Thinking in fours…


Can I ask your prayers please for all those in my year at Maryvale writing our Masters dissertations, due on July 1st? It’s a hectic old time! I spent a wonderful weekend with the Dominican Sisters in Lymington working on my dissertation last week. My head is so filled with the ‘four dimensions of Christian life’ I am thinking in fours. Ratzinger noted that the four dimensions could be linked with the four senses of Sacred Scripture, and I spent the whole weekend looking for the four dimensions in the divine pedagogy, from Creation to the end of time. It made me start looking for four dimensions in everything (I think I was going a little mad)… In the evening I discovered even my skincare regime has four dimensions! (take-the-day-off, cleanser, gentle exfoliator, moisturiser… thank you Clinique) OK I am quite mad… roll on July!

In the meantime, here is a great video with Sherry Weddell:

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Rodden says:

    Sin, Slavery, Sacrifice, Salvation.
    Praying for you.

  2. Cameron says:

    Hi Hannah, I had to laugh at this post 🙂 On a (slightly) serious note though, I agree with you that there really is something profound in the ‘four dimensions’. What I have come across in my own studies is the connection between the four senses of scripture and Aristotle’s four causes (material, formal, efficient, final). It seems quite clear to me that they correspond respectively with the literal, analogical, moral and anagogical senses.

    However, if that wasn’t enough, I once heard someone outlining a connection between Aristotle’s causes and the human senses. They added one more cause to the list, the exemplary cause, which is basically an abstraction of the formal cause, i.e. if the formal cause of a table is its structure or pattern then the exemplary cause is the idea of the table that the craftsman has in his mind when he goes to make it. So, the connection between the five causes and the five senses related to the kind of question that each sense tends to invoke most.

    Touch: What is this made of? Is it hard, soft, rough, smooth, etc. Feel your way to the discovery of the Material Cause.
    Sight: What is this? Examine it closely and discover the Formal cause.
    Taste: What does it taste like? See if it measures up to the Exemplary cause.
    Hearing: What made that sound? There’s nobody there, it must have been the wind – Efficient cause.
    Smell: Where is that smell coming from? Follow your nose to the Final cause.

    But perhaps this just complicates matters further… and makes for a more profound madness.

    Enjoy 🙂

    God bless,

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