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 ipsis effectibus passionis Christi. Et circa hoc quaeruntur sex. We have now to consider what are the effects of Christ's Passion, concerning which there are six points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum per passionem Christi simus liberati a peccato. (1) Whether we were freed from sin by Christ's Passion?
Secundo, utrum per eam simus liberati a potestate Diaboli. (2) Whether we were thereby delivered from the power of the devil?
Tertio, utrum per eam simus liberati a reatu poenae. (3) Whether we were freed thereby from our debt of punishment?
Quarto, utrum per eam simus Deo reconciliati. (4) Whether we were thereby reconciled with God?
Quinto, utrum per eam sit nobis aperta ianua caeli. (5) Whether heaven's gate was opened to us thereby?
Sexto, utrum per eam Christus adeptus fuerit exaltationem. (6) Whether Christ derived exaltation from it?

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Article: 1  [ << | >> ]

Whether we were delivered from sin through Christ's Passion?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod per passionem Christi non simus liberati a peccato. Liberare enim a peccato est proprium Dei secundum illud Isaiae XLIII, ego sum qui deleo iniquitates tuas propter me. Christus autem non est passus secundum quod Deus, sed secundum quod homo. Ergo passio Christi non liberavit nos a peccato. Objection 1: It would seem that we were not delivered from sin through Christ's Passion. For to deliver from sin belongs to God alone, according to Is. 43:25: "I am He who blot out your iniquities for My own sake." But Christ did not suffer as God, but as man. Therefore Christ's Passion did not free us from sin.
Praeterea, corporale non agit in spirituale. Sed passio Christi corporalis est, peccatum autem non est nisi in anima, quae est spiritualis creatura. Ergo passio Christi non potuit nos mundare a peccato. Objection 2: Further, what is corporeal does not act upon what is spiritual. But Christ's Passion is corporeal, whereas sin exists in the soul, which is a spiritual creature. Therefore Christ's Passion could not cleanse us from sin.
Praeterea, nullus potest liberari a peccato quod nondum commisit, sed quod in posterum est commissurus. Cum igitur multa peccata post Christi passionem sint commissa, et tota die committantur, videtur quod per passionem Christi non simus liberati a peccato. Objection 3: Further, one cannot be purged from a sin not yet committed, but which shall be committed hereafter. Since, then, many sins have been committed since Christ's death, and are being committed daily, it seems that we were not delivered from sin by Christ's death.
Praeterea, posita causa sufficienti, nihil aliud requiritur ad effectum inducendum. Requiruntur autem adhuc alia ad remissionem peccatorum, scilicet Baptismus et poenitentia. Ergo videtur quod passio Christi non sit sufficiens causa remissionis peccatorum. Objection 4: Further, given an efficient cause, nothing else is required for producing the effect. But other things besides are required for the forgiveness of sins, such as baptism and penance. Consequently it seems that Christ's Passion is not the sufficient cause of the forgiveness of sins.
Praeterea, Proverb. X dicitur, universa delicta operit caritas; et XV dicitur, per misericordiam et fidem purgantur peccata. Sed multa sunt alia de quibus habemus fidem, et quae sunt provocativa caritatis. Ergo passio Christi non est propria causa remissionis peccatorum. Objection 5: Further, it is written (Prov. 10:12): "Charity covereth all sins"; and (Prov. 15:27): "By mercy and faith, sins are purged away." But there are many other things of which we have faith, and which excite charity. Therefore Christ's Passion is not the proper cause of the forgiveness of sins.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Apoc. I, dilexit nos, et lavit nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine suo. On the contrary, It is written (Apoc. 1:5): "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood."
Respondeo dicendum quod passio Christi est propria causa remissionis peccatorum, tripliciter. Primo quidem, per modum provocantis ad caritatem. Quia, ut apostolus dicit, Rom. V, commendat Deus suam caritatem in nobis, quoniam, cum inimici essemus, Christus pro nobis mortuus est. Per caritatem autem consequimur veniam peccatorum, secundum illud Luc. VII, dimissa sunt ei peccata multa, quoniam dilexit multum. Secundo, passio Christi causat remissionem peccatorum per modum redemptionis. Quia enim ipse est caput nostrum, per passionem suam, quam ex caritate et obedientia sustinuit, liberavit nos, tanquam membra sua, a peccatis, quasi per pretium suae passionis, sicut si homo per aliquod opus meritorium quod manu exerceret, redimeret se a peccato quod pedibus commisisset. Sicut enim naturale corpus est unum, ex membrorum diversitate consistens, ita tota Ecclesia, quae est mysticum corpus Christi, computatur quasi una persona cum suo capite, quod est Christus. Tertio, per modum efficientiae, inquantum caro, secundum quam Christus passionem sustinuit, est instrumentum divinitatis, ex quo eius passiones et actiones operantur in virtute divina ad expellendum peccatum. I answer that, Christ's Passion is the proper cause of the forgiveness of sins in three ways. First of all, by way of exciting our charity, because, as the Apostle says (Rm. 5:8): "God commendeth His charity towards us: because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for us." But it is by charity that we procure pardon of our sins, according to Lk. 7:47: "Many sins are forgiven her because she hath loved much." Secondly, Christ's Passion causes forgiveness of sins by way of redemption. For since He is our head, then, by the Passion which He endured from love and obedience, He delivered us as His members from our sins, as by the price of His Passion: in the same way as if a man by the good industry of his hands were to redeem himself from a sin committed with his feet. For, just as the natural body is one though made up of diverse members, so the whole Church, Christ's mystic body, is reckoned as one person with its head, which is Christ. Thirdly, by way of efficiency, inasmuch as Christ's flesh, wherein He endured the Passion, is the instrument of the Godhead, so that His sufferings and actions operate with Divine power for expelling sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet Christus non sit passus secundum quod Deus, tamen caro eius est divinitatis instrumentum. Et ex hoc passio eius habet quandam divinam virtutem ad expellendum peccatum, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 1: Although Christ did not suffer as God, nevertheless His flesh is the instrument of the Godhead; and hence it is that His Passion has a kind of Divine Power of casting out sin, as was said above.
