Desponsatio ad Christum
Espousals to Christ
11:1 Utinam sustineretis modicum quid insipientiae meae, sed et supportare me: [n. 371]
11:1 Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me. [n. 371]
11:2 aemulor enim vos Dei aemulatione. Despondi enim vos uni viro, virginem castam exhibere Christo. [n. 374]
11:2 For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. [n. 374]
11:3 Timeo autem ne sicut serpens Hevam seduxit astutia sua, ita corrumpantur sensus vestri, et excidant a simplicitate, quae est in Christo. [n. 378]
11:3 But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ. [n. 378]
371. Postquam Apostolus excusavit se de his quae falso imponebantur sibi a pseudo, hic consequenter, ut confutet eos, scilicet pseudo, et reddat auctoritatem suam honorabilem, commendat se Corinthiis.
371. After defending himself against the false charges placed against him by the false apostles, the Apostle, in order to refute them, that is, the false apostles, and render his own testimony more honorable, now commends himself to the Corinthians.
Circa hoc autem duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things.
Primo rationem suae commendationis assignat;
First, he assigns the reason for his commendation;
secundo ponit suam commendationem, ibi in quo quis audet, et cetera.
second, he makes the commendation, at wherein if any man dares.
Circa primum tria facit.
In regard to the first he does three things.
Primo petit ut eius insipientia supportetur;
First, he asks that they bear with his foolishness;
secundo subdit necessitatem suae commendationis, ut non insipiens videatur, ibi aemulor enim vos, etc.;
second, he states why he must commend himself in order not to seem foolish, at for I am jealous;
tertio innuit quod dato quod sit insipiens, supportare debent, ibi iterum dico ne quis, et cetera.
third, he suggests that, granted he is foolish, they should bear with it, at again I say (let no man think me to be foolish).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo praemittit suum desiderium, ut petitio sua facilius exaudiatur;
First, he mentions his desire so that his request may be easier to grant;
secundo ponit suam petitionem, ibi sed et supportate me.
second, he makes the request, at but do bear with me.
372. Desiderium autem Apostoli est, ut Corinthii sustineant apostolum commendantem se. Et ideo per adverbium optandi incipit dicens utinam sustineretis, et cetera.
372. The Apostle’s desire is that the Corinthians bear with him as he commends himself; therefore he begins with an optative expression: would to God you could bear with some little of my folly!
Circa quod sciendum est, quod praecepta moralia sunt de agendis, quae cum sint particularia et variabilia, non possunt determinari una communi ratione et regula indefinite, sed oportet quandoque praeter regulam communem aliquid facere in aliquo casu emergente. Quando autem hoc modo fit aliquid praeter communem regulam, sapientes, qui causam huius considerant, non turbantur, nec reputant insipienter factum esse. Indiscreti vero et minus sapientes non considerantes ex qua causa hoc ita fiat, turbantur et reputant stulte factum fore; sicut patet, quia praeceptum morale est non occides, aliquando tamen necesse est malos occidere. Et quando hoc fit, sapientes commendant vel non reputant male factum. Stulti autem et haeretici damnant, dicentes hoc esse male factum.
In regard to this it should be noted that the moral precepts deal with actions which, since they are particular and variable, cannot be confined within the limits of one general reason and rule with no exceptions. But sometimes it is necessary to do something beside the common rule in some case that crops up. But when something is done beside the common rule in this way, wise men, who consider the cause of it, are not troubled and do not think it was done foolishly. For example, the moral precept forbids killing, but sometimes it is necessary to kill evil men. When this is done, wise men commend it or do not think it was wicked to have done so, but the undiscerning and less wise, not considering the cause why one acted in this manner, are disturbed and think it was foolish to do. So when the wicked are killed, fools and heretics condemn it, saying it was a wicked thing to do.
Quia ergo communis lex moralis est quod homo non commendet seipsum, secundum quod dicitur Prov. XXVII, 2: laudet te alienus, etc., potest fieri in aliquo casu praeter hanc communem regulam ut homo commendet se, et laudabiliter hoc facit, et tamen indiscreti hoc reputant insipientiam. Unde cum immineret casus quo Apostolus deberet se commendare, hortatur eos ad hoc quod istud non reputent ei ad insipientiam, dicens utinam sustineretis, scilicet patienter, modicum insipientiae meae, supportando me.
Therefore, because the common law is that a man should not commend himself, as it is said: let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips (Prov 27:2), it could happen in some case beside this common rule, that a man commends himself and is acting praiseworthily; nevertheless, the undiscerning regard it as folly. Therefore, since the Apostle was confronted with a case in which he should commend himself, he urges them not to lay it to his folly, saying, would to God you could bear with some little of my folly!
