Ambulate per fidem et non speciem
Walk by faith and not by sight
5:5 Qui autem efficit nos in hoc ipsum, Deus, qui dedit nobis pignus Spiritus. [n. 160]
5:5 Now he who makes us for this very thing is God, who has given us the pledge of the Spirit, [n. 160]
5:6 Audentes igitur semper, scientes quoniam dum sumus in corpore, peregrinamur a Domino [n. 162]
5:6 Therefore, always having confidence, knowing that while we are in the body we are absent from the Lord. [n. 162]
5:7 (per fidem enim ambulamus, et non per speciem): [n. 164]
5:7 (For we walk by faith and not by sight.) [n. 164]
5:8 audemus autem, et bonam voluntatem habemus magis peregrinari a corpore, et praesentes esse ad Dominum. [n. 165]
5:8 But we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord. [n. 165]
5:9 Et ideo contendimus, sive absentes, sive praesentes, placere illi. [n. 169]
5:9 And therefore we labor, whether absent or present, to please him. [n. 169]
5:10 Omnes enim nos manifestari oportet ante tribunal Christi, ut referat unusquisque propria corporis, prout gessit, sive bonum, sive malum. [n. 170]
5:10 For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the proper things of the body, according as he has done, whether it be good or evil. [n. 170]
160. Hic ostendit auctorem supernaturalis desiderii de habitatione caelesti. Causa enim naturalis desiderii quod nolumus expoliari est quia scilicet anima naturaliter unitur corpori, et e converso. Sed hoc, quod caelestem inhabitationem superindui cupiamus, non est ex natura, sed ex Deo. Et ideo dicit qui autem efficit nos in hoc, etc., quasi dicat: volumus superinduere caelestem habitationem, ita tamen quod non spoliemur terrena, et tamen, hoc ipsum quod volumus sic supervestiri, efficit in nobis Deus. Phil. II, 13: Deus est qui operatur in nobis, et cetera.
160. Here he discloses the author of the supernatural desire for a heavenly dwelling. For the cause of a natural desire that we be not despoiled is that the soul is naturally united to the body, and vice versa. But the desire to be clothed upon with a heavenly dwelling is not from nature but from God. Hence, he says, now he who makes us for this very thing is God. As if to say: we wish to put on the heavenly dwelling, but in such a way as not to lose the earthly one. And yet it is God who effects in us the desire to be thus clothed over: God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13).
Cuius ratio est, quia quamlibet naturam consequitur appetitus conveniens fini suae naturae, sicut grave naturaliter tendit deorsum, et appetit ibi quiescere. Si autem sit appetitus alicuius rei supra naturam suam, illa res non movetur ad illum finem naturaliter, sed ab alio quod est supra naturam suam. Constat autem quod perfrui caelesti gloria et videre Deum per essentiam, licet sit rationalis creaturae, est tamen supra naturam ipsius, non ergo movetur rationalis creatura ad hoc desiderandum a natura, sed ab ipso Deo, qui in hoc ipsum efficit nos, et cetera.
The reason for this is that upon every nature follows a desire suited to the end of that nature, as something heavy naturally tends downward and seeks to rest there. But if a thing’s desire is above its nature, that thing is not moved to that end naturally, but by something else, which is above its nature. Now it is evident that to enjoy eternal glory and to see God by his essence, although it is appropriate to a rational creature, is above its nature. Therefore, the rational creature is not moved to desire this by nature, but by God himself, who makes us for this very thing.
161. Sed quomodo hoc efficit subdit, dicens qui dedit pignus, et cetera.
161. How this is accomplished he adds, saying, who has given us the pledge of the Spirit.
Circa quod sciendum est, quod Deus efficit in nobis naturalia desideria et supernaturalia. Naturalia quidem quando dat nobis spiritum naturalem convenientem naturae humanae. Gen. II, 7: inspiravit in faciem eius, et cetera. Supernaturalia vero dat quando infundit in nobis supernaturalem Spiritum, scilicet Spiritum Sanctum. Et ideo dicit dedit nobis pignus Spiritus, id est Spiritum Sanctum causantem in nobis certitudinem huius rei, qua desideramus impleri. Eph. I, 13: signati estis Spiritu promissionis Sancto, et cetera.
