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IV Sententiae, d. 8, q.

Concerning the Eucharist
ARTICLE 3: The necessity of instituting this
sacrament, and at what time.
Utrum aliqua fuerit necessitas instituendi hoc SUBQUESTION 1: Whether there was any
need for instituting this sacrament.
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod nulla Proceeding to the third, it seems that there was no
fuit necessitas instituendi hoc sacramentum. need for instituting this sacrament.
Veniente enim veritate debet cessare figura.
Sed hoc sacramentum agitur in figuram
dominicae passionis, quae jam realiter venit.
Ergo non debuit hoc sacramentum institui.

1. For when the truth has come, the figure ought to

cease. But this sacrament is enacted as a figure of
the Lord's passion, which has already really
come. Therefore this sacrament ought not to have
been instituted.

Praeterea, eadem in actione aliquid instituitur 2. Further, in the same action, something is
et a contraria dispositione removetur. Sed ad instituted and is removed from a contrary
eamdem actionem non debet institui nisi
disposition. But for accomplishing the same action
unum sacramentum, sicut unum
there ought only to be instituted a single
instrumentum est unius actionis. Cum ergo sacrament, as there is a single instrument for a
per Baptismum mundemur a malo, videtur
single action. Since therefore we are cleansed
quod non oportuit institui aliquod
from evil through baptism, it seems that there
sacramentum per quod in bono confirmemur, ought not to have been instituted a sacrament
scilicet Eucharistiam, ut in littera dicitur.
through which we are confirmed in good, namely
the Eucharist, as the text describes it.
Praeterea, ex eisdem ex quibus sumus, et
3. Further, it is by the same things that we both
nutrimur, ut in 2 de Generat. dicitur. Sed per have our existence and are nourished, as is said
Baptismum, qui est spiritualis regeneratio,
in On Generation and Corruption II. But through
acquirimus esse spirituale, ut Dionysius dicit. baptism, which is spiritual regeneration, we
Ergo per gratiam reficimur baptismalem; et ita acquire spiritual being, as Dionysius says.
non oportet hoc sacramentum institui ad
Therefore through baptismal grace we are
spiritualiter reficiendum, ut in littera dicitur.
refreshed;1 and thus this sacrament need not
have been instituted for spiritual refreshment, as
the text describes it.
Sed contra,

On the contrary:

ad perfectionem corporis exigitur quod

membra capiti conjungantur. Sed per hoc
sacramentum membra Ecclesiae suo capiti
conjunguntur; unde Joan. 6, 57, dicitur: qui
manducat carnem meam, et bibit sanguinem
meum, in me manet, et ego in eo. Ergo
necessaria fuit hujus sacramenti institutio.

1. The body's perfection requires that the

members be joined to the head. But through this
sacrament, the members of the Church are joined
to its head; hence in John 6:57 it says: "He who
eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me
and I in him." Therefore this sacrament's
institution was necessary.

Praeterea, caritas non est minus necessaria 2. Further, charity is not less necessary than faith.
quam fides. Sed habemus unum
But we have a single sacrament of faith, namely
sacramentum fidei, scilicet Baptismum. Cum baptism. Since therefore the sacrament of charity

ergo caritatis sacramentum sit Eucharistia,

unde et communio dicitur; videtur quod ejus
institutio fuerit necessaria.

is the eucharist (hence it is also called

"communion"), it seems that its institution was



dicendum ad primam quaestionem, quod in

quolibet genere actionum in quo inveniuntur
plures actiones ordinatae diversis agentibus
ordinatis distributae, oportet quod principalis
illarum actionum attribuatur principali agenti,
cujus virtute secundarii agentes operantur
secundarias actiones; sicut patet in artibus
quae sub invicem continentur, ut militaris,
equestris, et frenorum factrix. Et quia
invenimus diversas actiones sacramentales
diversis sacramentis distributas, quae in
virtute verbi incarnati agunt, oportet ad
perfectam actionem hujus generis esse
aliquam sacramentalem actionem quae
ipsimet principali agenti attribuatur, quod est
verbum incarnatum; et ideo oportuit esse
sacramentum Eucharistiae, quod ipsum
verbum incarnatum contineret, ceteris
sacramentis tamen in virtute ipsius
agentibus; et ideo convenienter in figura cibi
hoc sacramentum institutum est: quia inter
alios sensus solus tactus est cui suum
sensibile realiter conjungitur, similitudinibus
tantum sensibilium ad alios sensus per
medium pervenientibus: gustus autem tactus
quidam est: et inter alia quae ad tactum
pertinent, solus cibus est qui agit per
conjunctionem sui ad cibatum, quia nutriens
et nutritum fit unum; alia vero tangibilia agunt
efficiendo aliquas impressiones in eo quod
tangitur, sicut patet de calido et frigido, et

