Skip to comments.Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 3 Powers of the Soul
Posted on 08/07/2010 1:19:36 PM PDT by Salvation
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With
The 7 Sacraments (The Holy Mysteries)
The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy
The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy
The 3 Eminent Good Works
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost (& the Charismata)
The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost
The 3 Theological Virtues
The 4 Cardinal Virtues
The 7 Capital Sins & Their Contrary Virtues
The 6 Sins Against the Holy Ghost
The 4 Sins That Cry Out to Heaven
The 3 Conditions of Mortal Sin
The 9 Ways We Participate in Others' Sins
The 10 Commandments
The 2 Greatest Commandments
The 3 Evangelical Counsels
The 6 Precepts of the Church
The Holy Days of Obligation (English)
The 3 Powers of the Soul
The 4 Pillars of the Catholic Faith
The 3 Pillars of the Church's Authority
The 3 Munera (Duties of the Ordained)
The 3 Parts of the Church
The 4 Marks of the Church
The 12 Apostles
The 12 Tribes of Israel
The 8 Beatitudes
The 14 Stations of the Cross
The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
The 15 Mysteries of the Rosary
The Order of Creation
The 9 Choirs of Angels
The 3 levels of reverence
The 14 Holy Helpers
The 7 Last Words of Christ
The 4 Last Things (The Novissima)
The 3 Powers of the Soul
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 4 Sins that Cry Out to Heaven
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 3 Conditions for Mortal Sin
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 9 Ways We Participate in Others' Sins
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 10 Commandments
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 2 Greatest Commandments
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 3 Evangelical Counsels
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 6 Precepts of the Church-Duties of a Catholic
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: Holy Days of Obligation (English-speaking Countries)
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 3 Powers of the Soul
Darn I wish this was a Catholic Caucus thread.
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As Dawg jumps in WAY over his head.
The rational soul, the ‘form’ of the human, is rational because it has these aspects. These are aspects of rationality.
I think the ‘intellect’ might deal with reason and memory, but it’s not clear how will is related to intellect, so it might be a function of soul that is not specifically intellecitve.
We need a really good Thomist here.
Dinesh DSouza has some interesting things to say about this in “Life After Death: The Evidence.”
Did you see this?
Don't know that we have one here (we may); I do know it ain't me! (I did go to a Catholic college, though, with required philosophy and theology courses, but that was quite a while back!) I did find a summary that seems at last not bad of Aquinas on the will. Sounds like the will qua power of the soul is to function as the handmaiden (if you will) of the properly discerning intellect.
The first connection between intellect and will that occurred to me was sort of "back door" -- the old Baltimore II we used in grammar school listed among the effects of the Fall "darkening of the intellect, weakening of the will." Clearly (I think), "will" here can't mean that will related to, say, what used to be called "a willful child." Such a child's distinguishing feature would not seem to be a "weakened" will!
Maybe there is a distinction to be made between the rational will which is a power of the soul and the "animal" (maybe) will (surely you've known animals who could only be described as "willful"!) -- between the will that chooses based on intellect and the will that simply wills what is wanted.
I do seem to be introducing a level of "reification" here that sort of bothers me, but I don't know what to do about it. :(
Just some random thoughts . . . more random than I had intended to be sure!
"Also, a reliable proof of this matter may be gathered from the fact that man was created in God's image [Gen. 1:27]. For although God's glory shines forth in the outer man, yet there is no doubt that the proper seat of his image is in the soul. I do not deny, indeed, that our outward form, in so far as it distinguishes and separates us from brute animals, at the same time more closely joins us to God. And if anyone wishes to include under "image of God" the fact that, "while all other living things being bent over look earthward, man has been given a face uplifted, bidden to gaze heavenward and to raise his countenance to the stars," I shall not contend too strongly-provided it be regarded as a settled principle that the image of God, which is seen or glows in these outward marks, is spiritual."
