Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q14

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Q13 Q15



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IIª-IIae q. 14 pr. Deinde considerandum est in speciali de blasphemia in spiritum sanctum. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum blasphemia vel peccatum in spiritum sanctum sit idem quod peccatum ex certa malitia. Secundo, de speciebus huius peccati. Tertio, utrum sit irremissibile. Quarto, utrum aliquis possit peccare in spiritum sanctum a principio, antequam alia peccata committat. Question 14. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost Is blasphemy or the sin against the Holy Ghost the same as the sin committed through certain malice? The species of this sin Can it be forgiven? Is it possible to begin by sinning against the Holy Ghost before committing other sins?
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum non sit idem quod peccatum ex certa malitia. Peccatum enim in spiritum sanctum est peccatum blasphemiae, ut patet Matth. XII. Sed non omne peccatum ex certa malitia est peccatum blasphemiae, contingit enim multa alia peccatorum genera ex certa malitia committi. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est idem quod peccatum ex certa malitia. Objection 1. It would seem that the sin against the Holy Ghost is not the same as the sin committed through certain malice. Because the sin against the Holy Ghost is the sin of blasphemy, according to Matthew 12:32. But not every sin committed through certain malice is a sin of blasphemy: since many other kinds of sin may be committed through certain malice. Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost is not the same as the sin committed through certain malice.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, peccatum ex certa malitia dividitur contra peccatum ex ignorantia et contra peccatum ex infirmitate. Sed peccatum in spiritum sanctum dividitur contra peccatum in filium hominis, ut patet Matth. XII. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est idem quod peccatum ex certa malitia, quia quorum opposita sunt diversa, ipsa quoque sunt diversa. Objection 2. Further, the sin committed through certain malice is condivided with sin committed through ignorance, and sin committed through weakness: whereas the sin against the Holy Ghost is condivided with the sin against the Son of Man (Matthew 12:32). Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost is not the same as the sin committed through certain malice, since things whose opposites differ, are themselves different.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccatum in spiritum sanctum est quoddam genus peccati cui determinatae species assignantur. Sed peccatum ex certa malitia non est speciale genus peccati, sed est quaedam conditio vel circumstantia generalis quae potest esse circa omnia peccatorum genera. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est idem quod peccatum ex certa malitia. Objection 3. Further, the sin against the Holy Ghost is itself a generic sin, having its own determinate species: whereas sin committed through certain malice is not a special kind of sin, but a condition or general circumstance of sin, which can affect any kind of sin at all. Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost is not the same as the sin committed through certain malice.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Magister dicit, XLIII dist. II Lib. Sent., quod ille peccat in spiritum sanctum cui malitia propter se placet. Hoc autem est peccare ex certa malitia. Ergo idem videtur esse peccatum ex certa malitia quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum. On the contrary, The Master says (Sent. ii, D, 43) that "to sin against the Holy Ghost is to take pleasure in the malice of sin for its own sake." Now this is to sin through certain malice. Therefore it seems that the sin committed through certain malice is the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod de peccato seu blasphemia in spiritum sanctum tripliciter aliqui loquuntur. Antiqui enim doctores, scilicet Athanasius, Hilarius, Ambrosius, Hieronymus et Chrysostomus dicunt esse peccatum in spiritum sanctum quando, ad litteram, aliquid blasphemum dicitur contra spiritum sanctum, sive spiritus sanctus accipiatur secundum quod est nomen essentiale conveniens toti Trinitati, cuius quaelibet persona et spiritus est et sanctus; sive prout est nomen personale unius in Trinitate personae. Et secundum hoc distinguitur, Matth. XII blasphemia in spiritum sanctum contra blasphemiam in filium hominis. Christus enim operabatur quaedam humanitus, comedendo, bibendo et alia huiusmodi faciendo; et quaedam divinitus, scilicet Daemones eiiciendo, mortuos suscitando, et cetera huiusmodi; quae quidem agebat et per virtutem propriae divinitatis, et per operationem spiritus sancti, quo secundum humanitatem erat repletus. Iudaei autem primo quidem dixerant blasphemiam in filium hominis, cum dicebant eum voracem, potatorem vini et publicanorum amatorem, ut habetur Matth. XI. Postmodum autem blasphemaverunt in spiritum sanctum, dum opera quae ipse operabatur virtute propriae divinitatis et per operationem spiritus sancti, attribuebant principi Daemoniorum. Et propter hoc dicuntur in spiritum sanctum blasphemasse. Augustinus autem, in libro de Verb. Dom., blasphemiam vel peccatum in spiritum sanctum dicit esse finalem impoenitentiam, quando