Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.15 a.2

Whether dulness of sense is a sin distinct from blindness of mind?

Objection: 1. It seems that dulness of sense is not a distinct sin from blindness of mind. Because one thing has one contrary. Now dulness is opposed to the gift of understanding, according to Gregory (Moral. ii, 49); and so is blindness of mind, since understanding denotes a principle of sight. Therefore dulness of sense is the same as blindness of mind.
2. Further, Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) in speaking of dulness describes it as "dullness of sense in respect of understanding." Now dulness of sense in respect of understanding seems to be the same as a defect in understanding, which pertains to blindness of mind. Therefore dulness of sense is the same as blindness of mind.
3. Further, if they differ at all, it seems to be chiefly in the fact that blindness of mind is voluntary, as stated above (Article [1]), while dulness of sense is a natural defect. But a natural defect is not a sin: so that, accordingly, dulness of sense would not be a sin, which is contrary to what Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45), where he reckons it among the sins arising from gluttony.

On the contrary Different causes produce different effects. Now Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45) that dulness of sense arises from gluttony, and that blindness of mind arises from lust. Now these others are different vices. Therefore those are different vices also.
I answer that Dull is opposed to sharp: and a thing is said to be sharp because it can pierce; so that a thing is called dull through being obtuse and unable to pierce. Now a bodily sense, by a kind of metaphor, is said to pierce the medium, in so far as it perceives its object from a distance or is able by penetration as it were to perceive the smallest details or the inmost parts of a thing. Hence in corporeal things the senses are said to be acute when they can perceive a sensible object from afar, by sight, hearing, or scent, while on the other hand they are said to be dull, through being unable to perceive, except sensible objects that are near at hand, or of great power.Now, by way of similitude to bodily sense, we speak of sense in connection with the intellect; and this latter sense is in respect of certain primals and extremes, as stated in Ethic. vi, even as the senses are cognizant of sensible objects as of certain principles of knowledge. Now this sense which is connected with understanding, does not perceive its object through a medium of corporeal distance, but through certain other media, as, for instance, when it perceives a thing's essence through a property thereof, and the cause through its effect. Consequently a man is said to have an acute sense in connection with his understanding, if, as soon as he apprehends a property or effect of a thing, he understands the nature or the thing itself, and if he can succeed in perceiving its slightest details: whereas a man is said to have a dull sense in connection with his understanding, if he cannot arrive at knowing the truth about a thing, without many explanations; in which case, moreover, he is unable to obtain a perfect perception of everything pertaining to the nature of that thing.Accordingly dulness of sense in connection with understanding denotes a certain weakness of the mind as to the consideration of spiritual goods; while blindness of mind implies the complete privation of the knowledge of such things. Both are opposed to the gift of understanding, whereby a man knows spiritual goods by apprehending them, and has a subtle penetration of their inmost nature. This dulness has the character of sin, just as blindness of mind has, that is, in so far as it is voluntary, as evidenced in one who, owing to his affection for carnal things, dislikes or neglects the careful consideration of spiritual things.

Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

Whether blindness of mind and dulness of sense arise from sins of the flesh?

Objection: 1. It would seem that blindness of mind and dulness of sense do not arise from sins of the flesh. For Augustine (Retract. i, 4) retracts what he had said in his Soliloquies i, 1, "God Who didst wish none but the clean to know the truth," and says that one might reply that "many, even those who are unclean, know many truths." Now men become unclean chiefly by sins of the flesh. Therefore blindness of mind and dulness of sense are not caused by sins of the flesh.
2. Further, blindness of mind and dulness of sense are defects in connection with the intellective part of the soul: whereas carnal sins pertain to the corruption of the flesh. But the flesh does not act on the soul, but rather the reverse. Therefore the sins of the flesh do not cause blindness of mind and dulness of sense.
3. Further, all things are more passive to what is near them than to what is remote. Now spiritual vices are nearer the mind than carnal vices are. Therefore blindness of mind and dulness of sense are caused by spiritual rather than by carnal vices.

