De ipsa caritate
Charity, Considered in Itself
Consequenter considerandum est de caritate. Et primo, de ipsa caritate; secundo, de dono sapientiae ei correspondente. Circa primum consideranda sunt quinque, primo, de ipsa caritate; secundo, de obiecto caritatis; tertio, de actibus eius; quarto, de vitiis oppositis; quinto, de praeceptis ad hoc pertinentibus.
In proper sequence, we must consider charity; and (1) charity itself; (2) the corresponding gift of wisdom. The first consideration will be fivefold: (1) Charity itself; (2) The object of charity; (3) Its acts; (4) The opposite vices; (5) The precepts relating thereto.
Circa primum est duplex consideratio, prima quidem de ipsa caritate secundum se; secunda de caritate per comparationem ad subiectum. Circa primum quaeruntur octo.
The first of these considerations will be twofold: (1) Charity, considered as regards itself; (2) Charity, considered in its relation to its subject. Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum caritas sit amicitia.
(1) Whether charity is friendship?
Secundo, utrum sit aliquid creatum in anima.
(2) Whether it is something created in the soul?
Tertio, utrum sit virtus.
(3) Whether it is a virtue?
Quarto, utrum sit virtus specialis.
(4) Whether it is a special virtue?
Quinto, utrum sit una virtus.
(5) Whether it is one virtue?
Sexto, utrum sit maxima virtutum.
(6) Whether it is the greatest of the virtues?
Septimo, utrum sine ea possit esse aliqua vera virtus.
(7) Whether any true virtue is possible without it?
Octavo, utrum sit forma virtutum.
(8) Whether it is the form of the virtues?
Utrum caritas sit amicitia
Whether charity is friendship?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod caritas non sit amicitia. Nihil enim est ita proprium amicitiae sicut convivere amico; ut Philosophus dicit, in VIII Ethic. Sed caritas est hominis ad Deum et ad Angelos, quorum non est cum hominibus conversatio, ut dicitur Dan. II. Ergo caritas non est amicitia.
Objection 1: It would seem that charity is not friendship. For nothing is so appropriate to friendship as to dwell with one’s friend, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 5). Now charity is of man towards God and the angels, whose dwelling is not with men (Dan 2:11). Therefore charity is not friendship.
Praeterea, amicitia non est sine reamatione, ut dicitur in VIII Ethic. Sed caritas habetur etiam ad inimicos, secundum illud Matth. V, diligite inimicos vestros. Ergo caritas non est amicitia.
Obj. 2: Further, there is no friendship without return of love (Ethic. viii, 2). But charity extends even to one’s enemies, according to Matt. 5:44: Love your enemies. Therefore charity is not friendship.
Praeterea, amicitiae tres sunt species, secundum philosophum, in VIII Ethic., scilicet amicitia delectabilis, utilis et honesti. Sed caritas non est amicitia utilis aut delectabilis, dicit enim Hieronymus, in Epist. ad Paulinum, quae ponitur in principio Bibliae, illa est vera necessitudo, et Christi glutino copulata, quam non utilitas rei familiaris, non praesentia tantum corporum, non subdola et palpans adulatio, sed Dei timor et divinarum Scripturarum studia conciliant. Similiter etiam non est amicitia honesti, quia caritate diligimus etiam peccatores; amicitia vero honesti non est nisi ad virtuosos, ut dicitur in VIII Ethic. Ergo caritas non est amicitia.
Obj. 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 3) there are three kinds of friendship, directed respectively towards the delightful, the useful, or the virtuous. Now charity is not the friendship for the useful or delightful; for Jerome says in his letter to Paulinus which is to be found at the beginning of the Bible: True friendship cemented by Christ, is where men are drawn together, not by household interests, not by mere bodily presence, not by crafty and cajoling flattery, but by the fear of God, and the study of the Divine Scriptures. No more is it friendship for the virtuous, since by charity we love even sinners, whereas friendship based on the virtuous is only for virtuous men (Ethic. viii). Therefore charity is not friendship.
Sed contra est quod Ioan. XV dicitur, iam non dicam vos servos, sed amicos meos. Sed hoc non dicebatur eis nisi ratione caritatis. Ergo caritas est amicitia.
