Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q137

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Q136 Q138



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IIª-IIae q. 137 pr. Deinde considerandum est de perseverantia, et de vitiis oppositis. Circa perseverantiam autem quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum perseverantia sit virtus. Secundo, utrum sit pars fortitudinis. Tertio, quomodo se habet ad constantiam. Quarto, utrum indigeat auxilio gratiae. Question 137. Perseverance 1. Is perseverance a virtue? 2. Is it a part of fortitude? 3. Its relation to constancy 4. Does it need the help of grace?
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod perseverantia non sit virtus. Quia, ut philosophus dicit, in VII Ethic., continentia est potior quam perseverantia. Sed continentia non est virtus, ut dicitur in IV Ethic. Ergo perseverantia non est virtus. Objection 1. It seems that perseverance is not a virtue. For, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 7), continency is greater than perseverance. But continency is not a virtue, as stated in Ethic. iv, 9. Therefore perseverance is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, virtus est qua recte vivitur, secundum Augustinum, in libro de Lib. Arbit. Sed sicut ipse dicit in libro de perseverantia, nullus potest dici perseverantiam habere quandiu vivit, nisi perseveret usque ad mortem. Ergo perseverantia non est virtus. Objection 2. Further, "by virtue man lives aright," according to Augustine (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19). Now according to the same authority (De Persever. i), no one can be said to have perseverance while living, unless he persevere until death. Therefore perseverance is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, immobiliter persistere in opere virtutis requiritur ad omnem virtutem, ut patet in II Ethic. Sed hoc pertinet ad rationem perseverantiae, dicit enim Tullius, in sua rhetorica, quod perseverantia est in ratione bene considerata stabilis et perpetua permansio. Ergo perseverantia non est specialis virtus, sed conditio omnis virtutis. Objection 3. Further, it is requisite of every virtue that one should persist unchangeably in the work of that virtue, as stated in Ethic. ii, 4. But this is what we understand by perseverance: for Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "perseverance is the fixed and continued persistence in a well-considered purpose." Therefore perseverance is not a special virtue, but a condition of every virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Andronicus dicit, quod perseverantia est habitus eorum quibus immanendum est et non immanendum, et neutrorum. Sed habitus ordinans nos ad bene faciendum aliquid vel omittendum est virtus. Ergo perseverantia est virtus. On the contrary, Andronicus [Chrysippus: in De Affect.] says that "perseverance is a habit regarding things to which we ought to stand, and those to which we ought not to stand, as well as those that are indifferent." Now a habit that directs us to do something well, or to omit something, is a virtue. Therefore perseverance is a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, secundum philosophum, in II Ethic., virtus est circa difficile et bonum. Et ideo ubi occurrit specialis ratio difficultatis vel boni, ibi est specialis virtus. Opus autem virtutis potest habere bonitatem et difficultatem ex duobus. Uno quidem modo, ex specie ipsa actus, quae accipitur secundum rationem proprii obiecti. Alio modo, ex ipsa diuturnitate temporis, nam hoc ipsum quod est diu insistere alicui difficili, specialem difficultatem habet. Et ideo diu persistere in aliquo bono usque ad consummationem pertinet ad specialem virtutem. Sicut ergo temperantia et fortitudo sunt speciales virtutes eo quod altera earum moderatur delectationes tactus, quod de se difficultatem habet, altera autem moderatur timores et audacias circa pericula mortis, quod etiam secundum se difficile est; ita etiam perseverantia est quaedam specialis virtus ad quam pertinet in his vel in aliis virtuosis operibus diuturnitatem sustinere prout necesse est. I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 3), "virtue is about the difficult and the good"; and so where there is a special kind of difficulty or goodness, there is a special virtue. Now a virtuous deed may involve goodness or difficulty on two counts. First, from the act's very species, which is considered in respect of the proper object of that act: secondly, from the length of time, since to persist long in something difficult involves a special difficulty. Hence to persist long in something good until it is accomplished belongs to a special virtue. Accordingly just as temperance and fortitude are special virtues, for the reason that the one moderates pleasures of touch (which is of itself a difficult thing), while the other moderates fear and daring in connection with dangers of death (which also is something difficult in itself), so perseverance is a special virtue, since it consists in enduring delays in the above or other virtuous deeds, so far as necessity requires.