Commentary
On the First Epistle to the Corinthians

by
Saint Thomas Aquinas

Translated by Fabian Larcher, O.P.
(987-1046 by Daniel Keating)

Html-edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P.


CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

1-1: 1 Cor 1:1-9
1-2: 1 Cor 1:10-17a
1-3: 1 Cor 1:17b-25
1-4: 1 Cor 1:26-31

CHAPTER 2

2-1: 1 Cor 2:1-7
2-2: 1 Cor 2:8-12
2-3: 1 Cor 2:13-16

CHAPTER 3

3-1: 1 Cor 3:1-8a
3-2: 1 Cor 3:8b-15
3-3: 1 Cor 3:16-23

CHAPTER 4

4-1: 1 Cor 4:1-5
4-2: 1 Cor 4:6-13
4-3: 1 Cor 4:14-21

CHAPTER 5

5-1: 1 Cor 5:1-5
5-2: 1 Cor 5:6-8
5-3: 1 Cor 5:9-13

CHAPTER 6

6-1: 1 Cor 6:1-6
6-2: 1 Cor 6:7-13a
6-3: 1 Cor 6:13b-20

CHAPTER 7

7-1: 1 Cor 7:1-9
7-2: 1 Cor 7:10-14

[CHAPTERS 7:15—10:33 (nos. 347-581)

supplied by Peter of Tarantaise]

CHAPTER 11

11-1: 1 Cor 11:1-3
11-2: 1 Cor 11:4-7
11-3: 1 Cor 11:8-16
11-4: 1 Cor 11:17-22
11-5: 1 Cor 11:23-24
11-6: 1 Cor11:25-26
11-7: 1 Cor 11:27-34

CHAPTER 12

12-1: 1 Cor 12:1-6
12-2: 1 Cor 12:7-11
12-3: 1 Cor 12:12-31

CHAPTER 13

13-1: 1 Cor 13:1-3
13-2: 1 Cor 13:4-7
13-3: 1 Cor 13:8-11
13-4: 1 Cor 13:12-13

CHAPTER 14

14-1: 1 Cor 14:1-4
14-2: 1 Cor 14:5-12
14-3: 1 Cor 14:13-17
14-4: 1 Cor 14:18-22
14-5: 1 Cor 14:23-26
14-6: 1 Cor 14:27-33
14-7: 1 Cor 14:34-40

CHAPTER 15

15-1: 1 Cor 15:1-11
15-2: 1 Cor 15:12-19
15-3: 1 Cor 15:20-28
15-4: 1 Cor 15:29-34
15-5: 1 Cor 15:35-38
15-6: 1 Cor 15:39-44a
15-7: 1 Cor 15:44b-50
15-8: 1 Cor 15:51-52
15-9: 1 Cor 15:53-58

CHAPTER 16

16-1: 1 Cor 16:1-9
16-2: 1 Cor 16:10-24

PROLOGUE

“I will not hide from you the secrets (sacraments) of God, but will trace out her course from the beginning of creation and make the knowledge of her clear and will not pass by the truth” (Wis 6:22).

1. – The word “sacrament” can be taken in two senses: sometimes it means something secret, particularly in regard to sacred things; and sometimes it means the sign of a sacred thing, in the sense of being its image and cause. It is in this second sense that we speak of the seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders and matrimony. Furthermore, the first sense is then included in this second sense, for a divine power is secretly at work in these sacraments of the Church, as Augustine says.

2. – Consequently, these sacraments of God should not be concealed but laid bare to Christ’s faithful by their teachers and prelates for three reasons.

First, because this redounds to God’s honor: “It is good to hide the secret of the King, but honorable to reveal and confess the works of the Lord” (Tob 12:7).

Secondly, because this is needed for the salvation of men, who could lapse into despair from not

knowing them, for Wisdom (2:22) says that some men “did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness,” because men are purified by the sacraments and prepared for receiving the wages of holiness.

Thirdly, because this is a duty of teachers and prelates as pointed out by the Apostle: “To me, though I am the very least of the saints, this grace was given, to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God” (Eph 3:8).

Thus the above text discloses to us the subject manner of this epistle, in which the Apostle discusses the sacraments of the Church. For since in the epistle to the Romans he had discussed God’s grace, which works in the seven sacraments, here in the first epistle to the Corinthians he discusses the sacraments themselves and in the second epistle to the Corinthians the ministers of the sacraments.

Let us turn, therefore, to the text.

1-1

1 Cor 1:1-9

1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge—6 even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you—7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

3. – This epistle is divided into two parts: in the first he sends his greeting and in the other his message (v. 4). As to the first he does three things: first, he mentions the persons who send the greeting; secondly, the persons greeted (v. 2); thirdly, he wishes them well (v. 3).

4. – As to the first he mentions the principal person first and describes him from his name, Paul. Enough had been said about this name in the epistle to the Romans. Suffice it to say here that this name is mentioned as a token of humility, for Paul means a small amount, which pertains to humility: “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel?” (1 Sam 15:17); “You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding are revealed them to babes” (Matt 11:25).

5. – Then he describes himself from his dignity. First, he mentions how a dignity should be obtained when he says, called, since it is stated in Heb (5:4): “One does not take the honor upon himself, but is called by God, as Aaron was.”

Secondly, he mentions his dignity, saying: an apostle of Jesus Christ. This, of course, is the highest dignity in the Church and means “sent,” because they were sent by God to act in His name on earth; hence it says in Lk (6:13): “He chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles,” and below (12:28): “God has appointed in the church, first, apostles.”

Thirdly, he indicates the source and cause of this dignity when he says: by the will of God. This refers to the will of His good pleasure, which chooses those who rule the Church in one way or another: “The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.” (Sir 10:4).

But when God sets someone in authority an account of the sins of the subjects: “He makes a man that is a hypocrite to reign for the sins of the people” (Jb 34:30), such a ruler is not according to God’s will but according to His indignation: “I have given you kings in my anger, and I have taken them away in my wrath” (Hos 13:10).

6. – Secondly, he mentions the other person who sends the greeting when he says, and Sosthenes, our brother, whom he mentions along with himself, because he was the one who had reported to the Apostle the quarrels and other failings current among the Corinthians. He calls him brother, to show that he had done this not out of hatred but out of the zeal of charity: “Reprove a wise man and he will love you” (Pr 9:8).

7. – Then he mentions the persons he is greeting, saying: to the church of God that is at Corinth.

First, he mentions the chief persons, whom he describes in three ways: first, from their region when he says, to the church of God that is at Corinth, i.e., Christ’s faithful assembled at Corinth: “I will thank thee in the great congregation” (Ps 35:18).

Secondly, from their gift of grace when he says: to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, i.e., in the faith, passion and sacraments of Christ Jesus: “You were washed, you have been sanctified” (1 Cor 6:11); “Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people” (Heb 13:12).

Thirdly, he mentions the source of grace when he says: called to be saints, because they arrived at sanctity through the grace of being called: “Those whom he predestined he also called” (Rom 8:30); “He called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pt 2:9).

8. – Then he mentions the other persons, namely the faithful who were not in that city but lived in the diocese of the city or in the environs; hence he says: together with those who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ by confessing the true faith: “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Jl 2:32). And this in every place subject to their jurisdiction; both their Lord and ours, because their subjection to the bishop of the city did not exempt them from the Apostle’s power; rather they were more subject to the Apostle than to those whom he had subjected them: “In all places of his dominion, bless the Lord, O my soul!” (Ps 103:22).

9. – Finally, he mentions in this greeting the salutary gifts he wishes them. The first of these is grace to you, by which we are set free of sin: “They are justified by his grace as a gift” (Rom 3:24) and the last is peace, which is brought to perfection in eternal happiness: “He makes peace in your borders” (Ps 147:14); “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation” (Is 32:18). But these two include all other gifts; hence he says: grace and peace. The one who causes them is mentioned when he says: from God our Father: “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down form the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17). He adds: and from the Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom he has granted to us his precious and very great promises” (2 Pt 1:4); “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17).

10. – The phrase, from God our Father, can be understood of the whole Trinity, by Whom we have been created and adopted as sons; but the Lord Jesus Christ is added, not as though He were a person over and above the three persons, but on account of His other nature.

Or God our Father is taken for the person of the Father, as in Jn (20:17): “I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God,” whereas the Lord Jesus Christ is added to indicate the person of the Son. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned, because He is nexus of the Father and Son, and is understood when the other two persons are mentioned, or because He is the gift of both, He is understood in the gifts, grace and peace, which are granted by the Holy Spirit: “All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit” (1 Cor 12:11).

11. – Then when he says, I give thanks to God, he begins his message: first, he gives thanks for their blessings, so that they will more easily bear the correction of their faults; secondly, he begins to instruct them (v. 10).

12. – As to the first he does two things. First, he gives thanks for the blessings they have already received; secondly, for those they expected in the future (v. 7b). He mentions his thanks when he says: I give thanks to God, Who in addition to being the God of all things by creation and governance, is his and every just man’s God through faith and devotion: “Thou are my God, and I will give thanks to you” (Ps 118:28). He also mentions this when he gives thanks; hence he says: always, because this thanks came from the ardor of charity, which was continually alive in his heart: “A friend loves at all times” (Pr 17:17). But although he loved them at all times and continually gave thanks for their blessings, he gave thanks for them especially at all the hours he set aside for prayer. He also mentions those for whom he gives thanks when he says: for you, in whose blessings he rejoiced as in his own because of the union of charity: “No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth” (3 Jn. v. 4).

13. – Then he indicates the blessings for which he gives thanks. First, in general, when he says: because of the grace of God, i.e., by the grace of God, which was given you in Christ Jesus, i.e., by Christ Jesus: “Of his fullness we have all received and grace for grace: (Jn. 1:16).

Secondly, in detail: first, when he mentions the abundance of their grace, saying: because in every way, namely, which pertains to salvation, you were enriched, i.e., made to overflow in him, i.e., through Christ: “For your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you become rich (2 Cor 8:9).

He explains in what matters they became rich when says: with all speech, either because they spoke in all manner of tongues or because they abounded in the utterance of doctrine. But because the word was not uttered properly, unless it proceeded from knowledge, he adds: and all knowledge, i.e., the understanding of all Scriptures and, in general, of all things pertaining to salvation: “He gave them a knowledge of holy things: (Wis 10:10).

What the Apostle says here refers to those in the Church who were more perfect and includes even lesser personages who possessed these riches, as Augustine says: “If you love the unity of which you are a member, you have whatever the others have in it. Remove envy and the possessions of others are yours, for love unites those whom greed and envy would separate.”

14. – Secondly, he shows their correctness when he says: even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you. For the utterance of doctrine would not be correct or knowledge correct, if it disagreed with the testimony of Christ or if Christ’s testimony did not have a firm hold on their hearts by faith, because, as it says in Jas (1:6): “He who wavers is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

He says: in testimony to Christ, either because the prophets have spoken of Him; “To him all the prophets give testimony: (Ac 10:43) or because Christ Himself gave testimony: “Although I give testimony of myself, my testimony is true” (Jn. 8:14) or even because the Apostle in his own preaching gave testimony about me” (Ac 22:18).

15. – Thirdly, he touches on the perfection of grace when he says: you are not wanting in any spiritual gift, namely, because various persons among them enjoyed all the Charismatic graces. For it befits divine providence to bestow the necessities of life without stint: “Those who fear him have no want” (Ps 34:9) and again “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”(Ps 34:10).

16. – Then he mentions the blessings to be expected in the future. In regard to this he does three things. First, he mentions their expectation of a future blessing when he says: to you, who not only have grace at present but are waiting for the future revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, namely because He will be manifested to His saints not only in the glory of His humanity: “Your eyes will see the king in his beauty” (Is 33:17) but also in the glory of His divinity: “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (Is 40:5). This is the revelation that makes men happy: “When he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2), and in which eternal life consists: “This eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3). Now just as those to whom Christ is revealed are happy in reality, so those who await this are happy in hope: “Blessed are all they that wait for him” (Is 30:18). This is why he gives thanks for their expectations.

17. – Secondly, he shows that this expectation is not vain because of the help of God’s grace: hence he adds: Who, i.e., Christ, Who gave them the hope of such a manifestation, will sustain you in the grace received: “After you have suffered a little while, He will restore, establish and strengthen you” (1 Pt 5:10) to the end of your life: “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 10:22). Not that you will be without sin, because “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8), but that you may be guiltless, i.e., without mortal sin: “If they prove themselves blameless let them minister: (1 Tim 3:10). This, I say, will be in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because a person found without crime on the day of death will arrive at the day of judgment without crime: “If a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie” (Ec 11:3). For unless he is found without crime now, he awaits that revelation in vain.

18. – Thirdly, he assigns the reason for his promise, saying that God will strengthen you, because God is faithful: “God is faithful and without iniquity” (Dt 32:4). By whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, i.e., to have fellowship with Christ, both in the present life through the likeness of grace: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another” (1 Jn. 1:7) and in the future by sharing in His glory: “Provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17). But God would not seem to be faithful, if He called us to the fellowship of His Son and then denied us on His part the things by which we could attain to Him. Hence Joshua (1:5) says: “I will not fail you or forsake you.”

1-2

1 Cor 1:10-17a

10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; 15 lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.

19. – After the greeting the Apostle begins to instruct them. First, he instructs them about things pertaining to all generally, namely, about the sacraments. Secondly, about things pertaining to some of them (c. 16). In the sacraments three things should be considered: first, the sacrament itself, as baptism; secondly, the reality signified and contained, namely, grace: thirdly, the reality signified but not contained, namely, the glory of the resurrection. First, therefore, he discusses the sacraments themselves; secondly, the graces (c. 12); thirdly, the glory of the resurrection (c. 15). In regard to the first he does three things: first he determines what pertains to baptism; secondly, what pertains to the sacrament of matrimony (c. 5); thirdly, what pertains to the sacrament of the Eucharist (c. 8).

20. – In the first part the Apostle deals with doctrine along with baptism; thus he follows the example of the Lord, Who gave the disciples the injunction to teach and to baptize in one command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). Now it should be noted that there was dissension among the Corinthian believers, because those who had been instructed assumed that they had received the better teaching and a better baptism and began to look down on the others.

21. – Hence the Apostle does two things: first, he ends the strife; secondly he attacks the cause of the strife, namely, that they glory in some of Christ’s ministers and look down on the other ones (c. 3). As to the first he does three things: first, he gives a friendly warning; secondly, he shows the need for the warning (v. 11); thirdly, the reason for (v.13).

22. – In regard to the first, two things should be considered. First, he uses humble language as one way of inducing them to heed his warning; hence he says: I appeal to you; the second way is by brotherly love when he says: brethren, because this warning came from the warmth of his fraternal charity: “A brother helped by a brother is like a strong city: (Pr 18:19). The third way is by appealing to their reverence for Christ when he says: by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who should be honored by all and to Whom all should be subject: “In the name of Jesus every knee should bend” (Phil 2:10).

23. – The second thing to be considered is that he urges them to three things. First, to concord when he says: that you all agree, i.e., that all confess the same faith and hold the same opinion in matters that must be done in common: “That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6). Secondly, he forbids a vice contrary to virtue when he says: that there be no dissensions (schisms) among you, because ecclesial unity must not be fragmented. As a sign of this unity the soldiers said of the coat without seam: “Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be” (Jn. 19:24). Properly speaking, there are schisms, when the members of one group separate into various factions according to their various beliefs or according to their various opinions about conduct: “You shall see the breaches of the city of David” (Is 22:9). Thirdly, he urges them to seek perfection, which is the good of the whole. Therefore, he says: but that you be united in the same mind, which judges about conduct, and in the same judgment, which judges about belief. As if to say: These things will enable you to be perfect, if you continue in unity: “Over all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14); “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48).

24. – Then when he says, It has been reported, he shows why it was necessary to warn them, namely, because they were burdened with the vice of contention. As if to say: It is necessary to induce you to this, because it has been reported to me, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, i.e., from a certain villa subject to the jurisdiction of the Corinthians. Or Chloe might be the name of a matron in whose home many believers assembled: that there is quarreling among you contrary to what is said in Pr (20:24): “It is an honor for a man to separate himself from quarrels.” Then he specifies the nature of the contention when he says: What I mean is, i.e., the contention consists in this, that every one of you gives himself a name derived from the person by whom he was baptized and instructed, and says: I belong to Paul, because he had been baptized and instructed by Paul; another says: I belong to Apollos, who had preached to the Corinthians (Ac 19); still another says: and I belong to Cephas, i.e., Peter, to whom it had been said: “You shall be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter” (Jn. 1:42). Now they made these statements, because they thought that they received a better baptism from a better baptizer, as though the virtue of the minister had an influence on the one baptized. Finally, others say: I belong to Christ, Who alone give grace, because the grace of Christ alone works in Christ’s baptism: “He upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 1:33). Accordingly, the baptized are called Christians from Christ alone and not Paulians from Paul: “Only let us be called by your name” (Is 4:1).

25. – In order to avoid this error the Greeks are said to have used the following formula in baptism: “Let Christ’s servant, Nicholas, be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” to show that a man is not baptized interiorly, unless he is baptized by Christ. But because a man also baptizes, as a minister and member of Christ, the Church uses this formula in baptizing: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” which is more in keeping with the formula given by Christ, Who said to the disciples: “Teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19), where He also calls the apostles baptizers. It is according to this command that the minister says: “I baptize you.”

26. – Then when he says, Is Christ divided, he given the reason for this warning that there should be no schisms and contentions among them: first, on the part of baptism: secondly, on the part of doctrine (v. 17b). As to the first he does three things: first, he mentions the mistake which follows from their contention; secondly, why that mistake follows (v. 13b); thirdly, be dismisses a false surmise (v. 14).

27. – He says, therefore: I have said that everyone of you says, I belong to Paul; from which it follows that Christ is divided.

28. – This can be understood in one way as though he were saying: Inasmuch as there is contention among you, Christ is divided from you, because He dwells only in peace: “His place is in peace” (Ps 76:3); “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God” (Is 59:2). But it is better understood of him as saying: Inasmuch as you believe that a baptism performed by a better minister is better, it follows that Christ, Who principally and interiorly baptizes, is divided, i.e., differs in His power and effect, depending on the differing ministers. But this is false, because it says in Eph (4:5): “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” An even better interpretation is to understand the Apostles as saying that inasmuch as you attribute to others the things that are exclusively Christ’s, you divide Christ by forming many Christ’s, which is contrary to what is stated in Matt (23:10): “One is your master, Christ”; “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other” (Is 45:22).

29. – For it should be noted that there are two powers proper to Christ in the sacrament of baptism: One is the divine power, by which He and the Father and the Holy Spirit cleanse from sin interiorly. This cannot be communicated to any creature. The other is the power proper to His human nature, which is the power of excellence in the sacraments and consists of four things: one is that He instituted the sacraments; the second is that He can produce the effect of the sacraments without the sacraments; the third is that the merit of His passion works in baptism and the other sacraments; the fourth is that the sacraments are conferred by calling on His name. Now he could have shared this power of excellence with His ministers and particularly the fourth, namely, that baptism be consecrated in their names, but He reserved it for Himself; otherwise schism would arise in the Church, for people would suppose that there are as many baptisms as baptizers. According to Augustine this is why John the Baptist confessed that he did not know whether Christ would keep this power for Himself.

30. – Then when he says, Was Paul crucified, he shows that their mistake follows from their error of supposing that there are diverse baptisms, depending on the different baptizers; for this would be so, if baptism derived its power form the baptizers and not from Christ alone.

31. – He shows this in two ways. First, on the part of Christ’s passion, in virtue of which baptism works, as it says in Rom (6:3): “Know you not that all who are baptized in Christ Jesus are baptized in his death?” Accordingly, he says: Was Paul crucified for you? As if to say: Were Paul’s sufferings the cause of our salvation, so that baptism depends on him for its saving power? As if to say: Certainly not. For Christ alone is the one by Whose sufferings and death our salvation is wrought: “It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish” (Jn. 11:50); “One has died for all” (2 Cor 5:14).

32. – On the other hand, the Apostle seems to say the opposite in Col (1:24): “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, the church.” I answer that Christ’s sufferings benefited us not only by their example: “Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pt 2:21), but also by their merit and efficacy, inasmuch as we have been redeemed and sanctified by his blood: “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood” (Heb 13:12). But the sufferings of others benefit us only as an example: “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation” (2 Cor 1:6).

33. – Secondly, he shows the same thing from the power of Christ’s name invoked in baptism; hence he adds: or were you baptized in the name of Paul? As if to say: No. For as it is stated in Ac (4:12): “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” Hence, too, Is (26:8) says: “Your name and your remembrance are the desire of the soul.”

34. – But it seems that men are not baptized in Christ’s name, for it is commanded in Matt (28:19): “Teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The answer is that in the early Church, because Christ’s name was much hated, the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit to baptize in the name of Christ. Yet, as Ambrose says, the whole Trinity is understood in the name of Christ. For “Christ” means anointed, which implies not only the Son Who is anointed, but the anointing itself, which is the Holy Spirit, and the one who anoints, namely, the Father as Ps 45 (v.8) says: “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” But now that Christ’s name is great among the Gentiles from the rising of the sun to its setting (Mal 1:11), the Church uses the formula first instituted by Christ, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, everyone baptized in this form is baptized in the name of Him Who is truly Son of God: “That we may be in his true Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 5:30). Furthermore, all faithful are baptized in the name of Christ; hence they are called Christians, for “as many of you as have been baptized in Christ alone, have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). Therefore, if the sufferings of Christ alone [ si solius Christi passio ], if the name of Christ alone [ si solius Christ nomen ], confers the power to be saved on the baptized, then it is from Christ alone [ verum esse proprium esse Christo ] that baptism has the power to sanctify. Consequently, anyone who attributes this to others divides Christ into many parts.

35. – Then when he says, I am thankful, he dismisses a false surmise. For since he had said, Was Paul then crucified for you, someone might suppose that though he had not baptized in his own name, he did baptize many people as a minister. In regard to this he does three things: first, he gives thanks for having baptized only a few; secondly, after naming the few, he adds certain others (v. 16); thirdly, he gives the reason why he did not baptize many (17a).

36. – He says, therefore: I give God thanks that I baptized none of you but Crispus. “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord with all his house” (Ac 18:8) and Gaius, to whom John’s third epistle is written. But because thanksgiving has no place except for blessings received, the Apostle shows why he gives thanks in this case when he continues: lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name. For holy men desire that their good deeds not be taken as an occasion of error or sin by others. And because the Corinthians had fallen into the error of naming themselves from the baptizer and saying, I belong to Paul and to Apollos, he thanked God that such an error had not been occasioned by his ministry. That is why he was careful to say that he had baptized those who were immune from this error. 37. – Then when he says, I baptized also, he mentions the others he had baptized, lest anything less than the truth appear in his words; hence he adds: I baptized also the household of Stephanas. Then because man’s memory is unreliable in regard to particular facts, he adds: Beyond that, I do not know, i.e., do not recall, whether I baptized anyone else.

38. – Then when he says, For Christ did not, he gives the reason why he baptized so few, saying: For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.

39. – But this seems to be in opposition to the Lord’s command: “Teach all nations; baptizing them” (Matt 28:19). The answer is that Christ sent the apostles to do both, but in such a way that they preached in person, as they said in Ac (6:2): “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.” But they baptized through their ministers, and they did this because the diligence or virtue of the baptizer contributes nothing in baptism, for it is indifferent whether baptism be given by a greater or lesser personage. But in the preaching of the gospel the wisdom and virtue of the preacher contributes a great deal; consequently, the apostles, being better qualified, exercised the office of preaching in person. In the same way it is said of Christ (Jn. 4:2) that He Himself did not baptize but His disciples did; of Him it says in Lk (4:43): “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for the purpose,” and in Is (61:1): “The Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted.”

1-3

1 Cor 1:17b-25

17b And not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

40. – After condemning their strife with a reason based on baptism, the Apostle disapproves of it again with a reason based on doctrine. For some of the Corinthians gloried in the doctrine of false apostles, who corrupt the truth of the faith with elegant words and reasons born of human wisdom. First, therefore, the Apostle says that this method is not suited for teaching the faith; secondly, he shows that he did not employ this method of teaching, when he was among them (c. 2). As to the first he does two things: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he explains it (v. 17b).

41. – He says, therefore: I have stated that Christ sent me to preach the Gospel, but not to preach it with eloquent wisdom, i.e., the worldly wisdom which makes men verbose, inasmuch as it inclines them to employ many vain reasons: “The more words, the more vanity” (Ec 6:11); “Mere talk tends only to want” (Pr 14:23). Or by eloquent wisdom he means rhetoric, which teaches elegant speech by which men are sometimes drawn to assent to error and falsity: “By fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded” (Rom 16:18); and under the figure of a harlot, which stands for heretical doctrine, it is said: “You will be saved from the adventures with her smooth words” (Pr 2:16).

42. – But on the other hand it says in Is (33:19): “You will see not more the insolent people,” namely, in the Catholic Church, “the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend.” But because the Greek version has logos, which signifies reason and speech, it might be more fitting to interpret eloquent wisdom of human reason, because the things of faith transcend human reason: “Matters too great for human understanding have been shown you” (Sir 3:25).

43. – But the fact that many teachers in the Church have used human reason and human wisdom as well as elegant words would seem to be contrary to this. For Jerome says in a letter to Magnus, a Roman orator, that all the teachers of the faith have crammed their books with an elegant portion of philosophical doctrines and sciences, so that one is at a loss whether to admire their worldly learning more or their knowledge of the Scriptures. And Augustine in the book On Christian Doctrine says: “There are churchmen who have treated of divine matters not only with wisdom but with elegance.” The answer is that it is one thing to teach in eloquent wisdom, however you take it, and another to use it to teach eloquent wisdom in teaching. A person teaches in eloquent wisdom, when he takes the eloquent wisdom as the main source of his doctrine, so that he admits only those things which contain eloquent wisdom and rejects the others which do not have eloquent wisdom: and this is destructive of the faith. But one uses eloquent wisdom, when he builds on the foundations of the true faith, so that if he finds any truths in the teachings of the philosophers, he employs them in the service of the faith. Hence Augustine says in the book On Christian Doctrine that if philosophers have uttered things suited to our faith, they should not be feared but taken from them as from an unjust possessor for our use. Again, in the same book he says: “Since the faculty of eloquent speech which has great power to win a person over to what is base or to what is right, why not use it to fight for the truth, if evil men misuse it for sin and error?”

44. – Then when he says, lest the cross of Christ, he proves his statement. First, on the part of the matter; secondly, of those who teach (v. 26). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he shows that the method of teaching by eloquent wisdom is not suited to the Christian faith; secondly, he proves something he had presupposed (v. 18); thirdly, he clarifies the proof (v. 22).

45. – As to the first point it should be noted that even in philosophical doctrines the same method does not suit every doctrine; hence the forms of speech must fit the material, as it says in Ethics I. Now a particular method of teaching is unsuited to the subject matter, when that method destroys the chief element in the subject matter; for example, in purely intelligible matters to employ metaphorical proofs, which do not go beyond the imagination and leave the hearer stranded in images, as Boethius says in the book On the Trinity. But the chief element in the doctrines of the Catholic faith is salvation effected by the cross of Christ; hence in (2:2) he says: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” On the other hand, a person who depends chiefly on eloquent wisdom when he teaches, to that extent makes the cross of Christ void. Therefore, to teach in eloquent wisdom is not suited to the Christian faith. Consequently, he says: lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power, i.e., lest in trying to preach in eloquent wisdom, faith in the power of Christ’s cross be made void: “Then is the stumbling block of the cross made void” (Gal 5:11); “Remember how they said, ‘Rase it, rase it!’ Down it its foundation” (Ps 137:7).

46. – Then when he says, for the word of the cross, he proves that the cross of Christ is made void by the method of teaching which consists in eloquent wisdom. First he gives the proof: secondly, he gives the reason for his statements (v. 19).

47. – He says, therefore: The reason I have said that the cross of Christ is made void, if the teachings of the faith are presented in eloquent wisdom is that the word of the Cross, i.e., the announcing of Christ’s cross is folly, i.e., it appears foolish, to them that are perishing, i.e., to unbelievers, who consider themselves wise according to the world, for the preaching of the cross of Christ contains something which to worldly wisdom seems impossible; for example, that God should die or that Omnipotence should suffer at the hands of violent men. Furthermore, that a person not avoid shame when he can, and other things of this sort, are matters which seem contrary to the prudence of this world. Consequently, when Paul was preaching such things, Festus said: “Paul, you are beside yourself: much learning makes you mad” (Ac 26:24). And Paul himself says below that the word of the Cross actually does contain foolishness he adds: but to us that are being saved, namely, Christ’s faithful who are saved by Him: “He will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21), it is the power of God, because they recognize in the cross of Christ God’s power, by which He overcame the devil and the world: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, has conquered” (Rev. 5:5), as well as the power they experience in themselves, when together with Christ they die to their vices and concupiscences, as it says in Gal (5:24): “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Hence it says in Ps (110:10): “The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter”; “Virtue went out of him and healed all” (Lk 6:19).

48. – Then when he says, For it is written, he states the reason for the above: first, he tells why the word of the cross is folly to men; secondly, why this folly is the power of God to them that are saved (v. 21). As to the first he does two things: first, he adduces a text which foretells what is asked; secondly, he shows that it has been fulfilled (v. 20).

49. – It should be noted in regard to the first point that anything good in itself cannot appear foolish to anyone, unless there is a lack of wisdom. This, therefore is the reason why the word of the cross, which is salutary for believers, seems foolish to others, namely, because they are devoid of wisdom; and this is what he says: For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness (prudence) of the clever (prudent) I will thwart. This can be taken from two places: for it is written in Ob (v.8): “Will I not destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau?”; but it is more explicit in Is (29:14): “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hid.” Now wisdom and prudence are different: for wisdom is knowledge of divine things; hence it pertains to contemplation; “The fear of the Lord is wisdom” (Jb 28:28). Prudence, however, is, properly speaking, knowledge of human things; hence it says in Pr (10:23): “Wisdom is prudence to a man,” namely, because knowledge of human affairs is called wisdom. Hence, the Philosopher also says in Ethics VI that prudence is the right understanding of things to be done; and so prudence pertains to reason.

50. – Yet it should be noted that men, however evil, are not altogether deprived of God’s gifts; neither are God’s gifts in them destroyed. Consequently, he does not say absolutely, “I will destroy the wisdom,” because “all wisdom is from the Lord God” (Sir 1:1), but I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, i.e., which the wise of this world have invented for themselves against the true wisdom of God, because as it says in Jas (3:15): “This is not wisdom, descending from above; but earthly, sensual, devilish.” Similarly, he does not say, “I will reject prudence,” for God’s wisdom teaches true prudence, but the prudence of the prudent, i.e., which is regarded as prudent by those who esteem themselves prudent in worldly affairs, so that they cling to the goods of this world, or because “the prudence of the flesh is death” (Rom 8:6). Consequently, because of their lack of wisdom they suppose that it is impossible for God to become man and suffer death in His human nature; but due to a lack of prudence they consider it unbecoming for a man to endure the cross,” despising the shame” (Heb 12:2).

51. – Then when he says, Where is the wise man? He shows that the prophecy about the destruction of human wisdom and prudence has been fulfilled. First, he presents the proving reason in the form of a question; secondly, he draws the conclusion (v. 20).

52. – He says, therefore: Where is the wise? As if to say: He is not found among the faithful who are saved. By the wise he understands one who searches for the secret causes of nature: “How will you say to Pharaoh: ‘I am the son of the wise?” (Is 19:11). This refers to the Gentiles, who pursue the wisdom of this world. Where is the scribe? i.e., skilled in the Law: and this is referred to the Jews. As if to say: Not among the believers. Where is the debater of this age? Who through prudence examines what is suitable to human life in the affairs of this world. As if to say: He is not found among the believers. This refers to both Jews and Gentiles: “The sons of Hagar, who seek for understanding on the earth” (Bar 3:23). The Apostle seems to have based this question on Is (33:18): “Where is the learned?” for which he substitutes “the wise”; “where is the one that ponders the words of the law?” for which he substitutes the debater of this age, because it is mainly little ones who are customarily instructed in matters pertaining to the moral life.

53. – Then when he says, Has not God, he draws the conclusion contained in the question. As if to say: since those who are considered the wise of this world have failed in the way of salvation, has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world, i.e., proved it foolish, inasmuch as those versed in this wisdom have been so found so foolish that they have not discovered the road to salvation: “Every man is stupid and without knowledge” (Jer 51:17): “Your wisdom and your knowledge have led you astray” (Is. 47:10).

54. – Another way to interpret this is as if he were saying: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the prudence of the prudent I will reject,” i.e., I will strike it first from my preachers, as it says in Pr (30:1): “Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.” Where is the wise? As if to say: He is not found among the preachers: “You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to little ones” (Matt 11:25). Has not God made, i.e., proved, foolish the wisdom of this world by achieving what it considered impossible, namely, that a dead man rise, and other things of this sort.

55. – Then when he says, For since, he states the reason why the faithful are saved by the foolishness of preaching. He had already stated that the word of the cross is foolishness to them that perish, but the power of God to them that are saved; for it pleased God by the folly of what we preach, i.e., by the preaching which human wisdom considers foolish, to save them that believe; and this because the world; i.e., worldly men, knew not God by wisdom taken from things of the world; and this in the wisdom of God. For divine wisdom, when making the world, left indications of itself in the things of the world, as it says in Sirach (1:10): “He poured wisdom out upon all his works,” so that the creatures made by God’s wisdom are related to God’s wisdom, whose signposts they are, as a man’s words are related to his wisdom, which they signify. And just as a disciple reaches an understanding of the teacher’s wisdom by the words he hears from him, so man can teach an understanding of God’s wisdom by examining the creatures He made, as it says in Romans (1:20): “His invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” But on account of the vanity of his heart man wandered from the right path of divine knowledge; hence it says in Jn (1:10): “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.” Consequently, God brought believers to a saving knowledge of Himself by other things, which are not found in the natures of creatures; on which account worldly men, who derive their notions solely from human things, considered them foolish: things such as the articles of faith. It is like a teacher who recognizes that his meaning was not understood from the words he employed, and then tried to use other words to indicate what he meant.

56. – Then when he says, For the Jews, he explains his proof: first in regard to the statement that the word of the cross is foolishness to them that perish; secondly, in regard to the statement that to them that are saved it is the power of God (v. 24). As to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the differing interests of those that perish; secondly, from this he assigns the reason for what he had said (v.23).

57. – Among those that perish, i.e., unbelievers, some were Jews and some Gentiles. He says, therefore: I have said that the word of the cross is foolish to them that perish, and this because the Jews demand signs, for the Jews were used to being instructed in a divine manner: “He led him about and taught him” (Dt 32:10), in the sense that God’s teachings were accompanied by many marvels: “In the sight of their fathers he wrought marvels in the land of Egypt” (Ps 78:12). Consequently, they require signs from everyone asserting a doctrine: “Master, we would see a sign from you” (Matt 12:38); “We have not seen our signs” (Ps 74:9). But the Greeks seek wisdom, being interested in the pursuit of wisdom: the wisdom, I say, which is founded on the reasons of worldly things and of which it is said: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom” (Jer 9:23). By the Greeks are understood all the Gentiles who received worldly wisdom from the Greeks. When they sought wisdom, therefore, they wished to judge every doctrine proposed to them according to the rule of human wisdom.

58. – Then he concludes why the word of the cross is foolishness to them, saying: But we preach Christ crucified, as below (11:26): “You proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes,” to Jews a stumbling block, because they desired strength working miracles and saw weakness suffering and to the Gentiles foolishness, because it seemed against the nature of human reason that God should die and that a just and wise man should voluntarily expose himself to a very shameful death.

59. – Then when he says, But to those who are called, he explains what he meant when he said, to them that are saved it is the power of God.

60. – He says, therefore: It has been stated that “we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness; but we preach Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God to them that are called, whether Jews or Gentiles, i.e., to those Jews and Gentiles who were called to faith in Christ. They recognize the power of God in Christ’s cross, by which devils are overcome, sins forgiven and men saved: “Be exalted, O Lord, in they strength!” (Ps 21:13). He says this against the Jews, who made a stumbling block of Christ’s weakness. They also recognize in it the wisdom of God, inasmuch as He delivered the human race in a most becoming manner by the cross: “Men were taught what pleases thee, and were saved by wisdom” (Wis 9:13).

61. – He is called the power of God and all the wisdom of God by appropriation: the power, because the Father does all things through Him: “All things were made through him” (Jn. 1:3); the wisdom, because the Word, which is the Son, is nothing less than begotten or conceived wisdom: “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High” (Sir 24:5). But it is not to be understood as though God the Father is powerful and wise by begotten power of wisdom, for, as Augustine proves in The Trinity, it would follow that the Father would have being from the Son, because for God to be wise and to be powerful are His very essence.

62. – Then when he says, for the foolishness of God, he assigns the reason for what he had said and tells how something weak and foolish could be the power and wisdom of God, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men. As if to say: Something divine seems to be foolish, not because it lacks wisdom but because it transcends human wisdom. For men are wont to regard as foolish anything beyond their understanding: “Matters too great for human understanding have been shown you (Sir 3:23). And the weakness of God is stronger than men, because something in God is not called weak on account of a lack of strength but because it exceeds human power, just as He is called invisible, inasmuch as He transcends human sight: “Thou dost show thy strength when men doubt the completeness of thy power” (Wis 12:17). However, this could refer to the mystery of the incarnation, because that which is regarded as foolish and weak in God on the part of the nature He assumed transcends all wisdom and power: “Who is like to you among the strong, O Lord?” (Ex 15:11).

1-4

1 Cor 1:26-31

26 For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; 27 but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; 31 therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

63. – After showing that the method of teaching according to eloquent wisdom does not suit Christian doctrine by reason of its subject matter, the cross of Christ, the Apostle now shows that the same method is not suitable for Christian teaching by reason of the teachers according to Pr (26:7): “A parable is unseemly in the mouth of fools” and Sirach (20:22): “A parable out of a fool’s mouth shall be rejected.” Therefore, because the first teachers of the faith were not wise in carnal wisdom, it was not suitable for them to teach according to eloquent wisdom. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows how the first teachers of the faith were not versed in carnal wisdom and suffered from a defect in human affairs; secondly, how this defect was made up for them by Christ (v. 27); thirdly, he assigns the reason (v.29).

64. – He says, therefore: It has been stated that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” and you can consider this in your own life; for consider carefully your call, brethren, i.e., how you were called: for you did not approach him by yourselves but you were called by him: “Whom he predestined he also called” (Rom 8:30); “He called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pt 2:9). But he urges them to ponder the manner of their calling by considering the ones by whom they were called, as Is (51:2) says: “ Look unto Abraham your father, and to Sarah that bore you.” From these ministers of our calling he first of all excludes wisdom when he says: Not many of those by whom you were called were wise according to worldly standards, i.e., in carnal and earthly wisdom: “For this is not wisdom descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish” (Jas 3:15); “The children of Hagar also, that search after the wisdom that is of the earth” (Bar 3:23). He says, not many, because some few had been instructed even in worldly wisdom, as he himself and Barnabas, or in the Old Testament Moses, of whom Ac (7:22) says that he had been instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Secondly, he excludes worldly power when he says: not many powerful, namely, according to the world; hence it says in Jn (7:48): princes of nations? They are cut off and are gone down into hell.” Thirdly, he excludes lofty birth when he says: not many were of noble birth. Yet some of them were noble, as Paul himself, who said that he had been born in a Roman city (Ac 22:25), and others referred to in Rom (16:7): “They are men of notes among the apostles.”

65. – Then when he says, But God chose, he shows that they were lowly according to worldly standards. First, he shows that they lacked wisdom when he says: what is foolish in the world, i.e., those whom the world would consider foolish, God chose for the offices of preaching, namely, ignorant fisherman: “Understanding that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered” (Ac 4:13); “Where is the learned? Where is he that ponders the words of the law?” (Is 33:18). And this to shame the wise, i.e., those who trusted in the wisdom of the world, whereas they themselves did not know the truths revealed to the simple: “Thou had hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed to the simple: “Thou had hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Matt 11:25); “Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you what the Lord of hosts has purposed” (Is 19:12).

66. – Secondly, he shows that they lacked power, saying: what is weak in the world, i.e., men with no power in the world, such as peasants, plebeians, God chose for the office of preaching: “I will deliver them into your hand by the servants of the governors of the districts” (1 Kgs 20:13); and in Pr (9:3) it says that “wisdom has sent out her maids to call from the highest places in the town.” Weakness is designated by both of these shortcomings in the first preachers; and this to shame the strong, i.e., the powerful of this world: “The haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low” (Is 2:17).

67. – Thirdly, he mentions a defect splendor of rank, which is implied in the word “nobility.” Opposed to these he says: and despised in the world, i.e., men looked down upon by the world: “We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those round about us” (Ps 79:4), God has chosen for the office of preaching. Thirdly, the grand opinion men have of the nobility. Opposed to this he says: and things that are not, i.e., men who seem to be nothing in the world: “The strength of whose hands was to me as nothing, and they were thought unworthy of life itself” Jb (30:2), has God chosen for the office of preaching. This He did to bring to naught things that are, i.e., those who seem to be something in this world: “The Lord of hosts had purposed it, to defile the pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth” (Is 23:9). 68. – Then he reveals the cause of all this, saying: He has not chosen the great but the lowly, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God, i.e., that no one may glory in his own worldly greatness as compared with the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in the wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, and let not the rich man glory in his riches” (Jer 9:23). For inasmuch as God did not subject the world to His faith by employing the great ones of the world but the lowly ones, man cannot boast that the world was saved by employing worldly greatness. However, since it might appear that worldly greatness did not originate from God, if He never employed it for His purposes, God employed a few and later a great number of the worldly great for the office of preaching. Hence a Gloss says that if the faithful fisherman had not come first, the humble orator could not have come later. Furthermore, it pertains to God’s glory to draw the great of the world by means of the lowly.

69. – Then when he says, He is the source, he prevents the preachers of the faith, since they were not the worldly great but the lowly, from being regarded as contemptible, by showing how God supplied for their defects. In regard to this he does three things.

70. – First, he indicates who deserves the honor for the world’s salvation, which was procured by the ministry of preaching. He says: You have been called not by the great of this world but by the lowly; consequently, your conversion should not be attributed to men but to God. In other words, He is the source of your life, i.e., by God’s power are you called in Christ Jesus, i.e., joined to Him by grace: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph 2:10).

71. – Then he shows how God supplies for the deficiencies of his preachers by means of Christ: first, as to their lack of wisdom when he says: whom, namely, Christ, God made for us, who preach the faith, and by us unto all the faithful, our wisdom, because by adhering to Him Who is the wisdom of God and by partaking of Him through grace, we have been made wise; and this is our God, Who gave Christ to us and few us to Him, as it says in Jn (6:44): “No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him”; “This is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of nations” (Dt 4:6). Secondly, as to their lack of power he says: our righteousness, which is called a breastplate because of its strength: “He will put on righteousness as a breastplate” (Wis 5:19). Now Christ is said to have been made righteousness for us, inasmuch as we are made righteous by faith, as it says in Rom (3:22): “The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Thirdly, as to their lack of nobility he says: and sanctification and redemption, for we are sanctified by Christ, inasmuch as it is through Him that we are joined to God, in Whom true nobility is found, as it says in 1 Sam (2:30): “Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” Hence it says in Heb (13:12): “Jesus suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.” But He has been made our redemption, inasmuch as we have been redeemed by Him from the slavery of sin, in which true baseness consists; hence it says in Ps 31 (v.6): “Thou hast redeemed me O Lord, faithful God.”

72. – Thirdly, he assigns the cause of the above when he says: Therefore, as it is written, Let him that boasts, boast of the Lord (Jer 9:24), where our version has: “Let him that glories, glory in this that he understands and knows me.” For he is saying: If man’s salvation does not spring from any human greatness but solely from God’s power, the glory belongs not to man but to God, as it says in Ps 115 (v. 1); “Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to thy name give glory”; “To him that gives me wisdom will I give glory” (Sir 51:23).

2-1

1 Cor 2:1-7

1When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification.

73. – After indicating the suitable way to present Christian doctrine, the Apostle now shows that he observed it. In regard to this he does three things: first, he shows that he did not make use of worldly greatness with them; secondly, he shows in which cases he employs spiritual excellence (v. 6); thirdly, he indicate the reason (v. 7). As to the first he does three things: first, he states that he did not manifest the loftiness of worldly wisdom among them; secondly, that he does not pretend to have the excellence of worldly power (v. 3); thirdly, that he does not pretend to lofty eloquence (v. 4). As to the first he does two things: first, he states his purpose; secondly, the reason (v. 2).

74. – He says, therefore: I have said that Christ sent me to preach the Gospel not in eloquent wisdom and that there are not many wise, and I, brethren, although I possess worldly wisdom, as stated in 2 Cor (11:6): “Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not in knowledge,” when I came to you to convert you to Christ, as it says in Ac (18:11): “teaching the word of God among them”; “With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Ac 4:33); I came not in lofty words or wisdom. Now lofty wisdom consists in considering sublime and exalted matters that transcend man’s reason and understanding: “I dwelt in the highest places” (Sir 24:7). But lofty words can refer to the words signifying the thoughts of wisdom: “The words of the wise are as goads and as nails deeply fastened in” (Ec 12:11) or to its method of reasoning by subtle paths; for the Greek version has “logos,” which signifies both speech and reason, as Jerome says. The Apostle says this, because he did not wish to support the teaching of Christ with the lofty speech of wisdom: “Talk no more so very proudly” (1 Sam 2:3).

75. – Then he discloses the reason for this, saying: For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ. For this work there was no need to make a display of wisdom but to show His power: “We preach not ourselves but Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5). Consequently, he employed only those things which proved Christ’s power, and regarded himself as knowing nothing but Jesus Christ: “Let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me” (Jer 9:24). But in Christ Jesus, as it says in Col (2:3) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” both by reason of the fullness of His godhead and the fullness of His wisdom and grace and by reason of knowing the profound reasons of the incarnation. Yet the Apostle did not declare these things to them but only those that were more obvious and lowly in Christ Jesus; therefore, he adds: and him crucified. As if to say: I have presented myself to you, as though I know nothing but the cross of Christ; hence he says in Gal (6:14): “Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Therefore, since the cross of Christ is made void by the wisdom of speech, as has been stated, the Apostle came not in loftiness of speech or of wisdom.

76. – Then when he says, and I was, he shows that he did not pretend to have any power when he was among them, but on the contrary, weakness within and without. Hence in regard to what is without he says: and I was with you in weakness, i.e., I suffered tribulations among you: “You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you heretofore” (Gal 4:13); “Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows” (Ps 16:4). As to what is within he says: and in fear, namely, of threatening evils, and in much trembling, namely, inasmuch as inward fear flows over to the body: “Combats without, fears within” (2 Cor 7:5).

77. – Then when he says, and my speech, he shows that he made no pretence at loftiness of speech among them. In regard to this he does three things. First, he disavows any unbecoming method of preaching when he says: and my speech, whenever I instructed anyone separately and in private: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying” (Eph 4:29), and my message, whenever I spoke in public, was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, i.e., rhetoric, which forms phrases to persuade. Hence, just as he had said earlier that it was not his intention to make his preaching rest on philosophical reasoning, so now he says that it was not his intention to make it rest on persuasions of rhetoric: “You will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend” (Is 33:19).

78. – Secondly, he discloses the correct method, which he employed in preaching when he says: But my speech was in demonstrating the Spirit and power. This can be interpreted in two ways: in one way that the Holy Spirit was given to those who believed his preaching in the sense of Ac (10:44): “While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all of them that heard the word.” Similarly, He also confirmed his preaching by showing power, i.e., by working miracles: “Confirming the word with signs that followed” (Mk 16:20). In another way it can be taken to mean that the Spirit spoke through him: “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me” (2 Sam 23:2); “Since we have the same spirit of faith, we too believe” (2 Cor 4:13). He also confirms his preaching by showing forth many powerful works in his manner of life: “You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers” (1 Th 2:10).

79. – Thirdly, he assigns the reason for this when he says: that your faith might not rest on the wisdom of men, i.e., not rest on human wisdom which frequently deceives men: “Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray” (Is 47:10), but on the power of God, i.e., that faith might rest on divine power and so not fall: “I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith” (Rom 1:16).

80. – Then when he says, We impart wisdom, he shows with whom he uses the loftiness of spiritual wisdom: first, he states what he intends; secondly, he clarifies it (v. 6b).

81. – He says, therefore: Among you I have only preached Christ crucified, but we impart wisdom, i.e., profound doctrine, among the mature (perfect). Now men are said to be perfect in two ways: first, in regard to the intellect; secondly, in regard to will. For among all the powers of the soul these are peculiar to man. Consequently, man’s perfection must be reckoned in terms of these powers. But the perfect in intellect are those whose mind has been raised above all carnal and sense-perceptible things and can grasp spiritual and intelligible things. Of such it says in Heb (5:14): “Solid food is for the perfect, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.” The perfect in will, on the other hand, are those who will, being raised above all temporal things, clings to God alone and to His commands. Hence after setting forth the commandments of love Christ added: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). Consequently, since the teachings of the faith are aimed at making faith work through love (Gal 5:6), it is necessary that a person instructed in the teachings of the faith not only be well-disposed in intellect for accepting and believing the truth, but also well-disposed in will for loving and doing good works.

82. – Then when he says, although it is not, he explains what sort of wisdom he means. First, he gives the explanation; secondly, he supports the explanation with a reason (v. 8), As to the first he does two things: first, he explains the nature of that wisdom in relation to unbelievers; secondly, in relation to believers (v. 7).

83. – He says, therefore: I have said that we speak wisdom among the perfect, although it is not the wisdom of this age, i.e., of worldly things, or the wisdom which rests on human reasons, or of the rulers of this age.

84. – Thus he separates it from worldly wisdom both as to the method and to the subject of inquiry and to the authors, who are the rulers of this world. This can be understood of three classes of rulers, corresponding to the three types of human wisdom. First, rulers and worldly potentates can be called the rulers of this age in the sense of Ps 2 (v.2): “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rules take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed.” From these rulers came the wisdom of human laws, by which the affairs of this world are conducted in human life. Secondly, the devils can be called the rulers: “The ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me” (Jn. 14:30). From these rulers come the wisdom of honoring devils, namely, necromancy, magical arts and the like. Thirdly, philosophers can be called the rulers of this world, insofar as they put themselves forward as rulers of men in teaching. Of these it says in Is (19:11): “The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.” From these rulers all human philosophy has come. Now the first of these three types of rulers are destroyed by death and the loss of power and authority; the second, i.e., the devils, are destroyed not by death but by the loss of power and authority as Jn (12:31): “Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out”; of the third group Bar (3:16) asks: “Where are the rulers of the nations?” and then answers (3:19): “They have vanished and gone down to Hades.” Consequently, just as none of them lasts, so their wisdom cannot be solid. Therefore, it should not be relied on.

85. – Then when he says, But we impart, he explains this wisdom as related to believers. First, he describes it as to its subject manner and authority when he says: But we impart a hidden and secret wisdom of God, i.e., which is God and from God. For although all wisdom is from God, as it says in Sirach (1:1), this wisdom, which is about God, is from God in a special way, namely, by revelation: “Who has learned thy counsel, unless thou has given wisdom and sent thy holy Spirit from on high?” (Wis 9:17).

86. – Secondly, he indicates one of its characteristics, saying: hidden, for this wisdom had been hidden from men, inasmuch as it transcends man’s intellect: “Many things are shown to you above the understanding of men” (Sir 3:25); hence Jb (28:21) says: “It is hid from the eyes of all living.” And because the method of teaching should suit the doctrine, he says that he speaks it in a mystery, i.e., in occult words or signs: “He utters mysteries in the Spirit” (1 Cor 14:2).

87. – Thirdly, he discloses the fruit of this wisdom, saying: which God decreed, i.e., prepared, for our glorification, i.e., of the preachers of the faith, who deserve great glory before God and men for preaching such a lofty wisdom: “The wise who possess glory” (Pr 3:35). The phrase, for our glorification, can refer to all the faithful whose glory it is that they shall know in the full light the things now preached in a mystery, as it says in Jn (17:3): “This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

2-2

1 Cor 2:8-12

8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” 10 God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

88. – Having explained the wisdom he speaks among the perfect, the Apostle now gives the reason behind the explanation: first, insofar as he described it in relation to unbelievers; secondly, in relation to believers (v.10). As to the first he does two things: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he proves it (v.8).

89. – He says, therefore: I have said that the wisdom we speak is not the wisdom of the rulers of this world; for this is the wisdom which none of the rulers of this world understood. This is true regardless of which class of rulers be considered; for worldly rulers did not know this wisdom, because it surpasses the rules of human government: “He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless waste” (Jb 12:24). Philosophers, too, have not known it, because it transcends human reason; hence Bar (3:23) says: “The searchers for understanding on the earth have not learned the way to wisdom.” Finally, the devils have not known it, because it surpasses all created wisdom; hence Jb (28:21) says: “It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears’.”

90. – Then when he says, for if they had, he proves what he had said: first, he proves it by a sign which indicates that the rulers did not know God’s wisdom, insofar as it is hidden in Him; secondly, he proves on scriptural authority that they did not know it as prepared for our glory (v.9).

91. – He says, therefore: I am correct in saying that the rulers of this world did not understand God’s wisdom; for if they had known it, they would certainly have known that Christ is God, Who is contained in this wisdom, and knowing it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, i.e., Christ the Lord, Who gives glory to His own: “The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory” (Ps 24:10) and “he brought many sons into glory” (Heb 2:10). For since the rational creature by nature desires glory, it cannot occur to the human will to destroy the author of glory. That the rulers crucified Jesus Christ is certain, if by rulers is meant those in power among men, for it says in Ps 2 (v.2): “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed.” In Ac (4:27) this is referred to Herod and Pilate and the Jewish leaders, who consented to Christ’s death. But the devils also had a part in Christ’s death by persuading, for Jn (13:2) says: “The devil, having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray him.” Furthermore, the Pharisees and scribes versed in the law and students of wisdom, procured Christ’s death by instigating and approving.

92. – Two difficulties arise here: the first concerns the statement that the God of glory was crucified. For Christ’s godhead, according to which Christ is called the Lord of glory, cannot suffer anything. The answer is that Christ is one person subsisting in two natures, the human and the divine. Hence He can be described by names drawn from either nature; furthermore, no matter what the name by which He is designated, it can be predicated of Him, because there is but one person underlying both natures. Consequently, we can say that the man created the stars and that the Lord of glory was crucified; however, it was not as man that He created the stars, but as God; nor was it as God that He was crucified, but as man. Hence this phrase refutes Nestorius’ error asserting that there is one nature, composed of God and man, in Christ; because of Nestorius were correct, it would not be true to say that Lord of glory was crucified.

93. – The second difficulty is that he seems to suppose that the Jewish rulers or the devils did not know that Christ was God. Indeed, as far as the Jewish rulers were concerned, this seems to be supported by Peter’s statement in Ac (3:17): “I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers.” This in turn seems to be contrary to what it says in Matt (21:38): “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.” Furthermore, in explaining this Chrysostom says: “By these words the Lord proves clearly that the Jewish rulers killed the Son of God not through ignorance by through envy.” This difficulty is answered in a Gloss (attributed to Chrysostom in Homily 40 On Matthew), which states that the Jewish rulers knew that He was the one promised in the Law, although they did not know His mystery, that He was the Son of God or the sacrament of the incarnation and redemption. But this seems to be contradicted by Chrysostom’s own statement that they knew He was the Son of God. Therefore, the answer is that the Jewish rulers knew for certain that He was the Christ promised in the Law, although the people did not know; yet they did not know for certain but somehow conjectured that He was the true Son of God. However, this conjectural knowledge was obscured in them by envy and from a desire for their own glory, which they saw was being diminished by Christ’s excellence.

94. – There seems to be difficulty also about the devil, for it says in Mk (1:23) and Lk (4:34) that the devil cried out: “I know you are the holy one of God.” But lest this be ascribed to the devils’ boasting to know what they did not know, the knowledge they had of Christ is asserted by the evangelists. For Mk (1:34) says: “And he did not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him,” and Lk (4:41) says: “But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.” This is answered in the book of Questions of the New and Old Testament: that the devils knew He was the one promised by the Law, because they saw in Him all the signs foretold by the prophets; nevertheless, they did not know the mystery of His divinity.

95. – But opposed to this is Athanasius’ statement that devils called Christ they holy one of God, as being uniquely holy, for He is naturally holy, by participation in Whom, all others are called holy. Consequently, it must be said with Chrysostom that they did not have firm and sure knowledge of God’s coming, but on conjectures; hence Augustine says in The City of God that He was recognized by the devils not by that which is eternal life, but by certain temporal things effected by His power.

96. – Then when he says, But as it is written, he proves by Scripture that the rulers of this world did not know God’s wisdom as to what it prepared for the glory of believers, saying: what no eye has seen or ear heard or the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for them that love him, where our version has: “The eye has not seen, O God, besides you, what things you have prepared for them that wait for you” (Is 64:4). That this glorious vision is unknown to man is shown in two ways: first, because it is not within the range of the human senses, from which all human knowledge begins. And he mentions two senses: first, vision, which is employed when a person finds things out for himself: hence he says: what no eye has seen: “The bird has not known the path, neither has the eye of the vulture beheld it” (Jb 28:7). The eye is of no use, because the object of inquiry is not something colored and visible. Secondly, he mentions the sense of hearing, which is employed when a person learns from someone else; hence he says: nor ear heard that glory, because it is not a sound or an audible world: “His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen” (Jn. 5:37).

97. – Then he excludes intellectual discovery of this glory when he says: nor the heart of man conceived. In one sense, whatever is known by men in any manner whatsoever is said to enter [ascend] into the heart of man: “Let Jerusalem come into your mind” (Jer 51:50). In this way, the heart of man refers to the heart of a carnal man in the sense of his statement below (3:3): “For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?” The meaning, therefore, is that such glory is not only not known by the senses, but not even by the heart, of a carnal man.

98. – In another sense, something is said to ascend into the heart of man, when from a lower state, for example, from existing in sense perceptible things, it reaches man’s understanding. For things exist in the understanding according to its mode; therefore, lower things exist in the intellect in a higher state than they exist in themselves. Consequently, when they are grasped by the intellect, they ascend into the heart of man. But things which are more excellent than the intellect exist in a higher state in themselves than in the intellect; therefore, when they are grasped by the intellect they somehow descend: “Every perfect gift is from above, descending from the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17). Therefore, since the knowledge of that glory is not obtained from sense perceptible things but by divine revelation, he says quite significantly: nor the heart of man conceived what things God has prepared, i.e., predestined, for them that love him, because the essential reward of eternal glory is due to charity: “If anyone loves me, he will be loved by my Father; and I will love him and will manifest myself to him” (Jn. 14:21), for it is in this that the perfection of eternal glory consists; and Job (36:33) says: “He shows his friend concerning it [i.e., concerning the light of glory], that it is his possession.” The other virtues, however, play a role in meriting eternal life, insofar as they are enlivened by charity.

99. – Then when he says, But to us, he proves the above explanation of divine wisdom in relation to the faithful: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he proves it (v. 10b).

100. – He says, therefore: I have stated that none of the rulers of this world knew God’s wisdom, but to us God has revealed it through the Spirit, Whom He sent to us: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things” (Jn. 14:26); “The breath of the Almighty gives me understanding” (Jb 33:4). For since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, inasmuch as He proceeds from the Son, Who is the truth of the Father, He is sent to those to whom He breathes the truth, as Matt (11:27) says: “No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

101. – Then when he says, For the Spirit searches, he proves what he had said, namely, that wisdom has been revealed to believers by the Holy Spirit. First, he shows that the Holy Spirit effects this; secondly, he proves that He effected this in Christ’s disciples (v. 12). As to the first he does two things: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he proves it (v. 11).

102. – He says, therefore: I have stated that God reveals His wisdom through the Holy Spirit. This was possible, because the Spirit searches all things, not as though He learns them by searching them out, but because He knows fully even the most intimate details of all things. Hence, it is stated in Wis (7:2) that the wisdom of understanding is holy, overseeing all things, containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtle and knowing not only created things perfectly but even the depths of God. The deep things are those which are hidden in Him and not those which are known about Him through creatures, which are, as it were, on the surface, as Wis (13:5) says: “For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.”

103. – Then when he says, for what person knows, he proves what he had said of the Spirit of God by a comparison with man’s spirit, saying: For what person [man] knows a man’s thoughts, i.e., which are hidden in his heart, but the spirit of the man, which is in him, i.e., the intellect? Hence the things which lie within cannot be seen. But he says significantly, what man, lest he seem to exclude God as knowing them. For Jer (17:9) says: “The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? I the Lord search the mind and try the heart,” because God alone knows what lies in another’s heart.

104. – The reason man cannot know what lies in another’s heart is obvious, because man’s knowledge begins with the senses. Consequently, a man cannot know the things in another’s heart, unless they are manifested by certain sense perceptible signs: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). Furthermore, not even a good or an evil angel can know the things which lie in a man’s heart, unless they are manifested by special effects. The reason can be taken from the Apostle’s statement that man’s spirit knows what lies in man’s heart, because it is in him. But no angel, good or evil, can enter the human mind to exist in a man’s heart or work from within it. God alone can do this; hence, He alone is aware of the secrets of a man’s heart: “My witness is in heaven and he that vouches for me is on high” (Jb 16:20).