It should be said that in any genus of actions in

which are found many ordered actions distributed
among a variety of ordered agents, the chief of
those actions must be attributed to the chief agent,
by whose power the secondary agents enact their
secondary actions, as is evident in arts that are
contained one beneath the other, as the military,
equestrian, and bridlemaking arts [where in each
case the latter takes orders from the former]. And
since we find a variety of sacramental actions
distributed among a variety of sacraments, which
act by the power of the incarnate Word, for a
perfect action of this genus [to take place] there
must be some sacramental action that is attributed
to the chief agent himself, namely the incarnate
Word; and thus there had to be the sacrament of
the Eucharist, which would contain the very Word
incarnate, with the remaining sacraments as
agents [acting] by his power. And thus, fittingly
was this sacrament instituted in the likeness of
food,2 since among all the senses touch alone is
really joined to its sensible, with only the
likenesses of sensibles reaching the other senses
through a medium; but taste is a kind of touch, and
among the things that pertain to touch, only food
acts by its being joined to the one fed, since the
nourishing and the nourished are made one,
whereas other tangible items act by bringing
about some impressions in that which they touch,
as is evident with hot and cold, and such

Et ideo cum omne sacramentum in figura

And thus, since every sacrament ought to be
alicujus rei sensibilis proponi debeat,
proposed in the likeness3 of some sensible thing,
convenienter sacramentum in quo ipsum
it is fitting that the sacrament in which the very
verbum incarnatum nobis conjungendum
Word incarnate, as to be joined to us, is
continetur, proponitur nobis in figura cibi, non contained, is proposed to us in the likeness of
quidem convertendi in nos per suam
food, not indeed as being converted into us
conjunctionem ad nos, sed potius sua
through its conjunction with us, but rather we
conjunctione nos in ipsum convertens,
ourselves being converted into it by conjunction
secundum quod Augustinus ex persona verbi with it, according to what Augustine says,
incarnati dicit: non tu me mutabis in te, sicut speaking in the person of the incarnate Word:
cibum carnis tuae; sed tu mutaberis in me.
"You shall not change me into you, as food of your
flesh, but you shall be changed into me."

Replies to objections:
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod secundum 1. To the first, therefore, it should be said that
Dionysium nostra hierarchia est media inter according to Dionysius our hierarchy is in
caelestem et eam quae in veteri lege erat.
between the heavenly and that which was in the
Tempore enim legis erat veritas promissa
old law. For in the time of the law there was the
tantum; sed in statu novae legis est veritas
promise alone; but in the state of the new law
inchoata per Jesum Christum; in patria autem there is the dawning of truth4 through Jesus
erit veritas consummata. Et ideo in veteri
Christ; while in the fatherland there will be
lege figurae sine rebus proponebantur; in
consummate truth. And so, in the old law, figures
nova autem proponuntur figurae cum rebus; were proposed without the realities [to which the
in patria autem res sine figuris. Et ideo orat figures pointed]; while in the new, figures are
Ecclesia ut quod nunc spe gerimus in via,
proposed along with realities; but in the
rerum veritate capiamus in patria.
fatherland, [there will be] realities without figures.
And so the church prays that "what we now carry
by hope along the way, we may take hold of in the
fatherland by the truth of the realities."
Ad secundum dicendum, quod objectio illa 2. To the second, it should be said that this
procedit de perfectione illa qua aliquid ad
objection holds concerning that perfection by
formam receptam perficitur, qualis perfectio fit which something is perfected in that it receives a
per Baptismum; non autem de illa quae est form - the kind of perfection achieved through
per conjunctionem ad principium
baptism; but it does not hold for that which occurs
perfectionis, quae fit per Eucharistiam, ut
through union with the [very] source of perfection,
supra dictum est.
a union achieved through the Eucharist, as was
said above.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod de nutrimento
corporali verum est nos eisdem nutriri ex
quibus sumus, quia oportet cibum carnis
nostrae in nos transmutari, et ideo oportet
quod nobiscum in materia conveniat; secus
autem de cibo spirituali, qui nos in seipsum

3. To the third, it should be said that it is true of

bodily nutriment that we are nourished by the
same things from which we have our existence,
since the food of our flesh must be transmuted into
ourselves; and so it must agree with us in matter.
It is otherwise with spiritual food, however, which
transmutes us into itself.
SUBQUESTION 2: Whether [the sacrament]
ought to have been instituted prior to the
coming of Christ.

