Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q114

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q. 114 pr. Deinde considerandum est de merito, quod est effectus gratiae cooperantis. Et circa hoc quaeruntur decem. Primo, utrum homo possit aliquid mereri a Deo. Secundo, utrum aliquis sine gratia possit mereri vitam aeternam. Tertio, utrum aliquis per gratiam possit mereri vitam aeternam ex condigno. Quarto, utrum gratia sit principium merendi mediante caritate principaliter. Quinto, utrum homo possit sibi mereri primam gratiam. Sexto, utrum homo possit eam mereri alii. Septimo, utrum possit sibi aliquis mereri reparationem post lapsum. Octavo, utrum possit sibi mereri augmentum gratiae vel caritatis. Nono, utrum possit sibi mereri finalem perseverantiam. Decimo, utrum bona temporalia cadant sub merito. Question 114. Merit Can a man merit anything from God? Without grace, can anyone merit eternal life? May anyone with grace merit eternal life condignly? Is it chiefly through the instrumentality of charity that grace is the principle of merit? May a man merit the first grace for himself? May he merit it for someone else? Can anyone merit restoration after sin? Can he merit for himself an increase of grace or charity? Can he merit final perseverance? Do temporal goods fall under merit?
q. 114 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo non possit aliquid mereri a Deo. Nullus enim videtur mercedem mereri ex hoc quod reddit alteri quod debet. Sed per omnia bona quae facimus, non possumus sufficienter recompensare Deo quod debemus, quin semper amplius debeamus; ut etiam philosophus dicit, in VIII Ethic. Unde et Luc. XVII, dicitur, cum omnia quae praecepta sunt, feceritis, dicite, servi inutiles sumus, quod debuimus facere, fecimus. Ergo homo non potest aliquid mereri a Deo. Objection 1. It would seem that a man can merit nothing from God. For no one, it would seem, merits by giving another his due. But by all the good we do, we cannot make sufficient return to God, since yet more is His due, as also the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 14). Hence it is written (Luke 17:10): "When you have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do." Therefore a man can merit nothing from God.
q. 114 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, ex eo quod aliquis sibi proficit, nihil videtur mereri apud eum cui nihil proficit. Sed homo bene operando sibi proficit, vel alteri homini, non autem Deo, dicitur enim Iob XXXV, si iuste egeris, quid donabis ei, aut quid de manu tua accipiet? Ergo homo non potest aliquid a Deo mereri. Objection 2. Further, it would seem that a man merits nothing from God, by what profits himself only, and profits God nothing. Now by acting well, a man profits himself or another man, but not God, for it is written (Job 35:7): "If thou do justly, what shalt thou give Him, or what shall He receive of thy hand." Hence a man can merit nothing from God.
q. 114 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, quicumque apud aliquem aliquid meretur, constituit eum sibi debitorem, debitum enim est ut aliquis merendi mercedem rependat. Sed Deus nulli est debitor, unde dicitur Rom. XI, quis prior dedit ei, et retribuetur ei? Ergo nullus a Deo potest aliquid mereri. Objection 3. Further, whoever merits anything from another makes him his debtor; for a man's wage is a debt due to him. Now God is no one's debtor; hence it is written (Romans 11:35): "Who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made to him?" Hence no one can merit anything from God.
q. 114 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Ierem. XXXI, est merces operi tuo. Sed merces dicitur quod pro merito redditur. Ergo videtur quod homo possit a Deo mereri. On the contrary, It is written (Jeremiah 31:16): "There is a reward for thy work." Now a reward means something bestowed by reason of merit. Hence it would seem that a man may merit from God.
q. 114 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod meritum et merces ad idem referuntur, id enim merces dicitur quod alicui recompensatur pro retributione operis vel laboris, quasi quoddam pretium ipsius. Unde sicut reddere iustum pretium pro re accepta ab aliquo, est actus iustitiae; ita etiam recompensare mercedem operis vel laboris, est actus iustitiae. Iustitia autem aequalitas quaedam est; ut patet per philosophum, in V Ethic. Et ideo simpliciter est iustitia inter eos quorum est simpliciter aequalitas, eorum vero quorum non est simpliciter aequalitas, non est simpliciter iustitia, sed quidam iustitiae modus potest esse, sicut dicitur quoddam ius paternum vel dominativum, ut in eodem libro philosophus dicit. Et propter hoc, in his in quibus est simpliciter iustum, est etiam simpliciter ratio meriti et mercedis. In quibus autem est secundum quid iustum, et non simpliciter, in his etiam non simpliciter est ratio meriti, sed secundum quid, inquantum salvatur ibi iustitiae ratio, sic enim et filius meretur aliquid a patre, et servus a domino. Manifestum est autem quod inter Deum et hominem est maxima inaequalitas, in infinitum enim distant, et totum quod est hominis bonum, est a Deo. Unde non potest hominis ad Deum esse iustitia secundum absolutam aequalitatem, sed secundum proportionem quandam, inquantum scilicet uterque operatur secundum modum suum. Modus autem et mensura humanae virtutis homini est a Deo. Et ideo meritum hominis apud Deum esse non potest nisi secundum praesuppositionem divinae ordinationis, ita scilicet ut id homo consequatur a Deo per suam operationem quasi mercedem, ad quod Deus ei virtutem operandi deputavit. Sicut etiam res naturales hoc consequuntur per proprios motus et operationes, ad quod a Deo sunt ordinatae. Differenter tamen, quia creatura rationalis seipsam movet ad agendum per liberum arbitrium, unde sua actio habet rationem meriti; quod non est in aliis creaturis. I answer that, Merit and reward refer to the same, for a reward means something given anyone in return for work or toil, as a price for it. Hence, as it is an act of justice to give a just price for anything received from another, so also is it an act of justice to make a return for work or toil. Now justice is a kind of equality, as is clear from the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 3), and hence justice is simply between those that are simply equal; but where there is no absolute equality between them, neither is there absolute justice, but there may be a certain manner of justice, as when we speak of a father's or a master's right (Ethic. v, 6), as the Philosopher says. And hence where there is justice simply, there is the character of merit and reward simply. But where there is no simple right, but only relative, there is no character of merit simply, but only relatively, in so far as the character of justice is found there, since the child merits something from his father and the slave from his lord. Now it is clear that between God and man there is the greatest inequality: for they are infinitely apart, and all man's good is from God. Hence there can be no justice of absolute equality between man and God, but only of a certain proportion, inasmuch as both operate after their own manner. Now the manner and measure of human virtue is in man from God. Hence man's merit with God only exists on the presupposition of the Divine ordination, so that man obtains from God, as a reward of his operation, what God gave him the power of operation for, even as natural things by their proper movements and operations obtain that to which they were ordained by God; differently, indeed, since the rational creature moves itself to act by its free-will, hence its action has the character of merit, which is not so in other creatures.
q. 114 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homo inquantum propria voluntate facit illud quod debet, meretur. Alioquin actus iustitiae quo quis reddit debitum, non esset meritorius. Reply to Objection 1. Man merits, inasmuch as he does what he ought, by his free-will; otherwise the act of justice whereby anyone discharges a debt would not be meritorious.
q. 114 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Deus ex bonis nostris non quaerit utilitatem, sed gloriam, idest manifestationem suae bonitatis, quod etiam ex suis operibus quaerit. Ex hoc autem quod eum colimus, nihil ei accrescit, sed nobis. Et ideo meremur aliquid a Deo, non quasi ex nostris operibus aliquid ei accrescat, sed inquantum propter eius gloriam operamur. Reply to Objection 2. God seeks from our goods not profit, but glory, i.e. the manifestation of His goodness; even as He seeks it also in His own works. Now nothing accrues to Him, but only to ourselves, by our worship of Him. Hence we merit from God, not that by our works anything accrues to Him, but inasmuch as we work for His glory.
q. 114 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, quia actio nostra non habet rationem meriti nisi ex praesuppositione divinae ordinationis, non sequitur quod Deus efficiatur simpliciter debitor nobis, sed sibi ipsi, inquantum debitum est ut sua ordinatio impleatur. Reply to Objection 3. Since our action has the character of merit, only on the presupposition of the Divine ordination, it does not follow that God is made our debtor simply, but His own, inasmuch as it is right that His will should be carried out.
