Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q186

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Q185 Q187



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IIª-IIae q. 186 pr. Deinde considerandum est de his quae pertinent ad statum religionis. Circa quod occurrit quadruplex consideratio, quarum prima est de his in quibus principaliter consistit religionis status; secunda, de his quae religiosis licite convenire possunt; tertia, de distinctione religionum; quarta, de religionis ingressu. Circa primum quaeruntur decem. Primo, utrum religiosorum status sit perfectus. Secundo, utrum religiosi teneantur ad omnia consilia. Tertio, utrum voluntaria paupertas requiratur ad religionem. Quarto, utrum requiratur continentia. Quinto, utrum requiratur obedientia. Sexto, utrum requiratur quod haec cadant sub voto. Septimo, de sufficientia horum votorum. Octavo, de comparatione eorum ad invicem. Nono, utrum religiosus semper mortaliter peccet quando transgreditur statutum suae regulae. Decimo, utrum, ceteris paribus, in eodem genere peccati plus peccet religiosus quam saecularis. Question 186. Things in which the religious state properly consists 1. Is the religious state perfect? 2. Are religious bound to all the counsels? 3. Is voluntary poverty required for the religious state? 4. Is continency necessary? 5. Is obedience necessary? 6. Is it necessary that these should be the matter of a vow? 7. The sufficiency of these vows 8. Their comparison one with another 9. Does a religious sin mortally whenever he transgresses a statute of his rule? 10. Other things being equal, does a religious sin more grievously by the same kind of sin than a secular person?
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod religio non importet statum perfectionis. Illud enim quod est de necessitate salutis, non videtur ad statum perfectionis pertinere. Sed religio est de necessitate salutis, quia per eam uni vero Deo religamur, sicut Augustinus dicit in libro de vera Relig.; vel religio dicitur ex eo quod Deum reeligimus, quem amiseramus negligentes, ut Augustinus dicit in X de Civ. Dei. Ergo videtur quod religio non nominet perfectionis statum. Objection 1. It would seem that religion does not imply a state of perfection. For that which is necessary for salvation does not seemingly pertain to perfection. But religion is necessary for salvation, whether because "thereby we are bound [religamur] to the one almighty God," as Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 55), or because it takes its name from "our returning [religimus] to God Whom we had lost by neglecting Him" [Cf. 81, 1], according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei x, 3). Therefore it would seem that religion does not denote the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, religio, secundum Tullium, est quae naturae divinae cultum et caeremoniam affert. Sed afferre Deo cultum et caeremoniam magis videtur pertinere ad ministeria sacrorum ordinum quam ad diversitatem statuum, ut ex supra dictis patet. Ergo videtur quod religio non nominet perfectionis statum. Objection 2. Further, religion according to Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii, 53) is that "which offers worship and ceremony to the Divine nature." Now the offering of worship and ceremony to God would seem to pertain to the ministry of holy orders rather than to the diversity of states, as stated above (40, 2; 183, 3). Therefore it would seem that religion does not denote the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, status perfectionis distinguitur contra statum incipientium et proficientium. Sed etiam in religione sunt aliqui incipientes et aliqui proficientes. Ergo religio non nominat perfectionis statum. Objection 3. Further, the state of perfection is distinct from the state of beginners and that of the proficient. But in religion also some are beginners, and some are proficient. Therefore religion does not denote the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 arg. 4 Praeterea, religio videtur esse poenitentiae locus, dicitur enim in decretis, VII, qu. I, praecipit sancta synodus ut quicumque de pontificali dignitate ad monachorum vitam et poenitentiae descenderit locum, nunquam ad pontificatum resurgat. Sed locus poenitentiae opponitur statui perfectionis, unde Dionysius, VI cap. Eccles. Hier., ponit poenitentes in infimo loco, scilicet inter purgandos. Ergo videtur quod religio non sit status perfectionis. Objection 4. Further, religion would seem a place of repentance; for it is said in the Decrees (VII, qu. i, can. Hoc nequaquam): "The holy synod orders that any man who has been degraded from the episcopal dignity to the monastic life and a place of repentance, should by no means rise again to the episcopate." Now a place of repentance is opposed to the state of perfection; hence Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. vi) places penitents in the lowest place, namely among those who are to be cleansed. Therefore it would seem that religion is not the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod in collationibus patrum, dicit abbas Moyses, de religiosis loquens, ieiuniorum inediam, vigilias, labores, corporis nuditatem, lectionem, ceterasque virtutes debere nos suscipere noverimus, ut ad perfectionem caritatis istis gradibus possimus conscendere. Sed ea quae ad humanos actus pertinent, ab intentione finis speciem et nomen recipiunt. Ergo religiosi pertinent ad statum perfectionis. Dionysius etiam, VI cap. Eccles. Hier., dicit eos qui nominantur Dei famuli, ex Dei puro servitio et famulatu uniri ad amabilem perfectionem. On the contrary, In the Conferences of the Fathers (Collat. i, 7) abbot Moses speaking of religious says: "We must recognize that we have to undertake the hunger of fasting, watchings, bodily toil, privation, reading, and other acts of virtue, in order by these degrees to mount to the perfection of charity." Now things pertaining to human acts are specified and denominated from the intention of the end. Therefore religious belong to the state of perfection. Moreover Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. vi) that those who are called servants of God, by reason of their rendering pure service and subjection to God, are united to the perfection beloved of Him.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, id quod communiter multis convenit, antonomastice attribuitur ei cui per excellentiam convenit, sicut nomen fortitudinis vindicat sibi illa virtus quae circa difficillima firmitatem animi servat, et temperantiae nomen vindicat sibi illa virtus quae temperat maximas delectationes. Religio autem, ut supra habitum est, est quaedam virtus per quam aliquis ad Dei servitium et cultum aliquid exhibet. Et ideo antonomastice religiosi dicuntur illi qui se totaliter mancipant divino servitio, quasi holocaustum Deo offerentes. Unde Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., sunt quidam qui nihil sibimetipsis reservant, sed sensum, linguam, vitam atque substantiam quam perceperunt, omnipotenti Deo immolant. In hoc autem perfectio hominis consistit quod totaliter Deo inhaereat, sicut ex supra dictis patet. Et secundum hoc, religio perfectionis statum nominat. I answer that, As stated above (Question 141, Article 2) that which is applicable to many things in common is ascribed antonomastically to that to which it is applicable by way of excellence. Thus the name of "fortitude" is claimed by the virtue which preserves the firmness of the mind in regard to most difficult things, and the name of "temperance," by that virtue which tempers the greatest pleasures. Now religion as stated above (81, 2; 3, ad 2) is a virtue whereby a man offers something to the service and worship of God. Wherefore those are called religious antonomastically, who give themselves up entirely to the divine service, as offering a holocaust to God. Hence Gregory says (Hom. xx in Ezech.): "Some there are who keep nothing for themselves, but sacrifice to almighty God their tongue, their senses, their life, and the property they possess." Now the perfection of man consists in adhering wholly to God, as stated above (Question 184, Article 2), and in this sense religion denotes the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod exhibere aliqua ad cultum Dei est de necessitate salutis, sed quod aliquis totaliter se et sua divino cultui deputet, ad perfectionem pertinet. Reply to Objection 1. To offer something to the worship of God is necessary for salvation, but to offer oneself wholly, and one's possessions to the worship of God belongs to perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de virtute religionis ageretur, ad religionem pertinent non solum oblationes sacrificiorum, et alia huiusmodi quae sunt religioni propria, sed etiam actus omnium virtutum, secundum quod referuntur ad Dei servitium et honorem, efficiuntur actus religionis. Et secundum hoc, si aliquis totam vitam suam divino servitio deputet, tota vita sua ad religionem pertinebit. Et secundum hoc, ex vita religiosa quam ducunt, religiosi dicuntur qui sunt in statu perfectionis. Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (81, 1, ad 1; 4, ad 1, 2; 85, 3) when we were treating of the virtue of religion, religion has reference not only to the offering of sacrifices and other like things that are proper to religion, but also to the acts of all the virtues which in so far as these are referred to God's service and honor become acts of religion. Accordingly if a man devotes his whole life to the divine service, his whole life belongs to religion, and thus by reason of the religious life that they lead, those who are in the state of perfection are called religious.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, religio nominat statum perfectionis ex intentione finis. Unde non oportet quod quicumque est in religione, iam sit perfectus, sed quod ad perfectionem tendat. Unde super illud Matth. XIX, si vis perfectus esse etc., dicit Origenes quod ille qui mutavit pro divitiis paupertatem ut fiat perfectus, non in ipso tempore quo tradiderit bona sua pauperibus, fiet omnino perfectus, sed ex illa die incipiet speculatio Dei adducere eum ad omnes virtutes. Et hoc modo in religione non omnes sunt perfecti, sed quidam incipientes, quidam proficientes. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (184, 4,6) religion denotes the state of perfection by reason of the end intended. Hence it does not follow that whoever is in the state of perfection is already perfect, but that he tends to perfection. Hence Origen commenting on Matthew 19:21, "If thou wilt be perfect," etc., says (Tract. viii in Matth.) that "he who has exchanged riches for poverty in order to become perfect does not become perfect at the very moment of giving his goods to the poor; but from that day the contemplation of God will begin to lead him to all the virtues." Thus all are not perfect in religion, but some are beginners, some proficient.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 1 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod religionis status principaliter est institutus ad perfectionem adipiscendam per quaedam exercitia quibus tolluntur impedimenta perfectae caritatis. Sublatis autem impedimentis perfectae caritatis, multo magis exciduntur occasiones peccati, per quod totaliter tollitur caritas. Unde, cum ad poenitentem pertineat causas peccatorum excidere, ex consequenti status religionis est convenientissimus poenitentiae locus. Unde in decretis, XXXIII, qu. II, cap. admonere, consulitur cuidam qui uxorem occiderat, ut potius monasterium ingrediatur, quod dicit esse melius et levius, quam poenitentiam publicam agat remanendo in saeculo. Reply to Objection 4. The religious state was instituted chiefly that we might obtain perfection by means of certain exercises, whereby the obstacles to perfect charity are removed. By the removal of the obstacles of perfect charity, much more are the occasions of sin cut off, for sin destroys charity altogether. Wherefore since it belongs to penance to cut out the causes of sin, it follows that the religious state is a most fitting place for penance. Hence (XXXIII, qu. ii, cap. Admonere) a man who had killed his wife is counseled to enter a monastery which is described as "better and lighter," rather than to do public penance while remaining in the world.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod quilibet religiosus teneatur ad omnia consilia. Quicumque enim profitetur statum aliquem, tenetur ad ea quae illi statui conveniunt. Sed quilibet religiosus profitetur statum perfectionis. Ergo quilibet religiosus tenetur ad omnia consilia, quae ad perfectionis statum pertinent. Objection 1. It would seem that every religious is bound to keep all the counsels. For whoever professes a certain state of life is bound to observe whatever belongs to that state. Now each religious professes the state of perfection. Therefore every religious is bound to keep all the counsels that pertain to the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., quod ille qui praesens saeculum deserit et agit bona quae valet, quasi iam Aegypto derelicto, sacrificium praebet in eremo. Sed deserere saeculum specialiter pertinet ad religiosos. Ergo etiam eorum est agere omnia bona quae valent. Et ita videtur quod quilibet eorum teneatur ad omnia consilia implenda. Objection 2. Further, Gregory says (Hom. xx in Ezech.) that "he who renounces this world, and does all the good he can, is like one who has gone out of Egypt and offers sacrifice in the wilderness." Now it belongs specially to religious to renounce the world. Therefore it belongs to them also to do all the good they can. and so it would seem that each of them is bound to fulfil all the counsels.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, si non requiritur ad statum perfectionis quod aliquis omnia consilia impleat, sufficiens esse videtur si quaedam consilia impleat. Sed hoc falsum est, quia multi in saeculari vita existentes aliqua consilia implent, ut patet de his qui continentiam servant. Ergo videtur quod quilibet religiosus, qui est in statu perfectionis, teneatur ad omnia quae sunt perfectionis. Huiusmodi autem sunt omnia consilia. Objection 3. Further, if it is not requisite for the state of perfection to fulfil all the counsels, it would seem enough to fulfil some of them. But this is false, since some who lead a secular life fulfil some of the counsels, for instance those who observe continence. Therefore it would seem that every religious who is in the state of perfection is bound to fulfil whatever pertains to perfection: and such are the counsels.