DE RATIONIBUS FIDEI
REASONS FOR THE FAITH
AGAINST MUSLIM OBJECTIONS
(and one objection of the Greeks and Armenians)
to the Cantor of Antioch
Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.
Joseph Kenny, O.P.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: How to argue with unbelievers
Chapter 3: How generation applies to God
Chapter 4: How the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son
Chapter 5: The reason for the incarnation of the Son of God
Chapter 6: The meaning of "God became man"
Chapter 7: The meaning of "The Word of God suffered"
Chapter 8: The meaning of "The faithful receive the body of Christ"
Chapter 9: How there is a special place where souls are purified before receiving beatitude
Chapter 10: That divine predestination does not impose necessity on human acts
This short tract, De rationibus fidei contra Saracenos, Graecos et Armenos ad Cantorem Antiochenum, was written by St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1276) at Orvieto, Italy, in 1264. It follows right on the heels of his longer Summa contra gentiles, completed that same year. We do not know who the Cantor of Antioch was, except that he must have been in charge of music in the cathedral. Perhaps his bishop, the Dominican Christian Elias, referred him to Thomas Aquinas. The questions the Cantor asks must have been the subject of lively discussions in a city where Latin Christians mixed with Eastern Christians and Muslims.
The latter work, written at the request of St. Raymond of Peñafort to help Dominicans preaching to Muslims and Jews in Spain and North Africa, concentrated on how Christian doctrine could be presented to people who do not accept the authority of the Bible. It said little about Islam directly, since Thomas Aquinas admitted that he knew very little about it (Book I, ch. 2). He therefore concentrated on explaining the Catholic Faith.
The present work takes up Muslim objections never mentioned in the Contra gentiles. Thomas' answers use material already discussed in greater detail in that work. The originality of the present work is its concise brevity and its focus on the essential points where the Catholic Faith differs from and transcends Islam.
In this work Thomas shows a good grasp of what these differences are: first of all, the Trinity and how God shares his life with us in the Incarnation, then the crucifixion of Jesus and the whole question of human force and power in religion. The objection to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is not a standard Muslim objection, but I have heard it. The final one, on determination, was much discussed in Muslim theology and philosophy; its theoretical and practical implications are greater than most Muslims or Christians realize, but it is very summarily treated here.
This work is from the Middle Ages and does not reflect all the nuances of current Catholic teaching regarding Islam. An instance of this is the use of the term "unbelievers" which Thomas uses of Muslims. The Church today calls them believers, although they do not believe in all that Christians believe.
In this translation, from the Marietti 1954 edition of the Opuscula theologica, I have given priority to clear plain English rather than literal fidelity. Yet I could not but retain some philosophical vocabulary, such as "substance", "accident", "hypostasis" and "predication".
Quae sit auctoris intentio
Beatus Petrus apostolus, qui promissionem accepit a domino ut super eius confessione fundaretur Ecclesia, contra quam portae Inferorum praevalere non possunt, ut contra huiusmodi portas Inferorum, Ecclesiae sibi commissae fides inviolata persisteret, fideles Christi alloquitur dicens: dominum Christum sanctificate in cordibus vestris, scilicet per fidei firmitatem: quo fundamento in corde collocato, contra omnes impugnationes, aut irrisiones infidelium tuti esse poterimus. Unde etiam subdit: parati semper ad satisfactionem omni poscenti vos rationem de ea quae in vobis est spe et fide. Blessed Peter the Apostle received a promise from the Lord that on his confession of faith the Church would be founded and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. That the faith of the Church entrusted to him would hold out inviolate against these gates of Hell, he address the faithful of Christ (1 Pet 3:15): "Proclaim the Lord Christ holy in your hearts," that is, by firmness of faith. With this foundation established in our hearts we can be safe against any attacks or ridicule of unbelievers against our Faith. Therefore Peter adds: "Always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you have." Fides autem Christiana principaliter consistit in sanctae Trinitatis confessione, et specialiter gloriatur in cruce domini nostri Iesu Christi. Nam verbum crucis, ut Paulus dicit etsi pereuntibus stultitia sit, his autem qui salvi fiunt, idest nobis, virtus Dei est. The Christian faith principally consists in acknowledging the holy Trinity, and it specially glories in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For "the message of the cross", says Paul (1 Cor 1:18), "is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation it is the power of God." Spes etiam nostra in duobus consistit: scilicet in eo quod expectatur post mortem, et in auxilio Dei, quo in hac vita iuvamur ad futuram beatitudinem per opera liberi arbitrii promerendam. Our hope is directed to two things: (1) what we look forward to after death, and (2) the help of God which carries us through this life to future happiness merited by works done by free will. Haec igitur sunt quae, ut asseris, ab infidelibus impugnantur et irridentur. Irrident enim Saraceni, ut dicis, quod Christum Dei filium dicimus, cum Deus uxorem non habeat; et reputant nos insanos, quod tres personas confitemur in Deo, per hoc aestimantes nos tres deos profiteri. The following are the things you say the Muslims attack and ridicule: They ridicule the fact that we say Christ is the Son of God, when God has no wife (Qur'ân 6:110; 72:3); and they think we are insane for professing three persons in God, even though we do not mean by this three gods. Irrident etiam quod Christum Dei filium pro salute humani generis dicimus crucifixum: quia si est Deus omnipotens potuit absque sui filii passione genus humanum salvare, potuit etiam sic constituere hominem ut peccare non posset. They also ridicule our saying that Christ the Son of God was crucified for the salvation of the human race (Qur'ân 4:157-8), for if almighty God could save the human race without the Son's suffering he could also make man so that he could not sin. Improperant etiam Christianis, quod cotidie in altari comedunt Deum suum, et quod corpus Christi, si esset ita magnum sicut mons, iam deberet esse consumptum. They also hold against Christians their claim to eat God on the altar, and that if the body of Christ were even as big as a mountain, by now it should have been eaten up. Circa statum vero animarum post mortem Graecos et Armenos asseris errare dicentes, quod animae usque ad diem iudicii nec puniuntur nec praemiantur, sed sunt quasi in sequestro, quia nec poenam nec praemia debent habere sine corpore. Et in sui erroris assertionem inducunt quod dominus in Evangelio dicit: in domo patris mei mansiones multae sunt. On the state of souls after death, you say that the Greeks and Armenians hold the error that souls after death are neither punished nor rewarded until the day of judgment, but are in some waiting room, since they can receive no punishment or reward without the body. To back up their error they quote the Lord in the Gospel (Jn 14:2): "In my Father's house there are many places to live in." Circa meritum vero quod ex libero dependet arbitrio, asseris tam Saracenos quam nationes alias necessitatem actibus humanis imponere ex praescientia vel ordinatione divina, dicentes quod homo non potest mori, nec etiam peccare, nisi sicut Deus ordinavit de homine; et quod quaelibet persona suum eventum habet scriptum in fronte. Concerning merit, which depends on free will, you assert that the Muslims and other nations hold that God's fore-knowledge or decree imposes necessity on human actions; thus they say that man cannot die or even sin unless God decrees this, and that every person has his destiny written on his forehead. Super quibus petis rationes morales et philosophicas, quas Saraceni recipiunt. Frustra enim videretur auctoritates inducere contra eos qui auctoritates non recipiunt. Tuae igitur petitioni, quae ex pio desiderio videtur procedere, ut sis, iuxta apostolicam doctrinam, paratus ad satisfactionem omni poscenti te rationem, satisfacere volens, aliqua facilia, secundum quod materia patitur, super praemissis tibi exponam, quae tamen alibi diffusius pertractavi. On these questions you ask for moral and philosophical reasons which the Muslims can accept. For it would be useless to quote passages of Scripture against those who do not accept this authority. I wish to satisfy your request, which seems to arise from pious desire, so that you may be prepared with apostolic doctrine to satisfy anyone who asks you for an explanation. On these questions I will make some explanations as easy as the subjects allow, since I have written more amply about them elsewhere [in the Summa contra gentiles].
Qualiter sit disputandum contra infideles
How to argue with unbelievers
De hoc tamen primo admonere te volo, quod in disputationibus contra infideles de articulis fidei, non ad hoc conari debes, ut fidem rationibus necessariis probes. Hoc enim sublimitati fidei derogaret, cuius veritas non solum humanas mentes, sed etiam Angelorum excedit; a nobis autem creduntur quasi ab ipso Deo revelata. First of all I wish to warn you that in disputations with unbelievers about articles of the Faith, you should not try to prove the Faith by necessary reasons. This would belittle the sublimity of the Faith, whose truth exceeds not only human minds but also those of angels; we believe in them only because they are revealed by God. Quia tamen quod a summa veritate procedit, falsum esse non potest, nec aliquid necessaria ratione impugnari valet quod falsum non est; sicut fides nostra necessariis rationibus probari non potest, quia humanam mentem excedit, ita improbari necessaria ratione non potest propter sui veritatem. Ad hoc igitur debet tendere Christiani disputatoris intentio in articulis fidei, non ut fidem probet, sed ut fidem defendat: unde et beatus Petrus non dicit: parati semper ad probationem, sed ad satisfactionem, ut scilicet rationabiliter ostendatur non esse falsum quod fides Catholica confitetur. Yet whatever come from the Supreme Truth cannot be false, and what is not false cannot be repudiated by any necessary reason. Just as our Faith cannot be proved by necessary reasons, because it exceeds the human mind, so because of its truth it cannot be refuted by any necessary reason. So any Christian disputing about the articles of the Faith should not try to prove the Faith, but defend the Faith. Thus blessed Peter (1 Pet 3:15) did not say: "Always have your proof", but "your answer ready," so that reason can show that what the Catholic Faith holds is not false.
Qualiter in divinis generatio sit accipienda
How generation applies to God
Primum igitur considerandum est derisibilem esse irrisionem qua nos irrident, quod ponimus Christum filium Dei, quasi Deus uxorem habuerit. Cum enim sint carnales, non possunt nisi ea quae sunt carnis et sanguinis cogitare. Quilibet autem sapiens considerare potest, quod non est idem modus generationis in omnibus rebus, sed in unaquaque re invenitur generatio secundum proprietatem suae naturae. In animalibus quidem quibusdam per maris et feminae commixtionem; in plantis vero per pullulationem, seu germinationem, atque in aliis aliter. First of all we must observe that Muslims are silly in ridiculing us for holding that Christ is the Son of the living God, as if God had a wife. Since they are carnal, they can think only of what is flesh and blood. For any wise man can observe that the mode of generation is not the same for everything, but generation applies to each thing according to the special manner of its nature. In animals it is by copulation of male and female; in plants it is by pollination or generation, and in other things in other ways. Deus autem non est carnalis naturae, ut feminam requirat, cui commisceatur ad prolis generationem, sed est spiritualis sive intellectualis naturae, immo magis supra omnem intellectum. Est igitur in eo generatio accipienda secundum quod convenit intellectuali naturae. Et quamvis intellectus noster ab intellectu divino deficiat, non possumus tamen aliter loqui de intellectu divino nisi secundum similitudinem eorum quae in intellectu nostro invenimus. God, however, is not of a fleshly nature, requiring a woman to copulate with to generate offspring, but he is of a spiritual or intellectual nature, much higher than every intellectual nature. So generation should be understood of God as it applies to an intellectual nature. Even though our own intellect falls far short of the divine intellect, we still have to speak of the divine intellect by comparing it with what we find in our own intellect. Est autem intellectus noster aliquando quidem in potentia intelligens, aliquando vero in actu. Quandocumque autem actu intelligit, quoddam intelligibile format, quod est quasi quaedam proles ipsius, unde et mentis conceptus nominatur. Et hoc quidem est quod exteriori voce significatur: unde sicut vox significans, verbum exterius dicitur, ita interior mentis conceptus verbo exteriori significatus, dicitur verbum intellectus, seu mentis. Hic autem mentis nostrae conceptus non est ipsa mentis nostrae essentia, sed est quoddam accidens ei, quia nec ipsum intelligere nostrum est ipsum esse nostri intellectus, alioquin nunquam intellectus noster esset quin intelligeret actu. Our intellect understands sometimes potentially, sometimes actually. Whenever it actually understands it forms something intelligible, a kind of offspring, which is called a concept, something conceived by the mind. This is signified by an audible voice, so that as the audible voice is called the exterior word, the interior concept of the mind signified by the exterior audible word is called the word of the intellect or mind. A concept of our mind is not the very essence of our mind, but something accidental to it, because even our act of understanding is not the very being of our intellect; otherwise our intellect would have to be always in act. Verbum igitur intellectus nostri secundum quandam similitudinem dici potest vel conceptus vel proles, et praecipue cum intellectus noster seipsum intelligit, inquantum scilicet est quaedam similitudo intellectus procedens ab eius intellectuali virtute; sicut et filius habet similitudinem patris, procedens ab eius generativa virtute. So the word of our intellect can be likened to a concept or offspring, especially when the intellect understands itself and the concept is a likeness of the intellect coming from its intellectual power, just as a son has a likeness to his father, from whose generative power he comes forth. Non tamen proprie verbum nostri intellectus potest dici proles vel filius, quia non est eiusdem naturae cuius est intellectus noster. Non autem omne quod procedit ab aliquo, etiamsi sit simile ei, dicitur filius: alioquin imago sui, quam aliquis pingit, proprie filius diceretur. Sed ad hoc quod sit filius, requiritur quod procedens et similitudinem habeat eius a quo procedit, et sit eiusdem naturae cum ipso. The word of our intellect is not properly an offspring or son, because it is not of the same nature as our intellect. Not everything that comes forth from another, even if it is similar to its source, is called a son; otherwise a painted picture of someone would be a son. To be a son, it is required that the one coming forth from the other must not only resemble its source but also be of the same nature with it. Quia vero in Deo non est aliud intelligere quam suum esse, consequenter neque verbum quod in intellectu eius concipitur, est aliquod accidens, aut aliquid alienum ab eius natura, sed ex hoc ipso quod verbum est, rationem habet procedentis ab altero, et ut sit similitudo eius cuius est verbum: hoc enim in verbo nostro invenitur. But in God understanding is not