Fulfillment of the law
5:13 Vos enim in libertatem vocati estis, fratres: tantum ne libertatem in occasionem detis carnis, sed per caritatem Spiritus servite invicem. [n. 298]
5:13 For you, brethren, have been called unto liberty. Only do not make liberty an occasion to the flesh: but by charity of the Spirit serve one another. [n. 298]
5:14 Omnis enim lex in uno sermone impletur: diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum. [n. 303]
5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. [n. 303]
5:15 Quod si invicem mordetis, et comeditis: videte ne ab invicem consumamini. [n. 306]
5:15 But if you bite and devour one another: take heed that you be not consumed one of another. [n. 306]
298. Proposito exemplo standi et remoto eius impedimento, hic innuit modum ipsius. Et
298. Having proposed an example of standing fast, and having eliminated an obstacle thereto, he now establishes its mode.
primo ponit modum standi;
First, he establishes the mode of standing;
secundo exponit, ibi omnis enim lex, et cetera.
second, he gives an explanation, at for all the law.
Circa primum tria facit.
As to the first he does three things:
Primo ponit conditionem status;
first, he sets down the condition of a state;
secundo removet abusum standi;
second, he describes its abuse;
tertio innuit standi modum.
third, he asserts its mode.
299. Conditio quidem standi est libertas. Omnis enim status conditio pertinet ad servitutem vel ad libertatem; sed status fidei Christi, ad quem inducit Apostolus, ad libertatem pertinet et est ipsa libertas. Et ideo dicit vos enim, etc., quasi dicat: recte conturbant vos, quia abducunt a meliore in peius, quia vos vocati estis, scilicet a Deo, in libertatem gratiae. Rom. VIII, 15: non accepistis spiritum servitutis iterum in timore, sed accepistis Spiritum adoptionis filiorum, et cetera. Supra IV, 31: non sumus ancillae filii, sed liberae, et cetera. Vos, inquam, qui liberi estis per Christum, volunt ducere in servitutem.
299. The condition of standing fast is liberty. For the condition of any given state pertains either to liberty or to bondage; but the state of faith in Christ, to which the Apostle urges them, pertains to liberty and is liberty itself. Hence he says: for you, brethren, have been called unto liberty. As if to say: they are indeed troubling you; for they are drawing you from what is better to what is worse, because you have been called by God unto the liberty of grace: you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption of sons (Rom 8:15); we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free woman (Gal 4:31). You, I say, who are free in Christ, they want to lead into bondage.
300. Abusus autem status est si in deterius prolabatur, et libertas spiritus pervertatur in servitutem carnis. Galatae autem iam liberi erant a lege, sed ne credant eis licere peccata committere, quae lex prohibebat, ideo Apostolus subdit abusum libertatis, dicens tantum ne, etc., quasi dicat: liberi estis, ita tamen, quod non abutamini libertate vestra, impune vobis peccandum esse arbitrantes. I Cor. VIII, 9: videte ne forte haec licentia vestra offendiculum fiat infirmis.
300. But a state is being misused if it declines, and if liberty of the spirit is perverted into slavery of the flesh. Now the Galatians were free of the law; but lest they suppose this to be a license to commit sins forbidden by the law, the Apostle touches on abuse of liberty, saying, only do not make liberty an occasion to the flesh. As if to say: you are free, but not so as to misuse your liberty by supposing that you may sin with impunity: but take heed, lest perhaps this your liberty become a stumbling-block to the weak (1 Cor 8:9).
301. Modus autem standi est per caritatem, unde dicit sed per caritatem Spiritus, et cetera.
301. Now the mode of standing fast is through charity; hence he says: but by charity of the Spirit serve one another.
Status autem totus est in caritate, sine qua homo nihil est, I Cor. XIII, 1 s. Et secundum diversos gradus caritatis distinguuntur diversi status. Sic ergo status gratiae est non per affectum carnis, sed per caritatem Spiritus, id est quae procedit a Spiritu Sancto, per quem debemus invicem esse subiecti et servire. Infra VI, 2: alter alterius onera portate, et cetera. Rom. XII, 10: honore invicem praevenientes, et cetera.
In fact the whole state consists in charity, without which a man is nothing (1 Cor 13:1ff.). Moreover, it is according to the various degrees of charity that various states are distinguished. Consequently, the state of grace does not exist in virtue of a desire of the flesh but by charity of the Spirit, i.e., a charity which proceeds from the Holy Spirit, through whom we should be subject to and serve one another: bear one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2); with honor preventing one another (Rom 12:10).
