Procession Which Is The Generation Of The Word

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Catholic faith 'advances on a middle ground'33 between the errors, but also radically overturns their perspective. It does this by considering procession not as an action ad extra, but as an immanent action:

31 SCG IV, ch. 6 (no. 3387). This idea is drawn from Augustine, De Trinitate XV.XX.38.

32 See especially SCG IV, chs. 5-6. On Thomas' knowledge of Arianism, see P. Worrall,

'St. Thomas and Arianism', RTAM23 (1956), 208-259; 24 (1957), 45-100.

In the case of an action which remains within the agent himself, one observes a procession which comes about ad intra. One observes this above all (maximepatet) in the intellect, whose action, that is, intellection, remains in the knowing subject. For whenever we understand, by the very fact of understanding there proceeds something within us, which is a conception of the object understood, a conception issuing from the intellectual power and proceeding from our knowledge of the object. It is this conception which the spoken word signiWes; and it is called the word of the heart signiWed by the word of the voice.34

From the Summa Contra Gentiles onward, this doctrine of the word, based on the analysis of language and of the process of meaning, is the means by which St Thomas accounts for the procession of the Son.35 When he applies this within his meditation on God, Thomas invites us to consider God's spiritual nature: 'God has a spiritual or intellectual nature, or rather, he overarches every mind: so generation in God must be understood in a way that suits an intellectual nature.'36 He knows, from Hilary and Augustine, that the doctrine of the 'prolation' or 'emanation' of the Word was sometimes suspect amongst the ancient writers, because of Gnostic philosophizing about the emission of aeons in the pleroma. Irenaeus encountered this problem; it need not remain an issue with Aquinas because analysis of the mode of the procession of the Word in God shows that this doctrine has nothing in common with Gnostic philosophizing."

The most original exposition of the doctrine of the word is found in St John (Jn 1.1; 1.14; 1 Jn 1.1; Rev. 19.13). To articulate it, Thomas works with a modification of Aristotle's anthropology which repays observation. For Aristotle, properly speaking, the immanent operation of the mind and will effectively 'produces' nothing.38 In order to be able to acknowledge that the acts of knowing and loving produce an immanent issue, St Thomas reinterprets Aristotle in the light of the Augustinian tradition: this relates to the word, and, as we will see later, to love's affection. For the moment, Thomas concentrates his attention on the procession of this word. Intellectual knowledge is a fertile act within which something 'proceeds': this is the 'word of the heart' (the expression comes from Augustine), which Thomas identifies as the concept of the thing known. This word proceeds from the knowing mind,

35 See our article, 'Le traite de St Thomas sur la Trinite dans la Somme contre les Gentils', RT 96 (1996), 21-31. On the development of Thomas'doctrine of the Word, see below, in Chapter 9, 'Studies in the Analogy of the Word: Anthropology and Trinitarian Theology'.

36 De rationibus fidei, ch. 3.

37 ST I, q. 34, a. 2, arg. 2 and ad 2. Thomas refers here to St Hilary (De Trinitate VI.9; SC 488, pp. 182-185), and to St Augustine (De haeresibus 11; CCSL 46, pp. 295-296). Cf. St Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses II.28.6.

38 Aristotle, Metaphysics 8. 8 (1050a23-b2).

whilst remaining within the mind. This gives us an analogous conception of the substantial unity of the Father and his Word, that is to say the divinity of the Word, and its distinction:

whatever proceeds within (ad intra) by an intellectual process is not necessarily diverse [from its principle]; to the contrary, the more perfect the procession is, the more closely it is one with that from which it proceeds. For it is clear that the more a thing is known, the greater the intimacy of its intellectual conception with the one who knows it; and the more it is one with him; because the intellect by the very act of knowing, becomes one with the known. Thus, since the divine intellect is the summit of all perfection, as we said above [q. 14, a. 1], it is necessary that the divine Word be perfectly one with Him from whom he proceeds, without the least diversity.39