scilicet aliquis perseverat in peccato mortali usque ad mortem. Quod quidem non solum verbo oris fit, sed etiam verbo cordis et operis, non uno sed multis. Hoc autem verbum, sic acceptum, dicitur esse contra spiritum sanctum, quia est contra remissionem peccatorum, quae fit per spiritum sanctum, qui est caritas patris et filii. Nec hoc dominus dixit Iudaeis quasi ipsi peccarent in spiritum sanctum, nondum enim erant finaliter impoenitentes. Sed admonuit eos ne, taliter loquentes, ad hoc pervenirent quod in spiritum sanctum peccarent. Et sic intelligendum est quod dicitur Marc. III, ubi, postquam dixerat, qui blasphemaverit in spiritum sanctum etc., subiungit Evangelista quoniam dicebant, spiritum immundum habet. Alii vero aliter accipiunt, dicentes peccatum vel blasphemiam in spiritum sanctum esse quando aliquis peccat contra appropriatum bonum spiritus sancti, cui appropriatur bonitas, sicut patri appropriatur potentia et filio sapientia. Unde peccatum in patrem dicunt esse quando peccatur ex infirmitate; peccatum autem in filium, quando peccatur ex ignorantia; peccatum autem in spiritum sanctum, quando peccatur ex certa malitia, idest ex ipsa electione mali, ut supra expositum est. Quod quidem contingit dupliciter. Uno modo, ex inclinatione habitus vitiosi, qui malitia dicitur, et sic non est idem peccare ex malitia quod peccare in spiritum sanctum. Alio modo contingit ex eo quod per contemptum abiicitur et removetur id quod electionem peccati poterat impedire, sicut spes per desperationem, et timor per praesumptionem, et quaedam alia huiusmodi, ut infra dicetur. Haec autem omnia quae peccati electionem impediunt, sunt effectus spiritus sancti in nobis. Et ideo sic ex malitia peccare est peccare in spiritum sanctum. I answer that, Three meanings have been given to the sin against the Holy Ghost. For the earlier doctors, viz. Athanasius (Super Matth. xii, 32), Hilary (Can. xii in Matth.), Ambrose (Super Luc. xii, 10), Jerome (Super Matth. xii), and Chrysostom (Hom. xli in Matth.), say that the sin against the Holy Ghost is literally to utter a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, whether by Holy Spirit we understand the essential name applicable to the whole Trinity, each Person of which is a Spirit and is holy, or the personal name of one of the Persons of the Trinity, in which sense blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is distinct from the blasphemy against the Son of Man (Matthew 12:32), for Christ did certain things in respect of His human nature, by eating, drinking, and such like actions, while He did others in respect of His Godhead, by casting out devils, raising the dead, and the like: which things He did both by the power of His own Godhead and by the operation of the Holy Ghost, of Whom He was full, according to his human nature. Now the Jews began by speaking blasphemy against the Son of Man, when they said (Matthew 11:19) that He was "a glutton . . . a wine drinker," and a "friend of publicans": but afterwards they blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, when they ascribed to the prince of devils those works which Christ did by the power of His own Divine Nature and by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Augustine, however (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi), says that blasphemy or the sin against the Holy Ghost, is final impenitence when, namely, a man perseveres in mortal sin until death, and that it is not confined to utterance by word of mouth, but extends to words in thought and deed, not to one word only, but to many. Now this word, in this sense, is said to be uttered against the Holy Ghost, because it is contrary to the remission of sins, which is the work of the Holy Ghost, Who is the charity both of the Father and of the Son. Nor did Our Lord say this to the Jews, as though they had sinned against the Holy Ghost, since they were not yet guilty of final impenitence, but He warned them, lest by similar utterances they should come to sin against the Holy Ghost: and it is in this sense that we are to understand Mark 3:29-30, where after Our Lord had said: "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost," etc. the Evangelist adds, "because they said: He hath an unclean spirit." But others understand it differently, and say that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, is a sin committed against that good which is appropriated to the Holy Ghost: because goodness is appropriated to the Holy Ghost, just a power is appropriated to the Father, and wisdom to the Son. Hence they say that when a man sins through weakness, it is a sin "against the Father"; that when he sins through ignorance, it is a sin "against the Son"; and that when he sins through certain malice, i.e. through the very choosing of evil, as explained above (I-II, 78, 1,3), it is a sin "against the Holy Ghost." Now this may happen in two ways. First by reason of the very inclination of a vicious habit which we call malice, and, in this way, to sin through malice is not the same as to sin against the Holy Ghost. On another way it happens that by reason of contempt, that which might have prevented the choosing of evil, is rejected or removed; thus hope is removed by despair, and fear by presumption, and so on, as we shall explain further on (Q 20,21). Now all these things which prevent the choosing of sin are effects of the Holy Ghost in us; so that, in this sense, to sin through malice is to sin against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut confessio fidei non solum consistit in protestatione oris, sed etiam in protestatione operis; ita etiam blasphemia spiritus sancti potest considerari et in ore et in corde et in opere. Reply to Objection 1. Just as the confession of faith consists in a protestation not only of words but also of deeds, so blasphemy against the Holy Ghost can be uttered in word, thought and deed.