Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q189

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IIª-IIae q. 189 pr. Deinde considerandum est de ingressu religionis. Et circa hoc quaeruntur decem. Primo, utrum illi qui non sunt exercitati in observantia praeceptorum, debeant religionem ingredi. Secundo, utrum liceat aliquos voto obligare ad religionis ingressum. Tertio, utrum illi qui voto obligantur ad religionis ingressum, teneantur votum implere. Quarto, utrum illi qui vovent religionem intrare, teneantur ibi perpetuo remanere. Quinto, utrum pueri sint recipiendi in religione. Sexto, utrum propter parentum obsequium aliqui debeant retrahi a religionis ingressu. Septimo, utrum presbyteri curati vel archidiaconi possint ad religionem transire octavo, utrum de una religione possit aliquis transire ad aliam. Nono, utrum aliquis debeat alios inducere ad religionis ingressum. Decimo, utrum requiratur magna deliberatio cum consanguineis et amicis ad religionis ingressum. Question 189. The entrance into religious life 1. Should those who are not practiced in the observance of the commandments enter religion? 2. Is it lawful for a person to be bound by vow to enter religion? 3. Are those who are bound by vow to enter religion bound to fulfil their vow? 4. Are those who vow to enter religion bound to remain there in perpetuity? 5. Should children be received into religion? 6. Should one be withheld from entering religion through deference to one's parents? 7. May parish priests or archdeacons enter religion? 8. May one pass from one religious order to another? 9. Should one induce others to enter religion? 10. Is serious deliberation with one's relations and friends requisite for entrance into religion?
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non debeant religionem ingredi nisi qui sunt in praeceptis exercitati. Dominus enim consilium perfectionis dedit adolescenti qui dixerat se praecepta a iuventute servasse. Sed a Christo sumpsit initium omnis religio. Ergo videtur quod non sunt ad religionem admittendi nisi qui sunt in praeceptis exercitati. Objection 1. It would seem that none should enter religion but those who are practiced in the observance of the commandments. For our Lord gave the counsel of perfection to the young man who said that he had kept the commandments "from his youth." Now all religious orders originate from Christ. Therefore it would seem that none should be allowed to enter religion but those who are practiced in the observance of the commandments.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., nemo repente fit summus, sed in bona conversatione a minimis quis inchoat, ut ad magna perveniat. Sed magna sunt consilia, quae pertinent ad perfectionem vitae, minora autem sunt praecepta, quae pertinent ad communem iustitiam. Ergo videtur quod non debent aliqui, ad observantiam consiliorum, religionem intrare, nisi prius fuerint in praeceptis exercitati. Objection 2. Further, Gregory says (Hom. xv in Ezech., and Moral. xxii): "No one comes suddenly to the summit; but he must make a beginning of a good life in the smallest matters, so as to accomplish great things." Now the great things are the counsels which pertain to the perfection of life, while the lesser things are the commandments which belong to common righteousness. Therefore it would seem that one ought not to enter religion for the purpose of keeping the counsels, unless one be already practiced in the observance of the precepts.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut sacri ordines habent quandam excellentiam in Ecclesia, ita et status religionis. Sed sicut Gregorius scribit Siagrio episcopo, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLVIII, ordinate ad ordines accedendum est, nam casum appetit qui ad summi loci fastigia, postpositis gradibus, per abrupta quaerit ascensum. Scimus enim quod aedificati parietes non prius tignorum pondus accipiunt, nisi a novitatis suae humore siccentur, ne, si ante pondera quam solidentur accipiant, cunctam simul fabricam deponant. Ergo videtur quod non debent aliqui ad religionem transire nisi in praeceptis exercitati. Objection 3. Further, the religious state, like the holy orders, has a place of eminence in the Church. Now, as Gregory writes to the bishop Siagrius [Regist. ix, Ep. 106], "order should be observed in ascending to orders. For he seeks a fall who aspires to mount to the summit by overpassing the steps." [The rest of the quotation is from Regist. v, Ep. 53, ad Virgil. Episc.]. "For we are well aware that walls when built receive not the weight of the beams until the new fabric is rid of its moisture, lest if they should be burdened with weight before they are seasoned they bring down the whole building" (Dist. xlviii, can. Sicut neophytus). Therefore it would seem that one should not enter religion unless one be practiced in the observance of the precepts.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 arg. 4 Praeterea, super illud Psalmi, sicut ablactatus super matre sua, dicit Glossa, in utero matris Ecclesiae primo concipimur, dum fidei rudimentis instruimur; deinde in lucem edimur, dum per Baptismum regeneramur; deinde quasi manibus Ecclesiae portamur et lacte nutrimur, cum post Baptismum bonis operibus informamur et lacte spiritualis doctrinae nutrimur, proficiendo donec, iam grandiusculi, a lacte matris accedamus ad mensam patris; idest, a simplici doctrina, ubi praedicatur verbum caro factum, accedamus ad verbum patris in principio apud Deum. Et postea subdit quod nuper baptizati in sabbato sancto, quasi manibus Ecclesiae gestantur et lacte nutriuntur usque ad Pentecosten, quo tempore nulla difficilia indicuntur, non ieiunatur, non media nocte surgitur, postea, spiritu Paraclito confirmati, quasi ablactati, incipiunt ieiunare et alia difficilia servare. Multi vero hunc ordinem pervertunt, ut haeretici et schismatici, se ante tempus a lacte separantes, unde exstinguuntur. Sed hunc ordinem pervertere videntur illi qui religionem intrant, vel alios ad intrandum inducunt, antequam sint in faciliori observantia praeceptorum exercitati. Ergo videtur quod sint haeretici vel schismatici. Objection 4. Further, a gloss on Psalm 130:2, "As a child that is weaned is towards his mother," says: "First we are conceived in the womb of Mother Church, by being taught the rudiments of faith. Then we are nourished as it were in her womb, by progressing in those same elements. Afterwards we are brought forth to the light by being regenerated in baptism. Then the Church bears us as it were in her hands and feeds us with milk, when after baptism we are instructed in good works and are nourished with the milk of simple doctrine while we progress; until having grown out of infancy we leave our mother's milk for a father's control, that is to say, we pass from simple doctrine, by which we are taught the Word made flesh, to the Word that was in the beginning with God." Afterwards it goes on to say: "For those who are just baptized on Holy Saturday are borne in the hands of the Church as it were and fed with milk until Pentecost, during which time nothing arduous is prescribed, no fasts, no rising at midnight. Afterwards they are confirmed by the Paraclete Spirit, and being weaned so to speak, begin to fast and keep other difficult observances. Many, like the heretics and schismatics, have perverted this order by being weaned before the time. Hence they have come to naught." Now this order is apparently perverted by those who enter religion, or induce others to enter religion, before they are practiced in the easier observance of the commandments. Therefore they would seem to be heretics or schismatics.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 arg. 5 Praeterea, a prioribus ad posteriora est transeundum. Sed praecepta sunt priora consiliis, quia sunt communiora, utpote a quibus non convertitur consequentia essendi, quicumque enim servat consilia, servat praecepta, sed non convertitur. Congruus autem ordo est ut a prioribus ad posteriora transeatur. Ergo non debet aliquis transire ad observantiam consiliorum in religione, nisi prius sit exercitatus in praeceptis. Objection 5. Further, one should proceed from that which precedes to that which follows after. Now the commandments precede the counsels, because they are more universal, for "the implication of the one by the other is not convertible" [Categor. ix], since whoever keeps the counsels keeps the commandments, but the converse does not hold. Seeing then that the right order requires one to pass from that which comes first to that which comes after, it follows that one ought not to pass to the observance of the counsels in religion, without being first of all practiced in the observance of the commandments.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dominus Matthaeum publicanum, qui in observantia praeceptorum exercitatus non erat, advocavit ad consiliorum observantiam, dicitur enim Luc. V, quod, relictis omnibus, secutus est eum. Ergo non est necessarium quod ante aliquis exerceatur in observantia praeceptorum quam transeat ad perfectionem consiliorum. On the contrary, Matthew the publican who was not practiced in the observance of the commandments was called by our Lord to the observance of the counsels. For it is stated (Luke 5:28) that "leaving all things he . . . followed Him." Therefore it is not necessary for a person to be practiced in the observance of the commandments before passing to the perfection of the counsels.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, status religionis est quoddam spirituale exercitium ad consequendum perfectionem caritatis, quod quidem fit inquantum per religionis observantias auferuntur impedimenta perfectae caritatis. Haec autem sunt quae implicant affectum hominis ad terrena. Per hoc autem quod affectus hominis implicatur ad terrena, non solum impeditur perfectio caritatis, sed interdum etiam ipsa caritas perditur, dum per inordinatam conversionem ad bona temporalia homo avertitur ab incommutabili bono mortaliter peccando. Unde patet quod religionis observantiae, sicut tollunt impedimenta perfectae caritatis, ita etiam tollunt occasiones peccandi, sicut patet quod per ieiunium et vigilias et obedientiam et alia huiusmodi, retrahitur homo a peccatis gulae et luxuriae, et a quibuscumque aliis peccatis. Et ideo ingredi religionem non solum expedit his qui sunt exercitati in praeceptis, ut ad maiorem perfectionem perveniant, sed etiam his qui non sunt exercitati, ut facilius peccata vitent et perfectionem assequantur. I answer that, As shown above (Question 188, Article 1), the religious state is a spiritual schooling for the attainment of the perfection of charity. This is accomplished through the removal of the obstacles to perfect charity by religious observances; and these obstacles are those things which attach man's affections to earthly things. Now the attachment of man's affections to earthly things is not only an obstacle to the perfection of charity, but sometimes leads to the loss of charity, when through turning inordinately to temporal goods man turns away from the immutable good by sinning mortally. Hence it is evident that the observances of the religious state, while removing the obstacles to perfect charity, remove also the occasions of sin: for instance, it is clear that fasting, watching, obedience, and the like withdraw man from sins of gluttony and lust and all other manner of sins. Consequently it is right that not only those who are practiced in the observance of the commandments should enter religion in order to attain to yet greater perfection, but also those who are not practiced, in order the more easily to avoid sin and attain to perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Hieronymus dicit, super Matth., mentitus est adolescens dicens, haec omnia servavi a iuventute mea. Si enim quod positum est in mandatis, diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum, opere complesset, quomodo postea, audiens, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, tristis recessit? Sed intelligendum est eum mentitum esse quantum ad perfectam observantiam huius praecepti. Unde Origenes, super Matth., dicit quod scriptum est in Evangelio secundum Hebraeos, quod cum dominus dixisset ei, vade et vende omnia quae habes, coepit dives scalpere caput suum. Et dixit ad eum dominus, quomodo dicis, feci legem et prophetas? Est in lege, diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum, et ecce, multi fratres tui, filii Abrahae, amicti sunt stercore, morientes prae fame; et domus tua plena est multis bonis, et non egreditur aliquid omnino ex ea ad eos. Itaque dominus, redarguens eum, dicit, si vis perfectus esse, et cetera. Impossibile est enim implere mandatum quod dicit, diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum, et esse divitem, et maxime, tantas possessiones habere. Quod est intelligendum de perfecta impletione huius praecepti. Imperfecte autem et communi modo verum est eum observasse praecepta. Perfectio enim principaliter in observantia praeceptorum caritatis consistit, ut supra habitum est. Ut ergo dominus ostenderet perfectionem consiliorum utilem esse et innocentibus et peccatoribus, non solum vocavit adolescentem innocentem, sed etiam Matthaeum peccatorem. Et tamen Matthaeus secutus est vocantem, non autem adolescens, quia facilius convertuntur ad religionem peccatores quam illi qui de sua innocentia praesumunt, quibus dicit dominus, Matth. XXI, publicani et meretrices praecedunt vos in regnum Dei. Reply to Objection 1. Jerome (Super Matth. xix, 20) says: "The young man lies when he says: 'All these have I kept from my youth.' For if he had fulfilled this commandment, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' why did he go away sad when he heard: Go, sell all thou hast and give to the poor?" But this means that he lied as to the perfect observance of this commandment. Hence Origen says (Tract. viii super Matth.) that "it is written in the Gospel according to the Hebrews that when our Lord had said to him: 'Go, sell all thou hast,' the rich man began to scratch his head; and that our Lord said to him: How sayest thou: I have fulfilled the law and the prophets, seeing that it is written in the law: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself? Behold many of thy brethren, children of Abraham, are clothed in filth, and die of hunger, whilst thy house is full of all manner of good things, and nothing whatever hath passed thence to them. And thus our Lord reproves him saying: If thou wilt be perfect, go, etc. For it is impossible to fulfil the commandment which says, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, and to be rich, especially to have such great wealth." This also refers to the perfect fulfilment of this precept. on the other hand, it is true that he kept the commandments imperfectly and in a general way. For perfection consists chiefly in the observance of the precepts of charity, as stated above (Question 184, Article 3). Wherefore in order to show that the perfection of the counsels is useful both to the innocent and to sinners, our Lord called not only the innocent youth but also the sinner Matthew. Yet Matthew obeyed His call, and the youth obeyed not, because sinners are converted to the religious life more easily than those who presume on their innocency. It is to the former that our Lord says (Matthew 21:31): "The publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod summum et infimum tripliciter accipi potest. Uno modo, in eodem statu et in eodem homine. Et sic manifestum est quod nemo repente fit summus, quia unusquisque recte vivens toto tempore vitae suae proficit, ut ad summum perveniat. Alio modo, per comparationem ad diversos status. Et sic non oportet ut quicumque vult ad superiorem statum pervenire, a minori incipiat, sicut non oportet ut qui vult esse clericus, prius in laicali vita exerceatur. Tertio modo, quantum ad diversas personas. Et sic manifestum est quod unus statim incipit, non solum ab altiori statu, sed etiam ab altiori gradu sanctitatis quam sit summum ad quod alius pervenit per totam vitam suam. Unde Gregorius dicit, in II Dialog., omnes cognoscant, Benedictus puer conversationis gratiam a quanta perfectione coepisset. Reply to Objection 2. The highest and the lowest place can be taken in three ways. First, in reference to the same state and the same man; and thus it is evident that no one comes to the summit suddenly, since every man that lives aright, progresses during the whole course of his life, so as to arrive at the summit. Secondly, in comparison with various states; and thus he who desires to reach to a higher state need not begin from a lower state: for instance, if a man wish to be a cleric he need not first of all be practiced in the life of a layman. Thirdly, in comparison with different persons; and in this way it is clear that one man begins straightway not only from a higher state, but even from a higher degree of holiness, than the highest degree to which another man attains throughout his whole life. Hence Gregory says (Dial. ii, 1): "All are agreed that the boy Benedict began at a high degree of grace and perfection in his daily life."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, sacri ordines praeexigunt sanctitatem, sed status religionis est exercitium quoddam ad sanctitatem assequendam. Unde pondus ordinum imponendum est parietibus iam per sanctitatem desiccatis, sed pondus religionis desiccat parietes, idest homines, ab humore vitiorum. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (Question 184, Article 6) the holy orders prerequire holiness, whereas the religious state is a school for the attainment of holiness. Hence the burden of orders should be laid on the walls when these are already seasoned with holiness, whereas the burden of religion seasons the walls, i.e. men, by drawing out the damp of vice.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut manifeste ex verbis illius Glossae apparet, principaliter loquitur de ordine doctrinae, prout transeundum est a facilioribus ad difficiliora. Unde quod dicit haereticos et schismaticos hunc ordinem pervertere, manifestum est ex sequentibus ad ordinem doctrinae pertinere. Sequitur enim, hic vero se servasse, scilicet praedictum ordinem, dicit, constringens se maledicto, sic, quasi, non modo in aliis fui humilis, sed etiam in scientia. Quia humiliter sentiebam, prius nutritus lacte, quod est verbum caro factum, ut sic crescerem ad panem Angelorum, idest ad verbum quod est in principio apud Deum. Exemplum autem quod in medio interponitur, quod noviter baptizatis non indicitur ieiunium usque ad Pentecosten, ostendit quod non sunt ex necessitate ad difficilia cogendi antequam per spiritum sanctum interius ad hoc instigentur ut difficilia propria voluntate assumant. Unde et post Pentecosten, post receptionem spiritus sancti, ieiunium celebrat Ecclesia. Spiritus autem sanctus, sicut Ambrosius dicit, super Luc., non arcetur aetatibus, non finitur morte, non excluditur alvo. Et Gregorius dicit, in homilia Pentecostes, implet citharaedum puerum, et Psalmistam facit, implet puerum abstinentem, et iudicem senum facit. Et postea subdit, nulla ad discendum mora agitur, omne quod voluerit, mox ut tetigerit mentem, docet. Et sicut dicitur Eccle. VIII, non est in hominis ditione prohibere spiritum. Et apostolus, I ad Thess. V, monet, spiritum nolite extinguere. Et Act. VII, contra quosdam dicitur, vos semper spiritui sancto restitistis. Reply to Objection 4. It is manifest from the words of this gloss that it is chiefly a question of the order of doctrine, in so far as one has to pass from easy matter to that which is more difficult. Hence it is clear from what follows that the statement that certain "heretics" and "schismatics have perverted this order" refers to the order of doctrine. For it continues thus: "But he says that he has kept these things, namely the aforesaid order, binding himself by an oath [Referring to the last words of the verse, and taking 'retributio,' which Douay renders 'reward,' as meaning 'punishment']. Thus I was humble not only in other things but also in knowledge, for 'I was humbly minded'; because I was first of all fed with milk, which is the Word made flesh, so that I grew up to partake of the bread of angels, namely the Word that is in the beginning with God." The example which is given in proof, of the newly baptized not being commanded to fast until Pentecost, shows that no difficult things are to be laid on them as an obligation before the Holy Ghost inspires them inwardly to take upon themselves difficult things of their own choice. Hence after Pentecost and the receiving of the Holy Ghost the Church observes a fast. Now the Holy Ghost, according to Ambrose (Super Luc. 1:15), "is not confined to any particular age; He ceases not when men die, He is not excluded from the maternal womb." Gregory also in a homily for Pentecost (xxx in Ev.) says: "He fills the boy harpist and makes him a psalmist: He fills the boy abstainer and makes him a wise judge [Daniel 1:8-17]," and afterwards he adds: "No time is needed to learn whatsoever He will, for He teaches the mind by the merest touch." Again it is written (Ecclesiastes 8:8), "It is not in man's power to stop the Spirit," and the Apostle admonishes us (1 Thessalonians 5:19): "Extinguish not the Spirit," and (Acts 7:51) it is said against certain persons: "You always resist the Holy Ghost."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 1 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod praeceptorum quaedam sunt principalia, quae sunt fines et praeceptorum et consiliorum, scilicet praecepta caritatis. Ad quae consilia ordinantur, non ita quod sine consiliis servari non possint, sed ut per consilia perfectius observentur. Alia vero sunt praecepta secundaria, quae ordinantur ad praecepta caritatis ut sine quibus caritatis praecepta observari non possunt omnino. Sic igitur perfecta observantia praeceptorum caritatis praecedit intentione consilia, sed interdum tempore sequitur. Hic est enim ordo finis respectu eorum quae sunt ad finem. Observantia vero praeceptorum caritatis secundum communem modum, et similiter alia praecepta, comparantur ad consilia sicut commune ad proprium, quia observantia praeceptorum potest esse sine consiliis, sed non convertitur. Sic ergo observantia praeceptorum communiter sumpta, praecedit naturae ordine consilia, non tamen oportet quod tempore, quia non est aliquid prius in genere quam sit in aliqua specierum. Observantia vero praeceptorum sine consiliis ordinatur ad observantiam praeceptorum cum consiliis sicut species imperfecta ad perfectam, sicut animal irrationale ad rationale. Perfectum autem est naturaliter prius imperfecto, natura enim, ut Boetius dicit, a perfectis sumit initium. Nec tamen oportet quod prius observentur praecepta sine consiliis et postea cum consiliis, sicut non oportet quod aliquis prius sit asinus quam sit homo, vel quod prius sit coniugatus quam sit virgo. Et similiter non oportet quod aliquis prius servet praecepta in saeculo quam transeat ad religionem, praesertim quia conversatio saecularis non disponit ad perfectionem religionis, sed magis impedit. Reply to Objection 5. There are certain chief precepts which are the ends, so to say, of the commandments and counsels. These are the precepts of charity, and the counsels are directed to them, not that these precepts cannot be observed without keeping the counsels, but that the keeping of the counsels conduces to the better observance of the precepts. The other precepts are secondary and are directed to the precepts of charity; in such a way that unless one observe them it is altogether impossible to keep the precepts of charity. Accordingly in the intention the perfect observance of the precepts of charity precedes the counsels, and yet sometimes it follows them in point of time. For such is the order of the end in relation to things directed to the end. But the observance in a general way of the precepts of charity together with the other precepts, is compared to the counsels as the common to the proper, because one can observe the precepts without observing the counsels, but not vice versa. Hence the common observance of the precepts precedes the counsels in the order of nature; but it does not follow that it precedes them in point of time, for a thing is not in the genus before being in one of the species. But the observance of the precepts apart from the counsels is directed to the observance of the precepts together with the counsels; as an imperfect to a perfect species, even as the irrational to the rational animal. Now the perfect is naturally prior to the imperfect, since "nature," as Boethius says (De Consol. iii, 10), "begins with perfect things." And yet it is not necessary for the precepts first of all to be observed without the counsels, and afterwards with the counsels, just as it is not necessary for one to be an ass before being a man, or married before being a virgin. On like manner it is not necessary for a person first of all to keep the commandments in the world before entering religion; especially as the worldly life does not dispose one to religious perfection, but is more an obstacle thereto.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non debeant aliqui voto obligari ad religionis ingressum. Per professionem enim aliquis voto religioni adstringitur. Sed ante professionem conceditur annus probationis, secundum regulam beati Benedicti, et secundum statutum Innocentii IV, qui etiam prohibuit, ante annum probationis completum, eos per professionem religioni adstringi. Ergo videtur quod multo minus adhuc in saeculo existentes debeant voto ad religionem obligari. Objection 1. It would seem that one ought not to be bound by vow to enter religion. For in making his profession a man is bound by the religious vow. Now before profession a year of probation is allowed, according to the rule of the Blessed Benedict (lviii) and according to the decree of Innocent IV [Sext. Decret., cap. Non solum., de Regular. et Transeunt, ad Relig.] who moreover forbade anyone to be bound to the religious life by profession before completing the year of probation. Therefore it would seem that much less ought anyone while yet in the world to be bound by vow to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, in registro, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLV, quod Iudaei, non vi, sed libera voluntate ut convertantur suadendi sunt. Sed implere id quod vovetur, necessitatis est. Ergo non sunt aliqui obligandi ad religionis ingressum. Objection 2. Further, Gregory says (Regist. xi, Ep. 15): Jews "should be persuaded to be converted, not by compulsion but of their own free will" (Dist. xlv, can. De Judaeis). Now one is compelled to fulfil what one has vowed. Therefore no one should be bound by vow to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, nullus debet alteri praebere occasionem ruinae, unde Exod. XXI dicitur, si quis aperuerit cisternam, cecideritque bos vel asinus in eam, dominus cisternae reddet pretium iumentorum. Sed ex hoc quod aliqui obligantur ad religionem per votum, frequenter aliqui ruunt in desperationem et in diversa peccata. Ergo videtur quod non sint aliqui ad religionis ingressum voto obligandi. Objection 3. Further, no one should give another an occasion of falling; wherefore it is written (Exodus 21:33-34): "If a man open a pit . . . and an ox or an ass fall into it, the owner of the pit shall pay the price of the beasts." Now through being bound by vow to enter religion it often happens that people fall into despair and various sins. Therefore it would seem that one ought not to be bound by vow to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod in Psalmo dicitur, vovete, et reddite domino Deo vestro, ubi dicit Glossa quod quaedam sunt vota propria singulorum, ut castitas, virginitas et huiusmodi, ad haec ergo vovenda nos invitat. Sed Scriptura sacra non invitat nisi ad id quod est melius. Ergo melius est quod aliquis voto se obliget ad religionis ingressum. On the contrary, It is written, (Psalm 75:12): "Vow ye, and pay to the Lord your God"; and a gloss of Augustine says that "some vows concern the individual, such as vows of chastity, virginity, and the like." Consequently Holy Scripture invites us to vow these things. But Holy Scripture invites us only to that which is better. Therefore it is better to bind oneself by vow to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de voto ageretur, unum et idem opus ex voto factum est laudabilius quam si sine voto fiat. Tum quia vovere est actus religionis, quae habet quandam excellentiam inter virtutes. Tum quia per votum firmatur voluntas hominis ad bonum faciendum, et sicut peccatum est gravius ex hoc quod procedit ex voluntate obstinata in malum, ita bonum opus est laudabilius ex hoc quod procedit ex voluntate confirmata in bonum per votum. Et ideo obligari voto ad religionis ingressum est secundum se laudabile. I answer that, As stated above (Question 88, Article 6), when we were treating of vows, one and the same work done in fulfilment of a vow is more praiseworthy than if it be done apart from a vow, both because to vow is an act of religion, which has a certain pre-eminence among the virtues, and because a vow strengthens a man's will to do good; and just as a sin is more grievous through proceeding from a will obstinate in evil, so a good work is the more praiseworthy through proceeding from a will confirmed in good by means of a vow. Therefore it is in itself praiseworthy to bind oneself by vow to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod duplex est religionis votum. Unum solemne, quod hominem facit monachum vel alterius religionis fratrem, quod vocatur professio. Et tale votum debet praecedere annus probationis, ut probat obiectio. Aliud autem est votum simplex, ex quo aliquis non fit monachus vel religiosus, sed solum obligatus ad religionis ingressum. Et ante tale votum non oportet praecedere probationis annum. Reply to Objection 1. The religious vow is twofold. One is the solemn vow which makes a man a monk or a brother in some other religious order. This is called the profession, and such a vow should be preceded by a year's probation, as the objection proves. The other is the simple vow which does not make a man a monk or a religious, but only binds him to enter religion, and such a vow need not be preceded by a year's probation.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod auctoritas illa Gregorii intelligitur de violentia absoluta. Necessitas autem quae ex obligatione voti requiritur, non est necessitas absoluta, sed necessitas ex fine, quia scilicet, post votum, non potest aliquis finem salutis consequi nisi impleat votum. Talis autem necessitas non est vitanda, quinimmo, ut Augustinus dicit, ad Armentarium et Paulinam, felix est necessitas quae ad meliora transmittit. Reply to Objection 2. The words quoted from Gregory must be understood as referring to absolute violence. But the compulsion arising from the obligation of a vow is not absolute necessity, but a necessity of end, because after such a vow one cannot attain to the end of salvation unless one fulfil that vow. Such a necessity is not to be avoided; indeed, as Augustine says (Ep. cxxvii ad Armentar. et Paulin.), "happy is the necessity that compels us to better things."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod vovere religionis ingressum est quaedam confirmatio voluntatis ad meliora. Et ideo, quantum est de se, non dat homini occasionem ruinae, sed magis subtrahit. Sed si aliquis voti transgressor gravius ruat, hoc non derogat bonitati voti, sicut nec derogat bonitati Baptismi quod aliqui post Baptismum gravius peccant. Reply to Objection 3. The vow to enter religion is a strengthening of the will for better things, and consequently, considered in itself, instead of giving a man an occasion of falling, withdraws him from it. But if one who breaks a vow falls more grievously, this does not derogate from the goodness of the vow, as neither does it derogate from the goodness of Baptism that some sin more grievously after being baptized.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod ille qui obligatus est voto ad religionis ingressum, non teneatur intrare. Dicitur enim in decretis, XVII, qu. II, Consaldus presbyter, quondam infirmitatis passione pressus, monachum se fieri promisit, non tamen monasterio aut abbati se tradidit, nec promissionem scripsit, sed beneficium Ecclesiae in manu advocati refutavit, ac postquam convaluit, monachum se negavit fieri. Et postea subdit, iudicamus ut praefatus presbyter beneficium et altaria recipiat et quiete retineat. Hoc autem non esset, si teneretur religionem intrare. Ergo videtur quod non teneatur aliquis implere votum quo se ad religionis ingressum obligavit. Objection 1. It would seem that one who is bound by the vow to enter religion is not under an obligation of entering religion. For it is said in the Decretals (XVII, qu. ii, can. Consaldus): "Consaldus, a priest under pressure of sickness and emotional fervour, promised to become a monk. He did not, however, bind himself to a monastery or abbot; nor did he commit his promise to writing, but he renounced his benefice in the hands of a notary; and when he was restored to health he refused to become a monk." And afterwards it is added: "We adjudge and by apostolic authority we command that the aforesaid priest be admitted to his benefice and sacred duties, and that he be allowed to retain them in peace." Now this would not be if he were bound to enter religion. Therefore it would seem that one is not bound to keep one's vow of entering religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, nullus tenetur facere id quod non est in sua potestate. Sed quod aliquis religionem ingrediatur, non est in potestate ipsius, sed requiritur ad hoc assensus eorum ad quos debet transire. Ergo videtur quod non teneatur aliquis implere votum quo se ad religionis ingressum obligavit. Objection 2. Further, no one is bound to do what is not in his power. Now it is not in a person's power to enter religion, since this depends on the consent of those whom he wishes to join. Therefore it would seem that a man is not obliged to fulfil the vow by which he bound himself to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, per votum minus utile non potest derogari voto magis utili. Sed per impletionem voti religionis impediri posset impletio voti crucis in subsidium terrae sanctae, quod videtur esse utilius, quia per hoc votum consequitur homo remissionem peccatorum. Ergo videtur quod votum quo quis se obligavit ad religionis ingressum, non sit ex necessitate implendum. Objection 3. Further, a less useful vow cannot remit a more useful one. Now the fulfilment of a vow to enter religion might hinder the fulfilment of a vow to take up the cross in defense of the Holy Land; and the latter apparently is the more useful vow, since thereby a man obtains the forgiveness of his sins. Therefore it would seem that the vow by which a man has bound himself to enter religion is not necessarily to be fulfilled.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Eccle. V, si quid vovisti Deo, ne moreris reddere, displicet enim Deo infidelis et stulta promissio. Et super illud Psalmi, vovete et reddite domino Deo vestro, dicit Glossa, vovere voluntati consulitur, sed post voti promissionem, redditio necessario exigitur. On the contrary, It is written (Ecclesiastes 5:3): "If thou hast vowed anything to God, defer not to pay it, for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him"; and a gloss on Psalm 75:12, "Vow ye, and pay to the Lord your God," says: "To vow depends on the will: but after the vow has been taken the fulfilment is of obligation."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de voto ageretur, votum est promissio Deo facta de his quae ad Deum pertinent. Ut autem Gregorius dicit, in epistola ad Bonifacium, si inter homines solent bonae fidei contractus nulla ratione dissolvi, quanto magis ista pollicitatio quam cum Deo pepigit, solvi sine vindicta non poterit. Et ideo ad implendum id quod homo vovit, ex necessitate tenetur, dummodo sit aliquid quod ad Deum pertineat. Manifestum est autem quod ingressus religionis maxime ad Deum pertinet, quia per hoc homo totaliter se mancipat divinis obsequiis, ut ex supra dictis patet. Unde relinquitur quod ille qui se obligat ad religionis ingressum, teneatur religionem ingredi, secundum quod se voto obligare intendit, ita scilicet quod, si intendit se absolute obligare, tenetur quam citius poterit ingredi, legitimo impedimento cessante; si autem ad certum tempus, vel sub certa conditione, tenetur religionem ingredi tempore adveniente, vel conditione existente. I answer that, As stated above (Question 88, Article 1), when we were treating of vows, a vow is a promise made to God in matters concerning God. Now, as Gregory says in a letter to Boniface [Innoc. I, Epist. ii, Victricio Epo. Rotomag., cap. 14; Cf. can. Viduas: cause. xxvii, qu. 1: "If among men of good faith contracts are wont to be absolutely irrevocable, how much more shall the breaking of this promise given to God be deserving of punishment!" Therefore a man is under an obligation to fulfil what he has vowed, provided this be something pertaining to God. Now it is evident that entrance into religion pertains very much to God, since thereby man devotes himself entirely to the divine service, as stated above (Question 186, Article 1). Hence it follows that he who binds himself to enter religion is under an obligation to enter religion according as he intends to bind himself by his vow: so that if he intend to bind himself absolutely, he is obliged to enter as soon as he can, through the cessation of a lawful impediment; whereas if he intend to bind himself to a certain fixed time, or under a certain fixed condition, he is bound to enter religion when the time comes or the condition is fulfilled.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille presbyter non fecerat votum solemne, sed simplex. Unde non erat monachus effectus, ut cogi deberet de iure in monasterio remanere et Ecclesiam dimittere. Tamen in foro conscientiae esset sibi consulendum quod, omnibus dimissis, religionem intraret. Unde extra, de voto et voti Redempt., cap. per tuas, consulitur episcopo Gratianopolitano, qui post votum religionis episcopatum assumpserat, voto non impleto, ut, si suam sanare desideraret conscientiam, regimen Ecclesiae resignaret, et redderet altissimo vota sua. Reply to Objection 1. This priest had made, not a solemn, but a simple vow. Hence he was not a monk in effect, so as to be bound by law to dwell in a monastery and renounce his cure. However, in the court of conscience one ought to advise him to renounce all and enter religion. Hence (Extra, De Voto et Voti Redemptione, cap. Per tuas) the Bishop of Grenoble, who had accepted the episcopate after vowing to enter religion, without having fulfilled his vow, is counseled that if "he wish to heal his conscience he should renounce the government of his see and pay his vows to the Most High."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de voto ageretur, ille qui se voto obligavit ad certae religionis ingressum, tenetur facere quantum in se est ut in illa religione recipiatur. Et si quidem intendit se simpliciter ad religionem obligare, si non recipitur in una religione, tenetur ire ad aliam. Si vero intendit se obligare specialiter ad unam solum, non tenetur nisi secundum modum suae obligationis. Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (88, 3, ad 2), when we were treating of vows, he who has bound himself by vow to enter a certain religious order is bound to do what is in his power in order to be received in that order; and if he intend to bind himself simply to enter the religious life, if he be not admitted to one, he is bound to go to another; whereas if he intend to bind himself only to one particular order, he is bound only according to the measure of the obligation to which he has engaged himself.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod votum religionis, cum sit perpetuum, est maius quam votum peregrinationis terrae sanctae, quod est temporale. Et sicut Alexander III dicit, et habetur extra, de voto et voti Redempt., reus fracti voti aliquatenus non habetur qui temporale obsequium in perpetuam noscitur religionis observantiam commutare. Rationabiliter autem dici potest quod etiam per ingressum religionis aliquis consequatur remissionem omnium peccatorum. Si enim aliquibus eleemosynis factis homo potest statim satisfacere de peccatis suis, secundum illud Dan. IV, peccata tua eleemosynis redime; multo magis in satisfactionem pro omnibus peccatis sufficit quod aliquis se totaliter divinis obsequiis mancipet per religionis ingressum, quae excedit omne genus satisfactionis, etiam publicae poenitentiae, ut habetur in decretis, XXXIII Caus., qu. II, cap. admonere; sicut etiam holocaustum excedit sacrificium, ut Gregorius dicit, super Ezech. Unde in vitis patrum legitur quod eandem gratiam consequuntur religionem ingredientes quam consequuntur baptizati. Si tamen non absolverentur per hoc ab omni reatu poenae, nihilominus ingressus religionis utilior est quam peregrinatio terrae sanctae quantum ad promotionem in bonum, quae praeponderat absolutioni a poena. Reply to Objection 3. The vow to enter religion being perpetual is greater than the vow of pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which is a temporal vow; and as Alexander III says (Extra, De Voto et Voti Redemptione, cap. Scripturae), "he who exchanges a temporary service for the perpetual service of religion is in no way guilty of breaking his vow." Moreover it may be reasonably stated that also by entrance into religion a man obtains remission of all his sins. For if by giving alms a man may forthwith satisfy for his sins, according to (Daniel 4:24), "Redeem thou thy sins with alms," much more does it suffice to satisfy for all his sins that a man devote himself wholly to the divine service by entering religion, for this surpasses all manner of satisfaction, even that of public penance, according to the Decretals (XXXIII, qu. i, cap. Admonere) just as a holocaust exceeds a sacrifice, as Gregory declares (Hom. xx in Ezech.). Hence we read in the Lives of the Fathers (vi, 1) that by entering religion one receives the same grace as by being baptized. And yet even if one were not thereby absolved from all debt of punishment, nevertheless the entrance into religion is more profitable than a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as regards the advancement in good, which is preferable to absolution from punishment.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ille qui vovet religionem ingredi, teneatur perpetuo in religione permanere. Melius est enim religionem non ingredi quam post ingressum exire, secundum illud II Pet. II, melius erat illis veritatem non cognoscere quam post agnitam retroire. Et Luc. IX dicitur, nemo mittens manum ad aratrum et aspiciens retro, aptus est regno Dei. Sed ille qui voto se obligavit ad religionis ingressum, tenetur ingredi, ut dictum est. Ergo etiam tenetur perpetuo remanere. Objection 1. It would seem that he who has vowed to enter religion, is bound in perpetuity to remain in religion. For it is better not to enter religion than to leave after entering, according to (2 Peter 2:21), "It had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it to turn back," and (Luke 9:62), "No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." But he who bound himself by the vow to enter religion, is under the obligation to enter, as stated above (Article 3). Therefore he is also bound to remain for always.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, quilibet debet vitare id ex quo scandalum sequitur et aliis datur malum exemplum. Sed ex hoc quod aliquis, post religionis ingressum, egreditur et ad saeculum redit, malum exemplum et scandalum aliis generatur, qui retrahuntur ab ingressu et provocantur ad exitum. Ergo videtur quod ille qui ingreditur religionem ut votum impleat quod prius fecit, teneatur ibi perpetuo remanere. Objection 2. Further, everyone is bound to avoid that which gives rise to scandal, and is a bad example to others. Now by leaving after entering religion a man gives a bad example and is an occasion of scandal to others, who are thereby withdrawn from entering or incited to leave. Therefore it seems that he who enters religion in order to fulfil a vow which he had previously taken, is bound to remain evermore.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, votum religionis reputatur votum perpetuum, et ideo temporalibus votis praefertur, ut dictum est. Hoc autem non esset, si aliquis, voto religionis emisso, ingrederetur cum proposito exeundi. Videtur ergo quod ille qui vovet religionis ingressum, teneatur in religione etiam perpetuo remanere. Objection 3. Further, the vow to enter religion is accounted a perpetual vow: wherefore it is preferred to temporal vows, as stated above (3, ad 3; 88, 12, ad 1). But this would not be so if a person after vowing to enter religion were to enter with the intention of leaving. It seems, therefore, that he who vows to enter religion is bound also to remain in perpetuity.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est, quia votum professionis, propter hoc quod obligat hominem ad hoc quod perpetuo in religione remaneat, praeexigit annum probationis, qui non praeexigitur ad votum simplex quo aliquis se obligat ad religionis ingressum. Ergo videtur quod ille qui vovet religionem intrare, propter hoc non teneatur ibi perpetuo remanere. On the contrary, The vow of religious profession, for the reason that it binds a man to remain in religion for evermore, has to be preceded by a year of probation; whereas this is not required before the simple vow whereby a man binds himself to enter religion. Therefore it seems that he who vows to enter religion is not for that reason bound to remain there in perpetuity.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod obligatio voti ex voluntate procedit, nam vovere voluntatis est, ut Augustinus dicit. In tantum ergo fertur obligatio voti in quantum se extendit voluntas et intentio voventis. Si igitur vovens intendit se obligare non solum ad ingressum religionis, sed ad perpetuo remanendum, tenetur perpetuo remanere. Si autem intendit se obligare ad ingressum religionis causa experiendi, cum libertate remanendi vel non remanendi, manifestum est quod remanere non tenetur. Si vero in vovendo simpliciter de ingressu religionis cogitavit, absque hoc quod cogitaret de libertate exitus vel de perpetuitate remanendi, videtur obligari ad ingressum secundum formam iuris communis, quae est ut ingredientibus detur probationis annus. Unde non tenetur perpetuo in religione remanere. I answer that, The obligation of a vow proceeds from the will: because "to vow is an act of the will" according to Augustine [Gloss of Peter Lombard on Psalm 75:12. Consequently the obligation of a vow extends as far as the will and intention of the person who takes the vow. Accordingly if in vowing he intend to bind himself not only to enter religion, but also to remain there evermore, he is bound to remain in perpetuity. If, on the other hand, he intend to bind himself to enter religion for the purpose of trial, while retaining the freedom to remain or not remain, it is clear that he is not bound to remain. If, however, in vowing he thought merely of entering religion, without thinking of being free to leave, or of remaining in perpetuity, it would seem that he is bound to enter religion according to the form prescribed by common law, which is that those who enter should be given a year's probation. Wherefore he is not bound to remain for ever.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod melius est intrare religionem animo probandi, quam penitus non intrare, quia per hoc disponitur ad perpetuo remanendum. Nec tamen intelligitur aliquis retro ire vel aspicere, nisi quando praetermittit id ad quod se obligavit. Alioquin quicumque per aliquod tempus facit aliquod bonum opus, si non semper id faciat, esset ineptus regno Dei, quod patet esse falsum. Reply to Objection 1. It is better to enter religion with the purpose of making a trial than not to enter at all, because by so doing one disposes oneself to remain always. Nor is a person accounted to turn or to look back, save when he omits to do that which he engaged to do: else whoever does a good work for a time, would be unfit for the kingdom of God, unless he did it always, which is evidently false.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ille qui religionem ingreditur, si exeat, praesertim ex aliqua rationabili causa, non generat scandalum nec dat malum exemplum. Et si alius scandalizatur, erit scandalum passivum ex parte eius, non autem scandalum activum ex parte exeuntis, quia fecit quod licitum erat ei facere, et quod expediebat propter rationabilem causam, puta infirmitatem aut debilitatem aut aliquid huiusmodi. Reply to Objection 2. A man who has entered religion gives neither scandal nor bad example by leaving, especially if he do so for a reasonable motive; and if others are scandalized, it will be passive scandal on their part, and not active scandal on the part of the person leaving, since in doing so, he has done what was lawful, and expedient on account of some reasonable motive, such as sickness, weakness, and the like.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ille qui intrat ut statim exeat, non videtur satisfacere voto suo, quia ipse in vovendo hoc non intendit. Et ideo tenetur mutare propositum, ut saltem velit experiri an ei expediat in religione remanere. Non autem tenetur ad perpetuo remanendum. Reply to Objection 3. He who enters with the purpose of leaving forthwith, does not seem to fulfil his vow, since this was not his intention in vowing. Hence he must change that purpose, at least so as to wish to try whether it is good for him to remain in religion, but he is not bound to remain for evermore.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod pueri non sint recipiendi in religione. Quia extra, de regularibus et Transeunt. ad Relig., dicitur, nullus tondeatur, nisi legitima aetate et spontanea voluntate. Sed pueri non videntur habere legitimam aetatem nec spontaneam voluntatem, quia non habent perfecte usum rationis. Ergo videtur quod non sint in religione recipiendi. Objection 1. It would seem that children ought not to be received in religion. Because it is said (Extra, De Regular. et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. Nullus): "No one should be tonsured unless he be of legal age and willing." But children, seemingly, are not of legal age; nor have they a will of their own, not having perfect use of reason. Therefore it seems that they ought not to be received in religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, status religionis videtur esse status poenitentiae, unde et religio dicitur a religando vel reeligendo, ut Augustinus dicit, X de Civ. Dei. Sed pueris non convenit poenitentia. Ergo videtur quod non debeant religionem intrare. Objection 2. Further, the state of religion would seem to be a state of repentance; wherefore religion is derived [Cf. 81, 1 from "religare" [to bind] or from "re-eligere" [to choose again], as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei x, 3 [Cf. De Vera Relig. lv]). But repentance does not become children. Therefore it seems that they should not enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut aliquis obligatur iuramento, ita et voto. Sed pueri, ante annos quatuordecim, non debent obligari iuramento, ut habetur in decretis, XXII Caus., qu. V, cap. pueri, et cap. honestum. Ergo videtur quod nec etiam sint voto obligandi. Objection 3. Further, the obligation of a vow is like that of an oath. But children under the age of fourteen ought not to be bound by oath (Decret. XXII, qu. v, cap. Pueri and cap. Honestum.). Therefore it would seem that neither should they be bound by vow.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 arg. 4 Praeterea, illicitum videtur esse obligare aliquem tali obligatione quae posset iuste irritari. Sed si aliqui impuberes obligant se religioni, possunt retrahi a parentibus vel tutoribus, dicitur enim in decretis, XX Caus., qu. II, quod puella si ante duodecim aetatis annos sponte sua sacrum velamen assumpserit, possunt statim parentes eius vel tutores id factum irritum facere, si voluerint. Illicitum est ergo pueros, praesertim ante pubertatis annos, ad religionem recipere vel obligare. Objection 4. Further, it is seemingly unlawful to bind a person to an obligation that can be justly canceled. Now if any persons of unripe age bind themselves to religion, they can be withdrawn by their parents or guardians. For it is written in the Decretals (XX, qu. ii, can. Puella) that "if a maid under twelve years of age shall take the sacred veil of her own accord, her parents or guardians, if they choose, can at once declare the deed null and void." It is therefore unlawful for children, especially of unripe age, to be admitted or bound to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod dominus, Matth. XIX, dicit, sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere venire ad me. Quod exponens Origenes, super Matth., dicit quod discipuli Iesu, priusquam discant rationem iustitiae, reprehendunt eos qui pueros et infantes offerunt Christo, dominus autem exhortatur discipulos suos condescendere utilitatibus puerorum. Hoc ergo attendere debemus, ne, aestimatione sapientiae excellentioris, contemnamus, quasi magni, pusillos Ecclesiae, prohibentes pueros venire ad Iesum. On the contrary, our Lord said (Matthew 19:14): "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to Me." Expounding these words Origen says (Tract. vii in Matth.) that "the disciples of Jesus before they have been taught the conditions of righteousness [Cf. Matthew 19:16-30, rebuke those who offer children and babes to Christ: but our Lord urges His disciples to stoop to the service of children. We must therefore take note of this, lest deeming ourselves to excel in wisdom we despise the Church's little ones, as though we were great, and forbid the children to come to Jesus."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, duplex est religionis votum. Unum simplex, quod consistit in sola promissione Deo facta, quae ex interiori mentis deliberatione procedit. Et hoc votum habet efficaciam ex iure divino. Quae tamen dupliciter tolli potest. Uno modo, per defectum deliberationis, ut patet in furiosis, quorum vota non sunt obligatoria, ut habetur extra, de regularibus et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. sicut tenor. Et eadem est ratio de pueris qui nondum habent debitum usum rationis, per quem sunt doli capaces, quem quidem pueri habent, ut frequentius, circa quartumdecimum annum, puellae vero circa duodecimum, qui dicuntur anni pubertatis. In quibusdam tamen anticipatur, et in quibusdam tardatur, secundum diversam dispositionem naturae. Alio modo impeditur efficacia simplicis voti, si aliquis Deo voveat quod non est propriae potestatis, puta si servus, etiam usum rationis habens, voveat se religionem intrare, aut etiam ordinetur, ignorante domino; potest enim hoc dominus revocare, ut habetur in decretis, dist. LIV, cap. si servus. Et quia puer vel puella, infra pubertatis annos, naturaliter sunt in potestate patris quantum ad dispositionem suae vitae, poterit pater votum eorum revocare vel acceptare, si sibi placuerit, ut expresse dicitur de muliere, Num. XXX. Sic igitur si puer, ante annos pubertatis, simplex votum emittat, antequam habeat plenum usum rationis, non obligatur ex voto. Si autem habeat usum rationis ante annos pubertatis, obligatur quidem quantum in se est, ex suo voto, tamen potest obligatio removeri per auctoritatem patris, in cuius potestate adhuc existit; quia ordinatio legis, qua unus homo subditur alteri, respicit id quod in pluribus accidit. Si vero annos pubertatis excedat, non potest revocari auctoritate parentum; si tamen nondum haberet plenum usum rationis, non obligaretur quoad Deum. Aliud autem est votum solemne, quod facit monachum vel religiosum. Quod quidem subditur ordinationi Ecclesiae, propter solemnitatem quam habet annexam. Et quia Ecclesia respicit id quod in pluribus est, professio ante tempus pubertatis facta, quantumcumque aliquis habeat usum rationis plenum, ut sit doli capax, non habet suum effectum, ut faciat profitentem esse iam religiosum. Et tamen, licet ante annos pubertatis profiteri non possint, possunt tamen, cum voluntate parentum, in religione recipi ut nutriantur ibidem, sicut de Ioanne Baptista legitur, Luc. I, quod puer crescebat, et confortabatur spiritu, et erat in desertis. Unde, sicut Gregorius dicit, in II Dialog., beato Benedicto Romani nobiles suos filios omnipotenti Deo nutriendos dare coeperunt. Quod est valde expediens, secundum illud Thren. III, bonum est viro cum portaverit iugum ab adolescentia sua. Unde ex communi consuetudine pueri applicantur illis officiis vel artibus in quibus sunt vitam acturi. I answer that, As stated above (2, ad 1), the religious vow is twofold. One is the simple vow consisting in a mere promise made to God, and proceeding from the interior deliberation of the mind. Such a vow derives its efficacy from the divine law. Nevertheless it may encounter a twofold obstacle. First, through lack of deliberation, as in the case of the insane, whose vows are not binding [Extra, De Regular. et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. Sicut tenor]. The same applies to children who have not reached the required use of reason, so as to be capable of guile, which use boys attain, as a rule, at about the age of fourteen, and girls at the age of twelve, this being what is called "the age of puberty," although in some it comes earlier and in others it is delayed, according to the various dispositions of nature. Secondly, the efficacy of a simple vow encounters an obstacle, if the person who makes a vow to God is not his own master; for instance, if a slave, though having the use of reason, vows to enter religion, or even is ordained, without the knowledge of his master: for his master can annul this, as stated in the Decretals (Dist. LIV, cap. Si servus). And since boys and girls under the age of puberty are naturally in their father's power as regards the disposal of their manner of life, their father may either cancel or approve their vow, if it please him to do so, as it is expressly said with regard to a woman (Numbers 30:4). Accordingly if before reaching the age of puberty a child makes a simple vow, not yet having full use of reason, he is not bound in virtue of the vow; but if he has the use of reason before reaching the age of puberty, he is bound, so far as he is concerned, by his vow; yet this obligation may be removed by his father's authority, under whose control he still remains, because the ordinance of the law whereby one man is subject to another considers what happens in the majority of cases. If, however, the child has passed the age of puberty, his vow cannot be annulled by the authority of his parents; though if he has not the full use of reason, he would not be bound in the sight of God. The other is the solemn vow which makes a man a monk or a religious. Such a vow is subject to the ordinance of the Church, on account of the solemnity attached to it. And since the Church considers what happens in the majority of cases, a profession made before the age of puberty, however much the person who makes profession may have the use of reason, or be capable of guile, does not take effect so as to make him a religious (Extra, De Regular., etc. cap. Significatum est.). Nevertheless, although they cannot be professed before the age of puberty, they can, with the consent of their parents, be received into religion to be educated there: thus it is related of John the Baptist (Luke 1:80) that "the child grew and was strengthened in spirit, and was in the deserts." Hence, as Gregory states (Dial. ii, 3), "the Roman nobles began to give their sons to the blessed Benedict to be nurtured for Almighty God"; and this is most fitting, according to Lamentations 3:27, "It is good for a man when he has borne the yoke from his youth." It is for this reason that by common custom children are made to apply themselves to those duties or arts with which they are to pass their lives.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod legitima aetas ad hoc quod aliquis tondeatur cum voto solemni religionis, est tempus pubertatis, in quo homo potest uti spontanea voluntate. Sed ante annos pubertatis potest esse legitima aetas ad hoc quod aliquis tondeatur in religione nutriendus. Reply to Objection 1. The legal age for receiving the tonsure and taking the solemn vow of religion is the age of puberty, when a man is able to make use of his own will; but before the age of puberty it is possible to have reached the lawful age to receive the tonsure and be educated in a religious house.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod religionis status principaliter ordinatur ad perfectionem consequendam, ut supra habitum est. Et secundum hoc, convenit pueris, qui de facili imbuuntur. Ex consequenti autem dicitur esse status poenitentiae, inquantum per observantiam religionis peccatorum occasiones tolluntur, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. The religious state is chiefly directed to the attachment of perfection, as stated above (186, 1, ad 4); and accordingly it is becoming to children, who are easily drawn to it. But as a consequence it is called a state of repentance, inasmuch as occasions of sin are removed by religious observances, as stated above (186, 1, ad 4).
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod pueri, sicut non coguntur ad iurandum, ut canon dicit, ita non coguntur ad vovendum. Si tamen voto vel iuramento se adstrinxerint ad aliquid faciendum, obligantur quoad Deum, si habeant usum rationis, licet non obligentur quoad Ecclesiam ante quatuordecim annos. Reply to Objection 3. Even as children are not bound to take oaths (as the canon states), so are they not bound to take vows. If, however, they bind themselves by vow or oath to do something, they are bound in God's sight, if they have the use of reason, but they are not bound in the sight of the Church before reaching the age of fourteen.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 5 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod Num. XXX non reprehenditur mulier in puellari aetate constituta, si voveat absque consensu parentum, potest tamen revocari a parentibus. Ex quo patet quod non peccat vovendo, sed intelligitur se voto obligare quantum in se est, absque praeiudicio auctoritatis paternae. Reply to Objection 4. A woman who has not reached the age of puberty is not rebuked (Numbers 30:4) for taking a vow without her parents' consent: but the vow can be made void by her parents. Hence it is evident that she does not sin in vowing. But we are given to understand that she binds herself by vow, so far as she may, without prejudice to her parents' authority.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod propter obsequium parentum debeant aliqui retrahi ab ingressu religionis. Non enim licet praetermittere id quod est necessitatis, ut fiat id quod est liberum voluntati. Sed obsequi parentibus cadit sub necessitate praecepti quod datur de honoratione parentum, Exod. XX, unde et apostolus dicit, I ad Tim. V, si qua vidua filios aut nepotes habet, discat primum domum suam regere, et mutuam vicem reddere parentibus. Ingredi autem religionem est liberum voluntati. Ergo videtur quod non debeat aliquis praetermittere parentum obsequium propter religionis ingressum. Objection 1. It would seem that one ought to be withdrawn from entering religion through deference to one's parents. For it is not lawful to omit that which is of obligation in order to do that which is optional. Now deference to one's parents comes under an obligation of the precept concerning the honoring of our parents (Exodus 20:12); wherefore the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:4): "If any widow have children or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents." But the entrance to religion is optional. Therefore it would seem that one ought not to omit deference to one's parents for the sake of entering religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, maior videtur esse subiectio filii ad parentes quam servi ad dominum, quia filiatio est naturalis; servitus autem ex maledictione peccati, ut patet Gen. IX. Sed servus non potest praetermittere obsequium domini sui ut religionem ingrediatur aut sacrum ordinem assumat, sicut habetur in decretis, dist. LIV, si servus. Ergo multo minus filius potest obsequium patris praetermittere ut ingrediatur religionem. Objection 2. Further, seemingly the subjection of a son to his father is greater than that of a slave to his master, since sonship is natural, while slavery results from the curse of sin, as appears from Genesis 9:25. Now a slave cannot set aside the service of his master in order to enter religion or take holy orders, as stated in the Decretals (Dist. LIV, cap. Si servus). Much less therefore can a son set aside the deference due to his father in order to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, maiori debito obligatur aliquis parentibus quam his quibus debet pecuniam. Sed illi qui debent pecuniam aliquibus, non possunt religionem ingredi, dicit enim Gregorius, in Regist., et habetur in decretis, dist. LIII, quod si hi qui sunt rationibus publicis obligati, quandoque monasterium petunt, nullo modo suscipiendi sunt, nisi prius a negotiis publicis fuerint absoluti. Ergo videtur quod multo minus filii possunt religionem ingredi, praetermisso paterno obsequio. Objection 3. Further, a man is more indebted to his parents than to those to whom he owes money. Now persons who owe money to anyone cannot enter religion. For Gregory says (Regist. viii, Ep. 5) that "those who are engaged in trade must by no means be admitted into a monastery, when they seek admittance, unless first of all they withdraw from public business" (Dist. liii, can. Legem.). Therefore seemingly much less may children enter religion in despite of their duty to their parents.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod Matth. IV dicitur quod Iacobus et Ioannes, relictis retibus et patre, secuti sunt dominum. Ex quo, ut Hilarius dicit, docemur, Christum secuturi, et saecularis vitae sollicitudine et paternae domus consuetudine non teneri. On the contrary, It is related (Matthew 4:22) that James and John "left their nets and father, and followed our Lord." By this, says Hilary (Can. iii in Matth.), "we learn that we who intend to follow Christ are not bound by the cares of the secular life, and by the ties of home."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de pietate ageretur, parentes habent rationem principii, inquantum huiusmodi, et ideo per se eis convenit ut filiorum curam habeant. Et propter hoc, non liceret alicui filios habenti religionem ingredi, omnino praetermissa cura filiorum idest, non proviso qualiter educari possint, dicitur enim I ad Tim. V, quod si quis suorum curam non habet, fidem negavit, et est infideli deterior. Per accidens tamen parentibus convenit ut a filiis adiuventur, inquantum scilicet sunt in necessitate aliqua constituti. Et ideo dicendum est quod, parentibus in necessitate existentibus ita quod eis commode aliter quam per obsequium filiorum subveniri non possit, non licet filiis, praetermisso parentum obsequio, religionem intrare. Si vero non sint in tali necessitate ut filiorum obsequio multum indigeant, possunt, praetermisso parentum obsequio, filii religionem intrare, etiam contra praeceptum parentum, quia post annos pubertatis, quilibet ingenuus libertatem habet quantum ad ea quae pertinent ad dispositionem sui status, praesertim in his quae sunt divini obsequii; et magis est obtemperandum patri spirituum, ut vivamus, quam parentibus carnis, ut apostolus, Heb. XII, dicit. Unde dominus, ut legitur Matth. VIII et Luc. IX, reprehendit discipulum qui nolebat eum statim sequi intuitu paternae sepulturae, erant enim alii per quos illud opus impleri poterat, ut Chrysostomus dicit. I answer that, As stated above (101, 2, ad 2) when we were treating of piety, parents as such have the character of a principle, wherefore it is competent to them as such to have the care of their children. Hence it is unlawful for a person having children to enter religion so as altogether to set aside the care for their children, namely without providing for their education. For it is written (1 Timothy 5:8) that "if any man have not care of his own . . . he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Nevertheless it is accidentally competent to parents to be assisted by their children, in so far, to wit, as they are placed in a condition of necessity. Consequently we must say that when their parents are in such need that they cannot fittingly be supported otherwise than by the help of their children, these latter may not lawfully enter religion in despite of their duty to their parents. If, however, the parents' necessity be not such as to stand in great need of their children's assistance, the latter may, in despite of the duty they owe their parents, enter religion even against their parents' command, because after the age of puberty every freeman enjoys freedom in things concerning the ordering of his state of life, especially in such as belong to the service of God, and "we should more obey the Father of spirits that we may live ['Shall we not much more obey the Father of Spirits, and live?']," as says the Apostle (Hebrews 12:9), than obey our parents. Hence as we read (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:62) our Lord rebuked the disciple who was unwilling to follow him forthwith on account of his father's burial: for there were others who could see to this, as Chrysostom remarks [Hom. xxvii in Matth.].
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod praeceptum de honoratione parentum non solum se extendit ad corporalia obsequia, sed etiam ad spiritualia, et ad reverentiam exhibendam. Et ideo etiam illi qui sunt in religione implere possunt praeceptum de honoratione parentum, pro eis orando, et eis reverentiam et auxilium impendendo, secundum quod religiosos decet. Quia etiam illi qui in saeculo vivunt, diversimode parentes honorant, secundum eorum conditionem. Reply to Objection 1. The commandment of honoring our parents extends not only to bodily but also to spiritual service, and to the paying of deference. Hence even those who are in religion can fulfil the commandment of honoring their parents, by praying for them and by revering and assisting them, as becomes religious, since even those who live in the world honor their parents in different ways as befits their condition.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, quia servitus est in poenam peccati inducta, ideo per servitutem aliquid adimitur homini quod alias ei competeret, ne scilicet libere de sua persona possit disponere, servus enim id quod est, domini est. Sed filius non patitur detrimentum ex hoc quod subiectus est patri, quin possit de sua persona libere disponere transferendo se ad obsequium Dei, quod maxime pertinet ad hominis bonum. Reply to Objection 2. Since slavery was imposed in punishment of sin, it follows that by slavery man forfeits something which otherwise he would be competent to have, namely the free disposal of his person, for "a slave belongs wholly to his master" [Aristotle, Polit. i, 2. On the other hand, the son, through being subject to his father, is not hindered from freely disposing of his person by transferring himself to the service of God; which is most conducive to man's good.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ille qui est obligatus ad aliquid certum, non potest illud licite praetermittere, facultate exstante. Et ideo si aliquis sit obligatus ut alicui rationem ponat, vel ut certum debitum reddat, non potest hoc licite praetermittere ut religionem ingrediatur. Si tamen debeat aliquam pecuniam et non habeat unde reddat, tenetur facere quod potest, ut scilicet cedat bonis suis creditori. Propter pecuniam autem persona liberi hominis, secundum iura civilia, non obligatur, sed solum res, quia persona liberi hominis superat omnem aestimationem pecuniae. Unde potest licite, exhibitis rebus suis, religionem intrare, nec tenetur in saeculo remanere ut procuret unde debitum reddat. Filius autem non tenetur ad aliquod speciale debitum patri, nisi forte in casu necessitatis, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. He who is under a certain fixed obligation cannot lawfully set it aside so long as he is able to fulfil it. Wherefore if a person is under an obligation to give an account to someone or to pay a certain fixed debt, he cannot lawfully evade this obligation in order to enter religion. If, however, he owes a sum of money, and has not wherewithal to pay the debt, he must do what he can, namely by surrendering his goods to his creditor. According to civil law [Cod. IV, x, de Oblig. et Action, 12 money lays an obligation not on the person of a freeman, but on his property, because the person of a freeman "is above all pecuniary consideration" [Dig. L, xvii, de div. reg. Jur. ant. 106,176]. Hence, after surrendering his property, he may lawfully enter religion, nor is he bound to remain in the world in order to earn the means of paying the debt. On the other hand, he does not owe his father a special debt, except as may arise in a case of necessity, as stated above.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod presbyteri curati non possunt licite religionem ingredi. Dicit enim Gregorius, in Pastoral., quod ille qui curam animarum suscipit, terribiliter admonetur cum dicitur, fili mi, si spoponderis pro amico tuo, defixisti apud extraneum manum tuam. Et subdit, spondere namque pro amico est animam alienam in periculo suae conversationis accipere. Sed ille qui obligatur homini pro aliquo debito, non potest intrare religionem nisi solvat id quod debet, si possit. Cum ergo sacerdos possit curam animarum agere, ad quam se obligavit in periculo animae suae, videtur quod non liceat ei, praetermissa cura animarum, religionem intrare. Objection 1. It would seem that parish priests cannot lawfully enter religion. For Gregory says (Past. iii, 4) that "he who undertakes the cure of souls, receives an awful warning in the words: 'My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, thou hast engaged fast thy hand to a stranger'" (Proverbs 6:1); and he goes on to say, "because to be surety for a friend is to take charge of the soul of another on the surety of one's own behavior." Now he who is under an obligation to a man for a debt, cannot enter religion, unless he pay what he owes, if he can. Since then a priest is able to fulfil the cure of souls, to which obligation he has pledged his soul, it would seem unlawful for him to lay aside the cure of souls in order to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, quod uni licet, pari ratione omnibus similibus licet. Sed si omnes presbyteri habentes curam animarum religionem intrarent, remanerent plebes absque cura pastorum, quod esset inconveniens. Ergo videtur quod presbyteri curati non possint licite religionem intrare. Objection 2. Further, what is lawful to one is likewise lawful to all. But if all priests having cure of souls were to enter religion, the people would be left without a pastor's care, which would be unfitting. Therefore it seems that parish priests cannot lawfully enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, inter actus ad quos religiones ordinantur, praecipui sunt illi quibus aliquis contemplata aliis tradit. Huiusmodi autem actus competunt presbyteris curatis et archidiaconis, quibus ex officio competit praedicare et confessiones audire. Ergo videtur quod non liceat presbytero curato vel archidiacono transire ad religionem. Objection 3. Further, chief among the acts to which religious orders are directed are those whereby a man gives to others the fruit of his contemplation. Now such acts are competent to parish priests and archdeacons, whom it becomes by virtue of their office to preach and hear confessions. Therefore it would seem unlawful for a parish priest or archdeacon to pass over to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod in decretis, XIX Caus., qu. II, cap. duae sunt leges, dicitur, si quis clericorum in Ecclesia sua sub episcopo populum retinet et saeculariter vivit, si, afflatus spiritu sancto, in aliquo monasterio vel regulari canonica salvari se voluerit, etiam episcopo suo contradicente, eat liber, nostra auctoritate. On the contrary, It is said in the Decretals (XIX, qu. ii, cap. Duce sunt leges.): "If a man, while governing the people in his church under the bishop and leading a secular life, is inspired by the Holy Ghost to desire to work out his salvation in a monastery or under some canonical rule, even though his bishop withstand him, we authorize him to go freely."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, obligatio voti perpetui praefertur omni alii obligationi. Obligari autem voto perpetuo et solemni ad vacandum divinis obsequiis, competit proprie episcopis et religiosis. Presbyteri autem curati et archidiaconi non obligantur voto perpetuo et solemni ad curam animarum retinendam, sicut ad hoc obligantur episcopi. Unde episcopi praesulatum non possunt deserere quacumque occasione, absque auctoritate Romani pontificis, ut habetur extra, de regularibus et Transeuntib. ad Relig., cap. licet, archidiaconi autem et presbyteri curati possunt libere abrenuntiare episcopo curam eis commissam, absque speciali licentia Papae, qui solus potest in votis perpetuis dispensare. Unde manifestum est quod archidiaconis et presbyteris curatis licet ad religionem transire. I answer that, As stated above (3, ad 3; 88, 12, ad 1), the obligation of a perpetual vow stands before every other obligation. Now it belongs properly to bishops and religious to be bound by perpetual vow to devote themselves to the divine service [Cf. 184, 5], while parish priests and archdeacons are not, as bishops are, bound by a perpetual and solemn vow to retain the cure of souls. Wherefore bishops "cannot lay aside their bishopric for any pretext whatever, without the authority of the Roman Pontiff" (Extra, De Regular. et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. Licet.): whereas archdeacons and parish priests are free to renounce in the hands of the bishop the cure entrusted to them, without the Pope's special permission, who alone can dispense from perpetual vows. Therefore it is evident that archdeacons and parish priests may lawfully enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod presbyteri curati et archidiaconi obligaverunt se ad curam agendam subditorum quandiu retinent archidiaconatum vel parochiam. Non autem obligaverunt se ad hoc quod perpetuo archidiaconatum vel parochiam teneant. Reply to Objection 1. Parish priests and archdeacons have bound themselves to the care of their subjects, as long as they retain their archdeaconry or parish, but they did not bind themselves to retain their archdeaconry or parish for ever.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Hieronymus dicit, contra Vigilantium, quamvis a te linguae vipereae morsus saevissimos patiantur, scilicet religiosi, quibus argumentaris, et dicis, si omnes se clauserint et fuerint in solitudine, quis celebrabit Ecclesias? Quis saeculares homines lucrifaciet? Quis peccantes ad virtutes poterit exhortari? Hoc enim modo, si omnes tecum fatui sint, sapiens esse quis poterit? Et virginitas non erit approbanda, si enim virgines omnes fuerint et nuptiae non erunt, interibit genus humanum. Rara est virtus, nec a pluribus appetitur. Patet ergo quod hic timor stultus est, puta, sicut si aliquis timeret haurire aquam, ne flumen deficeret. Reply to Objection 2. As Jerome says (Contra Vigil.): "Although they," namely religious, "are sorely smitten by thy poisonous tongue, about whom you argue, saying; 'If all shut themselves up and live in solitude, who will go to church? who will convert worldlings? who will be able to urge sinners to virtue?' If this holds true, if all are fools with thee, who can be wise? Nor will virginity be commendable, for if all be virgins, and none marry, the human race will perish. Virtue is rare, and is not desired by many." It is therefore evident that this is a foolish alarm; thus might a man fear to draw water lest the river run dry. [St. Thomas gives no reply to the third objection, which is sufficiently solved in the body of the article.]
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat de una religione transire ad aliam, etiam arctiorem. Dicit enim apostolus, Heb. X, neque deserentes collectionem nostram, sicut est consuetudinis quibusdam, Glossa, qui scilicet vel timore persecutionis cedunt, vel propria praesumptione a peccatoribus vel imperfectis, ut iusti videantur, recedunt. Sed hoc videntur facere qui de una religione transeunt ad aliam perfectiorem. Ergo videtur hoc esse illicitum. Objection 1. It seems unlawful to pass from one religious order to another, even a stricter one. For the Apostle says (Hebrews 10:25): "Not forsaking our assembly, as some are accustomed"; and a gloss observes: "Those namely who yield through fear of persecution, or who presuming on themselves withdraw from the company of sinners or of the imperfect, that they may appear to be righteous." Now those who pass from one religious order to another more perfect one would seem to do this. Therefore this is seemingly unlawful.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, professio monachorum est arctior quam professio regularium canonicorum, ut habetur extra, de statu Monach. et Canonic. Regul. cap. quod Dei timorem. Sed non licet alicui transire de statu canonicorum regularium ad statum monachorum, dicitur enim in decretis, XIX Caus., qu. III, mandamus, et universaliter interdicimus, ne quis canonicus regulariter professus, nisi, quod absit, publice lapsus fuerit, monachus efficiatur. Ergo videtur quod non liceat alicui transire de una religione ad aliam maiorem. Objection 2. Further, the profession of monks is stricter than that of canons regular (Extra, De Statu Monach. et Canonic. Reg., cap. Quod Dei timorem). But it is unlawful for anyone to pass from the state of canon regular to the monastic state. For it is said in the Decretals (XIX, qu. iii, can. Mandamus): "We ordain and without any exception forbid any professed canon regular to become a monk, unless (which God forbid) he have fallen into public sin." Therefore it would seem unlawful for anyone to pass from one religious order to another of higher rank.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, tandiu aliquis obligatur ad implendum quod vovit, quandiu potest licite illud implere, sicut, si aliquis vovit continentiam servare, etiam post contractum matrimonium per verba de praesenti, ante carnalem copulam, tenetur implere votum, quia hoc potest facere religionem intrando. Si ergo aliquis licite potest de una religione transire ad aliam, tenebitur hoc facere, si ante hoc voverit existens in saeculo. Quod videtur esse inconveniens, quia ex hoc plerumque scandalum generari posset. Ergo non potest aliquis religiosus de una religione transire ad aliam arctiorem. Objection 3. Further, a person is bound to fulfil what he has vowed, as long as he is able lawfully to do so; thus if a man has vowed to observe continence, he is bound, even after contracting marriage by words in the present tense, to fulfil his vow so long as the marriage is not consummated, because he can fulfil the vow by entering religion. Therefore if a person may lawfully pass from one religious order to another, he will be bound to do so if he vowed it previously while in the world. But this would seem objectionable, since in many cases it might give rise to scandal. Therefore a religious may not pass from one religious order to another stricter one.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur in decretis, XX Caus., qu. IV, virgines sacrae si, pro lucro animae suae, propter districtiorem vitam, ad aliud monasterium pergere disposuerunt, ibique commanere decreverunt, synodus concedit. Et eadem ratio videtur esse de quibuscumque religiosis. Ergo potest aliquis licite transire de una religione ad aliam. On the contrary, It is said in the Decretals (XX, qu. iv, can. Virgines): "If sacred virgins design for the good of their soul to pass to another monastery on account of a stricter life, and decide to remain there, the holy synod allows them to do so": and the same would seem to apply to any religious. Therefore one may lawfully pass from one religious order to another.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod transire de religione ad religionem, nisi propter magnam utilitatem vel necessitatem, non est laudabile. Tum quia ex hoc plerumque scandalizantur illi qui relinquuntur. Tum etiam quia facilius proficit aliquis in religione quam consuevit, quam in illa quam non consuevit, ceteris paribus. Unde in collationibus patrum abbas Nesteros dicit, unicuique utile est ut secundum propositum quod elegit, summo studio ac diligentia ad operis arrepti perfectionem pervenire festinet, et nequaquam a sua, quam semel elegit, professione discedat. Et postea, rationem assignans, subdit, impossibile namque est unum eumdemque hominem simul universis fulciri virtutibus. Quas si quis voluerit pariter attentare, in id incidere eum necesse est ut, dum omnem sequitur, nullam integre consequatur. Diversae enim religiones praeeminent secundum diversa virtutum opera. Potest tamen aliquis laudabiliter de una religione transire ad aliam, triplici ex causa. Primo quidem, zelo perfectioris religionis. Quae quidem excellentia, ut supra dictum est, non attenditur secundum solam arctitudinem, sed principaliter secundum id ad quod religio ordinatur; secundario vero secundum discretionem observantiarum debito fini proportionatarum. Secundo, propter declinationem religionis debita perfectione. Puta, si in aliqua religione altiori incipiant religiosi remissius vivere, laudabiliter transit aliquis ad religionem etiam minorem, si melius observetur, sicut in collationibus patrum dicit abbas Ioannes de seipso quod a vita solitaria, in qua professus fuerat, transiit ad minorem, scilicet eorum qui vivunt in societate, propter hoc quod vita eremitica coeperat declinare et laxius observari. Tertio, propter infirmitatem vel debilitatem, ex qua interdum provenit quod non potest aliquis arctioris religionis statuta servare, posset autem observare statuta religionis laxioris. Sed in his tribus casibus est differentia. Nam in primo casu, debet quidem, propter humilitatem, licentiam petere, quae tamen ei negari non potest, dummodo constet illam religionem esse altiorem; si vero de hoc probabiliter dubitetur, est in hoc superioris iudicium requirendum; ut habetur extra, de Regular. et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. licet. Similiter requiritur superioris iudicium in secundo casu. In tertio vero casu est etiam dispensatio necessaria. I answer that, It is not commendable to pass from one religious order to another: both because this frequently gives scandal to those who remain; and because, other things being equal, it is easier to make progress in a religious order to which one is accustomed than in one to which one is not habituated. Hence in the Conferences of the Fathers (Coll. xiv, 5) Abbot Nesteros says: "It is best for each one that he should, according to the resolve he has made, hasten with the greatest zeal and care to reach the perfection of the work he has undertaken, and nowise forsake the profession he has chosen." And further on he adds (cap. 6) by way of reason: "For it is impossible that one and the same man should excel in all the virtues at once, since if he endeavor to practice them equally, he will of necessity, while trying to attain them all, end in acquiring none of them perfectly": because the various religious orders excel in respect of various works of virtue. Nevertheless one may commendably pass from one religious order to another for three reasons. First, through zeal for a more perfect religious life, which excellence depends, as stated above (Question 188, Article 6), not merely on severity, but chiefly on the end to which a religious order is directed, and secondarily on the discretion whereby the observances are proportionate to the due end. Secondly, on account of a religious order falling away from the perfection it ought to have: for instance, if in a more severe religious order, the religious begin to live less strictly, it is commendable for one to pass even to a less severe religious order if the observance is better. Hence in the Conferences of the Fathers (Coll. xix, 3,5,6) Abbot John says of himself that he had passed from the solitary life, in which he was professed, to a less severe life, namely of those who lived in community, because the hermetical life had fallen into decline and laxity. Thirdly, on account of sickness or weakness, the result of which sometimes is that one is unable to keep the ordinances of a more severe religious order, though able to observe those of a less strict religion. There is, however, a difference in these three cases. For in the first case one ought, on account of humility, to seek permission: yet this cannot be denied, provided it be certain that this other religion is more severe. "And if there be a probable doubt about this, one should ask one's superior to decide" (Extra, De Regular. et Transeunt. ad Relig., cap. Licet.). On like manner the superior's decision should be sought in the second case. On the third case it is also necessary to have a dispensation.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illi qui ad altiorem religionem transeunt, non faciunt hoc praesumptuose, ut iusti videantur, sed devote, ut iustiores fiant. Reply to Objection 1. Those who pass to a stricter religious order, do so not out of presumption that they may appear righteous, but out of devotion, that they may become more righteous.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod utraque religio, scilicet monachorum et canonicorum regularium, ordinatur ad opera vitae contemplativae. Inter quae praecipua sunt ea quae aguntur in divinis mysteriis, ad quae ordinatur directe ordo canonicorum regularium, quibus per se competit ut sint clerici religiosi. Sed ad religionem monachorum non per se competit quod sint clerici, ut habetur in decretis, XVI, qu. I. Et ideo, quamvis ordo monachorum sit arctioris observantiae, si monachi essent laici, liceret transire ab ordine monachorum ad ordinem canonicorum regularium, secundum illud Hieronymi, ad rusticum monachum, sic vive in monasterio ut clericus esse merearis, non autem e converso, ut habetur in decretis, XIX Caus., qu. III, in decreto inducto. Sed si monachi sint clerici sacris mysteriis obsequentes, habent id quod est canonicorum regularium cum maiori arctitudine. Et ideo transire licitum erit de ordine canonicorum regularium ad ordinem monachorum, petita tamen superioris licentia, ut dicitur XIX, qu. III, cap. statuimus. Reply to Objection 2. Religious orders whether of monks or of canons regular are destined to the works of the contemplative life. Chief among these are those which are performed in the divine mysteries, and these are the direct object of the orders of canons regular, the members of which are essentially religious clerics. On the other hand, monastic religious are not essentially clerics, according to the Decretals (XVI, qu. i, cap. Alia causa). Hence although monastic orders are more severe, it would be lawful, supposing the members to be lay monks, to pass from the monastic order to an order of canons regular, according to the statement of Jerome (Ep. cxxv, ad Rustic. Monach.): "So live in the monastery as to deserve to become a cleric"; but not conversely, as expressed in the Decretal quoted (XIX, qu. iii). If, however, the monks be clerics devoting themselves to the sacred ministry, they have this in common with canons regular coupled with greater severity, and consequently it will be lawful to pass from an order of canons regular to a monastic order, provided withal that one seek the superior's permission (XIX, qu. iii; cap. Statuimus).
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod votum solemne quo quis obligatur minori religioni, est fortius quam votum simplex quo quis adstringitur maiori religioni, post votum enim simplex, si contraheret aliquis matrimonium, non dirimeretur, sicut post votum solemne. Et ideo ille qui iam professus est in minori religione, non tenetur implere votum simplex quod emisit de intrando maiorem religionem. Reply to Objection 3. The solemn vow whereby a person is bound to a less strict order, is more binding than the simple vow whereby a person is bound to a stricter order. For if after taking a simple vow a person were to be married, his marriage would not be invalid, as it would be after his taking a solemn vow. Consequently a person who is professed in a less severe order is not bound to fulfil a simple vow he has taken on entering a more severe order.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 arg. 1 Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod nullus debeat alios inducere ad religionem intrandum. Mandat enim beatus Benedictus, in regula sua, quod venientibus ad religionem non sit facilis praebendus ingressus, sed probandum est an spiritus a Deo sint. Et hoc etiam docet Cassianus, in IV Lib. de institutis Coenob. Multo ergo minus licet aliquem ad religionem inducere. Objection 1. It would seem that no one ought to induce others to enter religion. For the blessed Benedict prescribes in his Rule (lviii) that "those who seek to enter religion must not easily be admitted, but spirits must be tested whether they be of God"; and Cassian has the same instruction (De Inst. Caenob. iv, 3). Much less therefore is it lawful to induce anyone to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 arg. 2 Praeterea, Matth. XXIII, dominus dicit, vae vobis. Qui circuitis mare et aridam ut faciatis unum proselytum, et, cum factus fuerit, facitis eum filium Gehennae duplo quam vos. Sed hoc videntur facere qui homines ad religionem inducunt. Ergo videtur hoc esse vituperabile. Objection 2. Further, our Lord said (Matthew 23:15): "Woe to you . . . because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte, and when he is made you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves." Now thus would seem to do those who induce persons to enter religion. Therefore this would seem blameworthy.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 arg. 3 Praeterea, nullus debet inducere aliquem ad id quod pertinet ad eius detrimentum. Sed ille qui inducit aliquem ad religionem, quandoque ex hoc incurrit detrimentum, quia quandoque sunt obligati ad maiorem religionem. Ergo videtur quod non sit laudabile inducere aliquos ad religionem. Objection 3. Further, no one should induce another to do what is to his prejudice. But those who are induced to enter religion, sometimes take harm therefrom, for sometimes they are under obligation to enter a stricter religion. Therefore it would not seem praiseworthy to induce others to enter religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Exod. XXVI, cortina cortinam trahat. Debet ergo unus homo alium trahere ad Dei obsequium. On the contrary, It is written (Exodus 26:3, seqq. [St. Thomas quotes the sense, not the words]): "Let one curtain draw the other." Therefore one man should draw another to God's service.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 co. Respondeo dicendum quod inducentes alios ad religionem non solum non peccant, sed magnum praemium merentur, dicitur enim Iac. ult., qui converti fecerit peccatorem ab errore viae suae, liberat animam eius a morte, et operit multitudinem peccatorum; et Dan. XII dicitur, qui ad iustitiam erudiunt plurimos, quasi stellae in perpetuas aeternitates. Posset tamen contingere circa huiusmodi inductionem triplex inordinatio. Primo quidem, si violenter aliquis alium ad religionem cogeret, quod prohibetur, in decretis, XX, qu. III. Secundo, si aliquis simoniace alium ad religionem trahat, muneribus datis, ut prohibetur in decretis, qu. II, cap. quam pio. Nec tamen ad hoc pertinet si aliquis alicui pauperi necessaria ministret in saeculo, nutriens eum ad religionem, vel si, sine pacto, aliqua munuscula tribuat ad familiaritatem captandam. Tertio, si mendaciis eum alliciat. Imminet enim sic inducto periculum ne, cum se deceptum invenerit, retrocedat; et sic fiant novissima hominis illius peiora prioribus, ut dicitur Matth. XII. I answer that, Those who induce others to enter religion not only do not sin, but merit a great reward. For it is written (James 5:20): "He who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins"; and (Daniel 12:3): "They that instruct many to justice shall be as stars for all eternity." Nevertheless such inducement may be affected by a threefold inordinateness. First, if one person force another by violence to enter religion: and this is forbidden in the Decretals (XX, qu. iii, cap. Praesens). Secondly, if one person persuade another simoniacally to enter religion, by giving him presents: and this is forbidden in the Decretal (I, qu. ii, cap. Quam pio). But this does not apply to the case where one provides a poor person with necessaries by educating him in the world for the religious life; or when without any compact one gives a person little presents for the sake of good fellowship. Thirdly, if one person entices another by lies: for it is to be feared that the person thus enticed may turn back on finding himself deceived, and thus "the last state of that man" may become "worse than the first" (Luke 11:26).
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illis qui ad religionem inducuntur, nihilominus reservatur probationis tempus, in quo difficultates religionis experiuntur. Et sic non facilis aditus eis datur ad religionis ingressum. Reply to Objection 1. Those who are induced to enter religion have still a time of probation wherein they make a trial of the hardships of religion, so that they are not easily admitted to the religious life.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, secundum Hilarium, verbum illud domini praenuntiativum fuit perversi studii Iudaeorum quo, post Christi praedicationem, gentiles vel etiam Christianos ad Iudaicum ritum trahendo, faciunt dupliciter Gehennae filios, quia scilicet et peccata pristina quae commiserunt, eis in Iudaismo non dimittuntur et nihilominus incurrunt Iudaicae perfidiae reatum. Et secundum hoc, non facit ad propositum. Secundum Hieronymum autem, hoc refertur ad Iudaeos etiam pro statu illo in quo legalia observari licebat, quantum ad hoc quod ille qui ab eis ad Iudaismum convertebatur, dum esset gentilis, simpliciter errabat; videns autem magistrorum vitia, revertitur ad vomitum suum, et, gentilis factus, quasi praevaricator, maiori poena fit dignus. Ex quo patet quod trahere alios ad cultum Dei, vel ad religionem, non vituperatur, sed hoc solum quod aliquis ei quem convertit det malum exemplum, unde peior efficiatur. Reply to Objection 2. According to Hilary (Can. xxiv in Matth.) this saying of our Lord was a forecast of the wicked endeavors of the Jews, after the preaching of Christ, to draw Gentiles or even Christians to observe the Jewish ritual, thereby making them doubly children of hell, because, to wit, they were not forgiven the former sins which they committed while adherents of Judaism, and furthermore they incurred the guilt of Jewish perfidy; and thus interpreted these words have nothing to do with the case in point. According to Jerome, however, in his commentary on this passage of Matthew, the reference is to the Jews even at the time when it was yet lawful to keep the legal observances, in so far as he whom they converted to Judaism "from paganism, was merely misled; but when he saw the wickedness of his teachers, he returned to his vomit, and becoming a pagan deserved greater punishment for his treachery." Hence it is manifest that it is not blameworthy to draw others to the service of God or to the religious life, but only when one gives a bad example to the person converted, whence he becomes worse.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 9 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod in maiori includitur minus. Et ideo ille qui est obligatus voto vel iuramento ad ingressum minoris religionis, potest licite induci ad hoc quod ad maiorem religionem transeat, nisi sit aliquid speciale quod impediat, puta infirmitas, vel spes maioris profectus in minori religione. Ille vero qui est obligatus voto vel iuramento ad ingressum maioris religionis, non potest licite induci ad minorem religionem, nisi ex aliqua speciali causa evidenti, et hoc cum dispensatione superioris. Reply to Objection 3. The lesser is included in the greater. Wherefore a person who is bound by vow or oath to enter a lesser order, may be lawfully induced to enter a greater one. unless there be some special obstacle, such as ill-health, or the hope of making greater progress in the lesser order. On the other hand, one who is bound by vow or oath to enter a greater order, cannot be lawfully induced to enter a lesser order, except for some special and evident motive, and then with the superior's dispensation.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 arg. 1 Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit laudabile quod aliquis religionem ingrediatur absque multorum consilio, et diuturna deliberatione praecedente. Dicitur enim I Ioan. IV, nolite credere omni spiritui, sed probate spiritus, si ex Deo sunt. Sed quandoque propositum religionis intrandae non est ex Deo, cum frequenter per exitum religionis dissolvatur; dicitur autem Act. V, si est ex Deo consilium hoc aut opus, non poteritis dissolvere illud. Ergo videtur quod, magna examinatione praecedente, debeant aliqui religionem intrare. Objection 1. It would not seem praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time. For it is written (1 John 4:1): "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God." Now sometimes a man's purpose of entering religion is not of God, since it often comes to naught through his leaving the religious life; for it is written (Acts 5:38-39): "If this counsel or this work be of God, you cannot overthrow it." Therefore it would seem that one ought to make a searching inquiry before entering religion.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 arg. 2 Praeterea, Prov. XXV dicitur, causam tuam tracta cum amico tuo. Sed maxime videtur hominis esse causa quae pertinet ad mutationem status. Ergo videtur quod non debeat aliquis religionem intrare, nisi prius cum amicis suis tractet. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Proverbs 25:9): "Treat thy cause with thy friend." Now a man's cause would seem to be especially one that concerns a change in his state of life. Therefore seemingly one ought not to enter religion without discussing the matter with one's friends.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 arg. 3 Praeterea, dominus, Luc. XIV, inducit similitudinem de homine qui vult turrim aedificare, quod prius sedens computat sumptus qui sunt ei necessarii, si habeat ad perficiendum, ne insultetur ei, quia hic homo incoepit aedificare, et non potuit consummare. Sumptus autem ad turrim aedificandam, ut Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad Laetum, nihil est aliud quam ut renuntiet unusquisque omnibus quae sunt eius. Contingit autem quandoque quod hoc multi non possunt, et similiter alias religionis observantias portare, in cuius figura, I Reg. XVII dicitur quod David non poterat incedere cum armis Saulis, quia non habebat usum. Ergo videtur quod non debeat aliquis religionem intrare, nisi diuturna deliberatione praemissa, et multorum consilio habito. Objection 3. Further, our Lord (Luke 14:28) in making a comparison with a man who has a mind to build a tower, says that he doth "first sit down and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it," lest he become an object of mockery, for that "this man began to build and was not able to finish." Now the wherewithal to build the tower, as Augustine says (Ep. ad Laetum ccxliii), is nothing less than that "each one should renounce all his possessions." Yet it happens sometimes that many cannot do this, nor keep other religious observances; and in signification of this it is stated (1 Samuel 17:39) that David could not walk in Saul's armor, for he was not used to it. Therefore it would seem that one ought not to enter religion without long deliberation beforehand and taking counsel of many.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Matth. IV, quod ad vocationem domini, Petrus et Andreas, continuo, relictis retibus, secuti sunt eum. Ubi Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., talem obedientiam Christus quaerit a nobis ut neque instanti tempore remoremur. On the contrary, It is stated (Matthew 4:20) that upon our Lord's calling them, Peter and Andrew "immediately leaving their nets, followed Him." Here Chrysostom says (Hom. xiv in Matth.): "Such obedience as this does Christ require of us, that we delay not even for a moment."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 co. Respondeo dicendum quod diuturna deliberatio et multorum consilia requiruntur in magnis et dubiis, ut philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., in his autem quae sunt certa et determinata, non requiritur consilium. Circa ingressum autem religionis tria possunt considerari. Primo quidem, ipse religionis ingressus secundum se. Et sic certum est quod ingressus religionis est melius bonum, et qui de hoc dubitat, quantum est in se, derogat Christo, qui hoc consilium dedit. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Verb. Dom., vocat te oriens, idest Christus, et tu attendis occidentem, idest ad hominem mortalem et errare potentem. Alio modo potest considerari religionis ingressus per comparationem ad vires eius qui est religionem ingressurus. Et sic etiam non est locus dubitationis de ingressu religionis, quia illi qui religionem ingrediuntur, non confidunt sua virtute se posse subsistere, sed auxilio virtutis divinae; secundum illud Isaiae XL, qui sperant in domino, mutabunt fortitudinem, assument pennas sicut aquilae, current et non laborabunt, ambulabunt et non deficient. Si tamen sit aliquod speciale impedimentum, puta infirmitas corporalis vel onera debitorum, vel aliqua huiusmodi, in his requiritur deliberatio, et consilium cum his de quibus speratur quod prosint et non impediant. Unde dicitur Eccli. XXXVII, cum viro irreligioso tracta de sanctitate, et cum iniusto de iustitia, quasi dicat, non, unde sequitur, non attendas his in omni consilio, sed cum viro sancto assiduus esto. In quibus tamen non est diuturna deliberatio habenda. Unde Hieronymus dicit, in epistola ad Paulinum, festina, quaeso, te, et haerenti in salo naviculae funem magis praecide quam solve. Tertio autem potest considerari modus religionem intrandi, et quam religionem aliquis ingredi debeat. Et de talibus potest etiam haberi consilium cum his qui non impediant. I answer that, Long deliberation and the advice of many are required in great matters of doubt, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 3); while advice is unnecessary in matters that are certain and fixed. Now with regard to entering religion three points may be considered. First, the entrance itself into religion, considered by itself; and thus it is certain that entrance into religion is a greater good, and to doubt about this is to disparage Christ Who gave this counsel. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Serm. c, 2): "The East," that is Christ, "calleth thee, and thou turnest to the West," namely mortal and fallible man. Secondly, the entrance into religion may be considered in relation to the strength of the person who intends to enter. And here again there is no room for doubt about the entrance to religion, since those who enter religion trust not to be able to stay by their own power, but by the assistance of the divine power, according to Isaiah 40:31, "They that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Yet if there be some special obstacle (such as bodily weakness, a burden of debts, or the like) in such cases a man must deliberate and take counsel with such as are likely to help and not hinder him. Hence it is written (Sirach 37:12): "Treat with a man without religion concerning holiness [The Douay version supplies the negative: 'Treat not . . . nor with . . . '], with an unjust man concerning justice," meaning that one should not do so, wherefore the text goes on (Sirach 37:14-15), "Give no heed to these in any matter of counsel, but be continually with a holy man." On these matters, however, one should not take long deliberation. Wherefore Jerome says (Ep. and Paulin. liii): "Hasten, I pray thee, cut off rather than loosen the rope that holds the boat to the shore." Thirdly, we may consider the way of entering religion, and which order one ought to enter, and about such matters also one may take counsel of those who will not stand in one's way.
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, cum dicitur, probate spiritus si ex Deo sunt, locum habet in his quae dubia sunt utrum spiritus Dei sit. Sicut dubium potest esse his qui iam sunt in religione, utrum ille qui religioni se offert, spiritu Dei ducatur, an simulate accedat, et ideo debent accedentem probare, utrum divino spiritu moveatur. Sed illi qui ad religionem accedit, non potest esse dubium an propositum de ingressu religionis in corde eius exortum sit a spiritu Dei, cuius est ducere hominem in terram rectam. Nec propter hoc ostenditur non esse ex Deo, quod aliqui retrocedunt. Non enim omne quod est a Deo, est incorruptibile, alioquin, creaturae corruptibiles non essent ex Deo, ut Manichaei dicunt; neque etiam aliqui qui habent a Deo gratiam, possent illam amittere, quod etiam est haereticum. Sed consilium Dei est indissolubile, quo etiam corruptibilia et mutabilia facit, secundum illud Isaiae XLVI, consilium meum stabit, et omnis voluntas mea fiet. Et ideo propositum de ingressu religionis non indiget probatione utrum sit a Deo, quia certa discussione non egent, ut dicit Glossa, super illud I ad Thess. ult., omnia probate. Reply to Objection 1. The saying: "Try the spirits, if they be of God," applies to matters admitting of doubt whether the spirits be of God; thus those who are already in religion may doubt whether he who offers himself to religion be led by the spirit of God, or be moved by hypocrisy. Wherefore they must try the postulant whether he be moved by the divine spirit. But for him who seeks to enter religion there can be no doubt but that the purpose of entering religion to which his heart has given birth is from the spirit of God, for it is His spirit "that leads" man "into the land of uprightness" (Psalm 142:10). Nor does this prove that it is not of God that some turn back; since not all that is of God is incorruptible: else corruptible creatures would not be of God, as the Manicheans hold, nor could some who have grace from God lose it, which is also heretical. But God's "counsel" whereby He makes even things corruptible and changeable, is imperishable according to Isaiah 46:10, "My counsel shall stand and all My will shall be done." Hence the purpose of entering religion needs not to be tried whether it be of God, because "it requires no further demonstration," as a gloss says on 1 Thessalonians 5:21, "Prove all things."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut caro concupiscit adversus spiritum, ut dicitur Galat. V; ita etiam frequenter amici carnales adversantur profectui spirituali, secundum illud Mich. VII, inimici hominis domestici eius. Unde Cyrillus, exponens illud Luc. IX, permitte me renuntiare his qui domi sunt, dicit, quaerere renuntiare his qui domi sunt, ostendit quod utcumque divisus sit, nam communicare proximis, et consulere nolentes aequa sapere, indicat adhuc utcumque languentem et recedentem. Propter quod, audit a domino, nemo, cum posuerit manum ad aratrum et aspexerit retro, habilis est ad regnum Dei. Aspicit enim retro qui dilationem quaerit occasione redeundi domum et cum propinquis conferendi. Reply to Objection 2. Even as "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17), so too carnal friends often thwart our spiritual progress, according to Micah 7:6, "A man's enemies are they of his own household." Wherefore Cyril expounding Luke 9:61, "Let me first take my leave of them that are at my house," says [Cf. St. Thomas's Catena Aurea]: "By asking first to take his leave of them that were at his house, he shows he was somewhat of two minds. For to communicate with his neighbors, and consult those who are unwilling to relish righteousness, is an indication of weakness and turning back. Hence he hears our Lord say: 'No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God,' because he looks back who seeks delay in order to go home and confer with his kinsfolk."
IIª-IIae q. 189 a. 10 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod per aedificationem turris significatur perfectio Christianae vitae. Abrenuntiatio autem propriorum est sumptus ad aedificandam turrim. Nullus autem dubitat vel deliberat an velit habere sumptus, vel an possit turrim aedificare si sumptus habeat, sed hoc sub deliberatione ponitur, an aliquis sumptus habeat. Similiter sub deliberatione cadere non oportet utrum aliquis debeat abrenuntiare omnibus quae possidet, vel si, hoc faciendo, ad perfectionem pervenire possit. Sed hoc cadit sub deliberatione, utrum hoc quod facit, sit abrenuntiare omnibus quae possidet, quia nisi abrenuntiaverit, quod est sumptus habere, non potest, ut ibidem subditur, Christi esse discipulus, quod est turrim aedificare. Timor autem eorum qui trepidant an per religionis ingressum possint ad perfectionem pervenire, est irrationabilis; et multorum exemplo convincitur. Unde Augustinus dicit, VIII Confess., aperiebatur ab ea parte qua intenderam faciem, et quo transire trepidabam, casta dignitas continentiae, honeste blandiens ut venirem neque dubitarem, et extendens ad me suscipiendum et amplectendum pias manus plenas gregibus bonorum exemplorum. Ibi tot pueri et puellae; ibi iuventus multa et omnis aetas, et graves viduae et virgines anus. Irridebat me irrisione exhortatoria, quasi diceret, tu non poteris quod isti et istae? An isti et istae in semetipsis possunt, et non in domino Deo suo? Quid in te stas, et non stas? Proiice te in eum. Noli metuere, non se subtrahet, ut cadas. Proiice te securus, et excipiet te et sanabit te. Exemplum autem illud quod inducitur de David, non facit ad propositum. Quia arma Saulis, sicut Glossa dicit, sunt legis sacramenta, tanquam onerantia, religio autem est suave iugum Christi, quia, ut Gregorius dicit, in IV Moral., quid grave mentis nostrae cervicibus imponit qui vitare omne desiderium quod perturbat praecipit, qui declinari laboriosa mundi huius itinera monet? Quod quidem suave iugum super se tollentibus refectionem divinae fruitionis repromittit, et sempiternam requiem animarum. Ad quam nos perducat ipse qui promisit, Iesus Christus, dominus noster, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula. Amen. Reply to Objection 3. The building of the tower signifies the perfection of Christian life; and the renunciation of one's possessions is the wherewithal to build this tower. Now no one doubts or deliberates about wishing to have the wherewithal, or whether he is able to build the tower if he have the wherewithal, but what does come under deliberation is whether one has the wherewithal. Again it need not be a matter of deliberation whether one ought to renounce all that one has, or whether by so doing one may be able to attain to perfection; whereas it is a matter of deliberation whether that which one is doing amounts to the renunciation of all that he has, since unless he does renounce (which is to have the wherewithal) he cannot, as the text goes on to state, be Christ's disciple, and this is to build the tower. The misgiving of those who hesitate as to whether they may be able to attain to perfection by entering religion is shown by many examples to be unreasonable. Hence Augustine says (Confess. viii, 11): "On that side whither I had set my face, and whither I trembled to go, there appeared to me the chaste dignity of continency . . . honestly alluring me to come and doubt not, and stretching forth to receive and embrace me, her holy hands full of multitudes of good examples. There were so many young men and maidens here, a multitude of youth and every age, grave widows and aged virgins . . . And she smiled at me with a persuasive mockery as though to say: Canst not thou what these youths and these maidens can? Or can they either in themselves, and not rather in the Lord their God? . . . Why standest thou in thyself, and so standest not? Cast thyself upon Him; fear not, He will not withdraw Himself that thou shouldst fall. Cast thyself fearlessly upon Him: He will receive and will heal thee." The example quoted of David is not to the point, because "the arms of Saul," as a gloss on the passage observes, "are the sacraments of the Law, as being burdensome": whereas religion is the sweet yoke of Christ, for as Gregory says (Moral. iv, 33), "what burden does He lay on the shoulders of the mind, Who commands us to shun all troublesome desires, Who warns us to turn aside from the rough paths of this world?" To those indeed who take this sweet yoke upon themselves He promises the refreshment of the divine fruition and the eternal rest of their souls. To which may He Who made this promise bring us, Jesus Christ our Lord, "Who is over all things God blessed for ever. Amen."

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