Date of Award

Spring 1947

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

The Catholic Church has been accused of not being sufficiently interested in the things of this world. It is sometimes alleged that the natural is made slave to the supernatural, that the natural is denied its own rights. This is a mistaken notion. The Church has always recognized the natural; she has defended it against both those who have over emphasized it, and those who have proclaimed it corrupt or bankrupt. She has preserved the natural with the supernatural. Although the first purpose of her existence is to confer upon men a supernatural life in God and bring them to a supernatural end, the Church has recognized the natural faculties of man and demands the preservation of their integrity. The supernatural cannot operate in man without the natural. It is for this reason that the Church has always preserved purely human things. She takes man and his faculties and confers upon him a supernatural character, and thus enables him to act as a supernaturalized being, but she does not thwart his natural abilities. She makes him a superb warrior in the field of the natural!

The Church sees, then, the need for a philosophy that is true qua philosophy. Man's reason must have true principles if his actions are to be right. Much of the evil in the world today is caused, not by the perversity of men's wills, but by mistaken ideas about God, man and the world. But let us be caution, Philosophy is not a panacea for all the ills of today. The Christian religion has been given to dispel man's mind from the darkness of error and to strengthen his will for good works. Faith is necessary for salvation, saving man from corruption in this world and leading him to everlasting blessedness.

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