From Truth and truth: Volume III—Faith is Married Reason
The final book of this trilogy explores reason at work in the nature of faith (cf. Fides et Ratio, 43); indeed, although faith is, of its nature, different from reason, faith cannot exist except through grace-assisted reason. Volume One briefly meditated on the metaphysics of meaning, which entailed considering the intimate interrelationship of truth and existence. In this volume, however, it becomes clear that there is an intrinsic complementarity in the very nature of created being: a complementarity between the literal and spiritual sense of what exists. Thus, for example, a seed is both what actually exists, and, at the same time, it can “adequately” express the beginning of the supernatural life sown in the sacrament of Baptism. This leads to an almost “literary” argument for there being a single cause of all creation in that there is an incredible coherence of meaning throughout the whole.
More specifically, the book discusses various questions of a bioethical nature, and, more generally, offers a radical investigation of the nature of man, male and female; for, in a word, the origin, nature and action of the human person require constant, “reciprocal” reflection. Thus, there are various essays on different aspects of man, male and female, ranging from a consideration of God expressing the mystery of the Blessed Trinity through “our” participation in His own Being to the transition from a Jewish to a Christian understanding of marriage to a marital spirituality.
Finally, faith-in-action ranges from being open to life to pilgrimages as a family and the slow but real “discovery” that there is a radical nature to our salvation in Christ: that even if “natural truth” leads, inexorably, to the “trembling” outreaches of reason there is, nevertheless, a gratuitous Revelation which comes to meet and develop the life of us all.
Francis Etheredge is married with eleven children, three of whom are in heaven. In terms of the natural desire to investigate creation, philosophy, the human person, life, marriage and the family all prove to provide “abiding” depths. This trilogy, then, “evolved” from a series of apparently “unrelated” enquiries; but, by bringing this material together, it became necessary to write an introduction to philosophy in volume one. In other words, in its own way, structuring work which had grown throughout a number of years constituted a “new” moment of reflection. Francis has drawn upon his own life experience and hopes that this work will refresh the common search for truth; however, just as his search included being sought by God, so he hopes to show that being sought by God has vivified his own endeavour to think through reality.
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