Chapter Five: Private Property


Private PropertyNow that the necessity of three persons has been demonstrated by means of the perfection of charity-love, and once the nature of being a person has been shown to revolve more around the concept of existence rather than forming a necessary numerical correspondence to substance, what remains is to identify exactly what the personal properties of each divine person might be.

We already have some hints by means of the analogy of charity-love, in that the personal distinctions seem attributable to the distinction in giving and receiving. And since each person must by definition have an incommunicable existence, Richard of St. Victor understands that the very nature of existences as arising either from oneself or originating from another provides fitting ground for such speculation.

By means of existence and the origination there of, Richard discovers the personal properties of each person:

First Person: To have his being by his own action
Second Person: To proceed with no mediations
Third Person: To proceed in a non-mediated and mediated way

These properties are necessarily incommunicable, and thus furnish a fitting analogue to the incommunicable movements of charity-love which under gird its fullness and perfection.

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