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82. The Intellective Appetite in Man: The Will

1. The will is the intellective or rational appetency. Thewill tends of necessity to the end for which it is made; it tendstowards what is intellectually grasped as desirable or good andtowards its own happiness or repose in the possession of good. Thewill is necessitated in its tendency towards good ingeneral, good in its common aspects. But the will is notnecessitated with respect to particular things presentedby the intellect as desirable.

2. The will, therefore, is not necessitated in itsparticular acts. Many of the things towards which the will tendshave not a desirability of their own, but are understood as thingsby which good may be obtained. That is, many things are willed asmeans to the good desired, not as the good itself which is the end.Now, just as a person who is forced to seek a certain city but isfree to choose the roads by which he hopes to reach it, so the willis necessitated and not free in its quest of the good, but is freeto choose, wisely or unwisely, in the light of intellect, whatparticular means it shall use in its quest of the goal.

3. The intellect is, in itself, a more excellent facultythan the will; for the intellect attains its object by knowing it,and the will only tends toward its object. But, under certainaspects, the will is superior to the intellect. For when a good isgreater or nobler than the soul itself, it is better to will it(that is, love it) than merely to know it; thus it is a betterthing to love God than simply to know God. But when a goodis less noble than the soul, intellect, with respect to this good,is superior to the will; thus to know material things is betterthan to love them.

4. The intellect moves the will by showing it what isattractive; thus intellect moves will in the manner of a finalcause. The will, in turn, moves the intellect in the manner of anactive or agent cause, an effecting cause. For the will can applythe intellect to the study ofthis object or that; it can turnaway the attention of the intellect from one thing and fix it onanother. The will also exercises an active control over othernatural faculties of a man, but it has no control over the vegetalpowers in themselves.

5. The will is an appetency or appetite. But it has nodepartments of concupiscible and irascible tendencies. These belongto the sentient order, and the will belongs to the intellectiveorder. The sentient appetites are in the body-and-soul compound;the will belongs to the soul.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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