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra, ad ea quae sunt supererogationis non tenetur aliquis nisi ex propria obligatione. Sed quilibet religiosus obligat se ad aliqua determinata, quidam ad haec, quidam ad illa. Non ergo omnes tenentur ad omnia. On the contrary, one is not bound, unless one bind oneself, to do works of supererogation. But every religious does not bind himself to keep all the counsels, but to certain definite ones, some to some, others to others. Therefore all are not bound to keep all of them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ad perfectionem aliquid pertinet tripliciter. Uno modo, essentialiter. Et sic, sicut supra dictum est, ad perfectionem pertinet perfecta observantia praeceptorum caritatis. Alio modo ad perfectionem pertinet aliquid consequenter sicut illa quae consequuntur ex perfectione caritatis, puta quod aliquis maledicenti benedicat et alia huiusmodi impleat, quae, etsi secundum praeparationem animi sint in praecepto, ut scilicet impleantur quando necessitas requirit, tamen ex superabundantia caritatis procedit quod etiam extra necessitatem quandoque talia impleantur. Tertio modo pertinet aliquid ad perfectionem instrumentaliter et dispositive, sicut paupertas, continentia, abstinentia et alia huiusmodi. Dictum est autem quod ipsa perfectio caritatis est finis status religionis, status autem religionis est quaedam disciplina vel exercitium ad perfectionem perveniendi. Ad quam quidem aliqui pervenire nituntur exercitiis diversis, sicut etiam medicus ad sanandum uti potest diversis medicamentis. Manifestum est autem quod illi qui operatur ad finem, non ex necessitate convenit quod iam assecutus sit finem, sed requiritur quod per aliquam viam tendat in finem. Et ideo ille qui statum religionis assumit, non tenetur habere perfectam caritatem, sed tenetur ad hoc tendere et operam dare ut habeat caritatem perfectam. Et eadem ratione, non tenetur ad hoc quod illa impleat quae perfectionem caritatis consequuntur, tenetur autem ut ad ea implenda intendat. Contra quod facit contemnens. Unde non peccat si ea praetermittat, sed si ea contemnat. Similiter etiam non tenetur ad omnia exercitia quibus ad perfectionem pervenitur, sed ad illa determinate quae sunt ei taxata secundum regulam quam professus est. I answer that, A thing pertains to perfection in three ways. First, essentially, and thus, as stated above (Question 184, Article 3) the perfect observance of the precepts of charity belongs to perfection. Secondly, a thing belongs to perfection consequently: such are those things that result from the perfection of charity, for instance to bless them that curse you (Luke 6:27), and to keep counsels of a like kind, which though they be binding as regards the preparedness of the mind, so that one has to fulfil them when necessity requires; yet are sometimes fulfilled, without there being any necessity, through superabundance of charity. Thirdly, a thing belongs to perfection instrumentally and dispositively, as poverty, continence, abstinence, and the like. Now it has been stated (1) that the perfection of charity is the end of the religious state. And the religious state is a school or exercise for the attainment of perfection, which men strive to reach by various practices, just as a physician may use various remedies in order to heal. But it is evident that for him who works for an end it is not necessary that he should already have attained the end, but it is requisite that he should by some means tend thereto. Hence he who enters the religious state is not bound to have perfect charity, but he is bound to tend to this, and use his endeavors to have perfect charity. For the same reason he is not bound to fulfil those things that result from the perfection of charity, although he is bound to intend to fulfil them: against which intention he acts if he contemns them, wherefore he sins not by omitting them but by contempt of them. In like manner he is not bound to observe all the practices whereby perfection may be attained, but only those which are definitely prescribed to him by the rule which he has professed.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille qui transit ad religionem, non profitetur se esse perfectum, sed profitetur se adhibere studium ad perfectionem consequendam, sicut etiam ille qui intrat scholas, non profitetur se scientem, sed profitetur se studentem ad scientiam acquirendam. Unde sicut Augustinus dicit, VIII de Civ. Dei, Pythagoras noluit profiteri se sapientem, sed sapientiae amatorem. Et ideo religiosus non est transgressor professionis si non sit perfectus, sed solum si contemnat ad perfectionem tendere. Reply to Objection 1. He who enters religion does not make profession to be perfect, but he professes to endeavor to attain perfection; even as he who enters the schools does not profess to have knowledge, but to study in order to acquire knowledge. Wherefore as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei viii, 2), Pythagoras was unwilling to profess to be a wise man, but acknowledged himself, "a lover of wisdom." Hence a religious does not violate his profession if he be not perfect, but only if he despises to tend to perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut diligere Deum ex toto corde tenentur omnes, est tamen aliqua perfectionis totalitas quae sine peccato praetermitti non potest, aliqua autem quae sine peccato praetermittitur, dum tamen desit contemptus, ut supra dictum est, ita etiam omnes, tam religiosi quam saeculares, tenentur aliqualiter facere quidquid boni possunt, omnibus enim communiter dicitur, Eccle. IX, quidquid potest manus tua, instanter operare; est tamen aliquis modus hoc praeceptum implendi quo peccatum vitatur, si scilicet homo faciat quod potest secundum quod requirit conditio sui status; dummodo contemptus non adsit agendi meliora, per quem animus obfirmatur contra spiritualem profectum. Reply to Objection 2. Just as, though all are bound to love God with their whole heart, yet there is a certain wholeness of perfection which cannot be omitted without sin, and another wholeness which can be omitted without sin (184, 2, ad 3), provided there be no contempt, as stated above (ad 1), so too, all, both religious and seculars, are bound, in a certain measure, to do whatever good they can, for to all without exception it is said (Ecclesiastes 9:1)0): "Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly." Yet there is a way of fulfilling this precept, so as to avoid sin, namely if one do what one can as required by the conditions of one's state of life: provided there be no contempt of doing better things, which contempt sets the mind against spiritual progress.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quaedam consilia sunt quae si praetermitterentur, tota vita hominis implicaretur negotiis saecularibus, puta si aliquis haberet proprium, vel matrimonio uteretur, aut aliquid huiusmodi faceret quod pertinet ad essentialia religionis vota. Et ideo ad omnia talia consilia observanda religiosi tenentur. Sunt autem quaedam consilia de quibusdam particularibus melioribus actibus, quae praetermitti possunt absque hoc quod vita hominis saecularibus actibus implicetur. Unde non oportet quod ad omnia talia religiosi teneantur. Reply to Objection 3. There are some counsels such that if they be omitted, man's whole life would be taken up with secular business; for instance if he have property of his own, or enter the married state, or do something of the kind that regards the essential vows of religion themselves; wherefore religious are bound to keep all such like counsels. Other counsels there are, however, about certain particular better actions, which can be omitted without one's life being taken up with secular actions; wherefore there is no need for religious to be bound to fulfil all of them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod paupertas non requiratur ad perfectionem religionis. Non enim videtur ad statum perfectionis pertinere illud quod illicite fit. Sed quod homo omnia sua relinquat, videtur esse illicitum, apostolus enim, II ad Cor. VIII, dat formam fidelibus eleemosynas faciendi, dicens, si voluntas prompta est, secundum id quod habet, accepta est, idest, ut necessaria retineatis; et postea subdit, non ut aliis sit remissio, vobis autem tribulatio, Glossa, idest, paupertas. Et super illud I ad Tim. VI, habentes alimenta et quibus tegamur, dicit Glossa, etsi nihil intulerimus vel ablaturi simus, non tamen omnino abiicienda sunt haec temporalia. Ergo videtur quod voluntaria paupertas non requiratur ad perfectionem religionis. Objection 1. It would seem that poverty is not required for religious perfection. For that which it is unlawful to do does not apparently belong to the state of perfection. But it would seem to be unlawful for a man to give up all he possesses; since the Apostle (2 Corinthians 8:12) lays down the way in which the faithful are to give alms saying: "If the will be forward, it is accepted according to that which a man hath," i.e. "you should keep back what you need," and afterwards he adds (2 Corinthians 8:13): "For I mean not that others should be eased, and you burthened," i.e. "with poverty," according to a gloss. Moreover a gloss on 1 Timothy 6:8, "Having food, and wherewith to be covered," says: "Though we brought nothing, and will carry nothing away, we must not give up these temporal things altogether." Therefore it seems that voluntary poverty is not requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, quicumque se exponit periculo, peccat. Sed ille qui, omnibus suis relictis, voluntariam paupertatem sectatur, exponit se periculo, et spirituali, secundum illud Prov. XXX, ne forte, egestate compulsus, furer et periurem nomen Dei mei, et Eccli. XXVII, propter inopiam multi perierunt; et etiam corporali, dicitur enim Eccle. VII, sicut protegit sapientia, sic protegit et pecunia. Et philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., quod videtur quaedam perditio ipsius hominis esse corruptio divitiarum, quia per has homo vivit. Ergo videtur quod voluntaria paupertas non requiratur ad perfectionem religiosae vitae. Objection 2. Further, whosoever exposes himself to danger sins. But he who renounces all he has and embraces voluntary poverty exposes himself to danger--not only spiritual, according to Proverbs 30:9, "Lest perhaps . . . being compelled by poverty, I should steal and forswear the name of my God," and Sirach 27:1, "Through poverty many have sinned"--but also corporal, for it is written (Ecclesiastes 7:13): "As wisdom is a defense, so money is a defense," and the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 1) that "the waste of property appears to be a sort of ruining of one's self, since thereby man lives." Therefore it would seem that voluntary poverty is not requisite for the perfection of religious life.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, virtus in medio consistit, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Sed ille qui omnia dimittit per voluntariam paupertatem, non videtur in medio consistere, sed magis in extremo. Ergo non agit virtuose. Et ita hoc non pertinet ad vitae perfectionem. Objection 3. Further, "Virtue observes the mean," as stated in Ethic. ii, 6. But he who renounces all by voluntary poverty seems to go to the extreme rather than to observe the mean. Therefore he does not act virtuously: and so this does not pertain to the perfection of life.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 4 Praeterea, ultima perfectio hominis in beatitudine consistit. Sed divitiae conferunt ad beatitudinem, dicitur enim Eccli. XXXI, beatus est dives qui inventus est sine macula. Et philosophus dicit, in I Ethic., quod divitiae organice deserviunt ad felicitatem. Ergo voluntaria paupertas non requiritur ad perfectionem religionis. Objection 4. Further, the ultimate perfection of man consists in happiness. Now riches conduce to happiness; for it is written (Sirach 31:8): "Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish," and the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 8) that "riches contribute instrumentally to happiness." Therefore voluntary poverty is not requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 5 Praeterea, status episcoporum est perfectior quam status religionis. Sed episcopi possunt proprium habere, ut supra habitum est. Ergo et religiosi. Objection 5. Further, the episcopal state is more perfect than the religious state. But bishops may have property, as stated above (Question 185, Article 6). Therefore religious may also.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 arg. 6 Praeterea, dare eleemosynam est opus maxime Deo acceptum, et, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, medicamentum quod maxime in poenitentia operatur. Sed paupertas excludit eleemosynarum largitionem. Ergo videtur quod paupertas ad perfectionem religionis non pertineat. Objection 6. Further, almsgiving is a work most acceptable to God, and as Chrysostom says (Hom. ix in Ep. ad Hebr.) "is a most effective remedy in repentance." Now poverty excludes almsgiving. Therefore it would seem that poverty does not pertain to religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, VIII Moral., sunt nonnulli iustorum qui, ad comprehendendum culmen perfectionis accincti, dum altiora interius appetunt, exterius cuncta derelinquunt. Sed accingi ad comprehendendum culmen perfectionis proprie pertinet ad religiosos, ut dictum est. Ergo eis competit ut per voluntariam paupertatem cuncta exterius derelinquant. On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. viii, 26): "There are some of the righteous who bracing themselves up to lay hold of the very height of perfection, while they aim at higher objects within, abandon all things without." Now, as stated above, (1 and 2), it belongs properly to religious to brace themselves up in order to lay hold of the very height of perfection. Therefore it belongs to them to abandon all outward things by voluntary poverty.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, status religionis est quoddam exercitium et disciplina per quam pervenitur ad perfectionem caritatis. Ad quod quidem necessarium est quod aliquis affectum suum totaliter abstrahat a rebus mundanis, dicit enim Augustinus, in X Confess., ad Deum loquens, minus te amat qui tecum aliquid amat quod non propter te amat. Unde et in libro octogintatrium quaest., dicit Augustinus quod nutrimentum caritatis est imminutio cupiditatis, perfectio, nulla cupiditas. Ex hoc autem quod aliquis res mundanas possidet, allicitur animus eius ad earum amorem. Unde Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad Paulinum et Therasiam, quod terrena diliguntur arctius adepta quam concupita. Nam unde iuvenis ille tristis discessit, nisi quia magnas habebat divitias? Aliud est enim nolle incorporare quae desunt, aliud iam incorporata divellere, illa enim velut extranea repudiantur; ista velut membra praeciduntur. Et Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., quod appositio divitiarum maiorem accendit flammam, et vehementior fit cupido. Et inde est quod ad perfectionem caritatis acquirendam, primum fundamentum est voluntaria paupertas, ut aliquis absque proprio vivat, dicente domino, Matth. XIX, si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, et veni, sequere me. I answer that, As stated above (Article 2), the religious state is an exercise and a school for attaining to the perfection of charity. For this it is necessary that a man wholly withdraw his affections from worldly things; since Augustine says (Confess. x, 29), speaking to God: "Too little doth he love Thee, who loves anything with Thee, which he loveth not for Thee." Wherefore he says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 36) that "greater charity means less cupidity, perfect charity means no cupidity." Now the possession of worldly things draws a man's mind to the love of them: hence Augustine says (Ep. xxxi ad Paulin. et Theras.) that "we are more firmly attached to earthly things when we have them than when we desire them: since why did that young man go away sad, save because he had great wealth? For it is one thing not to wish to lay hold of what one has not, and another to renounce what one already has; the former are rejected as foreign to us, the latter are cut off as a limb." And Chrysostom says (Hom. lxiii in Matth.) that "the possession of wealth kindles a greater flame and the desire for it becomes stronger." Hence it is that in the attainment of the perfection of charity the first foundation is voluntary poverty, whereby a man lives without property of his own, according to the saying of our Lord (Matthew 19:21), "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all [Vulgate: 'what'] thou hast, and give to the poor . . . and come, follow Me."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Glossa ibidem subdit, non ideo dixit apostolus (scilicet, ut vobis non sit tribulatio, idest paupertas), quin melius esset, sed infirmis timet, quos sic dare monet ut egestatem non patiantur. Unde similiter etiam ex Glossa alia non est intelligendum quod non liceat omnia temporalia abiicere, sed quod hoc non ex necessitate requiritur. Unde et Ambrosius dicit, in I de Offic., dominus non vult, scilicet ex necessitate praecepti, simul effundi opes, sed dispensari, nisi forte ut Eliseus boves suos occidit et pavit pauperes ex eo quod habuit, ut nulla cura teneretur domestica. Reply to Objection 1. As the gloss adds, "when the Apostle said this (namely "not that you should be burthened," i.e. with poverty)," he did not mean that "it were better not to give: but he feared for the weak, whom he admonished so to give as not to suffer privation." Hence in like manner the other gloss means not that it is unlawful to renounce all one's temporal goods, but that this is not required of necessity. Wherefore Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 30): "Our Lord does not wish," namely does not command us "to pour out our wealth all at once, but to dispense it; or perhaps to do as did Eliseus who slew his oxen, and fed the poor with that which was his own so that no household care might hold him back."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ille qui omnia sua dimittit propter Christum, non exponit se periculo, neque spirituali neque corporali. Spirituale enim periculum ex paupertate provenit quando non est voluntaria, quia ex affectu aggregandi pecunias, quem patiuntur illi qui involuntarie sunt pauperes, incidit homo in multa peccata; secundum illud I ad Tim. ult., qui volunt divites fieri, incidunt in tentationem et in laqueum Diaboli. Iste autem affectus deponitur ab his qui voluntariam paupertatem sequuntur, magis autem dominatur in his qui divitias possident, ut ex dictis patet. Corporale etiam periculum non imminet illis qui, intentione sequendi Christum, omnia sua relinquunt, divinae providentiae se committentes. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, quaerentibus regnum Dei et iustitiam eius non debet subesse sollicitudo ne necessaria desint. Reply to Objection 2. He who renounces all his possessions for Christ's sake exposes himself to no danger, neither spiritual nor corporal. For spiritual danger ensues from poverty when the latter is not voluntary; because those who are unwillingly poor, through the desire of money-getting, fall into many sins, according to (1 Timothy 6:9), "They that will become rich, fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil." This attachment is put away by those who embrace voluntary poverty, but it gathers strength in those who have wealth, as stated above. Again bodily danger does not threaten those who, intent on following Christ, renounce all their possessions and entrust themselves to divine providence. Hence Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 17): "Those who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice are not weighed down by anxiety lest they lack what is necessary."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod medium virtutis, secundum philosophum, in II Ethic., accipitur secundum rationem rectam, non secundum quantitatem rei. Et ideo quidquid potest fieri secundum rationem rectam, non est vitiosum ex magnitudine quantitatis, sed magis virtuosum. Esset autem praeter rationem rectam si quis omnia sua consumeret in intemperantiam, vel absque utilitate. Est autem secundum rationem rectam quod aliquis divitias abiiciat ut contemplationi sapientiae vacet, quod etiam philosophi quidam fecisse leguntur. Dicit enim Hieronymus, in epistola ad Paulinum, Crates ille Thebanus, homo quondam ditissimus, cum ad philosophandum Athenas pergeret, magnum auri pondus abiecit, nec putavit se posse simul divitias et virtutes possidere. Unde multo magis secundum rationem rectam est ut homo omnia sua relinquat ad hoc quod Christum perfecte sequatur. Unde Hieronymus dicit, in epistola ad rusticum monachum, nudum Christum nudus sequere. Reply to Objection 3. According to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6), the mean of virtue is taken according to right reason, not according to the quantity of a thing. Consequently whatever may be done in accordance with right reason is not rendered sinful by the greatness of the quantity, but all the more virtuous. It would, however, be against right reason to throw away all one's possessions through intemperance, or without any useful purpose; whereas it is in accordance with right reason to renounce wealth in order to devote oneself to the contemplation of wisdom. Even certain philosophers are said to have done this; for Jerome says (Ep. xlviii ad Paulin.): "The famous Theban, Crates, once a very wealthy man, when he was going to Athens to study philosophy, cast away a large amount of gold; for he considered that he could not possess both gold and virtue at the same time." Much more therefore is it according to right reason for a man to renounce all he has, in order perfectly to follow Christ. Wherefore Jerome says (Ep. cxxv ad Rust. Monach.): "Poor thyself, follow Christ poor."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod duplex est beatitudo sive felicitas, una quidem perfecta, quam expectamus in futura vita; alia autem imperfecta, secundum quam aliqui dicuntur in hac vita beati. Praesentis autem vitae felicitas est duplex, una quidem secundum vitam activam, alia vero secundum vitam contemplativam, ut patet per philosophum, in X Ethic. Ad felicitatem igitur vitae activae, quae consistit in exterioribus operationibus, divitiae instrumentaliter coadiuvant, quia, ut philosophus dicit, in I Ethic. multa operamur per amicos, per divitias et per civilem potentiam, sicut per quaedam organa. Ad felicitatem autem contemplativae vitae non multum operantur, sed magis impediunt, inquantum sua sollicitudine impediunt animi quietem, quae maxime necessaria est contemplanti. Et hoc est quod philosophus dicit, in X Ethic., quod ad actiones multis opus est, speculanti vero nullo talium, scilicet exteriorum bonorum, ad operationem necessitas, sed impedimenta sunt ad speculationem. Ad futuram vero beatitudinem ordinatur aliquis per caritatem. Et quia voluntaria paupertas est efficax exercitium perveniendi ad perfectam caritatem, ideo multum valet ad caelestem beatitudinem consequendam, unde et dominus, Matth. XIX, dicit, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, et habebis thesaurum in caelo. Divitiae autem habitae per se quidem natae sunt perfectionem caritatis impedire, principaliter alliciendo animum et distrahendo unde dicitur, Matth. XIII, quod sollicitudo saeculi et fallacia divitiarum suffocat verbum Dei; quia, ut Gregorius dicit, dum bonum desiderium ad cor intrare non sinunt, quasi aditum flatus vitalis necant. Et ideo difficile est caritatem inter divitias conservare. Unde dominus dicit, Matth. XIX, quod dives difficile intrabit in regnum caelorum. Quod quidem intelligendum est de eo qui actu habet divitias, nam de eo qui affectum in divitiis ponit, dicit hoc esse impossibile, secundum expositionem Chrisostomi, cum subdit, facilius est camelum per foramen acus transire quam divitem intrare in regnum caelorum. Et ideo non simpliciter dives dicitur esse beatus, sed, qui inventus est sine macula et post aurum non abiit. Et hoc, quia rem difficilem fecit, unde subditur, quis est hic. Et laudabimus eum? Fecit enim mirabilia in vita sua, ut scilicet, inter divitias positus, divitias non amaret. Reply to Objection 4. Happiness or felicity is twofold. One is perfect, to which we look forward in the life to come; the other is imperfect, in respect of which some are said to be happy in this life. The happiness of this life is twofold, one is according to the active life, the other according to the contemplative life, as the Philosopher asserts (Ethic. x, 7,8). Now wealth conduces instrumentally to the happiness of the active life which consists in external actions, because as the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 8) "we do many things by friends, by riches, by political influence, as it were by instruments." On the other hand, it does not conduce to the happiness of the contemplative life, rather is it an obstacle thereto, inasmuch as the anxiety it involves disturbs the quiet of the soul, which is most necessary to one who contemplates. Hence it is that the Philosopher asserts (Ethic. x, 8) that "for actions many things are needed, but the contemplative man needs no such things," namely external goods, "for his operation; in fact they are obstacles to his contemplation." Man is directed to future happiness by charity; and since voluntary poverty is an efficient exercise for the attaining of perfect charity, it follows that it is of great avail in acquiring the happiness of heaven. Wherefore our Lord said (Matthew 19:21): "Go, sell all [Vulgate: 'what'] thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven." Now riches once they are possessed are in themselves of a nature to hinder the perfection of charity, especially by enticing and distracting the mind. Hence it is written (Matthew 13:22) that "the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word" of God, for as Gregory says (Hom. xv in Ev.) by "preventing the good desire from entering into the heart, they destroy life at its very outset." Consequently it is difficult to safeguard charity amidst riches: wherefore our Lord said (Matthew 19:23) that "a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven," which we must understand as referring to one who actually has wealth, since He says that this is impossible for him who places his affection in riches, according to the explanation of Chrysostom (Hom. lxiii in Matth.), for He adds (Matthew 19:24): "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." Hence it is not said simply that the "rich man" is blessed, but "the rich man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold," and this because he has done a difficult thing, wherefore the text continues (Matthew 19:9): "Who is he? and we will praise him; for he hath done wonderful things in his life," namely by not loving riches though placed in the midst of them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod status episcopalis non ordinatur ad perfectionem adipiscendam, sed potius ut ex perfectione quam quis habet, alios gubernet, non solum ministrando spiritualia, sed etiam temporalia. Quod pertinet ad vitam activam, in qua multa operanda occurrunt instrumentaliter per divitias, ut dictum est. Et ideo ab episcopis, qui profitentur gubernationem gregis Christi, non exigitur quod proprio careant, sicut exigitur a religiosis, qui profitentur disciplinam perfectionis acquirendae. Reply to Objection 5. The episcopal state is not directed to the attainment of perfection, but rather to the effect that, in virtue of the perfection which he already has, a man may govern others, by administering not only spiritual but also temporal things. This belongs to the active life, wherein many things occur that may be done by means of wealth as an instrument, as stated (ad 4). Wherefore it is not required of bishops, who make profession of governing Christ's flock, that they have nothing of their own, whereas it is required of religious who make profession of learning to obtain perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 3 ad 6 Ad sextum dicendum quod abrenuntiatio propriarum divitiarum comparatur ad eleemosynarum largitionem sicut universale ad particulare, et holocaustum ad sacrificium. Unde Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., quod illi qui ex possessis rebus subsidia egentibus ministrant, in bonis quae faciunt sacrificium offerunt, quia aliquid Deo immolant, et aliquid sibi reservant, qui vero nihil sibi reservant, offerunt holocaustum, quod est maius sacrificio. Unde etiam Hieronymus, contra Vigilant., dicit, quod autem asserit eos melius facere qui utantur rebus suis et paulatim fructus possessionum pauperibus dividant, non a me eis, sed a Deo respondetur, si vis perfectus esse, et cetera. Et postea subdit, iste quem tu laudas, secundus et tertius gradus est, quem et nos recipimus, dummodo sciamus prima secundis et tertiis praeferenda. Et ideo, ad excludendum errorem Vigilantii, dicitur in libro de ecclesiasticis dogmatibus, bonum est facultates cum dispensatione pauperibus erogare, melius est, pro intentione sequendi dominum, insimul donare, et, absolutum sollicitudine, egere cum Christo. Reply to Objection 6. The renouncement of one's own wealth is compared to almsgiving as the universal to the particular, and as the holocaust to the sacrifice. Hence Gregory says (Hom. xx in Ezech.) that those who assist "the needy with the things they possess, by their good deeds offer sacrifice, since they offer up something to God and keep back something for themselves; whereas those who keep nothing for themselves offer a holocaust which is greater than a sacrifice." Wherefore Jerome also says (Contra Vigilant.): "When you declare that those do better who retain the use of their possessions, and dole out the fruits of their possessions to the poor, it is not I but the Lord Who answers you; If thou wilt be perfect," etc., and afterwards he goes on to say: "This man whom you praise belongs to the second and third degree, and we too commend him: provided we acknowledge the first as to be preferred to the second and third." For this reason in order to exclude the error of Vigilantius it is said (De Eccl. Dogm. xxxviii): "It is a good thing to give away one's goods by dispensing them to the poor: it is better to give them away once for all with the intention of following the Lord, and, free of solicitude, to be poor with Christ."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod perpetua continentia non requiratur ad perfectionem religionis. Omnis enim Christianae vitae perfectio ab apostolis Christi coepit. Sed apostoli continentiam non videntur servasse, ut patet de Petro, qui socrum legitur habuisse, Matth. VIII. Ergo videtur quod ad perfectionem religionis non requiratur perpetua continentia. Objection 1. It would seem that perpetual continence is not required for religious perfection. For all perfection of the Christian life began with Christ's apostles. Now the apostles do not appear to have observed continence, as evidenced by Peter, of whose mother-in-law we read Matthew 8:14. Therefore it would seem that perpetual continence is not requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, primum perfectionis exemplar nobis in Abraham ostenditur, cui dominus dixit, Gen. XVII, ambula coram me, et esto perfectus. Sed exemplatum non oportet quod excedat exemplar. Ergo non requiritur ad perfectionem religionis perpetua continentia. Objection 2. Further, the first example of perfection is shown to us in the person of Abraham, to whom the Lord said (Genesis 17:1): "Walk before Me, and be perfect." Now the copy should not surpass the example. Therefore perpetual continence is not requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, illud quod requiritur ad perfectionem religionis, in omni religione invenitur. Sunt autem aliqui religiosi qui uxoribus utuntur. Non ergo religionis perfectio exigit perpetuam continentiam. Objection 3. Further, that which is required for religious perfection is to be found in every religious order. Now there are some religious who lead a married life. Therefore religious perfection does not require perpetual continence.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, II ad Cor. VII, mundemus nos ab omni inquinamento carnis et spiritus, perficientes sanctificationem nostram in timore Dei. Sed munditia carnis et spiritus conservatur per continentiam, dicitur enim I ad Cor. VII, mulier innupta et virgo cogitat quae domini sunt, ut sit sancta corpore et spiritu. Ergo perfectio religionis requirit continentiam. On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Corinthians 7:1): "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God." Now cleanness of flesh and spirit is safeguarded by continence, for it is said (1 Corinthians 7:3)4): "The unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord that she may be holy both in spirit and in body [Vulgate: 'both in body and in spirit']." Therefore religious perfection requires continence.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ad statum religionis requiritur subtractio eorum per quae homo impeditur ne totaliter feratur ad Dei servitium. Usus autem carnalis copulae retrahit animum ne totaliter feratur in Dei servitium, dupliciter. Uno modo, propter vehementiam delectationis, ex cuius frequenti experientia augetur concupiscentia, ut etiam philosophus dicit, in III Ethic. Et inde est quod usus venereorum retrahit animam ab illa perfecta intentione tendendi in Deum. Et hoc est quod Augustinus dicit, in I Soliloq., nihil esse sentio quod magis ex arce deiiciat animum virilem quam blandimenta feminae, corporumque ille contactus sine quo uxor haberi non potest. Alio modo, propter sollicitudinem quam ingerit homini de gubernatione uxoris et filiorum, et rerum temporalium quae ad eorum sustentationem sufficiant. Unde apostolus dicit quod qui sine uxore est, sollicitus est quae sunt domini, quomodo placeat Deo, qui autem cum uxore est, sollicitus est quae sunt mundi, quomodo placeat uxori. Et ideo continentia perpetua requiritur ad perfectionem religionis, sicut et voluntaria paupertas. Unde sicut damnatus est Vigilantius, qui adaequavit divitias paupertati; ita damnatus est Iovinianus, qui adaequavit matrimonium virginitati. I answer that, The religious state requires the removal of whatever hinders man from devoting himself entirely to God's service. Now the use of sexual union hinders the mind from giving itself wholly to the service of God, and this for two reasons. First, on account of its vehement delectation, which by frequent repetition increases concupiscence, as also the Philosopher observes (Ethic. iii, 12): and hence it is that the use of venery withdraws the mind from that perfect intentness on tending to God. Augustine expresses this when he says (Solil. i, 10): "I consider that nothing so casts down the manly mind from its height as the fondling of women, and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state." Secondly, because it involves man in solicitude for the control of his wife, his children, and his temporalities which serve for their upkeep. Hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 7:3)2,33): "He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God: but he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife." Therefore perpetual continence, as well as voluntary poverty, is requisite for religious perfection. Wherefore just as Vigilantius was condemned for equaling riches to poverty, so was Jovinian condemned for equaling marriage to virginity.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod perfectio non solum paupertatis, sed etiam continentiae, introducta est per Christum, qui dicit, Matth. XIX, sunt eunuchi qui castraverunt seipsos propter regnum caelorum, et postea subdit, qui potest capere, capiat. Et ne alicui spes perveniendi ad perfectionem tolleretur, assumpsit ad perfectionis statum etiam illos quos invenit matrimonio iunctos. Non autem poterat absque iniuria fieri quod viri uxores desererent, sicut absque iniuria fiebat quod homines divitias relinquerent. Et ideo Petrum, quem invenit matrimonio iunctum, non separavit ab uxore. Ioannem tamen nubere volentem a nuptiis revocavit. Reply to Objection 1. The perfection not only of poverty but also of continence was introduced by Christ Who said (Matthew 19:12): "There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs, for the kingdom of heaven," and then added: "He that can take, let him take it." And lest anyone should be deprived of the hope of attaining perfection, he admitted to the state of perfection those even who were married. Now the husbands could not without committing an injustice forsake their wives, whereas men could without injustice renounce riches. Wherefore Peter whom He found married, He severed not from his wife, while "He withheld from marriage John who wished to marry" [Prolog. in Joan. among the supposititious works of St. Jerome].
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de bono Coniug., melior est castitas caelibum quam castitas nuptiarum, quarum Abraham unam habebat in usu, ambas in habitu. Caste quippe coniugaliter vixit, esse autem castus sine coniugio potuit, sed tunc non oportuit. Nec tamen quia antiqui patres perfectionem animi simul cum divitiis et matrimonio habuerunt, quod ad magnitudinem virtutis pertinebat, propter hoc infirmiores quique debent praesumere se tantae virtutis esse ut cum divitiis et matrimonio possint ad perfectionem pervenire, sicut nec aliquis praesumit hostes inermis invadere quia Samson cum mandibula asini multos hostium peremit. Nam illi patres, si tempus fuisset continentiae et paupertatis servandae, studiosius hoc implessent. Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says (De Bono Conjug. xxii), "the chastity of celibacy is better than the chastity of marriage, one of which Abraham had in use, both of them in habit. For he lived chastely, and he might have been chaste without marrying, but it was not requisite then." Nevertheless if the patriarchs of old had perfection of mind together with wealth and marriage, which is a mark of the greatness of their virtue, this is no reason why any weaker person should presume to have such great virtue that he can attain to perfection though rich and married; as neither does a man unarmed presume to attack his enemy, because Samson slew many foes with the jaw-bone of an ass. For those fathers, had it been seasonable to observe continence and poverty, would have been most careful to observe them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod illi modi vivendi secundum quos homines matrimonio utuntur, non sunt simpliciter et absolute loquendo religiones, sed secundum quid, inquantum scilicet in aliquo participant quaedam quae ad statum religionis pertinent. Reply to Objection 3. Such ways of living as admit of the use of marriage are not the religious life simply and absolutely speaking, but in a restricted sense, in so far as they have a certain share in those things that belong to the religious state.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod obedientia non pertineat ad perfectionem religionis. Illa enim videntur ad perfectionem religionis pertinere quae sunt supererogationis, ad quae non omnes tenentur. Sed ad obediendum praelatis suis omnes tenentur, secundum illud apostoli, Hebr. ult., obedite praepositis vestris, et subiacete eis. Ergo videtur quod obedientia non pertineat ad perfectionem religionis. Objection 1. It would seem that obedience does not belong to religious perfection. For those things seemingly belong to religious perfection, which are works of supererogation and are not binding upon all. But all are bound to obey their superiors, according to the saying of the Apostle (Hebrews 13:17), "Obey your prelates, and be subject to them." Therefore it would seem that obedience does not belong to religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, obedientia proprie pertinere videtur ad eos qui debent regi sensu alieno, quod est indiscretorum. Sed apostolus dicit, ad Heb. V, quod perfectorum est solidus cibus, qui pro consuetudine exercitatos habent sensus ad discretionem boni et mali. Ergo videtur quod obedientia non pertineat ad statum perfectorum. Objection 2. Further, obedience would seem to belong properly to those who have to be guided by the sense of others, and such persons are lacking in discernment. Now the Apostle says (Hebrews 5:1)4) that "strong meat is for the perfect, for them who by custom have their senses exercised to the discerning of good and evil." Therefore it would seem that obedience does not belong to the state of the perfect.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, si obedientia requireretur ad perfectionem religionis, oporteret quod omnibus religiosis conveniret. Non autem omnibus convenit, sunt enim quidam religiosi solitariam vitam agentes, qui non habent superiores, quibus obediant. Praelati etiam religionum ad obedientiam non videntur teneri. Ergo obedientia non videtur pertinere ad perfectionem religionis. Objection 3. Further, if obedience were requisite for religious perfection, it would follow that it is befitting to all religious. But it is not becoming to all; since some religious lead a solitary life, and have no superior whom they obey. Again religious superiors apparently are not bound to obedience. Therefore obedience would seem not to pertain to religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 arg. 4 Praeterea, si votum obedientiae ad religionem requireretur, consequens esset quod religiosi tenerentur praelatis suis in omnibus obedire, sicut et per votum continentiae tenentur ab omnibus venereis abstinere. Sed non tenentur obedire in omnibus, ut supra habitum est, cum de virtute obedientiae ageretur. Ergo votum obedientiae non requiritur ad religionem. Objection 4. Further, if the vow of obedience were requisite for religion, it would follow that religious are bound to obey their superiors in all things, just as they are bound to abstain from all venery by their vow of continence. But they are not bound to obey them in all things, as stated above (Question 104, Article 5), when we were treating of the virtue of obedience. Therefore the vow of obedience is not requisite for religion.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 arg. 5 Praeterea, illa servitia sunt Deo maxime accepta quae liberaliter et non ex necessitate fiunt, secundum illud II ad Cor. IX, non ex tristitia aut ex necessitate. Sed illa quae ex obedientia fiunt, fiunt ex necessitate praecepti. Ergo laudabilius fiunt bona opera quae quis propria sponte facit. Votum ergo obedientiae non competit religioni, per quam homines quaerunt ad meliora promoveri. Objection 5. Further, those services are most acceptable to God which are done freely and not of necessity, according to (2 Corinthians 9:7), "Not with sadness or of necessity." Now that which is done out of obedience is done of necessity of precept. Therefore those good works are more deserving of praise which are done of one's own accord. Therefore the vow of obedience is unbecoming to religion whereby men seek to attain to that which is better.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra, perfectio religionis maxime consistit in imitatione Christi, secundum illud Matth. XIX, si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, et veni, sequere me. Sed in Christo maxime commendatur obedientia, secundum illud Philip. II, factus est obediens usque ad mortem. Ergo videtur quod obedientia pertineat ad perfectionem religionis. On the contrary, Religious perfection consists chiefly in the imitation of Christ, according to Matthew 19:21, "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell all [Vulgate: 'what'] thou hast, and give to the poor, and follow Me." Now in Christ obedience is commended above all according to (Philippians 2:8), "He became [Vulgate: 'becoming'] obedient unto death." Therefore seemingly obedience belongs to religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, status religionis est quaedam disciplina vel exercitium tendendi in perfectionem. Quicumque autem instruuntur vel exercitantur ut perveniant ad aliquem finem, oportet quod directionem alicuius sequantur, secundum cuius arbitrium instruantur vel exercitentur, quasi discipuli sub magistro. Et ideo oportet quod religiosi, in his quae pertinent ad religiosam vitam, alicuius instructioni et imperio subdantur. Unde et VII, qu. I, dicitur, monachorum vita subiectionis habet verbum et discipulatus. Imperio autem et instructioni alterius subiicitur homo per obedientiam. Et ideo obedientia requiritur ad religionis perfectionem. I answer that, As stated above (A2,3) the religious state is a school and exercise for tending to perfection. Now those who are being instructed or exercised in order to attain a certain end must needs follow the direction of someone under whose control they are instructed or exercised so as to attain that end as disciples under a master. Hence religious need to be placed under the instruction and command of someone as regards things pertaining to the religious life; wherefore it is said (VII, qu. i, can. Hoc nequaquam): "The monastic life denotes subjection and discipleship." Now one man is subjected to another's command and instruction by obedience: and consequently obedience is requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod obedire praelatis in his quae pertinent ad necessitatem virtutis, non est supererogationis, sed omnibus commune, sed obedire in his quae pertinent ad exercitium perfectionis, pertinet proprie ad religiosos. Et comparatur ista obedientia ad aliam sicut universale ad particulare. Illi enim qui in saeculo vivunt, aliquid sibi retinent et aliquid Deo largiuntur, et secundum hoc obedientiae praelatorum subduntur. Illi vero qui vivunt in religione, totaliter se et sua tribuunt Deo, ut ex supra dictis patet. Unde obedientia eorum est universalis. Reply to Objection 1. To obey one's superiors in matters that are essential to virtue is not a work of supererogation, but is common to all: whereas to obey in matters pertaining to the practice of perfection belongs properly to religious. This latter obedience is compared to the former as the universal to the particular. For those who live in the world, keep something for themselves, and offer something to God; and in the latter respect they are under obedience to their superiors: whereas those who live in religion give themselves wholly and their possessions to God, as stated above (1 and 3). Hence their obedience is universal.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., homines exercitantes se in operibus perveniunt ad aliquos habitus, quos cum acquisierint, eosdem actus maxime possunt operari. Sic igitur obediendo illi qui non sunt perfectionem adepti, ad perfectionem perveniunt. Illi autem qui iam sunt perfectionem adepti, maxime prompti sunt ad obediendum, non quasi indigentes dirigi ad perfectionem acquirendam; sed quasi per hoc se conservantes in eo quod ad perfectionem pertinet. Reply to Objection 2. As the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 1,2), by performing actions we contract certain habits, and when we have acquired the habit we are best able to perform the actions. Accordingly those who have not attained to perfection, acquire perfection by obeying, while those who have already acquired perfection are most ready to obey, not as though they need to be directed to the acquisition of perfection, but as maintaining themselves by this means in that which belongs to perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod subiectio religiosorum principaliter attenditur ad episcopos, qui comparantur ad eos sicut perfectores ad perfectos, ut patet per Dionysium, VI cap. Eccles. Hier., ubi etiam dicit quod monachorum ordo pontificum consummativis virtutibus mancipatur, et divinis eorum illuminationibus edocetur. Unde ab episcoporum obedientia nec eremitae, nec etiam praelati religionum excusantur. Et si a dioecesanis episcopis totaliter vel in parte sunt exempti, obligantur tamen ad obediendum summo pontifici, non solum in his quae sunt communia aliis, sed etiam in his quae specialiter pertinent ad disciplinam religionis. Reply to Objection 3. The subjection of religious is chiefly in reference to bishops, who are compared to them as perfecters to perfected, as Dionysius states (Eccl. Hier. vi), where he also says that the "monastic order is subjected to the perfecting virtues of the bishops, and is taught by their godlike enlightenment." Hence neither hermits nor religious superiors are exempt from obedience to bishops; and if they be wholly or partly exempt from obedience to the bishop of the diocese, they are nevertheless bound to obey the Sovereign Pontiff, not only in matters affecting all in common, but also in those which pertain specially to religious discipline.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod votum obedientiae ad religionem pertinens se extendit ad dispositionem totius humanae vitae. Et secundum hoc, votum obedientiae habet quandam universalitatem, licet non se extendat ad omnes particulares actus; quorum quidam ad religionem non pertinent, quia non sunt de rebus pertinentibus ad dilectionem Dei et proximi, sicut confricatio barbae vel levatio festucae de terra et similia, quae non cadunt sub voto vel sub obedientia; quidam vero etiam contrariantur religioni. Nec est simile de voto continentiae, per quam excluduntur actus omnino perfectioni religionis contrarii. Reply to Objection 4. The vow of obedience taken by religious, extends to the disposition of a man's whole life, and in this way it has a certain universality, although it does not extend to all individual acts. For some of these do not belong to religion, through not being of those things that concern the love of God and of our neighbor, such as rubbing one's beard, lifting a stick from the ground and so forth, which do not come under a vow nor under obedience; and some are contrary to religion. Nor is there any comparison with continence whereby acts are excluded which are altogether contrary to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 5 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod necessitas coactionis facit involuntarium, et ideo excludit rationem laudis et meriti. Sed necessitas consequens obedientiam non est necessitas coactionis, sed liberae voluntatis, inquantum homo vult obedire, licet forte non vellet illud quod mandatur, secundum se consideratum, implere. Et ideo, quia necessitati aliqua faciendi quae secundum se non placent, per votum obedientiae homo se subiicit propter Deum; ex hoc ipso ea quae facit sunt Deo magis accepta, etiam si sint minora, quia nihil maius homo potest Deo dare quam quod propriam voluntatem propter ipsum alterius voluntati subiiciat. Unde in collationibus patrum dicitur deterrimum genus monachorum esse Sarabaitas, qui, suas necessitates curantes, absoluti a seniorum iugo, habent libertatem agendi quod libitum fuerit, et tamen magis quam hi qui in coenobiis degunt, in operibus diebus ac noctibus consumuntur. Reply to Objection 5. The necessity of coercion makes an act involuntary and consequently deprives it of the character of praise or merit; whereas the necessity which is consequent upon obedience is a necessity not of coercion but of a free will, inasmuch as a man is willing to obey, although perhaps he would not be willing to do the thing commanded considered in itself. Wherefore since by the vow of obedience a man lays himself under the necessity of doing for God's sake certain things that are not pleasing in themselves, for this very reason that which he does is the more acceptable to God, though it be of less account, because man can give nothing greater to God, than by subjecting his will to another man's for God's sake. Hence in the Conferences of the Fathers (Coll. xviii, 7) it is stated that "the Sarabaitae are the worst class of monks, because through providing for their own needs without being subject to superiors, they are free to do as they will; and yet day and night they are more busily occupied in work than those who live in monasteries."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non requiratur ad perfectionem religionis quod praedicta tria, scilicet paupertas, continentia et obedientia, cadant sub voto. Disciplina enim perfectionis assumendae ex traditione domini est accepta. Sed dominus, dans formam perfectionis, Matth. XIX, dixit, si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, nulla mentione facta de voto. Ergo videtur quod votum non requiratur ad disciplinam religionis. Objection 1. It would seem that it is not requisite for religious perfection that the three aforesaid, namely poverty, continence, and obedience, should come under a vow. For the school of perfection is founded on the principles laid down by our Lord. Now our Lord in formulating perfection (Matthew 19:21) said: "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all [Vulgate: 'what'] thou hast, and give to the poor," without any mention of a vow. Therefore it would seem that a vow is not necessary for the school of religion.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, votum consistit in quadam promissione Deo facta, unde Eccle. V, cum dixisset sapiens, si quid vovisti Deo, ne moreris reddere, statim subdit, displicet enim ei infidelis et stulta promissio. Sed ubi est exhibitio rei, non requiritur promissio. Ergo sufficit ad perfectionem religionis quod aliquis servet paupertatem, continentiam et obedientiam, absque voto. Objection 2. Further, a vow is a promise made to God, wherefore (Ecclesiastes 5:3) the wise man after saying: "If thou hast vowed anything to God, defer not to pay it," adds at once, "for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth Him." But when a thing is being actually given there is no need for a promise. Therefore it suffices for religious perfection that one keep poverty, continence, and obedience without. vowing them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, ad Pollentium, de Adulterin. Coniug., ea sunt in nostris officiis gratiora quae, cum liceret nobis etiam non impendere, tamen causa dilectionis impendimus. Sed ea quae fiunt sine voto, licet non impendere, quod non licet de his quae fiunt cum voto. Ergo videtur gratius esse Deo si quis paupertatem, continentiam et obedientiam absque voto servaret. Non ergo votum requiritur ad perfectionem religionis. Objection 3. Further, Augustine says (Ad Pollent., de Adult. Conjug. i, 14): "The services we render are more pleasing when we might lawfully not render them, yet do so out of love." Now it is lawful not to render a service which we have not vowed, whereas it is unlawful if we have vowed to render it. Therefore seemingly it is more pleasing to God to keep poverty, continence, and obedience without a vow. Therefore a vow is not requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod in veteri lege Nazaraei cum voto sanctificabantur, secundum illud Num. VI, vir sive mulier cum fecerit votum ut sanctificetur, et se voluerit domino consecrare, et cetera. Per eos autem significantur illi qui ad perfectionis summam pertingunt, ut dicit Glossa Gregorii ibidem. Ergo votum requiritur ad statum perfectionis. On the contrary, In the Old Law the Nazareans were consecrated by vow according to Numbers 6:2, "When a man or woman shall make a vow to be sanctified and will consecrate themselves to the Lord," etc. Now these were a figure of those "who attain the summit of perfection," as a gloss [Cf. Moral. ii] of Gregory states. Therefore a vow is requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ad religiosos pertinet quod sint in statu perfectionis, sicut ex supra dictis patet. Ad statum autem perfectionis requiritur obligatio ad ea quae sunt perfectionis. Quae quidem Deo fit per votum. Manifestum est autem ex praemissis quod ad perfectionem Christianae vitae pertinet paupertas, continentia et obedientia. Et ideo religionis status requirit ut ad haec tria aliquis voto obligetur. Unde Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., cum quis omne quod habet, omne quod vivit, omne quod sapit, omnipotenti Deo voverit, holocaustum est, quod quidem pertinere postea dicit ad eos qui praesens saeculum deserunt. I answer that, It belongs to religious to be in the state of perfection, as shown above (Question 174, Article 5). Now the state of perfection requires an obligation to whatever belongs to perfection: and this obligation consists in binding oneself to God by means of a vow. But it is evident from what has been said (A3,4,5) that poverty, continence, and obedience belong to the perfection of the Christian life. Consequently the religious state requires that one be bound to these three by vow. Hence Gregory says (Hom. xx in Ezech.): "When a man vows to God all his possessions, all his life, all his knowledge, it is a holocaust"; and afterwards he says that this refers to those who renounce the present world.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ad perfectionem vitae dominus pertinere dixit quod aliquis eum sequatur, non qualitercumque, sed ut ulterius retro non abiret, unde ipse dicit, Luc. IX, nemo mittens manum ad aratrum et respiciens retro, aptus est regno Dei. Et quamvis quidam de discipulis eius retrorsum abierint, tamen Petrus, loco aliorum, domino interroganti, nunquid et vos vultis abire? Respondit, domine, ad quem ibimus? Unde et Augustinus dicit, in libro de consensu Evangelist., quod, sicut Matthaeus et Marcus narrant, Petrus et Andreas, non subductis ad terram navibus, tanquam causa redeundi, secuti sunt eum, sed tanquam iubentem ut sequerentur. Haec autem immobilitas sequelae Christi firmatur per votum. Et ideo votum requiritur ad perfectionem religionis. Reply to Objection 1. Our Lord declared that it belongs to the perfection of life that a man follow Him, not anyhow, but in such a way as not to turn back. Wherefore He says again (Luke 9:62): "No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." And though some of His disciples went back, yet when our Lord asked (John 6:68-69), "Will you also go away?" Peter answered for the others: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" Hence Augustine says (De Consensu Ev. ii, 17) that "as Matthew and Mark relate, Peter and Andrew followed Him after drawing their boats on to the beach, not as though they purposed to return, but as following Him at His command." Now this unwavering following of Christ is made fast by a vow: wherefore a vow is requisite for religious perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod perfectio religionis requirit, sicut Gregorius dicit, ut aliquis omne quod vivit Deo exhibeat. Sed homo non potest totam vitam suam actu Deo exhibere, quia non est tota simul, sed successive agitur. Unde non aliter homo potest totam vitam Deo exhibere nisi per voti obligationem. Reply to Objection 2. As Gregory says (Moral. ii) religious perfection requires that a man give "his whole life" to God. But a man cannot actually give God his whole life, because that life taken as a whole is not simultaneous but successive. Hence a man cannot give his whole life to God otherwise than by the obligation of a vow.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod inter alia quae licet nobis non impendere, est etiam propria libertas, quam homo ceteris rebus cariorem habet. Unde cum aliquis propria sponte voto sibi adimit libertatem abstinendi ab his quae ad Dei servitium pertinent, hoc fit Deo acceptissimum. Unde Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad Armentarium et Paulinam, non te vovisse poeniteat, immo gaude iam tibi non licere quod cum tuo detrimento licuisset. Felix necessitas quae in meliora compellit. Reply to Objection 3. Among other services that we can lawfully give, is our liberty, which is dearer to man than aught else. Consequently when a man of his own accord deprives himself by vow of the liberty of abstaining from things pertaining to God's service, this is most acceptable to God. Hence Augustine says (Ep. cxxvii ad Paulin. et Arment.): "Repent not of thy vow; rejoice rather that thou canst no longer do lawfully, what thou mightest have done lawfully but to thy own cost. Happy the obligation that compels to better things."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter dicatur in his tribus votis consistere religionis perfectionem. Perfectio enim vitae magis consistit in interioribus quam in exterioribus actibus, secundum illud Rom. XIV, non est regnum Dei esca et potus, sed iustitia et pax et gaudium in spiritu sancto. Sed per votum religionis aliquis obligatur ad ea quae sunt perfectionis. Ergo magis deberent ad religionem pertinere vota interiorum actuum, puta contemplationis, dilectionis Dei et proximi, et aliorum huiusmodi, quam votum paupertatis, continentiae et obedientiae, quae pertinent ad exteriores actus. Objection 1. It would seem that it is not right to say that religious perfection consists in these three vows. For the perfection of life consists of inward rather than of outward acts, according to (Romans 14:17), "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." Now the religious vow binds a man to things belonging to perfection. Therefore vows of inward actions, such as contemplation, love of God and our neighbor, and so forth, should pertain to the religious state, rather than the vows of poverty, continence, and obedience which refer to outward actions.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, praedicta tria cadunt sub voto religionis inquantum pertinent ad quoddam exercitium tendendi in perfectionem. Sed multa alia sunt in quibus religiosi exercitantur, sicut abstinentia, vigiliae et alia huiusmodi. Ergo videtur quod inconvenienter ista tria vota dicantur essentialiter ad statum perfectionis pertinere. Objection 2. Further, the three aforesaid come under the religious vow, in so far as they belong to the practice of tending to perfection. But there are many other things that religious practice, such as abstinence, watchings, and the like. Therefore it would seem that these three vows are incorrectly described as pertaining to the state of perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, per votum obedientiae aliquis obligatur ad omnia implenda, secundum praeceptum superioris, quae ad exercitium perfectionis pertinent. Ergo sufficit votum obedientiae, absque aliis duobus votis. Objection 3. Further, by the vow of obedience a man is bound to do according to his superior's command whatever pertains to the practice of perfection. Therefore the vow of obedience suffices without the two other vows.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 arg. 4 Praeterea, ad exteriora bona pertinent non solum divitiae, sed etiam honores. Si ergo per votum paupertatis religiosi terrenas divitias abdicant, debet esse etiam aliud votum per quod honores mundanos contemnant. Objection 4. Further, external goods comprise not only riches but also honors. Therefore, if religious, by the vow of poverty, renounce earthly riches, there should be another vow whereby they may despise worldly honors.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur extra, de statu monachorum, quod custodia castitatis et abdicatio proprietatis sunt annexa regulae monachali. On the contrary, It is stated (Extra, de Statu Monach., cap. Cum ad monasterium) that "the keeping of chastity and the renouncing of property are affixed to the monastic rule."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod religionis status potest considerari tripliciter, uno modo, secundum quod est quoddam exercitium tendendi in perfectionem caritatis; alio modo, secundum quod quietat humanum animum ab exterioribus sollicitudinibus, secundum illud I ad Cor. VII, volo vos sine sollicitudine esse; tertio modo, secundum quod est quoddam holocaustum, per quod aliquis totaliter se et sua offert Deo. Et secundum hoc, ex his tribus votis integratur religionis status. Primo enim, quantum ad exercitium perfectionis, requiritur quod aliquis a se removeat illa per quae posset impediri ne totaliter eius affectus tendat in Deum, in quo consistit perfectio caritatis. Huiusmodi autem sunt tria. Primo quidem, cupiditas exteriorum bonorum. Quae tollitur per votum paupertatis. Secundum autem est concupiscentia sensibilium delectationum, inter quas praecellunt delectationes venereae. Quae excluduntur per votum continentiae. Tertium autem est inordinatio voluntatis humanae. Quae excluditur per votum obedientiae. Similiter autem sollicitudinis saecularis inquietudo praecipue ingeritur homini circa tria. Primo quidem, circa dispensationem exteriorum rerum. Et haec sollicitudo per votum paupertatis homini aufertur. Secundo, circa gubernationem uxoris et filiorum. Quae amputatur per votum continentiae. Tertio, circa dispositionem propriorum actuum. Quae amputatur per votum obedientiae, quo aliquis se alterius dispositioni committit. Similiter etiam holocaustum est cum aliquis totum quod habet, offert Deo, ut Gregorius dicit, super Ezech. Habet autem homo triplex bonum, secundum philosophum, in I Ethic. Primo quidem, exteriorum rerum. Quas quidem totaliter aliquis Deo offert per votum voluntariae paupertatis. Secundo autem, bonum proprii corporis. Quod aliquis praecipue offert Deo per votum continentiae, quo abrenuntiat maximis delectationibus corporis. Tertium autem bonum est animae. Quod aliquis totaliter Deo offert per obedientiam, qua aliquis offert Deo propriam voluntatem, per quam homo utitur omnibus potentiis et habitibus animae. Et ideo convenienter ex tribus votis status religionis integratur. I answer that, The religious state may be considered in three ways. First, as being a practice of tending to the perfection of charity: secondly, as quieting the human mind from outward solicitude, according to (1 Corinthians 7:3)2: "I would have you to be without solicitude": thirdly, as a holocaust whereby a man offers himself and his possessions wholly to God; and in corresponding manner the religious state is constituted by these three vows. First, as regards the practice of perfection a man is required to remove from himself whatever may hinder his affections from tending wholly to God, for it is in this that the perfection of charity consists. Such hindrances are of three kinds. First, the attachment to external goods, which is removed by the vow of poverty; secondly, the concupiscence of sensible pleasures, chief among which are venereal pleasures, and these are removed by the vow of continence; thirdly, the inordinateness of the human will, and this is removed by the vow of obedience. On like manner the disquiet of worldly solicitude is aroused in man in reference especially to three things. First, as regards the dispensing of external things, and this solicitude is removed from man by the vow of poverty; secondly, as regards the control of wife and children, which is cut away by the vow of continence; thirdly, as regards the disposal of one's own actions, which is eliminated by the vow of obedience, whereby a man commits himself to the disposal of another. Again, "a holocaust is the offering to God of all that one has," according to Gregory (Hom. xx in Ezech.). Now man has a threefold good, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. i, 8). First, the good of external things, which he wholly offers to God by the vow of voluntary poverty: secondly, the good of his own body, and this good he offers to God especially by the vow of continence, whereby he renounces the greatest bodily pleasures. the third is the good of the soul, which man wholly offers to God by the vow of obedience, whereby he offers God his own will by which he makes use of all the powers and habits of the soul. Therefore the religious state is fittingly constituted by the three vows.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, status religionis ordinatur sicut ad finem ad perfectionem caritatis, ad quam pertinent omnes interiores actus virtutum, quarum mater est caritas, secundum illud I ad Cor. XIII, caritas patiens est, benigna est, et cetera. Et ideo interiores actus virtutum, puta humilitatis, patientiae et huiusmodi, non cadunt sub voto religionis, quod ordinatur ad ipsos sicut ad finem. Reply to Objection 1. As stated above (Article 1), the end whereunto the religious vow is directed is the perfection of charity, since all the interior acts of virtue belong to charity as to their mother, according to (1 Corinthians 13:4), "Charity is patient, is kind," etc. Hence the interior acts of virtue, for instance humility, patience, and so forth, do not come under the religious vow, but this is directed to them as its end.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod omnes aliae religionum observantiae ordinantur ad praedicta tria principalia vota. Nam si qua sunt instituta in religionibus ad procurandum victum, puta labor, mendicitas vel alia huiusmodi, referuntur ad paupertatem, ad cuius conservationem religiosi per hos modos victum suum procurant. Alia vero, quibus corpus maceratur, sicut vigiliae, ieiunia et si qua sunt huiusmodi, directe ordinantur ad votum continentiae observandum. Si qua vero sunt in religionibus instituta pertinentia ad humanos actus, quibus aliquis ordinatur ad religionis finem, scilicet ad dilectionem Dei et proximi, puta lectio, oratio, visitatio infirmorum, vel si quid aliud est huiusmodi, comprehenduntur sub voto obedientiae, quod pertinet ad voluntatem, quae secundum dispositionem alterius suos actus ordinat in finem. Determinatio autem habitus pertinet ad omnia tria vota, tanquam signum obligationis. Unde habitus regularis simul datur, vel benedicitur, cum professione. Reply to Objection 2. All other religious observances are directed to the three aforesaid principal vows; for if any of them are ordained for the purpose of procuring a livelihood, such as labor, questing, and so on, they are to be referred to poverty; for the safeguarding of which religious seek a livelihood by these means. Other observances whereby the body is chastised, such as watching, fasting, and the like, are directly ordained for the observance of the vow of continence. And such religious observances as regard human actions whereby a man is directed to the end of religion, namely the love of God and his neighbor (such as reading, prayer, visiting the sick, and the like), are comprised under the vow of obedience that applies to the will, which directs its actions to the end according to the ordering of another person. The distinction of habit belongs to all three vows, as a sign of being bound by them: wherefore the religious habit is given or blessed at the time of profession.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod per obedientiam aliquis offert Deo suam voluntatem, cui etsi subiiciantur omnia humana, quaedam tamen sunt quae specialiter sibi tantum subduntur, scilicet actiones humanae, nam passiones pertinent etiam ad appetitum sensitivum. Et ideo ad cohibendum passiones carnalium delectationum et exteriorum appetibilium impedientes perfectionem vitae, necessarium fuit votum continentiae et paupertatis, sed ad disponendum actiones proprias secundum quod requirit perfectionis status, requiritur votum obedientiae. Reply to Objection 3. By obedience a man offers to God his will, to which though all human affairs are subject, yet some are subject to it alone in a special manner, namely human actions, since passions belong also to the sensitive appetite. Wherefore in order to restrain the passions of carnal pleasures and of external objects of appetite, which hinder the perfection of life, there was need for the vows of continence and poverty; but for the ordering of one's own actions accordingly as the state of perfection requires, there was need for the vow of obedience.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 7 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., honor proprie et secundum veritatem non debetur nisi virtuti, sed quia exteriora bona instrumentaliter deserviunt ad quosdam actus virtutum, ex consequenti etiam eorum excellentiae honor aliquis exhibetur; et praecipue a vulgo, quod solam excellentiam exteriorem recognoscit. Honorem igitur qui a Deo et sanctis viris hominibus exhibetur propter virtutem, prout dicitur in Psalmo, mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus, non competit religiosis abrenuntiare, qui ad perfectionem virtutis tendunt. Honori autem qui exhibetur exteriori excellentiae, abrenuntiant ex hoc ipso quod saecularem vitam derelinquunt. Unde ad hoc non requiritur speciale votum. Reply to Objection 4. As the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3), strictly and truly speaking honor is not due save to virtue. Since, however, external goods serve instrumentally for certain acts of virtue, the consequence is that a certain honor is given to their excellence especially by the common people who acknowledge none but outward excellence. Therefore since religious tend to the perfection of virtue it becomes them not to renounce the honor which God and all holy men accord to virtue, according to Psalm 138:17, "But to me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable." On the other hand, they renounce the honor that is given to outward excellence, by the very fact that they withdraw from a worldly life: hence no special vow is needed for this.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod votum obedientiae non sit potissimum inter tria vota religionis. Perfectio enim religiosae vitae a Christo sumpsit exordium. Sed Christus specialiter dedit consilium de paupertate, non autem invenitur dedisse consilium de obedientia. Ergo votum paupertatis est potius quam votum obedientiae. Objection 1. It would seem that the vow of obedience is not the chief of the three religious vows. For the perfection of the religious life was inaugurated by Christ. Now Christ gave a special counsel of poverty; whereas He is not stated to have given a special counsel of obedience. Therefore the vow of poverty is greater than the vow of obedience.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, Eccli. XXVI dicitur quod omnis ponderatio non est digna animae continentis. Sed votum dignioris rei est eminentius. Ergo votum continentiae est eminentius quam votum obedientiae. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Sirach 26:20) that "no price is worthy of a continent soul." Now the vow of that which is more worthy is itself more excellent. Therefore the vow of continence is more excellent than the vow of obedience.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, quanto aliquod votum est potius, tanto videtur esse magis indispensabile. Sed vota paupertatis et continentiae sunt adeo annexa regulae monachali ut contra ea nec summus pontifex possit licentiam indulgere, sicut dicit quaedam decretalis, de statu monachorum, qui tamen potest indulgere ut religiosus non obediat suo praelato. Ergo videtur quod votum obedientiae sit minus voto paupertatis et continentiae. Objection 3. Further, the greater a vow the more indispensable it would seem to be. Now the vows of poverty and continence "are so inseparable from the monastic rule, that not even the Sovereign Pontiff can allow them to be broken," according to a Decretal (De Statu Monach., cap. Cum ad monasterium): yet he can dispense a religious from obeying his superior. Therefore it would seem that the vow of obedience is less than the vow of poverty and continence.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, XXXV Moral., obedientia victimis iure praeponitur, quia per victimas aliena caro, per obedientiam vero voluntas propria mactatur. Sed vota religionis sunt quaedam holocausta, sicut supra dictum est. Ergo votum obedientiae est praecipuum inter omnia religionis vota. On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxxv, 14): "Obedience is rightly placed before victims, since by victims another's flesh, but by obedience one's own will, is sacrificed." Now the religious vows are holocausts, as stated above (1 and 3, ad 6). Therefore the vow of obedience is the chief of all religious vows.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod votum obedientiae est praecipuum inter tria vota religionis. Et hoc, triplici ratione. Primo quidem, quia per votum obedientiae aliquid maius homo offert Deo, scilicet ipsam voluntatem, quae est potior quam corpus proprium, quod offert homo Deo per continentiam; et quam res exteriores, quas offert homo Deo per votum paupertatis. Unde illud quod fit ex obedientia, est magis Deo acceptum quam id quod fit per propriam voluntatem, secundum quod Hieronymus dicit, ad rusticum monachum, ad illud tendit oratio, ut doceam te non tuo arbitrio dimittendum; et post pauca, non facias quod vis, comedas quod iuberis, habeas quantum acceperis, vestiaris quod datur. Unde et ieiunium non redditur Deo acceptum cum propria voluntate, secundum illud Isaiae LVIII, ecce, in diebus ieiunii vestri invenitur voluntas vestra. Secundo, quia votum obedientiae continet sub se alia vota, sed non convertitur. Nam religiosus etsi teneatur ex voto continentiam servare et paupertatem, tamen haec etiam sub obedientia cadunt, ad quam pertinent multa alia praeter continentiam et paupertatem. Tertio, quia votum obedientiae proprie se extendit ad actus propinquos fini religionis. Quanto autem aliquid propinquius est fini, tanto melius est. Et inde etiam est quod votum obedientiae est religioni essentialius. Si enim aliquis, absque voto obedientiae, voluntariam paupertatem et continentiam etiam voto servet, non propter hoc pertinet ad statum religionis, qui praefertur etiam ipsi virginitati ex voto observatae; dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de Virginitat., nemo, quantum puto, ausus fuerit virginitatem praeferre monasterio. I answer that, The vow of obedience is the chief of the three religious vows, and this for three reasons. First, because by the vow of obedience man offers God something greater, namely his own will; for this is of more account than his own body, which he offers God by continence, and than external things, which he offers God by the vow of poverty. Wherefore that which is done out of obedience is more acceptable to God than that which is done of one's own will, according to the saying of Jerome (Ep. cxxv ad Rustic Monach.): "My words are intended to teach you not to rely on your own judgment": and a little further on he says: "You may not do what you will; you must eat what you are bidden to eat, you may possess as much as you receive, clothe yourself with what is given to you." Hence fasting is not acceptable to God if it is done of one's own will, according to (Isaiah 58:3), "Behold in the day of your fast your own will is found." Secondly, because the vow of obedience includes the other vows, but not vice versa: for a religious, though bound by vow to observe continence and poverty, yet these also come under obedience, as well as many other things besides the keeping of continence and poverty. Thirdly, because the vow of obedience extends properly to those acts that are closely connected with the end of religion; and the more closely a thing is connected with the end, the better it is. It follows from this that the vow of obedience is more essential to the religious life. For if a man without taking a vow of obedience were to observe, even by vow, voluntary poverty and continence, he would not therefore belong to the religious state, which is to be preferred to virginity observed even by vow; for Augustine says (De Virgin. xlvi): "No one, methinks, would prefer virginity to the monastic life." [St. Augustine wrote not 'monasterio' but 'martyrio'--to 'martyrdom'; and St. Thomas quotes the passage correctly above, 124, 3 and 152, 5].
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod consilium obedientiae includitur in ipsa Christi sequela, qui enim obedit, sequitur alterius voluntatem. Et ideo magis pertinet ad perfectionem quam votum paupertatis, quia, ut Hieronymus dicit, super Matth., id quod perfectionis est addidit Petrus, cum dixit, et secuti sumus te. Reply to Objection 1. The counsel of obedience was included in the very following of Christ, since to obey is to follow another's will. Consequently it is more pertinent to perfection than the vow of poverty, because as Jerome, commenting on Matthew 19:27, "Behold we have left all things," observes, "Peter added that which is perfect when he said: And have followed Thee."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ex verbo illo non habetur quod continentia praeferatur omnibus aliis actibus virtuosis, sed coniugali castitati; vel etiam exterioribus divitiis auri et argenti, quae pondere mensurantur. Vel per continentiam intelligitur universaliter abstinentia ab omni malo, ut supra habitum est. Reply to Objection 2. The words quoted mean that continence is to be preferred, not to all other acts of virtue, but to conjugal chastity, or to external riches of gold and silver which are measured by weight ['Pondere,' referring to the Latin 'ponderatio' in the Vulgate, which the Douay version renders 'price.']. Or again continence is taken in a general sense for abstinence from ali evil, as stated above (155, 4, ad 1).
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod Papa in voto obedientiae non potest sic cum religioso dispensare ut nulli praelato teneatur obedire in his quae ad perfectionem vitae pertinent, non enim potest eum a sua obedientia eximere. Potest tamen eum eximere ab inferioris praelati subiectione. Quod non est in voto obedientiae dispensare. Reply to Objection 3. The Pope cannot dispense a religious from his vow of obedience so as to release him from obedience to every superior in matters relating to the perfection of life, for he cannot exempt him from obedience to himself. He can, however, exempt him from subjection to a lower superior, but this is not to dispense him from his vow of obedience.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 arg. 1 Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod religiosus semper peccet mortaliter transgrediendo ea quae sunt in regula. Facere enim contra votum est peccatum damnabile, ut patet per id quod apostolus dicit, I ad Tim. V, quod viduae quae volunt nubere. Damnationem habent, quia primam fidem irritam fecerunt. Sed religiosi voto professionis ad regulam adstringuntur. Ergo peccant mortaliter transgrediendo ea quae in regula continentur. Objection 1. It would seem that a religious sins mortally whenever he transgresses the things contained in his rule. For to break a vow is a sin worthy of condemnation, as appears from (1 Timothy 5:1)1,12, where the Apostle says that widows who "will marry have [Vulgate: 'having'] damnation, because they have made void their first faith." But religious are bound to a rule by the vows of their profession. Therefore they sin mortally by transgressing the things contained in their rule.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 arg. 2 Praeterea, regula imponitur religioso sicut lex quaedam. Sed ille qui transgreditur praeceptum legis, peccat mortaliter. Ergo videtur quod monachus transgrediens ea quae sunt in regula, peccet mortaliter. Objection 2. Further, the rule is enjoined upon a religious in the same way as a law. Now he who transgresses a precept of law sins mortally. Therefore it would seem that a monk sins mortally if he transgresses the things contained in his rule.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 arg. 3 Praeterea, contemptus inducit peccatum mortale. Sed quicumque frequenter aliquid iterat quod non debet facere, videtur ex contemptu peccare. Ergo videtur quod, si religiosus frequenter transgrediatur id quod est in regula, peccet mortaliter. Objection 3. Further, contempt involves a mortal sin. Now whoever repeatedly does what he ought not to do seems to sin from contempt. Therefore it would seem that a religious sins mortally by frequently transgressing the things contained in his rule.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 s. c. Sed contra est quod status religionis est securior quam status saecularis vitae, unde Gregorius, in principio Moral., comparat vitam saecularem mari fluctuanti, vitam autem religionis portui tranquillo. Sed si quaelibet transgressio eorum quae in regula continentur, religiosum obligaret ad peccatum mortale, status religionis esset periculosissimus, propter multitudinem observantiarum. Non ergo quaelibet transgressio eorum quae in regula continentur, est peccatum mortale. On the contrary, The religious state is safer than the secular state; wherefore Gregory at the beginning of his Morals [Epist. Missoria, ad Leand. Episc. i] compares the secular life to the stormy sea, and the religious life to the calm port. But if every transgression of the things contained in his rule were to involve a religious in mortal sin, the religious life would be fraught with danger of account of its multitude of observances. Therefore not every transgression of the things contained in the rule is a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in regula continetur aliquid dupliciter, sicut ex dictis patet. Uno modo, sicut finis regulae, puta ea quae pertinent ad actus virtutum. Et horum transgressio, quantum ad ea quae cadunt communiter sub praecepto, obligat ad mortale. Quantum vero ad ea quae excedunt communiter necessitatem praecepti, non obligat ad mortale, nisi propter contemptum, quia, sicut supra dictum est, religiosus non tenetur esse perfectus. Sed ad perfectionem tendere, cui contrariatur perfectionis contemptus. Alio modo continetur aliquid in regula pertinens ad exterius exercitium, sicut sunt omnes exteriores observantiae. Inter quas sunt quaedam ad quas obligatur religiosus ex voto professionis. Votum autem professionis respicit principaliter tria praedicta, scilicet paupertatem, continentiam et obedientiam, alia vero omnia ad haec ordinantur. Et ideo transgressio horum trium obligat ad mortale. Aliorum autem transgressio non obligat ad mortale, nisi vel propter contemptum regulae, quia hoc directe contrariaretur professioni, per quam aliquis vovit regularem vitam, vel propter praeceptum, sive oretenus a praelato factum sive in regula expressum, quia hoc esset facere contra obedientiae votum. I answer that, As stated above (1, ad 1,2), a thing is contained in the rule in two ways. First, as the end of the rule, for instance things that pertain to the acts of the virtues; and the transgression of these, as regards those which come under a common precept, involves a mortal sin; but as regards those which are not included in the common obligation of a precept, the transgression thereof does not involve a mortal sin, except by reason of contempt, because, as stated above (Article 2), a religious is not bound to be perfect, but to tend to perfection, to which the contempt of perfection is opposed. Secondly, a thing is contained in the rule through pertaining to the outward practice, such as all external observances, to some of which a religious is bound by the vow of his profession. Now the vow of profession regards chiefly the three things aforesaid, namely poverty, continence, and obedience, while all others are directed to these. Consequently the transgression of these three involves a mortal sin, while the transgression of the others does not involve a mortal sin, except either by reason of contempt of the rule (since this is directly contrary to the profession whereby a man vows to live according to the rule), or by reason of a precept, whether given orally by a superior, or expressed in the rule, since this would be to act contrary to the vow of obedience.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille qui profitetur regulam, non vovet servare omnia quae sunt in regula, sed vovet regularem vitam quae essentialiter consistit in tribus praedictis. Unde et in quibusdam religionibus cautius aliqui profitentur, non quidem regulam, sed, vivere secundum regulam, idest, tendere ad hoc quod aliquis mores suos informet secundum regulam sicut secundum quoddam exemplar. Et hoc tollitur per contemptum. In quibusdam autem religionibus, adhuc cautius profitentur obedientiam secundum regulam, ita quod professioni non contrariatur nisi id quod est contra praeceptum regulae. Transgressio vero vel omissio aliorum obligat solum ad peccatum veniale. Quia, sicut dictum est, huiusmodi sunt dispositiones ad principalia vota, peccatum autem veniale est dispositio ad mortale, ut supra dictum est, inquantum impedit ea quibus aliquis disponitur ad observanda principalia praecepta legis Christi, quae sunt praecepta caritatis. In aliqua tamen religione, scilicet ordinis fratrum praedicatorum, transgressio talis vel omissio ex suo genere non obligat ad culpam neque mortalem neque venialem, sed solum ad poenam taxatam sustinendam, quia per hunc modum ad talia observanda obligantur. Qui tamen possent venialiter vel mortaliter peccare ex negligentia vel libidine, seu contemptu. Reply to Objection 1. He who professes a rule does not vow to observe all the things contained in the rule, but he vows the regular life which consists essentially in the three aforesaid things. Hence in certain religious orders precaution is taken to profess, not the rule, but to live according to the rule, i.e. to tend to form one's conduct in accordance with the rule as a kind of model; and this is set aside by contempt. Yet greater precaution is observed in some religious orders by professing obedience according to the rule, so that only that which is contrary to a precept of the rule is contrary to the profession, while the transgression or omission of other things binds only under pain of venial sin, because, as stated above (07, ad 2), such things are dispositions to the chief vows. And venial sin is a disposition to mortal, as stated above (I-II, 88, 3), inasmuch as it hinders those things whereby a man is disposed to keep the chief precepts of Christ's law, namely the precepts of charity. There is also a religious order, that of the Friars Preachers, where such like transgressions or omissions do not, by their very nature, involve sin, either mortal or venial; but they bind one to suffer the punishment affixed thereto, because it is in this way that they are bound to observe such things. Nevertheless they may sin venially or mortally through neglect, concupiscence, or contempt.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod non omnia quae continentur in lege traduntur per modum praecepti, sed quaedam proponuntur per modum ordinationis cuiusdam, vel statuti obligantis ad certam poenam, sicut in lege civili non facit semper dignum poena mortis corporalis transgressio legalis statuti. Ita nec in lege Ecclesiae omnes ordinationes vel statuta obligant ad mortale. Et similiter nec omnia statuta regulae. Reply to Objection 2. Not all the contents of the law are set forth by way of precept; for some are expressed under the form of ordinance or statute binding under pain of a fixed punishment. Accordingly, just as in the civil law the transgression of a legal statute does not always render a man deserving of bodily death, so neither in the law of the Church does every ordinance or statute bind under mortal sin; and the same applies to the statutes of the rule.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 9 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod tunc committit aliquis vel transgreditur ex contemptu, quando voluntas eius renuit subiici ordinationi legis vel regulae, et ex hoc procedit ad faciendum contra legem vel regulam. Quando autem e converso, propter aliquam particularem causam, puta concupiscentiam vel iram, inducitur ad aliquid faciendum contra statuta legis vel regulae, non peccat ex contemptu, sed ex aliqua alia causa, etiam si frequenter ex eadem causa, vel alia simili, peccatum iteret. Sicut etiam Augustinus dicit, in libro de natura et gratia, quod non omnia peccata committuntur ex contemptu superbiae. Frequentia tamen peccati dispositive inducit ad contemptum, secundum illud Prov. XVIII, impius, cum in profundum venerit, contemnit. Reply to Objection 3. An action or transgression proceeds from contempt when a man's will refuses to submit to the ordinance of the law or rule, and from this he proceeds to act against the law or rule. on the other hand, he does not sin from contempt, but from some other cause, when he is led to do something against the ordinance of the law or rule through some particular cause such as concupiscence or anger, even though he often repeat the same kind of sin through the same or some other cause. Thus Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. xxix) that "not all sins are committed through proud contempt." Nevertheless the frequent repetition of a sin leads dispositively to contempt, according to the words of (Proverbs 18:3), "The wicked man, when he is come into the depth of sins, contemneth."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 arg. 1 Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod religiosus eodem genere peccati non gravius peccet quam saecularis. Dicitur enim II Paralip. XXX, dominus bonus propitiabitur cunctis qui in toto corde requirunt dominum Deum patrum suorum, et non imputabitur eis quod minus sanctificati sunt. Sed magis videntur religiosi ex toto corde dominum Deum patrum suorum sequi quam saeculares, qui ex parte se et sua Deo dant et ex parte sibi reservant, ut Gregorius dicit, super Ezech. Ergo videtur quod minus imputetur eis si in aliquo a sanctificatione deficiant. Objection 1. It would seem that a religious does not sin more grievously than a secular by the same kind of sin. For it is written (2 Chronicles 30:18-19): "The Lord Who is good will show mercy to all them who with their whole heart seek the Lord the God of their fathers, and will not impute it to them that they are not sanctified." Now religious apparently follow the Lord the God of their fathers with their whole heart rather than seculars, who partly give themselves and their possessions to God and reserve part for themselves, as Gregory says (Hom. xx in Ezech.). Therefore it would seem that it is less imputed to them if they fall short somewhat of their sanctification.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 arg. 2 Praeterea, ex hoc quod aliquis bona opera facit, minus contra peccata eius Deus irascitur, dicitur enim II Paralip. XIX, impio praebes auxilium, et his qui oderunt dominum amicitia iungeris, et idcirco iram quidem domini merebaris, sed bona opera inventa sunt in te. Religiosi autem plura bona opera faciunt quam saeculares. Ergo, si aliqua peccata faciunt, minus contra eos Deus irascitur. Objection 2. Further, God is less angered at a man's sins if he does some good deeds, according to (2 Chronicles 19:2),3, "Thou helpest the ungodly, and thou art joined in friendship with them that hate the Lord, and therefore thou didst deserve indeed the wrath of the Lord: but good works are found in thee." Now religious do more good works than seculars. Therefore if they commit any sins, God is less angry with them.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 arg. 3 Praeterea, praesens vita sine peccato non transigitur, secundum illud Iac. III, in multis offendimus omnes. Si ergo peccata religiosorum essent graviora peccatis saecularium, sequeretur quod religiosi essent peioris conditionis quam saeculares. Et sic non esset sanum consilium ad religionem transire. Objection 3. Further, this present life is not carried through without sin, according to (James 3:2), "In many things we all offend." Therefore if the sins of religious were more grievous than those of seculars it would follow that religious are worse off than seculars: and consequently it would not be a wholesome counsel to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 s. c. Sed contra est quod de maiori malo magis esset dolendum. Sed de peccatis eorum qui sunt in statu sanctitatis et perfectionis, maxime videtur esse dolendum, dicitur enim Ierem. XXIII, contritum est cor meum in medio mei; et postea subdit, propheta namque et sacerdos polluti sunt, et in domo mea vidi malum eorum. Ergo religiosi, et alii qui sunt in statu perfectionis, ceteris paribus, gravius peccant. On the contrary, The greater the evil the more it would seem to be deplored. But seemingly the sins of those who are in the state of holiness and perfection are the most deplorable, for it is written (Jeremiah 23:9): "My heart is broken within me," and afterwards (Jeremiah 23:11): "For the prophet and the priest are defiled; and in My house I have found their wickedness." Therefore religious and others who are in the state of perfection, other things being equal, sin more grievously.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 co. Respondeo dicendum quod peccatum quod a religiosis committitur, potest esse gravius peccato saecularium eiusdem speciei, tripliciter. Uno modo, si sit contra votum religionis, puta si religiosus fornicetur vel furetur, quia fornicando facit contra votum continentiae, et furando facit contra votum paupertatis, et non solum contra praeceptum divinae legis. Secundo, si ex contemptu peccet, quia ex hoc videtur esse magis ingratus divinis beneficiis, quibus est sublimatus ad statum perfectionis. Sicut apostolus dicit, Heb. X, quod fidelis graviora meretur supplicia, ex hoc quod, peccando, filium Dei conculcat per contemptum. Unde et dominus conqueritur, Ierem. XI, quid est quod dilectus meus in domo mea facit scelera multa? Tertio modo, peccatum religiosi potest esse maius propter scandalum, quia ad vitam eius plures respiciunt. Unde dicitur Ierem. XXIII, in prophetis Ierusalem vidi similitudinem adulterii et iter mendacii, et confortaverunt manus pessimorum, ut non converteretur unusquisque a malitia sua. Si vero religiosus non ex contemptu, sed ex infirmitate vel ignorantia, aliquod peccatum quod non est contra votum suae professionis, committit absque scandalo, puta in occulto, levius peccat eodem genere peccati quam saecularis. Quia peccatum eius, si sit leve, quasi absorbetur ex multis bonis operibus quae facit. Et si sit mortale, facilius ab eo resurgit. Primo quidem, propter intentionem quam habet erectam ad Deum, quae, etsi ad horam intercipiatur, de facili ad pristina reparatur. Unde super illud Psalmi, cum ceciderit non collidetur, dicit Origenes, iniustus si peccaverit, non poenitet, et peccatum suum emendare nescit. Iustus autem scit emendare, scit corrigere, sicut ille qui dixerat, nescio hominem, paulo post, cum respectus fuisset a domino, flere coepit amarissime; et ille qui de tecto mulierem viderat et concupierat eam, dicere novit, peccavi et malum coram te feci. Iuvatur etiam sociis ad resurgendum, secundum illud Eccle. IV, si unus ceciderit, ab altero fulcietur. Vae soli, quia, si ceciderit, non habet sublevantem. I answer that, A sin committed by a religious may be in three ways more grievous than a like sin committed by a secular. First, if it be against his religious vow; for instance if he be guilty of fornication or theft, because by fornication he acts against the vow of continence, and by theft against the vow of poverty; and not merely against a precept of the divine law. Secondly, if he sin out of contempt, because thereby he would seem to be the more ungrateful for the divine favors which have raised him to the state of perfection. Thus the Apostle says (Hebrews 10:29) that the believer "deserveth worse punishments" who through contempt tramples under foot the Son of God. Hence the Lord complains (Jeremiah 11:15): "What is the meaning that My beloved hath wrought much wickedness in My house?" Thirdly, the sin of a religious may be greater on account of scandal, because many take note of his manner of life: wherefore it is written (Jeremiah 23:14): "I have seen the likeness of adulterers, and the way of lying in the Prophets of Jerusalem; and they strengthened the hands of the wicked, that no man should return from his evil doings." On the other hand, if a religious, not out of contempt, but out of weakness or ignorance, commit a sin that is not against the vow of his profession, without giving scandal (for instance if he commit it in secret) he sins less grievously in the same kind of sin than a secular, because his sin if slight is absorbed as it were by his many good works, and if it be mortal, he more easily recovers from it. First, because he has a right intention towards God, and though it be intercepted for the moment, it is easily restored to its former object. Hence Origen commenting on Psalm 36:24, "When he shall fall he shall not be bruised," says (Hom. iv in Ps. 36): "The wicked man, if he sin, repents not, and fails to make amends for his sin. But the just man knows how to make amends and recover himself; even as he who had said: 'I know not the man,' shortly afterwards when the Lord had looked on him, knew to shed most bitter tears, and he who from the roof had seen a woman and desired her knew to say: 'I have sinned and done evil before Thee.'" Secondly, he is assisted by his fellow-religious to rise again, according to Ecclesiastes 4:10, "If one fall he shall be supported by the other: woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth he hath none to lift him up."
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod auctoritas illa loquitur de his quae per infirmitatem vel ignorantiam committuntur, non autem de his quae committuntur per contemptum. Reply to Objection 1. The words quoted refer to things done through weakness or ignorance, but not to those that are done out of contempt.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Iosaphat etiam, cui verba illa dicuntur, non ex malitia, sed ex quadam infirmitate humanae affectionis peccavit. Reply to Objection 2. Josaphat also, to whom these words were addressed, sinned not out of contempt, but out of a certain weakness of human affection.
IIª-IIae q. 186 a. 10 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod iusti non de facili peccant ex contemptu sed quandoque labuntur in aliquod peccatum ex ignorantia vel infirmitate, a quo de facili relevantur. Si autem ad hoc perveniant quod ex contemptu peccent, efficiuntur pessimi et maxime incorrigibiles, secundum illud Ierem. II, confregisti iugum, diripuisti vincula, dixisti, non serviam. In omni colle sublimi, et sub omni ligno frondoso, tu prosternebaris meretrix. Unde Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad plebem Hipponens., ex quo Deo servire coepi, quomodo difficile sum expertus meliores quam qui in monasteriis profecerunt, ita non sum expertus peiores quam qui in monasteriis ceciderunt. Reply to Objection 3. The just sin not easily out of contempt; but sometimes they fall into a sin through ignorance or weakness from which they easily arise. If, however, they go so far as to sin out of contempt, they become most wicked and incorrigible, according to the word of Jeremiah 2:20: "Thou hast broken My yoke, thou hast burst My bands, and thou hast said: 'I will not serve.' For on every high hill and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself." Hence Augustine says (Ep. lxxviii ad Pleb. Hippon.): "From the time I began to serve God, even as I scarcely found better men than those who made progress in monasteries, so have I not found worse than those who in the monastery have fallen."

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