5:3 Fornicatio autem, et omnis immunditia, aut avaritia, nec nominetur in vobis, sicut decet sanctos: [n. 272]
5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becomes saints: [n. 272]
5:4 aut turpitudo, aut stultiloquium, aut scurrilitas, quae ad rem non pertinet: sed magis gratiarum actio. [n. 275]
5:4 Or obscenity or foolish talking or scurrility, which is to no purpose: but rather giving of thanks. [n. 275]
271. Supra, posita monitione, Apostolus docuit ut deposita vetustate Ephesii novitatem assumerent prohibendo vitia spiritualia, hic prohibet eisdem vitia etiam carnalia.
271. Having previously cautioned them, the Apostle taught the Ephesians to put off the old man and put on the new by forbidding spiritual vices. Now he also bans carnal sins.
Dividitur autem in duas.
It is divided into two parts:
Primo enim prohibet vetustatem vitiorum carnalium;
first, he prohibits the old way of carnal sins;
secundo inducit ad novitatem, ibi videte itaque, fratres, et cetera.
second, he stimulates them on to the new life, at see therefore, brethren (Eph 5:15).
Prima iterum dividitur in tres.
The first part has three subdivisions:
Primo excludit vetustatem vitiorum;
first, he rejects the old sins;
secundo proponit poenam eorum, ibi hoc autem scitote, etc.;
second, he sets forth their punishment, at for know this (Eph 5:5);
tertio excludit fallaciam, ibi nemo vos seducat, et cetera.
third, he precludes a fallacy, at let no man deceive you (Eph 5:6).
Prima iterum in duas.
The first section has two parts:
Primo excludit quaedam vitia principalia;
first, he bars certain principal vices;
secundo excludit quaedam adiuncta, ibi aut turpitudo, et cetera.
second, he rejects some vices associated with them, at or obscenity.
272. Excludit autem tria vitia, scilicet luxuriam naturalem, quae est cum non sua, unde dicit fornicatio. Os. IV, 12: spiritus enim fornicationum decepit eos. I Cor. VI, v. 18: fugite fornicationem. Sic faciebat Iob c. XXXI, 1: pepigi foedus cum oculis meis, ut nec cogitarem de virgine. Dicitur autem fornicatio a fornice, id est arcu triumphali, iuxta quem erant lupanaria. Prov. XX: intravit super eos fornicatio, et cetera.
272. He eliminates three vices. There is a natural voluptuousness committed with another outside of wedlock; whence he says fornication. For the spirit of fornication has deceived them (Hos 4:12); flee from fornication (1 Cor 6:18). Job did this: I made a covenant with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a virgin (Job 31:1). This is called fornication from the word ‘fornix,’ that is, the triumphal arch near which brothels were situated. Fornication came in upon them (Prov 20).
Et omnis immunditia, id est omnis pollutio contra naturam, scilicet quae non ordinatur ad generationem. Gal. V, 12: manifesta sunt opera carnis, quae sunt fornicatio, immunditia, luxuria, et cetera.
And all uncleanness designates every impurity against nature, namely, when the act is not ordered toward the generation of offspring. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are: fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, lust (Gal 5:19).
Tertio excludit avaritiam, dicendo aut avaritia.
Third, he bans avarice in mentioning covetousness.
273. Sed quare hoc? Numquid est idem cum peccatis carnalibus?
273. But why this? Is it to be classed with carnal sins?
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod non, nec totaliter est divisa, sed medium inter spiritualia et carnalia peccata: quod patet sic. In peccato sunt duo, scilicet obiectum peccati, et delectatio in obiecto. Quaedam ergo sunt peccata quorum obiectum et delectatio est spiritualis, sicut ira. Nam vindicta, quae est obiectum irae, et delectatio eius, est quid spirituale, et similiter inanis gloria. Quaedam vero sunt omnino carnalia et obiectum et delectatio; sicut gula et luxuria. Sed avaritia tenet medium, quia eius obiectum est carnale, scilicet pecunia, sed delectatio est spiritualis, quia animo quiescit quis in pecunia. Et ideo connumeratur avaritia cum peccatis carnalibus ratione obiecti, cum spiritualibus vero ratione delectationis. Heb. ult.: sint mores sine avaritia.
