given by God directly to man, in order that man may direct himself to God via a clearer paththan the human reason can allow for.
For Lonergan, revelation is the entry of divinemeaning into the human situation.
Lonergan’s General Transcendental Knowledge(knowing God by reason), and Special Transcendental Knowledge (knowledge of God thateludes reason), correspond with St. John’s Natural Contemplation/Meditation andInfused/Supernatural Contemplation. Lonergan affirms that grace is not an achievement of our knowing and choosing, but the fruit of the love with which God gives himself to us. Outof this love, this supreme meaningful realit
arises the knowing that is faith. “The infusionof grace…is a change from one spontaneity to another,..placing his higher faculties insubordination to God and his lower faculties in subordination to reason.”
Conversions in the Dark Night
The Soul’s operations and Lonergan’s “conscious operations” of Knowing
All contemplation is
in nature, it is knowledge of God in man - whether itis attained by man via study, or infused into man by God, to the attainment of thetransforming union in which the soul experiences to the fullest the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. Yet to reach that goal the soul must travel through the active and passivedark nights of the senses and the spirit.
Ascent of Mount Carmel
describes the ‘active’ nightof the spirit, the human side of the process: what we can do to identify and interpret thiscondition, the habits of the mind we must cultivate, the dangers we must avoid. The sequelto
The Dark Night of the Soul
, explains that the ‘passive’ night is the empirical levelof God’s purifying activity.Since cognitional activities are multi-layered (re: Lonergan’s differentiation of consciousness), Dark Night could be understood as the condition, the dimension in whichthe ladders
exist, where the ascending up the 10 ladder steps take place.
Thus Jesus’description of “My Father has many rooms..” could also mean one person who engages indifferent rooms during his spiritual stages, and to accommodate the individual’sdifferentiated consciousness, in Lonergan terms. According to St John, the soul has three7
See Neil Omerod,
Method, Meaning and Revelation
(Lanham: University Press of America, 2000), p.163
Grace and Freedom. Operative Grace in the Thoughts of St. Thomas Aquinas
. Ed J. Patout Burns(London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1971), p.57.
, Book II Ch. XIX. Here St. John and Lonergan differ in that St. John’s intensive intimacy isrevealed in the ten ladder steps, and Lonergan mostly employs academic language.