Ask a Question

Got something on your mind?Ask me a question

Are you curious about any aspect of living the Faith or confounded by some obscure area of doctrine? Want a book recommendation?

Ask me about it! I would love to hear from you!

I promise to do my best to answer as many earnest questions as I can. I can share my experience and chase down the occasional obscure theologian. And if I just don’t know, I’ll tell you that too. Your question may even make it into its own post.

Comment, use the contact form to remain anonymous or tweet @StephaniesIdeas

3 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. From, The Edifying Word: I recently read CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, and in it he talks about how God can both answer prayers and know everything that is going to happen — his explanation is that this is because God is outside of time. I know CS Lewis is awesome, but was not Catholic, and I was wondering whether you know if this explanation tracks with Catholic teaching. Thanks! (https://theedifyingword.wordpress.com/)

    Answer: Yes, the basic idea that God is outside of time is a very Catholic answer. C.S. Lewis was an Anglican, but he was very traditional and a high church Anglican. He was well-read in traditional theology, including St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica. This is recorded in the biography “The Inklings” by Humphrey Carpenter. Lewis’s theological views take center stage in Perelandra, second of the Space Trilogy, and everything that comes out there is completely orthodox. His views of the sacraments are one of the only non-Catholic elements of his thought, but his public work strives to incorporate agreed upon aspects of Christian teaching, which is why he titled his defense of the faith “Mere Christianity.”

    Granted, the question of free will and grace (or God’s knowledge and prayer’s validity) is a highly complicated dispute that has spawned major theological controversies. In St. Thomas’s Summa Theologica, he gives a few thoughts including the God is outside of time one. He also points out that because God is the cause of everything, he works through secondary causes too, some of which actually include our prayers, so our prayer becomes an essential acting place for God. That’s all I got for now. I can track down the passage in the summa if you like. Also, Dr. RJ Matava at the Christendom Graduate School is the real expert on this, as his dissertation explores this huge topic.

    Peace!

  2. Thanks so much for your response, Stephanie! This was so helpful, especially the background on C.S. Lewis. I am planning to read a good deal more of him now and this will help me as I do. And no need to track down the Summa passage – I remember reading it and could probably track it down myself. As always, you take the high-level theology-speak (“secondary causes”) and make it make sense through practical application. THANK YOU! 🙂

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