Sed quid est? Nonne tenetur homo ad meliora? Dico quod distinguendum est, quod melius est quantum ad actum, vel quantum ad affectum. Non tenetur ad meliora quoad actum, sed quoad affectum, quia omnis regula et omnis actus determinatur ad finitum et certum: et si tenetur ad melius, tenetur ad incertum. Unde quantum ad actus exteriores, quia non tenetur ad incertum, non tenetur ad meliora; sed quantum ad affectum, tenetur ad meliora. Unde qui non semper vellet esse melior, non posset sine contemptu velle.
But what is this? Is not a man bound to what is better? I say that one should distinguish what is better with regard to the act, and what is better with regard to disposition. One is not bound to what is better as regards act, but as regards disposition, because every rule and every act is determined to something limited and certain; and if one is bound to the better thing, one is bound to what is uncertain. Hence with regard to the exterior act, since one is not bound to what is uncertain, one is not bound to the better thing; but with regard to disposition, one is bound to the better thing. Hence he who does not always will to be better is unable to will without contempt.
1572. Sed quid est quod dicit qui potest capere capiat? Aut enim potentia naturali; et sic nullus potest: aut potentia gratiae; et sic quilibet potest, quia dicitur Lc. XI, v. 9: petite et accipietis. Item gratia Dei omnia potest.
1572. But why does he say, he who can take, let him take it? For it is either by a natural power, and thus no one can; or it is by the power of grace, and thus anyone can, since it says, ask, and it will be given you (Luke 11:9). Likewise, the grace of God can do all things.
Dico quod ly potest includit potestatem voluntatis: est enim voluntas firma et infirma. Constat autem quod homo cum habet voluntatem firmam, non timet multos impulsus; sed quando non, ex facili impulsu labitur. Unde qui potest per firmitatem voluntatis capere, capiat, et non a natura, sed a Deo. Unde qui hoc a Deo habet, consulimus quod hoc capiat et contineat. Vel qui potest secundum opportunitatem temporis, vel conditionis temporis, ut Abraham: unde caelibatus Ioannis non praefertur coniugio Abrahae. Item secundum conditionem; quia qui coniugatus est, non potest continere; unde excluduntur vel ratione temporis, vel conditionis.
I say that this can includes the power of the will: for there is a firm will, and a weak will. Now, it is agreed that when a man has a firm will, he is not afraid of many impulses, but when he does not have a firm will, he falls from an easy impulse. Hence he who can by firmness of will take, let him take it, and not from nature, but from God. Hence he who has this from God, we consider that he may receive and abstain. Or, he who can according to the opportuneness of the time, or of condition, as with Abraham: hence John’s celibacy is not preferred to Abraham’s marriage. Likewise, according to condition, because the one who is married cannot abstain; hence they are excluded either by reason of time or of condition.
1573. Tunc oblati sunt ei parvuli. Hic ostendit quod dixit, facto. Et
1573. Then little children were presented to him. Here he shows what he said by deed. And
primo ponitur parvulorum oblatio;
first, the offering of the little children is set out;
secundo zelus discipulorum;
second, the disciples’ zeal;
tertio satisfactio Christi.
third, Christ satisfies.
Secunda ibi discipuli autem increpabant eos; tertia ibi Iesus autem ait eis et cetera.
The second is at and the disciples rebuked them; the third, at but Jesus said to them: allow the little children.
1574. Dicit ergo tunc oblati sunt ei parvuli. Dominus commendaverat castitatem, et quia in parvulis est castitas et puritas, ideo videntes quod puritas placeret ei, obtulerunt ei parvulos ut manus eis imponeret, et oraret.
1574. It says then, then little children were presented to him. The Lord had commended chastity, and since there is chastity and purity in little children, then, seeing that purity would please him, they presented little children to him that he should impose hands upon them and pray.
Notandum quod consuetudo erat quod pueri offerebantur antiquis, et benedicebant, et orabant, in signum quod benedictio est a Deo. Item experti quod tactum haberet salutarem, quia leprosum curaverat et multos alios, ideo et cetera. Item parvulos offerebant, quia credebant quod qui tangeretur ab eo, de caetero a daemonibus non infestaretur; ideo Ecclesia accepit in consuetudinem, quod parvulis exhibeantur sacramenta Ecclesiae, ut magis confirmentur.
