Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.25 a.4
Objection: 1. It would seem that a man is bound to love himself out of charity. For Gregory says in a homily (In Evang. xvii) that there "can be no charity between less than two." Therefore no man has charity towards himself.
2. Further, friendship, by its very nature, implies mutual love and equality (Ethic. viii, 2,7), which cannot be of one man towards himself. But charity is a kind of friendship, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore a man cannot have charity towards himself.
3. Further, anything relating to charity cannot be blameworthy, since charity "dealeth not perversely" (1Co 23,4). Now a man deserves to be blamed for loving himself, since it is written (2Tm 3,1-2): "In the last days shall come dangerous times, men shall be lovers of themselves." Therefore a man cannot love himself out of charity.
On the contrary It is written (Lv 19,18): "Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself." Now we love our friends out of charity. Therefore we should love ourselves too out of charity.
I answer that Since charity is a kind of friendship, as stated above (Question , Article ), we may consider charity from two standpoints: First, under the general notion of friendship, and in this way we must hold that, properly speaking, a man is not a friend to himself, but something more than a friend, since friendship implies union, for Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "love is a unitive force," whereas a man is one with himself which is more than being united to another. Hence, just as unity is the principle of union, so the love with which a man loves himself is the form and root of friendship. For if we have friendship with others it is because we do unto them as we do unto ourselves, hence we read in Ethic. ix, 4,8, that "the origin of friendly relations with others lies in our relations to ourselves." Thus too with regard to principles we have something greater than science, namely understanding.Secondly, we may speak of charity in respect of its specific nature, namely as denoting man's friendship with God in the first place, and, consequently, with the things of God, among which things is man himself who has charity. Hence, among these other things which he loves out of charity because they pertain to God, he loves also himself out of charity.
Reply to Objection: 1. Gregory speaks there of charity under the general notion of friendship:
2. and the Second Objection is to be taken in the same sense.
3. Those who love themselves are to be blamed, in so far as they love themselves as regards their sensitive nature, which they humor. This is not to love oneself truly according to one's rational nature, so as to desire for oneself the good things which pertain to the perfection of reason: and in this way chiefly it is through charity that a man loves himself.
Objection: 1. It would seem that a man ought not to love his body out of charity. For we do not love one with whom we are unwilling to associate. But those who have charity shun the society of the body, according to Rm 7,24: "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" and Ph 1,23: "Having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ." Therefore our bodies are not to be loved out of charity.
2. Further, the friendship of charity is based on fellowship in the enjoyment of God. But the body can have no share in that enjoyment. Therefore the body is not to be loved out of charity.
3. Further, since charity is a kind of friendship it is towards those who are capable of loving in return. But our body cannot love us out of charity. Therefore it should not be loved out of charity.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 23,26) that there are four things that we should love out of charity, and among them he reckons our own body.
I answer that Our bodies can be considered in two ways: first, in respect of their nature, secondly, in respect of the corruption of sin and its punishment.Now the nature of our body was created, not by an evil principle, as the Manicheans pretend, but by God. Hence we can use it for God's service, according to Rm 6,13: "Present . . . your members as instruments of justice unto God." Consequently, out of the love of charity with which we love God, we ought to love our bodies also, but we ought not to love the evil effects of sin and the corruption of punishment; we ought rather, by the desire of charity, to long for the removal of such things.
Reply to Objection: 1. The Apostle did not shrink from the society of his body, as regards the nature of the body, in fact in this respect he was loth to be deprived thereof, according to 2Co 5,4: "We would not be unclothed, but clothed over." He did, however, wish to escape from the taint of concupiscence, which remains in the body, and from the corruption of the body which weighs down the soul, so as to hinder it from seeing God. Hence he says expressly: "From the body of this death."
2. Although our bodies are unable to enjoy God by knowing and loving Him, yet by the works which we do through the body, we are able to attain to the perfect knowledge of God. Hence from the enjoyment in the soul there overflows a certain happiness into the body, viz., "the flush of health and incorruption," as Augustine states (Ep ad Dioscor. cxviii). Hence, since the body has, in a fashion, a share of happiness, it can be loved with the love of charity.
