Summa - Supplement 283
Objection 1: It would seem that when a man has recovered charity his previous satisfaction begins to avail, because a gloss on Lv 25,25, "If thy brother being impoverished," etc., says that "the fruit of a man's good works should be counted from the time when he sinned." But they would not be counted, unless they derived some efficacy from his subsequent charity. Therefore they begin to avail after he recovers charity.
Objection 2: Further, as the efficacy of satisfaction is hindered by sin, so the efficacy of Baptism is hindered by insincerity. Now Baptism begins to avail when insincerity ceases. Therefore satisfaction begins to avail when sin is taken away.
Objection 3: Further, if a man is given as a penance for the sins he has committed, to fast for several days, and then, after falling again into sin, he completes his penance, he is not told, when he goes to confession a second time, to fast once again. But he would be told to do so, if he did not fulfill his duty of satisfaction by them. Therefore his previous works become valid unto satisfaction, through his subsequent repentance.
On the contrary, Works done without charity were not satisfactory, through being dead works. But they are not quickened by penance. Therefore they do not begin to be satisfactory.
Further, charity does not quicken a work, unless in some way that work proceeds therefrom. But works cannot be acceptable to God, and therefore cannot be satisfactory, unless they be quickened by charity. Since then the works done without charity, in no way proceeded from charity, nor ever can proceed therefrom, they can by no means count towards satisfaction.
I answer that, Some have said that works done while in a state of charity, which are called living works, are meritorious in respect of eternal life, and satisfactory in respect of paying off the debt of punishment; and that by subsequent charity, works done without charity are quickened so as to be satisfactory, but not so as to be meritorious of eternal life. But this is impossible, because works done in charity produce both these effects for the same reason, viz. because they are pleasing to God: wherefore just as charity by its advent cannot make works done without charity to be pleasing in one respect, so neither can it make them pleasing in the other respect.
Reply to Objection 1: This means that the fruits are reckoned, not from the time when he was first in sin, but from the time when he ceased to sin, when, to wit, he was last in sin; unless he was contrite as soon as he had sinned, and did many good actions before he confessed. Or we may say that the greater the contrition the more it alleviates the punishment, and the more good actions a man does while in sin, the more he disposes himself to the grace of contrition, so that it is probable that he owes a smaller debt of punishment. For this reason the priest should use discretion in taking them into account, so as to give him a lighter penance, according as he finds him better disposed.
Reply to Objection 2: Baptism imprints a character on the soul, whereas satisfaction does not. Hence on the advent of charity, which removes both insincerity and sin, it causes Baptism to have its effect, whereas it does not do this for satisfaction. Moreover Baptism confers justification in virtue of the deed [ex opere operato] which is not man's deed but God's, wherefore it does not become a lifeless deed as satisfaction does, which is a deed of man.
Reply to Objection 3: Sometimes satisfaction is such as to leave an effect in the person who makes satisfaction, even after the act of satisfaction has been done; thus fasting leaves the body weak, and almsdeeds result in a diminution of a person's substance, and so on. In such cases there is no need to repeat the works of satisfaction if they have been done while in a state of sin, because through penance they are acceptable to God in the result they leave behind. But when a work of satisfaction leaves behind no effect in the person that does satisfaction, it needs to be repeated, as in the case of prayer and so forth. Interior works, since they pass away altogether, are nowise quickened, and must be repeated.
Objection 1: It would seem that works done without charity merit some, at least a temporal, good. For as punishment is to the evil act, so is reward to a good act. Now no evil deed is unpunished by God the just judge. Therefore no good deed is unrewarded, and so every good deed merits some good.
Objection 2: Further, reward is not given except for merit. Now some reward is given for works done without charity, wherefore it is written (Mt 6,2 Mt 6,5 Mt 6,16) of those who do good actions for the sake of human glory, that "they have received their reward." Therefore those works merit some good.
Objection 3: Further, if there be two men both in sin, one of whom does many deeds that are good in themselves and in their circumstances, while the other does none, they are not equally near to the reception of good things from Gods else the latter need not be advised to do any good deeds. Now he that is nearer to God receives more of His good things. Therefore the former, on account of his good works, merits some good from God.
