Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q97

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Q96 Q98



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IIª-IIae q. 97 pr. Deinde considerandum est de vitiis religioni oppositis per religionis defectum, quae manifestam contrarietatem ad religionem habent, unde sub irreligiositate continentur. Huiusmodi autem sunt ea quae pertinent ad contemptum sive irreverentiam Dei et rerum sacrarum. Primo ergo considerandum est de vitiis quae pertinent directe ad irreverentiam Dei; secundo, de his quae pertinent ad irreverentiam rerum sacrarum. Circa primum, considerandum occurrit et de tentatione qua Deus tentatur; et de periurio, quo nomen Dei irreverenter assumitur. Circa primum quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, in quo consistit Dei tentatio. Secundo, utrum sit peccatum. Tertio, cui virtuti opponatur. Quarto, de comparatione eius ad alia peccata. Question 97. The temptation of God 1. In what the temptation of God consists 2. Is it a sin? 3. To what virtue is it opposed? 4. Its comparison with other vices
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod tentatio Dei non consistat in aliquibus factis in quibus solius divinae potestatis expectatur effectus. Sicut enim tentatur Deus ab homine, ita etiam homo tentatur et a Deo, et ab homine, et a Daemone. Sed non quandocumque homo tentatur, expectatur aliquis effectus potestatis ipsius. Ergo neque etiam per hoc Deus tentatur quod expectatur solus effectus potestatis ipsius. Objection 1. It would seem that the temptation of God does not consist in certain deeds wherein the result is expected from the power of God alone. Just as God is tempted by man so is man tempted by God, man, and demons. But when man is tempted the result is not always expected from his power. Therefore neither is God tempted when the result is expected from His power alone.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, omnes illi qui per invocationem divini nominis miracula operantur, expectant aliquem effectum solius potestatis divinae. Si igitur in factis huiusmodi consisteret divina tentatio quicumque miracula faciunt Deum tentarent. Objection 2. Further, all those who work miracles by invoking the divine name look for an effect due to God's power alone. Therefore, if the temptation of God consisted in such like deeds, all who work miracles would tempt God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, ad perfectionem hominis pertinere videtur ut, praetermissis humanis subsidiis, in solo Deo spem ponat. Unde Ambrosius, super illud Luc. IX, nihil tuleritis in via etc., qualis debeat esse qui evangelizat regnum Dei, praeceptis evangelicis designatur, hoc est, ut subsidii saecularis adminicula non requirat, fideique totus inhaerens putet, quo minus ista requiret, magis posse suppetere. Et beata Agatha dixit, medicinam carnalem corpori meo nunquam exhibui, sed habeo dominum Iesum Christum, qui solo sermone restaurat universa. Sed Dei tentatio non consistit in eo quod ad perfectionem pertinet. Ergo tentatio non consistit in huiusmodi factis in quibus expectatur solum Dei auxilium. Objection 3. Further, it seems to belong to man's perfection that he should put aside human aids and put his hope in God alone. Hence Ambrose, commenting on Luke 9:3, "Take nothing for your journey," etc. says: "The Gospel precept points out what is required of him that announces the kingdom of God, namely, that he should not depend on worldly assistance, and that, taking assurance from his faith, he should hold himself to be the more able to provide for himself, the less he seeks these things." And the Blessed Agatha said: "I have never treated my body with bodily medicine, I have my Lord Jesus Christ, Who restores all things by His mere word." [Office of St. Agatha, eighth Responsory (Dominican Breviary).] But the temptation of God does not consist in anything pertaining to perfection. Therefore the temptation of God does not consist in such like deeds, wherein the help of God alone is expected.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XXII contra Faustum, quod Christus, qui palam docendo et arguendo et tamen inimicorum rabiem valere in se aliquid non sinendo, Dei demonstrabat potestatem; idem tamen, fugiendo et latendo, hominis instruebat infirmitatem, ne Deum tentare audeat quando habet quod faciat ut quod cavere oportet evadat. Ex quo videtur in hoc tentationem Dei consistere, quando praetermittit homo facere quod potest ad pericula evadenda, respiciens solum ad auxilium divinum. On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 36): "Christ who gave proof of God's power by teaching and reproving openly, yet not allowing the rage of His enemies to prevail against Him, nevertheless by fleeing and hiding, instructed human weakness, lest it should dare to tempt God when it has to strive to escape from that which it needs to avoid." From this it would seem that the temptation of God consists in omitting to do what one can in order to escape from danger, and relying on the assistance of God alone.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod tentare proprie est experimentum sumere de eo qui tentatur. Sumimus autem experimentum de aliquo et verbis et factis. Verbis quidem, ut experiamur an sciat quod quaerimus, vel possit aut velit illud implere. Factis autem, cum per ea quae facimus exploramus alterius prudentiam, vel voluntatem, vel potestatem. Utrumque autem horum contingit dupliciter. Uno quidem modo, aperte, sicut cum quis tentatorem se profitetur; sicut Samson, Iudic. XIV, proposuit Philisthaeis problema ad eos tentandum. Alio vero modo, insidiose et occulte, sicut Pharisaei tentaverunt Christum, ut legitur Matth. XXII. Rursus, quandoque quidem expresse, puta cum quis dicto vel facto intendit experimentum sumere de aliquo. Quandoque vero interpretative, quando scilicet, etsi hoc non intendat ut experimentum sumat, id tamen agit vel dicit quod ad nihil aliud videtur ordinabile nisi ad experimentum sumendum. Sic igitur homo Deum tentat quandoque verbis, quandoque factis. Verbis quidem Deo colloquimur orando. Unde in sua petitione aliquis expresse Deum tentat quando ea intentione aliquid a Deo postulat ut exploret Dei scientiam, potestatem vel voluntatem. Factis autem expresse aliquis Deum tentat quando per ea quae facit intendit experimentum sumere divinae potestatis, seu pietatis aut sapientiae. Sed quasi interpretative Deum tentat qui, etsi non intendat experimentum de Deo sumere, aliquid tamen vel petit vel facit ad nihil aliud utile nisi ad probandum Dei potestatem vel bonitatem, seu cognitionem. Sicut, cum aliquis equum currere facit ut evadat hostes, hoc non est experimentum de equo sumere, sed si equum currere faciat absque aliqua utilitate, hoc nihil aliud esse videtur quam experimentum sumere de equi velocitate, et idem est in omnibus aliis rebus. Quando ergo propter aliquam necessitatem seu utilitatem committit se aliquis divino auxilio in suis petitionibus vel factis, hoc non est Deum tentare, dicitur enim II Paralip. XX, cum ignoramus quid agere debeamus, hoc solum habemus residui, ut oculos nostros dirigamus ad te. Quando vero hoc agitur absque necessitate et utilitate, hoc est interpretative tentare Deum. Unde super illud Deut. VI, non tentabis dominum Deum tuum, dicit Glossa, Deum tentat qui, habens quid faciat, sine ratione se committit periculo, experiens utrum possit liberari a Deo. I answer that, Properly speaking, to tempt is to test the person tempted. Now we put a person to the test by words or by deeds. By words, that we may find out whether he knows what we ask, or whether he can and will grant it: by deeds, when, by what we do, we probe another's prudence, will or power. Either of these may happen in two ways. First, openly, as when one declares oneself a tempter: thus Samson (Judges 14:12) proposed a riddle to the Philistines in order to tempt them. On the second place it may be done with cunning and by stealth, as the Pharisees tempted Christ, as we read in Matthew 22:15, sqq. Again this is sometimes done explicitly, as when anyone intends, by word or deed, to put some person to the test; and sometimes implicitly, when, to wit, though he does not intend to test a person, yet that which he does or says can seemingly have no other purpose than putting him to a test. Accordingly, man tempts God sometimes by words, sometimes by deeds. Now we speak with God in words when we pray. Hence a man tempts God explicitly in his prayers when he asks something of God with the intention of probing God's knowledge, power or will. He tempts God explicitly by deeds when he intends, by whatever he does, to experiment on God's power, good will or wisdom. But He will tempt God implicitly, if, though he does not intend to make an experiment on God, yet he asks for or does something which has no other use than to prove God's power, goodness or knowledge. Thus when a man wishes his horse to gallop in order to escape from the enemy, this is not giving the horse a trial: but if he make the horse gallop with out any useful purpose, it seems to be nothing else than a trial of the horse's speed; and the same applies to all other things. Accordingly when a man in his prayers or deeds entrusts himself to the divine assistance for some urgent or useful motive, this is not to tempt God: for it is written (2 Chronicles 20:12): "As we know not what to do, we can only turn our eyes to Thee." But if this be done without any useful or urgent motive, this is to tempt God implicitly. Wherefore a gloss on Deuteronomy 6:16, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God," says: "A man tempts God, if having the means at hand, without reason he chooses a dangerous course, trying whether he can be delivered by God."
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homo etiam quandoque factis tentatur utrum possit vel sciat vel velit huiusmodi factis auxilium vel impedimentum praestare. Reply to Objection 1. Man also is sometimes tempted by means of deeds, to test his ability or knowledge or will to uphold or oppose those same deeds.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod sancti suis precibus miracula facientes, ex aliqua necessitate vel utilitate moventur ad petendum divinae potestatis effectum. Reply to Objection 2. When saints work miracles by their prayers, they are moved by a motive of necessity or usefulness to ask for that which is an effect of the divine power.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod praedicatores regni Dei ex magna utilitate et necessitate subsidia temporalia praetermittunt, ut verbo Dei expeditius vacent. Et ideo si soli Deo innitantur, non ex hoc tentant Deum. Sed si absque utilitate vel necessitate humana subsidia desererent, tentarent Deum. Unde et Augustinus dicit, XXII contra Faustum, quod Paulus non fugit quasi non credendo in Deum, sed ne Deum tentaret si fugere noluisset, cum sic fugere potuisset. Beata vero Agatha experta erat erga se divinam benevolentiam, ut vel infirmitates non pateretur, pro quibus corporali medicina indigeret, vel statim sentiret divinae sanationis effectum. Reply to Objection 3. The preachers of God's kingdom dispense with temporal aids, so as to be freer to give their time to the word of God: wherefore if they depend on God alone, it does not follow that they tempt God. But if they were to neglect human assistance without any useful or urgent motive, they would be tempting God. Hence Augustine (Contra Faust. xxii, 36) says that "Paul fled, not through ceasing to believe in God, but lest he should tempt God, were he not to flee when he had the means of flight." The Blessed Agatha had experience of God's kindness towards her, so that either she did not suffer such sickness as required bodily medicine, or else she felt herself suddenly cured by God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod tentare Deum non sit peccatum. Deus enim non praecipit aliquod peccatum. Praecipit autem ut homines eum probent, quod est eum tentare, dicitur enim Malach. III, inferte omnem decimam in horreum meum, ut sit cibus in domo mea, et probate me super hoc, dicit dominus, si non aperuero vobis cataractas caeli. Ergo videtur quod tentare Deum non sit peccatum. Objection 1. It would seem that it is not a sin to tempt God. For God has not commanded sin. Yet He has commanded men to try, which is the same as to tempt, Him: for it is written (Malachi 3:10): "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house; and try Me in this, saith the Lord, if I open not unto you the flood-gates of heaven." Therefore it seems not to be a sin to tempt God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut aliquis tentatur ad hoc quod experientia sumatur de scientia vel potentia eius, ita etiam et de bonitate vel voluntate ipsius. Sed licitum est quod aliquis experimentum sumat divinae bonitatis, seu etiam voluntatis, dicitur enim in Psalm., gustate, et videte quoniam suavis est dominus; et Rom. XII, ut probetis quae sit voluntas Dei bona et beneplacens et perfecta. Ergo tentare Deum non est peccatum. Objection 2. Further, a man is tempted not only in order to test his knowledge and his power, but also to try his goodness or his will. Now it is lawful to test the divine goodness or