One should note that it was customary that children were offered to the elderly, and the elderly blessed them, and prayed, as a sign that blessing is from God. Also, they knew from experience that his touch carried salvation, because he had cured the leper and many others. They also offered the little children because they believed that the one who was touched by him would not be disturbed by demons in the future. Hence the Church received it as a custom that the sacraments of the Church are presented to little children, that they might be more strengthened.
1575. Discipuli autem increpabant eos. Hic tangitur zelus discipulorum. Sed quare increpabant? Quia credebant eum ut verum hominem fatigari ex frequentia hominum; ideo volentes parcere labori eius et cetera. Alia ratio, quia magnam opinionem habebant de Christo; ideo videbatur eis quod inhonestum erat quod parvuli accederent ad eum. Origenes: quia per hoc significatur, quod in Ecclesia sunt quidam parvuli rudes. Per discipulos perfecti significantur; unde tales dedignantur cum vident parvulos, scilicet istos rudes, venire ad Christum, ignorantes quod omnes homines vult salvos fieri. Apostolus, Rom. I, 14: Graecis et barbaris debitor sum.
1575. And the disciples rebuked them. Here the disciples’ zeal is touched upon. But why did they rebuke them? Because they thought that he, as a true man, was tired out by a large attendance of men; for this reason, wishing to spare his labor, etc. Another reason, because they had a great opinion of Christ, so it seemed to them that it was disrespectful for little children to approach him. Origen: because by this is signified that there are in the Church certain little, unrefined ones. The perfect are signified by the disciples. Hence such men are disdainful when they see the little ones, namely the unrefined ones, come to Christ, not knowing that he wishes all men to be saved. The Apostle: to the Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, I am a debtor (Rom 1:14).
1576. Consequenter utrisque satisfacit. Et
1576. Next, he satisfies both. And
primo zelo iustitiae;
first, the zeal for justice;
secundo satisfacit devotioni offerentium.
second, he satisfies the devotion of those offering the children.
1577. Dicit ergo sinite parvulos venire ad me, idest humiles, sive paucos; I ad Cor. XIV, 20: nolite parvuli esse sensibus, sed malitia parvuli estote. Et nolite prohibere, scilicet paucos propter innocentiam. Non enim sunt prohibendi imperfecti venire ad perfectionem. Talium est enim regnum caelorum. Dicit talium, non horum, scilicet qui ita sunt puri per innocentiam. Supra XVIII, 3: nisi efficiamini sicut parvulus iste, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum. Iob XXII, 29: qui humiliatus fuerit, erit in gloria.
1577. He says then, allow the little children to come to me, i.e., the humble, or the little; brethren, do not become children in sense: but in malice be children (1 Cor 14:20). And do not forbid them, namely those who are little through innocence. For the imperfect should not be forbidden to come to perfection. For the kingdom of heaven is for such. He says, for such, not of these, namely those who are children this way through innocence. Above, unless you be converted, and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:3). For he who has been humbled, shall be in glory (Job 22:29).
1578. Consequenter devotioni satisfacit cum imposuisset eis manus. Per quod virtutes confortat. Is. XL, 29: qui dat lasso virtutem.
1578. Next, he satisfies their devotion: and when he had imposed hands upon them, through which he supports their strength. It is he who gives strength to the weary (Isa 40:29).
Abiit inde. Aliquando Christus apponit manus, et non abiit inde: aliquando apponit, et abiit, quia aliqui ita fortes sunt, quod non retrocedunt. Et vocavit Petrum et Andream, et mansit cum eis, Io. I, 38 ss. Quia igitur isti adhuc imperfecti erant, nec habiles ad sequendum, ideo abiit inde.
He departed from there. Sometimes Christ lays a hand on and does not depart from there; sometimes he lays a hand on and does depart, because some are so steadfast that they do not fall away. And he called Peter and Andrew, and remained with them (John 1:38). Therefore, since they were still imperfect, nor suited for following him, he departed from there.
1579. Et ecce unus accedens et cetera. Hic agit de perfectione paupertatis; et quia duplex est via, via communis, et specialis, ut est continentia: via prima est via salutis, secunda perfectionis: ideo
1579. And behold one came. Here he treats of the perfection of poverty, and that there are two ways, the common way and the special way, as is abstinence. The first way is the way of salvation, the second the way of perfection. Therefore,
primo de prima,
first, he treats of the first;
secundo de secunda.
second, of the second.
primo ponitur interrogatio;
first, a questioning is set down;
secundo Christi responsio;
second, Christ’s response;
tertio responsionis expositio.
third, an explanation of the response.
