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Garey, Mary Jocelin

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Mary Jocelin
Faculté de philosophie, Université Laval
Identifiant Canadiana

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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Measure in the eternity of God and in created durations
    (1946) Garey, Mary Jocelin
    It has "been said that if the problem of time could be solved there would result a great release of the human spirit. In fact, many of the problems which torment the mind of man are more or less involved with time, to cite but one example : the problem of man’s free will and God’s knowledge of future contingent events. It was Boethius who suggested that the study of eternity, not time, would shed a ray of light on this knotty problem. While it is true that time is better known to us than eternity, yet the most fundamental problems to which time gives rise can be solved only by a study of eternity. Time is better known only because it is the duration in which and to which we are present, not only as to our being but as to our ovm knowledge of it. This however does not mean that time is in itself something quite clear. An object is intelligible only insofar as it is in act. Upon investigation however time proves to be more potential than actual. The past is no longer, the future is not yet, and the only actuality, the present, is not time because it has no succession of before and after which is of the very essence of time. Thus time, which is very close to pure potentiality, can shed but little light upon our many problems, which viewed in the light of eternity may seem less contradictory and impossible. Because of the realization that only from a deeper penetration of this mystery could we ever hope to see the problems of the temporal world in the light of the eternal we undertook a study of eternity for which we used John of St. Thomas1 commentary on St. Thomas’ treatise on eternity. To make this beautiful and profound commentary better known by making it available to a greater number of readers we have translated it into English. We here present the translation and some considerations or reflections to which the commentary gave rise.