different from his being. Consequently the word which is conceived in his intellect is not something accidental to him or alien from his nature but, by the very fact that it is a word, it must be coming forth from another and must be a likeness of its source. All this is true even of our own word. Sed illud verbum divinum habet ulterius quod non sit aliquod accidens, neque aliqua pars Dei, qui est simplex, neque aliquid alienum a divina natura, sed quoddam completum subsistens in natura divina habens rationem ab altero procedentis: sine hoc enim verbum intelligi non potest. Hoc autem secundum humanae locutionis consuetudinem filius nominatur, quod procedit ab alio in similitudinem eius, subsistens in eadem natura cum ipso. But besides this, the Word of God is not an accident or a part of God, who is simple, nor something extrinsic to the divine nature, but is something complete, subsisting in the divine nature and coming forth from another, as any word must be. In our human way of talking, this is called a son, because it comes forth from another in its likeness and subsists in the same nature with it. Secundum igitur quod divina verbis humanis nominari possunt, verbum intellectus divini Dei filium nominamus; Deum vero, cuius est verbum, nominamus patrem; et processum verbi dicimus esse generationem filii immaterialem quidem, non autem carnalem, sicut carnales homines suspicantur. Therefore, as far as divine things can be represented by human words, we call the Word of the divine intellect the Son of God, while God, whose Word he is, we call the Father. We say that the coming forth of the Word is an immaterial generation of a son, not a carnal one, as carnal men surmise. Est autem et aliud in quo excedit praedicta filii Dei generatio omnem generationem humanam, sive materialem, per quam homo ex homine nascitur; sive intelligibilem, secundum quam verbum concipitur in mente humana. In utraque enim illud quod per generationem procedit, invenitur posterius tempore eo a quo procedit. Pater enim non generat statim a principio sui esse, sed oportet quod de imperfecto ad statum perfectum perveniat, in quo generare possit. Nec iterum statim ut generationi operam dat, filius nascitur, quia carnalis generatio in quadam mutatione et successione consistit: secundum intellectum etiam non statim a principio homo est aptus ad intelligibiles conceptus formandos, et postquam etiam ad statum perfectionis venit. Non semper actu intelligit, sed prius est potentia intelligens tantum, et postmodum fit intelligens actu, et interdum desinit actu intelligere, et remanet intelligens in potentia vel in habitu tantum. Sic igitur verbum hominis posterius in tempore invenitur quam homo, et quandoque desinit esse antequam homo. There is another way that this generation of the Son of God surpasses every human generation, whether material, as when one man is born from another, or intelligible, as when a word is brought forth in the human mind. In either of these cases what is born is younger than its source. A father does not generate as soon as he begins to exist, but he must first mature. Even the act of generation takes time before a son is born, because carnal generation is a matter of stages. Likewise the human intellect is not ready to form intelligible concepts as soon as a man is born, but when he matures. So he does not always actually understand, but after potentially understanding he actually understands and again stops actually understanding and remains understanding only in potency or with habitual knowledge. So a human word is younger than a man and sometimes stops existing before the man. Impossibile est autem ista Deo convenire, in quo neque imperfectio neque mutatio aliqua locum habet, neque etiam aliquis exitus de potentia ad actum, cum ipse sit actus purus et primus. Verbum igitur Dei coaeternum est ipsi Deo. But these two limitations cannot apply to God, who has no imperfection or change, or going from potency to act, since he is pure and first act. The Word of God, therefore, is co-eternal with God. Est autem et aliud in quo verbum nostrum differt a verbo divino. Intellectus enim noster non simul intelligit omnia, neque unico actu, sed pluribus, et ideo verba intellectus nostri sunt multa; sed Deus omnia simul intelligit, et unico actu, quia eius intelligere non potest esse nisi unum, cum sit suum esse: unde sequitur quod in Deo sit unum verbum tantum. Another difference of our word from the divine is that our intellect does not simultaneously understand everything, or with one act, but by many different acts; therefore the words of our intellect are many. But God understands everything simultaneously by one single act, because his understanding must be one, since it is his very being. It follows therefore that in God there is only one word. Ulterius autem est alia consideranda differentia: quod verbum intellectus nostri non adaequat intellectus virtutem, quia cum aliquid mente concipimus, adhuc possumus alia multa concipere: unde verbum intellectus nostri et imperfectum est, et in eo potest compositio accidere, dum ex multis perfectis verbis fit unum verbum perfectius, sicut cum intellectus concipit aliquam enuntiationem, aut definitionem alicuius rei. Sed verbum divinum adaequat virtutem Dei, quia Deus per essentiam suam seipsum intelligit et omnia alia: unde quanta est essentia eius tantum est verbum quod concipit per essentiam suam, se et omnia intelligendo. Est ergo perfectum, et simplex, et aequale Deo: et hoc verbum Dei filium nominamus ratione iam dicta, quem eiusdem naturae cum patre, et patri coaeternum, unigenitum, et perfectum confitemur. There is yet another difference: The word of our intellect does not measure up to the power of our intellect, because when we mentally conceive one thing we can still conceive many other things; thus the word of our intellect is imperfect and can be composed, when several imperfect notions are put together to form a more perfect word, as happens in the process of formulating a definition. But the divine Word measures up to the power of God, because by his essence he understands himself and everything else. So the Word he conceives by his essence, when he understands himself and everything else, is as great as his essence. It is therefore perfect, simple and equal to God. We call this Word of God a Son, as said above, because he is of the same nature with the Father, and we profess that he is co-eternal with the Father, only-begotten and perfect.
Qualiter in divinis sit accipienda processio spiritus sancti a patre et filio
How the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son
Est autem considerandum ulterius, quod omnem cognitionem sequitur aliqua appetitiva operatio. Inter omnes autem appetitivas operationes invenitur amor esse principium: quo sublato, neque gaudium erit, si adipiscatur aliquis quod non amat; neque tristitia, si impediatur ab eo quod non amat; si amor tollatur, et per consequens tolluntur omnes aliae appetitivae operationes, quae quodammodo ad tristitiam et gaudium referuntur. Cum igitur in Deo sit perfectissima cognitio, oportet etiam in eo ponere perfectum amorem: in quo quidam processus per appetitivam operationem exprimitur, sicut et in verbo per operationem intellectus. We must also observe that every act of knowledge is followed by an act of the appetite. Of all appetitive acts love is the principle. Without it there is no joy at gaining something one does not love, or sadness at missing something one does not love - that is, if love is taken away; likewise all other appetitive acts would go, since they are all somehow related to sadness and joy. Therefore, since God has perfect knowledge, he must also have perfect love, which arises as the expression of an appetitive act, as a word arises as the expression of an intellective act. Est autem attendenda differentia quaedam inter intellectualem operationem et appetitivam: nam operatio intellectualis, et omnino omnis cognitiva operatio completur per hoc quod cognoscibilia in cognoscente quodammodo existunt, scilicet sensibilia in sensu, et intelligibilia in intellectu; operatio autem appetitiva completur secundum quendam ordinem vel motum appetentis ad res appetitui obiectas. Ea vero quae habent occultum principium sui motus, spiritus nomen accipiunt: sic enim venti spiritus dicuntur, quia eorum afflationis principium non apparet. Respiratio etiam et arteriarum motus ab intrinseco et occulto procedens, principio spiritus nomen accepit: unde convenienter, secundum quod divina humanis verbis significari possunt, ipse divinus amor procedens spiritus nomen accepit. But there is a difference between an intellectual and an appetitive act. For an intellectual act and any other act of knowledge takes place by the knowable thing somehow existing in the knowing power, namely, sensible things in the sense and intelligible things in the intellect. But an appetitive act takes place by an orientation and movement of the appetitive power to the things exposed to the appetite. Things that have a hidden source of their motion are called spirits. For instance, winds are called spirits because their origin is not apparent. Likewise breath, which is a motion from an intrinsic source, is called spirit. So, as divine things are expressed in human terms, the very love coming from God is called a spirit. Sed in nobis amor ex duplici causa procedit: quandoque quidem ex corporea et materiali natura: qui plerumque est amor immundus, quia per eum puritas mentis nostrae turbatur; quandoque autem ex ipsa proprietate spiritus naturae, sicut cum amamus intelligibilia bona et quae rationi conveniunt; et hic amor est purus. In Deo autem amor materialis locum non habet. Convenienter igitur amorem ipsius non solum spiritum, sed spiritum sanctum nominamus, ut per hoc quod dicitur sanctus, eius puritas exprimatur. But in us love comes from two different sources. Sometimes it comes from a bodily and material principle, which is impure love, since it disturbs the purity of the mind. Sometimes it comes from the a pure spiritual principle, as when we love intelligible goods and what is in accord with reason; this is pure love. God cannot have a material love. Therefore we fittingly call his love not simply Spirit, but the Holy Spirit, since holiness refers to his purity. Manifestum est autem quod nihil amare possumus intelligibili et sancto amore nisi quod actu per intellectum concipimus. Conceptio autem intellectus est verbum: unde necesse est quod amor a verbo oriatur. Verbum autem Dei dicimus esse filium, ex quo patet spiritum sanctum esse a filio. Sicut autem divinum intelligere est eius esse, ita etiam et amare Dei est esse ipsius: et sicut Deus semper actu intelligit et omnia intelligendo se ipsum intelligit, ita etiam semper actu amat et omnia amat suam bonitatem amando. Sicut igitur Dei filius, qui est verbum Dei, est subsistens in divina natura, coaeternus patri, perfectus et unicus; ita etiam haec omnia de spiritu sancto confiteri oportet. It is clear that we cannot love anything with an intelligible and holy love unless we conceive it through an act of the intellect. The conception of the intellect is a word; so love must arise from a word. We call the Word of God the Son; so it is clear that the Holy Spirit comes from the Son. Just as God's act of knowledge is his very being, so also is his act of loving. And just as God is always actually understanding, so also he is always actually loving himself and everything else by loving his own goodness. Therefore, as the Son of God, who is the Word of God, subsists in the divine nature and is co-eternal with the Father and perfect and unique, likewise we must profess the same about the Holy Spirit. Ex his autem colligere possumus quod cum omne quod subsistit in natura intelligente, apud nos persona dicatur, apud Graecos autem hypostasis; necesse est dicere, quod verbum Dei, quod Dei filium nominamus, sit quaedam hypostasis seu persona; et idem de spiritu sancto dici oportet. Nulli autem est dubium quin Deus, a quo verbum et amor procedit, sit res subsistens, ut etiam possit dici hypostasis vel persona. Et per hunc modum convenienter ponimus in divinis tres personas, scilicet personam patris, personam filii, personam spiritus sancti. Since everything that subsists with an intelligent nature we call a "person", which is equivalent to the Greek "hypostasis", it is necessary to say that the Word of God, whom we call Son, is a hypostasis or person. No one doubts that God, from whom a word and a love comes forth, is a subsistent reality, and can also be called a hypostasis or a person. Thus we fittingly posit three persons in God: the person of the Father, the person of the Son and the person of the Holy Spirit. Has autem tres hypostases vel personas non dicimus esse per essentiam diversas: quia, sicut iam supra dictum est, sicut intelligere et amare Dei est eius esse, ita verbum et amor eius sunt ipsa Dei essentia. Quidquid autem de Deo absolute dicitur, non est aliud quam Dei essentia. Non enim est Deus vel magnus vel potens vel bonus accidentaliter, sed per essentiam suam; unde tres personas vel hypostases non dicimus in divinis distinctas per aliquid absolutum, sed per solas relationes, quae ex processione verbi et amoris proveniunt. We do not say that these three persons or hypostases are distinct by essence, since, just as God's act of knowing and loving is his very being, so also his Word and Love are the very essence of God. Whatever is absolutely asserted of God is nothing other than his essence, since God is not great or powerful or good accidentally, but by his essence. So we do not say the three persons or hypostases are distinct absolutely, but by mere relations which arise from the coming forth of the word and the love. Et quia processionem verbi generationem nominamus, ex generatione autem proveniunt relationes paternitatis et filiationis; personam filii a patris persona distingui dicimus solummodo paternitate et filiatione: omnia alia communiter et indifferenter de utroque praedicantes. Sicut enim dicimus patrem verum Deum, omnipotentem, aeternum, et quaecumque similiter dicuntur, sic et filium: et eadem ratio est de spiritu sancto. Since we call the coming forth of the word generation, and from generation result the relationships of fatherhood and sonship, we say that the person of the Son is distinct from the person of the Father only by fatherhood and sonship, while all else belongs to both commonly and without distinction. Just as we call the Father true God, almighty, eternal and whatever else, so also the Son, and for the same reason the Holy Spirit. Quia igitur pater et filius et spiritus sanctus non distinguuntur in natura divinitatis, sed relationibus solis, convenienter tres personas non dicimus tres deos, sed unum verum Deum et perfectum confitemur. Therefore, since the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are not distinct in their divine nature, but only by relationship, we are right in saying that the three persons are not three gods, but one true and perfect God. In hominibus autem ideo tres personae tres homines dicuntur, et non unus homo, quia natura humanitatis, quae communis est tribus differenter convenit eis secundum materialem divisionem, quae omnino in Deo locum non habet. Unde cum in tribus hominibus sint tres humanitates numero differentes, sola ratio humanitatis in eis communis invenitur. In tribus autem personis divinis non tres divinitates numero differentes, sed unam simplicem deitatem necesse est esse, cum non sit alia essentia verbi et amoris in Deo ab essentia Dei; et sic non tres deos, sed unum Deum confitemur, propter unam et simplicem deitatem in tribus personis. Three human persons are three men and not one man, because the nature of humanity, which is common to them, belongs to each separately because they are materially distinct, which does not apply to God. So in three men there are three numerically different human natures, while only the essence of humanity is common to them. But in the divine persons there are not three numerically different divine natures, but necessarily only one simple divine nature, since the essence of God's word and of his love is not different from the essence of God. So we profess not three gods, but one God, because of the one simple divine nature in three persons.
