Fruit of the Spirit
5:22 Fructus autem Spiritus est caritas, gaudium, pax, patientia, benignitas, bonitas, longanimitas, [n. 327]
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, [n. 327]
327. Positis operibus carnis, hic consequenter Apostolus manifestat opera Spiritus. Et
327. Having listed the works of the flesh, the Apostle then manifests the works of the Spirit.
primo manifestat ea;
First, he manifests them;
secundo ostendit quomodo lex se habet ad opera Spiritus et ad opera carnis, ibi adversus huiusmodi, et cetera.
second, he shows how the law is related to the works of the Spirit and to the works of the flesh, at against such (Gal 5:23).
328. Circa primum enumerat bona spiritualia quae nominat fructus.
328. As to the first, he enumerates the spiritual goods which he calls fruits.
Ex quo incidit quaestio, quia illud dicitur fructus, quo fruimur, sed actibus nostris non debemus frui, sed Deo solo; ergo huiusmodi actus quos enumerat hic Apostolus non debent dici fructus.
But here a question arises, because fruit is something we enjoy; but we should enjoy not our acts, but God alone. Therefore, acts of this kind, which the Apostle lists here, ought not be called fruits.
Item, Glossa dicit quod huiusmodi opera Spiritus sunt propter se appetenda; quod autem propter se appetitur non refertur ad aliud, ergo virtutes et earum opera non sunt referenda ad beatitudinem.
Furthermore, a Gloss says that these works of the Spirit are to be sought for themselves; but that which is sought for itself is not referred to something else. Therefore virtues and their works are not to be referred to happiness.
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod fructus dicitur dupliciter, scilicet ut acquisitus, puta ex labore vel studio, Sap. III, 15: bonorum laborum gloriosus est fructus, et ut productus, sicut fructus producitur ex arbore. Matth. c. VII, 18: non potest arbor bona fructus malos facere. Opera autem Spiritus dicuntur fructus non ut adepti sive acquisiti, sed ut producti; fructus autem qui est adeptus, habet rationem ultimi finis, non autem fructus productus. Nihilominus tamen fructus sic acceptus duo importat, scilicet quod sit ultimum producentis, sicut ultimum quod producitur ab arbore est fructus eius, et quod sit suave sive delectabile. Cant. II, 3: fructus eius dulcis gutturi meo. Sic ergo opera virtutum et Spiritus sunt quid ultimum in nobis. Nam Spiritus Sanctus est in nobis per gratiam, per quam acquirimus habitum virtutum, et ex hoc potentes sumus operari secundum virtutem.
I answer that fruit is said in two ways: namely, as something acquired, for example, from labor or study—the fruit of good labors is glorious (Wis 3:15)—and as something produced, as fruit is produced from a tree: a good tree cannot bear evil fruit (Matt 7:18). Now the works of the Spirit are called fruits, not as something earned or acquired, but as produced. Furthermore, fruit which is acquired has the character of an ultimate end; not, however, fruit which is produced. Nevertheless, fruit so understood implies two things: namely, that it is the last thing of the producer, as the last thing produced by a tree is its fruit, and that it is sweet or delightful: his fruit was sweet to my palate (Song 2:3). So, then, the works of the virtues and of the Spirit are something last in us. For the Holy Spirit is in us through grace, through which we acquire the habit of the virtues; these in turn make us capable of working according to virtue.
Sunt etiam delectabilia, et sunt etiam fructuosa. Rom. VI, 22: habetis fructum vestrum in sanctificationem, id est in operibus sanctificatis, et ideo dicuntur fructus.
Furthermore, they are delightful and even fruitful: you have your fruit unto sanctification (Rom 6:22), i.e., in holy works. And that is why they are called fruits.
Dicuntur etiam flores respectu futurae beatitudinis, quia sicut ex floribus accipitur spes fructus, ita ex operibus virtutum habetur spes vitae aeternae et beatitudinis. Et sicut in flore est quaedam inchoatio fructus, ita in operibus virtutum est quaedam inchoatio beatitudinis, quae tunc erit quando cognitio et caritas perficientur.