On the contrary, Augustine says that "the sinner is not worthy of the bread he eats." Therefore he cannot merit anything from God.
Further, he that is nothing, can merit nothing. But a sinner, through not having charity, is nothing in respect of spiritual being, according to 1Co 13,2. Therefore he can merit nothing.
I answer that, Properly speaking a merit is an action on account of which it is just that the agent should be given something. Now justice is twofold: first, there is justice properly so called, which regards something due on the part of the recipient. Secondly, there is metaphorical justice, so to speak, which regards something due on the part of the giver, for it may be right for the giver to give something to which the receiver has no claim. In this sense the "fitness of the Divine goodness" is justice; thus Anselm says (Proslog. x) that "God is just when He spares the sinner, because this is befitting." And in this way merit is also twofold. The first is an act in respect of which the agent himself has a claim to receive something, and this is called merit of "condignity." The second is an act the result of which is that there is a duty of giving in the giver by reason of fittingness, wherefore it is called merit of "congruity." Now since in all gratuitous givings, the primary reason of the giving is love, it is impossible for anyone, properly speaking, to lay claim to a gift, if he lack friendship. Wherefore, as all things, whether temporal or eternal, are bestowed on us by the bounty of God, no one can acquire a claim to any of them, save through charity towards God: so that works done without charity are not condignly meritorious of any good from God either eternal or temporal. But since it is befitting the goodness of God, that wherever He finds a disposition He should grant the perfection, a man is said to merit congruously some good by means of good works done without charity. Accordingly suchlike works avail for a threefold good, acquisition of temporal goods, disposition to grace, habituation to good works. Since, however, this is not merit properly so called, we should grant that such works are not meritorious of any good, rather than that they are.
Reply to Objection 1: As the Philosopher states (Ethic. viii, 14), since no matter what a son may do, he can never give back to his father the equal of what he has received from him a father can never become his son's debtor: and much less can man make God his debtor on account of equivalence of work. Consequently no work of ours can merit a reward by reason of its measure of goodness, but it can by reason of charity, which makes friends hold their possessions in common. Therefore, no matter how good a work may be, if it be done without charity, it does not give man a claim to receive anything from God. On the other hand, an evil deed deserves an equivalent punishment according to the measure of its malice, because no evil has been done to us on the part of God, like the good which He has done. Therefore, although an evil deed deserves condign punishment, nevertheless a good deed without charity does not merit condign reward.
Reply to Objection 2:and 3: These arguments consider merit of congruity; while the other arguments consider merit of condignity.
Objection 1: It would seem that the aforesaid works do not avail for the mitigation of the pains of hell. For the measure of punishment in hell will answer to the measure of guilt. But works done without charity do not diminish the measure of guilt. Neither, therefore, do they lessen the pains of hell.
Objection 2: Further, the pain of hell, though infinite in duration, is nevertheless finite in intensity. Now anything finite is done away with by finite subtraction. If therefore works done without charity canceled any of the punishment due for sins, those works might be so numerous, that the pain of hell would be done away with altogether: which is false.
Objection 3: Further, the suffrages of the Church are more efficacious than works done without charity. But, according to Augustine (Enchiridion cx), "the suffrages of the Church do not profit the damned in hell." Much less therefore are those pains mitigated by works done without charity.
On the contrary, Augustine also says (Enchiridion cx): "Whomsoever they profit, either receive a full pardon, or at least find damnation itself more tolerable."
Further, it is a greater thing to do a good deed than to omit an evil deed. But the omission of an evil deed always avoids a punishment, even in one who lacks charity. Much more, therefore, do good deeds void punishment.