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod philosophus accipit ibi perseverantiam secundum quod aliquis perseverat in his in quibus difficillimum est diu sustinere. Non est autem difficile sustinere bona, sed mala. Mala autem quae sunt pericula mortis, ut plurimum non diu sustinentur, quia ut frequentius cito transeunt. Unde respectu illorum non est praecipua laus perseverantiae. Inter alia autem mala, praecipua sunt illa quae opponuntur delectationibus tactus, quia huiusmodi mala attenduntur circa necessaria vitae, puta circa defectum ciborum et aliorum huiusmodi, quae quandoque imminent diu sustinenda. Non est autem difficile hoc diu sustinere illi qui circa hoc non multum tristatur, nec in oppositis bonis multum delectatur, sicut patet in temperato, in quo huiusmodi passiones non sunt vehementes. Sed maxime hoc difficile est in eo qui circa hoc vehementer afficitur, utpote non habens perfectam virtutem modificantem has passiones. Et ideo, si accipiatur hoc modo perseverantia, non est virtus perfecta, sed est quoddam imperfectum in genere virtutis. Si autem accipiamus perseverantiam secundum quod aliquis in quocumque bono difficili diu persistit, hoc potest convenire etiam habenti perfectam virtutem. Cui etiam si persistere sit minus difficile, persistit tamen in bono magis perfecto. Unde talis perseverantia potest esse virtus, quia perfectio virtutis magis attenditur secundum rationem boni quam secundum rationem difficilis. Reply to Objection 1. The Philosopher is taking perseverance there, as it is found in one who bears those things which are most difficult to endure long. Now it is difficult to endure, not good, but evil. And evils that involve danger of death, for the most part are not endured for a long time, because often they soon pass away: wherefore it is not on this account that perseverance has its chief title to praise. Among other evils foremost are those which are opposed to pleasures of touch, because evils of this kind affect the necessaries of life: such are the lack of food and the like, which at times call for long endurance. Now it is not difficult to endure these things for a long time for one who grieves not much at them, nor delights much in the contrary goods; as in the case of the temperate man, in whom these passions are not violent. But they are most difficult to bear for one who is strongly affected by such things, through lacking the perfect virtue that moderates these passions. Wherefore if perseverance be taken in this sense it is not a perfect virtue, but something imperfect in the genus of virtue. On the other hand, if we take perseverance as denoting long persistence in any kind of difficult good, it is consistent in one who has even perfect virtue: for even if it is less difficult for him to persist, yet he persists in the more perfect good. Wherefore such like perseverance may be a virtue, because virtue derives perfection from the aspect of good rather than from the aspect of difficulty.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod eodem nomine quandoque nominatur et virtus, et actus virtutis, sicut Augustinus dicit, super Ioan., fides est credere quod non vides. Potest tamen contingere quod aliquis habet habitum virtutis qui tamen non exercet actum, sicut aliquis pauper habet habitum magnificentiae, cum tamen actum non exerceat. Quandoque vero aliquis habens habitum incipit quidem exercere actum, sed non perficit, puta si aedificator incipiat aedificare et non compleat domum. Sic ergo dicendum est quod nomen perseverantiae quandoque sumitur pro habitu quo quis eligit perseverare, quandoque autem pro actu quo quis perseverat. Et quandoque quidem habens habitum perseverantiae eligit quidem perseverare, et incipit exequi aliquandiu persistendo; non tamen complet actum, quia non persistit usque in finem. Est autem duplex finis, unus quidem qui est finis operis; alius autem qui est finis humanae vitae. Per se autem ad perseverantiam pertinet ut aliquis perseveret usque ad terminum virtuosi operis, sicut quod miles perseveret usque ad finem certaminis, et magnificus usque ad consummationem operis. Sunt autem quaedam virtutes quarum actus per totam vitam debet durare, sicut fidei, spei et caritatis, quia respiciunt ultimum finem totius vitae humanae. Et ideo respectu harum virtutum, quae sunt principales, non consummatur actus perseverantiae usque ad finem vitae. Et secundum hoc, Augustinus accipit perseverantiam pro actu perseverantiae consummato. Reply to Objection 2. Sometimes a virtue and its act go by the same name: thus Augustine says (Tract. in Joan. lxxix): "Faith is to believe without seeing." Yet it is possible to have a habit of virtue without performing the act: thus a poor man has the habit of magnificence without exercising the act. Sometimes, however, a person who has the habit, begins to perform the act, yet does not accomplish it, for instance a builder begins to build a house, but does not complete it. Accordingly we must reply that the term "perseverance" is sometimes used to denote the habit whereby one chooses to persevere, sometimes for the act of persevering: and sometimes one who has the habit of perseverance chooses to persevere and begins to carry out his choice by persisting for a time, yet completes not the act, through not persisting to the end. Now the end is twofold: one is the end of the work, the other is the end of human life. Properly speaking it belongs to perseverance to persevere to the end of the virtuous work, for instance that a soldier persevere to the end of the fight, and the magnificent man until his work be accomplished. There are, however, some virtues whose acts must endure throughout the whole of life, such as faith, hope, and charity, since they regard the last end of the entire life of man. Wherefore as regards these which are the principal virtues, the act of perseverance is not accomplished until the end of life. It is in this sense that Augustine speaks of perseverance as denoting the consummate act of perseverance.