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod secundum tertiam acceptionem blasphemia in spiritum sanctum distinguitur contra blasphemiam in filium hominis secundum quod filius hominis est etiam filius Dei, idest Dei virtus et Dei sapientia. Unde secundum hoc, peccatum in filium hominis erit peccatum ex ignorantia vel ex infirmitate. Reply to Objection 2. According to the third interpretation, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is condivided with blasphemy against the Son of Man, forasmuch as He is also the Son of God, i.e. the "power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). Wherefore, in this sense, the sin against the Son of Man will be that which is committed through ignorance, or through weakness.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod peccatum ex certa malitia secundum quod provenit ex inclinatione habitus, non est speciale peccatum, sed quaedam generalis peccati conditio. Prout vero est ex speciali contemptu effectus spiritus sancti in nobis, habet rationem specialis peccati. Et secundum hoc etiam peccatum in spiritum sanctum est speciale genus peccati. Et similiter secundum primam expositionem. Secundum autem secundam expositionem, non est speciale genus peccati, nam finalis impoenitentia potest esse circumstantia cuiuslibet generis peccati. Reply to Objection 3. Sin committed through certain malice, in so far as it results from the inclination of a habit, is not a special sin, but a general condition of sin: whereas, in so far as it results from a special contempt of an effect of the Holy Ghost in us, it has the character of a special sin. According to this interpretation the sin against the Holy Ghost is a special kind of sin, as also according to the first interpretation: whereas according to the second, it is not a species of sin, because final impenitence may be a circumstance of any kind of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter assignentur sex species peccati in spiritum sanctum, scilicet desperatio, praesumptio, impoenitentia, obstinatio, impugnatio veritatis agnitae et invidentia fraternae gratiae; quas species ponit Magister, XLIII dist. II Lib. Sent. Negare enim divinam iustitiam vel misericordiam ad infidelitatem pertinet. Sed per desperationem aliquis reiicit divinam misericordiam, per praesumptionem autem divinam iustitiam. Ergo unumquodque eorum potius est species infidelitatis quam peccati in spiritum sanctum. Objection 1. It would seem unfitting to distinguish six kinds of sin against the Holy Ghost, viz. despair, presumption, impenitence, obstinacy, resisting the known truth, envy of our brother's spiritual good, which are assigned by the Master (Sent. ii, D, 43). For to deny God's justice or mercy belongs to unbelief. Now, by despair, a man rejects God's mercy, and by presumption, His justice. Therefore each of these is a kind of unbelief rather than of the sin against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, impoenitentia videtur respicere peccatum praeteritum, obstinatio autem peccatum futurum. Sed praeteritum vel futurum non diversificant speciem virtutis vel vitii, secundum enim eandem fidem qua credimus Christum natum, antiqui crediderunt eum nasciturum. Ergo obstinatio et impoenitentia non debent poni duae species peccati in spiritum sanctum. Objection 2. Further, impenitence, seemingly, regards past sins, while obstinacy regards future sins. Now past and future time do not diversify the species of virtues or vices, since it is the same faith whereby we believe that Christ was born, and those of old believed that He would be born. Therefore obstinacy and impenitence should not be reckoned as two species of sin against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, veritas et gratia per Iesum Christum facta est, ut habetur Ioan. I. Ergo videtur quod impugnatio veritatis agnitae et invidentia fraternae gratiae magis pertineant ad blasphemiam in filium hominis quam ad blasphemiam in spiritum sanctum. Objection 3. Further, "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Therefore it seem that resistance of the known truth, and envy of a brother's spiritual good, belong to blasphemy against the Son rather than against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, Bernardus dicit, in libro de Dispensat. et Praecept., quod nolle obedire est resistere spiritui sancto. Glossa etiam dicit, Levit. X, quod simulata poenitentia est blasphemia spiritus sancti. Schisma etiam videtur directe opponi spiritui sancto, per quem Ecclesia unitur. Et ita videtur quod non sufficienter tradantur species peccati in spiritum sanctum. Objection 4. Further, Bernard says (De Dispens. et Praecept. xi) that "to refuse to obey is to resist the Holy Ghost." Moreover a gloss on Leviticus 10:16, says that "a feigned repentance is a blasphemy against the Holy Ghost." Again, schism is, seemingly, directly opposed to the Holy Ghost by Whom the Church is united together. Therefore it seems that the species of sins against the Holy Ghost are insufficiently enumerated.