On the contrary Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45) that dulness of sense arises from gluttony and blindness of mind from lust.
I answer that The perfect intellectual operation in man consists in an abstraction from sensible phantasms, wherefore the more a man's intellect is freed from those phantasms, the more thoroughly will it be able to consider things intelligible, and to set in order all things sensible. Thus Anaxagoras stated that the intellect requires to be "detached" in order to command, and that the agent must have power over matter, in order to be able to move it. Now it is evident that pleasure fixes a man's attention on that which he takes pleasure in: wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 4,5) that we all do best that which we take pleasure in doing, while as to other things, we do them either not at all, or in a faint-hearted fashion.Now carnal vices, namely gluttony and lust, are concerned with pleasures of touch in matters of food and sex; and these are the most impetuous of all pleasures of the body. For this reason these vices cause man's attention to be very firmly fixed on corporeal things, so that in consequence man's operation in regard to intelligible things is weakened, more, however, by lust than by gluttony, forasmuch as sexual pleasures are more vehement than those of the table. Wherefore lust gives rise to blindness of mind, which excludes almost entirely the knowledge of spiritual things, while dulness of sense arises from gluttony, which makes a man weak in regard to the same intelligible things. On the other hand, the contrary virtues, viz. abstinence and chastity, dispose man very much to the perfection of intellectual operation. Hence it is written (Da 1,17) that "to these children" on account of their abstinence and continency, "God gave knowledge and understanding in every book, and wisdom."

Reply to Objection: 1. Although some who are the slaves of carnal vices are at times capable of subtle considerations about intelligible things, on account of the perfection of their natural genius, or of some habit superadded thereto, nevertheless, on account of the pleasures of the body, it must needs happen that their attention is frequently withdrawn from this subtle contemplation: wherefore the unclean can know some truths, but their uncleanness is a clog on their knowledge.
2. The flesh acts on the intellective faculties, not by altering them, but by impeding their operation in the aforesaid manner.
3. It is owing to the fact that the carnal vices are further removed from the mind, that they distract the mind's attention to more remote things, so that they hinder the mind's contemplation all the more.


We must now consider the precepts pertaining to the aforesaid, and under this head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) The precepts concerning faith;

(2) The precepts concerning the gifts of knowledge and understanding.

Whether in the Old Law there should have been given precepts of faith?

Objection: 1. It would seem that, in the Old Law, there should have been given precepts of faith. Because a precept is about something due and necessary. Now it is most necessary for man that he should believe, according to He 11,6, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Therefore there was very great need for precepts of faith to be given.
2. Further, the New Testament is contained in the Old, as the reality in the figure, as stated above (FS, Question [107], Article [3]). Now the New Testament contains explicit precepts of faith, for instance Jn 14,1: "You believe in God; believe also in Me." Therefore it seems that some precepts of faith ought to have been given in the Old Law also.
3. Further, to prescribe the act of a virtue comes to the same as to forbid the opposite vices. Now the Old Law contained many precepts forbidding unbelief: thus (Ex 20,3): "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," and (Dt 13,1-3) they were forbidden to hear the words of the prophet or dreamer who might wish to turn them away from their faith in God. Therefore precepts of faith should have been given in the Old Law also.
4. Further, confession is an act of faith, as stated above (Question [3], Article [1]). Now the Old Law contained precepts about the confession and the promulgation of faith: for they were commanded (Ex 12,27) that, when their children should ask them, they should tell them the meaning of the paschal observance, and (Dt 13,9) they were commanded to slay anyone who disseminated doctrine contrary to faith. Therefore the Old Law should have contained precepts of faith.
5. Further, all the books of the Old Testament are contained in the Old Law; wherefore Our Lord said (Jn 15,25) that it was written in the Law: "They have hated Me without cause," although this is found written in Ps 34 and Ps 68. Now it is written (Si 2,8): "Ye that fear the Lord, believe Him." Therefore the Old Law should have contained precepts of faith.

