Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part III/Q87

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Q86 Q88



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IIIª q. 87 pr. Deinde considerandum est de remissione venialium peccatorum. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum sine poenitentia peccatum veniale possit dimitti. Secundo, utrum possit dimitti sine gratiae infusione. Tertio, utrum peccata venialia remittantur per aspersionem aquae benedictae, et tunsionem pectoris, et orationem dominicam, et alia huiusmodi. Quarto, utrum veniale possit dimitti sine mortali. Question 87. The remission of venial sin 1. Can venial sin be forgiven without Penance? 2. Can it be forgiven without the infusion of grace? 3. Are venial sins forgiven by the sprinkling of holy water, a bishop's blessing, the beating of the breast, the Lord's Prayer, and the like? 4. Can a venial sin be taken away without a mortal sin?
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod veniale peccatum possit remitti sine poenitentia. Pertinet enim, ut supra dictum est, ad rationem verae poenitentiae quod non solum homo doleat de peccato praeterito, sed etiam proponat cavere de futuro. Sed sine tali proposito peccata venialia dimittuntur, cum certum sit homini quod sine peccatis venialibus praesentem vitam ducere non possit. Ergo peccata venialia possunt remitti sine poenitentia. Objection 1. It would seem that venial sin can be forgiven without penance. For, as stated above (84, 10, ad 4), it is essential to true penance that man should not only sorrow for his past sins, but also that he should purpose to avoid them for the future. Now venial sins are forgiven without any such purpose, for it is certain that man cannot lead the present life without committing venial sins. Therefore venial sins can be forgiven without penance.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, poenitentia non est sine actuali displicentia peccatorum. Sed peccata venialia possunt dimitti sine displicentia eorum, sicut patet in eo qui dormiens occideretur propter Christum; statim enim evolaret, quod non contingit manentibus peccatis venialibus. Ergo peccata venialia possunt remitti sine poenitentia. Objection 2. Further, there is no penance without actual displeasure at one's sins. But venial sins can be taken away without any actual displeasure at them, as would be the case if a man were to be killed in his sleep, for Christ's sake, since he would go to heaven at once, which would not happen if his venial sins remained. Therefore venial sins can be forgiven without penance.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccata venialia opponuntur fervori caritatis, ut in secunda parte dictum est. Sed unum oppositorum tollitur per aliud. Ergo per fervorem caritatis, quem contingit esse sine actuali displicentia peccati venialis, fit remissio peccatorum venialium. Objection 3. Further, venial sins are contrary to the fervor of charity, as stated in the II-II, 24, 10. Now one contrary is removed by another. Therefore forgiveness of venial sins is caused by the fervor of charity, which may be without actual displeasure at venial sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de poenitentia, quod est quaedam poenitentia quae quotidie agitur in Ecclesia pro peccatis venialibus. Quae frustra esset si sine poenitentia peccata venialia possunt dimitti. On the contrary, Augustine says in De Poenitentia [De vera et falsa Poenitentia, the authorship of which is unknown, that "there is a penance which is done for venial sins in the Church every day" which would be useless if venial sins could be forgiven without Penance.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod remissio culpae, sicut dictum est, fit per coniunctionem ad Deum, a quo aliqualiter separat culpa. Sed haec separatio perfecte quidem fit per peccatum mortale, imperfecte autem per peccatum veniale, nam per peccatum mortale mens omnino a Deo avertitur, utpote contra caritatem agens; per peccatum autem veniale retardatur affectus hominis ne prompte in Deum feratur. Et ideo utrumque peccatum per poenitentiam quidem remittitur, quia per utrumque deordinatur voluntas hominis per immoderatam conversionem ad bonum creatum, sicut enim peccatum mortale remitti non potest quandiu voluntas peccato adhaeret, ita etiam nec peccatum veniale, quia, manente causa, manet effectus. Exigitur autem ad remissionem peccati mortalis perfectior poenitentia, ut scilicet homo actualiter peccatum mortale commissum detestetur quantum in ipso est, ut scilicet diligentiam adhibeat ad rememorandum singula peccata mortalia, ut