Quae fuit causa incarnationis filii Dei
The reason for the incarnation of the Son of God
Ex simili autem mentis caecitate Christianam fidem irrident, quia confitetur Christum Dei filium mortuum esse, tanti mysterii profunditatem non intelligentes. Et ne mors filii Dei perverse intelligatur, prius aliquid de filii Dei incarnatione dici oportet. Non enim dicimus filium Dei morti subiectum fuisse secundum naturam divinam, in qua aequalis est patri, quae est fontalis omnium vita, sed secundum nostram naturam, quam assumpsit in unitatem personae. A similar blindness makes Muslims ridicule the Christian Faith by which we profess that the Son of God died, since they do not understand the depth of such a great mystery. First of all, lest the death of the Son of God be misinterpreted, we must first say something about the incarnation of the Son of God. For we do not say that the Son of God underwent death according to his divine nature, in which he is equal to the Father who is the foundational life of everything, but according to our own nature which he adopted into the unity of his person. Ad incarnationis igitur divinae mysterium aliqualiter considerandum, oportet advertere, quod omne per intellectum agens, per conceptionem sui intellectus, quam dicimus verbum, operatur, ut patet in aedificatore, et quolibet artifice, qui secundum formam quam mente concipit, exterius operatur. Quia igitur Dei filius est ipsum Dei verbum, consequens est ut Deus per filium omnia fecerit. To say something about the mystery of the divine incarnation, we must observe that any intellectual agent operates through a conception of his intellect, which we call a word, as is clear in the case of a builder or any craftsman who operates outwardly according to the form that he conceives in his mind. Since the Son of God is the very Word of God, it follows that God made everything through the Son. Unaquaeque autem res per eadem fit et reparatur: si enim domus collapsa fuerit, per formam artis reparatur, per quam a principio condita fuit. Inter creaturas autem a Deo conditas per verbum suum, gradum praecipuum tenet creatura rationalis, intantum quod omnes aliae creaturae ei subserviant, et ad ipsam ordinari videantur; et hoc rationabiliter, quia sola rationalis creatura dominium habet sui actus per arbitrii libertatem, ceterae vero creaturae non ex libero iudicio agunt, sed quadam vi naturae moventur ad agendum. Ubique autem quod est liberum, praeeminet ei quod est servum, et servi ad liberorum famulatum ordinantur, et a liberis gubernantur. Lapsus igitur rationalis creaturae secundum veram aestimationem magis aestimandus est quam cuiuscumque irrationalis creaturae defectus. Nec est dubium quin apud Dei iudicium res secundum veram aestimationem iudicentur. Hoc igitur conveniens est divinae sapientiae ut praecipue lapsum creaturae rationalis repararet, magis etiam quam si caelum collaberetur, vel quidquid aliud in rebus corporeis posset accidere. It is a rule that the principles which make something are also the principles for repairing it. If a house falls down, it is restored according to the plan by which it was first made. Among the creatures created through God's Word, rational creatures hold the first rank, since all other creatures serve them and seem ordered to them. That is reasonable, because a rational creature has mastery over his action through free will, while other creatures do not act from free judgment but by force of nature. Universally what is free is higher than what is in bondage; slaves serve the free and are governed by them. Therefore the fall of a rational creature is truly considered more serious than the defect of any irrational creature. Nor is there any doubt that God judges things according to their real value. So it was fitting for Divine Wisdom to repair the fall of human nature, much more than to step in if the heavens were to fall or any other catastrophe occur in bodily things. Est autem duplex creatura rationalis seu intellectualis: una quidem a corpore separata, quam Angelum nominamus; alia vero corpori unita, quae est anima hominis. In utraque autem lapsus accidere potuit propter arbitrii libertatem. Dico autem creaturae rationalis lapsum non ut ab esse deficiat, sed secundum quod deficit a rectitudine voluntatis. Lapsus enim seu defectus praecipue attenditur secundum id quo operatur, sicut artificem errare dicimus, si in arte deficiat qua debet operari; et rem naturalem deficientem dicimus et collapsam, si corrumpatur virtus eius naturalis per quam agit, puta si in planta vis germinandi deficiat, aut in terra vis fructificandi. Id autem secundum quod operatur rationalis creatura, est voluntas, in qua consistit libertas arbitrii. Lapsus igitur rationalis creaturae est secundum quod deficit a rectitudine voluntatis: quod fit per peccatum. Defectum igitur peccati, qui nihil est aliud quam perversitas voluntatis, praecipue Deo convenit removere; et per verbum suum, quo universam condidit creaturam. Rational or intellectual creatures are of two kinds: one separated from a body, which we call an angel, and the other joined to a body, which is the human soul. In either one there can be a fall because of freedom of the will. By a fall, I do not mean that they fall out of existence, but that they lapse from righteousness of the will. A fall or a defect refers specially to a principle of operation, as we say that a craftsman has gone wrong because he is deficient in the skill he needs to do his job, and we say that a natural thing is deficient or spoiled if the natural power by which it acts is corrupted, for example if a plant lacks the power of germinating or a piece of land lacks the power to be fruitful. A rational creature operates by its will, where it has freedom of choice. Therefore the fall of a rational creature is a defect of righteousness of the will, which takes place by sin. The defect of sin, which is nothing other than perversity of the will, is something especially for God to remove, and that by his Word by which he created all creatures. Et Angelorum quidem peccatum remedium habere non potuit, quia secundum immutabilitatem suae naturae impoenitibiles sunt ab eo in quod semel convertuntur. Homines autem secundum conditionem suae naturae habent mutabilem voluntatem, ut non solum diversa possint eligere vel bona vel mala, sed etiam postquam unum elegerint, possunt ab illo resipiscere, et ad aliud converti: et haec mutabilitas voluntatis in homine manet, quandiu corpori varietati subiecto unitur. Cum autem anima a corpore huiusmodi fuerit separata, eandem immutabilitatem voluntatis habebit quam Angelus naturaliter habet: unde et post mortem anima humana impoenitibilis est, nec potest de bono ad malum converti, nec de malo ad bonum. Sic igitur ad Dei bonitatem pertinuit ut per filium suum naturam humanam collapsam repararet. The sin of angels, however, could not be corrected, because the immutability of their nature makes them impenitent from any direction they once take. But men's will is changeable by nature, so that they are not only able to choose different things, good or evil, but also abandon one choice and turn to another. This changeableness of the will remains in man as long as he is united to his body which is subject to variation. When the soul is separated from the body it will have the same immutability as an angel naturally has; so that after death the soul is impenitent, and cannot turn from good to evil or from evil to good. Therefore it was fitting for God's goodness to restore fallen human nature through his Son. Modus autem reparationis talis esse debuit qui et naturae reparandae conveniret, et morbo. Naturae dico reparandae: quia cum homo sit rationalis naturae, libero arbitrio praeditus, non necessitate exterioris virtutis, sed per propriam voluntatem ad statum rectitudinis revocandus fuit. Morbo etiam quia cum morbus in perversitate voluntatis consisteret, oportuit reparationem fieri per hoc quod voluntas ad rectitudinem reduceretur. Voluntatis autem humanae rectitudo consistit in ordinatione amoris, qui est principalis affectio. Ordinatus autem amor est ut Deum super omnia diligamus quasi summum bonum, et ut in ipsum referantur omnia quae amamus sicut in ultimum finem, et ut etiam in ceteris amandis debitus ordo servetur, ut scilicet spiritualia corporalibus praeferamus. The way of restoring should correspond to the nature being restored and to its sickness. The nature to be restored was man's rational nature endowed with free will, who should not be subject to exterior power but be recalled to the state of righteousness according to his own will. His sickness, being a perversity of the will, demanded that the will should be called back to righteousness. Righteousness of the human will consists in the proper ordering of love, which is its principal act. Rightly ordered love is to love God above all things as our supreme good, and to refer to him everything that we love as our ultimate goal, and to observe the proper order in loving other things by preferring spiritual to bodily goods. Ad provocandum autem nostrum amorem in Deum nihil magis valere potuit quam quod verbum Dei, per quod omnia facta fuerant, ad reparationem nostrae naturae ipsam assumeret, ut idem esset Deus et homo. Primo quidem, quia ex hoc maxime demonstratur quantum Deus diligat hominem, quod pro eius salute homo fieri voluit; nec est aliquid quod ad amandum magis provocet quam quod aliquis se cognoscat amari. To excite our love towards God, there was no more powerful way than that the Word of God, through whom all things were made, should assume our human nature in order to restore it, so that he would be both God and man. First of all, because the strongest way God could show how much he loves man was his willing to become man for his salvation; and nothing can provoke love more than to know that one is loved. Deinde quia homo habens intellectum et affectum ad corporalia depressum, ad ea quae supra se sunt, de facili elevari non poterat. Facile est autem cuilibet homini ut alium hominem diligat et cognoscat; sed considerare divinam altitudinem, et in eam ferri per debitum amoris affectum, non est quorumlibet hominum, sed eorum qui per Dei auxilium cum magno studio et labore a corporalibus ad spiritualia sublevantur. Ut igitur omnibus hominibus facilis pateret via ad Deum, voluit Deus homo fieri, ut etiam parvuli Deum cogitare et amare possent quasi similem sibi; et sic per id quod capere possunt, paulatim proficerent ad perfectum. Then also, man whose intellect and affections are weighed down towards bodily things cannot easily turn to things that are above himself. It is easy for any man to know and love another man, but to think of the divine highness and be carried to it by the proper affection of love is not for everyone, but only for those who, by God's help and with great effort and labour, are lifted up from bodily to spiritual things. Therefore, to open the way to God for everyone, God willed to become man, so that even children could know and love God as someone like themselves; and so by what they can grasp they can progress little by little to perfection. Per hoc etiam quod Deus homo factus est, spes datur homini ut et homo pervenire possit ad perfectae beatitudinis participationem, quam solus Deus naturaliter habet. Homo enim suam infirmitatem cognoscens, si ei promitteretur quod ad beatitudinem perveniret, cuius vix Angeli capaces sunt, quae scilicet in visione et fruitione Dei consistit, vix hoc sperare posset, nisi ex alia parte sibi dignitas humanae naturae ostenderetur, quam tanti aestimat Deus, ut pro eius salute homo fieri voluit. Et sic per hoc quod Deus factus est homo, spem nobis dedit ut homo etiam posset pervenire ad hoc quod uniretur Deo per beatam fruitionem. Also, for God to become man gave man the hope of eventually participating in perfect happiness, which only God naturally has. If man, knowing his weakness, were promised the eventual happiness of which angels are hardly capable, since it consists in the vision and enjoyment of God, he could hardly hope to reach it unless the dignity of human nature was demonstrated in another way, namely, by God valuing it so highly that he became man for his salvation. So God's becoming man gave us hope that man can eventually be united to God in blessed enjoyment. Valet etiam homini cognitio suae dignitatis ex hoc quod Deus humanam naturam assumpsit ad hoc quod affectum suum nulli creaturae subiiceret: neque Daemones aut quascumque creaturas colendo per idolatriam; neque corporalibus creaturis se subdendo per inordinatum affectum. Indignum enim est ut cum homo tantae sit dignitatis secundum aestimationem divinam, et ita Deo propinquus ut Deus homo fieri voluerit, quod homo rebus inferioribus Deo inordinate se subdat. Man's knowledge of his dignity, coming from God's assuming a human nature, helps to keep him from subjecting his affections to any creature, whether by worshipping demons or any creatures through idolatry or by subjecting himself to bodily creatures through disordered affection. For if man has such a great dignity by God's judgment and he is so close to him that God wanted to become man, it is unworthy of man to subject himself improperly to things inferior to God.