The act of thought consists in a union, an assimilation: the knowing subject somehow makes the perfections which belong to other beings exist within himself. When the mind knows, 'that which is known is in a certain way in the knower', because 'the form of the known is in the knower'.40 When it knows, the mind intentionally 'becomes' the thing known.41 This union with the known thing abides in the intimacy of the word within the intellect itself. The intellect unites itself to the known thing through the word which abides within itself. It is this intimacy between the word and the intellect (the immanence of the word within the mind) to which St Thomas refers here. On such a basis, he can assess the prerogatives of the divine intellect. The divine Word is not an accident, since there are no accidents in God: everything 'there is' within God, is God himself.42 The Word is not something that 'happens' to God, but rather has the nature of God, from all eternity.43 In addition, the 'object' of the divine understanding is God himself. In the act through which God knows himself, the unity of the divine intellect and the Word is thus 'the most intimate'.44 So, when one considers how it takes place within God, the act of intellectual understanding enables one to disclose a procession occurring within a substantial unity ('without the least diversity').

In this way, St Thomas can show the principle aspects of divine generation by means of the analogy of intellectual procession: the distinction of the Word and its principle (the Father), the Word's relation of origin with this principle, the intimacy and immanence of the Word and his principle (Jn 1.1-2: 'The

39 ST I, q. 27, a. 1, ad 2. 40 De veritate, q. 2, a. 2; ST I, q. 14, a. 1.

41 'This is what makes the Philosopher say, in Book III of De Anima, that ''the soul is in a certain way all things''' (STI, q. 14, a. 1).

42 ST I, q. 3, a. 6; cf. q. 34, a. 2, ad 1; q. 14, a. 4. 43 ST I, q. 27, a. 2, ad 2.

44 This intimacy is the starting-point for the meditation in the Summa Contra Gentiles

Word was with God and the Word was God. It was at the beginning with God'; Jn 14.10: 'I am in the Father and the Father is in me'), the unity of the Word and his principle (Jn 10.30: 'The Father and I are one'). In the Summa Contra Gentiles, at the end of an explanation comparable to the one given back in the John Commentary, Thomas concludes that this is the teaching contained in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel.45 In his treatise, De rationibus Wdei, he concludes his exposition by showing that this doctrine allows one to show that the divine Word is 'of the same nature as the Father and co-eternal with the Father, unique and perfect', that is to say, it enables one to give an account of the Creed.46

In the first article of the Trinitarian treatise in the Summa Theologiae, Thomas does not mention 'generation': the reader could well be put out by this, since that is what he is dealing with! St Thomas wants to avoid the misdirected conception, found in Arianism and Sabellianism, of the generation of the Son as being like one of the acts which God performs within this world. So Thomas does not place the notion of 'generation' (as the communication of nature to the engendered) at the beginning of his exposition, but starts with the intellectual procession of the Word instead, because this enables one clearly to grasp an immanent action whose issue is consubstantial with its principle, both being a unity. The analogy of intellectual procession does not work to the exclusion of all others, but Thomas considers it the most enlightening. He observes that our world does not provide us with any examples of procession which could perfectly represent the divine generation, because the Son is born in identity of substance and eternity with the Father. 'Hence we need to gather an analogical representation from many of these modes [which one can observe in creatures], so that what is lacking in one may be partially supplied by another... Yet, within all these likenesses, it is the procession of the word which represents [divine generation] in the most adequate way.'47 It is here that one effectively finds the deepest intimacy. So here the theologian deploys an analogy which, primarily, suits the spiritual perfection of God; and which, secondly, enables one to grasp clearly what procession is like in God; and, thirdly, roots it apart from where Arius and Sabellius had so unproductively planted it.

In the second moment of his exposition, St Thomas shows that the procession of the Word allows one to know that which in God is the generation of the Son. In our world, generation comes about in diverse ways. It is an observable fact for every being which undergoes genesis: it is 'the passage

46 De rationibus fidei, ch. 3. 17 ST I, q. 42, a. 2, ad 1.

from non-being to being'. Amongst living things, generation has its own way of coming about, at a higher level: then it means 'the origin of a living being from a living principle conjoined to it', entailing the communication of a similar nature (the likeness of the specifying nature: we say that a human being is 'born' from another human being). This is the precise meaning of the word 'generation'. Thomas explains that, when it takes place in God, generation is disassociated from the passage of non-being to being, but retains the analogical rationale which it has amongst living beings. Having set out these elements, St Thomas concludes:

So in this manner the procession of the Word is generation. The Word eVectively proceeds by way of an intellectual activity, and it is a living operation^8 It also proceeds from a conjoined principle, as we have said (a. 1). And it proceeds by the rationale of similitude, since what the intellect conceives is the likeness of the thing known. And it exists in the same nature, since in God knowing is identical to being, as we have shown above (q. 14, a. 4). This is why the procession of the Word in God is called generation, and the Word itself proceeding is called 'Son'.49

The identification of generation with the Word's procession rests on the constitutive features of both conceptions, and also on what belongs to divinity (such as substantial identity).5o Without going any further into Thomas' view of generation, one should notice what he is aiming at: the procession of the Word passes the test of the constitutive features of generation, insofar as they are applicable to God.5i The procession of the word is thus apt for disclosing what generation is in God, without getting bogged down in Arianism and Sabellianism, and it serves as an analogy characterizing the first divine procession as well as distinguishing it from the second. The study of the person of the Son is approached in the same way: it is on the basis of the doctrine of the Word that Thomas shows how one must understand filiation and the name 'Son' itself."

48 On the activity of the intellect as a living operation, see ST I, q. 18; cf. De potentia, q. 10, a. 1.

49 ST I, q. 27, a. 2; cf. ST III, q. 32, a. 3. Thomas' words 'ratio' and 'rationes' have no direct English equivalent. In the course of this book, 'ratio' and 'rationes' are translated variously as rationale, idea, eidetic pattern, pattern, and model.

50 ST I, q. 27, a. 2, ad 2. Unlike our human word (which is not really 'engendered'), the divine Word 'proceeds as subsisting in the same nature'; so one can properly recognize, in the speaking of the Word, a genuine generation. Cf. SCG IV, ch. 11; De rationibus fidei, ch. 3.

51 Procession 'by the mode of nature' (the notion of generation) is thus identical to 'procession in an intellectual mode' (the emanation of the Word); the second enables one to understand the Wrst; ST I, q. 30, a. 2, ad 2.

52 See below, in Chapter 9, 'The Son, Word of God'.


The method of studying the second procession is analogous to the first. In the Summa Theologiae, Thomas first of all shows the existence of the procession of Love, then he shows that this procession is not a generation and that it is distinct from the first (q. 27, aa. 3-4). Here again, Thomas wants to avoid the Arian (or semi-Arian) conception of the Spirit as a creature, which came about by imagining the procession of the Spirit as being like one of God's actions within the world:

Since the Son receives the Father's nature, he is said to be begotten or engendered of the Father. But the Holy Spirit is not said to be either begotten or engendered in the Scriptures, although it is said that the Holy Spirit derives his existence from God (est a Deo). This is why Macedonius thought that the Holy Spirit is not consubstantial with the Father but is one of his creatures. For Macedonius did not believe it possible for anyone to receive from another that other's very nature, unless one was born of him and was his son. Hence he considered that if the Holy Spirit receives the Father's very nature and essence from the Father, it must necessarily follow that the Holy Spirit is begotten and is a Son." So, to refute this error it was necessary for our doctors to show that the divine nature can be communicated by a twofold procession, the one being a begetting or nativity, and the other not: and this is the same as to look for the distinction between the divine processions. 54

The attribution of this argument to Macedonius himself is dubious,55 but it does appear in the patristic debate about the procession of the Holy Spirit, from the time of Athanasius' Letters to Serapion,56 and perhaps earlier. Gregory of Nazianzus also gave his undivided attention to it, proposing the notion of ekporeusis to distinguish the origination of the Spirit and the generation of the Son.57 As with the investigation of the procession of the Son,

53 In the Summa Contra Gentiles, where he uses the same argument, St Thomas adds: 'And a healthy faith will find this revolting' (SCGIV, ch. 16, no. 3523).

