S. Pinckaers asked rhetorically: is St. Thomas’ moral doctrine Christian? The question was justified by the common accusation that Aquinas’ moral theology was more Aristotelian than evangelical. Such an accusation responds to a superficial reading of the doctrine of St. Thomas. The present article tries to show the supernaturality of one of the structuring elements of St. Thomas’ moral theology, the Evangelical Law or New Law. We can see its supernaturality in its interior nature due to the grace of the Holy Spirit, as well as in its content and motive of charity. On the other hand, this supernaturality is also evident when we see how Saint Thomas grasped it from the Holy Scripture, especially in one of its most decisive points: the interior character of the knowledge proper to the New Law.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is a Magister in Sacra Pagina. The spiritual understanding of the mystery of God is one of those concepts that Saint Thomas has formed from the reading of Sacred Scripture, particularly of Saint Paul and Saint John. It is precisely the adjective “spiritual” which in qualifying the understanding of the mystery of God gives it its peculiar meaning. With this adjective, saint Thomas qualifies this knowledge as the salvific knowledge that really introduces men into salvation and perfection. It is opposed to other knowledges that do not open to the salvific revelation of God and that are qualified as carnal or literal. Concretely the Aquinate, following Saint Paul, considers the knowledge of the reason that is closed or a faith that does not open to the fullness of revelation as a carnal knowledge. The spiritual intelligence in Saint Thomas can highlight not-so-well-known aspects of his thought and serve to illuminate some current issues such as contemporary biblical hermeneutics.
The purpose of this article is to present the biblical foundation of the natural law according to St. Thomas Aquinas. This foundation reveals to us all the breadth and depth of the full meaning of natural law in St. Thomas, especially as a participation of eternal law and its insufficiency to lead man to his perfection.
We pretend to collaborate with the work proposed by the Magisterium of the Church. He invites us to deepen the natural law, seeing it as an instrument that can offer to our contemporary society a foundation of solid moral convictions on which to base personal and social life.