Qualiter intelligi debeat hoc quod dicitur: Deus factus est homo
The meaning of "God became man"
Cum autem dicimus, Deum hominem fieri, nemo existimet hoc sic accipiendum esse ut Deus convertatur in hominem, sicut aer fit ignis cum in ignem convertitur. Immutabilis est enim Dei natura: corpora autem sunt quae invicem convertuntur. Spiritualis autem natura in naturam corpoream non convertitur, sed ei potest aliqualiter uniri per efficaciam suae virtutis, sicut anima corpori; et quamvis humana natura ex anima constet et corpore, anima autem non corporeae, sed spiritualis naturae sit: omnis tamen creatura spiritualis deficit a simplicitate divina multo amplius quam corporea creatura a simplicitate spiritualis naturae. Sicut igitur spiritualis natura unitur corporali per efficaciam suae virtutis, ita et Deus uniri potest tam spirituali quam corporali: et secundum hunc modum Deum dicimus humanae naturae unitum fuisse. When we say that God became man, let no one take this to mean that God was converted into a man, as air becomes fire when it is turned into fire. For God's nature is unchangeable. Only bodily things can be changed from one thing into another. A spiritual nature cannot be changed into a bodily nature, but can be united to it somehow by the strength of its power, as a soul is united to a body. Although human nature consists of soul and body, the soul is not of a bodily but a spiritual nature. But the distance between any spiritual creature and God's simplicity is much more than the distance between a bodily creature and the simplicity of a spiritual nature. Therefore, as a spiritual nature can be united to a body by the strength of its power, so God can be united to a spiritual or a bodily nature. And in that way we say that God was united to a human nature. Est autem attendendum, quod unumquodque maxime videtur esse illud quod in eo invenitur esse praecipuum: omnia autem alia videntur ei quod est praecipuum adhaerere, et ab eo quodammodo assumi, inquantum id quod est praecipuum aliis utitur secundum suam dispositionem: quod quidem manifestum est non solum in adunatione civili, in qua principes civitatis quasi tota civitas esse videntur, et aliis utuntur secundum suam dispositionem, tamquam sibi adhaerentibus membris, sed etiam in adunatione naturali. Quamvis enim homo naturaliter constet ex anima et corpore, tamen principalius videtur homo anima esse cui corpus adhaeret, et anima eo utitur ad operationes convenientes. Sic igitur et in unione Dei ad creaturam non trahitur divinitas ad humanam naturam, sed potius humana natura a Deo assumitur, non quidem ut convertatur in Deum, sed ut Deo adhaereat: et sint quodammodo anima et corpus sic assumpta, ipsius Dei corpus et anima, sicut partes corporis assumptae ab anima sunt quodammodo ipsius animae membra. We should observe that everything seems most properly identified with what is principal in it, while other aspects seem to adhere to what is principal and are taken up and used by it as it disposes. Thus in civil society the king seems to envelop the whole kingdom and he uses others as he disposes as if they were parts of his own body joined to him naturally. Although man is naturally both soul and body, he seems more principally a soul, since the body adheres to it and the soul uses the body to serve its own activity. Likewise, therefore, in the union of God with a creature, the divinity is not dragged down to human nature, but the human nature is assumed by God, not to be converted into God, but to adhere to God. The body and soul thus assumed are somehow the body and soul of God himself, just as the parts of a body assumed by a soul are somehow members of the soul itself. Est tamen in hoc aliqua differentia attendenda. Nam anima quamvis sit perfectior corpore, non tamen totam perfectionem in se possidet humanae naturae: unde corpus sic ei advenit ut ex anima et corpore compleatur una humana natura, cuius quaedam partes sunt anima et corpus. Sed Deus ita est in sua natura perfectus ut plenitudini naturae ipsius nihil adiici possit: unde natura divina non potest sic uniri alteri ut ex utraque una constituatur natura communis: sic enim divina natura pars esset illius naturae communis, quod repugnat perfectioni divinae naturae: nam omnis pars imperfecta est. Deus igitur Dei verbum sic humanam naturam assumpsit, quae ex anima constat et corpore, ut tamen nec altera natura transiret in alteram, nec ex duabus conflaretur una natura, sed post unionem duae naturae distinctae remaneant quantum ad proprietates naturarum. There is, however, a difference. Although the soul is more perfect than the body, it does not possess the total perfection of human nature. Thus it has a body so that the body and soul together form one human nature, of which the soul and body are parts. But God is perfect in his nature and nothing can be added to the fullness of his nature. So another nature cannot be united to the divine nature so as to make a common nature from them both. For it would be repugnant to the perfection of the divine nature to be a part of that common nature. The Word of God therefore assumed a human nature consisting of a soul and a body in such a way that neither becomes the other, nor are the two melted into one nature, but after being united the two natures remain distinct, each with their own properties. Est autem rursus considerandum, quod cum spiritualis natura naturae corporeae uniatur per spiritualem virtutem, quanto maior fuerit virtus spiritualis naturae, tanto perfectius et firmius sibi naturam inferiorem assumit. Est autem virtus Dei infinita, cui omnis creatura subiicitur, et unaquaque utitur pro suo arbitrio: non autem eis uteretur, nisi aliquo modo per efficaciam suae virtutis uniretur eis. Tanto autem alicui naturae creatae perfectius unitur, quanto in eam magis suam virtutem exercet. In omnes siquidem creaturas virtutem suam exercet quantum ad hoc quod omnibus esse largitur, et ad proprias operationes movet; et secundum hoc quodam communi modo in omnibus rebus dicitur esse. Sed specialiori quodam modo virtutem suam exercet in mentibus sanctis, quas non solum in esse conservat et ad operandum movet, sicut ceteras creaturas, sed eas convertit ad se cognoscendum et amandum: unde et in sanctis mentibus specialiter dicitur habitare, et sanctae mentes Deo plenae esse dicuntur. It should also be observed that, since a spiritual nature is united to a bodily one by spiritual power, the greater the power of the spiritual nature the more perfectly and firmly it assumes a lower nature. God's power is infinite, with every creature subject to him and he uses each as he wishes. He could not use them unless he were somehow united with them by the strength of his power. The more he exercises his power on them, the more perfectly he is united with them. Among all creatures he exercises his power by giving them existence and moving them to their proper operations; in this way he is said to be in everything in a common way. But he exercises his power in a special way in holy minds, whom he not only conserves them in existence and moves them in their actions like other creatures, but also converts them to know and love him; thus he is said to dwell especially in holy minds, and holy minds are said to be full of God. Quia ergo secundum quantitatem virtutis quam Deus exercet in creaturam, magis et minus dicitur creaturae uniri, manifestum est quod cum efficacia divinae virtutis humano intellectu comprehendi non possit, sublimiori modo potest Deus creaturae uniri quam intellectus humanus capere possit. Quodam ergo incomprehensibili et ineffabili modo dicimus Deum fuisse unitum humanae naturae in Christo non solum per inhabitationem, sicut ceteris sanctis, sed quodam singulari modo, ita quod humana natura esset quaedam filii Dei natura; ut filius Dei, qui ab aeterno habet divinam naturam a patre, ex tempore per assumptionem mirabilem habeat humanam naturam ex genere nostro; et sic quaelibet partes humanae naturae ipsius filii Dei dici possint, et quidquid agit vel patitur quaelibet pars humanae naturae filio Dei possit attribui unigenito Dei verbo. Unde non inconvenienter dicimus et animam et corpus esse filii Dei, sed et oculos et manus; et quod filius Dei corporaliter vidit per oculi visionem, et audivit propter auris auditum, et sic de aliis quae vel partibus animae vel corporis convenire possunt. Since God is said to be more or less united to a creature according to the amount of power he exercises in it, it is clear that, since the strength of divine power cannot be comprehended by the human intellect, God can be united to a creature in a higher way than the human intellect can grasp. Therefore we say that God is united to a human nature in Christ in an incomprehensible and ineffable way, not only by indwelling as is true of other saints, but in a singular way, so that a human nature belongs to the Son of God, and that the Son of God, who has from eternity a divine nature from the Father, from a point of time has wonderfully assumed a human nature of our race. Thus each and every part of the human nature of the Son of God can be called God, and whatever any part of his human nature does or suffers can be attributed to the only-begotten Word of God. Thus we fittingly say that not just his soul and body are the Son of God, but also his eyes and hands, and that the Son of God sees bodily with the sight of his eyes and hears by the hearing of his ears; the same applies to the activities proper to the other parts of his soul or body. Huius autem admirabilis unionis nullum convenientius exemplum inveniri potest quam ex unione corporis et animae rationalis. Est etiam et conveniens exemplum de hoc quod verbum quod in corde manet absconditum, sensibile fit per assumptionem vocis et Scripturae. Sed tamen haec exempla multum a praedictae unionis repraesentatione deficiunt, sicut et cetera exempla humana a rebus divinis. Nam neque divinitas sic unitur ut sit pars alicuius naturae compositae, sicut anima est pars humanae naturae; neque sic unitur humanae naturae ut solum significetur per eam, sicut verbum cordis significatur per vocem aut Scripturam, sed sic ut veraciter filius Dei habeat humanam naturam, et homo dicatur. There is no better comparison of this admirable union than the union of a body and a rational soul. It is also a suitable comparison because our word remains hidden in our heart and becomes sensible by being vocalized and written. But these comparisons fall short of representing the union of the divine and human natures, just as any other comparison of human things with divine. For the Divinity is not united to a human nature so as to be a part of a nature, nor is it united to a human nature as an expression, as the word of the heart is signified by a voice or writing, but the Son of God truly has a human nature and can be called a man. Unde patet quod non dicimus sic Deum esse unitum naturae corporeae ut sit virtus in corpore ad modum materialium et corporalium virtutum, quia nec intellectus animae corpori unitae sic est virtus in corpore. Multo minus igitur Dei verbum, quod ineffabili et sublimiori modo sibi naturam assumpsit humanam. It is clear therefore that we do not say God is united to a bodily nature as a force in the body after the manner of material and bodily forces, because not even the intellect of a soul united to a body is a bodily power. Much less therefore is the Word of God, who assumed for himself a human nature in an ineffable and more sublime way. Patet igitur secundum praemissa, quod filius Dei et divinam naturam habet, et humanam: unam ex aeterno, aliam ex tempore per assumptionem. It is also clear from the foregoing that the Son of God has both a divine and a human nature, the one from eternity, the other assumed from a point of time. Contingit autem ab eodem plura haberi secundum diversos modos, in quibus tamen omnibus semper quod est principalius, habere dicitur: quod autem minus principale, haberi. Habet enim totum multas partes, ut homo manus et pedes; non autem dicimus e converso, quod manus vel pedes habeant hominem. Habet etiam unum subiectum multa accidentia, sicut pomum colorem et odorem, et non e converso. Habet etiam homo aliqua exteriora sicut possessiones vel vestimenta, et non e converso. In solis autem illis quae sunt partes alicuius unius aliquid dicitur habere et haberi sicut anima habet corpus, et corpus animam. Et inquantum vir et uxor in unum matrimonium coniunguntur, dicitur vir habere uxorem, et uxor habere virum. Et similiter in aliis quae per relationem uniuntur, sicut dicimus quod pater habet filium et filius patrem. Many things can be had by the same person in different ways, but the principal element is always said to "have", while the less principal elements are "had". Thus the whole has many parts, as a man has hands and feet; we do not say the inverse: that hands and feet have a man. Likewise one subject has many accidents, as an apple has colour and smell, but not the inverse. Man also has exterior things, like possessions and clothing, but not the inverse. Only in the case of essential parts is something said both to have and to be had, as the soul has the body and the body has the soul. And in marriage a man has a wife and a wife has a husband. The same in the case of things united by relationship: thus we say that a father has a son and a son has a father. Si igitur sic uniretur Deus humanae naturae sicut anima corpori, ut exinde constitueretur una natura communis, posset dici quod Deus habet humanam naturam, et humana natura habet Deum, sicut anima habet corpus, et e converso. Sed quia ex divina natura et humana non potest constitui una natura propter perfectionem divinae naturae, ut iam dictum est, et tamen in unione praedicta principalius est quod est ex parte Dei, manifeste consequitur quod ex parte Dei accipi oportet id quod habet humanam naturam. Were God united to a human nature as a soul to a body so as to make one common nature, we could say that God has a human nature and a human nature has God, just as a soul has a body and the inverse. But because the divine and human natures cannot be made one nature because of the divine perfection, as said above, and because the principal factor in the union is on the side of God, it clearly follows that we must say that God has a human nature. Id autem quod habet aliquam naturam dicitur esse suppositum vel hypostasis illius naturae; sicut quod habet naturam equi, dicitur esse hypostasis vel suppositum; et si sit intellectualis natura quae habetur, talis hypostasis dicetur esse persona; sicut dicimus Petrum esse personam quia naturam humanam habet, quae est intellectualis natura. Cum igitur filius Dei, unigenitum scilicet Dei verbum, per assumptionem habeat humanam naturam, ut iam dictum est, sequitur quod sit suppositum, hypostasis vel persona humanae naturae: et cum habeat ab aeterno divinam naturam, non per modum compositionis, sed simplicis identitatis, dicitur etiam hypostasis vel persona divinae naturae, secundum tamen quod divina humanis verbis exprimi possunt. Ipsum igitur unigenitum Dei verbum est hypostasis vel persona duarum naturarum, divinae scilicet et humanae, in duabus naturis subsistens. Whatever is said to exist by a nature is called a subject or hypostasis of that nature, just as what has the nature of a horse is called a hypostasis or a subject with a horse-nature. In the case of an intellectual nature such a hypostasis is called a person; thus we call Peter a person because he has a human nature, which is intellectual. Since the Son of God, the only-begotten Word of God, has assumed a human nature, as said above, it follows that he is a hypostasis, subject or person with a human nature. And since he has a divine nature from eternity, not by way of composition but by simple identity, he is also called a hypostasis or person of divine nature, as far as divine things can be expressed by human words. Therefore the only-begotten Word of God is a hypostasis or person with two natures, divine and human, and he subsists in these two natures. Si quis autem obiiciat, quod cum humana natura in Christo non sit accidens, sed substantia quaedam, non autem universalis, sed particularis, quae hypostasis nominatur, videtur consequi quod ipsa humana natura in Christo quaedam hypostasis sit praeter hypostasim Dei verbi, et sic in Christo sint duae hypostases. But if anyone objects that human nature, even in Christ, is not accidental, but a substance, and not a universal substance but a particular one which is called a hypostasis, it would seem that Christ's human nature would be a hypostasis apart from the hypostasis of the Word of God, and that in Christ there would be two hypostases. Considerare debet qui hoc obiicit, quod non omnis substantia particularis hypostasis nominatur, sed illa solum quae ab aliquo principaliori non habetur. Manus enim hominis substantia quaedam particularis est, non tamen hypostasis dici potest nec persona, quia habetur a principaliori, quod est homo: alioquin in quovis homine essent tot hypostases vel personae, quot sunt membra vel partes. Humana igitur natura in Christo non est accidens, sed substantia, non universalis, sed particularis; nec tamen hypostasis dici potest, quia assumitur a principaliori, scilicet a verbo Dei. The one who makes this objection should observe that not every particular substance is called a hypostasis, but only that which does not belong to something more principal. For instance, the hand of a man is a particular substance, but is not called a hypostasis or a person, because it belongs to a more principal substance which is man; otherwise in every man there would be as many hypostases or persons as there are members or parts. Therefore Christ's human nature is not accidental but a substance; it is not universal but particular; nevertheless it cannot be called a hypostasis, because it is assumed by something more principal, namely, the Word of God. Sic ergo Christus unus est propter personae vel hypostasis unitatem, nec proprie dici potest Christum esse duo, sed proprie dicitur quod Christus habeat duas naturas. Et licet divina natura praedicetur de hypostasi Christi, quae est hypostasis verbi Dei, quod est sua essentia, tamen humana natura de eo praedicari non potest in abstracto, sicut nec de aliquo habente humanam naturam. Sicut enim non possumus dicere quod Petrus sit humana natura, sed quod sit homo, inquantum habet humanam naturam: ita non possumus dicere quod Dei verbum sit humana natura, sed quod habet humanam naturam assumptam, et ex hoc dicitur homo. Therefore Christ is one because of the unity of his person or hypostasis, and he cannot be called two; rather he is properly said to have two natures. Although the divine nature can be predicated of the hypostasis of Christ, which is the hypostasis of the Word of God, which is his essence, nevertheless human nature cannot be predicated of him abstractly, just as it cannot in the case of anyone having a human nature: Just as we cannot say that Peter is human nature, but is a man having a human nature, so we cannot say the Word of God is a human nature, but that it has taken on a human nature and for this reason can be called a man. Utraque ergo natura praedicatur de verbo Dei, sed una in concreto tantum, scilicet humana, ut cum dicimus filius Dei est homo, divina vero natura in abstracto et in concreto; dici enim potest quod verbum Dei est divina essentia vel natura, et quod est Deus. Cum autem Deus sit habens divinam naturam, et homo sit habens humanam naturam, per haec duo nomina significantur duae naturae habitae, sed unus habens utramque. Et cum habens naturam sit hypostasis; sicut in nomine Dei intelligitur hypostasis verbi Dei, ita in nomine hominis intelligitur hypostasis verbi Dei, secundum quod attribuitur Christo. Et sic patet quod per hoc quod dicimus Christum Deum et hominem, non dicimus eum esse duo, sed unum in duabus tamen naturis. Therefore each nature is predicated of the Word of God, but the human nature only concretely, as when we say that the Son of God is a man. But the divine nature can be predicated both abstractly and concretely: thus the Word of God is the divine essence or nature and is God. But since God has a divine nature and man has a human nature, these two names signify the two natures that are had, but only one person has both of them. Since the one having the nature is a hypostasis, when we call Christ God we understand the hypostasis of the Word of God; likewise when we call him a man we understand the Word of God. So we call Christ God and man, but do not say that he is two, but one in two natures. Quia vero ea quae conveniunt naturae, attribui possunt hypostasi illius naturae, hypostasis autem tam humanae naturae quam divinae includitur tam in nomine significante divinam naturam, quam in nomine significante humanam, eo quod est eadem hypostasis habens utramque naturam; consequens est ut tam divina quam humana praedicentur de illa hypostasi, sive secundum quod includitur in nomine significante divinam naturam, sive secundum quod includitur in nomine significante naturam humanam. Possumus enim dicere, quod Deus Dei verbum est conceptus et natus de virgine, passus, mortuus et sepultus; attribuentes hypostasi verbi Dei humana propter humanam naturam: et e converso possumus dicere quod homo ille est unum cum patre, et quod est ab aeterno, et quod creavit mundum, propter divinam naturam. Whatever belongs to a nature can be attributed to the hypostasis of that nature, while a hypostasis of both a human and a divine nature is supposed in a name signifying the divine nature as well as in a name signifying the human nature; this hypostasis is single having both natures. Consequently both human and divine things can be predicated by that hypostasis, whether it is referred to by a name signifying the divine nature or by a name signifying the human nature. Thus we can say that God, the Word of God, was conceived and born of the Virgin, suffered, died and buried, attributing to the hypostasis of the Word human things because of the human nature. Inversely we can say that man is one with the Father, that he is from eternity and that he created the world, because of the divine nature. In his ergo tam diversis de Christo praedicandis distinctio invenitur, si consideretur secundum quid de Christo ista dicuntur: quaedam enim dicuntur secundum humanam naturam, quaedam secundum divinam. Si autem consideretur de quo dicuntur, indistincte proferuntur, quia eadem est hypostasis de qua et divina et humana dicuntur: ut si dicam, quod idem est homo qui videt et qui audit, sed non secundum idem: videt enim secundum oculos, sed audit secundum aures. Idem etiam est pomum quod videtur et odoratur; sed hoc quidem colore, illud autem odore. Ratione cuius dicere possumus, quod videns audit, et audiens videt, et visum odoratur, et odoratum videtur. Et similiter dicere possumus, quod Deus nascitur ex virgine propter humanam naturam, et homo ille est aeternus, propter divinam naturam. In predicating such diverse things of Christ a distinction can be made according to which nature they are predicated. Some things are said according to his human nature and others according to his divine nature. But if we consider whom they are said about, they apply indistinctly, since it is the same hypostasis of which divine and human things are said. It is like saying that the same man sees and hears, but not according to the same power; he sees with his eyes and hears with his ears. Likewise the same apple is seen and smelt, in the first case by its colour, in the second by its smell. For this reason we can say that the seeing person hears and the hearing person sees, and that what is seen is smelt and what is smelt is seen. Similarly we can say that God is born of the Virgin, because of his human nature, and that man is eternal, because of the divine nature.