On the contrary, It is written (John 15:15): I will not now call you servants . . . but My friends. Now this was said to them by reason of nothing else than charity. Therefore charity is friendship.
Respondeo dicendum quod, secundum Philosophum, in VIII Ethic., non quilibet amor habet rationem amicitiae, sed amor qui est cum benevolentia, quando scilicet sic amamus aliquem ut ei bonum velimus. Si autem rebus amatis non bonum velimus, sed ipsum eorum bonum velimus nobis, sicut dicimur amare vinum aut equum aut aliquid huiusmodi, non est amor amicitiae, sed cuiusdam concupiscentiae, ridiculum enim est dicere quod aliquis habeat amicitiam ad vinum vel ad equum.
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 2, 3) not every love has the character of friendship, but that love which is together with benevolence, when, to wit, we love someone so as to wish good to him. If, however, we do not wish good to what we love, but wish its good for ourselves, (thus we are said to love wine, or a horse, or the like), it is love not of friendship, but of a kind of concupiscence. For it would be absurd to speak of having friendship for wine or for a horse.
Sed nec benevolentia sufficit ad rationem amicitiae, sed requiritur quaedam mutua amatio, quia amicus est amico amicus. Talis autem mutua benevolentia fundatur super aliqua communicatione.
Yet neither does well-wishing suffice for friendship, for a certain mutual love is requisite, since friendship is between friend and friend: and this well-wishing is founded on some kind of communication.
Cum igitur sit aliqua communicatio hominis ad Deum secundum quod nobis suam beatitudinem communicat, super hac communicatione oportet aliquam amicitiam fundari. De qua quidem communicatione dicitur I ad Cor. I, fidelis Deus, per quem vocati estis in societatem filii eius. Amor autem super hac communicatione fundatus est caritas. Unde manifestum est quod caritas amicitia quaedam est hominis ad Deum.
Accordingly, since there is a communication between man and God, inasmuch as He communicates His happiness to us, some kind of friendship must needs be based on this same communication, of which it is written (1 Cor 1:9): God is faithful: by Whom you are called unto the fellowship of His Son. The love which is based on this communication, is charity: wherefore it is evident that charity is the friendship of man for God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod duplex est hominis vita. Una quidem exterior secundum naturam sensibilem et corporalem, et secundum hanc vitam non est nobis communicatio vel conversatio cum Deo et Angelis.
Reply Obj. 1: Man’s life is twofold. There is his outward life in respect of his sensitive and corporeal nature: and with regard to this life there is no communication or fellowship between us and God or the angels.
Alia autem est vita hominis spiritualis secundum mentem. Et secundum hanc vitam est nobis conversatio et cum Deo et cum Angelis. In praesenti quidem statu imperfecte, unde dicitur Philipp. III, nostra conversatio in caelis est. Sed ista conversatio perficietur in patria, quando servi eius servient Deo et videbunt faciem eius, ut dicitur Apoc. ult. Et ideo hic est caritas imperfecta, sed perficietur in patria.
The other is man’s spiritual life in respect of his mind, and with regard to this life there is fellowship between us and both God and the angels, imperfectly indeed in this present state of life, wherefore it is written (Phil 3:20): Our conversation is in heaven. But this conversation will be perfected in heaven, when His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face (Rev 22:3, 4). Therefore charity is imperfect here, but will be perfected in heaven.
Ad secundum dicendum quod amicitia se extendit ad aliquem dupliciter. Uno modo, respectu sui ipsius, et sic amicitia nunquam est nisi ad amicum. Alio modo se extendit ad aliquem respectu alterius personae, sicut, si aliquis habet amicitiam ad aliquem hominem, ratione eius diligit omnes ad illum hominem pertinentes, sive filios sive servos sive qualitercumque ei attinentes.
Reply Obj. 2: Friendship extends to a person in two ways: first in respect of himself, and in this way friendship never extends but to one’s friends: second, it extends to someone in respect of another, as, when a man has friendship for a certain person, for his sake he loves all belonging to him, be they children, servants, or connected with him in any way.
Et tanta potest esse dilectio amici quod propter amicum amantur hi qui ad ipsum pertinent etiam si nos offendant vel odiant. Et hoc modo amicitia caritatis se extendit etiam ad inimicos, quos diligimus ex caritate in ordine ad Deum, ad quem principaliter habetur amicitia caritatis.
