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 St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin 
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New post St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Good evening, call me Dominic -- I am a person who likes good tea, and the saints.

I have a question about St. Thomas and original and venial sin.

For the purposes of this question I think it would be best to quote the relevant passage entirely.

From the Summa:

Article 6. Whether venial sin can be in anyone with original sin alone?

Objection 1. It would seem that venial sin can be in a man with original sin alone. For disposition precedes habit. Now venial sin is a disposition to mortal sin, as stated above (Question 88, Article 3). Therefore in an unbeliever, in whom original sin is not remitted, venial sin exists before mortal sin: and so sometimes unbelievers have venial together with original sin, and without mortal sins.

Objection 2. Further, venial sin has less in common, and less connection with mortal sin, than one mortal sin has with another. But an unbeliever in the state of original sin, can commit one mortal sin without committing another. Therefore he can also commit a venial sin without committing a mortal sin.

Objection 3. Further, it is possible to fix the time at which a child is first able to commit an actual sin: and when the child comes to that time, it can stay a short time at least, without committing a mortal sin, because this happens in the worst criminals. Now it is possible for the child to sin venially during that space of time, however short it may be. Therefore venial sin can be in anyone with original sin alone and without mortal sin.

On the contrary, Man is punished for original sin in the children's limbo, where there is no pain of sense as we shall state further on (II-II, 69, 6): whereas men are punished in hell for no other than mortal sin. Therefore there will be no place where a man can be punished for venial sin with no other than original sin.

I answer that, It is impossible for venial sin to be in anyone with original sin alone, and without mortal sin. The reason for this is because before a man comes to the age of discretion, the lack of years hinders the use of reason and excuses him from mortal sin, wherefore, much more does it excuse him from venial sin, if he does anything which is such generically. But when he begins to have the use of reason, he is not entirely excused from the guilt of venial or mortal sin. Now the first thing that occurs to a man to think about then, is to deliberate about himself. And if he then direct himself to the due end, he will, by means of grace, receive the remission of original sin: whereas if he does not then direct himself to the due end, and as far as he is capable of discretion at that particular age, he will sin mortally, for through not doing that which is in his power to do. Accordingly thenceforward there cannot be venial sin in him without mortal, until afterwards all sin shall have been remitted to him through grace.

Reply to Objection 1. Venial sin always precedes mortal sin not as a necessary, but as a contingent disposition, just as work sometimes disposes to fever, but not as heat disposes to the form of fire.

Reply to Objection 2. Venial sin is prevented from being with original sin alone, not on account of its want of connection or likeness, but on account of the lack of use of reason, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 3. The child that is beginning to have the use of reason can refrain from other mortal sins for a time, but it is not free from the aforesaid sin of omission, unless it turns to God as soon as possible. For the first thing that occurs to a man who has discretion, is to think of himself, and to direct other things to himself as to their end, since the end is the first thing in the intention. Therefore this is the time when man is bound by God's affirmative precept, which the Lord expressed by saying (Zechariah 1:3): "Turn ye to Me . . . and I will turn to you."


Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:25 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Now the question is basically on the details of this passage and belief therein by others. How esoteric is this idea?

How are we to view the actual internal details of this process as described by St. Thomas?


Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:28 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
St. Thomas seems clear enough to me.

However, I do not understand your question(s).

Please elucidate.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:25 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Quote:
It is impossible for venial sin to be in anyone with original sin alone, and without mortal sin.


Why? Who else holds this idea? This is the first time I have heard of it.

Quote:
the lack of years hinders the use of reason and excuses him from mortal sin, wherefore, much more does it excuse him from venial sin, if he does anything which is such generically


Is this actually the case? Or could diminished capacity as it is developing simply make venial sin possible rather than mortal for a time?

Quote:
Now the first thing that occurs to a man to think about then, is to deliberate about himself.


Is this the case?
Quote:
And if he then direct himself to the due end, he will, by means of grace, receive the remission of original sin


So then all people upon reaching the age of reason either fall into actual mortal sin, or through -- what? -- sanctifying grace? Is this also considered true before Christ? Why haven't I heard of this before?

Generally I think of original sin as -- mortal sin. That is what it was for Adam and Eve, and the consequences we are born into have the same effect -- no sanctifying grace.

That there's a specific moment for every person upon reaching the age of reason where there is this event.. ? Or rather this giving the idea that there could simply normally be an immediate transformation from original sin alone to mortal sin, since in fact this is:

"if he does not then direct himself to the due end, and as far as he is capable of discretion at that particular age, he will sin mortally"

A mortal sin of culpable laxness or ignorance?