singula detestetur. Sed hoc non requiritur ad remissionem venialium peccatorum. Non tamen sufficit habitualis displicentia, quae habetur per habitum caritatis vel poenitentiae virtutis, quia sic caritas non compateretur peccatum veniale, quod patet esse falsum. Unde sequitur quod requiratur quaedam virtualis displicentia, puta cum aliquis fertur hoc modo secundum affectum in Deum et res divinas ut quidquid ei occurrat quod eum ab hoc motu retardaret, displiceret ei, et doleret se hoc commisisse, etiam si actu de illo non cogitaret. Quod tamen non sufficit ad remissionem peccati mortalis, nisi quantum ad peccata oblita post diligentem inquisitionem. I answer that, Forgiveness of sin, as stated above (Question 86, Article 2), is effected by man being united to God from Whom sin separates him in some way. Now this separation is made complete by mortal sin, and incomplete by venial sin: because, by mortal sin, the mind through acting against charity is altogether turned away from God; whereas by venial sin man's affections are clogged, so that they are slow in tending towards God. Consequently both kinds of sin are taken away by penance, because by both of them man's will is disordered through turning inordinately to a created good; for just as mortal sin cannot be forgiven so long as the will is attached to sin, so neither can venial sin, because while the cause remains, the effect remains. Yet a more perfect penance is requisite for the forgiveness of mortal sin, namely that man should detest actually the mortal sin which he committed, so far as lies in his power, that is to say, he should endeavor to remember each single mortal sin, in order to detest each one. But this is, not required for the forgiveness of venial sins; although it does not suffice to have habitual displeasure, which is included in the habit of charity or of penance as a virtue, since then venial sin would be incompatible with charity, which is evidently untrue. Consequently it is necessary to have a certain virtual displeasure, so that, for instance, a man's affections so tend to God and Divine things, that whatever might happen to him to hamper that tendency would be displeasing to him, and would grieve him, were he to commit it, even though he were not to think of it actually: and this is not sufficient for the remission of mortal sin, except as regards those sins which he fails to remember after a careful examination.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homo in gratia constitutus potest vitare omnia peccata mortalia et singula; potest etiam vitare singula peccata venialia, sed non omnia; ut patet ex his quae in secunda parte dicta sunt. Et ideo poenitentia de peccatis mortalibus requirit quod homo proponat abstinere ab omnibus et singulis peccatis mortalibus. Sed ad poenitentiam peccatorum venialium requiritur quod proponat abstinere a singulis, non tamen ab omnibus, quia hoc infirmitas huius vitae non patitur. Debet tamen habere propositum se praeparandi ad peccata venialia minuenda, alioquin esset ei periculum deficiendi, cum desereret appetitum proficiendi, seu tollendi impedimenta spiritualis profectus, quae sunt peccata venialia. Reply to Objection 1. When man is in a state of grace, he can avoid all mortal sins, and each single one; and he can avoid each single venial sin, but not all, as was explained in I-II, 74, 8, ad 2; I-II, 109, 8. Consequently penance for mortal sins requires man to purpose abstaining from mortal sins, all and each; whereas penance for venial sins requires man to purpose abstaining from each, but not from all, because the weakness of this life does not allow of this. Nevertheless he needs to have the purpose of taking steps to commit fewer venial sins, else he would be in danger of falling back, if he gave up the desire of going forward, or of removing the obstacles to spiritual progress, such as venial sins are.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod passio pro Christo suscepta, sicut supra dictum est, obtinet vim Baptismi. Et ideo purgat ab omni culpa et mortali et veniali, nisi actualiter voluntatem peccato invenerit inhaerentem. Reply to Objection 2. Death for Christ's sake, as stated above (Question 66, Article 11), obtains the power of Baptism, wherefore it washes away all sin, both venial and mortal, unless it find the will attached to sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod fervor caritatis virtualiter implicat displicentiam venialium peccatorum, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. The fervor of charity implies virtual displeasure at venial sins, as stated above (Question 79, Article 4).
