Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.135 a.2

Whether there is a vice opposed to meanness?



Objection: 1. It seems that there is no vice opposed to meanness. For great is opposed to little. Now, magnificence is not a vice, but a virtue. Therefore no vice is opposed to meanness.
2. Further, since meanness is a vice by deficiency, as stated above (Article [1]), it seems that if any vice is opposed to meanness, it would merely consist in excessive spending. But those who spend much, where they ought to spend little, spend little where they ought to spend much, according to Ethic. iv, 2, and thus they have something of meanness. Therefore there is not a vice opposed to meanness.
3. Further, moral acts take their species from their end, as stated above (Article [1]). Now those who spend excessively, do so in order to make a show of their wealth, as stated in Ethic. iv, 2. But this belongs to vainglory, which is opposed to magnanimity, as stated above (Question [131], Article [2]). Therefore no vice is opposed to meanness.

On the contrary stands the authority of the Philosopher who (Ethic. ii, 8; iv, 2) places magnificence as a mean between two opposite vices.
I answer that Great is opposed to little. Also little and great are relative terms, as stated above (Article [1]). Now just as expenditure may be little in comparison with the work, so may it be great in comparison with the work in that it exceeds the proportion which reason requires to exist between expenditure and work. Hence it is manifest that the vice of meanness, whereby a man intends to spend less than his work is worth, and thus fails to observe due proportion between his expenditure and his work, has a vice opposed to it, whereby a man exceeds this same proportion, by spending more than is proportionate to his work. This vice is called in Greek (banausia), so called from the Greek (baunos), because, like the fire in the furnace, it consumes everything. It is also called (apyrokalia), i.e. lacking good fire, since like fire it consumes all, but not for a good purpose. Hence in Latin it may be called "consumptio" [waste].

Reply to Objection: 1. Magnificence is so called from the great work done, but not from the expenditure being in excess of the work: for this belongs to the vice which is opposed to meanness.
2. To the one same vice there is opposed the virtue which observes the mean, and a contrary vice. Accordingly, then, the vice of waste is opposed to meanness in that it exceeds in expenditure the value of the work, by spending much where it behooved to spend little. But it is opposed to magnificence on the part of the great work, which the magnificent man intends principally, in so far as when it behooves to spend much, it spends little or nothing.
3. Wastefulness is opposed to meanness by the very species of its act, since it exceeds the rule of reason, whereas meanness falls short of it. Yet nothing hinders this from being directed to the end of another vice, such as vainglory or any other.



Q136: OF PATIENCE (FIVE ARTICLES)




We must now consider patience. Under this head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether patience is a virtue?

(2) Whether it is the greatest of the virtues?

(3) Whether it can be had without grace?

(4) Whether it is a part of fortitude?

(5) Whether it is the same as longanimity?



Whether patience is a virtue?



Objection: 1. It seems that patience is not a virtue. For the virtues are most perfect in heaven, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiv). Yet patience is not there, since no evils have to be borne there, according to Is 49,10 and Apoc. 7:16, "They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them." Therefore patience is not a virtue.
2. Further, no virtue can be found in the wicked, since virtue it is "that makes its possessor good." Yet patience is sometimes found in wicked men; for instance, in the covetous, who bear many evils patiently that they may amass money, according to Qo 5,16, "All the days of his life he eateth in darkness, and in many cares, and in misery and in sorrow." Therefore patience is not a virtue.
3. Further, the fruits differ from the virtues, as stated above (I-II 70,1, ad 3). But patience is reckoned among the fruits (Ga 5,22). Therefore patience is not a virtue.