... I am wondering whether anyone has read other authors treating of this subject directly or in detail?


Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:55 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
... I am wondering whether anyone has read other authors treating of this subject directly or in detail?


Hi, I first read this on Fenton`s masterpiece "The Catholic Church and Salvation". He quotes St. Thomas and agrees with him. I don´t have the book here with me.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:21 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
Quote:
the lack of years hinders the use of reason and excuses him from mortal sin, wherefore, much more does it excuse him from venial sin, if he does anything which is such generically


Is this actually the case? Or could diminished capacity as it is developing simply make venial sin possible rather than mortal for a time?


I think that St. Thomas is saying that eventually, if the person involved does not continue to investigate and work directly for his salvation, his culpable inaction becomes a mortal sin.

Dominic wrote:
Quote:
And if he then direct himself to the due end, he will, by means of grace, receive the remission of original sin


So then all people upon reaching the age of reason either fall into actual mortal sin, or through -- what? -- sanctifying grace?


Again, it appears to me that St. Thomas is saying that once a person reaches the age of reason, he must, at least, begin to think about his salvation and truly work towards it. If he does not, he eventually, due to his culpable lack of action, commits a mortal sin of omission, but that if he thinks about and works towards pleasing God, he will be given the necessary grace to save his soul. I see no problem with this.

Dominic wrote:
Is this also considered true before Christ? Why haven't I heard of this before?


I think you have: you simply have not realized the "connections".

Dominic wrote:
Generally I think of original sin as -- mortal sin.


No. If it were, all babies would be automatically condemned to hell, and we know that is not the case.

Dominic wrote:
That is what it was for Adam and Eve,


True.

Dominic wrote:
and the consequences we are born into have the same effect -- no sanctifying grace.


But no "personal guilt" (if I may use that term here) in the same sense as it was for them either.

Remember, God is infinitely just: He judges us on what we WILL to do.

Dominic wrote:
That there's a specific moment for every person upon reaching the age of reason where there is this event.. ?


Only God would know this exactly. I doubt if even the person himself would know it until after it occurred, IFF it occurred, until after due reflection.

Dominic wrote:
Or rather this giving the idea that there could simply normally be an immediate transformation from original sin alone to mortal sin, since in fact this is:

"if he does not then direct himself to the due end, and as far as he is capable of discretion at that particular age, he will sin mortally"


The important part you may be missing is, "...as far as he is capable of discretion at that particular age..."

Dominic wrote:
A mortal sin of culpable laxness or ignorance?


Yes.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:22 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Perhaps I should clarify my understanding of Original Sin with a view to helping understand what St. Thomas is saying.

You say that to you original sin is.......a mortal sin.

I disagree for the following reasons:

For a sin to be a mortal sin three conditions are required:

1) A serious matter
2) Sufficient reflection
3) Full consent of the WILL

Applying these criteria to Original Sin, the second and third criteria are missing, at least up until the age of the use of reason.

Therefore, Original Sin cannot be a Mortal Sin, in the sense in which we understand an actual sin. This is why I say there is no personal guilt in the full sense of the word.

However, the effects of any mortal sin are the complete loss of Sanctifying Grace, the sinner becomes an enemy of God, loses all friendship with Him, and becomes a partner with the devil.

All human beings are born in this state.

Therefore, the effects of Original Sin are the much same as if each of us committed a mortal sin.

Also, the punishment for those who die in the state of Original Sin before they have reached the use of reason is not the same at those who die in that state after that time, or who have not committed any personal mortal sins before death, or who have, in God's opinion, sufficiently atoned for any such sins before death: i.e., limbo, so-called, from which Our Lord released the saints of the Old Testament.

Therefore, Original Sin is not a Mortal Sin.

Does this seem logical and doctrinally correct to you?

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:05 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Yes yes, my apologies I did not include 'in effect' in my statement about mortal sin and original sin, but that was in my thoughts.

Since Limbo is rather well established and is in the general sense a part of Hell, for a moment I thought there was a danger of divergence in this thread, and I am glad to see that is not the case.

Quote:
Hi, I first read this on Fenton`s masterpiece "The Catholic Church and Salvation". He quotes St. Thomas and agrees with him. I don´t have the book here with me.


Thank you for the reference, I will try to get ahold of the relevant passage, though I do not have this book -- if anyone does and can quote at some point in the future, if convenient, please do.


Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:15 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
Now the question is basically on the details of this passage and belief therein by others. How esoteric is this idea?

How are we to view the actual internal details of this process as described by St. Thomas?


This is a very interesting Article, and I don't recall having read it previously either.

I don't know if other authors follow St. Thomas in this, and I certainly haven't seen any do so. I don't think Fenton touches it (btw, I suspect his book is online somewhere).

When you say, "the details of this passage" what do you mean? Do you mean the bare idea that man cannot be in a state in which he is guilty only of original and venial sin?

In reply to your question whether it is true that the first thing a man does on coming to the use of reason is to deliberate about himself, yes it is, and I think all psychologists recognise this reality. The chief feature distinguishing a child from an adolescent is precisely this self-consciousness, and consciousness of self necessarily implies the moral question, what am I for, what ought I to do?

The key to understanding this doctrine seems to me to lie in the "On the contrary" where St. Thomas points out that if such a state as is supposed by the question were possible, then there must exist a corresponding state of punishment (because some men must die in that state). Now, this state of punishment must consist of two aspects, one, the eternal deprivation of the beatific vision, without the pain of sense, which describes the children's limbo, because this is the punishment of original sin alone; and two, some pain of sense, because actual sin is punished by fire, temporary or eternal, the former for venial and the latter for mortal. But no state of punishment exists which combines these things, eternal deprivation of the beatific vision and temporary fire, therefore the state for which it would be the proper punishment must be impossible.

"Venial sin" has several meanings, as St. Thomas explains in an earlier Question. It can refer to the punishment due to remitted sin, or a sin which is generically mortal yet incomplete and therefore only venial, or generically venial. The above Article considers venial sin in its middle meaning - sin which is generically mortal yet imperfect and therefore only venial. In the first and the last of these meanings we can see that venial sin is punished by temporary fire.

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:26 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
John Lane wrote:
I don't know if other authors follow St. Thomas in this, and I certainly haven't seen any do so. I don't think Fenton touches it (btw, I suspect his book is online somewhere).


Taken from chapter V in fine of his The catholic Church and Salvation. http://es.scribd.com/doc/6940258/The-Ca ... -Salvation

On the other hand, those who live to attain the use of reason are likewise either in the state of grace or in the state of sin. In the case of these individuals, however, it is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and of his commentators that, if they do not possess the life of sanctifying grace, they are in the state of mortal sin. We find this teaching, which must be understood if we are going to have any really theological grasp of the dogma of the Catholic Church's necessity for the attainment of eternal salvation, in the article of the Summa theologica in which St. Thomas considers and answers the question about the possibility of a man's being in a condition in which he would be in the state of original sin and guilty of venial, but not mortal, sin. The translation of the body of the article runs as follows:


Quote:
I answer that, It is impossible for venial sin to be in anyone with original sin alone, and without mortal sin. The reason for this is because before a man comes to the age of discretion, the lack of years hinders the use of reason and excuses him from mortal sin, wherefore, much more does it excuse him from venial sin, if he does anything which is such generically. But when he begins to have the use of reason, he is not entirely excused from the guilt of venial or mortal sin. Now the first thing that occurs to a man to think about then, is to deliberate about himself. And if he then direct himself to the due end, he will, by means of grace, receive the remission of original sin: whereas if he does not then direct himself to the due end, and as far as he is capable of discretion at that particular age, he will sin mortally, for through not doing that which is in his power to do. Accordingly thence forward there cannot be venial sin in him without mortal, until afterwards all sin shall have been remitted to him through grace.


In answer to the third objection raised against his conclusion St. Thomas brings out the ultimate foundation of this teaching.
Quote:
"The first thing, he tells us, " that occurs to a man having discretion [the use of reason] is to think of that to which he may order other things as to an end. But the end is prior in the order of intention. Consequently, it is at this time that a man is bound by that affirmative divine precept which the Lord expressed in the words: `Turn ye to me, and I will turn to you.' "6


