St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]


Deinde considerandum est de speciebus modestiae.
  • Et primo, de humilitate, et superbia, quae ei opponitur;
  • secundo, de studiositate, et curiositate sibi opposita;
  • tertio, de modestia secundum quod est in verbis vel factis;
  • quarto, de modestia secundum quod est circa exteriorem cultum.
We must consider next the species of modesty:
  • (1) Humility, and pride which is opposed to it;
  • (2) Studiousness, and its opposite, Curiosity;
  • (3) Modesty as affecting words or deeds;
  • (4) Modesty as affecting outward attire.
Circa humilitatem quaeruntur sex. Concerning humility there are six points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum humilitas sit virtus. (1) Whether humility is a virtue?
Secundo, utrum consistat in appetitu, vel in iudicio rationis. (2) Whether it resides in the appetite, or in the judgment of reason?
Tertio, utrum aliquis per humilitatem se debeat omnibus subiicere. (3) Whether by humility one ought to subject oneself to all men?
Quarto, utrum sit pars modestiae vel temperantiae. (4) Whether it is a part of modesty or temperance?
Quinto, de comparatione eius ad alias virtutes. (5) Of its comparison with the other virtues;
Sexto, de gradibus humilitatis. (6) Of the degrees of humility.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 1  [ << | >> ]

Whether humility is a virtue?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod humilitas non sit virtus. Virtus enim importat rationem boni. Sed humilitas videtur importare rationem mali poenalis, secundum illud Psalmi. Humiliaverunt in compedibus pedes eius. Ergo humilitas non est virtus. Objection 1: It would seem that humility is not a virtue. For virtue conveys the notion of a penal evil, according to Ps. 104:18, "They humbled his feet in fetters." Therefore humility is not a virtue.
Praeterea, virtus et vitium opponuntur. Sed humilitas quandoque sonat in vitium, dicitur enim Eccli. XIX, est qui nequiter se humiliat. Ergo humilitas non est virtus. Objection 2: Further, virtue and vice are mutually opposed. Now humility seemingly denotes a vice, for it is written (Ecclus. 19:23): "There is one that humbleth himself wickedly." Therefore humility is not a virtue.
Praeterea, nulla virtus opponitur alii virtuti. Sed humilitas videtur opponi virtuti magnanimitatis, quae tendit in magna, humilitas autem ipsa refugit. Ergo videtur quod humilitas non sit virtus. Objection 3: Further, no virtue is opposed to another virtue. But humility is apparently opposed to the virtue of magnanimity, which aims at great things, whereas humility shuns them. Therefore it would seem that humility is not a virtue.
Praeterea, virtus est dispositio perfecti, ut dicitur in VII Physic. Sed humilitas videtur esse imperfectorum, unde et Deo non convenit humiliari, qui nulli subiici potest. Ergo videtur quod humilitas non sit virtus. Objection 4: Further, virtue is "the disposition of that which is perfect" (Phys. vii, text. 17). But humility seemingly belongs to the imperfect: wherefore it becomes not God to be humble, since He can be subject to none. Therefore it seems that humility is not a virtue.
Praeterea, omnis virtus moralis est circa actiones vel passiones, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Sed humilitas non connumeratur a philosopho inter virtutes quae sunt circa passiones, nec etiam continetur sub iustitia, quae est circa actiones. Ergo videtur quod non sit virtus. Objection 5: Further, every moral virtue is about actions and passions, according to Ethic. ii, 3. But humility is not reckoned by the Philosopher among the virtues that are about passions, nor is it comprised under justice which is about actions. Therefore it would seem not to be a virtue.
Sed contra est quod Origenes dicit, exponens illud Luc. I, respexit humilitatem ancillae suae, proprie in Scripturis una de virtutibus humilitas praedicatur, ait quippe salvator, discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde. On the contrary, Origen commenting on Lk. 1:48, "He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid," says (Hom. viii in Luc.): "One of the virtues, humility, is particularly commended in Holy Writ; for our Saviour said: 'Learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart.'"
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de passionibus ageretur, bonum arduum habet aliquid unde attrahit appetitum, scilicet ipsam rationem boni, et habet aliquid retrahens, scilicet ipsam difficultatem adipiscendi, secundum quorum primum insurgit motus spei, et secundum aliud motus desperationis. Dictum est autem supra quod circa motus appetitivos qui se habent per modum impulsionis, oportet esse virtutem moralem moderantem et refrenantem, circa illos autem qui se habent per modum retractionis, oportet esse virtutem moralem firmantem et impellentem. Et ideo circa appetitum boni ardui necessaria est duplex virtus. Una quidem quae temperet et refrenet animum, ne immoderate tendat in excelsa, et hoc pertinet ad virtutem humilitatis. Alia vero quae firmat animum contra desperationem, et impellit ipsum ad prosecutionem magnorum secundum rationem rectam, et haec est magnanimitas. Et sic patet quod humilitas est quaedam virtus. I answer that, As stated above (FS, Question [23], Article [2]) when we were treating of the passions, the difficult good has something attractive to the appetite, namely the aspect of good, and likewise something repulsive to the appetite, namely the difficulty of obtaining it. In respect of the former there arises the movement of hope, and in respect of the latter, the movement of despair. Now it has been stated above (FS, Question [61], Article [2]) that for those appetitive movements which are a kind of impulse towards an object, there is need of a moderating and restraining moral virtue, while for those which are a kind of recoil, there is need, on the part of the appetite, of a moral virtue to strengthen it and urge it on. Wherefore a twofold virtue is necessary with regard to the difficult good: one, to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately; and this belongs to the virtue of humility: and another to strengthen the mind against despair, and urge it on to the pursuit of great things according to right reason; and this is magnanimity. Therefore it is evident that humility is a virtue.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., humilis dicitur quasi humi acclinis, idest, imis inhaerens. Quod quidem contingit dupliciter. Uno modo, ex principio extrinseco, puta cum aliquis ab alio deiicitur. Et sic humilitas est poena. Alio modo, a principio intrinseco. Et hoc potest fieri quandoque quidem bene, puta cum aliquis, considerans suum defectum, tenet se in infimis secundum suum modum; sicut Abraham dixit ad dominum, Gen. XVIII, loquar ad dominum meum, cum sim pulvis et cinis. Et hoc modo humilitas ponitur virtus. Quandoque autem potest fieri male, puta cum homo, honorem suum non intelligens, comparat se iumentis insipientibus, et fit similis illis. Reply to Objection 1: As Isidore observes (Etym. x), "a humble man is so called because he is, as it were, 'humo acclinis'" [*Literally, 'bent to the ground'], i.e. inclined to the lowest place. This may happen in two ways. First, through an extrinsic principle, for instance when one is cast down by another, and thus humility is a punishment. Secondly, through an intrinsic principle: and this may be done sometimes well, for instance when a man, considering his own failings, assumes the lowest place according to his mode: thus Abraham said to the Lord (Gn. 18:27), "I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes." In this way humility is a virtue. Sometimes, however, this may be ill-done, for instance when man, "not understanding his honor, compares himself to senseless beasts, and becomes like to them" (Ps. 48:13).