55 Following the usage which he took over from his patristic texts, Thomas tends to identify the Macedonians with the 'semi-Arians' in general (cf. SCG IV, ch. 16, no. 3525). In other words, he did not make the precise distinction between the 'Macedonians' and the 'Tropikoi' who Athanasius targeted in his Letters to Serapion. Through Nicolas of Cotrona's Libellus de fide Trinitatis which Pope Urban IV had submitted to his expert scrutiny (nos. 10-21; Leon. edn., vol. 40, p. A 113-126), St Thomas was aware of large extracts from the first Letter to Serapion, although, unfortunately, in a text which had been enlarged and glossed. For a sketch of the pneumatological question in St Thomas, see J. A. Riestra, 'El error de Macedonio y la doctrina de Santo Tomais', in Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, ed. J. Saraiva Martins, vol. 1 Vatican City, 1983, pp. 461-471.

56 Athanasius, Letter to Serapion I.15-16 (SC 15, pp. 108-112).

57 Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 31.8-9 (SC 250, pp. 290-293).

we find here that the intention to defend the faith furnished the opportunity for the Fathers' speculative meditation (our doctors). St Thomas conceives his enquiry as an extension of patristic reflection^8 To disclose the divinity of the Spirit and the kind of existence which belongs to him, it is necessary to show that his procession is of a different kind from that of the Son. And one cannot show this on the basis of the concept of 'generation', simply because the procession of the Spirit is not a generation. As he did with the Son, Thomas concentrates his meditation on the notion of 'immanent procession'. The explanations in the Summa Theologiae are extremely concise:

Procession exists in God only according to an action which does not tend to anything external, but remains in the agent himself. And, in an intellectual nature, such action is that of the intellect, and of the will. The procession of the Word belongs to an act of the intelligence. As to the operation of the will, for us it gives rise to a diVerent procession which is that of love, whereby the object loved is in the lover (in the same way that, by the procession of the word, the thing spoken or known is in the knower). Hence, in addition to the procession of the Word, there exists in God another procession which is the procession of Love. 59

St Thomas is looking for an analogy which enables one to grasp the procession of the Holy Spirit (without which one can assert it, but one cannot disclose it!). To this end, he uses the analogy of spiritual life, which had already worked well in conceiving the generation of the Son, this time referring it to affective action: volition belongs to intelligent beings.6° To understand how he draws out the theme in Trinitarian theology, we must consider Thomas' original idea of love.

Thomas sets his presentation of affective life within a metaphysics of action that is governed by one fundamental principle: 'every form gives rise to a certain inclination which corresponds to it'.6i One can understand it like this. A being is what it is through a 'form' which gives it being in this or that way, for instance as a hazel tree, a piano, or a bat. This form is a principle of being and it is also the principle of an inclination towards something, that is, the principle of an action. For example, a case of a substantial form, a dog barks, eats bones, engenders other dogs, and so forth by virtue of its dog-form: the form which specifies its dog-being entails inclinations corresponding to that form, inclining the dog to certain acts which fit what it is. Thomas distinguishes on this basis three types of form, which are the source of three sorts of 'appetites' (appetitus) or inclinations of a being towards that which conforms

58 The question about the Holy Spirit's proceeding without being begotten is central to Augustine's thinking: see De Trinitate I.V.8; II.III.5; IX.XII.17-18; XV.XXV.45; XV.XXVI.47; XV.XXVII.48; XV.XXVII.50.

59 ST I, q. 27, a. 3. 6° SCGIV, ch. 19 (no. 3558). 61 ST I, q. 80, a. 1.

to its nature. (1) Natural appetite: this is the tendency every being has by virtue of its natural form (fire heats; it is inclined to heat what it touches); (2) animal appetite: this is the tendency of beings which know through their senses towards the things which they have understood through their senses (dogs are inclined to the bones which they munch); (3) intellectual appetite: this is the inclination of beings that know intellectually towards that which they grasp through their intellectual understanding (human beings are inclined to the truth as their good). This latter inclination or intellectual appetite is volition, or will.62 Volition is the inclination towards the good apprehended by intelligence, the capacity to convey oneself towards an end grasped by one's mind:

Through the form which constitutes their species, natural beings have an inclination to their fitting operations and to the end which fits their operations—as one is, so one acts—and they tend to what belongs to them. Thus, the intelligible form in an intelligent being unfolds towards the operations and end proper to it. In an intelligent nature, this inclination is volition: it is the principle of the operations in us and through which an intelligent being acts towards its end, for ends and goods are the object of the will. So one must recognize that intelligent beings have volition.63

All beings act to attain a good to which they are inclined, either by nature or through sensible knowledge, or through intellectual knowledge. We learn what love is from this inclination, that bowling for the good which orients every being to what fits and satisfies it. Love is the aboriginal affection, reaching for the good, the principle of movement towards the beloved good:

In each of these appetites [natural, sensitive, and intellectual], the name love is given to the principle of movement toward the beloved end. In the natural appetite the principle of this movement is the connaturality of the subject with that towards which it tends, and may be called 'natural love'; thus, the connaturality of the heavy body with the place which, because of its weight, suits it, can be called 'natural love'. Likewise the adaptation (coaptatio) of the sensitive appetite and that of the will to a good, that is to say its very complacency (complacentia) in good is called sensible love [in the case of sensitive appetite], and intellectual or rational appetite [in the case of the will].64

Love is the gravitation of one being toward another which is its good, by dint of connaturality, or a relationship of conformity between oneself and the

62 ST I-II, q. 26 a. 1; cf. ST I, q. 80, a. 1. De veritate, q. 23, a. 1: 'This free inclination (libera inclinatio) constitutes the essence of the will.' See S. Pinckaers, Les sources de la morale chntienne: Sa methode, son contenu, son histoire, Fribourg and Paris, 1990, pp. 384-460.

63 SCG IV, ch. 19 (no. 3558); cf. ST I, q. 19, a. 1.

64 ST I-II, q. 26, a. 1; SCG IV, ch. 19 (no. 3559): St Thomas' teaching here shows the homogeneity between his anthropology and his Trinitarian theology, which are mutually illuminating.

other. It is the inclination of things to come into line with the good congruent to them. This conception of creaturely love stands under the ensign of finality: what makes things act is the good which fits them, doing so either by nature or because they can perceive their own good. The arc they trace out has their good as its end or goal. Love is something which is teleological, belonging to the order of finality, and also analogical, authenticating its presence on the diverse rungs of being. Without love, nothing would act, nothing would become, nothing would change, because nothing would seek its good. Love is thus the root of action. With the helping hands of Stoicism and Nemesius of Emesa behind him, Thomas recognizes love as the source of our central affections:

Every inclination of the will derives from the fact that, through it, something is apprehended as 'congruent' or as 'arousing the aVections': to experience aVection for something is to love it. Thus, every inclination of the will, and even of the sensible appetite, originates from love. It is because we love something that we desire it in its absence, that we are joyous in its presence, that we are sad when we cannot attain it, and that we experience hate and anger towards whatever separates us from it.65

So love is the principle of the affective life, the absolutely primary affection of the appetite in contact with the desirable, and native complacency in the good, which the will has as its object. This is why love motivates action: it is the 'primitive root' of all appetitive movements.66 Whenever we act, it is because we are moved by a good which we want to attain, and it is always because of a love. This is why, analogously, God's creative activity will be attributed to his Love, as the principle of his works. Understanding the creative action of the Holy Spirit will benefit a great deal from knowing about this.

On this basis, St Thomas proposes one more step, which is of central importance for the application of the analogy of love to the procession of the Holy Spirit. In the spiritual order, our union with another is achieved by the presence of the other to ourselves. Earlier, we brought to mind that, in the case of knowledge, this presence is secured by a similitude to the thing known in the knowing subject, and particularly by the word which renders the item present, and known. Love is not achieved by the presence of a similitude of the 'object': the presence of another through a likeness is the mode which fits understanding.67 When we love, this love is not a likeness or resemblance in us

65 SCGIV, ch. 19 (no. 3559). Joy, sadness, hope, and fear are the four 'principal passions': ST I-II, q. 25, a. 4. Cf. E. Dobler, Zwei syrische Quellen der theologischen Summa des Thomas von Aquin, Nemesios von Emesa und Johannes von Damaskus, Fribourg, 2000, pp. 330-335.