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ad remissionem venialium peccatorum requiratur gratiae infusio. Effectus enim non est sine propria causa. Sed propria causa remissionis peccatorum est gratia, non enim ex meritis propriis hominis peccata propria remittuntur; unde dicitur Ephes. II, Deus, qui dives est in misericordia, propter nimiam caritatem qua dilexit nos, cum essemus mortui peccatis, convivificavit nos in Christo, cuius gratia salvati estis. Ergo peccata venialia non remittuntur sine gratiae infusione. Objection 1. It would seem that infusion of grace is necessary for the remission of venial sins. Because an effect is not produced without its proper cause. Now the proper cause of the remission of sins is grace; for man's sins are not forgiven through his own merits; wherefore it is written (Ephesians 2:4-5): "God, Who is rich in mercy, for His exceeding charity, wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, by Whose grace you are saved." Therefore venial sins are not forgiven without infusion of grace.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, peccata venialia non remittuntur sine poenitentia. Sed in poenitentia infunditur gratia, sicut et in aliis sacramentis novae legis. Ergo peccata venialia non remittuntur sine gratiae infusione. Objection 2. Further, venial sins are not forgiven without Penance. Now grace is infused, in Penance as in the other sacraments of the New Law. Therefore venial sins are not forgiven without infusion of grace.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccatum veniale maculam quandam animae infert. Sed macula non aufertur nisi per gratiam, quae est spiritualis animae decor. Ergo videtur quod peccata venialia non remittantur sine gratiae infusione. Objection 3. Further, venial sin produces a stain on the soul. Now a stain is not removed save by grace which is the spiritual beauty of the soul. Therefore it seems that venial sins are not forgiven without infusion of grace.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod peccatum veniale adveniens non tollit gratiam, neque etiam diminuit eam, ut in secunda parte habitum est. Ergo, pari ratione, ad hoc quod peccatum veniale remittatur, non requiritur novae gratiae infusio. On the contrary, The advent of venial sin neither destroys nor diminishes grace, as stated in the II-II, 24, 10. Therefore, in like manner, an infusion of grace is not necessary in order to remove venial sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod unumquodque tollitur per suum oppositum. Peccatum autem veniale non contrariatur habituali gratiae vel caritati, sed retardat actum eius, inquantum nimis haeret homo bono creato, licet non contra Deum, ut in secunda parte habitum est. Et ideo ad hoc quod peccatum tollatur, non requiritur aliqua habitualis gratia, sed sufficit aliquis motus gratiae vel caritatis ad eius remissionem. Quia tamen in habentibus usum liberi arbitrii, in quibus solum possunt esse peccata venialia, non contingit esse infusionem gratiae sine actuali motu liberi arbitrii in Deum et in peccatum; ideo, quandocumque de novo gratia infunditur, peccata venialia remittuntur. I answer that, Each thing is removed by its contrary. But venial sin is not contrary to habitual grace or charity, but hampers its act, through man being too much attached to a created good, albeit not in opposition to God, as stated in I-II, 88, 1; II-II, 24, 10. Therefore, in order that venial sin be removed, it is not necessary that habitual grace be infused, but a movement of grace or charity suffices for its forgiveness. Nevertheless, since in those who have the use of free-will (in whom alone can there be venial sins), there can be no infusion of grace without an actual movement of the free-will towards God and against sin, consequently whenever grace is infused anew, venial sins are forgiven.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod etiam remissio peccatorum venialium est effectus gratiae, per actum scilicet quem de novo elicit, non autem per aliquid habituale de novo animae infusum. Reply to Objection 1. Even the forgiveness of venial sins is an effect of grace, in virtue of the act which grace produces anew, but not through any habit infused anew into the soul.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod veniale peccatum nunquam remittitur sine aliquali actu poenitentiae virtutis, explicito scilicet vel implicito, ut supra dictum est. Potest tamen remitti veniale peccatum sine poenitentiae sacramento, quod in absolutione sacerdotis formaliter perficitur, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo non sequitur quod ad remissionem venialis requiratur gratiae infusio, quae licet sit in quolibet sacramento, non tamen in quolibet actu virtutis. Reply to Objection 2. Venial sin is never forgiven without some act, explicit or implicit, of the virtue of penance, as stated above (Article 1): it can, however, be forgiven without the sacrament of Penance, which is formally perfected by the priestly absolution, as stated above (Question 87, Article 2). Hence it does not follow that infusion of grace is required for the forgiveness of venial sin, for although this infusion takes place in every sacrament, it does not occur in every act of virtue.