302. Sed cum superius dicat quod sint vocati in libertatem, quid est quod modo dicit servite invicem?
302. But since he said earlier that they have been called unto liberty, why does he now say, serve one another?
Ad quod dicendum est, quod hoc exigit caritas, ut invicem serviamus, et tamen libera est. Sciendum est tamen, quod, sicut Philosophus dicit, liber est qui est causa sui, servus autem est causa alterius, vel ut moventis, vel ut finis: quia servus nec a se movetur ad opus, sed a domino, et propter utilitatem domini sui. Caritas ergo quantum ad causam moventem libertatem habet, quia a se operatur. II Cor. V, 14: caritas Christi urget nos, spontanee, scilicet ad operandum. Servus autem est, cum postpositis propriis utilitatibus, accommodat se utilitatibus proximorum.
I answer that charity requires that we serve one another; nevertheless, it is free. Here one might interject that, as the Philosopher says, he is free who is for his own sake; whereas he is a slave who is for the sake of another as of a mover or an end. For a slave is moved to his work not by himself but by a master and for the benefit of his master. Charity, therefore, has liberty as to its moving cause, because it works of itself: the charity of Christ presses us spontaneously, to work (2 Cor 5:14). But it is a servant when, putting one’s own interests aside, it devotes itself to things beneficial to the neighbor.
303. Consequenter cum dicit omnis lex, etc., exponit quae dicit, et
303. Then when he says, for all the law is fulfilled in one word, he explains what he says:
primo de dilectione,
first, about charity;
secundo de libertate non danda in occasionem carnis, ibi Spiritu ambulate, et cetera.
second, about not making liberty an occasion to the flesh, at walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16).
Circa primum monet ad caritatem sectandam:
As to the first, he admonishes them to follow charity:
primo propter utilitatem quam consequimur in impletione;
first, because of the benefit we obtain in fulfilling charity;
secundo propter damnum caritatis neglectae quod incurrimus, ibi quod si invicem, et cetera.
second, because of the injury incurred by neglecting charity, at but if you bite.
304. Utilitas autem, quam consequimur ex impletione caritatis, maxima est, quia in ea implemus totam legem. Et ideo dicit omnis enim, etc., quasi dicat: ideo caritas est habenda, quia omnis lex in uno sermone impletur, scilicet in uno praecepto caritatis. Rom. XIII, 8: qui diligit proximum, legem implevit. Et in eodem capite dicitur: plenitudo legis est dilectio. Et ideo dicit I Tim. I, 5: finis praecepti est caritas.
304. Now the benefit we obtain in fulfilling charity is of the highest order, because in it we fulfill the whole law; hence he says, for all the law in fulfilled in one word. As if to say: charity must be maintained, because the whole law is fulfilled in one word, namely, in the one precept of charity: he that loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law (Rom 13:8) and love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom 13:10). Wherefore he says in 1 Timothy: the end of the commandment is charity (1 Tim 1:5).
Sed contra, quia dicitur Matth. XII: in his duobus mandatis, scilicet de dilectione Dei et proximi, tota lex pendet et prophetae; non ergo in uno praecepto tantum impletur.
However, it is said in Matthew: on these two commandments, namely, of the love of God and of neighbor, depends the whole law and the prophets (Matt 22:40). Therefore, it is not fulfilled in the one precept alone.
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod in dilectione Dei includitur dilectio proximi. I Io. IV, v. 21: hoc mandatum habemus a Deo, ut qui diligit Deum, diligat et fratrem suum. Et e converso proximum diligimus propter Deum: impletur ergo tota lex in uno praecepto caritatis.
I answer that in the love of God is included love of neighbor: this commandment we have from God, that he, who loves God, love also his brother (1 John 4:21). Conversely, we love our neighbor for the love of God. Consequently, the whole law is fulfilled in the one precept of charity.
Praecepta enim legis reducuntur ad illud praeceptum. Nam omnia praecepta vel sunt moralia, vel sunt caeremonialia, vel iudicialia. Moralia quidem sunt praecepta Decalogi, quorum tria pertinent ad dilectionem Dei, alia septem ad dilectionem proximi. Iudicialia autem sunt ut quicumque furatur aliquid reddat quadruplum, et his similia, quae similiter ad dilectionem proximi pertinent. Caeremonialia vero sunt sacrificia et huiusmodi quae reducuntur ad dilectionem Dei.
For the precepts of the law are reduced to that one precept. Indeed, precepts are either moral or ceremonial or judicial. The moral are the precepts of the Decalogue: three concern the love of God, and the other seven the love of neighbor. The judicial are, for example, that whosoever steals anything shall restore fourfold, and others like this; and they pertain absolutely to the love of neighbor. The ceremonial concern sacrifices and related matters which are reduced to love of God.
