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Numerous other patristic texts that bear on the same question are quoted and explained in Kleutgen's "Die Theologie der Vorzeit", II, 75 sq.; V, 220 sq.; and in Schäzler's "Neue Untersuchungen über das Dogma von der Gnade" (Mainz, 1867), 466 sq.

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Theologians distinguish two classes of supernatural mysteries: the absolute (or theological ) and the relative .

An absolute mystery is a truth whose existence or possibility could not be discovered by a creature, and whose essence (inner substantial being) can be expressed by the finite mind only in terms of analogy, e.g., the Trinity. The principal proof text, which was cited in part by the Vatican Council, is I Cor., ii.

This argumentation is fallacious, since it confounds incomprehensibility with inconceivableness, superiority to reason with contradiction.

The mind of a creature cannot, indeed, grasp the inner nature of the mysterious truth, but it can express that truth by analogies ; it cannot fully understand the coherence and agreement of all that is contained in a mystery of faith, but it can refute successfully the objections which would make a mystery consist of mutually repugnant elements. Gent., I, vi), and the measure by which he judges the world and the ways of God.

(Greek mysterion , from myein , "to shut", "to close".) This term signifies in general that which is unknowable, or valuable knowledge that is kept secret.