In regard to this it should be noted that God produces natural desires and supernatural desires in us: the natural, when he gives us a natural spirit suited to human nature: God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen 2:7); but he gives the supernatural desires when he infuses in us the supernatural Spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit. Therefore he says, who has given us the pledge of the Spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit producing in us the certainty of this thing, with which we desire to be filled: you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance (Eph 1:13).
Dicit autem pignus, quia pignus debet tantum valere, quantum valet res pro qua ponitur. Sed in hoc differt a re pro qua ponitur, quia pleniori iure possidetur res, quando iam habetur, quam pignus, quia res possidetur ut quid suum, pignus vero servatur et tenetur quasi pro certitudine rei habendae. Ita est de Spiritu Sancto, quia Spiritus Sanctus tantum valet quantum gloria caelestis, sed differt in modo habendi, quia nunc habemus eum quasi ad certitudinem consequendi illam gloriam; in patria vero habebimus, ut rem iam nostram, et a nobis possessam. Tunc enim habebimus perfecte, modo imperfecte.
He says, pledge, because a pledge has as much value as the thing for which it is given; but it differs from the thing for which it is given in this way, namely, that the thing is possessed with a fuller right, when it is already had, than the pledge is. For the thing is possessed as one’s own, but the pledge is kept and held as though giving assurance that the thing will be possessed. So it is with the Holy Spirit: because the Holy Spirit has as much value as heavenly glory. But there is a difference in the way he is possessed, because now we have him as a surety of obtaining that glory; but in heaven we shall have him as something now possessed by us. For then we shall have him perfectly, but now imperfectly.
Sic ergo retardatur desiderium gratiae a desiderio naturae.
In this way, therefore, is grace’s desire deferred by a natural desire.
162. Sed numquid impeditur? Non, sed desiderium gratiae vincit. Et hoc est quod dicit audentes igitur, etc., quasi dicat: duo desideria sunt in sanctis: unum quo desiderant caelestem habitationem, aliud quo nolunt expoliari. Et si haec duo essent compossibilia, non essent contraria et unum non retardaretur ab alio. Sed Apostolus ostendit ea esse incompossibilia et quod oportet quod unum vincat alterum.
162. But is it hindered? No, but grace’s desire conquers. Hence, he says, always having confidence, knowing that while we are in the body we are absent from the Lord. As if to say: there are two desires in holy men, one by which they desire a heavenly dwelling, the other by which they do not wish to be despoiled. If these were compatible, they would not be contrary, and one would not be delayed by the other. But the Apostle shows that they are incompatible and that one must prevail over the other.
Unde circa hoc tria facit.
In regard to this he does three things:
Primo enim ostendit incompossibilitatem dictorum desideriorum;
first, he shows the incompatibility of these desires;
secundo interponit quamdam probationem, ibi per fidem enim, etc.;
second, he enters a proof, at for we walk by faith;
tertio ostendit quod horum vincat, ibi audemus autem, et cetera.
third, he shows which of them conquers, at but we are confident.
163. Incompossibilitatem ostendit cum dicit audentes igitur, et cetera. Audere, proprie est immiscere se in pericula mortis, et non cedere propter timorem. Licet autem sancti naturaliter timeant mortem, tamen audent ad pericula mortis et non cedunt timore mortis. Prov. XXVIII, 1: iustus quasi leo confidens. Eccli. XLVIII, 13: in diebus suis non pertimuit principem. Et scientes, scilicet sumus hoc quod confirmat in nobis audaciam, ut pro Christo mori non timeamus, quoniam dum sumus in hoc corpore mortali, peregrinamur, id est elongamur, a Deo. Ps. CXIX, 5: heu mihi, quia incolatus meus, et cetera. Peregrinamur, inquam, quia sumus extra patriam nostram, qui Deus est, alias non diceremur peregrinari ab eo. Et hoc non est ex natura nostra, sed ex eius gratia.
163. He shows their incompatibility when he says, always having confidence, knowing that while we are in the body we are absent from the Lord. Properly speaking, to dare is to involve oneself in dangers of death and not to yield through fear. But although the saints naturally fear death, yet they dare to face the dangers of death and not yield because of a fear of death: the righteous are bold as a lion (Prov 28:1); in his days he feared not the prince (Sir 48:13). Knowing, namely, that he strengthens our boldness not to fear death for Christ, that while we are in the body we are absent i.e., far away from God: woe to me because my stay has been prolonged (Ps 120:5). We are absent inasmuch as we are outside our native land, which is God. Otherwise, we would not be described as away from him. And this is not from our nature, but from his grace.