But they are also called flowers, namely, in relation to future happiness; because just as from flowers hope of fruit is taken, so from works of the virtues is obtained hope of eternal life and happiness. And as in the flower there is a beginning of the fruit, so in the works of the virtues is a beginning of happiness, which will exist when knowledge and charity are made perfect.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad illud quod secundo obiicitur. Nam aliquid potest dici propter se appetendum dupliciter, quia ly propter potest designare causam formalem vel finalem. Opera virtutum propter se sunt appetenda formaliter, sed non finaliter, quia habent in seipsis delectationem. Nam medicina dulcis appetitur propter se formaliter, quia habet in se unde sit appetibilis, scilicet dulcedinem, quae tamen appetitur propter finem, scilicet propter sanitatem. Sed medicina amara non est appetenda propter se formaliter, quia non delectat ratione suae formae, sed tamen propter aliud appetitur finaliter, scilicet propter sanitatem quae est finis eius.
From this the answer to the second objection is plain. For something can be said to be worthy of being sought for itself in two ways, according as ‘for’ designates formal cause or final cause. Works of the virtues are to be sought for themselves formally but not finally, because they are a delight in themselves. For a sweet medicine is formally sought for itself, because it has something within itself that makes it pleasant, namely, sweetness, which however is sought for an end, namely, for the sake of health. But a bitter medicine is not sought formally for itself, because it does not please by reason of its form; yet it is sought for something else finally, namely, for health, which is its end.
Ex his apparet ratio quare Apostolus effectus carnis vocat opera, fructus autem Spiritus, vocat fructus.
This explains why the Apostle calls the effects of the flesh works, but the fruits of the Spirit he calls fruits.
Dictum est enim, quod fructus dicitur aliquod finale et suave, ex re productum. Quod autem producitur ex aliquo praeter naturam eius, non habet rationem fructus, sed quasi alterius germinis. Opera autem carnis et peccata sunt praeter naturam eorum quae Deus naturae nostrae inseruit. Deus enim humanae naturae quaedam semina inseruit, scilicet naturalem appetitum boni et cognitionem, et addidit etiam dona gratiae. Et ideo quia opera virtutum ex his naturaliter producuntur, fructus dicuntur, non autem opera carnis. Et propter hoc Apostolus dicit Rom. VI, 21: quem ergo fructum habuistis tunc in illis, in quibus nunc erubescitis?
For it has been pointed out that a fruit is something last and sweet, produced from a thing. On the other hand, that which is produced from something but not according to nature, does not have the character of fruit but is, as it were, an alien growth. Now the works of the flesh and sins are alien to the nature of those things which God has planted in our nature. For God planted in human nature certain seeds, namely, a natural desire of good and knowledge, and he added gifts of grace: and therefore, because the works of the virtues are produced naturally from these, they are called fruits, but the works of the flesh are not. And for this reason, the Apostle says: what fruit, therefore, had you then in those things of which you are now ashamed? (Rom 6:21)
Patet ergo ex dictis quod fructus Spiritus dicuntur opera virtutum, et quia habent in se suavitatem et dulcedinem, et quia sunt quoddam ultimum productum secundum convenientiam donorum.
It is plain, therefore, from what has been said, that the works of the virtues are called fruits of the Spirit, both because they have a sweetness and delight in themselves and because they are the last and congruous products of the gifts.
329. Accipitur autem differentia donorum, beatitudinum, virtutum et fructuum ad invicem hoc modo.
329. The difference from one another of the gifts, beatitudes, virtues and fruits is taken in the following way.
In virtute enim est considerare habitum et actum. Habitus autem virtutis perficit ad bene agendum. Et si quidem perficit ad bene operandum humano modo, dicitur virtus. Si vero perficiat ad bene operandum supra modum humanum, dicitur donum. Unde Philosophus supra communes virtutes ponit virtutes quasdam heroicas, puta cognoscere invisibilia Dei sub aenigmate est per modum humanum: et haec cognitio pertinet ad virtutem fidei; sed cognoscere ea perspicue et supra humanum modum, pertinet ad donum intellectus.
In a virtue can be considered the habit and the act. Now the habit of a virtue qualifies a person to act well. If it enables him to act well in a human mode, it is called a virtue. But if it qualifies one for acting well, above the human mode, it is called a gift. Hence the Philosopher, above the common virtues, puts certain heroic virtues: thus, to know the invisible things of God darkly is in keeping with the human mode, and such knowledge pertains to the virtue of faith; but to know the same things more penetratingly and above the human mode pertains to the gift of understanding.