105. – Then he adapts this comparison to the Spirit of God, saying: So also no one comprehends the thought, i.e., the hidden things of God, but the Spirit of God: “Behold, God is great, and we know him not” (Jb 36:26). But just as the things in one man’s heart are made known to another by sense perceptible signs, so the things of God can be made known to man by sensible effects: “From the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wis 13:5). However, the Holy Spirit Who is in God Himself, being consubstantial with the Father and the Son, sees the secrets of the godhead by Himself, for “in her,” i.e., in God’s wisdom, “is the spirit of understanding, holy, having all power, overseeing all things” (Wis 7:22).

106. – Then when he says, But we have received, he shows how knowledge of the Holy Spirit is obtained, saying: But we, filled with the Holy Spirit, have not received the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is from God. By the word “spirit” is understood a definite vital power, both cognitive and dynamic. Therefore, the spirit of this world can mean the wisdom of this world and the love of this world, by which a man is impelled to do the things of this world. This is not the spirit received by the holy apostles, who rejected and despised the world; rather, they receive the Holy Spirit, by Whom their hearts were enlightened and inflamed with the love of God: “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things” (Jn. 14:26); “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went.” (Num.14:24). But the spirit of this world can err as Is (19:3) attests: “The spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans.” However, we received His divine Spirit, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God, i.e., that we may know to what extent God has given divine things to each of us: “Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph 4:7).

107. – Or gifts, which are unknown to those not possessing the same Spirit, for “to him that conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, which no one knows except him who receives it” (Rev 2:17). From this it can be gathered that just as no one knows the Father but the Son and he to whom it has pleased the Son to reveal Him, so no one knows the things of the Father and of the Son but the Holy Spirit and he who has received Him (Matt 11:27). This is so, because just as the Son is consubstantial with the Father, so the Holy Spirit with the Father and Son.

2-3

1 Cor 2:13-16

13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. 14 The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

108. – Above the Apostle had said: “We speak wisdom among the perfect.” Therefore, after indicating that it is a mark of this wisdom not to be known by worldly men, but to be known by the saints, he now discloses the way in which the saints speak this wisdom among the perfect. First, he states his proposition; secondly, he gives the reason (v. 14).

109. – As to the first he shows that the things revealed are now manifest, saying: I have said that we have received the Spirit of God, that we may know the things given us by God; which things, namely, revealed by the Spirit, we impart, for they were to them for a purpose. Hence it says in Act (2:4) “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak.” Secondly, he touches on the method they employed, and excludes an unsuitable method, saying: in words not taught by human wisdom, i.e., we do not try to prove our doctrine with words drawn from human wisdom, for we depend neither on elegance of speech nor subtlety of reasoning: “The people of profound speech you shall not see” (Is 33:19). But he indicates the suitable method, when he says: but taught by the Spirit, i.e., accordingly as the Holy Spirit teaches us inwardly and enlightens the hearts of our hearers to understand: “When he shall come, the Spirit of truth, he will teach you all truth” (Jn. 16:13). Thirdly, he describes the hearers, saying: interpreting spiritual things to those who possess the Spirit. As if to say: It is a proper arrangement for us to deliver spiritual teachings to spiritual men to whom they are suited: “Commend the same to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2). Here he calls the same men spiritual, whom above he called perfect, because men are made perfect in virtue by the Holy Spirit: “All their virtue by the spirit of his mouth” (Ps 32:6).

110. – Then when he says, But the sensual man, he assigns the reason for the above: first, he shows why spiritual things much not be entrusted to sensual men; secondly, why they should be entrusted to spiritual men (v. 15). As to the first he does two things: first, he gives the reason; secondly, he explains it (v. 14).

111. – The reasoning is this: No one should be taught what he cannot grasp. But sensual men cannot grasp spiritual things. Therefore, they should not be taught to them. This, therefore, lies behind his statement that the sensual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God. Therefore, there is good reason why they cannot be entrusted to him.

112. – Here should be noted the sort of man called sensual [ animalis ]. Recall, therefore, that the soul [ anima ] is the body’s substantial form. Hence, those soul powers which are associated with bodily organs, namely, the sense-powers, are proper to the soul [anima]. Consequently, those men are called sensual who follow the lead of such powers, among which are the powers of perception and appetition. Hence, men are called sensual in two ways: first, on the basis of the perceptive power, where a man is called sensual in perception, because he judges about God in terms of bodily images or the letter of the law or philosophical reasons, all of which are interpreted in accordance with the sense-powers. Secondly, on the basis of the appetitive power, which is attracted only to things that appeal to the sense appetite. In this case a man is called sensual in his manner of life, because he follows the dissolute wantonness of his soul, which his ruling spirit does not confine within the bounds of the natural order. Hence Jude (1:19): “It is these set that set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”

113. – Secondly, we should note why such men cannot perceive the things of the Spirit of God, whether they are sensual in perception or in their manner of life. For the things about which the Holy Spirit enlightens the mind transcend sense and human reason, as Sirach (3:23) attests: “Matters too great for human understanding have been shown you.” Consequently, they cannot be grasped by a person who relies solely on sense perception. Again, the Holy Spirit inflames the affections to love spiritual goods and despise sensible goods. Hence, a person whose manner of life is sensual cannot grasp spiritual goods of this sort, because the Philosopher says in Ethics IV that as a person is, so his end appears to him: “A food takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (Pr 18:2); “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (Sir 23:9).

114. – Then when he says, for they are folly, he supports what he had said with a sign: for when a person rejects wise statements as foolish, it is a sign that he does not understand them. Consequently, since the sensual man regards things of the Spirit of God as foolish, it is obvious that he does not understand them. This is what he says, namely, they are folly to him, i.e., to the sensual man, for he judges things inspired by the Holy Spirit to be foolish: “Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he esteems everyone a fool” (Ec 10:3). Now although wise men regard as foolish certain things that appear wise to a fool, because the former are sound in judgment, the sensual man’s estimation that things according to the Spirit are foolish does not proceed from sound judgment but from a lack of understanding, because a man given to sense cannot understand things that transcend sense, and a man attracted by carnal things does not realize that there are other goods besides those which please the senses. That is why he continues: and he cannot understand them: “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness” (Ps 82:5).

115. – But why he cannot understand is shown when he says: because they are spiritually discerned, i.e., spiritual things are examined in a spiritual way. For the lower can never examine and judge things that pertain to the higher, just as the sense cannot examine things that are strictly intellectual. Similarly, neither the senses nor human reason can judge things of the Spirit of God. The consequence is that things of this sort are examined by the Holy Spirit alone: “The words of the Lord are examined by fire” (Ps 18:30), i.e., probed by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, because the sensual man lacks the Holy Spirit, he cannot examine spiritual things and, consequently, cannot understand them.

116. – Then when he says, But the spiritual man, he gives the reason why spiritual things are imparted to spiritual men. First, he gives the reason; secondly, he clarifies it (v. 16).

117. – The reason given is this: Spiritual things should be entrusted to one who can discern: “The ear discerns with words” (Jb 12:11); but the spiritual man is such. Therefore, spiritual things should be entrusted to him. And this is what he says: The spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged of no man. Here it should be noted what sort of man is called spiritual. Recall, therefore, that we usually call incorporeal substances, spirits. Consequently, because there is a definite part of the soul not associated with any bodily organ, namely, the intellectual part, which includes both intellect and will, that part of the soul is called the man’s spirit. Now in this part of the soul the Spirit of God enlightens the intellect and enkindles the affections and will. Hence, man is called spiritual in two ways: first, on the part of the intellect enlightened by the Spirit of God. In this way man is called spiritual, because, being subjected to the Spirit of God, he knows spiritual things with the greatest certitude and fidelity. Secondly, on the part of the will enkindled by the Spirit of God. In this way a life is called spiritual because, having the Spirit of God as its guide, it guides the soul, i.e., the sensual powers: “You who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal 6:1).

118. – Secondly, we should note why a spiritual man judges all things and is himself not judged by any man. The explanation is this: in all matters a person who is sound has a sound judgment regarding individual cases; whereas a person who is unsound in any way fails in his judgements. Thus, a person who is awake makes the sound judgment that he is awake and that someone else is sleeping, but one who is sleeping has no sound judgment about himself or a person who is awake. Hence things are not as they appear to be to a person asleep, but as they appear to be to a person awake. The same holds for a healthy man’s judgment of savors and that of a sick man; or a strong man’s judgment of the weight of an object and that of a weak man’s, and for a virtuous man’s judgment of morals and that of a vicious man. Hence the Philosopher says in Ethics V that the virtuous man is the rule and standard of all human acts, because in all human affairs particular acts are such as a virtuous man judges them to be. It is in this vein that the Apostle says here that the spiritual man judges all things, namely, because a man with an intellect enlightened by the Holy Spirit and set in good order by Him has a sound judgment about the particulars which pertain to salvation. But a person who is not spiritual has his intellect darkened and his will disarranged, as far as spiritual goods are concerned. Consequently, the spiritual man cannot be judged by a man who is not spiritual any more than a man who is awake by one who is asleep. Therefore, Wis (3:8) speaking about the first group says that “the just shall judge all nations,” and below (4:3) the Apostle, speaking about the second group says: “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.”

119. – Then when he says, For who has known, he supports the reason he gave: first, he adduces an authority; secondly, he applies it to his proposition (v.16).

120. – Here it should be noted that if a person is to judge another, two things are required: first, that the judge know the things which pertain to the one being judged, because it says in Ethics I, that each one judges well the things he knows and of such things he is the best judge. From this it follows that no one can judge the mind, i.e., the wisdom of God which judges all things; hence he says: For who has known the mind of the Lord? As if to say: no one, because God’s wisdom transcends all human ability: “Who has learned thy counsel, unless thou hast given wisdom?” (Wis 9:17). Secondly, it is clear that no one can judge the mind of God; hence he continues: so as to instruct him? As if to say: No one. For God’s knowledge is not obtained from just anyone, but He is the source of all knowledge: “How you have counseled him who has no wisdom” (Jb 26:3). It seems that these words of the Apostle were taken from Is (40:13): “Who has helped the Spirit of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor and taught him? With whom has he consulted and who has instructed him?”

121. – Then he applies this to his proposition, saying: But we, i.e., spiritual men, have the mind of Christ, i.e., receive within ourselves the wisdom of Christ to enable us to judge: “He created in them the science of the spirit: he filled their heart with wisdom” (Sir 17:6); “He opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Lk 24:25). Consequently, because the mind of Christ cannot be judged, it is fitting that the spiritual man, who has the mind of Christ, be judged of no man.

3-1

1Cor 3:1-8a

1 But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, 3for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men? 4 For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8He who plants and he who waters are equal.

122. – Above the Apostle disclosed the strife and division among the Corinthians, who disputed among themselves about the particular ministers of Christ who had baptized and instructed them. Here he begins to attack their judgment of these ministers as the root of their strife. In regard to this he does two things: first, he attacks their judgment, insofar as they attributed more than they should to those ministers in whom they boast; secondly, insofar as they looked down on the other ministers of Christ (c. 4). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows the loss they suffered from the strifes arising from the perverse judgement; secondly, he attacks their perverse judgment (v.4). As to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the loss they have suffered till now on account of this fault; secondly, he shows that they are still suffering from it (v. 2).

123. – In regard to the first he does three things: first, he mentions the loss they have suffered till now from this fault. For above he had said that the apostles delivered spiritual things to spiritual men, teachings which sensual men were not able to apprehend. Now he applies this to them saying: But I, brethren, who along with all the other apostles speak spiritual things to spiritual men, could not fittingly address you as spiritual men, i.e., deliver spiritual teachings to you, but as to men of the flesh I have spoken to you. Here he calls the carnal the same ones he first called sensual, to whom must be delivered things suited to their weakness: “Whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, `those taken from the breast” (Is 28:9), i.e., from a carnal understanding and way of life.

124. – Secondly, he employs a simile, saying: as babes in Christ, i.e., barely introduced to the perfect teachings of the faith which is given to spiritual men: “Everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child, but the perfect live on solid food” (Heb 5:13).

125. – Thirdly, he gives the reason, lest they suppose that he withholds spiritual teaching from them through envy, which would be opposed to Wis (7:13): “Which I learned without guile and impart without envy.” That is why he adds: for you were not ready for it. As if to say: It was not through envy that I kept spiritual things from you, but on account of your incapacity, because you were not ready to grasp spiritual words: “I have yet many things to say to you; but you cannot bear them now” (Jn. 16:12).

126. – Then when he says, and even yet, he shows that even now they are suffering the same loss. First, he shows the incapacity under which they are still laboring when he says: But even yet you are not ready. As if to say: It was not strange that in the beginning you were unable to grasp a fuller teaching, because this was expected of your newness: “As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile” (1 Pt 2:2). But it seems sinful that in spite of the time during which you could have made progress, you still show the same incapacity: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to each you again the first principles of God’s word” (Heb 5:12).

127. – Secondly, he gives the reason why they are still unable, saying: For you are still of the flesh in life and mind. That is the reason why you cannot grasp the things of the Spirit, but have a taste for the things of the flesh: “They that are of the flesh mind the things of the flesh” (Rom 8:5).

128. – Thirdly, he gives the reason behind the proof, saying: For while there is among you jealousy and strife, are you not of the flesh and behave like ordinary men? Here it should be noted that he was right in joining jealousy with strife, because jealousy is the food of contention, for a jealous person is grieved at another’s good, which the latter tries to improve and from this arises strife. Hence Jas (3:16) says: “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” On the other hand, charity through which a person loves another’s good is the source of peace.

129. – Secondly, it should be noted that jealousy and strife occur only among carnal persons because, being attracted to material goods which cannot each be possessed by many persons at the same time, whenever one person owns a material good, another person is prevented from fully possessing it. From this follows jealousy and later strife. But spiritual goods, by which spiritual persons are attracted can be possessed by several persons at the same time; consequently, one’s good is not another’s loss. For this reason neither jealousy nor strife finds a place among them: “Which I impart without envy” (Wis 7:13).

130. – Thirdly, it should be noted that carnal men are said to walk according to the flesh, even though man is composed of spirit and flesh. For it is consonant with human nature to obtain knowledge of the spirit from the senses of the flesh; consequently, the affections of human reason are moved by the things of the flesh, unless man’s spirit is raised above man by the Spirit of God, for “the heart fancies as a woman in travail, unless it be a vision sent forth by the most High” (Sir 34:6). Therefore, the sense is this: like ordinary men, i.e., according to human nature left to itself by the Spirit of God, as Ps 4 (v.3): “O men, how long shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?”

131. – Fourthly, he clarifies the proof, saying: For when one of you says, I belong to Paul, because I have been baptized and instructed by Paul, and another, I belong to Apollos, which shows that there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not merely men, i.e., carnal and not spiritual, indulging in jealousy and strife for human things? For as a man is, so is he affected by corresponding things and desires them: “They became detestable as the thing they loved” (Hos 9:10).

132. – Then when he says, What then is Apollos? he spurns their judgment, insofar as they attributed more to their ministers than they deserved. First, he discloses the truth; secondly, he excluded their error (v. 18). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he describes the status of their ministers; secondly, he speaks about their reward (v.8). As to the first he does three things: first, he describes the status of the ministers; secondly, he proposes a simile (v. 6); thirdly, he explains his intent (v. 7).

133. – Touching on the status of the ministers, he mentions two things: first, that they are not masters, but ministers, saying: You boast of Paul and Apollos. So I ask you: What then is Apollos and what is Paul?, i.e., what is their dignity and power, if you are to be reasonable in boasting of them? And he answers: they are servants of God. As if to say: what they do when baptizing and instructing, they do not do as masters but as God’s ministers: “Men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God” (Is 61:6). But someone might consider it great to be a minister of God and suppose that one should boast of men who are ministers of God. This would be true, if God could not be approached without men, as happens when men glory in the king’s ministers, without whom the king cannot be approached. But this is not applicable here, because Christ’s faithful have access to God by faith, as it says in Rom (5:2): “Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” Therefore, he is careful to say: through whom you believed. As if to say: by faith you have now been joined to God and not to men. That is why he said above (2:5): “That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” Therefore you should take joy first in God and not in men.

134. – But it sometimes happens that ministers of men have some dignity or skill that makes them fit to be ministers. This is not true of God’s ministers. Therefore, he shows that the worthiness and power of God’s ministers is entirely from God, saying: as the Lord assigned to each. As if to say: Each one of us has as much power in ministering as the Lord has granted to him; consequently, there is no reason for boasting in us for ourselves: “Our sufficiency is from God, who has qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant” (2 Cor 3:5).

135. – Then when he says, I planted, he stresses a similarity between ministers and husbandmen, where two differences in their activities should be noted: one is the difference between the activity of one minister and that of another. In regard to this he says: I planted, i.e., in preaching to you I was like a planter, because I was the first one to preach the faith to you: “I have put my words in your mouth, that you might plant the heavens” (Is 51:16); Apollos watered, i.e., he acted as a person who waters plants to nourish them and make them grow. In the same way we read in Ac (19:1) that after Paul had converted many Corinthians, Apollos came on the scene and contributed many things to the believers, showing publicly by the Scriptures that Jesus is Christ, and fulfilling what is said in Sirach (24:31): “I will water my orchard.”

136. – The second difference is found in the work of ministers, who by planting and watering cooperate outwardly with the work of God Who works inwardly, hence he adds, but the God gave the increase: “He will increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Cor 9:10). So, too, in material things, planters and waterers work from without, but God works from within by the activity of nature to make plants grow.

137. – Then when he says, so neither he that plants, he draws two conclusions from these premises. The first of these is based on the minister’s dependence on God: inasmuch as Paul planted and Apollos watered, they were but ministers of God, having nothing but what they received from God; and they worked only from without, God working within. So neither he that plants, nor he that waters is important and great; but God that gives the growth. For God is independent and great by Himself: for an action is not attributed to the instrument, which a minister is, but to the principal cause. Hence Is (40:17): “All nations are as nothing before him.”

138. – The second conclusion is based on a comparison between the various ministers: He that plants and he that waters, since both are God’s ministers, having nothing but what they receive from God and working only from without, are equal. Since the only ground for preferring one over another is some divine gift he has received, they are equal, so far as what they have of themselves is concerned. Furthermore, since their intention is to be God’s ministers, they are one in the harmony of their wills; consequently, it is foolish to have dissensions about persons who are one: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity” (Ps 111:1); “We, though many, are one body in Christ” (Rom 12:5).

3-2

1 Cor 3:8b-15

8b And each shall receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

139. – After describing the status of God’s ministers, the Apostle now discusses their reward. First, he discusses the reward of good ministers; secondly, the punishment of evil ones (v. 16). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he mentions the reward reserved for ministers; secondly, he assigns the reason (v. 9); thirdly, the variety of rewards (v. 10).

140. – He says, therefore: I have said that neither he that plants is anything nor he that waters; nevertheless, he does not plant or water in vain, but each man will receive his wages, according to his own labor. For although God alone gives the increase and he alone works from within, He gives a reward to those that labor outwardly: “Let your voice cease from weeping, and your eyes from tears: for there is a reward for your work” (Jer 31:16); this reward is God Himself: I am your protector and your reward exceeding great” (Gen 15:1). It is for this reward that the laborers are praised: “How many hired servants in my father’s house abound with bread!” (Lk 15:17). On the other hand, if he works for any other reward, he is not worthy of praise: “But the hireling, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep” (Jn. 10:12).

141. – But this reward is both common to all and peculiar to each: It is common, because what they all see and enjoy is the same God: “Then shall you abound in delights in Almighty, and you shall lift up your face to God” (Jb 22:26); “In that day the Lord of hosts shall be a crown of glory, and a garland of joy to the residue of his people” (Is 28:5). This is why in Matt (c. 20) all the laborers in the vineyard receive one penny. But the reward will be peculiar to each, because one sees more clearly and enjoys more fully than another according to the measure established for all eternity.” This is why it says in Jn (14:2): “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” For the same reason he says here: each shall receive his wages.

142. – But he indicates the basis for the various rewards when he adds: according to his own labor: “You shall eat the labors of you hands; blessed are you and it shall be well with you” (Ps 128:2). But this does not mean an equal amount of reward for a corresponding amount of labor, because as it says in 2 Cor (4:17): “For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulations, works for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory”; rather, it means a proportional equality, so that where the labor is greater the reward is greater.

143. – Now there are three ways in which the labor can be considered greater: first, by reason of charity, to which the essential aspect of the reward corresponds, i.e., the enjoyment and sight of God; hence it says in Jn (14:21): “He that loves me will be loved of my Father; and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” Consequently, one who labors with greater love, even though he endures less difficulties, will receive more of the essential reward. Secondly, by reason of the type of work: for just as in human enterprises a person gets a higher wage for a higher type of work, as the architect gets more than the manual laborer, although he does less bodily work, so too in divine matters; a person occupied in a nobler work will receive a greater reward consisting in some special prerogative of the accidental reward, even though he might perhaps have done less bodily labor; hence a special crown is given to teachers, to virgins and to martyrs. Thirdly, by reason of the amount of labor, which happens in two ways: for sometimes a greater labor deserves a greater reward, especially in regard to lightening punishment; as when a person fasts longer or undertakes a longer pilgrimage: and even in regard to the joy he will experience for the greater labor: “He renders to the just the wages of their labors” (Wis 10:17). But sometimes there is greater labor because of a lack of will; for in things we do of our own will, we experience less labor. In this case the amount of labor will not increase but lessen the reward; hence Is (40:31) says: “They shall take wings as eagles: they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”; but prior to this he said (1:30): “Youths shall faint and labor.”

144. – Then when he says, You are God’s, he assigns the reason for what he had said: first, he gives the reason; secondly, he applies a simile (v. 9).

145. – He says, therefore: It is only right that each of us shall receive a reward, for we are fellow workers for God, namely, by their labors. But his seems to be contradicted by Jb (26:2): “Whose helper are you? Is it of him that is weak?” And by Ps 40 (v. 3): “Who has helped the Spirit of the Lord?” The answer is that one helps another in two ways: in one way by increasing his strength. In this way no one can be God’s helper; hence after the above Job continues, “and do you hold up the arm of him that has no strength?” The other way is by serving in another’s work, as when a minister is called a master’s helper or an artisan’s helper, inasmuch as he does some work for him. In this way God’s ministers are His coadjutors, as 2 Cor (6:1) says: “And we helping do exhort you.” Therefore, just as men’s ministers receive a reward from them according to their labor, so, too, God’ minister.

146. – Secondly, he makes use of a simile referring to simple works, namely, agriculture and building. For the faithful are a field cultivated by God, inasmuch as through God’s action they produce the fruit of good works acceptable to God: “That you may belong to another, who is risen again from the dead, that we may bring forth fruit to God” (Rom 7:4); and in Jn (15:1) it says: “My Father is the husbandman.” And this is what he says first: You are God’s field, i.e., like a field cultivated by God and bearing His fruit. The faithful are also like a house built by God, inasmuch as God lives in them: “You also are built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:22). Therefore, he continues: you are God’s building, i.e., an edifice constructed by God: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1). In these, ways, then, God’s ministers are coadjutors, inasmuch as they labor in cultivating and guiding the faithful.

147. – Then when he says, according to the commission of God, he discusses the varieties of reward; and because rewards are distinguished according to the varieties of labor. First he deals with the varieties of labor; secondly with the diverse reward (v. 12). In regard to the first he does two things: First, he distinguishes the varieties of labor; secondly, he sounds a warning (v. 10).

148. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, abandoning the simile based on agriculture, he describes his own labor under the likeness of a building, saying: according to the commission of God given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid a foundation. Here it should be noted that an architect, especially of a building, is called the chief artisan, inasmuch as it is his duty to comprehend the entire arrangement of the whole work, which is brought to completion by the activities of the manual laborers. Consequently, he is called wise in building, because he considers the principal cause of the building, i.e., its end and arranges what is to be done by the subordinate artisans to realize the end. Now it is obvious that the entire structure of a building depends on the foundation; consequently, it pertains to a wise architect to lay a solid foundation. But Paul himself laid the foundation of the spiritual edifice for the Corinthians; hence he said above, “I have planted,” for planting is related to plants as the foundations to buildings, because both signify expressly the first preaching of the faith: “I have preached this gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Rom 15:20). This is why he compares himself to a wise architect. But he attributes this not to his own power but to God’s grace; which is what he says: according to the grace of God given to me, Who made me fit and worthy for this ministry: “I have labored more abundantly than all they; yet not I but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor 15:10).

149. – Secondly, he describes others’ labors, saying: and another man, i.e., whoever labors among you, is building on the foundation laid by me. This can be done in two ways: in one way so that each person builds on the faith produced in him by growing in charity and good works: “Be you also as living stone built up” (1 Pet 2:5). In another way by doctrine, whereby one explains more clearly the faith produced in others: “To build and to plant” (Jer 1:10). In this interpretation the building up signifies the same thing as watering signified.

150. – Then when he says, let everyone take care, he gives a warning, saying: I have said that it pertains to others to build on the foundation: but let everyone take care, i.e., pay careful attention to how he builds upon it, i.e., what sort of doctrine he adds to the faith already existing in others or what sort of works to the faith existing in himself: “Let your eyes look straight on, and let your eyelids go before your steps” (Pr 4:25).

151. – Secondly, he answers a tacit question: why he warns them about the superstructure and not the foundations; or rather, he states the reason why he said that the task of others is to build on the foundation. He says: for no other foundation can any man lay, but what which is laid, which is Christ Jesus, Who dwells in your heart by faith: of the foundation it is said (Is 28:16): “Behold, I will lay a stone in the foundations of Sion, a tried stone, a corner stone, a precious stone, founded in the foundation.”

152. – On the other hand it seems that Christ is not the sole foundation, because it says in Rev (21:14): “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the twelve names of the twelve apostles.” The answer is that there are two kinds of foundations: one is solid of itself, such as the rock on which the building is constructed. This is the foundation to which Christ is compared; for He is the rock mentioned in Matt (7:25): “For it was founded on a rock.” The other is the foundation, which is not solid of itself but rests on a solid object, as the stones placed on solid rock. This is the way the apostles are called the foundation of the Church, because they were the first to be built on Christ by faith and charity: “Built on the foundation of the apostles” (Eph 2:20).

153. – Then when he says, Now if any man builds, he discusses the variety of rewards accordingly as some receive a wage without any less and some with a loss. In regard to the first he does three things: first, he teaches that a variety of works is revealed by the wages; secondly, when this is revealed (v. 13); thirdly, how it is revealed (v. 14).

154. – As to the first it should be noted that the Apostle, in order to point out the varieties of superstructures, mentions six things, i.e., three against three: on the one hand, gold, silver and precious stones; on the other hand, wood, hay and stubble. The first three have a striking brilliance, as well as being indestructible and precious; but the other three are, easily consumed by fire and worthless. Hence by gold, silver and precious stone are understood something brilliant and lasting; but by wood, hay and stubble something material and transitory. Now he stated above that the superstructure can refer either to the works everyone builds on the foundation of faith or to the doctrine which a teacher or preacher builds on the foundation of faith laid by an apostle. Hence, the variety the Apostle mentions here can refer to both superstructures.

155. – Therefore, some, referring this to the superstructure of works, have said the gold, silver and precious stones mean the good works a person adds to his faith; but wood, hay and stubble mean the mortal sins a person commits after receiving the faith. However, this interpretation cannot stand: first, because mortal sins are dead works: “He will cleanse our consciences from dead works” (Heb 9:14), whereas only living works are built onto this building: “Be you also as living stone built up” (1 Pt 2:5). Consequently, those who have mortal sins along with faith do not build up, but rather destroy or profane. Against such persons he says: “But if anyone destroys God’s temple” (1 Cor 3:17). Secondly, because mortal sins are better compared to iron or lead or stone, since they are heavy and not destroyed by fire but always remain in the thing in which they exist; whereas venial sins are compared to wood, hay and stubble, because they are light and easily cleansed from a person by fire. Thirdly, because it seems to follow from this interpretation that a person who dies in mortal sin, as long as he keeps the faith, will finally attain to salvation after undergoing punishment. For he continues: If any man’s work is burned up he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire, which is obviously contrary to the Apostle’s statement below (6:9): “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals… shall posses the kingdom of God”, and to Gal (5:21): “Those who do such things shall not possess the kingdom of God.” But one possesses salvation only in the kingdom of God; for everyone excluded from it is sent into eternal fire, as it says in Matt (25:41). Fourthly, because faith can be called a foundation, only because by it Christ dwells in us, since it was stated that the foundation is Christ Jesus Himself. For Christ does not dwell in us by unformed faith; otherwise He would dwell in the devils, of whom Jas (2:19) says: “The devils believe and tremble.” Hence Eph (3:17) says: “that Christ by faith may dwell in your hearts.” This should be understood of faith informed by charity, since 1 Jn (4:16) says: “He that abides in love abides in God and God in him.” This is the faith that works through love, as it says below (13:4): “Love is not arrogant or rude.” Consequently, it is obvious that persons who commit mortal sins do not have formed faith, and so do not have the foundation. Therefore, it is necessary to suppose that the person who builds upon the foundation gold, silver and precious stones, as well as one who builds upon it wood, hay, stubble, avoids mortal sin.

156. – Therefore to understand the difference between these two sets of things, it should be noted that human acts are characterized by their objects. But there are two objects of a human act: a spiritual thing and a bodily thing. Now these objects differ in three ways: first, spiritual things last forever, but bodily things pass away; hence it says in 2 Cor (4:18): “The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Secondly, spiritual things are brilliant in themselves: “Wisdom is glorious and never fades away” (Wis 6:13), but bodily things on account of their matter are dingy: “Our time is as the passing of a shadow” (Wis 2:5). Thirdly, spiritual are more precious and nobler than bodily things: “Wisdom is more precious than all riches” (Pr 3:15); “All gold in comparison of her, is as a little sand: and silver in comparison to her shall be counted as clay” (Wis 7:9). Therefore, the works that engage a person in spiritual and divine things are compared to gold, silver and precious stones. By gold are signified those by which a man tends to God Himself by contemplation and love. Hence it says in S. of S. (5:11): “His head is as the finest gold”: for the head of Christ is God, and the gold is that mentioned in Rev (3:18): “Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold tried by fire”, i.e., wisdom with charity. By silver are signified those acts by which a man clings to spiritual things to believe, love and contemplate them; hence in a Gloss the silver is referred to love of neighbor, and in Ps 68 (v. 13) the wings of a dove are described as covered with silver and its pinions with green gold. But precious stones signify the works of the various virtues with which the soul is adorned; hence it says in Sirach (50:9): “Like a vessel of hammered gold adorned with all kinds of precious stones,” or they signify the commandments of God’s law: “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, above fine gold” (Ps 119: 127). But the human acts by which a person aims at acquiring bodily things are compared to tinder, which is worthless; for although it has a sheen, it burns easily. Yet there are various kinds, some of which are stronger than others are some are more easily burned. For among bodily creatures men are the more noble and conserved by succession; hence they are compared to wood: “The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them” (Jg 9:8). But man’s flesh is easily destroyed by sickness and death; hence he is compared to grass: “All flesh is grass” (Is 49:6). Again, the things which contribute to the glory of this world quickly pass away; hence they are compared to stubble: “O my God, make them like a tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind” (Ps 83:13).

157. – And so when one builds thereon gold and silver and precious stones, he builds upon the foundation of faith those things which pertain to contemplating the wisdom of divine matters, to loving God, to performing devout exercises, to helping his neighbor and performing virtuous works. But to build upon it wood, hay and stubble is to erect on the foundation of faith things which pertain to arranging human affairs, to caring for the flesh and for outward glory.

158. – However, it should be noted that there are three possible attitudes, when a person intends these latter things: first, he might make them an end. Since this would be a mortal sin, a person with such an attitude would not be building upon the foundation by laying another foundation: for the end is the foundation for the desirable things sought for its sake. Secondly, a person might tend toward these things, directing them entirely to the glory of God; and because they are qualified by the end one intends, a person with such as attitude will not be building wood, hay and straw on the foundation but gold and silver and precious stones. Thirdly, a person could have the attitude that although he is not making these things an end or would act contrary to God for their sake, nevertheless he is drawn toward them more than he ought, so that he is kept back from the things of God by them; which is to sin venially. And this is what is meant by building wood, hay and stubble on the foundation; not because they are, properly speaking, erected on the foundation, but because acts of caring about temporal things have venial sins attached to them due to a stronger attachment to them. This attachment is compared to wood, hay or stubble, depending on how strong it is.

159. – Yet is should be kept in mind that those who tend after spiritual things cannot be altogether freed from caring for temporal things, any more than those who tend after temporal things from a duty of charity are altogether free from tending toward spiritual things. The difference is one of emphasis: for some emphasize spiritual things and make no provision for temporal things, except as the needs of bodily life require; others place the emphasis in their lives on procuring temporal things, but use spiritual things to direct their life. The first group, therefore, builds gold, silver and precious stones; but the second hay, wood and stubble on the foundation. From this it is clear that the former have some venials but not a notable amount, because they are only slightly concerned with the care of temporal things; but the latter have something stable, precious and brilliant, but only a small amount, namely, to the extent that they are directed by spiritual considerations.

160. – They can also be differentiated on the basis of doctrine. For some, by teaching sound, true and clear doctrine, erect gold, silver and precious stones upon the foundation of faith laid by the apostles; hence it says in Pr (10:20): “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.” On the other hand, those who add to the faith laid down by the apostles doctrines that are useless, unclear or not supported by true reasons, but vain and empty, erect wood, hay and stubble, hence Jer (23:28): “Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? Says the Lord.” Finally those who teach falsehood do not build on the foundation but subvert it.

161. – He says, therefore: If any man builds by his works or teachings on this foundation, i.e., upon the formed faith in his heart or upon the faith founded and taught by the apostles, gold, silver or precious stones, i.e., spiritual works or sound, clear teachings, or wood, hay stubble, i.e., corporal works or silly teachings, each man’s work will become manifest, i.e., its quality will be made known in the divine judgment: for man’s ignorance of it will not keep it hidden forever. For some appear to be erecting woods, hay and stubble by looking for temporal benefits, such as profit or human favor, from spiritual things. Others, however, seem to be erecting wood, hay and stubble, but are really erecting gold, silver and precious stones, because in administering temporal things they have their eye on spiritual things alone. Hence it says in Zeph (1:12): “I will search Jerusalem with lamps” and in Lk (12:2): “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed.”

162. – Then when he says, for the day for the Lord, he shows when these things will be disclosed. Here it should be noted that the time and day of a thing is said to be present when it exists in its best state and in the fullness of its power. This is the sense in which “all things have their season” (Ec 3:1). Therefore, when a man is fulfilling his will even contrary to God, it is man’s day. In this sense Jer (17:16): “Thou knowest that I have not desired the day of man.” But it is the day of the Lord, when His will is accomplished in regard to men, who are rewarded or punished according to His justice: “At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity” (Ps 73:2). Hence the day of the Lord can be take in three senses, depending on the three times the Lord will judge.

163. – For there will be a general judgment of all man, as it says in Matt (12:41): “The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment.” In this sense the day of the Lord will be the last day—judgment day—alluded to in 2 Th (2:2): “Be not terrified as if the day of the Lord were at hand.” This is the interpretation of the statement that the day of the Lord shall disclose it, because on the day of judgment the differences among men’s merits will be disclosed: “On that day when God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Rom 2:16). Another is the particular judgment, which takes place for each person at his death. Lk (16:22) says of this judgment: “The rich man died and was buried in hell; and the poor man also died and was carried to Abraham’s bosom.” In this sense the day of the Lord refers to the day of death, as in 1 Th (5:2): “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” The day of the Lord will disclose it at that time, because every man’s merits will be plain at his death. Hence it says in Pr (11:7): “When the wicked dies, his hope perishes” and in (14:32): “The righteous man has hope when he dies.” The third judgment takes place in this life, inasmuch as God sometimes proves a man by the tribulations of this life; hence it says below (11:32): “When we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” In this sense temporal tribulations are called the day of the Lord: “The sound of the day of the Lord is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there” (Zeph 1:14). Therefore, the day of the Lord shall disclose, because during the time of tribulation a man’s affections are tested: “The kiln tests the potter’s vessels; so the trial of affliction just men” (Sir 27:5).

164. – Secondly, he shows the means by which it will be disclosed, namely, by fire; hence he continues: because it shall be revealed with fire, namely, the day of the Lord: for the day of judgment will be revealed in the fire which will precede the face of the judge, burning the face of the world, enveloping the wicked and cleansing the just. Ps 96 (v. 3) says of this: “Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about.” But the day of the Lord which occurs at death will be revealed in the fire of purgatory, by which the elect will be cleansed, if any require cleansing: Job (23:10) can be interpreted as referring to this fire: “When he has tried me, I shall come forth as god.” Finally, the day of the Lord, which is the day of tribulation permitted by God’s judgment, will be revealed in the fire of tribulation: “For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation” (Sir 2:5).

165. – Thirdly, he mentions the effect of the disclosure when he says, and the fire will test what sort of work each man has done, namely, because each of these fires will prove a man’s merits or demerits: “If thou testest me, thou wilt find no wickedness in me” (Ps 17:3). In these three events mentioned by the Apostle, the first is the conclusion of the two which follow: for if the day of the Lord will be revealed in fire, and if the fire tests the quality of a man’s work, the consequence is that the day of the Lord will disclose the differences among men’s works.

166. – Then when he says, if any man’s work, he indicates the manner in which the above disclosures will be made: first, in regard to good works when he says: if any man’s work, which he erected, survives the fire, he, i.e., the one who erected it, shall receive a reward: “Behold, his reward is with him” (Is 40:10).

167. – One’s work is said to abide unharmed by the fire in two ways: in one way on the part of the worker, because the one performing the work, say of good teachings or any good work, is not punished for such works by the fire of purgatory or by the fire which goes before the face of the judge or even by the fire of tribulation. For a person who has not loved temporal things immoderately is not excessively saddened at their loss, because sadness is caused by one’s love of a thing which is lost; hence superfluous love produces sorrow. In another way on the part of the work itself: for no matter which of the above fires tests a man, the work of good teachings abides as does any other good work. For when the fire of tribulation comes, a man does not depart from his good teachings or from any good work of virtue; rather, each of these abides as to its merit both in the fire of purgatory and in the fire which goes before the face of the judge.

168. – Secondly, he shows the same thing in regard to evil works, saying: If any man’s work burn because of any of the above fires, he shall suffer loss for doing them, but not to the point of damnation; hence he adds: but he himself shall be saved with eternal salvation: “Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation” (Is 45:17), but only as by fire, which he previously endured either in this life or at the end of the world; hence it says in Ps 66 (v.12): “We went through fire and through water; yet thou hast brought us forth to a spacious place,” and in Is (43:2): “When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you, for I am the Lord, your Savior.”

169. – Now a man’s work is said to burn in two ways: in one way on the part of the worker, inasmuch as he is afflicted by the fire of tribulation on account of the immoderate attachment he has to earthly things and by the fire of purgatory or by the fire which goes before the face of the judge on account of venial sins, which he committed by caring for temporal things or even by the frivolous and vain things he taught. In another way a work burns in the fire on the part of the work itself, because when tribulation comes, a person cannot find time for foolish teaching or worldly works: “On that day all his plans perish” (Ps 146:4). Furthermore, the fire of purgatory or the fire which goes before the face of the judge will not leave any of these things to act as a remedy or as merit. Similarly, he suffers a loss in two ways: either because he is punished or because he loses what he accomplished. On this point Sirach (14:19): “Every product decays and ceases to exist, and the man who made it will pass away with it. And every excellent work shall be justified; and the worker thereof shall be honored therein.” The first of these refers to the person who erects wood, hay and stubble, which is the work that burns in the fire; but the second refers to the person who erects gold, silver and precious stones, which is the work that abides in the fire without any loss.

3-3

1 Cor 3:16-23

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; 23 and you are Christs; and Christ is God’s.

170. – Having indicated the reward in store for those who labor well, the Apostle now deals with the punishment in store for those who do evil or destructive works. In regard to this he does two things: first, he indicates the punishment; secondly, he dismisses a contrary error (v. 18). He indicates the punishment in store for those who work unto destruction by continuing with the metaphor of the spiritual building. In regard to his he does three things: first, he shows the dignity of the spiritual edifice; secondly, he mentions the punishment in store for those who destroy it (v. 17a); thirdly, he assigns the reason for the punishment (v. 17b).

171. – He says, therefore: I have said that everyone who builds on the foundation will receive the reward of salvation without a loss or with a loss. But if you are to understand the punishment in store for those who labor evilly among you, you must recognize your dignity, which he indicates when he says: Do you not know that you, Christ’s faithful, are the temple of God? “In whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:21).

172. – Secondly, he proves that the faithful are God’s temple. For it is the mark of a temple to be God’s dwelling place: “The Lord is in is holy temple” (Ps 11:4); hence everything in which God dwells can be called a temple. Now God dwells chiefly in Himself, because He alone comprehends Himself; hence God Himself is called a temple: “Its temple is the Lord God” (Rev 21:22). God also dwells in a building consecrated by the special worship offered Him in it; therefore, a holy building is called a temple: “I will worship at the holy temple in your fear” (Ps 5:8). Furthermore, he dwells in men by faith, which works through love: “That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts” (Eph 3:17). Hence to prove that the faithful are God’s temple, he adds that they are dwelt in by God when he says: and the Spirit of God dwells in you, as in Rom (8:11) when he said: “The Spirit who raised Jesus Christ dwells in you”; “I will put my spirit within you” (Ez 36:27). This shows that the Spirit is God, by Whose indwelling the faithful are called God’s temple, for only God’s indwelling makes a thing God’s dwelling, as has been said.

173. – But it should be noted that God exists in all creatures. He exists in them by His essence, power and presence, filling all things with His goodness: “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jer 23:24). But God is said to dwell spiritually as in a family in the saints, whose mind is capable of God by knowledge and love, even though they may not be actually thinking of Him or loving Him, provided that by grace they possess the habit of faith and charity, as is the case with baptized infants. However, knowledge without love does not suffice for God’s indwelling, for 1 Jn (4:16) says: “He that abides in love abides in God and God in him.” That is why many persons know God either by natural knowledge or by unformed faith, yet God’s Spirit does not dwell in them.

174. – Then when he says, But if any man, he mentions the punishment in store for those who do evil works, saying: But if any man destroy the temple of God, him will God destroy. Now the temple of God is violated in two ways: in one way by false teaching, which does not build on the foundation but rather uproots it and destroys the edifice; hence, (Ez 13:19) says of false prophets: “You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread.” In another way a person violates the temple of God by mortal sin, through which he destroys himself or someone else by his works or example; hence it says in Mal (2:11): “Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves.” Therefore, any person who violates a spiritual temple of God or profanes it in any way deserves to be destroyed by God through eternal damnation; hence Mal (2:12) continues: “May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob and the man who does this, both the master and the disciple,” and in Ps 12 (v. 3): “May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts.”

175. – Then when he says, For the temple, he gives the reason for what he had said about the holiness of the temple. For a person who profanes a sacred thing commits a sacrilege; hence he deserves to be destroyed. For the temple of God is holy, and that temple you are, as he stated earlier and as stated in Ps 65 (v. 4) “Holy is your temple, wonderful in justice,” and again in Ps 93 (v. 5): “Holiness befits thy house, O Lord.” In a material temple, however, is a certain sacramental holiness, inasmuch as the temple is dedicated to divine worship; but in Christ’s faithful is the holiness of grace, which they acquired by baptism: “You have been washed, you have been sanctified” 1 Cor (6:11).

176. – Then when he says, Let no man, he excludes an opposite error. First, he warns the faithful to be careful not to be deceived by error; secondly, he teaches now to be careful (v. 18); thirdly, he assigns the reason (v. 19).

177. – In regard to the first it should be noted that some people say that God neither rewards nor punishes men’s deeds: “They say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill’” (Zeph 1:12); “Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come?” (Lam 3:37). To exclude this error he says, let no man deceive himself with the assertion that a person who violates the temple of God will not be destroyed: “Let no man deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph 5:6).

178. – Then when he says, if any man, he shows how to avoid being deceived in this way. Here it should be noted that some, appealing to the reasons of human wisdom, have declared that God does not punish men’s sins on the ground that God does not know the particular things that happen here: “And you say, ‘Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see’” (Jb 22:14). Therefore, to avoid this he says: If any man among you thinks he is wise in this world, i.e., has worldly wisdom, which in those points that are contrary to the faith is not wisdom, even though it appears to be, let him become a fool by eschewing that seeming wisdom, that he may become wise, namely, according to divine wisdom, which is the true wisdom. And this must be observed not only in those matters in which worldly wisdom is contrary to the truth of faith, but also in all matters in which it is contrary to genuine morality; hence: “He is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Pr 30:5).

179. – Then when he says, For the wisdom, he assigns the reason for what he had said. For it seems to be inept to advise a person to become foolish, as, indeed, it would be if the foolishness were the denial of true wisdom. But that is not the case, for the wisdom of this world is folly with God, because it rests mainly on this world, whereas the wisdom which attains to God through the things of this world is not the wisdom of the world but the wisdom of God, as Rom (1:19) says: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. His invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” Therefore, the wisdom of this world, which considers the things of this world in such a way that it does not reach divine truth is folly with God, i.e., in God’s judgment it is folly: “The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel” (Is 19:11).

180. – Secondly, he proves what he had said by citing two authorities: the first of these is from Jb (5:13); hence he says: He catches the wise in their own craftiness. Now the Lord catches the wise in their own craftiness, because when they lay crafty plans contrary to God, He frustrates them and fulfills His own plan. Thus, by the malice of Joseph’s brothers attempting to prevent his ascendancy, it came to pass by divine providence that Joseph, after being sold, became a ruler in Egypt. Hence just before the words quoted, Job says: “He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success”; because, as it says in Pr (21:30): “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel, can avail against the Lord.” The second authority is taken from Ps 94 (v. 11); hence he says: and again it is written: The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise, i.e., according to the wisdom of the world, are futile, namely, because they do not reach unto the goal of human knowledge, which is the knowledge of divine truth. Hence Wis (13:1) says: “All men who are ignorant of God are foolish.”

181. – Then when he says, let no man, he draws his main conclusion, namely, that they should not glory in God’s ministers. First, he draws the conclusion, saying: Therefore, since ministers are nothing but persons laboring for a reward, let no man boast of men, as it says in Ps 146 (v. 3): “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help”; and Jer (17:5): “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm.”

182. – Secondly, he assigns a reason based on the dignity of Christ’s faithful. First, he mentions the relationship between things and Christ’s faithful, saying: For all things are yours. As if to say: just as a man does not glory in things subject to himself, so neither should you glory in the things of the world, all of which have been given to you by God: “Thou has put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:8). Then he specifies what he means by all things; and first he mentions Christ’s ministers, who are appointed by God in minister to the faithful: “With ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5), which is what he says: whether Paul, who planted, or Apollos, who watered, or Cephas, i.e., Peter, who is the universal shepherd of Christ’s sheep, as stated in Jn (c. 21). After these he mentions external things when he says: or the world, which contains all creatures and belongs to Christ’s faithful, inasmuch as a person is helped by the things of this world to fulfill his bodily needs and to attain to a knowledge of God: “From the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wis 13:5).

183. – Then he lists things which pertain to the very disposition of man, saying: or life or death, because life is useful to Christ’s faithful as the time for meriting; and so is death, by which they reach their reward: “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8); and “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). Indeed, all good and evil in this world are reduced to these two, because by good things life is preserved and by evil things death is reached. Finally, he lists the things which pertain to man’s present or future state, saying: or the present, i.e., things of this life by which we are aided in meriting, or the future, i.e., things reserved for us as a reward: “We have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come” (Heb 13:14). All are yours, i.e., serve your advantage: “In everything God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8:28).

184. – Thus, the first relationship is that of Christ to the faithful, but the second is that of Christ’s faithful to Christ. He mentions this when he says: and you are Christ’s, because He redeemed us by His death: “Whether we live it whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8). The third relationship is that of Christ as man to God; hence he adds: and Christ as man is God’s. Hence He is called God and Lord in Ps 7 (v. 1): “O Lord my God, in thee do I take refuge,” where the whole Trinity is understood by the name, God. Therefore, because no one should glory in anything below him but in what is above him, the faithful of Christ should not glory in His ministers, but rather the ministers in them: “I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you” (2 Cor 7:4). But Christ’s faithful should glory in Christ: “Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14), as Christ glories in the Father: “He boasts that God is his father” (Wis 2:16).

4-1

1 Cor 4:1-5

1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. 4 I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.

185. – Having rebuked the Corinthians for glorying in certain ministers, the Apostle now attacks them for looking down on other ministers. In regard to this he does two things: first, he censures their guilt; secondly, he concentrates on correcting them (v. 14). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he censures their rashness in judging ill of ministers; secondly, their arrogance in looking down on ministers of Christ (v. 6). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows what should be assuredly felt about Christ’s ministers; secondly, that they should not be judged rashly (v. 2).

186. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that none of you should glory in men; nevertheless, each of you should recognize the authority of our office, which is that we are mediators between Christ Whom we serve—he refers to this when he says: This is how one should regard us, as ministers of Christ; “Men shall speak of you as the ministers of our God” (Is 61:6)—and His members who are the faithful of the Church, to whom we dispense Christ’s gifts. He refers to this when he says: and stewards of the mysteries of God, i.e., of His secrets. These are His spiritual teachings: “He utters mysteries in the Spirit” (1 Cor 14:2) or the sacraments of the Church, in which divine power secretly works salvation; hence in the formula for consecrating the Eucharist it is said: “a mystery of faith.”

187. – Therefore, in governing their subjects the prelates of the Church should seek to serves Christ alone, for love of Whom they feed His sheep: “If you love me, feed my sheep” (Jn. 21:17). Furthermore, they should dispense the things of God to the people: “I am entrusted with a commission” (1 Cor 9:17). It is in this way that they are mediators between Christ and the people: “I stood between the Lord and you at that time” (Dt 5:5). This view of the Church’s prelates is necessary for the salvation of the faithful, for unless they recognize them as Christ’s ministers, they will not obey them as Christ: “You received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” (Gal 4:14). Again, if they do not regard them as stewards, they would refuse to receive gifts from them, contrary to what he Apostle says: “What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ” (2 Cor 2:10).

188. – Then when he says, Moreover it is required, he shows that they should not judge rashly in matters concerning Christ’s ministers. In regard to this he does three things: first, he mentions the standard by which to judge the faithfulness of ministers; secondly, he shows that he is not concerned about this judgment but leaves it to God (v. 3); thirdly he concludes his prohibition against rash judgment (v. 5).

189. – In regard to the first it should be noted that some are faithful ministers and dispensers of Christ, and some unfaithful. The unfaithful ministers do not seek the people’s welfare and Christ’s honor, when they dispense the divine mysteries: “You have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon” (Lk 16:11). But the faithful ones seek the honor of God and the welfare of His members in all things: “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household?” (Lk 12:42). Who the faithful ministers are will be disclosed in the divine judgment to come. But the Corinthians rashly desired to discuss which dispensers were faithful and which unfaithful. And this is what he says: moreover, now, i.e., in the present time, it is required, i.e., it is being discussed, that stewards be found trustworthy. For they judged that many were unfaithful, supposing that scarcely anyone was faithful: “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but a faithful man who can find?” (Pr 20:6).

190. – Then when he says, But with me, he shows that he has no regard for this judgment. First, he asserts that he is not concerned about the judgment of others on this point, saying: But with me who am the least of the dispensers, it is a very small thing, i.e., I regard it a trivial good, to be judged by you as faithful or unfaithful. But lest they suppose that he says these things out of contempt, as though he scorned their opinion as coming from worthless persons, he adds, or by any human court, i.e., by the intellect of persons judging in this time. As if to say: I am little concerned about your judgment or any man’s: “I have not desired the day of man, thou knowest.” (Jer 17:16).

191. – It should be noted, however, that one should have regard for men’s judgment in two ways: first, in regard to others who are edified or scandalized by what is heard. For this reason the saints did not regard it a small thing but very important to be judged by men, since the Lord said: “That they may see your good works and give glory to your Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Secondly, in regard to themselves, and then they do not care much, because they neither desire human glory: “Nor sought we the glory of men, neither of you nor of others” (1 Th 2:6), nor fear men’s reproaches: “Fear not the reproach of men, and be not afraid of their blasphemies” (Is 51:7). Hence the Apostle says significantly: But with me, i.e., as far as it pertains to me. Nor does he regard it as nothing, but as a small thing, because temporal things, among which a good reputation finds a place, are not null goods but very small ones, as Augustine says in the book On Free Will. Hence it is also stated in Wis (7:9): “All gold in comparison of her is as a little sand.”

192. – Secondly, he shows that he does not even presume to judge himself, saying: I do not even judge myself. But this seems to conflict with a later statement: “If we judged ourselves truly, we should no be judged” (1 Cor 11:31). Therefore, everyone should judge himself. However, it should be noted that everyone should judge himself with the judgment of self-examination, about which the Apostle speak here, according to the spirit of Ps 77 (v. 6): “I meditate and search my spirit,” as well as with the judgment of condemnation and reproach in the face of obvious evils: “I will reprove my ways in his sight” (Jb 13:15). But with the judgment of absolution a person should not presume to judge himself innocent: “Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse” (Jb 9:20). He assigns the reason for this when he says: I am not aware of anything against myself, i.e., I am not aware of any mortal sin: “My heart does not reproach me for any of my days” (Jb 27:6); but I am not thereby acquitted, i.e., that does not suffice for pronouncing myself just, because certains sins can be hiding in me, which I do not know: “Who can discern his sins?” (Ps 19:12); “I am blameless; I regard not myself” (Jb 9:21).

193. – Thirdly, he concludes to the one to whom this judgment should be reserved, saying: It is the Lord who judges me, i.e., it is God’s exclusive province to judge whether I am a faithful minister or not, because this pertains to the heart’s intention, which God alone can weigh: “The Lord weighs the spirit” (Pr 16:2); “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? I the Lord search the mind and try the heart” (Jer 17:9).

194. – The when he says, Judge not before, he concludes the prohibition against rash judgment. In regard to this he does three things: first, he forbids them to anticipate God’s judgment, saying: Therefore, in keeping with my example, who neither judge myself nor care about being judged by others, but reserve my judgment to God, do not pronounce judgment before the time, because “every matter has its time” (Ec 8:6), before the Lord comes to judge: “The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of his people” (Is 3:14). Hence the Lord Himself said: “Judge not” (Matt 7:1). However, this must be understood of hidden things, because God has commissioned men to judge manifest things: “Hear then and judge what is just” (Dt 1:16).

195. – For some things are manifested not only by the evidence of the fact, being notorious, but also by confession or by the proved testimony of witnesses. But God reserves hidden things for His own judgment. But things which lie in our heart or are done in secret are hidden to ourselves. Of these it says in Ps 4 (v. 5): “The things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds.” Hence a man is as rash in judging about these matters as a delegated judge, who exceeds his mandate by judging matter not committed to him. Consequently, a judgment is rash, when a person judges about doubtful matters; but it is perverse, when he pronounces a false judgment. Now although judgment should not be made concerning persons, as when a person judges as evil a man who is good, nevertheless it is more grievous, when it is a perverse judgment about things themselves, as when a person says that virginity is evil and fornication good, against which Is (5:20) says: “Woe to you that call good evil and evil good.”

196. – Secondly, he describes the completeness of the divine judgment to come, saying: who, namely the Lord coming to judgment, will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, i.e., will make clear and obvious the things done secretly in darkness; and will disclose the purposes of the heart, i.e., all the secrets of the heart: “He reveals deep things out of darkness, and brings up to light the shadow of death” (Jb 12:22); “I will search Jerusalem with lamps” (Zeph 1:12). This, of course, refers both to good things and to evil things that have been committed and covered over by penance, for Ps 32 (v.1): “Blessed is he whose transgressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

197. – Thirdly, he mentions the fruit which good men will obtain from the divine judgment, saying: Then every man will receive his commendation from God, i.e., every man that is good. This commendation will be true, because God can neither deceive nor be deceived: “His praise is not from men but from God” (Rom 2:29); “It is not the man who commends himself that is accepted, but the man whom the Lord commends” (2 Cor 10:18).

4-2

1 Cor 4:6-13

6 I have applied all this to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? 8 Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! 9 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.

198. – After berating the Corinthians for the rashness with which they judged Christ’s ministers, the Apostle now censures the self-satisfaction with which they scorned Christ’s ministers. In regard to his he does three things: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he assigns a reason (v. 7); thirdly, be belittles their contemptuous attitude (v. 8).

199. – In regard to the first it should be noted that above when the Apostle tried to repress the rivalry about ministers among the Corinthians, he had used the names of good ministers of Christ, as when he said: “Each one of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas’” (1 Cor 1:12) and again: “Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas” (1 Cor 3:22). But in fact they were not glorying in Christ’s good ministers or disagreeing over them but over the false apostles, whom he chose not to name, lest it seem that he was speaking against them from hatred or envy. Rather he had employed his own name and the names of other good preachers. And that is what he is saying now: But all this, brethren, namely, what I have said about the ministers in whom you glory and for whom you compete, I have applied to myself and Apollos. For it says in Pr (1:6): “To understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles,” and this for your benefit: “All things are for your sakes” (2 Cor 4:15); that you may learn by us that none of you may be puffed up, i.e., with pride, in favor of one, i.e., for any of Christ’s ministers, against another [above that which is written], i.e., beyond the form described in the foregoing; for Wis (4:19) states: “He will dash them puffed up and speechless to the ground.”

200. – Then he assigns the reason why one should not be puffed up against another, saying: For who sees anything different in you? This can be interpreted in two ways: in one way so that it means, “Who distinguished you from the mass of the damned?” You cannot distinguish yourself; hence you have nothing in you as a ground for exalting yourself. Of this distinction Ps 43 (v.1): “Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from an ungodly people.” It can be understood in another way: Who sees anything different in you to make you superior to your neighbor? This is something you cannot do; hence you should not exalt yourself above him. Of this exaltation Sirach (33:11) says: “In the fullness of his knowledge God distinguished them and appointed their different ways.” But there is no distinction among men, insofar as they are Christ’s faithful, because “we, though many, are one body in Christ” (Rom 12:5); “God put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Ac 15:9).

201. – Then he dismisses an apparent reason. For someone could be distinguished from good or from evil men, because he is better than they on account of the blessings he has, such as faith, wisdom and the like. But the Apostle excludes this, saying: What have you that you did not receive? As if to say: Nothing; for all blessings come from God: “When you open your hand, they are filled with good things” (Ps 104: 28); “All things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1 Chr 29:14). From this he draws his conclusion, saying: If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? Accordingly, a person boasts as though he did not receive, when he boasts in himself and not in God, as those mentioned in Ps 49 (v.6): “Men who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches.”

202. – This is the way the first form of pride expresses itself, namely, when a person, taking pride in what he has, says that he has it of himself, as Ps 12 (v. 4): “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is our master?” But a person boasts as one receiving, when he glories in himself by ascribing everything to God, as was said above (1:31): “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.” To boast in this way is not pride but humility under God, to Whom a man gives glory as in Sirach (51:17): “To him who gives me wisdom I will give glory.”

203. – Then when he says, Already you are filled!, he mocks the pride of those who looked down on Christ’s apostles: first, in general; then specifically. As to the first he does two things: first, he ridicules them for presuming too much on themselves; secondly, for looking down on the apostles (v. 9). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mocks them for presuming to attribute to themselves what they did not have; secondly, for attributing to themselves an abundance of good things, some of which are internal.

204. – In regard to these he says, already you are filled, i.e., it seems to you that you are filled, i.e., completely sated with spiritual delights, about which Ps 17 (v. 15) says: “I shall be satisfied, when your glory shall appear.” But it could have been true to say to them, already you are filled, not with fullness but with nausea: “He who is sated loathes honey” (Pr 27:7). But some goods were external. In regard to these he says, Already you have become rich! It seems to you, with spiritual riches about which Is (33:6) says: “Riches of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.” This is similar to Rev (3:17) “You say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.”

205. – But this seems to conflict with his earlier statement (1:5): “In every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge.” The answer is that the earlier statement referred to the good men among them; but there he is speaking about the presumptuous ones, who took pride in what they did not have. Or a distinction can be made between fullness and riches, so that the former refers to using grace to enjoy spiritual things, whereas riches would refer to the very possession of grace.

206. – Secondly, when he says, Without us you have become kings!, he makes sport of them for attributing to themselves individually things they did not possess individually; hence he says, without us you have become kings, i.e., you seem to think that the kingdom belongs to you and not to us. For they had been deceived by the false apostles to such an extent as to suppose that they alone possessed the truths of faith, which consists in the kingdom of God, and that the Apostle and his followers were in error. Against these Is (5:8): “Do you alone live in the middle of the earth?” And lest it seem that the Apostle says this out of envy, he continues: And would that you did reign. Thus he wishes them to have the true faith: “I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as

I am – except for these chains” (Ac 26:29). And to offer them an example of humility he adds: that we might share the rule with you! As if to say: If you have anything worthwhile, I am not too proud to follow you, as you disdain to follow us, contrary to what he advises in Gal (4:18): “Be zealous for what is good in a good thing always.”