On the contrary Augustine says (De Patientia i): "The virtue of the soul that is called patience, is so great a gift of God, that we even preach the patience of Him who bestows it upon us."
I answer that As stated above (Question [123], Article [1]), the moral virtues are directed to the good, inasmuch as they safeguard the good of reason against the impulse of the passions. Now among the passions sorrow is strong to hinder the good of reason, according to 2Co 7,10, "The sorrow of the world worketh death," and Si 30,25, "Sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it." Hence the necessity for a virtue to safeguard the good of reason against sorrow, lest reason give way to sorrow: and this patience does. Wherefore Augustine says (De Patientia ii): "A man's patience it is whereby he bears evil with an equal mind," i.e. without being disturbed by sorrow, "lest he abandon with an unequal mind the goods whereby he may advance to better things." It is therefore evident that patience is a virtue.

Reply to Objection: 1. The moral virtues do not remain in heaven as regards the same act that they have on the way, in relation, namely, to the goods of the present life, which will not remain in heaven: but they will remain in their relation to the end, which will be in heaven. Thus justice will not be in heaven in relation to buying and selling and other matters pertaining to the present life, but it will remain in the point of being subject to God. In like manner the act of patience, in heaven, will not consist in bearing things, but in enjoying the goods to which we had aspired by suffering. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv) that "patience itself will not be in heaven, since there is no need for it except where evils have to be borne: yet that which we shall obtain by patience will be eternal."
2. As Augustine says (De Patientia ii; v) "properly speaking those are patient who would rather bear evils without inflicting them, than inflict them without bearing them. As for those who bear evils that they may inflict evil, their patience is neither marvelous nor praiseworthy, for it is no patience at all: we may marvel at their hardness of heart, but we must refuse to call them patient."
3. As stated above (I-II 11,1), the very notion of fruit denotes pleasure. And works of virtue afford pleasure in themselves, as stated in Ethic. i, 8. Now the names of the virtues are wont to be applied to their acts. Wherefore patience as a habit is a virtue. but as to the pleasure which its act affords, it is reckoned a fruit, especially in this, that patience safeguards the mind from being overcome by sorrow.



Whether patience is the greatest of the virtues?



Objection: 1. It seems that patience is the greatest of the virtues. For in every genus that which is perfect is the greatest. Now "patience hath a perfect work" (Jc 1,4). Therefore patience is the greatest of the virtues.
2. Further, all the virtues are directed to the good of the soul. Now this seems to belong chiefly to patience; for it is written (Lc 21,19): "In your patience you shall possess your souls." Therefore patience is the greatest of the virtues.
3. Further, seemingly that which is the safeguard and cause of other things is greater than they are. But according to Gregory (Hom. xxxv in Evang.) "patience is the root and safeguard of all the virtues." Therefore patience is the greatest of the virtues.

On the contrary It is not reckoned among the four virtues which Gregory (Moral. xxii) and Augustine (De Morib. Eccl. xv) call principal.
I answer that Virtues by their very nature are directed to good. For it is virtue that "makes its possessor good, and renders the latter's work good" (Ethic. ii, 6). Hence it follows that a virtue's superiority and preponderance over other virtues is the greater according as it inclines man to good more effectively and directly. Now those virtues which are effective of good, incline a man more directly to good than those which are a check on the things which lead man away from good: and just as among those that are effective of good, the greater is that which establishes man in a greater good (thus faith, hope, and charity /are greater than prudence and justice); so too among those that are a check on things that withdraw man from good, the greater virtue is the one which is a check on a greater obstacle to good. But dangers of death, about which is fortitude, and pleasures of touch, with which temperance is concerned, withdraw man from good more than any kind of hardship, which is the object of patience. Therefore patience is not the greatest of the virtues, but falls short, not only of the theological virtues, and of prudence and justice which directly establish man in good, but also of fortitude and temperance which withdraw him from greater obstacles to good.

Reply to Objection: 1. Patience is said to have a perfect work in bearing hardships: for these give rise first to sorrow, which is moderated by patience; secondly, to anger, which is moderated by meekness; thirdly, to hatred, which charity removes; fourthly, to unjust injury, which justice forbids. Now that which removes the principle is the most perfect.Yet it does not follow, if patience be more perfect in this respect, that it is more perfect simply.
2. Possession denotes undisturbed ownership; wherefore man is said to possess his soul by patience, in so far as it removes by the root the passions that are evoked by hardships and disturb the soul.
3. Patience is said to be the root and safeguard of all the virtues, not as though it caused and preserved them directly, but merely because it removes their obstacles.



Whether it is possible to have patience without grace?



Objection: 1. It seems that it is possible to have patience without grace. For the more his reason inclines to a thing, the more is it possible for the rational creature to accomplish it. Now it is more reasonable to suffer evil for the sake of good than for the sake of evil. Yet some suffer evil for evil's sake, by their own virtue and without the help of grace; for Augustine says (De Patientia iii) that "men endure many toils and sorrows for the sake of the things they love sinfully." Much more, therefore, is it possible for man, without the help of grace, to bear evil for the sake of good, and this is to be truly patient.
2. Further, some who are not in a state of grace have more abhorrence for sinful evils than for bodily evils: hence some heathens are related to have endured many hardships rather than betray their country or commit some other misdeed. Now this is to be truly patient. Therefore it seems that it is possible to have patience without the help of grace.
3. Further, it is quite evident that some go through much trouble and pain in order to regain health of the body. Now the health of the soul is not less desirable than bodily health. Therefore in like manner one may, without the help of grace, endure many evils for the health of the soul, and this is to be truly patient.

On the contrary It is written (Ps 61,6): "From Him," i.e. from God, "is my patience."
I answer that As Augustine says (De Patientia iv), "the strength of desire helps a man to bear toil and pain: and no one willingly undertakes to bear what is painful, save for the sake of that which gives pleasure." The reason of this is because sorrow and pain are of themselves displeasing to the soul, wherefore it would never choose to suffer them for their own sake, but only for the sake of an end. Hence it follows that the good for the sake of which one is willing to endure evils, is more desired and loved than the good the privation of which causes the sorrow that we bear patiently. Now the fact that a man prefers the good of grace to all natural goods, the loss of which may cause sorrow, is to be referred to charity, which loves God above all things. Hence it is evident that patience, as a virtue, is caused by charity, according to 1Co 13,4, "Charity is patient."But it is manifest that it is impossible to have charity save through grace, according to Rm 5,5, "The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us." Therefore it is clearly impossible to have patience without the help of grace.

Reply to Objection: 1. The inclination of reason would prevail in human nature in the state of integrity. But in corrupt nature the inclination of concupiscence prevails, because it is dominant in man. Hence man is more prone to bear evils for the sake of goods in which the concupiscence delights here and now, than to endure evils for the sake of goods to come, which are desired in accordance with reason: and yet it is this that pertains to true patience.
2. The good of a social virtue [*Cf. I-II 61,5] is commensurate with human nature; and consequently the human will can tend thereto without the help of sanctifying grace, yet not without the help of God's grace [*Cf. I-II 109,2]. On the other hand, the good of grace is supernatural, wherefore man cannot tend thereto by a natural virtue. Hence the comparison fails.
3. Even the endurance of those evils which a man bears for the sake of his body's health, proceeds from the love a man naturally has for his own flesh. Hence there is no comparison between this endurance and patience which proceeds from a supernatural love.



Whether patience is a part of fortitude?



Objection: 1. It seems that patience is not a part of fortitude. For a thing is not part of itself. Now patience is apparently the same as fortitude: because, as stated above (Question [123], Article [6]), the proper act of fortitude is to endure; and this belongs also to patience. For it is stated in the Liber Sententiarum Prosperi [*The quotation is from St. Gregory, Hom. xxxv in Evang.] that "patience consists in enduring evils inflicted by others." Therefore patience is not a part of fortitude.
2. Further, fortitude is about fear and daring, as stated above (Question [123], Article [3]), and thus it is in the irascible. But patience seems to be about sorrow, and consequently would seem to be in the concupiscible. Therefore patience is not a part of fortitude but of temperance.
3. Further, the whole cannot be without its part. Therefore if patience is a part of fortitude, there can be no fortitude without patience. Yet sometimes a brave man does not endure evils patiently, but even attacks the person who inflicts the evil. Therefore patience is not a part of fortitude.

