Circa primum duo facit, quia huius doctrinae aliqui sunt observatores tantum, aliqui ministri.Concerning the first, he does two things, because some are only observers of this teaching, others ministers.Primo ergo describit beatitudinem observantium;First, therefore, he describes the beatitude of the one who observes the precepts;secundo ministrantium, ibi beati estis cum maledixerint vobis.second, the beatitude of the ministers, at blessed are you when they will revile you (Matt 5:11).Notandum autem quod hic ponuntur plura de beatitudinibus; sed numquam aliquis in verbis Domini posset ita subtiliter loqui, quod pertingeret ad propositum Domini. Sciendum tamen quod in istis verbis includitur omnis plena beatitudo: omnes enim homines appetunt beatitudinem, sed differunt in iudicando de beatitudine; et ideo quidam istud, quidam illud appetunt.Now, one should note that many things are set down here about the beatitudes; but never could anyone speak so skillfully about the Lord’s words that he could attain to the Lord’s purpose. Yet one should know that all complete happiness is included in these words: for all men desire happiness, but they differ in their judgments about happiness, and for this reason some men desire this, others desire that.Invenimus autem quadruplicem opinionem de beatitudine. Quidam enim credunt, quod in exterioribus tantum consistat, scilicet in affluentia istorum temporalium; Ps. CXLIII, v. 15: beatum dixerunt populum cui haec sunt. Alii quod perfecta beatitudo consistit in hoc quod homo satisfaciat voluntati suae; unde dicimus: beatus est qui vivit ut vult. Eccle. III, 12: et cognovi quod non esset melius nisi laetari et cetera. Alii dicunt quod perfecta beatitudo consistit in virtutibus activae vitae. Alii quod in virtutibus contemplativae vitae, scilicet divinorum et intelligibilium, sicut Aristoteles.But we find four opinions about happiness. For some believe that it consists only in exterior things, namely in an abundance of temporal things; they have called the people happy, that have these things (Ps 144:15). Others, that perfect beatitude consists in the fact that a man fulfills his own will; hence we say, blessed is he who lives as he wants. And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice, and to do well in this life (Eccl 3:12). Others say that perfect beatitude consists in the virtues of the active life. Others, that it consists in the virtues of the contemplative life, namely of divine and intelligible things, as Aristotle says.Omnes autem istae opiniones falsae sunt: quamvis non eodem modo. Unde Dominus omnes reprobat.But all these opinions are false, although not in the same way. Hence the Lord condemns all these.Opinionem illorum qui dixerunt quod consistit in affluentia exteriorum, reprobat: unde dicit beati pauperes, scilicet quasi, non beati affluentes.He condemns the opinion of those who say that it consists in the abundance of exterior things: hence, he says, blessed are the poor, as though to say, the wealthy are not happy.Opinionem vero eorum qui ponebant beatitudinem in satisfactione appetitus, reprobat cum dicit beati misericordes.And he condemns the opinion of those who place beatitude in the satisfaction of appetite when he says, blessed are the merciful.Sed sciendum quod triplex est appetitus in homine: irascibilis, qui appetit vindictam de inimicis, et hoc reprobat, cum dicit beati mites. Concupiscibilis, cuius bonum est gaudere et delectari: hoc reprobat cum dicit beati qui lugent. Voluntatis, qui est duplex, secundum quod duo quaerit. Primo quod voluntas nulla superiori lege coerceatur; secundo quod possit restringere alios ut subditos: unde desiderat praeesse, et non subesse. Dominus autem contrarium ostendit quantum ad utrumque. Et quantum ad primum dicit beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam. Quantum autem ad secundum dicit beati misericordes. Ergo et illi qui ponunt beatitudinem in exteriori affluentia, et qui in satisfactione appetitus, errant.But one should know that there are three appetites in man. The irascible, which desires vengeance on enemies, and he condemns this when he says, blessed are the meek. The concupiscible, whose good is to rejoice and be delighted; he condemns this when he says, blessed are they who mourn. The will, which is twofold, according as it seeks two things: first, that the will be forced by no higher law; second, that it be able