3. Mutual love is found in the friendship which is for another, but not in that which a man has for himself, either in respect of his soul, or in respect of his body.
Objection: 1. It would seem that we ought not to love sinners out of charity. For it is written (Ps 118,113): "I have hated the unjust." But David had perfect charity. Therefore sinners should be hated rather than loved, out of charity.
2. Further, "love is proved by deeds" as Gregory says in a homily for Pentecost (In Evang. xxx). But good men do no works of the unjust: on the contrary, they do such as would appear to be works of hate, according to Ps 100,8: "In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land": and God commanded (Ex 22,18): "Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live." Therefore sinners should not be loved out of charity.
3. Further, it is part of friendship that one should desire and wish good things for one's friends. Now the saints, out of charity, desire evil things for the wicked, according to Ps 9,18: "May the wicked be turned into hell [*Douay and A. V.: 'The wicked shall be,' etc. See Reply to this Objection.]." Therefore sinners should not be loved out of charity.
4. Further, it is proper to friends to rejoice in, and will the same things. Now charity does not make us will what sinners will, nor to rejoice in what gives them joy, but rather the contrary. Therefore sinners should not be loved out of charity.
5. Further, it is proper to friends to associate together, according to Ethic. viii. But we ought not to associate with sinners, according to 2Co 6,17: "Go ye out from among them." Therefore we should not love sinners out of charity.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 30) that "when it is said: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor,' it is evident that we ought to look upon every man as our neighbor." Now sinners do not cease to be men, for sin does not destroy nature. Therefore we ought to love sinners out of charity.
I answer that Two things may be considered in the sinner: his nature and his guilt. According to his nature, which he has from God, he has a capacity for happiness, on the fellowship of which charity is based, as stated above (Article ; Question , Articles ,5), wherefore we ought to love sinners, out of charity, in respect of their nature.On the other hand their guilt is opposed to God, and is an obstacle to happiness. Wherefore, in respect of their guilt whereby they are opposed to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one's father or mother or kindred, according to Lc 12,26. For it is our duty to hate, in the sinner, his being a sinner, and to love in him, his being a man capable of bliss; and this is to love him truly, out of charity, for God's sake.
Reply to Objection: 1. The prophet hated the unjust, as such, and the object of his hate was their injustice, which was their evil. Such hatred is perfect, of which he himself says (Ps 138,22): "I have hated them with a perfect hatred." Now hatred of a person's evil is equivalent to love of his good. Hence also this perfect hatred belongs to charity.
2. As the Philosopher observes (Ethic. ix, 3), when our friends fall into sin, we ought not to deny them the amenities of friendship, so long as there is hope of their mending their ways, and we ought to help them more readily to regain virtue than to recover money, had they lost it, for as much as virtue is more akin than money to friendship. When, however, they fall into very great wickedness, and become incurable, we ought no longer to show them friendliness. It is for this reason that both Divine and human laws command such like sinners to be put to death, because there is greater likelihood of their harming others than of their mending their ways. Nevertheless the judge puts this into effect, not out of hatred for the sinners, but out of the love of charity, by reason of which he prefers the public good to the life of the individual. Moreover the death inflicted by the judge profits the sinner, if he be converted, unto the expiation of his crime; and, if he be not converted, it profits so as to put an end to the sin, because the sinner is thus deprived of the power to sin any more.
3. Such like imprecations which we come across in Holy Writ, may be understood in three ways: first, by way of prediction, not by way of wish, so that the sense is: "May the wicked be," that is, "The wicked shall be, turned into hell." Secondly, by way of wish, yet so that the desire of the wisher is not referred to the man's punishment, but to the justice of the punisher, according to Ps 57,11: "The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge," since, according to Sg 1,13, not even God "hath pleasure in the destruction of the wicked [Vulg.: 'living']" when He punishes them, but He rejoices in His justice, according to Ps 10,8: "The Lord is just and hath loved justice." Thirdly, so that this desire is referred to the removal of the sin, and not to the punishment itself, to the effect, namely, that the sin be destroyed, but that the man may live.
4. We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written (Jr 15,19): "They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not to be turned to them."
5. The weak should avoid associating with sinners, on account of the danger in which they stand of being perverted by them. But it is commendable for the perfect, of whose perversion there is no fear, to associate with sinners that they may convert them. For thus did Our Lord eat and drink with sinners as related by Mt 9,11-13. Yet all should avoid the society of sinners, as regards fellowship in sin; in this sense it is written (2Co 6,17): "Go out from among them . . . and touch not the unclean thing," i.e. by consenting to sin.
Objection: 1. It would seem that sinners love themselves. For that which is the principle of sin, is most of all in the sinner. Now love of self is the principle of sin, since Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28) that it "builds up the city of Babylon." Therefore sinners most of all love themselves.
2. Further, sin does not destroy nature. Now it is in keeping with nature that every man should love himself: wherefore even irrational creatures naturally desire their own good, for instance, the preservation of their being, and so forth. Therefore sinners love themselves.
3. Further, good is beloved by all, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Now many sinners reckon themselves to be good. Therefore many sinners love themselves.
On the contrary It is written (Ps 10,6): "He that loveth iniquity, hateth his own soul."
I answer that Love of self is common to all, in one way; in another way it is proper to the good; in a third way, it is proper to the wicked. For it is common to all for each one to love what he thinks himself to be. Now a man is said to be a thing, in two ways: first, in respect of his substance and nature, and, this way all think themselves to be what they are, that is, composed of a soul and body. In this way too, all men, both good and wicked, love themselves, in so far as they love their own preservation.Secondly, a man is said to be something in respect of some predominance, as the sovereign of a state is spoken of as being the state, and so, what the sovereign does, the state is said to do. In this way, all do not think themselves to be what they are. For the reasoning mind is the predominant part of man, while the sensitive and corporeal nature takes the second place, the former of which the Apostle calls the "inward man," and the latter, the "outward man" (2Co 4,16). Now the good look upon their rational nature or the inward man as being the chief thing in them, wherefore in this way they think themselves to be what they are. On the other hand, the wicked reckon their sensitive and corporeal nature, or the outward man, to hold the first place. Wherefore, since they know not themselves aright, they do not love themselves aright, but love what they think themselves to be. But the good know themselves truly, and therefore truly love themselves.The Philosopher proves this from five things that are proper to friendship. For in the first place, every friend wishes his friend to be and to live; secondly, he desires good things for him; thirdly, he does good things to him; fourthly, he takes pleasure in his company; fifthly, he is of one mind with him, rejoicing and sorrowing in almost the same things. In this way the good love themselves, as to the inward man, because they wish the preservation thereof in its integrity, they desire good things for him, namely spiritual goods, indeed they do their best to obtain them, and they take pleasure in entering into their own hearts, because they find there good thoughts in the present, the memory of past good, and the hope of future good, all of which are sources of pleasure. Likewise they experience no clashing of wills, since their whole soul tends to one thing.On the other hand, the wicked have no wish to be preserved in the integrity of the inward man, nor do they desire spiritual goods for him, nor do they work for that end, nor do they take pleasure in their own company by entering into their own hearts, because whatever they find there, present, past and future, is evil and horrible; nor do they agree with themselves, on account of the gnawings of conscience, according to Ps 49,21: "I will reprove thee and set before thy face."In the same manner it may be shown that the wicked love themselves, as regards the corruption of the outward man, whereas the good do not love themselves thus.
Reply to Objection: 1. The love of self which is the principle of sin is that which is proper to the wicked, and reaches "to the contempt of God," as stated in the passage quoted, because the wicked so desire external goods as to despise spiritual goods.
2. Although natural love is not altogether forfeited by wicked men, yet it is perverted in them, as explained above.
3. The wicked have some share of self-love, in so far as they think themselves good. Yet such love of self is not true but apparent: and even this is not possible in those who are very wicked.