Ad secundum dicendum quod passio Christi, licet sit corporalis, sortitur tamen quandam spiritualem virtutem ex divinitate, cuius caro ei unita est instrumentum. Secundum quam quidem virtutem passio Christi est causa remissionis peccatorum. Reply to Objection 2: Although Christ's Passion is corporeal, still it derives a kind of spiritual energy from the Godhead, to which the flesh is united as an instrument: and according to this power Christ's Passion is the cause of the forgiveness of sins.
Ad tertium dicendum quod Christus sua passione a peccatis nos liberavit causaliter, idest, instituens causam nostrae liberationis, ex qua possent quaecumque peccata quandocumque remitti, vel praeterita vel praesentia vel futura, sicut si medicus faciat medicinam ex qua possint etiam quicumque morbi sanari, etiam in futurum. Reply to Objection 3: Christ by His Passion delivered us from our sins causally---that is, by setting up the cause of our deliverance, from which cause all sins whatsoever, past, present, or to come, could be forgiven: just as if a doctor were to prepare a medicine by which all sicknesses can be cured even in future.
Ad quartum dicendum quod, quia passio Christi praecessit ut causa quaedam universalis remissionis peccatorum, sicut dictum est, necesse est quod singulis adhibeatur ad deletionem propriorum peccatorum. Hoc autem fit per Baptismum et poenitentiam et alia sacramenta, quae habent virtutem ex passione Christi, ut infra patebit. Reply to Objection 4: As stated above, since Christ's Passion preceded, as a kind of universal cause of the forgiveness of sins, it needs to be applied to each individual for the cleansing of personal sins. Now this is done by baptism and penance and the other sacraments, which derive their power from Christ's Passion, as shall be shown later (Question [62], Article [5]).
Ad quintum dicendum quod etiam per fidem applicatur nobis passio Christi ad percipiendum fructum ipsius, secundum illud Rom. III, quem proposuit Deus propitiatorem per fidem in sanguine eius. Fides autem per quam a peccato mundamur, non est fides informis, quae potest esse etiam cum peccato, sed est fides formata per caritatem, ut sic passio Christi nobis applicetur non solum quantum ad intellectum, sed etiam quantum ad affectum. Et per hunc etiam modum peccata dimittuntur ex virtute passionis Christi. Reply to Objection 5: Christ's Passion is applied to us even through faith, that we may share in its fruits, according to Rm. 3:25: "Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood." But the faith through which we are cleansed from sin is not "lifeless faith," which can exist even with sin, but "faith living" through charity; that thus Christ's Passion may be applied to us, not only as to our minds, but also as to our hearts. And even in this way sins are forgiven through the power of the Passion of Christ.

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Article: 2  [ << | >> ]

Whether we were delivered from the devil's power through Christ's Passion?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod per passionem Christi non simus liberati a potestate Diaboli. Ille enim non habet potestatem super aliquos, in quibus nihil sine permissione alterius facere potest. Sed Diabolus nunquam potuit aliquid in nocumentum hominum facere nisi ex permissione divina, sicut patet Iob I et II quod, potestate divinitus accepta, eum primo in rebus, et postea in corpore laesit. Et similiter Matth. VIII dicitur quod Daemones, nisi Christo concedente, non potuerunt porcos intrare. Ergo Diabolus nunquam habuit in hominibus potestatem. Et ita per passionem Christi non sumus a potestate Diaboli liberati. Objection 1: It would seem that we were not delivered from the power of the devil through Christ's Passion. For he has no power over others, who can do nothing to them without the sanction of another. But without the Divine permission the devil could never do hurt to any man, as is evident in the instance of Job (1,2), where, by power received from God, the devil first injured him in his possessions, and afterwards in his body. In like manner it is stated (Mt. 8:31,32) that the devils could not enter into the swine except with Christ's leave. Therefore the devil never had power over men: and hence we are not delivered from his power through Christ's Passion.
Praeterea, Diabolus potestatem suam in hominibus exercet tentando et corporaliter vexando. Sed hoc adhuc in hominibus operatur, post Christi passionem. Ergo non sumus per passionem Christi ab eius potestate liberati. Objection 2: Further, the devil exercises his power over men by tempting them and molesting their bodies. But even after the Passion he continues to do the same to men. Therefore we are not delivered from his power through Christ's Passion.
Praeterea, virtus passionis Christi in perpetuum durat, secundum illud Heb. X, una oblatione consummavit sanctificatos in sempiternum. Sed liberatio a potestate Diaboli nec est ubique, quia in multis partibus mundi adhuc sunt idololatrae, nec etiam erit semper, quia tempore Antichristi maxime suam potestatem exercebit in hominum nocumentum, de quo dicitur, II ad Thess. II, quod eius adventus erit secundum operationem Satanae in omni virtute et signis et prodigiis mendacibus, et in omni seductione iniquitatis. Ergo videtur quod passio Christi non sit causa liberationis humani generis a potestate Diaboli. Objection 3: Further, the might of Christ's Passion endures for ever, as, according to Heb. 10:14: "By one oblation He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." But deliverance rom the devil's power is not found everywhere, since there are still idolaters in many regions of the world; nor will it endure for ever, because in the time of Antichrist he will be especially active in using his power to the hurt of men; because it is said of him (2 Thess. 2:9): "Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity." Consequently it seems that Christ's Passion is not the cause of the human race being delivered from the power of the devil.
Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Ioan. XII, passione imminente, nunc princeps huius mundi eiicietur foras, et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. Est autem exaltatus a terra per crucis passionem. Ergo per eius passionem Diabolus est a potestate hominum eiectus. On the contrary, our Lord said (Jn. 12:31), when His Passion was drawing nigh: "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out; and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself." Now He was lifted up from the earth by His Passion on the cross. Therefore by His Passion the devil was deprived of his power over man.
Respondeo dicendum quod circa potestatem quam Diabolus in homines exercebat ante Christi passionem, tria sunt consideranda. Primum quidem est ex parte hominis, qui suo peccato meruit ut in potestatem traderetur Diaboli, per cuius tentationem fuerat superatus. Aliud autem est ex parte Dei, quem homo peccando offenderat, qui, per suam iustitiam, hominem reliquerat potestati Diaboli. Tertium autem est ex parte ipsius Diaboli, qui sua nequissima voluntate hominem a consecutione salutis impediebat. I answer that, There are three things to be considered regarding the power which the devil exercised over men previous to Christ's Passion. The first is on man's own part, who by his sin deserved to be delivered over to the devil's power, and was overcome by his tempting. Another point is on God's part, whom man had offended by sinning, and who with justice left man under the devil's power. The third is on the devil's part, who out of his most wicked will hindered man from securing his salvation.
Quantum igitur ad primum, homo est a potestate Diaboli liberatus per passionem Christi, inquantum passio Christi est causa remissionis peccatorum, ut dictum est. Quantum autem ad secundum, dicendum quod passio Christi nos a potestate Diaboli liberavit, inquantum nos Deo reconciliavit, ut infra dicetur. Quantum vero ad tertium, passio Christi nos a Diabolo liberavit, inquantum in passione Christi excessit modum potestatis sibi traditae a Deo, machinando in mortem Christi, qui non habebat meritum mortis, cum esset absque peccato. Unde Augustinus dicit, in XIII de Trin., iustitia Christi Diabolus victus est, quia, cum in eo nihil morte dignum inveniret, occidit eum tamen; et utique iustum est ut debitores quos tenebat, liberi dimittantur, in eum credentes quem sine ullo debito occidit. As to the first point, by Christ's Passion man was delivered from the devil's power, in so far as the Passion is the cause of the forgiveness of sins, as stated above (Article [1]). As to the second, it must be said that Christ's Passion freed us from the devil's power, inasmuch as it reconciled us with God, as shall be shown later (Article [4]). But as to the third, Christ's Passion delivered us from the devil, inasmuch as in Christ's Passion he exceeded the limit of power assigned him by God, by conspiring to bring about Christ's death, Who, being sinless, did not deserve to die. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, cap. xiv): "The devil was vanquished by Christ's justice: because, while discovering in Him nothing deserving of death, nevertheless he slew Him. And it is certainly just that the debtors whom he held captive should be set at liberty since they believed in Him whom the devil slew, though He was no debtor."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non dicitur sic Diabolus in homines potestatem habuisse quasi posset eis nocere Deo non permittente. Sed quia iuste permittebatur nocere hominibus, quos tentando ad suum consensum perduxerat. Reply to Objection 1: The devil is said to have had such power over men not as though he were able to injure them without God's sanction, but because he was justly permitted to injure men whom by tempting he had induced to give consent.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Diabolus etiam nunc quidem potest, Deo permittente, homines tentare quantum ad animam, et vexare quantum ad corpus, sed tamen praeparatum est homini remedium ex passione Christi, quo se potest tueri contra hostis impugnationes, ne deducatur in interitum mortis aeternae. Et quicumque ante passionem Christi Diabolo resistebant, per fidem passionis Christi hoc facere poterant, licet, passione Christi nondum peracta, quantum ad aliquid nullus potuerit Diaboli manus evadere, ut scilicet non descenderet in Infernum. A quo, post passionem Christi, se possunt homines eius virtute tueri. Reply to Objection 2: God so permitting it, the devil can still tempt men's souls and harass their bodies: yet there is a remedy provided for man through Christ's Passion, whereby he can safeguard himself against the enemy's assaults, so as not to be dragged down into the destruction of everlasting death. And all who resisted the devil previous to the Passion were enabled to do so through faith in the Passion, although it was not yet accomplished. Yet in one respect no one was able to escape the devil's hands, i.e. so as not to descend into hell. But after Christ's Passion, men can defend themselves from this by its power.
Ad tertium dicendum quod Deus permittit Diabolo posse decipere homines certis personis, temporibus et locis, secundum occultam rationem iudiciorum suorum. Semper tamen per passionem Christi est paratum hominibus remedium se tuendi contra nequitias Daemonum, etiam tempore Antichristi. Sed si aliqui hoc remedio uti negligant, nil deperit efficaciae passionis Christi. Reply to Objection 3: God permits the devil to deceive men by certain persons, and in times and places, according to the hidden motive of His judgments; still, there is always a remedy provided through Christ's Passion, for defending themselves against the wicked snares of the demons, even in Antichrist's time. But if any man neglect to make use of this remedy, it detracts nothing from the efficacy of Christ's Passion.

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Article: 3  [ << | >> ]

Whether men were freed from the punishment of sin through Christ's Passion?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod per passionem Christi non fuerunt homines liberati a poena peccati. Praecipua enim poena peccati est aeterna damnatio. Sed illi qui damnati erant in Inferno pro suis peccatis, non sunt per Christi passionem liberati, quia in Inferno nulla est redemptio. Ergo videtur quod passio Christi non liberavit homines a poena. Objection 1: It would seem that men were not freed from the punishment of sin by Christ's Passion. For the chief punishment of sin is eternal damnation. But those damned in hell for their sins were not set free by Christ's Passion, because "in hell there is no redemption" [*Office of the Dead, Resp. vii]. It seems, therefore, that Christ's Passion did not deliver men from the punishment of sin.
Praeterea, illis qui sunt liberati a reatu poenae, non est aliqua poena iniungenda. Sed poenitentibus iniungitur poena satisfactoria. Non ergo per passionem Christi sunt homines liberati a reatu poenae. Objection 2: Further, no punishment should be imposed upon them who are delivered from the debt of punishment. But a satisfactory punishment is imposed upon penitents. Consequently, men were not freed from the debt of punishment by Christ's Passion.
Praeterea, mors est poena peccati, secundum illud Rom. VI, stipendia peccati mors. Sed adhuc post passionem Christi homines moriuntur. Ergo videtur quod per passionem Christi non sumus a reatu poenae liberati. Objection 3: Further, death is a punishment of sin, according to Rm. 6:23: "The wages of sin is death." But men still die after Christ's Passion. Therefore it seems that we have not been delivered from the debt of punishment.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Isaiae LIII, vere languores nostros ipse tulit, et dolores nostros ipse portavit. On the contrary, It is written (Is. 53:4): "Surely He hath borne our iniquities and carried our sorrows."
Respondeo dicendum quod per passionem Christi liberati sumus a reatu poenae dupliciter. Uno modo, directe, inquantum scilicet passio Christi fuit sufficiens et superabundans satisfactio pro peccatis totius humani generis. Exhibita autem satisfactione sufficienti, tollitur reatus poenae. Alio modo, indirecte, inquantum scilicet passio Christi est causa remissionis peccati, in quo fundatur reatus poenae. I answer that, Through Christ's Passion we have been delivered from the debt of punishment in two ways. First of all, directly---namely, inasmuch as Christ's Passion was sufficient and superabundant satisfaction for the sins of the whole human race: but when sufficient satisfaction has been paid, then the debt of punishment is abolished. In another way---indirectly, that is to say---in so far as Christ's Passion is the cause of the forgiveness of sin, upon which the debt of punishment rests.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod passio Christi sortitur effectum suum in illis quibus applicatur per fidem et caritatem, et per fidei sacramenta. Et ideo damnati in Inferno, qui praedicto modo passioni Christi non coniunguntur, effectum eius percipere non possunt. Reply to Objection 1: Christ's Passion works its effect in them to whom it is applied, through faith and charity and the sacraments of faith. And, consequently, the lost in hell cannot avail themselves of its effects, since they are not united to Christ in the aforesaid manner.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ad hoc quod consequamur effectum passionis Christi, oportet nos ei configurari. Configuramur autem ei in Baptismo sacramentaliter, secundum illud Rom. VI, consepulti sumus ei per Baptismum in mortem. Unde baptizatis nulla poena satisfactoria imponitur, quia sunt totaliter liberati per satisfactionem Christi. Quia vero Christus semel tantum pro peccatis nostris mortuus est, ut dicitur I Pet. III, ideo non potest homo secundario configurari morti Christi per sacramentum Baptismi. Unde oportet quod illi qui post Baptismum peccant, configurentur Christo patienti per aliquid poenalitatis vel passionis quam in seipsis sustineant. Quae tamen multo minor sufficit quam esset condigna peccato, cooperante satisfactione Christi. Reply to Objection 2: As stated above (Article [1], ad 4,5), in order to secure the effects of Christ's Passion, we must be likened unto Him. Now we are likened unto Him sacramentally in Baptism, according to Rm. 6:4: "For we are buried together with Him by baptism into death." Hence no punishment of satisfaction is imposed upon men at their baptism, since they are fully delivered by Christ's satisfaction. But because, as it is written (1 Pt. 3:18), "Christ died" but "once for our sins," therefore a man cannot a second time be likened unto Christ's death by the sacrament of Baptism. Hence it is necessary that those who sin after Baptism be likened unto Christ suffering by some form of punishment or suffering which they endure in their own person; yet, by the co-operation of Christ's satisfaction, much lighter penalty suffices than one that is proportionate to the sin.
Ad tertium dicendum quod satisfactio Christi habet effectum in nobis inquantum incorporamur ei ut membra capiti, sicut supra dictum est. Membra autem oportet capiti esse conformia. Et ideo, sicut Christus primo quidem habuit gratiam in anima cum passibilitate corporis, et per passionem ad gloriam immortalitatis pervenit; ita et nos, qui sumus membra eius, per passionem ipsius liberamur quidem a reatu cuiuslibet poenae, ita tamen quod primo recipimus in anima spiritum adoptionis filiorum, quo adscribimur ad hereditatem gloriae immortalitatis, adhuc corpus passibile et mortale habentes; postmodum vero, configurati passionibus et morti Christi, in gloriam immortalem perducimur; secundum illud apostoli, Rom. VIII, si filii Dei, et heredes, heredes quidem Dei, coheredes autem Christi, si tamen compatimur, ut simul glorificemur. Reply to Objection 3: Christ's satisfaction works its effect in us inasmuch as we are incorporated with Him, as the members with their head, as stated above (Article [1]). Now the members must be conformed to their head. Consequently, as Christ first had grace in His soul with bodily passibility, and through the Passion attained to the glory of immortality, so we likewise, who are His members, are freed by His Passion from all debt of punishment, yet so that we first receive in our souls "the spirit of adoption of sons," whereby our names are written down for the inheritance of immortal glory, while we yet have a passible and mortal body: but afterwards, "being made conformable" to the sufferings and death of Christ, we are brought into immortal glory, according to the saying of the Apostle (Rm. 8:17): "And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ; yet so if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him."