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra, Augustinus dicit, in libro de fide ad Petrum, quod illi qui desperant de indulgentia peccatorum, vel qui sine meritis de misericordia Dei praesumunt, peccant in spiritum sanctum. Et in Enchiridio dicit quod qui in obstinatione mentis diem claudit extremum, reus est peccato in spiritum sanctum. Et in libro de Verb. Dom. dicit quod impoenitentia est peccatum in spiritum sanctum. Et in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte dicit quod invidiae facibus fraternitatem impugnare est peccare in spiritum sanctum. Et in libro de unico Bapt. dicit quod qui veritatem contemnit, aut circa fratres malignus est, quibus veritas revelatur; aut circa Deum ingratus, cuius inspiratione Ecclesia instruitur; et sic videtur quod peccet in spiritum sanctum. On the contrary, Augustine [Fulgentius] (De Fide ad Petrum iii) says that "those who despair of pardon for their sins, or who without merits presume on God's mercy, sin against the Holy Ghost," and (Enchiridion lxxxiii) that "he who dies in a state of obstinacy is guilty of the sin against the Holy Ghost," and (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi) that "impenitence is a sin against the Holy Ghost," and (De Serm. Dom. in Monte xxii), that "to resist fraternal goodness with the brands of envy is to sin against the Holy Ghost," and in his book De unico Baptismo (De Bap. contra Donat. vi, 35) he says that "a man who spurns the truth, is either envious of his brethren to whom the truth is revealed, or ungrateful to God, by Whose inspiration the Church is taught," and therefore, seemingly, sins against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, secundum quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum tertio modo accipitur, convenienter praedictae species ei assignantur. Quae distinguuntur secundum remotionem vel contemptum eorum per quae potest homo ab electione peccati impediri. Quae quidem sunt vel ex parte divini iudicii; vel ex parte donorum ipsius; vel etiam ex parte ipsius peccati. Avertitur enim homo ab electione peccati ex consideratione divini iudicii, quod habet iustitiam cum misericordia, et per spem, quae consurgit ex consideratione misericordiae remittentis peccata et praemiantis bona, et haec tollitur per desperationem, et iterum per timorem, qui insurgit ex consideratione divinae iustitiae punientis peccata; et hic tollitur per praesumptionem, dum scilicet aliquis se praesumit gloriam adipisci sine meritis, vel veniam sine poenitentia. Dona autem Dei quibus retrahimur a peccato sunt duo. Quorum unum est agnitio veritatis, contra quod ponitur impugnatio veritatis agnitae, dum scilicet aliquis veritatem fidei agnitam impugnat ut licentius peccet. Aliud est auxilium interioris gratiae, contra quod ponitur invidentia fraternae gratiae, dum scilicet aliquis non solum invidet personae fratris, sed etiam invidet gratiae Dei crescenti in mundo. Ex parte vero peccati duo sunt quae hominem a peccato retrahere possunt. Quorum unum est inordinatio et turpitudo actus, cuius consideratio inducere solet in homine poenitentiam de peccato commisso. Et contra hoc ponitur impoenitentia, non quidem eo modo quo dicit permanentiam in peccato usque ad mortem, sicut supra impoenitentia accipiebatur (sic enim non esset speciale peccatum, sed quaedam peccati circumstantia); sed accipitur hic impoenitentia secundum quod importat propositum non poenitendi. Aliud autem est parvitas et brevitas boni quod quis in peccato quaerit, secundum illud Rom. VI, quem fructum habuistis in quibus nunc erubescitis? Cuius consideratio inducere solet hominem ad hoc quod eius voluntas in peccato non firmetur. Et hoc tollitur per obstinationem, quando scilicet homo firmat suum propositum in hoc quod peccato inhaereat. Et de his duobus dicitur Ierem. VIII, nullus est qui agat poenitentiam super peccato suo, dicens, quid feci? Quantum ad primum; omnes conversi sunt ad cursum quasi equus impetu vadens ad praelium, quantum ad secundum. I answer that, The above species are fittingly assigned to the sin against the Holy Ghost taken in the third sense, because they are distinguished in respect of the removal of contempt of those things whereby a man can be prevented from sinning through choice. These things are either on the part of God's judgment, or on the part of His gifts, or on the part of sin. For, by consideration of the Divine judgment, wherein justice is accompanied with mercy, man is hindered from sinning through choice, both by hope, arising from the consideration of the mercy that pardons sins and rewards good deeds, which hope is removed by "despair"; and by fear, arising from the consideration of the Divine justice that punishes sins, which fear is removed by "presumption," when, namely, a man presumes that he can obtain glory without merits, or pardon without repentance. God's gifts whereby we are withdrawn from sin, are two: one is the acknowledgment of the truth, against which there is the "resistance of the known truth," when, namely, a man resists the truth which he has acknowledged, in order to sin more freely: while the other is the assistance of inward grace, against which there is "envy of a brother's spiritual good," when, namely, a man is envious not only of his brother's person, but also of the increase of Divine grace in the world. On the part of sin, there are two things which may withdraw man