to bind others as subjects: hence it desires to command, and not to be under another. But the Lord shows the contrary regarding both. And regarding the first, he says, blessed are they who hunger and thirst after justice. Regarding the second, he says, blessed are the merciful. Therefore both those who place beatitude in the abundance of exterior things and those who place it in the satisfaction of appetite are wrong.Illi autem qui ponunt beatitudinem in actibus activae vitae, scilicet moralibus, errant; sed minus, quia illud est via ad beatitudinem. Unde Dominus non reprobat tamquam malum, sed ostendit ordinatum ad beatitudinem: quia vel ordinantur ad seipsum, sicut temperantia et huiusmodi, et finis eorum est munditia cordis, quia faciunt vincere passiones; vel ordinantur ad alterum, et sic finis eorum est pax, et huiusmodi: opus enim iustitiae est pax. Et ideo istae virtutes sunt viae in beatitudinem, et non ipsa beatitudo; et hoc est beati mundo corde quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Non dicit vident, quia hoc esset ipsa beatitudo. Et iterum beati pacifici, non quia pacifici, sed quia in aliud tendunt, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur.Those, however, who place beatitude in the actions of the active life, namely, in moral acts, are wrong, but less so, because that is the way to beatitude. Hence the Lord does not condemn them as though evil, but shows the ordering to beatitude. Because the virtues of the active life are either ordered to oneself, such as temperance and others of this kind, and their end is cleanness of heart, because they enable one to conquer the passions; or they are ordered to another, and so their end is peace, and of this kind: the work of justice will be peace (Isa 32:17). And therefore these virtues are ways to beatitude, and not beatitude itself; and this is blessed are the clean of heart: for they will see God. He does not say, they see, because this would be beatitude itself. And similarly, blessed are the peacemakers, not because they make peace, but because they tend toward something else: for they will be called children of God.Illorum autem opinio qui dicunt quod beatitudo consistit in contemplatione divinorum, reprobat Dominus quantum ad tempus, quia alias vera est, quia ultima felicitas consistit in visione optimi intelligibilis, scilicet Dei: unde dicit videbunt.Now, the opinion of those who say that beatitude consists in the contemplation of divine things is condemned by the Lord only as to the timing, for otherwise it is true; because the last happiness does consist in the vision of the best intelligible, namely God; hence he says, they will see.Et notandum quod, secundum Philosophum, ad hoc quod actus contemplativi faciant beatum, duo requiruntur: unum substantialiter, scilicet quod sit actus altissimi intelligibilis, quod est Deus; aliud formaliter, scilicet amor et delectatio: delectatio enim perficit felicitatem, sicut pulchritudo iuventutem. Et ideo Dominus duo ponit Deum videbunt et filii Dei vocabuntur: hoc enim pertinet ad unionem amoris; I Io. cap. III, v. 1: videte qualem caritatem dedit nobis Pater, ut filii Dei nominemur et simus.And one should note that, according to the Philosopher, two things are required for the contemplative act to make one happy: one has to do with the substance, namely, that it be the act of the highest intelligible, which is God; the other has to do with form, namely love and delight, for delight perfects happiness just as beauty perfects youth. And therefore the Lord sets down two things, they will see God and they will be called children of God, for this pertains to the union of love. Behold what manner of charity the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God (1 John 3:1).Item notandum quod in istis beatitudinibus quaedam ponuntur ut merita, et quaedam ut praemia: et hoc in singulis. Beati pauperes spiritu: ecce meritum; quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum: ecce praemium, et sic in aliis.Likewise, one should note that in these beatitudes, certain things are set down as merits, and certain things as rewards: and this is clear in each case. Blessed are the poor in spirit: here is a merit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: here is the reward; and so on in the others.Et notandum est etiam aliquid circa meritum in communi, et aliquid circa praemium in communi. Circa meritum