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Monday, April 27, 2009

0068: Pope John Paul II on Aquinas’ Actus Essendi (III)

Entry 0068: Pope John Paul II on Aquinas’ Actus Essendi (III)

In his Encyclical Letter “Fides et Ratio,” John Paul II states that “the ‘philosophy of being’ is strong and enduring because it is based upon the very act of being itself (ipsum actus essendi), which allows a full and comprehensive openness to reality as a whole” (“Fides et Ratio,” 14 September 1998, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1999, vol. 91, pp. 5-88, no. 97.)

With unmistakable clarity, in “Fides et Ratio” John Paul II directed our attention towards the methodology of the actus essendi. In favoring the ‘philosophy of the actus essendi,’ John Paul II identified the school of ‘sound’ thinking.

With the caliber of a philosopher and the authority of a teacher, Wojtyla indicated the way philosophers disqualify themselves. “Once reason successfully intuits and formulates the first universal principles of being and correctly draws from them conclusions which are coherent both logically and ethically, then it may be called right reason or, as the ancients called it, orth(o-)s logos, recta ratio” (“Fides et Ratio,” no. 4.)

In other words, through philosophy’s work and the ability to speculate, the human intellect has produced a rigorous mode of thought. The most precious fruit of this process is the notion of actus essendi which carries with it an intrinsic and inseparable methodology.