6.16.2008

sanctity and metaphysics

Peter Kreeft teaches high philosophy:
And because saints are "little Christs," Gabriel Marcel is right when he says that "sanctity is the true introduction to ontology." ("On the Ontological Mystery," in The Philosophy of Existentialism.)

That is one of the most puzzling and pregnant sayings I have ever heard from any philosopher. IT is not sentimentalism; it is perfect logic. For:

1. Ontology, or metaphysics, is the science of being.
2. And our clearest understanding of being, or reality, must come from the most real being, not from the less real.
3. And the most real being, the source and standard and archetype of all reality, is God.
4. But we don't know God directly, as an object, for His name is not "IT IS" (object) but "I AM" (subject).
5. And we too are subjects ("I's"), not objects, since we are created in His image.
6. Yet we can and do know ourselves somehow.
7. So it is personhood, or I-ness, that is the key, or door, or window, to metaphysics.
8. But personhood, or I-ness, like being, is analogical. It is a matter of degree. We are more or less authentic, more or less real. Atoms are not as real as souls, and human souls are not as real as God.
9. The most real human persons are saints. They are what we are all designed to be.
10. Therefore the study of sanctity is the key to the study of being.

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