Qualiter sit accipiendum quod dicitur: verbum Dei esse passum et mortuum et quod ex hoc nullum inconveniens sequitur
The meaning of "The Word of God suffered"
Ex consideratione igitur praemissorum satis apparere iam potest nihil inconveniens sequi ex hoc quod Deum unigenitum Dei verbum passum et mortuum confitemur. Non enim haec ei attribuimus secundum divinam naturam, sed secundum humanam, quam pro nostra salute in unitatem personae assumpsit. The foregoing shows that there is no contradiction in our professing that the only-begotten Word of God suffered and died. We do not attribute this to him according to his divine nature but according to his human nature, which he assumed into the unity of his person for our salvation. Si quis autem obiiciat quod Deus, cum sit omnipotens, alio modo poterat humanum genus salvare quam per unigeniti filii sui mortem, considerare debet qui hoc obiicit, quod in factis Dei considerandum est quid convenienter fieri potuit, etiam si alio modo id Deus facere potuisset, alioquin omnia eius opera similis ratio irritabit. Si enim consideretur quare Deus fecerit caelum tantae quantitatis, et quare condiderit in tali numero stellas, sapienter cogitanti occurret quod sic convenienter fieri potuit, licet Deus aliter facere potuisset. But if someone objects that, since God is almighty, he could have saved the human race otherwise than by the death of his only-begotten Son, such a person ought to observe that in God's deeds we must consider what was the most fitting way of acting, even if he could have acted otherwise; otherwise we will be faced with this question in everything he made. Thus if it is asked why God made the heaven of a certain size and why he made the stars in such a number, a wise thinker will look for what was fitting for God to do, even if he could have done otherwise. Dico autem hoc secundum quod credimus totam naturae dispositionem et humanos actus divinae providentiae esse subiectam. Hac enim credulitate sublata, omnis divinitatis cultus excluditur. Suscepimus autem praesentem disputationem ad eos qui se Dei cultores dicunt, sive sint Christiani, sive Saraceni, sive Iudaei. Ad eos autem qui omnia ex necessitate provenisse dicunt a Deo operosius a nobis alibi disputatum est. Si quis ergo convenientiam passionis et mortis Christi pia intentione consideret, tantam sapientiae profunditatem inveniet, ut semper aliqua cogitanti plura et maiora occurrant, ita quod experiri possit verum esse quod apostolus dicit: nos praedicamus Christum crucifixum, Iudaeis quidem scandalum, gentibus autem stultitiam; nobis autem Christum Dei virtutem et Dei sapientiam: et iterum: quod stultum est Dei, sapientius est hominibus. I say this supposing our belief that the whole disposition of nature and all human acts are subject to Divine Providence. Take this belief away and all worship of the Divinity is excluded. Yet we argue presently against those who say they are worshippers of God, whether Muslims or Christians or Jews. As for those who say that everything comes necessarily from God, we argued at length elsewhere [Contra gentiles, II, c. 23]. Therefore if someone considers with a pious intention the fittingness of the suffering and death of Christ, he will find such a depth of knowledge that any time he thinks about it he will find more and greater things, so that he can experience as true what the Apostle says (1 Cor 1:23-24): "We are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God." He continues (v. 25): "God's folly is wiser than human wisdom." Primo igitur considerandum occurrit, quod cum Christus humanam naturam assumpserit ad lapsum hominis reparandum, ut supra iam diximus, ea oportuit Christum pati et agere secundum humanam naturam, per quae remedium adhiberi posset contra lapsum peccati. Peccatum autem hominis consistit praecipue in hoc quod bonis corporalibus inhaerendo, spiritualia bona praetermittit. Hoc igitur decuit filium Dei in natura assumpta hominibus ostendere per ea quae fecit et passus est, ut homines temporalia bona vel mala pro nihilo ducerent, ne ab eorum inordinato affectu impediti, spiritualibus minus dediti essent. Unde Christus pauperes parentes elegit, et tamen virtute perfectos, ne quis de sola carnis nobilitate et parentum divitiis glorietur. Pauperem vitam gessit, ut divitias doceret contemnere. Privatus absque dignitate vixit, ut homines ab inordinato appetitu honorum revocaret. Laborem, famem, sitim et corporis flagella sustinuit, ne homines voluptatibus et deliciis intenti, propter asperitates huius vitae retraherentur a bono virtutis. Ad extremum sustinuit mortem, ne propter mortis timorem aliquis veritatem desereret. Et ne aliquis pro veritate vituperabilem mortem formidaret, exprobratissimum genus mortis elegit, scilicet mortis crucis. Sic ergo conveniens fuit filium Dei hominem factum mortem pati, ut sui exemplo homines provocaret ad virtutem, ut sic verum sit quod Petrus dicit: Christus passus est pro nobis, vobis relinquens exemplum ut sequamini vestigia eius. First of all, we must observe that Christ assumed a human nature to repair the fall of man, as we have said. Therefore, according to his human nature, Christ should have suffered and done whatever would serve as a remedy for sin. The sin of man consists in cleaving to bodily things and neglecting spiritual goods. Therefore the Son of God in his human nature fittingly showed by what he did and suffered that men should consider temporal goods or evils as nothing, lest a disordered love for them impede them from being dedicated to spiritual things. Thus Christ chose poor parents, although perfect in virtue, lest anyone glory in mere nobility of flesh and in the wealth of his parents. He led a poor life to teach us to despise riches. He lived without titles or office so as to withdraw men from a disordered desire for these things. He underwent labour, thirst, hunger and bodily afflictions so that men would not be fixed on pleasure and delights and be drawn away from the good of virtue because of the hardships of this life. In the end he underwent death, so that no one would desert the truth because of fear of death. And lest anyone fear a shameful death for the sake of the truth, he chose the most horrible kind of death, that of the cross. Thus it was fitting that the Son of God made man should suffer and by his example provoke men to virtue, so as to verify what Peter said (1 Pet 2:21): "Christ suffered for you, and left an example for you to follow in his steps." Deinde, quia hominibus ad salutem necessaria est non solum conversatio recta, per quam vitantur peccata, sed etiam cognitio veritatis, per quam vitantur errores; ad reparationem humani generis necessarium fuit ut unigenitum Dei verbum naturam humanam assumens, homines in certa veritatis cognitione firmaret. Veritati autem quae docetur per hominem non omnino firma credulitas adhibetur, quia homo et decipi et decipere potest: sed a solo Deo absque omni dubitatione veritatis cognitio confirmatur. Then, because not only good conduct and avoiding sins is necessary for salvation, but also the knowledge of truth so as to avoid error, it was necessary for the restoration of the human race that the only-begotten Word of God who assumed a human nature should ground people in truth by a sure knowledge of it. Truth taught by men is not so firmly believed, because man can deceive. Only by God can knowledge of the truth be confirmed without any doubt. Sic igitur oportuit filium Dei hominem factum doctrinam divinae veritatis proponere hominibus, ut ostenderet hanc divinitus, non humanitus esse: et hoc quidem ostendit miraculorum multitudine. Operanti enim ea quae solus Deus facere potest, puta mortuos suscitando, caecos illuminando et, cetera huiusmodi faciendo, credendum erat in his quae de Deo dicebat: qui enim per Deum operabatur, consequens erat ut etiam per Deum loqueretur. So the Son of God made man had to propose the teaching of divine truth to men, showing them that it came from God and not from man. He did this by many miracles. Since he did things that only God can do, such as raising the dead, giving sight to the blind etc., people had to believe that he spoke with God's authority. Sed miracula eius, praesentes qui aderant, videre potuerunt; a posteris autem potuissent credi conficta, sed contra hoc remedium adhibuit divina sapientia per Christi infirmitatem. Si enim vixisset in mundo dives, potens, et in aliqua magna dignitate constitutus, credi potuisset quod eius doctrina et miracula favore hominum et potestate humana fuissent recepta. Et ideo, ut manifestum fieret opus divinae virtutis, omnia abiecta et infirma in mundo elegit, pauperem matrem, vitam inopem, discipulos et nuntios idiotas, reprobari et condemnari etiam usque ad mortem a magnatibus mundi, ut manifeste appareret quod susceptio miraculorum, eius atque doctrinae non fuit humanae potentiae sed divinae. Unde et in eis quae fecit vel passus est, simul coniungebatur et humana infirmitas et divina potestas. In nativitate enim pannis involutus in praesepio ponitur; sed collaudatur ab Angelis, et a magis stella praeduce adoratur. Tentatur a Diabolo; sed ei ministratur ab Angelis. Vivit inops et mendicus; sed mortuos suscitat, illuminat caecos. Moritur affixus patibulo, annumeratur latronibus; sed in eius morte sol obscuratur, terra tremit, franguntur lapides, aperiuntur monumenta, et mortuorum corpora suscitantur. Those who were present could see his miracles, but later generations might say they were made up. Therefore Divine Wisdom provided a remedy against this in Christ's state of weakness. For if he were rich, powerful and established in high dignity, it could be thought that his teaching and his miracles were received on account of his favour and human power. So to make the work of divine power apparent, he chose everything that was rejected and low in the world, a poor mother and a poor life, illiterate disciples and messengers, and allowed himself to be rebuked and condemned even to death by the magnates of this world. This made it apparent that his miracles and teaching were not received because of human power, but should be attributed to divine power. Thus in what he did or suffered, human weakness and divine power were joined together at the same time. Thus at his nativity he was wrapped in cloth and put in a manger, but praised by the angels and adored by the Magi led by a star. He was tempted by the devil, but ministered to by angels. He lived without money as a beggar, but raised the dead and gave sight to the blind. He died fixed to the cross and numbered among thieves, but at his death the sun darkened, the earth trembled, stones split, graves opened and the bodies of the dead were raised. Si quis ergo ex talibus initiis tantum fructum videat consecutum, scilicet conversionem fere totius mundi ad Christum, et ulterius alia signa quaerat ad credendum; durior lapide censeri potest, cum in morte eius etiam petrae sint scissae. Hinc est quod apostolus, ad Corinthios dicit quod: verbum crucis pereuntibus stultitia est; sed his qui salvi fiunt, idest nobis, virtus Dei est. Therefore if anyone considers the great fruit of such beginnings, namely, the conversion of peoples over the world to Christ, (1) and wants further signs in order to believe, he must be considered harder than a stone, since at Christ's death even stones were shattered. Thus the Apostle says (1 Cor 1:18): "The message of the cross is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation it is the power of God." Est autem circa hoc, aliud considerandum, quod secundum eandem rationem providentiae, qua in seipso Dei filius homo factus, infirma pati voluit, etiam suos discipulos, quos humanae salutis ministros instituit, voluit esse in mundo abiectos. Unde non elegit litteratos et nobiles, sed illitteratos et ignobiles, pauperes scilicet piscatores, et eos mittens ad salutem hominum procurandam, iussit paupertatem servare, persecutiones et opprobria pati, et mortem etiam pro veritate subire, ne eorum praedicatio ad aliquid terrenum commodum composita videretur, et ut salus mundi non adscriberetur humanae sapientiae aut virtuti, sed solum divinae. Unde nec in eis defuit virtus divina mirabilia operans, qui tamen secundum mundum videbantur abiecti. Hoc autem erat necessarium reparationi humanae, ut homines discerent non de seipsis superbe confidere, sed de Deo. Hoc enim ad perfectionem humanae iustitiae requiritur ut homo totaliter se Deo subiiciat, a quo etiam omnia bona consequi speret adipiscenda, et adepta recognoscat. Ad bona igitur praesentia huius mundi contemnenda, et adversa quaelibet toleranda usque ad mortem, nullo modo melius eius discipuli potuerunt institui quam per passionem et mortem Christi: unde et ipse eis dicebat in Johanne: si me persecuti sunt, et vos persequentur. There is a related point we should make here. The same reason of Providence which led the Son of God made man to suffer weakness in himself, let him to desire his disciples, whom he established as ministers of human salvation, to be abject in the world. Thus he did not choose the well educated and noble, but illiterate and ignoble men, that is, poor fishermen. Sending them to work for the salvation of men, he commanded them to observe poverty, to suffer persecutions and insults, and