1580. Interrogatio ponitur et ecce unus accedens ait illi: Magister bone.
1580. The questioning is set down: and behold one came and said to him: good Master.
De isto diversa est opinio, quia Hieronymus dicit quod erat perversus corde: et hoc patet, quia abiit tristis; unde si bono corde accessisset, non abiisset tristis. Chrysostomus dicit quod a passione avaritiae detinebatur; ideo ferre non potuit: et hoc patet, quia non causa tentandi venit; quia quando aliqui veniebant ad Iesum causa tentandi, Dominus semper respondebat eorum malitiae: ut quid me tentatis? Vel huiusmodi; sed nullum ponit hic. Unde patet, quod non tentator erat, sed imperfectus, qui ad Deum accedebat, ut perficeretur; Ps. XXXIII, 6: accedite ad eum et illuminamini.
There are different opinions about this man, for Jerome says that he was corrupt at heart; and this is clear, because he went away sad. Hence if he had approached with a good heart, he would not have gone away sad. Chrysostom says that he was hindered by the passion of avarice; therefore he could not bear the Lord’s words. And this is clear, because he did not come in order to tempt the Lord; for when men came to Jesus to tempt him, the Lord always responded to their malice by saying, why do you tempt me? or something of the kind; but he sets down nothing of that sort here. Hence it is clear that the one who approached God that he might be made perfect was not a tempter, but imperfect. Come to him and be enlightened (Ps 33:6).
Magister bone et cetera. Vocat eum Magistrum, quasi scientem: talis enim debet esse magister, qui sciat. Item vocat bonum: de ratione boni est se communicare; unde Sap. VII, 13: sine invidia communico. Ipse enim vere bonus est; Ps. CXVIII, 68: bonus es tu, et in bonitate tua doce me iustificationes tuas. Quid boni faciam, ut habeam vitam aeternam? Audierat multa de vita aeterna. Bene audierat, Ps. XXXVI, 27: declina a malo, et fac bonum; sed in lege non audierat promitti vitam aeternam, sed temporalia tantum. Is. I, 19: bona terrae comedetis.
Good Master, what good should I do. He calls him Master, as though one who knows: for a master should be the sort of man who knows. Likewise, he called him good: it belongs to the notion of the good to communicate itself; hence, which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy (Wis 7:13). For he is truly good; you are good; and in your goodness teach me your justifications (Ps 118:68). What good should I do that I may have life everlasting? He had heard many things about eternal life. He had heard well, decline from evil and do good (Ps 36:27); but in the law he had not heard that eternal life was promised, but temporal things only. You shall eat the good things of the land (Isa 1:19).
1581. Qui dicit ei, quid me interrogas? Hic ponit responsionem. Primo respondet, ut in Marco habetur, quid me dicis bonum? Hic autem quid me interrogas? Utrumque potest intelligi.
1581. He said to him: why do you ask me? Here he sets out the response. First, he responds, as is had in Mark, why do you call me good? (Mark 10:18). But here, why do you ask me? It can be understood either way.
Sed quod Matthaeus dicit quid me interrogas? Non habet calumniam; secundum vero id quod dicit Marcus, assumpserunt Ariani errorem, dicentes quod Pater est bonus per essentiam, Filius per participationem; ideo ponebant Filium inaequalem Patri.
But what Matthew says, why do you ask me? does not have a wrong interpretation; but following what Mark says, the Arians took up an error, saying that the Father is good by essence, and the Son by participation; therefore, they posited that the Son is not equal to the Father.
Sed notandum quod dicit: unus est bonus Deus. Sed nomine Dei Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus intelligitur: unde ab hoc excluditur alia creatura, quia non per essentiam bona est.
But one should notice that he says, one is good, God. But the name of God indicates the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence other creatures are excluded, because they are not good by essence.
1582. Sed quare respondet sic? Dicit Hieronymus quod respondet ad mentem ipsius, qui illam bonitatem commendabat, quae solet esse in homine; quia magis adhaerebant traditionibus hominum quam Dei, sicut supra XV, 6 dicitur: irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditiones vestras. Ideo reprehendit eum, quia petebat ab eo tamquam ab homine bono, non autem tamquam a Deo.
