Many / One

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Sheer Joy, Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality
Matthew Fox
Foreword by Rupert Sheldrake, Afterword by Bede Griffiths

1 "When we are drawn to the sweetness, beauty, and goodness of creatures, how boldly we ought to be borne away to the One in whom all these little streams commingle and course!" Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa contra Gentiles', ch. 2, n. 4

2 "No person is in such darkness as to be completely devoid of divine light. The divine light shines in the darkness and radiates upon all." Thomas Aquinas, 'Commentary on the Gospel of John', 1.5, n. 103

3 "Justice, truth, and compassion are the same in essence, and they have to do with whatever God makes in us. Thus truth and justice lie at the heart of the inner person." Matthew Fox

4 "God is the universal good, embracing pure spirits and humanity and all creatures. Every creature is entirely of God." Thomas Aquinas, ST I, q. 60, a. 5

5 "In fact, the desire for joy is inherently stronger than the fear of sadness." Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa Theologica', q. 35, a. 6

6 "We gaze at the heavens and the earth, 'Why then, how much greater must the One be who formed them!' (Wisdom 13:4)." Thomas Aquinas, CGII, ch. 2 n. 3

7 "Justice preserves the whole universe." Matthew Fox

8 "There is no existing thing that does not have some virtue….The effects of the unfailing virtue of God proceed both to human beings and to animals, and to plants and to all natural things." Thomas Aquinas, 'Commentary on Dionysius's Divine Names', n. 751, 755

9 "The life of nature and the life of the mind are not independent of the life of God; they are an expression of God's life and creative power." Rupert Sheldrake, Foreword

10 "We choose our lives, we make them, we cocreate them, we give birth to them by the 'inward' choices we make." Matthew Fox

11 "There is an indissoluble strength in the connection of things….by virtue of the one cause containing and assembling them into one." Thomas Aquinas, DDN

12 "These (morphic) fields, according to the hypothesis of formative causation, contain an inherent memory, a kind of pooled or collective memory of the species. They organize not only bodily development but also instinctive behavior and mental activity….Tthere is no doubt that much of the medieval conception of the soul as an invisible animating principle has been carried over into the field concept. This is particularly clear in the case of magnets, which were believed from ancient times until the seventeenth century to have magnetic souls within and around them. Today we would say that the properties of magnets depend on the magnetic fields within and around them. In the context of electro-magnetic fields, and particularly the properties of such fields expressed in holograms, I find (Thomas) Aquinas opens up an amazing vista of thought by inviting us to compare the pervasive nature of the soul with that of God: 'The whole human soul is in the whole body and also in every part of the body, just as God is present to the entire universe." See Rupert Sheldrake's 'A New Science of Life, Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1982, and 'The Presence of the Past', New York: Vintage, 1989

13 "God acts in all things from within….God works at the heart of all activity." Thomas Aquinas, ST I, q. 105, a. 5

14 "In God's hand is the life of every living thing, and not only of the animals, but also the breath of all humanity." Thomas Aquinas, In Job 12, pp. 52-53

15 "The Scriptures say, 'of God, and by God, and in God are all things. (Romans 11:36). God embraces in the divine self all creatures. God holds all things in Godself and not successively according to time nor divided into parts, but together. Indeed, the Godhead contains all things….All things are in God." Thomas Aquinas

16 "The principal inclination of each part is toward common action conducive to the good of the whole." Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa Theologica', q. 26, a. 3

17 "The only person who truly has joy is one who lives in love." Thomas Aquinas, DC, 35

18 "From this beautiful One beauty comes to be in all beings." Thomas Aquinas, DDN, n. 349

19 "The final end of all things is the divine goodness, toward which as toward a goal all journeys and particular ends toward which things are naturally inclined are ordered." Thomas Aquinas, DDN, n. 858, pp. 321-322

20 "God is most joyful and is therefore supremely conscious." Thomas Aquinas, 'Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics', III, L.11, p. 192, Gilby's translation

21 "A certain circulation appears in love because it is from good and toward good and that circling agrees with the divine eternity of love, since circular motion alone can be perpetual." Thomas Aquinas, DDN, n. 450, p. 148

22 "Our capacity to birth – including the birthing of virtue – derives from the very Creator and artist of all things, including the human being." Matthew Fox

23 "God wills that human beings exist for the sake of the perfection of the universe." Thomas Aquinas, 'Commentary on the Letter to the Ephesians', 1.6a

24 "The saints understand through their experiences how much God loves us." Thomas Aquinas, In Jn 17.23, n. 2250

25 "All things are subject to divine providence, not only in general, but even in their own individual selves." Thomas Aquinas, ST I, q. 22, a. 2

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite