Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.79 a.4
Objection: 1. It would seem that a sin of omission is more grievous than a sin of transgression. For "delictum" would seem to signify the same as "derelictum" [*Augustine, Questions. in Levit., qu. xx], and therefore is seemingly the same as an omission. But "delictum" denotes a more grievous offence than transgression, because it deserves more expiation as appears from Lv 5. Therefore the sin of omission is more grievous than the sin of transgression.
2. Further, the greater evil is opposed to the greater good, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. viii, 10). Now to do good is a more excellent part of justice, than to decline from evil, to which transgression is opposed, as stated above (Article , ad 3). Therefore omission is a graver sin than transgression.
3. Further, sins of transgression may be either venial or mortal. But sins of omission seem to be always mortal, since they are opposed to an affirmative precept. Therefore omission would seem to be a graver sin than transgression.
4. Further, the pain of loss which consists in being deprived of seeing God and is inflicted for the sin of omission, is a greater punishment than the pain of sense, which is inflicted for the sin of transgression, as Chrysostom states (Hom. xxiii super Matth.). Now punishment is proportionate to fault. Therefore the sin of omission is graver than the sin of transgression.
On the contrary It is easier to refrain from evil deeds than to accomplish good deeds. Therefore it is a graver sin not to refrain from an evil deed, i.e. "to transgress," than not to accomplish a good deed, which is "to omit."
I answer that The gravity of a sin depends on its remoteness from virtue. Now contrariety is the greatest remoteness, according to Metaph. x [*Didot. ed. ix, 4]. Wherefore a thing is further removed from its contrary than from its simple negation; thus black is further removed from white than not-white is, since every black is not-white, but not conversely. Now it is evident that transgression is contrary to an act of virtue, while omission denotes the negation thereof: for instance it is a sin of omission, if one fail to give one's parents due reverence, while it is a sin of transgression to revile them or injure them in any way. Hence it is evident that, simply and absolutely speaking, transgression is a graver sin than omission, although a particular omission may be graver than a particular transgression.
Reply to Objection: 1. "Delictum" in its widest sense denotes any kind of omission; but sometimes it is taken strictly for the omission of something concerning God, or for a man's intentional and as it were contemptuous dereliction of duty: and then it has a certain gravity, for which reason it demands a greater expiation.
2. The opposite of "doing good" is both "not doing good," which is an omission, and "doing evil," which is a transgression: but the first is opposed by contradiction, the second by contrariety, which implies greater remoteness: wherefore transgression is the more grievous sin.
3. Just as omission is opposed to affirmative precepts, so is transgression opposed to negative precepts: wherefore both, strictly speaking, have the character of mortal sin. Transgression and omission, however, may be taken broadly for any infringement of an affirmative or negative precept, disposing to the opposite of such precept: and so taking both in a broad sense they may be venial sins.
4. To the sin of transgression there correspond both the pain of loss on account of the aversion from God, and the pain of sense, on account of the inordinate conversion to a mutable good. In like manner omission deserves not only the pain of loss, but also the pain of sense, according to Mt 7,19, "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire"; and this on account of the root from which it grows, although it does not necessarily imply conversion to any mutable good.
We must now consider the potential parts of justice, namely the virtues annexed thereto; under which head there are two points of consideration:
(1) What virtues are annexed to justice?
(2) The individual virtues annexed to justice.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the virtues annexed to justice are unsuitably enumerated Tully [*De Invent. ii, 53] reckons six, viz. "religion, piety, gratitude, revenge, observance, truth." Now revenge is seemingly a species of commutative justice whereby revenge is taken for injuries inflicted, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore it should not be reckoned among the virtues annexed to justice.
2. Further, Macrobius (Super Somn. Scip. i, 8) reckons seven, viz. "innocence, friendship, concord, piety, religion, affection, humanity," several of which are omitted by Tully. Therefore the virtues annexed to justice would seem to be insufficiently enumerated.
3. Further, others reckon five parts of justice, viz. "obedience" in respect of one's superiors, "discipline" with regard to inferiors, "equity" as regards equals, "fidelity" and "truthfulness" towards all; and of these "truthfulness" alone is mentioned by Tully. Therefore he would seem to have enumerated insufficiently the virtues annexed to justice.
4. Further, the peripatetic Andronicus [*De Affectibus] reckons nine parts annexed to justice viz. "liberality, kindliness, revenge, commonsense, [*(eugnomosyne)] piety, gratitude, holiness, just exchange" and "just lawgiving"; and of all these it is evident that Tully mentions none but "revenge." Therefore he would appear to have made an incomplete enumeration.
5. Further, Aristotle (Ethic. v, 10) mentions (epieikeia) as being annexed to justice: and yet seemingly it is not included in any of the foregoing enumerations. Therefore the virtues annexed to justice are insufficiently enumerated.
I answer that Two points must be observed about the virtues annexed to a principal virtue. The first is that these virtues have something in common with the principal virtue; and the second is that in some respect they fall short of the perfection of that virtue. Accordingly since justice is of one man to another as stated above (Question , Article ), all the virtues that are directed to another person may by reason of this common aspect be annexed to justice. Now the essential character of justice consists in rendering to another his due according to equality, as stated above (Question , Article ). Wherefore in two ways may a virtue directed to another person fall short of the perfection of justice: first, by falling short of the aspect of equality; secondly, by falling short of the aspect of due. For certain virtues there are which render another his due, but are unable to render the equal due. In the first place, whatever man renders to God is due, yet it cannot be equal, as though man rendered to God as much as he owes Him, according to Ps 115,12, "What shall I render to the Lord for all the things that He hath rendered to me?" In this respect "religion" is annexed to justice since, according to Tully (De invent. ii, 53), it consists in offering service and ceremonial rites or worship to "some superior nature that men call divine." Secondly, it is not possible to make to one's parents an equal return of what one owes to them, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. viii, 14); and thus "piety" is annexed to justice, for thereby, as Tully says (De invent. ii, 53), a man "renders service and constant deference to his kindred and the well-wishers of his country." Thirdly, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 3), man is unable to offer an equal meed for virtue, and thus "observance" is annexed to justice, consisting according to Tully (De invent. ii, 53) in the "deference and honor rendered to those who excel in worth."A falling short of the just due may be considered in respect of a twofold due, moral or legal: wherefore the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 13) assigns a corresponding twofold just. The legal due is that which one is bound to render by reason of a legal obligation; and this due is chiefly the concern of justice, which is the principal virtue. On the other hand, the moral due is that to which one is bound in respect of the rectitude of virtue: and since a due implies necessity, this kind of due has two degrees. For one due is so necessary that without it moral rectitude cannot be ensured: and this has more of the character of due. Moreover this due may be considered from the point of view of the debtor, and in this way it pertains to this kind of due that a man represent himself to others just as he is, both in word and deed. Wherefore to justice is annexed "truth," whereby, as Tully says (De invent. ii, 53), present, past and future things are told without perversion. It may also be considered from the point of view of the person to whom it is due, by comparing the reward he receives with what he has done---sometimes in good things; and then annexed to justice we have "gratitude" which "consists in recollecting the friendship and kindliness shown by others, and in desiring to pay them back," as Tully states (De invent. ii, 53)---and sometimes in evil things, and then to justice is annexed "revenge," whereby, as Tully states (De invent. ii, 53), "we resist force, injury or anything obscure* by taking vengeance or by self-defense." [*St. Thomas read 'obscurum,' and explains it as meaning 'derogatory,' infra Question , Article . Cicero, however, wrote 'obfuturum,' i.e. 'hurtful.']There is another due that is necessary in the sense that it conduces to greater rectitude, although without it rectitude may be ensured. This due is the concern of "liberality," "affability" or "friendship," or the like, all of which Tully omits in the aforesaid enumeration because there is little of the nature of anything due in them.
Reply to Objection: 1. The revenge taken by authority of a public power, in accordance with a judge's sentence, belongs to commutative justice: whereas the revenge which a man takes on his own initiative, though not against the law, or which a man seeks to obtain from a judge, belongs to the virtue annexed to justice.
2. Macrobius appears to have considered the two integral parts of justice, namely, "declining from evil," to which "innocence" belongs, and "doing good," to which the six others belong. Of these, two would seem to regard relations between equals, namely, "friendship" in the external conduct and "concord" internally; two regard our relations toward superiors, namely, "piety" to parents, and "religion" to God; while two regard our relations towards inferiors, namely, "condescension," in so far as their good pleases us, and "humanity," whereby we help them in their needs. For Isidore says (Etym. x) that a man is said to be "humane, through having a feeling of love and pity towards men: this gives its name to humanity whereby we uphold one another." In this sense "friendship" is understood as directing our external conduct towards others, from which point of view the Philosopher treats of it in Ethic. iv, 6. "Friendship" may also be taken as regarding properly the affections, and as the Philosopher describes it in Ethic. viii and ix. In this sense three things pertain to friendship, namely, "benevolence" which is here called "affection"; "concord," and "beneficence" which is here called "humanity." These three, however, are omitted by Tully, because, as stated above, they have little of the nature of a due.
3. "Obedience" is included in observance, which Tully mentions, because both reverential honor and obedience are due to persons who excel. "Faithfulness whereby a man's acts agree with his words" [*Cicero, De Repub. iv, De Offic. i, 7], is contained in "truthfulness" as to the observance of one's promises: yet "truthfulness" covers a wider ground, as we shall state further on (Question , Articles ,3). "Discipline" is not due as a necessary duty, because one is under no obligation to an inferior as such, although a superior may be under an obligation to watch over his inferiors, according to Mt 24,45, "A faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family": and for this reason it is omitted by Tully. It may, however, be included in humanity mentioned by Macrobius; and equity under (epieikeia) or under "friendship."
4. This enumeration contains some belonging to true justice. To particular justice belongs "justice of exchange," which he describes as "the habit of observing equality in commutations." To legal justice, as regards things to be observed by all, he ascribes "legislative justice," which he describes as "the science of political commutations relating to the community." As regards things which have to be done in particular cases beside the general laws, he mentions "common sense" or "good judgment*," which is our guide in such like matters, as stated above (Question , Article ) in the treatise on prudence: wherefore he says that it is a "voluntary justification," because by his own free will man observes what is just according to his judgment and not according to the written law. [*St. Thomas indicates the Greek derivation: (eugnomosyne) quasi 'bona (gnome).'] These two are ascribed to prudence as their director, and to justice as their executor. (Eusebeia) [piety] means "good worship" and consequently is the same as religion, wherefore he says that it is the science of "the service of God" (he speaks after the manner of Socrates who said that 'all the virtues are sciences') [*Aristotle, Ethic. vi, 13]: and "holiness" comes to the same, as we shall state further on (Question , Article ). (Eucharistia) (gratitude) means "good thanksgiving," and is mentioned by Macrobius: wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x) that "a kind man is one who is ready of his own accord to do good, and is of gentle speech": and Andronicus too says that "kindliness is a habit of voluntary beneficence." "Liberality" would seem to pertain to "humanity."
5. (Epieikeia) is annexed, not to particular but to legal justice, and apparently is the same as that which goes by the name of (eugnomosyne) [common sense].
We must now consider each of the foregoing virtues, in so far as our present scope demands. We shall consider (1) religion, (2) piety, (3) observance, (4) gratitude, (5) revenge, (6) truth, (7) friendship, (8) liberality, (9) (epieikeia). Of the other virtues that have been mentioned we have spoken partly in the treatise on charity, viz. of concord and the like, and partly in this treatise on justice, for instance, of right commutations and of innocence. of legislative justice we spoke in the treatise on prudence.
Religion offers a threefold consideration: (1) Religion considered in itself; (2) its acts; (3) the opposite vices.
Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether religion regards only our relation to God?
(2) Whether religion is a virtue?
(3) Whether religion is one virtue?
(4) Whether religion is a special virtue?
(5) Whether religion is a theological virtue?
(6) Whether religion should be preferred to the other moral virtues?
(7) Whether religion has any external actions?
(8) Whether religion is the same as holiness?
Objection: 1. It would seem that religion does not direct man to God alone. It is written (Jc 1,27): "Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself unspotted from this world." Now "to visit the fatherless and widows" indicates an order between oneself and one's neighbor, and "to keep oneself unspotted from this world" belongs to the order of a man within himself. Therefore religion does not imply order to God alone.
2. Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei x, 1) that "since in speaking Latin not only unlettered but even most cultured persons ere wont to speak of religion as being exhibited, to our human kindred and relations as also to those who are linked with us by any kind of tie, that term does not escape ambiguity when it is a question of Divine worship, so that we be able to say without hesitation that religion is nothing else but the worship of God." Therefore religion signifies a relation not only to God but also to our kindred.
3. Further, seemingly "latria" pertains to religion. Now "latria signifies servitude," as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei x, 1). And we are bound to serve not only God, but also our neighbor, according to Ga 5,13, "By charity of the spirit serve one another." Therefore religion includes a relation to one's neighbor also.
4. Further, worship belongs to religion. Now man is said to worship not only God, but also his neighbor, according to the saying of Cato [*Dionysius Cato, Breves Sententiae], "Worship thy parents." Therefore religion directs us also to our neighbor, and not only to God.
5. Further, all those who are in the state of grace are subject to God. Yet not all who are in a state of grace are called religious, but only those who bind themselves by certain vows and observances, and to obedience to certain men. Therefore religion seemingly does not denote a relation of subjection of man to God.
On the contrary Tully says (Rhet. ii, 53) that "religion consists in offering service and ceremonial rites to a superior nature that men call divine."
I answer that as Isidore says (Etym. x), "according to Cicero, a man is said to be religious from 'religio,' because he often ponders over, and, as it were, reads again [relegit], the things which pertain to the worship of God," so that religion would seem to take its name from reading over those things which belong to Divine worship because we ought frequently to ponder over such things in our hearts, according to Pr 3,6, "In all thy ways think on Him." According to Augustine (De Civ. Dei x, 3) it may also take its name from the fact that "we ought to seek God again, whom we had lost by our neglect" [*St. Augustine plays on the words 'reeligere,' i.e. to choose over again, and 'negligere,' to neglect or despise.]. Or again, religion may be derived from "religare" [to bind together], wherefore Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 55): "May religion bind us to the one Almighty God." However, whether religion take its name from frequent reading, or from a repeated choice of what has been lost through negligence, or from being a bond, it denotes properly a relation to God. For it is He to Whom we ought to be bound as to our unfailing principle; to Whom also our choice should be resolutely directed as to our last end; and Whom we lose when we neglect Him by sin, and should recover by believing in Him and confessing our faith.
Reply to Objection: 1. Religion has two kinds of acts. Some are its proper and immediate acts, which it elicits, and by which man is directed to God alone, for instance, sacrifice, adoration and the like. But it has other acts, which it produces through the medium of the virtues which it commands, directing them to the honor of God, because the virtue which is concerned with the end, commands the virtues which are concerned with the means. Accordingly "to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation" is an act of religion as commanding, and an act of mercy as eliciting; and "to keep oneself unspotted from this world" is an act of religion as commanding, but of temperance or of some similar virtue as eliciting.
2. Religion is referred to those things one exhibits to one's human kindred, if we take the term religion in a broad sense, but not if we take it in its proper sense. Hence, shortly before the passage quoted, Augustine says: "In a stricter sense religion seems to denote, not any kind of worship, but the worship of God."
3. Since servant implies relation to a lord, wherever there is a special kind of lordship there must needs be a special kind of service. Now it is evident that lordship belongs to God in a special and singular way, because He made all things, and has supreme dominion over all. Consequently a special kind of service is due to Him, which is known as "latria" in Greek; and therefore it belongs to religion.
4. We are said to worship those whom we honor, and to cultivate [*In the Latin the same word 'colere' stands for 'worship' and 'cultivate']: a man's memory or presence: we even speak of cultivating things that are beneath us, thus a farmer [agricola] is one who cultivates the land, and an inhabitant [incola] is one who cultivates the place where he dwells. Since, however, special honor is due to God as the first principle of all things, to Him also is due a special kind of worship, which in Greek is (Eusebeia) or (Theosebeia), as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei x, 1).
5. Although the name "religious" may be given to all in general who worship God, yet in a special way religious are those who consecrate their whole life to the Divine worship, by withdrawing from human affairs. Thus also the term "contemplative" is applied, not to those who contemplate, but to those who give up their whole lives to contemplation. Such men subject themselves to man, not for man's sake but for God's sake, according to the word of the Apostle (Ga 4,14), "You . . . received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus."
Objection: 1. It would seem that religion is not a virtue. Seemingly it belongs to religion to pay reverence to God. But reverence is an act of fear which is a gift, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore religion is not a virtue but a gift
2. Further, every virtue is a free exercise of the will, wherefore it is described as an "elective" or voluntary "habit" [*Ethic. ii, 6]. Now, as stated above (Article , ad 3) "latria" belongs to religion, and "latria" denotes a kind of servitude. Therefore religion is not a virtue.
3. Further, according to Ethic. ii, 1, aptitude for virtue is in us by nature, wherefore things pertaining to virtue belong to the dictate of natural reason. Now, it belongs to religion "to offer ceremonial worship to the Godhead" [*Cf. Article ], and ceremonial matters, as stated above (I-II 99,3, ad 2; I-II 101,0), do not belong to the dictate of natural reason. Therefore religion is not a virtue.
On the contrary It is enumerated with the other virtues, as appears from what has been said above (Question ).
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ; I-II 55,3 I-II 55,4) "a virtue is that which makes its possessor good, and his act good likewise," wherefore we must needs say that every good act belongs to a virtue. Now it is evident that to render anyone his due has the aspect of good, since by rendering a person his due, one becomes suitably proportioned to him, through being ordered to him in a becoming manner. But order comes under the aspect of good, just as mode and species, according to Augustine (De Nat. Boni iii). Since then it belongs to religion to pay due honor to someone, namely, to God, it is evident that religion is a virtue.
Reply to Objection: 1. To pay reverence to God is an act of the gift of fear. Now it belongs to religion to do certain things through reverence for God. Hence it follows, not that religion is the same as the gift of fear, but that it is referred thereto as to something more excellent; for the gifts are more excellent than the moral virtues, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 3; I-II 68,8).
2. Even a slave can voluntarily do his duty by his master, and so "he makes a virtue of necessity" [*Jerome, Ep. liv, ad Furiam.], by doing his duty voluntarily. In like manner, to render due service to God may be an act of virtue, in so far as man does so voluntarily.
3. It belongs to the dictate of natural reason that man should do something through reverence for God. But that he should do this or that determinate thing does not belong to the dictate of natural reason, but is established by Divine or human law.
Objection: 1. It would seem that religion is not one virtue. Religion directs us to God, as stated above (Article ). Now in God there are three Persons; and also many attributes, which differ at least logically from one another. Now a logical difference in the object suffices for a difference of virtue, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 2). Therefore religion is not one virtue.
2. Further, of one virtue there is seemingly one act, since habits are distinguished by their acts. Now there are many acts of religion, for instance to worship, to serve, to vow, to pray, to sacrifice and many such like. Therefore religion is not one virtue.
3. Further, adoration belongs to religion. Now adoration is paid to images under one aspect, and under another aspect to God Himself. Since, then, a difference of aspect distinguishes virtues, it would seem that religion is not one virtue.
On the contrary It is written (Ep 4,5): "One God [Vulg.: 'Lord'], one faith." Now true religion professes faith in one God. Therefore religion is one virtue.
I answer that As stated above (I-II 54,2, ad 1), habits are differentiated according to a different aspect of the object. Now it belongs to religion to show reverence to one God under one aspect, namely, as the first principle of the creation and government of things. Wherefore He Himself says (Ml 1,6): "If . . . I be a father, where is My honor?" For it belongs to a father to beget and to govern. Therefore it is evident that religion is one virtue.
Reply to Objection: 1. The three Divine Persons are the one principle of the creation and government of things, wherefore they are served by one religion. The different aspects of the attributes concur under the aspect of first principle, because God produces all things, and governs them by the wisdom, will and power of His goodness. Wherefore religion is one virtue.
2. By the one same act man both serves and worships God, for worship regards the excellence of God, to Whom reverence is due: while service regards the subjection of man who, by his condition, is under an obligation of showing reverence to God. To these two belong all acts ascribed to religion, because, by them all, man bears witness to the Divine excellence and to his own subjection to God, either by offering something to God, or by assuming something Divine.
3. The worship of religion is paid to images, not as considered in themselves, nor as things, but as images leading us to God incarnate. Now movement to an image as image does not stop at the image, but goes on to the thing it represents. Hence neither "latria" nor the virtue of religion is differentiated by the fact that religious worship is paid to the images of Christ.
Objection: 1. It would seem that religion is not a special virtue distinct from the others. Augustine says (De Civ. Dei x, 6): "Any action whereby we are united to God in holy fellowship, is a true sacrifice." But sacrifice belongs to religion. Therefore every virtuous deed belongs to religion; and consequently religion is not a special virtue.
2. Further, the Apostle says (1Co 10,31): "Do all to the glory of God." Now it belongs to religion to do anything in reverence of God, as stated above (Article , ad 2; Article ). Therefore religion is not a special virtue.
3. Further, the charity whereby we love God is not distinct from the charity whereby we love our neighbor. But according to Ethic. viii, 8 "to be honored is almost to be loved." Therefore the religion whereby we honor God is not a special virtue distinct from observance, or "dulia," or piety whereby we honor our neighbor. Therefore religion is not a special virtue.
On the contrary It is reckoned a part of justice, distinct from the other parts.
I answer that Since virtue is directed to the good, wherever there is a special aspect of good, there must be a special virtue. Now the good to which religion is directed, is to give due honor to God. Again, honor is due to someone under the aspect of excellence: and to God a singular excellence is competent, since He infinitely surpasses all things and exceeds them in every way. Wherefore to Him is special honor due: even as in human affairs we see that different honor is due to different personal excellences, one kind of honor to a father, another to the king, and so on. Hence it is evident that religion is a special virtue.
Reply to Objection: 1. Every virtuous deed is said to be a sacrifice, in so far as it is done out of reverence of God. Hence this does not prove that religion is a general virtue, but that it commands all other virtues, as stated above (Article , ad 1).
2. Every deed, in so far as it is done in God's honor, belongs to religion, not as eliciting but as commanding: those belong to religion as eliciting which pertain to the reverence of God by reason of their specific character.
3. The object of love is the good, but the object of honor and reverence is something excellent. Now God's goodness is communicated to the creature, but the excellence of His goodness is not. Hence the charity whereby God is loved is not distinct from the charity whereby our neighbor is loved; whereas the religion whereby God is honored, is distinct from the virtues whereby we honor our neighbor.
Objection: 1. It would seem that religion is a theological virtue. Augustine says (Enchiridion iii) that "God is worshiped by faith, hope and charity," which are theological virtues. Now it belongs to religion to pay worship to God. Therefore religion is a theological virtue.
2. Further, a theological virtue is one that has God for its object. Now religion has God for its object, since it directs us to God alone, as stated above (Article ). Therefore religion is a theological virtue.
3. Further, every virtue is either theological, or intellectual, or moral, as is clear from what has been said (FS, Questions ,58,62). Now it is evident that religion is not an intellectual virtue, because its perfection does not depend on the consideration of truth: nor is it a moral virtue, which consists properly in observing the mean between too much and too little. for one cannot worship God too much, according to Si 43,33, "Blessing the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can; for He is above all praise." Therefore it remains that it is a theological virtue.
On the contrary It is reckoned a part of justice which is a moral virtue.
I answer that As stated above (Article ) religion pays due worship to God. Hence two things are to be considered in religion: first that which it offers to God, viz. worship, and this is by way of matter and object in religion; secondly, that to which something is offered, viz. God, to Whom worship is paid. And yet the acts whereby God is worshiped do not reach out to God himself, as when we believe God we reach out to Him by believing; for which reason it was stated (Question , Articles ,2,4) that God is the object of faith, not only because we believe in a God, but because we believe God.Now due worship is paid to God, in so far as certain acts whereby God is worshiped, such as the offering of sacrifices and so forth, are done out of reverence for God. Hence it is evident that God is related to religion not as matter or object, but as end: and consequently religion is not a theological virtue whose object is the last end, but a moral virtue which is properly about things referred to the end.
Reply to Objection: 1. The power or virtue whose action deals with an end, moves by its command the power or virtue whose action deals with matters directed to that end. Now the theological virtues, faith, hope and charity have an act in reference to God as their proper object: wherefore, by their command, they cause the act of religion, which performs certain deeds directed to God: and so Augustine says that God is worshiped by faith, hope and charity.
2. Religion directs man to God not as its object but as its end.
3. Religion is neither a theological nor an intellectual, but a moral virtue, since it is a part of justice, and observes a mean, not in the passions, but in actions directed to God, by establishing a kind of equality in them. And when I say "equality," I do not mean absolute equality, because it is not possible to pay God as much as we owe Him, but equality in consideration of man's ability and God's acceptance.And it is possible to have too much in matters pertaining to the Divine worship, not as regards the circumstance of quantity, but as regards other circumstances, as when Divine worship is paid to whom it is not due, or when it is not due, or unduly in respect of some other circumstance.
Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.79 a.4