On the contrary Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) reckons it a part of fortitude.
I answer that Patience is a quasi-potential part of fortitude, because it is annexed thereto as secondary to principal virtue. For it belongs to patience "to suffer with an equal mind the evils inflicted by others," as Gregory says in a homily (xxxv in Evang.). Now of those evils that are inflicted by others, foremost and most difficult to endure are those that are connected with the danger of death, and about these evils fortitude is concerned. Hence it is clear that in this matter fortitude has the principal place, and that it lays claim to that which is principal in this matter. Wherefore patience is annexed to fortitude as secondary to principal virtue, for which reason Prosper calls patience brave (Sent. 811).

Reply to Objection: 1. It belongs to fortitude to endure, not anything indeed, but that which is most difficult to endure, namely dangers of death: whereas it may pertain to patience to endure any kind of evil.
2. The act of fortitude consists not only in holding fast to good against the fear of future dangers, but also in not failing through sorrow or pain occasioned by things present; and it is in the latter respect that patience is akin to fortitude. Yet fortitude is chiefly about fear, which of itself evokes flight which fortitude avoids; while patience is chiefly about sorrow, for a man is said to be patient, not because he does not fly, but because he behaves in a praiseworthy manner by suffering [patiendo] things which hurt him here and now, in such a way as not to be inordinately saddened by them. Hence fortitude is properly in the irascible, while patience is in the concupiscible faculty.Nor does this hinder patience from being a part of fortitude, because the annexing of virtue to virtue does not regard the subject, but the matter or the form. Nevertheless patience is not to be reckoned a part of temperance, although both are in the concupiscible, because temperance is only about those sorrows that are opposed to pleasures of touch, such as arise through abstinence from pleasures of food and sex: whereas patience is chiefly about sorrows inflicted by other persons. Moreover it belongs to temperance to control these sorrows besides their contrary pleasures: whereas it belongs to patience that a man forsake not the good of virtue on account of such like sorrows, however great they be.
3. It may be granted that patience in a certain respect is an integral part of justice, if we consider the fact that a man may patiently endure evils pertaining to dangers of death; and it is from this point of view that the objection argues. Nor is it inconsistent with patience that a man should, when necessary, rise up against the man who inflicts evils on him; for Chrysostom [*Homily v. in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says on Mt 4,10, "Begone Satan," that "it is praiseworthy to be patient under our own wrongs, but to endure God's wrongs patiently is most wicked": and Augustine says in a letter to Marcellinus (Ep. cxxxviii) that "the precepts of patience are not opposed to the good of the commonwealth, since in order to ensure that good we fight against our enemies." But in so far as patience regards all kinds of evils, it is annexed to fortitude as secondary to principal virtue.



Whether patience is the same as longanimity? [*Longsuffering. It is necessary to preserve the Latin word, on account of the comparison with magnanimity.]



Objection: 1. It seems that patience is the same as longanimity. For Augustine says (De Patientia i) that "we speak of patience in God, not as though any evil made Him suffer, but because He awaits the wicked, that they may be converted." Wherefore it is written (Si 5,4): "The Most High is a patient rewarder." Therefore it seems that patience is the same as longanimity.
2. Further, the same thing is not contrary to two things. But impatience is contrary to longanimity, whereby one awaits a delay: for one is said to be impatient of delay, as of other evils. Therefore it seems that patience is the same as longanimity.
3. Further, just as time is a circumstance of wrongs endured, so is place. But no virtue is distinct from patience on the score of place. Therefore in like manner longanimity which takes count of time, in so far as a person waits for a long time, is not distinct from patience.