"We are forced to part somewhat from this way of teaching because the philosophers, ignorant of the corruption of nature that originated from the penalty for man's defection, mistakenly confuse two very diverse states of man. Thus let us, therefore, hold-as indeed is suitable to our present purpose-that the human soul consists of two faculties, understanding and will. Let the office, moreover, of understanding be to distinguish between objects, as each seems worthy of approval or disapproval; while that of the will, to choose and follow what the understanding pronounces good, but to reject and flee what it disapproves."
Thanks for this. it’s interesting. It would be fun, and I bet somebody has done it, to do a compare and contrast of Calvin’s and Aquinas’s anthropology.
But the “Big ‘W’” Will is, so to speak hooked into the intellect so that it cannot be said to be functioning unless it acts in accordance with reason.
I think the big deal between Aquinas and Bonaventure is that Aquinas thinks intellect is primary — and being a Dominican, he is of course correct. Bonaventure, being a Franciscan, is of course wrong to think Will is prior.
This relates to the relationship between love and knowledge. Is it that to know God is to love Him, or that to Love Him leads to knowing Him? And, seriously, both views have much to commend them and, sometimes I think it is merely an academic distinction. (Bonaventure is unappreciated outside the Church, and is very good.)
I think the willful child has strong desires. To SOME extent this makes him no different from a hungry cat. My own observation, though, leads me to think that even in very young ones there is a great problem. “Things are not as I, moiself, want them to be. What's up with that? I don't LIKE it.”
So, I conclude, underlying the temper tantrum of the 18 month to 2 year old (and beyond) is the sandal that I can have a notion of how things OUGHT to be, but that notion does not match with the way things are. There is, maybe, a desire for a 'good' will.
But I think the Will for Aquinas is weakened by the state of sin in two ways. (1)We do not know what the right thing to do is. (2)Even when we DO know, we don't always do it because, well, that donut just looks So GOOD!
A free will, by contrast, knows the good (intellect), wants it, and is strong enough to resist attractions or fears (concupiscent or irascible appetites) which distract it from its goal.
And that's about all I know about that.
Sort of groping toward a spiritual Unified Field Theory? ;-) Same maybe with Love and Knowledge.
(1)We do not know what the right thing to do is.
Wouldn't this be more an aspect of the "darkening of the intellect"?
I have to admit, though, that too much trying to separate out the powers of the soul sometimes makes me feel like Robert Benchley, who -- after reading a spate of articles on elements in the human body (as much iron as so many nails, as much phosporus as so many matchheads, etc.) said they made him feel as if he should walk around wearing a sign, "Anything on this table, 25¢"!
1. Ok, I thought this was going to be really simple, and then people posted a lot of long stuff I’m too tired to process. I thought
“will” = ability to take an intended action or deliberately refrain from one. As in, “he willed himself to get up despite his fatigue.”
“intellect” = ability to use facts/memories and problem solve or create.
“memory” = recalling events and facts
Makes sense that the soul has these powers since the soul is getting judged by Christ at Judgment Day and is thus held responsible for conduct.
2. I think we have terms like “heart and soul” in our language that make soul sound more emotional or touchy feely than was originally intended. (That being said, if the subject is the power of ‘soul food’ a strong emotional reaction is just fine, as far as I’m concerned.)
Will=Free Will of the Soul to choose participate in the Godhead or to reject it.
Intellect=the power of discernment, i.e., the ability to reconize that which is of God and that which is in opposition to that which God intends; sometimes expressed as the ability to recocgnize that which is good and that which is bad but that is really a way too broad definition.
Memory=without it we can’t engage in contemplation and without memory, discernment would be pointless as each day we’d start with a blank slate.
The Soul is of God. God is Love. The Soul, imprisoned in this realm of human existence can only participate/commune with God “stuff” remotely. To do so it must will it be so, (choose to do it); discern that which is of it and recall the experience of the touch therewith to more accurately, daily tune in to it.
Prayer is of the Soul.
Expressed another way: Josemaria Escriva: “ The Furrow:962: If you really love your own country, and I am sure you do, you would not hesitate to enlist as a volunteer to defend it from imminent danger. As I wrote to you before, everyone can be useful in an emergency: men and women; the old, the middle-aged, the young and even adolescents. Only invalids and children are left out.