I answer that, Mitigation of the pains of hell can be understood in two ways: first, as though one were delivered from the punishment which he already deserved, and thus, since no one is delivered from punishment unless he be absolved from guilt, (for an effect is not diminished or taken away unless its cause be diminished or taken away), the pain of hell cannot be mitigated by works done without charity, since they are unable to remove or diminish guilt. Secondly, so that the demerit of punishment is hindered; and thus the aforesaid works diminish the pain of hell---first because he who does such works escapes being guilty of omitting them---secondly, because such works dispose one somewhat to good, so that a man sins from less contempt, and indeed is drawn away from many sins thereby.
These works do, however merit a diminution or postponement of temporal punishment, as in the case of Achab (1R 21,27, seqq.), as also the acquisition of temporal goods.
Some, however, say that they mitigate the pains of hell, not by subtracting any of their substance, but by strengthening the subject, so that he is more able to bear them. But this is impossible, because there is no strengthening without a diminution of passibility. Now passibility is according to the measure of guilt, wherefore if guilt is not removed, neither can the subject be strengthened.
Some again say that the punishment is mitigated as to the remorse of conscience, though not as to the pain of fire. But neither will this stand, because as the pain of fire is equal to the guilt, so also is the pain of the remorse of conscience: so that what applies to one applies to the other.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
We must now consider the means of making satisfaction, under which head there are three points of inquiry:
(1) Whether satisfaction must be made by means of penal works?
(2) Whether the scourges whereby God punishes man in this life, are satisfactory?
(3) Whether the works of satisfaction are suitably reckoned, by saying that there are three, viz. almsdeeds, fasting, and prayer?
Objection 1: It would seem that satisfaction need not be made by means of penal works. For satisfaction should make compensation for the offense committed against God. Now, seemingly, no compensation is given to God by penal works, for God does not delight in our sufferings, as appears from Tb 3,22. Therefore satisfaction need not be made by means of penal works.
Objection 2: Further, the greater the charity from which a work proceeds, the less penal is that work, for "charity hath no pain [*Vulg.: 'Perfect charity casteth out fear, because fear hath pain']" according to 1Jn 4,18. If therefore works of satisfaction need to be penal, the more they proceed from charity, the less satisfactory will they be: which is false.
Objection 3: Further, "Satisfaction," as Anselm states (Cur Deus homo i) "consists in giving due honor to God." But this can be done by other means than penal works. Therefore satisfaction needs not to be made by means of penal works.
On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xx): "It is just that the sinner, by his repentance, should inflict on himself so much the greater suffering, as he has brought greater harm on himself by his sin."
Further, the wound caused by sin should be perfectly healed by satisfaction. Now punishment is the remedy for sins, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3). Therefore satisfaction should be made by means of penal works.
I answer that, As stated above (Question , Article ), satisfaction regards both the past offense, for which compensation is made by its means, and also future sin wherefrom we are preserved thereby: and in both respects satisfaction needs to be made by means of penal works. For compensation for an offense implies equality, which must needs be between the offender and the person whom he offends. Now equalization in human justice consists in taking away from one that which he has too much of, and giving it to the person from whom something has been taken. And, although nothing can be taken away from God, so far as He is concerned, yet the sinner, for his part, deprives Him of something by sinning as stated above (Question , Articles ,4). Consequently, in order that compensation be made, something by way of satisfaction that may conduce to the glory of God must be taken away from the sinner. Now a good work, as such, does not deprive the agent of anything, but perfects him: so that the deprivation cannot be effected by a good work unless it be penal. Therefore, in order that a work be satisfactory it needs to be good that it may conduce to God's honor, and it must be penal, so that something may be taken away from the sinner thereby.
Again punishment preserves from future sin, because a man does not easily fall back into sin when he has had experience of the punishment. Wherefore, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 3) punishments are medicinal.
Reply to Objection 1: Though God does not delight in our punishments as such, yet He does, in so far as they are just, and thus they can be satisfactory.
Reply to Objection 2: Just as, in satisfaction, we have to note the penality of the work, so, in merit, we must observe its difficulty. Now if the difficulty of the work itself be diminished, other things being equal, the merit is also diminished; but if the difficulty be diminished on the part of the promptitude of the will, this does not diminish the merit, but increases it; and, in like manner, diminution of the penality of a work, on account of the will being made more prompt by charity, does not lessen the efficacy of satisfaction, but increases it.