Actus autem virtutis, vel est perficiens: et sic est beatitudo; vel est delectans: et sic est fructus. Et de istis fructibus dicitur Apoc. c. XXII, 2: ex utraque parte lignum vitae afferens fructus duodecim, et cetera.
But as to the act of a virtue, it is either perfective, and in this way is a beatitude; or it is a source of delight, and in this way it is a fruit. Of these fruits it is said in Revelation: on both sides of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits (Rev 22:2).
330. Dicit ergo fructus Spiritus, qui scilicet consurgit in anima ex seminatione spiritualis gratiae, est caritas, etc.; qui quidem sic distinguuntur: quia fructus aut perficiunt interius, aut exterius.
330. He says, therefore, the fruit of the Spirit, which arises in the soul from the sowing of spiritual grace, is charity, joy, peace, patience, longanimity, which indeed are thus distinguished because fruits perfect one either inwardly or outwardly.
Primo ergo ponit illos qui perficiunt interius; secundo illos qui perficiunt exterius, ibi bonitas, et cetera.
First, he mentions those that perfect inwardly; second, those that perfect outwardly.
Interius autem homo perficitur et dirigitur et circa bona et circa mala. II Cor. VI, 7: per arma iustitiae a dextris et a sinistris.
Now a man is perfected and directed inwardly both as to good things and as to evil: by the armor of justice on the right hand and on the left (2 Cor 6:7).
Circa bona autem perficiunt, primo quidem in corde per amorem. Nam sicut inter motus naturales primus est inclinatio appetitus naturae ad finem suum, ita primus motuum interiorum est inclinatio ad bonum, qui dicitur amor, et ideo primus fructus est caritas, Rom. V, 5: caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, et cetera. Et ex caritate perficiuntur aliae, et ideo dicit Apostolus, Col. III, v. 14: super omnia caritatem habentes, et cetera. Ultimus autem finis, quo homo perficitur interius, est gaudium, quod procedit ex praesentia rei amatae. Qui autem habet caritatem, iam habet quod amat. I Io. IV, 16: qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo. Et ex hoc consurgit gaudium. Phil. IV, 4: gaudete in Domino semper, et cetera.
With respect to good things a person is perfected, first of all, in his heart through love. For just as in natural movements there is first an inclination of a nature’s appetite to its end, so the first of the inward movements is the inclination to good, i.e., love; accordingly, the first fruit is charity: the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us (Rom 5:5). And through charity the others are perfected; wherefore, the Apostle says in Colossians: but above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection (Col 3:14). But the ultimate end that perfects man inwardly is joy, which proceeds from the presence of the thing loved. And he that has charity already has what he loves: he that abides in charity abides in God and God in him (1 John 4:16). And from this springs joy: rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice (Phil 4:4).
Gaudium autem istud debet esse perfectum. Et ad hoc duo requiruntur. Primo ut res amata sufficiens sit amanti propter suam perfectionem. Et quantum ad hoc dicit pax. Tunc enim amans pacem habet, quando rem amatam sufficienter possidet. Cant. ult.: ex quo facta sum coram eo quasi pacem reperiens, et cetera. Secundo vero ut adsit perfecta fruitio rei amatae, quod similiter per pacem habetur, quia, quidquid superveniat, si perfecte aliquis fruatur re amata, puta Deo, non potest impediri ab eius fruitione. Ps. CXVIII, 165: pax multa diligentibus legem tuam, et non est illis scandalum. Sic ergo gaudium dicit caritatis fruitionem, sed pax caritatis perfectionem. Et per haec homo interius perficitur quantum ad bona.
But this joy should be perfect, and for this two things are required: first, that the object loved be enough to perfect the lover. And as to this he says, peace. For it is then that the lover has peace, when he adequately possesses the object loved: I am become in his presence as one finding peace (Song 8:10). Second, that there be perfect enjoyment of the thing loved, which is likewise obtained by peace, because whatever else happens, if someone perfectly enjoys the object loved, say God, he cannot be hindered from enjoying it: much peace have they that love your law and to them there is no stumbling-block (Ps 119:165). In this way, therefore, joy connotes the fruition of charity, but peace the perfection of charity. And by these is man inwardly made perfect as to good things.