Every day there is a call, not just for volunteers to enlist that is very little but for a general mobilisation of souls to defend Christs Kingdom. And the King himself, Jesus, has called you expressly by your name. He asks you to fight in Gods battles, and to put at his service the noblest powers of your soul: your heart, your will, your understanding, all your being.
Listen to me: the flesh, with your clean life and especially with the protection of the Virgin Mary, is no problem. Are you going to be such a coward as to try to get out of being enlisted with the excuse that your heart or will or intellect are weak? Are you going to pretend to claim some grounds for remaining in the ancillary services?
The Lord wants to make you an instrument for the front line you are one already and if you turn your back you deserve only pity, as a traitor.”
Same: From “The Way”: 761 “Free man, subject yourself to a voluntary servitude, so that Jesus won’t have to say of you what we are told he said of others to Saint Teresa: ‘Teresa, I wanted it... But men did not.’”
Same: “Friends of God”: 92 When a Christian fights to acquire these virtues, his soul is preparing to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit fruitfully. In this way his good human qualities are strengthened by the motions of the Paraclete in his soul. The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the soul’s sweet guest, pours out his gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of the Lord.
Then one experiences joy and peace, a joyous peace, an interior rejoicing that goes hand in hand with the human virtue of cheerfulness. At the very moment when everything seems to be collapsing before our eyes, we realise that quite the opposite is true, ‘because you, Lord, are my strength’. If God is dwelling in our soul, everything else, no matter how important it may seem, is accidental and transitory, whereas we, in God, stand permanent and firm.
Through the gift of piety, the Holy Spirit helps us to realise with certainty that we are children of God. And, being children of God, how can we be sad? Sadness is the end product of selfishness. If we truly want to live for God, we will never lack cheerfulness, even when we discover our errors and wretchedness. Cheerfulness finds its way into our life of prayer, so much so that we cannot help singing for joy. For we are in love, and singing is a thing that lovers do.”
I thought you might like it ..it is good to think ...
Thanks! That post is one to look at a few times to remember it well enough to pass on to my kids.
The only thing I would quibble with is that you said the soul is “imprisoned” in the body. I’d prefer to think of it as not a cage but a vehicle. After all, God made it good, and it allows us to have experiences that bodiless souls couldn’t have.
Wait. Are you sure? Is it safe?
You're not one of these people hanging around street corners, you know ... "Just try ONE thought, how could it hurt?"
Next thing you know they're voting Republican and going to Church. I mean, where does it END?
To me this makes sense if you consider the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the soul.
The Holy Spirit is the keeper of the memory/history of all time (past and future), and pure intellect, which leads to complete Truth and Understanding.
So the powers of our soul are to possess the fruit of the Spirit to know God, to discern Truth and His will for us, and to have the properly formed free will to make the proper choices for salvation.
I see these powers of the soul as the spark of the Holy Spirit in us.
Glad you liked it; I crafted that at 2:30 a.m.; couldn’t sleep.
And to add, no argument from me; “imprisoned” was probably a bad choice of words. I was trying to convey the sense that in this realm of existence, while it’s true that bodiless souls may not have the same experiences as those embodied, it’s also the case that the embodied soul is rather “limited” or confined in this temporal realm, i.e., limited by time and space. And of course that’s doubtless how God intended it. I find that such embodiment makes communing with the Spirit an arduous and difficult task. To better explain, it’s kinda like trying to listen to the ball game on the radio with really bad reception....the signal fades in and out and is obscured by the static of the world around us. I’m truly of the belief that God is only too well aware of this; it’s all part of the challenge.
If the soul has memory apart from the organic body, how can we reconcile this with the effects of brain wasting diseases such as Alzheimer’s on memory?
Pure speculation here, but could the brain be some kind of interface between the soul and some external memory? Could memory be something the soul taps into apart from itself?
I can’t think of any biblical examples to support any of this.
I meant to 23 as a reply to the root posting.