Objection 1: It would seem that the definition, usually given, of virtue, is not suitable, to wit: "Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which we live righteously, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us, without us." For virtue is man's goodness, since virtue it is that makes its subject good. But goodness does not seem to be good, as neither is whiteness white. It is therefore unsuitable to describe virtue as a "good quality."
Objection 2: Further, no difference is more common than its genus; since it is that which divides the genus. But good is more common than quality, since it is convertible with being. Therefore "good" should not be put in the definition of virtue, as a difference of quality.
Objection 3: Further, as Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 3): "When we come across anything that is not common to us and the beasts of the field, it is something appertaining to the mind." But there are virtues even of the irrational parts; as the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 10). Every virtue, therefore, is not a good quality "of the mind."
Objection 4: Further, righteousness seems to belong to justice; whence the righteous are called just. But justice is a species of virtue. It is therefore unsuitable to put "righteous" in the definition of virtue, when we say that virtue is that "by which we live righteously."
Objection 5: Further, whoever is proud of a thing, makes bad use of it. But many are proud of virtue, for Augustine says in his Rule, that "pride lies in wait for good works in order to slay them." It is untrue, therefore, "that no one can make bad use of virtue."
Further, man is justified by virtue. But Augustine commenting on
On the contrary, We have the authority of Augustine from whose words this definition is gathered, and principally in De Libero Arbitrio ii, 19.
I answer that, This definition comprises perfectly the whole essential notion of virtue. For the perfect essential notion of anything is gathered from all its causes. Now the above definition comprises all the causes of virtue. For the formal cause of virtue, as of everything, is gathered from its genus and difference, when it is defined as "a good quality": for "quality" is the genus of virtue, and the difference, "good." But the definition would be more suitable if for "quality" we substitute "habit," which is the proximate genus.
Now virtue has no matter "out of which" it is formed, as neither has any other accident; but it has matter "about which" it is concerned, and matter "in which" it exists, namely, the subject. The matter about which virtue is concerned is its object, and this could not be included in the above definition, because the object fixes the virtue to a certain species, and here we are giving the definition of virtue in general. And so for material cause we have the subject, which is mentioned when we say that virtue is a good quality "of the mind."
The end of virtue, since it is an operative habit, is operation. But it must be observed that some operative habits are always referred to evil, as vicious habits: others are sometimes referred to good, sometimes to evil; for instance, opinion is referred both to the true and to the untrue: whereas virtue is a habit which is always referred to good: and so the distinction of virtue from those habits which are always referred to evil, is expressed in the words "by which we live righteously": and its distinction from those habits which are sometimes directed unto good, sometimes unto evil, in the words, "of which no one makes bad use."
Lastly, God is the efficient cause of infused virtue, to which this definition applies; and this is expressed in the words "which God works in us without us." If we omit this phrase, the remainder of the definition will apply to all virtues in general, whether acquired or infused.
Reply to Objection 1: [snip]
Objection 1: It would seem that there are not four cardinal virtues. For prudence is the directing principle of the other moral virtues, as is clear from what has been said above (Q, A). But that which directs other things ranks before them. Therefore prudence alone is a principal virtue.
Objection 2: Further, the principal virtues are, in a way, moral virtues. Now we are directed to moral works both by the practical reason, and by a right appetite, as stated in Ethic. vi, 2. Therefore there are only two cardinal virtues.
Objection 3: Further, even among the other virtues one ranks higher than another. But in order that a virtue be principal, it needs not to rank above all the others, but above some. Therefore it seems that there are many more principal virtues.
On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. ii): "The entire structure of good works is built on four virtues."
I answer that, Things may be numbered either in respect of their formal principles, or according to the subjects in which they are: and either way we find that there are four cardinal virtues.
For the formal principle of the virtue of which we speak now is good as defined by reason; which good is considered in two ways. First, as existing in the very act of reason: and thus we have one principal virtue, called "Prudence." Secondly, according as the reason puts its order into something else; either into operations, and then we have "Justice"; or into passions, and then we need two virtues. For the need of putting the order of reason into the passions is due to their thwarting reason: and this occurs in two ways. First, by the passions inciting to something against reason, and then the passions need a curb, which we call "Temperance." Secondly, by the passions withdrawing us from following the dictate of reason, e.g. through fear of danger or toil: and then man needs to be strengthened for that which reason dictates, lest he turn back; and to this end there is "Fortitude."