q. 114 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod aliquis sine gratia possit mereri vitam aeternam. Illud enim homo a Deo meretur ad quod divinitus ordinatur, sicut dictum est. Sed homo secundum suam naturam ordinatur ad beatitudinem sicut ad finem, unde etiam naturaliter appetit esse beatus. Ergo homo per sua naturalia, absque gratia, mereri potest beatitudinem, quae est vita aeterna. Objection 1. It would seem that without grace anyone can merit eternal life. For man merits from God what he is divinely ordained to, as stated above (Article 1). Now man by his nature is ordained to beatitude as his end; hence, too, he naturally wishes to be blessed. Hence man by his natural endowments and without grace can merit beatitude which is eternal life.
q. 114 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, idem opus quanto est minus debitum, tanto est magis meritorium. Sed minus debitum est bonum quod fit ab eo qui minoribus beneficiis est praeventus. Cum igitur ille qui habet solum bona naturalia, minora beneficia sit consecutus a Deo quam ille qui cum naturalibus habet gratuita; videtur quod eius opera sint apud Deum magis meritoria. Et ita, si ille qui habet gratiam, potest mereri aliquo modo vitam aeternam, multo magis ille qui non habet. Objection 2. Further, the less a work is due, the more meritorious it is. Now, less due is that work which is done by one who has received fewer benefits. Hence, since he who has only natural endowments has received fewer gifts from God, than he who has gratuitous gifts as well as nature, it would seem that his works are more meritorious with God. And thus if he who has grace can merit eternal life to some extent, much more may he who has no grace.
q. 114 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, misericordia et liberalitas Dei in infinitum excedit misericordiam et liberalitatem humanam. Sed unus homo potest apud alium mereri, etiam si nunquam suam gratiam ante habuerit. Ergo videtur quod multo magis homo absque gratia vitam aeternam possit a Deo mereri. Objection 3. Further, God's mercy and liberality infinitely surpass human mercy and liberality. Now a man may merit from another, even though he has not hitherto had his grace. Much more, therefore, would it seem that a man without grace may merit eternal life.
q. 114 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. VI, gratia Dei vita aeterna. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Romans 6:23): "The grace of God, life everlasting."
q. 114 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod hominis sine gratia duplex status considerari potest sicut supra dictum est, unus quidem naturae integrae, qualis fuit in Adam ante peccatum; alius autem naturae corruptae, sicut est in nobis ante reparationem gratiae. Si ergo loquamur de homine quantum ad primum statum, sic una ratione non potest mereri absque gratia vitam aeternam per pura naturalia. Quia scilicet meritum hominis dependet ex praeordinatione divina. Actus autem cuiuscumque rei non ordinatur divinitus ad aliquid excedens proportionem virtutis quae est principium actus, hoc enim est ex institutione divinae providentiae, ut nihil agat ultra suam virtutem. Vita autem aeterna est quoddam bonum excedens proportionem naturae creatae, quia etiam excedit cognitionem et desiderium eius, secundum illud I ad Cor. II, nec oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit. Et inde est quod nulla natura creata est sufficiens principium actus meritorii vitae aeternae, nisi superaddatur aliquod supernaturale donum, quod gratia dicitur. Si vero loquamur de homine sub peccato existente, additur cum hac secunda ratio, propter impedimentum peccati. Cum enim peccatum sit quaedam Dei offensa excludens a vita aeterna, ut patet per supradicta; nullus in statu peccati existens potest vitam aeternam mereri, nisi prius Deo reconcilietur, dimisso peccato, quod fit per gratiam. Peccatori enim non debetur vita, sed mors; secundum illud Rom. VI, stipendia peccati mors. I answer that, Man without grace may be looked at in two states, as was said above (Question 109, Article 2): the first, a state of perfect nature, in which Adam was before his sin; the second, a state of corrupt nature, in which we are before being restored by grace. Therefore, if we speak of man in the first state, there is only one reason why man cannot merit eternal life without grace, by his purely natural endowments, viz. because man's merit depends on the Divine pre-ordination. Now no act of anything whatsoever is divinely ordained to anything exceeding the proportion of the powers which are the principles of its act; for it is a law of Divine providence that nothing shall act beyond its powers. Now everlasting life is a good exceeding the proportion of created nature; since it exceeds its knowledge and desire, according to 1 Corinthians 2:9: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man." And hence it is that no created nature is a sufficient principle of an act meritorious of eternal life, unless there is added a supernatural gift, which we call grace. But if we speak of man as existing in sin, a second reason is added to this, viz. the impediment of sin. For since sin is an offense against God, excluding us from eternal life, as is clear from what has been said above (71, 6; 113, 2), no one existing in a state of mortal sin can merit eternal life unless first he be reconciled to God, through his sin being forgiven, which is brought about by grace. For the sinner deserves not life, but death, according to Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death."
q. 114 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deus ordinavit humanam naturam ad finem vitae aeternae consequendum non propria virtute, sed per auxilium gratiae. Et hoc modo eius actus potest esse meritorius vitae aeternae. Reply to Objection 1. God ordained human nature to attain the end of eternal life, not by its own strength, but by the help of grace; and in this way its act can be meritorious of eternal life.
q. 114 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod homo sine gratia non potest habere aequale opus operi quod ex gratia procedit, quia quanto est perfectius principium actionis, tanto est perfectior actio. Sequeretur autem ratio, supposita aequalitate operationis utrobique. Reply to Objection 2. Without grace a man cannot have a work equal to a work proceeding from grace, since the more perfect the principle, the more perfect the action. But the objection would hold good, if we supposed the operations equal in both cases.
q. 114 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, quantum ad primam rationem inductam, dissimiliter se habet in Deo et in homine. Nam homo omnem virtutem benefaciendi habet a Deo, non autem ab homine. Et ideo a Deo non potest homo aliquid mereri nisi per donum eius, quod apostolus signanter exprimit, dicens, quis prior dedit ei, et retribuetur illi? Sed ab homine potest aliquis mereri antequam ab eo acceperit, per id quod accepit a Deo. Sed quantum ad secundam rationem, sumptam ex impedimento peccati, simile est de homine et de Deo, quia etiam homo ab alio mereri non potest quem offendit prius, nisi ei satisfaciens reconcilietur. Reply to Objection 3. With regard to the first reason adduced, the case is different in God and in man. For a man receives all his power of well-doing from God, and not from man. Hence a man can merit nothing from God except by His gift, which the Apostle expresses aptly saying (Romans 11:35): "Who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made to him?" But man may merit from man, before he has received anything from him, by what he has received from God. But as regards the second proof taken from the impediment of sin, the case is similar with man and God, since one man cannot merit from another whom he has offended, unless he makes satisfaction to him and is reconciled.
q. 114 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo in gratia constitutus non possit mereri vitam aeternam ex condigno. Dicit enim apostolus, ad Rom. VIII, non sunt condignae passiones huius temporis ad futuram gloriam quae revelabitur in nobis. Sed inter alia opera meritoria maxime videntur esse meritoriae sanctorum passiones. Ergo nulla opera hominum sunt meritoria vitae aeternae ex condigno. Objection 1. It would seem that a man in grace cannot merit eternal life condignly, for the Apostle says (Romans 8:18): "The sufferings of this time are not worthy [condignae] to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us." But of all meritorious works, the sufferings of the saints would seem the most meritorious. Therefore no works of men are meritorious of eternal life condignly.
q. 114 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, super illud Rom. VI, gratia Dei vita aeterna, dicit Glossa, posset recte dicere, stipendium iustitiae vita aeterna, sed maluit dicere, gratia Dei vita aeterna, ut intelligeremus Deum ad aeternam vitam pro sua miseratione nos perducere, non meritis nostris. Sed id quod ex condigno quis meretur, non ex miseratione, sed ex merito accipit. Ergo videtur quod homo non possit per gratiam mereri vitam aeternam ex condigno. Objection 2. Further, on Romans 6:23, "The grace of God, life everlasting," a gloss says: "He might have truly said: 'The wages of justice, life everlasting'; but He preferred to say 'The grace of God, life everlasting,' that we may know that God leads us to life everlasting of His own mercy and not by our merits." Now when anyone merits something condignly he receives it not from mercy, but from merit. Hence it would seem that a man with grace cannot merit life everlasting condignly.