On the contrary On the contrary, a gloss [*Origen, Comment. in Ep. ad Rom. ii] on Rm 2,4, "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and patience, and longsuffering?" says: "It seems that longanimity differs from patience, because those who offend from weakness rather than of set purpose are said to be borne with longanimity: while those who take a deliberate delight in their crimes are said to be borne patiently."
I answer that Just as by magnanimity a man has a mind to tend to great things, so by longanimity a man has a mind to tend to something a long way off. Wherefore as magnanimity regards hope, which tends to good, rather than daring, fear, or sorrow, which have evil as their object, so also does longanimity. Hence longanimity has more in common with magnanimity than with patience.Nevertheless it may have something in common with patience, for two reasons. First, because patience, like fortitude, endures certain evils for the sake of good, and if this good is awaited shortly, endurance is easier: whereas if it be delayed a long time, it is more difficult. Secondly, because the very delay of the good we hope for, is of a nature to cause sorrow, according to Pr 13,12, "Hope that is deferred afflicteth the soul." Hence there may be patience in bearing this trial, as in enduring any other sorrows. Accordingly longanimity and constancy are both comprised under patience, in so far as both the delay of the hoped for good (which regards longanimity) and the toil which man endures in persistently accomplishing a good work (which regards constancy) may be considered under the one aspect of grievous evil.For this reason Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) in defining patience, says that "patience is the voluntary and prolonged endurance of arduous and difficult things for the sake of virtue or profit." By saying "arduous" he refers to constancy in good; when he says "difficult" he refers to the grievousness of evil, which is the proper object of patience; and by adding "continued" or "long lasting," he refers to longanimity, in so far as it has something in common with patience.

Reply to Objection: 1. 2. This suffices for the Replies to the First and Second Objections.
3. That which is a long way off as to place, though distant from us, is not simply distant from things in nature, as that which is a long way off in point of time: hence the comparison fails. Moreover, what is remote as to place offers no difficulty save in the point of time, since what is placed a long way from us is a long time coming to us.
4. We grant the fourth argument. We must observe, however, that the reason for the difference assigned by this gloss is that it is hard to bear with those who sin through weakness, merely because they persist a long time in evil, wherefore it is said that they are borne with longanimity: whereas the very fact of sinning through pride seems to be unendurable; for which reason those who sin through pride are stated to be borne with patience.



Q137: OF PERSEVERANCE (FOUR ARTICLES)




We must now consider perseverance and the vices opposed to it. Under the head of perseverance there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether perseverance is a virtue?

(2) Whether it is a part of fortitude?

(3) Of its relation to constancy;

(4) Whether it needs the help of grace?


Whether perseverance is a virtue?



Objection: 1. It seems that perseverance is not a virtue. For, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 7), continency is greater than perseverance. But continency is not a virtue, as stated in Ethic. iv, 9. Therefore perseverance is not a virtue.
2. Further, "by virtue man lives aright," according to Augustine (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19). Now according to the same authority (De Persever. i), no one can be said to have perseverance while living, unless he persevere until death. Therefore perseverance is not a virtue.
3. Further, it is requisite of every virtue that one should persist unchangeably in the work of that virtue, as stated in Ethic. ii, 4. But this is what we understand by perseverance: for Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "perseverance is the fixed and continued persistence in a well-considered purpose." Therefore perseverance is not a special virtue, but a condition of every virtue.

On the contrary Andronicus [*Chrysippus: in De Affect.] says that "perseverance is a habit regarding things to which we ought to stand, and those to which we ought not to stand, as well as those that are indifferent." Now a habit that directs us to do something well, or to omit something, is a virtue. Therefore perseverance is a virtue.
I answer that According to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 3), "virtue is about the difficult and the good"; and so where there is a special kind of difficulty or goodness, there is a special virtue. Now a virtuous deed may involve goodness or difficulty on two counts. First, from the act's very species, which is considered in respect of the proper object of that act: secondly, from the length of time, since to persist long in something difficult involves a special difficulty. Hence to persist long in something good until it is accomplished belongs to a special virtue.Accordingly just as temperance and fortitude are special virtues, for the reason that the one moderates pleasures of touch (which is of itself a difficult thing), while the other moderates fear and daring in connection with dangers of death (which also is something difficult in itself), so perseverance is a special virtue, since it consists in enduring delays in the above or other virtuous deeds, so far as necessity requires.