In like manner, we find the same number if we consider the subjects of virtue. For there are four subjects of the virtue we speak of now: viz. the power which is rational in its essence, and this is perfected by "Prudence"; and that which is rational by participation, and is threefold, the will, subject of "Justice," the concupiscible faculty, subject of "Temperance," and the irascible faculty, subject of "Fortitude."
Reply to Objection 1: Prudence is the principal of all the virtues simply. The others are principal, each in its own genus.
Reply to Objection 2: That part of the soul which is rational by participation is threefold, as stated above.
Reply to Objection 3: All the other virtues among which one ranks before another, are reducible to the above four, both as to the subject and as to the formal principle.
Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not infused into man by God. For Augustine says (De Trin. xiv) that "science begets faith in us, and nourishes, defends and strengthens it." Now those things which science begets in us seem to be acquired rather than infused. Therefore faith does not seem to be in us by Divine infusion.
Further, that to which man attains by hearing and seeing, seems to be
acquired by him. Now man attains to belief, both by seeing miracles, and by
hearing the teachings of faith: for it is written (
Objection 3: Further, that which depends on a man's will can be acquired by him. But "faith depends on the believer's will," according to Augustine (De Praedest. Sanct. v). Therefore faith can be acquired by man.
On the contrary,
It is written (
I answer that,
Two things are requisite for faith. First, that the things which are of
faith should be proposed to man: this is necessary in order that man believe
anything explicitly. The second thing requisite for faith is the assent of
the believer to the things which are proposed to him. Accordingly, as
regards the first of these, faith must needs be from God. Because those
things which are of faith surpass human reason, hence they do not come to
man's knowledge, unless God reveal them. To some, indeed, they are revealed
by God immediately, as those things which were revealed to the apostles and
prophets, while to some they are proposed by God in sending preachers of the
faith, according to
As regards the second, viz. man's assent to the things which are of faith, we may observe a twofold cause, one of external inducement, such as seeing a miracle, or being persuaded by someone to embrace the faith: neither of which is a sufficient cause, since of those who see the same miracle, or who hear the same sermon, some believe, and some do not. Hence we must assert another internal cause, which moves man inwardly to assent to matters of faith.
The Pelagians held that this cause was nothing else than man's free-will: and consequently they said that the beginning of faith is from ourselves, inasmuch as, to wit, it is in our power to be ready to assent to things which are of faith, but that the consummation of faith is from God, Who proposes to us the things we have to believe. But this is false, for, since man, by assenting to matters of faith, is raised above his nature, this must needs accrue to him from some supernatural principle moving him inwardly; and this is God. Therefore faith, as regards the assent which is the chief act of faith, is from God moving man inwardly by grace.
Reply to Objection 1: Science begets and nourishes faith, by way of external persuasion afforded by science; but the chief and proper cause of faith is that which moves man inwardly to assent.
Reply to Objection 2: This argument again refers to the cause that proposes outwardly the things that are of faith, or persuades man to believe by words or deeds.
Reply to Objection 3: To believe does indeed depend on the will of the believer: but man's will needs to be prepared by God with grace, in order that he may be raised to things which are above his nature, as stated above (Q , A).
It seems that heretics ought to be tolerated. For the Apostle says (
Further, whatever is necessary in the Church should be tolerated. Now
heresies are necessary in the Church, since the Apostle says (
Further, the Master commanded his servants (
contrary, The Apostle says (
I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.
On the part of the Church, however, there
is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she
condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the
Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer
hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by
excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore
delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the
world by death. For Jerome commenting on
Reply to Objection 1: This very modesty demands that the heretic should be admonished a first and second time: and if he be unwilling to retract, he must be reckoned as already "subverted," as we may gather from the words of the Apostle quoted above.
Reply to Objection 2: The profit that ensues from heresy is beside the intention of heretics, for it consists in the constancy of the faithful being put to the test, and "makes us shake off our sluggishness, and search the Scriptures more carefully," as Augustine states (De Gen. cont. Manich. i, 1). What they really intend is the corruption of the faith, which is to inflict very great harm indeed. Consequently we should consider what they directly intend, and expel them, rather than what is beside their intention, and so, tolerate them.