Back of this teaching of the Summa theologica is the realistic and dynamic appreciation of the order of salvation which, unfortunately, has been somewhat obscured for some individual teachers by a defective type of casuistry. The teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas takes cognizance of the fact that the adult human being in the state of grace is not merely one endowed by God with a certain supernatural quality, but is actually a person who, by the force of that quality and the various supernatural and actual graces he has received from God, is really working for the attainment of God's supernatural glory. The person who has the use of reason and who is in possession of the state of grace is one who lives a life motivated by the act of supernatural charity.
On the other hand, the individual whose life is motivated by a purpose other than that of divine charity is working for some purpose other than the one God wills to have. This man is working against God's orders. He is badly disposed toward God. He is in a condition of aversion from God, his only final and supernatural End. He is in the condition or state of mortal sin.
Hence, any man who has the use of reason and who dies in a state of aversion from God is turned away from God through his own fault. If he does not attain the Beatific Vision, it is because of a free choice he has made to work for some ultimate purpose distinct from and opposed to the one which God Himself has set for him. He is in a position in which lie is justly subject to punishment by God Himself. So it is that the Quanto conficiamur moerore teaches us that God punishes with everlasting torments only those men who have passed from this life in a state of aversion from Him which they have freely chosen by a sinful act. On the other hand, the decision to work for the end of divine and supernatural charity is an act of love for the Triune God. As such it is the terminus of the process of conversion. It is the act which necessarily carries with it hatred and detestation of sin which offends God, and thus the act in which sin itself is remitted.

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:52 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Well there you go, shows how wrong I can be. :)

Thanks Cristian, much appreciated.

Did it occur to you, as it did to me, that the implication of this doctrine is that all men are given sufficient grace to make a perfect act of charity immediately that they attain the use of reason? Or am I misunderstanding something?

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:13 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
John Lane wrote:
Well there you go, shows how wrong I can be. :)

Thanks Cristian, much appreciated.

Did it occur to you, as it did to me, that the implication of this doctrine is that all men are given sufficient grace to make a perfect act of charity immediately that they attain the use of reason? Or am I misunderstanding something?


I think you are correct.

From this (all that St. Thomas, and Fenton, through Cristian, have mentioned above) it shows me just how good God is to us, and how ungrateful men are to Him.

BTW, I took the name of St. Thomas at my Confirmation as I wanted to be as much like him as possible. Unfortunately, I am not. :cry:

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:41 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
John Lane wrote:

Thanks Cristian, much appreciated.


:)

Quote:
Did it occur to you, as it did to me, that the implication of this doctrine is that all men are given sufficient grace to make a perfect act of charity immediately that they attain the use of reason? Or am I misunderstanding something?


Yes, I think that if you accept St. Thomas` here there is no option!

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:22 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Hmm. I want to say thanks for the replies.

I've been getting plenty of thought out of this extract, and the replies have helped me get a good deal more to think on. There's plenty here to provide food for meditation.

I am going to have to sit down and look through my references on the internal processes and sin and acts of love, and what could be minimally required. I have been reflecting that mortal sins could be far more common, simple, easy and numerous in possibilities to commit than often understood but I have not done the footwork I'd like to on looking into this.

Any thoughts on this appreciated.

This gives me a new point to consider on that. As well as the positive side of grace and acts of perfect love.

I had not thought particularly much before of the idea of there requiring a special place for those dying with original/venial sin, it hadn't registered firmly. I had the vague idea of these people suffering in Hell for the venial sins, since Heaven was barred then by original sin -- as simple as that.


Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:50 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
I had not thought particularly much before of the idea of there requiring a special place for those dying with original/venial sin, it hadn't registered firmly.


Your use of the word "requiring" is interesting, since, in my opinion, God's Infinite Justice would do just that.

Dominic wrote:
I had the vague idea of these people suffering in Hell for the venial sins, since Heaven was barred then by original sin -- as simple as that.


No. As I said, God IS Infinite Justice. Therefore He "cannot" punish beyond what would be willfully chosen by sinners.

No one "falls" into Hell: he must actively choose it. Nor is he sent there for something for which he is not personally guilty...like Original Sin.

I believe that St. Thomas, among others, says that God actually IS any virtue of which you can possibly think. And unlike us human beings, His Infinite Justice and Infinite Mercy coexist and never contradict one another.

Another thought that immediately comes to my mind, and which may appear to be a different direction from this thread, but really isn't, is that when you receive Communion, you receive Our Lord, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity....which means you receive the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost within you. "We will come to him, and make our abode with him."

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:49 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Ken, I don't want to be controversial or to get things contentious, but I think your language is a bit imprecise here, could you clarify for me? I don't understand you entirely and some of what you have said sounds a bit off, or not proper language for this subject.

'He "cannot" punish beyond what would be willfully chosen by sinners.'