therefrom: one is the inordinateness and shamefulness of the act, the consideration of which is wont to arouse man to repentance for the sin he has committed, and against this there is "impenitence," not as denoting permanence in sin until death, in which sense it was taken above (for thus it would not be a special sin, but a circumstance of sin), but as denoting the purpose of not repenting. The other thing is the smallness or brevity of the good which is sought in sin, according to Romans 6:21: "What fruit had you therefore then in those things, of which you are now ashamed?" The consideration of this is wont to prevent man's will from being hardened in sin, and this is removed by "obstinacy," whereby man hardens his purpose by clinging to sin. Of these two it is written (Jeremiah 8:6): "There is none that doth penance for his sin, saying: What have I done?" as regards the first; and, "They are all turned to their own course, as a horse rushing to the battle," as regards the second.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod peccatum desperationis vel praesumptionis non consistit in hoc quod Dei iustitia vel misericordia non credatur, sed in hoc quod contemnatur. Reply to Objection 1. The sins of despair and presumption consist, not in disbelieving in God's justice and mercy, but in contemning them.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod obstinatio et impoenitentia non solum differunt secundum praeteritum et futurum, sed secundum quasdam formales rationes ex diversa consideratione eorum quae in peccato considerari possunt, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. Obstinacy and impenitence differ not only in respect of past and future time, but also in respect of certain formal aspects by reason of the diverse consideration of those things which may be considered in sin, as explained above.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod gratiam et veritatem Christus fecit per dona spiritus sancti, quae hominibus dedit. Reply to Objection 3. Grace and truth were the work of Christ through the gifts of the Holy Ghost which He gave to men.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod nolle obedire pertinet ad obstinationem; simulatio poenitentiae ad impoenitentiam; schisma ad invidentiam fraternae gratiae, per quam membra Ecclesiae uniuntur. Reply to Objection 4. To refuse to obey belongs to obstinacy, while a feigned repentance belongs to impenitence, and schism to the envy of a brother's spiritual good, whereby the members of the Church are united together.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum non sit irremissibile. Dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de Verb. Dom., de nullo desperandum est quandiu patientia domini ad poenitentiam adducit. Sed si aliquod peccatum esset irremissibile, esset de aliquo peccatore desperandum. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est irremissibile. Objection 1. It would seem that the sin against the Holy Ghost can be forgiven. For Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi): "We should despair of no man, so long as Our Lord's patience brings him back to repentance." But if any sin cannot be forgiven, it would be possible to despair of some sinners. Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost can be forgiven.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, nullum peccatum remittitur nisi per hoc quod anima sanatur a Deo. Sed omnipotenti medico nullus insanabilis languor occurrit, sicut dicit Glossa super illud Psalm., qui sanat omnes infirmitates tuas. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est irremissibile. Objection 2. Further, no sin is forgiven, except through the soul being healed by God. But "no disease is incurable to an all-powerful physician," as a gloss says on Psalm 102:3, "Who healeth all thy diseases." Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost can be forgiven.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, liberum arbitrium se habet ad bonum et ad malum. Sed quandiu durat status viae, potest aliquis a quacumque virtute excidere, cum etiam Angelus de caelo ceciderit, unde dicitur Iob IV, in Angelis suis reperit pravitatem, quanto magis qui habitant domos luteas? Ergo pari ratione potest aliquis a quocumque peccato ad statum iustitiae redire. Ergo peccatum in spiritum sanctum non est irremissibile. Objection 3. Further, the free-will is indifferent to either good or evil. Now, so long as man is a wayfarer, he can fall away from any virtue, since even an angel fell from heaven, wherefore it is written (Job 4:18-19): "In His angels He found wickedness: how much more shall they that dwell in houses of clay?" Therefore, in like manner, a man can return from any sin to the state of justice. Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost can be forgiven.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Matth. XII, qui dixerit verbum contra spiritum sanctum, non remittetur ei neque in hoc saeculo neque in futuro. Et Augustinus dicit, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, quod tanta est labes huius peccati quod humilitatem deprecandi subire non potest. On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 12:32): "He that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come": and Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 22) that "so great is the downfall of this sin that it cannot submit to the humiliation of asking for pardon."