I reply that it is neither identified with, nor completely separate from, carnal sin but midway between the spiritual and carnal sins. It can be explained this way. Sin contains two elements, the object of the sin and the gratification the object affords. Thus with certain sins both the object and the gratification are spiritual, such as anger. Both revenge, which is the objective of anger, and its gratification, are spiritual; the same holds true for vainglory. Other sins, however, are completely carnal both in their objects and their gratification; such as gluttony and voluptuousness. But covetousness is between each of these because its object is carnal, namely money, whereas its gratification is spiritual inasmuch as the mind finds rest in the possession of money. Therefore, covetousness is enumerated among the carnal sins by reason of its object, and among the spiritual ones by reason of the gratification it affords. Let your manners be without covetousness (Heb 13:5).
Vel dicendum est, quod avaritia opponitur iustitiae, unde ponitur pro specie luxuriae, quae est adulterium, quod est iniustus usus mulieris alterius: sicut avaritia iniustus usus pecuniae.
Or it might be answered that covetousness is opposed to justice and thus is classed with the kind of sensuality known as adultery. The latter is the unjust use of another man’s woman and covetousness is the unjust use of money.
274. Sed supra dixit: qui furabatur, etc., hic autem dicit quod nec nominetur, etc., quia in pugna spirituali vitia carnalia primo occurrunt vincenda: quia frustra pugnat quis contra intrinseca, nisi primo vincat extrinseca, scilicet carnalia, contra quae semper remanet bellum. Et ideo dicit nec nominetur in vobis, sicut decet sanctos, scilicet abstinere a factis, a cogitationibus, et a dictis. Is. XIV: perdam Babylonis nomen, et reliquias, et progeniem et germen. Eccli. c. XLI, 15: curam habe de bono nomine, quia hoc decet sanctos. II Cor. VI, 4: in omnibus exhibeamus nosmetipsos sicut Dei ministros, et cetera.
274. Above he said, he who stole, let him now steal no more (Eph 4:28). But here he says let it not so much as be named among you because in the spiritual battle carnal sins must first be conquered. In vain would anyone struggle against internal sins unless he had first overcome external, carnal ones—against which there will always be a struggle. Therefore he says let it not so much as be named among you, as becomes saints who refrain from such actions, thoughts and words. I will destroy the name of Babylon, and the remains, and the bud, and the offspring (Isa 14:22). Take care of a good name (Sir 41:15) since this is fitting for saints. In all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God (2 Cor 6:4).
275. Sequitur aut turpitudo, et cetera. Ubi ponit quaedam vitia adiuncta. Circa quod duo facit. Primo adiuncta vitia excludit; secundo ad contraria eorum inducit, ibi sed magis gratiarum actio, et cetera.
275. Next, at or obscenity, he sets down some vices associated with the aforementioned. Regarding them he makes two points: first, he rejects these vices; second, he encourages them to practice the contrary virtue, at but rather giving of thanks.
Tria ergo vitia excludit, scilicet turpitudinem, quae est in tactibus turpibus et amplexibus et osculis libidinosis. Prov. VI, 32: qui autem adulter est, propter cordis inopiam, perdet animam suam, et turpitudinem, et ignominiam congregat sibi. Item, stultiloquium, id est verba provocantia ad malum. Eccli. IX, 11: colloquium illius quasi ignis exardescit, scilicet malae mulieris. Et scurrilitatem, id est verbum ioculatorium, per quod aliqui volunt inde placere aliis. Matth. XII, v. 36: de omni verbo otioso quod locuti fuerint homines, reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii. Et haec omnia sunt mortalia, inquantum ad mortalia peccata ordinantur, quia aliquid etiam si bonum sit ex genere, inquantum ad mortale ordinatur, est mortale.
