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78. Faculties of the Human Soul: In Particular

1. A plant takes food and is nourished; it tends to grow to maturity, and to reproduce its kind. Thus the plant faculties are the nutritive faculty, the augmenting or growing faculty, and the generative faculty. An animal has all the plant faculties; in addition, it has the faculty or power of sensing (that is, knowing by the use of senses), the power of tending to go after what the senses grasp as good or desirable (and away from what the senses grasp as harmful), and the power of moving in accordance with that tendency. Thus an animal has, in addition to the vegetal powers or faculties, the faculties of sensing, appetizing, moving locally. Man has all the vegetal and the sentient (or animal) faculties; in addition, he has the specifically rational faculties of understanding and choosing in the light of understanding; that is, he has the faculties of intellect (or mind, or understanding) and will.

2. It is manifest that the vegetal functions or operations are three; for plants (and all living bodies inasmuch as they have vegetal life) tend to take food, grow to maturity, and reproduce their kind.

3. The sensitive faculties are the exterior and interior senses. The exterior senses have their organs, that is, the special body-parts that serve their operation, in the outer body. These exterior senses are five: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling or touch. Sight is the noblest of these sense faculties, and hearing is next to it in excellence; these two senses are often called the superior senses. The other three, or inferior, senses are more sheerly material in their operation than sight and hearing.

4. In addition to the exterior senses, there are four interior senses: consciousness (often called the central sense, or the common sense), imagination, instinct (or the estimative sense), and memory.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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