St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

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Deinde considerandum est de invidia. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. We must now consider envy, and under this head there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, quid sit invidia. (1) What is envy?
Secundo, utrum sit peccatum. (2) Whether it is a sin?
Tertio, utrum sit peccatum mortale. (3) Whether it is a mortal sin?
Quarto, utrum sit vitium capitale, et de filiabus eius. (4) Whether it is a capital sin, and which are its daughters?

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Whether envy is a kind of sorrow?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod invidia non sit tristitia. Obiectum enim tristitiae est malum. Sed obiectum invidiae est bonum, dicit enim Gregorius, in V Moral., de invido loquens, tabescentem mentem sua poena sauciat, quam felicitas torquet aliena. Ergo invidia non est tristitia. Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a kind of sorrow. For the object of envy is a good, for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46) of the envious man that "self-inflicted pain wounds the pining spirit, which is racked by the prosperity of another." Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.
Praeterea, similitudo non est causa tristitiae, sed magis delectationis. Sed similitudo est causa invidiae, dicit enim philosophus, in II Rhet., invidebunt tales quibus sunt aliqui similes aut secundum genus, aut secundum cognationem, aut secundum staturam, aut secundum habitum, aut secundum opinionem. Ergo invidia non est tristitia. Objection 2: Further, likeness is a cause, not of sorrow but rather of pleasure. But likeness is a cause of envy: for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10): "Men are envious of such as are like them in genus, in knowledge, in stature, in habit, or in reputation." Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.
Praeterea, tristitia ex aliquo defectu causatur, unde illi qui sunt in magno defectu sunt ad tristitiam proni, ut supra dictum est, cum de passionibus ageretur. Sed illi quibus modicum deficit, et qui sunt amatores honoris, et qui reputantur sapientes, sunt invidi; ut patet per philosophum, in II Rhet. Ergo invidia non est tristitia. Objection 3: Further, sorrow is caused by a defect, wherefore those who are in great defect are inclined to sorrow, as stated above (FS, Question [47], Article [3]) when we were treating of the passions. Now those who lack little, and who love honors, and who are considered wise, are envious, according to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 10). Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow.
Praeterea, tristitia delectationi opponitur. Oppositorum autem non est eadem causa. Ergo, cum memoria bonorum habitorum sit causa delectationis, ut supra dictum est, non erit causa tristitiae. Est autem causa invidiae, dicit enim philosophus, in II Rhet., quod his aliqui invident qui habent aut possederunt quae ipsis conveniebant aut quae ipsi quandoque possidebant. Ergo invidia non est tristitia. Objection 4: Further, sorrow is opposed to pleasure. Now opposite effects have not one and the same cause. Therefore, since the recollection of goods once possessed is a cause of pleasure, as stated above (FS, Question [32], Article [3]) it will not be a cause of sorrow. But it is a cause of envy; for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10) that "we envy those who have or have had things that befitted ourselves, or which we possessed at some time." Therefore sloth is not a kind of sorrow.
Sed contra est quod Damascenus, in II libro, ponit invidiam speciem tristitiae, et dicit quod invidia est tristitia in alienis bonis. On the contrary, Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 14) calls envy a species of sorrow, and says that "envy is sorrow for another's good."
Respondeo dicendum quod obiectum tristitiae est malum proprium. Contingit autem id quod est alienum bonum apprehendi ut malum proprium. Et secundum hoc de bono alieno potest esse tristitia. Sed hoc contingit dupliciter. Uno modo, quando quis tristatur de bono alicuius inquantum imminet sibi ex hoc periculum alicuius nocumenti, sicut cum homo tristatur de exaltatione inimici sui, timens ne eum laedat. Et talis tristitia non est invidia, sed magis timoris effectus; ut philosophus dicit, in II Rhet. I answer that, The object of a man's sorrow is his own evil. Now it may happen that another's good is apprehended as one's own evil, and in this way sorrow can be about another's good. But this happens in two ways: first, when a man is sorry about another's good, in so far as it threatens to be an occasion of harm to himself, as when a man grieves for his enemy's prosperity, for fear lest he may do him some harm: such like sorrow is not envy, but rather an effect of fear, as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 9).