On the contrary The Apostle (Rm 3,27) calls the Old Law the "law of works" which he contrasts with the "law of faith." Therefore the Old Law ought not to have contained precepts of faith.
I answer that A master does not impose laws on others than his subjects; wherefore the precepts of a law presuppose that everyone who receives the law is subject to the giver of the law. Now the primary subjection of man to God is by faith, according to He 11,6: "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is." Hence faith is presupposed to the precepts of the Law: for which reason (Ex 20,2) that which is of faith, is set down before the legal precepts, in the words, "I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt," and, likewise (Dt 6,4), the words, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy [Vulg.: 'our'] God is one," precede the recording of the precepts.Since, however, faith contains many things subordinate to the faith whereby we believe that God is, which is the first and chief of all articles of faith, as stated above (Question [1], Articles [1],7), it follows that, if we presuppose faith in God, whereby man's mind is subjected to Him, it is possible for precepts to be given about other articles of faith. Thus Augustine expounding the words: "This is My commandment" (Jn 15,12) says (Tract. lxxxiii in Joan.) that we have received many precepts of faith. In the Old Law, however, the secret things of faith were not to be set before the people, wherefore, presupposing their faith in one God, no other precepts of faith were given in the Old Law.

Reply to Objection: 1. Faith is necessary as being the principle of spiritual life, wherefore it is presupposed before the receiving of the Law.
2. Even then Our Lord both presupposed something of faith, namely belief in one God, when He said: "You believe in God," and commanded something, namely, belief in the Incarnation whereby one Person is God and man. This explanation of faith belongs to the faith of the New Testament, wherefore He added: "Believe also in Me."
3. The prohibitive precepts regard sins, which corrupt virtue. Now virtue is corrupted by any particular defect, as stated above (FS, Question [18], Article [4], ad 3; FS, Question [19], Article [6], ad 1, Article [7], ad 3). Therefore faith in one God being presupposed, prohibitive precepts had to be given in the Old Law, so that men might be warned off those particular defects whereby their faith might be corrupted.
4. Confession of faith and the teaching thereof also presuppose man's submission to God by faith: so that the Old Law could contain precepts relating to the confession and teaching of faith, rather than to faith itself.
5. In this passage again that faith is presupposed whereby we believe that God is; hence it begins, "Ye that fear the Lord," which is not possible without faith. The words which follow---"believe Him"---must be referred to certain special articles of faith, chiefly to those things which God promises to them that obey Him, wherefore the passage concludes---"and your reward shall not be made void."

Whether the precepts referring to knowledge and understanding were fittingly set down in the Old Law?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the precepts referring to knowledge and understanding were unfittingly set down in the Old Law. For knowledge and understanding pertain to cognition. Now cognition precedes and directs action. Therefore the precepts referring to knowledge and understanding should precede the precepts of the Law referring to action. Since, then, the first precepts of the Law are those of the decalogue, it seems that precepts of knowledge and understanding should have been given a place among the precepts of the decalogue.
2. Further, learning precedes teaching, for a man must learn from another before he teaches another. Now the Old Law contains precepts about teaching---both affirmative precepts as, for example, (Dt 4,9), "Thou shalt teach them to thy sons"---and prohibitive precepts, as, for instance, (Dt 4,2), "You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it." Therefore it seems that man ought to have been given also some precepts directing him to learn.
3. Further, knowledge and understanding seem more necessary to a priest than to a king, wherefore it is written (Ml 2,7): "The lips of the priest shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth," and (Os 4,6): "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to Me." Now the king is commanded to learn knowledge of the Law (Dt 17,18-19). Much more therefore should the Law have commanded the priests to learn the Law.
4. Further, it is not possible while asleep to meditate on things pertaining to knowledge and understanding: moreover it is hindered by extraneous occupations. Therefore it is unfittingly commanded (Dt 6,7): "Thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising." Therefore the precepts relating to knowledge and understanding are unfittingly set down in the Law.