Reply to Objection: 1. The Philosopher is taking perseverance there, as it is found in one who bears those things which are most difficult to endure long. Now it is difficult to endure, not good, but evil. And evils that involve danger of death, for the most part are not endured for a long time, because often they soon pass away: wherefore it is not on this account that perseverance has its chief title to praise. Among other evils foremost are those which are opposed to pleasures of touch, because evils of this kind affect the necessaries of life: such are the lack of food and the like, which at times call for long endurance. Now it is not difficult to endure these things for a long time for one who grieves not much at them, nor delights much in the contrary goods; as in the case of the temperate man, in whom these passions are not violent. But they are most difficult to bear for one who is strongly affected by such things, through lacking the perfect virtue that moderates these passions. Wherefore if perseverance be taken in this sense it is not a perfect virtue, but something imperfect in the genus of virtue. On the other hand, if we take perseverance as denoting long persistence in any kind of difficult good, it is consistent in one who has even perfect virtue: for even if it is less difficult for him to persist, yet he persists in the more perfect good. Wherefore such like perseverance may be a virtue, because virtue derives perfection from the aspect of good rather than from the aspect of difficulty.
2. Sometimes a virtue and its act go by the same name: thus Augustine says (Tract. in Joan. lxxix): "Faith is to believe without seeing." Yet it is possible to have a habit of virtue without performing the act: thus a poor man has the habit of magnificence without exercising the act. Sometimes, however, a person who has the habit, begins to perform the act, yet does not accomplish it, for instance a builder begins to build a house, but does not complete it. Accordingly we must reply that the term "perseverance" is sometimes used to denote the habit whereby one chooses to persevere, sometimes for the act of persevering: and sometimes one who has the habit of perseverance chooses to persevere and begins to carry out his choice by persisting for a time, yet completes not the act, through not persisting to the end. Now the end is twofold: one is the end of the work, the other is the end of human life. Properly speaking it belongs to perseverance to persevere to the end of the virtuous work, for instance that a soldier persevere to the end of the fight, and the magnificent man until his work be accomplished. There are, however, some virtues whose acts must endure throughout the whole of life, such as faith, hope, and charity, since they regard the last end of the entire life of man. Wherefore as regards these which are the principal virtues, the act of perseverance is not accomplished until the end of life. It is in this sense that Augustine speaks of perseverance as denoting the consummate act of perseverance.
3. Unchangeable persistence may belong to a virtue in two ways. First, on account of the intended end that is proper to that virtue; and thus to persist in good for a long time until the end, belongs to a special virtue called perseverance, which intends this as its special end. Secondly, by reason of the relation of the habit to its subject: and thus unchangeable persistence is consequent upon every virtue, inasmuch as virtue is a "quality difficult to change."


Whether perseverance is a part of fortitude?



Objection: 1. It seems that perseverance is not a part of fortitude. For, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 7), "perseverance is about pains of touch." But these belong to temperance. Therefore perseverance is a part of temperance rather than of fortitude.
2. Further, every part of a moral virtue is about certain passions which that virtue moderates. Now perseverance does not imply moderation of the passions: since the more violent the passions, the more praiseworthy is it to persevere in accordance with reason. Therefore it seems that perseverance is a part not of a moral virtue, but rather of prudence which perfects the reason.
3. Further, Augustine says (De Persev. i) that no one can lose perseverance; whereas one can lose the other virtues. Therefore perseverance is greater than all the other virtues. Now a principal virtue is greater than its part. Therefore perseverance is not a part of a virtue, but is itself a principal virtue.