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, humilitas, secundum quod est virtus, in sui ratione importat quandam laudabilem deiectionem ad ima. Hoc autem quandoque fit solum secundum signa exteriora, secundum fictionem. Unde haec est falsa humilitas, de qua Augustinus dicit, in quadam epistola, quod est magna superbia, quia scilicet videtur tendere ad excellentiam gloriae. Quandoque autem fit secundum interiorem motum animae. Et secundum hoc humilitas proprie ponitur virtus, quia virtus non consistit in exterioribus, sed principaliter in interiori electione mentis, ut patet per philosophum, in libro Ethicorum. Reply to Objection 2: As stated (ad 1), humility, in so far as it is a virtue, conveys the notion of a praiseworthy self-abasement to the lowest place. Now this is sometimes done merely as to outward signs and pretense: wherefore this is "false humility," of which Augustine says in a letter (Ep. cxlix) that it is "grievous pride," since to wit, it would seem to aim at excellence of glory. Sometimes, however, this is done by an inward movement of the soul, and in this way, properly speaking, humility is reckoned a virtue, because virtue does not consist externals, but chiefly in the inward choice of the mind, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. ii, 5).
Ad tertium dicendum quod humilitas reprimit appetitum, ne tendat in magna praeter rationem rectam. Magnanimitas autem animum ad magna impellit secundum rationem rectam. Unde patet quod magnanimitas non opponitur humilitati, sed conveniunt in hoc quod utraque est secundum rationem rectam. Reply to Objection 3: Humility restrains the appetite from aiming at great things against right reason: while magnanimity urges the mind to great things in accord with right reason. Hence it is clear that magnanimity is not opposed to humility: indeed they concur in this, that each is according to right reason.
Ad quartum dicendum quod perfectum dicitur aliquid dupliciter. Uno modo, simpliciter, in quo scilicet nullus defectus invenitur, nec secundum suam naturam, nec per respectum ad aliquid aliud. Et sic solus Deus est perfectus, cui secundum naturam divinam non competit humilitas, sed solum secundum naturam assumptam. Alio modo potest dici aliquid perfectum secundum quid, puta secundum suam naturam, vel secundum statum aut tempus. Et hoc modo homo virtuosus est perfectus. Cuius tamen perfectio in comparatione ad Deum deficiens invenitur, secundum illud Isaiae XL, omnes gentes, quasi non sint, sic sunt coram eo. Et sic cuilibet homini potest convenire humilitas. Reply to Objection 4: A thing is said to be perfect in two ways. First absolutely; such a thing contains no defect, neither in its nature nor in respect of anything else, and thus God alone is perfect. To Him humility is fitting, not as regards His Divine nature, but only as regards His assumed nature. Secondly, a thing may be said to be perfect in a restricted sense, for instance in respect of its nature or state or time. Thus a virtuous man is perfect: although in comparison with God his perfection is found wanting, according to the word of Is. 40:17, "All nations are before Him as if they had no being at all." In this way humility may be competent to every man.
Ad quintum dicendum quod philosophus intendebat agere de virtutibus secundum quod ordinantur ad vitam civilem, in qua subiectio unius hominis ad alterum secundum legis ordinem determinatur, et ideo continetur sub iustitia legali. Humilitas autem, secundum quod est specialis virtus, praecipue respicit subiectionem hominis ad Deum, propter quem etiam aliis humiliando se subiicit. Reply to Objection 5: The Philosopher intended to treat of virtues as directed to civic life, wherein the subjection of one man to another is defined according to the ordinance of the law, and consequently is a matter of legal justice. But humility, considered as a special virtue, regards chiefly the subjection of man to God, for Whose sake he humbles himself by subjecting himself to others.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 2  [ << | >> ]

Whether humility has to do with the appetite?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod humilitas non consistat circa appetitum, sed magis circa iudicium rationis. Humilitas enim superbiae opponitur. Sed superbia maxime consistit in his quae pertinent ad cognitionem. Dicit enim Gregorius, XXXIV Moral., quod superbia, cum exterius usque ad corpus extenditur, prius per oculos indicatur; unde etiam in Psalmo dicitur, domine, non est exaltatum cor meum, neque elati sunt oculi mei, oculi autem maxime deserviunt cognitioni. Ergo videtur quod humilitas maxime sit circa cognitionem, quam de se aliquis aestimat parvam. Objection 1: It would seem that humility concerns, not the appetite but the judgment of reason. Because humility is opposed to pride. Now pride concerns things pertaining to knowledge: for Gregory says (Moral. xxxiv, 22) that "pride, when it extends outwardly to the body, is first of all shown in the eyes": wherefore it is written (Ps. 130:1), "Lord, my heart is not exalted, nor are my eyes lofty." Now eyes are the chief aids to knowledge. Therefore it would seem that humility is chiefly concerned with knowledge, whereby one thinks little of oneself.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de Virginit., quod humilitas pene tota disciplina Christiana est. Nihil ergo quod in disciplina Christiana continetur, repugnat humilitati. Sed in disciplina Christiana admonemur ad appetendum meliora, secundum illud I ad Cor. XII, aemulamini charismata meliora. Ergo ad humilitatem non pertinet reprimere appetitum arduorum, sed magis aestimationem. Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (De Virginit. xxxi) that "almost the whole of Christian teaching is humility." Consequently nothing contained in Christian teaching is incompatible with humility. Now Christian teaching admonishes us to seek the better things, according to 1 Cor. 12:31, "Be zealous for the better gifts." Therefore it belongs to humility to restrain not the desire of difficult things but the estimate thereof.
Praeterea, ad eandem virtutem pertinet refrenare superfluum motum, et firmare animum contra superfluam retractionem, sicut eadem fortitudo est quae refrenat audaciam, et quae firmat animum contra timorem. Sed magnanimitas firmat animum contra difficultates quae accidunt in prosecutione magnorum. Si ergo humilitas refrenaret appetitum magnorum, sequeretur quod humilitas non esset virtus distincta a magnanimitate. Quod patet esse falsum. Non ergo humilitas consistit circa appetitum magnorum, sed magis circa aestimationem. Objection 3: Further, it belongs to the same virtue both to restrain excessive movement, and to strengthen the soul against excessive withdrawal: thus fortitude both curbs daring and fortifies the soul against fear. Now it is magnanimity that strengthens the soul against the difficulties that occur in the pursuit of great things. Therefore if humility were to curb the desire of great things, it would follow that humility is not a distinct virtue from magnanimity, which is evidently false. Therefore humility is concerned, not with the desire but with the estimate of great things.
