cause can produce anything – unless there is presupposed in the thing produced – something that is caused by a higher cause.  But creation is the production of a thing in its entire substance, nothing being presupposed either uncreated or created.”
Comment:  We can see here the absolute importance for the Six Days and their literal interpretation.  It was God alone who could do what He is revealed as doing on each of the Six Days.  Let us look briefly at the “Work” of each day.  (This is my Catholic cosmology, faithful, I hope, to Thomistic Principles, but reducing the 4 ancient elements to the Prime Matter of the Body of the Universe – whose form is spherical – defined by the 10 spheres of St. Thomas, and hierarchical, defined by the grades of perfection in the Hierarchy of Being that constitutes reality.) 
Day One:  The universe appears at the Word of God.  The earth is invisible beneath the waters and only without form as being unadorned.  Darkness is divided by the creation making of Light and there is evening and morning, One Day.  Day Two sees the distinction of the waters into those above and those below.  Day Three:  The distinction of land and seas with the adornment of the land with the entire plant kingdom and its many diverse kinds.  Most importantly, it is here that God directly created (ex nihilo) the substantial form of each plant kind (yet to be definitively described by the science of Taxonomy).  I think it is here that the artificial distinction of creation prima and creation secunda is made.  I do not like it and do not find it at all accurate, useful or theologically necessary.  What actually happened, according to the text of Genesis One, was that God commanded the earth to bring forth each plant kind.  This could only happen by God’s word of command.  And it signifies, I suggest, a creative act of making, using earth (those appropriate elements) to fit each plant kind or substantial form.  This is something only God could do.  That is why it was both a creation ex nihilo and a making – the first and perhaps the original endowment/empowerment of the earth to do this and to continue to do it throughout time in the transmission of the substantial form in the Order of Generation. 
It is thus only within the literal time-frame of each of the Six Days – that God is most accurately or appropriately said to have created ex nihilo – all things in their whole substance.  Their substance, as composite beings, necessarily includes both matter and form.  The matter, in the case of all the corporeal beings, - plant, animal and man – was new in each case because the elements, drawn from earth, were specific to each kind.  This fact is being demonstrated by the work of the Protestant Creationists – (work Catholics should be doing but continue in their criminal failure to do).  These same principles apply to the “work” of God on Days Four, Five and Six.  I hold that on Day One, God created the molecule of water, H20 – but obviously gave to it the very versatile powers it exhibits throughout space (place) and time.  (See the book Universal Water, by Wes Marin, and the use of its information by Robert Sungenis in his monumental Galileo Was Wrong!)  On Day 4, I beg Catholic scientists not to speak of processes, as of hydrogen and helium  - somehow migrating into the sun. 
PLEASE!  That is evolutionary thinking.  God created/made the sun (moon and stars) with/in their whole substance, i.e. atomic structure.  On Day Four, God made the lights in the firmament…”God made two great lights….and He set them in the firmament of heaven..”  (Genesis 1:14-18.)  I would not call this a second creation -  but rather distinguish between creating and making, because all that God did during the Six Days is both First, for all time, and the first use of a secondary cause, though strictly speaking, God did not use anything in the sense of needing a previously created material, as in the case of human making.  (Man in no sense creates.)  Only God has created and continues only to maintain all things in existence and to concur in all secondary agencies.  I suppose it is something of a choice here. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Direct Address to Mr. John Vennari


How is it that you and all other traditionalist leaders and editors, persist in your failure to see...or is it a willing blindness?  - that the Second Vatican Council's "Original Sin" is that of believing that the Church, like all other institutions on "planet" earth, must evolve - that is change or die and go extinct!  This is made clear in Paragraph 26 of Pascendi.  Archbishop Lefebvre not only lacked Catholic vision - but was unable - or refused to learn from the truly Catholic vision of Pope St. Pius X, who is the one who has warned the Church of the evolutionary, modernist threat.  It is an evolutionary ideology that permeates the documents of Vatican II, and those who refuse to see it, and point it out, will surely have much to answer for.  The "pastoral language", of the council, while real, was but another of the modernist, rhetorical, sophisticated strategies of deception, "to deceive, if possible, even the elect."

Finally, let me call to your attention what I think is really going on, especially with the theological need for, and respect for, the natural sciences.  In the March issue of The Creationist monthly magazine, Acts and Facts, science writer Brian Thomas gives four reasons why most scientists seem to trust the seriously flawed methods of radioisotope dating methods of fossils and the rocks.  They are #1. The long ages fit the evolutionary ideology, which depends upon the illusion that given enough time….

#2.  Many scientists accept the evolutionary and atheistic worldview because it seems to allow for an immoral lifestyle with no account to be given.  #3.  To abandon evolution and espouse Creation as Truth requires – would jeopardize the standing of credentialed scientists in the secular world of academia.  The reality of this danger was documented in the movie - Expelled,  and in the book Slaughter of the Innocents by Jerry Bergman.  #4.  Many scientists seem genuinely ignorant of the unwarranted assumptions on which the dating methods are based.  I do not think any of these reasons apply to our Catholic Churchmen and scientists.  And so, in their case I add a #5.  It is a form of human respect, based on a weak faith, especially in the dogma concerning the inerrancy of Holy Scripture.  When the truth is finally revealed, as it surely will be one day, it is assumed or feared that it will appear the Church has erred or been mistaken for centuries in her apparent acceptance of a science falsely so-called. (Tim: 6:20.) 


Or it is feared that for certain – very conservative prelates, such as Ernesto Cardinal Ruffini, to be seen as having been deceived – for he certainly was about the long ages – is too severe a blow for the Church to sustain.  Not so! 


The Church is “without stain or wrinkle”.  It is only her weak and sinful members who are stains, and they flake off like the scabs of disease, without touching the spotless Deposit of Faith or tarnishing it in the least.  But that weakness of faith remains for all to see in the failure of Churchmen to uphold the truth that was defended in the Galileo Case.  See Sungenis and Redmond O’Hanlon.