When Does The Person Begin?

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"Each One of Us is an Icon of the Beginning"

Part IV: What does Scripture say about our beginning?

The Blessed Trinity is our beginning and our end.

The marriage of Revelation and reason in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a fundamental personal fact-in-faith.  The order within this marriage is the order which is established by God: reason works with and under317 Revelation (cf. 1 Cor. 15: 23-28).  This is the reality which is now prior for us.  Therefore this part of the investigation will first of all consider the biblical vision of Pope John Paul II and the Second Vatican Council as a Litany of the Incarnation; then the conception of Christ; the dogma of the Immaculate Conception; and the canonical Scripture as a source of this investigation of the moment of our beginning.

St. Augustine on the use of Scripture

St. Augustine warns us of either 'using' Scripture to establish a point of view which is not that of Scripture318, or of not recognizing that some things can be known for certain by reason, experience and the non-Christian319, and that these truths will not contradict the truth of Scripture.  For truth will not contradict truth320.  Moreover, it could even be a good thing to come to a question from the Scripture and to discuss it, however inconclusively321, and then to go on to another and complementary source concerning it322.  For Scripture has a particular purpose: it is the intention of the Spirit of God to teach what would be of use to us for our salvation323.  Therefore let us add Wisdom to wisdom and understand what we can of what exists and of what is in Scripure!  Nor does this preclude the recognition that these author's knew those natural truths which were either in their capacity to know for themselves and which they did know324, or which they could have known and didn't - but for the good reason of our salvation these essentially natural truths were revealed to them precisely because it pertains to our salvation to know them325.

The lens of Scripture.

St. Thomas Aquinas says that 'human minds, existing in bodies, know first the natures of material things, and by knowing the natures of what they see derive some knowledge of what they cannot see'326.  On the basis of this principle one can see that the natural works of God are a path to the supernatural works of God.

317 Cf Gaudium et Spes, art 56, page 416 of VCII.    Back
318 St. Augustine, The Literal Interpretation Of Genesis, page 82, excerpt 1683, as numbered by W. Jurgens and as followed by the no. of the text in brackets (1, 18, 37).  Abbrev. FEF, Vol III, LIOG.    Back
319 FEF, Vol III, LIOG, page 82, excerpt 1684 (1, 19, 39).    Back
320 Cf, FEF, Vol III, LIOG, page 83, excerpt 1686 (1, 21, 41) and excerpt 1687 (2, 9, 20); and Dei Filius, Vatican I, art 133 (art 3017 as numbered by the editors), on page 46 of TCF.    Back
321 Cf, FEF, Vol III, LIOG, the introduction by W. Jurgens, page 83,and art 1683 (1, 18, 37).    Back
322 Cf, FEF, Vol III, LIOG, page 83, excerpt 1686 (1, 21, 41).    Back
323 FEF, Vol III, LIOG, art 1687 (2, 9, 20), page 84; and VCII, Dei Verbum, art 11, page 757.    Back
324 FEF, Vol III, LIOG, art 1687 (2, 9, 20), page 84.    Back
325 Cf Dei Verbum, art 6, pages 752-753 of VCII.    Back
326 ST, Pt 1, Qu 84, art 7, page 131.    Back

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