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Question: 49 [ << | >> ]
Article: 4  [ << | >> ]

Whether we were reconciled to God through Christ's Passion?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod per passionem Christi non simus Deo reconciliati. Reconciliatio enim non habet locum inter amicos. Sed Deus semper dilexit nos, secundum illud Sap. XI, diligis omnia quae sunt, et nihil odisti eorum quae fecisti. Ergo passio Christi non reconciliavit nos Deo. Objection 1: It would seem that we were not reconciled to God through Christ's Passion. For there is no need of reconciliation between friends. But God always loved us, according to Wis. 11:25: "Thou lovest all the things that are, and hatest none of the things which Thou hast made." Therefore Christ's Passion did not reconcile us to God.
Praeterea, non potest idem esse principium et effectus, unde gratia, quae est principium merendi, non cadit sub merito. Sed dilectio Dei est principium passionis Christi, secundum illud Ioan. III, sic Deus dilexit mundum ut filium suum unigenitum daret. Non ergo videtur quod per passionem Christi simus reconciliati Deo, ita quod de novo nos amare inciperet. Objection 2: Further, the same thing cannot be cause and effect: hence grace, which is the cause of meriting, does not come under merit. But God's love is the cause of Christ's Passion, according to Jn. 3:16: "God so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son." It does not appear, then, that we were reconciled to God through Christ's Passion, so that He began to love us anew.
Praeterea, passio Christi impleta est per homines Christum occidentes, qui ex hoc graviter Deum offenderunt. Ergo passio Christi magis est causa indignationis quam reconciliationis Dei. Objection 3: Further, Christ's Passion was completed by men slaying Him; and thereby they offended God grievously. Therefore Christ's Passion is rather the cause of wrath than of reconciliation to God.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. V, reconciliati sumus Deo per mortem filii eius. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 5:10): "We are reconciled to God by the death of His Son."
Respondeo dicendum quod passio Christi est causa reconciliationis nostrae ad Deum dupliciter. Uno modo, inquantum removet peccatum, per quod homines constituuntur inimici Dei, secundum illud Sap. XIV, similiter odio sunt Deo impius et impietas eius; et in Psalmo, odisti omnes qui operantur iniquitatem. Alio modo, inquantum est Deo sacrificium acceptissimum. Est enim hoc proprie sacrificii effectus, ut per ipsum placetur Deus, sicut cum homo offensam in se commissam remittit propter aliquod obsequium acceptum quod ei exhibetur. Unde dicitur I Reg. XXVI, si dominus incitat te adversum me, odoretur sacrificium. Et similiter tantum bonum fuit quod Christus voluntarie passus est, quod propter hoc bonum in natura humana inventum, Deus placatus est super omni offensa generis humani, quantum ad eos qui Christo passo coniunguntur secundum modum praemissum. I answer that, Christ's Passion is in two ways the cause of our reconciliation to God. In the first way, inasmuch as it takes away sin by which men became God's enemies, according to Wis. 14:9: "To God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike"; and Ps. 5:7: "Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity." In another way, inasmuch as it is a most acceptable sacrifice to God. Now it is the proper effect of sacrifice to appease God: just as man likewise overlooks an offense committed against him on account of some pleasing act of homage shown him. Hence it is written (1 Kgs. 26:19): "If the Lord stir thee up against me, let Him accept of sacrifice." And in like fashion Christ's voluntary suffering was such a good act that, because of its being found in human nature, God was appeased for every offense of the human race with regard to those who are made one with the crucified Christ in the aforesaid manner (Article [1], ad 4).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deus diligit omnes homines quantum ad naturam, quam ipse fecit. Odit tamen eos quantum ad culpam, quam contra eum homines committunt, secundum illud Eccli. XII, altissimus odio habet peccatores. Reply to Objection 1: God loves all men as to their nature, which He Himself made; yet He hates them with respect to the crimes they commit against Him, according to Ecclus. 12:3: "The Highest hateth sinners."
Ad secundum dicendum quod Christus non dicitur quantum ad hoc nos Deo reconciliasse, quod de novo nos amare inciperet, cum scriptum sit, Ierem. XXXI, in caritate perpetua dilexi te. Sed quia per passionem Christi est sublata odii causa, tum propter ablutionem peccati; tum propter recompensationem acceptabilioris boni. Reply to Objection 2: Christ is not said to have reconciled us with God, as if God had begun anew to love us, since it is written (Jer. 31:3): "I have loved thee with an everlasting love"; but because the source of hatred was taken away by Christ's Passion, both through sin being washed away and through compensation being made in the shape of a more pleasing offering.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut occisores Christi homines fuerunt, ita et Christus occisus. Maior autem fuit caritas Christi patientis quam iniquitas occisorum. Et ideo passio Christi magis valuit ad reconciliandum Deum toti humano generi, quam ad provocandum iram. Reply to Objection 3: As Christ's slayers were men, so also was the Christ slain. Now the charity of the suffering Christ surpassed the wickedness of His slayers. Accordingly Christ's Passion prevailed more in reconciling God to the whole human race than in provoking Him to wrath.

