Desiderium Pauli esse cum Christo
Paul’s desire to be with Christ
1:18 Quid enim? Dum omni modo sive per occasionem, sive per veritatem, Christus annuntietur: et in hoc gaudeo, sed et gaudebo. [n. 23]
1:18 But what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion or by truth, Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. [n. 23]
1:19 Scio enim quia hoc mihi proveniet ad salutem, per vestram orationem, et subministrationem Spiritus Jesu Christi, [n. 26]
1:19 For I know that this shall happen to me unto salvation, through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, [n. 26]
1:20 secundum exspectationem et spem meam, quia in nullo confundar: sed in omni fiducia sicut semper, et nunc magnificabitur Christus in corpore meo, sive per vitam, sive per mortem. [n. 28]
1:20 According to my expectation and hope; that in nothing shall I be confounded: but with all confidence, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. [n. 28]
1:21 Mihi enim vivere Christus est, et mori lucrum. [n. 32]
1:21 For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain. [n. 32]
1:22 Quod si vivere in carne, hic mihi fructus operis est, et quid eligam ignoro. [n. 33]
1:22 And if to live in the flesh: this is to me the fruit of labor. And what I shall choose I do not know. [n. 33]
1:23 Coarctor autem e duobus: desiderium habens dissolvi, et esse cum Christo, multo magis melius: [n. 35]
1:23 But I am hard pressed between the two: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better. [n. 35]
1:24 permanere autem in carne, necessarium propter vos.
1:24 But to abide still in the flesh is needful for you.
23. Supra Apostolus descripsit profectum ex ipso subsecutum, hic agit de gaudio concepto ex hoc profectu. Et ponitur
23. Above, the Apostle described the progress he has made; here he deals with the joy born of this progress:
primo materia gaudii;
first, the cause of this joy;
secundo ipsum gaudium, ibi et in hoc gaudeo, et cetera.
second, the joy itself, at in this also I rejoice.
24. Contingit autem quandoque quod aliquod gaudium provenit ex bona causa, et hoc directe et per se, et quandoque ex mala causa et hoc indirecte et per accidens. Quando enim est ex bona causa, gaudendum est de effectu et de causa, sicut de eleemosyna facta propter Deum. Sed quando est ex causa mala, tunc est gaudendum de effectu, sed de causa non. Et sic de redemptione per Christum, licet fuerit ex scelere Iudae et Iudaeorum. Ita contigit in Ecclesia, ubi provenit utilitas quandoque per bonos praedicatores quo ad bonam intentionem, quandoque per malos quo ad malam; et de utraque gaudendum est, sicut dictum est. Et ideo dicit quid enim, et cetera.
24. Sometimes it happens that joy arises from a good cause, and this directly and of itself; sometimes from an evil cause, and this indirectly and by accident. For when it springs from a good cause, one should rejoice both in the effect and in the cause, as in the case of giving an alms for the glory of God; but when it springs from an evil cause, one should rejoice in the effect but not in the cause, as in the redemption by Christ, since it came about from the crime committed by Judas and the Jews. The same thing happens in the Church when something beneficial results from good preachers with a good intention, and from evil preachers with an evil intention; nevertheless, one should rejoice in both cases, as has been said. He says, therefore: but what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion or by truth, Christ be preached.
Per occasionem annuntiat Christum, qui non intendit hoc principaliter sed propter aliud, puta lucrum vel gloriam. Prov. XVIII, v. 1: occasionem quaerit, qui recedere vult ab amico. Per veritatem autem, quando ex recta intentione. Is. XXXVIII, v. 3: obsecro, Domine, memento, quaeso, quomodo ambulaverim coram te in veritate, et corde perfecto, et cetera. Sed hoc utroque modo fit ad utilitatem Ecclesiae, ideo dicit si Christus annuntietur, etc., quia si aliud annuntiaret quam Christum, tunc multum interesset, quod fit quando falsa doctrina docetur. Augustinus: pastor qui propter veritatem annuntiat, est amandus; mercenarius qui propter lucrum, est tolerandus; qui falsus, expellendus.
One announces Christ in pretense when he does not chiefly aim at this but at something else, as profit or glory: he who is estranged seeks pretexts (Prov 18:1); but in truth, when it is done with a right intention: remember now, O Lord, I beseech you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight (Isa 38:3). But either way the results are good for the Church; hence he says if Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, because if something other than Christ were proclaimed, there would be reason for concern. This happens when false doctrine is taught. The shepherd who teaches for the sake of the truth should be loved; the hireling who teaches for gain should be tolerated; but the one who teaches what is false must be expelled (Augustine).