even to undergo death for the truth; this was so that their preaching might not seem fabricated for the sake of earthly comfort, and that the salvation of the world might not be attributed to human wisdom or power, but only to God's wisdom and power. Thus they did not lack divine power to work miracles as they appeared abject according to the world. For the restoration of man it was necessary for men to learn not to trust proudly in themselves, but in God. For the perfection of human justice requires that man should subject himself totally to God, from whom he also hopes to gain every good, and should thank him for what he has received. In order to train his disciples to despise the present goods of this world and to sustain all sorts of adversity even to death, there was no better way than for Christ to suffer and die. Thus he himself told them (Jn 15:20): "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too." Demum vero considerandum est, quod hoc habet ordo iustitiae ut pro peccato poena infligatur. Apparet enim in humanis iudiciis quod ea quae iniuste sunt facta, ad iustitiam reducuntur, dum iudex ab eo qui aliena accipiens, plus habet quam debeat, subtrahit quod plus habet, et dat ei qui minus habebat. Quicumque autem peccat, plus suae voluntati indulget quam debeat; ut enim suam voluntatem impleat, transgreditur ordinem rationis et legis divinae. Ad hoc igitur quod ad iustitiae ordinem reducatur, oportet quod voluntati subtrahatur de eo quod vult: quod fit dum punitur vel per subtractionem bonorum quae vellet habere, vel per illationem malorum quae pati recusat. Then we must observe that in the order of justice sin should be punished by a penalty. We see how cases of injustice are handled in human courts, that the judge takes from the one who has too much through grabbing what belongs to another and gives it to the one who has less. Anyone who sins over-indulges his appetite, and in satisfying it transgresses the order of reason and of divine law. For that person to be brought back to the order of justice something must be taken from what he wants; that is done by punishing him or by taking the goods he wanted to have or by imposing the bad things he refused to suffer. Haec igitur reintegratio iustitiae per poenam quandoque fit per voluntatem eius qui punitur, dum ipsemet sibi poenam assumit, ut ad iustitiam redeat; quandoque fit eo invito, et tunc quidem ipse ad iustitiam non reducitur, sed in eo impletur iustitia. This restoration of justice by penalty sometimes is done by the will of the one who is punished, when he imposes the penalty on himself so as to return to justice. Other times it is done against his will, and in that case he does not return to a state of justice, but justice is carried out in him. Erat autem totum humanum genus peccato subiectum. Ad hoc ergo quod ad statum iustitiae reduceretur, oportebat intervenire poenam quam homo sibiipsi assumeret ad implendum divinae iustitiae ordinem. Nullus autem homo purus tantus esse poterat qui sufficienter satisfacere posset Deo, poenam aliquam voluntarie assumendo, etiam pro peccato proprio, nedum pro peccato universorum. Cum enim homo peccat, legem Dei transgreditur, et sic quantum est in se, iniuriam Deo facit, qui est maiestatis infinitae. Tanto autem est maior iniuria, quanto maior est is in quem committitur: manifestum est enim quod maior reputatur iniuria, si quis percutiat militem, quam rusticum; et adhuc maior, si regem aut principem. Habet igitur peccatum contra legem Dei commissum quodammodo iniuriam infinitam. The whole human race was subject to sin. To be restored to the state of justice, there would have to be a penalty which man would take upon himself in order to fulfil the order of divine justice. But no mere man could satisfy God sufficiently by accepting some voluntary punishment, even for his own sin, to say nothing of the sin of the whole human race. For when man sins he transgresses the law of God and tries, were he able, to do injury to the God of infinite majesty. The greater the person offended, the greater the crime; we see, for instance, that someone who strikes a soldier is punished more than someone who strikes a farmer, and much more if he strikes a king or prince. Therefore a sin committed against the law of God is somehow an infinite offence. Sed rursus considerandum est, quod secundum dignitatem satisfacientis etiam satisfactio ponderatur. Nam unum verbum deprecatorium a rege prolatum pro satisfactione alicuius iniuriae, maior satisfactio reputaretur quam si aliquis alius vel genu flecteret, vel nudus incederet, vel quamcumque humiliationem ostenderet ad satisfaciendum iniuriam passo. Nullus autem purus homo erat infinitae dignitatis, cuius satisfactio posset esse condigna contra Dei iniuriam. Oportuit igitur ut esset aliquis homo infinitae dignitatis qui poenam subiret pro omnibus, et sic condigne satisfaceret pro totius mundi peccatis. Ad hoc igitur unigenitum Dei verbum, verus Deus et Dei filius naturam humanam assumpsit, et in ea mortem pati voluit, ut totum humanum genus a peccato satisfaciendo purgaret: unde et Petrus dicit: Christus semel pro peccatis nostris mortuus est, iustus pro iniustis ut nos offerret Deo. Again we must observe that the dignity of the person making reparation is also to be considered. For example, one word of a king asking for pardon of an offence is considered greater than if someone lower went on his knees and showed any other sign of humiliation to beg pardon from the one who suffered the injury. But no mere man has the infinite dignity required to satisfy justly an offence against God. Therefore there had to be a man of infinite dignity who would undergo the penalty for all so as to satisfy fully for the sins of the whole world. Therefore the only-begotten Word of God, true God and Son of God, assumed a human nature and willed to suffer death in it so as to purify the whole human race indebted by sin. Thus Peter says (1 Pet 3:18): "Christ himself died once and for all for sins, the upright for the sake of the guilty." Non ergo, sicut opinantur, conveniens fuit quod Deus sine satisfactione humana peccata purgaret, neque etiam quod hominem non permitteret cadere in peccatum. Primum enim repugnaret ordini iustitiae, secundum ordini naturae humanae, per quam homo est suae voluntatis liber, potens bonum vel malum eligere. Providentiae autem est ordinem rerum non destruere, sed salvare. In hoc ergo maxime sapientia Dei apparuit quod et ordinem servavit tam iustitiae quam naturae, et tamen misericorditer providit homini salutis remedium per filii sui incarnationem et mortem. Therefore it was not fitting, as Muslims think, for God to wipe away human sins without satisfaction, or even to have never permitted man to fall into sin. That would first be contrary to the order of justice, and secondly to the order of human nature, by which man has free will and can choose good or evil. God's Providence does not destroy the nature and order of things, but preserves them. So God's wisdom was most evident in his preserving the order of justice and of nature, and at the same time mercifully providing man a saving remedy in the incarnation and death of his Son.
Qualiter sit accipiendum quod fideles sumunt corpus Christi et quod ex hoc nullum inconveniens sequitur
The meaning of "The faithful receive the body of Christ"
Quia ergo per passionem et mortem Christi homines a peccato purgantur, ut huius tam immensi beneficii in nobis iugis maneret memoria, filius Dei passione appropinquante, suae passionis et mortis memoriam fidelibus suis reliquit iugiter recolendam, suum corpus et sanguinem tradens discipulis sub speciebus panis et vini, quod usque nunc in memoriam illius venerandae passionis ubique terrarum Christi frequentat Ecclesia. Since people are cleansed of sin through the suffering and death of Christ, in order to preserve constantly in us the memory of such an immense gift, when the time of his suffering was drawing near, the Son of God left his faithful a memorial of his suffering and death that would be constantly recalled, giving his disciples his own body and blood under the forms of bread and wine. The Church of Christ continues celebrating this memorial of his venerable suffering up to the present day all over the world. Quam vane autem hoc sacramentum infideles irrideant, quilibet etiam parum instructus in Christiana religione de facili potest attendere. Non enim dicimus quod corpus Christi dilaceretur in partes, et sic divisum a fidelibus sub sacramento sumatur, ut oporteat quandoque illud deficere, etiamsi magnitudinem montis haberet, ut dicunt; sed per conversionem panis in corpus Christi dicimus corpus Christi in sacramento Ecclesiae esse et a fidelibus manducari. Ex quo ergo corpus Christi non dividitur, sed in ipsum aliquid convertitur, nulla necessitas est ut per manducationem fidelium quantitati eius aliquid subtrahatur. Anyone even slightly instructed in the Christian religion can see how unreasonably unbelievers ridicule this sacrament. For we do not say that the body of Christ is cut into parts and distributed for consumption by the faithful in the Sacrament, so that it would have to run out, even if his body were as big as a mountain, as they say. But we say that by the conversion of bread into the body of Christ the very body of Christ exists in this Sacrament of the Church and is eaten by the faithful. Because the body of Christ is not divided, but something is changed into it, there is no way that by eating it its quantity could be reduced. Si quis autem infidelis dicere velit hanc conversionem impossibilem esse, consideret, si Dei omnipotentiam confitetur, quod cum per virtutem naturae possit res una converti in aliam quantum ad formam, sicut quod aer in ignem convertitur, dum materia quae prius erat subiecta formae aeris, postmodum formae ignis subiicitur. Multo magis virtus omnipotentis Dei, quae totam rei substantiam in esse producit, non solum transmutando secundum formam, ut facit natura, poterit hoc totum in illud totum convertere, ut sic panis in corpus Christi convertatur et vinum in sanguinem. But if an unbeliever wants to say that this conversion is impossible, let him think of the omnipotence of God. He will agree that by the power of nature one thing can be converted into another by taking on another form. Thus air is converted into fire when the matter which previously was under the form of air later becomes subject to the form of fire. Much more, therefore, the power of almighty God, which brings the whole substance of a thing into existence, can not only change something by form, as nature does, but also convert the whole thing, so that bread is converted into the body of Christ and wine into his blood. Si autem huic conversioni repugnare aliquis velit per id quod sensu apparet, nam nihil secundum sensum immutatur in sacramento altaris, consideret qui eiusmodi est sic nobis omnia divina proponi ut ad nos sub tegumento visibilium rerum deveniant. Ut igitur corpus Christi et sanguis spiritualis et divina refectio haberetur, et omnino quasi cibus et potus communis, non sub propria carnis et sanguinis nobis traduntur specie sed sub specie panis et vini; ne esset etiam horribile humanam carnem comedere et sanguinem humanum potare. Nec tamen hoc sic fieri dicimus quasi species illae quae sensibus apparent in sacramento altaris sint solum in phantasia videntium, sicut solet esse in praestigiis artium magicarum, quia veritatis sacramentum nulla fictio decet; sed Deus, qui est substantiae et accidentis creator, potest accidentia sensibilia conservare in esse, subiectis in aliud transmutatis. Potest enim effectus secundarum causarum per sui omnipotentiam absque causis secundis et producere et in esse servare. If anyone objects to this conversion on the grounds of what appears to the senses, where there is no difference, let him observe that divine things are offered to us under the veil of visible things. That we may have the spiritual and divine refreshment of the body and blood of Christ, and not take it as ordinary food and drink, it is taken under the form of bread and wine; that avoids the horror of eating human flesh and drinking blood. Nevertheless, we do not say that the forms that appear in the Sacrament are just in the imagination of the viewer, as happens in magical tricks, because any deceit is unworthy of this Sacrament. But God, who is the creator of substance and accidents, can preserve sensible accidents in existence even when the substance is changed into something else. For he can produce and preserve in existence the effects of secondary causes by his omnipotence without secondary causes. Si quis vero Dei omnipotentiam non confitetur, contra talem in praesenti opere disputationem non assumpsimus, sed contra Saracenos, et alios qui Dei omnipotentiam confitentur. But if someone does not admit the omnipotence of God, we do not attempt to argue with him in this work. We are here arguing against Muslims and others who admit the omnipotence of God. Alia vero huius sacramenti mysteria non sunt hic magis discutienda, quia infidelibus secreta fidei pandi non debent. There are further mysteries in this Sacrament which should not be discussed here, since the sacred things of faith should not be exposed to unbelievers.