On the contrary It is written (Dt 4,6): "That, hearing all these precepts, they may say, Behold a wise and understanding people."
I answer that Three things may be considered in relation to knowledge and understanding: first, the reception thereof; secondly, the use; and thirdly, their preservation. Now the reception of knowledge or understanding, is by means of teaching and learning, and both are prescribed in the Law. For it is written (Dt 6,6): "These words which I command thee . . . shall be in thy heart." This refers to learning, since it is the duty of a disciple to apply his mind to what is said, while the words that follow---"and thou shalt tell them to thy children"---refer to teaching.The use of knowledge and understanding is the meditation on those things which one knows or understands. In reference to this, the text goes on: "thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house," etc.Their preservation is effected by the memory, and, as regards this, the text continues---"and thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes. And thou shalt write them in the entry, and on the doors of thy house." Thus the continual remembrance of God's commandments is signified, since it is impossible for us to forget those things which are continually attracting the notice of our senses, whether by touch, as those things we hold in our hands, or by sight, as those things which are ever before our eyes, or to which we are continually returning, for instance, to the house door. Moreover it is clearly stated (Dt 4,9): "Forget not the words that thy eyes have seen and let them not go out of thy heart all the days of thy life."We read of these things also being commanded more notably in the New Testament, both in the teaching of the Gospel and in that of the apostles.

Reply to Objection: 1. According to Dt 4,6, "this is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations." By this we are given to understand that the wisdom and understanding of those who believe in God consist in the precepts of the Law. Wherefore the precepts of the Law had to be given first, and afterwards men had to be led to know and understand them, and so it was not fitting that the aforesaid precepts should be placed among the precepts of the decalogue which take the first place.
2. There are also in the Law precepts relating to learning, as stated above. Nevertheless teaching was commanded more expressly than learning, because it concerned the learned, who were not under any other authority, but were immediately under the law, and to them the precepts of the Law were given. On the other hand learning concerned the people of lower degree, and these the precepts of the Law have to reach through the learned.
3. Knowledge of the Law is so closely bound up with the priestly office that being charged with the office implies being charged to know the Law: hence there was no need for special precepts to be given about the training of the priests. On the other hand, the doctrine of God's law is not so bound up with the kingly office, because a king is placed over his people in temporal matters: hence it is especially commanded that the king should be instructed by the priests about things pertaining to the law of God.
4. That precept of the Law does not mean that man should meditate on God's law of sleeping, but during sleep, i.e. that he should meditate on the law of God when he is preparing to sleep, because this leads to his having better phantasms while asleep, in so far as our movements pass from the state of vigil to the state of sleep, as the Philosopher explains (Ethic. i, 13). In like manner we are commanded to meditate on the Law in every action of ours, not that we are bound to be always actually thinking about the Law, but that we should regulate all our actions according to it.

ON HOPE (Questions [17]-22)


After treating of faith, we must consider hope and (1) hope itself; (2) the gift of fear; (3) the contrary vices; (4) the corresponding precepts. The first of these points gives rise to a twofold consideration: (1) hope, considered in itself; (2) its subject.

Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether hope is a virtue?

(2) Whether its object is eternal happiness?

(3) Whether, by the virtue of hope, one man may hope for another's happiness?

(4) Whether a man may lawfully hope in man?

(5) Whether hope is a theological virtue?

(6) Of its distinction from the other theological virtues?

(7) Of its relation to faith;

(8) Of its relation to charity.

Whether hope is a virtue?

Objection: 1. It would seem that hope is not a virtue. For "no man makes ill use of a virtue," as Augustine states (De Lib. Arb. ii, 18). But one may make ill use of hope, since the passion of hope, like the other passions, is subject to a mean and extremes. Therefore hope is not a virtue.
2. Further, no virtue results from merits, since "God works virtue in us without us," as Augustine states (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. xvii). But hope is caused by grace and merits, according to the Master (Sent. iii, D, 26). Therefore hope is not a virtue.
3. Further, "virtue is the disposition of a perfect thing" (Phys. vii, text. 17,18). But hope is the disposition of an imperfect thing, of one, namely, that lacks what it hopes to have. Therefore hope is not a virtue.