sciendum, quod Philosophus distinguit duplex genus virtutis: unum communis, quae perficit hominem humano modo; aliud specialis, quam vocat heroicam, quae perficit supra humanum modum. Quando enim fortis timet ubi est timendum, istud est virtus; sed si non timeret, esset vitium. Si autem in nullo timeret confisus Dei auxilio, ista virtus esset supra humanum modum: et istae virtutes vocantur divinae. Isti ergo actus sunt perfecti, et virtus etiam, secundum Philosophum, est operatio perfecta. Ergo ista merita vel sunt actus donorum, vel actus virtutum secundum quod perficiuntur a donis.And one should note also something about merit in general, and something about reward in general. About merit, one should know that the Philosopher distinguishes two kinds of virtue: one common, which perfects a man in a human manner; the other special, which he calls heroic, which perfects above the human manner. For when a brave man fears where there is something to be feared, that is a virtue; but if he did not fear, it would be a vice. But if he feared nothing, trusting in the help of God, that would be a virtue above the human manner; and these virtues are called divine. Therefore, these acts are perfect, and virtue also is a perfect operation, according to the Philosopher. So these merits are either acts of the gifts, or acts of the virtues according as they are perfected by the gifts.Item nota quod actus virtutum sunt illi de quibus lex praecipit; merita autem beatitudinis sunt actus virtutum; et ideo omnia quae praecipiuntur et infra continentur, referuntur ad istas beatitudines. Unde sicut Moyses primo proposuit praecepta, et post multa dixit, quae omnia referebantur ad praecepta proposita: ita Christus in doctrina sua, primo praemisit istas beatitudines, ad quas omnia alia reducuntur.Likewise, note that the acts of the virtues are those about which the law commands; moreover, the merits of the beatitudes are acts of the virtues; and therefore all those things which are commanded and are contained below are referred back to these beatitudes. Hence just as Moses first set down the commandments, and afterwards said many things which were all referred back to the commandments given, so Christ in his teaching first sets forth these beatitudes, to which all the others are reduced.Circa primum autem notandum, quod Deus est praemium eorum qui ei serviunt; Thren. III, 24: pars mea Dominus, dixit anima mea, propterea expectabo eum; Ps. XV, 5: Dominus pars haereditatis meae et calicis mei; Gen. XV, 7: ego Dominus qui eduxi te de Ur Chaldaeorum, ut darem tibi terram istam, et possideres eam. Et sicut Augustinus dicit in II Confessionum, anima cum recedit a te, bona quaerit extra te. Homines autem diversa quaerunt; sed quidquid inveniri potest in qualibet vita, totum Dominus repromisit in Deo. Aliqui enim ponunt summum bonum affluentiam divitiarum, per quam possunt pervenire ad maximas dignitates; Dominus promittit regnum quod complectitur utrumque; sed ad hoc regnum dicit perveniri per viam paupertatis, non divitiarum. Unde beati pauperes. Alii perveniunt ad istos honores per bella; Dominus autem dicit beati mites et cetera. Alii consolationes quaerunt per voluptates; Dominus dicit beati qui lugent. Aliqui nolunt subdi; Dominus autem dicit, beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam. Aliqui volunt vitare malum opprimendo subditos; Dominus dicit beati misericordes et cetera. Aliqui ponunt visionem Dei in contemplatione veritatis in via; Dominus autem promittit in patria; unde beati mundo corde et cetera.Concerning the first, one should note that God is the reward of those who serve him; the Lord is my portion, said my soul: therefore will I wait for him (Lam 3:24); the Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup (Ps 16:5); I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land, and that you might possess it (Gen 15:7). And as Augustine says in Book II of the Confessions: when a soul turns away from you, it seeks goods outside of you. Now, men seek diverse things; but anything that can be found in any life, the Lord promises in its entirety in God. For some place the highest good in the abundance of riches, through which they can attain the greatest dignity; the Lord promises a kingdom which embraces both, but he says that one must arrive at this kingdom by the way of poverty, not of riches. Hence, blessed are the poor. Others arrive at this