400. Consequenter ponuntur auditores et cum sedisset, accesserunt ad eum discipuli eius. Duo possunt notari in sessione eius. Humiliatio; Ps. CXXXVIII, 2: tu cognovisti sessionem meam. Quando erat in altitudine divinae maiestatis, non poterat capi eius doctrina; sed tunc coeperunt homines capere, quando se humiliavit. Vel hoc pertinet ad dignitatem magisterii; infra XXIII, 2: super cathedram Moysi sederunt Scribae et Pharisaei. Ad studium enim sapientiae requiritur quies. Accesserunt ad eum discipuli eius etc., non tantum corpore, sed animo; Ps. XXXIII, 6: accedite ad eum, et illuminamini; Deut. XXXIII, 3: qui appropinquant pedibus eius, accipient de doctrina illius.
400. Next, the hearers are set down, and when he had sat down, his disciples came to him. One can note two things in his sitting. A humbling; you have known my sitting down, and my rising up (Ps 139:2). When he was in the loftiness of divine majesty, his teaching could not be grasped; but when he humbled himself, then men began to understand. Or, this pertains to the dignity of the teacher; the scribes and the Pharisees have sat on the chair of Moses (Matt 23:2). For rest is necessary for one who is zealous for wisdom. His disciples came to him, not only in body, but in soul; come to him and be enlightened (Ps 34:5); they that approach to his feet, will receive of his doctrine (Deut 33:3).
Et nota quod quando Dominus praedicavit turbis, stetit; Lc. VI, 17: descendens Iesus de monte stetit in loco campestri; sed hic quando discipulis, sedit. Ex hoc inolevit consuetudo quod turbis praedicatur stando, religiosis sedendo.
And notice that when the Lord preached to the crowds, he stood; and coming down with them, he stood in a plain place (Luke 6:17); but here, when he taught the disciples, he sat. Out of this grew the custom that one preaches to the crowds standing, and to religious sitting.
401. Et aperiens os suum docebat eos. Hic ponitur modus doctrinae.
401. And opening his mouth, he taught them. Here the manner of teaching is set down.
In hoc quod dicit aperiens, significatur quod diu ante tacuerat. Et demonstrat quod magnum et longum erat facturus sermonem, sicut dicit Augustinus. Vel quod magna et profunda dicturus erat; sic enim consueverunt facere homines; Iob III, 1: post hoc Iob aperuit os suum, et maledixit diei suo.
The fact that it says opening signifies that he had been silent for a long time before. And it shows that the sermon was going to be great and long, as Augustine says. Or that he was about to say great and profound things; for men often do this; after this Job opened his mouth, and cursed his day (Job 3:1).
Et dicit suum: prius enim aperuit ora prophetarum; Sap. X, 21: sapientia aperuit os mutorum, et linguas infantium fecit disertas: ipse enim est Sapientia Patris.
And it says, his, for earlier he had opened the mouths of the prophets; for wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent (Wis 10:21): for he himself is the Wisdom of the Father.
402. Sed hic est quaestio: hic enim sermo ponitur quantum ad multa etiam Lc. VI, 20 ss. Sed videtur hic et ibi contrarietas, sicut patet in textu.
402. But there is a question here, for this sermon is set down in Luke, for the most part (Luke 6:20–49). But there seems to be a contradiction between this account and that one, as is evident in the text.
Et ponit Augustinus duas solutiones. Una est quod iste est alius sermo ab illo: ipse enim primo ascendit in montem, et fecit hunc sermonem discipulis, et postea descendens invenit turbam congregatam, cui eadem praedicavit, et multa recapitulavit: et de hoc dicitur Lc. VI, 20 ss. Vel aliter dicendum, quod unus mons erat, et habebat planitiem in latere: illam planitiem elevabat monticulus alius. Unde Dominus ascendit in montem, idest in planitiem illius montis. Et primo ascendit superius, et convocavit discipulos, et ibi elegit duodecim apostolos, sicut patet in Luca: et postea descendens invenit turbam congregatam, et venientibus discipulis sedit, et habuit sermonem istum ad turbas et discipulos. Et hoc videtur verius: quia Matthaeus dicit in fine sermonis, quod mirabantur turbae super doctrina eius. Tamen quodcumque accipiatur, non est contrarietas.