On the contrary Gregory says (Moral. i, 33) that the three daughters of Job signify these three virtues, faith, hope and charity. Therefore hope is a virtue.
I answer that According to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6) "the virtue of a thing is that which makes its subject good, and its work good likewise." Consequently wherever we find a good human act, it must correspond to some human virtue. Now in all things measured and ruled, the good is that which attains its proper rule: thus we say that a coat is good if it neither exceeds nor falls short of its proper measurement. But, as we stated above (Question [8], Article [3], ad 3) human acts have a twofold measure; one is proximate and homogeneous, viz. the reason, while the other is remote and excelling, viz. God: wherefore every human act is good, which attains reason or God Himself. Now the act of hope, whereof we speak now, attains God. For, as we have already stated (FS, Question [40], Article [1]), when we were treating of the passion of hope, the object of hope is a future good, difficult but possible to obtain. Now a thing is possible to us in two ways: first, by ourselves; secondly, by means of others, as stated in Ethic. iii. Wherefore, in so far as we hope for anything as being possible to us by means of the Divine assistance, our hope attains God Himself, on Whose help it leans. It is therefore evident that hope is a virtue, since it causes a human act to be good and to attain its due rule.

Reply to Objection: 1. In the passions, the mean of virtue depends on right reason being attained, wherein also consists the essence of virtue. Wherefore in hope too, the good of virtue depends on a man's attaining, by hoping, the due rule, viz. God. Consequently man cannot make ill use of hope which attains God, as neither can he make ill use of moral virtue which attains the reason, because to attain thus is to make good use of virtue. Nevertheless, the hope of which we speak now, is not a passion but a habit of the mind, as we shall show further on (Article [5]; Question [18], Article [1]).
2. Hope is said to arise from merits, as regards the thing hoped for, in so far as we hope to obtain happiness by means of grace and merits; or as regards the act of living hope. The habit itself of hope, whereby we hope to obtain happiness, does not flow from our merits, but from grace alone.
3. He who hopes is indeed imperfect in relation to that which he hopes to obtain, but has not as yet; yet he is perfect, in so far as he already attains his proper rule, viz. God, on Whose help he leans.

Whether eternal happiness is the proper object of hope?

Objection: 1. It would seem that eternal happiness is not the proper object of hope. For a man does not hope for that which surpasses every movement of the soul, since hope itself is a movement of the soul. Now eternal happiness surpasses every movement of the human soul, for the Apostle says (1Co 2,9) that it hath not "entered into the heart of man." Therefore happiness is not the proper object of hope.
2. Further, prayer is an expression of hope, for it is written (Ps 36,5): "Commit thy way to the Lord, and trust in Him, and He will do it." Now it is lawful for man to pray God not only for eternal happiness, but also for the goods, both temporal and spiritual, of the present life, and, as evidenced by the Lord's Prayer, to be delivered from evils which will no longer be in eternal happiness. Therefore eternal happiness is not the proper object of hope.
3. Further, the object of hope is something difficult. Now many things besides eternal happiness are difficult to man. Therefore eternal happiness is not the proper object of hope.

On the contrary The Apostle says (He 6,19) that we have hope "which entereth in," i.e. maketh us to enter . . . "within the veil," i.e. into the happiness of heaven, according to the interpretation of a gloss on these words. Therefore the object of hope is eternal happiness.
I answer that As stated above (Article [1]), the hope of which we speak now, attains God by leaning on His help in order to obtain the hoped for good. Now an effect must be proportionate to its cause. Wherefore the good which we ought to hope for from God properly and chiefly is the infinite good, which is proportionate to the power of our divine helper, since it belongs to an infinite power to lead anyone to an infinite good. Such a good is eternal life, which consists in the enjoyment of God Himself. For we should hope from Him for nothing less than Himself, since His goodness, whereby He imparts good things to His creature, is no less than His Essence. Therefore the proper and principal object of hope is eternal happiness.

Reply to Objection: 1. Eternal happiness does not enter into the heart of man perfectly, i.e. so that it be possible for a wayfarer to know its nature and quality; yet, under the general notion of the perfect good, it is possible for it to be apprehended by a man, and it is in this way that the movement of hope towards it arises. Hence the Apostle says pointedly (He 6,19) that hope "enters in, even within the veil," because that which we hope for is as yet veiled, so to speak.
2. We ought not to pray God for any other goods, except in reference to eternal happiness. Hence hope regards eternal happiness chiefly, and other things, for which we pray God, it regards secondarily and as referred to eternal happiness: just as faith regards God principally, and, secondarily, those things which are referred to God, as stated above (Question [1], Article [1]).
3. To him that longs for something great, all lesser things seem small; wherefore to him that hopes for eternal happiness, nothing else appears arduous, as compared with that hope; although, as compared with the capability of the man who hopes, other things besides may be arduous to him, so that he may have hope for such things in reference to its principal object.

Whether one man may hope for another's eternal happiness?

Objection: 1. It would seem that one may hope for another's eternal happiness. For the Apostle says (Ph 1,6): "Being confident of this very thing, that He Who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Jesus Christ." Now the perfection of that day will be eternal happiness. Therefore one man may hope for another's eternal happiness.
2. Further, whatever we ask of God, we hope to obtain from Him. But we ask God to bring others to eternal happiness, according to Jc 5,16: "Pray for one another that you may be saved." Therefore we can hope for another's eternal happiness.
3. Further, hope and despair are about the same object. Now it is possible to despair of another's eternal happiness, else Augustine would have no reason for saying (De Verb. Dom., Serm. lxxi) that we should not despair of anyone so long as he lives. Therefore one can also hope for another's eternal salvation.

On the contrary Augustine says (Enchiridion viii) that "hope is only of such things as belong to him who is supposed to hope for them."
I answer that We can hope for something in two ways: first, absolutely, and thus the object of hope is always something arduous and pertaining to the person who hopes. Secondly, we can hope for something, through something else being presupposed, and in this way its object can be something pertaining to someone else. In order to explain this we must observe that love and hope differ in this, that love denotes union between lover and beloved, while hope denotes a movement or a stretching forth of the appetite towards an arduous good. Now union is of things that are distinct, wherefore love can directly regard the other whom a man unites to himself by love, looking upon him as his other self: whereas movement is always towards its own term which is proportionate to the subject moved. Therefore hope regards directly one's own good, and not that which pertains to another. Yet if we presuppose the union of love with another, a man can hope for and desire something for another man, as for himself; and, accordingly, he can hope for another eternal's life, inasmuch as he is united to him by love, and just as it is the same virtue of charity whereby a man loves God, himself, and his neighbor, so too it is the same virtue of hope, whereby a man hopes for himself and for another.

Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

Whether a man can lawfully hope in man?

Objection: 1. It wold seem that one may lawfully hope in man. For the object of hope is eternal happiness. Now we are helped to obtain eternal happiness by the patronage of the saints, for Gregory says (Dial. i, 8) that "predestination is furthered by the saints' prayers." Therefore one may hope in man.
2. Further, if a man may not hope in another man, it ought not to be reckoned a sin in a man, that one should not be able to hope in him. Yet this is reckoned a vice in some, as appears from Jr 9,4: "Let every man take heed of his neighbor, and let him not trust in any brother of his." Therefore it is lawful to trust in a man.
3. Further, prayer is the expression of hope, as stated above (Article [2], Objection [2]). But it is lawful to pray to a man for something. Therefore it is lawful to trust in him.