25. Deinde ponit gaudium consequens, dicens et in hoc, scilicet quod vincula mea manifesta sunt propter Christum, quod Christus annuntiatur, gaudeo, in praesenti, Io. XIV, v. 28: si diligeretis me, gauderetis utique, etc., et gaudebo in futurum, Is. LI, 11: gaudium et laetitiam obtinebunt, et cetera.
25. Then he mentions the joy which followed, when he says, in this, namely, that my chains are manifested for the sake of Christ, I rejoice, at present in the fact that Christ is preached: if you loved me, you would have rejoiced (John 14:28); and will rejoice in the future: they shall obtain joy and gladness (Isa 51:11).
26. Deinde cum dicit scio enim, etc., ponit fructum ex profectu suo provenientem. Et
26. Then when he says, for I know that this shall happen, he mentions the fruit resulting from his progress.
primo ponit ipsum fructum;
First, he mentions the fruit;
secundo movet quamdam dubitationem, ibi quod si vivere, et cetera.
second, he raises a question, at and if to live in the flesh.
Item primo proponit fructum;
In regard to the first he does three things: first, he mentions the fruit;
secundo auxilium ipsum consequendi, ibi per vestram orationem, etc.;
second, his help in obtaining it, at through your prayer;
tertio assignat materiam fructus, ibi sed in omni, et cetera.
third, he assigns the material of the fruit, at but with all confidence.
27. Dicit ergo: gaudeo de his, et hoc propter fructum provenientem ex eis in salutem aeternam. Is. XLV, 17: salvatus est Israel in Domino salute aeterna, et cetera. Et hoc ideo, quia quando nos aliqua bona facimus cooperando saluti aliorum, redundat in salutem nostram. Si enim, ut dicitur Matth. XVIII, 6, qui scandalizaverit unum ex his pusillis, etc.; quanta gloria dignus est qui salutem multorum procurat?
27. He says, therefore: I rejoice in these things on account of the fruit resulting from them for life everlasting: Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation (Isa 45:17), because when we do good by helping in the salvation of others, it redounds to our salvation. For if it is true that whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened about his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matt 18:6), how much glory does he deserve who gains the salvation of many?
28. Auxilium autem est triplex, scilicet ex parte aliorum mutua oratio. Unde dicit per vestras orationes, scilicet ex quibus spero adiuvari a Deo. Iac. ult.: orate pro invicem, ut salvemini, et cetera.
28. Now help depends on three things: first, on prayer by others; hence he says, through your prayer, by which I hope to be helped by God: pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects (Jas 5:16).
Ex parte Dei, de quo habemus spem salutis. Is. XXVI, v. 18 s.: a facie tua, domine, concepimus, et quasi parturivimus, et peperimus Spiritum salutis. Et ideo dicit et subministrationem spiritus Iesu Christi. Rom. VIII, v. 26: Spiritus adiuvat infirmitatem nostram. Hoc mihi proveniet ad salutem. Et loquitur similitudinarie. Quando enim aliquis est debilis, indiget relevante ut sustentetur, et hoc est subministrare; et nos debiles sumus, ideo indigemus subministratione Spiritus. Io. XIV, v. 26: et suggeret vobis omnia, etc.; quasi vobis subministrando.
Second, on God, in whom we place our hope for salvation: in your presence we have conceived, and have been as it were in labor and have brought forth the Spirit of salvation (Isa 26:18); hence he says, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ: the Spirit helps us in our weakness (Rom 8:26). This shall happen to me unto salvation. He speaks in a simile; for when a person is infirm, he needs to be delivered from his infirmity, if he is to be kept alive; and this is to help. But we are weak and infirm; therefore, we need the help of the Spirit: he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26), by helping us, as it were.
Ex parte nostra est spes in Deo, quia, Prov. c. XI, 28: qui confidit in divitiis, corruet. Oportet ergo quod spes nostra sit in Deo, et cetera. Ps. CXXIV, 1: qui confidunt in Domino sicut Mons Sion, et cetera. Et ideo dicit secundum expectationem, et spem meam.
Third, help depends on our trust in God, because he who trusts in his riches will fall (Prov 11:28). Therefore, our hope must be in God: those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever (Ps 125:1); hence he says, according to my expectation and hope.
29. Sed nonne spes est expectatio futurae beatitudinis?
29. But isn’t hope the expectation of future happiness?
Dicendum est quod spes est motus appetitus in bonum arduum. Et hoc dupliciter: quia quando quis sperat adipisci per se, sic spes est sine expectatione; quando autem per alium, tunc est spes cum expectatione, et sic nos expectamus, spem habentes aliquid consequi per alium. Ps. XXXIX, 1: expectans expectavi Dominum, et cetera. Rom. VIII, 24: spe salvi facti sumus.
I answer that hope is a movement of the appetite toward an arduous good; and this can occur in two ways: sometimes a person hopes to obtain something by himself, and then there is hope without expectation; but sometimes he hopes to obtain something through someone else, and then there is hope with expectation. This is the way we expect, when we have the hope of obtaining something through someone else. With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me (Ps 40:1); for in this hope we were saved (Rom 8:24).