Alio modo bonum alterius aestimatur ut malum proprium inquantum est diminutivum propriae gloriae vel excellentiae. Et hoc modo de bono alterius tristatur invidia. Et ideo praecipue de illis bonis homines invident in quibus est gloria, et in quibus homines amant honorari et in opinione esse; ut philosophus dicit, in II Rhet. Secondly, another's good may be reckoned as being one's own evil, in so far as it conduces to the lessening of one's own good name or excellence. It is in this way that envy grieves for another's good: and consequently men are envious of those goods in which a good name consists, and about which men like to be honored and esteemed, as the Philosopher remarks (Rhet. ii, 10).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nihil prohibet id quod est bonum uni apprehendi ut malum alteri. Et secundum hoc tristitia aliqua potest esse de bono, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 1: Nothing hinders what is good for one from being reckoned as evil for another: and in this way it is possible for sorrow to be about good, as stated above.
Ad secundum dicendum quod quia invidia est de gloria alterius inquantum diminuit gloriam quam quis appetit, consequens est ut ad illos tantum invidia habeatur quibus homo vult se aequare vel praeferre in gloria. Hoc autem non est respectu multum a se distantium, nullus enim, nisi insanus, studet se aequare vel praeferre in gloria his qui sunt multo eo maiores, puta plebeius homo regi; vel etiam rex plebeio, quem multum excedit. Et ideo his qui multum distant vel loco vel tempore vel statu homo non invidet, sed his qui sunt propinqui, quibus se nititur aequare vel praeferre. Nam cum illi excedunt in gloria, accidit hoc contra nostram utilitatem, et inde causatur tristitia. Similitudo autem delectationem causat inquantum concordat voluntati. Reply to Objection 2: Since envy is about another's good name in so far as it diminishes the good name a man desires to have, it follows that a man is envious of those only whom he wishes to rival or surpass in reputation. But this does not apply to people who are far removed from one another: for no man, unless he be out of his mind, endeavors to rival or surpass in reputation those who are far above him. Thus a commoner does not envy the king, nor does the king envy a commoner whom he is far above. Wherefore a man envies not those who are far removed from him, whether in place, time, or station, but those who are near him, and whom he strives to rival or surpass. For it is against our will that these should be in better repute than we are, and that gives rise to sorrow. On the other hand, likeness causes pleasure in so far as it is in agreement with the will.
Ad tertium dicendum quod nullus conatur ad ea in quibus est multum deficiens. Et ideo cum aliquis in hoc eum excedat, non invidet. Sed si modicum deficiat, videtur quod ad hoc pertingere possit, et sic ad hoc conatur. Unde si frustraretur eius conatus propter excessum gloriae alterius, tristatur. Et inde est quod amatores honoris sunt magis invidi. Et similiter etiam pusillanimes sunt invidi, quia omnia reputant magna, et quidquid boni alicui accidat, reputant se in magno superatos esse. Unde et Iob V dicitur, parvulum occidit invidia. Et dicit Gregorius, in V Moral., quod invidere non possumus nisi eis quos nobis in aliquo meliores putamus. Reply to Objection 3: A man does not strive for mastery in matters where he is very deficient; so that he does not envy one who surpasses him in such matters, unless he surpass him by little, for then it seems to him that this is not beyond him, and so he makes an effort; wherefore, if his effort fails through the other's reputation surpassing his, he grieves. Hence it is that those who love to be honored are more envious; and in like manner the faint-hearted are envious, because all things are great to them, and whatever good may befall another, they reckon that they themselves have been bested in something great. Hence it is written (Job 5:2): "Envy slayeth the little one," and Gregory says (Moral. v, 46) that "we can envy those only whom we think better in some respect than ourselves."
Ad quartum dicendum quod memoria praeteritorum bonorum, inquantum fuerunt habita, delectationem causat, sed inquantum sunt amissa, causant tristitiam. Et inquantum ab aliis habentur, causant invidiam, quia hoc maxime videtur gloriae propriae derogare. Et ideo dicit philosophus, in II Rhet., quod senes invident iunioribus; et illi qui multa expenderunt ad aliquid consequendum invident his qui parvis expensis illud sunt consecuti; dolent enim de amissione suorum bonorum, et de hoc quod alii consecuti sunt bona. Reply to Objection 4: Recollection of past goods in so far as we have had them, causes pleasure; in so far as we have lost them, causes sorrow; and in so far as others have them, causes envy, because that, above all, seems to belittle our reputation. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii) that the old envy the young, and those who have spent much in order to get something, envy those who have got it by spending little, because they grieve that they have lost their goods, and that others have acquired goods.