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod secundum diversas acceptiones peccati in spiritum sanctum, diversimode irremissibile dicitur. Si enim dicatur peccatum in spiritum sanctum finalis impoenitentia, sic dicitur irremissibile quia nullo modo remittitur. Peccatum enim mortale in quo homo perseverat usque ad mortem, quia in hac vita non remittitur per poenitentiam, nec etiam in futuro dimittetur. Secundum autem alias duas acceptiones dicitur irremissibile, non quia nullo modo remittatur, sed quia, quantum est de se, habet meritum ut non remittatur. Et hoc dupliciter. Uno modo, quantum ad poenam. Qui enim ex ignorantia vel infirmitate peccat, minorem poenam meretur, qui autem ex certa malitia peccat, non habet aliquam excusationem unde eius poena minuatur. Similiter etiam qui blasphemabat in filium hominis, eius divinitate nondum revelata, poterat habere aliquam excusationem propter infirmitatem carnis quam in eo aspiciebat, et sic minorem poenam merebatur, sed qui ipsam divinitatem blasphemabat, opera spiritus sancti Diabolo attribuens, nullam excusationem habebat unde eius poena diminueretur. Et ideo dicitur, secundum expositionem Chrysostomi, hoc peccatum Iudaeis non remitti neque in hoc saeculo neque in futuro, quia pro eo passi sunt poenam et in praesenti vita per Romanos, et in futura vita in poena Inferni. Sicut etiam Athanasius inducit exemplum de eorum parentibus, qui primo quidem contra Moysen contenderunt propter defectum aquae et panis, et hoc dominus sustinuit patienter, habebant enim excusationem ex infirmitate carnis. Sed postmodum gravius peccaverunt quasi blasphemantes in spiritum sanctum, beneficia Dei qui eos de Aegypto eduxerat, idolo attribuentes, cum dixerunt, hi sunt dii tui, Israel, qui te eduxerunt de terra Aegypti. Et ideo dominus et temporaliter fecit eos puniri, quia ceciderunt in die illo quasi tria millia hominum; et in futurum eis poenam comminatur, dicens, ego autem in die ultionis visitabo hoc peccatum eorum. Alio modo potest intelligi quantum ad culpam, sicut aliquis dicitur morbus incurabilis secundum naturam morbi, per quem tollitur id ex quo morbus potest curari, puta cum morbus tollit virtutem naturae, vel inducit fastidium cibi et medicinae; licet etiam talem morbum Deus possit curare. Ita etiam peccatum in spiritum sanctum dicitur irremissibile secundum suam naturam, inquantum excludit ea per quae fit remissio peccatorum. Per hoc tamen non praecluditur via remittendi et sanandi omnipotentiae et misericordiae Dei, per quam aliquando tales quasi miraculose spiritualiter sanantur. I answer that, According to the various interpretations of the sin against the Holy Ghost, there are various ways in which it may be said that it cannot be forgiven. For if by the sin against the Holy Ghost we understand final impenitence, it is said to be unpardonable, since in no way is it pardoned: because the mortal sin wherein a man perseveres until death will not be forgiven in the life to come, since it was not remitted by repentance in this life. According to the other two interpretations, it is said to be unpardonable, not as though it is nowise forgiven, but because, considered in itself, it deserves not to be pardoned: and this in two ways. First, as regards the punishment, since he that sins through ignorance or weakness, deserves less punishment, whereas he that sins through certain malice, can offer no excuse in alleviation of his punishment. Likewise those who blasphemed against the Son of Man before His Godhead was revealed, could have some excuse, on account of the weakness of the flesh which they perceived in Him, and hence, they deserved less punishment; whereas those who blasphemed against His very Godhead, by ascribing to the devil the works of the Holy Ghost, had no excuse in diminution of their punishment. Wherefore, according to Chrysostom's commentary (Hom. xlii in Matth.), the Jews are said not to be forgiven this sin, neither in this world nor in the world to come, because they were punished for it, both in the present life, through the Romans, and in the life to come, in the pains of hell. Thus also Athanasius adduces the example of their forefathers who, first of all, wrangled with Moses on account of the shortage of water and bread; and this the Lord bore with patience, because they were to be excused on account of the weakness of the flesh: but afterwards they sinned more grievously when, by ascribing to an idol the favors bestowed by God Who had brought them out of Egypt, they blasphemed, so to speak, against the Holy Ghost, saying (Exodus 32:4): "These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt." Therefore the Lord both inflicted temporal punishment on them, since "there were slain on that day about three and twenty thousand men" (Exodus 32:28), and threatened them with punishment in the life to come, saying, (Exodus 32:34): "I, in the day of revenge, will visit this sin . . . of theirs." Secondly, this may be understood to refer to the guilt: thus a disease is said to be incurable in respect of the nature of the disease, which removes whatever might be a means of cure, as when it takes away the power of nature, or causes loathing for food and medicine, although God is able to cure such a disease. So too, the sin against the Holy Ghost is said to be unpardonable, by reason of its nature, in so far as it removes those things which are a means towards the pardon of sins. This does not, however, close the way of forgiveness and healing to an all-powerful and merciful God, Who, sometimes, by a miracle, so to speak, restores spiritual health to such men.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod de nemine desperandum est in hac vita, considerata omnipotentia et misericordia Dei. Sed considerata conditione peccati, dicuntur aliqui filii diffidentiae, ut habetur ad Ephes. II. Reply to Objection 1. We should despair of no man in this life, considering God's omnipotence and mercy. But if we consider the circumstances of sin, some are called (Ephesians 2:2) "children of despair" ['Filios diffidentiae,' which the Douay version renders 'children of unbelief.'].
