Works of the flesh
5:18 Quod si Spiritu ducimini, non estis sub lege. [n. 316]
5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [n. 316]
5:19 Manifesta sunt autem opera carnis, quae sunt fornicatio, immunditia, impudicitia, luxuria, [n. 319]
5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, lust, [n. 319]
5:20 idolorum servitus, veneficia, inimicitiae, contentiones, aemulationes, irae, rixae, dissensiones, sectae, [n. 324]
5:20 Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, [n. 324]
5:21 invidiae, homicidia, ebrietates, comessationes, et his similia, quae praedico vobis, sicut praedixi: quoniam qui talia agunt, regnum Dei non consequentur.
5:21 Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of which I foretell to you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.
316. Postquam ostendit Apostolus, quod per Spiritum liberamur a desideriis carnis, hic consequenter ostendit, quod per ipsum liberamur a servitute legis. Et
316. After showing that through the Spirit we are freed from the desires of the flesh, the Apostle here shows that through him we are released from the bondage of the law.
primo proponit beneficium Spiritus;
First, he mentions a benefit of the Spirit;
secundo manifestat per effectum, ibi manifesta sunt opera carnis, et cetera.
second, he manifests it by certain effects, at now the works of the flesh are manifest.
317. Dicit ergo: dico quod si Spiritu ambuletis, non solum desideria carnis non perficietis, sed quod plus est, si Spiritu ducimini (quod fit quando facitis quod Spiritus suggerit, ut director et gubernator, non autem id ad quod sensus et affectus proprius instigat), non estis sub lege. Ps. CXLII, 10: Spiritus tuus bonus deducet me in terram rectam, non quidem ut coactor, sed ut gubernator.
317. He says therefore: I say that if you walk in the Spirit, not only will you not carry out the desires of the flesh, but, what is more, if you are led by the Spirit (which happens when you do what the Spirit suggests, as director and guide, and not what your sense desires urge), you are not under the law: your good Spirit shall lead me into the right land, not by compelling, but by guiding (Ps 143:10).
318. Ex his autem verbis vult Hieronymus, quod post adventum Christi nullus habens Spiritum Sanctum tenetur servare legem.
318. Jerome infers from these words that after the coming of Christ no one having the Holy Spirit is obliged to observe the law.
Sed sciendum est, quod hoc quod dicit si Spiritu ducimini, iam non estis sub lege, potest referri ad praecepta legis, vel caeremonialia, vel moralia.
But it should be recognized that the saying, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law, can be referred either to the ceremonial or to the moral precepts of the law.
Si quidem referatur ad caeremonialia, sciendum est, quod aliud est servare legem, aliud esse sub lege. Servare legem est facere opera legis, non habendo spem in eis; sed esse sub lege est ponere spem in operibus legis. In primitiva autem Ecclesia erant aliqui iusti servantes legem, sed non sub lege, inquantum servabant opera legis sed non erant sub lege, quasi in eis spem ponentes. Sic etiam Christus sub lege fuit. Supra IV, 4: factum sub lege, et cetera. Et sic excluditur opinio Hieronymi.
If it is referred to the ceremonial precepts, then it is one thing to observe the law and another to be under the law. For to observe the law is to carry out the works of the law without putting any hope in them; but to be under the law is to put one’s hope in the works of the law. Now in the early Church there were some just men who observed the law without being under the law, inasmuch as they observed the works of the law; but they were not under the law in the sense of putting their hope in them. In this way even Christ was under the law: made under the law (Gal 4:4). Thus Jerome’s opinion is excluded.
Si autem referatur ad moralia, sic esse sub lege potest intelligi dupliciter, vel quantum ad obligationem: et sic omnes fideles sunt sub lege, quia omnibus data est. Unde dicitur Matth. V, 17: non veni solvere legem, et cetera. Vel quantum ad coactionem: et sic iusti non sunt sub lege, quia motus et instinctus Spiritus Sancti, qui est in eis, est proprius eorum instinctus; nam caritas inclinat ad illud idem quod lex praecipit. Quia ergo iusti habent legem interiorem, sponte faciunt quod lex mandat, ab ipsa non coacti. Qui vero voluntatem male faciendi habent, comprimuntur tamen pudore vel timore legis, isti coguntur. Et sic iusti sunt sub lege obligante tantum, non cogente, sub qua sunt solum iniusti. II Cor. III, 17: ubi Spiritus Domini, ibi libertas. I Tim. I, 9: iusto non est lex posita, scilicet cogens.