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Whether Christ opened the gate of heaven to us by His Passion?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christus sua passione non aperuerit nobis ianuam caeli. Dicitur enim Proverb. XI, seminanti iustitiam merces fidelis. Sed merces iustitiae est introitus regni caelestis. Ergo videtur quod sancti patres, qui operati sunt opera iustitiae, fideliter consecuti essent introitum regni caelestis, etiam absque Christi passione. Non ergo passio Christi est causa apertionis ianuae regni caelestis. Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did not open the gate of heaven to us by His Passion. For it is written (Prov. 11:18): "To him that soweth justice, there is a faithful reward." But the reward of justice is the entering into the kingdom of heaven. It seems, therefore, that the holy Fathers who wrought works of justice, obtained by faith the entering into the heavenly kingdom even without Christ's Passion. Consequently Christ's Passion is not the cause of the opening of the gate of the kingdom of heaven.
Praeterea, ante passionem Christi, Elias raptus est in caelum, ut dicitur IV Reg. II. Sed effectus non praecedit causam. Ergo videtur quod apertio ianuae caelestis non sit effectus passionis Christi. Objection 2: Further, Elias was caught up to heaven previous to Christ's Passion (4 Kgs. 2). But the effect never precedes the cause. Therefore it seems that the opening of heaven's gate is not the result of Christ's Passion.
Praeterea, sicut legitur Matth. III, Christo baptizato aperti sunt caeli. Sed Baptismus praecessit passionem. Ergo apertio caeli non est effectus passionis Christi. Objection 3: Further, as it is written (Mt. 3:16), when Christ was baptized the heavens were opened to Him. But His baptism preceded the Passion. Consequently the opening of heaven is not the result of Christ's Passion.
Praeterea, Mich. II dicitur, ascendit pandens iter ante eos. Sed nihil aliud videtur pandere iter caeli quam eius ianuam aperire. Ergo videtur quod ianua caeli sit nobis aperta, non per passionem, sed per ascensionem Christi. Objection 4: Further, it is written (Mic. 2:13): "For He shall go up that shall open the way before them." But to open the way to heaven seems to be nothing else than to throw open its gate. Therefore it seems that the gate of heaven was opened to us, not by Christ's Passion, but by His Ascension.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Heb. X, habemus fiduciam in introitu sanctorum, scilicet caelestium, in sanguine Christi. On the contrary, is the saying of the Apostle (Heb. 10:19): "We have [Vulg.: 'having a'] confidence in the entering into the Holies"---that is, of the heavenly places---"through the blood of Christ."
Respondeo dicendum quod clausio ianuae est obstaculum quoddam prohibens homines ab ingressu. Prohibebantur autem homines ab ingressu regni caelestis propter peccatum, quia, sicut dicitur Isaiae XXXV, via illa sancta vocabitur, et non transibit per eam pollutus. Est autem duplex peccatum impediens ab ingressu regni caelestis. Unum quidem commune totius humanae naturae, quod est peccatum primi parentis. Et per hoc peccatum praecludebatur homini aditus regni caelestis, unde legitur Gen. III quod, post peccatum primi hominis, collocavit Deus Cherubim, et flammeum gladium atque versatilem, ad custodiendam viam ligni vitae. Aliud autem est peccatum speciale uniuscuiusque personae, quod per proprium actum committitur uniuscuiusque hominis. I answer that, The shutting of the gate is the obstacle which hinders men from entering in. But it is on account of sin that men were prevented from entering into the heavenly kingdom, since, according to Is. 35:8: "It shall be called the holy way, and the unclean shall not pass over it." Now there is a twofold sin which prevents men from entering into the kingdom of heaven. The first is common to the whole race, for it is our first parents' sin, and by that sin heaven's entrance is closed to man. Hence we read in Gn. 3:24 that after our first parents' sin God "placed... cherubim and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The other is the personal sin of each one of us, committed by our personal act.
Per passionem autem Christi liberati sumus non solum a peccato communi totius humanae naturae, et quantum ad culpam et quantum ad reatum poenae, ipso solvente pretium pro nobis, sed etiam a peccatis propriis singulorum qui communicant eius passioni per fidem et caritatem et fidei sacramenta. Et ideo per passionem Christi aperta est nobis ianua regni caelestis. Et hoc est quod apostolus dicit, Heb. IX, quod Christus, assistens pontifex futurorum bonorum, per proprium sanguinem introivit semel in sancta, aeterna redemptione inventa. Et hoc significatur Num. XXXV, ubi dicitur quod homicida manebit ibi, scilicet in civitate refugii, donec sacerdos magnus, qui oleo sancto unctus est, moriatur, quo mortuo, poterit in domum suam redire. Now by Christ's Passion we have been delivered not only from the common sin of the whole human race, both as to its guilt and as to the debt of punishment, for which He paid the penalty on our behalf; but, furthermore, from the personal sins of individuals, who share in His Passion by faith and charity and the sacraments of faith. Consequently, then the gate of heaven's kingdom is thrown open to us through Christ's Passion. This is precisely what the Apostle says (Heb. 9:11,12): "Christ being come a high-priest of the good things to come... by His own blood entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption." And this is foreshadowed (Num. 35:25,28), where it is said that the slayer* "shall abide there"---that is to say, in the city of refuge---"until the death of the high-priest, that is anointed with the holy oil: but after he is dead, then shall he return home." [*The Septuagint has 'slayer', the Vulgate, 'innocent'---i.e. the man who has slain 'without hatred and enmity'.]