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit ex parte omnipotentiae Dei, non secundum conditionem peccati. Reply to Objection 2. This argument considers the question on the part of God's omnipotence, not on that of the circumstances of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod liberum arbitrium remanet quidem semper in hac vita vertibile, tamen quandoque abiicit a se id per quod verti potest ad bonum, quantum in ipso est. Unde ex parte sua peccatum est irremissibile, licet Deus remittere possit. Reply to Objection 3. In this life the free-will does indeed ever remain subject to change: yet sometimes it rejects that whereby, so far as it is concerned, it can be turned to good. Hence considered in itself this sin is unpardonable, although God can pardon it.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo non possit primo peccare in spiritum sanctum, non praesuppositis aliis peccatis. Naturalis enim ordo est ut ab imperfecto ad perfectum quis moveatur. Et hoc quidem in bonis apparet, secundum illud Proverb. IV, iustorum semita quasi lux splendens crescit et proficit usque ad perfectum diem. Sed perfectum dicitur in malis quod est maximum malum, ut patet per philosophum, in V Metaphys. Cum igitur peccatum in spiritum sanctum sit gravissimum, videtur quod homo ad hoc peccatum perveniat per alia peccata minora. Objection 1. It would seem that a man cannot sin first of all against the Holy Ghost, without having previously committed other sins. For the natural order requires that one should be moved to perfection from imperfection. This is evident as regards good things, according to Proverbs 4:18: "The path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards and increases even to perfect day." Now, in evil things, the perfect is the greatest evil, as the Philosopher states (Metaph. v, text. 21). Since then the sin against the Holy Ghost is the most grievous sin, it seems that man comes to commit this sin through committing lesser sins.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, peccare in spiritum sanctum est peccare ex certa malitia, sive ex electione. Sed hoc non statim potest homo, antequam multoties peccaverit, dicit enim philosophus, in V Ethic., quod, si homo possit iniusta facere, non tamen potest statim operari sicut iniustus, scilicet ex electione. Ergo videtur quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum non possit committi nisi post alia peccata. Objection 2. Further, to sin against the Holy Ghost is to sin through certain malice, or through choice. Now man cannot do this until he has sinned many times; for the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 6,9) that "although a man is able to do unjust deeds, yet he cannot all at once do them as an unjust man does," viz. from choice. Therefore it seems that the sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be committed except after other sins.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, poenitentia et impoenitentia sunt circa idem. Sed poenitentia non est nisi de peccatis praeteritis. Ergo etiam neque impoenitentia, quae est species peccati in spiritum sanctum. Peccatum ergo in spiritum sanctum praesupponit alia peccata. Objection 3. Further, repentance and impenitence are about the same object. But there is no repentance, except about past sins. Therefore the same applies to impenitence which is a species of the sin against the Holy Ghost. Therefore the sin against the Holy Ghost presupposes other sins.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod facile est in conspectu Dei subito honestare pauperem, ut dicitur Eccli. XI. Ergo e contrario possibile est, secundum malitiam Daemonis suggerentis, ut statim aliquis inducatur in gravissimum peccatum, quod est in spiritum sanctum. On the contrary, "It is easy in the eyes of God on a sudden to make a poor man rich" (Sirach 11:23). Therefore, conversely, it is possible for a man, according to the malice of the devil who tempts him, to be led to commit the most grievous of sins which is that against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, peccare in spiritum sanctum uno modo est peccare ex certa malitia. Ex certa autem malitia dupliciter peccare contingit, sicut dictum est. Uno modo, ex inclinatione habitus, quod non est proprie peccare in spiritum sanctum. Et hoc modo peccare ex certa malitia non contingit a principio, oportet enim actus peccatorum praecedere ex quibus causetur habitus ad peccandum inclinans. Alio modo potest aliquis peccare ex certa malitia abiiciendo per contemptum ea per quae homo retrahitur a peccando, quod proprie est peccare in spiritum sanctum, sicut dictum est. Et hoc etiam plerumque praesupponit alia peccata, quia sicut dicitur Proverb. XVIII, impius, cum in profundum peccatorum venerit, contemnit. Potest tamen contingere quod aliquis in primo actu peccati in spiritum sanctum peccet per contemptum, tum propter libertatem arbitrii; tum etiam propter multas dispositiones praecedentes; vel