Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.137 a.4
Objection: 1. It seems that perseverance does not need the help of grace. For perseverance is a virtue, as stated above (Article ). Now according to Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) virtue acts after the manner of nature. Therefore the sole inclination of virtue suffices for perseverance. Therefore this does not need the help of grace.
2. Further, the gift of Christ's grace is greater than the harm brought upon us by Adam, as appears from Rm 5,15, seqq. Now "before sin man was so framed that he could persevere by means of what he had received," as Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. xi). Much more therefore can man, after being repaired by the grace of Christ, persevere without the help of a further grace.
3. Further, sinful deeds are sometimes more difficult than deeds of virtue: hence it is said in the person of the wicked (Sg 5,7): "We . . . have walked through hard ways." Now some persevere in sinful deeds without the help of another. Therefore man can also persevere in deeds of virtue without the help of grace.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Persev. i): "We hold that perseverance is a gift of God, whereby we persevere unto the end, in Christ."
I answer that As stated above (Article , ad 2; Article , ad 3), perseverance has a twofold signification. First, it denotes the habit of perseverance, considered as a virtue. In this way it needs the gift of habitual grace, even as the other infused virtues. Secondly, it may be taken to denote the act of perseverance enduring until death: and in this sense it needs not only habitual grace, but also the gratuitous help of God sustaining man in good until the end of life, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ), when we were treating of grace. Because, since the free-will is changeable by its very nature, which changeableness is not taken away from it by the habitual grace bestowed in the present life, it is not in the power of the free-will, albeit repaired by grace, to abide unchangeably in good, though it is in its power to choose this: for it is often in our power to choose yet not to accomplish.
Reply to Objection: 1. The virtue of perseverance, so far as it is concerned, inclines one to persevere: yet since it is a habit, and a habit is a thing one uses at will, it does not follow that a person who has the habit of virtue uses it unchangeably until death.
2. As Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. xi), "it was given to the first man, not to persevere, but to be able to persevere of his free-will: because then no corruption was in human nature to make perseverance difficult. Now, however, by the grace of Christ, the predestined receive not only the possibility of persevering, but perseverance itself. Wherefore the first man whom no man threatened, of his own free-will rebelling against a threatening God, forfeited so great a happiness and so great a facility of avoiding sin: whereas these, although the world rage against their constancy, have persevered in faith."
3. Man is able by himself to fall into sin, but he cannot by himself arise from sin without the help of grace. Hence by falling into sin, so far as he is concerned man makes himself to be persevering in sin, unless he be delivered by God's grace. On the other hand, by doing good he does not make himself to be persevering in good, because he is able, by himself, to sin: wherefore he needs the help of grace for that end.
We must now consider the vices opposed to perseverance; under which head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Of effeminacy;
(2) Of pertinacity.
Objection: 1. It seems that effeminacy is not opposed to perseverance. For a gloss on 1Co 6,9-10, "Nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind," expounds the text thus: "Effeminate---i.e. obscene, given to unnatural vice." But this is opposed to chastity. Therefore effeminacy is not a vice opposed to perseverance.
2. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7) that "delicacy is a kind of effeminacy." But to be delicate seems akin to intemperance. Therefore effeminacy is not opposed to perseverance but to temperance.
3. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7) that "the man who is fond of amusement is effeminate." Now immoderate fondness of amusement is opposed to (eutrapelia), which is the virtue about pleasures of play, as stated in Ethic. iv, 8. Therefore effeminacy is not opposed to perseverance.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7) that "the persevering man is opposed to the effeminate."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Articles ,2), perseverance is deserving of praise because thereby a man does not forsake a good on account of long endurance of difficulties and toils: and it is directly opposed to this, seemingly, for a man to be ready to forsake a good on account of difficulties which he cannot endure. This is what we understand by effeminacy, because a thing is said to be "soft" if it readily yields to the touch. Now a thing is not declared to be soft through yielding to a heavy blow, for walls yield to the battering-ram. Wherefore a man is not said to be effeminate if he yields to heavy blows. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7) that "it is no wonder, if a person is overcome by strong and overwhelming pleasures or sorrows; but he is to be pardoned if he struggles against them." Now it is evident that fear of danger is more impelling than the desire of pleasure: wherefore Tully says (De Offic. i) under the heading "True magnanimity consists of two things: It is inconsistent for one who is not cast down by fear, to be defeated by lust, or who has proved himself unbeaten by toil, to yield to pleasure." Moreover, pleasure itself is a stronger motive of attraction than sorrow, for the lack of pleasure is a motive of withdrawal, since lack of pleasure is a pure privation. Wherefore, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 7), properly speaking an effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrow caused by lack of pleasure, yielding as it were to a weak motion.