q. 114 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, illud meritum videtur esse condignum quod aequatur mercedi. Sed nullus actus praesentis vitae potest aequari vitae aeternae, quae cognitionem et desiderium nostrum excedit. Excedit etiam caritatem vel dilectionem viae, sicut et excedit naturam. Ergo homo non potest per gratiam mereri vitam aeternam ex condigno. Objection 3. Further, merit that equals the reward, would seem to be condign. Now no act of the present life can equal everlasting life, which surpasses our knowledge and our desire, and moreover, surpasses the charity or love of the wayfarer, even as it exceeds nature. Therefore with grace a man cannot merit eternal life condignly.
q. 114 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra, id quod redditur secundum iustum iudicium, videtur esse merces condigna. Sed vita aeterna redditur a Deo secundum iudicium iustitiae; secundum illud II ad Tim. IV, in reliquo reposita est mihi corona iustitiae, quam reddet mihi dominus in illa die, iustus iudex. Ergo homo meretur vitam aeternam ex condigno. On the contrary, What is granted in accordance with a fair judgment, would seem a condign reward. But life everlasting is granted by God, in accordance with the judgment of justice, according to 2 Timothy 4:8: "As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day." Therefore man merits everlasting life condignly.
q. 114 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod opus meritorium hominis dupliciter considerari potest, uno modo, secundum quod procedit ex libero arbitrio; alio modo, secundum quod procedit ex gratia spiritus sancti. Si consideretur secundum substantiam operis, et secundum quod procedit ex libero arbitrio, sic non potest ibi esse condignitas, propter maximam inaequalitatem. Sed est ibi congruitas, propter quandam aequalitatem proportionis, videtur enim congruum ut homini operanti secundum suam virtutem, Deus recompenset secundum excellentiam suae virtutis. Si autem loquamur de opere meritorio secundum quod procedit ex gratia spiritus sancti, sic est meritorium vitae aeternae ex condigno. Sic enim valor meriti attenditur secundum virtutem spiritus sancti moventis nos in vitam aeternam; secundum illud Ioan. IV, fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam. Attenditur etiam pretium operis secundum dignitatem gratiae, per quam homo, consors factus divinae naturae, adoptatur in filium Dei, cui debetur hereditas ex ipso iure adoptionis, secundum illud Rom. VIII, si filii, et heredes. I answer that, Man's meritorious work may be considered in two ways: first, as it proceeds from free-will; secondly, as it proceeds from the grace of the Holy Ghost. If it is considered as regards the substance of the work, and inasmuch as it springs from the free-will, there can be no condignity because of the very great inequality. But there is congruity, on account of an equality of proportion: for it would seem congruous that, if a man does what he can, God should reward him according to the excellence of his power. If, however, we speak of a meritorious work, inasmuch as it proceeds from the grace of the Holy Ghost moving us to life everlasting, it is meritorious of life everlasting condignly. For thus the value of its merit depends upon the power of the Holy Ghost moving us to life everlasting according to John 4:14: "Shall become in him a fount of water springing up into life everlasting." And the worth of the work depends on the dignity of grace, whereby a man, being made a partaker of the Divine Nature, is adopted as a son of God, to whom the inheritance is due by right of adoption, according to Romans 8:17: "If sons, heirs also."
q. 114 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod apostolus loquitur de passionibus sanctorum secundum eorum substantiam. Reply to Objection 1. The Apostle is speaking of the substance of these sufferings.
q. 114 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod verbum Glossae intelligendum est quantum ad primam causam perveniendi ad vitam aeternam, quae est miseratio Dei. Meritum autem nostrum est causa subsequens. Reply to Objection 2. This saying is to be understood of the first cause of our reaching everlasting life, viz. God's mercy. But our merit is a subsequent cause.
q. 114 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod gratia spiritus sancti quam in praesenti habemus, etsi non sit aequalis gloriae in actu, est tamen aequalis in virtute, sicut et semen arborum, in quo est virtus ad totam arborem. Et similiter per gratiam inhabitat hominem spiritus sanctus, qui est sufficiens causa vitae aeternae, unde et dicitur esse pignus hereditatis nostrae, II ad Cor. I. Reply to Objection 3. The grace of the Holy Ghost which we have at present, although unequal to glory in act, is equal to it virtually as the seed of a tree, wherein the whole tree is virtually. So likewise by grace of the Holy Ghost dwells in man; and He is a sufficient cause of life everlasting; hence, 2 Corinthians 1:22, He is called the "pledge" of our inheritance.
q. 114 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod gratia non sit principium meriti principalius per caritatem quam per alias virtutes. Merces enim operi debetur; secundum illud Matth. XX, voca operarios, et redde illis mercedem suam. Sed quaelibet virtus est principium alicuius operis, est enim virtus habitus operativus, ut supra habitum est. Ergo quaelibet virtus est aequaliter principium merendi. Objection 1. It would seem that grace is not the principle of merit through charity rather than the other virtues. For wages are due to work, according to Matthew 20:8: "Call the laborers and pay them their hire." Now every virtue is a principle of some operation, since virtue is an operative habit, as stated above (Question 55, Article 2). Hence every virtue is equally a principle of merit.
q. 114 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, apostolus dicit, I ad Cor. III, unusquisque propriam mercedem accipiet secundum proprium laborem. Sed caritas magis diminuit laborem quam augeat, quia sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de verbis Dom., omnia saeva et immania, facilia et prope nulla facit amor. Ergo caritas non est principalius principium merendi quam alia virtus. Objection 2. Further, the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 3:8): "Every man shall receive his own reward according to his labor." Now charity lessens rather than increases the labor, because as Augustine says (De Verbis Dom., Serm. lxx), "love makes all hard and repulsive tasks easy and next to nothing." Hence charity is no greater principle of merit than any other virtue.
q. 114 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, illa virtus videtur principalius esse principium merendi, cuius actus sunt maxime meritorii. Sed maxime meritorii videntur esse actus fidei et patientiae, sive fortitudinis, sicut patet in martyribus, qui pro fide patienter et fortiter usque ad mortem certaverunt. Ergo aliae virtutes principalius sunt principium merendi quam caritas. Objection 3. Further, the greatest principle of merit would seem to be the one whose acts are most meritorious. But the acts of faith and patience or fortitude would seem to be the most meritorious, as appears in the martyrs, who strove for the faith patiently and bravely even till death. Hence other virtues are a greater principle of merit than charity.
q. 114 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dominus, Ioan. XIV, dicit, si quis diligit me, diligetur a patre meo, et ego diligam eum, et manifestabo ei meipsum. Sed in manifesta Dei cognitione consistit vita aeterna; secundum illud Ioan. XVII, haec est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum et vivum. Ergo meritum vitae aeternae maxime residet penes caritatem. On the contrary, Our Lord said (John 14:21): "He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father; and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." Now everlasting life consists in the manifest knowledge of God, according to John 17:3: "This is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true" and living "God." Hence the merit of eternal life rests chiefly with charity.
