Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Charity and the response to God's love, again

I have searched several of Doran's articles (Essays 42, 39, 32 and 1, in that order) for the reasoning or exegesis behind his identification of 'the dynamic state of being in love with God' with the infused habit of charity. Perhaps the best, and maybe the first, attempt is Essay 1.

I just want to record my impressions here.

That Lonergan amalgamated SG and charity in MT: true.
But: is it gift = SG + charity?
Or: state = SG + charity?
Or are we asking a wrong question? Perhaps MT does not clearly differentiate and distinguish the gift and the state?

That Lonergan distinguished SG and charity as remote and proximate principles of acts of charity in his early Latin theology: true.
That we can identify SG with the gift, and charity with the state: possibly; provided that the gift and the state are indeed distinct in MT.

That charity = response to God's love: I am not so sure.
That charity = principle from which responses to God's love (operations or acts of love) flow: yes, and Doran in Essay 1 does talk like this, though my impression is that he does not always talk like this in his later essays. In his later essays he tends to simply identify charity with our response to God's love.

That charity = mutual love of benevolence between God and us: yes, Lonergan says this clearly, taking it from Aquinas.

My tentative conclusion:
There is a mutuality in charity which cannot be ignored.
Can we say: in charity as operative grace, there is already this mutuality? In that case, the mutuality - or response if you wish - is purely gift. We have no part in it in the sense that we are here mota and non movens.
That we can say: charity as cooperative grace, as principle of acts of love, is a response to God's love: I think so. Here we are certainly et mota et movens.

[For the Essays, see]

1 comment:

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