Thursday, July 05, 2007

On Whether Naps Are Necessary For Salvation

I was reading through the Summa earlier today and I stumbled upon this question posed by St. Thomas Aquinas. Funny, though, I can't remember ever seeing it before:

Thus we proceed to the only article:
Whether naps are necessary for salvation?

Objection 1: It would seem that naps are not necessary for salvation.
Salvation consists in becoming like God. God is most actual.
Hence, we must be actual. Now, naps are opposed to actuality and are hence opposed to salvation.

Objection 2: Besides, the Apostle says, “Be watchful and awake, for your salvation is near at hand.” Naps are opposed to being watchful. Hence, it follows that naps are opposed to salvation.

Objection 3: Furthermore, Aristotle says that virtue consists in activity. Naps are not activity and are therefore not counted as virtuous. Hence, it follows that naps are opposed to salvation.

On the contrary, the Psalmist says, “He pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.” Now, salvation is a gift, and we must sleep to receive the gifts of God. Hence, naps are necessary for salvation.

I answer that, naps can be spoken of in two ways: naps in a relative sense (secundum quid) and naps simply speaking (simpliciter dicta). Relatively speaking, naps are neutral in that they can be used for a good or a bad purpose. Naps, simply speaking, are those naps which give us the rest that we might wake “refreshed and joyful” to praise God (as the Roman Breviary says). To this end, naps are necessary for salvation, since praising God is necessary for salvation. Furthermore, contemplation is said to be “rest in God.” Now, contemplation flows from charity, and charity is necessary for salvation; it follows that naps, which are also a kind of rest, are necessary for salvation. Likewise, contemplation is said to be a foretaste of heavenly beatitude. Naps are a foretaste of heavenly beatitude. Furthermore, Jesus slept in a boat. Hence, we are to sleep in the Church, for the boat is a type of the Church. Hence we are to sleep during Church, often during homilies. Consequently, it must be said that naps are necessary for salvation.

Reply to objection 1: One cannot mistake immobility for potency. For a man acts even in immobility; for instance, the liturgy compels us to times of silence. Sleep is perfect silence. God is all perfection. Hence, God is most actually napping.

Reply to objection 2: The Apostle spoke figuratively, not literally. For Saint Joseph was watchful in his sleep, that is why God spoke to him in a dream. So also God spoke to many Saints in dreams. Hence, we are to nap watchfully, that God might speak to us.

Reply to objection 3: Aristotle was a pagan and cannot be expected to have understood the deep mysteries of God’s napping. Had he known the revelation, he would have slept much more than he did.

-No, Thomas Aquinas did not really write this. It is a joke (although I bet he thought about writing it!). I have no clue who is responsible for this clever display of wit. All I know is that it wasn't me. Three cheers to the Anonymous writer and three cheers for St. Thomas, as well as four cheers for naps!

Br. Josh has informed me that naps as a necessity for salvation "is made more clear by the fact of certain other actual references that Angelicus himself makes in I-II 38, 5 and 34, 1 ad 1. Just one more reason to love the prima secundae!"

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