Et dicit modicum, quia si commendaret se sine causa, esset maxima insipientia. Et iterum, si commendaret se ex causa omnino urgente, tunc nihil esset ibi insipientiae. Sed quia commendat se, licet ex causa non tamen omnino urgente, cum alio modo posset confutare pseudo, et quia commendat se multum, videtur ibi esse aliquid insipientiae, et hoc est, quod dicit modicum insipientiae meae. Infra XII, 11: factus sum insipiens, et cetera.
He says, little, because were he to commend himself without cause, it would be the utmost folly. Again, if he commended himself for a reason entirely urgent, then there would be no folly involved. But because he is commending himself for a reason not altogether urgent, since he could refute the false apostles in some other way, and because he is commending himself very much, there seems to be some folly there; and that is what he says, some little of my folly: I have become foolish. You have compelled me (2 Cor 12:11).
373. Et licet sic sim insipiens, tamen supportate me. Et hoc debent facere, quia subditi debent supportare praelatos, et e converso. Gal. VI, 2: alter alterius onera, et cetera. Eph. IV, v. 2: supportantes invicem in caritate.
373. But although I am foolish, do bear with me. And they should do this because subjects should uphold their prelates and vice versa. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2); forbearing one another in love (Eph 4:2).
374. Necessitatem autem commendationis ostendit, dicens aemulor, et cetera. Et
374. Then, saying, I am jealous, he shows the need for this commendation.
circa hoc tria facit.
In regard to this he does three things.
Primo ostendit huiusmodi commendationem provenire ex zelo, ut excludat insipientiam;
First, he shows that a commendation of this sort springs from zeal, to exclude folly;
secundo dicit hunc zelum non esse inordinatum, ut vitet indiscretionem, ibi timeo autem, etc.;
second, he says that this zeal is not irregular, to avoid indiscretion, at but I fear;
tertio excludit eorum excusationem, ibi nam si is qui venit, et cetera.
third, he rejects their excuse, at for if he who comes (2 Cor 11:4).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo ponit zelum, quem habet ad eos, sanctum, quia Dei;
First, he mentions the holy zeal he has for them;
secundo ostendit causam huius zeli, quia incumbebat sibi ex officio, ibi despondi vos, et cetera.
second, the cause of this zeal, because his office obliged him, at I have espoused you.
375. Est ergo zelus sanctus, quia aemulor vos, id est diligo vos ferventer, Dei aemulatione, id est ad honorem Dei, non meum.
375. His zeal, therefore, is holy, because I am jealous of you, i.e., I love you fervently, with the jealousy of God, i.e., to God’s honor, not mine.
Circa quod nota, quod aemulatio, prout est idem quod zelus, non aliud est quam quidam motus animi bonus vel malus, tendentis in statum proximi, et importat fervorem amoris. Et ideo consuevit sic definiri: zelus est amor intensus non patiens consortium in amato. Et si quidem non patiatur consortium in aliquo bono, puta vitii vel alicuius imperfectionis, sed singulariter illud solus vult habere, tunc zelus est bonus et aemulatio bona, de qua dicitur I Cor. XII, 31: aemulamini charismata, et cetera. Gal. IV, 18: aemulamini bonum in bono, et cetera. III Reg. XVII: zelo zelatus, et cetera. Ps. LXVIII, 10: zelus domus tuae, et cetera. Si vero non patiatur consortium in aliqua excellentia vel in aliqua prosperitate mundi, quia aliquis singulariter vult eam sibi, tunc zelus est malus et aemulatio mala.
In regard to this it should be noted that jealousy taken as being the same as zeal is nothing more than a good or evil movement of the spirit concerning itself with the state of one’s neighbor, and implies a fervor of love. Consequently, zeal is an intense love that does not permit any sharing of the beloved. If it does not permit any sharing of an evil, say of a vice or some imperfection, but it alone wishes to have the beloved exclusively, then the zeal is good and the jealousy good. Thus it is said: but earnestly desire the higher gifts (1 Cor 12:31); for a good purpose it is always good to be made much of (Gal 4:18); I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts (1 Kgs 19:10); for zeal for your house has consumed me (Ps 69:10). But if it does not allow a sharing in something excellent or in some worldly prosperity, because someone wants it all for himself, then the zeal is evil and the jealousy evil.