IIIª q. 87 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut in corpore contingit esse maculam dupliciter, uno modo per privationem eius quod requiritur ad decorem, puta debiti coloris aut debitae proportionis membrorum, alio modo per superinductionem alicuius impedientis decorem, puta luti aut pulveris; ita etiam in anima inducitur macula uno modo per privationem decoris gratiae per peccatum mortale, alio modo per inclinationem inordinatam affectus ad aliquid temporale; et hoc fit per peccatum veniale. Et ideo ad tollendam maculam mortalis peccati requiritur infusio gratiae, sed ad tollendam maculam peccati venialis, requiritur aliquis actus procedens a gratia per quem removeatur inordinata adhaesio ad rem temporalem. Reply to Objection 3. Just as there are two kinds of bodily stain, one consisting in the privation of something required for beauty, e.g. the right color or the due proportion of members, and another by the introduction of some hindrance to beauty, e.g. mud or dust; so too, a stain is put on the soul, in one way, by the privation of the beauty of grace through mortal sin, in another, by the inordinate inclination of the affections to some temporal thing, and this is the result of venial sin. Consequently, an infusion of grace is necessary for the removal of mortal sin, but in order to remove venial sin, it is necessary to have a movement proceeding from grace, removing the inordinate attachment to the temporal thing.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccata venialia non remittantur per aspersionem aquae benedictae, et episcopalem benedictionem, et alia huiusmodi. Peccata enim venialia non remittuntur sine poenitentia, ut dictum est. Sed poenitentia per se sufficit ad remissionem venialium peccatorum. Ergo ista nihil operantur ad huiusmodi remissionem. Objection 1. It would seem that venial sins are not removed by the sprinkling of holy water, a bishop's blessing, and the like. For venial sins are not forgiven without Penance, as stated above (Article 1). But Penance suffices by itself for the remission of venial sins. Therefore the above have nothing to do with the remission of venial sins.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, quodlibet istorum relationem habet ad unum peccatum veniale, et ad omnia. Si ergo per aliquod istorum remittitur peccatum veniale, sequetur quod pari ratione remittantur omnia. Et ita per unam tunsionem pectoris, vel per unam aspersionem aquae benedictae, redderetur homo immunis ab omnibus peccatis venialibus. Quod videtur inconveniens. Objection 2. Further, each of the above bears the same relation to one venial sin as to all. If therefore, by means of one of them, some venial sin is remitted, it follows that in like manner all are remitted, so that by beating his breast once, or by being sprinkled once with holy water, a man would be delivered from all his venial sins, which seems unreasonable.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccata venialia inducunt reatum alicuius poenae, licet temporalis, dicitur enim, I Cor. III, de eo qui superaedificat lignum, faenum et stipulam, quod salvus erit, sic tamen quasi per ignem. Sed huiusmodi per quae dicitur peccatum veniale remitti, vel nullam vel minimam poenam in se habent. Ergo non sufficiunt ad plenam remissionem venialium peccatorum. Objection 3. Further, venial sins occasion a debt of some punishment, albeit temporal; for it is written (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) of him that builds up "wood, hay, stubble" that "he shall be saved, yet so as by fire." Now the above things whereby venial sins are said to be taken away, contain either no punishment at all, or very little. Therefore they do not suffice for the full remission of venial sins.