Ulterius. Videtur quod ante adventum Christi Moreover, it seems that [the sacrament] ought to
debuerit institui.
have been instituted prior to the coming of Christ.
Christus enim est caput hominum justorum 1. For Christ is the head of the just men who have
qui fuerunt a principio mundi, ut in 3 Lib., dist. existed from the beginning of the world, as was
13, qu. 2, art. 2, quaest. 2 ad 4, dictum est. Si said in Book III, Distinction 13, q. 2, a. 2, qa. 2 and
ergo per hoc sacramentum membra capitis 4. If therefore the members of the head are joined
mystico suo capiti conjungantur, videtur quod to their mystical head through this sacrament, it
debuerit a principio mundi institui.
seems that it ought to have been instituted from
the beginning of the world.
Praeterea, populus Israel fuit populus Deo
dilectissimus; unde dicitur Exod. 4, 22: filius
meus primogenitus Israel. Sed hoc

2. Further, the people of Israel was the people

most beloved to God; hence it is said in Exodus
4:22: "Israel, my first-born son." But this sacrament

sacramentum est sacramentum caritatis, ut

dictum est. Ergo debuit institui adhuc priore
populo habente statum.

is the sacrament of charity, as was said. Therefore

it ought to have been instituted yet prior to the
people having such a status.

Praeterea, hoc sacramentum dicitur viaticum,

quia tendentes ad patriam in via confortat, et
quotidianos etiam lapsus reparat. Sed patres
qui erant ante adventum Christi, ad patriam
tendebant, hospites et peregrinos se
vocantes super terram, ut dicitur Hebr. 11, et
etiam quotidianis peccatis impediebantur.
Ergo ante adventum Christi debuit hoc
sacramentum institui.

3. Further, this sacrament is called "viaticum,"

because it strengthens those who are striving
along the way towards the fatherland, and it also
repairs daily faults. But the fathers who existed
before the coming of Christ were striving toward
the fatherland, calling themselves "strangers and
sojourners upon the earth" (as is said in Hebrews
11), and they were also hampered by daily sins.
Therefore before the coming of Christ this
sacrament ought to have been instituted.

Sed contra,

On the contrary:

hoc sacramentum continet verbum

incarnatum realiter. Ergo institui non potuit
ante incarnationem verbi.

This sacrament really contains the incarnate

Word. Therefore it could not have been instituted
prior to the incarnation of the Word.

Praeterea, hoc sacramentum continet gratiae Further, this sacrament contains the fullness of
plenitudinem; unde et Eucharistia dicitur.
grace; hence it is also called eucharistia [i.e.,
Sed tempus plenitudinis incepit ab
"good grace"]. But the time of fullness commences
incarnatione Christi. Ergo ante incarnationem with the incarnation of Christ. Therefore prior to
hoc sacramentum institui non potuit.
the Incarnation this sacrament could not have
been instituted.
Ad secundam quaestionem dicendum, quod
sicut dictum est, in hoc sacramento ipse
Christus, qui est sanctificationis principale
agens, realiter nobis proponitur. In veteri
autem lege non exhibebatur, sed
promittebatur, incarnatione nondum facta; et
ideo in veteri lege hujus sacramenti institutio
esse non potuit. Unde sacramenta veteris
legis habebant se ad modum sensibilium
quae per medium cognoscuntur, quae
quidem realiter sentienti non conjunguntur,
sed suas similitudines ad sensus a
longinquo transmittunt. Sacramenta vero alia
novae legis, in quibus virtus Christi operatur,
cum ipsum realiter non contineant,
assimilantur sensibilibus jam dictis, quae
quidem non incorporantur sentienti, sed
secundum aliquam qualitatem immutant. Hoc
autem sacramentum, ut dictum est, quasi
majoris perfectionis, similatur illi sensibili
quod incorporatur sentienti, scilicet cibo;
unde magis distat a modo sacramentorum
veteris legis quam sacramenta novae legis.