207. – It should be noted that the Apostle here touches on four kinds of pride. The first is when a person considers that what he has was not received from God. He touches on this form when he says: If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? Which can also pertain to the second form in which a person thinks that he has received by his own merits. The third form is when a person boasts that he has something he really does not have. In regard to this he says: Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! The fourth is when a person, looking down on others, wishes to seem unique. In regard to this he says: Without us you have become kings.

208. – Then when he says, For I think that God, he taunts them for looking down on Christ’s apostles. First, he describes the contempt ironically; secondly, the cause of the contempt (v. 9b).

209. – He says, therefore: I have just said that you have become kings without us, for I think, i.e., you seem to think, that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, whereas it says below (12:28): “God has appointed in the church first apostles. In this way is fulfilled what is stated in Matt (20:26): “The first shall be last, and the last first.” Then he gives an example, like men sentenced to death; for those condemned to death are reckoned last by men, as though not worthy to live. That is what the apostles were considered to be by worldly men: “We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Ps 44:22).

210. – Then when he says, we have become a spectacle, he indicates the cause of the contempt. In regard to this it should be noted that when people were condemned to death, men were summoned to the execution as to a spectacle, especially when they were condemned to be thrown to wild animals. Now because the apostles had been, as it were, appointed for death, he adds: we have become a spectacle to the world, as though the whole world had assembled to witness their slaughter: “Thou has bade us the taunt of our neighbors” (Ps 44:13). Then he explains what he meant by the word world, when he continues: to angels and to men, namely, good and evil. For good men came to the spectacle to sympathize and to witness an example of patience, but evil men to persecute and ridicule.

211. – Then when he says, We are fools, he derides them in particular for scorning the apostles. First, he mentions the contempt; secondly, the cause (v. 11).

212. – In regard to the first he taunts them for attributing greatness to themselves and shortcomings to the apostles. First, in regard to perfect understanding; hence he says: We are fools for Christ’s sake, i.e., we are accounted fools, because we preach the cross of Christ: “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18), and also because we suffer reproach and opposition for the sake of Christ, in keeping with Wis (5:4): “We fools! We thought that his life was madness and that his end was without honor,” and as exemplified in Ac (26:24): “Festus said with a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad.’” But you in your opinion are wise in Christ, namely, because you neither dare to confess His cross publicly nor suffer persecution for him: “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer discreetly.” (Pr 26:16).

213. – Secondly, in regard to power to act when he says: We are weak, namely, in externals on account of the afflictions we endure: “I will all the more boast of my weaknesses” (2 Cor 12:9); but you in your opinion are strong, namely, in material things, because you live in security without harassment: “Woe to you who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink” (Is 5:22). You are held in honor, i.e., in your own eyes you are worthy of honor, because you do not suffer public shame: “I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings” (Is 19:11), but we in disrepute, according to your opinion and that of others, because we are considered contemptible: “God chose what is low and despised” (1 Cor 1:28). And yet the truth is the exact opposite, for only those who scorn God are worthy of scorn: “Those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Sam 2:30).

214. – Then when he says, To the present hour, he discloses the cause of this scorn: first, he assigns the lack of temporal goods as the cause; secondly, the evils they suffered (v. 12); thirdly, he reaches his conclusion (v. 15).

215. – As to the first he mentions the privations they suffered in necessary things; hence in regard to food and drink he says: To the present hour we hunger and thirst, namely, without interruption form the time of our conversion to the present moment: “In hunger and thirst” (2 Cor 11:17). As to clothing he says: we are ill-clad, i.e., because of our need for clothing, since we are sometimes despoiled: “They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold” (Jb 24:7). But this seems to conflict with Ps 37 (v. 25): “I have not seem the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread.” The answer is that although the apostles suffered, they were not abandoned, because divine providence set limits to their abundance and their needs according to what was suitable for exercising virtue. Hence the Apostle says in Phil (4:12): “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

216. – Secondly, he mentions their lack of things pertaining to the better aspects of human life, the first of which is respect from others. But they received the opposite: We are buffeted, which aims more at shame than punishment; hence we read of Christ that they spat in His face and slapped him. The second is peace and quiet. Here again they endured the opposite: and homeless, both because they were expelled from place to place by their persecutors: “If they persecute you in one city, flee to another” (Matt 10:23), and because they went everywhere to perform their office: “I have appointed you that you should go” (Jn. 15:16). The third is help from servants. But they experienced the opposite: and we labor, working with our own hands, both because they often received nothing from anyone to support them and because they earned their living by the work of their own hands either to avoid being a burden to the faithful or to rebuff false apostles who preached for money, and also because they wanted to give the idle an example of work, as he says in 2 Th (3:9); hence Paul says: “These hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me” (Ac 20:34).

217. – Then when he says, we are reviled, we bless, he mentions the evils when the apostles endured: first, in words when he says: we are reviled, i.e., men speak evil of us either to detract us or to insult us to even to curse us: “All curse me” (Jer 15:10), and we bless, i.e., return good for evil: “Do not return evil for evil, but on the contrary, bless” (1 Pt 3:9). Secondly, in deeds; hence he says: when persecuted, not only because we are chased from place to place, which is persecution in the strict sense, but also because we are harassed in many ways: “Many are my persecutors and my adversaries” (Ps 119:157), and we endure it, namely, in Christ: “A patient man will endure until the right moment” (Sir 1:23). Thirdly, he touches on the cause of each when he says: we are slandered, i.e., we are called sorcerers, evil-doers and enemies of God: “The hour comes what whosoever kills you, will think that he does a service to God” (Jn. 16:2); Why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying.” (Rom 3:8); yet we entreat God for those who persecute and slander us: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

218. – Then when he says, we have become, he sums up their contempt, saying: On account of the foregoing we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, i.e., both Jews and Gentiles think that the world is befouled by us and that it would be cleansed by our slaughter, the offscouring of all. Offscouring is the filth scraped from fruit or iron or any other things. He says, and are now, because they suffer these things without interruption. But it will stop sometime according to Wis (5:4): “This is the man whom we once help in derision and made a byword of reproach,” and then continues in (5:5): “Why has he been numbered among the songs of God?”

4-3

1 Cor 4:14-21

14 I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

219. – After censuring the Corinthians for rashly judging the apostles and presumptuously despising them, the Apostle now applies himself to correcting them. First, by oral advice; secondly, by examples (v. 16); thirdly, with the rod of correction (v. 18).

220. – In regard to the first he does three things: first, he tells how he means to admonish them, saying: I write these things, which I have said so far in the epistle, not to make you ashamed in an evil way, which leads to despair, although I would like you to be bewildered with the sort of confusion that avoids sin: “There is a confusion that brings sin, and there is a confusion that brings glory and grace” (Sir 4:25). But to admonish you with the above advice as my beloved children: “Do you have children? Discipline them and make them obedient from their youth” (Sir 7:25).

221. – Secondly, he shows the correct way to admonish, saying: For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Here it should be noted that a father is one who begets, but a guide nurses and trains the child: “The law was our custodian until Christ came” (Gal 3:24). Therefore, the Apostle calls himself their father in Christ, because he was the first to preach the Gospel to them.

222. – Hence he assigns the reason for this when he continues: For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. But begetting is a process leading to life; and man lives in Christ by faith: “In the flesh I live now by faith in the Son of God” (Gal 2:20). Faith, however, comes by hearing; and hearing by word, as it says in Rom (10:17). Hence the word of God is the seed by which the Apostle begot them in Christ: “By his own will he has begotten us by the word of truth” (Jas 1:18). But he calls others instructors, because they helped them after receiving the faith. In this way we are given to understand that as far as the preaching of the Gospel is concerned, there is the same relationship between instructor and father as that of waterer and planter and that of builder and superstructure to layer of foundation.

223. – Then when he says, I urge you, the, he starts to correct them with his own example. First, he urges them to follow his example, saying: Then, since you are my children and good children should imitate their fathers, I urge you, be imitators of me, so as not to judge rashly (just as I don’t, because I do not ever presume to judge myself) but to think humbly of yourselves and highly of others. Hence it wasn’t by chance that he had said earlier: We are weak, but you are strong, “but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you to imitate us” (2 Th 3:4). Note that here he is calling the same persons brothers, whom he had just called his children. However, he had called them his children in Christ, because he had begotten them not for himself but for Christ; and because he himself had been begotten in Christ, he could regard them as his brothers and his children. Consequently, they should have imitated him as a father to the same degree as he imitated Christ, Who is the main father of all. This, therefore, removes from subjects an excuse for following the evil examples of their prelates; they should rather imitate their prelates only to the degree that they imitate Christ, Who is the infallible standard of truth. Hence He gave Himself as an example to the apostles when he said: “I have given you an example, that as I have done so you also do” (Jn. 13:15). Paul, of course, followed this example: “My foot has followed his steps, I have kept his way, and have not declined from it” (Jb 23:11).

224. – Secondly, he removes the excuse of ignorance, saying: Therefore, I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, which agrees with what he said of Timothy in Phil (2:20): “I have no one like him, who will be genuinely anxious for your welfare.” He will remind you of my ways in Christ, i.e., he will teach you my procedures, i.e., all that is to be done and advise you to follow them: “Ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk on it” (Jer 6:16), which ways are in Christ Jesus. Hence you should not disdain to follow them: “Show me your ways, O Lord” (Ps 25:4); or consider them a burden, because this is what I generally lay upon all; hence he says: As I teach them everywhere in every church: You have heard the word of the truth of the Gospel, which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world (Col 1:5). Or my ways can refer to good works, and as I teach them everywhere, to doctrines. For Timothy had been sent to induce them to imitate the works and abide by the teachings of the Apostle.

225. – Then when he says, As though I were not coming to you, he threatens them with the rod of correction. First, he shows that they deserve the rod of correction, saying: As though I were not coming to you, some are arrogant, as though not fearing to be convicted of pride by me; and yet they deserved the rod, because the humble are corrected by words alone, but the proud need stripes: “Look on all that are proud, and confound them and crush the wicked in their place” (Jb 40:7).

226. – Secondly, he tells them of his visit, when he will come to judge them. First, he foretells his coming when he says: But I will come to you soon. But because in says in Prov (16:9): “The heart of man disposes his way, but the Lord must direct his steps,” he adds: If the Lord wills: “If the Lord will and if we shall live, we will do this or that” (Jas 4:5). Secondly, he tells them that he will make a searching judgment when he says: I will find out, namely, by a judicial process: “The cause which I knew not, I searched out diligently” (Jb 29:16); not the talk of these arrogant people but their power, i.e., people do not belong to the kingdom of God, because they are rich in speech: “Mere talk tends only to want (Pr 14:23). Thirdly, he assigns the reason, saying: The Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in virtue; “Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father (Matt 7:21).

227. – Finally, he threatens to chastise them, but leaves the choice to them, saying: What do you wish? Shall I come to you to chastise you with a rod, namely, of discipline or with love, i.e., with a display of love, in a spirit of gentleness? As if to say: it depends on you whether or not I shall deal more harshly with you. For if you persist in the foolish way, I must come to you with the rod, as Pr (22:15) says: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, and the rod of correction shall drive it away.” But if you amend your lives, I will act charitably and meekly: “You who are spiritual, instruct such a one in a spirit of meekness” (Gal 6:1). However, this does not mean that if he came with the rod, he would not come in charity, since it says in Pr (13:24): “He that spares the rod hates his son; but he that loves him corrects him betimes,” but because a person chastened with the rod fails at times to sense the gentleness of charity, as those who are encouraged gently.

5-1

1 Cor 5:1-5

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3 For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

228. – After discussing matters which pertain to the sacrament of baptism, the Apostle begins to consider matters which pertain to matrimony. First, he attacks a sin contrary to matrimony, namely, fornication; secondly, he discusses matrimony itself (c. 7). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the crime; secondly, he censures it (v. 6). As to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the crime of a certain fornicator; secondly, the crime of those who condoned this sin (v. 2).

229. – In regard to the first he mentions three things which pertain to the gravity of the crime. First, he shows that the sin is notorious, saying: It was not without reason that I asked whether you wish me to come to you with the rod. For there is one among you deserving the rod of discipline, because it is actually reported, i.e., publicly known, that there is immorality among you, against which it is said: “Fornication must not even be named among you” (Eph 5:3); “They proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it” (Is 3:9).

230. – Secondly, he amplifies the sin by a comparison when he says: and of a kind that is not found or regarded as lawful, even among pagans. For example, fornication was not considered a sin among the pagans; hence to rid them of this error the apostles (Ac 15:29) imposed on pagans converted to the faith the obligation to abstain from fornication. Yet it was a form of fornication regarded as unlawful even among pagans; hence he says: for a man is living with his father’s wife: “Unstable as water, you shall not have pre-eminence because you went up to your father’s bed and defiled his couch” (Gen 49:4). This was monstrous even among the pagans, being contrary to natural reason. For the laws of every civilization dictated that the natural reverence owed to parents prevents sons and daughters from marrying their father or mother. This is even implied in Gen (2:24): “Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother (in contracting matrimony) and shall cleave to his wife.” Furthermore, since it goes on to say that the man and woman “will be two in one flesh,” the wife of the father is excluded from marrying; just as the person of the father or mother, for it says in Lev (18:8): “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; for it is the nakedness of the father.”

231. – Then when he says, you are arrogant, he mentions the guilt of those who condoned this sin: first, he condemns them for condoning it; secondly, he supplies what they failed to supply (v. 3).

232. – In regard to the first he detects three vices: first, pride, when he says: You are arrogant [puffed up], namely, with the wind of pride, for considering yourselves innocent as compared with the sinner, just as the Pharisee who said: “I am not as the rest of men…or even as this tax collector” (Lk 18:11); “He will dash them puffed up and speechless to the ground” (Wis 4:19). Secondly, he touches on their injustice, when he says: Ought you not rather to mourn? Namely, by suffering for the benefit of the sinner: “O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughters of my people!” (Jer 9:1). For true justice, as Gregory says in homily 34, On The Gospel, shows compassion, not disdain. Thirdly, he touches on their failure to judge: let him who has done this be removed from among you. For such compassion on the part of a just man bruises the sinner to deliver him: “If you beat him with the rod, you will save his life from Sheol” (Pr 23:14). Is also helps to correct others, for it says in Pr (19:25): “The wicked man being scourged, the fool shall be wiser.” Hence Ec (8:11): “Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil.” Indeed, if others are to be corrected, the sinner must sometimes be cast out, when there is fear of his conduct spreading: “Drive out the scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease” (Pr 22:10).

233. – Then when he says, For though absent in body, he supplies for their failure by pronouncing sentence against the sinner. In regard to this he does three things: first, he shows the authority of the judge; secondly, the method of judging; thirdly, the sentence of the judge (v. 5).

234. – As to the first he does two things: first, he shows the authority of the minister, i.e., himself. Here he seems to act contrary to proper judicial procedure by condemning an absent person, for “it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone, before the accused met the accusers face to face” (Ac 25:16). But the Apostle justifies this, saying: For though absent in body I am present in spirit, i.e., with love and concern: “For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ” (Col 2:5). Or present in spirit, because by the spirit he knew what was taking place among them as if he were there, as Elisha also says: “Did I not got with you in spirit when the man turned from his chariot to meet you?” (2 Kgs 5:26). Because I am present in spirit, I have already pronounced judgment, i.e., I have passed a sentence of condemnation on the one who has acted in this manner. Secondly, he mentions the authority of the principal lord, saying: in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., in His place and by His authority, or with the power and invocation of His name: “Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Col 3:17).

235. – Then when he says, When you are, he shows the manner of judging, and touches on three things: first, the assembling of the congregation when he says: When you are assembled. For serious offenses should be punished according to the considered agreement of many persons; hence in old times judges sat on the gates where the people were gathered together: “You shall appoint judges in all your gates” (Dt 16:18); “In the company of the upright, in the congregation” (Ps 111:1); “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20). Secondly, he indicates his assent when he says: and my spirit is present, i.e., with my will and authority. Thirdly, he presents the authority of the principal lord, namely, Jesus Christ, saying: with the power of the Lord Jesus, the power which gives strength and validity to the judgment of the Church: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven” (Matt 18:18).

236. – Then when he says, you are to deliver, he delivers the sentence of condemnation, in regard to which he does three things. First, he assigns the punishment when he says: you are to deliver this man to Satan. This can be understood in two ways. First, that just as the Lord gave the apostles power over unclean spirits to cast them out (Matt 10:8), so by the same power they could command the unclean spirits to torment in the body those whom they judged deserved it. Accordingly, the Apostle commanded the Corinthians on his own authority to deliver this fornicator to Satan to be tortured. Hence, secondly, he discloses the effect of this sentence when he says: for the destruction of the flesh, i.e., for the torment and affliction of the flesh in which he sinned: “One is punished by the very things by which he sins” (Wis 11:16). Thirdly, he mentions its fruit when he says: that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, i.e., that he may be saved on the day of death or on the day of judgment, as was explained above (3:15): “but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire,” i.e., of temporal punishment. For the Apostle did not deliver the sinner over to Satan’s power forever, but until the time when he would be converted to repentance by bodily torment: “Vexation alone shall make you understand what you hear” (Is 28:19). This sentence of the Apostle corresponds to what the Lord observed, when he said to Satan: “Behold he is in your hand (namely, his flesh), but yet keep his life unharmed” (Jb 2:6).

237. – To deliver this man to Satan can also be understood as referring to the sentence of excommunicating by which a person is cut off from the community of believers and from partaking of the sacraments and is deprived of the blessings of the Church. Hence it says in S. of S. (6:10): “Terrible as an army set in array,” i.e., to the devils. For the destruction of the flesh would mean that, being cut off from the Church and exposed to the temptations of the devil, he might more easily fall into sin: “Let the filthy still be filthy” (Rev 22:11). Hence he calls mortal sins the destruction of the flesh, because “He who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption” (Gal 6:8). But he adds: that his spirit may be saved, i.e., that the sinner, recognizing his vileness, may repent and thus be healed: “I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth” (Jer 31:19). This can also mean that his spirit, namely, the Church’s Holy Spirit, may be saved for the faithful in the day of judgment, i.e., that they not destroy it by contact with the sinner, because it says in Wis (1:5): “For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts.”

5-2

1 Cor 5:6-8

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

238. – After reminding the Corinthians of two crimes, namely, that of the fornicator and that of those who condoned the sin, the Apostle now censures both crimes. First, the crime of condoning his sin; secondly, the sin of the fornication (c. 6). As to the first he does two things: first, he rebukes the Corinthians for failing to pass judgment; secondly, for other vices concerning judgment (c. 6). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he blames them for not casting out the fornicator; secondly, he corrects the false understanding they took from his words (v. 9).

239. – As to the first he does two things: first, he reprehends what they had done; secondly, he shows what should be done (v. 7). First, he reprehends their past crime as to its root; for he had said above that as a result of being puffed up they lack compassion, from which followed their failure to set others straight by correcting them. First of all, therefore, he censures them for being puffed up, saying: Your boasting is not good, because you boast of the defects of others, as though you were without faults. For everyone should boast of the blessings given him by God and not of others: “Let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor” (Gal 6:4). And it is especially evil to glory in the failures of others: “Why do you boast of mischief?” (Ps 51:3).

240. – Secondly, he gives the reason for what he had said, saying: Do you not know that a little leavens the whole lump? As if to say: Certainly you cannot be unaware of this. It should be noted that there are two factors to consider in leaven: the first is the taste it gives to bread. In this way leaven signifies the wisdom of God, through which everything human is rendered tasteful; accordingly, it says in Matt (13:33): “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.” The second factor is corruption. Then in one way leaven can signify sin, because by one sin all of a man’s works are corrupted; for example, by the sin of hypocrisy which is compared to leaven in Lk (12:1): “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” In another way a sinful man himself can be signified by leaven.

241. – And this is precisely the point of his metaphor, for just as the entire lump of dough is corrupted by a little leaven, so by one sinner a whole group can be defiled: “From one spark comes a great fire and from one deceitful man much blood” (Sir 11:34). This happens when by the sin of one person others are prompted to sin or even when they consent to his sin, by not at least correcting him when they can: “They are worthy of death not only who do these things but also who consent to those what do them” (Rom 1:32). Consequently, the Corinthians should not have boasted of another’s sin but rather taken steps to prevent others from being defiled by associating with him, according to what it says in S of S: “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens” (2:2), on which a Gloss says: He was not a good man, who could not endure evil men.”

242. – Then when he says, Cleanse out the old leaven, he shows what should be done in the future: first he presents the teaching; secondly, he assigns reason (v.7).

243. – He says, therefore: Because a little leaven corrupts the whole lump, cleanse out the old leaven, i.e., cleanse yourselves by casting out from your midst the old leaven, i.e., the fornicator who returned to the old state of former corruption by sinning: “You are growing old in a foreign country, you are defiled with the dead” (Bar 3:10). And this is what he says, because by cutting off one sinner the whole group is cleansed; hence when Judas left the Lord said: “Now is the Son of Man glorified” (Jn. 13:31). By the old leaven can also be understood the old error: “The old error is passed away” (Is 26:3), or even the corruption of original sin: “Seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices” (Col 3:9), for a man is cleansed by removing them.

244. – Secondly, he mentions the effect of this cleansing, saying: that you may be a new lump. Here lump means a mixture of water and new flour, before leaven is mixed with it. Therefore, once the leaven, i.e., the sinner or sin, is removed from the faithful, they become as it were a new lump, renewed in purity: “Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Ps 103:5); “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Eph 4:23). Thirdly, he mentions the form of cleansing should take when he says: as you really are unleavened, i.e., without the leaven of sin. In this sense the Lord says: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt 16:6).

245. – Then when he says, For Christ our paschal lamb [pasch] has been sacrificed, he assigns the reason for what he had said, namely, why the faithful should be unleavened and it is taken from the mystery of Christ’s passion. First, therefore, he mentions the mystery; secondly, he concludes to his point (v. 8).

246. – As to the first it should be noted that the most excellent sacrament of the Old Law was the paschal lamb which, as was commanded in Ex (c. 11), was sacrificed by the whole multitude of the children of Israel in commemoration of the event in which the angel striking the first born in Egypt passed by the homes of the Jews, whose posts were smeared with the blood of a lamb. The word “pasch” is derived from this event: “It is the Lord’s Passover” (Ex 12:11). It was in virtue of the blessing that the people passed over the Red Sea (Ex 24:15ff). But this lamb was a figure of the innocent Christ, of Whom it is said: “Behold the Lamb of God” (Jn. 1:36). Therefore, just as that lamb was slain by the children of Israel in order that God’s people be delivered from the avenging angel and after being freed from the slavery under the Egyptians, pass over the Red Sea, so Christ was slain by the children of Israel, in order that God’s people be delivered from the attacks of the devil by His blood and from the slavery of sin by baptism, as though by the Red Sea. Now that lamb was called the pasch of the Jews, because it was immolated as a sign of the passing; hence the disciples ask: “Where do you wish us to prepare for you to eat the pasch?” (Matt 26:17), i.e., the paschal lamb. Therefore, the Apostle says: You ought to be unleavened, for, i.e., because as the pasch of the old people was the sacrificed lamb, so our pasch, i.e., of the new people, is the sacrificed Christ. His immolation deserves the name pasch both by reason of what the word means in Hebrew, namely, passage, and what it means in Greek, namely, “passion”: for Christ passed from this world to the Father by means of the passion, in which He was sacrificed (Jn. 13:1).

247. – Then when he says, Let us, therefore, celebrate, he reaches his conclusion. To understand this it should be noted that the paschal lamb, after being sacrificed, was eaten with unleavened bread. Therefore, just as the paschal lamb was a figure of our sacrificed pasch, so the observance of the new pasch should conform to the old paschal observances. Accordingly, because the sacrificed Christ is our pasch, let us celebrate the festival by eating Christ not only sacramentally: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (Jn. 6:54), but also spiritually by relishing His wisdom: “Those who eat me will hunger for more, and those who drink me will thirst for more” (Sir 24:21), and doing so with spiritual joy: “With glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving; a multitude keeping festival” (Ps 42:4).

248. – Then he describes the way to feast by conforming the truth to the figure, saying, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil. For it was commanded in Ex (c. 12) that no leaven be found in the homes of those eating the paschal lamb. But leaven involves oldness and corruption. Hence the removal of leaven could mean the removal of the obligation to observe the precepts of the Old Law, which was made dead by the passion of Christ: “The new coming on, you shall cast away the old” (Lev 26:10). Secondly, the removal of leaven could mean the removal of the corruption of sin, as we said above, namely, that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump. In this sense, therefore, he says: nor with the leaven of malice and evil, where malice would refer to perverse actions: “Casting away all uncleanness and abundance of malice” (Jas 1:21), and evil to crafty mischief: “When he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven mischiefs in his heart” (Pr 26:25). Or, according to a Gloss when he says, not in the old leaven, he refers to sin in general, but in adding, nor in the leaven of malice and evil, he becomes more precise, because malice refers to sin committed against oneself, and evil a sin against someone else.

249. – Therefore, having set aside the improper way to feast, he describes the proper way when he continues: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, i.e., in sincerity and truth which are signified by unleavened bread. Here sincerity is set in opposition to the corruption of sin, which he signified when he said: not in the leaven of malice and evil: for sincere means without corruption; hence in 2 Cor (2:17) he says: “We do not adulterate the word of God but with sincerity in Christ we speak.” But truth is set in opposition to the figures of the Old Law, as it says in Jn (1:17): “Truth and grace came by Jesus Christ,” namely, because we should celebrate the true pasch in truth and not in figures. Hence according to a Gloss, by sincerity is understood innocence from vices or newness of life; by truth the righteousness of good works or directness which excludes deception.

5-3

1 Cor 5:9-13

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; 10 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

250. – Above the Apostle had advised the Corinthians to remove a sinner from their midst. But they postponed doing this, because they gave a false interpretation to something he had written in a previous epistle. Consequently, in correcting this misunderstanding he does three things: first, he repeats what he had said in the previous epistle; secondly, he corrects the false interpretation (v. 10); thirdly, he gives the true interpretation (v. 11).

251. – First, therefore, he says: I wrote to you in my letter (which is not in the canon) not to associate with fornicators, i.e., not have any fellowship or communion with them: “My son, walk not with them, restrain your feet from their paths (Pr 1:15); “Give not your soul to harlots in any point” (Sir 9:6).

252. – Then when he says, not at all meaning, he corrects the false interpretation of the above words: first, he states what he does mean; secondly, he draws a conclusion (v. 10b).

253. – In regard to the first it should be noted that the Corinthians had given two false interpretations to his statement. First, they supposed that he was referring to fornicators who are unbelievers. He corrects this when he says: not at all meaning to say that you shall avoid communicating with the fornicators of this world. He refers to unbelievers by the name “world” in keeping with Jn (1:21): “The world has not know him”; “The world did not know God through wisdom” (1 Cor 1:21). Secondly, they falsely supposed that the Apostle’s prohibition referred only to fornicators and not to other sinners. To correct this he now adds: or the greedy, who unjustly retain what belongs to others: “No one who is covetous (which is serving of idols) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph 5:5), or robbers, who violently plunder the property of others; or idolaters, against whom it says in Wis (14:27): “The worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and the end of all evil.” Consequently, the Apostle is prohibiting fellowship not only with fornicators but with all other sinners. It should be noted that by fornication a person sins against himself; by greed and robbery against his neighbor, and by the worship of idols he sins against God. Consequently, in mentioning these he includes every type of sin.

254. – Then when he says, since then, he gives the reason for this clarification, saying: since then, i.e., if he had meant the fornicators of this world, you would need to go out of the world, for the whole world is filled with them; hence you could not avoid them except by going out of this world: “The whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn. 5:19). Or, you would need to go out of the world, could mean: since you should have been separated from the sinners of this world from the time of your conversion, there is no need to advise you further about this, for it says in Jn (15:19): “I chose you out of the world.” Or again: you would need to go out of the world, i.e., by dying, for it is better for man to die than consent to sinners in sin; hence it says below (9:15): “For I would rather die than have any one deprive me of my ground for boasting.”

255. – Then when he says, But rather, he presents the true interpretation. First, he states his intention; secondly, he assigns a reason (v. 12), thirdly, he draws the intended conclusion (v. 13b).

256. – First, therefore, he says: But rather I shall explain what I have written to you earlier not to associate with fornicators and other sinners, who bear the name of brother in the sense in which the Lord speaks, when he says in Matt (23:8): “You are all brothers.” The Apostle does not say if any man is a brother, but if any man is called a brother, because by mortal sin a man departs from charity, which is the cause of spiritual brotherhood. Hence it say in Heb (13:1): “Let brotherly love continue.” Therefore a man is called a brother on account of the true faith, even though he is not really a brother, if he lacks charity as a result of sin. Hence he adds: if he is guilty of fornication or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard or robber—not even to eat with such a one. “If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting” (2 Jn. 1:10). In other words: when I said that you should not keep company with sinners, I meant with believers who are called brothers and live among you.

257. – [However, by this it should not be understood, as Augustine says in Contra Parmenianum, and as it says here in the Gloss, that someone by an extraordinary judgment should be separated from communion with others, because often one can be mistaken, but rather this ought to be done according to the order of the Church, when someone is expelled from communion as convicted or freely confessed. And this he says clearly, if any are called, so that we understand that designation which is made through the sentence of the Church by a judicial order against someone brought forward. But those who are expelled from communion are to be shunned as to the Table, as it says here, and as to greeting, as it says in what is preached by the authority of John, and further, as to sacred communion. Hence it is said in verse: “the mouth, to pray, farewell communion, the table is denied,’ that is, he is excommunicated.]

258. – It should be noted that the Apostle mentions only mortal sins to show that a man should not be excommunicated except for mortal sin. However, there seems to be some question about one of these sins, namely, drunkenness, which does not always seem to be a moral sin. For Augustine says in a sermon on purgatory that drunkenness, unless it is frequent, is not a mortal sin. I believe the reason for this is that drunkenness is a mortal sin in general. For it seems to be contrary to charity that for the pleasure of wine a man is willing to lose the use of reason and expose himself to the danger of committing many other sins. Yet it might happen that drunkenness is not a mortal sin, because the strength of the wine or one’s own physical weakness were not known. However, this excuse loses its validity, when drunkenness is frequent. Hence it is significant that the Apostle does not say “a drinker” but “a drunkard.” It is noteworthy that to the list given earlier he added two sins, namely, the reviler and the drunkard. Drunkenness is among the class of sins committed against oneself, which includes not only lust but gluttony as well. Reviling is among the sins committed against one’s neighbor, whom a man can harm not only by deed but also by word, by calling down evil upon him or by defaming him, which pertains to detraction, or by speaking evil to his face, which pertains to contumely. All this is included under the notion of reviler, as has been stated.

259. – Then when he says, For what have I, he gives the reason for what he had said. In regard to this he does three things: first, he gives the reason, saying: I have said that this is to be understood of brothers and not unbelievers, for what have I to do, i.e., what business is it of mine to judge, i.e., pass a sentence of condemnation on outsiders, i.e., on unbelievers who are completely outside the Church? For the hierarchy has spiritual power over those alone who have submitted to the faith, as it says in 2 Cor (10:6): “Being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” Indirectly, however, the hierarchy has power over those who are without, inasmuch as it forbids believers to deal with them on account of their guilt.

260. – Secondly, he uses a simile, saying: Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? As if to say: You judge with the same authority as I; hence just as you do not judge anyone but your own, so I also: “A wise judge shall judge his people” (Sir 10:1).

261. – Thirdly, he settles a doubt. For some one might conclude that unbelievers are better for not being condemned for the above mentioned sins. But he rejects this when he says that it is not his business to judge those that are without, for God judges those outside, namely, unbelievers, because as Gregory says in Morals, unbelievers will be condemned without discussion and investigation. This is in line with Jn (3:18): “He that does not believe has already been judged,” i.e., has within himself an obvious cause for condemnation.

262. – Then when he says, Drive out the wicked one, he draws the main conclusion saying: Since my command that you not keep company with fornicators must be understood as referring to believers and not to those who are outside, then drive out the wicked one, i.e., this man, from among you, i.e., expel him from your company: “You shall purge the evil from the midst of you” (Dt 13:5).

263. – These words of the Apostle do not mean that we are forbidden to associate with unbelievers who have never received the faith for their punishment. Yet the weak are cautioned to avoid them, lest they be drawn away. But those strong in the faith can lawfully associate with them and try to convert them, as it says below (10:27): “If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you.” But unbelievers who once were believers, or received the sacrament of faith, as heretics or apostates from the faith, are excluded from all contact with believers. This is a punishment for them, as it is for other sinners still subject to the power of the Church.

6-1

1 Cor 6:1-6

1 When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life! 4 If then you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood, 6but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?

264. – After rebuking the Corinthians for failing to judge, the Apostle now rebukes them for other failings in matters of judgment. First, in regard to the judges before whom they present their grievances; secondly, in regard to the grievances themselves (v. 7). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he charges them with unbecoming conduct; secondly, he gives the reason for this charge (v. 2); thirdly, he applies a remedy (v. 4).

265. – First, therefore, he says: You fail to judge yourselves but allow yourselves to be judged by the unrighteous. Hence he says: When one of you has a grievance, i.e., secular business, against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous, i.e., submit to the decision of an unbeliever, instead of the saints, i.e., before believers, who have been sanctified by the sacraments of faith?

266. – This is unbecoming in a number of ways. First, because it detracts from the full power of believers; secondly, it insults the dignity of believers to take their lawsuits to unbelievers; thirdly, it gives unbelieving judges occasion for looking down on believers, whom they see at odds among themselves; fourthly, it gives the same judges occasion for calumniating and oppressing believers, whom they hate on account of their faith and rites which differ from their own. Hence it says in Dt (1:15): “I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you. And I charged them: ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother.’” Again in Dt (17:15): “You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.”

267. – But this seems contrary to what is commanded in 1 Pt (2:13): “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors sent by him”; for it pertains to the prince’s authority to judge his subjects. Therefore, it is against the divine law to forbid one’s conforming to the decision of a judge, who is an unbeliever. The answer is that the Apostle is not forbidding believers who are under the jurisdiction of unbelieving princes to accept their judgment, if they are summoned; for this would be contrary to the loyalty owed to princes, but he is forbidding believers voluntarily to prefer being judged by unbelievers.

268. – Then when he says, Do you not know, he gives a reason against this policy, inasmuch as it detracts from the full power of the saints. First, in regard to the power they have over worldly affairs; secondly, in regard to the power they have over other-worldly things, i.e., over angels (v. 3).

269. – First, therefore, he says: It is unbecoming to take your lawsuits to unbelievers, because believers have authority to judge, for do you not know that the saints will judge the world, i.e., the worldly men of this world? They do this in three ways: first, comparatively, i.e., not only in the sense that good men will judge evil men, and saints the worldly, but also that the good will be judged by the better and the evil by the worse, according to Matt (12:41): “The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it.” Secondly, they will judge by approving the sentence of the judge, i.e., Christ; and this will be reserved to the just: “The just man will rejoice when he sees the vengeance” (Ps 58:10); “The saints shall judge nations” (Wis 3:8). In a third way by passing sentence, and this will be done by the apostles and those like them who held worldly things in contempt and clung only to spiritual things, as it says above (2:15). Hence Matt (19:28) says: “You who have followed me will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” and in Ps 149 (v. 4): “Two edged swords in their hands to wreak vengeance on the nations.” This passing of sentence will not be vocal but spiritual, inasmuch as lesser saints or even sinners will be enlightened with a spiritual light by the higher saints to understand what sort of punishments or rewards are owed to them; just as even now men are enlightened by angels, or even lesser angels by higher ones.

270. – Secondly, from what has been stated he argues to his proposition, saying: If the world, i.e., worldly men, is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases, i.e., worldly business: “He who is dishonest in a very little, is dishonest also in much” (Lk 16:10).

271. – Then when he says, Do you not know that we, namely, the faithful of Christ, will judge angels? This can be understood of bad angels, who will be condemned by the saints, by whose virtue they were overcome. Hence the Lord says in Lk (10:19): “I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy.” And in Ps 91 (v. 3): “The young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.” It can also be understood of good angels, most of whom in some way will be found inferior to Paul and others like him. Hence, it is significant that he does not say “they” but “we” shall judge. For although it might be said, as a consequence, that if saints will judge good and evil men, there will be a judgment of good angels, whose accidental reward is increased by the reward of saints enlightened by angels and a judgment of evil angels, whose punishment is increased by the punishment of men led astray by them.

272. – Secondly, he argues to the proposition, saying: How much more, matters pertaining to this life will we be fit to judge. For one capable of greater things is capable of lesser. Hence to the person entrusted with five talents the Lord later entrusted one (Matt 25:28).

273. – Then when he says, If then you have such cases, he applies the remedy for their fault: first he mentions the remedy; secondly, he explains (v. 5).

274. – First, therefore, he says: Therefore, since the saints will judge this world, if you should have secular trials among you, which, nevertheless you should not have, those least esteemed in the Church should be appointed to judge, rather than be judged by unbelievers. “Let a good man strike or rebuke me in kindness, but let the oil of the wicked never anoint my head” (Ps 141:5); and in Ec (9:4) it says: “A living dog is better than a dead lion.”

275. – Then when he says, I say this, he explains in what sense he meant the foregoing. For someone who could believe that literally the least esteemed were to be chosen judges. But he excludes this, saying: I say this to your shame. As if to say: I did not say this as though it were to be done, but I said it to shame you, namely, with that confusion which brings grace and glory, as it says in Sirach (4:25): For the least esteemed in the Church should be chosen for judging, if no wise men were to be found among you, which would be shameful for you. That is why he continues: Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood? Rather than do this, you should appoint the least esteemed in the Church to judge and to supply for the lack of wisdom, which, of course, is not wanting to you, as I said above (1:5): “In every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge.”

276. – Or in another way from v. 4: For he had said that the saints are worthy to judge worldly matters; consequently, he wants to show by whom worldly judgments should be passed, namely, by the least esteemed in the Church. By “least esteemed” he means those who are wise in worldly matter as opposed to those wise in divine matters and are not occupied with temporal things, in order to devote themselves strictly to spiritual things. And this is what is added to: I say this to your shame. Hence the apostles said in Ac (6:2) “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.” After that he returns to what he had censured earlier, namely, that the Corinthians took their lawsuits to unbelieving judges, saying: Can it be that there is no man among you wise, namely in temporal affairs, which he called contemptible earlier. Hence the other things are not changed from the first explanation, which seems to be more literal.

6-2

1 Cor 6:7-13a

7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren. 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other.

277. – After rebuking the Corinthians for brining their lawsuits before unbelieving judges, the Apostle now rebukes them for the judgments themselves. In regard to this he does three things: first, he states how they sinned in regard to judgments; secondly, he clarifies what he had said (v. 9). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he rebukes them in something lawful in regard to judgment, but not expedient; secondly, what is utterly unlawful (v. 8). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he rebukes them; secondly, he rejects an excuse (7b).

278. – First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that brother contends with brother in judgment. It is not only bad that you contend before unbelievers, but after your conversion, it is a defeat for you, i.e., it is regarded as a failing, to have lawsuits at all with one another, between whom there should be peace, because, as it says in 2 Tim (2:24): “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone.”

279. – It appears from this, as a Gloss of Augustine says, that it is a sin to have a lawsuit against anyone; but this seems to be false. For if it is a sin to have a lawsuit, it seems to follow that it is also a sin to appoint judges, since this is tantamount to giving an occasion to those having lawsuits, whereas it says in Dt (1:16): “Hear the cases between your brethren and judge righteously.” For it is answered in a Gloss that the weak are permitted to seek their rights in a lawsuit, but not the perfect, who can lawfully seek their rights but not in a lawsuit. But it should be noted that something is lawful for the perfect and something for all others. The perfect, indeed, do not have anything they can call their own; for it says in Matt (19:21): “If you would be perfect, go see what you possess and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Consequently, it is not lawful for them to seek in a lawsuit anything that can be considered their own, since it is not lawful for them to possess anything as their own, although they may seek common property in a lawsuit. For they do not sin in doing this, but rather they merit. For it is a work of charity to defend or recover the property of the poor, as it says in Ps 82 (v. 4): “Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” But a lawsuit against anyone is unlawful for four reasons. First, as to its cause on account of which one brings a lawsuit, say from covetousness and greed. Hence Lk (12:13), when someone had said to the Lord: “Bid my brother divide the inheritance with me,” the Lord said: “Who made me judge or divider over you”; then he added “Take heed and beware of covetousness.” Secondly, in regard to the way a lawsuit is conducted, because it is conducted with strife and harm to peace: for as Jas (3:16) says: “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” And this is what the Apostle seems to rebuke them for, as is clear from what he had said above (6:6): “But brother goes to law against brother.” Thirdly, on account of the perversity of the judgment, say when someone proceeds unjustly and fraudulently in a lawsuit, as it says in Is (10:2): “You turn aside the needy from justice and rob the poor of my people of their right.” This, too, the Apostle reprehends in them, as he shows from what he adds: But you yourselves wrong and defraud. Fourthly, on account of the scandal which follows. Hence the Lord commands in Matt (5:40): “If anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well.” But out of charity it is lawful to seek your own in a lawsuit. Hence Gregory in Morals: “When necessity forces us to have charge of things, some are merely to be tolerated, when they demand things, but others to be forestalled, as long as charity is preserved, from snatching what is not theirs and thus destroying themselves.”

280. – Then when he says, Why not rather suffer wrong, he takes away their excuse. For they could say a necessity forces us to have lawsuits in order to resist harm and dishonesty from other men. But he rejects this, saying: Why not rather suffer wrong by enduring it with patience, as the Lord says in Matt (5:31): “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” As to the second he says: Why not rather be defrauded? i.e., suffer the crafty wheedling, for it says in Matt (5:41): “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him another two miles.” But, as Augustine says in The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, these precepts of the Lord are not always to be observed in the performance of a work, but we should be prepared to obey them, so that we would be always prepared to do this or endure that, rather than do anything against fraternal charity.

281. – Then when he says, But you yourselves, he rebukes them for something altogether illicit. First, he accuses them of obvious injustice, when he says: But you yourselves wrong, namely, by speaking openly against the justice of others either in court or outside: “Do not delight in what pleases the unjust” (Sir 9:12). Secondly, for crafty deception when he says: and defraud: “The counsels of the wicked are treacherous” (Pr 12:5), and that even to your own brethren, i.e., believers to whom you should do good: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal 6:10). Therefore, it is said against some: “Every brother is a supplanter, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer (Jer 9:4).

282. – Then when he says, Do you not know, he clarifies what he had said: first, as to what is altogether unlawful; secondly as to what is unlawful but not expedient (v. 12). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents a question; secondly, he answers it (v. 9b).

283. – First, therefore, he says: I have stated that you do wrong and defraud, which is to commit sin, but do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? As if to say: you seem not to know this, as long as you do not give up your sin; whereas it says in Ps 6 (v. 8): “Depart from me all you workers of evil.”

284. – Then when he says, Do not be deceived, he determines the truth: first he shows the impious their danger; secondly he shows how they were snatched from this peril and feared falling into it again (v. 11).

285. – First, therefore, he says: Do not be deceived, which is said with a purpose, because some have been deceived frequently about sinning with impunity, as it says in Wis (2:21): “Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray.” For certain philosophers erred in believing that God does not have charge of human affairs, as it says in Zeph (1:12): “The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.” But others, believing that faith alone is sufficient for salvation, according to Jn (11:26): “Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die”; others believing that they will be saved just by Christ’s sacraments, on account of what is said in Mk (16:16): “He that believes and is baptized will be saved,” and Jn (6:55): “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life.” Still others suppose that they can sin with impunity on account of the works of mercy they perform, inasmuch as it says in Lk (11:40): “Give for alms those things which are within you; and behold, everything is clean for you.” But they do not understand that all these things are of no benefit without charity, for it says in 1 Cor (13:2ff): “If I have all faith; if I give away all I have to the poor, and I have not charity, I gain nothing.” Therefore, he continues: sins contrary to charity exclude one from the kingdom of God, which charity alone permits one to enter, saying: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, concerning whom Heb (13:4) says: “God will judge fornicators and adulterers”; nor homosexuals, of which it says in Gen (13:13): “The men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord”; nor the greedy nor thieves, of whom Zech (5:3) says: “Everyone that steals shall be cut off henceforth”; nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. For it says in Is (35:8): “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it”; and in Rev (21:27): “But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor anyone who practices abominations. It should be noted that the vices mentioned here are the same as those mentioned in the previous chapter. But he added some in the category of lust, namely, adultery, and sins against nature, and thievery in the category of injustice.

286. – Then when he says, And such were some of you, he shows how they escaped from the above-mentioned danger. First, he reminds them of their past state, saying: And such were some of you, namely, fornicators and idolaters, etc. He makes particular mention of these vices, because they abounded in them, as it says in Eph. (5:8): “For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”

287. – Secondly, he shows how they were freed of them inwardly, saying: But you were washed by the power of Christ’s blood in baptism, as it says in Rev (1:5): “He freed us from our sins in his blood.” You were sanctified by the power of Christ’s blood and consecrated in grace, as it says in Heb (3:12): “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate, in order to sanctify the people through his own blood”; you were justified, i.e., raised to the state of justice, according to Rom (8:30): “Those whom he called he also justified.”

288. – Then he mentions the cause of these blessings: first, on the part of the humanity of Christ when he says: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., in believing and calling on that name, as it says in Acts (4:12): “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved.” Secondly, on the part of the divinity when he adds: and in the Spirit of our God, as it says in Ez (37:3): “Behold, I shall cause breath to enter you and you shall live.” Therefore, since you have been freed by such great power, you should not return to the same former ways.

289. – Then when he says, all things are lawful, he clarifies what he had said about forbidding lawsuits, and shows in what sense he rejects them, namely, he does not reject them as altogether unlawful, but as not expedient and as harmful. In regard to this he does two things: first, he states his proposition; secondly, he assigns a reason (v. 13).

290. – First, he states that what he rejects is lawful but not expedient, saying, All things are lawful for me. Now those things are lawful which a man is not forbidden to do. But prohibitions are of two kinds: one is by force and the other by precept. According to this, some have understood that something is lawful from which they are not prohibited by any necessitating force; because man’s decision is naturally free of force, they understand the Apostle to mean it in that sense when he said: All things are lawful to me, namely, that all things are subject to man’s free choice, be they good or evil, according to what is said in Sir (15:17): “Before a man is life and death; which he chooses will be given to him.” But this way of speaking is alien to sacred scripture, in which it says that things forbidden by the divine law are not lawful, as in Matt (14:4): “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Consequently, what the Apostle says here, that all things are lawful for me, must not be understood absolutely but in this sense: all things are lawful to me which are not forbidden by the divine law.

291. – This can be referred to three things: first, to what he had said about lawsuits, namely, that it is lawful for anyone to obtain his property through lawsuits, since it is not forbidden by divine law. Secondly, it can be referred to what he will say below (8:8) about indiscriminate use of food, so that the sense would be: it is lawful for me to eat all foods according to Titus (1:15): “To the clean all things are clean.” Thirdly, it can be referred to what he will say below (9:4) about taking food and drink, so that the sense is this: all things are lawful for me, namely, to take what is necessary for life, just as it is for my co-apostles.

292. – But he adds, not all things are expedient. That is said to be expedient, which is without a hindrance to attaining an end. Now it happens that something does not entirely exclude the end, but it offers some hindrance, as marriage does not exclude a person from the kingdom of God, but it offers a hindrance, namely, because as it says below (7:34): “The married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.” So fornication is neither lawful nor expedient, because it totally excludes one from the end, which is eternal life; but marriage is lawful but not expedient. Therefore, according to this mode, to get back one’s own in a lawsuit or to use all foods without distinction or to take one’s food from those to whom he preaches are all lawful, because they are not against justice or forbidden by any law; yet it is not expedient, either because peace towards one’s neighbor is endangered, or scandal of the weak is produced, or an occasion for reviling is offered: “Not everything is good for everyone” (Sir 37:28).

293. – In another way it can be understood not absolutely but conditionally, so that the sense is this: I have said that neither idolaters nor fornicators, etc. shall possess the kingdom of God. Therefore they are not lawful, because they exclude the end; but if all things were licit for me, not all are expedient, because they pose a hindrance to eternal life. Hence in the person of the wicked it says in Wis (5:7): “We took our fill of the power of lawlessness and destruction, and we journeyed through trackless deserts.”

294. – Secondly, he shows that what he rejected above is harmful, saying: All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by any, namely, man. For one who uses something not expedient, whether it be lawful or unlawful, is somehow put under the power of that man or thing. Of a thing, indeed, because one who loves a thing too much is made its slave, as it says in Rom (16:18): “Such persons do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites.” But of a man, because as long as one does something not expedient, he is in thrall to the judgment of others; and particularly one who tries to get back his own in a lawsuit is under the power of the judge: “Why should my liberty be determined by another man’s conscience” (1 Cor 10:29).

295. – Then when he says, Food is meant for the stomach, he assigns a reason for what he has said. First, why all things are lawful, saying, Food is meant for the stomach, in order, namely that after the stomach has done its work, it may nourish the entire body; and the stomach for food, i.e., it serves to receive food and work on it. Therefore, since by God’s ordinance the stomach is desirous of receiving food, and food was made to be put in the stomach: “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food” (Gen 1:29), it is not unlawful for a man to get property back, or a preacher to get wages for necessary food, or even that a man eat all foods without distinction.

296. – Secondly, when he says, and God will destroy both, he gives the reason why all things are not expedient. For it is not expedient that a person suffer a loss in that which is never corrupted, namely, the heavenly kingdom, for the sake of something corrupted; and this happens in regard to food and stomach. After this life the use of good and of the stomach will cease, because the bodies of those who rise will be conserved without food by God’s power. And that is what he says: God will destroy, i.e. will make cease this, namely, the stomach, not as to its essence but as to its effect which it has now, and these, namely, foods, so far as they pertain to man’s use, because in the resurrection men will be as the angels in heaven, as it says in Matt (22:30).

6-3

1 Cor 6:13b-20

13b The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two shall become one.” 17 But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

297. – After rebuking the Corinthians about lawsuits, the Apostle now returns to reprehending the sin of fornication, which he mentioned above in (5:11) and in the judgment of which the Corinthians had been negligent. He condemns fornication for four reasons: the first of which is taken from God’s ordinance; secondly, from one’s union with Christ (v. 16); thirdly, from bodily defilement (v. 18); fourthly, from the dignity of grace (v. 19). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents God’s ordinance; secondly, the end of the ordinance (v. 14).

298. – In regard to the first it should be noted that some take their argument for lascivious conduct from God’s ordinance. For those who fornicate use their body for a use established by God. But he excludes this, saying that food is ordained to the stomach and the stomach to food, but man’s body in not meant for fornication but for the Lord, i.e., it had been ordained to this, namely, that it be for the Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord for the body, i.e., Jesus Christ was given to man in order that human bodies be conformed to His glory, as it says in Phil (3:21): “He will change our lowly body to be like His glorious body.”

299. – But against this seems to be the fact that just as the stomach is ordained to the use of food, so certain members of the human body are ordained by God to be used for generation, i.e., the members by which fornication is performed. But attention must be paid to the difference between the two. First, the Apostle spoke above about one member of the body, namely, the stomach, but here he is speaking about the entire body, which is not ordained to fornication any more than it is ordained to eating food; rather, food is used for the benefit of the body and the body exists for the sake of the soul, from which it receives life according to its condition. And because all things are ordered to God as to an end, the body should be subjected to the Lord and dedicated to Him. And because he spoke above about the eating of food in general terms without disorder, but fornication is a disordered use of the member used in fornication. Hence, the members exist not for fornication, but for generation ordained by reason, which the members of the body should serve, just as even the stomach is not for gluttony and drunkenness, but for the proper use of food.

300. – Then when he says, and God raised the Lord, he indicates the end of the above-mentioned ordination. First, he indicates what God had done in regard to the Lord, saying: And God raised the Lord, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, from the dead, from whom Christ Himself petitions in Ps. 41 (v. 10): “Do thou, O Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up.” But God is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; hence Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, also raised Himself and arose by His own power, as it says in Ps. 3 (v. 5): “I will lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me,” and in 2 Cor (13:4): “He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God.” Secondly, he indicates what he will do in regard to his saying: God will also raise us up by his power, by which He also raised up Christ, as it says in Rom (8:11): “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies.”

301. – It should be noted that when speaking above about food and stomach, which pertain to the use of animal life, he said that they would be destroyed by God; but now, speaking of the body and of the Lord, he makes mention of the resurrection, because when animal life ceases, the nature of the body will be transformed into something better. Hence it is clear that the body should not be used for fornication, which impedes future incorruption according to Gal (6:8): “He who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption.”

302. – Then when he says, Do you not know, he presents a second reason, which is taken from the human body’s affinity to Christ, namely: the fornicating man’s members are the prostitute’s members, but a man’s members are Christ’s members. Therefore, by fornicating, Christ’s members become the prostitute’s members, which is unbecoming. In regard to this he does four things: first, he presents the major, saying: Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? As if to say: you should not be unaware of this, because all of you reborn in Christ have become members of Christ, as it says below (12:27): “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” and this not only as to souls justified by him but also as to bodies, which will be raised up by him, as has been stated.

303. – Secondly, he presents the conclusion, saying: Shall I take the members of Christ, i.e., remove them from the service of Christ to whom they should be dedicated, as it says in Rom (6:13): “Yield your members to God as instruments of righteousness”, and make them be members of a prostitute by fornicating? Never! For this is a horrible sacrilege. Hence it says in Mal (2:11): “Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which he loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.”

304. – Thirdly he presents the minor, saying: Do you not know that he who joins his body to a prostitute, namely, by fornicating, becomes one body with her? Namely, by an unclean union. To prove this he appeals to the authority of Genesis, saying, For it is written, namely in Gen (2:24), the two, namely man and woman, become one flesh, i.e., by the carnal union they are made one flesh, and so the members of one become the other’s members. For these are Adam’s words about husband and wife, which the Apostle here relates to fornication, because there is no specific difference between the two acts. But it should be noted that, as the Philosopher says in the book, On the Generation of Animals, the active principle of generation is in the male, and the passive in the female. And just as in a plant whose life is ordained chiefly to generation, there is always one body in which both principles are united, so in animals, which are ordained to higher acts of life, there is not always one body with these two principles, but one is made from two in the act of generation. In the case of humans, it is not only the man’s body, because as it says below (7:14): “The husband does not have rule over his own body, but the wife has.”

305. – Secondly he proves the minor saying: But he who is united to the Lord, namely, by faith and charity, is one spirit with him, namely, because he is united to Him in a spiritual, not a bodily, unity. Hence it says in Rom (8:9): “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him,” and in Jn (17:21): “That they may be one in us, as we are one,” namely by a connection of the Spirit. And because the body serves the spirit, it follows that our bodies too are members of Him to whom we are united by the Spirit, not of course, by a bodily but by a spiritual union. From the two reasons given above one reason can be formed, namely, that because our body is not destined for fornication but for the Lord in such a way that our members are Christ’s members, as he explains later, we should not make them members of a prostitute by fornicating.

306. – Then when he says, Flee fornication, he presents a third reason, which is taken from the body’s contamination. First, he presents the conclusion, saying, Flee fornication. Here it should be noted that other vices are overcome by resisting, because the more a man considers and deals with particulars, the less will he find in them anything in which to take delight, but more to be cautious about. But the vice of fornication is not overcome by resisting, because the more a man considers the particular case the more is he inflamed; but it is overcome by fleeing, i.e., by avoiding entirely all unclean thoughts and all occasions whatsoever, for it says in Zech (2:6): “Flee from the land of the north.”

307. – Secondly he assigns the reason, saying: Every other sin a man commits is outside the body. To understand this is should be noted that some sins do not end in carnal delight, but only in spiritual, and are then called spiritual sins; for example, pride, greed and spiritual apathy. But fornication is entirely completed in carnal delight. According to this it could be understood what is said here: Every other sin a man commits is outside the body, namely, because it is completed outside the pleasure of the body. But the fornicator sins against his own body, namely, because the sin is completed in the flesh.

308. – But the fact that the sin of gluttony is terminated in bodily pleasure seems to be contrary to the above explanation. A possible answer might be that the sin of gluttony is contained under lust, inasmuch as it is ordained to it, as it says in Eph (5:8): “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery.” But it is better to say that the Apostle is not saying that whoever fornicates sins with his own body, which would agree with the first explanation, but he sins against his own body by corrupting and contaminating it beyond the bounds of reason. Hence it says in Rev (3:4): “You still have a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments,” and in Rev (14:14): “It is these who have not defiled themselves with women.” Or in another way according to Augustine: “Whoever fornicates sins against his own body, because his soul is totally subjected to the flesh in that act, so that it cannot at that time think of anything else.” “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding” (Ps. 32:9). Or in another way: he sins against his own body, i.e., against his wife, who is called the husband’s body, against whom other sins are not as directly opposed as the husband’s fornication. Hence it says in 1 Thess (4:4): “That each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor.” Or again according to Augustine, it can be understood of spiritual fornication through which the soul clings through love to the world and recedes from God: “Those who are far from you shall perish” (Ps. 73:27). The sense, therefore, is that whoever fornicates and recedes from God for love of the world sins against his own body, i.e., by bodily desire. But every other sin, for example, which one commits from forgetfulness or ignorance or negligence, is outside the body, i.e., outside of bodily desire.

309. – Then when he says, Do you not know, he presents the fourth reason, which is taken from the dignity of grace, which arises from two sources, namely, from the grace of the Holy Spirit and from the redemption of Christ’s blood. In regard to this he does three things: first, he declares the dignity of our body, which it has from the grace of the Holy Spirit, saying: Do you not know, as though you should not be unaware of it, that your body, namely, bodily, is a temple of the Holy Spirit, just as he said above (3:16): “Do you not know that you are God’s temple?” Then he assigns a reason for this, saying: who is within you. God’s house is called a temple. Therefore, because the Holy Spirit is God, it is correct to say that anyone in whom the Holy Spirit exists is called a temple of God. But the Holy Spirit is chiefly in the heart of men, in whom the love of God is poured out by the Holy Spirit, as it says in Rom (5:5). But secondarily, He is also in the bodily members, inasmuch as they perform acts of charity. Hence is says in Ps 84 (v. 2): “My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” But lest they ascribe this dignity to themselves, he adds: which you have from God and not from yourselves. Hence Jl (2:28): “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.”

310. – Secondly, he mentions the dignity our bodies have from the redemption of Christ, saying: You are not your own but Jesus Christ’s, as it says in Rom (14:8): “Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s”; “Those who live no longer live for themselves” (2 Cor 5:15). He assigns the reason for this when he says: You were bought with a great price; therefore, you are slaves of Him who has redeemed you from the slavery of sin; hence it says below (7:22): “For he who was called in the Lord as a freedman is a slave of the Lord”; and in Ps 31 (v. 5): “You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.” The price of redemption is called great, because it is not corruptible, but has everlasting power, since it is the blood of the everlasting God. Hence it says in 1 Pet (1:18): “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.”

311. – Thirdly, he draws the intended conclusion, saying: So glorify and carry God in you body. For since your members are a temple of God, nothing should appear in your body except what pertains to God’s glory: and this is to glorify God in your body, because it says in Ps 29 (v. 9): “In his temple all cry, ‘Glory’”; and again, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34). Furthermore, because you are not your own, but you are slaves of God, you should carry God as a horse or other animal carries it lord. Hence it says in Ps. 73 (v. 23): “I was like a beast towards you.” Our body carries the Lord, inasmuch as it is deputed to a divine ministry. Thus, therefore, a man should avoid sinning against his own body by fornicating, which is against the glory of God and against the ministry our body owes to God.

7-1

1 Cor 7:1-9

1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. 6 I say this by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

312. – After rebuking the fornicator and those who upheld him, the Apostle now begins to treat of marriage. In regard to this he does three things: first, he discusses those joined in matrimony; secondly, virgins (v. 25); thirdly, widows (v. 39). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he instructs those not joined in matrimony whether to contract matrimony; secondly, he clarifies what he had said (v. 6). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows what is essentially good in this matter; secondly, what is necessary (v. 2).

313. – In regard to the first it should be noted that in their dislike for fornication, against which he had just spoken, some, whose zeal for God was not accompanied by wisdom, arrived at a point where they even condemned marriage. Hence it says in 1 Timothy (4:2-3): “Through the hypocrisy of liars who forbid marriage”. Because this seemed harsh to the Corinthian believers, they wrote to the Apostle about it. Therefore, the Apostle answered: I have disapproved of things you do. Now concerning the matters about which you wrote, I answer in regard to matrimony: It is well for a man not to touch a woman.

314. – In this matter it should be noted that the woman was given to man as a help in generation, and the generative power differs from the nutritive power in the fact that the latter serves man in preserving him as an individual. Hence, it is good for man to take nourishment, because his life is preserved by it. But the generative power does not serve man as a help in preserving him as an individual, but to preserve the species. Hence, it cannot be said that it is good for a man to preserve himself as an individual by touching a woman; first, in regard to the soul, because as Augustine says in the Soliloquies: “Nothing so casts a man down from the citadel of his power as that contact of bodies without which a wife cannot be had.” Consequently, in Exodus (19:5) it says to the people about to receive the Law: “Be ready by the third day; do not go near a woman”; and in 1 Samuel (21:4): “I have no common bread at hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” Secondly, as to the body, the fact that a man subjects himself to a woman by marriage and makes himself a slave out of a freedman. This is the most bitter of all servitudes. Hence it says in Ecclesiastes (7:26): “I found more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets.” Thirdly, as to external things with which a man must occupy himself, when he has a wife and children to be fed; whereas it says in 2 Timothy (2:4): “No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.”