Praeterea, Andronicus ponit humilitatem circa exteriorem cultum, dicit enim quod humilitas est habitus non superabundans sumptibus et praeparationibus. Ergo non est circa motum appetitus. Objection 4: Further, Andronicus [*De Affectibus] assigns humility to outward show; for he says that humility is "the habit of avoiding excessive expenditure and parade." Therefore it is not concerned with the movement of the appetite.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de Poenit., quod humilis est qui eligit abiici in domo domini, magis quam habitare in tabernaculis peccatorum. Sed electio pertinet ad appetitum. Ergo humilitas consistit circa appetitum, magis quam circa aestimationem. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Poenit. [*Serm. cccli]) that "the humble man is one who chooses to be an abject in the house of the Lord, rather than to dwell in the tents of sinners." But choice concerns the appetite. Therefore humility has to do with the appetite rather than with the estimative power.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ad humilitatem proprie pertinet ut aliquis reprimat seipsum, ne feratur in ea quae sunt supra se. Ad hoc autem necessarium est ut aliquis cognoscat id in quo deficit a proportione eius quod suam virtutem excedit. Et ideo cognitio proprii defectus pertinet ad humilitatem sicut regula quaedam directiva appetitus. Sed in ipso appetitu consistit humilitas essentialiter. Et ideo dicendum est quod humilitas proprie est moderativa motus appetitus. I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), it belongs properly to humility, that a man restrain himself from being borne towards that which is above him. For this purpose he must know his disproportion to that which surpasses his capacity. Hence knowledge of one's own deficiency belongs to humility, as a rule guiding the appetite. Nevertheless humility is essentially in the appetite itself; and consequently it must be said that humility, properly speaking, moderates the movement of the appetite.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod extollentia oculorum est quoddam signum superbiae, inquantum excludit reverentiam et timorem. Consueverunt enim timentes et verecundati maxime oculos deprimere, quasi non audentes se aliis comparare. Non autem ex hoc sequitur quod humilitas essentialiter circa cognitionem consistat. Reply to Objection 1: Lofty eyes are a sign of pride, inasmuch as it excludes respect and fear: for fearing and respectful persons are especially wont to lower the eyes, as though not daring to compare themselves with others. But it does not follow from this that humility is essentially concerned with knowledge.
Ad secundum dicendum quod tendere in aliqua maiora ex propriarum virium confidentia, humilitati contrariatur. Sed quod aliquis ex confidentia divini auxilii in maiora tendat, hoc non est contra humilitatem, praesertim cum ex hoc aliquis magis apud Deum exaltetur quod ei se magis per humilitatem subiicit. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Poenit., aliud est levare se ad Deum, aliud est levare se contra Deum. Qui ante illum se proiicit, ab illo erigitur, qui adversus illum se erigit, ab illo proiicitur. Reply to Objection 2: It is contrary to humility to aim at greater things through confiding in one's own powers: but to aim at greater things through confidence in God's help, is not contrary to humility; especially since the more one subjects oneself to God, the more is one exalted in God's sight. Hence Augustine says (De Virginit. xxxi): "It is one thing to raise oneself to God, and another to raise oneself up against God. He that abases himself before Him, him He raiseth up; he that raises himself up against Him, him He casteth down."
Ad tertium dicendum quod in fortitudine invenitur eadem ratio refrenandi audaciam et firmandi animum contra timorem, utriusque enim ratio est ex hoc quod homo debet bonum rationis periculis mortis praestare. Sed in refrenando praesumptionem spei, quod pertinet ad humilitatem, et in firmando animum contra desperationem, quod pertinet ad magnanimitatem, est alia et alia ratio. Nam ratio firmandi animum contra desperationem est adeptio proprii boni, ne scilicet, desperando, homo se indignum reddat bono quod sibi competebat. Sed in reprimendo praesumptionem spei, ratio praecipua sumitur ex reverentia divina, ex qua contingit ut homo non plus sibi attribuat quam sibi competat secundum gradum quem est a Deo sortitus. Unde humilitas praecipue videtur importare subiectionem hominis ad Deum. Et propter hoc Augustinus, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, humilitatem, quam intelligit per paupertatem spiritus, attribuit dono timoris, quo homo Deum reveretur. Et inde est quod fortitudo aliter se habet ad audaciam quam humilitas ad spem. Nam fortitudo plus utitur audacia quam eam reprimat, unde superabundantia est ei similior quam defectus. Humilitas autem plus reprimit spem vel fiduciam de seipso quam ea utatur, unde magis opponitur sibi superabundantia quam defectus. Reply to Objection 3: In fortitude there is the same reason for restraining daring and for strengthening the soul against fear: since the reason in both cases is that man should set the good of reason before dangers of death. But the reason for restraining presumptuous hope which pertains to humility is not the same as the reason for strengthening the soul against despair. Because the reason for strengthening the soul against despair is the acquisition of one's proper good lest man, by despair, render himself unworthy of a good which was competent to him; while the chief reason for suppressing presumptuous hope is based on divine reverence, which shows that man ought not to ascribe to himself more than is competent to him according to the position in which God has placed him. Wherefore humility would seem to denote in the first place man's subjection to God; and for this reason Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4) ascribes humility, which he understands by poverty of spirit, to the gift of fear whereby man reveres God. Hence it follows that the relation of fortitude to daring differs from that of humility to hope. Because fortitude uses daring more than it suppresses it: so that excess of daring is more like fortitude than lack of daring is. On the other hand, humility suppresses hope or confidence in self more than it uses it; wherefore excessive self-confidence is more opposed to humility than lack of confidence is.
Ad quartum dicendum quod superabundantia in exterioribus sumptibus et praeparationibus solet ad quandam iactantiam fieri, quae per humilitatem reprimitur. Et quantum ad hoc, secundario consistit in exterioribus, prout sunt signa interioris appetitivi motus. Reply to Objection 4: Excess in outward expenditure and parade is wont to be done with a view of boasting, which is suppressed by humility. Accordingly humility has to do, in a secondary way, with externals, as signs of the inward movement of the appetite.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 3  [ << | >> ]

Whether one ought, by humility, to subject oneself to all men?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo non debeat se omnibus per humilitatem subiicere. Quia, sicut dictum est, humilitas praecipue consistit in subiectione hominis ad Deum. Sed id quod debetur Deo, non est homini exhibendum, ut patet in omnibus actibus latriae. Ergo homo per humilitatem non debet se homini subiicere. Objection 1: It would seem that one ought not, by humility, to subject oneself to all men. For, as stated above (Article [2], ad 3), humility consists chiefly in man's subjection to God. Now one ought not to offer to a man that which is due to God, as is the case with all acts of religious worship. Therefore, by humility, one ought not to subject oneself to man.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de Nat. et gratia, humilitas collocanda est in parte veritatis, non in parte falsitatis. Sed aliqui sunt in supremo statu, qui si se inferioribus subiicerent, absque falsitate hoc fieri non posset. Ergo homo non debet se omnibus per humilitatem subiicere. Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (De Nat. et Gratia xxxiv): "Humility should take the part of truth, not of falsehood." Now some men are of the highest rank, who cannot, without falsehood, subject themselves to their inferiors. Therefore one ought not, by humility, to subject oneself to all men.
Praeterea, nullus debet facere id quod vergat in detrimentum salutis alterius. Sed si aliquis per humilitatem se alteri subiiciat, quandoque hoc verget in detrimentum illius cui se subiicit, qui ex hoc superbiret vel contemneret, unde Augustinus dicit, in regula, ne, dum nimium servatur humilitas, regendi frangatur auctoritas. Ergo homo non debet se per humilitatem omnibus subiicere. Objection 3: Further no one ought to do that which conduces to the detriment of another's spiritual welfare. But if a man subject himself to another by humility, this is detrimental to the person to whom he subjects himself; for the latter might wax proud, or despise the other. Hence Augustine says in his Rule (Ep. ccxi): "Lest through excessive humility the superior lose his authority." Therefore a man ought not, by humility, to subject himself to all.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Philipp. II, in humilitate superiores sibi invicem arbitrantes. On the contrary, It is written (Phil. 2:3): "In humility, let each esteem others better than themselves."