It should be said that, as was said earlier, in this

sacrament the very Christ who is the principal
agent of [our] sanctification, is really put before us.
Now, in the Old Law he was not presented but
rather promised, the Incarnation not yet having
happened; and so in the Old Law the institution of
this sacrament could not be. Hence the
sacraments of the Old Law functioned in the
manner of sensible things that are known through
a medium, which nevertheless are not really
joined to the thing sensed, but rather transmit their
likenesses to the sense-power from afar. Now
indeed, the other [six] sacraments of the New
Law, in which the power of Christ is at work, since
they do not really contain him, are likened to the
sensibles just mentioned, which are not
incorporated into the one sensing, but do bring
about change according to some quality [they
have upon contact]. But this sacrament, as was
said, as having a greater perfection, is likened to
that sensible object that is incorporated into the
one sensing, namely food. Hence it stands further
from the mode of the sacraments of the Old Law

than the other sacraments of the New Law do,

[and so much less should it have been instituted
prior to the coming of Christ].
Replies to objections:
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod Christus ab
initio mundi erat caput sanctorum, non quasi
habens actu conformitatem in natura cum
membris Ecclesiae, incarnatione nondum
facta, sed solum secundum fidem
incarnationem expectantium; et ideo
conjunctio corporis mystici ad suum caput
pro tempore illo non poterat fieri per aliquod
sacramentum realiter continens ipsum caput
membris conforme, sed poterat per aliqua
sacramenta figurari.

1. To the first, therefore, it should be said that

Christ was the head of the saints from the
beginning of the world, not as if actually having a
conformity in nature with the members of the
Church, the Incarnation not yet having happened,
but only according to the faith of those who were
looking forward to the Incarnation; and therefore
the union of the mystical body with its head could
not have been accomplished at that time through
some sacrament really containing the very head
conformed to the members, but was able to be
prefigured through some sacraments.

Ad secundum dicendum, quod populus Israel 2. To the second, it should be said that the people
erat dilectissimus pro tempore illo
of Israel was the most beloved during that time, in
comparatione aliorum populorum, qui idolis comparison with other peoples who served idols serviebant, non autem comparatione populi not however in comparison with the people of the
novi testamenti, de quo dicitur 1 Petr. 2, 9:
New Testament, of whom it is said in 1 Peter 2:9:
vos estis gens sancta, populus acquisitionis. "You are a holy nation, a people for his
Vel dicendum, secundum apostolum Rom. 9: possession." Or it should be said, with the Apostle
non qui sunt secundum carnem, sed qui ex in Romans 9: Not they who are according to the
promissione, hi computantur in semine. Unde flesh, but they who are of the promise: These are
populus novi testamenti non excluditur ab illo reckoned in the 'seed'."5 Hence the people of the
privilegio amoris ratione cujus Israel
New Testament is not excluded from that privilege
primogenitus Dei dicebatur.
of love by reason of which Israel was called
"firstborn of God."
Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis antiqui
patres in via essent, tendentes ad patriam,
non tamen erant in statu perveniendi ante
Christi incarnationem; et ideo non
competebat pro tempore illo viaticum esse,
quo statim ad patriam perducimur.

3. To the third, it should be said that although the

fathers of old were [walking] along the way,
striving for the fatherland, they were nevertheless
not in the state of having attained it prior to the
Incarnation of Christ; and thus it was not suitable
at that time that there be viaticum, by which one is
immediately led into the fatherland.
SUBQUESTION 3: Whether [the sacrament]
ought to have been instituted after the Passion
of Christ.

Ulterius. Videtur quod post passionem institui Moreover, it seems that it ought to have been
instituted after the Passion of Christ.
Quia hoc sacramentum est in memoriam
dominicae passionis, ut patet 1 Corinth., 11.
Sed memoria praeteritorum est. Ergo et
praeterita passione Christi institui debuit.

1. For this sacrament is in memory of the Lord's

Passion, as is clear from 1 Corinthians 11. But
memory is of things past. Therefore it ought to
have been instituted in view of the Passion of
Christ already past.

