Mandeville, LA – Truth is the self-manifestation and state of evidence of real things. Consequently, truth is something secondary, following from something else. Truth does not exist for itself alone. Primary and precedent to it are existing things, the real Knowledge of truth, therefore, aims ultimately not at ‘truth” but, strictly speaking, at gaining sight of reality Furthermore, when we distinguish ‘truth of faith” from “truth of reason”, we are saying that on the one hand there exist things which we can see only by faith and divine revelation, and on the other hand things which can be apprehended by natural cognition. Even when we speak of “faith” and ‘knowledge”, despite the literal meaning of these words we are not speaking of two different acts or approaches of the human mind, but of two realms of’ reality which we touch upon when we believe or know “Conjunction of faith and knowledge—at bottom that comes down to mentally uniting these two realms of reality: on the one hand the totality, of created things which lie within the purview of natural cognition (which does not mean that we ever fully understand them) and on the other hand the reality exposed to us in God’s revelations, that is to say, in faith.
For this latter reality, we have the code words “Trinity” and “Incarnation” To interpret the conjunction in this way, however, is also to make a demand that is not directed at the rational intellect alone: to this extent the expression ‘mentally uniting” is not quite accurate. For what we are called upon to do is not entirely mental it lies closer to the core of personality than that, and challenges spiritual existence. This, then, is more or less the interpretation that Thomas Aquinas gave to Boethius’ celebrated dictum. It was the most radical formulation which could be given to the idea With that consistency absolutely distinctive in him, Thomas sees natural reality as divine creation which in the event of the Incarnation has’ been reunited, in an incomprehensibly new way, with its Origin. And in seeing and saying this, he makes two things plain: first, that man’s turning toward all aspects of the world is an attitude not only justified but required by theology—very much so, and second, that theology itself can develop only within the framework of total reality, and that not one single element of that total reality can be excluded from consideration. As we summed it up once before: “theologically based worldliness, and a theology open to the world” – Josef Pieper, Scholasticism