Intelligite volutatem Dei
Understand God’s will
5:15 Videte itaque, fratres, quomodo caute ambuletis: non quasi insipientes, sed ut sapientes: [n. 302]
5:15 See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise, but as wise: [n. 302]
5:16 redimentes tempus, quoniam dies mali sunt. [n. 303]
5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [n. 303]
5:17 Propterea nolite fieri imprudentes, sed intelligentes quae sit voluntas Dei. [n. 305]
5:17 Wherefore, do not become imprudent: but understanding what is the will of God. [n. 305]
301. Supra prohibuit fallaciarum carnalium vetustatem, hic hortatur ad contrariam novitatem. Et
301. Above he forbade the old ways of carnal illusions, and now he exhorts them to the contrary newness. He encourages them:
primo hortatur ad novitatem contrariam fallaciae;
first, toward a newness opposed to the former illusions;
secundo ad novitatem contrariam luxuriae, ibi et nolite inebriari, et cetera.
second, toward a newness opposed to voluptuousness, at and do not be drunk (Eph 5:18).
Prima in tres.
The first section contains three parts:
Primo inducit ad cautelam contrariam fallaciae;
first, he gives them a caution against the fallacy;
secundo ostendit novitatem cautelae, ibi redimentes tempus, etc.;
second, he shows them the NECESSITY [IT SEEMS THAT THIS IS AN ERROR IN THE LATIN, NEWNESS SHOULD PROBABLY BE NECESSITY, CF. 303 BELOW] of this precaution, at redeeming the time;
tertio docet modum cautelae, ibi propterea nolite fieri, et cetera.
third, he teaches them how to act according to it, at wherefore, do not become imprudent.
302. Dicit ergo itaque, scilicet ex praemissis, videte quomodo caute ambuletis. Cautio est quaedam conditio prudentiae, per quam aliquis vitat impedimenta agendorum, et hanc cautelam debent omnes habere. Prov. c. IV, 23: oculi tui videant recta, et palpebrae tuae praecedant gressus tuos.
302. Whence he states therefore from the preceding see how you walk circumspectly. Caution is one of the conditions of prudence by which a person avoids hindrances in accomplishing what he has to do. Everyone ought to possess this caution. Let your eyes look straight on and let your eyelids go before your steps (Prov 4:25).
Hoc autem pertinet ad sapientes, et ideo dicit non quasi insipientes, qui scilicet nesciunt vitare impedimenta. Ps. LXXV, 6: turbati sunt omnes insipientes corde. Sed ut sapientes. Eccle. II, 14: sapientis oculi in capite eius: stultus in tenebris ambulat. Quidam dicunt: si non caste, tamen caute. Sed sic non accipit Apostolus, sed dicit caute, ac si diceret: cavete ab hominibus contrariis castitati.
This is a characteristic of wise men, thus he adds not as unwise who do not know how to avoid the obstacles. All the foolish of heart were troubled (Ps 76:5). But as wise: the eyes of a wise man are in his head: the fool walks in darkness (Eccl 2:14). Some say: if you do not act chastely, nonetheless act cautiously. The Apostle does not take it in such a sense; when he says circumspectly it is as though he said: beware of men who thwart chastity.
303. Necessitatem autem huius cautelae ostendit, cum dicit redimentes tempus, etc.; quod potest exponi dupliciter.
303. He explains the necessity of this precaution when he says redeeming the time, which can be interpreted in two ways.
Redimit enim aliquis quandoque rem suam, dando enxenia vel aliquid pro ea, sicut dicitur aliquis redimere vexationem suam dando enxenia, vel pecuniam, vel quando dimittit de iure suo. Dicit ergo: totum tempus hoc est tempus calumniae, et ideo sitis redimentes tempus, quoniam dies mali sunt. Ex quo peccavit Adam, ex tunc semper paratae sunt insidiae impellentes ad peccatum. Non sic autem in statu innocentiae, in quo non oportebat hominem ab aliquo licito abstinere, quia in eius voluntate non erat impellens aliquid ad peccatum. Modo autem oportet nos tempus redimere, quoniam dies mali sunt, id est debemus malitiam dierum vitare, diem malum praecavere, ut dicitur Eccle. VII, 15, et etiam a quibusdam licitis abstinere. I Cor. c. X, 23: omnia mihi licent, sed non omnia aedificant. In hunc autem modum dicitur aliquis vexationem suam redimere, quia dimittit aliquid de iure suo perire.
On certain occasions a man redeems his property by offering a gift or something else for it; for instance, someone is said to compensate for a grievance he caused by offering a gift or money, or by renouncing something which is rightfully his. In this sense he would be saying: the whole of time is now a time of deception, hence you should be redeeming the time, because the days are evil. At the time Adam sinned, and from then on, snares have always been set to thrust men into sin. It was not that way in the state of innocence when it was unnecessary for a man to abstain from anything which was licit, since there was nothing in his will driving him to sin. But now we have to redeem the time, because the days are evil; we must avoid the depravity of the days, and beware beforehand of the evil day (Eccl 7:15). To do this we must renounce even certain things which are lawful: all things are lawful for me; but all things do not edify (1 Cor 10:23). In this way a person is said to redeem a grievance he caused since he permits something that is rightfully his to be forfeited.