honor through war; but the Lord says, blessed are the meek. Others seek consolations through pleasure; the Lord says, blessed are they who mourn. Some are unwilling to be subject to another; but the Lord says, blessed are they who hunger and thirst after justice. Some wish to avoid evil by oppressing those subject to them; the Lord says, blessed are the merciful. Some place the vision of God in the contemplation of truth in this life; but the Lord promises this vision in the homeland; hence, blessed are the clean of heart.Et notandum quod ista praemia, quae Dominus hic tangit, possunt dupliciter haberi, scilicet perfecte et consummate, et sic in patria tantum: et secundum inchoationem et imperfecte, et sic in via. Unde sancti habent quamdam inchoationem illius beatitudinis. Et quia in hac vita non possunt explicari illa sicut erunt in patria; ideo Augustinus exponit secundum quod sunt in hac vita beati ergo pauperes spiritu: non spe tantum, sed etiam re. Lc. XVII, v. 21: regnum Dei intra vos est.And one should notice that these rewards, which the Lord touches upon here, can be had in two ways, namely perfectly and completely, and they are had in this way only in the homeland; or as a beginning and imperfectly, and they are had in this way in this life. Hence the saints have a certain beginning of that beatitude. And because these things cannot be explained in this life as they will be in the homeland, therefore Augustine explains them according as they are in this life; therefore, blessed are the poor in spirit: not in hope only, but also in actuality. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).Unde istis praemissis, accedamus ad litteram.Hence, these things having been prefaced, let us proceed to the text.In istis beatitudinibus duo facit Evangelista.The Evangelist does two things in these beatitudes.Primo ponuntur ipsae beatitudines;First, the beatitudes themselves are set down;secundo manifestatio beatitudinum, ibi beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam; quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum; hoc enim est declarativum omnium beatitudinum.second, a manifestation of the beatitudes, at blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; for this expresses all the beatitudes.Virtus autem tria facit: quia removet a malo, operatur et facit operari bonum, et disponit ad optimum.Now, virtue does three things: for it removes one from evil, works and makes one to work what is good, and disposes one to what is best.Primo ergo determinat de primo, ibi beati pauperes; de secundo, ibi beati qui esuriunt; de tertio, ibi beati mundo corde, determinat.First, then, he determines about the first, at blessed are the poor; about the second, at blessed are they who hunger; about the third, at blessed are the clean of heart.Removet autem virtus a tribus malis: cupiditatis, crudelitatis sive inquietudinis, et voluptatis noxiae.Moreover, virtue removes one from three evils: greed, cruelty or disturbance, and harmful pleasure.Primum notatur ibi beati pauperes; secundum ibi beati misericordes; tertio ibi beati qui lugent.The first is noted at blessed are the poor; the second, at blessed are the merciful; the third, at blessed are they who mourn.Dicit ergo beati pauperes, dupliciter legitur.He says then, blessed are the poor. It is read in two ways.Primo sic beati pauperes, idest humiles, qui se aestimant pauperes: illi enim sunt vere humiles, qui se pauperes aestimant, non solum in exterioribus, sed etiam in interioribus; Ps. XXXIX, 18: ego autem mendicus sum et pauper, contra illud Apoc. III, 17: dicis quia dives sum, et locupletatus, et nullius egeo, et nescis quia tu es miser, et miserabilis, et pauper, et caecus, et nudus et cetera.First, in this way: blessed are the poor, i.e., the humble, who reckon themselves to be poor; for they are the truly humble who reckon themselves poor, not only in external things, but even in interior things; I am a beggar and poor (Ps 40:17); on the other hand: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and know not, that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev 3:17).Et tunc hoc quod dicit spiritu, potest tripliciter legi. Spiritus enim aliquando dicitur superbia hominis; Is. II, 22: quiescite ab homine, cuius spiritus in naribus est, quia excelsus reputatus est ipse; Is. XXV, 4: spiritus robustorum quasi turbo impellens parietem. Et dicitur superbia spiritus