66 ST I-II, q. 28, a. 6: 'Whatever it is, every agent carries out all its actions because of a love'; cf. q. 27, a. 4; ST I, q. 20, a. 1.

of the beloved being. In other words, the process of knowledge comes about in the mind of the knowing subject, and truth or falsity are located within this mind; whereas love is brought about outside of ourselves, in the realities which we love and in which good and evil are found.68 So how can one account for the presence of the beloved being in the one who loves? This is a crucial issue, if we remember that Thomas is attempting to disclose an immanent procession in God. The same question will also play a central role in grasping the divine missions, especially the Holy Spirit's dwelling within the just: how can God make himself present in those who love him?69 Thomas writes,

There is a certain difference between the intellect and the will. The intellect is made to be in act by the thing known, which is in the intellect through its likeness; whereas the will is actualized, not because a likeness of the willed thing is in the will, but because the will has an inclination towards the thing which is willed. Thus the procession of the intellect is by the mode of similitude, and it is under this aspect that it authenticates the notion of generation, for anything that engenders, engenders its own likeness. But the procession which comes about through the mode of will, does not present itself by way of similitude: rather, it is achieved under the aspect of what impels and moves toward something (secundum rationem impellentis et moventis in aliquid). So what proceeds in God by way of love does not proceed as engendered, but rather as a 'Spirit'. This word effectively designates a sort of vital movement (vitalis motio) or impulsion (impulsio) in the sense that one says that love pushes us or entrains us to doing something.70

This is the nub of St Thomas' meditations: the beloved being is present in the loving will in a diVerent way from that in which the known being is in the mind. The beloved being is present in a dynamic mode, like a vital momentum, a weight of love entraining the will toward the beloved being. This follows from the 'ecstatic' character of love: the understanding of a reality is achieved within the interiority of the knowing subject (knowledge makes things 'exist' in our minds, in an intelligible mode), whereas love carries the will outside of itself toward the beloved good. The presence of the beloved being in the lover thus displays the modality of an interior weight of love ('what impels and moves') which arises in the will when it loves something (when it is activated). It is thus that Thomas can show, analogously, that the love-procession of the Holy Spirit is different from generation: that which proceeds by the way of love is not 'begotten'71 The way he explains it in the Summa Contra Gentiles is akin to this.

69 ST I, q. 43, a. 3; cf. q. 8, a. 3. See below, in Chapter 15, 'God's Presence as Known and Loved'. The conjunction of these two issues (the procession of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity and the presence of God in the saints) is thus a matter of trying to conceive how love brings human beings to the image of the Trinity.

70 ST I, q. 27, a. 4. 71 See also SCG IV, ch. 19 (no. 3565).

what is loved is not only in the intellect of the lover, but in his will as well, but in one way and another. It is in the intellect by reason of the likeness of its species; it is in the will of the lover, however, as the term of a movement is in its proportioned motive principle by reason of the congruence and proportion which the principle has for that term. Just so, in a certain way, there is in fire the upper place by reason of that lightness which gives it proportion and congruity to such a place, but the Wre which is generated [the engendered flame] is in the fire which generates [the generator flame] by reason of the likeness of its form.72

Thomas puts in the example of fire so as to distinguish two aspects which suggest the difference between generation and the procession of love. When one lights one Xame with the help of another Xame, there is in fact a procession which one can call 'generation', in the broad and colloquial sense of the term: the flame is 'engendered' by the flame which sets it alight. There is here a relation of species likeness in virtue of which one can recognize the presence of fire in an illuminated flame (the relation is that of likeness, which Thomas explained when he was talking about generation).73 But this is not what happens in the case of love. To suggest the mode of presence which belongs to love, St Thomas takes the example of fire, and considers the momentum of a rising flame. It rises because that is 'congruent' with the natural properties of flame: the flame of fire—this is the aspect which the example is trying to illustrate—rises to a higher place because it has an inclination to or 'congruence' with the higher region to which it is attracted. Thus, 'the higher place' is 'in a certain sort of way' present in the flame itself, in so far as the flame is carried to rise itself toward it by its own inclination.

Whatever the limitations ofthis example, it does indicate a dynamic mode of presence, under the form of an 'impression' (impressio) of the beloved, which moves or inclines the will towards the beloved being (affection, attraction, impulsion).74 Thus, St Thomas notices that there is a dynamic presence of the beloved being in the will which actually loves: the one whom I love is present to my will as inclining me towards him, like the attraction to the goal of movement which one can observe in the moving principle, to which it has proportion and 'congruence'.

It is not difficult to see that this explanation rests on the precise notion of love which we briefly recalled above: inclination, congruence, affection, impulsion, motion. This conception of love is original and St Thomas himself did not always put it forward as clearly as this. As with the doctrine of the Word, one can see that he has made progress here. In his Commentary on the

73 Looked at from this angle, the example of Wre is close to the patristic image of light: the Son is the 'light' [born] of 'light', as the Constantinopolitan Creed confesses.

74 SCG IV, ch. 19; CT I, ch. 46 (attractio); ST I, q. 37, a. 1 (affectio).

Sentences, he posed the topic of the procession of the Holy Spirit by means of the theme of creative Love.75 He conceives love as an 'in-formation' (formatio, informatio, transformatio) of the will by the loved good, explaining that love consists in the reception of a form, a form which is analogous to that received by the intellect in the act of knowledge; love would thus be a 'transformation' of the appetite by the beloved thing.76 Thomas' first attempt is characterized by an excessively narrow parallel between intelligence and will, built around the notion of 'form'. The Disputed Questions De veritate evince a similar conception,77 and even though love is more finely distinguished from intelligence here, the basic problem remains intact: St Thomas still acknowledges that 'the will has nothing which, proceeding from it, remains in it, except by mode of operation'^8 This absence of a fertility immanent to the will prevents one from finding the procession of a term in it, and this leads Thomas, as in his Commentary on the Sentences, to think along the lines of a 'subsistent operation' or an 'action which proceeds' when one conceives the Holy Spirit.79

St Thomas' mature solution appears in the Summa Contra Gentiles, from which we have already cited several pages, and also in the Commentary on Pseudo-Denys' Divine Names. After these various blind-shots and focusings, the light of Thomas' mature anthropology and Trinitarian theology dawns in the Summa Theologiae8 Using the model of an imprint of love, Thomas no longer just discerns an action in the loving will, but sees in it a 'fruit' which proceeds from volition and remains in the will.8i We will come back later to why the Holy Spirit is named 'Love'.s2 What we have said so far is enough to show how beneficial the investigation of love is. Through it, Thomas can disclose: (1) the emanation of a reality which proceeds from the will and remains immanent within it (this is what gives one an analogue for understanding the Holy Spirit's relation of origin); (2) the existence of a spiritual

75 I Sent. d. 10, q. 1, a. 1. 76 m Sent. d. 27, q. 1, a. 1.

77 De veritate, q. 27, a. 4: 'The passion of love is nothing other than the formation of the appetite by the ''appetizing'' good.' The De veritate nonetheless shows a clearer understanding of the will as an 'inclination' toward the good (q. 22, a. 12).

7s De veritate, q. 4, a. 2, ad 7. At one time, this passage gave rise to a heated debate, because it shows the incompleteness of Thomas' thought at the time when he wrote the De veritate, cf. the discussion by H. Dondaine in the Bulletin thomiste 5 (1937-1939), 547-549.

79 I Sent. d. 32, q. 1, a. 1; cf. Emery, La Trinite cnatrice, pp. 368-383 and 430-434.

s» For St Thomas' development, with the main texts and the interpretation of the Thomist school, see H.-D. Simonin, 'Autour de la solution thomiste du probleme de l'amour', AHDLMA 6 (1931), 174-276.

s1 Cf. SCGIV, ch. 26: 'when the mind ( mens) loves itself, it produces its own self as loved in the will (seipsam producit in voluntate ut amatum)'.

82 See below, in Chapter 10, ' The Holy Spirit is Love in Person'.

procession distinct from that of the word (the procession of the Holy Spirit is not the generation of the Son); (3) the procession of a term which is consubstantial to its principle (since the will of God is identical to the being of God, the Spirit which proceeds by the mode of love has the very nature of God, whilst being personally distinct from the Father and the Son).83

Such is the path which enables one to grasp the procession of the Holy Spirit and which by doing so, sidesteps arguments against the truth of Faith. The theologian is not content with asserting this truth, but can actually show that there is a procession which is distinct from that of the Word, thus indicating that the criticisms of Trinitarian faith are not compelling.

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