Cause of delay
2:1 Statui autem hoc ipsum apud me, ne iterum in tristitia venirem ad vos. [n. 48]
2:1 But I determined this with myself, not to come to you again in sorrow. [n. 48]
2:2 Si enim ego contristo vos: et quis est, qui me laetificet, nisi qui contristatur ex me? [n. 50]
2:2 For if I make you sorrowful, who is he then that can make me glad, but the same who is made sorrowful by me? [n. 50]
2:3 Et hoc ipsum scripsi vobis, ut non cum venero, tristitiam super tristitiam habeam, de quibus oportuerat me gaudere: confidens in omnibus vobis, quia meum gaudium, omnium vestrum est. [n. 52]
2:3 And I wrote this same to you: that I may not, when I come, have sorrow upon sorrow from them on account of whom I ought to rejoice: having confidence in you all, because my joy is the joy of you all. [n. 52]
2:4 Nam ex multa tribulatione et angustia cordis scripsi vobis per multas lacrimas: non ut contristemini, sed ut sciatis, quam caritatem habeam abundantius in vobis. [n. 55]
2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote to you with many tears: not that you should be made sorrowful: but that you might know the charity I have more abundantly towards you. [n. 55]
48. Apostolus supra posuit excusationem in generali de mora eundi ad Corinthios, hic vero insinuat causam tantae morae, et quomodo eis pepercit.
48. After giving a general excuse for his delay in visiting the Corinthians, the Apostle now gives the cause of his delay and how he spared them.
Circa hoc autem duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things:
Primo enim insinuat unam causam dilationis fuisse ne in adventu suo tristitiam inferret eis;
first, he mentions that one cause of his delay was that he might not pain them by coming;
secundo ostendit aliam causam fuisse ne fructus quem apud alios sperabat, et inceperat facere, impediretur, ibi cum venissem autem, et cetera.
second, he shows that another cause was that the fruit he hoped for from others and which was beginning to ripen, might not be hindered, at when I had come.
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things:
Primo ostendit causam dilationis esse in communi, ne tristitiam inferret;
first, he shows that the cause of his delay in general was to avoid paining them;
secundo loquitur in speciali de quodam, qui eum contristaverat, ibi si quis autem contristavit me. Circa primum tria facit.
second, he speaks in particular about a certain person who had grieved him, at and if anyone has caused grief. In regard to the first he does three things:
Primo assignat rationem quare venire distulit;
first, he tells why he postponed his visit;
secundo causam dicti assignat si enim ego contristatus, etc.;
second, he gives the reason for his statement, at for if I make you sorrowful;
tertio manifestat quae dixit, ibi nam ex multa tribulatione.
third, he explains what he said, at for out of much affliction.
49. Dicit ergo: dixi quod non veni ad vos parcens vobis, in hoc scilicet quia nolui vos contristari, ideo statui, id est firmiter disposui, hoc ipsum apud me, quod proposui, cum aliam epistolam misi, Eccli. XXXVII, v. 20: ante omnia verbum verum, et cetera. Ne iterum, id est alia vice, in tristitia venirem ad vos, id est vos contristem.
49. He says, therefore: I have said that it was in order not to grieve you that I did not come to you. Therefore, I determined, i.e., firmly prescribed this with myself, what I mentioned when I sent the other letter: reason is the beginning of every work, and counsel precedes every undertaking (Sir 37:16); not to come to you again in sorrow, i.e., not to cause you pain.
Et ratio quare noluit eos contristare est illa qua Dominus noluit ieiunare discipulos suos, scilicet ad hoc, ut amore et non timore afficerentur ad Christum, et iungerentur sibi. Voluit enim eos Dominus firmare et nutrire in fide, in omni dulcedine et desiderio cordis, et sic, firmati ex amore, non de facili avellerentur propter tribulationes, quia aquae multae non potuerunt extinguere caritatem, Cant. VIII, 7. Similiter Apostolus non vult eos propter hoc contristare.
The reason he did not wish to grieve them is the same one whereby the Lord did not wish his disciples to fast, namely, in order that they be drawn to Christ and be joined to him not by fear but by love. For the Lord wished to strengthen and nourish them in the faith in all sweetness and heartfelt desire, so that, being thus established in love, they would not easily turn away from him because of tribulations, for many waters cannot extinguish love (Song 8:7). For the same reason the Apostle does not want to pain them on this account.
