Qualities of charity
13:4 Caritas patiens est, benigna est. [n. 771] Caritas non aemulatur, non agit perperam, non inflatur, [n. 774]
13:4 Charity is patient, is kind: [n. 771] charity envies not, deals not perversely, is not puffed up, [n. 774]
13:5 non est ambitiosa, non quaerit quae sua sunt, non irritatur, non cogitat malum, [n. 778]
13:5 Is not ambitious, seeks not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil: [n. 778]
13:6 non gaudet super iniquitate, [n. 782] congaudet autem veritati: [n. 783]
13:6 Rejoices not in iniquity, [n. 782] but rejoices with the truth: [n. 783]
13:7 omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia sustinet. [n. 785]
13:7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [n. 785]
771. Postquam Apostolus ostendit caritatem esse adeo necessariam, quod sine ea nullum spirituale donum sufficiat ad salutem, hic ostendit eam adeo esse utilem et efficacis virtutis, quod per eam cuncta opera virtutis implentur. Et
771. After showing that charity is so necessary that without it no spiritual gifts are sufficient for salvation, the Apostle now shows that it is so useful and of such efficacious strength that through it all virtuous works are completed.
primo praemittit duo quasi generalia;
First, he makes two quasi-general statements;
secundo subiungit in speciali virtutum opera, quae per caritatem complentur, ibi caritas non aemulatur, et cetera.
second, he mentions in particular the virtuous works which are completed by charity, at charity envies not.
772. Circa primum duo facit. Nam omnis virtus consistit in hoc quod aliquis in operando bene se habeat in sustinendo mala, vel in operando bona.
772. In regard to the first he does two things. For every virtue consists in this, that in acting, one is well disposed for enduing evil things, or in accomplishing good things.
Quantum ergo ad tolerantiam malorum, dicit caritas patiens est, id est facit patienter tolerari mala. Cum enim homo diligit aliquem propter eius amorem, de facili tolerat quaecumque difficilia; et similiter qui diligit Deum, propter eius amorem patienter tolerat quaecumque adversa. Unde et Cant. VIII, 7 dicitur: aquae multae non poterunt extinguere caritatem, nec flumina obruent eam. Iac. I, 4: patientia opus perfectum habet.
Therefore, in regard to enduring evil he says, charity is patient, i.e., makes one endure evils patiently. For when a man loves someone on account of the beloved’s love, he endures all difficulties with ease; similarly, a person who loves God patiently endures any adversity for love of him. Hence it is said: many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it (Song 8:7); patience has a perfect work (Jas 1:4).
773. Quantum autem ad operationem bonorum, subdit benigna est; benignitas autem dicitur quasi bona igneitas, ut scilicet sicut ignis liquefaciendo effluere facit, ita caritas hoc efficit, ut bona quae homo habet, non sibi soli retineat, sed ad alios derivet, secundum illud Prov. V, 16: deriventur fontes tui foras, et in plateis aquas tuas divide. Quod quidem caritas facit. Unde I Io. III, 17 dicitur: qui habuerit substantiam huius mundi, et viderit fratrem suum necesse habere, et clauserit viscera sua ab eo, quomodo caritas Dei manet in eo? Unde et Eph. IV, 32 dicitur: estote invicem benigni et misericordes. Et Sap. I, 6 dicitur: benignus est spiritus sapientiae.
773. But as to performing good works, he adds: is kind; benignity is described as ‘a good fire,’ so that just as fire by melting metal makes it flow, so charity inclines a person not to keep the good things he has, but makes them flow to others: let your springs be scattered abroad, and streams of water in the streets (Prov 5:16), and this is what charity does: hence, it is said: if anyone has the world’s goods and sees a brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide him? (1 John 3:17). Hence, it is also said: be kind and merciful to one another (Eph 4:32); wisdom is kindly spirit (Wis 1:6).
774. Deinde cum dicit caritas non aemulatur, etc., proponit in speciali virtutum opera, quae caritas efficit, et quia ad virtutem duo pertinent, scilicet abstinere a malo et facere bonum, secundum illud Ps. XXXIII, v. 15: declina a malo, et fac bonum, et Is. c. I, 16 s.: quiescite agere perverse, discite benefacere.
774. Then when he says, charity envies not, he mentions in particular the virtuous works which charity produces, and because two things pertain to a virtue, namely, to refrain from evil and to do good: depart from evil and do good (Ps 34:14); cease to do evil, learn to do good (Isa 1:16).
Primo ostendit quomodo caritas facit omnia mala vitare; secundo quomodo facit omnia bona efficere, ibi congaudet autem veritati, et cetera.
First, he shows how charity avoids all evil; second, how it accomplishes the good, at but rejoices with the truth.
Malum autem efficaciter non potest homo Deo facere, sed solum sibi et proximo, secundum illud Iob XXXV, 6: si peccaveris, quid ei nocebis? Et postea subditur: homini qui similis tui est, nocebit impietas tua. Primo ergo ostendit quomodo per caritatem vitantur mala, quae sunt contra proximum; secundo quomodo vitantur mala, quibus aliquis deordinatur in seipso, ibi non inflatur, et cetera.
