Furtum et Sermo
Theft and speech
4:28 Qui furabatur, jam non furetur: magis autem laboret, operando manibus suis, quod bonum est, ut habeat unde tribuat necessitatem patienti. [n. 254]
4:28 He that stole, let him now steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him who suffers need. [n. 254]
4:29 Omnis sermo malus ex ore vestro non procedat: sed si quis bonus ad aedificationem fidei ut det gratiam audientibus. [n. 258]
4:29 Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth: but that which is good, to the edification of faith: that it may administer grace to the hearers. [n. 258]
253. Exclusa supra vetustate hominis quantum ad vim rationalem et irascibilem, hic prohibet eam quantum ad concupiscibilem provenientem ex rerum inordinata concupiscentia.
253. Having banned the oldness of man in regard to his rational and irascible powers, here he proscribes it in regard to the concupiscible appetite when it desires temporal goods inordinately.
Circa quod duo facit.
Concerning this he does two things:
Primo prohibet concupiscibilis vetustatem;
first, he prohibits the old ways of the concupiscible appetite;
secundo hortatur ad eius novitatem, ibi magis autem laboret, et cetera.
second, he encourages a renewal of it, at rather let him labor.
254. Ad vetustatem autem concupiscibilis pertinet furtum, quod provenit ex corrupto et inordinato appetitu rei temporalis. Ideo dicit qui furabatur, iam non furetur, etc., quasi dicat: qui habebat concupiscibilem corruptam et vetustam ex corrupto appetitu rerum temporalium, iam non furetur, scilicet si vult concupiscibilem renovare, quia, ut dicitur Eccli. V, 17: super furem confusio; propter hoc dicitur Ex. XX, 15: non furtum facies.
254. Stealing pertains to the concupiscible appetite’s old ways; it arises from a corrupted and inordinate desire for a temporal object. Therefore he says he that stole, let him now steal no more, as if to say: whoever has an old and corrupted concupiscible appetite due to a contaminating desire for transitory goods, let him not steal any more if he wants to renew it. For confusion is upon a thief (Sir 5:17), so that it is written: you shall not steal (Exod 20:15).
255. Et quia aliquis posset se excusare prae paupertate, ideo dicit magis autem laboret, et cetera. Sicut ipse fecit Apostolus, ut dicitur Act. XX, 33: argentum et aurum nullius concupivi, aut vestem, vos ipsi scitis, quoniam ad ea quae mihi opus erant, et his qui mecum sunt, ministraverunt manus istae. Item II Thess. III, 78: ipsi enim scitis quemadmodum oporteat vos imitari nos, quoniam non inquieti fuimus inter vos, neque gratis panem manducavimus ab aliquo, sed in labore et fatigatione, nocte ac die laborantes, ne quem vestrum gravaremus, et cetera.
255. Since someone might excuse himself by reason of his poverty, he says rather let him labor, working with his hands. The Apostle himself practiced this: for such things as were needful for me and them that are with me, these hands have furnished (Acts 20:34). For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us: for we were not disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing, but in labor and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you (2 Thess 3:7–8).
256. Unde notandum est, quod opus manuale ad tria inducitur. Primo ad necessitatem victus acquirendam. Gen. III, 19: in sudore vultus tui vesceris pane tuo. Et ideo qui non habet unde licite vivat, tenetur manibus laborare. II Thess. III, 10: si quis non vult operari, non manducet; quasi dicat: sicut qui non comedit in necessitate peccat, ita et si non laborat. Et sic ponitur hic ad excludendum furtum.
256. Notice that three motives for manual labor are given. Primarily, it is to obtain necessary food: in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread (Gen 3:19). Therefore, anyone who does not lawfully have the where-with-all to live is bound to work with his hands. If any man will not work, neither let him eat, (2 Thess 3:10) seems to affirm: just as he who does not eat when necessity demands it sins, so likewise he who does not work when necessary. This is put here to exclude stealing.
Quandoque vero inducitur contra otium, quia multa mala docuit otiositas, Eccli. XXXIII, v. 29. Et ideo qui habent vitam otiosam, tenentur manibus laborare. II Thess. III, 11 s.: audivimus quosdam inter vos ambulare in quiete nihil operantes, sed curiose agentes. His autem, qui huiusmodi sunt, denuntiamus et obsecramus in Domino Iesu Christo, ut cum silentio operantes suum panem manducent.