315. – Then when he says, But because of fornication, he shows what is necessary in this matter: first, as to contracting marriage; secondly, as to the use of the matrimony once contracted (v. 3).

316. – In regard to the first it should be noted that the act of the generative power is ordained to the conservation of the species by the generation of offspring. And because the woman was given to the man as a helper in generation, the first need for touching a woman is for the procreation of children. Hence it says in Genesis (1:27): “Male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’” But this need was directed to the formation of the human race, as long as there was need for the people of God to be multiplied by succession according to the flesh. But the Apostle, considering that the human race had now multiplied and that the people of God were now increased not by fleshly propagation but by the generation which is from water the Holy Spirit, as it says in Jn (3:5), he passed over this necessity whereby marriage had been originally instituted as a function of nature, and proposed a second necessity according to which it was instituted as a remedy for sin. For since carnal desire remains alive in believers even after baptism, although it does not rule, it impels men especially toward venereal acts on account of the vehemence of their pleasure. And because it requires greater virtue to conquer this desire entirely than can belong to men, according to Matthew (19:11): “Not all men can receive this saying”, it is necessary that this desire be in part yielded to and in part mastered. This, indeed, happens when the act of generation is ordained by reason and man is not totally mastered by the desire, but the desire is rather subjected to reason.

317. – Natural reason teaches that man use the act of generation according as it is suitable for generation and education of children. But in brute animals it is found that in certain species the female alone is not sufficient for the training of the offspring, but the male takes care of the offspring with the female. For this it is required that the male recognize its offspring. Therefore, in all such animals, as doves, pigeons and the like, solicitude for the training of offspring is inspired by nature. Wherefore, in such animals coition is not random and indiscriminate, but a definite male is joined to a definite female, not one to another promiscuously, as happens in dogs and such animals, in which the female alone takes care of the offspring. But above all in the human species, the male is required for the education of the offspring, which are attended to not only regarding bodily nourishment, but to a greater degree regarding the nourishment of the soul, as it says in Hebrews (12:9): “We have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them.” And consequently, natural reason dictates that in the human species coition is not random and uncertain, but is by a definite man to a definite female, who in fact made the arrangement through the law of matrimony.

318. – Thus, therefore, matrimony has three goods. The first is that it is a function of nature in the sense that it is ordered to the production and education of offspring; and this good is the good of offspring. The second good is that it is a remedy for desire, which is restricted to a definite person; and this good is called fidelity, which a man preserves toward his wife, by not going to another woman, and similarly the wife toward the husband. The third good is called the sacrament, inasmuch as it signifies the union of Christ and the Church, as it says in Ephesians (5:32): “This mystery [sacrament] is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

319. – This therefore is what he says. It has been stated that, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because all men are not equipped for this good, each man on account of the temptation to fornication should have his own wife, that is, determined by himself, so as to avoid uncertain and promiscuous concubinage, which pertains to fornication: “Rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Prov. 5:18); “Why should you be infatuated, my son with a loose woman” (Prov. 5:20).

320. – Then when he says, the husband should give, he deals with the use of the marriage contract: first, about rendering the conjugal debt; secondly, about postponing the debt (v. 5).

321. – In regard to the first he does two things. First, he states his proposition, saying: it has been stated that a man should have a wife and a wife her husband. This is reason for the ‘having’, that the man should give to his wife her conjugal rights, namely, with his own body through carnal union, and likewise the wife to her husband, because in this matter they are judged equal. Hence the woman was not formed from the feet of the man as a servant, nor from the head as lording it over her husband, but from the side as a companion, as it says in Genesis (2:21). Hence, they must pay the debt to one another according to what it says in Romans (13:7): “Pay all of them their dues.”

322. – Secondly, he assigns the reason for the debt saying, for the wife does not rule over her own body, namely, in regard to the act of generation as though she could by her own choice be continent or give herself to someone else; but the husband does, that is, has power over her body as to the use of carnal union. Therefore the wife must offer the husband the use of her body. Likewise the husband does not have rule over his own body, but the wife does. Hence he must offer the use of his body to the wife, when any lawful impediment cases. Hence it says in Genesis (2:24): “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

323. – Then when he says, do not refuse [defraud] one another, he deals with postponing the debt to be rendered. First, he shows how the conjugal act should be postponed. In regard to this he teaches that one things must be avoided, saying: do not refuse [defraud] one another, so that, for example,. The husband wishes to abstain when the wife does not, or even conversely. The Apostle calls this fraud, because one is taking away what belongs to another—and this pertains to fraud no less in marriage than in other affairs, as it says in Proverbs (12:27): “The fraudulent man will not catch his prey,” namely, because one who offers God his continence accompanied by that fraud does not gain merit for eternal life. For as Augustine says, God does not want such gain compensated with such harm, so that while one of the spouses is continent against the will of the other, the former falls into dangerous temptations.

324. – Three things must be observed in such postponement. The first is that it be done with mutual consent. Hence he says, except perhaps by agreement. Hence is says in Sirach (25:1): “My soul takes pleasure in three things, and they are beautiful in the sight of the Lord and of men; agreement between brothers, friendship between neighbors, and a wife and a husband who live in harmony.” The second is that it be for a definite time. Hence he says, except perhaps for a season, as it says in Ecclesiastes (3:5): “a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” The third is that it be done for a suitable purpose, that is, for the sake of spiritual acts, for which continence renders one more suitable. Hence he adds, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, as it says in Joel(2:14): “A cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God,” and later he adds, “Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber” (Joel 2:16).

325. – Then he deals with the resumption of the conjugal act. First he presents the teaching, saying, but then come together again, that is, in order that you may render to each other the debt, now that the time of prayer is finished. Hence it says in 1 Kings (8:66) that after celebrating the dedication of the feast: “They went to their homes joyful and glad of heart.” Secondly he assigns a reason for the teaching. For he does not say this as though it were necessary for salvation, but to avoid danger. Hence he adds, lest Satan tempt you, that is, lest he subvert you with his temptation, as it says in 1 Thessalonians (3:5): “For fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain.” Satan’s temptation should not be feared by the strong, about whom it says in 1 Jn (2:14): “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” But he should be feared by the weak. Hence he says, through lack of self-control, that is, on account of a proneness to incontinence, as a result of which the devil overcomes man by tempting and he is inclined to tempt, as it says in 1 Peter (5:8): “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.”

326. – Then when he says, I say this, he tells in what sense the above doctrine should be taken. First, he does what has been said; secondly, he assigns a reason (v. 7); thirdly, he explains what he had said (v. 8).

327. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that each one should have his own wife and each woman her own husband; furthermore, after practicing continence for a time, they should return once more to each other. I say this by way of concession, that is, to spare your weakness, not of command, namely as though necessary for your salvation. For certain things must be conceded to subjects on account of their weakness, and they should not be compelled by commanding what is good. Hence Ezekiel (34:4-5) says against some prelates: “With force and harshness you have ruled them, so they were scattered.”

328. – But the Apostle seems to be speaking in an unsuitable manner, for concessions are concerned only with sin. Therefore, by the fact that the Apostle says he is speaking by way of concession, he seems to express that marriage is a sin. But this can be answered in two ways. In one way so that the concession is taken for permission. But there are two kinds of permission: one is concerned with a lesser evil, as in Matthew (19:8): “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,” that is, to avoid the murder of one’s wife, to which they were prone. Such a permission is not found in the New Testament on account of its perfection, according to Hebrews (6:1): “Let us go on to perfection.” Another permission is about the lesser good, namely, when a man is not compelled by precept to a greater good. This is the sense in which the Apostle makes a concession here, that is, permits matrimony, which is a lesser good than virginity, which is not commanded and is a greater good. In another way, concession can be taken as regarding guilt, as Isaiah (26:15) says: “But thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation.” In this sense, concession refers to the conjugal act, accordingly as it has venial guilt attached to it along with the good of matrimony, without which it would be mortal.

329. – Hence it should be noted that the conjugal act is sometimes meritorious and without any mortal or venial sin, as when it is directed to the good of procreation and education of a child for the worship of God; for then it is an act of religion; or when it is performed for the sake of rendering the debt, it is an act of justice. But every virtuous act is meritorious, if it is performed with charity. But sometimes it is accompanied with venial sin, namely, when one is excited to the matrimonial act by concupiscence, which nevertheless stays within the limits of the marriage, namely, that he is content with his wife only. But sometimes it is performed with mortal sin, as when concupiscence is carried beyond the limits of the marriage; for example, when the husband approaches the wife with the idea that he would just as gladly or more gladly approach another woman. In the first way, therefore, the act of marriage requires no concession; in the second way it obtains a concession, inasmuch as someone consenting to concupiscence toward the wife is not guilty of mortal sin; in the third way there is absolutely no concession.

330. – Then when it says, I wish, he assigns the reason for what he has said. First, why he does not speak as commanding; secondly, why he speaks according to a concession (v. 7b).

331. – In regard to the first it should be noted that no wise man commands that whose opposite he would rather have done. Therefore, the Apostle does not command that men contract marriage or make use of a marriage already contracted, because he wishes rather that men be continent. And this is what he says: I wish that all men were as I myself am, that is, continent as I am. He says likewise in Acts (26:29): “I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am.”

332. – But there seems to be something against this, because if all men practiced continence, as the Apostle did, generation would cease and, as a result, the number of the elect would never be fulfilled, and this is against God’s arrangement. Some say that it had been revealed to the Apostle that if all men were saved practicing continence, as he practiced it, it would suffice to fill up the number of the elect. But this rests on no authority; consequently, it can be said that the Apostle wished all men to be continent, because he wished this for certain individuals, but he did not wish that all would be continent at the same time. Or it can be said, and this is better, that he wished all men to be continent in his antecedent will, as he says in 1 Timothy (2:4): “God desires all men to be saved,” but not by his consequent will, by which God will to save certain persons, namely the predestined and to damn others, namely, the reprobate, as it says in Malachi (1:2-3): “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.” Now the antecedent will is concerned with that which considered absolutely is better, as all men to be saved or continent; but the consequent will is concerned with that which is better considering circumstances of persons and events, and according to this, God wills to damn some and the Apostle wishes some to be united in marriage.

333. – Then when he says, but each, he tells the reason why he permitted marriage as a concession, namely, because each one has not received from God so much virtue as to enable him to practice total continence, as the Lord himself said: “Not all men can receive this saying... He who is able to receive this, let him receive it” (Matt. 19:11, 12). And this is what he says: I should wish that all were continent, but each has his own gift from God, that is, in a definite measure, one of one kind, for example, to serve God in virginity, and another in another, say to serve God in marriage. Hence it says in Matthew (25:15): “To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, each according to his ability.” And in Wisdom (8:21): “But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom unless God gave her to me—and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was.”

334. – Then when he says, to the unmarried, he explains what he had said obscurely. First, as to his statement, I wish all were as I myself, namely, because this is absolutely better. Hence he says, to the unmarried, that is, virgins, and the widows I say by way of explanation that it is good for them to remain single as I do, for it says in Wisdom (4:1): “Blessed is the chaste generation with glory.”

335. – Secondly, as to his statement, but each one has his own gift; as if to say: not everyone has received from God the gift of continence. Hence he says, if they cannot exercise self-control, that is, if they have not yet received this gift, they should marry, that is, be joined in matrimony: “I would have younger widows marry” (1 Tim. 5:14). Then he gives the reason, saying, it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion, that is, be overcome by concupiscence. For concupiscence is a harmful heat; therefore one assailed by concupiscence is warmed but not burned, unless he is overcome by concupiscence and destroys the water of grace. Hence Job (31:8) says: “A fire which consumes unto Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.” It should be noted that the Apostle uses a helpful comparison here, for it is good to marry, although it is a lesser good. But to be burned is an evil. Therefore it is better, that is, more tolerable, that a man should have the lesser good than incur the evil of incontinence. And this is what he said above (v. 2): to avoid fornication each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband; and later (v. 5): lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control.

7-2

1 Cor 7:10-14

10 To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.

336. – After presenting teachings about the contract of marriage, the Apostle now instructs those who have already contracted marriage, that they must not dissolve the marriage. First, he teaches those already joined in marriage to continue in it; secondly, he gives them a useful teaching as to all the states or conditions of men (v. 20). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he deals with the indissolubility of marriage, as it applies to those who are of one worship; secondly, when there is disparity of cult (v. 12). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he lays down a precept about the indissolubility of marriage; secondly, he teaches what should be done when the marriage is broken by separation (v. 11).

337. – First, therefore, he says: I have said to the unmarried, i.e., virgins and widows, that it is better for them to remain as they are; but to the married, the same condition does not prevail. For to them I give the charge, not I, by the authority entrusted to me, but the Lord commands this, saying: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). I command, I say, that the wife should not separate from her husband, except on account of fornication, an exception which Christ made and is not mentioned here, because it is well known. The Lord made this the sole exception; all other troubles he commands to be patiently endured for the faith of the marriage: “Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matt. 19:9). According to a Gloss of Augustine, what is said here is understood of the union of matrimony when both are faithful.

338. – But if she does separate, namely, on account of fornication, let her remain unmarried, as long as the husband is alive, because although the marriage is dissolved as to bed and board, not as to bond. Or else be reconciled to her husband, namely, if the husband is not continent. Likewise the husband should not divorce his wife, except on account of fornication. A similar form is kept in regard to the man and to the woman. Hence it is necessary to supply what was said about the wife, namely, that if he dismissed her completely, he should not get another, but be reconciled to his wife.

339. – But Ambrose, commenting here, seems to say something contrary to this. He says: he does not say the same things for the man as for the woman, because it is lawful for the husband to marry another woman, for the inferior does not use this law as fully as the superior. But the Master says that this was added by a falsifier and should not be maintained at all.

340. – It should be noted here that there are seven cases when a husband cannot dismiss his wife on account of fornication. The first is when he himself prostituted her; the second, when he commits fornication with another woman; the third is when he gave her the occasion of fornication, as when he is unwilling to render the debt; the fourth is when she has probable certitude that her husband is dead and she married another; the fifth is when she has been violently oppressed by him; the sixth is when she was know by another, who seemed to be her husband; the seventh is when she has been manifestly caught in adultery, but is retained by her husband.

341. – Then when he says, To the rest I say, he treats of the inseparability of marriage between persons of disparate cult, when one is a believer. First, he says that the believer should not dismiss an unbelieving spouse, who is willing to continue living together without abusing the Creator. Secondly, that if the unbeliever does not wish to live together, the believer is not bound to follow, but can marry another (v. 15). Thirdly, that unless the unbeliever leaves first, the believer should patiently remain together (v. 16). In regard to the first, he gives an admonition; secondly, the reason for the admonition (v. 14). In regard to the first he speaks in general to men and women; secondly, in particular to the men (v. 12b); thirdly, in particular to the women (v. 13).

342. – He says therefore, To the rest, i.e., where not both are believers, but one is a believer and the other an unbeliever, I say, by way of counsel and not of command, not the Lord. As if to say: I say this from the Lord, although he does not say it with his own lips. This is what I say: If any brother, a believer, is converted to the faith while married. For this is understood of those who married as unbelievers, not of those who are in disparity of cult; for then there was no marriage, and they would have to be separated as Ezra did in Ezra 9-10. If a brother, I say, has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him without insulting the Creator, he should not divorce her. It is a counsel not a precept, so that if one does the contrary, he is not a transgressor, according to a Gloss.

343. – Then when he says, If any woman, he speaks in particular to women, where he first of all supposes faith in someone; secondly, unbelief in this other when he says, has a husband who is an unbeliever; thirdly, the unbeliever is willing to live together, when he says, and he consents; fourthly, he advises the believer to remain with him when he says, to live with her, she should not divorce him. He says, therefore, and likewise, if a believing wife has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her without insulting the Creator; for if he were unwilling to live with her without insulting the name of Christ, the believer should divorce him, because ‘insulting the Creator dissolves a marriage’, as a Gloss says, and she may marry again. If, I say, that is the case, she should not divorce him. It is a counsel, not a precept; for it is lawful for the unbeliever to divorce the believer, but then it was not expedient.

344. – Then when he says, For the unbelieving husband, he gives the reason for the admonition just given. First, he proposes an example; secondly, the danger (v. 14b); thirdly, the fruit (v. 14c).

345. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he gives the example of an unbelieving husband; secondly, of an unbelieving wife (v. 14). He says, therefore, he is consecrated through his wife; as if to say: the wife who believes should not divorce the unbelieving spouse willing to live with her, because he is sanctified through the wife. This is read in two ways. In the first way thus: the husband who is not a believer is sometimes sanctified by a wife who believes, i.e., it sometimes happens that one is converted to the faith by the other. And this has probably happened already, as Sisinnius was converted to the faith in Rome by Theodora during the reign of Clement. Likewise, the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband, namely, by his admonition and doctrine. In another way it can be read thus: so the believer should not divorce the unbeliever, for the husband is sanctified by the wife, i.e., the believer does not contract uncleanness by cohabiting with or uniting with the unbelieving spouse, but preserves true modesty, according to Augustine.

346. – Then when he says, otherwise your children, this is read in two ways: first, of children to be born; secondly, of children already born. In the first way it is read thus: otherwise, if you depart and you both have relations with others, your children, who would be born of this union, would be unclean, i.e., spurious, because not born of a lawful union. In the second way it is read thus: otherwise, namely, if you separate, your children already born would be unclean, i.e., would remain in unbelief, following the majority, which would be unbelievers; but now, if you remain together, they are holy, i.e., become Christians.

[7:15—10:33 (nos. 347-581) supplied by Peter of Tarantaise]

11-1

1 Cor 11:1-3

1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

582. – Having eliminated from the believers a practice contrary to the sacrament of the Eucharist, namely, partaking of food offered to idols, the Apostle now instructs them about the sacrament of the Eucharist itself. First, he gives a general admonition; secondly, he develops his proposition (v. 3). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents the admonition; secondly, he signifies how the Corinthians regarded that admonition (v. 2).

583. – In regard to the first it should be noted that the natural order of things is so arranged, that lower beings imitate higher beings, as far as it is possible. Hence even a natural agent, being superior, makes the thing it acts on similar to itself. Now the primordial principle of the production of things is the Son of God, as it says in John (1:3): “All things were made through him.” He is, therefore, the primordial exemplar, which all creatures imitate as the true and perfect image of God. Hence it says in Col (1:15); “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, for in him all things were created.” But in a special way He is the exemplar of spiritual graces, with which spiritual creatures are endowed, as is said to the Son in Ps 110 (v. 3): “In the splendors of the saints before the morning star I begot you,” namely, because He was begotten before every creature through resplendent grace, having in Himself as exemplar the splendors of all the saints. But this exemplar of God has been very remote from us at first, as it says in Ec (2:12); “What is man that he could follow the king, his Maker?” And therefore He willed to become man, that He might offer humans a human exemplar. Hence Augustine says in the Christian Combat: “This perversity he does not lack who loves to inspect and imitate that man’s words and actions, in which the Son of God offered Himself to us as an example of living.” Just as angels were first to imitate the exemplar of His divinity, but secondarily the other creatures, as Denis says in the Angelic Hierarchy, so the exemplar of humanity is chiefly proposed to be imitated by the prelates of the church, as being higher. Hence the Lord says in John (13:15): “I have given you an example that as I have done, so do you.” Secondly, however, the prelates informed by the example of Christ are proposed to their subjects as exemplars of living: “Being examples to the flock” (1 Pt 5:3); “To give you in our conduct an example to imitate” (2 Th 3:9). Therefore, the Apostle expressly says: I have said that you should be without offense to anyone. And this, of course, you can do, if you take note of what I say: Be imitators of me as I am of Christ, i.e., an imitator. For he imitated Him, first, in devotion of mind: “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). Secondly, in anxiety for his subjects: “Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Phil 2:17); Jesus Christ also offered himself for us, as it says in Eph (5:2). Thirdly, as to tolerating suffering: “Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus” (2 Cor 4:10); “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal 6:17). But it must be noted that he does not merely say, Be imitators of me, but he adds, as I am of Christ, namely, because subjects ought not imitate their prelates in everything but in those things in which they imitate Christ, Who is the unfailing exemplar of holiness.

584. – Then when he says, I commend you, brethren, he shows how the Corinthians were acting in regard to the above admonition. In regard to this it should be observed that subjects follow their prelates in two ways: namely, as to their deeds and words. In regard to deeds, when they imitate the example of their prelates; hence it says in Jas (5:10): “As an example take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” In regard to deeds, when they obey their precepts: “Keep my commandments and live” (Pr 4:4). But the Corinthians failed in these things and especially the greater majority; consequently, the Apostle addressed them thus: I commend you, brethren. As if to say: You should offer yourselves to be praised on this point, but you do not, because you remember me in everything, so as it imitate my example. For we cannot imitate examples of ones we do not remember. Hence it says in Heb (13:7): “Remember your leaders; consider the outcome of their life and imitate their faith.” As to words he adds: You maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. As if to say: You observe them in the same tenor as I delivered them to you: for he says this, because he had not departed from observing the commandments: “If they keep my word, they will also keep yours” (Jn. 15:20).

585. – But this seems to be a manner of speaking not suited to the truth of the Sacred Scripture, which contains no falsity, as it says in Pr (8:8): “All the words of my mouth are righteous; and there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.” The answer is that irony is one of the figures of speech, in which one does not pay attention to the sense which the words make in order to get the truth, but what the speaker intends to express by a similar or contrary or other way. Therefore, in irony the truth is really the contrary of what the words indicate, as in a metaphor the truth consists in a similarity.

586. – Then when he says, But I want you to understand, brethren, he proceeds to his intention of instructing believers in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In regard to this he does three things: first, he reproves their errors regarding the rite of this sacrament; secondly, he shows the dignity of this sacrament (v. 23); thirdly, he teaches the correct rite (v. 27). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he refutes their error, by which they erred in clothing, namely, because the women gathered for the sacred mysteries with heads uncovered; secondly, he corrects them in their gathering, because, when they came together for the sacred mysteries, they indulged in quarrels (v. 17); thirdly, as to food, because they approach to take the sacred mysteries, after they had just eaten (v. 20). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he lays down a teaching from which is drawn the reason for the next admonition; secondly, he gives an admonition (v. 4).

587. – In regard to the first he mentions three comparisons, the first of which is of God to man, saying: I have said you hold my precepts, by irony, but in order that you may see how unreasonably you act, I want you to know as something necessary and in keeping with Is (5:13): “My people went into exile for want of knowledge,” that the head of every man is Christ. This is said according to a likeness of a natural head, in which four things are considered. First, perfection, because while the other members have but one sense, namely, touch, all the senses flourish in the head; and similarly in other men are found single graces, as it says in 1 Cor (12:8): “To one is given the spirit of utterance of wisdom, to another the spirit of knowledge,” but in Christ alone is found the fullness of all graces. For it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit, as is said in John (3:34). Secondly, in the head is found sublimity, because as in a man it is superior to all the members, so Christ is super-eminent not only over all men but also all angels, as it says in Eph (1:20): “He made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places far above all power and dominion” and below (5:22): “Christ is the head of the Church.” Thirdly, in the head is found outflowing power, namely, because in some way it imparts sensation and movement to the other members; so from Christ is derived movement and sense to the other members of the Church according to Col (2:19): “not holding fast to the head from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together, grows with a growth that is from God.” Fourthly, in the head is found a conformity of nature to the other members; likewise in Christ relative to other men, as it says in Phil (2:7): “Taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of man.”

588. – The second comparison he presents is of man to man, when he says: The head of a woman is her husband. This is verified according to the four comparisons mentioned above. For, first of all, man is more perfect than woman not only in regard to the body, because, as the Philosopher says in the book On Generation of Animals, “the female is an occasioned male,” but also in regard to the soul’s vigor, as it says in Ec (7:29): “One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.” Secondly, because man is naturally superior to the female, as it says in Eph (5:22): “Wives, be subject to your husband as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife.” Thirdly, because the man exerts an influence by governing the wife, as it says in Gen (3:16): “Your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Fourthly, the man and the woman are alike in nature, as it says in Gen (2:18): “I will make him a helper like to him.”

589. – The third comparison he makes is of God to the Lord, when he says: The head of Christ is God. Here it should be noted that this name, “Christ,” signifies the person mentioned by reason of His human nature: and so this name, “God,” does not refer only to the person of the Father but the whole Trinity, from which as from the more perfect all goods in the humanity of Christ are derived and to which the humanity of Christ is subjected. It can be understood in another way, so that this name, “Christ,” stands for that person by reason of his divine nature; then this name, “God,” stands only for the person of the Father, Who is called the head of the Son not by reason of a greater perfection or by reason of any supposition, but only according to origin and conformity of nature; as it says in Ps 2 (v. 7): “The Lord said to me: you are my Son; today I have begotten you.”

590. – But these can be taken mystically, inasmuch as there is in the soul a certain spiritual union. For sensibility is compared to the female, but reason to the man, by whom sensibility ought to be ruled. Hence he is called her head. Or: the lower reason, which is interested in disposing of and arranging temporal things, is compared to the women. To the man is compared the higher reason, which occupies itself with contemplating eternal things and is called the head of the lower reason, because temporal things should be disposed according to eternal reasons, as it says in Ex (25:9): “Make it according to the pattern I showed you on the mountain.” But Christ is called the head of the man, because reason alone according to its superior part belongs to God.

11-2

1 Cor 11:4-7

4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head—it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

591. – Having set forth the doctrine, he adds the admonition, the reason for which is taken from the doctrine mentioned. In regard to this he does two things: first, he gives the admonition on the man’s part; secondly, on the woman’s (v. 5).

592. – First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that the head of the woman is the man, but any man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonors his head. In regard to this it should be noted that any man assisting a judge should display a condition or dignity, and especially assisting God, Who is judge of all. Therefore, those who assist God should conduct themselves in the best behaved and suitable way, as it says in Ec (5:1): “Guard your steps, when you go to the house of God.” Now man assists God in two ways: in one way by relating human things to God, and that is done by praying: “He will make supplication before the Most High; he will open his mouth in prayer, and make supplication for his sins” (Sir 39:5); in another way by bringing things down from God to men, and that is done by prophesying, according to Jl (2:28): “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Hence the Apostle is careful to say, man praying or prophesying. For in these two ways man assists God as Judge, or he assists the Lord. He is said to prophesy in two ways: in one way, inasmuch as man announces to others what has been divinely revealed to him, as it says in Lk (1:67): “And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel…” A man prophesies in another way, inasmuch as he utters things which have been revealed to others; hence, those who read the prophecies or other sacred scriptures are said to be prophesying. It is taken in this sense below (14:4): “He who prophesies edifies the Church”; it is also taken in that sense here. But it pertains to man’s dignity (as will be clear below) not to wear a covering on his head; consequently, he says that every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraces his head, i.e., does something unbecoming a man. For as in a body, beauty depends on due proportion of the members, on proper light and color, so in human acts beauty depends on due proportion of words or deeds, in which the light of reason shines forth. Hence in an opposite way ugliness is present when something is done against reason and due proportion is not observed in words and deeds. Hence it was said above (7:36): “If someone regards himself as base in regard to his virgin, because she is over age.”

593. – The following objection is raised: For many with heads covered pray in church without any disgrace, as they wish to pray more secretly. The answer is that prayer is twofold: one is private and is offered to God in one’s own person; the other is public and is offered to God in the person of the entire Church, as is clear from the prayers said in the church by priests. It is these latter prayers that the Apostle has in mind here.

594. – There is also an objection against a Gloss which states that prophesying is called unlocking the Scriptures. According to this, anyone who preaches prophesies. But bishops preach with their head covered with a miter. The answer is that one who preaches or teaches in the schools speaks from his own person. Hence even the Apostle (Rom 2:16) calls the gospel his own, namely, on account of the energy he used in preaching it. But one who recites Sacred Scripture in the church, for example, by reading a lesson or an epistle or a gospel, speaks from the person of the whole church. This is the kind of prophesying that the Apostle understands here.

595. – Then there is an objection about those who chant psalms in choir with their head covered. The answer is that psalms are not chanted as by one singly presenting himself to God, but as by the whole multitude.

596. – Then when he says, but every woman, he gives an admonition as it applies to women, saying: But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled (which is unbecoming, considering her condition) disgraces her head, i.e., does something unsuitable in regard to covering her hair. But against this is the Apostle’s statement in 1 Tim (2:12): “I permit no woman to teach in church.” How, then, does it befit a woman to pray or prophesy in public prayer or in doctrine. The answer is that this must understood of prayers and readings which women say in their own groups.

597. – Then when he says, it is the same as if, he proves the above admonition. First, he induces a proof; secondly, he submits judgment of the proof to his hearers (v. 13). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he induces a proof; secondly, he excludes an objection (v. 11). In regard to the first he presents three proofs: the first is taken by a comparison to human nature; the second by a comparison to God (v. 7); the third by a comparison to angels (v. 10b).

598. – In regard to the first it should be noted that nature, which provides the other animals with aids sufficient for life, offers them to man imperfectly, so that through reason, art and use, man with his hands provides those things for himself, as it gave bulls horns for defense; whereas men prepare for themselves arms for defense by reason’s direction of the hands. Hence it is that art imitates nature and produces things which nature cannot make. Thus, for the covering of the head, nature gave man hair. But because this covering is not sufficient, man through art prepares for himself another covering. The same explanation is true in regard to the natural covering and the artificial. But it is natural for a woman to have long hair. For she has a natural disposition to this, and further a definite inclination is present in women to take care of their hair. For this is true in the majority of cases that women take more pains with their hair than men. Therefore, it seems to be a condition suitable to women that they use an artificial covering for the head more than men.

599. – In regard to this he does three things: first, he mentions the suitability of a natural and artificial covering, saying: It has been stated that a woman not covering her head dishonors her head, for it is the same, namely, the same thing to be deprived of an artificial covering, as if she were bald, i.e., as if she were deprived of the natural covering of hair, which is predicted as punishment for certain people: “The Lord will smite with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts” (Is 3:17).

600. – Secondly, he leads to something unacceptable, saying: For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair. As if to say: If she throws aside the artificial covering, let her for the same reason cast aside the natural covering; which is unacceptable. But against this seems to be the fact that nuns are shaved. To this there are two answers: first, because from the very fact that they take a vow of virginity or widowhood with Christ as their spouse, they are promoted to the dignity of men, being freed from subjection to men and joined to Christ Himself. Secondly, because they assume a garb of penance, when they enter religion. Now it is custom of men that in time of sorrow they take care of their hair. Hence it says in Jer (7:21): “Cut off your hair and cast it away, raise a lamentation on the bare heights.”

601. – Thirdly, he concludes his proposition, saying: But if it is disgraceful, i.e., unbecoming, for a woman to be shorn or shaven, i.e., be deprived of her natural covering by art or by nature, let her wear a veil.

602. – Then when he says, For a man, he presents the second proof, which is taken from a comparison to God. First, he induces to the proof; secondly, he proves what he had supposed (v. 8). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he lays down the reason for that which is on man’s part; secondly, on the woman’s part (v. 7).

603. – First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn, just as it is for her not to be veiled; for a man, however, it is not disgraceful, the reason being that a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God.

604. – In saying that he is the image of God, the error is excluded of those who say that man is only made to the image of God, but is not the image; the opposite of which the Apostle says here. For they said that the Son alone is image, because it says in Col (1:15): “He is the image of the invisible God.” Therefore, one must say that man is said to be the image of God and to His image. For he is an imperfect image, but the Son is said to be the image but not to the image, because He is the perfect image. To clarify this it should be noted that two things are generally involved in the notion of an image. First, a likeness, not in just any way, but in the very species of a thing, as a human son is similar to this father. Or in something which is a sign of the species, as the shape, in bodily things. Hence one who draws the shape of a horse is said to depict his image. And this is what Hilary says in the book, On Synods, that an image is an indifferent species. Secondly, origin is required. For one of two men who are similar in species is not the image of the other, unless he sprang from him, as a son from the father. Thirdly, the notion of a perfect image requires equality. Therefore, because man is similar to God in memory, intelligence and will, which pertain to the species of an intellectual nature and he has this from God, he is said to be God’s image; but because equality is lacking, he is an imperfect image of God. For this reason he is said to be God’s image, as in Gen (1:26): “Let us make man to our image and likeness.”

605. – It should also be noted that the glory of God is spoken of in two ways: in one way the glory by which God is glorious in Himself; this is not how man is God’s glory, but rather God is man’s glory, according to Ps 3 (v. 3): “But thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory.” In another way the glory of God is His splendor derived from Him: “The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Ex 40:34). This is the way it says here that man is the glory of God, inasmuch as God’s splendor shines on man, as it says in Ps 4 (v. 6): “The light of your countenance has been signed upon us, O Lord.”

606. – Then when he says, but woman, he presents that which is on the part of the woman, saying: But woman is the glory of man, because, as it says in Gen (2:23): “She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”

607. – Some object that because the image of God in man is regarded with respect to the spirit, in which there is no difference between male and female, as it says in Gal (3:28). Therefore, there is no more reason why man is called the image of God than a woman is. The answer is that man is here called the image of God in a special way, namely, because man is the principle of his entire race, as God is the principle of the entire universe and because from the side of Christ dying on the cross flowed the sacraments of blood and water, from which the Church has been organized. Furthermore, in regard to what is within, man is more especially called the image of God, inasmuch as reason is more vigorous in him. But it is better to say that the Apostle speaks clearly here. For he said of man that he is the image and glory of God; but he did not say of the woman that she is the image and glory of man, but only that she is the glory of the man. This gives us to understand that it is common to man and woman to be the image of God; but it is immediately characteristic of man to be the glory of God.

608. – We must consider why man should not veil his head, but the woman. This can be taken in two ways: first, because a veil put on the head designates the power of another over the head of a person existing in the order of nature. Therefore, the man existing under God should not have a covering over his head to show that he is immediately subject to God; but the woman should wear a covering to show that besides God she is naturally subject to another. Hence a stop is put to the objection about servant and subject, because this subjection is not natural. Secondly, to show that the glory of God should not be concealed but revealed; but man’s glory is to be concealed. Hence it says in Ps 115 (v. 1): “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give the glory.”

11-3

1 Cor 11:8-16

8 (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) 10 That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. 11 (Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.) 13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

609. – Having stated that the woman is the glory of man, the Apostle now prepares to prove it. In regard to this he does three things: first, he presents the proof; secondly, he assigns a reason for what he had said (v. 9); thirdly, he draws the conclusion intended (v. 10).

610. – In regard to the first it should be noted that, as was stated above, the woman is called the glory of man through something derived. Consequently, to prove this he says: For man in the original condition of things was not made from woman, but woman from man. For it says in Gen (2:22): “And the rib from with the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman.” About man it is said that “The Lord formed man of dust from the ground” (Gen 2:7).

611. – Then when he says, Neither, he assigns the reason for what he had said. To understand this it should be noted that the order of the perfect and of the imperfect is such that in one and the same subject the imperfect precedes the perfect in the order of time. For one is a boy, before he is a man. Absolutely speaking, however, the perfect precedes the imperfect in the order of time and of nature. For a boy is produced from the man. This, therefore, is the reason why the woman was produced from the man, because he is more perfect than the woman, which the Apostle proves from the fact that the end is more perfect than that which is for the end; but man is the woman’s end. And this is what he says: For man was not created for woman, but woman for the sake of man, as a helper, namely, in reproduction, as the patient is for the sake of the agent and matter for the sake of form: “It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a helper like unto him” (Gen 2:18).

612. – Then when he says, That is why, he draws the intended conclusion, saying: That is why, namely, because man is the image and glory of God, but woman the glory of man, a woman ought to have a veil on her head, when she places herself before God by praying or prophesying. In this way it is shown that she is not immediately under God, but is also subjected to man under God. For the veil put on the head signifies this. Hence another translation has it that the woman ought to have power over her head, but the sense is the same. For a veil is a sign of power, according to Ps 66 (v. 4): “Thou didst let men ride over our heads.”

613. – Then when he says, because of the angels, he gives a third reason, which is taken on the part of the angels, saying: A woman ought to have a veil on her head because of the angels. This can be understood in two ways: in one way about the heavenly angels who are believed to visit congregations of the faithful, especially when the sacred mysteries are celebrated. And therefore at that time women as well as men ought to present themselves honorably and ordinately as reverence to them according to Ps 138 (v. 1): “Before the angels I sing thy praise.” In another way it can be understood in the sense that priests are called angels, inasmuch as proclaim divine things to the people according to Mal (2:7): “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the angel of the Lord of hosts.” Therefore, the woman should always have a covering over her head because of the angels, i.e., the priests, for two reasons: first, as reverence toward them, to which it pertains that women should behave honorably before them. Hence it says in Sir (7:30): “With all your might love your maker and do not forsake his priests.” Secondly, for their safety, lest the sight of a woman not veiled excite their concupiscence. Hence it says in Sir (9:5): “Do not look intently at a virgin, lest you stumble and incur penalties for her.”

614. – Augustine explains the above in another way. For he shows that both man and woman are made to the image of God, according to what is said in Eph (4:23): “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds and put on the new man created after the likeness of God according to the image of him who created him,” where considered according to the spirit, in which there is no difference between male and female; consequently, the woman is the image of God, just as the male. For it is expressly stated in Gen (1:27) that “God created man to his own image, male and female he created them.” Therefore, Augustine says that this must be understood in a spiritual union, which is in our soul, in which the sensibility or even the lower reason has itself after the manner of the woman, but the superior reason after the manner of the man, in whom the image of God is considered to be. And according to this the woman is from the man and for the sake of the man, because the administration of temporal or sensible things, in which the lower reason or even the sensibility is adept, ought to be deduced from the contemplation of eternal things, which pertain to the higher reason and is ordained to it. Therefore, the woman is said to have a veil or power over her own head, in order to signify that in regard to dispensing temporal things man should apply a certain restraint, lest he transgress the limits in loving them. This restraint should not be applied to the love of God, since it is commanded in Dt (6:5): “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart.” For no limit is placed in regard to loving the end, although one is placed in regard to the means to the end. For a doctor produces as much health as he can, but he does not give as much medicine as he can, but in a definite amount. Thus a man should not have a covering on his head. And this on account of the angels, because, as is said in a Gloss: “Sacred and pious signification is pleasing to the holy angels.” Hence Augustine also says in The City of God, that the demons are attracted by certain sensible things, not as animals to food but as spirits to signs.

615. – Then when he says, Nevertheless, he excludes a doubt which could arise from these statements. For because he had said that man is God’s glory and the woman man’s glory, someone might believe either that the woman was not from God or that she should not have power in grace. Hence he excludes the first, saying: although the woman is the glory of man, who is the glory of God, nevertheless, neither the man is in the Lord, i.e., produced by the Lord, without the woman nor the woman without the man; Or in another way: neither the man is without the woman in the Lord, namely, in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor the woman without the man, because both are saved by God’s grace, according to Gal (3:27): “For as many of you as were baptized have put on Christ,” and then he adds: “There is neither male nor female,” namely, differing in the grace of Christ.

616. – Secondly, he assigns the reason, saying: For as in the first condition of things, woman was formed from the man, so in subsequent generations man was produced through woman, as Job says: “Man born of a woman” (Jb 14:1). For the first production of man took place without man or woman, when “God formed man from the dust of the earth” (Gen 2:7). The second was from man without the woman, when He formed Eve from Adam’s rib, as it says in the same place. But the third is from man and woman, as Abel was born from Adam and Eve, as it says in Gen (4:2). But the fourth was from the woman without the man, as Christ from the virgin, as it says in Gal (4:4): “God sent forth his Son born of woman.”

617. – Thirdly, he shows that the reason is apt, saying: And all things are from God, namely, because even the fact that the woman was first from the man, and afterwards man is from the woman, is the result of God’s action. Hence both man and woman pertain to God. Hence it says in Rom (11:36): “For from him and through him and in him are all things.”

618. – Then when he says, Judge for yourselves, he submits to his bearers’ judgment the things he had said. In regard to this he does two things: first, he submits the judgment to his rational hearers; secondly, he subdues the impudent ones.

619. – In regard to the first he does four things: first, he submits to his hearers to judge what he had said, after the manner of one who is confident that he has sufficiently proved his point, saying: Judge for yourselves. For it pertains to a good hearer to judge what is heard. Hence it says in Jb (6:29): “Judge, speaking what is just” and in (12:11): “Does not the ear judge words?” Secondly, he proposes in the form of a question that about which they should judge, saying: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? This is forbidden in 1 Pt (3:3): “Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair.” Thirdly, he shows whence they should derive their judgment, namely, from nature itself; and this is what he says: Does not nature itself teach you? By “nature” he means the “natural inclination” in women to take care of their hair, which is a natural covering, but not in men. This inclination is shown to be natural, because it is found in the majority. But it is taught by nature, because it is a work of God; just as in a picture one is instructed about the skill of the artist. Therefore, Isaiah (24:5) says against certain people: “They have transgressed the law, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant,” i.e., the natural law. Fourthly, he takes a reason from nature: first, he presents that which is on the part of the man, saying: That for a man to wear long hair like a woman is degrading to him. The majority of men regard this as degrading, because it makes the man seem feminine. Therefore, it says in Ez (44:20): “They shall not let their locks grow long.” It is no argument that some in the Old Law grew long hair, because this was a sign presented in the reading of the Old Testament, as it says in 2 Cor (3:14). Secondly, he presents that which is on the part of the woman, saying: But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory, because it seems to pertain to her adornment. Hence it says in S. of S. (7:5): “Your flowing locks are like purple.” Then he assigns the reason when he says: For her hair is given her for a covering. Consequently, the same reason applies to growing long hair and to wearing an artificial covering: “Your hair is like a flock of goats” (S. of S. 4:1).

620. – Then when he says, If anyone, he silences the impudent hearers, saying: If anyone is disposed to be contentious and not acquiesce in the above reason but would attack the truth with confident clamoring, which pertains to contentiousness, as Ambrose says, contrary to Jb (6:29): “Respond, I pray, without contentiousness”; (Pr 20:3): “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife.” Let this suffice, then, to silence them that we Jews believing in Christ do not have such a practice, namely, of women praying with their heads uncovering, nor do the churches of God dispersed among the Gentiles. Hence if there were no reason, this alone should suffice, that no one should act against the common custom of the Church: “He makes those of one outlook to dwell in their house” (Ps 68:7). Hence Augustine says: “In all cases in which Sacred Scripture has defined nothing definite, the customs of the people of God and the edicts of superiors must be regarded as the law.”

11-4

1 Cor 11:17-22

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

621. – After reproaching the Corinthians for their error in covering, namely, because the women came to the sacred mysteries with their head uncovered, the Apostle then argues against their error about factions in the assembly, because while they gathered for the sacred mysteries, they spent their time in contentions. First, he touches on their shortcoming in general; secondly, in particular (v. 18).

622. – First, therefore, he says: But this, which was stated above, namely, that women should be veiled in church, I command, in order that he might thus induce them to this observance in three ways. First, indeed, by reason; secondly, by custom; thirdly, by command, which should persuade them without the other two: “Keep my commandments and you shall live” (Pr 4:4); “A three-ply cord is not quickly broken” (Ec

:12) – I do not praise but censure you, because you come together into the church not for the better, as it should be, but for the worse through your fault. For all gregarious animals, for example, doves, cranes, cows, each form one group by natural instinct, in order that things be better for them in a bodily way. Hence man, too, being a gregarious or social animal, as the Philosopher proves in Politics I, should act according to reason, so that many form one group for their betterment, just as in secular affairs many come together to form the unity of a city; so that it is better for them in a worldly way, namely, because of the security and sufficiency of life. Therefore, believers should come together into a unity for some better spiritual things according to Ps 102 (v. 22): “When people gather together and kings, to worship the Lord”; “In the counsel and congregation of the just the works of the Lord are great” (Ps 111:1). But they came together for the worse on account of the sins they committed, when they assembled: “I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly” (Is 1:13); “An assembly of the wicked is like two gathered together” (Sir 21:9).

623. – Then when he says, For in the first place, he mentions in detail how they assemble for the worse. First, he presents a judgment of guilt, saying: For in the first place, among others, namely, that you come together for the worse, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, namely, through contentions, which they practiced. This by no means is suited to the church, which is established in unity, as it says in Eph (4:4): “There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call.” But his was predicted: “You saw that the breaches of the city of David were many” (Is 22:9).

624. – But a Gloss says: “By saying, first of all, he shows that the first evil is dissension, from which all the rest arise. For where there is dissension, nothing is right.” But this seems to be opposed by the following statements: “The beginning of every sin is pride” (Sir 9:15) and “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim 6:10). But it must be said that these authorities speak in regard to personal sins of individual men, the first of which is pride on the part of aversion and greed for money on the part of conversion. But the Gloss here speaks about the sins of the multitude, among which the first is dissension, by which the reign of discipline is weakened. Hence it says in Jas (3:16): “Where jealousy and contention exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

625. – Secondly, he presents the credulity of his hearers when he says: And I partly believe it, i.e., as to some of you who were prone to contention, according to what was said above (1:11): “There is quarreling among you. What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos’ or ‘I belong to Cephas.’” But others were not contentious, who said: “I belong to Christ.” Hence it says in S. of S. (2:2): “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens,” i.e., good among the evil.

626. – Thirdly, he assigns the reason for their credulity, saying: For there must be not only factions among you but also heresies. Two things must be considered here: first, what heresy is; secondly, how it is necessary that there be heresies.

627. – In regard to the first it should be known that, as Jerome comments on the epistle to the Galatians, the Greek word, “heresy,” means “election” or “choice,” namely, because each one selects for himself that discipline which he considers to be better. From this two things can be taken: first, that it is of the very nature of heresy that a person follow his own private discipline, as though by his own choice, but not the public discipline handed down by God. Secondly, that he obstinately cling to this discipline. For choice implies firm adherence; and therefore the heretic is one who scorns the discipline of the faith handed down by God and obstinately follows his own error. Now something pertains to the discipline of the faith in two ways: in one way directly, as the articles of faith, which are proposed to be believed of themselves. Hence an error in regard to them makes one a heretic, if obstinacy is present. But a person cannot be excused from such an error on account of some simplicity especially in regard to those about which the Church made a solemn proclamation and which are generally spoken about by the faithful, such as the mystery of the Trinity, the birth of Christ, and so on. But other things pertain to the discipline of the faith indirectly, namely, inasmuch as they are not proposed as something to be believed of themselves, but from their denial something contrary to the faith follows; for example, if it is denied that Isaac was the son of Abraham, something contrary to the faith follows, namely, that Sacred Scripture contains something false. From such things one is not judged heretical, unless he continues in his opinion so obstinately, that he would not depart from his error, even though he sees what follows from his position. Therefore, the obstinacy with which someone spurns the judgment of the Church in matters pertaining to the faith directly or indirectly makes a man a heretic. Such obstinacy proceeds from pride, whereby a person prefers his own feelings to the entire Church. Hence the Apostle says in 1 Tim (6:3): “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words.”

628. – Secondly, it must be considered how it is suitable that heresies exist. For if it is suitable for heretics to be, it seems that hey are commendable and should not be stamped out. But it should be noted that there are two ways in which something is described as suitable to be. In one way from the intention of the one who does this; for example, if we should say that judgments ought to be, because judges make judgments intending to establish justice and peace in human affairs. In another way from the intention of God Who ordains evil things to good, Who directs the persecutions of tyrants to the glory of the martyrs. Hence Augustine says in Enchiridion that God is so good that He would not permit evil in any way, unless He were powerful enough that from each evil He can draw some good. And according to this it says in Matt (18:7): “Woe to the world for temptations to sin. For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to that man from whom temptations come.” And according to this the Apostle says the heresies must be, inasmuch as God has ordained the malice of heretics to the good of the faithful. He says this, first, for the clearer declaration of truth. Hence Augustine says in The City of God: “A question raised by an adversary is an occasion for learning; indeed, many things pertaining to the Catholic faith, when they are devised by the clever energy of heretics, in order that they may be defended against them, are considered more carefully and understood more clearly and preached with more emphasis.” Hence it says in Pr (27:17): “Iron sharpens iron; and one man sharpens another.” Secondly, to reveal the weakness of faith in those who believe rightly. And this is what the Apostle says: in order that those who are genuine, i.e., approved by God, may be recognized among you: “Like gold in the furnace he tried them” (Wis 3:6).

629. – Then when he says, when you meet together, he accuses them of a third fault, namely, that they sinned in the way and order in which they took the body of Christ. All that follows can be explained in two ways. According to the first explanation they are accused of taking the body of Christ just after eating. In regard to this he does four things: first, he mentions the harm they incur; secondly, he mentions the fault (v. 21); thirdly, he looks for the cause of the fault (v. 22); fourthly, he concludes his rebuke (v. 22b).

630. – He says, therefore, first, When you come together, there are factions among you, therefore meeting together in body not in mind, you have come to this which is not, i.e., not lawful or is not becoming for you to eat the Lord’s supper, i.e., receive the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord gave His disciples at supper. “For this sacrament,” says Augustine On John, “is the sacrament of unity and love.” Therefore, it is not suited to dissenters; “Eat, O friends and drink; drink deeply, O lovers” (S. of S. 5:2).

631. – Or better: it can be referred to what follows, so that the sense is: not only are there disputes among you when you come together, but it has now become your custom to do what is lawful for you, namely, to eat the Lord’s supper, which you approach right after eating. For because the Lord gave this sacrament to His disciples after supper (Matt 26:26), the Corinthians also wanted to take the body of Christ after a common meal. But the Lord did this for three reasons: first, because the figure precedes the truth in proper order. But the paschal lamb was a figure or shadow of this sacrament. Accordingly, after the supper of the paschal lamb, Christ gave this sacrament. For it says in Col (2:17) about all practices of the Law: “These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Secondly, in order that from this sacrament He might pass immediately to His passion, of which this sacrament is the memorial. Therefore, he said to the disciples: “Arise, let us go from here,” (Jn. 14:31); namely, to His passion. Thirdly, in order that this sacrament be impressed more sharply on the hearts of the disciples, to whom He gave it in His last quiet retreat. But out of reverence for this great sacrament the Church later established that it can be taken only by those fasting; from which the sick were excepted, who in necessity, which knows no law, could take the body of Christ without fasting.

632. – But because water does not break the fast, some supposed that after a drink of water they could take this sacrament, especially because, as they say, water is not nourishment any more than any other element. But although water by itself is not nourishment and, therefore, does not break the Eucharistic fast in the sense that some are said to fast, nevertheless when it is mixed with other things, it does nourish. And in this sense some are said to be fasting who on the same day take neither food nor drink. And because the pieces of food remaining in the mouth are consumed after the manner of saliva, this does not prevent one from being fasting. Likewise, the fast is not broken, if a person does not sleep at all during the night, or even if the food is not fully digested, provided that on one and the same day he took absolutely no food or drink. Hence because the beginning of a day is reckoned from midnight according to the custom of the Church, then whoever partakes of food or drink, no matter how little, after midnight, cannot receive this sacrament on that day.

633. – Then when he says, For each one, he mentions the fault: first, insofar as they sinned against God; secondly, insofar as they sinned against their neighbor (v. 21b).

634. – He says, therefore, first: The reason I say that it is not lawful for you to eat the Lord’s supper is that each one of you goes ahead with his own meal, namely, of common food. For each one carried to the church a tray of food already prepared, and each one ate by himself, before he took the sacred mysteries: “They banquet separately; now they shall perish” (Hos 9:9); and in the person of the frugal, Ec (11:19) says: “I have found rest, and I ate of my own goods alone.”

635. – Then when he says, and one, he accuses them of the sin against the neighbor. For the wealthy ate lavishly in church and imbibed until they were drunk; they gave nothing to the poor, who remained hungry. And this is what he says: and one is hungry, namely, the poor man, who did not have the means to prepare anything, and another is drunk, namely, the rich, who over-ate and over-

rank – which is contrary to Neh (8:10): “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared”; and Jb (31:17): “I have eaten my morsel alone, and the fatherless has not eaten of it.”

636. – Then when he says, Do you not have houses, he looks into the cause of this sin. First, he excludes a reason, by which they could be excused. For it is not lawful to apply to profane uses the house of God, which is set aside for sacred uses. Hence the Lord, when driving the buyers and sellers from the temple, said; “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matt 21:13). And Augustine says in his Rule: “In the oratory let no one do anything except for what it was built and from which it gets its name.” Yet in case of necessity, namely, when one can find no other house, he may lawfully use the church for eating, or for other such lawful uses. But the Apostle rejects this excuse, saying: Do you not have houses, namely, your own, to eat and drink in? Then you would have an excuse, if you celebrated banquets in the church, which you ought to do in your own homes. Hence Lk (5:29) says that Levi made Christ a great feast in his house.

637. – Secondly, when he says, or do you despise, he asserts the cause which makes them inexcusable, the first of which is contempt for the church of God. And he states this, saying: Do you despise the church of God? Is that why you presume to eat your supper in the church? Here “church” can be taken for either the congregation of believers of the sacred house, which is not to be despised, as it says in Ps 93 (v. 5): “Holiness befits your house,” and in Jer (7:11): “Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?” But they despise both, when in the presence of the congregation of believers, they hold feasts in a holy place. Secondly, he mentions their contempt of neighbor when he says: and humiliate those who have nothing? For the poor were humiliated, inasmuch as they were hungry in the presence of the entire group, while others were eating and drinking lavishly. But it says in Pr (17:7): “He who mocks the poor insults his Maker” and Sir (4:2): “Do not grieve the one who is hungry.”

638. – Then when he says, What shall I say to you, he concludes his reprimand, saying: What shall I say to you in the light of the above? Shall I praise you? And he answers: Although I praise you for other things, in this matter I cannot praise you. It should be noted that above when he spoke about women’s apparel, he praised them at least ironically, saying: “I praise you, because you remember me in everything.” But here he does not want to praise them even ironically, because in more serious matters sinners must in no way be handled gently. Hence it says in Ps 10 (v. 3); “For the sinner is praised in the desires of his soul and the wicked man is blessed. And the sinner renounces the Lord”; and in Is (3:12): “My people, those who called you happy, misled you.”

639. – According to another explanation, they are reprimanded for a different fault. For in the early church the faithful offered bread and wine, which were consecrated into the body and blood of Christ. After the consecration the rich, who had offered much, wanted the same amount returned; and so they took an abundant share, while the poor, who had offered nothing, received nothing. Therefore, it is for this fault that the Apostle reprimands them, saying: When you meet together, it is not any longer to eat the Lord’s supper. For the Lord’s supper is common to the whole family; but each of you takes it not as common but as his own, while he tries to justify himself, because he offered it to God. And this is what he adds: Each one presumes, i.e., presumptuously attempts to eat the supper, namely of the Lord, i.e., consecrated bread and wine, as his own, i.e., taking them as though they were his own, namely, the things consecrated to the Lord, for their use. And so it follows that one, namely, the poor person who offered nothing goes hungry, but another, namely, the rich man who offered much is drunk; literally, because he took too much of the consecrated wine, which he demanded as his own.

640. – But it seems to be impossible for one to get drunk from consecrated wine or even be nourished by the bread, because after consecration nothing remains under the appearance of bread and wine except the substance of Christ’s body and blood, which cannot be changed into man’s body, so as to nourish him or make him drunk.

641. – Therefore, some say that this does not come to pass by any conversion, but by the sole change of a man’s senses by the accidents of bread and wine, which remain after consecration. For men were wont to be strengthened by the mere order of food and be stupefied and, as it were, made drunk from the strong odor of wine. But strengthening or stupefaction, which come solely from a change of the senses, lasts a short time, while, nevertheless, after the consecration of the bread and wine, if the wine or bread were taken in large quantities, a man would be sustained for a long time on account of the bread or stupefied on account of the wine. Besides, it is clear that the consecrated bread can be changed into another substance, since it is changed into dust by putrefaction or into ashes by burning. Hence there is no reason to deny that they can nourish, since nourishment requires no more than that the food be changed into the substance of the one fed.

642. – Therefore, others assert that the bread or consecrated wine can be converted into something else and so can nourish, because the substance of bread or wine remain there with the substance of the body and blood of Christ. But this conflicts with the words of Scripture. For what the Lord says in Matt (26:26) would not be true, namely, “This is my body,” because this thing pointed to is bread; He should rather have said: “Here,” i.e., in this place, “is my body.” Besides, the body of Christ does no begin to be in this sacrament by local motion, because He would then cease to be in heaven. Hence, what is left is that He begins to be there by the conversion of something else, i.e., of the bread, into Himself; hence, it cannot be that the substance of bread remains. Therefore, others say that there remains the bread’s substantial form, from which springs a thing’s activity; consequently, it nourishes, just as bread itself nourishes. But this cannot be, because to nourish is to be converted into the substance of the nourished. But his does not belong to any nutriment by reason of the form, whose function is to act, but rather by reason of the matter, whose function is to be acted upon. Hence, if the substantial form were there, it would be unable to nourish.

643. – But others say that the surrounding air is converted either into the substance of the one nourished or into anything else of the sort. But this could not happen without much condensation of air, which would not fail to be detected by a sense. Therefore, others say that by divine power the substance of bread and wine return, in order that the sacrament not be detected in these changes. But this seems to be impossible, because, since the substance of bread was converted into the body of Christ, it does not seem that the substance of bread could return, unless the body of Christ were converted into bread. Besides, if the substance of bread returns, this occurs either with the accidents of bread remaining, and then there will simultaneously be the substance of bread and the substance of Christ’s body, which was disproved above: for the substance of Christ’s body is there as long as the species remain. Or it returns with the species not remaining, which is also impossible, because then the substance of bread would be there without its own accidents; unless, perhaps, it is understood that God at the end of the conversion would cause to be there a certain matter which would be the subject of this conversion. But it is better to say that just as in virtue of the consecration, it is miraculously given to the appearance of bread and wine to subsist without a subject and to subsist after the manner of a substance, so also it is miraculously given as a consequence that they act or be acted upon in the same way as the substance of bread and wine would, if they were present. And for this reason those species of bread and wine can nourish and inebriate, just as if the substance of bread and wine were there. As for the rest there are no changes from the first explanation.

11-5

1 Cor 11:23-24

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

644. – After rebuking the Corinthians for their unbecoming behavior, when they came together to take the Eucharist, the Apostle now deals with the sacrament itself. First, he discusses the dignity of this sacrament; secondly, he urges the faithful to receive it reverently (v. 27). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he commends the authority of the doctrine he is about to deliver; secondly, he presents the doctrine about the dignity of this sacrament (v. 23b).

645. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he commends the authority of the doctrine on the part of the author, who is Christ, saying: I have said that it is no longer of interest to eat the Lord’s supper, calling the sacrament of the Eucharist the Lord’s supper, for I received from the Lord, namely, Christ, Who is the author of this doctrine and not any mere man: “Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through men but through Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:1); “It was declared at first by the Lord” (Heb 2:3). Secondly, he commends the authority of the doctrine on the part of the minister, who is Paul himself, when he adds: what I also delivered to you: “What I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you” (Is 21:10); “I learned without guile and I impart without envy” (Wis 7:13).

646. – Then when he says, that the Lord Jesus, he commends the dignity of this sacrament, describing its institution: first, he mentions the institution; secondly, the time of the institution (v. 23c); thirdly, the manner of instituting (v. 23d).

647. – The one who institutes this sacrament is Christ. Hence he says: that the Lord Jesus, for it was stated above, when the sacrament of baptism was discussed, that Christ has in the sacraments the excellence of power, to which pertain four things: first, that His virtue and merit operate in the sacraments; secondly, that the sacraments are sanctified in his name; thirdly, that He can produce the effect of a sacrament without the sacrament; fourthly, the institution of a new sacrament. Yet it was especially suitable that He institute in His own person this sacrament, in which His body and blood are communicated. Hence He Himself says in John (6:52): “The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

648. – Then when he says, on the night when he was betrayed, he describes the time of the institution of this sacrament. It was fitting to do this: first, as to the quality of the time. For it was night. For the soul is enlightened by virtue of this sacrament. Hence 1 Sam (14:27) says that Jonathon “put forth the tip of his staff and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his head to his mouth, and his eyes became bright”; on which account it says in Ps 139 (v. 12): “The night is as bright as the day.” Secondly, as to the negotiations carried on at that time, namely, it was when he was delivered over to the passion, by which he passed to the Father that He instituted this sacrament, which is a memorial of the passion: “Come here, stranger, and prepare the table, and if you have anything at hand, let me have it to eat” (Sir 29:26).

649. – Then when he says, he took bread, he shows the manner of the institution: first, he relates what Christ said and did in instituting this sacrament; secondly, he explains (v. 26). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he deals with the institution of this sacrament as to the body of Christ; secondly, as to His blood (v. 25).

650. – In regard to the first, before explaining the text one must first consider the need for instituting this sacrament. So it should be noted that the sacraments were instituted on account of a need in the spiritual life. And because bodily things are likenesses of spiritual things, it is fitting that the sacrament be proportionate to things which are necessary to bodily life, in which generation comes first, to which baptism is proportionate and through which one is reborn into the spiritual life. Secondly, for bodily life is required growth, by which one is brought to perfect size and power. To this is proportionate the sacrament of confirmation, in which the Holy Spirit is given for strength. Thirdly, for the spiritual life is required food, by which man’s body is sustained, and likewise the spiritual life is fed by the sacrament of the Eucharist, as it says in Ps 23 (v. 2): “He make me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”

651. – It should be known that the cause of generation is not joined according to its substance to the one generated, but only according to its power; but food is joined according to its substance to the fed. Hence in the sacrament of baptism, by which Christ regenerates us to salvation, it is not Christ according to His substance but only according to His power. But in the sacrament of this Eucharist, which is spiritual food, Christ is there according to His substance.