Reply to Objection 3: That which is due for sin is compensation for the offense, and this cannot be done without punishment of the sinner. It is of this debt that Anselm speaks.
Objection 1: It would seem that the scourges whereby we are punished by God in this life, cannot be satisfactory. For nothing but what is meritorious can be satisfactory, as is clear from what has been said (Question , Article ). But we do not merit except by what is in our own power. Since therefore the scourges with which God punishes us are not in our power, it seems that they cannot be satisfactory.
Objection 2: Further, only the good make satisfaction. But these scourges are inflicted on the wicked also, and are deserved by them most of all. Therefore they cannot be satisfactory.
Objection 3: Further, satisfaction regards past sins. But these scourges are sometimes inflicted on those who have no sins, as in the case of Job. Therefore it seems that they are not satisfactory.
On the contrary, It is written (Rm 5,3-4): "Tribulation worketh patience, and patience trial, i.e. deliverance from sin," as a gloss explains it.
Further, Ambrose says (Super Ps 118): "Although faith," i.e. the consciousness of sin, "be lacking, the punishment satisfies." Therefore the scourges of this life are satisfactory.
I answer that, Compensation for a past offense can be enforced either by the offender or by another. When it is enforced by another, such compensation is of a vindictive rather than of a satisfactory nature, whereas when it is made by the offender, it is also satisfactory. Consequently, if the scourges, which are inflicted by God on account of sin, become in some way the act of the sufferer they acquire a satisfactory character. Now they become the act of the sufferer in so far as he accepts them for the cleansing of his sins, by taking advantage of them patiently. If, however, he refuse to submit to them patiently, then they do not become his personal act in any way, and are not of a satisfactory, but merely of a vindictive character.
Reply to Objection 1: Although these scourges are not altogether in our power, yet in some respect they are, in so far as we use them patiently. In this way man makes a virtue of necessity, so that such things can become both meritorious and satisfactory.
Reply to Objection 2: As Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei i, 8), even as "the same fire makes gold glisten and straw reek," so by the same scourges are the good cleansed and the wicked worsened on account of their impatience. Hence, though the scourges are common to both, satisfaction is only on the side of the good.
Reply to Objection 3: These scourges always regard past guilt, not always the guilt of the person, but sometimes the guilt of nature. For had there not been guilt in human nature, there would have been no punishment. But since guilt preceded in nature, punishment is inflicted by God on a person without the person's fault, that his virtue may be meritorious, and that he may avoid future sin. Moreover, these two things are necessary in satisfaction. For the work needs to be meritorious, that honor may be given to God, and it must be a safeguard of virtue, that we may be preserved from future sins.
Objection 1: It would seem that the works of satisfaction are unsuitably enumerated by saying that there are three, viz. almsdeeds, fasting, and prayer. For a work of satisfaction should be penal. But prayer is not penal, since it is a remedy against penal sorrow, and is a source of pleasure, wherefore it is written (Jc 5,13): "Is any of you sad? Let him pray. Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing." Therefore prayer should not be reckoned among the works of satisfaction.
Objection 2: Further, every sin is either carnal or spiritual. Now, as Jerome says on Mc 9,28, "This kind" of demons "can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting: Diseases of the body are healed by fasting, diseases of the mind, by prayer." Therefore no other work of satisfaction is necessary.
Objection 3: Further, satisfaction is necessary in order for us to be cleansed from our sins. But almsgiving cleanses from all sins, according to Lc 11,41: "Give alms, and behold all things are clean unto you." Therefore the other two are in excess.
Objection 4: On the other hand, it seems that there should be more. For contrary heals contrary. But there are many more than three kinds of sin. Therefore more works of satisfaction should be enumerated.
Objection 5: Further, pilgrimages and scourgings are also enjoined as works of satisfaction, and are not included among the above. Therefore they are not sufficiently enumerated.