30. Sed dicit scio, et postea spero et expecto. Numquid certa est haec spes? Respondet Apostolus dicens: ita, quia in nullo confundar. I Mac. II, 61: omnes qui sperant in illo, non infirmantur. Rom. V, 5: spes autem non confundit. Eccli. II, 11: nullus speravit in Domino, et confusus est.
30. But he says I know, and then speaks of expectation and hope. Is this hope certain? The Apostle answers that it is, saying, in nothing shall I be confounded. None who put their trust in him will lack strength (1 Macc 2:61); hope does not disappoint us (Rom 5:5); who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? (Sir 2:11).
Huius primo rationem assignat, secundo exponit eam, ibi mihi enim vivere, et cetera.
He gives the reason for this and explains it, when he says, for to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain.
31. Ratio haec sumitur ex hoc, quod ipse totaliter ordinatur ad servitium Christi, quasi dicat: ideo haec mihi provenient in salutem, quia totaliter sum ad servitium Christi.
31. The reason is based on the fact that he is entirely dedicated to the service of Christ. As if to say: the reason why this will turn out to my salvation is that I am totally at the service of Christ.
Et primo ponit fiduciam; secundo perseverantiam; tertio certitudinem intentionis.
And first he puts down confidence; second, perseverance; third, certainty of intention.
Dicit ergo sed in omni fiducia, etc., quasi dicat: multi persequuntur me, sed ego confido in Deum. Is. XII, 2: fiducialiter agam, et non timebo. Ps. XI, 6: fiducialiter agam in eo.
He mentions his confidence when he says but with all confidence. As if to say: many persecute me, but I put my trust in the Lord: I will trust, and will not be afraid (Isa 12:2). I will act confidently in him (Ps 12:6).
Sicut semper id est a principio conversionis. Act. IX, v. 27: quomodo in Damasco fiducialiter egerit, et cetera. Ita et nunc, Iob XXVII, v. 6: iustificationem meam quam coepi tenere, non deseram.
As always, i.e., from the beginning of my conversion: at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus (Acts 9:27); so now also: I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go (Job 27:6).
Tertio, ostendit quod sit eius recta intentio, quia magnificabitur Christus, qui cum sit verus Deus, non potest in seipso magnificari vel minorari, sed in nobis, id est in cognitione aliorum. Tunc ergo quis magnificat Christum, quando eius cognitionem dilatat. Eccli. c. XLIII, 35: quis magnificabit eum sicuti est a principio?
Third, he shows that his intention is right because Christ shall be magnified. Since he is God, he cannot be increased or diminished in himself, but in us, i.e., in our knowledge. For a person honors Christ when he increases his knowledge of him: who can extol him as he is? (Sir 43:35).
Et hoc et verbo et facto, quando magnitudo divini effectus ostendit magnitudinem eius. Et inter effectus mirabiles iustificatio est haec, quamdiu est in corde hominis latens, non magnificabitur per eam Christus, nisi quantum ad cor illius, non quantum ad alios, sed quandocumque prorumpit in exteriora per actus corporales apparentes; tunc vere et proprie magnificatur. Et ideo ait in corpore meo.
And this in word and deed, when the greatness of his effects shows his greatness. Among these marvelous effects is justification. But as long as this lies hidden in a man’s heart, Christ is not honored by it, except in that heart, and not in regard to others, until it breaks out into external visible actions; and then Christ is honored truly and properly. Hence he says, in my body.
In corpore nostro Christus dupliciter magnificatur. Uno modo in quantum corpus nostrum deputamus ad obsequium eius, ministeria eius corporaliter exequendo. I Cor. VI, v. 20: glorificate, et portate Deum in corpore vestro. Alio modo corpus nostrum exponendo pro Christo. I Cor. XIII, v. 3: si tradidero corpus meum, ita ut ardeam, et cetera. Sed primus modus fit per vitam; secundus vero per mortem. Ideo dicit sive per vitam, quia vivendo operatur, sive per mortem. Rom. XIV, v. 8: sive vivimus, sive morimur, Domini sumus, et cetera. Quod etiam intelligi potest de morte spirituali. Col. III, v. 5: mortificate membra vestra quae sunt super terram, et cetera.
Christ is honored in our body in two ways: in one way, inasmuch as we dedicate our body to his service by employing our bodies in his ministry: glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:20); in another way by risking our body for Christ: if I deliver my body to be burned (1 Cor 13:3). The first is accomplished by life, the second by death: hence he says, whether it be by life, because the body acts only when living, or by death: if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord (Rom 14:8). This can also refer to spiritual death: put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col 3:5).