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Whether envy is a sin?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod invidia non sit peccatum. Dicit enim Hieronymus, ad Laetam, de Instruct. filiae, habeat socias cum quibus discat, quibus invideat, quarum laudibus mordeatur. Sed nullus est sollicitandus ad peccandum. Ergo invidia non est peccatum. Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a sin. For Jerome says to Laeta about the education of her daughter (Ep. cvii): "Let her have companions, so that she may learn together with them, envy them, and be nettled when they are praised." But no one should be advised to commit a sin. Therefore envy is not a sin
Praeterea, invidia est tristitia de alienis bonis, ut Damascenus dicit. Sed hoc quandoque laudabiliter fit, dicitur enim Prov. XXIX, cum impii sumpserint principatum, gemet populus. Ergo invidia non semper est peccatum. Objection 2: Further, "Envy is sorrow for another's good," as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 14). But this is sometimes praiseworthy: for it is written (Prov. 29:2): "When the wicked shall bear rule, the people shall mourn." Therefore envy is not always a sin.
Praeterea, invidia zelum quendam nominat. Sed zelus quidam est bonus, zelus domus tuae comedit me. Secundum illud Psalm., ergo invidia non semper est peccatum. Objection 3: Further, envy denotes a kind of zeal. But there is a good zeal, according to Ps. 68:10: "The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up." Therefore envy is not always a sin.
Praeterea, poena dividitur contra culpam. Sed invidia est quaedam poena, dicit enim Gregorius, V Moral., cum devictum cor livoris putredo corruperit, ipsa quoque exteriora indicant quam graviter animum vesania instigat, color quippe pallore afficitur, oculi deprimuntur, mens accenditur, membra frigescunt, fit in cogitatione rabies, in dentibus stridor. Ergo invidia non est peccatum. Objection 4: Further, punishment is condivided with fault. But envy is a kind of punishment: for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46): "When the foul sore of envy corrupts the vanquished heart, the very exterior itself shows how forcibly the mind is urged by madness. For paleness seizes the complexion, the eyes are weighed down, the spirit is inflamed, while the limbs are chilled, there is frenzy in the heart, there is gnashing with the teeth." Therefore envy is not a sin.
Sed contra est quod dicitur ad Gal. V, non efficiamur inanis gloriae cupidi, invicem provocantes, invicem invidentes. On the contrary, It is written (Gal. 5:26): "Let us not be made desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, invidia est tristitia de alienis bonis. Sed haec tristitia potest contingere quatuor modis. Uno quidem modo, quando aliquis dolet de bono alicuius inquantum ex eo timetur nocumentum vel sibi ipsi vel etiam aliis bonis. Et talis tristitia non est invidia, ut dictum est; et potest esse sine peccato. Unde Gregorius, XXII Moral., ait, evenire plerumque solet ut, non amissa caritate, et inimici nos ruina laetificet, et rursum eius gloria sine invidiae culpa contristet, cum et ruente eo quosdam bene erigi credimus, et proficiente illo plerosque iniuste opprimi formidamus. I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), envy is sorrow for another's good. Now this sorrow may come about in four ways. First, when a man grieves for another's good, through fear that it may cause harm either to himself, or to some other goods. This sorrow is not envy, as stated above (Article [1]), and may be void of sin. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xxii, 11): "It very often happens that without charity being lost, both the destruction of an enemy rejoices us, and again his glory, without any sin of envy, saddens us, since, when he falls, we believe that some are deservedly set up, and when he prospers, we dread lest many suffer unjustly."