Objection: 1. It would seem that charity does not require us to love our enemies. For Augustine says (Enchiridion lxxiii) that "this great good," namely, the love of our enemies, is "not so universal in its application, as the object of our petition when we say: Forgive us our trespasses." Now no one is forgiven sin without he have charity, because, according to Pr 10,12, "charity covereth all sins." Therefore charity does not require that we should love our enemies.
2. Further, charity does not do away with nature. Now everything, even an irrational being, naturally hates its contrary, as a lamb hates a wolf, and water fire. Therefore charity does not make us love our enemies.
3. Further, charity "doth nothing perversely" (1Co 13,4). Now it seems perverse to love one's enemies, as it would be to hate one's friends: hence Joab upbraided David by saying (2S 19,6): "Thou lovest them that hate thee, and thou hatest them that love thee." Therefore charity does not make us love our enemies.
On the contrary Our Lord said (Mt 4,44): "Love your enemies."
I answer that Love of one's enemies may be understood in three ways. First, as though we were to love our enemies as such: this is perverse, and contrary to charity, since it implies love of that which is evil in another.Secondly love of one's enemies may mean that we love them as to their nature, but in general: and in this sense charity requires that we should love our enemies, namely, that in loving God and our neighbor, we should not exclude our enemies from the love given to our neighbor in general.Thirdly, love of one's enemies may be considered as specially directed to them, namely, that we should have a special movement of love towards our enemies. Charity does not require this absolutely, because it does not require that we should have a special movement of love to every individual man, since this would be impossible. Nevertheless charity does require this, in respect of our being prepared in mind, namely, that we should be ready to love our enemies individually, if the necessity were to occur. That man should actually do so, and love his enemy for God's sake, without it being necessary for him to do so, belongs to the perfection of charity. For since man loves his neighbor, out of charity, for God's sake, the more he loves God, the more does he put enmities aside and show love towards his neighbor: thus if we loved a certain man very much, we would love his children though they were unfriendly towards us.
Reply to Objection: 1. This is the sense in which Augustine speaks in the passage quoted in the First Objection, the Reply to which is therefore evident.
2. Everything naturally hates its contrary as such. Now our enemies are contrary to us, as enemies, wherefore this itself should be hateful to us, for their enmity should displease us. They are not, however, contrary to us, as men and capable of happiness: and it is as such that we are bound to love them.
3. It is wrong to love one's enemies as such: charity does not do this, as stated above.
Objection: 1. It would seem that charity demands of a man to show his enemy the signs or effects of love. For it is written (1Jn 3,18): "Let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Now a man loves in deed by showing the one he loves signs and effects of love. Therefore charity requires that a man show his enemies such signs and effects of love.
2. Further, Our Lord said in the same breath (Mt 5,44): "Love your enemies," and, "Do good to them that hate you." Now charity demands that we love our enemies. Therefore it demands also that we should "do good to them."
3. Further, not only God but also our neighbor is the object of charity. Now Gregory says in a homily for Pentecost (In Evang. xxx), that "love of God cannot be idle for wherever it is it does great things, and if it ceases to work, it is no longer love." Hence charity towards our neighbor cannot be without producing works. But charity requires us to love our neighbor without exception, though he be an enemy. Therefore charity requires us to show the signs and effects of love towards our enemies.
On the contrary A gloss on Mt 5,44, "Do good to them that hate you," says: "To do good to one's enemies is the height of perfection" [*Augustine, Enchiridion lxxiii]. Now charity does not require us to do that which belongs to its perfection. Therefore charity does not require us to show the signs and effects of love to our enemies.
I answer that The effects and signs of charity are the result of inward love, and are in proportion with it. Now it is absolutely necessary, for the fulfilment of the precept, that we should inwardly love our enemies in general, but not individually, except as regards the mind being prepared to do so, as explained above (Article ).We must accordingly apply this to the showing of the effects and signs of love. For some of the signs and favors of love are shown to our neighbors in general, as when we pray for all the faithful, or for a whole people, or when anyone bestows a favor on a whole community: and the fulfilment of the precept requires that we should show such like favors or signs of love towards our enemies. For if we did not so, it would be a proof of vengeful spite, and contrary to what is written (Lv 19,18): "Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens." But there are other favors or signs of love, which one shows to certain persons in particular: and it is not necessary for salvation that we show our enemies such like favors and signs of love, except as regards being ready in our minds, for instance to come to their assistance in a case of urgency, according to Pr 25,21: "If thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him . . . drink." Outside cases of urgency, to show such like favors to an enemy belongs to the perfection of charity, whereby we not only beware, as in duty bound, of being overcome by evil, but also wish to overcome evil by good [*Rm 12,21], which belongs to perfection: for then we not only beware of being drawn into hatred on account of the hurt done to us, but purpose to induce our enemy to love us on account of our kindliness.
Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
Objection: 1. It would seem that we are not bound to love the angels out of charity. For, as Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i), charity is a twofold love: the love of God and of our neighbor. Now love of the angels is not contained in the love of God, since they are created substances; nor is it, seemingly, contained in the love of our neighbor, since they do not belong with us to a common species. Therefore we are not bound to love them out of charity.
2. Further, dumb animals have more in common with us than the angels have, since they belong to the same proximate genus as we do. But we have not charity towards dumb animals, as stated above (Article ). Neither, therefore, have we towards the angels.
3. Further, nothing is so proper to friends as companionship with one another (Ethic. viii, 5). But the angels are not our companions; we cannot even see them. Therefore we are unable to give them the friendship of charity.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 30): "If the name of neighbor is given either to those whom we pity, or to those who pity us, it is evident that the precept binding us to love our neighbor includes also the holy angels from whom we receive many merciful favors."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ), the friendship of charity is founded upon the fellowship of everlasting happiness, in which men share in common with the angels. For it is written (Mt 22,30) that "in the resurrection . . . men shall be as the angels of God in heaven." It is therefore evident that the friendship of charity extends also to the angels.
Reply to Objection: 1. Our neighbor is not only one who is united to us in a common species, but also one who is united to us by sharing in the blessings pertaining to everlasting life, and it is on the latter fellowship that the friendship of charity is founded.
2. Dumb animals are united to us in the proximate genus, by reason of their sensitive nature; whereas we are partakers of everlasting happiness, by reason not of our sensitive nature but of our rational mind wherein we associate with the angels.
3. The companionship of the angels does not consist in outward fellowship, which we have in respect of our sensitive nature; it consists in a fellowship of the mind, imperfect indeed in this life, but perfect in heaven, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 1).
Objection: 1. It would seem that we ought to love the demons out of charity. For the angels are our neighbors by reason of their fellowship with us in a rational mind. But the demons also share in our fellowship thus, since natural gifts, such as life and understanding, remain in them unimpaired, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore we ought to love the demons out of charity.
2. Further, the demons differ from the blessed angels in the matter of sin, even as sinners from just men. Now the just man loves the sinner out of charity. Therefore he ought to love the demons also out of charity.
3. Further, we ought, out of charity, to love, as being our neighbors, those from whom we receive favors, as appears from the passage of Augustine quoted above (Article ). Now the demons are useful to us in many things, for "by tempting us they work crowns for us," as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 17). Therefore we ought to love the demons out of charity.
On the contrary It is written (Is 28,18): "Your league with death shall be abolished, and your covenant with hell shall not stand." Now the perfection of a peace and covenant is through charity. Therefore we ought not to have charity for the demons who live in hell and compass death.
I answer that As stated above (Article ), in the sinner, we are bound, out of charity, to love his nature, but to hate his sin. But the name of demon is given to designate a nature deformed by sin, wherefore demons should not be loved out of charity. Without however laying stress on the word, the question as to whether the spirits called demons ought to be loved out of charity, must be answered in accordance with the statement made above (Articles ,3), that a thing may be loved out of charity in two ways. First, a thing may be loved as the person who is the object of friendship, and thus we cannot have the friendship of charity towards the demons. For it is an essential part of friendship that one should be a well-wisher towards one's friend; and it is impossible for us, out of charity, to desire the good of everlasting life, to which charity is referred, for those spirits whom God has condemned eternally, since this would be in opposition to our charity towards God whereby we approve of His justice.Secondly, we love a thing as being that which we desire to be enduring as another's good. In this way we love irrational creatures out of charity, in as much as we wish them to endure, to give glory to God and be useful to man, as stated above (Article ): and in this way too we can love the nature of the demons even out of charity, in as much as we desire those spirits to endure, as to their natural gifts, unto God's glory.