Sometimes, however, work is urged in order to dispel idleness since idleness has taught much evil (Sir 33:29). Hence, those who lead an idle life are bound to work with their hands: for we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly; working not at all, but curiously meddling. Now we charge them that are such and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread (2 Thess 3:11–12).
Quandoque enim inducitur ad carnis macerationem et domationem. Unde ponitur inter alia opera continentiae II Cor. VI, 5: in laboribus, in vigiliis, in ieiuniis, et cetera.
At other times work is recommended to discipline and subdue the flesh. In this sense it is included among the acts of continence: in labors, in watchings, in fastings (2 Cor 6:5).
Triplex ergo est ratio iniungendi laborem corporalem; sed prima omnibus necessaria est, et hoc de necessitate praecepti, quia aliis modis potest excludi otium, similiter et lascivia carnis potest alio modo domari et refrenari, et sufficit quomodocumque fiat.
Three reasons exist, therefore, for engaging in physical labor. The first is necessary for everyone, and is so by a necessity of precept, while idleness can be avoided in other ways and the immoral tendencies of the flesh can be controlled and checked by other means. It is sufficient if these latter are accomplished in some way.
257. Sequitur quod bonum est, quod dupliciter potest intelligi. Vel in vi accusativi, et sic construetur: magis autem laboret operando manibus, et quidem non illicita, sed quod bonum est. Gal. ult.: bonum autem facientes, non deficiamus. Is. I, 16 s.: quiescite agere perverse, discite bene facere.
257. Which is good follows and can be understood in two ways. If it has the accusative force it could be rendered: rather let him labor, working with his hands, not at what is unlawful, but at whatever is good. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing (Gal 6:9). Cease to do perversely. Learn to do well (Isa 1:16–17).
Vel potest intelligi in vi nominativi: laboret, etc., quod bonum est, quasi haec sit ratio quare laborandum est; quasi dicat: non solum est necessarium laborare, immo etiam bonum est laborare, ut laborans possit vivere, et ut habeat unde tribuat necessitatem patienti. Eccli. XXIX, 2: foenerare proximo tuo in tempore necessitatis illius, et cetera.
Or it can be taken with a nominative force: rather let him labor, working with his hands, which is good. This is the reason why they should work, as though he said: not only is it necessary to work, it is even good to work that he who does can live and that he may have something to give to him who suffers need. Lend to your neighbor in the time of his need (Sir 29:2).
258. Deinde cum dicit omnis sermo malus, etc., ponit pertinentia ad veterem hominem in deordinatione ad alium; et facit duo: quia
258. When he states let no evil speech proceed from your mouth, he begins to discuss what the old man does in relation to other men. He makes two points:
primo prohibet vetustatem, et inducit novitatem;
first, he prohibits the old and encourages the new;
secundo inducit exemplum, in principio V cap., ibi estote ergo, et cetera.
second, he provides an example for imitation at the beginning of chapter five, at be therefore followers (Eph 5:1).
Ad proximum autem potest quis male se habere dupliciter. Uno modo laedendo eum verbis malis; alio modo malis exemplis. Primo prohibet primum; secundo secundum, ibi et nolite contristare, et cetera.
A person may be wrongly disposed toward his neighbor in two ways. In one way, he may hurt him through evil words; in another, he may harm him through bad example. First he forbids the former; second the latter, at do not grieve (Eph 4:30).
Prima iterum in duas.
The first of these also has two sections:
Primo prohibet vetustatem;
first, he bans the old;
secundo inducit ad novitatem, ibi sed si quis, et cetera.
second, he urges them toward the new, at but only that which is good.
259. Dicit ergo omnis sermo malus, et cetera. Sermo oris praetendit et annuntiat quae sunt in anima, quia voces sunt earum, quae sunt in anima, passionum notae. Ille est bonus sermo, qui indicat bonam dispositionem interiorem, malus vero qui malam.
259. Thus he says let no evil speech proceed from your mouth. A word from the mouth exteriorizes or expresses whatever is on the mind since spoken words are signs of what occurs in the soul. A good word is one which indicates good interior dispositions, while an evil word externalizes evil dispositions.