Alio modo potest aliquis tristari de bono alterius, non ex eo quod ipse habet bonum, sed ex eo quod nobis deest bonum illud quod ipse habet. Et hoc proprie est zelus; ut philosophus dicit, in II Rhet. Et si iste zelus sit circa bona honesta, laudabilis est, secundum illud I ad Cor. XIV, aemulamini spiritualia. Si autem sit de bonis temporalibus, potest esse cum peccato, et sine peccato. Tertio modo aliquis tristatur de bono alterius inquantum ille cui accidit bonum est eo indignus. Quae quidem tristitia non potest oriri ex bonis honestis, ex quibus aliquis iustus efficitur; sed sicut philosophus dicit, in II Rhet., est de divitiis et de talibus, quae possunt provenire dignis et indignis. Et haec tristitia, secundum ipsum, vocatur Nemesis, et pertinet ad bonos mores. Sed hoc ideo dicit quia considerabat ipsa bona temporalia secundum se, prout possunt magna videri non respicientibus ad aeterna. Sed secundum doctrinam fidei, temporalia bona quae indignis proveniunt ex iusta Dei ordinatione disponuntur vel ad eorum correctionem vel ad eorum damnationem, et huiusmodi bona quasi nihil sunt in comparatione ad bona futura, quae servantur bonis. Et ideo huiusmodi tristitia prohibetur in Scriptura sacra, secundum illud Psalm., noli aemulari in malignantibus, neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem. Et alibi, pene effusi sunt gressus mei, quia zelavi super iniquos, pacem peccatorum videns. Quarto aliquis tristatur de bonis alicuius inquantum alter excedit ipsum in bonis. Et hoc proprie est invidia. Et istud semper est pravum, ut etiam philosophus dicit, in II Rhet., quia dolet de eo de quo est gaudendum, scilicet de bono proximi. Secondly, we may grieve over another's good, not because he has it, but because the good which he has, we have not: and this, properly speaking, is zeal, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 9). And if this zeal be about virtuous goods, it is praiseworthy, according to 1 Cor. 14:1: "Be zealous for spiritual gifts": while, if it be about temporal goods, it may be either sinful or sinless. Thirdly, one may grieve over another's good, because he who happens to have that good is unworthy of it. Such sorrow as this cannot be occasioned by virtuous goods, which make a man righteous, but, as the Philosopher states, is about riches, and those things which can accrue to the worthy and the unworthy; and he calls this sorrow {nemesis} [*The nearest equivalent is "indignation." The use of the word "nemesis" to signify "revenge" does not represent the original Greek.], saying that it belongs to good morals. But he says this because he considered temporal goods in themselves, in so far as they may seem great to those who look not to eternal goods: whereas, according to the teaching of faith, temporal goods that accrue to those who are unworthy, are so disposed according to God's just ordinance, either for the correction of those men, or for their condemnation, and such goods are as nothing in comparison with the goods to come, which are prepared for good men. Wherefore sorrow of this kind is forbidden in Holy Writ, according to Ps. 36:1: "Be not emulous of evil doers, nor envy them that work iniquity," and elsewhere (Ps. 72:2,3): "My steps had well nigh slipped, for I was envious of the wicked, when I saw the prosperity of sinners [*Douay: 'because I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners']." Fourthly, we grieve over a man's good, in so far as his good surpasses ours; this is envy properly speaking, and is always sinful, as also the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 10), because to do so is to grieve over what should make us rejoice, viz. over our neighbor's good.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ibi sumitur invidia pro zelo quo quis debet incitari ad proficiendum cum melioribus. Reply to Objection 1: Envy there denotes the zeal with which we ought to strive to progress with those who are better than we are.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de tristitia alienorum bonorum secundum primum modum. Reply to Objection 2: This argument considers sorrow for another's good in the first sense given above.
Ad tertium dicendum quod invidia differt a zelo, sicut dictum est. Unde zelus aliquis potest esse bonus, sed invidia semper est mala. Reply to Objection 3: Envy differs from zeal, as stated above. Hence a certain zeal may be good, whereas envy is always evil.
Ad quartum dicendum quod nihil prohibet aliquod peccatum, ratione alicuius adiuncti, poenale esse; ut supra dictum est, cum de peccatis ageretur. Reply to Objection 4: Nothing hinders a sin from being penal accidentally, as stated above (FS, Question [87], Article [2]) when we were treating of sins.

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Whether envy is a mortal sin?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod invidia non sit peccatum mortale. Invidia enim, cum sit tristitia, est passio appetitus sensitivi. Sed in sensualitate non est peccatum mortale, sed solum in ratione; ut patet per Augustinum, XII de Trin. Ergo invidia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a mortal sin. For since envy is a kind of sorrow, it is a passion of the sensitive appetite. Now there is no mortal sin in the sensuality, but only in the reason, as Augustine declares (De Trin. xii, 12) [*Cf. FS, Question [74], Article [4] ]. Therefore envy is not a mortal sin. Aquin.: SMT SS
Praeterea, in infantibus non potest esse peccatum mortale. Sed in eis potest esse invidia, dicit enim Augustinus, in I Confess., vidi ego et expertus sum zelantem puerum, nondum loquebatur, et intuebatur pallidus amaro aspectu collactaneum suum. Ergo invidia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 2: Further, there cannot be mortal sin in infants. But envy can be in them, for Augustine says (Confess. i): "I myself have seen and known even a baby envious, it could not speak, yet it turned pale and looked bitterly on its foster-brother." Therefore envy is not a mortal sin.