652. – He is contained under another appearance for three reasons: first, indeed, it would be horrifying for the faithful to receive this sacrament, if they ate the flesh of a man under its ordinary appearance and drank His blood; secondly, so that it would not be a source of derision to unbelievers; thirdly, in order that the merit of faith grow, which consists in believing something not seen.

653. – This sacrament is presented under two species for three reasons: first, indeed, on account of its perfection, because, since it is spiritual refreshment, ought to be spiritual food and spiritual drink. For even bodily refreshment is not complete without food and drink. Hence he also says above (10:3): “All ate of the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink.” Secondly, on account of its signification. For it is the memorial of the Lord’s passion, through which the blood of Christ was separated from His body; that is why in this sacrament the blood is offered separately from the body. Thirdly, on account of the salutary effect of this sacrament, for it avails for the health of the body, and so the body is offered; and it avails for the health of the soul, and so the blood is offered. “For the soul is in the blood” (Lev 17:11).

654. – This sacrament is offered specifically under the appearance of bread and wine: first of all, because men generally use bread and wine for their refreshment. Therefore, these are used in this sacrament, as water in baptism. Secondly, on account of the power of this sacrament: for bread strengthens the heart of man, but wine gladdens it. Thirdly, because the bread, which is made up of many believers. Furthermore, this Eucharist is especially the sacrament of unity and charity, as Augustine says On John.

655. – Having seen these matters relating to the explanation of the text: first, what Christ did must be explained; secondly, what he said (v. 24).

656. – But he does three things: the first is designated when he says: He took bread. Two things can be signified by this: first, that he voluntarily accepted the passion, of which this sacrament is the memorial, as it says in Is (53:5): “He was offered up because he will it.” Secondly, that he received from the Father the power of completing this sacrament, according to Matt (11:27): “All things have been handed over to me by my Father.” He touches on the second, when he says: and broke: “Share your bread with the hungry” (Is 58:7).

657. – But this seems contrary to the practice of the Church, according to which the body of Christ is first consecrated and then broken. But this cannot be, because the priest, while he is consecrating, does not pronounce those words as from his own person, but as from the person of Christ consecrating. Hence it is clear that Christ consecrated with the same words with which we consecrate. Therefore, it should be noted that what is said here, and he said, is not to be taken successively, as though Christ took bread and giving thanks broke it, and later said the words which follow; rather, they are taken concomitantly, namely, that while he took bread, giving thanks he broke it and said. Therefore with Matt (26:26) it should be stated that “Jesus took bread and blessed and broke.” The Apostle here did not care to mention about the blessing, understanding that the blessing was nothing else than what the Lord said: “This is my body.”

658. – Then when he says: and said, he shows what Christ said when instituting this sacrament: first, he enjoined the use of the sacrament; secondly, he expressed the truth of the sacrament; thirdly, he taught the mystery.

659. – He enjoined the use of the sacrament, saying: Take. As if not from any human power or merit is it proper for you to use this sacrament, but from an eminent gift of God: “Thou didst give thy people the food of angels” (Wis 16:20); “What have you that you did not receive” (1 Cor 4:7)? And he determines the kind of use when he says, and eat: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man” (Jn. 6:54); “If the men of my tent have not said, ‘Who will give of his flesh that we may be filled?’” (Jb 31:31).

660. – It should be noted, however, that these words are not from the form of consecration. For there is this difference between this and other sacraments, that the latter are completed not in the consecration of the matter but in the use of consecrated matter, as in the washing with water or in the anointing with oil or chrism. The reason is that in the matters of the other sacraments mention is made of the use of the sacrament, as when it is stated: I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But this sacrament is completed in the very consecration of the matter, in which Christ Himself is contained, Who is the end of all sanctifying grace. Therefore, the words which pertain to the use of the sacrament are not of the substance of the form, but only those containing the truth and content of the sacrament, which he mentions last, adding: This is my body.

661. – In regard to these words three things should be considered: first, the reality signified by these words, namely, that the body of Christ is there; secondly, the truth of this statement; thirdly, whether this is a suitable form for this sacrament.

662. – In regard to the first it should be noted that some have said that the body of Christ is not truly present in this sacrament, but only as in a sign explaining what is said here: This is my body, i.e., this is a sign and figure of my body, just as it was said above (10:4): “But the rock was Christ,” i.e., as figure of Christ. But this is heretical, since the Lord expressly says: “My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn. 6:56). Hence others say that the body of Christ is truly there but along with the substance of bread. This is impossible, as was shown above. Therefore, others said that only the body of Christ is there, the substance of bread not remaining because it is annihilated or reduced to prejacent matter. But this cannot be, because, as Augustine says in the Book of Eighty Three Questions: “God is not the author of tending to non-existence.” Secondly, because even this position takes away the fact the substance of bread is converted into the body of Christ; and so, since the body of Christ begins to be in this sacrament by the conversion of something else into it, the consequence is that He begins to be there by local motion: but that is impossible, as was shown above. Therefore, one must say that the body of Christ is truly in this sacrament by the conversion of bread into it.

663. – Yet it should be noted that this conversion differs from all conversions that occur in nature. For the action of nature presupposes matter, and therefore its action does not extend beyond changing something according to its form, either substantial or accidental. Hence every natural conversion is said to be formal. But God, Who makes this conversion is the author of form and of matter, and therefore the entire substance of bread, the matter not remaining, can be converted into the entire substance of the body of Christ. And because matter is the principle of individuation, this whole signated individual, which is a particular substance, is converted into another particular substance. For this reason it is called a substantial conversion or transubstantiation. In this conversion, therefore, occurs the contrary of what happens in natural conversions, in which, the subject remaining, a change sometimes occurs affecting the accidents. But here the substance is changed, while the accidents remain intact without a subject. This is done by divine power, which as the first cause sustains them without a material cause, which is the substance caused in order that the body of Christ and the blood be consumed under a different appearance, for the reasons given above. And because accidents are referred to their substance in a definite order, the dimensions remain without a subject and the other accidents remain in those dimensions as in a subject.

664. – But if no substance remains under those dimensions except the body of Christ, there could be no doubt about the breaking of the consecrated host, since the body of Christ is glorified and, therefore, unbreakable. Hence He cannot exist under this particle nor can it be pretended that He subsists, because the sacrament of truth is incompatible with any pretense. Hence nothing is perceived by the senses in this sacrament, which is not truly there. For the per se sensibles are qualities, which indeed remain as they previously existed, in this sacrament, as we have stated. Therefore, others have said that a certain breaking without a subject occurs there; hence nothing is broken there. But this cannot be said either, because, since breaking is in the category of “being acted upon,” which is a weaker category than quality, it cannot exist in this sacrament without a subject any more than quality can. Hence it must be said that the breaking is founded, as on a subject, on the dimensions of bread and wine which remain. But the body of Christ is not affected by such breaking, because the whole body remains under each part of the divided dimensions. This indeed can be considered in this way. For the body of Christ is in this sacrament from the conversion of the substance of bread into it. But the conversion does not come about by reason of the dimensions. For the dimensions of the bread remain, but only by reason of the substance. Hence, too, the body of Christ is there by reason of its own substance, but not by reason of its own dimensions, although its dimensions are there by way of consequence, inasmuch as they are not separated from His substance. But as far as the nature of the substance is concerned, it is entire under each part of the dimensions. Hence, just before the consecration the whole truth of the substance and nature of bread was under each part of its dimensions, so after the consecration the whole body of Christ is under each part of the divided bread.

665. – The division of the consecrated host signifies, first of all, the passion of Christ through which His body was broken by wounds, as it says in Ps 22 (v. 16): “They have pierced by hands and my feet.” From Him, as it says below (7:4) “there are divisions of graces.” Secondly, the distribution of the gifts of Christ from his own [progredientium], as it says above (12:4): “There are varieties of gifts.” Thirdly, the various parts of the Church. For among Christ’s members some are still pilgrims in this world, some may be in glory with Christ, both as to the soul and as to the body, but some await the final resurrection at the end of the world, and this is signified by the division of the host into three parts.

666. – Secondly, one should consider the truth of this statement. For the statement, This is my body, seems to be false. For the conversion of bread into the body of Christ occurs at the time of the pronouncing of these words. For it is then that the signification of these words is completed. For the forms of the sacrament effect by signifying; therefore, it follows that in the beginning of the statement, when it is stated that the body of Christ is not there but only the substance of the bread, which is pointed out by the pronoun, this, when it points out a substance. It is the same, therefore, to say, this is my body, as to say: “The substance of bread is my body,” which is obviously false.

667. – Therefore, some have said that the priest pronounces these words materially and recitatively from the person of Christ and, therefore, this pronoun’s function of pointing out is not referred to the matter present, such that as a result the statement should be rendered false as the objection supposed. But this cannot stand. First of all, because if this statement is not applied to the material present, it will do nothing in regard to it, which is false. For Augustine On John says: “The word comes to the element and the sacrament comes to be.” Hence it is necessary to say that the words are taken formally as referring to the material present. But the priest says them from the same efficacy now, as when Christ spoke them. For the power conferred on these words does not vanish either by the difference of time or by the variety of ministers. Secondly, because the same difficulty remains in regard to the first time these words were spoken, namely, by Christ.

668. – Therefore, others say that the sense of these words is, this is my body, i.e., this bread designates my body, so that “this” designates that which is present at the beginning of the statement. But even this cannot be, because since the sacraments effect what they signify, these words effect nothing except what they signify. Secondly, because it would follow from this that nothing would be effected by these words, except that the body of Christ would be there, as under a sign, which was disproved earlier. Therefore, others say that the “this” points out something to the intellect and indicates that which will be at the end of the utterance, namely, the body of Christ. But neither does this seem to be suitable, because according to this the sense would be: “My body is my body,” which is not brought about by these words. Since this was true before the words of consecration.

669. – Therefore, there must be another explanation, namely, that the forms of the sacraments not only signify, but also make: for by signifying they make. But in every instance of making, something common must be subject as a principle. But in this conversion the common factor is not a substance but the accidents, which were present in the beginning and continue to remain. Therefore, on the part of the subject in this statement no noun is used, which signifies a definite species of substance, but a pronoun, which signifies a substance without naming its species. The sense, therefore, is this, i.e., which is contained under these accidents, is my body. And this is what occurs through the words of consecration. For before the consecration that which was contained under these accidents was not the body of Christ, but it is made the body of Christ through consecration.

670. – Thirdly, it is important to consider how this is a suitable form for this sacrament. For this sacrament, as has been said, does not consist in the use of the matter but in its consecration. But the consecration does not occur by the consecrated matter merely receiving some spiritual power, but by the fact that it is transubstantiated according to its being into the body of Christ. Therefore, no other word was to be used except a substantive, so as to say, this is my body. For by this is signified that which is at the end, which is effected by signifying.

671. – Then when he says, which will be given up for you, he touches on the mystery of this sacrament. For this sacrament represents the Lord’s passion, through which His body was delivered over to death for us, as it says in Is (50:6): “I gave my back to the smiters,” and Eph (5:2): “He gave himself for us.” And to show the reason for making frequent use of this mystery, he adds: Do this in remembrance of me, by recalling this to mind, namely, such a great blessing, for which I gave myself in death. Hence it says in Lam (3:9): “Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall,” and Ps 111 (v. 4): “He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him.”

11-6

1 Cor11:25-26

25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

672. – After setting forth the institution of this sacrament as to the consecration of the body, the Apostle now sets forth its institution as to the consecration of the blood. First, he presents the order of institution; secondly, the words (v. 25b).

673. – The order is considered with respect to two things: first, the co-presence of both species, when he says: In the same way also the cup. For both are required for the perfection of this sacrament, both for the perfection of nourishment and on account of its representing the passion, and as its effecting the salvation of the soul and of the body, as has been stated above. But if the body of Christ is consecrated first in this sacrament and the blood later, it seems to follow that before the consecration of the blood, the body of Christ is without blood in the sacrament. Some who considered this unfitting have said that the two forms await each other in effecting, so that, namely, the first form of the consecration of the body does not achieve its effect before the form of consecration of the blood is completed; just as it was said that the words pronounced in consecrating the body do not achieve their effect until the end of the pronunciation of the words. But this is not similar. For the signification of the words by which the body of Christ is consecrated is not completed except at the end of the pronouncing of the words. And because sacramental words produce their effect by signifying, they cannot have effect before the end of their pronunciation. At that time they have full signification, even before the words of the consecration of the blood are begun. Therefore, it is necessary that even then they have their effect. Otherwise the priest would sin immediately after the words of consecration by showing an unconsecrated host to the people to be adored, unless the body of Christ were already there; because he would be inducing the people to idolatry. Therefore, it must be said that before the consecration of the blood the body of Christ is in this sacrament not without His blood.

674. – For it should be noted that in this sacrament something is present in two ways: in one way in virtue of the consecration, that, namely, that into which the conversion of the bread and wine is terminated, as is signified by the form of consecration; and in this way under the appearance of bread the body of Christ is present. In another way something is present in this sacrament by real concomitance, as the divinity of the Word is present in this sacrament on account of its indissoluble union with the body of Christ, although the substance of bread is in no way converted into the divinity. Likewise, the soul is there, which is really joined to the body. But if at any time during the three days of Christ’s death, the body of Christ had been consecrated by any of the apostles, the soul would not have been there, because it was really separated from the body. The same is true of the blood. For under the appearances of bread in virtue of the consecration is present Christ’s body, into which the substance of bread is converted. But the blood is there by real concomitance, because then the blood of Christ is not really separated from the body. And for the same reason under the appearance of wine the blood of Christ is present in virtue of the consecration, but the body by real concomitance, so that the whole Christ is under both species. But if during the time of the passion, when the blood of Christ had been drained from His body, this sacrament had been celebrated by any of the apostles, there would have been under the appearances of bread only the body of Christ without the blood; under the appearances of wine would there have been only the blood of Christ.

675. – The second order considered is to the material foods which had preceded when he says: After supper. This is a significant phrase. For Christ gave His body during the meal, as it says in Matt (26:26): “As they were eating, Jesus took bread.” But He gave his blood expressly after the meal, as it says in Lk (22:20): “And likewise the cup after supper.” The reason for this is that the body of Christ represents the mystery of the Incarnation, which occurred while the observance of the Law was still in vogue. Among these observances the most important was the meal of the paschal lamb. But the blood of Christ in the sacrament directly represents the passion, through which it was poured out and through which all observances of the Law came to an end; hence it says in Heb (9:12): “He went once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”

676. – Then he presents the words, this cup: first, he demonstrates the truth of this sacrament; secondly, he enjoins its use (v. 25c).

677. – In regard to the first he says, this cup. This can be taken in two ways: in one way as metonymy, where the container is put for the content. As if to say: Contained in this cup, which is more fittingly used in the consecration of the wine, which by reason of its wetness needs to be contained by other boundaries than in the consecration of the bread, which by reason of its dryness is contained within its own boundaries. In another way it can be taken metaphorically, so that the sense would be: just as the cup intoxicates and confuses, so also the passion. Hence Matt (20:22): “Are you able to drink the cup I am to drink?” and Matt (26:39): “Let this cup pass from me.” The sense, therefore, is this: This cup, i.e., what is contained in this cup, or this my passion, is the new covenant in my blood.

678. – Hence it should be noted that “covenant” is taken in two senses in the Scriptures. In one way for any pact which is confirmed by witnesses; and so it must be supposed that God entered into a pact with the human race in two ways: In one way by promising temporal goods and by freeing from temporal evils; and this is called the Old Covenant or pact. In another way by promising spiritual goods and by freeing from opposite evils, and this is called the New Covenant. Hence it says in Jer (31:31): “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. But this will be the covenant: I will put my law within them and I will be their God.” But it should be noted that in antiquity the custom was that they would pour out the blood of some victim to confirm a pact. Hence it says in Gen (31:54) that after Laban and Jacob made a pact, victims were sacrificed on the mountain and called his kinsmen. Hence, too, in Ex (24:8) its says that Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people and said: “Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you.” Therefore, just as the Old Covenant or pact was confirmed by the figural blood of bulls, so the New Covenant or pact was confirmed in Christ’s blood, which was poured out in the passion. And in the cup the sacrament is so contained.

679. – In another way “covenant” is taken more strictly for the disposition of an inheritance to be received and which must be confirmed by a certain number of witnesses. Such a covenant, however, is not confirmed except by death, because, as the Apostle says in Heb (9:17): “For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.” God, first of all, made disposition of eternal rewards to be received, but under the figure of temporal

oods – which pertain to the Old Covenant. But later He made a New Covenant, expressly promising an eternal inheritance, which was confirmed by the blood of Christ’s death. And therefore, the Lord says of this: This cup is the new covenant in my blood. As if to say: Through that which is contained in the cup is commemorated the new covenant confirmed by the blood of Christ.

680. – But it should be noted that the same words the Apostle gives here are found in Lk (22:20), except that Luke adds: “which shall be shed for you.” For Luke was a disciple of Paul and followed him in writing his Gospel. But Matt (26:28) says: “This is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The same words appear in Mk (14:24). Therefore, some say that whichever forms of these words written in the canon are said, they suffice for consecration. But it seems more probable to say that consecration is accomplished only by those words which the Church structured on the apostles’ uses. For the evangelists intended to recite the Lord’s words as part of His history, but not as they are ordained to consecration of the sacrament, which they held in secret in the early Church on account of unbelievers. Hence Denis says in Ecclesiastical Hierarchy: “It is not permitted to explain openly in writing the perfective invocations in the Scriptures or to bring to light their secret meaning.”

681. – But in regard to the words the Church uses in the consecration of the blood, some believe that not all are necessary for the form, but only that “This is the cup of my blood” but not “of the new and eternal covenant, a mystery of faith, which will be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.” But it does not seem fitting to say this. For all that follows is a determination of the predicate. Hence, it pertains to the meaning or signification of the same statement; and because, as has often been said, the forms of the sacraments effect by signifying, and totality pertains to the effective power of the sacrament. Nor is there any merit in the reason they adduce, because in the consecration of the body it is enough to say: “This is my body,” because the blood separately consecrated especially represents the passion of Christ, through which His blood was separated from the body.

682. – Therefore, in the consecration of the blood it was necessary to express the power of Christ’s passion, which is looked at, first of all, with respect to our guilt, which the passion of Christ abolishes, as it says in Rev (1:5): “He washed us from our sins in His blood.” In regard to this he says, “which will be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.” The blood was indeed shed for the remission of sins, not only for many but for all, as it says in 1 John (2:2): “He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ourselves only but also for the sins of the whole world.” But because some make themselves unworthy to receive such an effect, as far as its efficacy is concerned, it is said to have been shed for many, in which the passion of Christ has an effect. But he expressly says, “for you and for many,” because this sacrament can produce remission of sin for those who receive it after the manner of a sacrifice for many not receiving [communion] for whom it is offered; which is signified, when it is said: “and for many.” Secondly, its power is considered with respect to the life of justice it effects through faith, as it says in Rom (3:24): “They are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood to be received by faith.” As to this he says: “The mystery,” i.e., the sacrament “of faith,” namely, because faith in the passion of Christ was hidden in all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, as the truth in a figure. But the Church has this from the tradition of the apostles, since it is not found in the canon of Scripture. Thirdly, its power is regarded with respect to the life of glory, as it says in Heb (10:19): “Having confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus.” As to this he says: “Of the new and eternal covenant.” “Eternal,” indeed, because it is the disposition for the eternal inheritance. “New” to distinguish from the Old, because it promised temporal things. Hence, it says in Heb (9:15): “Therefore, he is the mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since his death has occurred.

683. – Then when he says, Do this, he enjoins the use of this sacrament, saying: Do this as often as you take it in remembrance of me, namely, in the mystery of my passion. Hence the prophet says in Lam (3:20): “My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me,” and in Is (63:7): “I will recall the mercies of the Lord.”

684. – But it should be noted that principally wine should be put in the cup. But water should be added. For it is probable that Christ at the meal gave the disciples wine mixed with water on account of a custom of that land, in which the strength of the wine had to tempered, so that all drink their wine mixed with water. Hence in Pr (9:5) Wisdom says: “Drink the wine I have mixed for you.” Nevertheless, water mixed with wine signifies the Christian people joined to Christ by passion, as it says in Rev (17:15): “The waters you saw are peoples and nations.” And partaking of the blood of Christ by the faithful pertains to the use of the sacrament, although it is not necessary. But wine can be consecrated without water, although one so consecrating would sin by not observing the rite of the Church. Therefore, if the priest before the consecration of the wine recalls that water was not added to the wine, he should add it. But if he recalls it after the consecration, he should not add it but should complete the sacrament. For after the consecration, nothing should be mixed with the blood of Christ, because such a mixing could not take place without some sort of corruption of the consecrated wine, which pertains to the crime of sacrilege.

685. –But some say that when from the side of Christ hanging on the cross blood and water flowed, as it says in Jn. 19:34, then as wine is converted into blood, so water into water. But this is not suitable, because in that water is figured the washing which is through baptism. But some say that after the conversion of wine into the blood the water remains as water and is surrounded by the accidents of the wine. But this is awkward, because the water is mixed with the wine before consecration, when it does not differ from other wine. Hence, they do not remain separated but are commingled. Therefore, it must be said that water is converted into wine and this whole is converted into the blood of Christ. Accordingly, the custom is to add a small amount of water, especially if the wine is weak, which can convert only a slight amount of water into itself.

686. – Then when he says, As often as, he explains the Lord’s words, which said: “Do this in memory of me,” saying: For as often as you eat this bread. He says bread on account of the appearances that remain. He says this on account of the numerically same body signified and contained. And drink the cup, you will proclaim the Lord’s death, namely, by representing it through this sacrament. And this, until he comes, i.e., until His final coming. This gives us to understand that this rite of the Church will not cease until the end of the world: “I am with you always to the end of the world” (Matt 27:20); “This generation,” namely, of the Church, “will not pass away, till all has taken place” (Lk 21:32).

11-7

1 Cor 11:27-34

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if any one is hungry, let him eat at home—lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

687. – After showing the dignity of this sacrament, the Apostle now rouses the faithful to receive it reverently. First, he outlines the peril threatening those who receive unworthily; secondly, he applies a saving remedy (v. 28).

688. – First, therefore, he says, Therefore, from the fact that this which is received sacramentally is the body of Christ and what is drunk is the blood of Christ, whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup in an unworthy manner will by guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. In these words must be considered, first, how someone eats or drinks unworthily. According to a Gloss this happens in three ways: first, as to the celebration of this sacrament, namely, because someone celebrates the sacrament in a manner different from that handed down by Christ; for example, if he offers in this sacrament a bread other than wheaten or some liquid other than wine from the grape of the vine. Hence it says in Lev (10:1) that Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, offered before the Lord “unholy fire, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of the Lord and devoured them.”

689. – Secondly, from the fact that someone approached the Eucharist with a mind not devout. This lack of devotion is sometimes venial, as when someone with his mind distracted by worldly affairs approaches this sacrament habitually retaining due reverence toward it; and such lack of devotion, although it impedes the fruit of this sacrament, which is spiritual refreshment, does not make one guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, as the Apostle says here. But a certain lack of devotion is a mortal sin, i.e., when it involves contempt of this sacrament, as it says in Mal (1:12): “But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted and its food may be despised.” It is of such lack of devotion that the Gloss speaks.

690. – In a third way someone is said to be unworthy, because he approaches the Eucharist with the intention of sinning mortally. For it says in Lev (21:23): “He shall not approach the altar, because he has a blemish.” Someone is understood to have a blemish as long as he persists in the intention of sinning, which, however, is taken away through penitence. By contrition, indeed, which takes away the will to sin with the intention of confession and making satisfaction, as to the remission of guilt and eternal punishment; by confession and satisfaction as to the total remission of punishment and reconciliation with the members of the Church. Therefore, in cases of necessity, as when someone does not have an abundance of confessors, contrition is enough for receiving this sacrament. But as a general rule, confession with some satisfaction should precede. Hence in the book on Church Dogmas it says: “One who desires to go to communion should make satisfaction with tears and prayers, and trusting in the Lord approach the Eucharist clean, free from care, and secure. But I say this of the person not burdened with capital and mortal sins. For the one whom mortal sins committed after baptism press down, I advise to make satisfaction with public penance, and so be joined to communion by the judgment of the priest, if he does not wish to receive the condemnation of the Church.”

691. – But it seems that sinners do not approach this sacrament unworthily. For in this sacrament Christ is received, and He is the spiritual physician, Who says of Himself in Matt (9:12): “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” The answer is that this sacrament is spiritual food, as baptism is spiritual birth. But one is born in order to live, but he is not nourished unless he is already alive. Therefore, this sacrament does not befit sinners who are not yet alive by grace; although baptism befits them. Furthermore, the Eucharist is the sacrament of love and ecclesial unity, as Augustine say On John. Since, therefore, the sinner lacks charity and is deservedly separated from the unity of the Church, if he approaches this sacrament, he commits a falsehood, since he is signifying that he has charity, but does not. Yet because a sinner sometimes has faith in this sacrament, it is lawful for him to look at this sacrament, which is absolutely denied to unbelievers, as Denis says in Ecclesiastical Hierarchy.

692. – Secondly, it is necessary to consider how one who receives this sacrament unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. This is explained in three ways in a Gloss. In one way materially: for one incurs guilt from a sin committed against the body and blood of Christ, as contained in this sacrament, which he receives unworthily and from this his guilt is increased. For his guilt is increased to the extent that a greater person is offended against: “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God and profaned the blood of the covenant?” (Heb 10:29).

693. – Secondly, it is explained by a similitude, so that the sense would be: He will be guilty of the body and blood of Christ, i.e., he will be punished as if he had killed Christ, as it says in Heb (6:6): “They crucify the son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.” But according to this the gravest sin seems to be committed by those who receive the body of Christ unworthily. The answer is that a sin is grave in two ways: in one way from the sin’s species, which is taken from its object; according to this a sin against the godhead, such as unbelief, blasphemy and so on, is graver than one committed against the humanity of Christ. Hence, the Lord Himself says (Matt 12:32): “Whoever says a word against the son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” And again a sin committed against the humanity in its own species is graver than under the sacramental species. In another way the gravity of sin is considered on the part of the sinner. But one sins more, when he sins from hatred or envy or any other maliciousness, as those sinned who crucified Christ, than one who sins from weakness, as they sometimes sin who receive this sacrament unworthily. It does not follow, therefore, that the sin of receiving this sacrament unworthily should be compared to the sin of killing Christ, as though the sins were equal, but on account of a specific likeness: because each concerns the same Christ.

694. – He will be guilty of the body and blood of Christ is explained in a third way, i.e., the body and blood of the Lord will make him guilty. For something good evilly received hurts one, inasmuch as evil well used profits one, as the sting of Satan profited Paul. By these words is excluded the error of those who say that as soon as this sacrament is touched by the lips of a sinner, the body of Christ ceases to be under it. Against this is the word of the Apostle: “Whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup unworthily.” For according to the above opinion no one unworthy would eat or drink. But this opinion is contrary to the truth of this sacrament, according to which the body and blood of Christ remain in this sacrament, as long as the appearances remain, no matter where they exist.

695. – Then when he says, Let a man examine himself, he applies a remedy against this peril. First, he suggests the remedy; secondly, he assigns a reason (v. 29); thirdly, he clarifies the reason with a sign (v. 30).

696. – First, therefore, he says: because one who receives this sacrament unworthily incurs so much guilt, it is necessary that a man first examine himself, i.e., carefully inspect his conscience, lest there exist in it the intention to sin mortally or any past sin for which he has not repented sufficiently. And so, secure after a careful examination, eat of that bread and drink of that cup, because for those who receive worthily, it is not poison but medicine: “Let each one test his own work” (Gal 6:4); “Examine yourselves to see whether you are holding to your faith” (2 Cor 13:5).

697. – Then when he says, anyone who eats, he assigns the reason for the above remedy, saying: A previous examination is required, because anyone who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgment, i.e., condemnation, upon himself: “Those who have done evil will rise to the resurrection of judgment” (Jn. 5:29). Not discerning the body of the Lord, i.e., from the fact that he does not distinguish the body of the Lord from other things, receiving Him indiscriminately as other foods: “Anyone who approaches the holy things while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence” (Lev 22:3).

698. – On the other hand it says in John (6:58): “He that eats me shall live because of me.” The answer is that there are two ways of receiving this sacrament, namely, spiritually and sacramentally. Therefore, some receive sacramentally and spiritually, namely, those who receive this sacrament in such a way that they also share in the reality [res] of the sacrament, namely, charity through which ecclesial unity exists. To such the Lord’s words apply: “He that eats me will live because of me.” But some receive only sacramentally, namely, those who receive this sacrament in such a way that they do not have the [res] reality of the sacrament, i.e., charity. To these are applied the words spoken here: “He that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” Besides these two ways by which the sacrament is taken, there is a third way, by which one eats per accidens, namely, when it is taken not as a sacrament. This can happen in three ways: in one way, as when a believer receives the consecrated host, which he does not believe is consecrated: such a one has the habit of receiving this sacrament, but he does not use it actually as a sacrament. In another way, as when an unbeliever receives the consecrated host, but he has no faith about this sacrament: such a person does not have the habit of using this sacrament, but only the potentiality. In a third way, as when a mouse or other brute animal eats the sacred host: such animals do have even the potentiality to use this sacrament.

699. – Therefore, from the fact that those who receive this sacrament spiritually acquire life, some are drawn to receive this sacrament frequently. But from the fact that those who receive unworthily acquire judgment upon themselves, many are deterred and rarely receive. Both seem commendable, for we read in Lk (19:6): “Zacheaus rejoiced to receive the Lord into his house.” In this his charity is commended. We also read in Lk (7:6) that the centurion said to Christ: “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” In this case his honor and reverence toward Christ is commended. But because of themselves love is preferred to fear, it seems more commendable to receive more frequently rather than more rarely. Yet because something more choiceworthy in itself can be less choiceworthy in regard to this or that person, each one should consider in himself which effect the frequent reception of this sacrament would have in him. For if someone feels that it helps him make progress to the fervor of his love of Christ and in his strength to resist sins, he ought to receive frequently. But if someone feels in himself less reverence for his sacrament by receiving it frequently, he should be advised to receive it rarely. Hence, even in the book On the Dogmas of the Church it says: “I neither praise nor condemn daily communion.”

700. – Then when he says, That is why, he clarifies the reason he gave with a sign. First, he mentions the sign; secondly, he assigns the cause of that sign (v. 31).

701. – In regard to the first it should be noted that, as Augustine says in The City of God: “If God punished every sin with a penalty now, it would be thought that nothing was left for the final judgment.” Again, if He punished no sin now, it would be believed that there is no divine providence. As a sign of the future judgment, God even in this world punishes certain ones temporarily in this world. This is especially seen in the beginning of the legislation both of the Old and of the New. For we read in Ex (32:28) that on account of the sin of adoring the golden calf many thousands of men fell. Again we read in Ac (5:1-11) that on account of the sin of lying and of theft Ananias and Sapphira were destroyed. Hence also for the sin of receiving this sacrament unworthily some in the early Church were punished by God with bodily infirmity or even death. Hence he says, that is why, namely, as a sign of the future judgment among you many unworthily receiving the body of Christ are weak bodily “Their sorrows are multiplied” (Ps 16:4), and ill, i.e., labor under a long sickness, and some have died, namely, a bodily death (1 Th. 4:12).

702. – Then when he says, But if we judged, he assigns two reasons for the above sign: the first is taken on our part; the second on God’s part (v. 32).

703. – On our part the cause of divine punishment is from negligence, because we neglect to punish ourselves for sins committed. Hence he says that if we judged ourselves truly by rebuking and punishing our sins, we should not be judged, i.e., not punished by the Lord either later in the future or even in the present.

704. – But on the other hand it says above (4:3): “I do not even judge myself” and in Rom (14:22): “Blessed is he that does not judge himself.” The answer is that someone can judge himself in three ways: in one way by examination, and in this way one ought to judge himself both as to past works and as to future ones, according to Gal (6:4): “Let each one prove his own work.” In another way by absolving himself decisionally as though judging himself innocent as to the past; and according to this, no one should judge himself, namely, that he judge himself innocent, according to Jb (9:20): “Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.” In a third way by reprehending, namely, that he did something he judges evil. In this way is understood the statement: “Blessed is he who does not judge himself for what he approves.” But as to things already done, each one ought to judge himself by blaming and punishing oneself for evil deeds. Hence it says in Jb (13:15): “I will defend my ways to his face” and (23:4): “I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.” In the book On Penance, Augustine says of this judgment: “Let the image of the future judgment play before your eyes and let a man rise up against himself before his own face, and having made a judgment in his heart, let thought be the accuser and conscience the witness and the heart executioner. Then let the blood of the confessing spirit break out in tears. Finally, from the mind itself let such a sentence issue that the man judges himself unworthy to partake of the body and blood of the Lord.”

705. – Then when he says, But when we, he presents the cause on God’s part, saying: But when we are judged by the Lord, i.e., punished in this world, we are chastened, i.e., this is done for our correction, in order, namely, that each one withdraw from sin on account of the punishment he endured: “Happy is the man whom God reproves” (Jb 5:17); “Whom the Lord loves he chastises” (Pr 3:12), or even when through the punishment of one, another ceases to sin: “Strike a scoffer and the simple will learn prudence” (Pr 19:25) and this in order that we may not be condemned with eternal damnation in the future, along with the world, i.e., with worldly men.

706. – Then when he says, So then, he leads them back to due observance: first, he presents what he now ordains; secondly, he gives a promise of a future ordination (v. 34b).

707. – In regard to the first he does three things: first, he makes his ordination, saying: So then, my brethren, so that no one will presume to eat his meal, when you come together, namely, in the church, to eat, namely, the body of Christ, wait for one another, so that all may receive at the same time. Hence it says in Ex (12:6): “The holy assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lamb.” Secondly, he excludes an excuse, saying: If anyone is hungry and cannot wait, let him eat at home, namely, ordinary food, not to receive the Eucharist later: “The stomach will take any food” (Sir 36:18). Thirdly, he gives the reason saying: lest you come together, namely, to receive the body of Christ, to be condemned.

708. – Then a promise is made when he says: About other things, namely, which are not so perilous, when I come home very soon, I will give directions, namely, how to conserve them. From this it is clear that the Church has many things arranged by the Apostle that are not contained in Sacred Scripture: “The cities will be inhabited,” i.e., the churches will be set in order “by the sense of prudent men,” namely, of the apostles (Sir 10:3).

12-1

1 Cor 12:1-6

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.

709. – After discussing the three sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony and the Eucharist, the Apostle begins to talk about things pertaining to the [res] reality signified in the sacraments. But this is twofold: one is signified and contained, namely, grace, which is conferred at once by the sacrament; the other is signified but not contained, namely, the glory of the resurrection, which is expected at the end. First, therefore, he deals with the gifts of graces; secondly, with the glory of the resurrection (c. 15). In regard to the first he deals with the charismatic graces; secondly, he prefers to all of these charity, which pertains to sanctifying grace (c. 13); thirdly, he compares the charismatic graces to one another (c. 14).

710. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he principally explains his intention, saying: I have said that “about other things,” which pertain to the use of the sacraments, “I will give directions when I come.” And this is what he says: Now concerning spiritual gifts, i.e., the gifts of the graces which come from the Holy Spirit, I do not want you to ignorant, brethren. “For it is the worst form of ingratitude to be ignorant of benefits received,” as Seneca says in the book On Benefits. Therefore, in order that man not be ungrateful to God, he should not be ignorant of spiritual gifts: “We have received the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God” (1 Cor 2:12); “Therefore, my people go into exile for want of knowledge” (Is 5:13), i.e., of spiritual things.

711. – Secondly, when he says, You know that when you were heathen, he follows out his intention: first, he shows the need for spiritual graces; secondly, he presents the distribution of graces (v. 4). Now the need for a thing is best known from its absence. Hence, in regard to the first he does two things: first, he manifests the loss they suffered, before they received grace; secondly, he concludes to the need for grace (v. 3).

712. – First, therefore, he says: You know by experience that when you were heathen, i.e., living as heathen without having yet received grace through Baptism: “We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners” (Gal 2:15); “The Gentiles living in the futility of their minds” (Eph 4:17). You were led, as though with a ready and constant mind, as Jer (8:6) says: “Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging into battle”; “Their feet run to evil” (Pr 1:16). To dumb idols, namely, to adore and worship, as it says in Ps 114 (v. 5): “They have a mouth but do not speak.” Their lack of speech is particularly stressed, because speech is the proper effect of knowledge. Hence it is shown that idols do not understand and, as a consequence, they have nothing divine, if they are mute. And this, as you were led, i.e., without any resistance. For they were led, either attracted by the beauty of the idols; hence it says in one of Jerome’s letters: “You will see in Babylon gods of gold and silver; see that fear does not overtake you in them.” Or even by the command of some prince, as it says in Dan (3:1) that Nebuchadnezzar compelled men to adore a golden statue. In 2 Macc it is stated that some were led to the sacrifice with bitter necessity on the king’s birthday. Or even by the instigation of demons, who aspire in a special way to have divine worship paid to them: “All these things will I give you, if falling down you adore me” (Matt 4:9). Therefore, they went to cultivate idols according as they were led without resistance, as Pr (7:22) says of the silly youth: “All at once he follows her as an ox is led to the slaughter.” This shows that before receiving grace, man quickly runs into sin without resistance.

713. – He makes special mention of the sin of idolatry for three reasons: first, because it is a very grave sin to introduce another God, just as one would sin very gravely against a king by introducing another king into his kingdom. Hence, it says in Jb (31:26): “If I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor and my mouth has kissed my hand,” namely, as a worshipper of the sun and moon, which is the greatest iniquity and denial against God Most High. Secondly, because from the sin of idolatry all other sins arise according to Wis (14:27): “For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.” Thirdly, because this sin was common among the heathens and was not counted; hence it says in Ps 96 (v. 5): “All the gods of the heathens are demons.”

714. – It should be noted that some have said that man existing in mortal sin cannot without grace be freed from the sin he lies under, because the remission of sins is brought about only by grace, as it says in Rom (3:24): “They are justified by his grace”; but he can preserve himself from mortal sin without grace, through free will. But this position does not seem to be true. First, because one cannot preserve himself from mortal sin except by observing all the precepts of the law, since no one sins mortally except by transgressing some precept of the law. And so someone could observe all the precepts without

race – which is the Pelagian heresy. Secondly, because no one can without grace have charity, through which God is loved above all things, as it says in Rom (5:5): “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” But no one can avoid all sins, unless he loves God above all things: just as that is more despised which is loved less. Therefore, it could happen that for some time a person who lacks grace will abstain from sin, until he encounters that for which he will despise God’s precept, and by which he is led into sin. It is significant that the Apostle says, as you were led.

715. – Then when he says, Therefore, he concludes to two effects of grace: the first is that it makes one abstain from sin; the second is that it makes one do good works (v. 3b).

716. – First, therefore, he says: From the fact that when you were without grace, you ran after sin rapidly, I want you to understand that if you had possessed grace, this would not have happened to you, for no one speaking by the Spirit of God says ‘Jesus be cursed’ [anathema to Jesus], i.e., blasphemes Jesus: “Every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God” (1 Jn. 4:3). It should be noted that above he said that the gravest sin is blasphemy, which is avoided through grace; hence the other lesser sins are avoided. By saying, anathema to Jesus, any mortal sin can be understood. For “anathema” signifies separation. It is derived from “ana,” which means “above” and “thesis,” which is a “placing”; as it were, “placed above,” because in olden times things separated from men’s use, were hung up in temples or in public places. But every mortal sin separates from Jesus, as it says in Is (59:2): “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God.” Therefore, who ever sins mortally says in his heart or with his mouth, anathema, i.e., separation from Jesus. Therefore, no one speaking by the spirit of God says anathema to Jesus, because no one through the spirit of God sins mortally because, as it says in Wis (1:5): “The holy spirit of discipline will flee from deceit.”

717. – But according to this it seems that whoever had the Holy Spirit cannot sin mortally; further, it says in 1 John (3:9): “No one born of God commits sin, because God’s seed abides in him.” The answer is that as far as the Spirit of God is concerned, man does not commit sin but rather is drawn away from sin. But he can sin through a defect of the human will which resists the Holy Spirit, as it says in Ac (7:51): “You always resist the Holy Spirit.” For by the indwelling Holy Spirit the ability to sin is not taken away totally from the free will in this life. Therefore, it is significant that the Apostle did not say: “No one having the Holy Spirit,” but no one speaking by the Spirit of God.

718. – Then when he says, and no one, he mentions the second effect of grace, namely, that without it man cannot perform a good work. He says, therefore: And no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. But against this seems to be the fact that by the Holy Spirit man is introduced to the kingdom of heaven, as it says in Ps 143 (v. 10): “Your good spirit leads me along the right path.” The Lord, however, says: “Not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 7:21). Therefore, not everyone who says “Lord Jesus,” says it in the Holy Spirit. The answer is that saying something in the Holy Spirit can be understood in two ways: in one way in the Holy Spirit moving but not possessed. For the Holy Spirit moves the hearts of certain men to speak, although He does not dwell in them, as it says in John (11:49) that in predicting the utility of the Lord’s death Caiaphas did not speak from himself but through the Spirit of prophecy. Balaam also predicted many true things, but moved by the Holy Spirit, as it says in Numbers (chaps. 23 & 24), although he did not possess Him. According to this, therefore, it must be understood that no one can say anything true, unless moved by the Holy Spirit, Who is the Spirit of truth, of Whom it is said in John (16:13): “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” Hence Ambrose says in a Gloss: “Every truth by whomsoever spoken is from the Holy Spirit.” This applies especially to matters of faith, which are had by a special revelation of the Holy Spirit. Among these is the fact that Jesus is Lord of them all. Hence it says in Ac (2:36): “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” In another way someone speaks in the Holy Spirit moving and possessed. And according to this, what is said here can be verified, but in such a way that “to speak” refers not only to the mouth but also to the heart and the deed. For something is said by the heart as in Ps 14 (v. 1): “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” But something is said by deed, inasmuch as someone by an external work manifests his thought. No one, therefore, except by having the Holy Spirit can say: “Jesus is Lord,” is such a way that he confesses this not only by the mouth but also with the heart reveres Him as Lord and in work obeys Him as Lord.

719. – Therefore, from the foregoing words we can consider three things about grace. First, that without it man cannot avoid sin, as it says in Ps 94 (v. 17): “If the Lord had not been my help, my soul soon would have dwelt in hell.” Secondly, that through it sin is avoided, as it says in 1 John (3:9): “No one born of God commits sin.” Thirdly, that without it a man cannot do good, as it says in John (15:9): “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

720. – Then when he says, There are varieties of gifts, he begins to distinguish the charismatic graces: first, he distinguishes them in general; secondly, he manifests each in particular (v. 7).

721. – In things conferred by the grace of the Holy Spirit three things must be considered. First, indeed, men’s faculty to work; secondly, the authority; thirdly, the execution of both. The faculty is had by the gift of grace; for example, by prophecy or the power to work miracles or by something of that sort. The authority is had through some ministry; for example, by the apostolate or something of that sort. Execution pertains to operation. First, therefore, he distinguishes the graces; secondly, the ministries; thirdly, the operations. In regard to the first, therefore, he shows the need for grace which, nevertheless, does not come in its totality to all, but only to Christ, to Whom the Spirit was given without measure, as it says in John (3:34). But in regard to others there are divisions of graces, because some abound in one and some in another. For as in a natural body the head has all the senses, while the other members do not; so in the Church Christ alone has all graces, which are divided in the other members. This is signified in Gen (2:12) where it says that a river, namely, of graces, flowed out to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers; and in Matt (25:15) it says that “to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one.” And although the gifts of graces possessed by diverse persons are diverse, they do not proceed from diverse authors, as the Gentiles believed, who attributed wisdom to Minerva, speech to Mercury, and so on for other gifts. To exclude this, he adds: but the same Spirit, namely, the Holy, Who is the author of all graces: “One body and one Spirit” (Eph 4:4); “The Spirit is one and manifold” (Wis 7:22): one in substance, manifold in graces.

722. – Then he mentions the distinctions of service, saying: And there are varieties of service, i.e., diverse ministries and offices are required to govern the Church. For the prelates of the Church are called servants, as above (4:1): “One should regard us as servants of Christ.” But it pertains to the beauty and perfection of the Church that in it there by diverse ministries, which are signified by the orders of service, which the queen of Sheba admired in Solomon’s house (1 Kg 3:5). Yet all serve one Lord; hence he adds: but the same Lord. “For us there is one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things (1 Cor 8:6).

723. – Then he mentions the distinctions of operations, saying: and there are varieties of working, by which one works the good in himself as by services to his neighbor; “Man goes forth to his work” (Ps 104:23), namely, proper to himself: “He distinguished them and appointed their different ways”, i.e., operations (Sir 33:11). All of which come from one source. Hence he adds: But it is the same God who works all, as the first cause creating all actions. But lest the other causes seem to be superfluous, he adds: in every one, because the first cause works in secondary causes: “You have worked all our works in us” (Is. 26:12). It should be noted that the Apostle very fittingly attributes things to the Spirit Who is love, because from love proceeds that someone is freely given the ministry from the Lord, to Whom He ministers works to God, as to the first movent cause. And that he says, “spirit,” can be referred to the person of the Holy Spirit, what he calls Lord to the person of the Son, what he calls God in the person of the Father; or these three can be attributed to the Holy Spirit, Who is the Lord God.

12-2

1 Cor 12:7-11

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

724. – Having set forth in general the distinction of graces, ministrations and operations, the Apostle here manifests the things he had said in general. First, as to the division of graces; secondly, as to the division of operation (v. 28). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents the distinction of graces in general; secondly, he applies a similitude (v. 12). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he lays down the condition of charismatic graces; secondly, he distinguishes them (v. 8); thirdly, he describes their action (v. 11).

725. – First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that there are divisions of graces, to each is given; in which is designated their subject. For just as there is no member in the body, which does not partake in some way of the sense and motion from the head, so no one is in the Church, who does not participate in some grace of the Spirit, as it says in Matt (25:15): “He gave to each according to his ability” and Eph (4:7): “Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of God’s gifts.” The manifestation of the Spirit, in which is designated the office of charismatic graces. But it pertains to sanctifying grace that through it the Holy Spirit indwells, which, indeed, does not pertain to charismatic graces, but only that through them the Holy Spirit is manifested, as the interior motion of the heart through the voice. Hence in John (3:8) it is said: “You hear his voice” and in Ps 98 (v. 2): “The Lord has made known his victory. The Holy Spirit is manifested in two ways by graces of this sort. In one way as dwelling in the Church by teaching and sanctifying it, as when a sinner, in whom the Holy Spirit does not dwell, works miracles to show that the faith of the Church which he professes is true: “While God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit.” In another way the Holy Spirit is manifested by such charismatic graces as dwelling in the one to whom such graces are granted. Hence it says in Ac (6:8) that Stephen, filled with grace, worked prodigies and many signs, whom they chose filled with the Holy Spirit. In this way such graces are granted to the saints.

726. – And lest such a manifestation seems futile, he adds: for the common good. In this is designated the end of these gifts, and this either when the true doctrine of the Church is proved or when someone’s holiness is proposed as an example. Hence he says below (14:12): “Strive to excel in building up the Church”; and above (10:33): “Not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

727. – Then when he says, To one is given, he presents the distinction of graces which, indeed, as has been said, are given for the common good. Therefore, it is required to take the distinction in the sense that by one the salvation of others can be procured. Man, indeed, cannot do this by working within, for this belongs to God, but only by persuading outwardly. For this, three things are required: first, the faculty of persuading; secondly, the faculty of confirming the persuasion; thirdly, the faculty of proposing the persuasion intelligibly. For the faculty of persuading it is required that man have skill in conclusions and certitude of principles in regard to those matters in which he ought to persuade. But in matters that pertain to salvation, some conclusions are principal, namely, divine matters; and to this pertains wisdom, which is the knowledge of divine things, as Augustine says in Book 13, On the Trinity. In regard to this it is said that to one is given through the Spirit, namely, the Holy [Spirit], the utterance of wisdom, so that he can persuade one in things pertaining to the knowledge of divine things: “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand” (Lk 21:15); “We speak wisdom among the perfect” (1 Cor 2:6). Secondary conclusions are those which pertain to the knowledge of creatures, the knowledge of which is called scientific, according to Augustine. And in regard to this he adds: and to another is given the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, in order, namely, that that might manifest things of God through creatures. To this knowledge is attributed that by which the holy faith is defended and strengthened, but not anything curious found in human knowledge, as Augustine says. “He gave him knowledge of holy things” (Wis 10:10); “The riches of salvation are wisdom and knowledge” (Is 33:6). Yet it should be noted that wisdom and knowledge are numbered among the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, as stated in Is (11:2). Hence it is significant that the Apostle places in the charismatic graces not wisdom and knowledge, but the utterance of wisdom and knowledge, which pertain to the ability to persuade other by speech about matters pertaining to wisdom and knowledge. Now, the principles of the doctrine of salvation are the articles of faith, and in regard to this he adds: to another is given faith by the same Spirit. It is not taken there for the virtue of faith, because this is common to all members of Christ, according to Heb (11:6): “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” But it is taken for the utterance of faith in the sense that a man is able rightly to propose manners of faith, or for the certainty of faith someone has in an excellent way, as in Matt (15:28): “Woman, great is your faith.”

728. – But matters pertaining to the teaching of salvation cannot be confirmed or proved by reason, because they transcend human reason, as Sir (3:23) says: “Matters too great for human wisdom have been shown.” They are confirmed or proved by a divine sign; hence Moses, about to be sent to the people of Israel, received a sign from God through which he could confirm what he said on God’s part, as is clear in Ex (4:1-7), just as a royal sign confirms that something is the command of a king. But God’s sign is based in one way on something God alone can do, such as miracle, which the Apostle here distinguishes into two kinds. For he says first: to another is given the gift of healing, i.e., through which he can heal someone’s infirmity, by one and the same Spirit. “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed” (Jer 17:14). For by these, one is persuaded not only on account of the greatness of the deed, but also on account of the benefit. Secondly, he says: To another the working of miracles, by which a person is persuaded solely by the greatness of the deed; for example, when the sea was divided, as we read in Ex (14:21), or when the sun and moon stood still in the heavens, as we read in Joshua (10:13). “Who has given you the Spirit and works marvels among you?” (Gal 3:5). In another way a divine sign is based on something God alone can know, i.e., the future contingent, as it says in Is (41:23): “Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods.” As to this he says: to another is given prophecy, which is divine revelation declaring with unchangeable truth among events: “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Jl 2:28). Another is knowledge of the human heart, as in Jer (17:9): “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the mind and try the heart.” In regard to this he says: To another the ability to distinguish between spirits, namely, in order that a man be able to discern by what spirit someone is moved to speak or work; for example, whether by the spirit of charity or by the spirit of envy: “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (1 Jn. 4:1).

729. – But the faculty of speaking persuasively consists in being able to speak intelligibly to others. This can be prevented in two ways: in one way by a diversity of dialects. Against this is applied the remedy signified by what he says: to another is given various kinds of tongues, namely, in order that he be able to speak in diverse languages, so that he will be understood by all, as it says of the apostles in Ac (2:4) that they spoke in various languages. In another way by the obscurity of a scripture to be quoted. Against this is given the remedy he mentions: to another the interpretations of speeches, i.e., of difficult scriptures: “I have heard that you can give interpretations of obscure things” (Dan 5:16); “Do no interpretations belong to God?” (Gen 40:8).

730. – Then when he says, all these, he identifies the author of these graces. In regard to this he excludes three errors. The first is that of the Gentiles attributing different gifts to different gods. Against this he says: All these are accomplished by one and the same Spirit: “One body and one spirit” (Eph 4:4). Secondly, the error of those who attributed to God only a general providence and assigned the distinctions of particular things to second causes alone. Against his he adds: apportioning to each one individually as he wills: “In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord separated them” (Sir 33:11). Thirdly, he excludes the error of those who attributed the diversity among graces to fate, or to human merit, and not solely to the divine will, as the Macedonians, who said that the Holy Spirit is the servant of the Father and of the Son. And he excludes this by saying: as he wills: “The spirit breathes where he wills” (Jn. 3:8).

12-3

1 Cor 12:12-31

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single organ, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

731. – Having set forth the distinction among graces, the Apostle now explains it by a likeness to a natural body. First, he presents the likeness in general; secondly, in more detail (v. 14). In regard to the first he does two things: first, the likeness is presented; secondly, its adaptation (v. 12b).

732. – In regard to the first it should be noted that as it says in Metaphysics V, there are three ways in which something is said to be “one per se.” In one way by indivisibility, as unity and a point. According to this way unity totally excludes not only actual multitude but potential as well. In another way something is called one by reason of continuity, as a line and a surface. Such unity excludes actual multitude but not potential. In a third way something is one by wholeness, which excludes neither actual nor potential multitude, as a house is one thing composed of various stones and types of wood. In the same way the body of a man or of any other animal is one, because its perfection is made up of various members as of diverse instruments of the soul; hence the soul is said to be the act of an organic body, i.e., one made up of various organs. The Apostle, therefore, first proposes that the unity of the body does not exclude a multitude of members, saying: As the body is one and has many members: “In one body we have many members” (Rom 12:4). Likewise, he proposes that a multitude of members does not take away the unity of the body; hence he adds: and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, which is completed by all. Hence it says in Jb (10:11): “You clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews.

733. – Then when he says: so it is with Christ, the adaptation of the likeness begins. First, he adapts the likeness, saying: So it is with Christ, namely, He is one, as it says above (8:6): “Our one Lord Jesus through whom are all things.” Yet he has many and diverse members, namely, all the faithful, as it says in Rom (12:5): “Though many we are one body in Christ.”

734. – Secondly, he presents the ground of the adaptation, in which is presented a twofold ground of distinction. One ground of unity is the Holy Spirit, as it says in Eph (4:4): “One body and one Spirit.” But we receive a double benefit by the power of the Holy Spirit. First, indeed, because we are reborn through Him, as it says in John (3:5): “Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit,” hence he says: For by one Spirit, namely, by the power of the one Holy Spirit, we were all, who are members of Christ, baptized into one body, i.e., into the unity of the Church, which is the body of Christ, as it says in Eph (1:22): “He had made him head over all things for the Church, which is his body”; and in Gal (3:27): “As many of you has were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Secondly, by the Holy Spirit we are refreshed unto salvation. Hence he adds: and all were made to drink of one Spirit, i.e., by the power of the one Holy Spirit. This drink can be understood in two ways: in one way of the inward refreshment which the Holy Spirit offers to the human heart by extinguishing the thirst for carnal desires and concupiscences. Hence Sir (15:3) says: “He will give him the water of salutary wisdom to drink”; and in John (7:38): “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” In another way it can be understood of a sacramental drink, which is consecrated by the Spirit: “All drank the same spiritual drink” (1 Cor 10:4).

735. – Then he interposes two aspects of diversity: one is on the part of rites when he says: Jews or Gentiles; the other is on the part of status, when he says: slaves or free. No diversity of this kind impedes the unity of the body of Christ. Hence it says in Gal (3:28): “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

736. – Then when he says, for the body, he explains the likeness in detail. First, he describes the condition of a natural body and its members; secondly, he adapts this to the mystical body of Christ (v. 27). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he describes the completeness of a natural body; secondly, the relations of the members to each other (v. 21). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he states his intention; secondly, he explains with examples (v. 15); thirdly, he proves by leading to something awkward.

737. – First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that all of us have been baptized into one mystical body, which represents a likeness to a natural body. For the natural body of a man is not one member but many, because its perfection is not saved in one member, but is composed of many, which of necessity must serve the various potencies and acts of the soul. Hence it says in Rom (12:4): “For as in one body we have many members and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many are one body in Christ.

738. – Then when he says: If the foot should say, he clarifies what he had said by using certain members as examples. First, the members involved in motion, and he mentions two members: the foot as the more ignoble member in that it treads the earth and carries the weight of the entire body; but the hand, is the nobler member, inasmuch as it is the organ of the organs. And this is what he says: If the foot should say: because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. As if to say: The perfection of the body does not consist in one member, although it be more noble, but its perfection requires even the more ignoble ones. But by the members involved in motion are designated in the Church men given to the active life, in such a way that the feet are subjects. About these it says in Ez (1:7): “Their legs were straight”; by the hands are denoted prelates, through whom others are disposed; hence in S. of S. (5:14) it says: “His hands are rounded gold, filled with hyacinth.” In the Church not only the hands, i.e., prelates, but also the feet are necessary, i.e., subjects. Hence it says in Pr (14:2): “In a multitude of people is the glory of a king.”

739. – Secondly, he uses as examples the members or powers which serve knowledge and he mentions the eye, which serves sight, and the ear, which serves hearing. For these two senses are the special servants of human knowledge: sight, indeed, in regard to discovery, because it reveals the many differences among things; hearing, however, in regard to doctrine, which is presented by speech. The more dignified of these senses is sight, because it is more spiritual and reveals more things; as a result the eye is more noble than the ear. He says, therefore: And if the ear, which is the more ignoble member, should say, I do not belong to the body, because I am not the eye, which is the more noble member, that would not make it any less part of the body. By the members which serve knowledge are designated in the Church those who apply themselves to the contemplative life among whom there are, as eyes, teachers who investigate truth. Hence it says in S. of S. (5:12): “His eyes are like doves beside springs of water, which live near the fullest waters.” By ears are significant disciples who receive the truth by hearing their masters. Hence it says in Matt (13:9): “He that has ears hears to hear, let him hear.” In the Church not only teachers but also disciples are necessary. Hence it says in Jb (29:11): “When the ear heard, it called me blessed.”

740. – Then when he says, If the whole body were an eye, he proves by leading to two awkward conclusions, the first of which is the removal of necessary things from the body; the second is the removal of bodily completeness (v. 19).

741. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents the awkward conclusion which follows, saying: If the whole body were the eye, which is a nobler member, where would be the hearing, i.e., the organ of hearing. As if to say: If all in the Church were masters; hence it says in Jas (3:1): “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren.” Again, if the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? By this can be understood those in the Church who, even though they are not capable of words of wisdom, nevertheless perceive some of its indications from afar, as an odor. Hence in S. of S. (1:5): “We run after the odor of your anointing oils.”

742. – Secondly, he asserts the contrary truth, namely, that neither sight nor hearing should be lacking, saying: But as it is God arranged, i.e., put in order, the various members. For even if the distinction of the members is a work of nature, nevertheless nature did this as an instrument of divine providence. And therefore, he assigns the first cause of the arrangement of the members when he says: God arranged the organs in the body. As if to say: He did not arrange various members in order that each of them should exist separately by itself, but that all should come together in one body. And as he willed; for the first cause of the arrangement of things is the divine will, as it says in Ps 111 (v. 2): “Great are the works of the Lord. So, too, in the Church He arranged various offices and diverse states according to His will. Hence it says in Eph (1:11): “According to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will.”

743. – Then when he says, If all were a single organ, he comes to another awkward conclusion, which is a lack of bodily completeness. Hence, he first posits this awkwardness, saying: if all were a single organ, where would the body be? i.e., where would the completeness of the body be? As if to say: It would not be. Thus, if all the Church were of one state and grade, it would destroy the perfection and beauty of the Church, which is described in Ps 45 (v. 14): as “adorned with many-colored robes.” Secondly, he asserts the contrary truth, saying: As it is there are many parts, yet one body, which is made complete by all the parts. Thus, the Church is composed of diverse orders: “Terrible as an army with banners” (S. of S. 6:10).

744. – Then when he says, the eye cannot, he compares the members with one another: first, as to need; secondly, as to the care shown to the members (v. 23); thirdly, as to mutual solicitude (v. 26). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he states that all the members of the body are necessary, although some are less honorable; secondly, he presents a comparison of their need (v. 22).

745. – First, he shows the reason for needing the members by reason of a two-fold difference. First, indeed, according to the difference of members involved in movement; hence he says, the eye, which serves knowledge and signifies contemplatives cannot say to the hand, which serves movement and signifies those in the active life, I have no need of you. For the contemplatives need to be sustained by the labors of those in the active life. Hence, it says in Lk (10:39) that while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His words, Martha was busy with much serving. Secondly, he shows the same according to the differences of prelates signified by the head, and of subjects signified by the feet; and this is what he adds: Nor again the head, i.e., the prelates, according to 1 Sam (15:17): “You have become the head of the tribes of Israel,” to the feet, i.e., the subjects, I have no need of you, because as it says in Pr (14:28): “In a multitude of people is the glory of the king.”

746. – Then when he says, on the contrary, he compares various members to one another in regard to their necessity, saying that the members of the body that seem weaker are more necessary, as the intestine. So, too, in the Church without the functions performed by certain lowly persons, such as farmers and others of that kind, the present life could not be gone through, which, however, can be led without certain more excellent persons dedicated to contemplation and to wisdom, who serve the Church by making it more ornate and in better condition. For something is called necessary, if it is useful to an end. But the noblest things are not considered useful, but they are of themselves to be sought as ends. Therefore, it says in Jb (31:39): “If I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners.”