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sancti patres, operando opera iustitiae, meruerunt introitum regni caelestis per fidem passionis Christi, secundum illud Heb. XI, sancti per fidem vicerunt regna, operati sunt iustitiam, per quam etiam unusquisque a peccato purgabatur quantum pertinet ad emundationem propriae personae. Non tamen alicuius fides vel iustitia sufficiebat ad removendum impedimentum quod erat per reatum totius humanae creaturae. Quod quidem remotum est pretio sanguinis Christi. Et ideo ante passionem Christi nullus intrare poterat regnum caeleste, adipiscendo scilicet beatitudinem aeternam, quae consistit in plena Dei fruitione. Reply to Objection 1: The holy Fathers, by doing works of justice, merited to enter into the heavenly kingdom, through faith in Christ's Passion, according to Heb. 11:33: The saints "by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice," and each of them was thereby cleansed from sin, so far as the cleansing of the individual is concerned. Nevertheless the faith and righteousness of no one of them sufficed for removing the barrier arising from the guilt of the whole human race: but this was removed at the cost of Christ's blood. Consequently, before Christ's Passion no one could enter the kingdom of heaven by obtaining everlasting beatitude, which consists in the full enjoyment of God.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Elias sublevatus est in caelum aereum, non autem in caelum Empyreum, qui est locus beatorum. Et similiter nec Henoch, sed raptus est ad Paradisum terrestrem, ubi cum Elia simul creditur vivere usque ad adventum Antichristi. Reply to Objection 2: Elias was taken up into the atmospheric heaven, but not in to the empyrean heaven, which is the abode of the saints: and likewise Enoch was translated into the earthly paradise, where he is believed to live with Elias until the coming of Antichrist.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, Christo baptizato aperti sunt caeli, non propter ipsum Christum, cui semper caelum patuit, sed ad significandum quod caelum aperitur baptizatis Baptismo Christi, qui habet efficaciam ex passione ipsius. Reply to Objection 3: As was stated above (Question [39], Article [5]), the heavens were opened at Christ's baptism, not for Christ's sake, to whom heaven was ever open, but in order to signify that heaven is opened to the baptized, through Christ's baptism, which has its efficacy from His Passion.
Ad quartum dicendum quod Christus sua passione meruit nobis introitum regni caelestis, et impedimentum removit, sed per suam ascensionem nos quasi in possessionem regni caelestis introduxit. Et ideo dicitur quod ascendens pandit iter ante eos. Reply to Objection 4: Christ by His Passion merited for us the opening of the kingdom of heaven, and removed the obstacle; but by His ascension He, as it were, brought us to the possession of the heavenly kingdom. And consequently it is said that by ascending He "opened the way before them."

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Whether by His Passion Christ merited to be exalted?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christus per suam passionem non meruit exaltari. Sicut enim cognitio veritatis est proprium Deo, ita et sublimitas, secundum illud Psalmi, excelsus super omnes gentes dominus, et super caelos gloria eius. Sed Christus, secundum quod homo, habuit cognitionem omnis veritatis non ex aliquo merito praecedenti, sed ex ipsa unione Dei et hominis, secundum illud Ioan. I, vidimus gloriam eius quasi unigeniti a patre, plenum gratiae et veritatis. Ergo neque exaltationem habuit ex merito passionis, sed ex sola unione. Objection 1: It seems that Christ did not merit to be exalted on account of His Passion. For eminence of rank belongs to God alone, just as knowledge of truth, according to Ps. 112:4: "The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens." But Christ as man had the knowledge of all truth, not on account of any preceding merit, but from the very union of God and man, according to Jn. 1:14: "We saw His glory... as it were of the only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth." Therefore neither had He exaltation from the merit of the Passion but from the union alone.
Praeterea, Christus meruit sibi a primo instanti suae conceptionis, ut supra habitum est. Non autem maior caritas fuit in eo tempore passionis quam ante. Cum ergo caritas sit merendi principium, videtur quod non magis meruit per passionem suam exaltationem quam ante. Objection 2: Further, Christ merited for Himself from the first instant of His conception, as stated above (Question [34], Article [3]). But His love was no greater during the Passion than before. Therefore, since charity is the principle of merit, it seems that He did not merit exaltation from the Passion more than before.
Praeterea, gloria corporis resultat ex gloria animae, ut Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad Dioscorum. Sed Christus per passionem suam non meruit exaltationem quantum ad gloriam animae, quia anima eius fuit beata a primo instanti suae conceptionis. Ergo neque etiam per passionem meruit exaltationem quantum ad gloriam corporis. Objection 3: Further, the glory of the body comes from the glory of the soul, as Augustine says (Ep. ad Dioscor.). But by His Passion Christ did not merit exaltation as to the glory of His soul, because His soul was beatified from the first instant of His conception. Therefore neither did He merit exaltation, as to the glory of His body, from the Passion.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Philipp. II, factus est obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis, propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum. On the contrary, It is written (Phil. 2:8): "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; for which cause God also exalted Him."