Praeterea, omne peccatum mortale alicui virtuti contrariatur. Sed invidia non contrariatur alicui virtuti, sed Nemesi, quae est quaedam passio; ut patet per philosophum, in II Rhet. Ergo invidia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 3: Further, every mortal sin is contrary to some virtue. But envy is contrary, not to a virtue but to {nemesis}, which is a passion, according to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 9). Therefore envy is not a mortal sin.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Iob V, parvulum occidit invidia. Nihil autem occidit spiritualiter nisi peccatum mortale. Ergo invidia est peccatum mortale. On the contrary, It is written (Job 5:2): "Envy slayeth the little one." Now nothing slays spiritually, except mortal sin. Therefore envy is a mortal sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod invidia ex genere suo est peccatum mortale. Genus enim peccati ex obiecto consideratur. Invidia autem, secundum rationem sui obiecti, contrariatur caritati, per quam est vita animae spiritualis, secundum illud I Ioan. III, nos scimus quoniam translati sumus de morte ad vitam, quoniam diligimus fratres. Utriusque enim obiectum, et caritatis et invidiae, est bonum proximi, sed secundum contrarium motum, nam caritas gaudet de bono proximi, invidia autem de eodem tristatur, ut ex dictis patet. Unde manifestum est quod invidia ex suo genere est peccatum mortale. I answer that, Envy is a mortal sin, in respect of its genus. For the genus of a sin is taken from its object; and envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life, according to 1 Jn. 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren." Now the object both of charity and of envy is our neighbor's good, but by contrary movements, since charity rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it, as stated above (Article [1]). Therefore it is evident that envy is a mortal sin in respect of its genus.
Sed sicut supra dictum est, in quolibet genere peccati mortalis inveniuntur aliqui imperfecti motus in sensualitate existentes qui sunt peccata venialia, sicut in genere adulterii primus motus concupiscentiae, et in genere homicidii primus motus irae. Ita etiam et in genere invidiae inveniuntur aliqui primi motus quandoque etiam in viris perfectis, qui sunt peccata venialia. Nevertheless, as stated above (Question [35], Article [4]; FS, Question [72], Article [5], ad 1), in every kind of mortal sin we find certain imperfect movements in the sensuality, which are venial sins: such are the first movement of concupiscence, in the genus of adultery, and the first movement of anger, in the genus of murder, and so in the genus of envy we find sometimes even in perfect men certain first movements, which are venial sins.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod motus invidiae secundum quod est passio sensualitatis, est quoddam imperfectum in genere actuum humanorum, quorum principium est ratio. Unde talis invidia non est peccatum mortale. Et similis est ratio de invidia parvulorum, in quibus non est usus rationis. Reply to Objection 1: The movement of envy in so far as it is a passion of the sensuality, is an imperfect thing in the genus of human acts, the principle of which is the reason, so that envy of that kind is not a mortal sin. The same applies to the envy of little children who have not the use of reason:
Unde patet responsio ad secundum. wherefore the Reply to the Second Objection is manifest.
Ad tertium dicendum quod invidia, secundum philosophum, in II Rhet. opponitur et Nemesi et misericordiae, sed secundum diversa. Nam misericordiae opponitur directe, secundum contrarietatem principalis obiecti, invidus enim tristatur de bono proximi; misericors autem tristatur de malo proximi. Unde invidi non sunt misericordes, sicut ibidem dicitur, nec e converso. Ex parte vero eius de cuius bono tristatur invidus, opponitur invidia Nemesi, Nemeseticus enim tristatur de bono indigne agentium, secundum illud Psalm., zelavi super iniquos, pacem peccatorum videns; invidus autem tristatur de bono eorum qui sunt digni. Unde patet quod prima contrarietas est magis directa quam secunda. Misericordia autem quaedam virtus est, et caritatis proprius effectus. Unde invidia misericordiae opponitur et caritati. Reply to Objection 3: According to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 9), envy is contrary both to {nemesis} and to pity, but for different reasons. For it is directly contrary to pity, their principal objects being contrary to one another, since the envious man grieves over his neighbor's good, whereas the pitiful man grieves over his neighbor's evil, so that the envious have no pity, as he states in the same passage, nor is the pitiful man envious. On the other hand, envy is contrary to {nemesis} on the part of the man whose good grieves the envious man, for {nemesis} is sorrow for the good of the undeserving according to Ps. 72:3: "I was envious of the wicked, when I saw the prosperity of sinners" [*Douay: 'because I had a zeal on occasion of the wicked, seeing the prosperity of sinners'], whereas the envious grieves over the good of those who are deserving of it. Hence it is clear that the former contrariety is more direct than the latter. Now pity is a virtue, and an effect proper to charity: so that envy is contrary to pity and charity.