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod virtuti potest aliquid convenire dupliciter. Uno modo, ex propria intentione finis. Et sic diu persistere usque ad finem in bono pertinet ad specialem virtutem quae dicitur perseverantia, quae hoc intendit sicut specialem finem. Alio modo, ex comparatione habitus ad subiectum. Et sic immobiliter persistere consequitur quamlibet virtutem, inquantum est qualitas difficile mobilis. Reply to Objection 3. Unchangeable persistence may belong to a virtue in two ways. First, on account of the intended end that is proper to that virtue; and thus to persist in good for a long time until the end, belongs to a special virtue called perseverance, which intends this as its special end. Secondly, by reason of the relation of the habit to its subject: and thus unchangeable persistence is consequent upon every virtue, inasmuch as virtue is a "quality difficult to change."
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod perseverantia non sit pars fortitudinis. Quia, ut philosophus dicit, in VII Ethic., perseverantia est circa tristitias tactus. Sed huiusmodi pertinent ad temperantiam. Ergo perseverantia magis est pars temperantiae quam fortitudinis. Objection 1. It seems that perseverance is not a part of fortitude. For, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 7), "perseverance is about pains of touch." But these belong to temperance. Therefore perseverance is a part of temperance rather than of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, omnis pars virtutis moralis est circa aliquas passiones, quas virtus moralis moderatur. Sed perseverantia non importat moderantiam passionum, quia quanto vehementiores fuerint passiones, tanto aliquis secundum rationem perseverans laudabilior videtur. Ergo videtur quod perseverantia non sit pars alicuius virtutis moralis, sed magis prudentiae, quae perficit rationem. Objection 2. Further, every part of a moral virtue is about certain passions which that virtue moderates. Now perseverance does not imply moderation of the passions: since the more violent the passions, the more praiseworthy is it to persevere in accordance with reason. Therefore it seems that perseverance is a part not of a moral virtue, but rather of prudence which perfects the reason.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de perseverantia, quod perseverantiam nullus potest amittere. Alias autem virtutes potest homo amittere. Ergo perseverantia est potior omnibus aliis virtutibus. Sed virtus principalis est potior quam pars eius. Ergo perseverantia non est pars alicuius virtutis, sed magis ipsa est virtus principalis. Objection 3. Further, Augustine says (De Persev. i) that no one can lose perseverance; whereas one can lose the other virtues. Therefore perseverance is greater than all the other virtues. Now a principal virtue is greater than its part. Therefore perseverance is not a part of a virtue, but is itself a principal virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Tullius ponit perseverantiam partem fortitudinis. On the contrary, Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) reckons perseverance as a part of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, virtus principalis est cui principaliter adscribitur aliquid quod pertinet ad laudem virtutis, inquantum scilicet exercet illud circa propriam materiam in qua difficillimum et optimum est illud observare. Et secundum hoc dictum est quod fortitudo est principalis virtus, quia firmitatem servat in his in quibus difficillimum est firmiter persistere, scilicet in periculis mortis. Et ideo necesse est quod fortitudini adiungatur sicut secundaria virtus principali, omnis virtus cuius laus consistit in sustinendo firmiter aliquod difficile. Sustinere autem difficultatem quae provenit ex diuturnitate boni operis, dat laudem perseverantiae, nec hoc est ita difficile sicut sustinere pericula mortis. Et ideo perseverantia adiungitur fortitudini sicut virtus secundaria principali. I answer that, As stated above (123, 2; I-II, 61, 3,4), a principal virtue is one to which is principally ascribed something that lays claim to the praise of virtue, inasmuch as it practices it in connection with its own matter, wherein it is most difficult of accomplishment. On accordance with this it has been stated (123, 2) that fortitude is a principal virtue, because it observes firmness in matters wherein it is most difficult to stand firm, namely in dangers of death. Wherefore it follows of necessity that every virtue which has a title to praise for the firm endurance of something difficult must be annexed to fortitude as secondary to principal virtue. Now the endurance of difficulty arising from delay