304. Vel aliter: redimentes tempus, et cetera. Contingit quandoque quod aliquis per magnum tempus vitae vivit in peccato, et hoc est tempus perditum.
304. There is another interpretation of redeeming the time. For it sometimes happens that a person lives a great part of his life in sin, and this is time lost.
Sed quomodo redimet, cum homo non sufficiat ad debita persolvenda? Respondeo. Dicendum est quod tanto magis debet vacare operibus bonis, quanto prius instetit malis. I Petr. I: sufficit enim praeteritum tempus ad voluntatem gentium consumendam his, qui ambulaverunt in luxuriis, vinolentiis, desideriis, et cetera. Sed prima expositio est melior.
But how is he to redeem it when man is incapable of paying his debts? I reply that he ought to devote himself to good works to an even greater degree than he had previously pursued sinful ones. For the time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the will of the gentiles, for them who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excesses of wine, revellings, banquetings, and unlawful worshipping of idols (1 Pet 4:3). The first interpretation, however, is better.
305. Deinde cum dicit propterea nolite fieri, etc., docet modum cautelae, dicens: propterea, scilicet ut possitis tempus redimere, nolite fieri imprudentes.
305. Then, when he says wherefore, do not become imprudent, he goes on to teach them how to abide by the precaution, saying: wherefore that you may be able to redeem the time, do not become imprudent.
Nota quod differentia est inter sapientiam et prudentiam. Prudentia enim est quaedam sapientia, sed non universalis sapientia. Prov. c. X, 23: sapientia autem est viro prudentia. Sapiens enim simpliciter dicitur, qui habet de omnibus ordinare: sapiens autem secundum quid dicitur, qui habet ordinare de his de quibus est sapiens. I Cor. III, 10: ut sapiens architectus fundamentum posui. Quia sapientis est ordinare, ut dicitur I Methaphysicae.
Notice that there is a difference between wisdom and prudence. For prudence is a certain type of wisdom, but not the whole of wisdom. Wisdom is prudence to a man (Prov 10:23). That man is called wise in an absolute sense who puts everything into perspective; but a man is wise only in a certain respect when he puts in order only those things about which he is well informed. As a wise architect I have laid the foundation (1 Cor 3:10). For the role of the wise man is to put things in order, as the Metaphysics I states.
Omnis autem ordinator respicit finem; ille ergo simpliciter est sapiens, qui cognoscit finem, vel qui agit propter finem universalem, scilicet Deum. Deut. IV, 6: haec est enim sapientia vestra, et cetera. Sapientia enim est divinarum rerum cognitio, ut dicit Augustinus, IV de Trinitate. Prudentia vero est particularis rei providentia, quando scilicet quis ordinat facta sua. Et ideo sapientia est viro prudentia. Propter hoc ergo dicit: nolite fieri imprudentes, sed intelligentes, et cetera. Sicut ratio speculativa ordinat de agendis et iudicat: oportet autem conclusiones habere et iudicare per principia, et similiter in operabilibus. Istud autem primum principium, per quod debemus iudicare omnia et regulare, est voluntas Dei; et ideo intellectus in moralibus et divinis debet habere pro principio voluntatem Dei, quia, si hanc habeat pro principio, fit prudens intellectus. Deut. c. XXXII, 29: utinam saperent et intelligerent, et cetera. Hoc autem docuit Dominus, Matth. c. XXVI, 42: fiat voluntas tua.
Everyone who sets things in perspective considers their end; hence he is wise in an absolute sense who knows and acts for the universal end, God. For this is your wisdom, and understanding in the sight of nations (Deut 4:6). For wisdom, as Augustine mentions in the fourth book of On the Trinity, is the knowledge of divine realities. Prudence, on the other hand, is the directive care of particular things, as when a person regulates his actions. Thus, wisdom is prudence to man (Prov 10:23). For this reason he says do not become imprudent, but understanding what is the will of God. For just as speculative reason puts whatever is to be done in perspective and judges it—it is necessary to have conclusions and to judge them by principles—so likewise in the field of performance. Now the first principle through which we ought to judge and regulate everything is the will of God. Hence the intellect, in moral matters and those which lead to God, must have the will of God for its principle. If it does, then the intellect becomes prudent. O that they would be wise and would understand, and would provide for their last end (Deut 32:29). Our Lord taught this: your will be done (Matt 26:42).
5:18 Et nolite inebriari vino, in quo est luxuria, sed implemini Spiritu Sancto, [n. 307]
5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, wherein is luxury: but be filled with the Holy Spirit, [n. 307]
5:19 loquentes vobismetipsis in psalmis, et hymnis, et canticis spiritualibus, cantantes et psallentes in cordibus vestris Domino, [n. 310]
5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord: [n. 310]
5:20 gratias agentes semper pro omnibus in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi Deo et Patri, [n. 314]
5:20 Giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father: [n. 314]
5:21 subjecti invicem in timore Christi. [n. 315]
5:21 Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. [n. 315]
306. Supra induxit ad novitatem contra vetustatem fallaciae, hic hoc idem facit contra vetustatem vitiorum carnalium. Vel dicamus quod prius reprehenderit peccata carnalia quantum ad luxuriam, hic autem quantum ad gulam.
