In the labyrinths of human wisdom, Saint Thomas Aquinas recognized Metaphysics as the first philosophy, a cross-cutting axis that crosses all sciences providing its essential foundations for any further research.
The transcendental role of Metaphysics according to Saint Thomas Aquinas
In search of divine wisdom and the essential foundations of philosophy
But why this distinction? What leads Metaphysics to occupy such a place of honor in the philosophical universe?
The answer lies in its object of study. Metaphysics, embarking on a cosmic journey, deals with the divine and with supreme causes. It is considered the pinnacle of all philosophical effort and in its exploration, it stumbles upon an invaluable treasure that no material wealth can buy: Wisdom.
This wisdom, mentioned in the book of Wisdom 9:11 knows all things, prudently guides actions and protects with its glory. In the words of Aquinas, wisdom strives to consider everything in the contemplation of the divine penetrating the most profound mysteries in order to be able to manifest them to others.
Importance of Metaphysics in Philosophy and its Relevance to the Catholic Church
An Analysis of the Decree for the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies
Recently, the Congregation for Catholic Education insisted on the vital role of Metaphysics in its Decree Reforming Ecclesiastical Studies in Philosophy.
This decree highlights the value of Metaphysics in overcoming the current crisis of philosophy which has been manifested in a growing skepticism about the capacity of the human mind to achieve an objective and universal truth.
Metaphysics, rather than a set of fanciful speculations emerges as the most important science of all. It does not focus on particular realities but on the totality, providing a solid foundation in the search for the Truth that emerges from the depths of all human beings.
In a constantly changing world, the Church not only observes but also seeks to discern the rapid cultural transformations that are taking place. Particularly profound are the changes that affect the conception of truth, challenging the Church in new ways.
These transformations are the result of the impact of the human sciences and the consequences of scientific and technological development.
Philosophical currents have emerged that especially value the freedom of man, the spontaneity of reason and his capacity to measure and dominate the universe. However, these developments have created new and profound challenges for the Church.
Relevance of Philosophy and Metaphysics according to the Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio
The search for truth and the humanization of earthly existence
In this context, Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio reaffirms the need for philosophy to progress in the knowledge of the truth and to increasingly humanize earthly existence. Thus, philosophy helps to formulate the question about the meaning of life and to outline the answer.
Philosophy and, in particular, Metaphysics has an “original vocation” of searching for truth and its sapiential dimension. Despite the diversity of philosophical currents that have emerged throughout history this original vocation remains central.
In addition, this generous exploration of thinking and saying must in no case forget its roots in being. The metaphysical element is an obligatory path to overcome the crisis situation affecting large sectors of philosophy.
In this perspective, a philosophical formation is needed that projects towards a horizon of open reason. The fragmented knowledge that characterizes contemporary man requires a unitary and organic vision that only Metaphysics can provide.
Thus, Christian philosophy faces the challenge of providing this type of thinking for the next millennium of the Christian era.
The connection between truth, love and charity from a Christian perspective
The essential role of Metaphysics in philosophical formation and in contemporary society
Truth in the Christian perspective cannot be separated from love. The defense and promotion of truth are essential forms of charity. And in this context, only the truth allows true charity. Truth and good are inextricably connected.
In short, Metaphysics, in its search for truth, seeks something absolute, ultimate and fundamental. In doing so, he rises to the knowledge of spiritual realities seeking the first Cause of everything.
This sapiential and metaphysical approach has crucial implications for contemporary society and, in particular for the Catholic Church. The role of Metaphysics is essential for philosophical formation and its role in society has never been more relevant.