Respondeo dicendum quod in homine duo possunt considerari, scilicet id quod est Dei, et id quod est hominis. Hominis autem est quidquid pertinet ad defectum, sed Dei est quidquid pertinet ad salutem et perfectionem, secundum illud Osee XIII, perditio tua, Israel, ex me tantum auxilium tuum. Humilitas autem, sicut dictum est, proprie respicit reverentiam qua homo Deo subiicitur. Et ideo quilibet homo, secundum id quod suum est, debet se cuilibet proximo subiicere quantum ad id quod est Dei in ipso. Non autem hoc requirit humilitas, ut aliquis id quod est Dei in seipso, subiiciat ei quod apparet esse Dei in altero. Nam illi qui dona Dei participant, cognoscunt se ea habere, secundum illud I ad Cor. II, ut sciamus quae a Deo donata sunt nobis. Et ideo absque praeiudicio humilitatis possunt dona quae ipsi acceperunt, praeferre donis Dei quae aliis apparent collata, sicut apostolus, ad Ephes. III, dicit, aliis generationibus non est agnitum filiis hominum, sicut nunc revelatum est sanctis apostolis eius. Similiter etiam non hoc requirit humilitas, ut aliquis id quod est suum in seipso, subiiciat ei quod est hominis in proximo. Alioquin, oporteret ut quilibet reputaret se magis peccatorem quolibet alio, cum tamen apostolus absque praeiudicio humilitatis dicat, Galat. II, nos natura Iudaei, et non ex gentibus peccatores. Potest tamen aliquis reputare aliquid boni esse in proximo quod ipse non habet, vel aliquid mali in se esse quod in alio non est, ex quo potest ei se subiicere per humilitatem. I answer that, We may consider two things in man, namely that which is God's, and that which is man's. Whatever pertains to defect is man's: but whatever pertains to man's welfare and perfection is God's, according to the saying of Osee 13:9, "Destruction is thy own, O Israel; thy help is only in Me." Now humility, as stated above (Article [1], ad 5; Article [2], ad 3), properly regards the reverence whereby man is subject to God. Wherefore every man, in respect of that which is his own, ought to subject himself to every neighbor, in respect of that which the latter has of God's: but humility does not require a man to subject what he has of God's to that which may seem to be God's in another. For those who have a share of God's gifts know that they have them, according to 1 Cor. 2:12: "That we may know the things that are given us from God." Wherefore without prejudice to humility they may set the gifts they have received from God above those that others appear to have received from Him; thus the Apostle says (Eph. 3:5): "(The mystery of Christ) was not known to the sons of men as it is now revealed to His holy apostles." In like manner. humility does not require a man to subject that which he has of his own to that which his neighbor has of man's: otherwise each one would have to esteem himself a greater sinner than anyone else: whereas the Apostle says without prejudice to humility (Gal. 2:15): "We by nature are Jews, and not of the Gentiles, sinners." Nevertheless a man may esteem his neighbor to have some good which he lacks himself, or himself to have some evil which another has not: by reason of which, he may subject himself to him with humility.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non solum debemus Deum revereri in seipso, sed etiam id quod est eius debemus revereri in quolibet, non tamen eodem modo reverentiae quo reveremur Deum. Et ideo per humilitatem debemus nos subiicere omnibus proximis propter Deum, secundum illud I Pet. II, subiecti estote omni humanae creaturae propter Deum, latriam tamen soli Deo debemus exhibere. Reply to Objection 1: We must not only revere God in Himself, but also that which is His in each one, although not with the same measure of reverence as we revere God. Wherefore we should subject ourselves with humility to all our neighbors for God's sake, according to 1 Pt. 2:13, "Be ye subject... to every human creature for God's sake"; but to God alone do we owe the worship of latria.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, si nos praeferamus id quod est Dei in proximo, ei quod est proprium in nobis, non possumus incurrere falsitatem. Unde super illud Philipp. II, superiores invicem arbitrantes, dicit Glossa, non hoc ita debemus aestimare ut nos aestimare fingamus, sed vere aestimemus posse aliquid esse occultum in alio quo nobis superior sit, etiam si bonum nostrum, quo illo videmur superiores esse, non sit occultum. Reply to Objection 2: If we set what our neighbor has of God's above that which we have of our own, we cannot incur falsehood. Wherefore a gloss [*St. Augustine, Questions. lxxxiii, qu. 71] on Phil. 2:3, "Esteem others better than themselves," says: "We must not esteem by pretending to esteem; but we should in truth think it possible for another person to have something that is hidden to us and whereby he is better than we are, although our own good whereby we are apparently better than he, be not hidden."
Ad tertium dicendum quod humilitas, sicut et ceterae virtutes, praecipue interius in anima consistit. Et ideo potest homo secundum interiorem actum animae alteri se subiicere, sine hoc quod occasionem habeat alicuius quod pertineat ad detrimentum suae salutis. Et hoc est quod Augustinus dicit, in regula, timore coram Deo praelatus substratus sit pedibus vestris. Sed in exterioribus humilitatis actibus, sicut et in actibus ceterarum virtutum, est debita moderatio adhibenda, ne possint vergere in detrimentum alterius. Si autem aliquis quod debet faciat, et alii ex hoc occasionem sumant peccati, non imputatur humiliter agenti, quia ille non scandalizat, quamvis alter scandalizetur. Reply to Objection 3: Humility, like other virtues, resides chiefly inwardly in the soul. Consequently a man, by an inward act of the soul, may subject himself to another, without giving the other man an occasion of detriment to his spiritual welfare. This is what Augustine means in his Rule (Ep. ccxi): "With fear, the superior should prostrate himself at your feet in the sight of God." On the other hand, due moderation must be observed in the outward acts of humility even as of other virtues, lest they conduce to the detriment of others. If, however, a man does as he ought, and others take therefrom an occasion of sin, this is not imputed to the man who acts with humility; since he does not give scandal, although others take it.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 4  [ << | >> ]

Whether humility is a part of modesty or temperance?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod humilitas non sit pars modestiae vel temperantiae. Humilitas enim praecipue respicit reverentiam qua quis subiicitur Deo, ut dictum est. Sed ad virtutem theologicam pertinet quod habeat Deum pro obiecto. Ergo humilitas magis debet poni virtus theologica quam pars temperantiae seu modestiae. Objection 1: It would seem that humility is not a part of modesty or temperance. For humility regards chiefly the reverence whereby one is subject to God, as stated above (Article [3]). Now it belongs to a theological virtue to have God for its object. Therefore humility should be reckoned a theological virtue rather than a part of temperance or modesty.
Praeterea, temperantia est in concupiscibili. Humilitas autem videtur esse in irascibili, sicut et superbia, quae ei opponitur, cuius obiectum est arduum. Ergo videtur quod humilitas non sit pars temperantiae vel modestiae. Objection 2: Further, temperance is in the concupiscible, whereas humility would seem to be in the irascible, just as pride which is opposed to it, and whose object is something difficult. Therefore apparently humility is not a part of temperance or modesty.
Praeterea, humilitas et magnanimitas circa eadem sunt, ut ex supra dictis patet. Sed magnanimitas non ponitur pars temperantiae, sed magis fortitudinis, ut supra habitum est. Ergo videtur quod humilitas non sit pars temperantiae vel modestiae. Objection 3: Further, humility and magnanimity are about the same object, as stated above (Article [1], ad 3). But magnanimity is reckoned a part, not of temperance but of fortitude, as stated above (Question [129], Article [5]). Therefore it would seem that humility is not a part of temperance or modesty.