in accomplishing a good work gives perseverance its claim to praise: nor is this so difficult as to endure dangers of death. Therefore perseverance is annexed to fortitude, as secondary to principal virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod annexio secundariae virtutis ad principalem non solum attenditur secundum materiam, sed magis secundum modum, quia forma in unoquoque potior est quam materia. Unde licet perseverantia magis videatur convenire in materia cum temperantia quam cum fortitudine, tamen in modo magis convenit cum fortitudine, inquantum firmitatem servat contra difficultatem diuturnitatis. Reply to Objection 1. The annexing of secondary to principal virtues depends not only on the matter [Cf. 136, 4, ad 2], but also on the mode, because in everything form is of more account than matter. Wherefore although, as to matter, perseverance seems to have more in common with temperance than with fortitude, yet, in mode, it has more in common with fortitude, in the point of standing firm against the difficulty arising from length of time.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod illa perseverantia de qua philosophus loquitur, non moderatur aliquas passiones, sed consistit solum in quadam firmitate rationis et voluntatis. Sed perseverantia secundum quod ponitur virtus, moderatur aliquas passiones, scilicet timorem fatigationis aut defectus propter diuturnitatem. Unde haec virtus est in irascibili, sicut et fortitudo. Reply to Objection 2. The perseverance of which the Philosopher speaks (Ethic. vii, 4,7) does not moderate any passions, but consists merely in a certain firmness of reason and will. But perseverance, considered as a virtue, moderates certain passions, namely fear of weariness or failure on account of the delay. Hence this virtue, like fortitude, is in the irascible.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod Augustinus ibi loquitur de perseverantia non secundum quod nominat habitum virtutis, sed secundum quod nominat actum virtutis continuatum usque in finem, secundum illud Matth. XXIV qui perseveraverit usque in finem, hic salvus erit. Et ideo contra rationem perseverantiae sic acceptae esset quod amitteretur, quia iam non duraret usque in finem. Reply to Objection 3. Augustine speaks there of perseverance, as denoting, not a virtuous habit, but a virtuous act sustained to the end, according to Matthew 24:13, "He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved." Hence it is incompatible with such like perseverance for it to be lost, since it would no longer endure to the end.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod constantia non pertineat ad perseverantiam. Constantia enim pertinet ad patientiam, ut supra dictum est. Sed patientia differt a perseverantia. Ergo constantia non pertinet ad perseverantiam. Objection 1. It seems that constancy does not pertain to perseverance. For constancy pertains to patience, as stated above (Question 137, Article 5): and patience differs from perseverance. Therefore constancy does not pertain to perseverance.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, virtus est circa difficile et bonum. Sed in parvis operibus constantem esse non videtur esse difficile, sed solum in operibus magnis, quae pertinent ad magnificentiam. Ergo constantia magis pertinet ad magnificentiam quam ad perseverantiam. Objection 2. Further, "virtue is about the difficult and the good." Now it does not seem difficult to be constant in little works, but only in great deeds, which pertain to magnificence. Therefore constancy pertains to magnificence rather than to perseverance.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, si ad perseverantiam pertineret constantia, in nullo videretur a perseverantia differre, quia utrumque immobilitatem quandam importat. Differunt autem, nam Macrobius condividit constantiam firmitati, per quam intelligitur perseverantia, ut supra dictum est. Ergo constantia non pertinet ad perseverantiam. Objection 3. Further, if constancy pertained to perseverance, it would seem nowise to differ from it, since both denote a kind of unchangeableness. Yet they differ: for Macrobius (In Somn. Scip. i) condivides constancy with firmness by which he indicates perseverance, as stated above (128, 6). Therefore constancy does not pertain to perseverance.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod aliquis dicitur esse constans ex eo quod in aliquo stat. Sed immanere aliquibus pertinet ad perseverantiam, ut patet ex definitione quam Andronicus ponit. Ergo constantia pertinet ad perseverantiam. On the contrary, One is said to be constant because one stands to a thing. Now it belongs to perseverance to stand to certain things, as appears from the definition given by Andronicus. Therefore constancy belongs to perseverance.