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Francisco Suárez and His Sources on the Gift of Tongues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Victor Salas*
Affiliation:
Sacred Heart Major Seminary Detroit, MI (USA)

Abstract

This paper considers the grace of the gift of tongues both as it is currently practiced among many members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) and how it has traditionally been understood in medieval and post-medieval theology. The paper especially considers the perspective of Francisco Suárez on the subject insofar as he, as in most matters, is able to frame the status quaestionis of the topic and presents a uniform view of the Catholic theological tradition's understanding of the gift. Ultimately, I point out that there are significant points of divergence between the nature of this gift as the CCR understands and practices it and as it has traditionally been understood historically.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Provincial Council of the English Province of the Order of Preachers

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References

1 The movement also clearly has roots in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For a discussion of its history there in terms of the Word of God community, see Suenens, Léon, A New Pentecost? (New York, NY: The Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 7279Google Scholar. For a more extensive account see Laurentin, René, “The Birth of Catholic Pentecostalism,” in Speaking in Tongues: A Guide to Research on Glossolalia, ed. Mills, Watson, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986), pp. 235242Google Scholar.

2 See Mansfield, Patti Gallagher, as By a New Pentecost: The Dramatic Beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (Franciscan University Press, 1992)Google Scholar.

3 Martin, Ralph, “A New Pentecost? Catholic Theology and ‘Baptism in the Spirit,’” Logos 14 (2011), p. 17CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Black, Hugh, The Baptism in the Spirit and its Effects: A Honest Look at the Questions People Raise about Baptism in the Spirit (Greenock Scotland: New Dawn Books, 1994), p. 49Google Scholar.

5 Clark, Steve, Baptized in the Spirit and Spiritual Gifts (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1976), p. 27Google Scholar. It should be pointed out that Clark's works are repeatedly recommended by the Life in the Spirit Team Manual.

6 Life in the Spirit Team Manual, Catholic Edition (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1979), p. 147.

7 Ibid., p. 143.

8 Cf. Hurtado, Universa philosophia, Metaphysica, d. 1, s. 2, n. 48 (Lyon, 1624: p. 700b): “Qua in re complures sunt authorum sententiae, quas graviter & erudite proponit partimque refellit P. Francisc. Suarez clarissimum non solum Societatis, & Hispaniae lumen, sed etiam Ecclesiae totius….” Suárez's influences stretched even beyond Catholic theological circles and found admiration in both Protestant and secular circles. The 18th-century rationalist philosopher, Christian Wolff, is not short on praise for the Jesuit. See his Philosophia prima sive ontologia (Frankfurt, 1736), pars I, sec. 2, c. 3, § 169: “Sane Francisco Suarez e Societate Jesu, quem inter Scholasticos res metaphysicas profundius meditatum ….”

9 Cf. Fichter, Joseph Henry, Man of Spain: Francis Suárez (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1940), pp. 272273Google Scholar.

10 Jesus Iturrioz has complied Suárez's citations of Thomas Aquinas and finds them to number 1,008 occasions, less frequent only than Suárez's citations of Aristotle, which come in at 1735 occasions. See Iturrioz, “Fuentes de la metafísica de Suárez,” Pensamiento, numero extrordinario (1948), p. 40.

11 See, e.g., Hispanic Philosophy in the Age of Discovery, Studies in the History of Philosophy, vol. 29, ed. Kevin White (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1997). See also the work of John Doyle regarding the missionary dimension of Suárez in particular and the efforts of the Society of Jesus as a whole: “Francisco Suárez : On Preaching the Gospel to People Like the American Indians,” Fordham International Law Journal 15 (1992), pp. 879–951.

12 Gilson, Étienne, Being and Some Philosophers (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1952), p. 99Google Scholar.

13 The so-called Toronto Blessing, a Pentecostal group whose origin consisted in conducting religious services in the Toronto airport, was well known for its emphasis upon “holy laughter” and the simulation of dog barking. See Beverley, James A., Holy Laughter and the Toronto Blessing: An Investigative Report (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995)Google Scholar.

14 Clark, Baptized in the Spirit, pp. 32–33.

15 Ibid., p. 35.

16 Ibid., p. 38.

17 Ibid.

18 See Aristotle, De interpretatione, c. 1.

19 See Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Philosophical Investigations, trans. Anscombe, G.E.M. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997), §§ 244–271Google Scholar.