q. 114 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex dictis accipi potest, humanus actus habet rationem merendi ex duobus, primo quidem et principaliter, ex divina ordinatione, secundum quod actus dicitur esse meritorius illius boni ad quod homo divinitus ordinatur; secundo vero, ex parte liberi arbitrii, inquantum scilicet homo habet prae ceteris creaturis ut per se agat, voluntarie agens. Et quantum ad utrumque, principalitas meriti penes caritatem consistit. Primo enim considerandum est quod vita aeterna in Dei fruitione consistit. Motus autem humanae mentis ad fruitionem divini boni, est proprius actus caritatis, per quem omnes actus aliarum virtutum ordinantur in hunc finem, secundum quod aliae virtutes imperantur a caritate. Et ideo meritum vitae aeternae primo pertinet ad caritatem, ad alias autem virtutes secundario, secundum quod eorum actus a caritate imperantur. Similiter etiam manifestum est quod id quod ex amore facimus, maxime voluntarie facimus. Unde etiam secundum quod ad rationem meriti requiritur quod sit voluntarium, principaliter meritum caritati attribuitur. I answer that, As we may gather from what has been stated above (Article 1), human acts have the nature of merit from two causes: first and chiefly from the Divine ordination, inasmuch as acts are said to merit that good to which man is divinely ordained. Secondly, on the part of free-will, inasmuch as man, more than other creatures, has the power of voluntary acts by acting by himself. And in both these ways does merit chiefly rest with charity. For we must bear in mind that everlasting life consists in the enjoyment of God. Now the human mind's movement to the fruition of the Divine good is the proper act of charity, whereby all the acts of the other virtues are ordained to this end, since all the other virtues are commanded by charity. Hence the merit of life everlasting pertains first to charity, and secondly, to the other virtues, inasmuch as their acts are commanded by charity. So, likewise, is it manifest that what we do out of love we do most willingly. Hence, even inasmuch as merit depends on voluntariness, merit is chiefly attributed to charity.
q. 114 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod caritas, inquantum habet ultimum finem pro obiecto, movet alias virtutes ad operandum. Semper enim habitus ad quem pertinet finis, imperat habitibus ad quos pertinent ea quae sunt ad finem; ut ex supradictis patet. Reply to Objection 1. Charity, inasmuch as it has the last end for object, moves the other virtues to act. For the habit to which the end pertains always commands the habits to which the means pertain, as was said above (Question 9, Article 1).
q. 114 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod opus aliquod potest esse laboriosum et difficile dupliciter. Uno modo, ex magnitudine operis. Et sic magnitudo laboris pertinet ad augmentum meriti. Et sic caritas non diminuit laborem, immo facit aggredi opera maxima; magna enim operatur, si est, ut Gregorius dicit in quadam homilia. Alio modo ex defectu ipsius operantis, unicuique enim est laboriosum et difficile quod non prompta voluntate facit. Et talis labor diminuit meritum, et a caritate tollitur. Reply to Objection 2. A work can be toilsome and difficult in two ways: first, from the greatness of the work, and thus the greatness of the work pertains to the increase of merit; and thus charity does not lessen the toil--rather, it makes us undertake the greatest toils, "for it does great things, if it exists," as Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xxx). Secondly, from the defect of the operator; for what is not done with a ready will is hard and difficult to all of us, and this toil lessens merit and is removed by charity.
q. 114 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod fidei actus non est meritorius nisi fides per dilectionem operetur, ut dicitur ad Gal. V. Similiter etiam actus patientiae et fortitudinis non est meritorius nisi aliquis ex caritate haec operetur; secundum illud I ad Cor. XIII, si tradidero corpus meum ita ut ardeam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest. Reply to Objection 3. The act of faith is not meritorious unless "faith . . . worketh by charity" (Galatians 5:6). So, too, the acts of patience and fortitude are not meritorious unless a man does them out of charity, according to 1 Corinthians 13:3: "If I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
q. 114 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo possit sibi mereri primam gratiam. Quia ut Augustinus dicit, fides meretur iustificationem. Iustificatur autem homo per primam gratiam. Ergo homo potest sibi mereri primam gratiam. Objection 1. It would seem that a man may merit for himself the first grace, because, as Augustine says (Ep. clxxxvi), "faith merits justification." Now a man is justified by the first grace. Therefore a man may merit the first grace.
q. 114 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, Deus non dat gratiam nisi dignis. Sed non dicitur aliquis dignus aliquo dono, nisi qui ipsum promeruit ex condigno. Ergo aliquis ex condigno potest mereri primam gratiam. Objection 2. Further, God gives grace only to the worthy. Now, no one is said to be worthy of some good, unless he has merited it condignly. Therefore we may merit the first grace condignly.
q. 114 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, apud homines aliquis potest promereri donum iam acceptum, sicut qui accepit equum a domino, meretur ipsum bene utendo eo in servitio domini. Sed Deus est liberalior quam homo. Ergo multo magis primam gratiam iam susceptam potest homo promereri a Deo per subsequentia opera. Objection 3. Further, with men we may merit a gift already received. Thus if a man receives a horse from his master, he merits it by a good use of it in his master's service. Now God is much more bountiful than man. Much more, therefore, may a man, by subsequent works, merit the first grace already received from God.
q. 114 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod ratio gratiae repugnat mercedi operum; secundum illud Rom. IV, ei qui operatur, merces non imputatur secundum gratiam, sed secundum debitum. Sed illud meretur homo quod imputatur quasi merces operis eius. Ergo primam gratiam non potest homo mereri. On the contrary, The nature of grace is repugnant to reward of works, according to Romans 4:4: "Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to grace but according to debt." Now a man merits what is reckoned to him according to debt, as the reward of his works. Hence a man may not merit the first grace.
q. 114 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod donum gratiae considerari potest dupliciter. Uno modo, secundum rationem gratuiti doni. Et sic manifestum est quod omne meritum repugnat gratiae, quia ut ad Rom. XI apostolus dicit, si ex operibus, iam non ex gratia. Alio modo potest considerari secundum naturam ipsius rei quae donatur. Et sic etiam non potest cadere sub merito non habentis gratiam, tum quia excedit proportionem naturae; tum etiam quia ante gratiam, in statu peccati, homo habet impedimentum promerendi gratiam, scilicet ipsum peccatum. Postquam autem iam aliquis habet gratiam, non potest gratia iam habita sub merito cadere, quia merces est terminus operis, gratia vero est principium cuiuslibet boni operis in nobis, ut supra dictum est. Si vero aliud donum gratuitum aliquis mereatur virtute gratiae praecedentis, iam non erit prima. Unde manifestum est quod nullus potest sibi mereri primam gratiam. I answer that, The gift of grace may be considered in two ways: first in the nature of a gratuitous gift, and thus it is manifest that all merit is repugnant to grace, since as the Apostle says (Romans 11:6), "if by grace, it is not now by works." Secondly, it may be considered as regards the nature of the thing given, and thus, also, it cannot come under the merit of him who has not grace, both because it exceeds the proportion of nature, and because previous to grace a man in the state of sin has an obstacle to his meriting grace, viz. sin. But when anyone has grace, the grace already possessed cannot come under merit, since reward is the term of the work, but grace is the principle of all our good works, as stated above (109). But of anyone merits a further gratuitous gift by virtue of the preceding grace, it would not be the first grace. Hence it is manifest that no one can merit for himself the first grace.
q. 114 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit in libro Retract., ipse aliquando in hoc fuit deceptus, quod credidit initium fidei esse ex nobis, sed consummationem nobis dari ex Deo, quod ipse ibidem retractat. Et ad hunc sensum videtur pertinere quod fides iustificationem mereatur. Sed si supponamus, sicut fidei veritas habet, quod initium fidei sit in nobis a Deo; iam etiam ipse actus fidei consequitur primam gratiam, et ita non potest esse meritorius primae gratiae. Per fidem igitur iustificatur homo, non quasi homo credendo mereatur iustificationem, sed quia, dum iustificatur, credit; eo quod motus fidei requiritur ad iustificationem impii, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Retract. i, 23), he was deceived on this point for a time, believing the beginning of faith to be from us, and its consummation to be granted us by God; and this he here retracts. And seemingly it is in this sense that he speaks of faith as meriting justification. But if we suppose, as indeed it is a truth of faith, that the beginning of faith is in us from God, the first act must flow from grace; and thus it cannot be meritorious of the first grace. Therefore man is justified by faith, not as though man, by believing, were to merit justification, but that, he believes, whilst he is being justified; inasmuch as a movement of faith is required for the justification of the ungodly, as stated above (Question 113, Article 4).
q. 114 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Deus non dat gratiam nisi dignis. Non tamen ita quod prius digni fuerint, sed quia ipse per gratiam eos facit dignos, qui solus potest facere mundum de immundo conceptum semine. Reply to Objection 2. God gives grace to none but to the worthy, not that they were previously worthy, but that by His grace He makes them worthy, Who alone "can make him clean that is conceived of unclean seed" (Job 14:4).