Et sic patet, quod omnia in uno praecepto caritatis implentur diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum: et est scriptum Lev. XIX, 18.
And so it is plain that all are fulfilled in the one precept of charity, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, which is also written in Leviticus (Lev 19:18).
305. Dicit autem sicut teipsum, non quantum teipsum, quia homo secundum ordinem caritatis magis debet se diligere, quam alium.
305. He says, as yourself, not as much as yourself, because according to the order of charity a man should love himself more than his neighbor.
Exponitur autem tripliciter: uno modo ut referatur ad veritatem dilectionis. Amare enim est velle bonum alicui. Et ideo dicimur amare aliquem cui volumus bonum, et etiam bonum illud amamus, quod ei volumus; sed diversimode, quia cum volo bonum mihi, me diligo simpliciter propter me, bonum autem illud quod mihi volo, diligo non propter se, sed propter me. Tunc ergo diligo proximum sicut meipsum, id est eodem modo quo meipsum, quando volo ei bonum propter se, non quia est mihi utilis, vel delectabilis.
Now this is explained in three ways: first, as referring to the genuineness of the love. For to love is to will good to someone: hence we are said to love both the one to whom we will a good and the very good which we will to someone; but not in the same way. For when I will a good to myself, I love myself absolutely for myself, but the good which I will to myself, I do not love for itself but for myself. Accordingly, I love my neighbor as myself in the same way that I love myself, when I will him a good for his sake, and not because it is useful or pleasant for me.
Secundo modo, ut referatur ad iustitiam dilectionis. Unaquaeque enim res est inclinata velle sibi illud, quod potissimum est in ea; potissimum autem in homine est intellectus, et ratio; ille ergo diligit se, qui vult sibi bonum intellectus et rationis. Tunc ergo diligis proximum sicut teipsum, quando vis ei bonum intellectus et rationis.
In a second way, as referring to the justice of love. For each thing is inclined to want for itself that which is most eminent in it; but in man, understanding and reason are the most eminent. He, therefore, loves himself who wants for himself the good of understanding and reason. Accordingly, you then love your neighbor as yourself, when you will him the good of understanding and reason.
Tertio modo, ut referatur ad ordinem, scilicet ut sicut te diligis propter Deum, ita et proximum propter ipsum diligas, scilicet ut ad Deum perveniat.
In a third way, as referring to order, i.e., that just as you love yourself for the sake of God, so you love your neighbor for the sake of God, namely, that he may attain to God.
306. Consequenter cum dicit quod si invicem, etc., inducit ad caritatem sectandam ex damno quod incurrimus si eam negligamus. Ubi loquitur Galatis adhuc quasi spiritualibus, abstinens a commemoratione maiorum vitiorum et, eorum quae minora videntur mentionem facit, scilicet de vitiis linguae.
306. Then when he says, but if you bite and devour one another, he urges them to follow charity, because of the harm we incur if we neglect it. Here he continues to speak to the Galatians as to spiritual men, not bringing up their greater vices but mentioning ones that seem to be minor, such as sins of the tongue.
Et ideo dicit quod si invicem, etc., quasi dicat: in dilectione omnis lex impletur, quod si vos invicem mordetis, id est in parte famam, proximo detrahendo, aufertis: qui enim mordet, non totum accipit, sed partem. Et comeditis, id est totam famam aufertis et totaliter detrahendo confunditis. Nam qui comedit, totum absorbet. Iac. IV, 11: nolite detrahere alterutrum, fratres mei, et cetera.
Hence he says: if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another. As if to say: all the law is fulfilled in love; but if you bite one another, i.e., partially destroy the good name of your neighbor by slander (for one who bites takes not the whole but a part) and devour, i.e., destroy his good name entirely, and completely shame him by slander (for he that devours, consumes all): detract not one another, my brethren; he that detracts his brother detracts the law (Jas 4:11).
Si ita, inquam, caritatem negligitis, videte damnum quod imminet vobis, scilicet quod ab invicem consumamini. Phil. III, 2: videte canes, videte malos operarios, et cetera. Is. c. XLIX, 4: et vane fortitudinem meam consumpsi, et cetera. Nam sicut Augustinus dicit: vitio contentionis et invidiae, perniciosa iurgia inter homines nutriuntur, quibus consumitur societas et vita.
If you neglect charity in that way, I say, take heed for the calamity that threatens you, namely, that you be not consumed one of another: beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision (Phil 3:2); I have spent my strength without cause and in vain (Isa 49:4). For as Augustine says, by the vice of contention and envy, pernicious rivalries are bred among men, and both life and society are thereby brought to ruin.