Monday, July 5, 2010

Summa Theologica—Happiness

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I have started something new for my 3 prayer groups. I am teaching St. Thomas’s Summa Theologica. We begun with the moral life. So, it is 2nd volume in the English translation. During two meetings, we talked about Happiness.

Here are some important ideas:

  • Men has always an end in view when he acts, that is when he acts as man (human act) and not by impulse, or by reason which is purely physical or instinctive (act of man).
  • Man under the higher action of God and dependently upon this action, can fix for himself the end for which he acts; whereas other creatures of the material world put into execution blindly, naturally, or instinctively the end fixed to their action by God.

Where Happiness Is Found

  • True happiness is not in wealth, honors, fame, glory, power, bodily goods, nor pleasures. Bodily things cannot be man’s perfect fulfillment.
  • The objective ultimate happiness fulfils the soul but is something outside the soul, which the soul attains to.
  • No created good can give man perfect happiness. Only the uncreated good can be the ultimate end of man. And this uncreated good is God.

What Happiness Is

  • Ultimate subjective happiness is the state of fulfillment and satisfaction in a person who has obtained the end for which he is made.
  • Ultimate objective happiness is the reality which, when possessed, will render the possessor subjectively happy. God is man’s objective happiness.
  • Man’s subjective happiness is both a state and an operation. As a state--- permanent possession of fulfillment. As an operation--- an act by which man lays hold of, and possesses, the object which renders him happy.
  • Operation in perfect happiness--- an act of intellect rather than will; speculative rather than practical.

Requirements For Happiness

  • These three must concur in Happiness; to wit, vision, which is perfect knowledge of the intelligible end; comprehension, which implies presence of the end; and delight or enjoyment, which implies repose of the lover in the object beloved.
  • Rightness or rectitude of the will is necessary for happiness.
  • In the present life, we need the body, external goods (in due measure), and fellowship of friends for earthly happiness. But these are NOT essential to man’s ultimate happiness.

The Attainment Of Happiness

  • All men have the desire for their own fulfillment and happiness. But not all have the right notion of happiness.
  • In the present earthly life man may attain a degree of happiness, but cannot have perfect happiness. On earth limitations and drawbacks are associated with happiness. Only God possessed in beatific vision can make man perfectly happy, and this vision cannot be had in earthly life.
  • Once perfect happiness has been attained, it cannot be lost.
  • In heaven, the objective happiness of man is God, and hence the happiness of heaven is objectively one. But subjectively one man can be happier than another in heaven, for one man may have a greater capacity of the happiness of heaven.
  • Man’s natural power cannot bring him perfect happiness, which is supernatural. To attain perfect happiness, we need grace here on earth, and to posses perfect happiness, we need the light of glory in heaven.

Here are some photos from the English group meeting this evening:

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Information of my 3 prayer groups:

Hearts of Jesus and Mary Prayer Group (around 40-50 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 1st & 3 rd Sunday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Corpus Christi Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group (around 20 people)

  • In English
  • Every 1st & 3rd Monday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • St. Patrick’s Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Prayer Group (around 15 to 20 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 2nd & 4th Monday
  • 9:45 AM to 11 AM
  • At a private home (SE Vancouver, close to Burnaby)

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Our Meetings:

Rosary with guided meditations (Evening groups have Night Prayer & Benediction as well).

Talk on Summa Theologica & Lives of the Saints.

Pray Litany of Loreto before holy relics. Blessing of Mary, Help of Christians. Individual blessing with holy relics.