Reply to Objection: 1. The possession of everlasting happiness is not impossible for the angelic mind as it is for the mind of a demon; consequently the friendship of charity which is based on the fellowship of everlasting life, rather than on the fellowship of nature, is possible towards the angels, but not towards the demons.
2. In this life, men who are in sin retain the possibility of obtaining everlasting happiness: not so those who are lost in hell, who, in this respect, are in the same case as the demons.
3. That the demons are useful to us is due not to their intention but to the ordering of Divine providence; hence this leads us to be friends, not with them, but with God, Who turns their perverse intention to our profit.
Objection: 1. It would seem that these four things are not rightly reckoned as to be loved out of charity, to wit: God, our neighbor, our body, and ourselves. For, as Augustine states (Tract. super Joan. lxxxiii), "he that loveth not God, loveth not himself." Hence love of oneself is included in the love of God. Therefore love of oneself is not distinct from the love of God.
2. Further, a part ought not to be condivided with the whole. But our body is part of ourselves. Therefore it ought not to be condivided with ourselves as a distinct object of love.
3. Further, just as a man has a body, so has his neighbor. Since then the love with which a man loves his neighbor, is distinct from the love with which a man loves himself, so the love with which a man loves his neighbor's body, ought to be distinct from the love with which he loves his own body. Therefore these four things are not rightly distinguished as objects to be loved out of charity.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 23): "There are four things to be loved; one which is above us," namely God, "another, which is ourselves, a third which is nigh to us," namely our neighbor, "and a fourth which is beneath us," namely our own body.
I answer that As stated above (Question , Articles ,5), the friendship of charity is based on the fellowship of happiness. Now, in this fellowship, one thing is considered as the principle from which happiness flows, namely God; a second is that which directly partakes of happiness, namely men and angels; a third is a thing to which happiness comes by a kind of overflow, namely the human body.Now the source from which happiness flows is lovable by reason of its being the cause of happiness: that which is a partaker of happiness, can be an object of love for two reasons, either through being identified with ourselves, or through being associated with us in partaking of happiness, and in this respect, there are two things to be loved out of charity, in as much as man loves both himself and his neighbor.
Reply to Objection: 1. The different relations between a lover and the various things loved make a different kind of lovableness. Accordingly, since the relation between the human lover and God is different from his relation to himself, these two are reckoned as distinct objects of love, for the love of the one is the cause of the love of the other, so that the former love being removed the latter is taken away.
2. The subject of charity is the rational mind that can be capable of obtaining happiness, to which the body does not reach directly, but only by a kind of overflow. Hence, by his reasonable mind which holds the first place in him, man, out of charity, loves himself in one way, and his own body in another.
3. Man loves his neighbor, both as to his soul and as to his body, by reason of a certain fellowship in happiness. Wherefore, on the part of his neighbor, there is only one reason for loving him; and our neighbor's body is not reckoned as a special object of love.
We must now consider the order of charity, under which head there are thirteen points of inquiry:
(1) Whether there is an order in charity?
(2) Whether man ought to love God more than his neighbor?
(3) Whether more than himself?
(4) Whether he ought to love himself more than his neighbor?
(5) Whether man ought to love his neighbor more than his own body?
(6) Whether he ought to love one neighbor more than another?
(7) Whether he ought to love more, a neighbor who is better, or one who is more closely united to him?
(8) Whether he ought to love more, one who is akin to him by blood, or one who is united to him by other ties?
(9) Whether, out of charity, a man ought to love his son more than his father ?
(10) Whether he ought to love his mother more than his father?
(11) Whether he ought to love his wife more than his father or mother?
(12) Whether we ought to love those who are kind to us more than those whom we are kind to?
(13) Whether the order of charity endures in heaven?
Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.25 a.4