Quod est specialis locus ubi animae purgantur antequam vadant ad Paradisum
How there is a special place where souls are purified before receiving beatitude
Nunc restat considerare de opinione quorundam dicentium, Purgatorium non esse post mortem, ad quam quidem positionem ut homines aliqui devenirent, hoc eis contigisse videtur quod et in pluribus aliis contigit multis. Dum enim aliqui errores aliquos incaute vitare voluerunt, inciderunt in errores contrarios. Sicut Arius dum vitare voluit errorem Sabellii confundentis sanctae Trinitatis personas, incidit in errorem contrarium, ut divideret deitatis essentiam. Similiter Eutyches dum vitare voluit errorem Nestorii dividentis in Christo personam Dei et hominis; contrarium errorem instituit, ut confiteretur, unam esse naturam Dei et hominis. Sic igitur et aliqui dum vitare volunt Origenis errorem ponentis omnes poenas post mortem purgatorias esse, in contrarium prolabuntur errorem ut dicant nullam poenam post mortem purgatoriam esse. We must now consider the opinion of those who say there is no purgatory after death. Some hold this opinion by over-reaction, as happens in many other questions. Trying to avoid one error they fall into the contrary. Thus Arius wanted to avoid the error of Sabellius who merged the persons of the Holy Trinity, but he wound up dividing the divine essence. Likewise Eutyches wanted to avoid the error of Nestorius who divided the person of God and man in Christ, but went over to the contrary error of saying that he had a single divine and human nature. So some, wishing to avoid the error of Origen who said that the pains of Hell would eventually purify all its occupants, assert that there is no purifying pain after death. Sancta vero Catholica et apostolica Ecclesia inter errores contrarios media cauto passu incedit. Sicut enim distinguit personas in Trinitate contra Sabellium, et tamen in errorem Arii non declinat, sed unam confitetur trium personarum essentiam; in incarnationis vero mysterio e converso naturas distinguit contra Eutychem, et cum Nestorio personam non separat: sic et in statu animarum post mortem poenas quasdam purgatorias confitetur eorum dumtaxat qui de hoc saeculo absque peccato mortali recedunt cum caritate et gratia; nec tamen cum Origene omnes poenas purgatorias confitetur; sed eos qui cum peccato mortali decedunt, cum Diabolo et Angelis eius confitetur aeterno supplicio cruciandos. The Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church treads carefully between contrary errors. It distinguishes the persons in the Trinity against Sabellius, without leaning towards the error of Arius, but professes only one essence of the persons. In the mystery of the incarnation it distinguishes the two natures against Eutyches, but does not join Nestorius in making two persons. Likewise, regarding the state of souls after death, it professes that those who leave this life without mortal sin and have the gift of love may undergo some purifying pain, but it does not agree with Origen in saying that all pain after death is purifying; rather it professes that those who die with mortal sin are tortured with the devil and his angels with eternal punishment. Ad huius igitur veritatis assertionem primo considerandum videtur, quod illi qui in peccato mortali decedunt, statim ad infernalia supplicia rapiuntur. Quod aperte ex evangelica auctoritate probatur: dicitur enim in Luca ex ore domini, quod mortuus est dives epulo, et sepultus est in Inferno; et de cruciatu eius ex ipsius confessione apparet, dum dicit: quia crucior in hac flamma. Per Iob quoque de impiis dicitur: ducunt in bonis dies suos, et in puncto ad Inferna descendunt, qui dixerunt Deo: recede a nobis, scientiam viarum tuarum nolumus. Non solum autem impii pro peccatis propriis, sed etiam iusti ante Christi passionem pro peccato primi parentis in morte ad Inferos descendebant: unde Iacob dicebat: descendam ad filium meum lugens in Infernum. Unde et ipse Christus moriens ad Inferna descendit, ut in symbolo fidei continetur, sicut ante per prophetam praedictum fuerat: non derelinques animam meam in Inferno, quod et Petrus in actibus de Christo exponit. Quamvis alio modo Christus ad Inferna descenderit, non quasi peccato obnoxius, sed solus inter mortuos liber, ad hoc descendit ut expolians principatus et potestates captivam duceret captivitatem, sicut per Zachariam fuerat ante praedictum: tu autem in sanguine testamenti tui eduxisti vinctos de lacu. Aqua. As for the truth of the matter, we must first of all say that those who die in mortal sin are immediately carried away to hellish punishment. This is clear from the Gospel; thus Luke states the words of the Lord (16:22) that "the rich man died and was buried; in hell he looked up..." He describes his own torture (v. 24): "for I am in agony in these flames." Job also says of the wicked (21:13): "They enjoy life and then go down suddenly to Sheol." See also Job 22:17: "They say to God, 'Go away from us'." Not only are the wicked in hell for their own sins, but before the suffering of Christ even the just went down at death to the underworld for the sin of our first parent. Thus Jacob said (Gen 37:35): "I will go down to Sheol in mourning." Thus Christ himself at death went down to the underworld, as the Creed says, and as the Prophet [David] foretold (Ps 16:10): "You will not leave my soul in Sheol," which Peter, in Acts (2:25), applies to Christ. Christ however went to the underworld in a different way, not laden with sin but alone "free among the dead" [Latin for Ps 88:6]; he descended to disarm principalities and powers (1 Cor 15:24) and take captives (Ps 68:19), as Zechariah predicted (9:11): "As for you, because of the blood of your covenant I have released your prisoners from the pit in which there is no water." Sed quia miserationes Dei sunt super omnia opera eius, multo magis credendum est, quod illi qui sine macula moriuntur, statim aeternae retributionis mercedem accipiunt. Et hoc quidem evidentibus auctoritatibus manifeste probatur. Dicit enim apostolus in II epistola ad Corinthios, cum de tribulationibus sanctorum mentionem fecisset: scimus, inquit, quoniam si terrestris domus nostra huius habitationis dissolvatur, quod aedificationem ex Deo habemus, domum non manufactam, sed aeternam in caelis. Ex quibus verbis prima facie inspectis hoc videtur elici posse, quod dissoluto mortali corpore, homo caelesti gloria induatur. But because God's acts of compassion are above all his works, we believe still more that those who die without stain receive immediately the reward due to them for eternity. This is proven by clear texts; with reference to the sufferings of the saints, the Apostle says (2 Cor 5:1): "We are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up, there is a house for us from God, not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens." These words appear at first sight to indicate that as soon as the mortal body is dissolved man is clothed with heavenly glory. Sed ut hic sensus evidentior fiat, sequentia pertractemus. Quia enim duo proposuerat, scilicet dissolutionem habitationis terrenae et adeptionem domus caelestis, ostendit quomodo desiderium hominis se habeat ad utrumque, cum quadam expositione utriusque. Unde primo subiungit de desiderio caelestis domus, et dicit, quod ingemiscimus in hoc quasi a nostro desiderio retardati quod cupimus superindui habitationem caelestem: per quod etiam dat intelligere, quod illa domus caelestis quam supra dixerat, non est aliquid ab homine separatum, sed aliquid homini inhaerens. Non enim dicitur homo induere domum, sed vestimentum; sed dicitur aliquis inhabitare domum. Cum ergo haec duo coniungit dicens, superindui habitationem, ostendit quod illud desideratum et est aliquid adhaerens, quia induitur, et est aliquid continens et excedens, quia inhabitatur. Quid autem sit illud desideratum, ex sequentibus patebit. But to make the meaning plainer, let us examine the following verses. Since he referred to two things: the dissolution of our earthly dwelling and the gaining of a heavenly dwelling, he shows how man's desire regards each, with an explanation of each. So, regarding the desire for a heavenly dwelling, he says (v. 2) that "we groan" because we are delayed from reaching our desire, and "we yearn to be clothed over with our heavenly dwelling." These words indicate that the heavenly dwelling he is talking about is not something separated from man, but something attached to him. For we do not say that a man puts on a house, but a garment; rather we say that someone dwells in a house. So, when he combines the two concepts "to be clothed over with our heavenly dwelling", he shows that what we first desire is something attached, because it is put on, and it is also containing and exceeding, since it is dwelt in. Exactly what this object of desire is the following verses make clear. Sed quia non simpliciter dixerat indui, sed superindui, rationem sui dicti exponit, subdens: si tamen vestiti et non nudi inveniamur, quasi dicat: si anima sic indueretur habitatione caelesti quod non exueretur habitatione terrena, adeptio illius habitationis caelestis esset superinduitio. Sed quia oportet quod exuatur habitatione terrena ad hoc quod induatur caelesti, non potest dici superinduitio sed induitio simplex. Because he did not simply say "clothed" but "clothed over", he explains this (v. 3): "provided we are found clothed and not naked," as if to say: If the soul puts on an eternal dwelling without taking off its earthly dwelling, the acquisition of that dwelling is being clothed over. But because the earthly dwelling must be taken off in order to put on the heavenly one, we cannot speak simply of being clothed over. Posset ergo aliquis ab apostolo quaerere: quare ergo dixisti: superindui cupientes? Ad quod respondet subdens: nam et qui sumus in tabernaculo isto, idest qui induimur terreno tabernaculo quasi transitorio, non domo quasi permanente, ingemiscimus gravati quasi aliquo accidente contra nostrum desiderium, eo quod secundum naturale desiderium nolumus expoliari tabernaculo terreno, sed supervestiri caelesti, ut absorbeatur quod mortale est, a vita, idest ut ad vitam immortalem sine mortis gustu transeatur. Therefore someone could ask the Apostle: Why did you say "yearning to be clothed over"? He answers that by saying (v. 4): "While we are in our present tent," that is, clothed with our present transitory dwelling, not having a permanent dwelling, "we groan, weighed down" as by something happening against our desire, since by our natural desire "we do not wish to be stripped naked" from our earthly tent, "but to be clothed over with a heavenly tent, so that what is mortal may be absorbed by life," that is, that we may go into immortal life without tasting death. Posset autem iterum aliquis apostolo dicere: rationabile apparet, quod nolumus expoliari terrena habitatione, quae est nobis connaturalis, sed unde hoc nobis quod habitationem caelestem indui cupiamus? Ad hoc autem respondens subdit: qui autem efficit nos in hoc ipsum, ut desideremus caelestia, Deus est. Et quomodo nos in hoc efficiat, ostendit subdens: qui dedit nobis pignus spiritus. Per spiritum enim sanctum, quem accepimus a Deo, certi sumus de caelesti habitatione adipiscenda sicut per pignus de debito recuperando. Ex hac autem certitudine in desiderium caelestis habitationis elevamur. Someone could again ask the Apostle why, as it seems reasonable, should we want not to be stripped of our earthly dwelling which is natural to us in order to put on a heavenly dwelling? He answers (v. 5): "God has designed us for this," that is, to desire heavenly things. How God does this, he adds: "He has given us the Spirit as a pledge." For the Holy spirit, whom we receive from God, makes us certain and eager to gain our heavenly dwelling, like claiming something owed to us because of the pledge we hold. Because of this certainty we are lifted up to desire a heavenly dwelling. Sic ergo duo desideria sunt in nobis: unum naturae de terrena habitatione non deserenda; aliud gratiae de caelesti habitatione consequenda. Sed haec duo desideria simul impleri non possunt, quia ad caelestem habitationem pervenire non possumus, nisi terrenam deseramus. Unde cum quadam fiducia firma et audacia desiderium gratiae praeferimus desiderio naturae, ut velimus terrenam habitationem deserere, et ad caelestem pervenire: et hoc est quod subdit: audentes igitur semper, et scientes, quoniam dum sumus in hoc corpore peregrinamur a domino, per fidem enim ambulamus, et non per speciem, audemus et bonam voluntatem habemus magis peregrinari a corpore, et praesentes esse ad dominum. So we have two kinds of desire: the first is natural, which is not to abandon our earthly dwelling, and the second is from grace, which is to gain a heavenly dwelling. But both desires cannot be fulfilled, since we cannot reach our heavenly dwelling without leaving our earthly one. So with a firm trust and boldness we prefer the desire that comes from grace to our natural desire, and wish to leave our earthly dwelling and go to our heavenly one. That is what he adds (vv. 6-8): "Therefore we continue to be confident. We know that while we dwell in the body we are away from the Lord. We walk by faith, not by sight. I repeat, we are full of confidence and would much rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord." Ubi aperitur quod ipsum corpus corruptibile supra nominavit terrestrem domum huius habitationis, et tabernaculum; quod quidem corpus est animae quasi quoddam indumentum. It is now clear that the Apostle meant the corruptible body by the term "the tent that houses us on earth"; this body is like a garment to the soul. Aperitur etiam quid supra dixerat domum non manufactam, sed aeternam in caelis: quia ipsum Deum, quem homines induunt, vel etiam inhabitant, dum ei praesentes existunt per speciem, idest videndo eum sicut est, peregrinantur autem ab ipso, dum per fidem tenent quod nondum vident. Desiderant ergo sancti peregrinari a corpore, idest ut eorum animae per mortem a corporibus separentur, ad hoc quod sic peregrinantes a corpore, sint praesentes ad dominum. It is also clear that what he meant by "a house not made by human hands, but everlasting in the heavens" is God himself, whom men put on or dwell in, when they are present to him face to face, that is, seeing him as he is. But they are on the road, away from him, when they hold by faith what they do not yet see. Therefore the saints desire to travel away from the body, that their souls may be separated from their bodies by death, so that, having left the body, they may be present to the Lord. Manifestum est ergo quod sanctorum animae a corporibus absolutae ad caelestem habitationem perveniunt Deum videntes. Non ergo sanctarum animarum gloria quae in Dei visione consistit differtur, usque ad diem iudicii, quo corpora resumunt. Hoc etiam apparet per dictum apostoli ad Philip. ubi dicit: desiderium habens dissolvi, et cum Christo esse. Vanum autem esset hoc desiderium, si corpore dissoluto adhuc Paulus cum Christo non esset, quem tamen constat esse caelis: sunt ergo animae sanctorum post mortem cum Christo in caelis. Manifeste etiam dominus latroni confitenti in cruce dixit: hodie mecum eris in Paradiso, per Paradisum gloriae fruitionem designans. Unde non est credendum, quod suos fideles Christus remunerare differat, quantum ad gloriam animarum, usque ad corporum resumptionem. Quod ergo dominus dicit: in domo patris mei mansiones multae sunt, ad differentias praemiorum refertur, quibus sancti in caelesti beatitudine remunerantur a Deo, non enim extra domum, sed in ipsa domo. It is therefore clear that the souls of the saints, separated from the body, have reached their heavenly dwelling. Therefore the glory of holy souls, which consists in the vision of God, is not deferred to the day of judgment when bodies are raised. This is also clear from what the Apostle says to the Philippians (1:23): "I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ." This desire would be frustrated if, after his body was dissolved, he was not with Christ, who is in heaven. The Lord also clearly said to the penitent thief on the cross (Lk 23:43): "Today you will be with me in paradise," meaning by paradise the enjoyment of glory. So it is not to be believed that Christ defers the reward of his faithful, as far as the glory of their souls is concerned, until the resurrection of the body. The words of the Lord (Jn 14:2), "In my Father's house there are many places to live in," refer to different degrees of rewards given to the saints in heavenly happiness, not outside the heavenly home but in it. His autem visis, consequens videtur Purgatorium animarum esse post mortem. Ex multis enim sacrae Scripturae auctoritatibus manifeste habetur quod ad illam caelestem gloriam nullus pervenire potest cum macula. Dicitur enim de divinae sapientiae participatione, in libro sapientiae, quod est emanatio quaedam claritatis omnipotentis Dei sincera, et ideo nihil inquinatum incurrit in illam. Consistit autem caelestis felicitas in sapientiae participatione perfecta, qua per speciem Deum videbimus. Oportet igitur omnino sine macula esse eos qui ad illam beatitudinem perducuntur. Idem habetur expressius in Isaia: via sancta vocabitur: non transibit per eam pollutus; et in Apocalypsi dicitur: non intrabit in ea aliquid coinquinatum. From this it also follows that there is a place for purifying souls after death. Many passages of Scripture clearly say that no one can enter heavenly glory with any stain. Speaking about participation in Divine Wisdom, Wisdom 7:25 says: "Nothing impure can find its way into her." But heavenly happiness consists in the perfect participation in Wisdom, by which we see God face to face. Therefore those who are brought into this must be completely without stain. This is also supposed in Isaiah, 35:8: "It will be called the Sacred Way; the unclean will not be allowed to use it," and in Revelation 21:7: "Nothing unclean may come into it." Contingit autem aliquos in hora mortis aliquibus maculis peccatorum inquinari, propter quae tamen aeternam damnationem Inferni non merentur; sicut sunt venialia peccata, ut verbum otiosum et alia huiusmodi. Non ergo ad caelestem