Reply to Objection: 1. This effeminacy is caused in two ways. In one way, by custom: for where a man is accustomed to enjoy pleasures, it is more difficult for him to endure the lack of them. In another way, by natural disposition, because, to wit, his mind is less persevering through the frailty of his temperament. This is how women are compared to men, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7): wherefore those who are passively sodomitical are said to be effeminate, being womanish themselves, as it were.
2. Toil is opposed to bodily pleasure: wherefore it is only toilsome things that are a hindrance to pleasures. Now the delicate are those who cannot endure toils, nor anything that diminishes pleasure. Hence it is written (Dt 28,56): "The tender and delicate woman, that could not go upon the ground, nor set down her foot for . . . softness [Douay: 'niceness']." Thus delicacy is a kind of effeminacy. But properly speaking effeminacy regards lack of pleasures, while delicacy regards the cause that hinders pleasure, for instance toil or the like.
3. In play two things may be considered. In the first place there is the pleasure, and thus inordinate fondness of play is opposed to (eutrapelia). Secondly, we may consider the relaxation or rest which is opposed to toil. Accordingly just as it belongs to effeminacy to be unable to endure toilsome things, so too it belongs thereto to desire play or any other relaxation inordinately.
Objection: 1. It seems that pertinacity is not opposed to perseverance. For Gregory says (Moral. xxxi) that pertinacity arises from vainglory. But vainglory is not opposed to perseverance but to magnanimity, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore pertinacity is not opposed to perseverance.
2. Further, if it is opposed to perseverance, this is so either by excess or by deficiency. Now it is not opposed by excess: because the pertinacious also yield to certain pleasure and sorrow, since according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 9) "they rejoice when they prevail, and grieve when their opinions are rejected." And if it be opposed by deficiency, it will be the same as effeminacy, which is clearly false. Therefore pertinacity is nowise opposed to perseverance.
3. Further, just as the persevering man persists in good against sorrow, so too do the continent and the temperate against pleasures, the brave against fear, and the meek against anger. But pertinacity is over-persistence in something. Therefore pertinacity is not opposed to perseverance more than to other virtues.
On the contrary Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that pertinacity is to perseverance as superstition is to religion. But superstition is opposed to religion, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore pertinacity is opposed to perseverance.
I answer that As Isidore says (Etym. x) "a person is said to be pertinacious who holds on impudently, as being utterly tenacious." "Pervicacious" has the same meaning, for it signifies that a man "perseveres in his purpose until he is victorious: for the ancients called 'vicia' what we call victory." These the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 9) calls (ischyrognomones), that is "head-strong," or (idiognomones), that is "self-opinionated," because they abide by their opinions more than they should; whereas the effeminate man does so less than he ought, and the persevering man, as he ought. Hence it is clear that perseverance is commended for observing the mean, while pertinacity is reproved for exceeding the mean, and effeminacy for falling short of it.
Reply to Objection: 1. The reason why a man is too persistent in his own opinion, is that he wishes by this means to make a show of his own excellence: wherefore this is the result of vainglory as its cause. Now it has been stated above (Question , Article , ad 1; Question , Article ), that opposition of vices to virtues depends, not on their cause, but on their species.
2. The pertinacious man exceeds by persisting inordinately in something against many difficulties: yet he takes a certain pleasure in the end, just as the brave and the persevering man. Since, however, this pleasure is sinful, seeing that he desires it too much, and shuns the contrary pain, he is like the incontinent or effeminate man.
3. Although the other virtues persist against the onslaught of the passions, they are not commended for persisting in the same way as perseverance is. As to continence, its claim to praise seems to lie rather in overcoming pleasures. Hence pertinacity is directly opposed to perseverance.
We must next consider the gift corresponding to fortitude, and this is the gift of fortitude. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Whether fortitude is a gift?
(2) Which among the beatitudes and fruits correspond to it?
Objection: 1. It seems that fortitude is not a gift. For the virtues differ from the gifts: and fortitude is a virtue. Therefore it should not be reckoned a gift.
2. Further, the acts of the gift remain in heaven, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ). But the act of fortitude does not remain in heaven: for Gregory says (Moral. i) that "fortitude encourages the fainthearted against hardships, which will be altogether absent from heaven." Therefore fortitude is not a gift.
3. Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. ii) that "it is a sign of fortitude to cut oneself adrift from all the deadly pleasures of the passing show." Now noisome pleasures and delights are the concern of temperance rather than of fortitude. Therefore it seems that fortitude is not the gift corresponding to the virtue of fortitude.
On the contrary Fortitude is reckoned among the other gifts of the Holy Ghost (Is 11,2).
I answer that Fortitude denotes a certain firmness of mind, as stated above (Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ): and this firmness of mind is required both in doing good and in enduring evil, especially with regard to goods or evils that are difficult. Now man, according to his proper and connatural mode, is able to have this firmness in both these respects, so as not to forsake the good on account of difficulties, whether in accomplishing an arduous work, or in enduring grievous evil. In this sense fortitude denotes a special or general virtue, as stated above (Question , Article ).Yet furthermore man's mind is moved by the Holy Ghost, in order that he may attain the end of each work begun, and avoid whatever perils may threaten. This surpasses human nature: for sometimes it is not in a man's power to attain the end of his work, or to avoid evils or dangers, since these may happen to overwhelm him in death. But the Holy Ghost works this in man, by bringing him to everlasting life, which is the end of all good deeds, and the release from all perils. A certain confidence of this is infused into the mind by the Holy Ghost Who expels any fear of the contrary. It is in this sense that fortitude is reckoned a gift of the Holy Ghost. For it has been stated above (FS, Question , Articles ,2) that the gifts regard the motion of the mind by the Holy Ghost.
Reply to Objection: 1. Fortitude, as a virtue, perfects the mind in the endurance of all perils whatever; but it does not go so far as to give confidence of overcoming all dangers: this belongs to the fortitude that is a gift of the Holy Ghost.
2. The gifts have not the same acts in heaven as on the way: for they exercise acts in connection with the enjoyment of the end. Hence the act of fortitude there is to enjoy full security from toil and evil.
3. The gift of fortitude regards the virtue of fortitude not only because it consists in enduring dangers, but also inasmuch as it consists in accomplishing any difficult work. Wherefore the gift of fortitude is directed by the gift of counsel, which seems to be concerned chiefly with the greater goods.
Objection: 1. It seems that the fourth beatitude, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice," does not correspond to the gift of fortitude. For the gift of piety and not the gift of fortitude corresponds to the virtue of justice. Now hungering and thirsting after justice pertain to the act of justice. Therefore this beatitude corresponds to the gift of piety rather than to the gift of fortitude.
2. Further, hunger and thirst after justice imply a desire for good. Now this belongs properly to charity, to which the gift of wisdom, and not the gift of fortitude, corresponds, as stated above (Question ). Therefore this beatitude corresponds, not to the gift of fortitude, but to the gift of wisdom.
3. Further, the fruits are consequent upon the beatitudes, since delight is essential to beatitude, according to Ethic. i, 8. Now the fruits, apparently, include none pertaining to fortitude. Therefore neither does any beatitude correspond to it.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i): "Fortitude becomes the hungry and thirsty: since those who desire to enjoy true goods, and wish to avoid loving earthly and material things, must toil."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ), Augustine makes the beatitudes correspond to the gifts according to the order in which they are set forth, observing at the same time a certain fittingness between them. Wherefore he ascribes the fourth beatitude, concerning the hunger and thirst for justice, to the fourth gift, namely fortitude.Yet there is a certain congruity between them, because, as stated (Article ), fortitude is about difficult things. Now it is very difficult, not merely to do virtuous deeds, which receive the common designation of works of justice, but furthermore to do them with an unsatiable desire, which may be signified by hunger and thirst for justice.
Reply to Objection: 1. As Chrysostom says (Hom. xv in Matth.), we may understand here not only particular, but also universal justice, which is related to all virtuous deeds according to Ethic. v, 1, wherein whatever is hard is the object of that fortitude which is a gift.
2. Charity is the root of all the virtues and gifts, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 3; FS, Question , Article , ad 3). Hence whatever pertains to fortitude may also be referred to charity.
3. There are two of the fruits which correspond sufficiently to the gift of fortitude: namely, patience, which regards the enduring of evils: and longanimity, which may regard the long delay and accomplishment of goods.
We must next consider the precepts of fortitude:
(1) The precepts of fortitude itself;
(2) The precepts of its parts.
Objection: 1. It seems that the precepts of fortitude are not suitably given in the Divine Law. For the New Law is more perfect than the Old Law. Yet the Old Law contains precepts of fortitude (Dt 20). Therefore precepts of fortitude should have been given in the New Law also.
2. Further, affirmative precepts are of greater import than negative precepts, since the affirmative include the negative, but not vice versa. Therefore it is unsuitable for the Divine Law to contain none but negative precepts in prohibition of fear.
3. Further, fortitude is one of the principal virtues, as stated above (Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ). Now the precepts are directed to the virtues as to their end: wherefore they should be proportionate to them. Therefore the precepts of fortitude should have been placed among the precepts of the decalogue, which are the chief precepts of the Law.
On the contrary stands Holy Writ which contains these precepts.
I answer that Precepts of law are directed to the end intended by the lawgiver. Wherefore precepts of law must needs be framed in various ways according to the various ends intended by lawgivers, so that even in human affairs there are laws of democracies, others of kingdoms, and others again of tyrannical governments. Now the end of the Divine Law is that man may adhere to God: wherefore the Divine Law contains precepts both of fortitude and of the other virtues, with a view to directing the mind to God. For this reason it is written (Dt 20,3-4): "Fear ye them not: because the Lord your God is in the midst of you, and will fight for you against your enemies."As to human laws, they are directed to certain earthly goods, and among them we find precepts of fortitude according to the requirements of those goods.
Reply to Objection: 1. The Old Testament contained temporal promises, while the promises of the New Testament are spiritual and eternal, according to Augustine (Contra Faust. iv). Hence in the Old Law there was need for the people to be taught how to fight, even in a bodily contest, in order to obtain an earthly possession. But in the New Testament men were to be taught how to come to the possession of eternal life by fighting spiritually, according to Mt 11,12, "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away." Hence Peter commands (1P 5,8-9): "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith," as also Jc 4,7: "Resist the devil, and he will fly from you." Since, however, men while tending to spiritual goods may be withdrawn from them by corporal dangers, precepts of fortitude had to be given even in the New Law, that they might bravely endure temporal evils, according to Mt 10,28, "Fear ye not them that kill the body."
2. The law gives general directions in its precepts. But the things that have to be done in cases of danger are not, like the things to be avoided, reducible to some common thing. Hence the precepts of fortitude are negative rather than affirmative.
3. As stated above (Question , Article ), the precepts of the decalogue are placed in the Law, as first principles, which need to be known to all from the outset. Wherefore the precepts of the decalogue had to be chiefly about those acts of justice in which the notion of duty is manifest, and not about acts of fortitude, because it is not so evident that it is a duty for a person not to fear dangers of death.
Objection: 1. It seems that the precept of the parts of fortitude are unsuitably given in the Divine Law. For just as patience and perseverance are parts of fortitude, so also are magnificence, magnanimity, and confidence, as stated above (Question ). Now we find precepts of patience in the Divine Law, as also of perseverance. Therefore there should also have been precepts of magnificence and magnanimity.
2. Further, patience is a very necessary virtue, since it is the guardian of the other virtues, as Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xxxv). Now the other virtues are commanded absolutely. Therefore patience should not have been commanded merely, as Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i), as to the preparedness of the mind.
3. Further, patience and perseverance are parts of fortitude, as stated above (Question ; Question , Article ; Question , Article ). Now the precepts of fortitude are not affirmative but only negative, as stated above (Article , ad 2). Therefore the precepts of patience and perseverance should have been negative and not affirmative.
On the contrary The contrary, however, follows from the way in which they are given by Holy Writ.
I answer that The Divine Law instructs man perfectly about such things as are necessary for right living. Now in order to live aright man needs not only the principal virtues, but also the secondary and annexed virtues. Wherefore the Divine Law contains precepts not only about the acts of the principal virtues, but also about the acts of the secondary and annexed virtues.
Reply to Objection: 1. Magnificence and magnanimity do not belong to the genus of fortitude, except by reason of a certain excellence of greatness which they regard in their respective matters. Now things pertaining to excellence come under the counsels of perfection rather than under precepts of obligation. Wherefore, there was need of counsels, rather than of precepts about magnificence and magnanimity. On the other hand, the hardships and toils of the present life pertain to patience and perseverance, not by reason of any greatness observable in them, but on account of the very nature of those virtues. Hence the need of precepts of patience and perseverance.
2. As stated above (Question , Article ), although affirmative precepts are always binding, they are not binding for always, but according to place and time. Wherefore just as the affirmative precepts about the other virtues are to be understood as to the preparedness of the mind, in the sense that man be prepared to fulfil them when necessary, so too are the precepts of patience to be understood in the same way.
3. Fortitude, as distinct from patience and perseverance, is about the greatest dangers wherein one must proceed with caution; nor is it necessary to determine what is to be done in particular. On the other hand, patience and perseverance are about minor hardships and toils, wherefore there is less danger in determining, especially in general, what is to be done in such cases.
TEMPERANCE (Questions -143)
In the next place we must consider temperance: (1) Temperance itself; (2) its parts; (3) its precepts. With regard to temperance we must consider (1) temperance itself; (2) the contrary vices.
Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether temperance is a virtue?
(2) Whether it is a special virtue?
(3) Whether it is only about desires and pleasures?
(4) Whether it is only about pleasures of touch?
(5) Whether it is about pleasures of taste, as such, or only as a kind of touch?
(6) What is the rule of temperance?
(7) Whether it is a cardinal, or principal, virtue?
(8) Whether it is the greatest of virtues ?
Objection: 1. It seems that temperance is not a virtue. For no virtue goes against the inclination of nature, since "there is in us a natural aptitude for virtue," as stated in Ethic. ii, 1. Now temperance withdraws us from pleasures to which nature inclines, according to Ethic. ii, 3,8. Therefore temperance is not a virtue.
2. Further, virtues are connected with one another, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ). But some people have temperance without having the other virtues: for we find many who are temperate, and yet covetous or timid. Therefore temperance is not a virtue.
3. Further, to every virtue there is a corresponding gift, as appears from what we have said above (FS, Question , Article ). But seemingly no gift corresponds to temperance, since all the gifts have been already ascribed to the other virtues (Questions ,9,19,45,52, 71,139). Therefore temperance is not a virtue.
On the contrary Augustine says (Music. vi, 15): "Temperance is the name of a virtue."
I answer that As stated above (FS, Question , Article ), it is essential to virtue to incline man to good. Now the good of man is to be in accordance with reason, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Hence human virtue is that which inclines man to something in accordance with reason. Now temperance evidently inclines man to this, since its very name implies moderation or temperateness, which reason causes. Therefore temperance is a virtue.
Reply to Objection: 1. Nature inclines everything to whatever is becoming to it. Wherefore man naturally desires pleasures that are becoming to him. Since, however, man as such is a rational being, it follows that those pleasures are becoming to man which are in accordance with reason. From such pleasures temperance does not withdraw him, but from those which are contrary to reason. Wherefore it is clear that temperance is not contrary to the inclination of human nature, but is in accord with it. It is, however, contrary to the inclination of the animal nature that is not subject to reason.
2. The temperance which fulfils the conditions of perfect virtue is not without prudence, while this is lacking to all who are in sin. Hence those who lack other virtues, through being subject to the opposite vices, have not the temperance which is a virtue, though they do acts of temperance from a certain natural disposition, in so far as certain imperfect virtues are either natural to man, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ), or acquired by habituation, which virtues, through lack of prudence, are not perfected by reason, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ).
3. Temperance also has a corresponding gift, namely, fear, whereby man is withheld from the pleasures of the flesh, according to Ps 118,120: "Pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear." The gift of fear has for its principal object God, Whom it avoids offending, and in this respect it corresponds to the virtue of hope, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 1). But it may have for its secondary object whatever a man shuns in order to avoid offending God. Now man stands in the greatest need of the fear of God in order to shun those things which are most seductive, and these are the matter of temperance: wherefore the gift of fear corresponds to temperance also.
Objection: 1. It would seem that temperance is not a special virtue. For Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. xv) that "it belongs to temperance to preserve one's integrity and freedom from corruption for God's sake." But this is common to every virtue. Therefore temperance is not a special virtue.
2. Further, Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 42) that "what we observe and seek most in temperance is tranquillity of soul." But this is common to every virtue. Therefore temperance is not a special virtue.
3. Further, Tully says (De Offic. i, 27) that "we cannot separate the beautiful from the virtuous," and that "whatever is just is beautiful." Now the beautiful is considered as proper to temperance, according to the same authority (Tully, De Offic. i, 27). Therefore temperance is not a special virtue.
On the contrary The Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 7; iii, 10) reckons it a special virtue.
I answer that It is customary in human speech to employ a common term in a restricted sense in order to designate the principal things to which that common term is applicable: thus the word "city" is used antonomastically* to designate Rome. [*Antonomasia is the figure of speech whereby we substitute the general for the individual term; e.g. The Philosopher for Aristotle]. Accordingly the word "temperance" has a twofold acceptation. First, in accordance with its common signification: and thus temperance is not a special but a general virtue, because the word "temperance" signifies a certain temperateness or moderation, which reason appoints to human operations and passions: and this is common to every moral virtue. Yet there is a logical difference between temperance and fortitude, even if we take them both as general virtues: since temperance withdraws man from things which seduce the appetite from obeying reason, while fortitude incites him to endure or withstand those things on account of which he forsakes the good of reason.On the other hand, if we take temperance antonomastically, as withholding the appetite from those things which are most seductive to man, it is a special virtue, for thus it has, like fortitude, a special matter.
Reply to Objection: 1. Man's appetite is corrupted chiefly by those things which seduce him into forsaking the rule of reason and Divine law. Wherefore integrity, which Augustine ascribes to temperance, can, like the latter, be taken in two ways: first, in a general sense, and secondly in a sense of excellence.
2. The things about which temperance is concerned have a most disturbing effect on the soul, for the reason that they are natural to man, as we shall state further on (Articles ,5). Hence tranquillity of soul is ascribed to temperance by way of excellence, although it is a common property of all the virtues.
3. Although beauty is becoming to every virtue, it is ascribed to temperance, by way of excellence, for two reasons. First, in respect of the generic notion of temperance, which consists in a certain moderate and fitting proportion, and this is what we understand by beauty, as attested by Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv). Secondly, because the things from which temperance withholds us, hold the lowest place in man, and are becoming to him by reason of his animal nature, as we shall state further on (Articles ,5; Question , Article ), wherefore it is natural that such things should defile him. In consequence beauty is a foremost attribute of temperance which above all hinders man from being defiled. In like manner honesty [*Honesty must be taken here in its broad sense as synonymous with moral goodness, from the point of view of decorum] is a special attribute of temperance: for Isidore says (Etym. x): "An honest man is one who has no defilement, for honesty means an honorable state." This is most applicable to temperance, which withstands the vices that bring most dishonor on man, as we shall state further on (Question , Article ).
Objection: 1. It would seem that temperance is not only about desires and pleasures. For Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii, 54) that "temperance is reason's firm and moderate mastery of lust and other wanton emotions of the mind." Now all the passions of the soul are called emotions of the mind. Therefore it seems that temperance is not only about desires and pleasures.
2. Further, "Virtue is about the difficult and the good" [*Ethic. ii, 3]. Now it seems more difficult to temper fear, especially with regard to dangers of death, than to moderate desires and pleasures, which are despised on account of deadly pains and dangers, according to Augustine (Questions , qu. 36). Therefore it seems that the virtue of temperance is not chiefly about desires and pleasures.
3. Further, according to Ambrose (De Offic. i, 43) "the grace of moderation belongs to temperance": and Tully says (De Offic. ii, 27) that "it is the concern of temperance to calm all disturbances of the mind and to enforce moderation." Now moderation is needed, not only in desires and pleasures, but also in external acts and whatever pertains to the exterior. Therefore temperance is not only about desires and pleasures.
On the contrary Isidore says (Etym.) [*The words quoted do not occur in the work referred to; Cf. his De Summo Bono xxxvii, xlii, and De Different. ii, 39]: that "it is temperance whereby lust and desire are kept under control."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), it belongs to moral virtue to safeguard the good of reason against the passions that rebel against reason. Now the movement of the soul's passions is twofold, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ), when we were treating of the passions: the one, whereby the sensitive appetite pursues sensible and bodily goods, the other whereby it flies from sensible and bodily evils.The first of these movements of the sensitive appetite rebels against reason chiefly by lack of moderation. Because sensible and bodily goods, considered in their species, are not in opposition to reason, but are subject to it as instruments which reason employs in order to attain its proper end: and that they are opposed to reason is owing to the fact that the sensitive appetite fails to tend towards them in accord with the mode of reason. Hence it belongs properly to moral virtue to moderate those passions which denote a pursuit of the good.On the other hand, the movement of the sensitive appetite in flying from sensible evil is mostly in opposition to reason, not through being immoderate, but chiefly in respect of its flight: because, when a man flies from sensible and bodily evils, which sometimes accompany the good of reason, the result is that he flies from the good of reason. Hence it belongs to moral virtue to make man while flying from evil to remain firm in the good of reason.Accordingly, just as the virtue of fortitude, which by its very nature bestows firmness, is chiefly concerned with the passion, viz. fear, which regards flight from bodily evils, and consequently with daring, which attacks the objects of fear in the hope of attaining some good, so, too, temperance, which denotes a kind of moderation, is chiefly concerned with those passions that tend towards sensible goods, viz. desire and pleasure, and consequently with the sorrows that arise from the absence of those pleasures. For just as daring presupposes objects of fear, so too such like sorrow arises from the absence of the aforesaid pleasures.
Reply to Objection: 1. As stated above (FS, Question , Articles ,2; FS, Question , Article ), when we were treating of the passions, those passions which pertain to avoidance of evil, presuppose the passions pertaining to the pursuit of good; and the passions of the irascible presuppose the passions of the concupiscible. Hence, while temperance directly moderates the passions of the concupiscible which tend towards good, as a consequence, it moderates all the other passions, inasmuch as moderation of the passions that precede results in moderation of the passions that follow: since he that is not immoderate in desire is moderate in hope, and grieves moderately for the absence of the things he desires.
2. Desire denotes an impulse of the appetite towards the object of pleasure and this impulse needs control, which belongs to temperance. on the other hand fear denotes a withdrawal of the mind from certain evils, against which man needs firmness of mind, which fortitude bestows. Hence temperance is properly about desires, and fortitude about fears.
3. External acts proceed from the internal passions of the soul: wherefore their moderation depends on the moderation of the internal passions.
Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.137 a.4