But man cannot do evil effectively to God, but only to himself and to his neighbor: if you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? (Job 35:6); your wickedness concerns a man like yourself (Job 35:8). First, therefore, he shows how charity avoids evils against one’s neighbor; second, how evils are avoided by which someone is disarranged in himself, at is not puffed up.
775. Malum autem quod est contra proximum, potest esse in affectu et in effectu. In affectu autem praecipue est, cum per invidiam quis dolet de bonis proximi, quod directe contrariatur caritati, ad quam pertinet quod homo diligat proximum sicut seipsum, ut habetur Lev. XIX, 18. Et ideo ad caritatem pertinet, ut sicut homo gaudet de bonis propriis, ita gaudeat de bonis proximi. Ex quo sequitur quod caritas excludat invidiam. Et hoc est quod dicit caritas non aemulatur, id est non invidet, quia scilicet facit cavere invidiam. Unde et in Ps. XXXVI, 1 dicitur: noli aemulari in malignantibus. Et Prov. c. XXIII, 17: non aemuletur cor tuum peccatores.
775. Evil against one’s neighbor can exist in the will or emotions and externally. It exists in the former, especially when a person through envy grieves over his neighbor’s good. This is directly contrary to charity which inclines a person to love his neighbor as himself (Lev 19:18). Hence it pertains to charity that just as a person rejoices in his own goods, so he should rejoice in the goods of his neighbor. It follows from this that charity excludes envy. And this is what he says: charity envies not. Hence it is said: do not be envious of wrongdoers (Ps 37:1); do not let your heart envy sinners (Prov 23:17).
Quantum ad effectum, subdit non agit perperam, id est perverse contra aliquem. Nullus enim iniuste agit contra illum quem diligit sicut seipsum. Is. I, 16: quiescite agere perverse.
As to the outward effect he adds: deals not perversely, i.e., perversely, against anyone. For no one deals unjustly against one he loves: cease to do evil (Isa 1:16).
776. Deinde cum dicit non inflatur etc., ostendit quomodo caritas facit vitare mala, quibus aliquis deordinatur in seipso. Et
776. Then when he says, is not puffed up, he shows that charity makes one avoid evils by which one is disarranged in himself.
primo quantum ad passiones,
First, as to passions;
secundo quantum ad electionem, ibi non cogitat malum.
second, as to choice, at thinks no evil.
777. Ostendit ergo primo quod caritas repellit inordinatam passionem, quantum ad tria.
777. Therefore, he first shows that charity drives away inordinate passions in regard to three things.
Primo quidem quantum ad superbiam, quae est inordinatus appetitus propriae excellentiae. Tunc autem inordinate suam excellentiam quis appetit, quando non sufficit ei contineri in eo gradu, qui sibi est a Deo praestitus. Et ideo dicitur Eccli. X, 14: initium superbiae hominis, apostatare a Deo. Quod quidem fit, dum homo non vult contineri sub regula ordinationis divinae. Et hoc repugnat caritati, qua quis super omnia Deum diligit. Col. II, 18 s.: inflatus sensu carnis suae, et non tenens caput, et cetera.
First, indeed, as to pride, which is a disarranged desire for one’s own excellence. One seeks his own excellence in a disarranged manner, when it does not satisfy him to be contained in that station which has been established for him by God. Therefore it is said: the beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord (Sir 10:12). This happens when a man does not wish to be contained under the rule of God’s arrangement. And this is opposed to charity, by which one loves God above all things: puffed up without reason by this sensuous mind and not holding fast to the head (Col 2:18).
Recte autem superbia inflationi comparatur. Nam id quod inflatur, non habet solidam magnitudinem, sed apparentem; ita superbi videntur quidem esse sibi magni, cum tamen vera magnitudine careant, quae non potest esse absque ordine divino. Sap. IV, v. 19: dirumpet illos inflatos sine voce.
It is right to compare pride to arrogance. For that which is puffed up does not have solidity but its appearance; so the proud seem to themselves to be great, while they really lack true greatness, which cannot exist without the divine order: he will dash them speechless to the ground (Wis 4:19).
778. Est autem principalis superbiae filia, ambitio, per quam aliquis quaerit praeesse; quam etiam caritas excludit, quae potius proximis eligit ministrare, secundum illud Gal. V, 13: per caritatem spiritus servite invicem. Et ideo subdit non est ambitiosa, id est, facit hominem ambitionem vitare. Eccli. VII, 4: noli quaerere ab homine ducatum, neque a rege cathedram honoris.
778. The chief daughter of pride is ambition, through which one seeks to be foremost; which charity also excludes, seeking rather to serve: through love be servants of one another (Gal 5:13). Therefore, he adds: is not ambitious, i.e., makes a man avoid ambition: do not seek from the Lord the highest office nor the seat of honor from the king (Sir 7:4).