Well obviously He punishes those in Hell proper, for mortal and venial sins for both. Forever. And so if someone with original sin would go to Hell, it seems to follow, venial sin punished alone at least, on the fringes thereof.

And obviously too, frankly, 'falling' into Hell is the way Holy Scriptures speak of it, and the saints, and so, when someone says, 'No one "falls" into Hell" it's not the right way to speak of it, I think you should amend yourself from henceforth on that way of speaking regardless of what you actually meant it to convey.

When I hear people saying, "he must actively choose it", not directly no, a person chooses mortal sin, it is true, but the default destination is not Heaven for people born in original sin. Heaven is a gift. No one is created with the beatific vision.

This 'he must actively choose it' is also being commonly misunderstood to mean an explicit choice between Heaven and Hell, often at the end of one's life. I would not favor commonly using such language. It seems a fruit of an apologetic going too far and desirous of avoiding certain language of the faith. Or of avoiding the idea of the 'particular judgement', a 'judgement' of God.

People can live in great ignorance of all things to do with God, and fall into Hell, or as children before the age of reason, the portion of Hell called Limbo.

Obviously babies born in original sin experience punishment before they have any rational ability to think or choose sin or not, simply by being born into this world as children of Adam, under the curse, children of wrath.

We can see how animals suffer, but they so too -- have everything they have given to them -- from God! That precious gift -- existence.

Therefore, I am not quite understanding what you believe or think here perhaps. Forgive me.

It's probably because your statements appear a bit too absolute and stand alone.

There is more to consider than just Justice and Mercy -- and so much goes into how the world works, too.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:51 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Interestingly, according to Mgr Fenton’s understanding of Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, the individuals referred to in that encyclical who are invincibly ignorant of the true religion yet are avoiding mortal sins (though no doubt not venial sins) might not be in a state of grace (see quote below) - in other words, individuals who have “venial together with original sin, and without mortal sins.”

“….The pertinent passage of Quanto Conficiamur Moerore refers only to those persons invincibly ignorant of the true Catholic religion who, at the same time, are diligently observing the natural law, are prepared to obey God, and are leading honest and upright lives. Such individuals are obviously not merely avoiding some mortal sins and doing some good deeds. Rather they are continuing over a long period of time to obey the precepts of the natural law and to avoid serious offence against God. Otherwise it would not be correct to say that they were leading honest and upright lives.

“But whether, as seems most probable, the individuals referred to in this section of the encyclical are in the state of grace, or they are being moved by actual grace in the direction of justification, it is important to note that Quanto Conficiamur Moerore teaches that they ‘can, through the working of Divine light and grace, attain eternal life.” (Emphasise my own) (The Catholic Church and Salvation, pp.67-68)

Dominic wrote:
I had not thought particularly much before of the idea of there requiring a special place for those dying with original/venial sin, it hadn't registered firmly. I had the vague idea of these people suffering in Hell for the venial sins, since Heaven was barred then by original sin -- as simple as that.


Dominic, I would argue that if, on the hypothesis, there were such people in hell the positive punishment they would suffer for venial sins would be temporary after which they would enjoy, in hell, a state of purely natural happiness. But the existence of such people in hell would only be consistent with the view that God created men for a natural reward, which, of course, is contrary to the truth that God created all men for a supernatural reward.


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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
Ken, I don't want to be controversial or to get things contentious, but I think your language is a bit imprecise here, could you clarify for me?


If I can: I tend to try to keep what I say to an absolute minimum, and thereby often make myself practically incomprehensible to some others.

Dominic wrote:
Well obviously He punishes those in Hell proper, for mortal and venial sins for both.


"...for both..." ? Imprecise. God never punishes in Hell for venial sins alone: God only punishes unrepentant mortal sins in Hell.

Dominic wrote:
And so if someone with original sin would go to Hell,


Impossible. The determining factor here is NOT the Original Sin: it is any accompanying Mortal Sin(s).

Dominic wrote:
it seems to follow, venial sin punished alone at least, on the fringes thereof.


Impossible. This would violate God's Infinite Justice and His Infinite Mercy. And what do you mean by "...on the fringes thereof..." It seems to me that you are mixing two or more ideas into one.

Dominic wrote:
And obviously too, frankly, 'falling' into Hell is the way Holy Scriptures speak of it, and the saints, and so, when someone says, 'No one "falls" into Hell" it's not the right way to speak of it,


The saints and doctors of the Church also teach that anyone who ends up in Hell has chosen it. I see no contradiction.