But if it is referred to the moral precepts, then to be under the law can be taken in two ways: either as to its obliging force, and then all the faithful are under the law, because it was given to all—hence it is said: I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17)—or as to its compelling forces, and then the just are not under the law, because the movements and breathings of the Holy Spirit in them are their inspiration; for charity inclines to the very things that the law prescribes. Therefore, because the just have an inward law, they willingly do what the law commands and are not constrained by it. But those who would do evil but are held back by a sense of shame or by fear of the law are compelled. Accordingly, the just are under the law as obliging but not as compelling, in which sense the unjust alone are under it: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17); the law, as compelling, is not made for the just man (1 Tim 1:9).
319. Consequenter cum dicit manifesta sunt autem opera, etc., probat quae dixit per effectum. Et
319. Then when he says, the works of the flesh are manifest, he proves what he has said through certain effects.
primo ponit opera carnis, quae contrariantur Spiritui Sancto;
First, he mentions the works of the flesh which are opposed to the Holy Spirit;
secundo ostendit quomodo opera Spiritus non prohibentur a lege, ibi adversus huiusmodi, et cetera.
second, he shows how the works of the Spirit are not forbidden by the law, at against such there is no law (Gal 5:23).
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first, he does two things:
Primo ponit opera carnis, quae prohibentur a lege;
first, he mentions the works of the flesh that are forbidden by the law;
secundo ponit opera Spiritus, quae ab ea non prohibentur, ibi fructus autem, et cetera.
second, the works of the Spirit which are not forbidden by it, at but the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first, he does two things:
Primo proponit opera carnis;
first, he enumerates the works of the flesh;
secundo subdit nocumentum, quod ex his sequitur, ibi quae praedico, et cetera.
second, he mentions the harm that follows from them, at of which I foretell to you.
320. Dubitatur autem circa primum. Primo quidem de hoc quod Apostolus hic quaedam ponit, quae non pertinent ad carnem, quae tamen dicit esse opera carnis, sicut idolorum servitus, sectae, aemulationes, et huiusmodi.
320. With respect to the first, two doubts arise. First, as to the Apostle’s mentioning things that do not pertain to the flesh, but which he says are works of the flesh, such as idolatry, sects, emulations, and the like.
Respondeo. Dicendum est, secundum Augustinum Lib. XIV de Civ. Dei, c. II, quod secundum carnem vivit quicumque vivit secundum seipsum. Unde caro hic accipitur pro toto homine. Quidquid ergo provenit ex inordinato amore sui, dicitur opus carnis.
I answer that, according to Augustine in The City of God XIV, he lives according to the flesh who lives according to himself. Hence flesh is taken here as referring to the whole man. Accordingly, whatever springs from disordered self-love is called a work of the flesh.
Vel dicendum est, quod aliquod peccatum potest dici carnale dupliciter, scilicet quantum ad consummationem: et sic dicuntur carnalia illa tantum quae consummantur in delectatione carnis, scilicet luxuria et gula; et quantum ad radicem: et sic omnia peccata dicuntur carnalia, inquantum ex corruptione carnis anima aggravatur, ut dicitur Sap. IX, 15; ex quo intellectus debilitatus facilius decipi potest, et impeditur a sua perfecta operatione. Unde et ex hoc sequuntur vitia, scilicet haereses, sectae, et alia huiusmodi. Et hoc modo dicitur quod fomes est principium omnium peccatorum.
Or, one should say that a sin can be called ‘of the flesh’ in two ways: namely, with respect to fulfillment, and in this sense only those are sins of the flesh that are fulfilled in the pleasure of the flesh, namely, lust and gluttony; or with respect to their root, and in this sense all sins are called sins of the flesh, inasmuch as the soul is so weighed down by the weakness of the flesh that the enfeebled intellect can be easily misled and hindered from operating perfectly (Wis 9:15). As a consequence, certain vices follow therefrom, namely, heresies, sects and the like. In this way it is said that the fomes is the source of all sins.
321. Secundo dubitatur, quia cum Apostolus dicat qui talia agunt, regnum Dei non consequentur, et nullus excludatur a regno Dei, nisi pro peccato mortali, sequitur ergo quod omnia quae enumerat sint peccata mortalia. Cuius contrarium videtur, quia inter ista enumerat multa quae non sunt peccata mortalia, sicut est contentio, aemulatio, et huiusmodi.
321. The second doubt is that, since the Apostle says that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God, whereas no one is excluded from the kingdom of God except for mortal sin, it follows that all the sins enumerated are mortal sins. But the contrary seems to be the case, because in this list he enumerates many that are not mortal sins, such as contention, emulation, and the like.
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod omnia haec enumerata sunt aliquo modo mortalia; sed quaedam quidem secundum genus suum, sicut homicidium, fornicatio, idolorum servitus et huiusmodi; quaedam vero secundum suam consummationem, sicut ira cuius consummatio est in nocumentum proximi. Unde si accedit consensus de ipso nocumento, est peccatum mortale. Et similiter comestio ordinatur ad delectationem cibi, sed si in huiusmodi delectationibus ponat quis finem suum, peccat mortaliter: et ideo non dicit comestiones, sed comessationes; et similiter intelligendum est de aliis similibus.