747. – Then when he says, and those parts of the body, he compares the members as far as external adornment is concerned: first, he mentions the different things applied to different members; secondly, he assigns the cause of the difference (v. 24b).

748. – The external adornment applied to members pertains to two things, namely, to honor, as things used for decoration, such as necklaces and ear rings, and to modesty, as something used for clothing, such as trousers and the like. In regard to the first adornment he says first: and those parts of the body we think less honorable we invest with greater honor, i.e., more ornamentation, as ear rings from the ears, but nothing is added to the eyes, while shoes adorned with pictures and precious stones are worn on the feet: “How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden” (S. of S. 7:1); the hands are kept bare, however. And likewise in the Church the more imperfect receive more consolations, which the more perfect do not need. Hence it says in Is (40:11): “He will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom” and in 1 Pt (3:7): “Husbands, bestow honor on the woman as the weaker sex.” Secondly, he continues with the ornaments of honor saying: And our baser parts are treated with greater modesty, namely, by human assiduity. Some members are called base in holy things, not on account of any baseness of sin, but on account of the disobedience of the genital parts, as a result of original sin. Or because they are directed to a base use, as the members which serve the emission of superfluities. To these a greater modesty is applied, when they are more carefully covered, which the members designed for nobler uses do not require. Hence he adds: Our more presentable parts do not require this, namely, external covering; hence no veil is used to cover the face. Likewise, in the Church those who are culpable in any matter must be admonished and guarded, as it says in Sir (42:11): “Keep strict watch over a headstrong daughter”; and in Gal (6:1): “If a man is overtaken in any sin, you who are spiritual should instruct him in a spirit of gentleness”; but those who are without guilt do not need this. It should be noted that he mentioned a triple difficulty in the members, namely, baseness, ignobility and weakness. The first of these refers to guilt in the members of the Church; the second to a servile condition; the third to the state of imperfection.

749. – Then when he says, But God has so composed, he proposes the cause of the above-mentioned care, and first he assigns the first efficient cause. For although men do take care of the members in this way, nevertheless it proceeds from the divine plan; hence he says: God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part. For men do this in virtue of a certain divine instinct, as it says in Jb (33:16): “Then he opens the ears of men and teaching, he instructs them in discipline.

750. – Secondly, he proposes the final cause, saying: That there be no discord in the body. Which, of course, would follow, if no help were given to the body, is openly avoided, as long as the peace of the Church is maintained by giving to each person whatever is necessary. Hence it was said above (1:10): “Let all of you agree and let there be no dissensions among you.” But in regard to the members of the natural body, there would division in body, if the due proportion of the members were removed.

751. – Then when he says, But that the members, he presents a comparison of the members with one another in regard to mutual care. First, he proposes it, saying: Not only the above-mentioned members work for one another, but they are also of themselves solicitous for one another, i.e., by keeping them within the unity of the body. This is clearly evident in the natural body. For each member has a natural inclination to help the other members from blows. Similarly, the other believers, who are members of the mystical body, show solicitude for one another, according to Sir (17:14): “He gave commandment to each of them concerning his neighbor”; and Gal (6:2): “Carry one another’s burdens.”

752. – Secondly, he specifies this solicitude: first, in regard to evil, in which it is more obvious. Hence he says: If one suffers, namely, evil, all suffer together. This is obvious in the natural body. For if one member is ailing, the whole body, as it were, begins to ail; and spirits and humors flock to the ailing part to help it. And the same should happen among Christ’s faithful, so that one suffers along with the misfortune of another, according to John (30:25): “I used to weep over one who was afflicted, and my soul grieved.” Secondly, in good things; hence he adds: if one member is honored, i.e., is invigorated in any way, all the members rejoice. This is also noticeable in the natural body, in which the vigor of one member yields help to the other members. So, too, should it be in the members of the Church, that each should take joy in the welfare of another. “I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Phil 2:17); “Rejoice with those that rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15).

753. – Then when he says: Now you are, he adapts the likeness to his proposition. First, in regard to the unity of the body, saying: Now you, who are assembled in the unity of faith, are the body of Christ, according to Eph (1:22): “He made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body.” Secondly, as to the distinction of members, when he adds: And individually members of it (members of a member). This can be understood in three ways: in one way thus: you are members depending on the member Christ, who is called a member in virtue of his human nature, in virtue of which, especially, He is called the head of the Church. For according to His godhead He does not have the nature of a member or of a part, since He is the common good of the entire universe. In another way thus: you are members depending on a member, inasmuch as it was through me that you were acquired for Christ, as was said above (4:15): “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” In a third way, it could be explained so that the distinction and series of members is designated, so that the sense it this: you are members of a member, i.e., you are distinguished and arranged in such a way that to one another, as one member to another.

754. – Then when he says: And God had appointed, he discusses the distinction of ministries. In regard to this he does three things: first, he assigns the order of ministries; secondly, he explains their difference (v. 29); thirdly, he tempers their affection for various ministries and grace (v. 31). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents the greater or principal ministries; secondly, the secondary ministries (v. 28b).

755. – The great ministers in the Church are the apostles, to who office pertain three things, the first of which is the authority to govern the faithful, which properly belongs to the apostolic office; secondly, the faculty of teaching; thirdly, the power to work miracles to confirm doctrine. Concerning these three it says in Lk (9:1): “And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure all diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God.” But in all powers or virtues set in order, that which is chief is reserved to the supreme power; others are even communicated to lower powers. But the power to work miracles is ordained to teaching, as to the faith, according to Mk (16:20): “The Lord confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.” But teaching is directed to governing the people as to an end according to Jer (3:15): “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Therefore, the first degree among ecclesiastical ministries is that of the apostles, to whom the government of the Church belongs in a special way. For this reason he says: And God has appointed, i.e., set in orderly fashion, in the Church certain ones, namely, in definite ministries, as it says in John (15:16): “I appointed you that you should go,” first apostles, to whose rule he entrusted the Church, according to Lk (22:29): “As my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you.” Hence, too, Rev (21:19) says that over the foundations of the city were written the name of the twelve apostles. For this reason they obtained among the rest of the faithful a primacy in spiritual graces, as it says in Rom (8:23): “We ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit.” Although the office of teaching belongs primarily to the apostles, to whom it was said in Matt (28:10): “Going, teach all nations,” yet others are allowed to communicate in this office, some of whom receive revelations of God directly and are called prophets; but others instruct the people in matters revealed to others and are called teachers. Hence he adds, second prophets, who even existed in the Old Testament. For the statement in Matt (11:13): “The law and the prophets prophesied until John,” is understood of prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. Third teachers; hence it says in Ac (13:1): “In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers.” Likewise the grace of miracles was communicated to others, although originally it had been given to the apostles; hence he adds: then workers of miracles, who work miracles affecting the elements of the world: “He works miracles among you” (Gal 3:5). But as to miracles done on human bodies, he says: then healers, according to what is said in Lk (9:1): “He gave them power to heal.”

756. – Then when he says, helpers, he mentions the minor or secondary ministries, some of which are directed to the ruling of the Church, which we have said pertains to the apostolic dignity; but others pertain to teaching. To the rule of the Church pertain in general certain services, i.e., those who help the major prelates in the universal rule of the Church, as archdeacons help bishops, according to Phil (4:3): “Help these women, for they have labored side by side with me together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers.” In particular he mentions, administrators, such as parish priests, to whom it entrusted the care of certain people: “Where there is no guidance a people falls” (Pr 11:14). To teaching pertains secondarily what he calls speakers in various kinds of tongues as to those who speak marvelous things in various tongues (Ac 2:4), lest the teaching of the gospel be hindered by the variety of dialects. In regard to removing hindrances to teaching which could arise from obscure speech he mentions interpretations of speeches: “He who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret” (1 Cor 14:13).

757. – Then when he says, Are all apostles? Are all teachers? He clarifies the distinction among these ministries, saying, Are all in the Church apostles? As if to say: No! Are all teachers? This shows the variety of these ministries: “In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them” (Sir 33:11).

758. – Then when he says, But earnestly, he rectifies their affection for the above spiritual gifts, saying: Since there are many gifts of the Holy Spirit, earnestly desire the higher gifts, namely, have a stronger desire for the better graces; for example, prophecy than the gift of tongues, as will be said below (13:1); “Test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Th 5:21). And in order that their affections may not come to rest in the above-mentioned gifts, he adds: I will show you a still more excellent way, namely, the way of charity, by which one goes to God in a more direct way: “I will run in the way of thy commandments” (Ps 119:32); “This is the way, walk in it” (Is 30:21).

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1 Cor 13:1-3

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

759. – Having assigned the differences among charismatic graces and the ministries in which the members of the Church are distinguished, the Apostle now deals with charity, which is inseparably connected with sanctifying grace. And because he had promised to show them a more excellent way, he shows how charity outranks the others, i.e., the charismatic graces. First, in regard to its necessity, namely, because without charity the other gifts are not enough; secondly, as to their utility, namely, because through charity all evils are avoided and good is performed (v. 4); thirdly, as to its permanence (v. 8). But all the charismatic gifts seem to be reduced to three by the Apostle: for, first, he shows that the gift of tongues, which pertains to speech, is of no value without charity; secondly, that those which pertain to knowledge are of no value without charity: (v. 2); thirdly, he shows the same for the gifts which pertain to works (v. 3).

760. – The Corinthians had a great desire for the gift of tongues, as will be shown in chap. 14; therefore, beginning with that he says: I have promised to show you a more excellent way; and this is, first of all, clear in the gift of tongues, because, if I speak in the tongues of men, namely, of all, i.e., if I should have the gift through which I could speak in the languages of all men; and for greater abundance he adds: and of angels, but have not charity, I am a noisy gang or a clanging cymbal. He uses the right comparison. For the soul lives through charity, which lives through God, Who is the life of the soul, as it says in Dt (30:20): “He is your life.” Hence, too, it says in 1 John (3:14): “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love remains in death.”

761. – Correctly, therefore, does he compare speech without charity to the sound of a dead thing, namely, a brass gong and a cymbal, which, although they produce a clear sound, are not living but dead. So, too, the speech of a man without charity, no matter how erudite, is considered dead, because it does not yield merit for eternal life. There is a difference between a sounding brass gong and a tinkling cymbal, because brass, since it is flat, gives forth a simple sound, when it is struck; but a cymbal, since it is concave, when it is struck once, multiples the sound, which pertains to clanging. To brass, therefore, are compared those who pronounce the truth simply, but to the cymbal those who multiply the truth and present it by adding many reasons and similitudes and by drawing very many connections: all of which, without charity, are regarded as dead.

762. – But it should be noted what is meant by the tongues of angels. For since the tongue is a bodily member and to its use pertains the gift of tongues, which is sometimes called a tongue, as will be clear (c. 16), neither seems to belong to angels, who do not have members. Therefore, it can be said that by angels are understood men with the office of angels, namely, who announce divine things to other men according to Mal (2:7): “The lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the angel of the Lord of hosts.” Therefore, under this sense, If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, i.e., not only of the lesser but even of the greater who teach others. It can also be understood of the incorporeal angel, as it says in Ps: 104 (v. 4): “Who makes your angels spirits.” And although they do no have a bodily tongue, by a likeness the power by which they manifest their thoughts to others can be called a tongue.

763. – But it should be known that in the knowledge of the angelic mind is something about which the higher angels do not speak to the lower, or vice versa, namely, the divine essence, which they all see immediately, God showing Himself to all, as it says in Jer (31:34): “And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ For all shall know immediately, from the least to the greatest.” But in the angelic mind is something about which the higher angels speak to the lower, but not vice versa. Such are the mysteries of divine providence. The higher angels know more of these mysteries, because they see Him more clearly than the lower. Hence, the higher angels instruct and enlighten the lower angels about these t

ings – and this can be called speech. But something is in the angelic knowledge about which the higher speak to the lower, and vice versa. These are the secrets of the heart which depend on free will and are known to God alone and to those with the secret, as it says above (2:11): “For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him”? These reach another’s knowledge when the one whose they are reveals them, whether it be a lower or a higher. A manifestation of this kind happens when a lower angel speaks to a higher, not by enlightening but by some form of signification. For in each angel is something which is naturally known by another angel. Therefore, when that which is naturally known is proposed as a sign of that which is unknown, the occult is manifested. And such a manifestation is called speech after the likeness of men who manifest the secrets of their hearts to others by means of sensible words or through other bodily things outwardly apparent. Hence, even things naturally known in angels, inasmuch as they are employed to manifest secrets, are called signs or nods. But the power of manifesting his own concept in this way is called a tongue metaphorically.

764. – Then when he says, and if I have prophecy, he shows the same about things pertaining to knowledge. But it should be noted that above he proposed four charismatic graces pertaining to knowledge, namely, wisdom, knowledge, faith and prophecy. He begins here with prophecy, saying, if I have prophetic powers, through which secrets are divinely revealed, as it says in 2 Pt (1:21): “No prophecy every came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Secondly, as to wisdom, he adds: and understood all mysteries, i.e., the secrets of the divinity which pertains to wisdom, as it says above (2:7): “We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God.” Thirdly, as to knowledge as he says: and all knowledge, whether humanly acquired as by the philosophers or divinely infused as in the apostles: “It was he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists” (Wis 7:17). Fourthly, as to faith he adds: and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains. It is possible to explain all faith as all the articles; but it is useful to explain all, i.e., perfect faith on account of what is added: as to remove mountains. For it says in Matt (17:20): “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move hence to yonder place,’ and it will move.” And although a grain of mustard seed is very tiny, it is not considered tiny, but perfect faith is compared to a grain of mustard seed: “If you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done” (Matt. 21:21). Faith, therefore, which does not doubt is compared to a grain of mustard seed, which, the more it is rubbed, the more its strength is sensed.

765. – But some object that although many saints had perfect faith, no one is recorded to have moved mountains. This is solved by what is said above (12:7): “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good,” i.e., in that time, place and manner miracles are worked by the grace of the Holy Spirit as the needs of the Church require. But many saints have done much greater things than moving mountains, according as it was useful to the faith: for example, by raising the dead, dividing the sea and performing other works of this nature. And they would have done this, if it had been necessary. This can also be referred to the expulsion of demons from human bodies, who are called mountains on account of pride: “Before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, I am against you, O destroying mountain, which destroys the whole earth” (Jer 13:16). The working of miracles is attributed to faith that does not doubt, because faith rests on omnipotence, through which miracles are performed.

766. – If, I say, I had all the above pertaining to the perfection of the intellect, and have not charity, through which the intellect is perfected, I am nothing, according to the order of grace, about which it says in Eph (2:10): “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Hence Ez (28:19) says against someone: “You have come to a dreadful end, and shall be no more forever.” This occurs on account of a lack of charity, however, its use is not good. Hence it says above (8:1): “Knowledge puffs up, but charity builds up.”

767. – But it should be noted that the Apostle speaks here about wisdom and knowledge as they pertain to the charismatic gifts, which cannot be without charity. For accordingly as they are numbered among the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, they are never possessed without charity. Hence, Wis (1:4) says: “Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,” and Wis (10:10): “She gave him the knowledge of holy things.” As far as prophecy and faith are concerned, it is clear that they cannot be possessed without faith. But it should be noted here that strong faith, even without charity, can perform miracles. Hence, Matt (7:22): “Did we not prophesy in your name and do many mighty works in your name?” The answer is given: “I know you not.” For the Holy Spirit works wonders even through the wicked, just as He speaks the truth through them.

768. – Then when he says: And if I give away, he shows the same in matters pertaining to works which consists in man’s doing good works, as it says in Gal (6:9): “Let us not grow weary in well-doing,” and in his enduring evils patiently: “For justice will return to the righteous and all the upright in heart will follow it.” (Ps 94:15). Among the rest of the good works more commendation is paid to acts of piety, as it says in 1 Tim (4:8): “Piety is of value in every way.” In regard to this work he designates four conditions: the first is that the work of piety not be entirely gathered into one but divided among many, as it says in Ps 112 (v. 9): “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor.” And this is designated when he says, if I give away. Secondly, that the work of piety be performed to relieve a need, not to serve a superfluity, as it says in Is (58:17): “Share your bread with the hungry”; and this is designated when he says, as food for the poor. Thirdly, that the work of piety be directed to those in need, according to Lk (14:13): “When you give a feast, invite the poor,” and this is designated when he says, for the poor. Fourthly, it pertains to perfection that a man expend all his goods for the works of piety, as it says in Matt (19:21): “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor,” and this is designated when he says, all that you have.

769. – But among the evils which one endures patiently the greatest is martyrdom. Hence it says in Matt (5:10): “Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This he commends in four ways: first, because it is more praiseworthy, when the need is imminent, for example, for the defense of the faith that one offer himself to suffering, than if he is apprehended and suffers. Therefore, he says, if I deliver. This is what is said of Christ in Eph (5:2): “He gave himself up for us.” Secondly, because loss to the human body is graver than loss of things, about which, however, some are commanded in Heb (10:34): “You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property. Therefore, he says, body: “I gave my back to the smiters” (Is. 50:6). Thirdly, it is more praiseworthy that one expose his body to punishment that they body of his son or some relative. About this a certain woman is commended in 2 Macc (7:21): “Though she saw her seven sons perish on a single day, she bore it with great courage.” And therefore he says, my: “My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly more than the people” (Jg 5:9). Fourthly, martyrdom is rendered praiseworthy from the sharpness of the pain, concerning which he adds: to be burned, as Lawrence: “Like fire and incense in the censer.”

770. – If, I say, I should do the works mentioned, but I do not have charity, or because along with these works the will to sin mortally is present, or they are done for vain glory, I gain nothing, namely, as far as merit of eternal life is concerned, which is promised only to those who love God. And it should be noted that he compares speech, which is an animal voice, if it is without charity, to the non-existent, but works done for an end, if they are without charity, he calls fruitless: “Their hope is vain, their work unprofitable” (Wis 3:11).

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1 Cor 13:4-7

4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

771. – After showing that charity is so necessary that without it no spiritual gifts are sufficient for salvation, the Apostle now shows that it is so useful and of such efficacious strength that through it all virtuous works are completed. First, he makes two quasi-general statements: secondly, he mentions in particular the virtuous works which are completed by charity (v. 4b).

772. – In regard to the first he does two things. For every virtue consists in this that in acting, one is well disposed for enduing evil things, or in accomplishing good things. Therefore, in regard to enduring evil he says, charity is patient, i.e., makes one endure evils patiently. For when a man loves someone on account of the beloved’s love, he endures all difficulties with ease; similarly, a person who loves God patiently endures any adversity for love of Him. Hence it says in S. of S. (8:7): “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it”; and in Jas (1:4): “Patience has a perfect work.”

773. – But as to performing good works, he adds: is kind [benign]: benignity is described as a good fire, so that just as fire by melting metal makes it flow, so charity inclines a person not to keep the good things he has, but makes them flow to others, for it says in Pr (5:16): “Let your springs be scattered abroad, and streams of water in the streets,” and this is what charity does: hence, it says in 1 John (3:17): “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees a brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide him?” Hence, Eph (4:32) also says: “Be kind and merciful to one another,” and Wis (1:6): “Wisdom is kindly spirit.”

774. – Then when he says, Love is not jealous, he mentions in particular the virtuous works which charity produces, and because two things pertain to a virtue, namely, to refrain from evil and to do good, as it says in Ps 34 (v. 14): “Depart from evil and do good”; and in Is (1:16): “Cease to do evil, learn to do good”; first, he shows how charity avoids all evil; secondly, how it accomplishes the good. (v. 4c). But man cannot do evil effectively to God, but only to himself and to his neighbor, as it says in Jb (35:6): “If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?” and later: (v. 8): “Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself.” First, therefore, he shows how charity avoids evils against one’s neighbor; secondly, how evils are avoided by which someone is disarranged in himself.

775. – Evil against one’s neighbor can exist in the will or emotions and externally. It exists in the former, especially when a person through envy grieves over his neighbor’s good. This is directly contrary to charity which inclines a person to love his neighbor as himself, as it says in Lev (19:18). Hence it pertains to charity that just as a person rejoices in his own goods, so he should rejoice in the goods of his neighbor. It follows from this that charity excludes envy. And this is what he says: Love is not jealous [envious]. Hence it says in Ps 37 (v. 1): “Be not envious of wrongdoers”; and in Pr (23:17): “Let not your heart envy sinners.” As to the outward effect he adds: it does not deal wrongly, i.e., perversely, against anyone. For no one deals unjustly against one he loves: “Cease to do evil” (Is. 1:16).

776. – Then when he says, is not arrogant, he shows that charity makes one avoid evils by which one is disarranged in himself. First, as to passions; secondly, as to choice (v. 5b).

777. – First, indeed, as to pride, which is a disarranged desire for one’s own excellence. One seeks his own excellence in a disarranged manner, when it does not satisfy him to be contained in that station which has been established for him by God. Therefore it says in Sir (10:12): “The beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord.” This happens when a man does not wish to be contained under the rule of God’s arrangement. And this is opposed to charity, by which one loves God above all things: “Puffed by without reason by this sensuous mind and not holing fast to the head” (Col 2:18). It is right to compare pride to arrogance [being puffed up]. For that which is puffed up does not have solidity but its appearance; so the proud seem to themselves to be great, while they really lack true greatness, which cannot exist without the divine order: “He will dash them speechless to the ground” (Wis 4:19).

778. – The chief daughter of pride is ambition, through which one seeks to be foremost; which charity also excludes, seeking rather to serve, as it says in Gal (5:13): “Through love be servants of one another.” Therefore, he adds: is not ambitious, i.e., makes a man avoid ambition: (Sir 7:4): “Do not seek from the Lord the highest office nor the seat of honor from the king.”

779. – Secondly, he shows how charity excludes the disorder of cupidity, when he says: Love does not seek its own. This is understood precisely, i.e., it does not neglect the good of others. For one who loves others as himself seeks the good of others just as his own. Hence the Apostle said above (10:10): “Not seeking my own advantage, but that of many.” Against which it is said of some: “They all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21). It is possible to understand in another way that love does not seek its own, i.e., it does not seek the return of what has been taken from it, namely, in a court case with scandal; because he loves the salvation of his neighbor more than money, as it says in Phil (4:17): “Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit.”

780. – Thirdly, he shows how charity excludes the disorder of anger, saying: It is not irritable, i.e., is not provoked to anger. For anger is an inordinate desire for revenge. But it pertains to charity rather to forgive offenses than to seek revenge beyond measure: “Forbearing one another, if one has a complaint against another” (Co 3:13); “The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:20).

781. – Then when he says, is not resentful (thinks no evil), he shows how by charity disordered choosing is excluded. Now choice is, as it says in Ethics III, the desire for what has already been thought about and weighed. Therefore, a man sins from choice and not from passion, when by a plan of his reason his affections are bestirred to evil. Charity, therefore, first of all, excludes perverse counsel. Therefore, he says: Charity thinks no evil, i.e., does not permit devising how to complete something evil: “Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds” (Mic 2:1); “Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes” (Is 1:16). Or charity thinks no evil, because it does not permit one to think evil about his neighbor by various suspicions and rash judgments: “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” (Matt 9:4).

782. – Secondly, charity excludes an inordinate love for evil; hence he says: it does not rejoice in wrong. For one who sins from passion commits sin with some remorse and sorrow, but one who sins from choice rejoices in the fact that he commits sin, as it says in Pr (2:14): “You rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perseverance of evil.” But charity prevents this, inasmuch as it is the love of the supreme good, to Whom all sin is obnoxious. Or he says that charity does not rejoice over evil, namely, committed by a neighbor: in fact it laments over it, inasmuch as it is opposed to our neighbor’s salvation, which it desires: “I fear that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned before” (2 Cor 12:21).

783. – Then when he says, but rejoices, he shows how charity makes one do the good: first, as to one’s neighbor; secondly, as to God (v. 7b).

784. – In regard to his neighbor man does the good in two ways: first, by rejoicing in his good. In regard to this he says: it rejoices in the truth, namely, of the neighbor or of life or doctrine or justice, inasmuch as he loves his neighbor as himself: “I rejoice greatly to find some of your children following the truth” (2 Jn. v. 4). Secondly, in the fact that a person endures the evils of his neighbor to the extent that it is fitting. In regard to this he says: love bears all things, i.e., without disquiet it tolerates all the shortcomings of the neighbor of any adversity whatever: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak” (Rom 15:1); “Carry one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ,” namely, charity (Gal 6:2).

785. – Then when he says: believes all things, he shows how charity makes one do the good in relation to God. This is done especially through the theological virtues which have God for their object. In addition to charity the other two, as will be said below, are faith and hope. Therefore, in regard to faith he says: believes all things, namely, which are divinely revealed. “Abraham believed God and it was reputed to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). But to believe all things said by men is lightheadedness, as it says in Sir (19:4): “One who trusts others to quickly is light-minded.” In regard to hope he says: hopes all things, namely, which are promised by God: “You who fear the Lord hope for good things” (Sir 2:9). And in order that hope not be discouraged by the delay, he adds: endures all things, i.e., patiently awaits what God has promised in spite of delay, as it says in Heb (2:3): “If it seem slow, wait for it”; and in Ps 27 (v. 14): “Let your heart take courage and wait for the Lord.”

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1 Cor 13:8-11

8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

786. – After showing that charity excels the other gifts of the Holy Spirit by reason of need and fruitfulness, the Apostle now shows the excellence of charity over the other gifts in regard to permanence. In regard to this he does three things: first, he mentions the difference between charity and other gifts of the Holy Spirit as to permanence; secondly, he proves what he had said; thirdly, he draws the intended conclusion (v. 13). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he declares the permanence of charity; secondly, the cessation of other gifts (v. 8b).

787. – First, therefore, he says: Charity never ends. Some, indeed, have misunderstood this and fallen into error, saying that charity once possessed can never be lost. This opinion seems to be consistent with 1 John (3:9): “No one born of God commits sin, because his seed remains in him.” But this opinion is false, because someone possessing charity can fall away from it by sin, as it says in Rev (2:4): “You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember, then, from what you have fallen, and do penance.” This is so, because charity is received in a man’s soul according to his mode, namely, that he can use it or not. But as long as he uses it, a man cannot sin; because the use of charity is loving God above all things, and nothing remains for the sake of which a man should offend God. And this is the way John’s quoted statement is understood. Secondly, the quotation cited is not in accord with the Apostle’s intention, because he is not speaking here about the cessation of spiritual gifts through mortal sin, but rather about the cessation of spiritual gifts which pertain to this life through supervening glory. Hence, the sense of the Apostle is that charity never ends, namely, because just as it exists in the state toward heaven, so it will remain in the state of glory and with increase, as it says in Is (31:9): “Says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion,” i.e., in the Church militant, “and whose furnace is in Jerusalem,” i.e., in the peace of the heavenly fatherland.

788. – Then when he says, as for prophecies, he sets forth the cessation of other spiritual gifts, and especially of those which seem principal. First as to prophecy he says, as for prophecies, they will pass away, i.e., will cease, namely, because in future glory prophecy will have no place for two reasons: first, because prophecy regards the future; but that state does not await anything in the future, but will be the final completion of everything previously foretold. Hence it says in Ps 48 (v. 9): “As we have heard,” namely, through the prophets, “so have we seen in the city of our God.” Secondly, because prophecy occurs with figurative and enigmatic knowledge, which will cease in heaven: “If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will make myself known to him in a vision, I will speak with him in a dream” (Num. 12:6); “It was I who multiplied visions and through the prophets gave parables” (Hos 12:10).

789. – Secondly, as to the gift of tongues he says: as for tongues they will cease. This is not to be understood of the bodily members called tongues, as it says below (15:52): “The dead will be raised imperishable,” i.e., without loss of members. Nor is it to be understood of the use of the bodily tongue. For in heaven there will be vocal praise, as it says in Ps 149 (v. 6): “Let the high praises of God be in their throats,” as a Gloss explains. Therefore, it must be understood of the gift of tongues, by which some in the early Church spoke in various tongues, as it says in Ac (2:4). For in future glory each one will understand each tongue. Hence, it will not be necessary to speak in various tongues. For even from the beginning of the human race, as it says in Gen (11:1): “The whole earth had one language and few words, which will be more true in the final state, in which there will be complete unity.

790. – Thirdly, as to knowledge he adds: as for knowledge it will pass away. From this some have wanted to suppose that acquired knowledge is totally destroyed with the body. To investigate the truth it is necessary to consider that the cognitive power is twofold, namely, the sensitive power and the intellective. Between these there is a difference, because the sensitive power is the act of an organic power and therefore ceases to be, when the body dies; but the intellective power is not the act of any bodily organ, as is proved in The Soul III, and therefore, it must remain when the body dies. Therefore, if any acquired knowledge is preserved in the intellective part of the soul, it must remain after death.

791. – Some, therefore, have supposed that the intelligible species are not conserved in the possible intellect except as long as it is understanding. But the species of the phantasms are conserved in the powers of the sensitive soul; for example in the memory or the imagination, in such a way that when the possible intellect wants to think of something anew, even things it previously understood, it always needs to abstract from the phantasms by the light of the active intellect. Therefore, according to this the consequence is that knowledge acquired here does not remain after death. But this position is, of course, against reason. For it is obvious that the intelligible species in the possible intellect are received at least while it is actually understanding. But whatever is received in something exists in it after the manner of the recipient. Therefore, since the substance of the possible intellect is fixed and unchangeable, the consequence is that the intelligible species remain in it unchangeably. Secondly, it is against the authority of Aristotle in The Soul III, who says that when the possible intellect is knowing anything, then also it is understanding in potency. And so it is clear that it has an intelligible species, through which it is said to be knowing, and yet it is still in potency to understanding in act, and so the intelligible species are in the possible intellect, even when it is not actually understanding. Hence the Philosopher says that the intellective soul is the locus of the species, namely, because the intelligible species are conserved in it. Yet it needs to refer to the phantasms in this life in order actually to understand, not only to abstract species from the phantasms but also to apply the species it has to the phantasms. The sign of this is that if the organ of the imagination or even of the memory is injured, a man is not only prevented from acquiring new knowledge, but also from the use of knowledge previously possessed. Thus, therefore, knowledge remains in the soul after the death of the body as to the intelligible species, but not as to inspecting phantasms, which the separated soul does not need, since it has existence and activity without union with the body. And according to this the Apostle says here that knowledge is destroyed, namely, according to referring to phantasms: hence, Is (29:14) says: “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish.”

792. – Then when he says: for our knowledge is imperfect, he proves what he had said: first, he presents a proof; secondly, he clarifies things contained in the proof (v. 11).

793. – To prove the proposition he presents this proof: When the perfect comes, the imperfect ceases; but gifts other than charity have imperfection. Therefore, they will cease, when the perfection of glory triumphs. First, therefore, he proposes the minor proposition referring to the imperfection of knowledge, when he says: for we know in part, i.e., imperfectly. For a part has the nature of something imperfect. And this is especially true in regard to knowledge of God, as it says in Jb (36:26): “Behold, God is great, and we know him not” and (26:14): “Lo, these are not but the outskirts of his ways.” He also proposes the imperfection of prophecy, when he adds: and we prophesy in part, i.e., imperfectly. For prophecy is knowledge with imperfection, as has been said. But he is silent about the gift of tongues, which is more imperfect than these two, as will be shown (14:2).

794. – Secondly, he proves the major proposition, saying: But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away, i.e., every imperfection will be taken away. Of this perfection it says in 1 Pt (5:10): “After you have suffered a little while, he will restore and strengthen you.”

795. – But according to this it seems that even charity will pass away through future glory, because it is imperfect in the present life as compared with the life of glory. The answer is that imperfection is related in two ways to that which is called imperfect. For sometimes it pertains to a thing’s very nature and sometimes not, but is accidental to it. For example, imperfection pertains to the very notion of a boy, but not of a man; therefore, when perfect age comes, boyhood ceases, but the human nature becomes perfect. Imperfection, therefore, is of the very notion of knowledge, as we possess it of God here, inasmuch as it is known from sensible things; the same is true of the nature of prophecy, inasmuch as it is a figural knowledge tending into the future. But it is not so in the very notion of charity, to which it pertains to love a known good. Therefore, with the coming of perfect grace prophecy and knowledge cease; but charity does not cease. It is made perfect, because the more perfectly God will be known, the more perfectly will he be loved.

796. – Then when he says: When I was a child, he clarifies what he had said above: first, he clarifies the major, namely, with the coming of the perfect the imperfect ceases; secondly, he clarifies the minor, namely, that knowledge and prophecy are imperfect (v. 12).

797. – He shows the first by a likeness of the perfect and imperfect found in bodily age. Hence, he first describes the imperfect state of bodily age, saying: When I was a child, namely, in age, I spoke as a child, i.e., as befitted a child, by babbling. Hence, on account of the natural lack of speech in children, wisdom is commended “for making the tongues of babes speak clearly” (Wis 10:2) and that he child should speak who utters vanities: “Everyone utters vanities to his neighbor” (Ps 12:2). As to judgment he adds: I spoke like a child, i.e., I accepted or rejected certain things foolishly, as children do, who sometimes reject precious things and desire base things, as it says in Pr (1:22): “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple.” Therefore, they think as children who despise spiritual things and desire those of earth. Of such it says in Phil (3:19): “They glory in their shame with their minds set on earthly things.” As to reasoning he says: I reasoned like a child, i.e., certain vain things: “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are vain” (Ps 94:11). Now the Apostle seems to place these three in reverse order. For speech precedes the judgment of reason; but judgment presupposes the activity of reason. And this sufficiently befits childish imperfection, in which there is speech without judgment, and judgment without deliberation. I spoke as a child can be referred to the gift of tongues; I thought as a child to the gift of prophecy; finally, I reasoned as a child to the gift of knowledge.

798. – Secondly, he mentions what pertains to perfect age, saying: When I became a man, i.e., when I reached the perfect and virile age, I gave up, i.e., cast off, childish ways, because, as it says in Is (65:20): “For the child shall die 100 years old, and the sinner 100 years old shall be accursed.” It should be recognized that the Apostle is here comparing the present to childhood on account of its imperfection; but the state of future glory to the manly state on account of its perfection.

13-4

1 Cor 13:12-13

12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

799. – Here he speaks of the vision, which is knowledge of God. Hence, all the preceding gifts must be understood as destined to be eliminated inasmuch as they are directed to knowledge of God. In regard to this he does two things: first, he proves what he proposes in general, secondly, in detail about himself (v. 12b).

800. – He says, therefore: I have said that we know imperfectly, because we know in a mirror dimly, but then, namely, in heaven, we shall see face to face. The first consideration concerns what it is to see through a mirror dimly; the second concerns what it is to see face to face. It should be noted, therefore, that something sensible can be seen in three ways, namely, by its presence in the one seeing, as light itself, which is present in the eye, or by the presence of its likeness in the sense and immediately derived from the thing, as whiteness in a wall is seen, even though the whiteness does not exist in the eye, but its likeness (although the likeness is not seen by the eye); or by the presence of a likeness not immediately derived from the thing itself but from a likeness of the thing in something else, as when a man is seen through a mirror. For the likeness of the man is not immediately in the eye, but the likeness of the man reflected in a mirror. Therefore, speaking in this way about the vision of God, I say that by natural knowledge God alone sees himself; because in God essence and intellect are the same. Therefore, His essence is present to His intellect. But in a second way the angels perhaps see God by natural knowledge, inasmuch as a likeness of the divine essence immediately shines back on them. But in a third way we know God in this life, inasmuch as we know the invisible things of God through creatures, as it says in Rom (1:20). And so all creation is a mirror for us; because from the order and goodness and multitude which are caused in things by God, we come to a knowledge of His power, goodness and eminence. And this knowledge is called seeing in a mirror.

801. – It should be further noted that a likeness of this sort, which is of a likeness gleaming back on someone else is twofold: because sometimes it is clear and open, as that which appears in a mirror, sometimes it is obscure and secret, and then that vision is said to be enigmatic, as when I say: “Me a mother begot, and the same is born from me.” That is secret by a simile. And it is said of ice, which is born from frozen water and the water is born from the melted ice. Thus, therefore, it is clear that vision through the likeness of a likeness is in a mirror, by a likeness hidden in an enigma, but a clear and open likeness makes another kind of allegorical vision. Therefore, inasmuch as we know the invisible things of God through creatures, we are said to see through a mirror. Inasmuch as those invisible things are secrets to us, we see in an enigma. Or another way, we see now through a mirror, i.e., by our reason, and then “through” designates the power only. As if to say: we see through a mirror, i.e., by a power of our soul.

802. – In regard to the second it should be noted that God as God does not have a face, and therefore the expression “face to face” is metaphorical. For when we see something in a mirror, we do not see it, but its likeness; but when we see someone by face, then we see him as he is. Therefore, the Apostle wishes to say nothing else, when he says: “in heaven we shall see face to face,” then that we shall see the very essence of God: “We shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2). But opposed to this is Gen (32:30): “I have seen God face to face and yet my life is preserved.” But it is evident that he did not at that time see the essence of God; therefore, to see face to face is not to see the essence of God. The answer is that that vision was imaginary; but an imaginary vision is of a higher degree, namely, seeing what appears: in the image in which He appears is another lowest grace, namely, only to hear words. Hence Jacob, to indicate the excellence of the imaginary vision showed to him says: “I have seen the Lord face to face,” i.e., I have seen the Lord through my imagination in His own image and not through His essence. For then it would not have been an imaginary vision.

803. – But still some say that in heaven the divine essence will be seen through a created likeness. This, however, is entirely false and impossible, because something can never be known through its essence by a likeness, which does not agree with that thing in species. For a stone cannot be known as it is except through the stone’s species, which is in the soul. For no likeness leads to knowledge of a thing’s essence, if it differs from that according to species; and much less if they differ in genus. For the essence of a man, much less than the essence of an angel, cannot be known through the species of a horse or of whiteness. Much less, then, can the divine essence be seen through any created species, whatever it be, since any created species in the soul is more distant from the divine essence than the species of a horse or whiteness from the essence of an angel. Hence, to suppose that God is seen only by a likeness or through some brilliance of His clarity is to suppose that the divine essence is not seen. Furthermore, since the soul is a certain likeness of God, that vision would not be more mirror-like or enigmatic, which it is in this life than clear and open vision, which is promised to the saints in glory and in which will consist our beatitude. Hence Augustine says in a Gloss that a vision of God through a likeness pertains to a vision in a mirror and enigma. It would also follow that man’s final beatitude would be in something other than God; which is alien to the faith. Even man’s natural desire, which is to arrive at the first cause of things and of knowing Him in Himself, would be in vain.

804. – He continues: Now I know in part. Here he proves in particular what he had proved in general about knowledge of himself, saying: Now, i.e., in the present life, I, Paul, know in part, i.e., obscurely and imperfectly, but then, namely, in heaven, I will know as I am known. Just as God knows my essence, so I shall know God through His essence, so that the “as” does not imply equality of knowledge but only similarity.

805. – Then he infers the principal conclusion, when he says: Now there abide. But the cause why he does not mention all the gifts but only three is that the three join to God; the others do not join to God, except through the mediation of those three; also the other gifts dispose for the birth of those three in the hearts of men. Hence, too, only those three, namely, faith, hope and charity, are called theological virtues, because they have God for their immediate object.

806. – But since the gifts exist for perfecting the affections or intellect, and charity perfects the affections, and faith the intellect, it does not seem that hope is necessary but superfluous. The answer is that love is a unitive force and all love consists in some union. Hence according to the various unions, the various species of friendship are distinguished by the Philosopher. Now we have a twofold union with God: one refers to the goods of nature, which we partake of here from Him; the other refers to beatitude, inasmuch as through grace we partake here of supernal felicity, as far as it is possible here. We also hope to arrive at the perfect attainment of that eternal beatitude and become citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem. According to the first communication with God there is a natural friendship, according to which each one, inasmuch as he is, seeks and desires as his end God as first cause and supreme being. According to the second communication there is the love of charity, by which only an intellectual creature loves God. But because nothing can loved unless it is known, for the love of charity a knowledge of God is first required. And because this is above nature, there is required, first of all, faith which is concerned with things not seen. Secondly, in order that a man not fail or fall away, hope is required through which he tends to that end as pertaining to himself. Concerning these three it says in Sir (2:8): “You who fear the Lord, believe in him, “ as to hope, “you who fear the Lord, love him,” as to charity. Therefore, these three remain now, but charity is greater than the others for the reasons indicated above.

14-1

1 Cor 14:1-4

1 Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

807. – Having stated that charity excels the other gifts, the Apostle then compares the other gifts to each other, showing the excellence of prophecy over the gift of tongues. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows that prophecy excels the gift of tongues; secondly, how the gifts of tongues and prophecy should be used (v. 26). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows that the gift of prophecy is more excellent than the gift of tongues with reasons taken on the part of unbelievers; secondly, on the part of believers (v. 20). The first part is divided into two: first, he shows that the gift of prophecy is more excellent than the gift of tongues as to their use in exhortations or sermons; secondly, as to the use of tongues in praying. For the use of the tongue is ordained to these two (v. 13).

808. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mentions one thing by which he connects the preceding to the following; and this is what he says: It has been stated that charity excels all the gifts; if, therefore, that is so, make love your aim, for it is a sweet and healthful bond of minds: “Above all, hold unfailing your love for one another” (1 Pt 4:8); “Above all these things put on love which is the bond of perfection.” (Col 3:4).

809. – Secondly, he adds that through which he connects himself with what follows. And this is what he says: earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. As if to say: Although charity is greater than all gifts, nevertheless the others are not to be despised. But earnestly desire, i.e., fervently love the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit: “Now who is there to harm you, if you are zealous for what is right”? (1 Pt 3:13).

810. – Although earnestly desire is sometimes taken for fervent love and sometimes for envy, it is not equivocation; indeed, one proceeds from the other. For to be zealous and to be earnestly desirous designate a fervent love for something. It happens, however, that the thing loved is loved so fervently by someone that he does not permit a sharer, but wants it alone and by himself. And this is zeal which, according to some, is intense love not allowing a participation in the one loved. Yet this occurs not in spiritual things, which can be shared most perfectly by others, but only in those which cannot be shared by many. Hence in charity there is not this sort of zeal which does not allow a participation in the one loved, but only in bodily things, in which it comes about that if anyone else has that for which I am zealous, I am sad; and from this arises earnest desire, which is envy. Just as if I love dignity or riches, I grieve if someone else has them; hence I envy him. And so it is clear that from zeal arises envy. Therefore, when it is said: earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, it is not understood of envy, because spiritual things can be possessed by many; but he says: desire to induce them to love God fervently.

811. – And because among spiritual things there is a gradation, for prophecy exceeds the gift of tongues, he says: especially that you may prophecy. As if to say: Among spiritual gifts be more zealous for the gift of prophecy: “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophesying” (1 Th 5:19).

812. – To explain the entire chapter three things must be mentioned beforehand, namely, what is prophecy; in how many ways is prophecy mentioned in Scripture, and what it is to speak in tongues. In regard to the first it should be noted that prophecy is said to be “seeing from afar,” and according to some it is named after speaking afar, but it is better to say that it is from pharos, which is to see. Hence in 1 Sam (9:9): “He who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.” Hence the sight of things far off, whether they be future contingents or beyond human reason, is called prophecy. Prophecy, therefore, is the sight or manifestation of future contingents or of things transcending human understanding. For such a sight four things are required. For since our knowledge is through bodily things and phantasms received from sensible things, it is first required that in the imagination be formed the bodily likeness of things which are shown, as Denis says that it is impossible otherwise for the divine ray to shine in us, unless surrounded by the variety of sacred veils. The second thing required is an intellectual light enlightening the intellect for knowing things shown beyond our natural knowledge. For unless an intellectual light be present for understanding the sensible likenesses formed in the imagination, the one to whom these likenesses are shown in not called a prophet but a dreamer. Thus, Pharaoh, who, although he saw ears of corn and cattle, which indicated future events, did not understand what he saw, is not called a prophet, but rather Joseph, who interpreted it. The same is true of Nebuchadnezzar, who saw a statue but did not understand it; hence, neither is he a prophet, but Daniel. For this reason it says in Dan (10:1): “Understanding is needed in a vision.” The third thing required is the courage to announce the things revealed. For God reveals in order that it be announced to others: “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth” (Jer 1:9). The fourth thing is the working of miracles, which lend certitude to the prophecy. For unless they did things which exceed the works of nature, they would not be believed in matters that transcend natural knowledge.

813. – Therefore, according to these modes of prophecy some are called prophets in various ways. For sometimes one is called a prophet, because he possesses all four, namely, that he sees imaginary visions, and has an understanding of them and he boldly announces to others and he works miracles. Concerning such a one it says in Num. (12:6): “If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will appear to him in a dream, or will speak to him by means of a dream.” But sometimes one who has solely imaginary visions is called a prophet, but in an improper sense and very remotely so. Again, one is called a prophet, if he has the intellectual light to explain even imaginary visions made to himself or someone else, or for explaining the sayings of the prophets or the Scriptures of the apostles. In this way a prophet is anyone who discerns the writings of the Doctors, because they have been interpreted in the same spirit as they were edited; and so Solomon and David can be called prophets, inasmuch as they had the intellectual light to understand clearly and subtly. For the vision of David was intellectual only. Someone is even called a prophet merely because he announces the statements of prophets or explains them or sings in the church. This is the way Saul was counted among the prophets, i.e., among those singing the words of the prophets. (1 Sam 19:24). Someone is also called a prophet from working miracles, as it says in Sir (48:14) that “the dead body of Elijah prophesied, i.e., worked a miracle.” Therefore, what the Apostle says through this chapter of the prophets must be understood in the second mode, namely, that one is said to prophesy who through a divine intellectual light explains visions made to him and others. According to this, what is said here about prophets will be plain.

814. – In regard to the second it should be noted that because there were few in the early Church assigned to preaching faith of Christ throughout the world, the Lord enabled them to proclaim the word to more people by giving them the gift of tongues, by which they could all preach to all. Not that they spoke in one language and were understood by all, as some say, but that they spoke the languages of different nations and, indeed, of all. Hence the Apostle says: “I thank God that I speak in the languages of all of you,” and in Ac (2:4) it says: “They began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Furthermore, many received this gift from God in the early church. But the Corinthians, being inquisitive, were more desirous of this gift than the gift of prophecy. Therefore, when the Apostle mentions here about speaking in a tongue, he means an unknown language not interpreted; as when one might speak German to a Frenchman without an interpreter, he is speaking in a tongue. Hence, all speech not understood not explained, no matter what it is, is properly called speaking in a tongue.

815. – Having mentioned these things, let us return to the text, which is clear. In regard to this he does two things: first, he proves that the gift of prophecy is greater than the gift of tongues; secondly, he excludes an objection (v. 5b).

816. – That the gift of prophecy is more excellent than the gift of tongues he proves with two reasons: the first is based on the relationship of God with the Church; the second on the relationship of men with the Church.

817. – The first reason is this: That through which man does things which are not only for the glory of God but for the benefit of his neighbors is better than that which is done only for the glory of God. But prophecy is not only for the honor of God but also useful to our neighbor, whereas by the gift of tongues something is done solely for the honor of God. He presents the middle term of this reasoning: first, inasmuch as he says that one who speaks in a tongue only honors God. And this is what he says: One who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men, i.e., not to the human intellect, but to God, i.e., only to the honor of God. Or to God, because God alone understands: “The zealous ear of God hears all things” (Wis 1:10). That he does not speak to man is indicated when he says: For no one hears him, i.e., understands. For it often happens that not to hear means not to understand: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt 13:9). Why he speaks only to God he indicates, when he says that God Himself is speaking; hence he says: But he utters mysteries in the Spirit, i.e., hidden things: “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father” (Matt 10:20); “No one understands the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:11).

818. – Secondly, he proves his statement that prophecy is for the honor of God and the benefit of our neighbors. Hence he says, He who prophesies, i.e., explains visions or Scriptures, speaks to men, i.e., to the human intellect for the upbuilding of beginners and encouragement of the proficient and the consolation of the desolate. “Comfort the fainthearted (1 Th 5:14); “Speak and persuade” (Titus 2:15), for the consolation of the desolate. Or upbuilding pertains to spiritual affection, because one’s spiritual edifice first begins there: “In whom you are also built into it” (Eph 2:22). But exhortation pertains to inducement to good acts, because if the will is good, then the act is good: “Declare and exhort these things” (Titus 2:15). Consolation on the other hand induces one to tolerate evils: “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction” (Rom 15:4). Those who preach the divine scriptures induce people to these three things.

819. – The second reason is this: that which is useful only to the doer is less than that which also profits others. But to speak in tongues is useful only to the speaker, whereas to prophesy benefits others. He presents the middle term of this reasoning: first, in regard to its first part and he says: he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself: “My heart became hot within me” (Ps. 39:3). Secondly, in regard to the second part he says: But he who prophecies edifies the church, i.e., believers, by instructing them: “Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph 2:20).

14-2

1 Cor 14:5-12

5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless some one interprets, so that the church may be edified. 6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will any one know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will any one know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

820. – Here the Apostle excludes an objection or false understanding, which could occur in respect to the foregoing. For some might believe that since the Apostle prefers prophecy to the gift of tongues, the latter should be scorned. Hence, to exclude this he says: Now I want you, where he shows what he intends to insinuate; secondly, he gives the reason (v. 5b).

821. – He says, therefore: I said the things stated above, I do not wish to spurn the gift of tongues, but I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy: “Would that the Lord’s people were prophets” (Num. 11:29).

822. – He assigns the reason for this when he says: He who prophecies is greater. As if to say: the reason I wish that you would prophesy more is that it is greater. The reason for this is that some are sometimes moved by the Holy Spirit to speak something mystical, which they do not understand. Hence, they have the gift of tongues. But sometimes they not only speak in tongues, but also interpret what they say. Hence he says: unless someone interprets. For the gift of tongues with interpretation is better than prophecy, because as has been said, the interpretation of anything arduous pertains to prophecy. Hence, one who speaks and interprets is a prophet and had the gift of tongues and he interprets in order to edify the Church. Hence he says, that the Church may be edified, i.e., that he not only understand himself but also edify the Church: “Let us pursue what makes for mutual edification” (Rom 14:19); “Let each of you please the neighbor for his good to edify him.” (Rom 15:2).

823. – Then when he says: Now, brethren, he proves by examples that the gift of prophecy is more excellent than the gift of tongues, and this in three ways: first, by giving an example taken from himself; secondly, by an example taken from inanimate things (v. 17); thirdly by an example taken from men speaking different language (v. 10).

824. – Using himself as an example he argues this: Consequently, it is clear that I do not have the gift of tongues less than you. But if I were to speak to you only in tongues and did not interpret, you would not profit at all. Therefore, neither would you from one another. And this is what he says: Now brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues. This can be understood in two ways, namely, either by an unknown language, or literally, by whatever sign that is not understood.

825. – How shall I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It should be noted that those four things, namely, revelation, knowledge, prophecy, teaching, can be distinguished in two ways: in one way according to the things they concern. In this way, it should be noted that the illumination of the mind for understanding concerns four things, because it is either about divine things, and this illumination of the mind pertains to the gift of wisdom. For, as was stated above, revelation is concerned with divine things, because “the things of God no one knows except the spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:11). Therefore, he says: in revelation, by which the mind is enlightened to know divine things. Or it is about earthly things, not just any but only about those which pertain to the building up of faith: and this pertains to the gift of knowledge. Therefore he says: in knowledge, not geometry or astronomy, because these do not pertain to the building up of the faith, but in knowledge of holy things: “He gave them knowledge of holy things” (Wis 10:10). Or it is about future events, and this pertains to the gift of prophecy: hence he says: or in prophecy: “She has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and of the outcome of seasons and of times” (Wis 8:8). It should be noted that prophecy is not taken here as it is generally used and was explained above, but it is taken here in a special sense, as a manifestation of future events only. In this sense it is defined by Cassiodorus: “Prophecy is divine inspiration announcing with infallible truth the future of things.” “I will again pour out teaching like prophecy” (Sir 24:33). Or is it is about moral acts, and this pertaining to teaching; therefore he says: Or teaching: “He that teaches, in teaching” (Rom 12:7); “Good teaching wins favor” (Pr 13:15).

826. – They can be distinguished in another way according to the various ways that knowledge is from a supernatural source, namely, God, or from a natural, i.e., the natural light of the intellect. If it is from a supernatural principle, namely, by a divinely infused light, it can happen in two ways: because it is either infused by sudden knowledge, and then it is revelation; or it is infused successively, and then it is prophecy, which the prophets did not have suddenly but successively and by parts, as their prophecies show. But if the knowledge is acquired by a natural principle, this is either through one’s own study and then it pertains to knowledge, or it is presented by someone else, and then it pertains to teaching.

827. – If even lifeless instruments. Here he shows the same thing with examples taken from inanimate things, namely, instruments which seem to have a voice: first, with instruments of joy; secondly, the instruments of battle (v. 8).

828. – He says, therefore: that speaking in tongues does not benefit others is shown not only from what has been said above but also by lifeless things which seem to have a sound. Against this, a voice is a sound uttered from the mouth of an animal. Therefore, lifeless things do not give forth a voice. The answer is that although a voice is found only in animals, yet in virtue of a likeness it can be said that certain things, such as musical instruments, have a definite consonance and melody. That is why he mentions them, namely, the harp, which gives forth a voice through touch, and the flute through blowing. If even lifeless instruments do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know with is played? For since man intends to express something through musical instruments, namely, songs which are directed to sorrow or to joy: “You shall have a song in the night, when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one set out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord” (Is 30:29), or even to wantonness, one cannot tell what the flute is playing or the harp, if the sound is confused and not distinct. So if a man speaks in tongues, and he does not interpret, no one knows what he wants to say.

829. – If the bugle gives an indistinct sound. Here he shows the same thing with another lifeless thing, namely, the instrument ordained to battle. This likeness is taken from Num. (10:1-10), where it says that the Lord commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets to be used for summoning all the people, for moving their camps and for battle. For each of these three things there was a different way of sounding the trumpet, because when they moved their camps it sounded one way; and another, when they were to assemble; and still another, when they were to do battle. And so the Apostle argues that just as if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, it is not known whether they should prepare for battle, so you, if you only speak in tongues, unless you make your speech clear by interpreting or explaining, no one will know what you are saying. By “bugle” can also be understood “preachers.” “Life up your voice like a trumpet” (Is 58:1). But the reason why it cannot be known what you are saying is that you will be speaking into the air, i.e., uselessly: “I do not box as one beating the air” (1 Cor 9:26).

830. – There are doubtless many. Here he uses the examples of the various human languages. In regard to this he does three things: first, he points out the diversity of tongues; secondly, that it is useless for one to speak to others in a language they do not understand (v. 11); thirdly, he concludes what he intended (v. 12).

831. – First, therefore, he says: The languages of the world are many and diverse, and anyone can speak in whichever one he wants; but if he does not speak precisely, he is not understood. And this is what he says: There are doubtless many languages in the world. This can be explained in two ways, for it can be connected with the preceding as saying: you will be speaking uselessly in all languages, because you speak without understanding, whereas words have a definite meaning in all languages to be understood. For nothing exists without its “voice.” Or it can be punctuated thus: you will be speaking into the air. So many, for example, are the kinds of languages, i.e., individual languages.

832. – But if I do not know the meaning of the language. Here he shows their uselessness. And this is what he says: “If I have spoken in all tongues,” but did not know the meaning of the words, I will be a foreigner (barbarian) to the speaker, and the speaker a foreigner (barbarian) to me. Note that barbarians according to some are those whose idiom completely disagrees with Latin. But others say that any foreigner is a barbarian to every other foreigner, namely, when he is not understood by him. But this is not true, because according to Isidore, “Barbaria” is a special nation: “In Christ Jesus there is neither barbarian nor Scythian” (Col 3:11). But it is closer to the truth to say that barbarian is the name for those who are strong in body and weak in reasoning and exist, as it were, outside the law and without the rule of law. And Aristotle seems to agree with this in his Politics.

833. – Then when he says: So with yourselves, he concludes to what he intended; and this can be constructed in two ways: first, so that it is punctuated as if he were saying: Therefore, I will be a barbarian to you, if I speak without meaning and interpretation, just as you will be barbarians to one another; and, therefore, seek to abound. And this, because you will be eager for manifestations of the Spirit. Or in another way, so that it is all put under a distinction. As if to say: Therefore, do no be barbarians, but because you are eager for the manifestations of the Spirit, i.e., of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, do as I do and seek them from God, that you may abound: “In abundant justice is virtue the greatest” (Pr 12:5). This justice consists in edifying others: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matt 7:7).

14-3

1 Cor 14:13-17

13 Therefore, he who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how can any one in the position of an outsider say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may give thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.

834. – Having shown that the gift of prophecy excels the gift of tongues with reasons taken on the part of exhortation, the Apostle now shows the same thing with reasons taken on the part of prayer; for we perform these two things with the tongue, namely, prayer and exhortation. In regard to this he does two things: first, he proves that prophecy excels the gift of tongues with reasons; secondly, with examples (v. 18). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows the necessity of prayer; secondly, how in prayer the gift of prophecy is more powerful than the gift of tongues (v. 14).

835. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that the gift of tongues without the gift of prophecy has no value, because interpretation is an act of prophecy, which is more excellent than speaking in tongue. One who speaks in a tongue, unknown or foreign, certain hidden mysteries, should pray, namely, to God, for the power to interpret, i.e., that the grace to interpret be given him: “Praying that God may open to us a door” (Col 4:3). A Gloss exposits pray differently. For ‘to pray’ is said to be twofold, namely either to beseech God or to prevail upon him; as if he says: he who speaks in a tongue, let him pray, i.e., let him prevail upon God, so that he may interpret. And so the Gloss understands ‘to pray’ here for the whole chapter. But this is not the meaning of the Apostle, but rather it is ‘to beseech God’.

836. – For if I pray in a tongue. Here he shows that in praying, prophecy is more valuable than the gift of tongues in two ways: first, with a reason based on the one praying; secondly, on the one hearing (v. 16). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents a reason showing the truth of his proposition; secondly, he removes an objection (v. 15).

837. – In regard to the first it should be noted that prayer is of two kinds: one is private, namely, when one prays in himself and for himself; the other is public, when one prays before the people and for others. In both cases one can use the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy. Hence he wants to show that in both cases the gift of prophecy is more valuable than the gift of tongues. First, in private prayer, if an outsider says his own prayer, saying a Psalm or “our Father” and he does not understand what he says, he prays with the tongue and it does not concern him whether he is praying with words granted him by the Holy Spirit or with someone else’s words: and if another prays and understands what he is saying, he, indeed, both prays and prophesies. It is evident that one who prays and understands accomplishes more than one who prays only in a tongue, namely, who does not understand what he is saying. For the one who understands is refreshed both in intellect and affections, but the mind of one who does not understand receives no fruit of refreshment. Hence, since it is better to be refreshed in mind and affections than in affections only, it is obvious that in prayer the gift of prophecy is more valuable than the gift of tongues.

838. – And this is what he says: I say that he should pray for the power to interpret, for if I pray in a tongue, i.e., use the gift of tongues in praying, so that I utter what I do not understand; then my spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit given to me, prays, Who inclines and moves me to pray. Nevertheless, I merit in that prayer, because the very fact that I am moved by the Spirit is merit for me: “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes us ask” (Rom 8:26). Or my spirit, i.e., my reason, prays, i.e., tells me that I should ask for things which are good, either in my own words or those of other saints. Or my spirit, i.e., the imagination, prays in the sense that words of the likenesses of bodily things are only in the imagination without being understood by the intellect. Therefore, he adds: but my mind, i.e., my intellect, is unfruitful, because it does not understand. Therefore, prophecy or interpretation is better in prayer than is the gift of tongues.

839. – But is it true that whenever anyone prays and does not understand what he is saying, he obtains no fruit? The answer is that the fruit of prayer is twofold: one fruit is the merit the person obtains; the other fruit is the spiritual consolation and devotion produced by the prayer. In regard to the fruit of spiritual devotion, one is deprived of it, if he does not attend to what he is praying, or does not understand; but in regard to the fruit of merit, one is not necessarily deprived of it. For many prayers would be without merit, since a man can scarcely say the “Our Father” without his mind wandering to other things. Therefore, it must be said that when the one praying is sometimes diverted from what he is saying, or when a person engaged in one meritorious work does not continually think at each step that he is doing this for God, he does not lose the reason for merit. The reason for this is that in all meritorious acts ordained to the right end, it is not required that the intention of the performer be united to the end in every act: but the first influence, which moves the intention, remains in the entire work, even if in some particular it be distracted; and this first influence makes the entire work meritorious, unless it is interrupted by a contrary affection which turns one from the original and to a contrary end.

840. – But it should be noted that attention is threefold: one is to the words the man is saying: and this is harmful sometimes, inasmuch as it impedes devotion; another is to the sense of the words, and this is harmful, but not very much; the third is to the end, and this is better and, as it were, necessary. Nevertheless, when the Apostle says that the mind is unfruitful, it is understood of the fruit of refreshment.

841. – What am I to do? Because someone could say: inasmuch as prayer in a tongue is without fruit to the mind, but the spirit prays, should one then not pray in the spirit. Therefore, the Apostle answer this objection, saying that one should pray in both ways, in the spirit and in the mind; because man should serve God with all the things he has from God. But from God he has spirit and mind; therefore, he should pray with both: “With all his heart he will praise God” (Sir 47:8). Therefore, he says: I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. And so he says that he will pray and sing; because prayer is the beseeching of God, and so he says, I will pray, or it is praising Him, and so he says I will sing. Concerning these two Jas (6:13) says: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing.” “Sing praises to the Lord” (Ps 9:11). I will pray, therefore, in the spirit, i.e., imagination, and with the mind, i.e., the will.