306. He urged them before to that newness which is in opposition to the old illusion, and now he does the same in reference to the old ways of carnal sins. Or, we might say that he previously reprimanded carnal sins in regard to voluptuousness, and here does it concerning gluttony.
Duo autem facit. Primo enim prohibet vetustatem;
He makes two points: first, he forbids the old way;
secundo inducit statum ad novitatem, ibi sed impleamini, et cetera.
second, he introduces them to the new condition, at but be filled.
307. Dicit ergo: dixi quod fornicatio et omnis immunditia non nominetur in vobis; sed ad hoc cavendum debetis a vino superfluo abstinere, quia cibus et potus superfluus est causa luxuriae, et praecipue vinum, quod calefacit et movet. Prov. XX, 1: luxuriosa res vinum, et tumultuosa ebrietas. Esth. c. I, 10: cum esset rex hilarior, et post nimiam potationem incaluisset mero, et cetera. Os. c. IV, 11: fornicatio, et vinum, et ebrietas auferunt cor. Unde Hieronymus: quem Sodoma non vicit, vina vicerunt Lot. Nolite ergo, et cetera.
307. Thus he says: I have stated that fornication and all uncleanness should not so much as be named among you (Eph 5:3). Yet you ought also be careful to abstain from superfluous wine since excessive food and drink is a cause of sensuality; and especially wine which warms and excites a man: wine is a luxurious thing, and drunkenness riotous (Prov 20:1); when the king was merry, and after very much drinking was well warmed with wine, he commanded . . . to bring in queen Vasthi before the king (Esth 1:10–11); fornication and wine and drunkenness take away the understanding (Hos 4:11). Whence Jerome remarks: a man over whom Sodom could not prevail was conquered by wine—Lot. Therefore do not be drunk with wine, wherein is luxury.
308. Sed impleamini Spiritu Sancto. Inter omnia quae multos spiritus generant est vinum, unde generat animositatem et facit homines per talenta loqui, ut dicitur III Esd. III, 21. Et ideo convenienter docet eos contra hoc repleri Spiritu Sancto, qui generat fervorem devotionis. Rom. XII, 11: spiritu ferventes. Item, etiam generat gaudium et laetitiam spiritualem. Rom. XIV, 17: iustitia, et pax, et gaudium in Spiritu Sancto. Item, facit audacter loqui. Act. II, 4: repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto, et coeperunt loqui, etc., et ideo qui eos loquentes audiebant, credebant eos ebrios.
308. But be filled with the Holy Spirit. Among all those things which breed a variety of moods is wine; thus it begets animosity and makes men talk in thousands (3 Esd 3:21). Appropriately therefore does he teach them the opposite, to be filled with the Holy Spirit who engenders an intensity of devotion: in spirit fervent (Rom 12:11). Who also spreads joy and spiritual happiness: justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). Who, moreover, makes men speak out boldly: and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Spirit gave them to speak (Acts 2:4), so that those who heard them thought they were drunk (Acts 2:13).
309. Sed numquid habemus Spiritum Sanctum in nostra potestate?
309. But do we possess the Holy Spirit by our own power?
Respondeo et dico quod habere Spiritum Sanctum est dupliciter: vel receptive, et sic non est in nostra potestate eum recipere, sed ex dono Dei eum recipimus. Rom. V, 5: caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, et cetera. Vel dispositive, et sic adhuc non sumus sufficientes eum recipere, id est nos disponere sine gratia Dei. II Cor. III, 5: non sumus sufficientes cogitare aliquid a nobis quasi ex nobis, sed sufficientia nostra ex Deo est.
I reply and say that the Holy Spirit is possessed in two ways. Either he is had receptively, and it is not in our power to receive him, rather we accept him as a gift from God: the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit, who is given to us (Rom 5:5). Or he is possessed dispositively, and even here we are not capable of receiving him since we cannot dispose ourselves without the grace of God: not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5).
Vel aliquis dicitur recipere Spiritum Sanctum, non tamen plenus esse Spiritu Sancto, quando scilicet habet gratiam Spiritus Sancti quantum ad aliquam et non quantum ad omnem hominis operationem. Tunc autem dicitur plenus Spiritu Sancto, quando eo utitur generaliter.
Or, someone may be said to receive the Holy Spirit, and nonetheless not be full of the Holy Spirit. He has the grace of the Holy Spirit in reference to certain aspects of his life, but not in reference to every one of his actions. Then is he said to be full of the Holy Spirit when he avails himself of the Spirit in all he does.
310. Modus autem repletionis est in dilectione Dei et proximi. Et ideo cum dicit loquentes, etc.,
310. The way to be filled is found in the love of God and one’s fellow men. Thus when he says speaking to yourselves in psalms: