Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q54

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Q53 Q55



Latin English
IIª-IIae q. 54 pr. Deinde considerandum est de negligentia. Et circa hoc quaeruntur tria. Primo, utrum negligentia sit peccatum speciale. Secundo, cui virtuti opponatur. Tertio, utrum negligentia sit peccatum mortale. Question 54. Negligence 1. Is negligence a special sin? 2. To which virtue is it opposed? 3. Is negligence a mortal sin?
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod negligentia non sit peccatum speciale. Negligentia enim diligentiae opponitur. Sed diligentia requiritur in qualibet virtute, sicut et eligentia. Ergo negligentia non est peccatum speciale. Objection 1. It would seem that negligence is not a special sin. For negligence is opposed to diligence. But diligence is required in every virtue. Therefore negligence is not a special sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, illud quod invenitur in quolibet peccato non est speciale peccatum. Sed negligentia invenitur in quolibet peccato, quia omnis qui peccat negligit ea per quae a peccato retraheretur; et qui in peccato perseverat negligit conteri de peccato. Ergo negligentia non est speciale peccatum. Objection 2. Further, that which is common to every sin is not a special sin. Now negligence is common to every sin, because he who sins neglects that which withdraws him from sin, and he who perseveres in sin neglects to be contrite for his sin. Therefore negligence is not a special sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, omne peccatum speciale habet materiam determinatam. Sed negligentia non videtur habere determinatam materiam, neque enim est circa mala aut indifferentia, quia ea praetermittere nulli ad negligentiam deputatur; similiter etiam non est circa bona, quia si negligenter aguntur, iam non sunt bona. Ergo videtur quod negligentia non sit vitium speciale. Objection 3. Further, every special sin had a determinate matter. But negligence seems to have no determinate matter: since it is neither about evil or indifferent things (for no man is accused of negligence if he omit them), nor about good things, for if these be done negligently, they are no longer good. Therefore it seems that negligence is not a special vice.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod peccata quae committuntur ex negligentia distinguuntur contra peccata quae committuntur ex contemptu. On the contrary, Sins committed through negligence, are distinguished from those which are committed through contempt.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod negligentia importat defectum debitae sollicitudinis. Omnis autem defectus debiti actus habet rationem peccati. Unde manifestum est quod negligentia habet rationem peccati, et eo modo quo sollicitudo est specialis virtutis actus, necesse est quod negligentia sit speciale peccatum. Sunt enim aliqua peccata specialia quia sunt circa aliquam materiam specialem, sicut luxuria est circa venerea, quaedam autem sunt vitia specialia propter specialitatem actus se extendentis ad omnem materiam. Et huiusmodi sunt omnia vitia quae sunt circa actum rationis, nam quilibet actus rationis se extendit ad quamlibet materiam moralem. Et ideo, cum sollicitudo sit quidam specialis actus rationis, ut supra habitum est, consequens est quod negligentia, quae importat defectum sollicitudinis, sit speciale peccatum. I answer that, Negligence denotes lack of due solicitude. Now every lack of a due act is sinful: wherefore it is evident that negligence is a sin, and that it must needs have the character of a special sin according as solicitude is the act of a special virtue. For certain sins are special through being about a special matter, as lust is about sexual matters, while some vices are special on account of their having a special kind of act which extends to all kinds of matter, and such are all vices affecting an act of reason, since every act of reason extends to any kind of moral matter. Since then solicitude is a special act of reason, as stated above (Question 47, Article 09), it follows that negligence, which denotes lack of solicitude, is a special sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod diligentia videtur esse idem sollicitudini, quia in his quae diligimus maiorem sollicitudinem adhibemus. Unde diligentia, sicut et sollicitudo, requiritur ad quamlibet virtutem, inquantum in qualibet virtute requiruntur debiti actus rationis. Reply to Objection 1. Diligence seems to be the same as solicitude, because the more we love [diligimus] a thing the more solicitous are we about it. Hence diligence, no less than solicitude, is required for every virtue, in so far as due acts of reason are requisite for every virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in quolibet peccato necesse est esse defectum circa aliquem actum rationis, puta defectum consilii et aliorum huiusmodi. Unde sicut praecipitatio est speciale peccatum propter specialem actum rationis qui praetermittitur, scilicet consilium, quamvis possit inveniri in quolibet genere peccatorum; ita negligentia est speciale peccatum propter defectum specialis actus rationis qui est sollicitudo, quamvis inveniatur aliqualiter in omnibus peccatis. Reply to Objection 2. In every sin there must needs be a defect affecting an act of reason, for instance a defect in counsel or the like. Hence just as precipitation is a special sin on account of a special act of reason which is omitted, namely counsel, although it may be found in any kind of sin; so negligence is a special sin on account of the lack of a special act of reason, namely solicitude, although it is found more or less in all sins.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod materia negligentiae proprie sunt bona quae quis agere debet, non quod ipsa sunt bona cum negligenter aguntur; sed quia per negligentiam accidit defectus bonitatis in eis, sive praetermittatur totaliter actus debitus propter defectum sollicitudinis, sive etiam aliqua debita circumstantia actus. Reply to Objection 3. Properly speaking the matter of negligence is a good that one ought to do, not that it is a good when it is done negligently, but because on account of negligence it incurs a lack of goodness, whether a due act be entirely omitted through lack of solicitude, or some due circumstance be omitted.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod negligentia non opponatur prudentiae. Negligentia enim videtur esse idem quod pigritia vel torpor, qui pertinet ad acediam, ut patet per Gregorium, XXXI Moral. Acedia autem non opponitur prudentiae, sed magis caritati, ut supra dictum est. Ergo negligentia non opponitur prudentiae. Objection 1. It would seem that negligence is not opposed to prudence. For negligence seems to be the same as idleness or laziness, which belongs to sloth, according to Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45). Now sloth is not opposed to prudence, but to charity, as stated above (Question 35, Article 3). Therefore negligence is not opposed to prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad negligentiam videtur pertinere omne peccatum omissionis. Sed peccatum omissionis non opponitur prudentiae, sed magis virtutibus moralibus executivis. Ergo negligentia non opponitur prudentiae. Objection 2. Further, every sin of omission seems to be due to negligence. But sins of omission are not opposed to prudence, but to the executive moral virtues. Therefore negligence is not opposed to prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, imprudentia est circa aliquem actum rationis. Sed negligentia non importat defectum neque circa consilium, in quo deficit praecipitatio; neque circa iudicium, in quo deficit inconsideratio; neque circa praeceptum, in quo deficit inconstantia. Ergo negligentia non pertinet ad imprudentiam. Objection 3. Further, imprudence relates to some act of reason. But negligence does not imply a defect of counsel, for that is "precipitation," nor a defect of judgment, since that is "thoughtlessness," nor a defect of command, because that is "inconstancy." Therefore negligence does not pertain to imprudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, dicitur Eccle. VII, qui timet Deum nihil negligit. Sed unumquodque peccatum praecipue excluditur per virtutem oppositam. Ergo negligentia magis opponitur timori quam prudentiae. Objection 4. Further, it is written (Ecclesiastes 7:19): "He that feareth God, neglecteth nothing." But every sin is excluded by the opposite virtue. Therefore negligence is opposed to fear rather than to prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Eccli. XX, lascivus et imprudens non observant tempus. Sed hoc pertinet ad negligentiam. Ergo negligentia opponitur prudentiae. On the contrary, It is written (Sirach 20:7): "A babbler and a fool [imprudens] will regard no time." Now this is due to negligence. Therefore negligence is opposed to prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod negligentia directe opponitur sollicitudini. Sollicitudo autem ad rationem pertinet, et rectitudo sollicitudinis ad prudentiam. Unde, per oppositum, negligentia ad imprudentiam pertinet. Et hoc etiam ex ipso nomine apparet. Quia sicut Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., negligens dicitur quasi nec eligens. Electio autem recta eorum quae sunt ad finem ad prudentiam pertinet. Unde negligentia pertinet ad imprudentiam. I answer that, Negligence is directly opposed to solicitude. Now solicitude pertains to the reason, and rectitude of solicitude to prudence. Hence, on the other hand, negligence pertains to imprudence. This appears from its very name, because, as Isidore observes (Etym. x) "a negligent man is one who fails to choose [nec eligens]": and the right choice of the means belongs to prudence. Therefore negligence pertains to imprudence.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod negligentia consistit in defectu interioris actus, ad quem pertinet etiam electio. Pigritia autem et torpor magis pertinent ad executionem, ita tamen quod pigritia importat tarditatem ad exequendum; torpor remissionem quandam importat in ipsa executione. Et ideo convenienter torpor ex acedia nascitur, quia acedia est tristitia aggravans, idest impediens animum ab operando. Reply to Objection 1. Negligence is a defect in the internal act, to which choice also belongs: whereas idleness and laziness denote slowness of execution, yet so that idleness denotes slowness in setting about the execution, while laziness denotes remissness in the execution itself. Hence it is becoming that laziness should arise from sloth, which is "an oppressive sorrow," i.e. hindering, the mind from action [Cf. 35, 1; I-II, 35, 8].
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod omissio pertinet ad exteriorem actum, est enim omissio quando praetermittitur aliquis actus debitus. Et ideo opponitur iustitiae. Et est effectus negligentiae, sicut etiam executio iusti operis est effectus rationis rectae. Reply to Objection 2. Omission regards the external act, for it consists in failing to perform an act which is due. Hence it is opposed to justice, and is an effect of negligence, even as the execution of a just deed is the effect of right reason.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod negligentia est circa actum praecipiendi ad quem etiam pertinet sollicitudo. Aliter tamen circa hunc actum deficit negligens, et aliter inconstans. Inconstans enim deficit in praecipiendo quasi ab aliquo impeditus, negligens autem per defectum promptae voluntatis. Reply to Objection 3. Negligence regards the act of command, which solicitude also regards. Yet the negligent man fails in regard to this act otherwise than the inconstant man: for the inconstant man fails in commanding, being hindered as it were, by something, whereas the negligent man fails through lack of a prompt will.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod timor Dei operatur ad vitationem cuiuslibet peccati, quia ut dicitur Prov. XV, per timorem domini declinat omnis a malo. Et ideo timor facit negligentiam vitare. Non tamen ita quod directe negligentia timori opponatur, sed inquantum timor excitat hominem ad actus rationis. Unde etiam supra habitum est, cum de passionibus ageretur, quod timor facit consiliativos. Reply to Objection 4. The fear of God helps us to avoid all sins, because according to Proverbs 15:27, "by the fear of the Lord everyone declineth from evil." Hence fear makes us avoid negligence, yet not as though negligence were directly opposed to fear, but because fear incites man to acts of reason. Wherefore also it has been stated above (I-II, 44, 2) when we were treating of the passions, that "fear makes us take counsel."
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod negligentia non possit esse peccatum mortale. Quia super illud Iob IX, verebar opera mea etc., dicit Glossa Gregorii quod illam, scilicet negligentiam, minor amor Dei exaggerat. Sed ubicumque est peccatum mortale, totaliter tollitur amor Dei. Ergo negligentia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 1. It would seem that negligence cannot be a mortal sin. For a gloss of Gregory [Moral. ix. 34 on Job 9:28, "I feared all my works," etc.] says that "too little love of God aggravates the former," viz. negligence. But wherever there is mortal sin, the love of God is done away with altogether. Therefore negligence is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, super illud Eccli. VII, de negligentia purga te cum paucis, dicit Glossa, quamvis oblatio parva sit, multorum delictorum purgat negligentias. Sed hoc non esset si negligentia esset peccatum mortale. Ergo negligentia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 2. Further, a gloss on Sirach 7:34, "For thy negligences purify thyself with a few," says: "Though the offering be small it cleanses the negligences of many sins." Now this would not be, if negligence were a mortal sin. Therefore negligence is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, in lege fuerunt statuta sacrificia pro peccatis mortalibus, sicut patet in Levitico. Sed nullum fuit statutum sacrificium pro negligentia. Ergo negligentia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 3. Further, under the law certain sacrifices were prescribed for mortal sins, as appears from the book of Leviticus. Yet no sacrifice was prescribed for negligence. Therefore negligence is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod habetur Prov. XIX, qui negligit vitam suam mortificabitur. On the contrary, It is written (Proverbs 19:16): "He that neglecteth his own life [Vulgate: 'way'] shall die."