Hoc autem bono zelo, seu aemulatione, aliquando quis aemulatur alios pro se, sicut vir zelatur pro uxore sua, quam sibi soli vult servari. Aliquando vero zelatur aliquis pro alio, sicut eunuchus zelatur uxorem Domini sui, ut custodiat eam sibi. Sic Apostolus populum suum, quem videbat paratum ad praecipitium, et cum sponso Christo velle prostitui diabolo, aemulabatur, ne Christus sponsus verus in eis aliquod diaboli consortium pateretur. Et ideo dicit Dei aemulatione, quasi dicat: non pro me sed Christo, qui est sponsus. Io. IX, 29: qui habet sponsam, sponsus est. III Reg. XIX, 10, 14: zelo zelatus sum pro Domino, et cetera.
Now sometimes someone is jealous on his own behalf with this good zeal, or jealousy, as when a man is zealous concerning his wife, whom he wishes to keep for himself. But sometimes someone is zealous on another’s behalf, as a eunuch is zealous concerning his master’s wife so that his master may keep her for himself. This is the way the Apostle was jealous on behalf of his people, whom he saw prepared for a fall and, although espoused to Christ, wished to be prostituted to the devil. Consequently, he would not permit Christ, the true spouse, to suffer their being shared with the devil; hence he says, with the jealousy of God. As if to say: not for me but for Christ, who is the spouse: he who has the bride is the bridegroom (John 3:29); I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts (1 Kgs 19:10).
376. Unde autem apostolo incumbebat huiusmodi aemulatio, ostendit, dicens despondi enim vos, etc., quasi diceret: merito vos aemulor Dei aemulatione, quia ego sum paranymphus huius matrimonii, quod est inter vos et Christum, quia ego despondi vos, id est feci sponsalia, quae sunt per fidem et caritatem. Os. II, 20: sponsabo te mihi, et cetera. Et ideo pertinet ad me custodire vos. Quicumque ergo convertit populum ad fidem et ad iustitiam, despondet eum Christo.
376. Then he shows from what source the responsibility to be zealous arose, when he says: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. As if to say: it is proper for me to be jealous for you with the jealousy of God, because I am the groomsman of this wedding between you and Christ, i.e., I effected the espousals made by faith and charity: I will betroth you to me in faithfulness (Hos 2:20). Therefore, it is my duty to protect you. So whoever converts the people by faith and charity, espouses them to Christ.
Despondi, inquam, non multis, quia quae multis adhaeret, polluitur. Ier. III, 1: tu autem polluta es, et cetera. Sed uni Christo, scilicet viro perfecto virtutis plenitudine. Zach. VI, v. 12: oriens nomen eius. Ier. XXXI, 22: novum faciet dominus super terram, et cetera. Et dicitur Christus vir unus quia singularis, et quantum ad modum conceptionis, et quantum ad modum nascendi, et quantum ad gratiae plenitudinem. Eccle. VII, 29: unum de mille, et cetera. Isti, inquam, viro despondi vos exhibere virginem.
I have espoused you, I say, not to many, because she who adheres to many is defiled: you have played the harlot with many lovers (Jer 3:1), but to one husband, Christ, that is, to a perfect man filled with the virtues: the Orient is his name (Zech 6:12). Christ is called one husband because he is unique both as to the manner of conception, and as to the fullness of grace: one man among a thousand I found (Eccl 7:28). To that husband, I say, I have espoused you to present you as a chaste virgin.
377. Nota quod a plurali ad singulare descendit, dicens desponsavi vos in plurali, et exhibere virginem in singulari, volens ostendere quod ex omnibus fidelibus fit unum corpus et una Ecclesia, quae debet esse virgo in omnibus membris suis, et ideo dicit virginem castam. In omnibus enim accipitur virginitas pro integritate corporis, castitas pro integritate mentis. Nam aliquando aliqua est virgo corpore, quae non est casta mente.
377. Note that he passes from the plural, I have betrothed you, that is, you all, to the singular, to present you as a pure bride, thus showing that from all the faithful is formed one body and one Church, which ought to be a virgin in all its members, and hence he says as a chaste virgin. For in all, virginity is taken for bodily integrity and chastity for mental integrity; for sometimes a person is a virgin in body, but not chaste in mind.
Sic Ecclesia exhibet se Christo virginem, quando perseverat in fide, et infra sacramenta absque corruptione alicuius idololatriae et infidelitatis. Ez. XVI, 25: ad omne caput viae aedificasti signum, et cetera. Castam exhibet se quando existens infra sacramenta et in fide Christi, exhibet puritatem corporis et operis. Eph. V, 27: ut exhiberet sibi gloriosam Ecclesiam, non habentem maculam, neque rugam, et cetera.
Thus the Church shows herself a virgin when she perseveres in the faith and the sacraments without being corrupted by idolatry and unbelief. At the head of every street you built your lofty place and prostituted your beauty (Ezek 16:25). She shows herself chaste when, persevering in the sacraments and in the faith of Christ, she presents herself pure in body and in work. That he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:27).