842. – Otherwise if you bless. Here, secondly, he shows that the gift of prophecy is more valuable than the gift of tongues, even in public prayer, which is when a priest prays in public, where he sometimes says things he does not understand and sometimes things he does understand. In regard to this he does three things: first, he presents a reason, secondly, he explains; thirdly, he proves what he had presupposed.

843. – He says, therefore: I have said that the gift of prophecy in private prayer is more beneficial, but also in public, because if you bless, i.e., if you give a blessing in the spirit, i.e., in a tongue not understood, or with the imagination, and moved by the Holy Spirit, who supplies the place of the ignorant man (who knows only the tongue in which he was born). As if to say: you will say what he should say there to the ignorant man; for what he should say there is Amen.

844. – Therefore, he says: how can he say Amen to your blessing, where a Gloss says, i.e., how shall he consent to the blessing given by you in the name of the Church? “He that is blessed on the earth will be blessed in God. Amen.” (Is 55:16). Amen is the same as “let it be done,” or “it is so.” As if to say: if he does not know what you are saying, how shall he conform himself to your utterances? He could conform, even if he does not understand, but only in a general way, because he cannot understand what good thing you are saying, but only that you are blessing.

845. – But why are blessings not given in the vernacular, so that they will be understood by the people and conform themselves to them more? The answer is that this probably happened in the early Church, but later the faithful were instructed and know what they hear in the common office, where blessings are given in Latin.

846. – Then he proves why he cannot say, “Amen,” when he says: For you may give thanks well enough to God, inasmuch as you understand, but the other man, who hears and does not understand, is not edified, for he does not understand in detail, even if he understands in a general way and is edified: “Let no evil thought come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for edifying” (Eph 4:29). Consequently, it is better not only to bless in a tongue, but also to interpret and explain, although you who give thanks do well.

14-4

1 Cor 14:18-22

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; be babes in evil, but in thinking be mature. 21 In the law it is written, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers.

847. – Here the Apostle shows that the gift of prophecy excels the gift of tongues with reasons taken on his own part. In regard to this he does two things: first, he gives thanks for the gift of tongues given him by God; secondly, he proposes himself to them as an example (v. 19).

848. – He says, therefore, I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all. As if to say: I do not belittle the gift of tongues, because I say that the gift of prophecy is more excellent, but it ought to be cherished. Hence, I, too, thank God. Therefore, thanks should be given for all things: “In all things give thanks” (1 Th 5:18). Or I thank God. As if to say: I do not belittle the gift of tongues, as though lacking it; rather I have it. Therefore, he says: I thank God. But lest it be understood that all speak in one tongue, he says: that I speak in tongues more than you: “They spoke in various tongues” (Ac 2:4).

849. – But in the church. Here he presents himself as an example. As if to say: If I have the gift of tongues, just as you, you should do as I do. But I would rather speak five words in the church, i.e., a few words, with my mind and understand and be understood, in order to instruct others than ten thousand, i.e., any number of words in a tongue; which is not to speak to the mind in any way, as explained above.

850. – Some say that he says, five, because the Apostle seems to prefer to say one prayer with understanding than many without understanding. But according to the grammarians, if a statement is to have perfect sense, it should have five things: a subject, predicate, verbal copula, a modifier of the subject and a modifier of the predicate. To others it seems better to say, that because we speak with the intellect in order that others be taught, he mentions five, because the teacher should teach five things, namely: things to be believed: “Declare and exhort these things” (Titus 2:11); things to be done: “Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Mk 16:15); things to be avoided, i.e., sins: “Flee from sin as from a snake” (Sir 21:2); “Declare to my people their transgressions, to the house of Jacob their sins” (Is 58:1); things to be hoped for, i.e., the eternal reward: “They searched and inquired about this salvation” (1 Pt 1:10); things to be feared, i.e., eternal punishments: “Depart, you accursed into everlasting fire” (Matt 25:21).

851. – Brethren, do not be children in your thinking. Here he shows that the gift of prophecy excels the gift of tongue with reasons taken on the part of unbelievers. In regard to this he does two things: first, he gets their attention and makes them attentive; secondly, he argues to his point (v. 21).

852. – In regard to the first the Apostle seems to remove the mantle of excuse from those who teach certain rude and superficial things, as if to show that they wish to live in simplicity, and not caring about subtleties to which they really do not attain; and for this they appeal to the Lord’s words in Matt (18:3): “Unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” But the Apostle rejects this, when he says: Do not be children in your thinking, i.e., do not speak and teach childish and useless and foolish things: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child” (1 Cor 13:11). But how should you become children? In affection, not in understanding. Therefore he says: But in evil. Here it should be noted that children are not wont to think evil, and therefore he says: in evil be children. And they are not accustomed to think of the good. In this sense, we should not become children but perfect men. Therefore, he says: but in thinking be mature, i.e., be perfect in discerning good and evil. Hence it says in Heb (5:14): “Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained to distinguish good from evil.” Therefore, what is praised in you is not the simplicity opposed to prudence but the simplicity opposed to craftiness: “Be wise as serpents” (Matt 10:16); “I would have you wise as to what is good and guileless as to what is evil” (Rom 16:19).

853. – Then when he says: it is written in the law, he argues to his proposition. Here it should be noted that this argument, as is clear from a Gloss, is distinguished by many things; but according to the Apostle’s intent, it does not seem that in this place attention is paid to more than one reason. The argument proving that the gift of prophecy excels the gift of tongues is this: Whatever contributes more to that to which another is principally ordained is better than the latter; but the gift of prophecy and the gift of tongues are both ordained to the conversion of unbelievers, although the gift of prophecy contributes more to this than does the gift of tongues. Therefore, prophecy is better.

854. – In regard to this reason he does two things: first, he shows to what the gift of tongues is ordained, and to what the gift of prophecy is ordained; secondly, that the gift of prophecy contributes more (v. 22).

855. – In regard to the first it should be noted that this question: What is written in the law can be taken as an interrogation, as though he were saying: you should not become children in sense but mature, and this is to see and know the Law. Hence, if you are mature in your senses, you should know the Law and what has been written in the Law about tongues, which are useless at times for that to which they are ordained, because although I should speak in various tongues, namely, to the Jewish people, nevertheless man does not hear. It can also be taken in a remissive sense, as if he were saying: Do not be enticed as children to desire something, not discerning whether you are being attracted to good or evil and preferring the good to the better; but be mature in sense, i.e., distinguish between the good and the better, and thus be attracted. And this happens, if you reflect on what has been written in the Law: by men of strange tongues will I speak to this people: “To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding” (Wis 6:15). He says, in the law, not taking “law” exclusively for the five books of Moses, as it is taken in Lk (24:44): “Everything written about me in the law of Moses must be fulfilled,” but for the entire Old Testament, as it is taken in John (15:25): “It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without cause,’” which was written in Ps 25 (v. 19). This, therefore, was written: in strange tongues, i.e., in various kinds of tongues, and by the lips of foreigners, i.e., in various idioms and modes of pronunciation, I will speak to this people, namely, the Jews, because this sign was specially given for the conversion of the people of Israel. And even then they will not listen to me, because although they saw the sign, they did not believe: “Blind the heart of this people and make their ears heavy” (Is 6:10).

856. – But why would God give them signs, if they were not to be converted? To this there are two answers: one is that although not all were converted, some were; for God did not reject His people. The other is in order that their damnation appear more just, while their guilt appears more clearly: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin” (Jn. 15:22).

857. – Then when he says: Therefore, tongues are a sign not for believers, but for unbelievers, he argues to his conclusion by using the authority quoted. As if to say: from this it is clearly evident that the gift of tongues was given not for believers to bring them to belief, because they already believe: “It is no longer because of your words that we believe” (Jn. 4:42), but for unbelievers to be converted.

858. – In a Gloss two non-literal explanations by Ambrose are presented in this place. One of these says: just as in the Old Testament I spoke to the Jewish people in tongues, i.e., through figures, and with lips, i.e., by promising temporal goods, so, even in the New Testament I will speak to this people in other tongues, i.e., openly and clearly, and with other lips, i.e., spiritual things; yet they will not listen to me, namely, as to their multitude. Therefore tongues were given not for believers but unbelievers, namely, to manifest their unbelief. ` The other is in other tongues, i.e., dimly and in parables I will speak, because they are unworthy. They will not listen, i.e., not understand. Then he shows what prophecy is ordained to, namely, to the instruction of believers, because they already understand. Therefore, prophecies are not for unbelievers, who do not believe: “Lord, who has believed our hearing” (Is 53:1); but for believers, that they believe and be instructed: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel” (Ex 3:17); “Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint” (Pr 29:18).

14-5

1 Cor 14:23-26

23 If, therefore, the whole church assembles and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. 26 What then, brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

859. – A Gloss suggests that another argument proving his proposition begins here. But in the light of what has been said, there is only one proposition, already proved. Here he clarifies the middle term of that argument, namely, that prophecy contributes more to that to which the gift of tongues is especially ordained. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows what undesirable effects follows from the gift of tongues as far as unbelievers are concerned; secondly, he shows the good which follows from the gift of prophecy, even in regard to unbelievers (v. 24).

860. – The undesirable effect which follows from the gift of tongues without prophecy, even in regard to unbelievers, is that those who speak only in tongues are considered mad, whereas the gift of tongues should be ordained to the conversion of unbelievers, as is already clear. And this is what he says: If you speak in tongues. As if to say: that tongues are not preferable to prophecy is clear from the fact that if they assemble, namely, all the faithful, in one place not only in body but also in mind: “Now the company of believers were of one heart and soul” (Ac 4:22), and all speak in tongues, i.e., strange, or speak unknown and obscure things and, while they are thus confusedly speaking, an outsider enter, i.e., one who understands only his own tongue, or an unbeliever for whose benefit tongues were given, will they not say to those so speaking that you are mad? For what is not understood is considered madness. But if a tongue is understood and nevertheless the things said are secret, if they are not explained, it is evil because they could believe of you, (if you speak secret things), what they believe of the gentiles, who made secret what they did in their rites, so base were they. And this is also a form of madness.

861. – On the other hand, to those who do not know the language it is the same thing to speak in tongues and to speak literally; therefore, since all speak literally in the church (for all is spoken in Latin), it seems that there is madness here, too. I answer that there was madness in the early Church, because they were uninstructed in the Church’s rite, since they did not know what was going on unless it was explained to them. But now all are instructed; hence, although all is said in Latin, they, nevertheless, know what is being done in the Church.

862. – Then when he says, But if all prophesy, he shows that good follows from the gift of prophecy. In regard to this he does three things: first, he shows what follows through the good of prophecy, as to unbelievers; secondly, he shows how this follows (v. 25); thirdly, he infers which effect arises from this (v. 25b).

863. – He says, therefore: It is clear that unbelievers are not convinced by the gift of tongues; but if all who assemble prophecy, i.e., all speak to the intellect revelations made to them (I say “all” not at once, but one after the other prophesy in this way), then if an outsider enters the church, i.e., knowing only his mother tongue, what follows is good, because he is convicted by all of his error, which is pointed out to him: “After I was instructed, I was ashamed” (Jer 31:19). He is called to account by all who are prophesying. As if to say: he is shown to be condemnable for his evil morals and his vices: “The spiritual man judges all things” (1 Cor 2:15). For prophecy avails for these two things, namely, strengthening the faith and teaching morals.

864. – How this good follows from the gift of prophecy is mentioned when he says: the secrets of his heart. This can be understood in three ways: in one way, and this is literal, that some in the early Church had the grace to know the secrets of the heart and the sins of men. Hence it said of Peter (Ac 5:1 ff) that he condemned Ananias for fraud regarding the price of a field. And according to this it says: for the secrets of his heart are disclosed. As if to say: He is convinced, because the secrets, i.e., his secret sins, were disclosed by those who revealed them. In another way, from the fact that sometimes someone in preaching touches on many things which men carry in the heart, as is clear from the books of Gregory, where each one can find almost all the movements of the heart. And according to this he says, secrets of his heart; as if to say: They are convicted, because the secrets of their heart, i.e., things they carry in their heart: (Pr 27:19): “As in water face answers to face, so the mind of man reflects the man,” are disclosed, i.e., touched on by them. In another way, because sometimes the secret of the heart is said to be that which is doubtful to someone and he cannot become certain by himself. According to this it is read: the secrets of his heart, i.e., things about which he doubted in his heart and which he did not believe, are disclosed, namely, when going to a church frequently they are made clear to him, as Augustine says about himself that he went to the church only for the chant and yet many things about which he doubted and for the sake of which he had not come were clarified for him there. For from this followed reverence, because, being convinced, he revered God.

865. – And this is what he says: and so, i.e., inasmuch as he was convinced in this way and the secrets of his heart were manifested, falling on his face, he will worship God: “Falling down, they adored him” (Matt 2:11), which is a sign of reverence. Of the reprobate, however, it says that they fall backward: “The way of the wicked is deep darkness, they do not know over what they stumble” (Pr 4:19). But the elect fall on their face, because they see where they should prostrate themselves, which is a sign of reverence”. “They praised God and fell on their faces” (Lev 9:24); “May all kings fall down before him” (Ps 72:11). And he will show reverence not only to God but also to the Church, because he will declare that God is really among you who prophesy in the church: “We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech 8:23). It appears, therefore, that the gift of prophecy is more useful in regard to unbelievers.

866. – What then, brethren? Here he tells them how to use these gifts. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows how they should act in regard to the use of these gifts; secondly, he concludes to his main proposition (v. 39). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows how orderly they should behave in the use of these gifts; secondly, he expresses their presumption (v. 36). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he shows in general how they should behave in all gifts; secondly, in regard to the gift of tongues (v. 27); thirdly, as to the gift of prophecy (v. 29).

867. – He says, therefore: to prophesy is better than to speak in tongues. What then, brethren is to be done? This is to be done. For when you come together, it is obvious that one does not have all the gifts, and therefore none of you should use all the gifts, but that gift which he had more specially received from God and which is better for edification. For each one has some special gift: one has a psalm, i.e., a song to praise the Lord’s name, or to explain psalms: “He makes me tread upon my high places” (Hab 3:19); another has a lesson, i.e., some preaching to instruct them in morals, or an explanation and a spiritual sense: “A man is known by his teaching” (Pr 12:8); another has a revelation obtained either in dreams or in a vision: “God is in heaven revealing mysteries” (Dan 2:28); another has a tongue, i.e., the gift of tongues or he reads prophecies: “And they began to speak in tongues” (Ac 2:4); another has an interpretation: “To another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor 12:10).

868. – But these are so arranged, because they derive either from human talent or from God alone. If they are solely from human talent, they are either to the praise of God, and so he says, one has a psalm, or to the instruction of the neighbor, and so he says, one has a teaching. If they are from God alone, they are either inward secrets, and so he says, one has a revelation, or outwardly hidden, and so he says, one has a tongue. For manifesting these there is a third thing, and so he says, an interpretation. And, of course, all should be done of edification: “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him” (Rom 15:2).

14-6

1 Cor 14:27-33

27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.

869. – Here the Apostle instructs them on how to behave in regard to using the gift of tongues, and he does two things: first, he shows how they should use the gift of tongues: secondly, when they should stop using it (v. 28).

870. – First, therefore he says: the way the gift of tongues should be used among you is that if anyone speaks in a tongue, i.e., talks of visions or dreams, such speaking should not be done by many on account of so much time being devoted to tongues, there is not room for prophecies, and confusion is generated, but let there by only two, and if necessary, at most three; so that three should be enough: “On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses” (Dt 17:6). But it should be noted that this custom is still partly observed in the Church. For we have readings and epistles and gospels in place of tongues, and therefore in the Mass only two are said, which pertain to the gift of tongues, namely, the epistle and the gospel. In Matins many are said, namely, three readings in one nocturn. For at an earlier time nocturnes were said according to the night watches, but now they are said at one time. Not only should order as to the number of speakers be observed, but also as to the method, and this is what he says: and each in turn, i.e., that those who speak follow one another, so that one speaks after the other. Or each in turn, i.e., interruptedly, namely, that one speak one part of the vision or of the instruction and explain it, and then another and explain it, and so on. This was the method followed by preachers, when they preach by interpreting to men of an unknown tongue; and therefore he says: and let one interpret.

871. – Then when he says: But if there is no one to interpret, he shows when tongues should not be used, saying that they should speak in parts and one should interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, one who has the gift of tongues, should keep silence in the church, i.e., should not speak or preach to the multitude in a strange tongue, because he is not understood by them, but should speak to himself or to God, because he understands himself; and this in silence by praying or meditating: “I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: Do not condemn me.” (Jb 10:1).

872. – Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. Here the Apostle instructs them on how to use the gift of prophecy. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows how the gift of prophecy is to be used both as to number and to order; secondly, to whom the use of prophecy is prohibited (v. 34). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he teaches the order in which to use the gift of prophecy; secondly, the reason for this (v. 31); thirdly, he excludes an objection (v. 32). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he fixes on the number using this gift; secondly, he teaches the method or order of using it (v. 30).

873. – In regard to the first it should be noted that the use of prophecy according to what the Apostle says here is to propose a word of instruction to the people, by explaining the Sacred Scripture. And because in the early Church there were many who had this gift from God and the number of the faithful was not very great, then in order to avoid confusion and boredom, the Apostle desires that not all who can explain a prophecy and Sacred Scripture should prophesy, but certain definite ones. And this is what he says: Let two or three prophets speak. As if to say: I do not want all who assemble, but two only or at most three, as the need to speak exists, should speak, i.e., exhort. This is in keeping with the Scriptures: “By the evidence of two or three witnesses” (Matt 18:16). Let the others, namely, those who should not prophesy, weigh the things proposed to them, whether something good or something bad has been said; approving what is good and making them retract what was wrong: “The spiritual man judges all things” (1 Cor 2:15).

874. – The order to be observed in using this gift is that if one of those who sat and kept silence and judged had received a better revelation, then one who is exhorting and standing should sit down and the one to whom a better revelation has been made should rise and exhort. And this is what he says: If a revelation has been made to another sitting by, namely, by the Holy Spirit, let the first be silent and yield to him: “Anticipate one another with honor” (Rom 12:10).

875. – The reason for this is that according to this method you can successively prophesy one after the other, so that all, i.e., the greater, may learn and all, i.e., the lesser, may be encouraged. “The wise man may also hear and increase in learning” (Pr 1:5).

876. – If any should say: O Apostle, I cannot be silent while another prophesies or yield to one sitting from the time he began, because I cannot hold back the Spirit Who speaks in me, as it says in Jb (4:2): “Who can keep from speaking”? Therefore, the Apostle rejects this when he says: The spirits of prophets. As if to say: yes, he can easily be quiet and sit down, because the spirit of prophets, i.e., the spirit who gives prophecies (and he puts it in the plural on account of the many revelations inspired in them) is subject to prophets; some as to knowledge, because as Gregory says: “The spirit of prophecy is not always present to the prophets. Hence it is not a habit, as knowledge is. For then it would follow that even as to knowledge he would be subject to them and they could use it or not use it when they willed; but it is a force or impression from God inclining and teaching the hearts of the prophets and they know only when they are so touched. Hence, he is not subject to them.” But this is not the way to understand the Apostle’s words, but the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets as to declaring, namely, because it is in their power to declare when they wish or not to declare the things revealed. And so the excuse is worthless, because the Spirit does not compel you in such a way that you cannot keep silence.

877. – That this is true he proves when he says, God is not a God of confusion. And he formulates this reason: God never compels one to something from which arise quarrels or dissension, because He is not a God of dissension, but of peace. But if the Spirit of prophecy compelled them to speak, he would be a cause of dissension, because He would always want to speak or not to teach or to be silent, while another is speaking something about which the others are disturbed. Therefore, the Holy Spirit does not compel men to speak: “May the God of love and peace be with you” (2 Cor 13:11). Yet because he could still object that he would not do this, because he commanded this only of them and not of the other Churches; and hence it could seem a burden, the Apostle says that he teaches this not only to them but to all the churches. And this is what he says: as in all the churches of the saints, namely, about the use of tongues and of prophecy: “Appeal to you that all of you agree” (1 Cor 1:10).

14-7

1 Cor 14:34-40

34 The women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. 35 If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. 38 If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; 40 but all things should be done decently and in order.

878. – Here the Apostle mentions the persons to whom the use of prophecy is forbidden. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows to whom the use of prophecy is forbidden; secondly, he removes an objection (v. 35). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the command to forbid; secondly he gives a reason for this (v. 34b).

879. – He says, therefore: I will that men use the gift of prophecy in this manner, but I do not want women to speak in the church, so that the women should keep silence in the church: “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men” (1 Tim 2:12). And Chrysostom assigns the reason for this, saying: woman has spoken once and subverted the entire world. But on the other hand it seems that many women are recorded to have prophesied, as the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:39) and Anna, the wife of Phanuel (Lk 2:36) and Deborah (Jg 4:4) and Huldah, the prophetess (2 Kgs 22:14) and the daughter of Philip the evangelist (Ac 21:9). Above, it also says (11:5): “Any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head.” The answer is that there are two things in prophecy, namely, revelation and its manifestation; but women are not excluded from revelation, for many things are revealed to them as to men. But manifestation is of two kinds: one is public and from this they are excluded; the other is private and this is permitted to them, because it is not preaching but manifesting.

880. – He assigns the reason for this, saying: for they are not permitted to speak, namely, by the authority of the Church, but their function is to be subject to men. Hence, since teaching implies prelacy and presiding, it is not suited to those who are subjects. The reason they are subject and not in the forefront is that they are deficient in reasoning, which is especially necessary for those who preside. Therefore, the Philosopher says in his Politics that corruption of rule occurs, when the rule comes to women.

881. – Then when he says, if there is anything they desire to know, because some might say that at least they can ask the Church about their doubts, he excludes this and does two things: first, he removes an objection; secondly, he assigns the reason (v. 35b). He says, therefore: I say that women should be silent in the church, but if they wish to learn the things about which they doubt, let them ask their husbands at home: “let women learn in silence” (1 Tim 2:11). The reason for this is that it is shameful for a women to speak in Church and not only unbecoming; for in women the natural feeling of shame is commended. If therefore they ask and dispute in public, it would be a sign of shamelessness, and this is shameful to them. Hence it also follows that in law the office of advocate is forbidden to women.

882. – Then when he says: What? Did the word of God originate with you?, he answers those who contradict him. And because they could all contradict at once or at least the wise among them, he does two things in regard to this: first, he refutes them as to their entire church; secondly, as to the wise only (v. 37).

883. – In regard to the first it should be noted that the reason the people were wont to contradict the Lord or a ruler is singularity. For singularity can be caused by either a priority in some good or excellence. Therefore, the Apostle, wishing to refute the contradicting Corinthians, first excludes priority from their church, when he says: Did the word of God originate with you? As if to say: if I made some rules in the church of the Jews against their rules, they could contradict, because they had the word of God before you, for the word of God did not originate from you. Secondly, he excludes excellence from them, saying: or are you the only one it has reached? As if to say: you are not the only ones who have believed, but others also. Hence you do not excel them: “Their sound went forth in all the earth” (Ps 19:5), and therefore, you ought to do as the others do.

884. – Then when he says: If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, he refutes the greater ones in particular. In regard to this he does two things: first, he refutes them; secondly, he answers a tacit objection (v. 31).

885. – He says, therefore: Suppose that the entire Church does not contradict, except someone who seems to be a prophet. He says, seems, because, if he contradicts, he is not really a prophet or wise or spiritual, because many are spiritual who are not prophets, although all prophets are spiritual. He, I say, who so seems to be a prophet and spiritual does not contradict, but should know, i.e., should recognize that the things I am writing to you are commands of the Lord and not mine only. As if to say: From the fact that no one had dared to contradict the commands of the Lord, and the things I write are the commands of the Lord, no one should dare to contradict them: “Do you desire proof that Christ is speaking”? (2 Cor 13:3). And from this we can gather that the Apostle’s words are from a familiar revelation of the Holy Spirit and of Christ and, therefore, are to be obeyed as commands of Christ. Hence the Apostle is careful to distinguish things he commands of himself, when he says: “About virgins I have no command of the Lord.”

886. – But they could say: O Apostle, how am I to know that these are commands of God? I am unable to know this. The Apostle excludes this, saying: This is of no value to you, because you should not be ignorant. Why? Because anyone who does not recognize this, he is not recognized: “Amen, I say to you: I know you not” (Matt 25:12), from which it is clear that all are bound to know the things necessary for salvation, which he previously commanded, as well as the apostles and prophets. Or in another way: if anyone thinks he is a prophet, as confirmation of the preceding. As if to say: So I write; but you cannot recognize them on account of their difficulty and because you are simple; but in order that you may know that the things I write are just and honest, I wish to adduce the testimony of prophets and spiritual men, who live among you. And therefore he says: If anyone thinks that he is a prophet: “The spiritual man judges all things” (1 Cor 2:15). And lest anyone should say: we are not instructed in knowing such things, he adds that they are bound to know, because anyone who does not recognize this will not be recognized: “My people go into exile for want of knowledge” (Is 5:13); “They have neither knowledge nor understanding; they walk in darkness” (Ps 82:5).

887. – So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy. Here the Apostle concludes the general admonition. In regard to this he does three things: first, he admonishes them to desire all the gifts, saying: therefore, to speak in tongues is good. But earnestly desire to prophesy. The reason for this, as it says in Pr (29:18): “Where there is no prophecy, the people cast of restraint.” And “prophecy” is taken here as explained in this entire chapter. And yet, although you may desire to prophesy, do not forbid speaking in tongues, lest dissension arise. Secondly, he urges them to adopt the correct method, when he says: but all things should be done decently, namely, that when one is speaking, the others should be silent, and that women should not speak in the church, and so on: “Let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day” (Rom 12:13). Thirdly, he urges them to correct order, when he says: and in order, namely, that one speak and then another and by parts and the other things I have said: “From the heavens fought the stars, from their courses they fought against Sisera” (Jg 5:20).

15-1

1 Cor 15:1-11

1 Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

888. – After instructing the Corinthians about the sacrament and about the reality contained and signified in the sacraments, namely, grace and its effects, the Apostle now instructs them about a reality not contained but signified in the sacraments, namely, the glory of the resurrection, which is not contained in a sacrament, since the one who receives the sacrament does not obtain it at once, but the glory of the resurrection is signified in them, inasmuch as the grace is conferred in them by which beatitude is reached. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he prefaces a tract on the resurrection; secondly, with this he proves the general resurrection of all men (v. 12). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he commends the gospel’s doctrine; secondly, he declares what should be known about the resurrection of Christ (v. 3).

889. – He commends the eminence of the gospel’s doctrine as to four things: first, as to the authority of the preachers, because they are apostles. And this is what he says: Brethren, connecting himself to what went before, I would remind you in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which is the same as good news, which begins with Christ. Hence, whatever pertains to Christ or concerns Christ is called a gospel. In what terms I preached to you; as if to say: What I have preached to you about Christ I make known to you, i.e., I recall it to memory, as though the things I write are not new: “To write the same things to you is not irksome to me” (Phil 3:1). And in this appears the authority of this doctrine, because it is from Christ, from Paul and from the other apostles: “It was declared at first by the Lord and was attested to us” (Heb 2:3).

890. – Secondly, as to the common faith of all people; therefore, he says: which you received, all of you. But Augustine says that this pertains to the evidence of this faith, using this argument: For believing things of faith, miracles are either performed or not. But if miracles are performed, I have my point, that they are most worthy and most certain. If none is performed, this is the greatest of all miracles, that by a certain few an infinite multitude of men were converted to the faith, rich men by poor men preaching poverty; by men of one language preaching things that surpass reason, wise men and philosophers have been converted: “Their voice goes out through all the earth” (Ps 19:4). But if it is objected that even the law of Mohammed has been received by many, the answer is that the cases are not alike, because he subjugated them by oppressing them and by force of arms, but the apostles by dying brought others to the faith, and by working signs and prodigies. For he proposed things which pertain to pleasure and lasciviousness, but Christ and the apostles contempt for earthly things: “When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you received it…as the word of God” (1 Th 2:13).

891. – Thirdly, as to its strength, because it confirms and elevates to heavenly things. Therefore, he says: in which you stand, namely, elevated to heavenly things. For he is said to stand who is erect and this the law of Christ alone does: “Justified by faith, we have access to that grace in which we stand” (Rom 5:1). For the Old Law made one stand, but it curved one to earthly things: “The eye of Jacob in a land of grain and wine” (Dt 33:28).

892. – Fourthly, as to usefulness, because the New Law alone leads to the end of salvation, but not the Old Law: “The law brought no one to perfection” (Heb 7:19). And therefore he says: by which you are saved. Here already from the certitude of hope through the beginning, which is our faith, you are saved and in the future in the truth of the reality: “Receive with meekness the implanted word which can save your souls” (Jas 1:21); “But these things are written that you may believe and that believing you may have life” (Jn. 20:31). Here he lays down two conditions, the first is when he says: If you hold it fast. A Gloss explains it this way: If you hold to the reason why I preached that gospel to you, i.e., the resurrection of the dead, by that reason by which I confirmed it to you, i.e., by the resurrection of Christ. In other words: you will be saved provided you hold, i.e., preserve the reason why I preached the gospel of Christ to you. He presents the second condition when he says: Unless you believed in vain. As if to say: You will be saved through faith, if you have not believed in vain, i.e., if good works are added to faith, because “faith without works is dead” (Jas 2:26). For that is said to be in vain which exists for an end which it does not attain. But the end of faith is the vision of God. Hence, if you are not saved, you have believed in vain, not absolutely but inasmuch as it does not attain the end. In other words: if you hold it fast. As if to say: You should hold it fast, unless you would believe in vain.

893. – For I delivered to you. Here he clarifies his proposition. In regard to this he does three things: first, he shows the origin of the doctrine about the resurrection of Christ; secondly, he shows what things are contained in such a doctrine (v. 3b); thirdly, the agreement of preachers on this doctrine (v. 11).

894. – First, therefore, he says: You should hold fast to that, i.e., keep in your memory what I delivered to you as of first importance, and still deliver. Hence what I delivered to you as of first importance, namely, about the Incarnation, I delivered it not from me or on my authority, but what I received from Christ or from the Holy Spirit: “Paul, an apostle” (Gal 1:1); “For I received from the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 11:23); “What I have heard from the Lord of hosts (Is 21:20).

895. – The things he received and delivered are four, namely, the death, burial resurrection and appearance of Christ. Therefore, he says: I have delivered to you, first of all, the death of Christ; hence he says, that Christ died. In these words he removes two suspicions, which can arise about the death of Christ. The first is that he died for His own actual sins, or original sin. This he excludes when he says: for our sins, not His: “He was stricken for the transgressions of my people” (Is 53:8); “Christ died once and for all for our sins, the just for the unjust” (1 Pt 3:18). The other suspicion is that the death of Christ was by chance or by the violence of the Jews. This he excludes when he says: according to the Scriptures: “Like a lamb he was led away to the slaughter” (Is 53:7); “I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter” (Jer 11:19); “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests” (Matt 20:18).

896. – I delivered to you, secondly, the burial of Christ; therefore he says: that he was buried. But is the burial a special article of faith, because he makes special mention of it? The answer is that according to those who number the articles according to the things to be believed, it is not a special article of faith but is included in the article of the passion and death of Christ. The reason for this is that faith is concerned with things that are above reason. Hence, an article of faith begins where reason falls short. But the first is that the Lord was conceived and, therefore, the conception is an article of faith; the second is that God was born of a virgin and, therefore, this is another. The third is that God, incapable of suffering, suffers and dies, and this is another, and along with this is also understood the burial. Hence, it is not a special article. But the Apostle mentions the burial for three reasons: first, to show the truth of Christ’s death. For the evident sign of one’s death is burial. Secondly, to show the truth of the resurrection, because if He had not been buried, guards would not have been placed at the grave on these days, nor could they say that the disciples had stolen His body. Thirdly, because the Apostle wants to induce them to believe in the resurrection, and this seems more difficult, that a buried person should arise: “And his tomb shall be glorious” (Is 11:10); “They made his grave with the wicked” (Is 53:9).

897. – I also delivered to you the resurrection, that he rose on the third day: “After two days he will revive us” (Hos 6:2). He says, on the third day, not because they were three full days, but two nights and one day, by synechdoche. And the reason for this, as Augustine says, was that God by His simple, which is signified by one day, i.e., by the evil of punishment, destroyed our double, i.e., punishment and guilt, which is signified by the two nights.

898. – I delivered to you, fourthly, the appearance of Christ, because he appeared to Cephas. And he presents first the appearance made to others; secondly, those make to himself alone (v. 8).

899. – In should be noted, however, in regard to the first, that the appearances of Christ were not made to all in common, but to certain special persons: “God raised him up on the third day and make him manifest not to all the people” (Ac 11:40). The reason for this was to preserve order in the Church in that through certain special persons belief in the resurrection should reach others. It should also be noted that not all of Christ’s appearances are mentioned, nor those that were made to the women. But some not mentioned in the gospel are mentioned here. The reason for this was that the Apostle wants to refute unbelievers by reason; and therefore he wanted to present only authentic testimonies. Consequently, he kept silence about the appearances to the women and mentioned some which are not found, to show that He also appeared to many others. But he mentions Peter and James, because they were as pillars, as it says in Gal (2:9).

901. – Then again he appeared to more than five hundred. But nothing is mentioned in the Scripture about this, except here. Yet it can be said that this appearance was the one about which Denis speaks in The Divine Names III, when all the disciples assembled to see the body, which they considered the prince of life. But against this seems to be the fact that this was before the ascension, namely, when Christ appeared to James. But the assembly of disciples to see the Blessed Virgin, about which Denis seems to speak, was much later. Therefore, it seems better to say that He appeared to five hundred brethren all at once before His ascension: and it is not important that there were said to be 120 disciples, because although the ones in Jerusalem were 120, nevertheless in Galilee there were many disciples and perhaps all were assembled at one time, when He appeared. To make his testimony more certain he says that most of them are still alive, but some of them have fallen asleep, i.e., died, in the hope of the resurrection. They call the death of the saints “sleep,” because they die with corruptible flesh and rise with incorruptible. “We know that Christ being raised from the head, will never die again” (Rom 6:9).

902. – Then, i.e., after this, he was seen by James, i.e., of Alphaeus. The reason for this can be assigned because, as it is read, James vowed that he would not take food, until he saw the Lord. But according to this the order of appearances is not observed, because if after all those listed an appearance was made to James, he would have been too long without food and this is difficult. Therefore, it must be said that Christ made a special appearance to James, because James had a special devotion to Christ, and furthermore nothing is found in the gospel about that appearance. Then, namely, after this, He was seen by all the apostles in the ascension, as it says in Matt (218:16) and in Ac (1:3 ff.).

903. – Last of all. Here the Apostle recalls the appearance made to him alone. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows the order of the appearances; secondly, he assigns its reason (v. 9).

904. – He says, therefore: I have said that Christ was manifested to all, but last of all, i.e., finally and after the resurrection he appeared to me as to one untimely born, and therefore as the latest. He says, as one untimely born for three reasons. One, untimely born refers to a fetus, because it is born outside the proper time or because it is brought forth with violence or because it is not born with due quantity; and because the Apostle saw these three things in himself, he says: as one untimely born. For, first of all, all he was reborn outside the time of the other apostles. For the other apostles were reborn in Christ before the coming of the Holy Spirit, but Paul after. Secondly, because the other apostles were converted to Christ spontaneously, but Paul by coercion: “He fell to the ground and heard a voice” (Ac 9:4). And this is of great value against heretics, who say that no one should be forced to the faith, because Paul was forced. And as Augustine says: Paul made more progress in the faith, although he was forcibly converted, than many who came spontaneously. Thirdly, because he regards himself as less than the others and that he had not arrived to the virtue of the other apostles.

905. – And therefore, as though assigning a reason he says: I am the least of the apostles. In regard to this he does two things: first, he shows his smallness; secondly, he explains the reason for this (v. 9b).

906. – He explains his smallness, first, in comparison to the apostles, when he says: for I am the least of the apostles: “The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation” (Is 60:22); “The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself” (Sir 3:18). And although he is the least in relation to the apostles, yet it could be said that he is great in comparison to others; and therefore, secondly, he shows his smallness in comparison to others, when he says: unfit not only to be but to be called an apostle, although I should be called: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

907. – But it could be said: O Apostle, for the sake of humility no one say anything false: therefore, since you are great, why do you call yourself the least? Therefore, when he says: because I persecuted the church of God, he shows how he is the least and how he is not the least. He calls himself the least, when he considers his past deeds. And he says: I am not worthy Why? Because I persecuted the church of God, which the other apostles did not do: “I persecuted the church of God violently” (Gal 1:13); “Though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him” (1 Tim 1:13). And although of myself I am the least, yet from the grace of God I am not the least; and therefore he says: by the grace of God I am what I am. In regard to this he does two things: first, he commends his condition as to its state; secondly, as to the execution of his state (v. 10b).

908. – Therefore he says first: of myself I am nothing, but what I am, I am by the grace of God, i.e., from God, not from me: “Of this gospel I was made a minister” (Eph 3:7). And he says, what I am, because without grace a man is nothing: “If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries” (1 Cor 13:2). But how he used and executed his state he shows, saying: and his grace.

909. – Here he shows, first, how he used that grace, namely, for good; therefore he says: toward me was not in vain, i.e., idle, because he used it for that for which it was given to him: “Lest somehow I should be running in vain” (Gal 2:2). Secondly, he manifests how he exceeded others; therefore he adds: on the contrary I worked harder than any of them, i.e., than any of the apostles singly, by preaching, because no one preached in so many places and announced Christ. Hence he says: “So that from Jerusalem to Illyricum I fully preached” (Rom 15:19) and even as far as

pain – by working, because although he, as the other apostles, could require expenses necessary for them, yet he particularly wished to seek his expenses from the labor of his hands, as he says in 2 Th (3:8): “Night and day we have worked with our

ands – by enduring tribulation”; for none of the apostles endured such persecutions and tribulations as he mentions in 2 Cor (11:23): “With far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings. Thirdly, he shows the efficacy of use, because this was not from himself alone but from the instinct and help of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, he says: though it was not I alone acting but the grace of God, which is with me, which moves the will to this: “Thou has wrought for us all our works” (Is 26:12): “God is at work in you both to will and to work” (Phil 2:13). For God not only infuses but He also moves us to use the graces infused well, and this is called cooperating grace.

910. – Whether then it was I or they, so we preach. Here he shows the agreement of the preachers; and this can be read in two ways: first, as confirming what has been said. As if one were to say: You preach thus, but we do not believe you alone, because you are the least of the Apostles. Therefore, the Apostle says in reply: Indeed you should believe me, because I do not preach other things; whether it was I or the other apostles you saw, they preached that Christ rose and was seen, and you also believed, just as I and those who preached, namely, that Christ rose and was seen: “Since we have the same spirit of faith” (2 Cor 4:13). Secondly, it can be read so that the efficacy of preaching comes to the apostles from one source, i.e., from the grace of God. As if to say: whether I preach or they, i.e., the apostles, as we preach, we have done this by the help and strength of God’s grace; and so even you have believed, namely, inspired by the Holy Spirit and grace of God without which we can do nothing: “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).

15-2

1 Cor 15:12-19

12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.

911. – Having built up faith in the resurrection of Christ, the Apostle now proves by the resurrection of Christ the future resurrection of the dead. First, he proves the future resurrection; secondly, he shows the quality of those rising (v. 35); thirdly, he describes the order of the resurrection (v. 54). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he proves the future resurrection of the dead with a reason taken from the resurrection of Christ; secondly, with a reason taken from the lives of the saints (v. 29). He proves the resurrection of the dead from the resurrection of Christ with this reason: If Christ arose, then the dead will rise. In regard to this reason he does three things: first, he presents a conditional proposition, namely, if Christ arose, the dead also will rise; secondly, he proves the antecedent of this conditional (v. 13); thirdly, he proves that the conditional is true (v. 20).

912. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that whether I preached or others, namely, the apostles, you have so believed. But if Christ is preached by us as raised from the dead, how can some of you, i.e., among you, say that there is no resurrection of the dead? As if to say: If Christ rose from the dead, as we preach: “Since we believe that Christ died and rose again” (1 Th 4:13), no one should doubt the future resurrection of the dead. Hence Rom (8:10): “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies.”

913. – But this argument seems invalid, since it argues from the greater by affirming. For although Christ rose in particular in virtue of His divinity, it does not follow that other men will rise. To this some answer that it is not from the greater but from a similar. For to die and to rise belong to Christ according to His human nature, and they say, that the argument is similar, as though I should say: The soul of Socrates is immortal; therefore all souls of men are immortal. But it seems better to say that it is arguing from a cause, because the resurrection of Christ is the cause of our resurrection. Therefore, according to a Gloss is should be said: If Christ, Who is the efficient cause of our resurrection, has risen, how do you say that there is no resurrection? Yet one should not say that He is the efficient cause only after the manner of merit, because by rising He did not merit it, since He was already a comprehensor, and lived the life of glory, unless perhaps the merit of the resurrection of the dead be referred to the death of Christ. Neither is He merely the exemplary cause, as some say, but He is the efficient and exemplary cause. Hence Augustine says, On John, that “the Word made flesh vivifies souls and raises the dead. Therefore, it is clear that if Christ rose, the dead also will rise.

914. – But on the other hand, to rise from the dead is above nature; but this is done only by the infinite power of God: therefore, the resurrection of Christ’s body is not the efficient cause of the resurrection of the dead, since the humanity of Christ or the body is a creature, although it cannot be said of Christ or of “the man,” that he is a creature. The answer is that inasmuch as God or the godhead is in Christ, Christ is the exemplary and efficient cause of the resurrection of the dead through His humanity, as through an instrument of His divinity. To answer the objection it should be noted that the flesh of Christ or the humanity is not said to produce an effect of infinite power, inasmuch as it is flesh or humanity, but inasmuch as it is the flesh and humanity of Christ.

915. – But there is another question: once the sufficient cause is posited, the effect follows at once; therefore, if the resurrection of Christ is the sufficient case of the resurrection of the dead, then the dead should all rise and not merely be delayed. The answer is that an effect follows from instrumental causes according to the condition of the principal cause. Therefore, since God is the principal cause of our resurrection, but Christ’s resurrection is the instrumental cause, our resurrection follows Christ’s resurrection according to God’s arrangement, which directed that it happen at such a time.

916. – But if God had not been incarnate, would men rise? It seems not, because Christ would not have suffered and arisen. I answer that this objection is null, because when something is directed by some cause, one should argue to it, observing the order of that cause. Therefore, it must be said that God directed the resurrection of the dead to occur in that manner; yet another manner could still be found by God, if He willed.

917. – Then when he says: But if there is no resurrection, Christ has not risen, he proves that Christ has risen, and this by leading to incongruities. In regard to this he does two things: first, he leads to the incongruities, secondly, he shows that they are incongruities.

918. – In regard to the first he makes his deduction by supposing that if Christ had not risen, the dead will not rise. If this is so, two undesirable things follow: one is that the Apostle’s preaching is vain and useless; the other is that the faith of the Corinthians is in vain. Hence he says: If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is in vain. And this is what he says: from the fact that I or others preach this. He says, therefore: If Christ had not risen, our preaching is in vain, i.e., false, because you have so believed; and this is a great incongruity, that the truth did not underprop their preaching, especially since the Apostle says: “I have not run or labored in vain” (Phil 2:16).

919. – We are even found to be misrepresenting God. Here he shows that those two things are incongruous. First, he shows that it is incongruous, if the preaching of the apostles were in vain or false; secondly, he shows that if it is incongruous, their faith would be in vain (v. 17).

920. – First, it is shown to be incongruous, because they would be false witnesses not only for saying vain things or things against any man falsely, which is a mortal sin, but false witnesses against God, which is a sacrilege. For if God did not raise Christ from the dead, we are found to be false witnesses; and if the dead do not rise, God did not raise Christ from the dead: “Will you speak falsely for God?” (Jb 13:7). And this is the worst, namely, that something be attributed to God which He does not do and to praise in Him what is not His. Hence Augustine says: “When something false is praised in God, it is not lesser but a greater crime than if the truth were reviled.” The reason for this is that our intellect can never praise God so much as not to fall short of His perfection; therefore, if the intellect knows every truth about God totally, this is due to God’s excellence. But if something He does not have to do is attributed to God, it seems that our intellect is greater than God and understands something greater than He, which is falsely attributed to Him. And this is contrary to 1 John (3:20): “God is greater than our heart.”

921. – But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain. Here he shows that it is incongruous, if their faith were vain. He shows this with three incongruities, which follow therefrom. The first is that it is clear that falseness does not have the power to cleanse. But faith cleanses from sins: “He cleansed their hearts by faith” (Ac 15:9). If, therefore, our faith is in vain, which would be the case if Christ has not risen, because you did believe that He arose, your sins are not forgiven. And this is what he says: You are still in your sins.

922. – But because someone could say: although faith does not cleanse sins, they can be cleansed by good works. Therefore, he adds a second incongruity, namely, that the dead, who cannot be cleansed in the other life, have perished without hope of salvation. And so, as if concluding, he says: Those who have fallen asleep, i.e., died in hope of salvation, in Christ, i.e., in the faith of Christ, have perished, because in the other life, there are no meritorious works.

923. – But because someone could still say: I do not care about sins, I do not care about the dead, as long as in this life I have peace and quiet. Therefore, he adds a third incongruity, when he says: If for this life only, we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. And he rests on this argument: if there is no resurrection of the dead, it follows that nothing good is possessed by men except in this life alone; and if this is so, then those who suffer many evils and tribulations in this life are more miserable. Therefore, since the apostles and Christians suffer many tribulations, it follows that they are more miserable than other men, who at least enjoy the good things of this world.

924. – But there seem to be two doubts about this reasoning: one is that what the Apostle says does not seem to be universally true, namely, that Christians are confident in this life only, because they could say that, although our bodies do not possess any good things except in this life, which is mortal, yet according to the soul they have many good things in the other life. This can be turned aside in two ways: in one way, because if the resurrection of the body is denied, it is not easy, yea it is difficult, to sustain the immortality of the soul. For it is clear that the soul is naturally united to the body and is departed from it, contrary to its nature and per accidens. Hence the soul devoid of its body is imperfect, as long as it is without the body. But it is impossible that what is natural and per se be finite and, as it were, nothing; and that which is against nature and per accidens be infinite, if the soul endures without the body. And so, the Platonists positing immortality, posited re-incorporation, although this is heretical. Therefore, if the dead do not rise, we will be confident only in this life. In another way, because it is clear that man naturally desires his own salvation; but the soul, since it is part of man’s body, is not an entire man, and my soul is not I; hence, although the soul obtains salvation in another life, nevertheless, not I or any man. Furthermore, since man naturally desires salvation even of the body, a natural desire would be frustrated.

925. – The second doubt is that it seems that if bodies do not rise, we Christians would be not more miserable than other men, because those who are in sins undergo greater labors: “They have labored to commit iniquity” (Jer 4:5); “The impious say: we have walked difficult paths” (Wis 5:7). But of the good and just it says in Gal (5:22): “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace…” The answer to this is that evils in this world are not to be sought as such, but inasmuch as they are directed to some good. But the apostles and Christians have suffered many evils in the world. Therefore, unless they were directed to some good, they would be more miserable than other men. Either they are directed to a future good or to a present good; but they are not ordained to a future good, if there is no resurrection of the dead. But if they are ordained to a present good, this is either the good of the intellect, as philosophers of nature suffered poverty and many other evils, in order to know the truth. But it cannot be directed to this, if there is no resurrection of the dead, because then their faith would be false, because they preached a future resurrection. But falsity is not a good of the intellect. Or it is a good of morals, as moral philosophers suffered many evils to acquire virtues and fame. But neither can they be directed to this, because if there is no resurrection of the dead, it is not regarded as virtuous and glorious to wish to renounce all pleasant things and undergo the punishments of death and contempt; rather it is considered folly. And so it is clear that they would more miserable than other men.

15-3

1 Cor 15:20-28

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ [who have believed in his coming]. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 ”For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection under him,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one.

926. – Here he proves that the conditional statement above set forth is true, namely, if Christ arose, the dead will rise. In regard to this he does three things: first, he shows how Christ’s resurrection is related to that of others; secondly, he shows the order of the resurrection (v. 23); thirdly, he shows the end of the resurrection (v. 24). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows the relationship of Christ’s resurrection to that of others; secondly, he proves this relationship (v. 21).

927. – He says, therefore: Now, i.e., inasmuch as the aforesaid incongruities follow, if Christ has not risen, then to avoid them, let us say: Christ has risen. This is true according to what is stated in the last chapter of Matthew and in other texts of the gospels. But Christ’s resurrection is related to that of others as the first fruits to those that follow, for they exceed the latter in time and superiority or worth; therefore, he says: He arose, not as the others, but as the first fruit, i.e., first in time and dignity: “The first born of the dead” (Rev 1:5). The first fruits, I say, of those who have fallen asleep, i.e., of the dead who rest in hope of the resurrection. From this can be inferred the conditional statement previously made, because we say and it is true, if Christ Who is the first fruit of those that sleep, arose, then also all others asleep.

928. – But something seems contrary to this, namely, that Christ did not arise the first fruits of those who sleep, because Lazarus had been raised by Christ not yet suffering, and some raised others from the dead, as it says in the Old Testament. The answer is that resurrection is twofold: one is to mortal life, to which Lazarus and the others had been raised. The other is to immortal life, and it is about this that the Apostle speaks.

929. – But on the other hand it says in Matt (27:52) “Many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” Therefore, since this happened before the resurrection of Christ and it is obvious that they did not rise to an immortal life, it seems that the first question still remains. I answer that what Matthew says about the resurrection of those souls, he says by anticipation, because although it is written in the tract on the passion, they did not rise then, but after Christ arose.

930. – For as by a man came death, by a man has also come the resurrection of the dead. Here he proves the relationship posited, namely, that Christ is the first fruits of them that sleep. First, he proves this in general; secondly, in special (v. 22).

931. – He proves it in a general way with the following reason: God willed to reintegrate human nature, which had been corrupted by man, because death entered through a man. Therefore, it pertained to the dignity of human nature that it be reintegrated by a man, but this is so that it be brought back to life. Therefore, it was fitting that just as death entered through a man, namely, Adam, so the resurrection of the dead be accomplished by a man, namely, Christ: “If because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more” (Rom. 5:17).

932. – For as in Adam. Here he proves the same in special, saying that as in Adam we all die a bodily death, so too we are all made alive in Christ: “As sin came into the world through one man” (Rom 5:12). He does not say through Eve, which seems contrary to Sir (25:33): “Through her we all die.” I answer that this is through Eve suggesting, but through Adam as cause. For if Eve alone had sinned, original sin would not have been passed on to their descendants. That shall all be made alive, I say, in Christ, namely, the good and the bad with the life of nature, but the good only with the life of grace. Yet the Apostle speaks here of a resurrection to a life of nature, to which all shall be made alive. “As the Father has life in himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in himself” (Jn. 5:26), i.e., the power to grant life: “All who are in the tombs will hear his voice” (Jn. 5:28).

933. – But each in his own order. Here he shows the order of the resurrection. First, he gives the order itself; secondly, he exhibits what he had said (v. 23).

934. – Therefore I say that it is true that in Christ shall all be made alive, but differently, because there will be a difference between head and members, and a difference as to the good and the evil. And therefore he says that each will rise in his own order, namely in dignity: “Those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1).

935. – Then he clarifies this order, because Christ is the first fruits, for He is prior in time and worth, because He had more glory: “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn. 1:14). Then those who belong to Christ will also rise, because they are later in time and worth. They are those who crucified their flesh with its vices: “But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son” (Gal 4:4); “I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim 6:14). He explains who are Christ’s when he says: who believed by faith working through love: “For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists” (Heb 11:6), and in his coming both the first and the second. But it should be noted that among the other saints there is not order of time, because all will rise in the twinkling of an eye, but an order of worth, because a martyr will rise as a martyr, and an apostle as an apostle, and so on.

936. – Then comes the end. Here he shows the end of the resurrection and it is twofold: one as to attaining the good; the others as to removal of the wicked (v. 25). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows that the attainment of the good consists in inhering to God; secondly, he shows that it consists in immediate inherence (v. 24b).

937. – He says, therefore: that then, i.e., after this, will come the end of the resurrection. And an end of this kind will not be that they will live the life of the body and voluptuousness, as the Jews and Saracens pretend, but that they will inhere to God by immediate vision and happy enjoyment: and this is to hand over the kingdom to God and the Father. Therefore, he says: when he delivers, i.e., brings the kingdom, i.e., his believers, whom He acquired by His own blood: “By thy blood thou didst ransom men for God” (Rev 5:9), to God the Father, i.e., before the sight of God, i.e., of his Creator, inasmuch as He is man, and of the Father, inasmuch as He is God. And this is what Philip sought: “Lord, show us the Father and we shall be satisfied” (Jn. 14:18). But He will deliver it up in such a way that He does not take it from Himself; indeed, He, the one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit will reign. Or when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father, i.e., when he will show God the Father reigning. For in Scripture something is to said be done, when it first becomes known, and such knowledge is made by Christ: “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt 11:27).

938. – After he does away with every principality. Here he shows the immediacy of the aforementioned inherence. For as it says in Gal (4:1): “The heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave but is under tutors.” But when he is now large and mature, then he is immediately under his father in the home without a pedagogue an tutor. But the condition of this present life is akin to childhood; therefore, in this life we are under angels as under tutors, inasmuch as they over us and direct us. But when the kingdom is delivered over to God the Father, then we will be immediately under God, and all other powers will cease. And this is what he says: After he does away with every principality, power and virtue, i.e., when all dominion both human and angelic shall have ceased, then we shall be immediately under God: “The Lord alone will be exalted on that day” (Is 2:11); “And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor, for they shall all know me, says the Lord” (Jer 31:34).

939. – But will not the orders of angels remain distinct? It seems so, as to the eminence of glory, by which one excels another, but not as to the efficacy of their activity toward us. Therefore, he says that those will be done away with whose names pertain to outward activity, namely, principalities, powers and virtues. He does not name those who belong to the higher hierarchy, because they are not outwardly active; not angels, because it is their common name. He does not say dominations will be done away with, because although they are among the outwardly active, they do not perform outward activity, but they direct and command. For it belongs to lords to direct and command, not to act outwardly. Archangels are included with the principalities, for archos is the same as prince. According to Gregory these three orders are presented in descending order, because according to him principalities are above powers, and powers above virtues; but according to Denis in ascending order, because he wants the virtues over the powers, and the powers over the principalities. Or in another way: when every rule and every authority and power is done away with, i.e., then it will be known that they had no power of themselves but from God, from Whom are all things.

940. – For he must reign. Here the Apostle shows the end of the resurrection as to the removal of the wicked. This he shows by the destruction of all enemies of Christ: first, he mentions their destruction; secondly, the perfection of subjection (v. 26); thirdly, the end of the destruction (v. 28).

941. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that the end will be when He has delivered the kingdom to God the Father. But will Christ have a kingdom in which He should reign: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18); “and he will reign in the house of Jacob forever” (Lk 1:32)? He must reign, I say, until he has put all enemies under his feet. But aren’t they under His feet now, i.e., under Christ’s power? The answer is that the enemies of Christ are now under His power, but in two ways: either because they are converted by Him, as Paul, whom he caused to fall on the ground” (Ac 9:3); or inasmuch as Christ does His own will, even in regard to those who act here against Christ’s will. So He puts His enemies under his feet by punishing them; but in the future He will put them under His feet, i.e., under Christ’s humanity. For just as by the head is understood Christ’s godhead, because “the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3), so by the feet, His humanity. “We will adore in the place where his feet stood” (Ps 132:5). Thus, therefore, the enemies will not only be under the godhead, but also under the humanity of Christ: “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow” (Phil 2:10).

942. – But why does he say, until he has put all his enemies under his feet? Will he not reign until He does that? The answer is that this can be taken in two ways: for “until” sometimes determines time, as if I should say: I will not see God, until I die; because until them I will not see, but after that I shall see. Sometimes it is taken for the infinite, as when it says in (Matt 1:25): “He did not know her until she brought forth her son.” Not that he wanted to say that he did not know her only up to the birth of her Son, but neither did he afterwards ever know her, as Jerome says. This manner is observed, when one intends to exclude only those about which there is doubt. Hence, the Gospel excluded only that which seems to be in doubt, namely, that Joseph knew the Blessed Virgin before she gave birth. But the fact that he did not know her after giving birth is doubted by no one, since he saw so many mysteries concerning the child, and he was so often warned by angels, and Jesus had been adored by the Magi; hence he could already have known that she was the mother of God and, therefore, he did not wish to preclude this. This is the way the Apostle speaks here. For the fact that anyone should reign with his enemies not yet subdued, seems to be doubtful, but that He should reign after His enemies have been subjugated, no one doubts. Therefore, he excludes the first, saying: Until he puts his enemies. As if to say: it is true that Christ has a kingdom and although there are some enemies, while they do not do His will, nevertheless He rules and puts his enemies under his feet.

943. – The phrase, until he puts his enemies can be understood in another way, so that “until” determines a time and is put for the future. As if to say: He should reign. But when? Until he puts his enemies under his feet. As if to say: until then He will reign, until He puts his enemies under his feet, but after that He will not reign. But according to this explanation “to reign” does not imply having a kingdom, but in making progress in reigning and increasing the kingdom, and this as to a perfect manifestation of a kingdom of Christ. As if to say: Christ’s kingdom grows gradually, namely, inasmuch as it is manifested and becomes known, until he puts his enemies under his feet, i.e., until all enemies admit that He is reigning, i.e., my kingdom does not grow and it is not further manifested, because it will already be fully manifest.

944. – So, therefore, the subjection of all adversaries is clear, which subjection will, indeed, be most complete, because even that which is extremely hostile will be subjected to Him. This, however, is death, which is contrary to life most of all; and therefore, he says: the last enemy, where he does three things. First, he mentions death’s subjection; secondly, he proves this by an authority (v. 26b); thirdly, he argues from this authority (v. 26c).

945. – He says, therefore: I have said that He has subjected all enemies under his feet. But how? Most completely, I say, because last of all death will be destroyed, namely, at the end, because it could not exist with life, when all shall be alive through the resurrection: “I will be your death, O death” (Hos 13:14); “He will swallow up death forever” (Is 25:8).

946. – It should be noted that from this word Origen took the occasion of his error, which appears in Periarchon. For he wanted the punishments of the damned to be a cleansing and not eternal, and he wanted that all in hell will be converted to Christ at some time and be saved, including the devil; and he confirms this with the words, “until I put my enemies under my feet.” And he understands by “enemies under my feet” the subjection which occurs when sinners are converted to God, not of the subjection by which those are subject to Christ who are never converted to Christ, inasmuch as He punishes them in hell. Therefore, he says: “It is fitting that He reign, until He puts His enemies under his feet,” because at that time all the damned and those in hell will be saved, inasmuch as they will be converted to Him and will serve Him, and not only those condemned men; but “last of all death,” i.e., the devil “will be destroyed, not that he will not exist at all, but that he will not be death, because even in the end the devil himself will be saved. But this is heretical and condemned by a Council.

947. – Again it should be noted that the Apostle clearly stated that last of all death will be destroyed, in order to remove two questions which can arise concerning things predicted about the resurrection, namely, whether Christ could give life to the dead. And this is solved, because He has put all His enemies under his feet, and even death itself. And why has He not raised all at once? The answer to this is that He must first subject the enemies under his feet, and finally when death itself is destroyed, then all will rise to life. Therefore, he delays, not because he is unable, but that he might preserve order, because things that are from God are in order.

948. – That death itself will be subjected to Christ he proves with an authority (Ps 8:8): Thou hast put all things under his feet, i.e., under His humanity, namely, Christ’s. “And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11); “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Is 45:23).

949. – From this authority he argues, saying: But when it says. The reasoning is this: The prophet says, you have subjected all things; by saying all things, nothing is excluded, except the one who subjects. Therefore, all things including death are subjected to Christ. He says, therefore: When it says, all things are subjected to him, namely, Christ as man, except him, namely, the Father, who subjected all things to him: “Putting everything in subjection under his feet” (Heb 2:8); “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18). But on the other hand. If the Father subjected all things to the Son, the Son is less than the Father. The answer is that the Father subjected all to the Son as man, as has been stated, and so the Father is greater than the Son. For He is less according to his humanity, but equal according to His divinity. Or it might be said that even the Son Himself as God subjected all things to Himself, because as God He can do all that the Father does: “We await a Savior who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil 3:20).

950. – Then when he says: When all things are subjected to him, he shows that the end of this resurrection is not in the humanity of Christ, but the rational creature will be further led to contemplating the divinity, and in it is our happiness. Therefore, he says, when all things are subjected to him. As if to say: God has not yet subjected all things to Christ, but when all things shall have been subjected to Him, namely, to Christ, then the subject Himself according to His humanity will be subjected to Him, namely, to the Father: “The Father is greater than I” (Jn. 14:28), and even now Christ as man is subjected to the Father, but this will be more manifest then. The reason for this subjection is that God may be everything to everyone, i.e., that the soul of men rest entirely in God, and God alone be beatitude. For now there is life and virtue in one and glory in another; but then God will be the life and salvation and virtue and glory and all things. Or in another way: that God may be everything in everyone, because then it will be clear that whatever good we have is from God.