q. 114 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod omne bonum opus hominis procedit a prima gratia sicut a principio. Non autem procedit a quocumque humano dono. Et ideo non est similis ratio de dono gratiae et de dono humano. Reply to Objection 3. Man's every good work proceeds from the first grace as from its principle; but not from any gift of man. Consequently, there is no comparison between gifts of grace and gifts of men.
q. 114 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo possit alteri mereri primam gratiam. Quia Matth. IX, super illud, videns Iesus fidem illorum etc., dicit Glossa, quantum valet apud Deum fides propria, apud quem sic valuit aliena ut intus et extra sanaret hominem. Sed interior sanatio hominis est per primam gratiam. Ergo homo potest alteri mereri primam gratiam. Objection 1. It would seem that a man can merit the first grace for another. Because on Matthew 9:2: "Jesus seeing their faith," etc. a gloss says: "How much is our personal faith worth with God, Who set such a price on another's faith, as to heal the man both inwardly and outwardly!" Now inward healing is brought about by grace. Hence a man can merit the first grace for another.
q. 114 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, orationes iustorum non sunt vacuae, sed efficaces; secundum illud Iac. ult., multum valet deprecatio iusti assidua. Sed ibidem praemittitur, orate pro invicem ut salvemini. Cum igitur salus hominis non possit esse nisi per gratiam, videtur quod unus homo possit alteri mereri primam gratiam. Objection 2. Further, the prayers of the just are not void, but efficacious, according to James 5:16: "The continued prayer of a just man availeth much." Now he had previously said: "Pray one for another, that you may be saved." Hence, since man's salvation can only be brought about by grace, it seems that one man may merit for another his first grace.
q. 114 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, Luc. XVI dicitur, facite vobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis, ut cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in aeterna tabernacula. Sed nullus recipitur in aeterna tabernacula nisi per gratiam, per quam solam aliquis meretur vitam aeternam, ut supra dictum est. Ergo unus homo potest alteri acquirere, merendo, primam gratiam. Objection 3. Further, it is written (Luke 16:9): "Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail they may receive you into everlasting dwellings." Now it is through grace alone that anyone is received into everlasting dwellings, for by it alone does anyone merit everlasting life as stated above (2; 109, 5). Hence one man may by merit obtain for another his first grace.
q. 114 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Ierem. XV, si steterint Moyses et Samuel coram me, non est anima mea ad populum istum, qui tamen fuerunt maximi meriti apud Deum. Videtur ergo quod nullus possit alteri mereri primam gratiam. On the contrary, It is written (Jeremiah 15:1): "If Moses and Samuel shall stand before Me, My soul is not towards this people" --yet they had great merit with God. Hence it seems that no one can merit the first grace for another.
q. 114 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supradictis patet, opus nostrum habet rationem meriti ex duobus. Primo quidem, ex vi motionis divinae, et sic meretur aliquis ex condigno. Alio modo habet rationem meriti, secundum quod procedit ex libero arbitrio, inquantum voluntarie aliquid facimus. Et ex hac parte est meritum congrui, quia congruum est ut, dum homo bene utitur sua virtute, Deus secundum superexcellentem virtutem excellentius operetur. Ex quo patet quod merito condigni nullus potest mereri alteri primam gratiam nisi solus Christus. Quia unusquisque nostrum movetur a Deo per donum gratiae ut ipse ad vitam aeternam perveniat, et ideo meritum condigni ultra hanc motionem non se extendit. Sed anima Christi mota est a Deo per gratiam non solum ut ipse perveniret ad gloriam vitae aeternae, sed etiam ut alios in eam adduceret, inquantum est caput Ecclesiae et auctor salutis humanae; secundum illud ad Heb. II, qui multos filios in gloriam adduxerat, auctorem salutis et cetera. Sed merito congrui potest aliquis alteri mereri primam gratiam. Quia enim homo in gratia constitutus implet Dei voluntatem, congruum est, secundum amicitiae proportionem, ut Deus impleat hominis voluntatem in salvatione alterius, licet quandoque possit habere impedimentum ex parte illius cuius aliquis sanctus iustificationem desiderat. Et in hoc casu loquitur auctoritas Ieremiae ultimo inducta. I answer that, As shown above (1,3,4), our works are meritorious from two causes: first, by virtue of the Divine motion; and thus we merit condignly; secondly, according as they proceed from free-will in so far as we do them willingly, and thus they have congruous merit, since it is congruous that when a man makes good use of his power God should by His super-excellent power work still higher things. And therefore it is clear that no one can merit condignly for another his first grace, save Christ alone; since each one of us is moved by God to reach life everlasting through the gift of grace; hence condign merit does not reach beyond this motion. But Christ's soul is moved by God through grace, not only so as to reach the glory of life everlasting, but so as to lead others to it, inasmuch as He is the Head of the Church, and the Author of human salvation, according to Hebrews 2:10: "Who hath brought many children into glory [to perfect] the Author of their salvation." But one may merit the first grace for another congruously; because a man in grace fulfils God's will, and it is congruous and in harmony with friendship that God should fulfil man's desire for the salvation of another, although sometimes there may be an impediment on the part of him whose salvation the just man desires. And it is in this sense that the passage from Jeremias speaks.
q. 114 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod fides aliorum valet alii ad salutem merito congrui, non merito condigni. Reply to Objection 1. A man's faith avails for another's salvation by congruous and not by condign merit.
q. 114 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod impetratio orationis innititur misericordiae, meritum autem condigni innititur iustitiae. Et ideo multa orando impetrat homo ex divina misericordia, quae tamen non meretur secundum iustitiam; secundum illud Dan. IX, neque enim in iustificationibus nostris prosternimus preces ante faciem tuam, sed in miserationibus tuis multis. Reply to Objection 2. The impetration of prayer rests on mercy, whereas condign merit rests on justice; hence a man may impetrate many things from the Divine mercy in prayer, which he does not merit in justice, according to Daniel 9:18: "For it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy tender mercies."
q. 114 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod pauperes eleemosynas recipientes dicuntur recipere alios in aeterna tabernacula, vel impetrando eis veniam orando; vel merendo per alia bona ex congruo; vel etiam materialiter loquendo, quia per ipsa opera misericordiae quae quis in pauperes exercet, meretur recipi in aeterna tabernacula. Reply to Objection 3. The poor who receive alms are said to receive others into everlasting dwellings, either by impetrating their forgiveness in prayer, or by meriting congruously by other good works, or materially speaking, inasmuch as by these good works of mercy, exercised towards the poor, we merit to be received into everlasting dwellings.
q. 114 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod aliquis possit mereri sibi ipsi reparationem post lapsum. Illud enim quod iuste a Deo petitur, homo videtur posse mereri. Sed nihil iustius a Deo petitur, ut Augustinus dicit, quam quod reparetur post lapsum; secundum illud Psalmi LXX, cum defecerit virtus mea, ne derelinquas me, domine. Ergo homo potest mereri ut reparetur post lapsum. Objection 1. It would seem that anyone may merit for himself restoration after a fall. For what a man may justly ask of God, he may justly merit. Now nothing may more justly be besought of God than to be restored after a fall, as Augustine says [Cf. Ennar. i super Ps. lxx.], according to Psalm 70:9: "When my strength shall fail, do not Thou forsake me." Hence a man may merit to be restored after a fall.
q. 114 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, multo magis homini prosunt opera sua quam prosint alii. Sed homo potest aliquo modo alteri mereri reparationem post lapsum, sicut et primam gratiam. Ergo multo magis sibi potest mereri ut reparetur post lapsum. Objection 2. Further, a man's works benefit himself more than another. Now a man may, to some extent, merit for another his restoration after a fall, even as his first grace. Much more, therefore, may he merit for himself restoration after a fall.