Sed contra est quod Origenes dicit, super Lucam, si vis nomen huius audire virtutis, quomodo etiam a philosophis appelletur, ausculta eandem esse humilitatem quam respicit Deus, quae ab illis metriotes dicitur, idest mensuratio sive moderatio, quae manifeste pertinet ad modestiam et temperantiam. Ergo humilitas est pars modestiae et temperantiae. On the contrary, Origen says (Hom. viii super Luc.): "If thou wilt hear the name of this virtue, and what it was called by the philosophers, know that humility which God regards is the same as what they called {metriotes}, i.e. measure or moderation." Now this evidently pertains to modesty or temperance. Therefore humility is a part of modesty or temperance.
45488] II-IIae, q. 161 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, in assignando partes virtutibus praecipue attenditur similitudo quantum ad modum virtutis. Modus autem temperantiae, ex quo maxime laudem habet, est refrenatio vel repressio impetus alicuius passionis. Et ideo omnes virtutes refrenantes sive reprimentes impetus aliquarum affectionum, vel actiones moderantes, ponuntur partes temperantiae. Sicut autem mansuetudo reprimit motum irae, ita etiam humilitas reprimit motum spei, qui est motus spiritus in magna tendentis. Et ideo, sicut mansuetudo ponitur pars temperantiae, ita etiam humilitas. Unde et philosophus, in IV Ethic., eum qui tendit in parva secundum suum modum, dicit non esse magnanimum, sed temperatum, quem nos humilem dicere possumus. Et inter alias partes temperantiae, ratione superius dicta, continetur sub modestia, prout Tullius de ea loquitur, inquantum scilicet humilitas nihil est aliud quam quaedam moderatio spiritus. Unde et I Pet. III dicitur, in incorruptibilitate quieti ac modesti spiritus. I answer that, As stated above (Question [137], Article [2], ad 1; Question [157], Article [3], ad 2), in assigning parts to a virtue we consider chiefly the likeness that results from the mode of the virtue. Now the mode of temperance, whence it chiefly derives its praise, is the restraint or suppression of the impetuosity of a passion. Hence whatever virtues restrain or suppress, and the actions which moderate the impetuosity of the emotions, are reckoned parts of temperance. Now just as meekness suppresses the movement of anger, so does humility suppress the movement of hope, which is the movement of a spirit aiming at great things. Wherefore, like meekness, humility is accounted a part of temperance. For this reason the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 3) says that a man who aims at small things in proportion to his mode is not magnanimous but "temperate," and such a man we may call humble. Moreover, for the reason given above (Question [160], Article [2]), among the various parts of temperance, the one under which humility is comprised is modesty as understood by Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii, 54), inasmuch as humility is nothing else than a moderation of spirit: wherefore it is written (1 Pt. 3:4): "In the incorruptibility of a quiet and meek spirit."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod virtutes theologicae, quae sunt circa ultimum finem, qui est primum principium in appetibilibus, sunt causae omnium aliarum virtutum. Unde ex hoc quod humilitas causatur ex reverentia divina, non excluditur quin humilitas sit pars modestiae vel temperantiae. Reply to Objection 1: The theological virtues, whose object is our last end, which is the first principle in matters of appetite, are the causes of all the other virtues. Hence the fact that humility is caused by reverence for God does not prevent it from being a part of modesty or temperance.
Ad secundum dicendum quod partes principalibus virtutibus assignantur, non secundum convenientiam in subiecto vel in materia, sed secundum convenientiam in modo formali, ut dictum est. Et ideo, licet humilitas sit in irascibili sicut in subiecto, ponitur tamen pars modestiae et temperantiae propter modum. Reply to Objection 2: Parts are assigned to a principal virtue by reason of a sameness, not of subject or matter, but of formal mode, as stated above (Question [137], Article [2], ad 1; Question [157], Article [3], ad 2). Consequently, although humility is in the irascible as its subject, it is assigned as a part of modesty or temperance by reason of its mode.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, licet magnanimitas et humilitas in materia conveniant, differunt tamen in modo, ratione cuius magnanimitas ponitur pars fortitudinis, humilitas autem pars temperantiae. Reply to Objection 3: Although humility and magnanimity agree as to matter, they differ as to mode, by reason of which magnanimity is reckoned a part of fortitude, and humility a part of temperance.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 5  [ << | >> ]

Whether humility is the greatest of the virtues?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod humilitas sit potissima virtutum. Dicit enim Chrysostomus, exponens illud quod dicitur Luc. XVIII de Pharisaeo et publicano, quod, si mixta delictis humilitas tam facile currit ut iustitiam superbiae coniunctam transeat, si iustitiae coniunxeris eam, quo non ibit? Assistet ipsi tribunali divino in medio Angelorum. Et sic patet quod humilitas praefertur iustitiae. Sed iustitia vel est praeclarissima virtutum, vel includit in se omnes virtutes, ut patet per philosophum, in V Ethic. Ergo humilitas est maxima virtutum. Objection 1: It would seem that humility is the greatest of the virtues. For Chrysostom, expounding the story of the Pharisee and the publican (Lk. 18), says [*Eclog. hom. vii de Humil. Animi.] that "if humility is such a fleet runner even when hampered by sin that it overtakes the justice that is the companion of pride, whither will it not reach if you couple it with justice? It will stand among the angels by the judgment seat of God." Hence it is clear that humility is set above justice. Now justice is either the most exalted of all the virtues, or includes all virtues, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 1). Therefore humility is the greatest of the virtues.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de Verb. Dom., cogitas magnam fabricam construere celsitudinis? De fundamento prius cogita humilitatis. Ex quo videtur quod humilitas sit fundamentum omnium virtutum. Ergo videtur esse potior aliis. Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Serm. [*S. 10, C[1]]): "Are you thinking of raising the great fabric of spirituality? Attend first of all to the foundation of humility." Now this would seem to imply that humility is the foundation of all virtue. Therefore apparently it is greater than the other virtues.
Praeterea, maiori virtuti maius debetur praemium. Sed humilitati debetur maximum praemium, quia qui se humiliat, exaltabitur, ut dicitur Luc. XIV. Ergo humilitas est maxima virtutum. Objection 3: Further, the greater virtue deserves the greater reward. Now the greatest reward is due to humility, since "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Lk. 14:11). Therefore humility is the greatest of virtues.
Praeterea, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de vera Relig., tota vita Christi in terris, per hominem quem suscipere dignatus est, disciplina morum fuit. Praecipue humilitatem suam imitandam proposuit. Dicens, Matth. XI, discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde. Et Gregorius dicit, in Pastoral., quod argumentum redemptionis nostrae inventa est humilitas Dei. Ergo humilitas videtur esse maxima virtutum. Objection 4: Further, according to Augustine (De Vera Relig. 16), "Christ's whole life on earth was a lesson in moral conduct through the human nature which He assumed." Now He especially proposed His humility for our example, saying (Mt. 11:29): "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart." Moreover, Gregory says (Pastor. iii, 1) that the "lesson proposed to us in the mystery of our redemption is the humility of God." Therefore humility would seem to be the greatest of virtues.