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de poenitentia, quod pro levibus peccatis pectora nostra tundimus, et dicimus, dimitte nobis debita nostra. Et ita videtur quod tunsio pectoris et oratio dominica causent remissionem peccatorum. Et eadem ratio videtur esse de aliis. On the contrary, Augustine says in De Poenitentia [Hom. 30 inter 1; Ep. cclxv] that "for our slight sins we strike our breasts, and say: Forgive us our trespasses," and so it seems that striking one's breast, and the Lord's Prayer cause the remission of venial sins: and the same seems to apply to the other things.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ad remissionem venialis peccati non requiritur novae gratiae infusio, sed sufficit aliquis actus procedens ex gratia quo homo detestetur peccatum vel explicite, vel saltem implicite, sicut cum aliquis ferventer movetur in Deum. Et ideo triplici ratione aliqua causant remissionem venialium peccatorum. Uno modo, inquantum in eis infunditur gratia, quia per infusionem gratiae tolluntur peccata venialia, ut supra dictum est. Et hoc modo per Eucharistiam et extremam unctionem, et universaliter per omnia sacramenta novae legis, in quibus confertur gratia, peccata venialia remittuntur. Secundo, inquantum sunt cum aliquo motu detestationis peccatorum. Et hoc modo confessio generalis, tunsio pectoris, et oratio dominica operantur ad remissionem venialium peccatorum, nam in oratione dominica petimus, dimitte nobis debita nostra. Tertio, inquantum sunt cum aliquo motu reverentiae in Deum et ad res divinas. Et hoc modo benedictio episcopalis, aspersio aquae benedictae, quaelibet sacramentalis unctio, oratio in Ecclesia dedicata, et si qua alia sunt huiusmodi, operantur ad remissionem peccatorum. I answer that, As stated above (Article 2), no infusion of fresh grace is required for the forgiveness of a venial sin, but it is enough to have an act proceeding from grace, in detestation of that venial sin, either explicit or at least implicit, as when one is moved fervently to God. Hence, for three reasons, certain things cause the remission of venial sins: first, because they imply the infusion of grace, since the infusion of grace removes venial sins, as stated above (Article 2); and so, by the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, and by all the sacraments of the New Law without exception, wherein grace is conferred, venial sins are remitted. Secondly, because they imply a movement of detestation for sin, and in this way the general confession [i.e. the recital of the Confiteor or of an act of contrition, the beating of one's breast, and the Lord's Prayer conduce to the remission of venial sins, for we ask in the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our trespasses." Thirdly, because they include a movement of reverence for God and Divine things; and in this way a bishop's blessing, the sprinkling of holy water, any sacramental anointing, a prayer said in a dedicated church, and anything else of the kind, conduce to the remission of venial sins.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod omnia ista causant remissionem peccatorum venialium inquantum inclinant animam ad motum poenitentiae, qui est detestatio peccatorum, vel implicite vel explicite. Reply to Objection 1. All these things cause the remission of venial sins, in so far as they incline the soul to the movement of penance, viz., the implicit or explicit detestation of one's sins.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod omnia ista, quantum est de se, operantur ad remissionem omnium venialium peccatorum. Potest tamen impediri remissio quantum ad aliqua peccata venialia, quibus mens actualiter inhaeret, sicut etiam per fictionem impeditur aliquando effectus Baptismi. Reply to Objection 2. All these things, so far as they are concerned, conduce to the remission of all venial sins: but the remission may be hindered as regards certain venial sins, to which the mind is still actually attached, even as insincerity sometimes impedes the effect of Baptism.