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod perseverantia et constantia conveniunt quidem in fine, quia ad utramque pertinet firmiter persistere in aliquo bono, differunt autem secundum ea quae difficultatem afferunt ad persistendum in bono. Nam virtus perseverantiae proprie facit firmiter persistere hominem in bono contra difficultatem quae provenit ex ipsa diuturnitate actus, constantia autem facit firmiter persistere in bono contra difficultatem quae provenit ex quibuscumque aliis exterioribus impedimentis. Et ideo principalior pars fortitudinis est perseverantia quam constantia, quia difficultas quae est ex diuturnitate actus, est essentialior actui virtutis quam illa quae est ex exterioribus impedimentis. I answer that, Perseverance and constancy agree as to end, since it belongs to both to persist firmly in some good: but they differ as to those things which make it difficult to persist in good. Because the virtue of perseverance properly makes man persist firmly in good, against the difficulty that arises from the very continuance of the act: whereas constancy makes him persist firmly in good against difficulties arising from any other external hindrances. Hence perseverance takes precedence of constancy as a part of fortitude, because the difficulty arising from continuance of action is more intrinsic to the act of virtue than that which arises from external obstacles.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod exteriora impedimenta persistendi in bono praecipue sunt illa quae tristitiam inferunt. Circa tristitiam autem est patientia, ut dictum est. Et ideo constantia secundum finem convenit cum perseverantia, secundum autem ea quae difficultatem inferunt, convenit cum patientia. Finis autem potior est. Et ideo constantia magis pertinet ad perseverantiam quam ad patientiam. Reply to Objection 1. External obstacles to persistence in good are especially those which cause sorrow. Now patience is about sorrow, as stated above (Question 136, Article 1). Hence constancy agrees with perseverance as to end: while it agrees with patience as to those things which occasion difficulty. Now the end is of most account: wherefore constancy pertains to perseverance rather than to patience.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in magnis operibus persistere difficilius est, sed in parvis vel mediocribus diu persistere habet difficultatem, etsi non ex magnitudine actus, quam respicit magnificentia, saltem ex ipsa diuturnitate, quam respicit perseverantia. Et ideo constantia potest ad utrumque pertinere. Reply to Objection 2. It is more difficult to persist in great deeds: yet in little or ordinary deeds, it is difficult to persist for any length of time, if not on account of the greatness of the deed which magnificence considers, yet from its very continuance which perseverance regards. Hence constancy may pertain to both.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod constantia pertinet quidem ad perseverantiam, inquantum convenit cum ea, non tamen est idem ei inquantum differt ab ea ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. Constancy pertains to perseverance in so far as it has something in common with it: but it is not the same thing in the point of their difference, as stated in the Article.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod perseverantia non indigeat auxilio gratiae. Perseverantia enim est quaedam virtus, ut dictum est. Sed virtus, ut Tullius dicit, in sua rhetorica, agit in modum naturae. Ergo sola inclinatio virtutis sufficit ad perseverandum. Non ergo ad hoc requiritur aliud auxilium gratiae. Objection 1. It seems that perseverance does not need the help of grace. For perseverance is a virtue, as stated above (Article 1). Now according to Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) virtue acts after the manner of nature. Therefore the sole inclination of virtue suffices for perseverance. Therefore this does not need the help of grace.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, donum gratiae Christi est maius quam nocumentum quod Adam intulit, ut patet Rom. V. Sed ante peccatum homo sic conditus fuit ut posset perseverare per id quod acceperat, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Corrept. et gratia. Ergo multo magis homo per gratiam Christi reparatus, potest perseverare absque auxilio novae gratiae. Objection 2. Further, the gift of Christ's grace is greater than the harm brought upon us by Adam, as appears from Romans 5:15, seqq. Now "before sin man was so framed that he could persevere by means of what he had received," as Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. xi). Much more therefore can man, after being repaired by the grace of Christ, persevere without the help of a further grace.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, opera peccati quandoque sunt difficiliora quam opera virtutis, unde ex persona impiorum dicitur Sap. V, ambulavimus vias difficiles. Sed aliqui perseverant in operibus peccati absque alterius auxilio. Ergo etiam in operibus virtutum potest homo perseverare absque auxilio gratiae. Objection 3. Further, sinful deeds are sometimes more difficult than deeds of virtue: hence it is said in the person of the wicked (Wisdom 5:7): "We . . . have walked through hard ways." Now some persevere in sinful deeds without the help of another. Therefore man can also persevere in deeds of virtue without the help of grace.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de perseverantia, asserimus donum Dei esse perseverantiam, qua usque in finem perseveratur in Christo. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Persev. i): "We hold that perseverance is a gift of God, whereby we persevere unto the end, in Christ."