Indeed so much do we love our friends, that for their sake we love all who belong to them, even if they hurt or hate us; so that, in this way, the friendship of charity extends even to our enemies, whom we love out of charity in relation to God, to Whom the friendship of charity is chiefly directed.
Ad tertium dicendum quod amicitia honesti non habetur nisi ad virtuosum sicut ad principalem personam, sed eius intuitu diliguntur ad eum attinentes etiam si non sint virtuosi. Et hoc modo caritas, quae maxime est amicitia honesti, se extendit ad peccatores, quos ex caritate diligimus propter Deum.
Reply Obj. 3: The friendship that is based on the virtuous is directed to none but a virtuous man as the principal person, but for his sake we love those who belong to him, even though they be not virtuous: in this way charity, which above all is friendship based on the virtuous, extends to sinners, whom, out of charity, we love for God’s sake.
Utrum caritas sit aliquid creatum in anima
Whether charity is something created in the soul?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod caritas non sit aliquid creatum in anima. Dicit enim Augustinus, in VIII de Trin., qui proximum diligit, consequens est ut ipsam dilectionem diligat. Deus autem dilectio est. Consequens est ergo ut praecipue Deum diligat. Et in XV de Trin. dicit, ita dictum est, Deus caritas est, sicut dictum est, Deus spiritus est. Ergo caritas non est aliquid creatum in anima, sed est ipse Deus.
Objection 1: It would seem that charity is not something created in the soul. For Augustine says (De Trin. viii, 7): He that loveth his neighbor, consequently, loveth love itself. Now God is love. Therefore it follows that he loves God in the first place. Again he says (De Trin. xv, 17): It was said: God is Charity, even as it was said: God is a Spirit. Therefore charity is not something created in the soul, but is God Himself.
Praeterea, Deus est spiritualiter vita animae, sicut anima vita corporis, secundum illud Deut. XXX, ipse est vita tua. Sed anima vivificat corpus per seipsam. Ergo Deus vivificat animam per seipsum. Vivificat autem eam per caritatem, secundum illud I Ioan. III, nos scimus quoniam translati sumus de morte ad vitam, quoniam diligimus fratres. Ergo Deus est ipsa caritas.
Obj. 2: Further, God is the life of the soul spiritually just as the soul is the life of the body, according to Deut. 30:20: He is thy life. Now the soul by itself quickens the body. Therefore God quickens the soul by Himself. But He quickens it by charity, according to 1 John 3:14: We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. Therefore God is charity itself.
Praeterea, nihil creatum est infinitae virtutis, sed magis omnis creatura est vanitas. Caritas autem non est vanitas, sed magis vanitati repugnat, et est infinitae virtutis, quia animam hominis ad bonum infinitum perducit. Ergo caritas non est aliquid creatum in anima.
Obj. 3: Further, no created thing is of infinite power; on the contrary every creature is vanity. But charity is not vanity, indeed it is opposed to vanity; and it is of infinite power, since it brings the human soul to the infinite good. Therefore charity is not something created in the soul.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in III de Doct. Christ., caritatem voco motum animi ad fruendum Deo propter ipsum. Sed motus animi est aliquid creatum in anima. Ergo et caritas est aliquid creatum in anima.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. iii, 10): By charity I mean the movement of the soul towards the enjoyment of God for His own sake. But a movement of the soul is something created in the soul. Therefore charity is something created in the soul.
Respondeo dicendum quod Magister perscrutatur hanc quaestionem in XVII dist. I Lib. Sent., et ponit quod caritas non est aliquid creatum in anima, sed est ipse Spiritus Sanctus mentem inhabitans. Nec est sua intentio quod iste motus dilectionis quo Deum diligimus sit ipse Spiritus Sanctus, sed quod iste motus dilectionis est a spiritu sancto non mediante aliquo habitu, sicut a spiritu sancto sunt alii actus virtuosi mediantibus habitibus aliarum virtutum, puta habitu spei aut fidei aut alicuius alterius virtutis. Et hoc dicebat propter excellentiam caritatis.