Sed contra est quod caritas praefertur omnibus virtutibus, secundum illud Coloss. III, super omnia, caritatem habete. Non ergo humilitas est maxima virtutum. On the contrary, Charity is set above all the virtues, according to Col. 3:14, "Above all... things have charity." Therefore humility is not the greatest of virtues.
Respondeo dicendum quod bonum humanae virtutis in ordine rationis consistit. Qui quidem principaliter attenditur respectu finis. Unde virtutes theologicae, quae habent ultimum finem pro obiecto, sunt potissimae. Secundario autem attenditur prout secundum rationem finis ordinantur ea quae sunt ad finem. Et haec quidem ordinatio essentialiter consistit in ipsa ratione ordinante, participative autem in appetitu per rationem ordinato. Quam quidem ordinationem universaliter facit iustitia, praesertim legalis. Ordinationi autem facit hominem bene subiectum humilitas in universali quantum ad omnia, quaelibet autem alia virtus quantum ad aliquam materiam specialem. Et ideo post virtutes theologicas; et virtutes intellectuales, quae respiciunt ipsam rationem; et post iustitiam, praesertim legalem; potior ceteris est humilitas. I answer that, The good of human virtue pertains to the order of reason: which order is considered chiefly in reference to the end: wherefore the theological virtues are the greatest because they have the last end for their object. Secondarily, however, it is considered in reference to the ordering of the means to the end. This ordinance, as to its essence, is in the reason itself from which it issues, but by participation it is in the appetite ordered by the reason; and this ordinance is the effect of justice, especially of legal justice. Now humility makes a man a good subject to ordinance of all kinds and in all matters; while every other virtue has this effect in some special matter. Therefore after the theological virtues, after the intellectual virtues which regard the reason itself, and after justice, especially legal justice, humility stands before all others.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod humilitas iustitiae non praefertur, sed iustitiae cui superbia coniungitur, quae iam desinit esse virtus. Sicut e contrario peccatum per humilitatem remittitur, nam et de publicano dicitur, Luc. XVIII, quod merito humilitatis descendit iustificatus in domum suam. Unde et Chrysostomus dicit, geminas bigas mihi accommodes, alteram quidem iustitiae et superbiae; alteram vero peccati et humilitatis. Et videbis peccatum praevertens iustitiam, non propriis, sed humilitatis coniugae viribus, aliud vero par videbis devictum, non fragilitate iustitiae, sed mole et tumore superbiae. Reply to Objection 1: Humility is not set before justice, but before that justice which is coupled with pride, and is no longer a virtue; even so, on the other hand, sin is pardoned through humility: for it is said of the publican (Lk. 18:14) that through the merit of his humility "he went down into his house justified." Hence Chrysostom says [*De incompr. Nat. Dei, Hom. v]: "Bring me a pair of two-horse chariots: in the one harness pride with justice, in the other sin with humility: and you will see that sin outrunning justice wins not by its own strength, but by that of humility: while you will see the other pair beaten, not by the weakness of justice, but by the weight and size of pride."
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut ordinata virtutum congregatio per quandam similitudinem aedificio comparatur, ita etiam illud quod est primum in acquisitione virtutum, fundamento comparatur, quod primum in aedificio iacitur. Virtutes autem verae infunduntur a Deo. Unde primum in acquisitione virtutum potest accipi dupliciter. Uno modo, per modum removentis prohibens. Et sic humilitas primum locum tenet, inquantum scilicet expellit superbiam, cui Deus resistit, et praebet hominem subditum et semper patulum ad suscipiendum influxum divinae gratiae, inquantum evacuat inflationem superbiae; ut dicitur Iac. IV, quod Deus superbis resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam. Et secundum hoc, humilitas dicitur spiritualis aedificii fundamentum. Alio modo est aliquid primum in virtutibus directe, per quod scilicet iam ad Deum acceditur. Primus autem accessus ad Deum est per fidem, secundum illud Heb. XI, accedentem ad Deum oportet credere. Et secundum hoc, fides ponitur fundamentum, nobiliori modo quam humilitas. Reply to Objection 2: Just as the orderly assembly of virtues is, by reason of a certain likeness, compared to a building, so again that which is the first step in the acquisition of virtue is likened to the foundation, which is first laid before the rest of the building. Now the virtues are in truth infused by God. Wherefore the first step in the acquisition of virtue may be understood in two ways. First by way of removing obstacles: and thus humility holds the first place, inasmuch as it expels pride, which "God resisteth," and makes man submissive and ever open to receive the influx of Divine grace. Hence it is written (James 4:6): "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." In this sense humility is said to be the foundation of the spiritual edifice. Secondly, a thing is first among virtues directly, because it is the first step towards God. Now the first step towards God is by faith, according to Heb. 11:6, "He that cometh to God must believe." In this sense faith is the foundation in a more excellent way than humility.
Ad tertium dicendum quod contemnenti terrena promittuntur caelestia, sicut contemnentibus divitias terrenas promittuntur caelestes thesauri, secundum illud Matth. VI, nolite thesaurizare vobis thesauros in terra, sed thesaurizate vobis thesauros in coelo; et similiter contemnentibus mundi gaudia promittuntur consolationes caelestes, secundum illud Matth. V, beati qui lugent, quoniam ipsi consolabuntur. Et eodem modo humilitati promittitur spiritualis exaltatio, non quia ipsa sola eam mereatur, sed quia eius est proprium contemnere sublimitatem terrenam. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de poenitentia, ne putes eum qui se humiliat, semper iacere, cum dictum sit, exaltabitur. Et ne opineris eius exaltationem in oculis hominum per sublimitates fieri corporales. Reply to Objection 3: To him that despises earthly things, heavenly things are promised: thus heavenly treasures are promised to those who despise earthly riches, according to Mt. 6:19,20, "Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth... but lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven." Likewise heavenly consolations are promised to those who despise worldly joys, according to Mt. 4:5, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." In the same way spiritual uplifting is promised to humility, not that humility alone merits it, but because it is proper to it to despise earthly uplifting. Wherefore Augustine says (De Poenit. [*Serm. cccli]): "Think not that he who humbles himself remains for ever abased, for it is written: 'He shall be exalted.' And do not imagine that his exaltation in men's eyes is effected by bodily uplifting."
Ad quartum dicendum quod ideo Christus praecipue humilitatem nobis commendavit, quia per hoc maxime removetur impedimentum humanae salutis, quae consistit in hoc quod homo ad caelestia et spiritualia tendat, a quibus homo impeditur dum in terrenis magnificari studet. Et ideo dominus, ut impedimentum salutis auferret, exteriorem celsitudinem contemnendam monstravit per humilitatis exempla. Et sic humilitas est quasi quaedam dispositio ad liberum accessum hominis in spiritualia et divina bona. Sicut ergo perfectio est potior dispositione, ita etiam caritas et aliae virtutes quibus homo directe movetur in Deum, sunt potiores humilitate. Reply to Objection 4: The reason why Christ chiefly proposed humility to us, was because it especially removes the obstacle to man's spiritual welfare consisting in man's aiming at heavenly and spiritual things, in which he is hindered by striving to become great in earthly things. Hence our Lord, in order to remove an obstacle to our spiritual welfare, showed by giving an example of humility, that outward exaltation is to be despised. Thus humility is, as it were, a disposition to man's untrammeled access to spiritual and divine goods. Accordingly as perfection is greater than disposition, so charity, and other virtues whereby man approaches God directly, are greater than humility.