On the contrary Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) reckons perseverance as a part of fortitude.
I answer that As stated above (Question [123], Article [2]; I-II 61,3 I-II 61,4), a principal virtue is one to which is principally ascribed something that lays claim to the praise of virtue, inasmuch as it practices it in connection with its own matter, wherein it is most difficult of accomplishment. In accordance with this it has been stated (Question [123], Article [2]) that fortitude is a principal virtue, because it observes firmness in matters wherein it is most difficult to stand firm, namely in dangers of death. Wherefore it follows of necessity that every virtue which has a title to praise for the firm endurance of something difficult must be annexed to fortitude as secondary to principal virtue. Now the endurance of difficulty arising from delay in accomplishing a good work gives perseverance its claim to praise: nor is this so difficult as to endure dangers of death. Therefore perseverance is annexed to fortitude, as secondary to principal virtue.

Reply to Objection: 1. The annexing of secondary to principal virtues depends not only on the matter [*Cf. Question [136], Article [4], ad 2], but also on the mode, because in everything form is of more account than matter. Wherefore although, as to matter, perseverance seems to have more in common with temperance than with fortitude, yet, in mode, it has more in common with fortitude, in the point of standing firm against the difficulty arising from length of time.
2. The perseverance of which the Philosopher speaks (Ethic. vii, 4,7) does not moderate any passions, but consists merely in a certain firmness of reason and will. But perseverance, considered as a virtue, moderates certain passions, namely fear of weariness or failure on account of the delay. Hence this virtue, like fortitude, is in the irascible.
3. Augustine speaks there of perseverance, as denoting, not a virtuous habit, but a virtuous act sustained to the end, according to Mt 24,13, "He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved." Hence it is incompatible with such like perseverance for it to be lost, since it would no longer endure to the end.



Whether constancy pertains to perseverance?



Objection: 1. It seems that constancy does not pertain to perseverance. For constancy pertains to patience, as stated above (Question [137], Article [5]): and patience differs from perseverance. Therefore constancy does not pertain to perseverance.
2. Further, "virtue is about the difficult and the good." Now it does not seem difficult to be constant in little works, but only in great deeds, which pertain to magnificence. Therefore constancy pertains to magnificence rather than to perseverance.
3. Further, if constancy pertained to perseverance, it would seem nowise to differ from it, since both denote a kind of unchangeableness. Yet they differ: for Macrobius (In Somn. Scip. i) condivides constancy with firmness by which he indicates perseverance, as stated above (Question [128], Article [6]). Therefore constancy does not pertain to perseverance.

On the contrary One is said to be constant because one stands to a thing. Now it belongs to perseverance to stand to certain things, as appears from the definition given by Andronicus. Therefore constancy belongs to perseverance.
I answer that Perseverance and constancy agree as to end, since it belongs to both to persist firmly in some good: but they differ as to those things which make it difficult to persist in good. Because the virtue of perseverance properly makes man persist firmly in good, against the difficulty that arises from the very continuance of the act: whereas constancy makes him persist firmly in good against difficulties arising from any other external hindrances. Hence perseverance takes precedence of constancy as a part of fortitude, because the difficulty arising from continuance of action is more intrinsic to the act of virtue than that which arises from external obstacles.

Reply to Objection: 1. External obstacles to persistence in good are especially those which cause sorrow. Now patience is about sorrow, as stated above (Question [136], Article [1]). Hence constancy agrees with perseverance as to end: while it agrees with patience as to those things which occasion difficulty. Now the end is of most account: wherefore constancy pertains to perseverance rather than to patience.
2. It is more difficult to persist in great deeds: yet in little or ordinary deeds, it is difficult to persist for any length of time, if not on account of the greatness of the deed which magnificence considers, yet from its very continuance which perseverance regards. Hence constancy may pertain to both.
3. Constancy pertains to perseverance in so far as it has something in common with it: but it is not the same thing in the point of their difference, as stated in the Article.




Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.135 a.2