331. Circa mala etiam perficit Spiritus Sanctus et ordinat, et primo contra malum quod perturbat pacem, quae perturbatur per adversa. Sed ad hoc perficit Spiritus Sanctus per patientiam, quae facit adversa patienter tolerare, et ideo dicit patientia. Lc. XXI, 19: in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras. Iac. I, 4: patientia opus perfectum habet. Secundo, contra malum impediens gaudium est dilatio rei amatae, ad quod Spiritus opponit longanimitatem, quae expectatione non frangitur. Et quantum ad hoc dicit longanimitas. Habacuc II, 3: si moram fecerit, expecta eum, quia, et cetera. II Cor. VI, 6: in longanimitate, et cetera. Et ideo dicit Dominus Matth. c. X, 22: qui perseveraverit usque in finem, et cetera.
331. Also with respect to evils, the Holy Spirit perfects and adjusts a person: first, against the evil that disturbs peace, which is disturbed by adverse objects. Touching this the Holy Spirit perfects one by patience, which makes for patient endurance of adversities; hence he says, patience: in your patience you shall possess your souls (Luke 21:19); and patience has a perfect work (Jas 1:4). Second, against the evil which hinders joy, namely, the deferment of the object loved, the Spirit opposes long-suffering, which is not broken by delay. As to this he says, longanimity: if it make any delay, wait for it; for it shall surely come, and it shall not be slack (Hab 2:3): in long-suffering (2 Cor 6:6). Hence the Lord says: he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved (Matt 10:22).
332. Consequenter cum dicit bonitas, etc., ponit fructus Spiritus, qui perficiunt quantum ad exteriora.
332. Then when he says, goodness, benignity, he mentions the fruits of the Spirit that perfect a man with respect to external things.
Hominis autem exteriora sunt vel id quod est iuxta ipsum, vel id quod est supra ipsum, vel id quod est infra ipsum. Iuxta ipsum est proximus, supra ipsum Deus, infra ipsum natura sensitiva et corpus.
Now external to man are things next to him, above him and beneath him. Next to him is the neighbor; above him is God; beneath him is his sensitive nature and body.
Sic ergo quantum ad proximum perficit primo quidem in corde per rectam et bonam voluntatem. Et quantum ad hoc dicit bonitas, id est rectitudo et dulcedo animi.
In regard to his neighbor he perfects men, first of all, from the heart with a right and good will. Concerning this he says, goodness, i.e., rectitude and gentleness of spirit.
Si enim homo omnes alias potentias bonas habeat, non potest dici bonus homo nisi habeat bonam voluntatem, secundum quam omnibus aliis bene utitur. Cuius ratio est, quia bonum dicit aliquod perfectum. Est autem duplex perfectio. Prima, scilicet quae est ipsum esse rei; secunda vero est eius operatio: et haec est maior quam prima. Illud ergo dicitur simpliciter perfectum quod pertingit ad perfectam sui operationem, quae est secunda eius perfectio. Cum ergo homo per voluntatem exeat in actum cuiuslibet potentiae, voluntas recta facit bonum usum omnium potentiarum, et, per consequens, ipsum hominem bonum. Et de hoc fructu dicitur Eph. V, 9: fructus enim lucis est in omni bonitate, et cetera.
For if a man has all his other powers good, he cannot be said to be good unless he has a good will, according to which he uses all the others well. The reason for this is that the good denotes something perfect. But perfection is twofold: the first concerns the being of a thing; the second, its operation; and the latter is greater than the former. For that is called perfect in the absolute sense which has attained its perfect operation, which is its second perfection. Therefore, since it is by his will that man exercises the act of any power, right will makes for the good use of all the powers, and, consequently, makes the man himself good. Of this fruit it is said in Ephesians: the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth (Eph 5:9).
Secundo vero in opere, ut scilicet sua communicet proximo, et quantum ad hoc dicit benignitas, id est, largitas rerum. II Cor. IX, v. 7: hilarem enim datorem, et cetera. Benignitas enim dicitur quasi bona igneitas, quae facit hominem fluere ad subveniendum necessitatibus aliorum. Sap. I, 6: benignus est enim Spiritus sapientiae, et cetera. Col. III, 12: induite vos ergo sicut electi Dei, sancti et dilecti, viscera misericordiae, benignitatem, et cetera. Item perficiunt etiam quantum ad mala ab aliis illata, ut mansuete ferat ac sustineat proximi molestias; et quantum ad hoc dicit mansuetudo, Matth. XI, 29: discite a me, quia, et cetera. Prov. III, 34: mansuetis dabit gratiam.
Second, he perfects a man in his deeds, so that he will share with his neighbor. Concerning this he says, benignity, i.e., giving: the Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). For benignity is said to be, as it were, a good fire, which makes a man melt to relieve the needs of others: for the Spirit of wisdom is benevolent (Wis 1:6); put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity (Col 3:12). Again, they perfect one with respect to evils inflicted by others, so that one meekly bears and endures harassment from another. Touching this he says, mildness (Gal 5:23): learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart (Matt 2:29); to the meek he will give grace (Prov 3:34).
333. Ad id vero quod est supra nos, scilicet Deus, ordinat Spiritus per fidem, unde dicit fides, quae est cognitio quaedam invisibilium cum certitudine. Gen. XV, 6: credidit Abraham Deo, et reputatum est ei ad iustitiam. Hebr. XI, 6: accedentem ad Deum oportet credere, et cetera. Et ideo Eccli. I, v. 34: beneplacitum est Deo fides, et mansuetudo, et cetera.
333. With respect to what is above us, namely, God, the Spirit establishes right order through faith; hence he says, faith, which is a knowledge of invisible things with certainty: Abraham believed God and it was reputed to him unto justice (Gen 15:6); he that comes to God must believe that he is (Heb 11:6). On this account it is said in Sirach: that which is agreeable to the Lord is faith and meekness (Sir 1:34).
334. Ad id quod est infra nos, scilicet corpus, dirigit Spiritus, et primo quantum ad actus exteriores corporis, quod fit per modestiam, quae ipsis actibus seu dictis modum imponit; et quantum ad hoc dicit modestia, Phil. IV, 5: modestia vestra, et cetera.
334. Touching what is beneath us, namely, the body, the Spirit directs us first as to the outward acts of the body by modesty, which moderates its deeds or utterances—concerning this he says, modesty (Gal 5:23): let your modesty be known to all men (Phil 4:5).
Secundo vero quantum ad appetitum sensitivum interiorem, et quantum ad hoc dicit continentia, quae etiam a licitis abstinet, et castitas, quae licitis recte utitur, secundum Glossam.
Second, as to the interior appetite, and concerning this he says continency, which abstains even from things that are lawful; and chastity, which correctly uses what is lawful, as a Gloss says.
Vel aliter, continentia dicitur ex eo quod licet homo impugnetur a pravis concupiscentiis, tamen per rationis vigorem se tenet, ne abducatur; et ideo continentiae nomen sumptum est ab eo quod aliquis in impugnatione tenet se. Castitas vero dicitur ex eo quod quis nec impugnatur, nec abducitur, et dicitur a castigando. Nam illum dicimus bene castigatum, qui in omnibus ordinate se habet.
Or, another way: continence refers to the fact that although a man be assailed by base desires, yet by the vigor of his reason he holds fast lest he be carried away. According to this the word ‘continence’ is taken from a person’s holding fast under attack. But chastity is taken from the fact that one is neither attacked nor carried away, and is derived from ‘chastening.’ For we call him well-chastened who is rightly tempered in all things.
335. Circa hoc duo dubitantur. Primo quia cum fructus Spiritus adversentur operibus carnis, videtur quod Apostolus debuerit ponere tot fructus spiritus, quot posuit opera carnis, quod non fecit.
335. Concerning the aforesaid, two problems arise. The first is that since the fruits of the Spirit are opposed to the works of the flesh, it seems that the Apostle should have mentioned as many fruits of the spirit as he mentioned works of the flesh—which he did not do.
Ad quod dicendum est quod ideo non fecit, quia plura sunt vitia quam virtutes.
I answer that he did not do so, because there are more vices than virtues.