etiam propter aliquod vehemens motivum ad malum et debilem affectum hominis ad bonum. Et ideo in viris perfectis hoc vix aut nunquam accidere potest quod statim a principio peccent in spiritum sanctum. Unde dicit Origenes, in I Periarch., non arbitror quod aliquis ex his qui in summo perfectoque gradu constiterint, ad subitum evacuetur aut decidat, sed paulatim ac per partes eum decidere necesse est. Et eadem ratio est si peccatum in spiritum sanctum accipiatur ad litteram pro blasphemia spiritus sancti. Talis enim blasphemia de qua dominus loquitur, semper ex malitiae contemptu procedit. Si vero per peccatum in spiritum sanctum intelligatur finalis impoenitentia, secundum intellectum Augustini, quaestionem non habet, quia ad peccatum in spiritum sanctum requiritur continuatio peccatorum usque in finem vitae. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), in one way, to sin against the Holy Ghost is to sin through certain malice. Now one may sin through certain malice in two ways, as stated in the same place: first, through the inclination of a habit; but this is not, properly speaking, to sin against the Holy Ghost, nor does a man come to commit this sin all at once, in as much as sinful acts must precede so as to cause the habit that induces to sin. Secondly, one may sin through certain malice, by contemptuously rejecting the things whereby a man is withdrawn from sin. This is, properly speaking, to sin against the Holy Ghost, as stated above (Article 1); and this also, for the most part, presupposes other sins, for it is written (Proverbs 18:3) that "the wicked man, when he is come into the depth of sins, contemneth." Nevertheless it is possible for a man, in his first sinful act, to sin against the Holy Ghost by contempt, both on account of his free-will, and on account of the many previous dispositions, or again, through being vehemently moved to evil, while but feebly attached to good. Hence never or scarcely ever does it happen that the perfect sin all at once against the Holy Ghost: wherefore Origen says (Peri Archon. i, 3): "I do not think that anyone who stands on the highest step of perfection, can fail or fall suddenly; this can only happen by degrees and bit by bit." The same applies, if the sin against the Holy Ghost be taken literally for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. For such blasphemy as Our Lord speaks of, always proceeds from contemptuous malice. If, however, with Augustine (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi) we understand the sin against the Holy Ghost to denote final impenitence, it does not regard the question in point, because this sin against the Holy Ghost requires persistence in sin until the end of life.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod tam in bono quam in malo, ut in pluribus, proceditur ab imperfecto ad perfectum, prout homo proficit vel in bono vel in malo. Et tamen in utroque unus potest incipere a maiori quam alius. Et ita illud a quo aliquis incipit, potest esse perfectum in bono vel in malo secundum genus suum; licet sit imperfectum secundum seriem processus hominis in melius vel in peius proficientis. Reply to Objection 1. Movement both in good and in evil is made, for the most part, from imperfect to perfect, according as man progresses in good or evil: and yet in both cases, one man can begin from a greater (good or evil) than another man does. Consequently, that from which a man begins can be perfect in good or evil according to its genus, although it may be imperfect as regards the series of good or evil actions whereby a man progresses in good or evil.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de peccato ex malitia quando est ex inclinatione habitus. Reply to Objection 2. This argument considers the sin which is committed through certain malice, when it proceeds from the inclination of a habit.
IIª-IIae q. 14 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, si accipiatur impoenitentia secundum intentionem Augustini, secundum quod importat permanentiam in peccato usque in finem, sic planum est quod impoenitentia praesupponit peccata, sicut et poenitentia. Sed si loquamur de impoenitentia habituali, secundum quod ponitur species peccati in spiritum sanctum, sic manifestum est quod impoenitentia potest esse etiam ante peccata, potest enim ille qui nunquam peccavit habere propositum vel poenitendi vel non poenitendi, si contingeret eum peccare. Reply to Objection 3. If by impenitence we understand with Augustine (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi) persistence in sin until the end, it is clear that it presupposes sin, just as repentance does. If, however, we take it for habitual impenitence, in which sense it is a sin against the Holy Ghost, it is evident that it can precede sin: for it is possible for a man who has never sinned to have the purpose either of repenting or of not repenting, if he should happen to sin.

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