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, negligentia provenit ex quadam remissione voluntatis, per quam contingit quod ratio non sollicitatur ut praecipiat ea quae debet vel eo modo quo debet. Potest ergo dupliciter contingere quod negligentia sit peccatum mortale. Uno modo, ex parte eius quod praetermittitur per negligentiam. Quod quidem si sit de necessitate salutis, sive sit actus sive circumstantia, erit peccatum mortale. Alio modo, ex parte causae. Si enim voluntas intantum sit remissa circa ea quae sunt Dei ut totaliter a Dei caritate deficiat, talis negligentia est peccatum mortale. Et hoc praecipue contingit quando negligentia sequitur ex contemptu. Alioquin, si negligentia consistat in praetermissione alicuius actus vel circumstantiae quae non sit de necessitate salutis; nec hoc fiat ex contemptu, sed ex aliquo defectu fervoris, qui impeditur interdum per aliquod veniale peccatum, tunc negligentia non est peccatum mortale, sed veniale. I answer that, As stated above (2, ad 3), negligence arises out of a certain remissness of the will, the result being a lack of solicitude on the part of the reason in commanding what it should command, or as it should command. Accordingly negligence may happen to be a mortal sin in two ways. First on the part of that which is omitted through negligence. If this be either an act or a circumstance necessary for salvation, it will be a mortal sin. Secondly on the part of the cause: for if the will be so remiss about Divine things, as to fall away altogether from the charity of God, such negligence is a mortal sin, and this is the case chiefly when negligence is due to contempt. But if negligence consists in the omission of an act or circumstance that is not necessary for salvation, it is not a mortal but a venial sin, provided the negligence arise, not from contempt, but from some lack of fervor, to which venial sin is an occasional obstacle.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod minor amor Dei potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo, per defectum fervoris caritatis, et sic causatur negligentia quae est peccatum veniale. Alio modo, per defectum ipsius caritatis, sicut dicitur minor amor Dei quando aliquis diligit Deum solum amore naturali. Et tunc causatur negligentia quae est peccatum mortale. Reply to Objection 1. Man may be said to love God less in two ways. First through lack of the fervor of charity, and this causes the negligence that is a venial sin: secondly through lack of charity itself, in which sense we say that a man loves God less when he loves Him with a merely natural love; and this causes the negligence that is a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod parva oblatio cum humili mente et pura dilectione facta, ut ibi dicitur, non solum purgat peccata venialia, sed etiam mortalia. Reply to Objection 2. According to the same authority (gloss), a small offering made with a humble mind and out of pure love, cleanses man not only from venial but also from mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 54 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quando negligentia consistit in praetermissione eorum quae sunt de necessitate salutis, tunc trahitur ad aliud genus peccati magis manifestum. Peccata enim quae consistunt in interioribus actibus sunt magis occulta. Et ideo pro eis certa sacrificia non iniungebantur in lege, quia sacrificiorum oblatio erat quaedam publica protestatio peccati, quae non est facienda de peccato occulto. Reply to Objection 3. When negligence consists in the omission of that which is necessary for salvation, it is drawn to the other more manifest genus of sin. Because those sins that consist of inward actions, are more hidden, wherefore no special sacrifices were prescribed for them in the Law, since the offering of sacrifices was a kind of public confession of sin, whereas hidden sins should not be confessed in public.

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