... in causation

Published on 22 Mar 2019
A cross on a wall

I’ve never studied philosophy, but I married a man who had.  One day he told me about the four aspects of causation: material, formal, efficient and final.  He told me that a good example of how this worked was in the seal on a proclamation: the wax was the matter, the stamp the form, the action of applying wax and stamp to the letter the efficient cause and the authority of the proclamation the final. 

These concepts formed themselves into a cross in my mind with efficient and final on the vertical axis, material and formal on the horizontal.  As we make the sign of the cross, we remember God the final cause, Jesus Christ the efficient cause of our salvation and the Holy Spirit who inspires us to shape matter into the form of the Kingdom of God.

When I need to bang a nail in the wall, I fashion steel and wood to make a hammer then use hand-eye co-ordination to use the hammer to bang in the nail.

Now I can hang up my crucifix.