50. Rationem huius dicti, scilicet quod non vult eos contristare, assignat cum dicit si enim ego contristo, et cetera.
50. He assigns the reason for what he says, namely, that he does not want to pain them, when he says, for if I make you sorrowful.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things:
Primo assignat causam quare noluit eos contristare;
first, he deals with the reason why he did not wish to pain them;
secundo manifestat quare hoc significet eis, ibi et hoc ipsum scripsi.
second, he shows why he tells them this, at and I wrote this.
51. Dicit ergo: ratio quare nolui in tristitia venire est quia tristitia vestra redundat in tristitiam meam, et de consolatione vestra gaudeo, et solum vos consolamini me, cum sum apud vos; unde, si venirem et contristarem vos, ego ex tristitia vestra tristarer, et sic nullus esset qui laetificaret me inter vos, qui contristamini ex me, quia contristatus non de facili alium consolatur. Prov. c. X, 1: filius sapiens, et cetera. Prov. XXIX, 3: vir qui amat sapientiam, et cetera.
51. He says, therefore: the reason why I did not wish you to fall into sadness was that your sadness pains me, and I rejoice in your consolation; and you only console me when I am with you. Hence, if I had come and pained you, I would be sad at your sadness; then there would be no one among you to gladden me, because you would be sad on my account. For one who is sad does not easily console another person. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother (Prov 10:1); he who loves wisdom makes his father glad (Prov 29:3).
Vel aliter: est duplex tristitia. Una secundum mundum; alia secundum Deum, quae poenitentiam in salutem operatur. Apostolus non loquitur de prima, sed de secunda. Et dicit: ex hoc ipso ego consolabor, si contristo vos, id est, si increpando reduco ad poenitentiam; sed si venirem, et viderem vos non poenitere de peccatis, tunc nullam consolationem haberem, quia nullus contristatur et poenitet ex me, id est, mea correctione et increpatione.
Or in another way, there are two kinds of sadness. One is according to the world, and the other according to God who produces repentance leading to salvation. The Apostle is not speaking of the first, but of the second. He says: I will be consoled if I cause you pain, i.e., if by scolding you I bring you to repentance; but if I had come and seen you unrepentant of your sins, I would have had no consolation, because no one is sad and repentant because of me, i.e., because of my correction and rebuke.
52. Causa autem quare hoc scribo vobis est ut ita disponatis vos quod, quando venero, non habeam tristitiam de eo quod viderim vos incorrectos, super tristitiam quam habui, quando audivi vos peccasse.
52. But the reason I write this to you is that you so adjust yourselves, that when I come, I will not be sad at seeing you uncorrected, in addition to the sadness I experienced when I heard that you had sinned.
Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponit admonitionem; secundo spem de impletione admonitionis ostendit, ibi confidens in omnibus vobis, et cetera.
In regard to this he does two things: first, he gives his admonition; second, he shows his hope in their observance of his admonition, at having confidence in you all.
Admonitio est ista: ideo scripsi vobis hoc, scilicet quod tristor de peccato vestro commisso, II Petr. II, 8: iniquis operibus animam iusti cruciabant, etc., ut paretis et disponatis vos corrigendo, ut cum venero ad vos, non habeam tristitiam de peccatis, de quibus, scilicet vobis, oportuerat me gaudere, id est, debebam laetari et congratulari, scilicet de praesentia vestra. Lc. XV, 10: gaudium est angelis Dei, et cetera.
The admonition is this: I wrote this same to you, namely, that I am pained at the sin you committed: he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds (2 Pet 2:8), in order that you might prepare and arrange yourselves by correction, that I may not, when I come, have sorrow upon sorrow, on account of sins, from them, namely, from you, on account of whom I ought to rejoice, i.e., I ought to rejoice and be glad in your presence. There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10).
Qualem autem spem habeat de impletione suae admonitionis, subdit, dicens: confidens de omnibus vobis, etc.; quasi dicat: hanc fiduciam habeo de vobis taliter disponi vos, ut cum venero, omnes detis mihi materiam gaudii. Et hoc debetis libenter facere, quia gaudium meum, etc., id est cedit ad gaudium vestrum, vel est propter gaudium vestrum, quod habetis de recuperatione gratiae. I Tim. II: quod est gaudium meum et cetera. Rom. XII, 15: gaudere cum gaudentibus, et cetera.
