Gratia abundat pro operibus bonis
Grace abounds for good works
9:8 Potens est autem Deus omnem gratiam abundare facere in vobis: ut in omnibus semper omnem sufficientiam habentes, abundetis in omne opus bonum, [n. 333]
9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound in you: that you always, having all sufficiently in all things, may abound to every good work, [n. 333]
9:9 sicut scriptum est: dispersit, dedit pauperibus: justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi. [n. 335]
9:9 As it is written: he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor: his justice remains forever. [n. 335]
9:10 Qui autem administrat semen seminanti: et panem ad manducandum praestabit, et multiplicabit semen vestrum, et augebit incrementa frugum justitiae vestrae: [n. 336]
9:10 And he who ministers seed to the sower will both give you bread to eat and will multiply your seed and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice: [n. 336]
9:11 ut in omnibus locupletati abundetis in omnem simplicitatem, quae operatur per nos gratiarum actionem Deo. [n. 337]
9:11 That being enriched in all things, you may abound unto all simplicity which works through us thanksgiving to God. [n. 337]
9:12 Quoniam ministerium hujus officii non solum supplet ea quae desunt sanctis, sed etiam abundat per multas gratiarum actiones in Domino, [n. 339]
9:12 Because the administration of this office does not only supply the want of the saints, but abounds also by many thanksgivings in the Lord. [n. 339]
9:13 per probationem ministerii hujus, glorificantes Deum in obedientia confessionis vestrae, in Evangelium Christi, et simplicitate communicationis in illos, et in omnes, [n. 341]
9:13 By the proof of this ministry, glorifying God for the obedience of your confession unto the Gospel of Christ and for the simplicity of your communicating unto them and unto all. [n. 341]
9:14 et in ipsorum obsecratione pro vobis, desiderantium vos propter eminentem gratiam Dei in vobis.
9:14 And in their praying for you, being desirous of you, because of the excellent grace of God in you.
9:15 Gratias Deo super inenarrabili dono ejus. [n. 342]
9:15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. [n. 342]
333. Hic rationem trium modorum assignat. Et
333. Here he gives the reason for the three ways of giving.
circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things.
Primo assignat rationem sumptam ex parte ipsorum;
First, he assigns the reason taken on their part;
secundo rationem sumptam ex parte Dei, ibi ut in omnibus locupletati, et cetera.
second, the reason taken on God’s part, at that being enriched in all things.
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo ponit rationem;
First, he gives the reason;
secundo ipsam confirmat, ibi sicut scriptum est, et cetera.
second, he confirms it, at as it is written.
334. Ratio est talis: quicumque dat aliquid quod multiplicatur sibi, debet prompte, abundanter et hilariter dare, sicut videmus quod homines abundanter et prompte et cum gaudio seminant semen, quia multiplicatum illud recolligunt. Cum ergo eleemosynae multiplicentur dantibus, debetis illas prompte, gaudenter et abundanter facere. Et quod multiplicentur patet, quia Deus potens est omnem gratiam, etc., quasi dicat: non timeatis dare ne, indigentia gravati, poeniteat aliquando vos dedisse, quia potens est Deus facere abundare omnem gratiam Spiritus Sancti, qua scilicet semper gaudeatis de bono opere quod fecistis. Et ideo dicit abundetis in omne opus bonum, id est abundantem affectum habeatis ad dandum eleemosynam, sicut habetis ad alia opera virtutum. Et tamen habeatis plenam sufficientiam bonorum exteriorum; et ideo dicit semper omnem sufficientiam habentes, id est vos reputantes habere. Iac. I, 5: qui dat omnibus affluenter, et I Tim. VI, 8: habentes alimenta, et cetera.
334. The reason is this: whoever gives something which is multiplied for him should give promptly, abundantly, and cheerfully, just as when we see men sowing seed abundantly and promptly and cheerfully, because they gather it up again multiplied. Since therefore alms are multiplied for those who give them, you should give them promptly, joyfully, and abundantly. That they are multiplied is evident, because God is able to make all grace abound in you. As if to say: do not be afraid to give, as though you will be burdened with need and regret having given, because God is able to provide you with every blessing of the Holy Spirit in abundance, namely, the grace by which you will always rejoice in the good work you have done. He says, therefore, that you always, having all sufficiently in all things, may abound to every good work, i.e., have an abundant will to give alms, just as you have for the other works of the virtues, and also that you have a full sufficiency of external goods; hence he says, always having all sufficiently in all things, i.e., considering yourself to have: he who gives to all men generously (Jas 1:5); but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (1 Tim 6:8).