On the contrary It is written (Jr 17,5): "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man."
I answer that Hope, as stated above (Article [1]; FS, Question [40], Article [7]), regards two things, viz. the good which it intends to obtain, and the help by which that good is obtained. Now the good which a man hopes to obtain, has the aspect of a final cause, while the help by which one hopes to obtain that good, has the character of an efficient cause. Now in each of these kinds of cause we find a principal and a secondary cause. For the principal end is the last end, while the secondary end is that which is referred to an end. In like manner the principal efficient cause is the first agent, while the secondary efficient cause is the secondary and instrumental agent. Now hope regards eternal happiness as its last end, and the Divine assistance as the first cause leading to happiness.Accordingly, just as it is not lawful to hope for any good save happiness, as one's last end, but only as something referred to final happiness, so too, it is unlawful to hope in any man, or any creature, as though it were the first cause of movement towards happiness. It is, however, lawful to hope in a man or a creature as being the secondary and instrumental agent through whom one is helped to obtain any goods that are ordained to happiness. It is in this way that we turn to the saints, and that we ask men also for certain things; and for this reason some are blamed in that they cannot be trusted to give help.

Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

Whether hope is a theological virtue?

Objection: 1. It would seem that hope is not a theological virtue. For a theological virtue is one that has God for its object. Now hope has for its object not only God but also other goods which we hope to obtain from God. Therefore hope is not a theological virtue.
2. Further, a theological virtue is not a mean between two vices, as stated above (FS, Question [64], Article [4]). But hope is a mean between presumption and despair. Therefore hope is not a theological virtue.
3. Further, expectation belongs to longanimity which is a species of fortitude. Since, then, hope is a kind of expectation, it seems that hope is not a theological, but a moral virtue.
4. Further, the object of hope is something arduous. But it belongs to magnanimity, which is a moral virtue, to tend to the arduous. Therefore hope is a moral, and not a theological virtue.

On the contrary Hope is enumerated (1Co 13) together with faith and charity, which are theological virtues.
I answer that Since specific differences, by their very nature, divide a genus, in order to decide under what division we must place hope, we must observe whence it derives its character of virtue.Now it has been stated above (Article [1]) that hope has the character of virtue from the fact that it attains the supreme rule of human actions: and this it attains both as its first efficient cause, in as much as it leans on its assistance, and as its last final cause, in as much as it expects happiness in the enjoyment thereof. Hence it is evident that God is the principal object of hope, considered as a virtue. Since, then, the very idea of a theological virtue is one that has God for its object, as stated above (FS, Question [62], Article [1]), it is evident that hope is a theological virtue.

Reply to Objection: 1. Whatever else hope expects to obtain, it hopes for it in reference to God as the last end, or as the first efficient cause, as stated above (Article [4]).
2. In things measured and ruled the mean consists in the measure or rule being attained; if we go beyond the rule, there is excess, if we fall short of the rule, there is deficiency. But in the rule or measure itself there is no such thing as a mean or extremes. Now a moral virtue is concerned with things ruled by reason, and these things are its proper object; wherefore it is proper to it to follow the mean as regards its proper object. On the other hand, a theological virtue is concerned with the First Rule not ruled by another rule, and that Rule is its proper object. Wherefore it is not proper for a theological virtue, with regard to its proper object, to follow the mean, although this may happen to it accidentally with regard to something that is referred to its principal object. Thus faith can have no mean or extremes in the point of trusting to the First Truth, in which it is impossible to trust too much; whereas on the part of the things believed, it may have a mean and extremes; for instance one truth is a mean between two falsehoods. So too, hope has no mean or extremes, as regards its principal object, since it is impossible to trust too much in the Divine assistance; yet it may have a mean and extremes, as regards those things a man trusts to obtain, in so far as he either presumes above his capability, or despairs of things of which he is capable.
3. The expectation which is mentioned in the definition of hope does not imply delay, as does the expectation which belongs to longanimity. It implies a reference to the Divine assistance, whether that which we hope for be delayed or not.
4. Magnanimity tends to something arduous in the hope of obtaining something that is within one's power, wherefore its proper object is the doing of great things. On the other hand hope, as a theological virtue, regards something arduous, to be obtained by another's help, as stated above (Article [1]).

Summa Th. II-II EN Qu.15 a.2