1582. But why does he respond this way? Jerome says that he responds to his mind, for he commended that goodness which is usually in men; for they clung more to the traditions of men than of God, as it says above, you have made void the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition (Matt 15:6). For this reason, he reproached him, because he asked of him as though of a good man, but not as though of God.
Sed quid est quod dicit quid me interrogas de bono? Hoc dicit tamquam cognoscens eius affectum, quia non habebat animum ad obediendum bono, et omne bonum temporale est imperfectum et umbra respectu boni divini; Is. LXIV, 6: omnes iustitiae vestrae tamquam pannus menstruatae. Unde omnia ista bona sunt a Deo; ideo si vis habere ea, pete ab eo: ipse enim solus est bonus; Ps. CXXXV, v. 1: confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus. Ideo recurre ad Deum.
But why does he say, why do you ask me concerning good? He says this as though aware of his emotions, that his soul was not ready to submit to the good, and every temporal good is imperfect and a shadow with respect to the divine good; and all our justices as the rag of a menstruous woman (Isa 64:6). Hence all these good things are from God, so if you wish to have them, ask of him; for he alone is good; praise the Lord, for he is good (Ps 135:1). Therefore, have recourse to God.
1583. Si vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata. Quidam enim habent vitam imperfectam, quidam perfectam et quidam totaliter extra vitam sunt, ut qui in peccato sunt, vel infideles, quia iustus ex fide vivit, Hebr. X, 38. Quidam igitur habent vitam inchoatam et imperfectam, ut iusti in hoc mundo; illi vero perfectam, qui iam sunt in vita aeterna; unde si vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata, quia introducitur homo per mandata. Ez. XX, 11: dedi eis mandata mea, et iudicia mea ostendi eis.
1583. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments. For some have imperfect life, some perfect life, and some are entirely outside of life, such as those who are in sin, or unbelievers, for my just man lives by faith (Heb 10:38). So some have a beginning and imperfect life, as do the just in this world; but those who are in eternal life have perfect life; hence, if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments, because a man is brought in through the commandments. And I gave them my statutes, and I showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he will live in them (Ezek 20:11).
Sed numquid mandata sufficiebant ad salutem? Dico quod non, nisi ex fide Mediatoris, et caritate; unde Apostolus ad Gal. II, 21: si ex lege est iustitia, ergo frustra mortuus est Christus. Item Prov. VII, 2: serva mandata mea, et vives.
But were the commandments enough for salvation? I say not, except on the basis of faith in the Mediator, and charity; hence the Apostle: for if justice be by the law, then Christ died in vain (Gal 2:21). Also, keep my commandments, and you shall live (Prov 7:2).
1584. Dicit illi, quae? Sequitur responsionis expositio, in qua mandata replicat. Et primo ponit mandata; secundo radicem, ibi ‘diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum.’
1584. He said to him: which? There follows the explanation of the response, in which he repeats the commandments. And first, he sets out the commandments; second, the root, at ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’
Dicit ergo Iesus autem dixit: ‘non homicidium facies’ et cetera. Et quare non facit mentionem de mandatis primae tabulae? Quia pronum videbat ad dilectionem Dei, ideo non fuit necesse. Item haec sunt praevia ad dilectionem. Et primo ponit negativum; secundo affirmativum. Primo incipit a maiori ‘non homicidium facies’, quod est contra vitam in actu; ‘non adulterabis’, quod est contra vitam in potentia; ‘non furtum facies’, quod est contra bona personae; ‘non falsum testimonium dices’, quod est contra personam. Item affirmativum ponit: ‘honora patrem.’
It says then, and Jesus said: ‘do not murder.’ And why did not he mention the commandments of the first tablet? Because he seemed inclined toward the love of God, so it was not necessary. Also, these commandments lead the way toward love. And first, he sets out the negative; second, the affirmative. First, he begins from what is greater: ‘do not murder’, which is against an actual life; ‘do not commit adultery’, which is against a potential life; ‘do not steal’, which is against a person’s goods; ‘do not bear false witness’, which is against a person. Likewise, sets out an affirmative: ‘honor your father.’