De ista sufficientia dicitur infra XII, 9: sufficit tibi gratia mea, et cetera. De multiplicatione vero dicitur Is. XXX, 23: dabitur pluvia semini tuo; Matth. XIX, 29: omnis qui reliquerit, etc., centuplum accipiet, et cetera.
Of that sufficiency it says below: my grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor 12:9). But concerning the multiplication it is said: and he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground (Isa 30:25); and every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life (Matt 19:29).
335. Consequenter cum dicit sicut scriptum est, etc., probat positam rationem dupliciter, scilicet auctoritate et experimento, ibi qui autem administrat, et cetera.
335. Then when he says, as it is written, he proves his reason in two ways, namely, by authority and from experience, at and he that ministers.
Probat autem auctoritate, dicens: recte debet vos movere praedicta ratio, quia, sicut scriptum est, et cetera.
He proves it by an authority when he says: rightly should this reason move you, because, as it is written: he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his justice remains forever.
Sed Glossa in alio sensu adducit hanc auctoritatem, quam sit intentio Apostoli. Nam Glossa sic adducit: dico quod abundetis in omne opus bonum, scilicet largitione eleemosynarum, quia scriptum est dispersit, dedit pauperibus. Sed Apostolus videtur hoc velle referre ad illud quod dicit abundare facere omnem gratiam, et hoc quia ille qui dispersit, dedit pauperibus, iustitia eius manet in aeternum. Eccli. c. XII, 2: bene fac iusto, et invenies retributionem, et cetera.
But a Gloss adduces this authority in a sense different from the Apostle’s intention; for the Gloss says: I say that you shall abound to every good work, namely, by the giving of alms, because, as it is written: he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor. But the Apostle wishes to refer this to his statement that God is able to make all grace abound in you; and this, because he who scattered abroad and gives to the poor, his justice remains forever. Do good to a godly man, and you will be repaid (Sir 12:2).
In auctoritate autem proposita notatur quibus sit dandum, quia pauperibus id est indigentibus, et cetera. Lc. XIV, 12: cum facis prandium, et cetera. Quomodo dandum, quia dispersit, quia non totum uni, sed divisim multis. I Cor. c. XII, 3: si distribuero, et cetera. Is. LVIII, 7: frange esurienti panem, et cetera.
In the authority cited we note to whom should be given, namely, to the poor, i.e., to the needy. When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid (Luke 14:12); how to give, namely, he has dispersed abroad, i.e., not all to one person, but divided among many: if I give away all I have (1 Cor 13:3); is it not to share your bread with the hungry (Isa 58:7);
Iustitia eius, id est virtus iustitiae, manet in aeternum, quia ex quo dat, augetur voluntas ad dandum. Vel iustitia eius, id est merces iustitiae eius, manet in aeternum. Prov. c. XI, 18: seminanti iustitiam merces fidelis, et cetera.
his justice, i.e., the power of justice, remains forever, because by the very fact that one gives the will for giving is increased. Or his justice, i.e., the reward for justice, endures forever: but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward (Prov 11:18).
336. Experimento autem confirmat rationem praedictam, dicens qui autem administrat, et cetera. Quasi dicat: experti estis, quia hoc ipsum quod datis in eleemosynas, habetis a Deo. Et ideo debetis libenter dare amore Dei. I Par. ultimo: tua sunt omnia quae de manu, et cetera.
336. He confirms his reason by experience when he says, he who ministers seed to the sower will both give you bread to eat and will multiply your seed. As if to say: you know from experience that what you give in alms you have from the Lord; therefore you should give gladly for the love of God: for all things come from you, and of your own have we given you (1 Chr 29:14).
Et insinuat tria circa hoc. Primum est quod aliquis posset dicere: si nos damus modo quod habemus, deficient nobis necessaria ad quotidianum victum. Et hoc removet, quia non solum semen ministrat seminanti, sed panem, id est necessaria vitae, praestabit ad manducandum, Ps. CXXXV, 25: qui dat escam omni carni.
He suggests three things in regard to this. The first is that someone could say: if we give now what we have, what is necessary for daily food will be wanting to us. But he rejects this, saying: he not only ministers seed to the sower, but bread to eat, i.e., the necessities of life: he who gives food to all flesh (Ps 136:24).