quia sicut per flatum inflantur utres, ita per superbiam homines; Col. II, 18: inflatus sensu carnis suae. Ergo beati pauperes, scilicet hi, qui parum habent de spiritu superbiae. Vel accipitur spiritus pro voluntate hominis. Quidam enim sunt necessitate humiles, et isti non sunt beati, sed qui humilitatem affectant. Tertio accipitur pro Spiritu Sancto; unde beati pauperes Spiritu, qui humiles sunt per Spiritum Sanctum. Et istae duae quasi ad idem redeunt. Et dicit pauperes spiritu, quia humilitas dat Spiritum Sanctum; Is. LXVI, 2: ad quem respiciam nisi ad pauperculum, et contritum spiritu, et trementem sermones meos?And then what is said, in spirit, can be read in three ways. For the pride of a man is sometimes called the spirit; cease therefore from the man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for he is reputed high (Isa 2:22); the spirit of the mighty is like a whirlwind beating against a wall (Isa 25:4). And pride is called spirit because as breath inflates a bag, so pride inflates men: puffed up by the sense of his flesh (Col 2:18). Therefore, blessed are the poor, namely those who have little of the spirit of pride. Or spirit is taken as the will of man. For some are humble by necessity, and these are not blessed, but rather those who put on humility. Third, it is taken as the Holy Spirit; hence, blessed are the poor in the Spirit, who are humble through the Holy Spirit. And these two come to the same thing, so to speak. And he says, the poor in spirit, because humility gives one the Holy Spirit; but for whom will I have respect, except him that is poor and little, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my words? (Isa 66:2).Istis pauperibus repromittitur regnum, in quo intelligitur summa excellentia. Et licet istud retribuatur cuilibet virtuti, specialiter tamen datur humilitati; quia omnis qui se humiliat exaltabitur, infra cap. XXIII, 12. Et Prov. XXIX, 23: humilem spiritum suscipiet gloria.To these poor ones is promised the kingdom, in which is understood the highest excellence. And although this is bestowed upon any virtue, yet it is especially given to humility; because he who humbles himself, will be exalted (Luke 14:11). And, glory will uphold the humble of spirit (Prov 29:23).Vel aliter, secundum Hieronymum. Pauperes spiritu, ad litteram, in abdicatione rerum temporalium. Et dicit spiritu: quia quidam pauperes necessitate sunt, sed non debetur illis beatitudo, sed illis qui voluntate. Et isti dicuntur dupliciter; quia etsi aliqui divitias habent, tamen non habent eas in corde; Ps. LXI, 11: divitiae si affluant, nolite cor apponere. Aliqui nec habent, nec affectant, et istud securius est, quia mens trahitur a spiritualibus ex divitiis: et isti dicuntur proprie pauperes spiritu, quia actus donorum, qui sunt supra humanum modum, sunt hominis beati: et quod homo omnes divitias abiiciat, ut nec aliquo etiam modo appetat, hoc est supra humanum modum.Or in another way, according to Jerome. Poor in spirit, literally, in renunciation of temporal things. And he says, in spirit, because some are poor by necessity, but beatitude is not due them, but rather to those who are poor by will. And those who are poor by will are so called in two ways, because although some have riches, yet they do not have them in their heart; if riches abound, set not your heart upon them (Ps 62:11). Others neither have, nor desire, and this is more secure, because the mind is drawn from spiritual things by riches. And these are properly called poor in spirit, because the acts of the gifts, which are above the human manner, are those of the blessed man: and that a man should reject all riches, so that he does not even desire them in some way, this is above the human manner.Istis autem repromittitur regnum caelorum, in quo notatur non solum altitudo honoris, sed affluentia divitiarum; Iac. II, 5: nonne Deus eligit pauperes in hoc mundo, divites in fide?To these is promised the kingdom of heaven, in which is indicated not only loftiness of honor, but the abundance of riches; has not God chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God has promised to those who love him? (Jas 2:5).Et nota quod Moyses primo promisit divitias; Deut. XXVIII, 1: faciet te Dominus Deus tuus excelsiorem cunctis gentibus, quae versantur in terra; et infra: benedictus tu in civitate, et benedictus in agro. Et ideo ut distinguat Dominus legem veterem a