Dominic wrote:
I think you should amend yourself from henceforth on that way of speaking regardless of what you actually meant it to convey.


And I think, rather, that you should try to be a little less arrogant and attempt to understand my meaning. I am trying to be as clear as I can. Certainly, I have always had difficulty on this forum making myself understood at times, but that doesn't mean you should take umbrage at what I say simply because you don't understand my meaning. I also find your words here very imprecise and confusing. Does that mean you are at fault for that, or that I am?

Dominic wrote:
When I hear people saying, "he must actively choose it", not directly no, a person chooses mortal sin,


And thereby his final destination unless he repents before death.

Dominic wrote:
it is true, but the default destination is not Heaven for people born in original sin. Heaven is a gift. No one is created with the beatific vision.


No, but every soul is created for the beatific vision unless that soul chooses otherwise by his subsequent actions.

This entire statement is confusing to me. It appears to me that you are conjoining at least three ideas, and then contradicting yourself in the very first statement.

Dominic wrote:
This 'he must actively choose it' is also being commonly misunderstood to mean an explicit choice between Heaven and Hell, often at the end of one's life.


Misunderstood? By whom? You? Not me.

Dominic wrote:
I would not favor commonly using such language.


Then don't use it.

Dominic wrote:
It seems a fruit of an apologetic going too far and desirous of avoiding certain language of the faith.


Imprecise. What "...language of the faith..." in particular do you mean?

Dominic wrote:
Or of avoiding the idea of the 'particular judgement', a 'judgement' of God.


Imprecise. The "particular judgement" is that judgement which each person must undergo at death. The "general judgement" is that at the end of the world.

Dominic wrote:
People can live in great ignorance of all things to do with God, and fall into Hell, or as children before the age of reason, the portion of Hell called Limbo.


Why are you conflating two ideas here? Yes, Limbo is, or can be regarded as, the outer parts of Hell, when compared to Heaven, but we are talking about hell proper...at least I thought we were.

Dominic wrote:
Obviously babies born in original sin experience punishment


No. Not punishment. Punishment is only applicable to those who deserve punishment by an overt act. Babies are not "punished" since they have committed no overt act against God. They are simply deprived of that to which they have no right, and which would be a gratuitous gift of God, i.e., the Beatific Vision. If God were to truly "punish" any of his creatures for an act they have not willfully committed would be a violation of His Infinite Justice and Mercy, which would be impossible for God.

Dominic wrote:
before they have any rational ability to think or choose sin or not, simply by being born into this world as children of Adam, under the curse, children of wrath.


Incorrect and imprecise.

Dominic wrote:
We can see how animals suffer, but they so too -- have everything they have given to them -- from God! That precious gift -- existence.


Animals are not rational. Suffering is not punishment. If suffering were only punishment, it could never be meritorious. Your language here is imprecise...again.

Dominic wrote:
Therefore, I am not quite understanding what you believe or think here perhaps. Forgive me.

It's probably because your statements appear a bit too absolute and stand alone.


Possibly. I tend to see things only as black and white. Where doctrine is concerned, there are no "shades of grey". Where the application of doctrine is concerned, and only due to man's inconstancy, "shades of grey" can apply, but are not the ideal.

Dominic wrote:
There is more to consider than just Justice and Mercy -- and so much goes into how the world works, too.


As I just said.

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Kenneth G. Gordon


Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:28 pm
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
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Rather they are continuing over a long period of time to obey the precepts of the natural law and to avoid serious offence against God.


Interestingly, St. Thomas says, "Without sanctifying grace it is not possible to refrain long from mortal sin."

Now, when we consider adults and mortal sins of impurity, which can be committed with simply a brief thought -- there's some of the context to consider.


Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:51 am
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New post Re: St. Thomas Aquinas and Original/Venial Sin
Dominic wrote:
Now, when we consider adults and mortal sins of impurity, which can be committed with simply a brief thought -- there's some of the context to consider.


Let us be careful here to avoid Scrupulosity, which is based in the sin of Pride: we, men especially it seems, are being constantly assailed by impure thoughts by practically everything we see and hear around us: advertisements, entertainment, etc. In short, we are literally swimming in a sea of impurity all around us during much of our waking moments.

In order for such accompanying thoughts to be truly Mortal Sins, we must give complete consent to them.

We do not automatically commit a Mortal Sin by being subject to unavoidable temptations.

But this is also why we need the armor of Sanctifying Grace.

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Kenneth G. Gordon


Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:33 pm
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