Secundum est, quia posses dicere quod si multum daremus, deficient nobis quae habemus ad dandum iterum. Et hoc Apostolus removet dicens, quod non deficiet, sed multiplicabit semen vestrum, unde scilicet plures eleemosynas facitis.
The second is that they could say: if we give much, we will not have enough to give again. The Apostle answers this, saying that they will not want, but he will multiply your seed, from which you can give more alms.
Tertium est, quia posset aliquis dicere, quod si modo damus, deficiet nobis voluntas ad dandum, et poenitebit nos dedisse, et sic totum amittemus. Et hoc removet, dicens et augebit incrementa frugum iustitiae vestrae, id est intantum augebit facultatem et voluntatem dandi eleemosynas, ex quibus procedit iustitia vestra, quod semper parati et prompti eritis ad dandum eleemosynas, et quod fruges maximae erunt in comparatione ad parvum semen. Prov. III, 9: de primitiis frugum tuarum da pauperibus. Lev. XXV, 21: dabo benedictionem, et cetera. I Tim. IV, 8: pietas ad omnia valet.
The third is that someone could say: if we give now, the will to give will be lost, and we will regret having given, and so we shall lose everything. But he removes this, saying: and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice, i.e., he will increase the ability to give alms and the will from which your justice proceeds, to such a degree that you will always be prepared and ready to give alms, and the fruit will be the most in comparison with the small seed. Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce (Prov 3:9); I will command my blessing upon you (Lev 25:21); godliness is of value in every way (1 Tim 4:8).
337. Deinde cum dicit ut in omnibus locupletati, etc., assignat rationem, quare prompte, abundanter et hilariter dare debeant, ex parte ipsorum dantium; hic assignat rationem ex parte ipsius Dei pro quo dare debent. Et
337. Then when he says, that being enriched in all things, after having assigned the reason why they should give promptly, abundantly and cheerfully on the part of the donors, he then assigns the reason on God’s part, for whom they ought to give.
primo assignat rationem;
First he assigns the reason they should give;
secundo manifestat eam, ibi quoniam ministerium huius officii, et cetera.
second, he explains it, at because the ministration of this office.
338. In ratione autem assignanda tria considerantur, quorum primum est ipsorum locupletatio, quod respondet praemissis. Dixerat enim supra: multiplicabit semen vestrum et augebit incrementa frugum iustitiae vestrae et hoc primo resumit, dicens et ut in omnibus locupletati, id est tam in corporalibus, quam in spiritualibus bonis. I Cor. I, 5: divites facti estis, et cetera.
338. In the reason to be assigned, three things are to be considered, the first of which is their enrichment, which corresponds to what has gone above. For he had said above: he will multiply your seed and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice; and he recalls the first, saying: that being enriched in all things, i.e., both in bodily and spiritual goods: that in every way you were enriched in him (1 Cor 1:5).
Sed ne aliquis crederet, quod finis ponendus sit in abundantia divitiarum temporalium, aut quod divitias spirituales aliquis otiose absque usu possidere deberet, refert hoc primum ad aliud secundum, dicens abundetis in omnem, id est perfectam, simplicitatem, id est largitatem simplici animo factam, ut largitio procedat ex divitiis temporalibus, simplicitas autem ex spiritualibus. Prov. XI, 3: simplicitas iustorum, et cetera.
But lest anyone suppose that his end should be placed in an abundance of temporal riches or that he should possess spiritual goods in idleness without using them, he refers this first to another second thing: you may abound unto all, i.e., perfect, simplicity; that is, have great generosity directed by a simple spirit, so that the giving comes from temporal goods but the simplicity from spiritual goods: the integrity of the upright guides them (Prov 11:13).
Sed et hoc ipsum ad alium finem referendum est, scilicet ad Deum. Et ideo tertio subdit quae, scilicet largitio simplex, operatur per nos, id est mediantibus nobis, gratiarum actionem Deo, I Thess. V, 18: in omnibus gratias agite, et cetera.
But this should itself be referred to another end, namely, to God; therefore he adds in the third place, which, namely, simple abundance, works through us will produce thanksgiving to God: give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18).
339. Deinde cum dicit quoniam ministerium, etc., manifestat rationem supra positam, scilicet quomodo eorum largitio operetur gratiarum actionem Deo. Et
339. Then when he says, because the administration, he explains the reason mentioned above, namely, how their abundance works thanksgiving to God.
primo hoc ostendit;
First he shows this;