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Whether envy is a capital vice?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod invidia non sit vitium capitale. Vitia enim capitalia distinguuntur contra filias capitalium vitiorum. Sed invidia est filia inanis gloriae, dicit enim philosophus, in II Rhet., quod amatores honoris et gloriae magis invident. Ergo invidia non est vitium capitale. Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a capital vice. For the capital vices are distinct from their daughters. Now envy is the daughter of vainglory; for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10) that "those who love honor and glory are more envious." Therefore envy is not a capital vice.
Praeterea, vitia capitalia videntur esse leviora quam alia quae ex eis oriuntur, dicit enim Gregorius, XXXI Moral., prima vitia deceptae menti quasi sub quadam ratione se ingerunt, sed quae sequuntur, dum mentem ad omnem insaniam protrahunt, quasi bestiali clamore mentem confundunt. Sed invidia videtur esse gravissimum peccatum, dicit enim Gregorius, V Moral., quamvis per omne vitium quod perpetratur humano cordi antiqui hostis virus infunditur, in hac tamen nequitia tota sua viscera serpens concutit, et imprimendae malitiae pestem vomit. Ergo invidia non est vitium capitale. Objection 2: Further, the capital vices seem to be less grave than the other vices which arise from them. For Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45): "The leading vices seem to worm their way into the deceived mind under some kind of pretext, but those which follow them provoke the soul to all kinds of outrage, and confuse the mind with their wild outcry." Now envy is seemingly a most grave sin, for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46): "Though in every evil thing that is done, the venom of our old enemy is infused into the heart of man, yet in this wickedness the serpent stirs his whole bowels and discharges the bane of spite fitted to enter deep into the mind." Therefore envy is not a capital sin.
Praeterea, videtur quod inconvenienter eius filiae assignentur a Gregorio, XXXI Moral., ubi dicit quod de invidia oritur odium, susurratio, detractio, exultatio in adversis proximi et afflictio in prosperis. Exultatio enim in adversis proximi, et afflictio in prosperis, idem videtur esse quod invidia, ut ex praemissis patet. Non ergo ista debent poni ut filiae invidiae. Objection 3: Further, it seems that its daughters are unfittingly assigned by Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45), who says that from envy arise "hatred, tale-bearing, detraction, joy at our neighbor's misfortunes, and grief for his prosperity." For joy at our neighbor's misfortunes and grief for his prosperity seem to be the same as envy, as appears from what has been said above (Article [3]). Therefore these should not be assigned as daughters of envy.
Sed contra est auctoritas Gregorii, XXXI Moral., qui ponit invidiam vitium capitale, et ei praedictas filias assignat. On the contrary stands the authority of Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) who states that envy is a capital sin and assigns the aforesaid daughters thereto.