Tripliciter autem homo ordinatur interius, scilicet ad se, ut scilicet omnia sint rationi subiecta; ad Deum, ut ratio sit ei subdita; ad proximum, quando diligit eum ut seipsum. Est ergo quandoque sermo malus, quando indicat hominem inordinatum in se, et hic est sermo falsus eius, qui aliud loquitur et aliud intendit: et similiter sermo inutilis et vanus. Item, est sermo malus qui indicat hominem inordinatum contra Deum: sicut periuria, blasphemiae, et huiusmodi. Item, etiam est sermo malus, quando est contra proximum suum: sicut iniuriae, doli, et fallaciae. Et ideo dicit omnis sermo malus ex ore vestro non procedat. Omnis non vero aequipollet huic signo, nullus. Sap. I, 11: custodite ergo vos a murmuratione, quae nihil prodest, et a detractione parcite linguae, quia sermo obscurus in vacuum non ibit; quia certe Deum non praeterit omnis cogitatus et non abscondit se ab eo ullus sermo, ut dicitur Eccli. XLII, 20. Nunc autem deponite et vos omnia, iram, indignationem, malitiam, blasphemiam, turpem sermonem de ore vestro, Col. III.
Man should possess a threefold inner relationship; namely, to himself, that all his powers are subject to reason; to God, so that his reason submits to him; and to his fellow man when he loves him as himself. Hence a word is evil when it shows that a man is not properly related within himself. This is the false word by which he means one thing and says another; futile and vain talk also belong to this category. Again, there are wicked words which indicate that a man is not related properly to God, such as perjury, blasphemy and the like. Finally, there is also evil talk which is against one’s neighbor, such as injurious, deceitful, and fraudulent words. Therefore does he say let no evil speech proceed from your mouth. No is equivalent to none. Keep yourselves therefore from murmuring which profits nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction: for an obscure speech shall not go for naught (Wis 1:11). For it is certainly true of God that no thought escapes him and no word can hide itself from him (Sir 42:20). But now put away also any anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, or filthy speech out of your mouth (Col 3:8).
260. Sequitur sed si quis bonus est, et cetera. Inducit ad novitatem, quia sermo bonus benedicendus est pro loco et tempore. Prov. c. XV, 23: sermo opportunus est optimus. Si quis ergo loquitur, quasi sermones Dei, I Petr. c. IV, 11.
260. With that which is good he encourages them on toward newness because a good word, spoken at the right time and place, is blessed. A word in due time is best (Prov 15:23). If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God (1 Pet 4:11).
261. Et ad quid? Subdit ad aedificationem fidei, id est ut corroboretur fides in cordibus infirmorum. I Cor. XIV, 26: omnia ad aedificationem fiant.
261. And what for? He adds to the edification of faith in order, that is, for faith to be strengthened in the hearts of the weak: let all things be done to edification (1 Cor 14:26).
Et hoc ut det gratiam audientibus, scilicet si talis bonus sermo sit probatus, vel talis sermo est conferens: quia frequenter homo ex bono sermone et per virtutem boni sermonis auditi, compunctus disponitur ad gratiam. Act. X, 44: adhuc loquente Petro verba haec, cecidit Spiritus Sanctus super omnes qui audiebant verbum. Sic loquebatur Dominus, de quo dicitur Lc. IV, 22: mirabantur ex verbis gratiae, quae procedebant de ore ipsius. Eccle. X, 12: verba oris sapientis gratia.
If it may administer grace to the hearers such a word is proven good and it is profitable. For frequently a man repents and is disposed for grace from hearing a good sermon and through the power it conveys. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word (Acts 10:44). Our Lord spoke in this fashion: they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth (Luke 4:22). The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace (Eccl 10:12).
Begini et misericordes
Kindness and forgiveness
4:30 Et nolite contristare Spiritum Sanctum Dei: in quo signati estis in diem redemptionis. [n. 263]
4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. [n. 263]
4:31 Omnis amaritudo, et ira, et indignatio, et clamor, et blasphemia tollatur a vobis cum omni malitia. [n. 264]
4:31 Let all bitterness and anger and indignation and clamor and blasphemy be put away from you, with all malice. [n. 264]
4:32 Estote autem invicem benigni, misericordes, donantes invicem sicut et Deus in Christo donavit vobis. [n. 265]
4:32 And be kind one to another: merciful, forgiving one another, even as God has forgiven you in Christ. [n. 265]
262. Supra monuit Apostolus abstinere a verbis malis et nocivis, hic monet abstinere a verbis et factis turbativis seu contristativis proximorum.
262. Previously the Apostle warned the Ephesians to abstain from wicked and injurious words. Here he advises them against words or actions which would upset or sadden other men.
Circa quod duo facit.
Regarding this he does two things:
Primo prohibet quod pertinet ad vetustatem;
first, he prohibits what pertains to the old;