beatitudinem qui talibus inquinati decedunt, poterunt pervenire statim post mortem; pervenirent autem, ut supra probatum est, si huiusmodi maculae in eis non essent. Ad minus ergo post mortem dilationem gloriae patientur propter venialia peccata. Nulla autem ratio est quare magis hanc poenam quam aliam animas post mortem pati concedant; praesertim cum carentia visionis divinae et separatio a Deo, maior sit poena etiam existentibus in Inferno, quam ignis supplicium, patiuntur ergo animae. Cum venialibus decedentium Purgatorium ignem post mortem. Some people, at the hour of death, happen to have some stains of sin which do not merit the eternal damnation of hell, such as venial sins, like idle words etc. Those who die with such stains cannot go straight to heavenly happiness, although they would if they did not have these stains, as we have seen. Therefore, after death they at least suffer a delay in entering glory. There is no reason why our objectors should concede that souls after death suffer this penalty rather than any other, especially since the lack of the vision of God and separation from him is a greater pain, even for those in hell, than the punishment of fire which they suffer there. Therefore the souls of those who die with venial sins undergo a purifying fire. Si quis autem dicat, huiusmodi peccata venialia remanere purganda per ignem conflagrationis mundi, qui faciem praecedet iudicis; hoc cum praemissis stare non potest. Ostensum enim est, quod sanctorum animae, in quibus nulla est macula, statim corpore dissoluto caelestem habitationem adipiscuntur; nec potest dici quod animae cum peccatis venialibus decedentium antequam ab eis purgentur ad caelestem perveniant gloriam, sicut ostensum est. Differtur ergo eorum gloria propter peccata venialia usque ad diem iudicii: quod omnino improbabile videtur, ut scilicet pro levibus peccatis tantam poenam aliquis patiatur in gloriae dilatione. If someone says that these venial sins will wait to be purified by the fire that will burn up the world before the coming of the Judge, this cannot hold. It has been shown above that the souls of the saints which have no stain gain heavenly happiness as soon as they die, and at the same time souls with venial sins cannot enter glory. In that case their entrance into glory would be deferred because of venial sins until the day of judgment, which is most improbable, since this would be too great a penalty for light sins. Amplius, contingit aliquos ante mortem perficere non potuisse poenitentiam debitam pro peccatis, de quibus poenituerunt; nec est divinae iustitiae conveniens quod poenam illam non exsolvant: sic enim melioris conditionis essent qui cito morte praeoccupantur, quam qui diutinam poenitentiam pro peccatis in hac vita perficiunt. Patiuntur igitur post mortem huiusmodi poenam. Non autem in Inferno, in quo homines pro peccatis mortalibus puniuntur, cum iam per poenitentiam sint mortalia peccata dimissa. Nec etiam esset conveniens ut pro exsolutione huius poenae usque ad diem iudicii eis gloria debita differretur. Oportet igitur ponere aliquas poenas temporales et purgatorias post hanc vitam ante diem iudicii. Another reason for purgatory is that some people did not finish making due penance for the [mortal] sins they repented of before death, and it would not befit God's justice to let them off; otherwise those who die suddenly would be in a better position than those who spend a long time in this life doing penance. Therefore they suffer something after death. This cannot be in hell, where people are punished for mortal sins, since the mortal sins of these people have been forgiven by their repentance. Nor would it be fitting, as a penalty, to defer the glory due to them until the day of judgment. Therefore there should be some temporal purifying punishment after this life before the day of judgment. Huic etiam consonat Ecclesiae ritus ab apostolis introductus. Orat enim tota Ecclesia pro fidelibus defunctis. Manifestum est autem quod non orat pro his qui sunt in Inferno, quia in Inferno nulla est redemptio; neque etiam pro his qui sunt caelestem gloriam iam adepti quia illi iam pervenerunt ad finem. Relinquitur ergo quod sint aliquae poenae temporales et purgatoriae post hanc vitam, pro quarum remissione orat Ecclesia. Hinc est etiam quod apostolus ad Corinthios dicit: uniuscuiusque opus quale fuerit, ignis probabit. Si cuius opus manserit, quod superaedificavit mercedem accipiet; si cuius opus arserit, detrimentum patietur; ipse autem salvus erit, sic tamen quasi per ignem. Non autem potest hoc intelligi de igne Inferni, quia qui illum ignem patiuntur, non salvantur. Oportet ergo quod intelligatur de aliquo igne purgante. Church rites established by the Apostles agree with this. For the whole Church prays for the faithful departed. It is clear that it does not pray for those who are in hell, where there is no redemption, nor for those who have reached heavenly glory. It remains therefore that there are some temporal purifying pains after this life, for whose remission the Church prays. Thus even the Apostle says (1 Cor 3:13-15): "Each person's handiwork will be shown for what it is. The Day which dawns in fire will make it clear and the fire itself will test the quality of each person's work. The one whose work stands up to it will be given his wages; the one whose work is burnt down will suffer the loss of it, though he himself will be saved, but only as one fleeing through fire." This cannot be understood of the fire of hell, because those who suffer that fire are not saved. Therefore it must be understood of a purifying fire. Et quidem potest aliquis dicere hoc esse intelligendum de igne qui praecedet faciem iudicis, praecipue quia praemittitur: dies domini declarabit, quia in igne revelabitur; dies autem domini intelligitur dies ultimi adventus eius, sicut apostolus in I Thessal. dicit, dies domini sicut fur in nocte, ita veniet; sed attendendum est, quod sicut dies iudicii dicitur dies domini, quia est dies adventus eius ad iudicium universale totius mundi, ita dies mortis uniuscuiusque dicitur dies domini, quia in morte ad unumquemque venire Christus dicitur remuneraturus vel condemnaturus. It may be said that this should be understood of the fire that will precede the coming of the Judge, especially since the passage says, "The Day will make it clear", while the day of the Lord is understood as the day of his last coming for the universal judgment of the whole world, as the Apostle says in 1 Thessalonians (5:2): "The Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night." In reply we must point out that as the day of judgment is called the day of the Lord, because it is the day of his coming for the universal judgment of the whole world, so the day of each person's death can also be called the day of the Lord, because then Christ comes to each person to reward or condemn him. Unde quantum ad remunerationem bonorum dicit in Iohanne, ad discipulos, suos: si abiero, et praeparavero vobis locum, iterum venio et accipiam vos ad meipsum, ut ubi sum ego et vos sitis; quantum vero ad condemnationem malorum dicitur in Apocalypsi: age poenitentiam, et prima opera fac: sin autem, venio tibi, et movebo candelabrum tuum de loco suo. With reference to rewarding the good, Christ said to his disciples (Jn 14:3): "After I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself." With reference to the damnation of the evil it is said in Revelation 2:5: "Repent and behave as you did at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place." Dies ergo domini quoad universale iudicium veniet in igne revelabitur, qui faciem iudicis praecedet, quo reprobi ad supplicium aeternum trahentur, et iusti qui vivi reperientur, purgabuntur; sed et dies domini, quo unumquemque in sua morte iudicat, in igne revelabitur, qui purgat bonos, et impios condemnat. Therefore the day of the Lord on which the universal judgment takes place will be revealed in the fire which will precede the coming of the Judge, when the reprobate will be pulled to judgment, and the just who are left alive will be purified, but the day of the Lord on which he will judge each person at his death will be revealed by a fire that will purify the good and condemn the wicked. Sic ergo patet Purgatorium esse post mortem. Therefore it is clear that there is a purgatory after death.
Quod praedestinatio divina humanis actibus necessitatem non imponat et qualiter in hac quaestione procedendum sit
That divine predestination does not impose necessity on human acts
Nunc ultimo considerandum restat, an per praeordinationem seu praedestinationem divinam humanis actibus necessitas imponatur. In qua quaestione sic caute procedendum est, ut veritas defendatur, et falsitatis error vitetur. Erroneum enim est dicere, quod humani actus et eventus, praescientiae et ordinationi divinae non subsint. Last of all we come to the question whether, because of divine ordination or predestination, human acts become necessary. This question requires caution so as to defend the truth and avoid falsity or error. Nec minus est erroneum dicere, quod ex praescientia vel ordinatione divina humanis actibus necessitas ingeratur: tolleretur enim libertas arbitrii, consiliandi opportunitas, legum utilitas, sollicitudo bene agendi, et poenarum et praemiorum iustitia. It is erroneous to say that human acts and events escape God's fore-knowledge and ordination. It is no less erroneous to say that God's fore-knowledge and ordination imposes necessity on human acts; otherwise free will would be removed, as well as the value of taking counsel, the usefulness of laws, the care to do what is right and the justice of rewards and punishments. Est igitur considerandum quod Deus aliter habet scientiam de rebus quam homo. Homo enim subiectus est tempori, et ideo temporaliter res cognoscit, quaedam respiciens ut praesentia, quaedam ut praeterita recolens, et quaedam praevidens ut futura. Sed Deus est superior temporis decursu, et esse suum est aeternum: unde et sua cognitio non est temporalis, sed aeterna; comparatur autem aeternitas ad tempus sicut indivisibile ad continuum. In tempore enim invenitur diversitas quaedam partium secundum prius et posterius sibi succedentium, sicut in linea inveniuntur diversae partes secundum situm ad invicem ordinatae: sed aeternitas prius et posterius non habet, quia res aeternae mutatione carent. We must observe that God knows things differently from man. Man is subject to time and therefore knows things temporally, seeing some things as present, recalling others as past, and fore-seeing others as future. But God is above the passage of time, and his existence is eternal. So his knowledge is not temporal, but eternal. Eternity is compared to time as something indivisible to what is continuous. Thus in time there is a difference of successive parts according to before and after, but eternity has no before and after, because eternal things are free from any change. Et sic aeternitas est tota simul, sicut et punctum partibus caret secundum situm distinctis. Punctum autem dupliciter ad lineam comparari potest: uno quidem modo sicut intra lineam comprehensum, sive sit in principio lineae, sive in medio, sive in fine; alio modo ut extra lineam existens. Punctum igitur intra lineam existens non potest omnibus lineae partibus adesse, sed in diversis partibus lineae necesse est diversa puncta signari; punctum vero quod extra lineam est, nihil prohibet aequaliter omnes lineae partes respicere; ut apparet in circulo, cuius centrum cum sit indivisibile, aequaliter respicit omnes circumferentiae partes, et omnes sibi sunt quodammodo praesentes, quamvis una earum alteri non sit praesens. Thus eternity is totally at once, just as a point lacks parts that are distinct in location. For a point can be compared to a line in two ways: first as included in the line, whether at the beginning, middle or end, secondly as existing outside a line. A point within a line cannot be present to all the parts of the line, but in different parts of the line different points must be designated. But a point outside the line can view all parts of the line equally, as in a circle, whose central point is indivisible and faces all the parts of the circumference and all of them are somehow present to it, although not to one another. Puncto autem incluso in linea similatur instans, quod est terminus temporis, quod quidem non adest omnibus partibus temporis, sed in diversis partibus temporis instantia diversa signantur. Puncto vero quod est extra lineam, scilicet centro, quodammodo similatur aeternitas: quae cum sit simplex et indivisibilis, totum decursum temporis comprehendit, et quaelibet pars temporis est ei aequaliter praesens, licet partium temporis una sequatur ad alteram. An instant, which is a limit of time, is comparable to the point included in a line. It is not present to all parts of time, but in different parts of time different instances are designated. Eternity is something like the point outside a line, like the centre of a circle. Since it is simple and indivisible, it comprehends the whole passage of time and each part of time is equally present to it, although one part of time follows another. Sic igitur Deus, qui de aeternitatis excelso omnia respicit, semper totum temporis decursum et omnia quae geruntur in tempore praesentialiter intuetur. Sicut ergo cum ego video sortem sedere, infallibilis est et certa est mea cognitio, nulla tamen ex hoc sorti necessitas sedendi imponitur; ita Deus omnia quae nobis sunt vel praeterita vel praesentia vel futura, quasi praesentia inspiciens, infallibiliter et certitudinaliter cognoscit, ita tamen quod contingentibus nulla necessitas imponitur existendi. Thus God, who looks at everything from the high point of eternity, views as present the whole passage of time and everything that is done in time. Therefore, when I see Socrates sitting, my knowledge is infallible and certain, but no necessity is imposed on Socrates to be seated. Thus God, seeing everything that is past, future or present to us as present to himself, knows all this infallibly and certainly, yet without imposing on contingent things any necessity of existing. Huius autem exemplum accipi potest, si comparemus decursum temporis ad transitum viae. Si quis enim sit in via per quam transeunt multi, videt quidem eos qui sunt ante se; qui vero post ipsum veniant, per certitudinem scire non potest. Sed si aliquis sit in aliquo loco excelso, unde totam viam possit inspicere, simul videt omnes qui pertranseunt viam. Sic igitur homo qui est in tempore, non potest totum decursum temporis simul videre, sed videt ea solum quae coram assistunt, praesentia scilicet, et de praeteritis aliqua; sed ea quae ventura sunt, per certitudinem scire non potest. Deus autem de excelso suae aeternitatis per certitudinem videt quasi praesentia omnia quae per totum temporis decursum aguntur, absque hoc quod rebus contingentibus necessitas imponatur. This comparison can be accepted, if we compare the passage of time to travel over a road. If someone is on a road over which many people pass, he sees those who are just ahead of him, but cannot certainly know those who come after him. But if someone stands in a high place where he can see the whole road, he sees at once all who are moving on the road. Thus man, who is in time, cannot see the whole course of time at once, but only thinks that just in front of him, namely the present, and a few things of the past, but he cannot know future things for certain. But God, from the high point of his eternity sees with certitude and as present all that is done through the whole course of time, without imposing necessity on contingent things. Sicut autem divina scientia contingentibus necessitatem non imponit, sic nec eius ordinatio, qua provide ordinat universa. Sic enim ordinat res sicut agit eas: non enim eius ordinatio cassatur, sed quod per sapientiam ordinat, per virtutem exequitur. Just as God's knowledge does not impose necessity on contingent things, neither does his ordination, by which he providentially orders the universe. For he orders things the way he acts on things; his ordination does not violate but brings to effect by his power what he planned in his Wisdom. In actione autem divinae virtutis hoc considerare oportet, quod operatur in omnibus et movet singula ad suos actus secundum modum uniuscuiusque, ita quod quaedam ex motione divina ex necessitate suas actiones perficiunt, ut apparet in motibus caelestium corporum; quaedam vero contingenter, et interdum a propria actione deficiunt, ut apparet in actionibus corruptibilium corporum: arbor enim quandoque a fructificando impeditur, et animal a generando. Sic ergo sapientia divina de rebus ordinat, ut ordinata proveniant secundum modum propriarum causarum. Est autem hic modus naturalis hominis ut libere agat, non aliqua necessitate coactus, quia rationales potestates ad opposita se habent. Sic igitur Deus ordinat de actibus humanis, ut tamen humani actus necessitati non subdantur, sed proveniant ex arbitrii libertate. As for the action of God's power, we should observe that he acts in everything and moves each single thing to its actions according to the manner proper to each thing, so that some things, by divine motion, act from necessity, as the motion of heavenly bodies [according to ancient cosmology], while others contingently, which sometimes fail in their proper action because of their corruptibility. A tree, for example, sometimes is impeded from producing fruit and an animal from generating offspring. Thus Divine Wisdom orders things so that they happen after the manner of their proper causes. In the case of man, it is natural for him to act freely, not forced, because rational powers can turn in opposite directions. Thus God orders human actions in a way that these actions are not subject to necessity, but come from free will. Haec igitur sunt quae ad praesens, visa sunt de propositis quaestionibus conscribenda; quae tamen alibi diligentius pertractata sunt. These, then are what I can write at present about the questions you sent to me. They are treated in greater detail elsewhere [in the Summa contra gentiles].
1. Literally, "of nearly the whole world to Christ."