Index [<<� | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part [ << | >> ]
Question: 161 [ << | >> ]
Article: 6  [ << | >> ]

Whether twelve degrees of humility are fittingly distinguished in the Rule of the Blessed Benedict?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter distinguantur duodecim gradus humilitatis qui in regula beati Benedicti ponuntur, quorum primus est, corde et corpore semper humilitatem ostendere, defixis in terram aspectibus; secundus, ut pauca verba, et rationabilia loquatur aliquis, non clamosa voce; tertius, ut non sit facilis aut promptus in risum; quartus, taciturnitas usque ad interrogationem; quintus, tenere quod habet communis monasterii regula; sextus, credere et pronuntiare se omnibus viliorem; septimus, ad omnia indignum et inutilem se confiteri et credere; octavus, confessio peccatorum; nonus, pro obedientia in duris et asperis patientiam amplecti; decimus, ut cum obedientia se subdat maiori; undecimus, ut voluntatem propriam non delectetur implere; duodecimus, ut Deum timeat, et memor sit omnium quae praecepit. Enumerantur enim hic quaedam quae ad alias virtutes pertinent, sicut obedientia et patientia. Enumerantur etiam aliqua quae ad falsam opinionem pertinere videntur, quae nulli virtuti potest competere, scilicet quod aliquis pronuntiet se omnibus viliorem, quod ad omnia indignum et inutilem se confiteatur et credat. Ergo inconvenienter ista ponuntur inter gradus humilitatis. 45503] II-IIae, q. 161 a. 6 arg. 2 Objection 1: It would seem that the twelve degrees of humility that are set down in the Rule of the Blessed Benedict [*St. Thomas gives these degrees in the reverse order to that followed by St. Benedict] are unfittingly distinguished. The first is to be "humble not only in heart, but also to show it in one's very person, one's eyes fixed on the ground"; the second is "to speak few and sensible words, and not to be loud of voice"; the third is "not to be easily moved, and disposed to laughter"; the fourth is "to maintain silence until one is asked"; the fifth is "to do nothing but to what one is exhorted by the common rule of the monastery"; the sixth is "to believe and acknowledge oneself viler than all"; the seventh is "to think oneself worthless and unprofitable for all purposes"; the eighth is "to confess one's sin"; the ninth is "to embrace patience by obeying under difficult and contrary circumstances"; the tenth is "to subject oneself to a superior"; the eleventh is "not to delight in fulfilling one's own desires"; the twelfth is "to fear God and to be always mindful of everything that God has commanded." For among these there are some things pertaining to the other virtues, such as obedience and patience. Again there are some that seem to involve a false opinion—and this is inconsistent with any virtue—namely to declare oneself more despicable than all men, and to confess and believe oneself to be in all ways worthless and unprofitable. Therefore these are unfittingly placed among the degrees of humility.
Praeterea, humilitas ab interioribus ad exteriora procedit, sicut et ceterae virtutes. Inconvenienter igitur praemittuntur in praemissis gradibus illa quae pertinent ad exteriores actus, his quae pertinent ad interiores. Objection 2: Further, humility proceeds from within to externals, as do other virtues. Therefore in the aforesaid degrees, those which concern outward actions are unfittingly placed before those which pertain to inward actions.
Praeterea, Anselmus, in libro de similitudinibus, ponit septem humilitatis gradus, quorum primus est, contemptibilem se esse cognoscere; secundus, de hoc dolere; tertius, hoc confiteri; quartus, hoc persuadere, ut scilicet velit hoc credi; quintus, ut patienter sustineat hoc dici; sextus, ut patiatur contemptibiliter se tractari; septimus, ut hoc amet. Ergo videntur praemissi gradus esse superflui. Objection 3: Further, Anselm (De Simil. ci, seqq.) gives seven degrees of humility, the first of which is "to acknowledge oneself contemptible"; the second, "to grieve for this"; the third, "to confess it"; the fourth, "to convince others of this, that is to wish them to believe it"; the fifth, "to bear patiently that this be said of us"; the sixth, "to suffer oneself to be treated with contempt"; the seventh, "to love being thus treated." Therefore the aforesaid degrees would seem to be too numerous.
Praeterea, Matth. III dicit Glossa, perfecta humilitas tres habet gradus. Primus est subdere se maiori, et non praeferre se aequali, qui est sufficiens. Secundus est subdere se aequali, nec praeferre se minori, et hic dicitur abundans. Tertius gradus est subesse minori, in quo est omnis iustitia. Ergo praemissi gradus videntur esse superflui. Objection 4: Further, a gloss on Mt. 3:15 says: "Perfect humility has three degrees. The first is to subject ourselves to those who are above us, and not to set ourselves above our equals: this is sufficient. The second is to submit to our equals, and not to set ourselves before our inferiors; this is called abundant humility. The third degree is to subject ourselves to inferiors, and in this is perfect righteousness." Therefore the aforesaid degrees would seem to be too numerous.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de Virginit., mensura humilitatis cuique ex mensura ipsius magnitudinis data est, cui est periculosa superbia, quae amplius amplioribus insidiatur. Sed mensura magnitudinis humanae non potest sub certo numero graduum determinari. Ergo videtur quod non possint determinati gradus humilitatis assignari. Objection 5: Further, Augustine says (De Virginit. xxxi): "The measure of humility is apportioned to each one according to his rank. It is imperiled by pride, for the greater a man is the more liable is he to be entrapped." Now the measure of a man's greatness cannot be fixed according to a definite number of degrees. Therefore it would seem that it is not possible to assign the aforesaid degrees to humility.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, humilitas essentialiter in appetitu consistit, secundum quod aliquis refrenat impetum animi sui, ne inordinate tendat in magna, sed regulam habet in cognitione, ut scilicet aliquis non se existimet esse supra id quod est. Et utriusque principium et radix est reverentia quam quis habet ad Deum. Ex interiori autem dispositione humilitatis procedunt quaedam exteriora signa in verbis et factis et gestibus, quibus id quod interius latet manifestatur, sicut et in ceteris virtutibus accidit, nam ex visu cognoscitur vir, et ab occursu faciei sensatus, ut dicitur Eccli. XIX. Et ideo in praedictis gradibus humilitatis ponitur aliquid quod pertinet ad humilitatis radicem, scilicet duodecimus gradus, qui est, ut homo Deum timeat, et memor sit omnium quae praecepit. I answer that, As stated above (Article [2]) humility has essentially to do with the appetite, in so far as a man restrains the impetuosity of his soul, from tending inordinately to great things: yet its rule is in the cognitive faculty, in that we should not deem ourselves to be above what we are. Also, the principle and origin of both these things is the reverence we bear to God. Now the inward disposition of humility leads to certain outward signs in words, deeds, and gestures, which manifest that which is hidden within, as happens also with the other virtues. For "a man is known by his look, and a wise man, when thou meetest him, by his countenance" (Ecclus. 19:26). Wherefore the aforesaid degrees of humility include something regarding the root of humility, namely the twelfth degree, "that a man fear God and bear all His commandments in mind."