q. 114 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, homo qui aliquando fuit in gratia, per bona opera quae fecit, meruit sibi vitam aeternam; ut ex supradictis patet. Sed ad vitam aeternam non potest quis pervenire nisi reparetur per gratiam. Ergo videtur quod sibi meruit reparationem per gratiam. Objection 3. Further, when a man is once in grace he merits life everlasting by the good works he does, as was shown above (2; 109, 5). Now no one can attain life everlasting unless he is restored by grace. Hence it would seem that he merits for himself restoration.
q. 114 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Ezech. XVIII, si averterit se iustus a iustitia sua, et fecerit iniquitatem; omnes iustitiae eius quas fecerat, non recordabuntur. Ergo nihil valebunt ei praecedentia merita ad hoc quod resurgat. Non ergo aliquis potest sibi mereri reparationem post lapsum futurum. On the contrary, It is written (Ezekiel 18:24): "If the just man turn himself away from his justice and do iniquity . . . all his justices which he hath done shall not be remembered." Therefore his previous merits will nowise help him to rise again. Hence no one can merit for himself restoration after a fall.
q. 114 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nullus potest sibi mereri reparationem post lapsum futurum, neque merito condigni, neque merito congrui. Merito quidem condigni hoc sibi mereri non potest, quia ratio huius meriti dependet ex motione divinae gratiae, quae quidem motio interrumpitur per sequens peccatum. Unde omnia beneficia quae postmodum aliquis a Deo consequitur, quibus reparatur, non cadunt sub merito; tanquam motione prioris gratiae usque ad hoc non se extendente. Meritum etiam congrui quo quis alteri primam gratiam meretur, impeditur ne consequatur effectum, propter impedimentum peccati in eo cui quis meretur. Multo igitur magis impeditur talis meriti efficacia per impedimentum quod est et in eo qui meretur et in eo cui meretur, hic enim utrumque in unam personam concurrit. Et ideo nullo modo aliquis potest sibi mereri reparationem post lapsum. I answer that, No one can merit for himself restoration after a future fall, either condignly or congruously. He cannot merit for himself condignly, since the reason of this merit depends on the motion of Divine grace, and this motion is interrupted by the subsequent sin; hence all benefits which he afterwards obtains from God, whereby he is restored, do not fall under merit--the motion of the preceding grace not extending to them. Again, congruous merit, whereby one merits the first grace for another, is prevented from having its effect on account of the impediment of sin in the one for whom it is merited. Much more, therefore, is the efficacy of such merit impeded by the obstacle which is in him who merits, and in him for whom it is merited; for both these are in the same person. And therefore a man can nowise merit for himself restoration after a fall.
q. 114 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod desiderium quo quis desiderat reparationem post lapsum, iustum dicitur, et similiter oratio, quia tendit ad iustitiam. Non tamen ita quod iustitiae innitatur per modum meriti, sed solum misericordiae. Reply to Objection 1. The desire whereby we seek for restoration after a fall is called just, and likewise the prayer whereby this restoration is besought is called just, because it tends to justice; and not that it depends on justice by way of merit, but only on mercy.
q. 114 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod aliquis potest alteri mereri ex congruo primam gratiam, quia non est ibi impedimentum saltem ex parte merentis. Quod invenitur dum aliquis post meritum gratiae a iustitia recedit. Reply to Objection 2. Anyone may congruously merit for another his first grace, because there is no impediment (at least, on the part of him who merits), such as is found when anyone recedes from justice after the merit of grace.
q. 114 a. 7 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quidam dixerunt quod nullus meretur absolute vitam aeternam, nisi per actum finalis gratiae; sed solum sub conditione, si perseverat. Sed hoc irrationabiliter dicitur, quia quandoque actus ultimae gratiae non est magis meritorius, sed minus, quam actus praecedentis, propter aegritudinis oppressionem. Unde dicendum quod quilibet actus caritatis meretur absolute vitam aeternam. Sed per peccatum sequens ponitur impedimentum praecedenti merito, ut non sortiatur effectum, sicut etiam causae naturales deficiunt a suis effectibus propter superveniens impedimentum. Reply to Objection 3. Some have said that no one "absolutely" merits life everlasting except by the act of final grace, but only "conditionally," i.e. if he perseveres. But it is unreasonable to say this, for sometimes the act of the last grace is not more, but less meritorious than preceding acts, on account of the prostration of illness. Hence it must be said that every act of charity merits eternal life absolutely; but by subsequent sin, there arises an impediment to the preceding merit, so that it does not obtain its effect; just as natural causes fail of their effects on account of a supervening impediment.
q. 114 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo non possit mereri augmentum gratiae vel caritatis. Cum enim aliquis acceperit praemium quod meruit, non debetur ei alia merces, sicut de quibusdam dicitur Matth. VI, receperunt mercedem suam. Si igitur aliquis mereretur augmentum caritatis vel gratiae, sequeretur quod, gratia augmentata, non posset ulterius expectare aliud praemium. Quod est inconveniens. Objection 1. It would seem that a man cannot merit an increase of grace or charity. For when anyone receives the reward he merited no other reward is due to him; thus it was said of some (Matthew 6:2): "They have received their reward." Hence, if anyone were to merit the increase of charity or grace, it would follow that, when his grace has been increased, he could not expect any further reward, which is unfitting.
q. 114 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, nihil agit ultra suam speciem. Sed principium meriti est gratia vel caritas, ut ex supradictis patet. Ergo nullus potest maiorem gratiam vel caritatem mereri quam habeat. Objection 2. Further, nothing acts beyond its species. But the principle of merit is grace or charity, as was shown above (Question 2, Article 4). Therefore no one can merit greater grace or charity than he has.
q. 114 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, id quod cadit sub merito, meretur homo per quemlibet actum a gratia vel caritate procedentem, sicut per quemlibet talem actum meretur homo vitam aeternam. Si igitur augmentum gratiae vel caritatis cadat sub merito, videtur quod per quemlibet actum caritate informatum aliquis meretur augmentum caritatis. Sed id quod homo meretur, infallibiliter a Deo consequitur, nisi impediatur per peccatum sequens, dicitur enim II ad Tim. I, scio cui credidi, et certus sum quia potens est depositum meum servare. Sic ergo sequeretur quod per quemlibet actum meritorium gratia vel caritas augeretur. Quod videtur esse inconveniens, cum quandoque actus meritorii non sint multum ferventes, ita quod sufficiant ad caritatis augmentum. Non ergo augmentum caritatis cadit sub merito. Objection 3. Further, what falls under merit a man merits by every act flowing from grace or charity, as by every such act a man merits life everlasting. If, therefore, the increase of grace or charity falls under merit, it would seem that by every act quickened by charity a man would merit an increase of charity. But what a man merits, he infallibly receives from God, unless hindered by subsequent sin; for it is written (2 Timothy 1:12): "I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him." Hence it would follow that grace or charity is increased by every meritorious act; and this would seem impossible since at times meritorious acts are not very fervent, and would not suffice for the increase of charity. Therefore the increase of charity does not come under merit.
q. 114 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, super Epist. Ioan., quod caritas meretur augeri, ut aucta mereatur perfici. Ergo augmentum caritatis vel gratiae cadit sub merito. On the contrary, Augustine says (super Ep. Joan.; cf. Ep. clxxxvi) that "charity merits increase, and being increased merits to be perfected." Hence the increase of grace or charity falls under merit.
q. 114 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, illud cadit sub merito condigni, ad quod motio gratiae se extendit. Motio autem alicuius moventis non solum se extendit ad ultimum terminum motus, sed etiam ad totum progressum in motu. Terminus autem motus gratiae est vita aeterna, progressus autem in hoc motu est secundum augmentum caritatis vel gratiae, secundum illud Prov. IV, iustorum semita quasi lux splendens procedit, et crescit usque ad perfectum diem, qui est dies gloriae. Sic igitur augmentum gratiae cadit sub merito condigni. I answer that, As stated above (6,7), whatever the motion of grace reaches to, falls under condign merit. Now the motion of a mover extends not merely to the last term of the movement, but to the whole progress of the movement. But the term of the movement of grace is eternal life; and progress in this movement is by the increase of charity or grace according to Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just as a shining light, goeth forward and increaseth even to perfect day," which is the day of glory. And thus the increase of grace falls under condign merit.