164. Quod autem peregrinamur a Domino, probat cum dicit per fidem enim ambulamus, id est procedimus in vita ista per fidem, et non per speciem, id est non per perfectam visionem. Fidei enim verbum est sicut lucerna a qua illuminamur ad ambulandum in vita ista. Ps. CXVIII, 105: lucerna pedibus meis verbum, et cetera. In patria autem non erit huiusmodi lucerna, quia ipsa claritas Dei, id est ipse Deus, illuminabit illam. Et ideo tunc per speciem, id est per essentiam, videbimus eum.
164. That we are absent from the Lord is proved, when he says, for we walk by faith, i.e., we pass through this life in faith, and not by sight: because faith deals with things not seen. For the word of faith is as a lamp with which the road is lit in this life: your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my steps (Ps 119:105). But in heaven there will be no such lamp, because the radiance of God, i.e., God himself, has enlightened it (Rev 21:23). Therefore, we shall then see him by sight, i.e., in his essence.
Dicit autem per fidem ambulamus, quia fides est de non visis. Est enim fides substantia sperandarum rerum, argumentum non apparentium, Hebr. XI, 1 s. Quamdiu autem anima corpori mortali unitur, non videt Deum per essentiam. Ex. XXXIII, 20: non videbit me homo, et cetera. Unde inquantum assentimus, credendo his, quae non videmus, dicimur ambulare per fidem et non per speciem.
But he says, we walk by faith, because faith is concerned with things unseen: faith is the substance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1). But as long as the soul is united to the body, it does not see God in his essence: no man shall see me and live (Exod 33:20). Hence, inasmuch as we assent by believing the things we do not see, we are said to walk by faith and not by sight.
Sic ergo patet duorum desideriorum incompossibilitas, quia non possumus cum hoc corpore superindui caelestem habitationem: et probatio huius, quia per fidem ambulamus.
Thus, therefore, the incompatibility of the two desires is plain, because we cannot, along with this body, be clothed over by the heavenly habitation, the proof of this being that we walk by faith.
165. Sequitur consequenter victoria unius desiderii de duobus, scilicet desiderium gratiae, cum dicit audemus, et cetera. Et debet resumi scientes supra positum, quia littera suspensiva est, ut dicatur sic: hoc, inquam, scientes, quia dum sumus in hoc corpore, etc., audemus et bonam voluntatem habemus, et cetera.
165. He follows with the victory of the one desire, namely, of grace, when he says, we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body. This should be read as follows: knowing what was said above, i.e., that while we are in the body we are absent from the Lord, we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Duo dicit, quorum unum importat repugnantiam, quam habet in volendo, quae fit per timorem mortis. Ubi enim est timor, non est audacia. Nam ex appetitu naturae surgit timor mortis, ex appetitu gratiae surgit audacia. Ideo dicit audemus.
He says two things: one implies the repugnance he has in willing, a repugnance caused by the fear of death. For where there is no fear, there is no daring. For the fear of death springs from our nature’s desire, but the daring of grace’s desire. Therefore, he says, we are confident.
Aliud importat imperfectionem animi in desiderando, quia nisi bene desideraretur, non vinceretur timor mortis, cum sit valde naturalis. Et ideo, non solum oportet audere, sed bonam voluntatem habere, id est cum gaudio velle. Licet enim, secundum Philosophum in actu fortitudinis non requiratur gaudium ad perfectionem virtutis, sicut in aliis virtutibus, sed solum non tristari, tamen quia fortitudo sanctorum perfectior est, non solum non tristantur in periculis mortis, sed etiam gaudent. Phil. I, 23: habens desiderium dissolvi, et cetera.
The other implies an imperfection of the soul in desiring, because unless we desired properly, the fear of death would not be overcome, since it is quite natural. Therefore, it is not only necessary to dare, but also to have a good will, i.e., to will gladly. For although, according to the Philosopher, in the act of courage, joy is not required for the perfection of the virtue as it is in the other virtues, but only not to be sad. Yet because the courage of the saints is more perfect, they are not only not sad at the dangers of death, but they rejoice: my desire is to depart and be with Christ (Phil 1:23).