779. Secundo, ostendit quomodo caritas excludit inordinationem cupiditatis, cum dicit non quaerit quae sua sunt, ut intelligatur cum praecisione, id est neglectis bonis aliorum. Nam qui diligit alios sicut seipsum, bona aliorum quaerit sicut et sui ipsius. Unde et supra X, 33 Apostolus dixit non quaerens quod mihi utile est, sed quod multis, ut salvi fiant. Contra quod de quibusdam dicitur Phil. II, 21: omnes quae sua sunt quaerunt, non quae Iesu Christi.
779. Second, he shows how charity excludes the disorder of cupidity, when he says: seeks not her own. This is understood precisely, i.e., it does not neglect the good of others. For one who loves others as himself seeks the good of others just as his own. Hence the Apostle said above: not seeking my own advantage, but that of many (1 Cor 10:33). Against which it is said of some: they all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (Phil 2:21).
Potest et aliter intelligi non quaerit quae sua sunt, id est, non repetit ea quae sunt sibi ablata, scilicet in iudicio cum scandalo: quia magis amat salutem proximi, quam pecuniam, secundum illud Phil. ult.: non quaero datum, sed requiro fructum abundantem in iustitia vestra. Quod tamen qualiter intelligendum sit, supra VI dictum est.
It is possible to understand in another way that charity seeks not her own, i.e., it does not seek the return of what has been taken from it, namely, in a court case with scandal; because he loves the salvation of his neighbor more than money: not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit (Phil 4:17).
780. Tertio, ostendit quomodo caritas excludat inordinationem irae, dicens non irritatur, id est non provocatur ad iram.
780. Third, he shows how charity excludes the disorder of anger, saying: it is not provoked to anger, i.e., is not provoked to anger.
Est enim ira inordinatus appetitus vindictae. Ad caritatem autem pertinet magis remittere offensas, quam supra modum aut inordinate vindicare, secundum illud Col. III, v. 13: donantes vobismetipsis, si quis adversus aliquem habet querelam; Iac. I, 20: ira viri iustitiam Dei non operatur.
For anger is an inordinate desire for revenge. But it pertains to charity rather to forgive offenses than to seek revenge beyond measure: forbearing one another, if one has a complaint against another (Col 3:13); the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God (Jas 1:20).
781. Deinde cum dicit non cogitat, etc., ostendit quomodo per caritatem excluditur inordinatio electionis.
781. Then when he says, thinks no evil, he shows how by charity disordered choosing is excluded.
Est autem electio, ut dicitur in III Ethic. appetitus praeconsiliati. Tunc ergo homo peccat ex electione et non ex passione, quando ex consilio rationis affectus eius provocatur ad malum.
Now choice is, as it says in Ethics 3, the desire for what has already been thought about and weighed. Therefore, a man sins from choice and not from passion, when by a plan of his reason his affections are bestirred to evil.
Caritas ergo primo quidem excludit perversitatem consilii. Et ideo dicit non cogitat malum, id est non permittit excogitare quomodo aliquis perficiat malum. Mich. II, 1: vae qui cogitatis inutile, operamini malum in cubilibus vestris. Is. I, 16: auferte malum cogitationum vestrarum ab oculis meis.
Charity, therefore, first of all, excludes perverse counsel. Therefore, he says: charity thinks no evil, i.e., does not permit devising how to complete something evil: woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds (Mic 2:1); remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes (Isa 1:16).
Vel caritas non cogitat malum, quia non permittit hominem per varias suspiciones et temeraria iudicia cogitare malum de proximo. Matth. IX, 4: ut quid cogitatis mala in cordibus vestris?
Or charity thinks no evil, because it does not permit one to think evil about his neighbor by various suspicions and rash judgments: why do you think evil in your hearts? (Matt 9:4).
782. Secundo, caritas excludit inordinatum affectum malorum, cum dicit non gaudet super iniquitate. Ille enim qui ex passione peccat, cum quodam remorsu et dolore peccatum committit; sed ille qui peccat ex electione, gaudet ex hoc ipso quod peccatum committit, secundum illud Prov. II, 14: qui laetantur cum male fecerint, et exultant in rebus pessimis. Hoc autem caritas impedit, inquantum est amor summi boni, cui repugnat omne peccatum.
782. Second, charity excludes an inordinate love for evil; hence he says: rejoices not in iniquity. For one who sins from passion commits sin with some remorse and sorrow, but one who sins from choice rejoices in the fact that he commits sin: you rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perseverance of evil (Prov 2:14). But charity prevents this, inasmuch as it is the love of the supreme good, to whom all sin is obnoxious.
Vel dicit quod caritas non gaudet super iniquitate, scilicet a proximo commissa, quinimo de ea luget, inquantum contrariatur proximorum saluti quam cupit. II Cor. XII, v. 21: ne iterum cum venero humiliet me Deus apud vos, et lugeam multos ex his, qui ante peccaverunt.
Or he says that charity rejoices not in iniquity, namely, committed by a neighbor: in fact it laments over it, inasmuch as it is opposed to our neighbor’s salvation, which it desires: I fear that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned before (2 Cor 12:21).
783. Deinde cum dicit congaudet autem, etc., ostendit quomodo caritas facit operari bonum. Et
783. Then when he says, but rejoices, he shows how charity makes one do the good:
primo quantum ad proximum;
first, as to one’s neighbor;