At the beginning of “Glory of the Lord: Vol. 3”, Hans Urs von Balthasar takes issue with St. Thomas being impersonal. At least that is how I took his comment. It didn’t strike me as being quite right though I couldn’t quite put my finger on way. This post from Edmund Waldstein, O. Cist. is a good response to von Balthasar.
Today being the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas on the new calendar, I have been thinking about the peculiar clarity that marks his theological work. The clarity seems to come partly from a sort of purity: a complete concentration on the object without any personal tint, like pure water that gives a clear reflection. Some find this “impersonal” character of St. Thomas’s writings boring, but I find a peculiar beauty in it. Perhaps it is not quite right to call it “impersonal,” I think St. Thomas’s judgement is not based merely on “detached” reasoning, but also on a deeply personal connaturality with the divine mysteries. Recall his own account of connaturality:
Now rectitude of judgment is twofold: first, on account of perfect use of reason, secondly, on account of a certain connaturality with the matter about which one has to judge. Thus, about matters of chastity, a man after inquiring with his…
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