will, for it is written (Psalm 33:9): "O taste and see that the Lord is sweet," and (Romans 12:2): "That you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God." Therefore it is not a sin to tempt God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, nullus vituperatur in Scriptura ex eo quod a peccato cessat, sed magis si peccatum committat. Vituperatur autem Achaz quia domino dicenti, pete tibi signum a domino Deo tuo, respondit, non petam, et non tentabo dominum, dictum est enim ei, numquid parum vobis est molestos esse hominibus, quia molesti estis et Deo meo? Ut dicitur Isaiae VII. De Abraham autem legitur Gen. XV, quod dixit ad dominum, unde scire possum quod possessurus sim eam, scilicet terram repromissam a Deo? Similiter etiam Gedeon signum a domino petiit de victoria repromissa, ut legitur Iudic. VI. Qui tamen ex hoc non reprehenduntur. Ergo tentare Deum non est peccatum. Objection 3. Further, Scripture never blames a man for ceasing from sin, but rather for committing a sin. Now Achaz is blamed because when the Lord said: "Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God," he replied: "I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord," and then it was said to him: "Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also?" (Isaiah 7:11-13). And we read of Abraham (Genesis 15:8) that he said to the Lord: "Whereby may I know that I shall possess it?" namely, the land which God had promised him. Again Gedeon asked God for a sign of the victory promised to him (Judges 6:36, sqq.). Yet they were not blamed for so doing. Therefore it is not a sin to tempt God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod prohibetur lege Dei. Dicitur enim Deut. VI, non tentabis dominum Deum tuum. On the contrary, It is forbidden in God's Law, for it is written (Deuteronomy 6:10): "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, tentare est experimentum sumere. Nullus autem experimentum sumit de eo de quo est certus. Et ideo omnis tentatio ex aliqua ignorantia vel dubitatione procedit, vel eius qui tentat, sicut cum quis experimentum de re aliqua sumit ut eius qualitatem cognoscat; sive aliorum, sicut cum quis experimentum de aliquo sumit ut aliis ostendat, per quem modum Deus dicitur nos tentare. Ignorare autem vel dubitare de his quae pertinent ad Dei perfectionem est peccatum. Unde manifestum est quod tentare Deum ad hoc quod ipse tentans cognoscat Dei virtutem, est peccatum. Si quis autem ad hoc experimentum sumat eorum quae ad divinam perfectionem pertinent, non ut ipse cognoscat, sed ut aliis demonstret, hoc non est tentare Deum, cum subsit iusta necessitas seu pia utilitas, et alia quae ad hoc concurrere debent. Sic enim apostoli petiverunt a domino ut in nomine Iesu Christi fierent signa, ut dicitur Act. IV, ad hoc scilicet quod virtus Christi infidelibus manifestaretur. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), to tempt a person is to put him to a test. Now one never tests that of which one is certain. Wherefore all temptation proceeds from some ignorance or doubt, either in the tempter (as when one tests a thing in order to know its qualities), or in others (as when one tests a thing in order to prove it to others), and in this latter way God is said to tempt us. Now it is a sin to be ignorant of or to doubt that which pertains to God's perfection. Wherefore it is evident that it is a sin to tempt God in order that the tempter himself may know God's power. On the other hand, if one were to test that which pertains to the divine perfection, not in order to know it oneself, but to prove it to others: this is not tempting God, provided there be just motive of urgency, or a pious motive of usefulness, and other requisite conditions. For thus did the apostles ask the Lord that signs might be wrought in the name of Jesus Christ, as related in Acts 4:30, in order, to wit, that Christ's power might be made manifest to unbelievers.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod solutio decimarum praecepta erat in lege, ut supra habitum est. Unde habebat necessitatem ex obligatione praecepti; et utilitatem quae ibi dicitur, ut sit cibus in domo Dei. Unde solvendo decimas non tentabant Deum. Quod autem ibi subditur, et probate me, non est intelligendum causaliter, quasi ad hoc solvere deberent decimas ut probarent si Deus non aperiret eis cataractas caeli, sed consecutive, quia scilicet, si decimas solverent, experimento probaturi erant beneficia quae eis Deus conferret. Reply to Objection 1. The paying of tithes was prescribed in the Law, as stated above (Question 87, Article 1). Hence there was a motive of urgency to pay it, through the obligation of the Law, and also a motive of usefulness, as stated in the text quoted--"that there may be meat in God's house": wherefore they did not tempt God by paying tithes. The words that follow, "and try Me," are not to be understood causally, as though they had to pay tithes in order to try if "God would open the flood-gates of heaven," but consecutively, because, to wit, if they paid tithes, they would prove by experience the favors which God would shower upon them.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod duplex est cognitio divinae bonitatis vel voluntatis. Una quidem speculativa. Et quantum ad hanc, non licet dubitare nec probare utrum Dei voluntas sit bona, vel utrum Deus sit suavis. Alia autem est cognitio divinae bonitatis seu voluntatis affectiva seu experimentalis, dum quis experitur in seipso gustum divinae dulcedinis et complacentiam divinae voluntatis, sicut de Hierotheo dicit Dionysius, II cap. de Div. Nom., quod didicit divina ex compassione ad ipsa. Et hoc modo monemur ut probemus Dei voluntatem et gustemus eius suavitatem. Reply to Objection 2. There is a twofold knowledge of God's goodness or will. One is speculative and as to this it is not lawful to doubt or to prove whether God's will be good, or whether God is sweet. The other knowledge of God's will or goodness is effective or experimental and thereby a man experiences in himself the taste of God's sweetness, and complacency in God's will, as Dionysius says of Hierotheos (Div. Nom. ii) that "he learnt divine thing through experience of them." It is in this way that we are told to prove God's will, and to taste His sweetness.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod Deus volebat signum dare regi Achaz non pro ipso solum, sed pro totius populi instructione. Et ideo reprehenditur, quasi impeditor communis salutis, quod signum petere nolebat. Nec petendo tentasset Deum. Tum quia ex mandato Dei petiisset. Tum quia hoc pertinebat ad utilitatem communem. Abraham vero signum petiit ex instinctu divino. Et ideo non peccavit. Gedeon vero signum ex debilitate fidei petiisse videtur, et ideo a peccato non excusatur, sicut Glossa ibidem dicit. Sicut et Zacharias peccavit dicens, Luc. I, ad Angelum, unde hoc sciam? Unde et propter incredulitatem punitus fuit. Sciendum tamen quod dupliciter aliquis signum petit a Deo. Uno modo, ad explorandum divinam potestatem, aut veritatem dicti eius. Et hoc de se pertinet ad Dei tentationem. Alio modo, ad hoc quod instruatur quid sit circa aliquod factum placitum Deo. Et hoc nullo modo pertinet ad Dei tentationem. Reply to Objection 3. God wished to give a sign to Achaz, not for him alone, but for the instruction of the whole people. Hence he was reproved because, by refusing to ask a sign, he was an obstacle to the common welfare. Nor would he have tempted God by asking, both because he would have asked through God commanding him to do so, and because it was a matter relating to the common good. Abraham asked for a sign through the divine instinct, and so he did not sin. Gedeon seems to have asked a sign through weakness of faith, wherefore he is not to be excused from sin, as a gloss observes: just as Zachary sinned in saying to the angel (Luke 1:18): "Whereby shall I know this?" so that he was punished for his unbelief. It must be observed, however, that there are two ways of asking God for a sign: first in order to test God's power or the truth of His word, and this of its very nature pertains to the temptation of God. Secondly, in order to be instructed as to what is God's pleasure in some particular matter; and this nowise comes under the head of temptation of God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod tentatio Dei non opponatur virtuti religionis. Tentatio enim Dei habet rationem peccati ex hoc quod homo de Deo dubitat, sicut dictum est sed dubitare de Deo pertinet ad peccatum infidelitatis, quod opponitur fidei. Ergo tentatio Dei magis opponitur fidei quam religioni. Objection 1. It would seem that the temptation of God is not opposed to the virtue of religion. The temptation of God is sinful, because a man doubts God, as stated above (Article 2). Now doubt about God comes under the head of unbelief, which is opposed to faith. Therefore temptation of God is opposed to faith rather than to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, Eccli. XVIII dicitur, ante orationem praepara animam tuam, et noli esse quasi homo qui tentat Deum, ubi dicit interlinearis qui, scilicet tentans Deum, orat quod docuit, sed non facit quod iussit. Sed hoc pertinet ad praesumptionem, quae opponitur spei. Ergo videtur quod tentatio Dei sit peccatum oppositum spei. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Sirach 18:23): "Before prayer prepare thy soul, and be not as a man that tempteth God. Such a man," that is, who tempts God, says the interlinear gloss, "prays for what God taught him to pray for, yet does not what God has commanded him to do." Now this pertains to imprudence which is opposed to hope. Therefore it seems that temptation of God is a sin opposed to hope.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, super illud Psalm., et tentaverunt Deum in cordibus suis, dicit Glossa quod tentare Deum est dolose postulare, ut in verbis sit simplicitas, cum sit in corde malitia. Sed dolus opponitur virtuti veritatis. Ergo tentatio Dei non opponitur religioni, sed veritati. Objection 3. Further, a gloss on Psalm 77:18, "And they tempted God in their hearts," says that "to tempt God is to pray to Him deceitfully, with simplicity in our words and wickedness in our hearts." Now deceit is opposed to the virtue of truth. Therefore temptation of God is opposed, not to religion, but to truth.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod, sicut ex praedicta Glossa habetur, tentare Deum est inordinate postulare. Sed debito modo postulare est actus religionis, ut supra habitum est. Ergo tentare Deum est peccatum religioni oppositum. On the contrary, According to the gloss quoted above "to tempt God is to pray to Him inordinately." Now to pray to God becomingly is an act of religion as stated above (Question 83, Article 15). Therefore to tempt God is a sin opposed to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, finis religionis est Deo reverentiam exhibere. Unde omnia illa quae directe pertinent ad irreverentiam Dei, religioni opponuntur. Manifestum est autem quod tentare aliquem ad irreverentiam eius pertinet, nullus enim praesumit tentare eum de cuius excellentia certus est. Unde manifestum est quod tentare Deum est peccatum religioni oppositum. I answer that, As clearly shown above (Question 81, Article 5), the end of religion is to pay reverence to God. Wherefore whatever pertains directly to irreverence for God is opposed to religion. Now it is evident that to tempt a person pertains to irreverence for him: since no one presumes to tempt one of whose excellence he is sure. Hence it is manifest that to tempt God is a sin opposed to religion.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ad religionem pertinet protestari fidem per aliqua signa ad divinam reverentiam pertinentia. Et ideo ad irreligiositatem pertinet quod ex incertitudine fidei homo aliqua faciat quae ad divinam irreverentiam pertinent, cuiusmodi est tentare Deum. Et ideo est irreligiositatis species. Reply to Objection 1. As stated above (Question 81, Article 07), it belongs to religion to declare one's faith by certain signs indicative of reverence towards God. Consequently it belongs to irreligion that, through doubtful faith, a man does things indicative of irreverence towards God. To tempt God is one of these; wherefore it is a species of irreligion.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ille qui ante orationem suam animam non praeparat, dimittendo si quid adversum aliquem habet, vel alias se ad devotionem non disponendo, non facit quod in se est ut exaudiatur a Deo. Et ideo quasi interpretative tentat Deum. Et quamvis huiusmodi interpretativa tentatio videatur ex praesumptione seu indiscretione provenire, tamen hoc ipsum ad irreverentiam Dei pertinet ut homo praesumptuose et sine debita diligentia se habeat in his quae ad Deum pertinent, dicitur enim I Pet. V, humiliamini sub potenti manu Dei; et II ad Tim. II, sollicite cura teipsum probabilem exhibere Deo. Unde etiam huiusmodi tentatio irreligiositatis species est. Reply to Objection 2. He that prepares not his soul before prayer by forgiving those against whom he has anything, or in some other way disposing himself to devotion, does not do what he can to be heard by God, wherefore he tempts God implicitly as it were. And though this implicit temptation would seem to arise from presumption or indiscretion, yet the very fact that a man behaves presumptuously and without due care in matters relating to God implies irreverence towards Him. For it is written (1 Peter 5:6): "Be you humbled . . . under the mighty hand of God," and (2 Timothy 2:15): "Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God." Therefore also this kind of temptation is a species of irreligion.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod in comparatione ad Deum, qui novit cordis abscondita, non dicitur aliquis dolose postulare, sed per respectum ad homines. Unde dolus per accidens se habet ad tentationem Dei. Et propter hoc non oportet quod tentatio Dei directe opponatur veritati. Reply to Objection 3. A man is said to pray deceitfully, not in relation to God, Who knows the secrets of the heart, but in relation to man. Wherefore deceit is accidental to the temptation of God, and consequently it does not follow that to tempt God is directly opposed to the truth.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod tentatio Dei sit gravius peccatum quam superstitio. Maior enim poena pro maiori peccato infertur. Sed gravius est punitum in Iudaeis peccatum tentationis Dei quam peccatum idololatriae, quod tamen est praecipuum inter superstitiones, quia pro peccato idololatriae interfecti sunt ex eis tria millia hominum, ut legitur Exodi XXXII; pro peccato autem tentationis universaliter omnes in deserto perierunt, terram promissionis non intrantes, secundum illud Psalm., tentaverunt me patres vestri; et postea sequitur, quibus iuravi in ira mea si introibunt in requiem meam. Ergo tentare Deum est gravius peccatum quam superstitio. Objection 1. It would seem that the temptation of God is a graver sin than superstition. The greater sin receives the greater punishment. Now the sin of tempting God was more severely punished in the Jews than was the sin of idolatry; and yet the latter is the chief form of superstition: since for the sin of idolatry three thousand men of their number were slain, as related in Exodus 32:28 [Septuagint version]. The Vulgate has "twenty-three thousand."], whereas for the sin of temptation they all without exception perished in the desert, and entered not into the land of promise, according to Psalm 94:9, "Your fathers tempted Me," and further on, "so I swore in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest." Therefore to tempt God is a graver sin than superstition.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, tanto aliquod peccatum videtur esse gravius quanto magis virtuti opponitur. Sed irreligiositas, cuius species est tentatio Dei, magis opponitur virtuti religionis quam superstitio, quae habet aliquam similitudinem cum ipsa. Ergo tentatio Dei est gravius peccatum quam superstitio. Objection 2. Further, the more a sin is opposed to virtue the graver it would seem to be. Now irreligion, of which the temptation of God is a species, is more opposed to the virtue of religion, than superstition which bears some likeness to religion. Therefore to tempt God is a graver sin than superstition.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, maius peccatum esse videtur irreverenter se habere ad parentes quam reverentiam parentibus debitam aliis exhibere. Sed Deus est honorandus a nobis sicut omnium pater, sicut dicitur Malach. I. Ergo maius peccatum esse videtur tentatio Dei, per quam irreverenter nos habemus ad Deum, quam idololatria, per quam reverentia Deo debita exhibetur creaturae. Objection 3. Further, it seems to be a greater sin to behave disrespectfully to one's parents, than to pay others the respect we owe to our parents. Now God should be honored by us as the Father of all (Malachi 1:6). Therefore. temptation of God whereby we behave irreverently to God, seems to be a greater sin than idolatry, whereby we give to a creature the honor we owe to God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod super illud Deut. XVII, cum reperti fuerint apud te etc., dicit Glossa, lex errorem et idololatriam maxime detestatur, maximum enim scelus est honorem creatoris impendere creaturae. On the contrary, A gloss on Deuteronomy 17:2, "When there shall be found among you," etc. says: "The Law detests error and idolatry above all: for it is a very great sin to give to a creature the honor that belongs to the Creator."
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in peccatis quae religioni adversantur tanto aliquid gravius est quanto magis divinae reverentiae adversatur. Cui quidem minus adversatur quod aliquis de divina excellentia dubitet quam quod contrarium per certitudinem sentiat. Sicut enim magis est infidelis qui in errore confirmatus est quam qui de veritate fidei dubitat, ita etiam magis contra Dei reverentiam agit qui suo facto protestatur errorem contra divinam excellentiam quam qui protestatur dubitationem. Superstitiosus autem protestatur errorem, ut ex dictis patet. Ille autem qui tentat Deum verbis vel factis, protestatur dubitationem de divina excellentia, ut dictum est. Et ideo gravius est peccatum superstitionis quam peccatum tentationis Dei. I answer that, Among sins opposed to religion, the more grievous is that which is the more opposed to the reverence due to God. Now it is less opposed to this reverence that one should doubt the divine excellence than that one should hold the contrary for certain. For just as a man is more of an unbeliever if he be confirmed in his error, than if he doubt the truth of faith, so, too, a man acts more against the reverence due to God, if by his deeds he professes an error contrary to the divine excellence, than if he expresses a doubt. Now the superstitious man professes an error, as shown above (94, 1, ad 1), whereas he who tempts God by words or deeds expresses a doubt of the divine excellence, as stated above (Article 2). Therefore the sin of superstition is graver than the sin of tempting God.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod peccatum idololatriae non fuit punitum illa poena quasi sufficienti, sed in posterum pro illo peccato gravior poena reservabatur, dicitur enim Exod. XXXII, ego autem in die ultionis visitabo hoc peccatum eorum. Reply to Objection 1. The sin of idolatry was not punished in the above manner, as though it were a sufficient punishment; because a more severe punishment was reserved in the future for that sin, for it is written (Exodus 32:34): "And I, in the day of revenge, will visit this sin also of theirs."
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod superstitio habet similitudinem cum religione quantum ad materialem actum, quem exhibet sicut religio. Sed quantum ad finem, plus contrariatur ei quam tentatio Dei, quia plus pertinet ad divinam irreverentiam, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. Superstition bears a likeness to religion, as regards the material act which it pays just as religion does. But, as regards the end, it is more contrary to religion than the temptation of God, since it implies greater irreverence for God, as stated.
IIª-IIae q. 97 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod de ratione divinae excellentiae est quod sit singularis et incommunicabilis, et ideo idem est contra divinam reverentiam aliquid agere, et divinam reverentiam alteri communicare. Non est autem similis ratio de honore parentum qui potest sine culpa aliis communicari. Reply to Objection 3. It belongs essentially to the divine excellence that it is singular and incommunicable. Consequently to give divine reverence to another is the same as to do a thing opposed to the divine excellence. There is no comparison with the honor due to our parents, which can without sin be given to others.

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