q. 114 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod praemium est terminus meriti. Est autem duplex terminus motus, scilicet ultimus; et medius, qui est et principium et terminus. Et talis terminus est merces augmenti. Merces autem favoris humani est sicut ultimus terminus his qui finem in hoc constituunt, unde tales nullam aliam mercedem recipiunt. Reply to Objection 1. Reward is the term of merit. But there is a double term of movement, viz. the last, and the intermediate, which is both beginning and term; and this term is the reward of increase. Now the reward of human favor is as the last end to those who place their end in it; hence such as these receive no other reward.
q. 114 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod augmentum gratiae non est supra virtutem praeexistentis gratiae, licet sit supra quantitatem ipsius, sicut arbor, etsi sit supra quantitatem seminis, non est tamen supra virtutem ipsius. Reply to Objection 2. The increase of grace is not above the virtuality of the pre-existing grace, although it is above its quantity, even as a tree is not above the virtuality of the seed, although above its quantity.
q. 114 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quolibet actu meritorio meretur homo augmentum gratiae, sicut et gratiae consummationem, quae est vita aeterna. Sed sicut vita aeterna non statim redditur, sed suo tempore; ita nec gratia statim augetur, sed suo tempore; cum scilicet aliquis sufficienter fuerit dispositus ad gratiae augmentum. Reply to Objection 3. By every meritorious act a man merits the increase of grace, equally with the consummation of grace which is eternal life. But just as eternal life is not given at once, but in its own time, so neither is grace increased at once, but in its own time, viz. when a man is sufficiently disposed for the increase of grace.
q. 114 a. 9 arg. 1 Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod aliquis possit perseverantiam mereri. Illud enim quod homo obtinet petendo, potest cadere sub merito habentis gratiam. Sed perseverantiam petendo homines a Deo obtinent, alioquin frustra peteretur a Deo in petitionibus orationis dominicae, ut Augustinus exponit, in libro de dono Persever. Ergo perseverantia potest cadere sub merito habentis gratiam. Objection 1. It would seem that anyone may merit perseverance. For what a man obtains by asking, can come under the merit of anyone that is in grace. Now men obtain perseverance by asking it of God; otherwise it would be useless to ask it of God in the petitions of the Lord's Prayer, as Augustine says (De Dono Persev. ii). Therefore perseverance may come under the merit of whoever has grace.
q. 114 a. 9 arg. 2 Praeterea, magis est non posse peccare quam non peccare. Sed non posse peccare cadit sub merito, meretur enim aliquis vitam aeternam, de cuius ratione est impeccabilitas. Ergo multo magis potest aliquis mereri ut non peccet, quod est perseverare. Objection 2. Further, it is more not to be able to sin than not to sin. But not to be able to sin comes under merit, for we merit eternal life, of which impeccability is an essential part. Much more, therefore, may we merit not to sin, i.e. to persevere.
q. 114 a. 9 arg. 3 Praeterea, maius est augmentum gratiae quam perseverantia in gratia quam quis habet. Sed homo potest mereri augmentum gratiae, ut supra dictum est. Ergo multo magis potest mereri perseverantiam in gratia quam quis habet. Objection 3. Further, increase of grace is greater than perseverance in the grace we already possess. But a man may merit an increase of grace, as was stated above (Article 8). Much more, therefore, may he merit perseverance in the grace he has already.
q. 114 a. 9 s. c. Sed contra est quod omne quod quis meretur, a Deo consequitur, nisi impediatur per peccatum. Sed multi habent opera meritoria, qui non consequuntur perseverantiam. Nec potest dici quod hoc fiat propter impedimentum peccati, quia hoc ipsum quod est peccare, opponitur perseverantiae; ita quod, si aliquis perseverantiam mereretur, Deus non permitteret aliquem cadere in peccatum. Non igitur perseverantia cadit sub merito. On the contrary, What we merit, we obtain from God, unless it is hindered by sin. Now many have meritorious works, who do not obtain perseverance; nor can it be urged that this takes place because of the impediment of sin, since sin itself is opposed to perseverance; and thus if anyone were to merit perseverance, God would not permit him to fall into sin. Hence perseverance does not come under merit.
q. 114 a. 9 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, cum homo naturaliter habeat liberum arbitrium flexibile ad bonum et ad malum, dupliciter potest aliquis perseverantiam in bono obtinere a Deo. Uno quidem modo, per hoc quod liberum arbitrium determinatur ad bonum per gratiam consummatam, quod erit in gloria. Alio modo, ex parte motionis divinae, quae hominem inclinat ad bonum usque in finem. Sicut autem ex dictis patet, illud cadit sub humano merito, quod comparatur ad motum liberi arbitrii directi a Deo movente, sicut terminus, non autem id quod comparatur ad praedictum motum sicut principium. Unde patet quod perseverantia gloriae, quae est terminus praedicti motus, cadit sub merito, perseverantia autem viae non cadit sub merito, quia dependet solum ex motione divina, quae est principium omnis meriti. Sed Deus gratis perseverantiae bonum largitur, cuicumque illud largitur. I answer that, Since man's free-will is naturally flexible towards good and evil, there are two ways of obtaining from God perseverance in good: first, inasmuch as free-will is determined to good by consummate grace, which will be in glory; secondly, on the part of the Divine motion, which inclines man to good unto the end. Now as explained above (6,7,8), that which is related as a term to the free-will's movement directed to God the mover, falls under human merit; and not what is related to the aforesaid movement as principle. Hence it is clear that the perseverance of glory which is the term of the aforesaid movement falls under merit; but perseverance of the wayfarer does not fall under merit, since it depends solely on the Divine motion, which is the principle of all merit. Now God freely bestows the good of perseverance, on whomsoever He bestows it.
q. 114 a. 9 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod etiam ea quae non meremur, orando impetramus. Nam et peccatores Deus audit, peccatorum veniam petentes, quam non merentur, ut patet per Augustinum, super illud Ioan. IX, scimus quia peccatores Deus non exaudit; alioquin frustra dixisset publicanus, Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori, ut dicitur Luc. XVIII. Et similiter perseverantiae donum aliquis petendo a Deo impetrat vel sibi vel alii, quamvis sub merito non cadat. Reply to Objection 1. We impetrate in prayer things that we do not merit, since God hears sinners who beseech the pardon of their sins, which they do not merit, as appears from Augustine [Tract. xliv in Joan.] on John 11:31, "Now we know that God doth not hear sinners," otherwise it would have been useless for the publican to say: "O God, be merciful to me a sinner," Luke 18:13. So too may we impetrate of God in prayer the grace of perseverance either for ourselves or for others, although it does not fall under merit.
q. 114 a. 9 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod perseverantia quae erit in gloria, comparatur ad motum liberi arbitrii meritorium sicut terminus, non autem perseverantia viae, ratione praedicta. Reply to Objection 2. The perseverance which is in heaven is compared as term to the free-will's movement; not so, the perseverance of the wayfarer, for the reason given in the body of the article.
q. 114 a. 9 ad 3 Et similiter dicendum est ad tertium, de augmento gratiae, ut per praedicta patet. In the same way may we answer the third objection which concerns the increase of grace, as was explained above.
q. 114 a. 10 arg. 1 Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod temporalia bona cadant sub merito. Illud enim quod promittitur aliquibus ut praemium iustitiae, cadit sub merito. Sed temporalia bona promissa sunt in lege veteri sicut merces iustitiae, ut patet Deut. XXVIII. Ergo videtur quod bona temporalia cadant sub merito. Objection 1. It would seem that temporal goods fall under merit. For what is promised to some as a reward of justice, falls under merit. Now, temporal goods were promised in the Old Law as the reward of justice, as appears from Deuteronomy 28. Hence it seems that temporal goods fall under merit.