15-4

1 Cor 15:29-34

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why am I in peril every hour? 31 I protest, brethren, by my pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

951. – Having shown the resurrection of the dead from the resurrection of Christ, the Apostle then shows the resurrection of the dead from the life of the saints. In regard to this he does two things: first, he proves his proposition; secondly, he adds an admonition (v. 33). He proves his proposition by leading to three incongruities: first, it is incongruous that men’s devotion to baptism be frustrated; secondly, that the laborers of the saints would be frustrated (v. 30); thirdly, that there would be given the occasion to enjoy pleasure (v. 32b). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he presents the first incongruity; secondly, he explains it (v. 29b).

952. – First, therefore, he says: I have said that the dead rise, otherwise, namely, if there is not resurrection of the dead, as we preach, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead. This can be understood in two ways: in one way so that by “dead” the works of sin are understood. They are dead, because they lack the life of grace and lead to death: “The blood of Christ will purify your conscience from dead works” (Heb 9:14). And according to this the words are plain. What do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? i.e., for washing away their sins, if they are not to have the life of grace? In another way, because some at that time wanted men to be baptized: first, in order that they might obtain for themselves the remission of sins; and they were baptized again for some dead relative, so that he too would be freed from sins after death. And according to this the text reads: what do people mean by being baptized for the dead, namely, their relatives, for whose salvation they were baptized, if there is no resurrection of the dead. But they can be commended in something, namely, in the fact that they seemed to have faith in the resurrection. But in something they can be reprehended, in the fact that they believed that one can be baptized for another.

953. – But then there is a question: If one’s prayers profit another, why not his baptism? To this there are two answers: one is that works performed by the living do profit the dead on account of the union of charity and faith. And therefore, they benefit only those who die with charity and faith. Hence, neither prayer nor the baptism of the living profit unbelievers; yet prayer can help those in purgatory. Another answer and better is that good works help the dead not only in virtue of charity but also from the intention of the one who performs them. Just as if I should say the psalter for someone who is in purgatory and was bound to say it to satisfy for him, it will be profitable indeed as to satisfying only for the one for whom I say it. It must be said according to this that baptism has no value from our intention but from the intention of Christ. But the intention of Christ is that baptism should benefit those who are baptized in the faith of Christ.

954. – Then he explains that incongruity, saying: If the dead are not raised at all. And this explanation seems to agree more with the second explanation given above. As if to say: Why are they baptized for them, i.e., for the dead, if they do not rise. But if it is explained according to the first explanation, then it can be said: if the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf, i.e., for their sins, since they are not forgiven.

955. – Why am I in peril every hour? Here he presents the second incongruity. In regard to this he does two things: first, he mentions the incongruity in general; secondly, in special.

956. – He says, therefore: Not only are some baptized in vain for the remission of sins, but we also are afflicted in vain, if there is no resurrection of the dead. And this is what he says: Why are we also, the holy apostles, in peril, i.e., endure dangers, every hour: “In danger at sea, in danger from false brethren” (2 Cor 11:26). For it is clear that the saints expose themselves to tribulation and afflict themselves on account of the hope of eternal life, as it says in Rom (5:11): “Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Therefore, if there no resurrection of the dead, hope utterly vanishes. Therefore, they have afflicted themselves in vain, if there is no resurrection. Nor is that conclusion hindered by saying that the separated soul will be rewarded, because, as has been proved above, it cannot be proved that the soul would be immortal.”

957. – Then when he says: Every day I die for your glory, he enumerates the dangers in special: first, as to the person; secondly, as to the place (v. 32).

958. – Therefore, he manifests the dangers as to his own person; hence he says: Every day I die, i.e., I suffer not just any dangers, but even those of death, because I die daily, i.e., am in danger of death: “For thy sake we are slain all day long” (Ps 44:22). And the Apostle shows that this was said in the person of the apostles: “Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus” (2 Cor 4:10). For your glory, i.e., that I may acquire the glory I await from your conversion to the faith: “You are my glory and my joy” (2 Th 2:20), which I have i.e., hope to have, in Christ Jesus our Lord, i.e., through the charity of Christ. Another text has, by the glory, and then “by the glory” is an oath. As if to say: By your glory which you await, which is God. As if to say: I swear by God, Whom I have in hope in Christ Jesus, i.e., by His passion. From which it appears that even the Apostle swore, and that among those who are perfect, swearing is not a sin.

959. – The when he says, What do I gain, he specifies the dangers as to place. Here it should be noted that this is read in Ac (chap. 19), which says that when St. Paul had converted many to the faith at Ephesus, some stirred up the people against him, so that he would not dare to go out into the theatre, and that he endured many dangers. Therefore, perhaps he mentions this, because he had suffered from a neighboring town. He says, therefore: What do I gain, if humanly speaking, i.e., according to reason, from which man is man, by disputing about the resurrection, I conclude that man does not die as the beast. I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, with men living in a beastly manner at Ephesus. Or if I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, and I say this not from divine revelation but humanly speaking, i.e., from human instinct, if I have endured such perils.

960. – Then when he says, Let us eat and drink, he presents the third incongruity, which is: if there is no resurrection of the dead, occasion would be given for enjoying pleasures. As if to say: If there is not another life, we are foolish, if we afflict ourselves, but let us eat and drink, i.e., use the delights and enjoy the pleasures: “No one has been known to return from Hades” (Wis 2:1); “Come, let us enjoy the good things that exist (v. 6). For tomorrow i.e., soon, we die; for we shall totally fail, if the dead do not rise.

961. – Then when he says: Do not be deceived, he concludes to a warning from the preceding: first, as to the sick; secondly, as to the perfect and just (v. 34).

962. – In regard to the first he does two things: first, he makes them attentive, saying: Do not be deceived. As if to say: It has been stated that if there is no resurrection of the dead, it would be foolish not to use lascivious and voluptuous things. Therefore, lest you be tempted to lascivious things, do not be deceived by those who deny the resurrection. “Let no one disqualify you” (Col 2:18). Secondly, he assigns the reason for their attention, saying: Bad company ruins good morals. As if to say: Do not be deceived, because the bad speech of those who deny the resurrection ruins good morals: “Their talk will eat its way like gangrene” (2 Tim 2:17). Jerome says that was taken form the statements of the Gentiles and is a verse of a certain Menandrus. And from this he says we have an argument that it is lawful sometimes in Sacred Scripture to use the authorities of Gentiles.

963. – Then when he says: Come to your right mind and sin no more, he presents an admonition as to the perfect. For someone could say that from their conversations the weak should take care, because they are easily deceived; but the perfect cannot be so deceived. But the Apostle wishes that even the perfect be cautious. Hence he does two things in this regard. First, he makes them attentive, saying: O just ones, watch, i.e., you who are regarded as just, watch, i.e., be careful: “Watch, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt 24:42); “Blessed is he who is awake keeping his garments” (Rev 16:15). Secondly, he assigns the reason, saying: Sin no more, and this twofold, one of which is on account of themselves. For no one is so perfect that he does not need to be wary of sin. But inertia and inactivity frequently lead to sin; hence, lest they sin, he induces them to be vigilant. Therefore, he says: sin no more: “Remember the Lord our God all your days, and refuse to sin” (Tob 4:5). He presents another reason for the benefit of others, because they are not solicitous only for themselves but also for others, lest they be deceived. And this is what he says: For some have no knowledge of God, i.e., do no have a correct faith: “Being ignorant of the righteousness of God, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Rom 10:3). And this I say to your shame, that you should be careful. Or to your shame, because it is shameful to you who are regarded wise and instructed in the faith, that some among you are ignorant of God, i.e., do not have the correct faith.

15-5

1 Cor 15:35-38

35 But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

964. – Having proved the resurrection of the dead, the Apostle now shows the quality and mode of those rising. In regard to this he does two things: first, he raises a question about the quality of those rising; secondly, he answers it (v. 36).

965. – In regard to the resurrection there have been two errors. For some absolutely denied the future resurrection of the dead. For since they considered only the principles and capabilities of nature and saw that according to natural principles and capabilities no one could return to life or a blind person recover sight, they absolutely denied the resurrection. From their mouth it says in Wis (2:5): “Our allotted time is the passing of a shadow”; “We are born of nothing” (Wis. 2:2); “Do you think a dead man will live again?” (Jb 14:14). Others, on the other hand, have said there will be a resurrection, but they will rise to the same manner of living and to the same acts. Even philosophers have posited this when they said: After many years Plato will rise again and will have the same scholars in Athens, whom he had at some time. The Sadducees also assert this Matt (22:29) about the woman with seven husbands. Hence they asked: “In the resurrection to which of the seven will she be wife?” The Saracens, too, pretend that after the resurrection they will have wives and voluptuous and bodily pleasures: “He will not move upon the rivers, the streams flow with honey and curds” (Jb 20:17). Against these Matt (22:30) says that “they will be as the angels in heaven.” Therefore the Apostle raises two questions here. The first is when he says, How will the dead rise? How is it possible that the dead who are dust can rise? The second when he says, With what kind of body will they come? As if to say: will they rise with the same kind of body as we have now?

966. – He answers these two questions when he says, you foolish man! First, he solves the second; secondly, he solves the first (v. 44b). To understand what the Apostle presents in the first part, it is necessary to investigate what the Apostle intends. But in this part the Apostle intends to show that the dead will rise and that their substance will be the same. Here he first presents likenesses; secondly, he adapts (v. 42); thirdly, he proves (v. 44b). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he proposes likenesses in one species; secondly, in diverse species (v. 39).

967. – In regard to the first it should be noted that we see in one and the same species that one thing on the way to generation has diverse qualities and forms: as grain has one form and quality, when it is planted, and another, when it shoots up, and another, when it is in herb. From this likeness the Apostle intends to show the quality of the rising. Hence, in regard to this he does three things: first, he compares the order of sowing to growing; secondly, the difference in quality in sowing and growing (v. 37); thirdly, the cause of the quality in growing (v. 38).

968. – He says, therefore, O foolish man! But on the other hand it says in Matthew (5:22): “Whoever says to his brother, ‘You fool’, shall be liable to hell.” The answer is that God forbids saying, “you fool” or “stupid” to your brother in anger and not correction. Now the reason he say foolish is that this objection against the resurrection proceeds from the principles of human wisdom, which is wisdom as long as it is subjected to divine wisdom. But when one departs from God, he falls back on unwisdom; hence, when he contradicts divine wisdom, he calls him foolish. As if to say: You foolish man! Do you not experience every day that what you sow in the earth does not come to life unless it dies, i.e., decays: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone” (Jn. 12:24). And the Apostle seems to make this comparison, that when a man’s body is put in a tomb, it is a form of sowing; but when it rises, it is coming to life.

969. – Hence, from this some suppose that the resurrection of the dead is natural, inasmuch as the Apostle here compares the resurrection of the dead to the sprouting of a seed, which is natural. For they believed that in the dust, into which human bodies are resolved, there were certain active seminal powers for the resurrection of bodies. But this does not seem to be true. For the resolution of human bodies into elements happens in the same way as other mixed bodies; hence, the dust into which human bodies are resolved has no other active power than other dust, in which there is no evidence of any active power to constitute a human body, but only in man’s seed. However, the dusts into which human bodies are reduced differ from other dust only according to God’s plan, inasmuch as these dusts are ordained by divine wisdom that human bodies be formed from them again. Hence the active cause of the resurrection is God alone, even though for this he uses the service of angels to collect the dust. Hence, the Apostle explaining the manner of the resurrection below attributes it to Christ’s raising, but not to any active power in the dusts. Therefore, the Apostle does not intend to prove here that the resurrection is natural, but to manifest by certain examples that the quality of rising bodies and that of dying bodies is not the same; and, first of all, by the fact that the quality of the seed and of the sprouting bud are not the same, as will be clearly shown from the following.

970. –For when he says, and what you sow, he shows that the quality of seed is different from the quality of the sprout. Hence he says, what you sow is not the body which is to be, i.e., you do not plant it as it will be. Explaining this he says, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain, namely, a seed, because a bare kernel is sowed, but what sprouts is fashioned as a herb, or an ear of corn and so on. Similarly, the human body will have another quality in the resurrection than it has now, as will be explained below. Yet there is a difference between the resurrection of the human body and the sprouting of a seed, for the same numerical body will rise, but it will have another quality, as the Apostle says below (v. 53): “For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable”; and Job (19:27): “And my eyes shall behold and not another.” But in sprouting there is neither the same quality nor the same numerical body, but only the same in species. And therefore, the Apostle speaking about sprouting said, what you sow is not the body which is to be, giving us to understand that it is not the same numerically. And in this the work of nature falls short of God’s work. For the power of nature restores what is the same in species, but not the same numerically; but God’s power can restore even the same numerically.

971. – And so, even from what is stated here can be taken a proof that the future is not something impossible as the foolish man objected. For if nature, from what is dead, can restore the same thing specifically, much more can God restore the same numerical thing, because whatever nature can do is a work of God. For nature has from God that it can do this.

972. – Then, describing the quality of sprouting, he attributes it first to God; secondly, to the proportion of nature.

973. – First he says, God gives it a body as he has chosen, because it proceeds from an ordination of the divine will that from such a seed such a plant is produced, which plant is as the body of a seed. For the ultimate fruit of a plant is the seed. And therefore, he attributes this to the activity of God, as it says above (12:6): “It is the same God who inspires them all in every one.” And this can be considered in this way. For it is manifest that natural things act without knowledge for a fixed end; otherwise, they would not always or for the most part attain the same end. But it is manifest that nothing lacking knowledge tends to a fixed end unless directed by a knower, as an arrow tends to a fixed target by the direction of the bowman. Therefore, just as if someone saw an arrow directly moving toward a definite target would immediately know that it was directed by a bowman, so when we see natural things without knowledge tend to definite ends, we can know for certain that they are acting under the will of some director, which we call God. And the Apostle says, God gives to the seed a body, i.e., he produces from the seed a plant, as he has chosen.

974. – But again, lest anyone believe that such natural effects arise solely from God’s will without the activity and proportion of nature, he adds, and to each kind of seed its own body; for example, from the olive seed an olive is produced, and wheat from the seed of wheat. Hence, it says in Genesis (1:11): “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, each according to its kind.” Thus therefore in the resurrection too, there will be another quality of the rising body, which will be proportionate to the merits of the dying person.

15-6

1 Cor 15:39-44a

39 For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

975. – Here the Apostle presents an example of the diverse qualities of a rising body in diverse species. First, by comparing heavenly to earthly bodies; secondly, earthly to heavenly (v. 40b); thirdly, celestial bodies to each other (v. 41).

976. – Because someone could say: how is it possible that the dead re-assume their body and flesh, if they are not to have possession of the same bodily qualities? Therefore, to exclude this he introduces diverse qualities of body and flesh, so that it will be clear that it is not fitting, if the quality will not be the same, that the same body be re-assumed or the same flesh. He says, therefore: Not all flesh is the same flesh according to form, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. Similarly there is one for the dying and another for the rising. But just as the example given above about the seed and the sprout failed, inasmuch in planting seed and in sprouting there is not the same thing numerically nor the same quality, so these examples fall short, because in these examples there is neither the same species nor the same qualities. But the flesh of a rising man is the same specifically as the dying fish, but it will be different in its qualities. “For it will be of the same nature but of another glory,” as Gregory says of the body of Christ. If anyone should wish to refer what has been said to a different state of those who rise, it could be said that by men are understood good men living according to reason, as Ezekiel (34:31) says: “And you are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God.” By animals are understood the lustful, as it says in 2 Peter (2:12): “But these like irrational animals... will be destroyed.” By birds, the proud; by fish, the greedy, as it says in Psalm 8 (v. 8): “The birds of the air and the fish of the sea.”

977. – For the same reason he introduces the diversity of heavenly and earthly bodies, when he says: There are celestial bodies, as the sun and moon and so on, and there are terrestrial bodies, as fire, water and so on. But the glory, i.e., the beauty and splendor, of celestial bodies is one and that of the terrestrial bodies is another: “The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven” (Sir. 44:9). Again, by celestial bodies can be understood contemplatives: “Our commonwealth is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20); by the terrestrial the actives, who are occupied with earthly things. Hence it is said to Martha: “You are concerned about many things” (Lk. 10:41).

978. – For the same purpose he further introduces the diverse qualities of celestial bodies, when he says, there is one glory of the sun and another of the moon. Similarly, there is a difference among the stars, for star differs from star in glory. Furthermore, by the sun can be understood Christ: “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise” (Mal. 4:2); by the moon, the Blessed Virgin: “Fair as the moon” (S. of S. 6:10); by the stars mutually situated, the other saints: “The stars from their courses” (Jdg. 5:20).

979. – Then when he says, So it is with the resurrection of the dead, he adapts the above examples to the resurrection of the dead. It should not be supposed as to the literal explanation that the Apostles is saying this to indicate a diversity of genus in those rising, just because he had stated, star differs from star. But this refers to all the preceding, that it might be shown from all the foregoing that just as in things are found diverse qualities in bodies, so there will be a quality of the rising diverse from the quality of the dying. Hence, he continues, a body is sown. Here the Apostle especially shows that the quality of a dying body is one thing and that of the rising body another.

980. – And he is dealing here with the glorified rising body, whose distinctive qualities are called the marks of the glorified body. These marks are four which the Apostle touches on here. First, he touches on the mark of incapacity of suffering, when he says: what is sown is perishable. And all the sowing can be taken for the first origin of the body, inasmuch as it is generated from seed. Yet it is more fitting according to the mind of the Apostle that sowing be referred to death and burial to correspond to what was said above (v. 36): “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” Death, however, is called both a dissolution and a sowing, not that in a dead body or in the dust dissolved from it there is some power for rising, as there is an active power in seed for generation; but because from God such an ordination was directed that from it a human body be formed again. Thus, therefore, the human body, when it is sown, i.e., when it dies, is in corruption, i.e., according to its own properties it is subjected to corruption, as it says in Romans (8:10): “Your bodies are dead because of sin.” What is raised is imperishable. Here he says imperishable not only to exclude separation of the soul and the body, because even the bodies of the damned will have this imperishability, but to exclude both death or any harmful suffering either from within or from without. And in regard to this is the imperishability of the glorified understood: “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more” (Rev. 7:16).

981. – Secondly, he touches on the mark of clarity, when he says: It is sown in dishonor, i.e., the body, which before death was subject to many deformities and miseries: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). But it is raised in glory, which signifies clarity, as Augustine says (On John). For the bodies of the saints will be clear and shining: “The righteous will shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 14:43).

982. – Thirdly, he touches on the mark of agility, when he says, It is sown in weakness, i.e. the animal body, which before death is weak and slow and not easily moved by the soul: “A perishable body weighs down the soul” (Wis. 9:15). It is raised in strength, namely, because it will come to pass that from such strength it can be moved by the soul and in no case will it show difficulty being moved, which pertains to the mark of agility. For there will be as much facility as felicity, as Augustine says. Hence it says in Wisdom (3:7): “The just will shine forth and will run like sparks through the stubble”; and in Isaiah (40:31): “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

983. – Fourthly, he touches on the mark of subtility, when he says, It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. In virtue of this mark some desire that it belongs to a glorified body to be able to exist in the same place with a body not glorified. This can indeed be sustained, if it belonged to a body in the present state that it could be in the same place at the same time with another body in virtue of something which could be removed from the body. But now, if it is examined closely, it will be seen that according to this nothing else belongs to the body, except inasmuch as it has bodily dimensions. Hence, we see that bodies, no matter how subtle, do not allow other bodies to be with them, as is evident in air and fire; and furthermore, if there were separated bodies absolutely without matter, as some supposed, they could not exist with natural bodies at the same time in the same place, as the Philosopher says. Therefore, as long as dimensions remain in a body, it is against its nature to be with another body in the same place. Hence, if this happens sometimes, it will be from a miracle. For this reason Gregory and Augustine ascribe to a miracle Christ’s entering the room of the disciples, while the door was closed. For no limited power can perform a miracle, because this belongs to God alone. It follows, then, that to be in the same place at the same time with another body cannot be due to a quality of a glorified body. However, it must not be denied that a glorified body can be with another body at the same time in the same place, because the body of Christ after the resurrection entered where the disciples were, while the door was shut, to whom we hope our bodies will be conformed in the resurrection. But just as the body of Christ had this not from a property of his body, but in virtue of the divinity united, so the body of whatever one of the saints has this, not as given, but in virtue of the divinity existing in it. In this manner the body of Peter had the power that the sick be healed by his shadow, not through any property of his own.

984. – Therefore it must be said that what the Apostle touches on here pertains to the mark of subtility, when he says, It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. Some have interpreted this badly and said that in the resurrection the body is changed into a spirit and will be similar to air or the wind, which is called a spirit. This is particularly excluded by what was said to the apostles: “Handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Lk. 24:39). Hence, also, the Apostle does not say that a spirit will rise, but a spiritual body. Therefore, in the resurrection it will be spiritual, not a spirit, just as now it is animal, not soul.

985. – To understand the difference between these it should be noted that what is called the soul and what is called the spirit is one and the same in us; but it is called soul, inasmuch as it perfects the body, but spirit in virtue of the mind according to which we are like spiritual substances: “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Eph. 4:23).

986. – One should also consider that there is a threefold difference in the powers of the soul. For some powers are such that their activities are directed to the good of the body, i.e., the generative, nutritive and augmentative; some there are that use bodily organs, as the power of the sensitive part, but their activity is not directly ordained to the body, but rather to the perfection of the soul. But there are some powers which neither use bodily organs nor are directly ordained to the good of the body, but more to the good of the soul, as those which pertain to the intellective part. Therefore, the first powers pertain to the soul inasmuch as it animates the body; the second pertain especially to the soul inasmuch as it is a spirit; but the third are midway between them. Yet because a judgment about a power should be taken more from its object and end than from the instrument, then the second powers are closer to the third than to the first. ____________________________

987. – Likewise one should consider that since every single thing is for the sake of its own activity, the body is perfected to this by the soul, just as it is the subject of the activities of the soul. Now, however, in this state our body is the subject of activities which belong to the soul, as far as it is the soul, according as it is generated and generates, is nourished, grows and decreases. However, as to the spiritual activities of the soul, the body, although subject in another way, nevertheless causes much impediment, because “for a perishable body weighs down the soul,” as it says in Wisdom (9:5, Vulgate). But in the resurrected state the animal (physical) activities by the body will cease, because there will be no generation, or growth or nourishment, but the body without any impediment and weariness will unceasingly serve the soul in its spiritual activities, as it says in Psalm 84 (4): “Blessed are those who dwell in your house, Lord.” Therefore, just as our body is now animal (physical), then it will be truly spiritual.

988. – Some however will attribute the cause of these properties to a star, which they say is from the nature of the five essences, and comes in the composition of the human body. Because this is frivolous and incredible, we say, following Augustine, that they will proceed as a consequence of the virtue of the glorified soul. For Augustine says in his Letter to Dioscorus (Ep. 118.3): “God made the soul with such a natural power, that its fullest blessedness, which at the end of time is promised to the saints, overflows even into lower nature, which is the body, not the blessedness which is proper to the one enjoying it, but the fullness of health, that is, the strength of incorruption.” We see, however, that four things come forth from the soul to the body, and to the degree it is perfected, so the soul will have been more virtuous. First indeed it gives existence; therefore, when it will come to its highest perfection, it will cause [the body] to be spiritual. Secondly, it conserves it from corruption; therefore we see men who are so much stronger by nature, suffer less from heat and from cold. Therefore, when the soul will become most perfect, it will conserve the body wholly impassible. Thirdly, it gives beauty and clarity. For to weakness and death on account of the debilitation of the working of the soul in the body, they become opaque [discolorati], and when it comes to its highest perfection, it will make the body clear and shining. Fourthly, it gives movement, and according to its degree of facility, so the capacity of the soul will have been stronger than the body. And therefore, when it will come to its highest perfection, it will give mobility to the body.

15-7

1 Cor 15:44b-50

44b If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

989. – Here the Apostle shows by reason the difference of the quality of the dead body to the body of the resurrection, indicated by the examples above. Regarding this he does two things. First, he presents what he intends to prove; secondly, he proves what he presented (v. 44b).

990. – Therefore he says first: I say that what is sown animal (physical) rises spiritual, and I show that this is true, namely, that something is a spiritual body, because if it is an animal (physical) body, it is also spiritual. And the Apostle does not intend to argue from this to the proposition, but he accepts this, intending to prove just what he says, If there is a physical body: “Look upon all the works of the Most High; they likewise are in pairs, one the opposite of the other” (Sir. 33:15).

991. – Thus it is written. Here he proves the proposition. His demonstration is as follows: there are two principles of human generation; one according to natural life, namely Adam; the other according to the life of grace, namely Christ. But animality is distributed in all men by the first principle, namely, Adam. Therefore, it is certain that to a much greater extent, by means of the second principle, that is to say, Christ, spiritual life is distributed in all men. The reason for this, first, he proves, the first difference of the principles; secondly the middle term, namely, the determination of likeness from both of the principles (v. 48). In regard to the first, he does three things. First, he shows the difference of the principles; secondly, the mutual order of the principles (v. 46); thirdly, he assigns the order of reason (v. 47).

992. – Therefore he lays down first the condition of the first principle according to natural life, drawing on the authority of Gen. 2:7. Hence he says, thus it is written: the first Adam was made by God a living being, namely, an animal life which the soul is able to give, when, namely, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7). For the human form and soul is also called spirit. For insofar as he is concerned with the care of the body, namely, with animating, nourishing and generating, thus it is called “soul.” However, insofar as he is concerned with knowledge, namely, with understanding, willing and the like, thus it is called “spirit.” Therefore when he says, the first Adam became a living being, the Apostle has in mind here with the life by which the soul is devoted concerning the body, not the Holy Spirit, as some imagine, by reason of what was cited above: “And he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” saying that this is the Holy Spirit. Secondly, he lays down the condition of the second principle, saying, the last true Adam, i.e., Christ. And he is called the last because Adam introduced one state, namely of guilt; Christ [the state] of true glory and life. Hence, since after that state no other one followed in that life, therefore he is called the last: “We desired him, despised and last of men” (Is. 53:2-3, Vulgate); “I am the First and the Last” (Rev. 1:17); and elsewhere: “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 21:6). But he says, Adam, because from the nature of Adam he was made a living spirit.

993. – And from this, with the conditions of the principles perceived, the difference between them is evident, because the first man was made ‘animal’, the last man ‘spiritual’. The former was made a living animal only, the latter truly a living and life-giving spirit. The reason for this is because, just as Adam obtained the perfection of his being through the soul, so too Christ obtained the perfection of his being, as far as he was man, through the Holy Spirit. And therefore, since the soul could not give life to the body except properly, so Adam was made ‘animal’, not life-giving, but just living. But Christ was made a living and life-giving spirit, and so Christ had life-giving power: “From his fulness” (Jn. 1:16): “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10); and in the Creed: “And in the life-giving Holy Spirit.”

994. – But someone might say, If Christ was made a life-giving spirit, why is he called “last”? Therefore, accordingly, when he says, but it is not the spiritual which is first, he shows the order of principles. We see in nature that in one and the same thing, the imperfect is prior to the perfect. And so since the spiritual state is situated with respect to the animal state, as the perfect to the imperfect, then in human nature the spiritual must not be prior, which is the perfect, but so that order might be preserved, the imperfect must be first, namely, what is animal, then the perfect, namely, what is spiritual: “But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away” (1 Cor 13:10). As Augustine says, the sign of this is that the firstborn of antiquity are commonly “animal”, as Cain was born before Abel, Ishmael before Isaac, and Esau before Jacob.

995. – He assigns the reason for what is said about diversity, saying, the first man. As if to say: truly the first man was made a living animal, because he is of the earth: “God formed man of dust from the ground” (Gen. 2:7), and therefore he is said to be of the earth, i.e., animal. The second man, namely Christ, was made a life-giving spirit, because he is of heaven. Because it is the divine nature that was united to this nature, he is from heaven. And therefore he must be heavenly, i.e., he ought to have such perfection that it is fitting it come from heaven, namely, spiritual perfection: “He who comes from heaven is above all” (Jn. 3:31). He says that the first man is from the earth, in the manner described, by which things from that one are said to be because the first part is in their coming to be, as a knife is said to be from iron because the first part whence the knife is is iron. And because the first part of whence Adam was made is earth, he is said to be from the earth. Accordingly [Christ] is called the man from heaven, not that he will have borne his body from heaven, since he will have assumed it from the earth, namely, from the body of the Blessed Virgin, but because the divinity (which was united to the human nature) comes from heaven, which was prior to the body of Christ. So then the diversity of principles is clear, which was the major proposition of the principal reason.

996. – Then when he says, As is the man of dust, he shows the derivation of the likeness of these principles from each one: first, in common; secondly, he divides it into parts (v. 49).

997. – He says, therefore, As is the man of dust. As if to say: because the first man was of the earth and mortal, so it follows that all were both of the earth and mortal: “For as in Adam all die” (1 Cor 15:22); “Adam was my exemplar” (Zech. 13:5, Vulgate). Because the second man was from heaven, i.e., spiritual and immortal, so we all will be both immortal and spiritual: “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5).

998. – Just as we have borne. Here he concludes with how we ought to be specially conformed to the man, that is to say, the heavenly man. We can be conformed to the heavenly man in life in two ways, namely, of grace and of glory, and the one is the way to the other, because without the life of grace we cannot attain to the life of glory. And so he says, just as we have borne, i.e., inasmuch as we are sinners, the likeness of Adam is in us: “That is the law of Adam, O Lord God” (2 Sam. 7:19, Vulgate). Therefore, so that we might be of heaven, i.e., attain to the life of glory, let us bear the image of the man of heaven, by the life of grace: “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). And so we ought to be conformed to the man of heaven in the life of grace, because otherwise we will not attain to the life of glory.

999. – And this is what he says: I tell you this, brethren; as if to say: unless you live, namely, the life of grace, you cannot attain to the kingdom of God, i.e., to the life of glory, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What we must not think, as some heretics say, is that flesh and blood will not rise according to substance, but rather that the whole body will be changed into spirit or into air. This is heretical and false. For the Apostle says that our body will be conformed to his body of radiance. Therefore, since Christ after his resurrection, has body and blood, as it says in Luke (24:39): “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have,” it is certain that we too will have flesh and blood in the resurrection.

1000. – We must not think that by flesh and blood, he means that the substance of the flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, but rather flesh and blood, i.e., those devoting themselves to flesh and blood, namely, men given to vices and lusts, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. And thus is flesh understood, i.e., a man living by the flesh: “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:9) Or: flesh and blood, i.e., the works of flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, which is against the Jews and Muslims who imagine that after the resurrection they will possess for themselves wives and rivers of honey and milk. Or: flesh and blood, i.e., the corruption of flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; that is, after the resurrection, the body will not be subject to the corruption of flesh and blood, as it is of the man who lives [now]. Therefore and accordingly, he adds, nor does the corruptible inherit incorruption, i.e., nor can the corruption of mortality, which is expressed here by the term “flesh,” inherit incorruption, i.e., the incorruptible kingdom of God, because we will rise in glory: “Because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

15-8

1 Cor 15:51-52

51 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1001. – After responding to the question on the quality of the resurrection, the Apostle then responds to the question which was asked about the mode and order of the resurrection. And concerning this he does two things. First, he shows the mode and order of the resurrection; secondly, he confirms it by an authority (v. 54). Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he sets forth the aim; secondly, he shows by what order it will be done (v. 52).

1002. – First, then, he renders them attentive, showing that what he is setting forth is difficult and hidden, saying, Behold, a mystery, i.e., a certain mystery I tell you, i.e., I uncover for you, brethren, what ought to be uncovered for you and for all believers: “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God” (Lk. 8:10); “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom... but we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God” (1 Cor 2:6, 7). 1003. – What that mystery is, he adds, we shall all rise. It should be understood concerning the first that, as Jerome says in a certain letter to the monks Minerva and Alexander: what is said here, we shall all rise, is not found in any book of the Greeks, but in certain ones is found, “we shall all sleep,” i.e., we shall all die. And it is called the death of sleep because of the hope of the resurrection. Hence it is the same as if one said, “we shall all rise,” because no one rises unless he has died. But not all shall be changed. This is not altered in the books of the Greeks. And this is true, because that change which is spoken of here will not occur except according to the blessed body, because they shall be changed to those four qualities set down above, which are called the marks of glorified bodies. And this is what Job desired: “All the days of my service I would wait, till my release [immutatio] should come” (Job 14:14).

1004. – In certain books is found: “We shall not all sleep,”, i.e., die, “but we shall all be changed.” And this is understood in two ways. First, literally, because the opinion of certain men is that not all men will die, but that at the coming of Christ some will come alive to the judgment, and these will not die, but they will be changed to the state of incorruption; and because of this they say, “We shall not all sleep,” i.e., die, “but we shall all be changed,” as much to good as to evil, as much to live as to die. Hence, according to these, the change is not understood from the state of animal to the state of spiritual, because according to this, they will be changed only to good, but from the state of corruption to the state of incorruption. It is explained in another way, mystically, by Origen, who says that this is not said about the sleep of death, because all will die: “What man can live and never see death?” (Ps. 89:48); from which in Psalm 13 (v. 3): “Lighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death”; so that thus it is said, “We shall not all sleep,” i.e., we shall not all sin mortally, “but all will be changed,” just as above, from the state of corruption to incorruption. And although these words, namely, “we shall not all sleep,” are not contrary to the faith, nevertheless the Church accepts with better reason the first explanation, namely, that we shall all die if we shall rise, because all will die even if some are then alive.

1005. – Next he exhibits the order and mode of the resurrection when he says, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Concerning this he does three things. First, he exhibits the order with respect to time; secondly, with respect to the cause of the resurrection (v. 52b); thirdly, with respect to the progress produced by the cause (v. 52c).

1006. – He says therefore that we all shall rise, but in what manner? In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. By this he excludes the error stated that the future resurrection will not be at the same time, but they say that the martyrs will rise before the others by a thousand years, and then Christ will descend with them, and he will possess the corporeal kingdom of Jerusalem for a thousand years with them. This is the opinion of Lactantius, but this is clearly false, because we all shall rise in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye. Another of his errors is excluded by this, namely when he said that the judgment was to last for an interval of a thousand years. But this is false, because there will not be any perceptible time, but it will be in a moment, etc.

1007. – It should be understood that a “moment” can be taken either for the instant of time itself, which is called “now,” or for a certain imperceptible time. Nevertheless in both ways this can be received by referring it to contrary things. Because if we refer this to the gathering of dust (which will be done by the ministry of the angels), then a “moment” is taken for an imperceptible time. For since in the gathering of that dust there is a change from place to place, it is necessary that there be a certain time. If we refer it to the reuniting of bodies and for their union with souls, all of which will be done by God, then a “moment” is taken for an instant of time, because God in an instant unites the soul to the body, and vivifies the body. It is possible that what he says, in the twinkling of an eye, is referred to either of the two; if in the twinkling of an eye is understood as the opening of the eyelids (which happens in a perceptible time), then it is referred to the gathering of dust. If however in the twinkling of an eye is understood as the instantaneous sight of the eye itself, which happens in an instant, then it is referred to the union of the soul to the body.

1008. – Then when he says, at the last trumpet, he shows the order of the resurrection as to its immediate cause. And that trumpet is the voice of Christ, about which it is said in Matthew (25:6): “But at midnight there was a cry”; “The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (Jn. 5:25). Or it is the presence of Christ himself manifested to the world, as Gregory says, “The trumpet signifies nothing other than the presence of Christ manifest to the world,” which is called a trumpet for the sake of manifestation, because it will be manifest to all. And “trumpet” is taken this way in Matthew (6:2): “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you.” Likewise it is called a trumpet because of the office of the trumpet, which was fourfold, as it is said in Numbers (10:1-10), namely, for the calling of the assembly, and this will be in the resurrection, because then he will call to council, that is, to the judgment: “The Lord enters into judgment.” Secondly, for the solemnizing of a feast: “Blow the trumpet at the new moon” (Ps. 81:3); so too in the resurrection: “Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts” (Is. 33:20). Thirdly, for war, and this too is in the resurrection: “And will leap to the target as from a well-drawn bow of clouds” (Wis. 5:21); “To the sound of timbrels and lyres” (Is. 30:32). Fourthly, for the moving of the camp, and so too in the resurrection, some by going to heaven, some by going to hell: “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:46).

1009. – Then when he says, and the trumpet will sound, he establishes the progress effected by the cause predicated. Concerning this, he does two things. First, he establishes the progress effected; secondly, he indicates the necessity of this (v. 53).

1010. – The progress is effected because immediately at the sound of the trumpet the effect follows, because the dead will be raised: “He sends forth his voice, his mighty voice” (Ps. 68:33). He establishes however two effects. One is common, because the dead will be raised imperishable, i.e., renewed without any diminution of their members. That indeed is common to all, because in the resurrection the reparation of nature pertains to all, because all have communion with Christ in nature. And although Augustine [Enchir. 92] leaves open a doubt whether deformities will remain among the damned, I believe that whatever pertains to the reparation of nature is conferred entirely on them; but what pertains to grace is conferred only on the elect. And therefore all will rise incorruptible, i.e., renewed, even the damned. Jerome however explains incorruptible, i.e., the state of incorruption, as namely, that they will not be corrupted further after the resurrection, because they will have come to that eternal beatitude, the evil surely to eternal punishment: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” (Dan. 12:2).

1011. – The other effect is proper, i.e., only of the Apostles, because we shall be changed, namely, the Apostles, and not only will we be incorruptible, but we shall be changed, that is, from the state of misery to the state of glory, because what is sown animal rises spiritual. And according to this way of expounding, it is clear that that reading is better which says, “We shall all rise, but we shall not all be changed,” than that which has, “We shall all be changed,” because although all shall rise, nevertheless only the holy and the elect shall be changed. But it would be possible even according to those who have, “We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed,” to be read thus: the dead will rise incorruptible, i.e., to the state of incorruption, and we who are alive, although we will not rise because we are not dead, nonetheless will be changed from the state of corruption to incorruption. And this would seem to agree with what is said in 1 Thess. (4:17): “We who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them”; so that just as there, here too he reckons himself with the living.

15-9

1 Cor 15:53-58

53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1012. – Here the Apostle established the necessary effect of the resurrection proceeding from its own cause. And concerning this he establishes two things in correspondence with the two he had established in the progress of the effects from the cause itself. The first is general for all, namely, that the dead will rise incorruptible. And so first he says concerning this, for this corruptible must put on incorruption. The second is particular for the apostles and the good, namely, “And we shall be changed,” and so secondly he says concerning this, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1013. – For because the corruptible is contrasted to the incorruptible, and in the present state of life we are subject to corruption, he says that when we rise, this corruptible must put on incorruption, namely, by a necessary congruence. And this for three reasons. First, for the completion of human nature. For as Augustine says [Gen. Ad litt. 12.35], the soul, inasmuch as it is separated from the body, is imperfect, not possessing the perfection of its nature, and so existing separately it is not in such beatitude as it will be when united to the body in the resurrection. Therefore, so that it might enjoy perfect beatitude, this corruptible, i.e., the body, must put on as an adornment incorruption, so that “this mortal” will not be afflicted further in any degree. Secondly, for the necessity of divine justice, so that those who have done good or evil in the body are rewarded or punished likewise in the same bodies. Thirdly, for the conformity of the members to the head, so that “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

1014. – It should be noted that he compares incorruption itself or immortality to a garment, when he says, put on. For a garment is present to the one having vested, and absent, remaining the same numerical substance of the one vested, so that by this he shows that the same numerical bodies will rise and the same men will be the same numerically in the state of incorruption and immortality, in which they are now. Thus by this the error is excluded that says that the same numerical body will not rise. Hence he says expressly, this corruptible, namely the body, must put on incorruption, for the soul is not corruptible. Likewise, the error is excluded that says that glorified bodies will not be the same as these, but will be heavenly; and in a similar way 2 Cor. (5:2) says: “Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling”; “Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem” (Is. 52:1); “Deck yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor” (Job 40:10).

1015. – But against this, it seems impossible that this corruptible should put on incorruption, i.e., that the same numerical bodies will rise, because it is impossible for things which differ in genus or species to be the same numerically. But corruptible and incorruptible do not differ in species, but in genus. Therefore, it is impossible that resurrected bodies will be incorruptible and will remain the same numerically. Moreover, the Philosopher says [II De Generat. 9.9] that it is impossible that the corruptible substance which is changed be restored to the same numerically, but to the same in species. But the substance of human bodies is corruptible; therefore, it is impossible for it to be restored to the same numerically. I respond: it should be said first that each thing attains to its genus or species from its own nature, and not from something extrinsic to is own nature; and therefore I say that if the resurrection of bodies would be future from the principles of the nature of bodies, it would be impossible that bodies would rise the same numerically. But I say that the incorruption of resurrected bodies will be given from another principle, that from the nature of the bodies themselves, namely, from the glory of the soul, from whose beatitude and incorruption all beatitude and incorruption of bodies will be derived. Therefore, just as free will is of the same nature and the same numerically, while it is in a changeable mode to either side, and when it will be firmly fixed in the final state, so too the body will be of the same nature and the same numerically, in that corruptible mode and then, when by free will it will be firmly fixed by the glory of the soul, it will be incorruptible. To the second objection, which the reason of the Philosopher advances against those who would maintain that all things in the sublunary bodies are caused by a change of the heavenly bodies, and that by the same turnings of the revolutions of superior bodies, the same numerical effects followed which were at some previous time. Hence they said that still the same numerical Plato will lecture to Athens and that he will have the same schools and the same pupils that he had. And so the Philosopher argues against this, that although there is the same numerical heaven, and the same sun is in its same revolutions, nonetheless the effects which arise from there do not result in numerical identity, but in identity of species, and this according to the course of nature. In like manner, I say that if bodies were to put on incorruption, and were to rise according to the course of nature, they would not rise the same numerically, but the same in species. But since the renewal and the resurrection, as was said, will occur by divine power, we say that bodies will be the same numerically, since the individual principles of that man are nothing other than this soul and this body. In the resurrection the soul too will return the same numerically, since it is incorruptible, and this body will be the same numerically from the same dust from which is was dissolved, restored by divine power; thus it will be the same numerical man who rises. I do not do violence to the intermediary forms, because I do not hold that there is any other substantial form in man except the rational soul, from which the human body will have it, that it is animated by a sensible and vegetable nature, and that it is rational. Accidental forms in no way hinder the numerical identity that we maintain.

1016. – Then when he says, But when this mortal, he confirms what he had said by authority. And concerning this he does two things. First, he establishes the authority; secondly, from this he concludes three things (v. 55).

1017. – Therefore he says first: I said that this corruptible must put on incorruption, but when this mortal puts on immortality, then, namely, in the future (which is against those who say that the resurrection has already happened), then shall come to pass the saying that is written, that is, death is swallowed up in victory. This saying, according to our translation, is not found in any book of the Bible; but if it be found in the Septuagint translation, it is not certain whence it is taken. It is possible to say that this saying is taken from Is. (26:19): “The dead shall live, their bodies shall rise,” and Is. (25:8): “He will swallow up death forever.” In Hos. (13:44, Vulgate), we have: “I will be your death, O Death”; the Septuagint [see Is. 25:8] has “Death is swallowed up in victory,” i.e., on account of the victory of Christ. And he sets down the past for the future on account of the certitude of prophecy (1 Pet. 3:22).

1018. – Then when he says, Where, O death, is your victory?, he concludes three things on the basis of authority: the scorn of the saints against death; the actions of thanks toward God (v. 57); and his admonition to the Corinthians (v. 58). Concerning the first he does two things. First, he mentions the scorn; secondly, he explains it (v. 56).

1019. – The Apostle, therefore, speaking of the victory of Christ over death, as if established in some special joy, takes upon himself the person of resurrected man, saying, Where, O death, is your victory? This is not found in any place of Sacred Scripture; whether the Apostle got this from himself or from another source is not certain. If however, he took it from another place, it appears that he took it from Is. (14:4): “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased!” He says therefore, Where, O death, is your victory?, namely, your victory of corruption, i.e., the power by which you overthrew the whole human race, but which you triumphed over all: “We must all die” (2 Sam. 14:14); “He is brought to the king of terrors” (Job 18:14). Where, O death, is your sting?

1020. – What the sting is, he explains in what follows, saying, the sting of death is sin. Therefore, he sets forth two points: one by which he explains what he said; the other by which he excludes an objection (v. 56b). It should be understood that the sting of death can be described either as a goad to death, or that which death uses or makes. But the literal sense is “the sting of death,” i.e., the goad to death, because man is propelled and cast down to death by sin: “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). But because someone could object, that this sting is removed by the Law, the Apostle straightaway excludes this, adding, and the power, i.e., the increase, of sin is the Law; as if to say: sin is not removed by the Law, but rather the power of sin is the Law, i.e., an increase in the occasion; that is to say, not that it impels to sin, but that it gives an occasion for sin and it does not confer grace, from which concupiscence to sin was roused all the more: “Law came in, to increase the trespass” (Rom. 5:20); “But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness” (Rom. 7:8).

1021. – There is, however, another sense, but not the literal one, so that “the sting of death” is said to be that which death uses. And so by death is understood the devil: “And its rider’s name was death” (Rev. 6:8). And so “the sting of death” is the temptation of the devil. And thus all that is said about death is interpreted of the devil, as in the Gloss [Lombard]. Or the sting of death, i.e., made by death, i.e., concupiscence of the flesh: “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin” (Jas. 1:15). For concupiscence first draws those who are willing, as in the intemperate; secondly, it drags those who resist, as in the incontinent; next it contends, but does not conquer, as in the continent; next it is weakened in its contention, as in the temperate; and finally it is totally defeated, as in the beatified, about whom it is fitting to say: “Where, O death, is your contention or your victory?”

1022. – Therefore, because the sting of death is destroyed, not by the Law, but by the victory of Christ, acts of thanksgiving are rendered to God. And this is what he says: But thanks be to God, namely, I give thanks, or we give thanks, to the one who gives us the victory, over death and sin, through Jesus Christ, not through the Law: “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” (1 Jn. 5:4); “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25); “For God has done what the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do” (Rom. 8:3).

1023. – Then when he says, Therefore my beloved brethren, he adds an admonition. For as it was said, the false apostles were destroying the Corinthians by denying the resurrection, and so, after he established faith in the resurrection, and displayed it through examples, he admonishes them to occupy themselves with good, and not be seduced by the false apostles. And concerning this he does three things. First, he confirms them in the faith, saying, therefore, namely, with the resurrection already displayed, my brethren by faith, by which we are all sons of God: “He gave power to become children of God”(Jn. 1:12) – beloved, through love which we owe to love one another: “And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 Jn. 4:21) – be steadfast, that is, in the faith of the resurrection, not withdrawing from faith: “So that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro” (Eph. 4:14) – and immovable, that is, do not be seduced by others: “Provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast” (Col. 1:23). Secondly, he induces to good works, saying, always abounding in the work of the Lord: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men” (Gal. 6:10); “The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight” (Prov. 11:5). Thirdly, he confirms them in hope, saying, knowing that in the Lord you labor is not in vain: “For the fruit of good labors is renowned” (Wis. 3:15).

16-1

1 Cor 16:1-9

1 Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. 5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may speed me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

1024. – Above, through the entire succession of the letter, the Apostle proposed to the Corinthians a general teaching; in this final chapter, he proposes to them a special and particular teaching. And concerning this he does two things. First, he instructs them about what they ought to do for others; secondly, he shows what others would do for them (v. 19). Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he instructs them about what they should do in his absence; secondly, about what they should do in the present (v. 13). Concerning the first, he does three things. First, he instructs them about what in his absence pertains to the poor saints who are in Jerusalem; secondly, about those things that pertain to the Apostle (v. 5); thirdly, about those things that pertain to the disciples (v. 10). The Apostle instructs them about three things concerning what ought to happen for the saints who are in Jerusalem. First, how the alms to be prepared for the saints are to be collected; secondly, how the alms are to be kept (v. 2); thirdly, how they are to be sent to Jerusalem (v. 3).

1025. – Concerning the first, it should be understood that, as it is written in Ac. (4:34), it was the custom in the early Church that those converted to the faith would sell their possessions and all they have, and would place the value at the feet of the Apostles, and from these each one (according as there was need) would be provided for, so that no one would have property, but that all things would be in common for them. But it happens that due to a great, rising famine, the poor saints in Jerusalem were laboring under a great want. Hence it happened that the Apostles ordained for the rendering of assistance to them, that there be a collection by other Christian churches, and this commission was made to Paul and Barnabas: “They gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship... only they would have us remember the poor” (Gal. 2:9-10). And because the Apostle was solicitous about this, he instructed those who converted, that they should render assistance to them, because just as he said to the Romans, it is right that whoever receives spiritual goods should supply temporal ones. And this is what he says: Now concerning the contribution by the churches for the saints, i.e., for the use of the saints, and not for whatever use: “Do good to the humble, but do not give to the ungodly” (Sir. 12:5). Not that there is not something that is to be given to sinners, but because with more reason ought one to give alms to the indigent just man than to the sinner. Just as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you are to do, i.e., to collect, on the first, namely, day, of the sabbath, i.e., the seventh day. And this was ordained, so that little by little a small amount might be set aside in any given week, and they might not, if all at once it were set aside, be burdened. And although it might seem very little to them, as if imperceptible to give little by little, yet over an entire year the alms were greater than in one single collection.

1026. – Or by on the first day of the Sabbath, is understood the first day after the Sabbath, namely, the Lord’s Day. And this is what the Apostle wanted to happen on that day, because the custom was already in force, that the people would gather in the church on the Lord’s Days: “On the first day shall be a holy convocation... it is a solemn assembly; you shall do not laborious work” (Lev. 23:35-36). And in this way are alms described in Dan. (4:24): “Break off your sins by practicing righteousness [almsgiving], and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed”; and Sir (29:15).

1027. – Because not only the manner of collecting ought to be applied, but also of setting aside, he then instructs them how the collections should be set aside, when he says, each of you is to put something aside. In this is shown the greatest skill of the Apostle, so that no one should believe that the Apostle would make these collections more for the sake of his own profit, than for the sake of the needs of the saints. Therefore, evading this suspicion, both as to himself and his ministers, he was unwilling that the money spoken of be kept by himself or by his ministers, but he established that whoever was ready to distribute that money take it home and keep it himself, doing this for the whole year. And it was for this reason, because the Apostle was unwilling, when he should come to Corinth, that they attend to the collections, but rather to teaching and to spiritual things: “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables” (Ac. 6:2). [marginal note here not included]

1028. – He adds how the alms should be sent to Jerusalem, saying, when I arrive. As if to say: I do not wish in this to burden any especially, namely for bearing the money, but I will send those whom you accredit, i.e., the ones you will approve for sending, I will send, I say, by letter, i.e., with letters sent from you and from us, with praises and commendations, namely, in which will be contained a sum of money, our zeal and love commended. I will send, I say, to carry your gift, i.e., what you will give generously to the poor saints in Jerusalem: “We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedonia” (2 Cor. 8:1). In Jerusalem, i.e., to the saints who are in Jerusalem. And not only will I send those whom you accredit, but if it will be advisable [fitting], i.e., if there will be a great quantity, they will accompany me, by which he leads them to contribute well and liberally: “At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints” (Rom. 15:25).

1029. – Next, the Apostle instructs them about the things that pertain to himself. And concerning this he does three things. First, he promises them his arrival, saying, I will come to you after passing through Macedonia. Secondly, he says that he is about to spend a long time with them; thirdly, he excuses the postponement of his arrival.

1030. – Concerning the first it should be understood that, as it says in Ac. (16:9), a man of Macedonia appeared to the Apostle when was in Troas, beseeching him and saying to him: “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Therefore, so that the Apostle might fulfil the entreaties, he prepared himself to go to Macedonia. And because Macedonia was halfway between Asia and Achaia where Corinth is, he says, I will come to you after passing through Macedonia, that is, I will come to you from that place, namely, because then I will be nearer to you.

1031. – Secondly, he promises that he will spend a long time with them, saying, and perhaps I will stay with you, i.e., I will restrict the time, or even spend the winter, i.e., for the whole winter I will abide with you, because there are many things to be corrected among you. Or, he adds the reason for why he is going to them when he says, so that you may speed my on my journey, wherever I go. And he says, “wherever,” because he was unable to determine where he would go, except according to what the Holy Spirit was inspiring him. You may speed, I say, not that you may protect me, but that you may show the way.

1032. – Thirdly, when he says, for I do not want, he excuses the postponement of his arrival in two ways. In one way, because the Corinthians could say: it is not necessary that you defer coming and that you first go to Macedonia, because you could come to Achaia and remain, so that you do not pass through Macedonia. And to this he says: although I could come to you in this way, I could not stay with you for long, because I have to go to Macedonia or return to Asia. Hence, because I am unwilling to see you in passing, I am not coming to you in this way. For I hope to join you for some time, if the Lord permits. He says, if the Lord permits, because perhaps either before he is there, or already after he is there, the Lord may inspire him to go to another place where he might accomplish a greater good.

1033. – In another way, he excuses himself, and this would seem the more literal meaning, because it was necessary for him to remain for a long time at Ephesus, which is in Asia. And so he says, but I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost. Perhaps this letter was sent in winter, or in fact, and then after Pentecost he had to go to Macedonia and stay there until winter, and then go to Corinth and winter there. He adds the reason for why he wanted to stay in Ephesus until Pentecost when he says, for a wide door for effective work has opened for me, i.e., I am producing great fruit in Ephesus. And he says, a wide door has opened for me, i.e., many human hearts prepared for believing, and it is evident, because it is without contradiction: “And pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word” (Col. 4:3). But because there are many adversaries, who are attempting to hinder or steal away, if then I am absent, much fruit may easily be hindered; thus I am unwilling to draw back until you are well established: “Behold, I have set before you an open door” (Rev. 3:8).

16-2

1 Cor 16:10-24

10 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11 So let no one despise him. Speed him on his way in peace, that he may return to me; for I am expecting him with the brethren. 12 As for our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brethren, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity. 13 Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 15 Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; 16 I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; 18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men. 19 The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22 If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1034. – Here he instructs them concerning the things which pertain to his disciples. And first, concerning things that pertain to Timothy; secondly, concerning things that pertain to Apollos (v. 12).

1035. – Concerning Timothy, he enjoins three things. First, that he be kept free of concern; hence he says, When Timothy comes to you, see, be diligent that, you put him at ease among you. Perhaps there was a certain disturbance there because of the false apostles: “Fighting without and fear within” (2 Cor. 7:5). And this you ought to do because he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am by preaching: “As for you, be vigilant in every labor” (2 Tim. 4:5, Vulgate). Secondly, that he be held in honor, and so he says: so let no one despise him. And the reason for this is perhaps because he was young: “Let no one despise your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12); “He who rejects you, rejects me” (Lk. 10:16). Thirdly, that he be led in peace, and this is what he says: speed him on his way in peace. And the reason for this is because I am expecting him with the brethren, who are with him.

1036. – Concerning Apollos. This is the Apollos of whom Acts (18:24) says, “a certain Jew”, and the one who went to Achaia and was, as it were, their special doctor after the Apostle: “I planted, Apollos watered” (1 Cor 3:6). And as the Gloss says, he was a bishop. And because the Corinthians had behaved badly, he withdrew from them and went to the Apostle. Afterwards, the Corinthians asked the Apostle to send him back there, to which he responds to them saying, as for our brother Apollos, whom you asked to be sent back to you, I make known [to you] three things. First, my requests made to him, since I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers. And he says, I urged him, although he could direct him, because with great men a command ought not be made easily: “Do not rebuke an older man but exhort him as you would a father” (1 Tim. 5:1); “If they make you master of the feast, do not exalt yourself” (Sir. 32:1). But is it lawful for someone to abandon his people? To this should be said, as Gregory says, when all the subjects conduct themselves badly and are unwilling to be corrected, it is lawful for the bishop to withdraw from them. Hence, because they were such as these, it was lawful for him. Or it should be said that perhaps he was not their bishop, but was preaching to them specially. Secondly, the response of Apollos, because he refuses to come to them: but it was not at all his will to come now. And the reason for this is perhaps because they were not yet properly corrected, or because he himself was occupied in other difficulties. Thirdly, he promises him that he should go to them at some time. Hence, he says, he will come when there will be space, i.e., opportunity; there will be, namely, when you will be corrected.

1037. – After he instructed them about what they ought to do with respect to those who were absent, he then instructs them how to conduct themselves with those who are present. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he shows how they should conduct themselves as to all in common; secondly, as to some in particular (v. 15).

1038. – The Apostle instructs them in common about three things, namely, about faith, about a good work, and about the manner of working well. But he presents first one thing that is more necessary than all these three, i.e., “watchful care.” Hence he says, be watchful and pray: “Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing” (Lk. 12:43); and “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). He instructs them about faith when he says, stand firm, i.e., in faith: “Stand, therefore” (Eph. 6:14). He instructs them about a good work when he says, courageously, i.e., strongly, act, because faith without works in dead (Jas. 2:26). But because a good work should not be attributed to us, but to God, therefore he adds, and be strong in the Lord: “Be strong and let your heart take courage” (Ps. 31:25). He instructs them about the manner of acting when he says, let all that you do be done in love, i.e., all things should be referred to the end of charity, namely, that they might be done for the sake of God and neighbor: “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14).

1039. – Then when he says, I urge you brothers, he instructs them how they ought to conduct themselves with some in particular. And first, as to those who seem to have a privilege in spiritual things; secondly as to those who seem to have a privilege in corporal works.

1040. – Therefore he says, I urge you brothers: you know, i.e., you approve, the household of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achaicus. You approve them, I say, on account of two things: because they are the first, i.e., the first converted, because they were the first baptized by the Apostle himself: “I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor 1:16); and because all the more they were devoted and available for the service of the saints. Hence he says, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints: “Contribute to the needs of the saints” (Rom. 12:13). And so I urge you to be subject to such men: “Obey your leaders and submit to them” (Heb. 13:17). And to every fellow worker and laborer: “Help them, for they have labored side by side with me” (Phil. 4:3): “For the fruit of good labours is renowned” (Wis. 3:15).

1041. – He instructs them here as to those who are pre-eminent in ministry, and it can be expounded in two ways. In one way, so that it would say, I rejoice at the coming of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achaicus, who are present to you, whose presence is advantageous to you. Because they have made up for your absence, by teaching you. And in this too they refreshed my spirit, insofar as I rejoice at your good; and your spirit as well, inasmuch as you are instructed: “I rejoice in the Lord greatly” (Phil. 4:10). And so, because you have conducted yourselves in this way, therefore acknowledge, i.e., honor them. In another way, so that it would say, I rejoice at the coming of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because namely, they are with me personally, and they serve me, by which they supply what was lacking from you, i.e., what you were not able to convey to me bodily. By this they have renewed my spirit, insofar as they have served me, and reverenced me; and refreshed your spirit insofar as you rejoice at my good, and so you acknowledge them, etc.

1042. – All the brethren send you greetings. The Apostle mentions here what others do for the Corinthians. And concerning this he does two things. First, he mentions how they are greeted by others; secondly, he adds his greeting (v. 21).

1043. – Concerning the first he does three things. First, he mentions how the whole church of Asia greets them together. Hence he says, the churches of Asia send greetings: “All the churches of Christ greet you” (Rom. 16:16). Secondly, how the friends of Paul greet them in particular. Hence he says, Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. There were friends of the Apostle, and concerning these it says in Rom. (16:3): “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus”; “And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla” (Ac. 18:2). Thirdly, how the Apostle and his intimate companions greet them. Hence he says, all the brethren send greetings, who, namely, are with me: “All the saints greet you” (Phil. 4:22). From this, therefore, all greet you, and furthermore, you greet one another with a holy kiss; not sensually, as a woman seizes and kisses a youth: “She seizes him and kisses him” (Prov. 7:13); not fraudulently, as Judas kissed Christ: “And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Hail, Master!’ And he kissed him” (Matt. 26:49).

1044. – I, Paul greet you. He adds his greeting, and concerning this he does two things. First, he puts down a title of the greeting, saying, my greeting, namely is written, by my own hand, by Paul. And he did this in his letters on account of some who wrote false letters under the name of the Apostle. Hence, so that they would not be deceived, after the letter was written by someone, the Apostle writes afterwards at the end in his own hand.

1045. – Secondly, he set down the greeting itself, in which first, he speaks evil to evil ones, saying, if anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed, i.e., separated or excommunicated; maranatha, i.e., may the Lord come! As if to say: whoever does not love the Lord Jesus Christ is cursed at the coming of the Lord. But should all be excommunicated who are not in charity? I respond: it should be said that this is understood if someone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., does not have faith in Christ, and these are heretics and are excommunicated. Or: if someone does not persevere to the point of death in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming he will be separated from good things.

1046. – Finally, he blesses the good ones, wishing them well, namely, the grace of Christ, when he says: the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. And wishing this, he wishes them every good, because in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is contained every good. Furthermore, he wishes them his love, saying, my love be with you all in Christ Jesus, so that you might love one another and God, with the love by which I love you, and not on account of something other save in Christ Jesus, i.e., on account of the love of Christ. Amen, it is done.