nova, primo ponit beatitudinem in contemptu divitiarum temporalium.And note that Moses first promised riches; the Lord your God will make you higher than all the nations that are on the earth (Deut 28:1); and further down, blessed will you be in the city, and blessed in the field. And therefore, that the Lord might distinguish the old law from the new, he first places beatitude in the contempt of temporal riches.Item, secundum Augustinum nota, quod ista beatitudo pertinet ad donum timoris: quia timor, maxime filialis, facit habere reverentiam ad Deum; et ex hoc contemnit homo divitias. Ponit Isaias beatitudines descendendo; Is. XI, 1: egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet, et requiescet super eum spiritus Domini, spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, spiritus scientiae et pietatis, et replebit eum spiritus timoris Domini. Christus e converso a dono timoris, scilicet a paupertate, quia Isaias praenuntiavit adventum Christi ad terram; Christus autem de terra sursum trahebat.Likewise note, following Augustine, that this beatitude pertains to the gift of fear. Because fear, most of all filial fear, makes one have reverence toward God; and out of this a man despises riches. Isaiah sets out the beatitudes in descending order: and there will come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower will rise up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of piety. And the spirit of the fear of the Lord will fill him (Isa 11:1–3). Christ sets them out the other way around, from the gift of fear, namely from poverty, because Isaiah foretold the coming of Christ to earth, but Christ drew men up from the earth.Beati mites. Haec est secunda beatitudo; sed ne aliquis dicat quod sufficit paupertas ad beatitudinem, ostendit quod non sufficit: immo requiritur mansuetudo, quae temperat circa iras, sicut temperantia circa concupiscentias: ille enim est mitis, qui nec irritatur. Hoc autem poterit fieri per virtutem, ut scilicet non irascaris nisi causa iusta; sed si habeas etiam causam iustam, et non provocaris, hoc est supra humanum modum; et ideo dicit beati mites. Pugna enim est propter abundantiam exteriorum rerum; et ideo numquam esset turbatio, si homo divitias non affectaret; et ideo qui non sunt mites, non sunt pauperes spiritu. Et propterea statim subiungit beati mites.Blessed are the meek. This is the second beatitude; but lest someone say that poverty is enough for beatitude, he shows that it is not enough: rather gentleness is required, which restrains one with regard to anger, just as temperance restrains one with regard to concupiscence; for he is meek who does not grow angry. Now this could come about by virtue, namely that you are not angered except by a just cause; but if you are not provoked even when you have a just cause, this is above the human manner; and therefore he says, blessed are the meek. For fighting is on account of an abundance of external things; and therefore there would be no disturbance if a man did not desire riches. And therefore those who are not meek are not poor in spirit. And this is why he immediately adds, blessed are the meek.Et nota, quod hoc in duobus consistit. Primo quod homo non irascatur; secundo, quod si irascatur, iram temperet. Ita dicit Ambrosius: prudentis est irae motus temperare, nec minor virtus dicitur temperate irasci, quam omnino non irasci est: plurimumque hoc levius, illud fortius existimo et cetera.And note that this consists in two things. First, that a man is not angered; second, that if he is angered, he restrains his anger. Ambrose speaks this way: it belongs to the prudent man to moderate the motion of anger, nor is it called a lesser virtue to be angry with restraint, than not to be angered at all. I judge the latter much easier, the former much harder.Chrysostomus dicit: inter multas promissiones aeternas ponit unam terrenam. Unde, ad litteram, terram istam possident mites. Multi enim litigant, ut possessiones acquirant, sed frequenter vitam et omnia perdunt; sed frequenter mansueti totum habent; Ps. XXXVI, 11: mansueti haereditabunt terram.Chrysostom says: among many eternal promises, he places one earthly promise. Hence, literally, the meek possess that land. For many go to court to acquire possessions, but frequently they lose their life and all their things; but frequently the gentle have it all: the meek will inherit the land (Ps 37:11).