« Prev Chapter XXII. Of the Effects attributed to the… Next »

CHAPTER XXIIOf the Effects attributed to the Holy Ghost in the attraction of the Rational Creature to God

IT is a mark of friendship to take delight in the company of one’s friend, to rejoice at what he says and does, and to find in him comfort and consolation against all troubles: hence it is in our griefs especially that we fly to our friends for comfort. Since then the Holy Ghost renders us friends of God, making Him to dwell in us and we in Him, we have through the same Holy Spirit joy in God and comfort under all the adversities and assaults of the world: hence it is said: Give me back the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with thy guiding Spirit (Ps. l, 14): The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. xiv, 17): The Church had peace, and was edified, walking in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Ghost (Acts ix, 31).

Another mark of friendship is to fall in with a friend’s wishes. Now God’s wishes are unfolded to us by His commandments, the keeping of which therefore is part of our love of God : If ye love me, keep my commandments (John xiv, 15). As then we are rendered lovers of God by the Holy Ghost, by Him we are also led to fulfil God’s commandments: Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, the same are the sons of God (Rom. viii, 14). But it is a noteworthy point that the sons of God are led by the Holy Ghost, not as bondsmen, but as free. He is free, who is a cause unto himself;908908Liber, qui sui causa est. That causa is meant by St Thomas for the nominative case, is clear from the context here, as also from B. I, Chap. LXXXVIII (ad fin in the Latin); also B. II, Chap. XLVIII, n. 2, where the same definition is quoted. But turning to the original, Aristotle, Metaph. I, ii, ἐλεύθερος ἄνθρωπος ὁ αὑτοῦ ἔνεκα καὶ μὴ ἄλλου ὤν (he is a free man, who is for his own sake, and not for the sake of another), we find sui causâ, αὑτοῦ ἔνεκα, ‘for his own sake.’ and we do 354that freely which we do of ourselves, that is, of our own willing; but what we do against our will, we do, not freely, but after the manner of bondsmen. The Holy Ghost then, rendering us lovers of God, inclines us to act of our own will, freely, out of love, not as bondsmen prompted by fear. Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption as sons (Rom. viii, 15). True good being the object of the will, whenever a man turns away from true good under the influence of passion or ill habit, and so is swayed by a power foreign to his proper self, he in that respect behaves like a bondsman. On the other hand, if we consider his act as a genuine act of his will, inclined to what is good for him in his own eyes, although not really good, he acts freely in thus following passion or corrupt habit. But again he acts like a bondsman, if, while the volition of fancied good just mentioned remains, he nevertheless abstains from what he wills for fear of the law enacted to the contrary. Since then the Holy Ghost inclines the will by love to true good, its natural object, He takes away alike the servitude whereby, a slave to passion and sin, man acts against the due order of his will, and that other servitude whereby man acts according to the law, but against the motion of his will, like a slave of the law and no friend to it. Hence the Apostle says: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor. iii, 17): If ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law (Gal. v, 18)909909Not under the law that threatens slaves, but under the Spirit that leads the children of God. Cf. Rom. vi, 14: viii, 2.


« Prev Chapter XXII. Of the Effects attributed to the… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |