Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.17 a.6
Objection: 1. It would seem that hope is not distinct from the other theological virtues. For habits are distinguished by their objects, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ). Now the object of hope is the same as of the other theological virtues. Therefore hope is not distinct from the other theological virtues.
2. Further, in the symbol of faith, whereby we make profession of faith, we say: "I expect the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." Now expectation of future happiness belongs to hope, as stated above (Article ). Therefore hope is not distinct from faith.
3. Further, by hope man tends to God. But this belongs properly to charity. Therefore hope is not distinct from charity.
On the contrary There cannot be number without distinction. Now hope is numbered with the other theological virtues: for Gregory says (Moral. i, 16) that the three virtues are faith, hope, and charity. Therefore hope is distinct from the theological virtues.
I answer that A virtue is said to be theological from having God for the object to which it adheres. Now one may adhere to a thing in two ways: first, for its own sake; secondly, because something else is attained thereby. Accordingly charity makes us adhere to God for His own sake, uniting our minds to God by the emotion of love.On the other hand, hope and faith make man adhere to God as to a principle wherefrom certain things accrue to us. Now we derive from God both knowledge of truth and the attainment of perfect goodness. Accordingly faith makes us adhere to God, as the source whence we derive the knowledge of truth, since we believe that what God tells us is true: while hope makes us adhere to God, as the source whence we derive perfect goodness, i.e. in so far as, by hope, we trust to the Divine assistance for obtaining happiness.
Reply to Objection: 1. God is the object of these virtues under different aspects, as stated above: and a different aspect of the object suffices for the distinction of habits, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ).
2. Expectation is mentioned in the symbol of faith, not as though it were the proper act of faith, but because the act of hope presupposes the act of faith, as we shall state further on (Article ). Hence an act of faith is expressed in the act of hope.
3. Hope makes us tend to God, as to a good to be obtained finally, and as to a helper strong to assist: whereas charity, properly speaking, makes us tend to God, by uniting our affections to Him, so that we live, not for ourselves, but for God.
Objection: 1. It would seem that hope precedes faith. Because a gloss on Ps 36,3, "Trust in the Lord, and do good," says: "Hope is the entrance to faith and the beginning of salvation." But salvation is by faith whereby we are justified. Therefore hope precedes faith.
2. Further, that which is included in a definition should precede the thing defined and be more known. But hope is included in the definition of faith (He 11,1): "Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for." Therefore hope precedes faith.
3. Further, hope precedes a meritorious act, for the Apostle says (1Co 9,10): "He that plougheth should plough in hope . . . to receive fruit." But the act of faith is meritorious. Therefore hope precedes faith.
On the contrary It is written (Mt 1,2): "Abraham begot Isaac," i.e. "Faith begot hope," according to a gloss.
I answer that Absolutely speaking, faith precedes hope. For the object of hope is a future good, arduous but possible to obtain. In order, therefore, that we may hope, it is necessary for the object of hope to be proposed to us as possible. Now the object of hope is, in one way, eternal happiness, and in another way, the Divine assistance, as explained above (Article ; Article , ad 3): and both of these are proposed to us by faith, whereby we come to know that we are able to obtain eternal life, and that for this purpose the Divine assistance is ready for us, according to He 11,6: "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him." Therefore it is evident that faith precedes hope.
Reply to Objection: 1. As the same gloss observes further on, "hope" is called "the entrance" to faith, i.e. of the thing believed, because by hope we enter in to see what we believe. Or we may reply that it is called the "entrance to faith," because thereby man begins to be established and perfected in faith.
2. The thing to be hoped for is included in the definition of faith, because the proper object of faith, is something not apparent in itself. Hence it was necessary to express it in a circumlocution by something resulting from faith.
3. Hope does not precede every meritorious act; but it suffices for it to accompany or follow it.
Objection: 1. It would seem that charity precedes hope. For Ambrose says on Lc 27,6, "If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed," etc.: "Charity flows from faith, and hope from charity." But faith precedes charity. Therefore charity precedes hope.
2. Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 9) that "good emotions and affections proceed from love and holy charity." Now to hope, considered as an act of hope, is a good emotion of the soul. Therefore it flows from charity.
3. Further, the Master says (Sent. iii, D, 26) that hope proceeds from merits, which precede not only the thing hoped for, but also hope itself, which, in the order of nature, is preceded by charity. Therefore charity precedes hope.
On the contrary The Apostle says (1Tm 1,5): "The end of the commandment is charity from a pure heart, and a good conscience," i.e. "from hope," according to a gloss. Therefore hope precedes charity.
I answer that Order is twofold. One is the order of generation and of matter, in respect of which the imperfect precedes the perfect: the other is the order of perfection and form, in respect of which the perfect naturally precedes the imperfect. In respect of the first order hope precedes charity: and this is clear from the fact that hope and all movements of the appetite flow from love, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article , ad 2; FS, Question , Article ) in the treatise on the passions.Now there is a perfect, and an imperfect love. Perfect love is that whereby a man is loved in himself, as when someone wishes a person some good for his own sake; thus a man loves his friend. Imperfect love is that whereby a man love something, not for its own sake, but that he may obtain that good for himself; thus a man loves what he desires. The first love of God pertains to charity, which adheres to God for His own sake; while hope pertains to the second love, since he that hopes, intends to obtain possession of something for himself.Hence in the order of generation, hope precedes charity. For just as a man is led to love God, through fear of being punished by Him for his sins, as Augustine states (In primam canon. Joan. Tract. ix), so too, hope leads to charity, in as much as a man through hoping to be rewarded by God, is encouraged to love God and obey His commandments. On the other hand, in the order of perfection charity naturally precedes hope, wherefore, with the advent of charity, hope is made more perfect, because we hope chiefly in our friends. It is in this sense that Ambrose states (Objection ) that charity flows from hope:
Reply to Objection: 1. so that this suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
2. Hope and every movement of the appetite proceed from some kind of love, whereby the expected good is loved. But not every kind of hope proceeds from charity, but only the movement of living hope, viz. that whereby man hopes to obtain good from God, as from a friend.
3. The Master is speaking of living hope, which is naturally preceded by charity and the merits caused by charity.
We must now consider the subject of hope, under which head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the virtue of hope is in the will as its subject?
(2) Whether it is in the blessed?
(3) Whether it is in the damned?
(4) Whether there is certainty in the hope of the wayfarer?
Objection: 1. It would seem that hope is not in the will as its subject. For the object of hope is an arduous good, as stated above (Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ). Now the arduous is the object, not of the will, but of the irascible. Therefore hope is not in the will but in the irascible.
2. Further, where one suffices it is superfluous to add another. Now charity suffices for the perfecting of the will, which is the most perfect of the virtues. Therefore hope is not in the will.
3. Further, the one same power cannot exercise two acts at the same time; thus the intellect cannot understand many things simultaneously. Now the act of hope can be at the same time as an act of charity. Since, then, the act of charity evidently belongs to the will, it follows that the act of hope does not belong to that power: so that, therefore, hope is not in the will.
On the contrary The soul is not apprehensive of God save as regards the mind in which is memory, intellect and will, as Augustine declares (De Trin. xiv, 3,6). Now hope is a theological virtue having God for its object. Since therefore it is neither in the memory, nor in the intellect, which belong to the cognitive faculty, it follows that it is in the will as its subject.
I answer that As shown above (FP, Question , Article ), habits are known by their acts. Now the act of hope is a movement of the appetitive faculty, since its object is a good. And, since there is a twofold appetite in man, namely, the sensitive which is divided into irascible and concupiscible, and the intellective appetite, called the will, as stated in the FP, Question , Article , those movements which occur in the lower appetite, are with passion, while those in the higher appetite are without passion, as shown above (FP, Question , Article , ad 1; FS, Question , Article , ad 3). Now the act of the virtue of hope cannot belong to the sensitive appetite, since the good which is the principal object of this virtue, is not a sensible but a Divine good. Therefore hope resides in the higher appetite called the will, and not in the lower appetite, of which the irascible is a part.
Reply to Objection: 1. The object of the irascible is an arduous sensible: whereas the object of the virtue of hope is an arduous intelligible, or rather superintelligible.
2. Charity perfects the will sufficiently with regard to one act, which is the act of loving: but another virtue is required in order to perfect it with regard to its other act, which is that of hoping.
3. The movement of hope and the movement of charity are mutually related, as was shown above (Question , Article ). Hence there is no reason why both movements should not belong at the same time to the same power: even as the intellect can understand many things at the same time if they be related to one another, as stated in the FP, Question , Article .
Objection: 1. It would seem that in the blessed there is hope. For Christ was a perfect comprehensor from the first moment of His conception. Now He had hope, since, according to a gloss, the words of Ps 30,2, "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped," are said in His person. Therefore in the blessed there can be hope.
2. Further, even as the obtaining of happiness is an arduous good, so is its continuation. Now, before they obtain happiness, men hope to obtain it. Therefore, after they have obtained it, they can hope to continue in its possession.
3. Further, by the virtue of hope, a man can hope for happiness, not only for himself, but also for others, as stated above (Question , Article ). But the blessed who are in heaven hope for the happiness of others, else they would not pray for them. Therefore there can be hope in them.
4. Further, the happiness of the saints implies not only glory of the soul but also glory of the body. Now the souls of the saints in heaven, look yet for the glory of their bodies (Ap 6,10 Augustine, Gn ad lit. xii, Gn 35). Therefore in the blessed there can be hope.
On the contrary The Apostle says (Rm 8,24): "What a man seeth, why doth he hope for?" Now the blessed enjoy the sight of God. Therefore hope has no place in them.
I answer that If what gives a thing its species be removed, the species is destroyed, and that thing cannot remain the same; just as when a natural body loses its form, it does not remain the same specifically. Now hope takes its species from its principal object, even as the other virtues do, as was shown above (Question , Articles ,6; FS, Question , Article ): and its principal object is eternal happiness as being possible to obtain by the assistance of God, as stated above (Question , Article ).Since then the arduous possible good cannot be an object of hope except in so far as it is something future, it follows that when happiness is no longer future, but present, it is incompatible with the virtue of hope. Consequently hope, like faith, is voided in heaven, and neither of them can be in the blessed.
Reply to Objection: 1. Although Christ was a comprehensor and therefore blessed as to the enjoyment of God, nevertheless He was, at the same time, a wayfarer, as regards the passibility of nature, to which He was still subject. Hence it was possible for Him to hope for the glory of impassibility and immortality, yet not so as to the virtue of hope, the principal object of which is not the glory of the body but the enjoyment of God.
2. The happiness of the saints is called eternal life, because through enjoying God they become partakers, as it were, of God's eternity which surpasses all time: so that the continuation of happiness does not differ in respect of present, past and future. Hence the blessed do not hope for the continuation of their happiness (for as regards this there is no future), but are in actual possession thereof.
3. So long as the virtue of hope lasts, it is by the same hope that one hopes for one's own happiness, and for that of others. But when hope is voided in the blessed, whereby they hoped for their own happiness, they hope for the happiness of others indeed, yet not by the virtue of hope, but rather by the love of charity. Even so, he that has Divine charity, by that same charity loves his neighbor, without having the virtue of charity, but by some other love.
4. Since hope is a theological virtue having God for its object, its principal object is the glory of the soul, which consists in the enjoyment of God, and not the glory of the body. Moreover, although the glory of the body is something arduous in comparison with human nature, yet it is not so for one who has the glory of the soul; both because the glory of the body is a very small thing as compared with the glory of the soul, and because one who has the glory of the soul has already the sufficient cause of the glory of the body.
Objection: 1. It would seem that there is hope in the damned. For the devil is damned and prince of the damned, according to Mt 25,41: "Depart . . . you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." But the devil has hope, according to Jb 40,28, "Behold his hope shall fail him." Therefore it seems that the damned have hope.
2. Further, just as faith is either living or dead, so is hope. But lifeless faith can be in the devils and the damned, according to Jc 2,19: "The devils . . . believe and tremble." Therefore it seems that lifeless hope also can be in the damned.
3. Further, after death there accrues to man no merit or demerit that he had not before, according to Qo 11,3, "If the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be." Now many who are damned, in this life hoped and never despaired. Therefore they will hope in the future life also.
On the contrary Hope causes joy, according to Rm 12,12, "Rejoicing in hope." Now the damned have no joy, but sorrow and grief, according to Is 65,14, "My servants shall praise for joyfulness of heart, and you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for grief of spirit." Therefore no hope is in the damned.
I answer that Just as it is a condition of happiness that the will should find rest therein, so is it a condition of punishment, that what is inflicted in punishment, should go against the will. Now that which is not known can neither be restful nor repugnant to the will: wherefore Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xi, 17) that the angels could not be perfectly happy in their first state before their confirmation, or unhappy before their fall, since they had no foreknowledge of what would happen to them. For perfect and true happiness requires that one should be certain of being happy for ever, else the will would not rest.In like manner, since the everlastingness of damnation is a necessary condition of the punishment of the damned, it would not be truly penal unless it went against the will; and this would be impossible if they were ignorant of the everlastingness of their damnation. Hence it belongs to the unhappy state of the damned, that they should know that they cannot by any means escape from damnation and obtain happiness. Wherefore it is written (Jb 15,22): "He believeth not that he may return from darkness to light." It is, therefore, evident that they cannot apprehend happiness as a possible good, as neither can the blessed apprehend it as a future good. Consequently there is no hope either in the blessed or in the damned. On the other hand, hope can be in wayfarers, whether of this life or in purgatory, because in either case they apprehend happiness as a future possible thing.
Reply to Objection: 1. As Gregory says (Moral. xxxiii, 20) this is said of the devil as regards his members, whose hope will fail utterly: or, if it be understood of the devil himself, it may refer to the hope whereby he expects to vanquish the saints, in which sense we read just before (Jb 40,18): "He trusteth that the Jordan may run into his mouth": this is not, however, the hope of which we are speaking.
2. As Augustine says (Enchiridion viii), "faith is about things, bad or good, past, present, or future, one's own or another's; whereas hope is only about good things, future and concerning oneself." Hence it is possible for lifeless faith to be in the damned, but not hope, since the Divine goods are not for them future possible things, but far removed from them.
3. Lack of hope in the damned does not change their demerit, as neither does the voiding of hope in the blessed increase their merit: but both these things are due to the change in their respective states.
Objection: 1. It would seem that there is no certainty in the hope of a wayfarer. For hope resides in the will. But certainty pertains not to the will but to the intellect. Therefore there is no certainty in hope.
2. Further, hope is based on grace and merits, as stated above (Question , Article ). Now it is impossible in this life to know for certain that we are in a state of grace, as stated above (FS, Question , Article ). Therefore there is no certainty in the hope of a wayfarer.
3. Further, there can be no certainty about that which may fail. Now many a hopeful wayfarer fails to obtain happiness. Therefore wayfarer's hope has no certainty.
On the contrary "Hope is the certain expectation of future happiness," as the Master states (Sent. iii, D, 26): and this may be gathered from 2Tm 1,12, "I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him."
I answer that Certainty is found in a thing in two ways, essentially and by participation. It is found essentially in the cognitive power; by participation in whatever is moved infallibly to its end by the cognitive power. In this way we say that nature works with certainty, since it is moved by the Divine intellect which moves everything with certainty to its end. In this way too, the moral virtues are said to work with greater certainty than art, in as much as, like a second nature, they are moved to their acts by the reason: and thus too, hope tends to its end with certainty, as though sharing in the certainty of faith which is in the cognitive faculty.
Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
2. Hope does not trust chiefly in grace already received, but on God's omnipotence and mercy, whereby even he that has not grace, can obtain it, so as to come to eternal life. Now whoever has faith is certain of God's omnipotence and mercy.
3. That some who have hope fail to obtain happiness, is due to a fault of the free will in placing the obstacle of sin, but not to any deficiency in God's power or mercy, in which hope places its trust. Hence this does not prejudice the certainty of hope.
We must now consider the gift of fear, about which there are twelve points of inquiry:
(1) Whether God is to be feared?
(2) Of the division of fear into filial, initial, servile and worldly;
(3) Whether worldly fear is always evil?
(4) Whether servile fear is good?
(5) Whether it is substantially the same as filial fear?
(6) Whether servile fear departs when charity comes?
(7) Whether fear is the beginning of wisdom?
(8) Whether initial fear is substantially the same as filial fear?
(9) Whether fear is a gift of the Holy Ghost?
(10) Whether it grows when charity grows?
(11) Whether it remains in heaven?
(12) Which of the beatitudes and fruits correspond to it?
Objection: 1. It would seem that God cannot be feared. For the object of fear is a future evil, as stated above (FS, Question , Articles ,3). But God is free of all evil, since He is goodness itself. Therefore God cannot be feared.
2. Further, fear is opposed to hope. Now we hope in God. Therefore we cannot fear Him at the same time.
3. Further, as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 5), "we fear those things whence evil comes to us." But evil comes to us, not from God, but from ourselves, according to Os 13,9: "Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy help is . . . in Me." Therefore God is not to be feared.
On the contrary It is written (Jr 10,7): "Who shall not fear Thee, O King of nations?" and (Ml 1,6): "If I be a master, where is My fear?"
I answer that Just as hope has two objects, one of which is the future good itself, that one expects to obtain, while the other is someone's help, through whom one expects to obtain what one hopes for, so, too, fear may have two objects, one of which is the very evil which a man shrinks from, while the other is that from which the evil may come. Accordingly, in the first way God, Who is goodness itself, cannot be an object of fear; but He can be an object of fear in the second way, in so far as there may come to us some evil either from Him or in relation to Him.From Him there comes the evil of punishment, but this is evil not absolutely but relatively, and, absolutely speaking, is a good. Because, since a thing is said to be good through being ordered to an end, while evil implies lack of this order, that which excludes the order to the last end is altogether evil, and such is the evil of fault. On the other hand the evil of punishment is indeed an evil, in so far as it is the privation of some particular good, yet absolutely speaking, it is a good, in so far as it is ordained to the last end.In relation to God the evil of fault can come to us, if we be separated from Him: and in this way God can and ought to be feared.
Reply to Objection: 1. This objection considers the object of fear as being the evil which a man shuns.
2. In God, we may consider both His justice, in respect of which He punishes those who sin, and His mercy, in respect of which He sets us free: in us the consideration of His justice gives rise to fear, but the consideration of His mercy gives rise to hope, so that, accordingly, God is the object of both hope and fear, but under different aspects.
3. The evil of fault is not from God as its author but from us, in for far as we forsake God: while the evil of punishment is from God as its author, in so far as it has character of a good, since it is something just, through being inflicted on us justly; although originally this is due to the demerit of sin: thus it is written (Sg 1,13 Sg 1,16): "God made not death . . . but the wicked with works and words have called it to them."
Objection: 1. It would seem that fear is unfittingly divided into filial, initial, servile and worldly fear. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 15) that there are six kinds of fear, viz. "laziness, shamefacedness," etc. of which we have treated above (FS, Question , Article ), and which are not mentioned in the division in question. Therefore this division of fear seems unfitting.
2. Further, each of these fears is either good or evil. But there is a fear, viz. natural fear, which is neither morally good, since it is in the demons, according to Jc 2,19, "The devils . . . believe and tremble," nor evil, since it is in Christ, according to Mc 14,33, Jesus "began to fear and be heavy." Therefore the aforesaid division of fear is insufficient.
3. Further, the relation of son to father differs from that of wife to husband, and this again from that of servant to master. Now filial fear, which is that of the son in comparison with his father, is distinct from servile fear, which is that of the servant in comparison with his master. Therefore chaste fear, which seems to be that of the wife in comparison with her husband, ought to be distinguished from all these other fears.
4. Further, even as servile fear fears punishment, so do initial and worldly fear. Therefore no distinction should be made between them.
5. Further, even as concupiscence is about some good, so is fear about some evil. Now "concupiscence of the eyes," which is the desire for things of this world, is distinct from "concupiscence of the flesh," which is the desire for one's own pleasure. Therefore "worldly fear," whereby one fears to lose external goods, is distinct from "human fear," whereby one fears harm to one's own person.
On the contrary stands the authority of the Master (Sent. iii, D, 34).
I answer that We are speaking of fear now, in so far as it makes us turn, so to speak, to God or away from Him. For, since the object of fear is an evil, sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, man withdraws from God, and this is called human fear; while sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, he turns to God and adheres to Him. This latter evil is twofold, viz. evil of punishment, and evil of fault.Accordingly if a man turn to God and adhere to Him, through fear of punishment, it will be servile fear; but if it be on account of fear of committing a fault, it will be filial fear, for it becomes a child to fear offending its father. If, however, it be on account of both, it will be initial fear, which is between both these fears. As to whether it is possible to fear the evil of fault, the question has been treated above (FS, Question , Article ) when we were considering the passion of fear.
Reply to Objection: 1. Damascene divides fear as a passion of the soul: whereas this division of fear is taken from its relation to God, as explained above.
2. Moral good consists chiefly in turning to God, while moral evil consists chiefly in turning away from Him: wherefore all the fears mentioned above imply either moral evil or moral good. Now natural fear is presupposed to moral good and evil, and so it is not numbered among these kinds of fear.
3. The relation of servant to master is based on the power which the master exercises over the servant; whereas, on the contrary, the relation of a son to his father or of a wife to her husband is based on the son's affection towards his father to whom he submits himself, or on the wife's affection towards her husband to whom she binds herself in the union of love. Hence filial and chaste fear amount to the same, because by the love of charity God becomes our Father, according to Rm 8,15, "You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba [Father]"; and by this same charity He is called our spouse, according to 2Co 11,2, "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ": whereas servile fear has no connection with these, since it does not include charity in its definition.
4. These three fears regard punishment but in different ways. For worldly or human fear regards a punishment which turns man away from God, and which God's enemies sometimes inflict or threaten: whereas servile and initial fear regard a punishment whereby men are drawn to God, and which is inflicted or threatened by God. Servile fear regards this punishment chiefly, while initial fear regards it secondarily.
5. It amounts to the same whether man turns away from God through fear of losing his worldly goods, or through fear of forfeiting the well-being of his body, since external goods belong to the body. Hence both these fears are reckoned as one here, although they fear different evils, even as they correspond to the desire of different goods. This diversity causes a specific diversity of sins, all of which alike however lead man away from God.
Objection: 1. It would seem that worldly fear is not always evil. Because regard for men seems to be a kind of human fear. Now some are blamed for having no regard for man, for instance, the unjust judge of whom we read (Lc 18,2) that he "feared not God, nor regarded man." Therefore it seems that worldly fear is not always evil.
2. Further, worldly fear seems to have reference to the punishments inflicted by the secular power. Now such like punishments incite us to good actions, according to Rm 13,3, "Wilt thou not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same." Therefore worldly fear is not always evil.
3. Further, it seems that what is in us naturally, is not evil, since our natural gifts are from God. Now it is natural to man to fear detriment to his body, and loss of his worldly goods, whereby the present life is supported. Therefore it seems that worldly fear is not always evil.
On the contrary Our Lord said (Mt 10,28): "Fear ye not them that kill the body," thus forbidding worldly fear. Now nothing but what is evil is forbidden by God. Therefore worldly fear is evil.
I answer that As shown above (FS, Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ) moral acts and habits take their name and species from their objects. Now the proper object of the appetite's movement is the final good: so that, in consequence, every appetitive movement is both specified and named from its proper end. For if anyone were to describe covetousness as love of work because men work on account of covetousness, this description would be incorrect, since the covetous man seeks work not as end but as a means: the end that he seeks is wealth, wherefore covetousness is rightly described as the desire or the love of wealth, and this is evil. Accordingly worldly love is, properly speaking, the love whereby a man trusts in the world as his end, so that worldly love is always evil. Now fear is born of love, since man fears the loss of what he loves, as Augustine states (Qq. lxxxiii, qu. 33). Now worldly fear is that which arises from worldly love as from an evil root, for which reason worldly fear is always evil.
Reply to Objection: 1. One may have regard for men in two ways. First in so far as there is in them something divine, for instance, the good of grace or of virtue, or at least of the natural image of God: and in this way those are blamed who have no regard for man. Secondly, one may have regard for men as being in opposition to God, and thus it is praiseworthy to have no regard for men, according as we read of Elias or Eliseus (Si 48,13): "In his days he feared not the prince."
2. When the secular power inflicts punishment in order to withdraw men from sin, it is acting as God's minister, according to Rm 13,4, "For he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil." To fear the secular power in this way is part, not of worldly fear, but of servile or initial fear.
3. It is natural for man to shrink from detriment to his own body and loss of worldly goods, but to forsake justice on that account is contrary to natural reason. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 1) that there are certain things, viz. sinful deeds, which no fear should drive us to do, since to do such things is worse than to suffer any punishment whatever.
Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.17 a.6