20 Clark, Baptized in the Spirit, p. 38.

21 Hoekema, Anthony, What About Tongue Speaking? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1966), pp. 3839Google Scholar.

22 Clark, Baptized in the Spirit, p. 127.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Christenson, Larry, Speaking in Tongues and Its Significance for the Church (Minneapolis, MN: Dimension Books, 1968), p. 22Google Scholar.

26 Healy, Healing, p. 201, n. 86.

27 Ibid., p. 204, n. 141.

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid., pp. 141–143.

30 Ibid., p. 143.

31 Ensley, Sounds of Wonder, p. xvi.

32 Ibid., p. 9.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid., p. 121. This quote is taken from the older 1977 edition of Ensley's original Sounds of Wonder: A Popular History of Speaking in Tongues in the Catholic Tradition (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1977). He seems to have attenuated his position since then.

36 In what follows I make use of the Paris, Luis Vivès edition of Suárez's opera omnia and cite volume number followed by page number parenthetically when required.

37 The De legibus occupies the fifth and sixth volumes of the Vivès edition.

38 De gratia, prooem., n. 1.

39 See Thomas Aquinas, ST I-II, q. 110, a. 1.

40 De gratia, proleg. 3, c. 1, n. 3.

41 Ibid.

42 Ibid., n. 4.

43 Ibid.

44 Ibid.

45 De gratia, prooem., n. 4.

46 Ibid., prol. 3, c. 2, n. 1.

47 Cf. Thomas, ST I, q. 1, a. 8, ad 2.

48 De gratia, prol. 3, c. 2, n. 4.

49 Ibid., prol. 3, c. 2, n. 3.

50 Ibid.

51 Ibid., prol. 3, c. 2, n. 7.

52 Ibid., prol. 3, c. 2, n. 7 (vol. 7, p. 135): “... quia utraque esse potest beneficium naturae non debitum, et a Deo gratis collatum...”

53 See Thomas, SCG III, cc. 101-102; cf. Davies, Brian, The Thought of Thomas Aquinas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 169174Google Scholar.

54 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 47.

55 Ibid. (vol. 7, p. 165): “… ut Apostoli et eorum discipuli sine impedimento possent ubique praedicare, et ab omnibus nationibus intelligi….”

56 Cajetan, In Summam theol., II-II, q. 176, a. 1, n. 2.

57 Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics 1.1.1094a1-8.

58 Christenson, Speaking in Tongues, 20.

59 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 47.

60 Ibid.

61 Ibid., n. 48.

62 Ibid., n. 48 (vol. 7, p. 166): “… si loquenti infundantur species et notitiae diversarum linguarum, deturque ei facultas loquendi in omnibus illis….”

63 Ibid., n. 48 (vol. 7, p. 166): “… non simul, et ejusdem vocis formatione (id enim impossibile est simul fieri in ore loquentis), sed successive, et juxta occurentes occasiones.”

64 Aristotle De Interpretatione 1.16a1-10.

65 Cf. Thomas, ST I, q. 13, a. 1.

66 Ibid., II-II, q. 176, a. 2 (ed. Leonine, vol. 10, p. 412): “… donum linguarum refertur ad diversas voces proferendas, quae sunt signa alicuius intelligibilis veritatis: cuius etiam signa sunt quaedam ipsa phantasmata quae secundum imaginariam visionem apparent….”

67 Ibid. (ed. Leonine, vol. 10, p. 412): “Dictum est autem supra quod donum prophetiae consistit in ipsa illuminatione mentis ad cognoscendum intelligibilem veritatem.”

68 Ibid.

69 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 48.

70 Thomas, ST II-II, q. 176, a. 1.

71 Ibid.

72 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 52.

73 Thomas, ST II-II, q. 176, a. 1, ad 2.

74 Cajetan, In Summam theologiae II-II, q. 176, a. 1, n. 1 (ed. Leonine, vol. 10, p. 411): “Primum, ex universali officio docendi illorum Christi discipulorum.”

75 The Vivès edition of Suárez's De gratia erroneously cites Gregory's 44th Oratio. The proper Oratio is the 41st.

76 Gregory Nazianzus, Oratio 41.15 (PG, vol. 36, col. 450).

77 Ibid.

78 Ibid.

79 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 52.

80 Gregory Nazianzus, Oratio 41.15.

81 Augustine himself points out that miracles have not ceased now that the world believes. Cf. Augustine, De civitate dei, lib. 22, c. 8.