The confidence he had that they would follow his admonition is indicated when he says, having confidence in you all. As if to say: I have this confidence in you, that you will be so disposed, that when I come, all of you will give me reason for joy; and you should do this cheerfully, because my joy is the joy of you all, i.e., it would contribute to your joy, or it is for the sake of your joy, which you have from the recovery of grace. Rejoice with those who rejoice (Rom 12:15)
53. Sed quia posset aliquis dubitare de hoc, quod dicit ne, cum venero, tristitiam super tristitiam habeam, et quaerere quam tristitiam habuit de eis, ideo consequenter hoc exponit, dicens nam ex multa tribulatione, et cetera.
53. But because someone might be in doubt at his saying, that I may not, when I come, have sorrow upon sorrow, and ask what sort of sorrow he had for them, he explains this saying, for out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote to you.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things:
Primo manifestat tristitiam iamdudum habitam;
first, he mentions the pain he has already suffered;
secundo respondet cuidam tacitae quaestioni, ibi non ut contristemini, et cetera.
second, he answers a tacit question, at not that you should be made sorrowful.
54. Dicit ergo primo: quia haberem tristitiam, si non invenirem vos correctos, super tristitiam quam habui quando peccastis, et oportuit me contristare vos redarguendo dure. Nam ex multa tribulatione et angustia cordis scripsi primam epistolam, per multas lacrymas, quas fudi pro vobis iam mortuis per peccatum. Ier. IX, 1: quis dabit capiti meo aquas, et cetera. Eccli. XXII, v. 3: confusio est patri de filio indisciplinato. Is. LVII, 1: iustus perit, et non est qui recogitet, et cetera.
54. First, therefore, he says: I would be pained if I found you uncorrected—a greater pain than I had when you sinned and I was obliged to sadden you with a sharp rebuke: for out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote to you in the first epistle, with many tears, which I shed for you when you were already dead in sin. O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears (Jer 9:1); it is a disgrace to be the father of an undisciplined son (Sir 22:3); the righteous man perishes and no one lays it to heart (Isa 57:1).
Sciendum est autem quod duo ponit ad exaggerationem tristitiae, tribulationem scilicet et angustiam, quia unum additum alteri aggravat tristitiam. Nam aliquando quis tribulatur, sed sine angustia, tunc scilicet quando aliqua adversitate quasi acutissimo tribulo pungitur, et tamen videt sibi patere vias evadendi, quia si non pateat, tribulationi angustia iungitur. Dicit ergo ex multa tribulatione, qua pungebar de facto et malo vestri, et angustia cordis, quia non videbam unde de facili posset poni remedium, scripsi, et cetera. Ps. CXVIII, 143: tribulatio et angustia invenerunt me.
But it should be noted that he mentions two things that amplify his pain, namely, affliction and anguish, because one added to the other increases sadness. For sometimes a person is sad but without anguish, namely, when he is pricked by some adversity as though by a very sharp thorn; and yet various ways of escape seem open to him, because if no way is open, anguish is joined to affliction. He says, therefore, out of much affliction, with which he was pricked by your deeds and your evil, and anguish of heart, because he could not see where a remedy could easily be found. Trouble and anguish have come upon me (Ps 119:143).
55. Sed quia possent dicere: O Apostole, etiam haec scribis nobis ut tristemur, et ideo hoc removet, dicens non ut contristemini, scilicet scribo vobis illa, sed ut sciatis quam caritatem habeam in vobis. Duo enim sunt signa dilectionis, scilicet quod gaudeat quis de bono alterius, et tristetur de malo eius, et haec ego habeo ad vos. Infra V, v. 14: caritas Christi urget nos. Abundantius, quam credatis, vel abundantius quam ad alios.
55. But because they could say: O Apostle, you even write these things to pain us, he anticipates this, saying, not that you should be made sorrowful do I write these things to you, but that you might know the charity I have more abundantly towards you. For there are two signs of love, namely, to rejoice in the good of another and to be pained at his evil; and I have these toward you: for the love of Christ presses us (2 Cor 5:14). More abundantly than you think, or more abundantly than toward others.