Ponitur etiam aliquid pertinens ad appetitum, ne scilicet in propriam excellentiam inordinate tendat. Quod quidem fit tripliciter. Uno modo, ut non sequatur homo propriam voluntatem, quod pertinet ad undecimum gradum. Alio modo, ut regulet eam secundum superioris arbitrium, quod pertinet ad gradum decimum. Tertio modo, ut ab hoc non desistat propter dura et aspera quae occurrunt, et hoc pertinet ad nonum. Again, they include certain things with regard to the appetite, lest one aim inordinately at one's own excellence. This is done in three ways. First, by not following one's own will, and this pertains to the eleventh degree; secondly, by regulating it according to one's superior judgment, and this applies to the tenth degree; thirdly, by not being deterred from this on account of the difficulties and hardships that come in our way, and this belongs to the ninth degree.
Ponuntur etiam quaedam pertinentia ad existimationem hominis recognoscentis suum defectum. Et hoc tripliciter. Uno quidem modo, per hoc quod proprios defectus recognoscat et confiteatur, quod pertinet ad octavum gradum. Secundo, ut ex consideratione sui defectus aliquis insufficientem se existimet ad maiora, quod pertinet ad septimum. Tertio, ut quantum ad hoc sibi alios praeferat, quod pertinet ad sextum. Certain things also are included referring to the estimate a man forms in acknowledging his own deficiency, and this in three ways. First by acknowledging and avowing his own shortcomings; this belongs to the eighth degree: secondly, by deeming oneself incapable of great things, and this pertains to the seventh degree: thirdly, that in this respect one should put others before oneself, and this belongs to the sixth degree.
Ponuntur etiam quaedam quae pertinent ad exteriora signa. Quorum unum est in factis, ut scilicet homo non recedat in suis operibus a via communi, quod pertinet ad quintum. Alia duo sunt in verbis, ut scilicet homo non praeripiat tempus loquendi, quod pertinet ad quartum; nec excedat modum in loquendo, quod pertinet ad secundum. Alia vero consistunt in exterioribus gestibus, puta in reprimendo extollentiam oculorum, quod pertinet ad primum; et in cohibendo exterius risum et alia ineptae laetitiae signa, quod pertinet aAd tertium. Again, some things are included that refer to outward signs. One of these regards deeds, namely that in one's work one should not depart from the ordinary way; this applies to the fifth degree. Two others have reference to words, namely that one should not be in a hurry to speak, which pertains to the fourth degree, and that one be not immoderate in speech, which refers to the second. The others have to do with outward gestures, for instance in restraining haughty looks, which regards the first, and in outwardly checking laughter and other signs of senseless mirth, and this belongs to the third degree.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod aliquis absque falsitate potest se credere et pronuntiare omnibus viliorem, secundum defectus occultos quos in se recognoscit, et dona Dei quae in aliis latent. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Virginit., existimate aliquos in occulto superiores, quibus estis in manifesto meliores. Similiter etiam absque falsitate potest aliquis confiteri et credere ad omnia se inutilem et indignum, secundum proprias vires, ut sufficientiam suam totam in Deum referat, secundum illud II ad Cor. III, non quod sufficientes simus cogitare aliquid a nobis, quasi ex nobis, sed sufficientia nostra ex Deo est. Non est autem inconveniens quod ea quae ad alias virtutes pertinent, humilitati adscribantur. Quia sicut unum vitium oritur ex alio, ita naturali ordine actus unius virtutis procedit ex actu alterius. Reply to Objection 1: It is possible, without falsehood, to deem and avow oneself the most despicable of men, as regards the hidden faults which we acknowledge in ourselves, and the hidden gifts of God which others have. Hence Augustine says (De Virginit. lii): "Bethink you that some persons are in some hidden way better than you, although outwardly you are better than they." Again, without falsehood one may avow and believe oneself in all ways unprofitable and useless in respect of one's own capability, so as to refer all one's sufficiency to God, according to 2 Cor. 3:5, "Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is from God." And there is nothing unbecoming in ascribing to humility those things that pertain to other virtues, since, just as one vice arises from another, so, by a natural sequence, the act of one virtue proceeds from the act of another.
Ad secundum dicendum quod homo ad humilitatem pervenit per duo. Primo quidem et principaliter, per gratiae donum. Et quantum ad hoc, interiora praecedunt exteriora. Aliud autem est humanum studium, per quod homo prius exteriora cohibet, et postmodum pertingit ad extirpandum interiorem radicem. Et secundum hunc ordinem assignantur hic humilitatis gradus. Reply to Objection 2: Man arrives at humility in two ways. First and chiefly by a gift of grace, and in this way the inner man precedes the outward man. The other way is by human effort, whereby he first of all restrains the outward man, and afterwards succeeds in plucking out the inward root. It is according to this order that the degrees of humility are here enumerated.
Ad tertium dicendum quod omnes gradus quos Anselmus ponit, reducuntur ad opinionem et manifestationem et voluntatem propriae abiectionis. Nam primus gradus pertinet ad cognitionem proprii defectus. Sed quia vituperabile esset si quis proprium defectum amaret, hoc per secundum gradum excluditur. Sed ad manifestationem sui defectus pertinent tertius et quartus gradus, ut scilicet aliquis non solum simpliciter suum defectum enuntiet, sed etiam persuadeat. Alii autem tres gradus pertinent ad appetitum. Qui excellentiam exteriorem non quaerit, sed exteriorem abiectionem vel aequanimiter patitur, sive in verbis sive in factis, quia, sicut Gregorius dicit, in registro, non grande est his nos esse humiles a quibus honoramur, quia et hoc saeculares quilibet faciunt, sed illis maxime humiles esse debemus a quibus aliqua patimur. Et hoc pertinet ad quintum et sextum gradum. Vel etiam desideranter exteriorem abiectionem amplectitur, quod pertinetAd septimum gradum. Et sic omnes isti gradus continentur sub sexto et septimo superius enumeratis. Reply to Objection 3: All the degrees mentioned by Anselm are reducible to knowledge, avowal, and desire of one's own abasement. For the first degree belongs to the knowledge of one's own deficiency; but since it would be wrong for one to love one's own failings, this is excluded by the second degree. The third and fourth degrees regard the avowal of one's own deficiency; namely that not merely one simply assert one's failing, but that one convince another of it. The other three degrees have to do with the appetite, which seeks, not outward excellence, but outward abasement, or bears it with equanimity, whether it consist of words or deeds. For as Gregory says (Regist. ii, 10, Ep. 36), "there is nothing great in being humble towards those who treat us with regard, for even worldly people do this: but we should especially be humble towards those who make us suffer," and this belongs to the fifth and sixth degrees: or the appetite may even go so far as lovingly to embrace external abasement, and this pertains to the seventh degree; so that all these degrees are comprised under the sixth and seventh mentioned above.
Ad quartum dicendum quod illi gradus accipiuntur non ex parte ipsius rei, idest secundum naturam humilitatis, sed per comparationem ad gradus hominum, qui sunt vel maiores vel minores vel aequales. Reply to Objection 4: These degrees refer, not to the thing itself, namely the nature of humility, but to the degrees among men, who are either of higher or lower or of equal degree.
Ad quintum dicendum quod etiam illa ratio procedit ex gradibus humilitatis non secundum ipsam naturam rei, secundum quam assignantur praemissi gradus, sed secundum diversas hominum conditiones. Reply to Objection 5: This argument also considers the degrees of humility not according to the nature of the thing, in respect of which the aforesaid degrees are assigned, but according to the various conditions of men.

This document converted to HTML on Fri Jan 02 19:10:36 1998.