Objection 3: According to Decret. (xxiv, qu. iii, can. Notandum), "to be
excommunicated is not to be uprooted." A man is excommunicated, as the
Apostle says (
Objection 1: It would seem that hope is not a virtue. For "no man makes ill use of a virtue," as Augustine states (De Lib. Arb. ii, 18). But one may make ill use of hope, since the passion of hope, like the other passions, is subject to a mean and extremes. Therefore hope is not a virtue.
Objection 2: Further, no virtue results from merits, since "God works virtue in us without us," as Augustine states (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. xvii). But hope is caused by grace and merits, according to the Master (Sent. iii, D, 26). Therefore hope is not a virtue.
Objection 3: Further, "virtue is the disposition of a perfect thing" (Phys. vii, text. 17,18). But hope is the disposition of an imperfect thing, of one, namely, that lacks what it hopes to have. Therefore hope is not a virtue.
On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. i, 33) that the three daughters of Job signify these three virtues, faith, hope and charity. Therefore hope is a virtue.
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6) "the virtue of a thing is that which makes its subject good, and its work good likewise." Consequently wherever we find a good human act, it must correspond to some human virtue. Now in all things measured and ruled, the good is that which attains its proper rule: thus we say that a coat is good if it neither exceeds nor falls short of its proper measurement. But, as we stated above (Q, A, ad 3) human acts have a twofold measure; one is proximate and homogeneous, viz. the reason, while the other is remote and excelling, viz. God: wherefore every human act is good, which attains reason or God Himself. Now the act of hope, whereof we speak now, attains God. For, as we have already stated (FS, Q, A), when we were treating of the passion of hope, the object of hope is a future good, difficult but possible to obtain. Now a thing is possible to us in two ways: first, by ourselves; secondly, by means of others, as stated in Ethic. iii. Wherefore, in so far as we hope for anything as being possible to us by means of the Divine assistance, our hope attains God Himself, on Whose help it leans. It is therefore evident that hope is a virtue, since it causes a human act to be good and to attain its due rule.
Reply to Objection 1: In the passions, the mean of virtue depends on right reason being attained, wherein also consists the essence of virtue. Wherefore in hope too, the good of virtue depends on a man's attaining, by hoping, the due rule, viz. God. Consequently man cannot make ill use of hope which attains God, as neither can he make ill use of moral virtue which attains the reason, because to attain thus is to make good use of virtue. Nevertheless, the hope of which we speak now, is not a passion but a habit of the mind, as we shall show further on (A; Q, A).
Reply to Objection 2: Hope is said to arise from merits, as regards the thing hoped for, in so far as we hope to obtain happiness by means of grace and merits; or as regards the act of living hope. The habit itself of hope, whereby we hope to obtain happiness, does not flow from our merits, but from grace alone.
Reply to Objection 3: He who hopes is indeed imperfect in relation to that which he hopes to obtain, but has not as yet; yet he is perfect, in so far as he already attains his proper rule, viz. God, on Whose help he leans.
Objection 1: It would seem unfitting to distinguish three degrees of charity, beginning, progress, and perfection. For there are many degrees between the beginning of charity and its ultimate perfection. Therefore it is not right to put only one.
Objection 2: Further, charity begins to progress as soon as it begins to be. Therefore we ought not to distinguish between charity as progressing and as beginning.
Objection 3: Further, in this world, however perfect a man's charity may be, it can increase, as stated above (A). Now for charity to increase is to progress. Therefore perfect charity ought not to be distinguished from progressing charity: and so the aforesaid degrees are unsuitably assigned to charity.
On the contrary, Augustine says (In prim. canon. Joan. Tract. v) "As soon as charity is born it takes food," which refers to beginners, "after taking food, it waxes strong," which refers to those who are progressing, "and when it has become strong it is perfected," which refers to the perfect. Therefore there are three degrees of charity.
I answer that, The spiritual increase of charity may be considered in respect of a certain likeness to the growth of the human body. For although this latter growth may be divided into many parts, yet it has certain fixed divisions according to those particular actions or pursuits to which man is brought by this same growth. Thus we speak of a man being an infant until he has the use of reason, after which we distinguish another state of man wherein he begins to speak and to use his reason, while there is again a third state, that of puberty when he begins to acquire the power of generation, and so on until he arrives at perfection.
In like manner the divers degrees of charity are distinguished according to the different pursuits to which man is brought by the increase of charity. For at first it is incumbent on man to occupy himself chiefly with avoiding sin and resisting his concupiscences, which move him in opposition to charity: this concerns beginners, in whom charity has to be fed or fostered lest it be destroyed: in the second place man's chief pursuit is to aim at progress in good, and this is the pursuit of the proficient, whose chief aim is to strengthen their charity by adding to it: while man's third pursuit is to aim chiefly at union with and enjoyment of God: this belongs to the perfect who "desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ."