Praeterea, Eucharistia non nisi baptizatis

2. Further, the Eucharist ought to be given only to
debet dari. Sed Baptismus fuit institutus post the baptized. But baptism was instituted after the
Christi passionem, quando dominus
Passion of Christ, when the Lord gave the formula
discipulis formam baptizandi dedit, Matth. ult. of baptism to the disciples, as we read in the last
Ergo et post passionem institui debuit
chapter of Matthew. Therefore the Eucharist, too,
ought to have been instituted after the Passion.
Praeterea, in his quae sibi invicem continue 3. Further, in things that succeed one another
succedunt, ultimum primi debet conjungi
continuously, the last [part] of the first [element]
primo secundi. Sed dominus voluit in coena ought to be joined to the first [part] of the second
ostendere terminationem veteris legis, et
[element]. But the Lord wished to show in the Last
continuationem novae legis ad ipsam, ut ex Supper the termination of the Old Law and the
littera habetur. Ergo debuit post coenam
New Law's continuity with it, as it says in the text.
paschalem statim instituere primum
Therefore after the paschal supper he ought to
sacramentum novae legis, et alia per
have instituted at once the first sacrament of the
ordinem; et sic post passionem Eucharistiam, New Law, and then the others in order; and thus,
quae est ultimum.
after the Passion, the Eucharist, which is the last.
Sed contra,

On the contrary:

videtur quod debuerit institui a principio

praedicationis Christi. Quia quae primo
capiuntur, arctius memoriae imprimuntur, ut
patet de his quae homo a pueritia capit. Sed
dominus voluit ut hoc sacramentum
arctissime memoriae commendaretur. Ergo
debuit a principio hoc instituere.

4. It seems that it ought to have been instituted

from the beginning of Christ's preaching. For the
things that are grasped from the first are etched
more stringently upon the memory, as is clear in
the things that a man grasps from the time of his
childhood on. But the Lord wished that this
sacrament be most stringently entrusted to
memory. Therefore he ought to have instituted this
from the beginning.

Ad tertiam quaestionem dicendum, quod

propter quatuor rationes hoc sacramentum in
coena institui debuit, et non ante. Prima
apparet ex ipsa necessitate sacramenti
assignata: quia ad perfectionem nostram
exigebatur ut caput nostrum etiam nobis
realiter conjungeretur; et ideo quamdiu sub
propria specie cum hominibus conversatus
est, non oportebat hoc sacramentum institui,
sed quando ejus corporali praesentia
destituenda erat Ecclesia; et haec ratio
tangitur in littera ab Eusebio: quia, inquit,
corpus assumptum ablaturus erat et cetera.
Secunda sumitur ex ejus figura. Christus
enim quamdiu in mundo conversatus est,
figuras legis observare voluit, factus sub
lege, ut eos qui sub lege erant redimeret. Et
quia veniente veritate cessat figura, ideo non
debuit hoc sacramentum institui nisi Christo
ascendente per mortem, quando figurae

It should be said that this sacrament ought to have

been instituted at the Last Supper and not before,
on account of four reasons. The first is apparent
from the very necessity of the sacrament that was
earlier assigned, for it was required for our
perfection that our head be joined to us even in a
real manner [and not just by a profession of faith];
and so as long as he conversed with men in the
proper appearance of a man, he did not need to
institute this sacrament, but when the Church was
being deprived of his bodily presence; and this
reason is touched on in the text by Eusebius:
"For," he says, "the body assumed was about to
be taken away," etc. The second is taken from its
figure. For Christ as long as he was living in the
world wanted to observe the figures of the law:
"made under the law, that he might redeem those
who were under the law" (cf. Gal. 4:4-5). And
since the figure ceases when the truth is come,
therefore this sacrament ought not to have been

veteris legis terminandae erant. Tertia ratio

sumitur ab ipsa repraesentatione hujus
sacramenti. Est enim repraesentativum
dominicae passionis; et ideo congrue jam
passione imminente instituitur. Quarta ratio
sumitur ex ritu quo frequentandum est hoc
sacramentum, ut ultimo traditum magis
memoriae teneretur.

instituted except by Christ mounting up through

death, when the figures of the Old Law were being
brought to their end. The third reason is taken
from the very representation of this sacrament. For
it is representative of the Passion of the Lord; and
so it was congruously instituted right when the
Passion was at hand. The fourth reason is taken
from the rite by which this sacrament is to be
frequented, so that the last thing handed down
be heldtoinobjections:
greater remembrance.

Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod imminente 1. To the first, therefore, it should be said that the
passione corda discipulorum magis erant
hearts of the disciples were more affected
affecta ad passionem, quam passione jam
regarding the Passion when the Passion was
peracta, quando jam erant immemores
about to occur than by the Passion already
pressurae passionis propter gaudium
accomplished, when they were already forgetful of
resurrectionis; et ideo memoriale passionis the oppression of the Passion on account of the
magis erat eis proponendum ante quam post. joy of the Resurrection; and so the memorial of the
Nec tunc erat memoriale, sed instituebatur ut Passion was better put before them before than
in memoriam in posterum celebrandum.
after. Nor was it at that time a memorial but it was
instituted so that later on it might be celebrated in
memory [of the Passion].
Ad secundum dicendum, quod Baptismus
2. To the second, it should be said that baptism,
etiam ante passionem institutus est quantum even before the Passion, was instituted in a
ad aliquid, ut supra dictum est; et praeterea certain respect, as was said above; and further, it
non oportet quod sit idem ordo institutionis
is not necessary that there be the same order in
sacramentorum et perceptionis: quia ad
the institution of the sacraments as there is in their
finem qui nobis praestituitur, ultimo
reception, since the end that is determined in
pervenimus. Sed Eucharistia est
advance for us is what we arrive at last of all. But
quodammodo finis Baptismi: quia per
the Eucharist is, in a certain sense, the end of
Baptismum aliquis consecratur ad
baptism, since through baptism someone is
Eucharistiae perceptionem, sicut per ordinem consecrated for the reception of the Eucharist, as
ad ejus consecrationem. Et ideo ratio non
by Holy Orders one is consecrated for the
consecration of the Eucharist. And so the
argument given does not follow.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis hoc
sacramentum sit quasi ultimum in
perceptione, est tamen primum in intentione.
Institutio autem ordini intentionis respondet;
et ideo terminatis sacramentis legalibus hoc
primo instituendum fuit.

3. To the third, it should be said that although this

sacrament is, as it were, the last in reception, it is
nevertheless the first in intention. The institution,
however, corresponds to the order of intention;
and therefore, upon the termination of the
sacraments of the Old Law, this was the first to be

Ad quartum dicendum, quod ratio illa

procedit de illis quae a principio quis capere
potest. Apostoli autem a principio non tanti
capaces erant mysterii; et ideo in fine hoc eis
proponendum fuit. Et praeterea ratio illa
procedit de illis quae memoriae imprimuntur

4. To the fourth [the sed contra], it should be said

that that argument works for the things that
someone was able to grasp from the beginning.
But the Apostles from the beginning were not so
capable of [receiving] mysteries; and so, this
[mystery of the Eucharist] was put before them at

propter seipsa; in illis autem quae memoriae the very end. And further, that argument works for
imprimit affectio ad dicentem, secus est: quia things that are imprinted on the memory on
tunc firmius imprimuntur quando affectionis account of themselves; but in those things that
motus ad dicentem major sentitur. Quanto
affection for the speaker imprints on the memory, it
autem aliquis ad amicum diutius conversatur, is otherwise; for they are then imprinted more
fit major dilectio; et quando ab amicis
firmly when a greater motion of affection is felt for
separatur, sentitur motus dilectionis ferventior the speaker. Now the longer someone keeps
propter dolorem separationis; et ideo verba company with a friend, the greater love becomes;
amicorum a nobis recedentium finaliter dicta and when he is separated from the friend, the
magis memoriae imprimuntur.
motion of love is more fervently felt on account of
the pain of separation; and thus the words spoken
at the last by friends departing from us are the
more imprinted upon the memory.

1. reficimur, literally rebuilt, restored - a term often used in connection with eating and drinking as
"restoratives." Compare the derivative "refectory." (return to text)
2. figura cibi (return to text)
3. figura (return to text)
4. veritas inchoata. One could say "the beginning of truth" or "an entering upon truth" or even
"inchoate truth," but all of these suggest somehow either that Christ does not bring the fullness of
grace and truth with him, or that he started something that he did not bring to completion. Thomas
is more interested in how Christ's truth reaches us: is it a promise of salvation for us, the
beginning of the fulfillment of this promise, or the eternal consummation of this promise? Thus
"dawning" suggests that the truth has really come with Christ, he is the promise fulfilled, but there
is still full daylight ahead for us who believe and are not yet bathed in the light of heavenly glory.
(return to text)

5. Rom. 9:8 (RSV): "It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children
of the promise are reckoned as descendants [of Abraham]." (return to text)

Peter Kwasniewski
My thanks to Joseph Bolin for his careful review of an earlier draft of this translation
The Aquinas Translation Project