Respondeo dicendum quod sicut acedia est tristitia de bono spirituali divino, ita invidia est tristitia de bono proximi. Dictum est autem supra acediam esse vitium capitale, ea ratione quia ex acedia homo impellitur ad aliqua facienda vel ut fugiat tristitiam vel ut tristitiae satisfaciat. Unde eadem ratione invidia ponitur vitium capitale. I answer that, Just as sloth is grief for a Divine spiritual good, so envy is grief for our neighbor's good. Now it has been stated above (Question [35], Article [4]) that sloth is a capital vice for the reason that it incites man to do certain things, with the purpose either of avoiding sorrow or of satisfying its demands. Wherefore envy is accounted a capital vice for the same reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Gregorius dicit, in XXXI Moral. capitalia vitia tanta sibi coniunctione coniunguntur ut non nisi unum de altero proferatur. Prima namque superbiae soboles inanis est gloria, quae dum oppressam mentem corruperit, mox invidiam gignit, quia dum vani nominis potentiam appetit, ne quis hanc alius adipisci valeat, tabescit. Non est ergo contra rationem vitii capitalis quod ipsum ex alio oriatur, sed quod non habeat aliquam principalem rationem producendi ex se multa genera peccatorum. Forte tamen propter hoc quod invidia manifeste ex inani gloria nascitur, non ponitur vitium capitale neque ab Isidoro, in libro de summo bono, neque a Cassiano, in libro de Instit. Coenob. Reply to Objection 1: As Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45), "the capital vices are so closely akin to one another that one springs from the other. For the first offspring of pride is vainglory, which by corrupting the mind it occupies begets envy, since while it craves for the power of an empty name, it repines for fear lest another should acquire that power." Consequently the notion of a capital vice does not exclude its originating from another vice, but it demands that it should have some principal reason for being itself the origin of several kinds of sin. However it is perhaps because envy manifestly arises from vainglory, that it is not reckoned a capital sin, either by Isidore (De Summo Bono) or by Cassian (De Instit. Caenob. v, 1).
Ad secundum dicendum quod ex verbis illis non habetur quod invidia sit maximum peccatorum, sed quod quando Diabolus invidiam suggerit, ad hoc hominem inducit quod ipse principaliter in corde habet; quia sicut ibi inducitur consequenter, invidia Diaboli mors introivit in orbem terrarum. Reply to Objection 2: It does not follow from the passage quoted that envy is the greatest of sins, but that when the devil tempts us to envy, he is enticing us to that which has its chief place in his heart, for as quoted further on in the same passage, "by the envy of the devil, death came into the world" (Wis. 2:24).
Est tamen quaedam invidia quae inter gravissima peccata computatur, scilicet invidentia fraternae gratiae, secundum quod aliquis dolet de ipso augmento gratiae Dei, non solum de bono proximi. Unde ponitur peccatum in spiritum sanctum, quia per hanc invidentiam homo quodammodo invidet spiritui sancto, qui in suis operibus glorificatur. There is, however, a kind of envy which is accounted among the most grievous sins, viz. envy of another's spiritual good, which envy is a sorrow for the increase of God's grace, and not merely for our neighbor's good. Hence it is accounted a sin against the Holy Ghost, because thereby a man envies, as it were, the Holy Ghost Himself, Who is glorified in His works.
Ad tertium dicendum quod numerus filiarum invidiae sic potest sumi. Quia in conatu invidiae est aliquid tanquam principium, et aliquid tanquam medium, et aliquid tanquam terminus. Principium quidem est ut aliquis diminuat gloriam alterius vel in occulto, et sic est susurratio; vel manifeste, et sic est detractio. Medium autem est quia aliquis intendens diminuere gloriam alterius aut potest, et sic est exultatio in adversis; aut non potest, et sic est afflictio in prosperis. Terminus autem est in ipso odio, quia sicut bonum delectans causat amorem, ita tristitia causat odium, ut supra dictum est. Afflictio autem in prosperis proximi uno modo est ipsa invidia, inquantum scilicet aliquis tristatur de prosperis alicuius secundum quod habent quandam gloriam. Alio vero modo est filia invidiae, secundum quod prospera proximi eveniunt contra conatum invidentis, qui nititur impedire. Exultatio autem in adversis non est directe idem quod invidia, sed ex ea sequitur, nam ex tristitia de bono proximi, quae est invidia, sequitur exultatio de malo eiusdem. Reply to Objection 3: The number of envy's daughters may be understood for the reason that in the struggle aroused by envy there is something by way of beginning, something by way of middle, and something by way of term. The beginning is that a man strives to lower another's reputation, and this either secretly, and then we have "tale-bearing," or openly, and then we have "detraction." The middle consists in the fact that when a man aims at defaming another, he is either able to do so, and then we have "joy at another's misfortune," or he is unable, and then we have "grief at another's prosperity." The term is hatred itself, because just as good which delights causes love, so does sorrow cause hatred, as stated above (Question [34], Article [6]). Grief at another's prosperity is in one way the very same as envy, when, to Wit, a man grieves over another's prosperity, in so far as it gives the latter a good name, but in another way it is a daughter of envy, in so far as the envious man sees his neighbor prosper notwithstanding his efforts to prevent it. On the other hand, "joy at another's misfortune" is not directly the same as envy, but is a result thereof, because grief over our neighbor's good which is envy, gives rise to joy in his evil.

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