IIIª q. 87 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod per praedicta tolluntur quidem peccata venialia quantum ad culpam, tum virtute alicuius sanctificationis, tum etiam virtute caritatis, cuius motus per praedicta excitatur. Non autem per quodlibet praedictorum semper tollitur totus reatus poenae, quia sic qui esset omnino immunis a peccato mortali, aspersus aqua benedicta statim evolaret. Sed reatus poenae remittitur per praedicta secundum motum fervoris in Deum, qui per praedicta excitatur quandoque magis, quandoque minus. Reply to Objection 3. By the above things, venial sins are indeed taken away as regards the guilt, both because those things are a kind of satisfaction, and through the virtue of charity whose movement is aroused by such things. Yet it does not always happen that, by means of each one, the whole guilt of punishment is taken away, because, in that case, whoever was entirely free from mortal sin, would go straight to heaven if sprinkled with holy water: but the debt of punishment is remitted by means of the above, according to the movement of fervor towards God, which fervor is aroused by such things, sometimes more, sometimes less.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod veniale peccatum possit remitti sine mortali. Quia super illud Ioan. VIII, qui sine peccato est vestrum, primus in illam lapidem mittat, dicit quaedam Glossa quod omnes illi erant in peccato mortali, venialia enim eis dimittebantur per caeremonias. Ergo veniale peccatum potest remitti sine mortali. Objection 1. It would seem that venial sin can be taken away without mortal sin. For, on John 8:7: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her," a gloss says that "all those men were in a state of mortal sin: for venial offenses were forgiven them through the legal ceremonies." Therefore venial sin can be taken away without mortal sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad remissionem peccati venialis non requiritur gratiae infusio. Requiritur autem ad remissionem mortalis. Ergo veniale peccatum potest remitti sine mortali. Objection 2. Further, no infusion of grace is required for the remission of venial sin. but it is required for the forgiveness of mortal sin. Therefore venial sin can be taken away without mortal sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, plus distat veniale peccatum a mortali quam ab alio veniali. Sed unum veniale potest dimitti sine alio, ut dictum est. Ergo veniale potest dimitti sine mortali. Objection 3. Further, a venial sin differs from a mortal sin more than from another venial sin. But one venial sin can be pardoned without another, as stated above (3, ad 2; 87, 3). Therefore a venial sin can be taken away without a mortal sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Matth. V, non exibis inde, scilicet de carcere, in quem introducitur homo pro peccato mortali, donec reddas novissimum quadrantem, per quem significatur veniale peccatum. Ergo veniale peccatum non remittitur sine mortali. On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 5:26): "Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence," viz., from the prison, into which a man is cast for mortal sin, "till thou repay the last farthing," by which venial sin is denoted. Therefore a venial sin is not forgiven without mortal sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, remissio culpae cuiuscumque nunquam fit nisi per virtutem gratiae, quia, ut apostolus dicit, Rom. IV, ad gratiam Dei pertinet quod Deus alicui non imputat peccatum, quod Glossa ibi exponit de veniali. Ille autem qui est in peccato mortali, caret gratia Dei. Unde nullum peccatum veniale sibi remittitur. I answer that, As stated above (Question 87, Article 3), there is no remission of any sin whatever except by the power of grace, because, as the Apostle declares (Romans 4:8), it is owing to God's grace that He does not impute sin to a man, which a gloss on that passage expounds as referring to venial sin. Now he that is in a state of mortal sin is without the grace of God. Therefore no venial sin is forgiven him.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod venialia ibi dicuntur irregularitates sive immunditiae quas contrahebant secundum legem. Reply to Objection 1. Venial offenses, in the passage quoted, denote the irregularities or uncleannesses which men contracted in accordance with the Law.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, licet ad remissionem peccati venialis non requiratur nova infusio habitualis gratiae, requiritur tamen aliquis gratiae actus. Qui non potest esse in eo qui subiacet peccato mortali. Reply to Objection 2. Although no new infusion of habitual grace is requisite for the remission of venial sin, yet it is necessary to exercise some act of grace, which cannot be in one who is a subject of mortal sin.
IIIª q. 87 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod peccatum veniale non excludit omnem actum gratiae, per quem possunt omnia peccata venialia dimitti. Sed peccatum mortale excludit totaliter habitum gratiae, sine quo nullum peccatum mortale vel veniale remittitur. Et ideo non est similis ratio. Reply to Objection 3. Venial sin does not preclude every act of grace whereby all venial sins can be removed; whereas mortal sin excludes altogether the habit of grace, without which no sin, either mortal or venial, is remitted. Hence the comparison fails.

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