Sed quid audemus? Magis peregrinari a corpore, id est removeri a corpore, per corporis dissolutionem, quod est contra desiderium naturae, et praesentes esse ad Dominum, id est ambulare per speciem, quod est desiderium gratiae. Hoc desiderabat Psalmista XLI, 3, qui dicebat: sitivit anima mea ad Deum, et cetera.
But what do we dare? To be absent rather from the body, i.e., to be separated from the body by its dissolution, which is contrary to the desire of nature, and to be present with the Lord, i.e., to walk by sight, which is the desire of grace. He desired this who said: my soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:5).
166. Et nota, quod hic concludit eadem duo, quae proposuit in principio, supra secundo, scilicet quod si terrestris domus nostra huius habitationis dissolvatur, quod idem est, quod hic dicit peregrinari a corpore, et quod habemus habitationem in caelis non manufactam, et hoc quod idem est praesentes esse ad Deum.
166. Note that he concludes to the same two things he proposed at the beginning, namely, that if our earthly house of this habitation be dissolved, which is the same as what he says here, namely, to be away from the body; and that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven, which is the same as being present with the Lord.
167. Confutatur per haec verba error dicentium animas sanctorum decedentium non statim post mortem deduci ad visionem Dei et eius praesentiam, sed morari in quibusdam mansionibus usque ad diem iudicii. Nam frustra sancti auderent et desiderarent peregrinari a corpore, si separati a corpore non essent praesentes ad Deum.
167. By these words is refuted the error of those who say that the souls of dead saints are not at once after death brought to the vision of God and into his presence, but they reside in mansions until the day of judgment. For the saints dared and desired in vain to be away from the body, if they would not be present to God when separated from the body.
Et ideo dicendum est quod sancti statim post mortem vident Deum per essentiam, et sunt in caelesti mansione. Sic ergo patet quod praemium, quod sancti expectant, est inaestimabile.
Therefore, the answer is that the saints see the essence of God immediately after death and dwell in a heavenly mansion. Thus, therefore, it is plain that the reward which the saints await is inestimable.
168. Sequitur de praeparatione ad praemium, quae fit per pugnam contra tentationes et per exercitium bonorum operum, et hoc est quod dicit ideo contendimus, et cetera. Praeparantur autem sancti ad hoc praemium tripliciter, scilicet
168. He follows this with an account of the preparation for the reward which is accomplished by the struggle against temptations and by exercising good works, and this he says at and therefore we labor. But the saints are prepared for this reward in three ways.
primo placendo Deo;
First, by pleasing God;
secundo proficiendo proximo, ibi scientes autem timorem Dei;
second, by helping their neighbor, at knowing therefore the fear of the Lord;
tertio abdicando a se carnales affectus, ibi itaque nos, et cetera.
third, by removing carnal affections from themselves, at therefore, henceforth we know.
169. Deo autem placent resistendo malis, et ideo dicit ideo, quia scilicet totum desiderium nostrum est quod simus praesentes Deo, contendimus, id est cum conatu nitimur, seu studemus cum pugna et lucta, contra tentationes diaboli, carnis et mundi. Lc. XIII, 24: contendite intrare per angustam portam, et cetera. Placere illi, scilicet Deo ad quem desideramus esse praesentes; et hoc sive absentes, sive praesentes illi sumus: quia nisi studeamus ei placere in vita ista dum sumus absentes, non poterimus ei placere, nec esse ei praesentes in alia vita. Sap. c. IV, 10: placens Deo factus dilectus, et cetera.
169. They please God by resisting evil. Hence he says, therefore, namely, because our whole desire is to be present with God, we labor i.e., we make great effort, i.e., we strive and fight against the temptations of the devil, the flesh and the world: strive to enter by the narrow gate (Luke 13:24). To please him, namely, God, with whom we desire to be present, whether absent or present: because unless we strive to please him in this life, while we are absent, we shall not be able to please him or be present with him in the other life: there was one who pleased God and was loved by him (Wis 4:10).
170. Consequenter cum dicit omnes enim nos manifestari, etc., subdit causam quare sancti contendunt placere Deo, quae quidem causa sumitur ex consideratione futuri iudicii, ubi nos omnes manifestari oportet.
170. Then when he says, for we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, he adds the cause for why the saints strive to please God. This cause is taken from a consideration of the future judgment, when we must all be manifested.