I answer that all the sins listed here are mortal one way or another: some are so according to their genus, as murder, fornication, idolatry, and the like; but others are mortal with respect to fulfillment, as anger, whose fulfillment consists in harm to neighbor. Hence if one consents to that harm, there is mortal sin. In like manner, eating is directed to the pleasure of food, but if one places his end in such pleasures, he sins mortally; accordingly, he does not say eating but revellings. And the same must be said of the others that are like this.
322. Tertio dubitatur de ordine et numeratione eorum.
322. Third, there is a doubt about the order followed in this list.
Circa quod dicendum est quod cum Apostolus in diversis locis, diversa vitia et diversimode enumerat, non intendit enumerare omnia vitia ordinate et secundum artem, sed illa tantum in quibus abundant et in quibus excedunt illi ad quos scribit. Et ideo in eis non est quaerenda sufficientia, sed causa diversitatis.
However, it should be recognized that when the Apostle varies his enumeration of various vices in various texts, it is not his intention to enumerate all the vices in perfect order and according to the rules of the art, but only those in which the persons to whom he is writing abound and in which they are excessive. Therefore in these lists one should look not for completeness but for the cause of the variation.
323. His ergo habitis sciendum est, quod Apostolus enumerat quaedam vitia carnis, quae contingunt circa ea quae non sunt necessaria vitae; quaedam vero circa ea quae sunt necessaria vitae.
323. Having settled these doubts, we should next observe that the Apostle lists certain vices of the flesh that concern things not necessary to life and others that concern things necessary to life.
Circa primum ponit quaedam vitia quae sunt hominis ad seipsum, quaedam contra Deum quaedam contra proximum.
As to the first, he mentions certain vices that a man commits against himself; then those that are against God; finally, those that are against the neighbor.
Contra seipsum sunt quatuor, quae ideo primo ponit quia manifeste ex carne procedunt, quorum duo pertinent ad actum carnalem luxuriae, scilicet fornicatio, quae est quando scilicet accedit solutus ad solutam, vel quantum ad naturalem usum luxuriae. Aliud est immunditia quantum ad usum contra naturam. Eph. V, 5: omnis fornicator aut immundus, et cetera. II Cor. XII, 21: qui non egerunt poenitentiam super immunditia et fornicatione et impudicitia, et cetera.
Against the self there are four. These he mentions first, because they obviously spring from the flesh. Two of these pertain to the carnal act of lust, namely, fornication, when an unmarried man becomes one with an unmarried woman with respect to the natural use of lust. The other is uncleanness as to a use which is contrary to nature—no fornicator or unclean . . . has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5); they have not done penance for the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness that they have committed (2 Cor 12:21).
Alia duo ordinantur ad ipsos actus. Unum scilicet exterius, sicut tactus, aspectus, oscula, et huiusmodi; et quantum ad hoc dicit: impudicitia, Eph. IV, 19: qui desperantes, semetipsos tradiderunt impudicitiae, et cetera. Aliud interius, scilicet in cogitationibus immundis; et quantum ad hoc dicit luxuria, I Tim. V, v. 11: cum enim luxuriatae fuerint in Christo nubere volunt, et cetera.
The other two are ordained to the aforesaid acts: one is performed outwardly, as touches, looks, kisses and the like; as to these he says, immodesty: who despairing, have given themselves up to immodesty unto the working of all uncleanness (Eph 4:19). The other inwardly, namely, unclean thoughts; as to this he says, lust: when they have grown wanton in Christ, they will marry (1 Tim 5:11).
324. Contra Deum ponit duo, quorum unum est per quod impeditur ab hostibus Dei cultus divinus; et quantum ad hoc dicit idolorum servitus, I Cor. X, 7: neque idololatrae efficiamini, et cetera. Sap. XIV, 27: infandorum enim idolorum cultura omnis mali causa est et initium et finis.
324. Against God he lists two: one of these is that whereby divine worship is hindered by the enemies of God; as to this he says, idolatry: neither become idolaters as some of them (1 Cor 10:7); for the worship of abominable idols is the cause and beginning and end of all evil (Wis 14:27).
Aliud est per quod initur pactum cum daemonibus; et quantum ad hoc dicit veneficia, quae fiunt per magicas artes, et dicuntur veneficia a veneno, quia fiunt in nocumentum hominum. I Cor. X, 20: nolo vos fieri socios daemoniorum. Apoc. ult.: foris canes, et venefici, et cetera.
The other is that in which a pact is struck with demons; as to this he says, witchcrafts, which are performed through magical arts, and are called in Latin veneficia, from venom, because they result in great harm to man: I do not want you to be made partakers with devils (1 Cor 10:20); without are dogs and sorcerers (Rev 22:15).