I answer that, The Master looks thoroughly into this question in Q. 17 of the First Book, and concludes that charity is not something created in the soul, but is the Holy Spirit Himself dwelling in the mind. Nor does he mean to say that this movement of love whereby we love God is the Holy Spirit Himself, but that this movement is from the Holy Spirit without any intermediary habit, whereas other virtuous acts are from the Holy Spirit by means of the habits of other virtues, for instance the habit of faith or hope or of some other virtue: and this he said on account of the excellence of charity.
Sed si quis recte consideret, hoc magis redundat in caritatis detrimentum. Non enim motus caritatis ita procedit a spiritu sancto movente humanam mentem quod humana mens sit mota tantum et nullo modo sit principium huius motus, sicut cum aliquod corpus movetur ab aliquo exteriori movente. Hoc enim est contra rationem voluntarii, cuius oportet principium in ipso esse, sicut supra dictum est. Unde sequeretur quod diligere non esset voluntarium. Quod implicat contradictionem, cum amor de sui ratione importet quod sit actus voluntatis.
But if we consider the matter aright, this would be, on the contrary, detrimental to charity. For when the Holy Spirit moves the human mind the movement of charity does not proceed from this motion in such a way that the human mind be merely moved, without being the principle of this movement, as when a body is moved by some extrinsic motive power. For this is contrary to the nature of a voluntary act, whose principle needs to be in itself, as stated above (I-II, Q. 6, A. 1): so that it would follow that to love is not a voluntary act, which involves a contradiction, since love, of its very nature, implies an act of the will.
Similiter etiam non potest dici quod sic moveat Spiritus Sanctus voluntatem ad actum diligendi sicut movetur instrumentum quod, etsi sit principium actus, non tamen est in ipso agere vel non agere. Sic enim etiam tolleretur ratio voluntarii, et excluderetur ratio meriti, cum tamen supra habitum sit quod dilectio caritatis est radix merendi. Sed oportet quod sic voluntas moveatur a spiritu sancto ad diligendum quod etiam ipsa sit efficiens hunc actum.
Likewise, neither can it be said that the Holy Spirit moves the will in such a way to the act of loving, as though the will were an instrument, for an instrument, though it be a principle of action, nevertheless has not the power to act or not to act, for then again the act would cease to be voluntary and meritorious, whereas it has been stated above (I-II, Q. 114, A. 4) that the love of charity is the root of merit: and, given that the will is moved by the Holy Spirit to the act of love, it is necessary that the will also should be the efficient cause of that act.
Nullus autem actus perfecte producitur ab aliqua potentia activa nisi sit ei connaturalis per aliquam formam quae sit principium actionis. Unde Deus, qui omnia movet ad debitos fines, singulis rebus indidit formas per quas inclinantur ad fines sibi praestitutos a Deo, et secundum hoc disponit omnia suaviter, ut dicitur Sap. VIII. Manifestum est autem quod actus caritatis excedit naturam potentiae voluntatis. Nisi ergo aliqua forma superadderetur naturali potentiae per quam inclinaretur ad dilectionis actum, secundum hoc esset actus iste imperfectior actibus naturalibus et actibus aliarum virtutum, nec esset facilis et delectabilis. Quod patet esse falsum, quia nulla virtus habet tantam inclinationem ad suum actum sicut caritas, nec aliqua ita delectabiliter operatur. Unde maxime necesse est quod ad actum caritatis existat in nobis aliqua habitualis forma superaddita potentiae naturali, inclinans ipsam ad caritatis actum, et faciens eam prompte et delectabiliter operari.
Now no act is perfectly produced by an active power, unless it be connatural to that power by reason of some form which is the principle of that action. Wherefore God, Who moves all things to their due ends, bestowed on each thing the form whereby it is inclined to the end appointed to it by Him; and in this way He ordereth all things sweetly (Wis 8:1). But it is evident that the act of charity surpasses the nature of the power of the will, so that, therefore, unless some form be superadded to the natural power, inclining it to the act of love, this same act would be less perfect than the natural acts and the acts of the other powers; nor would it be easy and pleasurable to perform. And this is evidently untrue, since no virtue has such a strong inclination to its act as charity has, nor does any virtue perform its act with so great pleasure. Therefore it is most necessary that, for us to perform the act of charity, there should be in us some habitual form superadded to the natural power, inclining that power to the act of charity, and causing it to act with ease and pleasure.