And Augustine sets down two solutions. One is that this is a different sermon from that one; for he first went up onto a mountain, and gave this sermon to the disciples, and afterwards, coming down, found the crowd gathered together, to whom he preached the same things and recapitulated many things; and Luke speaks about this. Or otherwise one should say that there was one mountain, and it had a level area on the side; another little mountain raised up that level area. Hence the Lord went up onto a mountain, i.e., onto the level area of this mountain. And first he went up higher, and called together the disciples, and there chose the twelve apostles, as is clear in Luke; and afterwards, coming down, he found the crowd gathered together, and, when the disciples came, he sat, and gave this sermon to the crowd and to the disciples. And this seems more true, because Matthew says at the end of the sermon that the multitudes hearing it, were in admiration at his doctrine (Matt 22:33). Yet however it is taken, there is no contradiction.
5:3 Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. [n. 405]
5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [n. 405]
5:4 Beati mites, quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram. [n. 406]
5:4 Blessed are the meek: for they will possess the land. [n. 406]
5:5 Beati qui lugent, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur. [n. 406]
5:5 Blessed are they who mourn: for they will be comforted. [n. 406]
5:6 Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam, quoniam ipsi saturabuntur. [n. 406]
5:6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after justice: for they will have their fill. [n. 406]
5:7 Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi misericordiam consequentur. [n. 406]
5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they will obtain mercy. [n. 406]
5:8 Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. [n. 407]
5:8 Blessed are the clean of heart: for they will see God. [n. 407]
5:9 Beati pacifici, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur. [n. 407]
5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. [n. 407]
5:10 Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. [n. 437]
5:10 Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [n. 437]
403. Posuit supra Evangelista quasi brevem titulum doctrinae Christi, nunc ponit ipsam doctrinam, et effectum eius, scilicet admirationem turbarum.
403. Above, the Evangelist set down a brief title, as it were, of the teaching of Christ; now he sets down the teaching itself, and its effect, namely, the wonder of the crowds.
Considerandum autem, quod secundum Augustinum in isto sermone Domini tota perfectio vitae nostrae continetur. Et probat per id quod Dominus subiungit finem ad quem ducit, scilicet repromissionem aliquam. Id autem quod maxime homo desiderat, est beatitudo. Unde Dominus hic tria facit.
Now it should be considered that, according to Augustine, the whole perfection of our life is contained in this sermon of the Lord. And he proves it by the fact that the Lord includes the end to which he leads us, that is, a promise. But that which man desires most of all is beatitude. Hence the Lord does three things.
Primo praemittit praemium quod consequitur istos qui istam doctrinam accipiunt;
First, he promises a reward, which those who accept this teaching will obtain;
secundo ponit praecepta, ibi nolite putare quoniam veni solvere legem etc.;
second, he sets down the precepts, at do not think that I have come to destroy the law (Matt 5:17);
tertio docet quomodo aliquis potest pervenire ad observandum ea, ibi petite et accipietis.
third, he teaches how someone can succeed in observing them, at ask, and it will be given to you (Matt 7:7).
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).
404. 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.
404. 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.
405. Opinionem illorum qui dixerunt quod consistit in affluentia exteriorum, reprobat: unde dicit beati pauperes, scilicet quasi, non beati affluentes.
405. 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.
406. Opinionem vero eorum qui ponebant beatitudinem in satisfactione appetitus, reprobat cum dicit beati misericordes.
406. 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.
407. 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.
407. 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.
408. 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.
408. 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).
409. 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.
409. 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.
410. 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.
410. 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.