Choose a topic from Part 2A:

7. Circumstances of Human Acts

1. Conditions which are outside the essence of a human act and yet touch it or bear upon it, are called circumstances of the human act. Circumstances are accidentals of a human act.

2. Circumstances influence human acts (a) in point of their measuring up to their end; (b) in point of morality; (c) in point of merit and demerit. Therefore, theologians who study human conduct in its reference to God, cannot ignore circumstances, but must discuss, weigh, and judge them, to establish prudent rules for human living.

3. A convenient list of the circumstances of human acts is given by Aristotle (Ethic. iii), and is slightly emended by Cicero. This listing is a series of seven questions to be asked by one who wishes to know all the circumstances of a human act. The questions are: who, what, where, by what aids, why, how, when? Following the suggestion of these questions, we may list circumstances in this manner: (1) circumstance of person,(2) circumstance of quality of the act, (3) circumstance of place, (4) circumstance of helps or influences, (5) circumstance of intention, (6)circumstance of mode or manner, (7) circumstance of time.

4. The most notable of the circumstances are those of intention and quality of the act. The intention of the agent (doer, performer of the act) touches the essential character of a free will-act; quality of the act respects the act itself as a deed done. No other circumstances are so intimately bound up with human acts as these two.

"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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"Does our conduct correspond with our Faith?"
The Cure D'Ars

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"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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