In like manner we observe in local motion that at first there is withdrawal from one term, then approach to the other term, and thirdly, rest in this term.
Reply to Objection 1: All these distinct degrees which can be discerned in the increase of charity, are comprised in the aforesaid three, even as every division of continuous things is included in these three---the beginning, the middle, and the end, as the Philosopher states (De Coelo i, 1).
Objection 2: Although those who are beginners in charity may progress,
yet the chief care that besets them is to resist the sins which disturb them
by their onslaught. Afterwards, however, when they come to feel this
onslaught less, they begin to tend to perfection with greater security; yet
with one hand doing the work, and with the other holding the sword as
Reply to Objection 3: Even the perfect make progress in charity: yet this is not their chief care, but their aim is principally directed towards union with God. And though both the beginner and the proficient seek this, yet their solicitude is chiefly about other things, with the beginner, about avoiding sin, with the proficient, about progressing in virtue.
It would seem that charity does not require us to love our enemies. For
Augustine says (Enchiridion lxxiii) that "this great good," namely, the love
of our enemies, is "not so universal in its application, as the object of
our petition when we say: Forgive us our trespasses." Now no one is forgiven
sin without he have charity, because, according to
Objection 2: Further, charity does not do away with nature. Now everything, even an irrational being, naturally hates its contrary, as a lamb hates a wolf, and water fire. Therefore charity does not make us love our enemies.
Further, charity "doth nothing perversely" (
contrary, Our Lord said (
I answer that, Love of one's enemies may be understood in three ways. First, as though we were to love our enemies as such: this is perverse, and contrary to charity, since it implies love of that which is evil in another.
Secondly love of one's enemies may mean that we love them as to their nature, but in general: and in this sense charity requires that we should love our enemies, namely, that in loving God and our neighbor, we should not exclude our enemies from the love given to our neighbor in general.
Thirdly, love of one's enemies may be considered as specially directed to them, namely, that we should have a special movement of love towards our enemies. Charity does not require this absolutely, because it does not require that we should have a special movement of love to every individual man, since this would be impossible. Nevertheless charity does require this, in respect of our being prepared in mind, namely, that we should be ready to love our enemies individually, if the necessity were to occur. That man should actually do so, and love his enemy for God's sake, without it being necessary for him to do so, belongs to the perfection of charity. For since man loves his neighbor, out of charity, for God's sake, the more he loves God, the more does he put enmities aside and show love towards his neighbor: thus if we loved a certain man very much, we would love his children though they were unfriendly towards us. This is the sense in which Augustine speaks in the passage quoted in the First Objection, the Reply to which is therefore evident.
Reply to Objection 2: Everything naturally hates its contrary as such. Now our enemies are contrary to us, as enemies, wherefore this itself should be hateful to us, for their enmity should displease us. They are not, however, contrary to us, as men and capable of happiness: and it is as such that we are bound to love them.
Reply to Objection 3: It is wrong to love one's enemies as such: charity does not do this, as stated above.
It would seem that it is always sinful to wage war. Because punishment is
not inflicted except for sin. Now those who wage war are threatened by Our
Lord with punishment, according to
Further, whatever is contrary to a Divine precept is a sin. But war is
contrary to a Divine precept, for it is written (
Objection 3: Further, nothing, except sin, is contrary to an act of virtue. But war is contrary to peace. Therefore war is always a sin.
Objection 4: Further, the exercise of a lawful thing is itself lawful, as is evident in scientific exercises. But warlike exercises which take place in tournaments are forbidden by the Church, since those who are slain in these trials are deprived of ecclesiastical burial. Therefore it seems that war is a sin in itself.
contrary, Augustine says in a sermon on the son of the centurion [*Ep.
ad Marcel. cxxxviii]: "If the Christian Religion forbade war altogether,
those who sought salutary advice in the Gospel would rather have been
counselled to cast aside their arms, and to give up soldiering altogether.
On the contrary, they were told: 'Do violence to no man . . . and be content
with your pay' [*
I answer that,
In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the
authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it
is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can
seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover
it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the
people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal
is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch
over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And
just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending
that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers,
according to the words of the Apostle (
Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (QQ. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): "A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly."
Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [*The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine's works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): "True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good." For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): "The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war."
Reply to Objection 1: As Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 70): "To take the sword is to arm oneself in order to take the life of anyone, without the command or permission of superior or lawful authority." On the other hand, to have recourse to the sword (as a private person) by the authority of the sovereign or judge, or (as a public person) through zeal for justice, and by the authority, so to speak, of God, is not to "take the sword," but to use it as commissioned by another, wherefore it does not deserve punishment. And yet even those who make sinful use of the sword are not always slain with the sword, yet they always perish with their own sword, because, unless they repent, they are punished eternally for their sinful use of the sword.
Reply to Objection 2: Such like precepts, as Augustine observes (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 19), should always be borne in readiness of mind, so that we be ready to obey them, and, if necessary, to refrain from resistance or self-defense. Nevertheless it is necessary sometimes for a man to act otherwise for the common good, or for the good of those with whom he is fighting. Hence Augustine says (Ep. ad Marcellin. cxxxviii): "Those whom we have to punish with a kindly severity, it is necessary to handle in many ways against their will. For when we are stripping a man of the lawlessness of sin, it is good for him to be vanquished, since nothing is more hopeless than the happiness of sinners, whence arises a guilty impunity, and an evil will, like an internal enemy."
Objection 3: Those who wage war justly aim at peace, and so they are not
opposed to peace, except to the evil peace, which Our Lord "came not to send
upon earth" (
Reply to Objection 4: Manly exercises in warlike feats of arms are not all forbidden, but those which are inordinate and perilous, and end in slaying or plundering. In olden times warlike exercises presented no such danger, and hence they were called "exercises of arms" or "bloodless wars," as Jerome states in an epistle [*Reference incorrect: cf. Veget., De Re Milit. i].
Objection 1. It would seem that religion has not an external act. It is written (John 4:24): "God is a spirit, and they that adore Him, must adore Him in spirit and in truth." Now external acts pertain, not to the spirit but to the body. Therefore religion, to which adoration belongs, has acts that are not external but internal.
Objection 2. Further, the end of religion is to pay God reverence and honor. Now it would savor of irreverence towards a superior, if one were to offer him that which properly belongs to his inferior. Since then whatever man offers by bodily actions, seems to be directed properly to the relief of human needs, or to the reverence of inferior creatures, it would seem unbecoming to employ them in showing reverence to God.
Objection 3. Further, Augustine (De Civ. Dei vi, 10) commends Seneca for finding fault with those who offered to idols those things that are wont to be offered to men, because, to wit, that which befits mortals is unbecoming to immortals. But such things are much less becoming to the true God, Who is "exalted above all gods" [Psalm 94:3. Therefore it would seem wrong to worship God with bodily actions. Therefore religion has no bodily actions.
On the contrary, It is written (Psalm 83:3): "My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God." Now just as internal actions belong to the heart, so do external actions belong to the members of the flesh. Therefore it seems that God ought to be worshiped not only by internal but also by external actions.
I answer that, We pay God honor and reverence, not for His sake (because He is of Himself full of glory to which no creature can add anything), but for our own sake, because by the very fact that we revere and honor God, our mind is subjected to Him; wherein its perfection consists, since a thing is perfected by being subjected to its superior, for instance the body is perfected by being quickened by the soul, and the air by being enlightened by the sun. Now the human mind, in order to be united to God, needs to be guided by the sensible world, since "invisible things . . . are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made," as the Apostle says (Romans 1:20). Wherefore in the Divine worship it is necessary to make use of corporeal things, that man's mind may be aroused thereby, as by signs, to the spiritual acts by means of which he is united to God. Therefore the internal acts of religion take precedence of the others and belong to religion essentially, while its external acts are secondary, and subordinate to the internal acts.
Reply to Objection 1. Our Lord is speaking of that which is most important and directly intended in the worship of God.
Reply to Objection 2. These external things are offered to God, not as though He stood in need of them, according to Psalm 49:13, "Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats?" but as signs of the internal and spiritual works, which are of themselves acceptable to God. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei x, 5): "The visible sacrifice is the sacrament or sacred sign of the invisible sacrifice."
Reply to Objection 3. Idolaters are ridiculed for offering to idols things pertaining to men, not as signs arousing them to certain spiritual things, but as though they were of themselves acceptable to the idols; and still more because they were foolish and wicked.