Of God and His Creatures

In the 'beatific vision,' cf. Chapp. L - [LI] - LII, which should here be re-read. This beatific vision is the 'supernatural end' of man; and all that properly and of itself leads to that end belongs to the 'supernatural order.' The study of the supernatural order belongs to 'revealed,' or 'dogmatic, theology,' not to philosophy, which deals with man, as man, -- with man in the natural order; and does not presuppose any revelation. In the above-mentioned chapters, Chapp. L - [LI] - LII, St Thomas has argued that after death the disembodied soul requires a special divine assistance to enable it to see God. In these present chapters his argument deals with man in this life, arguing that he needs special divine endowments, called 'grace,' enabling him so to live on earth as to be found worthy of divine vision when he comes to die. As he cannot see God face to face by his natural powers, so neither can he lead a life worthy of that vision by the mere strength and rectitude of human nature.

Of God and His Creatures: 3.148