82 Augustine, In Evangelium Joannis Tractatus, tr. 32, n. 6 (PL vol. 35, col. 1645): “… die Pentecostes misit desuper Spiritum sanctum. Quo, sicut dixi, qui fuerant in uno loco congregate, accepto impleti, omnium gentium linguis locuti sunt.”

83 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 51.

84 John Chrysostom, De sancta Pentecoste, Homilia I, n. 4.

85 Suenens, A New Pentecost?, 27.

86 Ibid., 28.

87 Augustine, In Evangelium Joannis Tractatus, tr. 32, n. 7.

88 Augustine, In Evangelium Joannis Tractatus, tr. 32, n. 7 (PG, vol. 35, col. 1645): “Absit ut ista perfidia tentetur cor nostrum.”

89 Ibid.: “Quia iam ipsa Ecclesia linguis omnium gentium loquitur.”

90 It is worth pointing out that in his commentary on Thomas Aquinas's account of the gift of tongues, Cajetan raises the question why today the Church does not have the gift of tongues. His answer follows what we have already seen with Augustine. Cajetan, In Summam theologiae II-II, q. 176, a. 1, n. 3 (ed. Leonine, vol. 10, p. 411): “Experimento enim apparet Ecclesiam lingua vel linguis carere multarum gentium temporibus istis repertarum, quibus oportet per interpretes fidem declarari, et praedicatores discere ab illis linguam.”

91 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 52.

92 Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae II-II, q. 176, a. 2.

93 Ibid. (ed. Leonine, vol. 10, p. 412): “Dictum est autem supra quod donum prophetiae consistit in ipsa illuminatione mentis ad cognoscendum intelligibilem veritatem.”

94 Ibid.

95 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 52.

96 Ibid., n. 54.

97 Here, Suárez is relying upon the Latin Vulgate text which reads: “gratias ago Deo quod omnium vestrum lingua loquor.”

98 Suárez, De gratia, prol. 3, c. 5, n. 52.

99 Ibid. (vol. 7, p. 168): “Nunc vero, quia non est tanta necessitas, fortasse non ita infunditur, licet per occasionem interdum transitorie et per modum actualis motionis aliquando concedatur.”

100 See Suárez, De religione, tr. 4, lib. 1, c. 1, n. 1.

101 Suárez, De religione, tr. 4, lib. 1, c. 1, n. 1.

102 Ibid., n. 6 (vol. 14, p. 5) :“Igitur generali quadam significatione, orationis nomine significari solet omnis interior motus animi in Deum, sive per ejus cognitionem, sive per affectum.”

103 Ibid., n. 6.

104 Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae II-II, q. 83, a. 1.

105 Suárez, De religione, tr. 4, lib. 2.

106 Ibid., lib. 3.

107 Ibid., lib. 4.

108 Healy, Healing, 143.

109 Suárez, De religione, tr. 4, lib. 3, c. 3, n. 3.

110 Ibid. (vol. 14, p. 222): “… nam dormiens, amens aut infans, similia verba proferentes, non orans, ut bene argumentor Gabr[iel Vázquez]… et per se notum.” (Emphases mine)

111 Ibid.

112 Cf., e.g., Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I-II, prol.

113 Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I-II, q. 1, a. 1.

114 It might be objected that angels too can pray. Yet if they do pray, as the tradition maintains, it is so precisely because they too are rational—more specifically, intellectual—beings, which maintains the claim that prayer is something that is fundamentally rational.

115 Suárez, De religione, tr. 4, lib. 3, c. 3, n. 3.

116 Ibid.

117 Ensley, Sounds of Wonder, p. xvi.

118 Cf. Tugwell, Simon, ed., Albert and Thomas: Selected Writings (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1988)Google Scholar.

119 Thomas, In Sent., IV, d. 15, a. 4, a. 2.

120 Ibid.

121 Thomas, In Psalm, 32.

122 See Schütz, Ludwig, Thomas-Lexikon: Sammlung, Über und erklärung der in sämtlichen werken des h. Thomas von Aquin (NY, NY: Frederick Ungar Publ., 1957)Google Scholar.

123 Thomas, Summa theologiae I, q. 13, a. 5.

124 Ibid. Cf. ibid., I, q. 13, a. 3.

125 De gratia, proleg. 3, c. 1, n. 1 (vol. 7, p. 130): “…ut haereticorum deceptiones vitemus, qui sub variis hujus vocis amphibologies suos errores introducere conantur.”