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex dictis patet, perseverantia dupliciter dicitur. Uno modo, pro ipso habitu perseverantiae, secundum quod est virtus. Et hoc modo indiget dono habitualis gratiae, sicut et ceterae virtutes infusae. Alio modo potest accipi pro actu perseverantiae durante usque ad mortem. Et secundum hoc indiget non solum gratia habituali, sed etiam gratuito Dei auxilio conservantis hominem in bono usque ad finem vitae, sicut supra dictum est, cum de gratia ageretur. Quia cum liberum arbitrium de se sit vertibile, et hoc ei non tollatur per habitualem gratiam praesentis vitae; non subest potestati liberi arbitrii, etiam per gratiam reparati, ut se immobiliter in bono statuat, licet sit in potestate eius quod hoc eligat, plerumque enim cadit in potestate nostra electio, non autem executio. I answer that, As stated above (1, ad 2; 2, ad 3), perseverance has a twofold signification. First, it denotes the habit of perseverance, considered as a virtue. On this way it needs the gift of habitual grace, even as the other infused virtues. Secondly, it may be taken to denote the act of perseverance enduring until death: and in this sense it needs not only habitual grace, but also the gratuitous help of God sustaining man in good until the end of life, as stated above (I-II, 109, 10), when we were treating of grace. Because, since the free-will is changeable by its very nature, which changeableness is not taken away from it by the habitual grace bestowed in the present life, it is not in the power of the free-will, albeit repaired by grace, to abide unchangeably in good, though it is in its power to choose this: for it is often in our power to choose yet not to accomplish.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod virtus perseverantiae, quantum est de se, inclinat ad perseverandum. Quia tamen habitus est quo quis utitur cum voluerit, non est necessarium quod habens habitum virtutis immobiliter utatur eo usque ad mortem. Reply to Objection 1. The virtue of perseverance, so far as it is concerned, inclines one to persevere: yet since it is a habit, and a habit is a thing one uses at will, it does not follow that a person who has the habit of virtue uses it unchangeably until death.
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Corrept. et gratia, primo homini datum est, non ut perseveraret, sed ut perseverare posset, per liberum arbitrium, quia nulla corruptio tunc erat in natura humana quae perseverandi difficultatem praeberet. Sed nunc praedestinatis per gratiam Christi non solum datur ut perseverare possint, sed ut perseverent. Unde primus homo, nullo terrente, contra Dei terrentis imperium libero usus arbitrio, non stetit in tanta felicitate, cum tanta non peccandi facilitate. Isti autem, saeviente mundo ne starent, steterunt in fide. Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. xi), "it was given to the first man, not to persevere, but to be able to persevere of his free-will: because then no corruption was in human nature to make perseverance difficult. Now, however, by the grace of Christ, the predestined receive not only the possibility of persevering, but perseverance itself. Wherefore the first man whom no man threatened, of his own free-will rebelling against a threatening God, forfeited so great a happiness and so great a facility of avoiding sin: whereas these, although the world rage against their constancy, have persevered in faith."
IIª-IIae q. 137 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod homo per se potest cadere in peccatum, sed non potest per se resurgere a peccato sine auxilio gratiae. Et ideo ex hoc ipso quod homo cadit in peccatum, inquantum est de se, facit se in peccato perseverantem, nisi gratia Dei liberetur. Non autem ex hoc quod facit bonum facit se perseverantem in bono, quia de se potens est peccare. Et ideo ad hoc indiget auxilio gratiae. Reply to Objection 3. Man is able by himself to fall into sin, but he cannot by himself arise from sin without the help of grace. Hence by falling into sin, so far as he is concerned man makes himself to be persevering in sin, unless he be delivered by God's grace. On the other hand, by doing good he does not make himself to be persevering in good, because he is able, by himself, to sin: wherefore he needs the help of grace for that end.

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