Hence he bans three vices, namely, obscenity which consists in impure touches, embraces and lustful kisses. But he who is an adulterer, for the folly of his heart shall destroy his own soul. He gathers to himself shame and dishonor (Prov 6:32–33). Then there is foolish talking which is words provocative of evil. For her conversation, that is, of an evil woman, burns as fire (Sir 9:11). Finally there is scurrility consisting in jocose words with which some attempt to please others. But I say to you that for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account on the day of judgment (Matt 12:36). All of these are grave insofar as they are ordered towards mortal sins; for anything, even if it is generally good, becomes mortal to the degree that it is ordered toward mortal sins.
Deinde inducit ad contraria, scilicet gratiarum actiones. Unde dicit sed magis gratiarum actio. Is. LI, 3: gaudium, et laetitia invenietur in ea, gratiarum actio, et vox laudis.
Then he introduces them to the opposite, namely, thanksgiving. Whence he says but rather giving of thanks. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of praise (Isa 51:3).
The anger of God
5:5 Hoc enim scitote intelligentes: quod omnis fornicator, aut immundus, aut avarus, quod est idolorum servitus, non habet haereditatem in regno Christi et Dei. [n. 277]
5:5 For know this and understand: that no fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. [n. 277]
5:6 Nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis: propter haec enim venit ira Dei in filios diffidentiae. [n. 281]
5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things comes the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. [n. 281]
5:7 Nolite ergo effici participes eorum. [n. 284]
5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. [n. 284]
276. Supra prohibuit Apostolus peccata carnalia, hic comminatur poenam damnationis, quae peccatoribus infligitur.
276. The Apostle above forbade carnal sins, and here he threatens them with the penalty of damnation that is inflicted on sinners.
Circa quod duo facit. Primo enim de hoc eos certificat; secundo sigillatim peccata recitat, ibi quod omnis fornicator, et cetera.
In reference to this he does two things: first, he assures them of it; second, he mentions the sins one by one, at that no fornicator.
277. Dicit ergo hoc scitote intelligentes, id est actualiter, non solum habitualiter, pro certo habete. I Io. III: haec scripsi vobis, ut sciatis, et cetera.
277. He states for know this and understand, that is, be actually certain of it and not just habitually. These things I write to you that you may know that you have eternal life; you who believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).
278. Et quid? Quod omnis fornicator, aut immundus, aut avarus, quod est idolorum servitus, non habet haereditatem in regno Christi et Dei.
278. And what does he write? That no fornicator or unclean or covetous person, which is a serving of idols, has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Nota quod vocat hic avaritiam idololatriam, quoniam idololatria est, quando honor soli Deo debitus, impenditur creaturae. Nunc autem Deo dupliciter honor debetur, scilicet ut in eo finem nostrum constituamus, et ut in eo fiduciam nostram finaliter ponamus; ergo qui hoc in creaturis ponit, reus est idololatriae. Hoc autem facit avarus, qui finem suum in re creata ponit, et etiam totam suam fiduciam. Os. VIII, 4: argentum suum et aurum suum fecerunt sibi idola, ut interirent. Et hoc, quia, ut dicitur Prov. XI, 28: qui confidit in divitiis suis, corruet.
Notice that he calls covetousness idolatry, for idolatry happens when the honor due God alone is given to creatures. Now there is a twofold honor due God; we must establish him as the goal of our life and we must put our trust of reaching the goal in him. Hence, whoever places these in creatures is guilty of idolatry. A covetous person commits this when he fixes his end in a created reality as well as putting all his trust in it. Of their silver and their gold they have made idols to themselves, that they might perish (Hos 8:4). This happens because he that trusts in his riches shall fall (Prov 11:28).
279. Sed cum in aliis peccatis ponat homo finem suum in creatura, cui amore inhaeret, quare etiam in illis non dicitur peccator idololatra?
279. However, since in the other sins a man also puts his goal in a creature, clinging to it by love, why are they not termed idolatry too?