q. 114 a. 10 arg. 2 Praeterea, illud videtur sub merito cadere, quod Deus alicui retribuit pro aliquo servitio quod fecit. Sed Deus aliquando recompensat hominibus pro servitio sibi facto, aliqua bona temporalia. Dicitur enim Exod. I, et quia timuerunt obstetrices Deum, aedificavit illis domos; ubi Glossa Gregorii dicit quod benignitatis earum merces potuit in aeterna vita retribui, sed pro culpa mendacii, terrenam recompensationem accepit. Et Ezech. XXIX dicitur, rex Babylonis servire fecit exercitum suum servitute magna adversus Tyrum, et merces non est reddita ei; et postea subdit, erit merces exercitui illius, et dedi ei terram Aegypti, pro eo quod laboraverit mihi. Ergo bona temporalia cadunt sub merito. Objection 2. Further, that would seem to fall under merit, which God bestows on anyone for a service done. But God sometimes bestows temporal goods on men for services done for Him. For it is written (Exodus 1:21): "And because the midwives feared God, He built them houses"; on which a gloss of Gregory (Moral. xviii, 4) says that "life everlasting might have been awarded them as the fruit of their goodwill, but on account of their sin of falsehood they received an earthly reward." And it is written (Ezekiel 29:18): "The King of Babylon hath made his army to undergo hard service against Tyre . . . and there hath been no reward given him," and further on: "And it shall be wages for his army . . . I have given him the land of Egypt because he hath labored for me." Therefore temporal goods fall under merit.
q. 114 a. 10 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut bonum se habet ad meritum, ita malum se habet ad demeritum. Sed propter demeritum peccati aliqui puniuntur a Deo temporalibus poenis, sicut patet de Sodomitis, Gen. XIX. Ergo et bona temporalia cadunt sub merito. Objection 3. Further, as good is to merit so is evil to demerit. But on account of the demerit of sin some are punished by God with temporal punishments, as appears from the Sodomites, Genesis 19. Hence temporal goods fall under merit.
q. 114 a. 10 s. c. Sed contra est quod illa quae cadunt sub merito, non similiter se habent ad omnes. Sed bona temporalia et mala similiter se habent ad bonos et malos; secundum illud Eccle. IX, universa aeque eveniunt iusto et impio, bono et malo, mundo et immundo, immolanti victimas et sacrificia contemnenti. Ergo bona temporalia non cadunt sub merito. Objection 4. On the contrary, What falls under merit does not come upon all alike. But temporal goods regard the good and the wicked alike; according to Ecclesiastes 9:2: "All things equally happen to the just and the wicked, to the good and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth victims and to him that despiseth sacrifices." Therefore temporal goods do not fall under merit.
q. 114 a. 10 co. Respondeo dicendum quod illud quod sub merito cadit, est praemium vel merces, quod habet rationem alicuius boni. Bonum autem hominis est duplex, unum simpliciter, et aliud secundum quid. Simpliciter quidem bonum hominis est ultimus finis eius, secundum illud Psalmi LXXII, mihi autem adhaerere Deo bonum est, et per consequens omnia illa quae ordinantur ut ducentia ad hunc finem. Et talia simpliciter cadunt sub merito. Bonum autem secundum quid et non simpliciter hominis, est quod est bonum ei ut nunc, vel quod ei est secundum aliquid bonum. Et huiusmodi non cadunt sub merito simpliciter, sed secundum quid. Secundum hoc ergo dicendum est quod, si temporalia bona considerentur prout sunt utilia ad opera virtutum, quibus perducimur in vitam aeternam, secundum hoc directe et simpliciter cadunt sub merito, sicut et augmentum gratiae, et omnia illa quibus homo adiuvatur ad perveniendum in beatitudinem, post primam gratiam. Tantum enim dat Deus viris iustis de bonis temporalibus, et etiam de malis, quantum eis expedit ad perveniendum ad vitam aeternam. Et intantum sunt simpliciter bona huiusmodi temporalia. Unde dicitur in Psalmo, timentes autem dominum non minuentur omni bono; et alibi, non vidi iustum derelictum. Si autem considerentur huiusmodi temporalia bona secundum se, sic non sunt simpliciter bona hominis, sed secundum quid. Et ita non simpliciter cadunt sub merito, sed secundum quid, inquantum scilicet homines moventur a Deo ad aliqua temporaliter agenda, in quibus suum propositum consequuntur, Deo favente. Ut sicut vita aeterna est simpliciter praemium operum iustitiae per relationem ad motionem divinam, sicut supra dictum est; ita temporalia bona in se considerata habeant rationem mercedis, habito respectu ad motionem divinam qua voluntates hominum moventur ad haec prosequenda; licet interdum in his non habeant homines rectam intentionem. I answer that, What falls under merit is the reward or wage, which is a kind of good. Now man's good is twofold: the first, simply; the second, relatively. Now man's good simply is his last end (according to Psalm 72:27: "But it is good for men to adhere to my God") and consequently what is ordained and leads to this end; and these fall simply under merit. But the relative, not the simple, good of man is what is good to him now, or what is a good to him relatively; and this does not fall under merit simply, but relatively. Hence we must say that if temporal goods are considered as they are useful for virtuous works, whereby we are led to heaven, they fall directly and simply under merit, even as increase of grace, and everything whereby a man is helped to attain beatitude after the first grace. For God gives men, both just and wicked, enough temporal goods to enable them to attain to everlasting life; and thus these temporal goods are simply good. Hence it is written (Psalm 33:10): "For there is no want to them that fear Him," and again, Psalm 36:25: "I have not seen the just forsaken," etc. But if these temporal goods are considered in themselves, they are not man's good simply, but relatively, and thus they do not fall under merit simply, but relatively, inasmuch as men are moved by God to do temporal works, in which with God's help they reach their purpose. And thus as life everlasting is simply the reward of the works of justice in relation to the Divine motion, as stated above (3,6), so have temporal goods, considered in themselves, the nature of reward, with respect to the Divine motion, whereby men's wills are moved to undertake these works, even though, sometimes, men have not a right intention in them.
q. 114 a. 10 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, contra Faust., libro IV, in illis temporalibus promissis figurae fuerunt futurorum spiritualium, quae implentur in nobis. Carnalis enim populus promissis vitae praesentis inhaerebat, et illorum non tantum lingua, sed etiam vita prophetica fuit. Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Contra Faust. iv, 2), "in these temporal promises were figures of spiritual things to come. For the carnal people were adhering to the promises of the present life; and not merely their speech but even their life was prophetic."
q. 114 a. 10 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod illae retributiones dicuntur esse divinitus factae secundum comparationem ad divinam motionem, non autem secundum respectum ad malitiam voluntatis. Praecipue quantum ad regem Babylonis, qui non impugnavit Tyrum quasi volens Deo servire, sed potius ut sibi dominium usurparet. Similiter etiam obstetrices, licet habuerunt bonam voluntatem quantum ad liberationem puerorum, non tamen fuit earum recta voluntas quantum ad hoc quod mendacium confinxerunt. Reply to Objection 2. These rewards are said to have been divinely brought about in relation to the Divine motion, and not in relation to the malice of their wills, especially as regards the King of Babylon, since he did not besiege Tyre as if wishing to serve God, but rather in order to usurp dominion. So, too, although the midwives had a good will with regard to saving the children, yet their will was not right, inasmuch as they framed falsehoods.
q. 114 a. 10 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod temporalia mala infliguntur in poenam impiis, inquantum per ea non adiuvantur ad consecutionem vitae aeternae. Iustis autem, qui per huiusmodi mala iuvantur, non sunt poenae, sed magis medicinae, ut etiam supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. Temporal evils are imposed as a punishment on the wicked, inasmuch as they are not thereby helped to reach life everlasting. But to the just who are aided by these evils they are not punishments but medicines as stated above (Question 87, Article 8).
q. 114 a. 10 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod omnia aeque eveniunt bonis et malis, quantum ad ipsam substantiam bonorum vel malorum temporalium. Sed non quantum ad finem, quia boni per huiusmodi manuducuntur ad beatitudinem, non autem mali. Et haec de moralibus in communi dicta sufficiant. Reply to Objection 4. All things happen equally to the good and the wicked, as regards the substance of temporal good or evil; but not as regards the end, since the good and not the wicked are led to beatitude by them. And now enough has been said regarding morals in general.

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