Respondeo dicendum quod meritum importat quandam aequalitatem iustitiae, unde apostolus dicit, ei qui operatur, merces imputatur secundum debitum. Cum autem aliquis ex sua iniusta voluntate sibi attribuit plus quam debeatur, iustum est ut diminuatur etiam quantum ad id quod sibi debebatur, sicut, cum furatur quis unam ovem, reddet quatuor, ut dicitur Exod. XXII. Et hoc dicitur mereri, inquantum per hoc punitur cuius est iniqua voluntas. Ita etiam, cum aliquis sibi ex iusta voluntate subtrahit quod debebat habere, meretur ut sibi amplius aliquid superaddatur, quasi merces iustae voluntatis. Et inde est quod, sicut dicitur Luc. XIV, qui se humiliat, exaltabitur. I answer that, Merit implies a certain equality of justice: hence the Apostle says (Rm. 4:4): "Now to him that worketh, the reward is reckoned according to debt." But when anyone by reason of his unjust will ascribes to himself something beyond his due, it is only just that he be deprived of something else which is his due; thus, "when a man steals a sheep he shall pay back four" (Ex. 22:1). And he is said to deserve it, inasmuch as his unjust will is chastised thereby. So likewise when any man through his just will has stripped himself of what he ought to have, he deserves that something further be granted to him as the reward of his just will. And hence it is written (Lk. 14:11): "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Christus autem in sua passione seipsum humiliavit infra suam dignitatem, quantum ad quatuor. Primo quidem, quantum ad passionem et mortem, cuius debitor non erat. Secundo, quantum ad locum, quia corpus eius positum est in sepulcro, anima in Inferno. Tertio, quantum ad confusionem et opprobria quae sustinuit. Quarto, quantum ad hoc quod est traditus humanae potestati, secundum quod ipse dicit Pilato, Ioan. XIX, non haberes in me potestatem, nisi datum tibi fuisset desuper. Now in His Passion Christ humbled Himself beneath His dignity in four respects. In the first place as to His Passion and death, to which He was not bound; secondly, as to the place, since His body was laid in a sepulchre and His soul in hell; thirdly, as to the shame and mockeries He endured; fourthly, as to His being delivered up to man's power, as He Himself said to Pilate (Jn. 19:11): "Thou shouldst not have any power against Me, unless it were given thee from above."
Et ideo per suam passionem meruit exaltationem quantum ad quatuor. Primo quidem, quantum ad resurrectionem gloriosam. Unde dicitur in Psalmo, tu cognovisti sessionem meam, idest humilitatem meae passionis, et resurrectionem meam. Secundo, quantum ad ascensionem in caelum. Unde dicitur Ephes. IV, descendit primo in inferiores partes terrae, qui autem descendit, ipse est et qui ascendit super omnes caelos. Tertio, quantum ad consessum paternae dexterae, et manifestationem divinitatis ipsius, secundum illud Isaiae LII, exaltabitur et elevabitur, et sublimis erit valde, sicut obstupuerunt super eum multi, sic inglorius erit inter viros aspectus eius. Et Philipp. II dicitur, factus est obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis, propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et dedit illi nomen quod est super omne nomen, ut scilicet ab omnibus nominetur Deus, et omnes sibi reverentiam exhibeant sicut Deo. Et hoc est quod subditur, ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur, caelestium, terrestrium et Infernorum. Quarto, quantum ad iudiciariam potestatem. Dicitur enim Iob XXXVI, causa tua quasi impii iudicata est, iudicium causamque recipies. And, consequently, He merited a four-fold exaltation from His Passion. First of all, as to His glorious Resurrection: hence it is written (Ps. 138:1): "Thou hast known my sitting down"---that is, the lowliness of My Passion---"and My rising up." Secondly, as to His ascension into heaven: hence it is written (Eph. 4:9): "Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens." Thirdly, as to the sitting on the right hand of the Father and the showing forth of His Godhead, according to Is. 52:13: "He shall be exalted and extolled, and shall be exceeding high: as many have been astonished at him, so shall His visage be inglorious among men." Moreover (Phil. 2:8) it is written: "He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross: for which cause also God hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names"---that is to say, so that He shall be hailed as God by all; and all shall pay Him homage as God. And this is expressed in what follows: "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." Fourthly, as to His judiciary power: for it is written (Job 36:17): "Thy cause hath been judged as that of the wicked cause and judgment Thou shalt recover."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod principium merendi est ex parte animae, corpus autem est instrumentum meritorii actus. Et ideo perfectio animae Christi, quae fuit merendi principium, non debuit in eo acquiri per meritum, sicut perfectio corporis, quod fuit passioni subiectum, et per hoc fuit ipsius meriti instrumentum. Reply to Objection 1: The source of meriting comes of the soul, while the body is the instrument of the meritorious work. And consequently the perfection of Christ's soul, which was the source of meriting, ought not to be acquired in Him by merit, like the perfection of the body, which was the subject of suffering, and was thereby the instrument of His merit.
Ad secundum dicendum quod per priora merita Christus meruit exaltationem ex parte ipsius animae, cuius voluntas caritate et aliis virtutibus informabatur. Sed in passione meruit suam exaltationem, per modum cuiusdam recompensationis, etiam ex parte corporis, iustum enim est ut corpus, quod fuerat ex caritate passioni subiectum, acciperet recompensationem in gloria. Reply to Objection 2: Christ by His previous merits did merit exaltation on behalf of His soul, whose will was animated with charity and the other virtues; but in the Passion He merited His exaltation by way of recompense even on behalf of His body: since it is only just that the body, which from charity was subjected to the Passion, should receive recompense in glory.
Ad tertium dicendum quod dispensatione quadam factum est in Christo ut gloria animae, ante passionem, non redundaret ad corpus, ad hoc quod gloriam corporis honorabilius obtineret, quando eam per passionem meruisset. Gloriam autem animae differri non conveniebat, quia anima immediate uniebatur verbo, unde decens erat ut gloria repleretur ab ipso verbo. Sed corpus uniebatur verbo mediante anima. Reply to Objection 3: It was owing to a special dispensation in Christ that before the Passion the glory of His soul did not shine out in His body, in order that He might procure His bodily glory with greater honor, when He had merited it by His Passion. But it was not beseeming for the glory of His soul to be postponed, since the soul was united immediately with the Word; hence it was beseeming that its glory should be filled by the Word Himself. But the body was united with the Word through the soul.

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