I answer that, Satisfaction should be of such a nature as to involve something taken away from us for the honor of God. Now we have but three kinds of goods, bodily, spiritual, and goods of fortune, or external goods. By alms-deeds we deprive ourselves of some goods of fortune, and by fasting we retrench goods of the body. As to goods of the soul, there is no need to deprive ourselves of any of them, either in whole or in part, since thereby we become acceptable to God, but we should submit them entirely to God, which is done by prayer.
This number is shown to be suitable in so far as satisfaction uproots the causes of sin, for these are reckoned to be three (1Jn 2,16), viz. "concupiscence of the flesh," "concupiscence of the eyes," and "pride of life." Fasting is directed against concupiscence of the "flesh," alms-deeds against concupiscence of the "eyes," and "prayer" against "pride of life," as Augustine says (Enarr. in Ps 42).
This number is also shown to be suitable in so far as satisfaction does not open a way to the suggestions of sin, because every sin is committed either against God, and this is prevented by "prayer," or against our neighbor, and this is remedied by "alms-deeds," or against ourselves, and this is forestalled by "fasting."
Reply to Objection 1: According to some, prayer is twofold. There is the prayer of contemplatives whose "conversation is in heaven": and this, since it is altogether delightful, is not a work of satisfaction. The other is a prayer which pours forth sighs for sin; this is penal and a part of satisfaction.
It may also be replied, and better, that every prayer has the character of satisfaction, for though it be sweet to the soul it is painful to the body, since, as Gregory says (Super Ezech., Hom. xiv), "doubtless, when our soul's love is strengthened, our body's strength is weakened"; hence we read (Gn 32,25) that the sinew of Jacob's thigh shrank through his wrestling with the angel.
Reply to Objection 2: Carnal sin is twofold; one which is completed in carnal delectation, as gluttony and lust. and, another which is completed in things relating to the flesh, though it be completed in the delectation of the soul rather than of the flesh, as covetousness. Hence such like sins are between spiritual and carnal sins, so that they need a satisfaction proper to them, viz. almsdeeds.
Reply to Objection 3: Although each of these three, by a kind of likeness, is appropriated to some particular kind of sin because it is reasonable that, whereby a man sins, in that he should be punished, and that satisfaction should cut out the very root of the sin committed, yet each of them can satisfy for any kind of sin. Hence if a man is unable to perform one of the above, another is imposed on him, chiefly almsdeeds, which can take the place of the others, in so far as in those to whom a man gives alms he purchases other works of satisfaction thereby. Consequently even if almsgiving washes all sins away, it does not follow that other works are in excess.
Reply to Objection 4: Though there are many kinds of sins, all are reduced to those three roots or to those three kinds of sin, to which, as we have said, the aforesaid works of satisfaction correspond.
Reply to Objection 5: Whatever relates to affliction of the body is all referred to fasting, and whatever is spent for the benefit of one's neighbor is a kind of alms, and whatever act of worship is given to God becomes a kind of prayer, so that even one work can be satisfactory in several ways.
We must now consider the recipients of the sacrament of Penance: under which head there are three points of inquiry:
(1) Whether penance can be in the innocent?
(2) Whether it can be in the saints in glory?
(3) Whether in the good or bad angels?
Objection 1: It would seem that penance cannot be in the innocent. For penance consists in bewailing one's evil deeds: whereas the innocent have done no evil. Therefore penance cannot be in them.
Objection 2: Further, the very name of penance [poenitentia] implies punishment [poena]. But the innocent do not deserve punishment. Therefore penance is not in them.
Objection 3: Further, penance coincides with vindictive justice. But if all were innocent, there would be no room for vindictive justice. Therefore there would be no penance, so that there is none in the innocent.
On the contrary, All the virtues are infused together. But penance is a virtue. Since, therefore, other virtues are infused into the innocent at Baptism, penance is infused with them.
Further, a man is said to be curable though he has never been sick in body: therefore in like manner, one who has never been sick spiritually. Now even as there can be no actual cure from the wound of sin without an act of penance, so is there no possibility of cure without the habit of penance. Therefore one who has never had the disease of sin, has the habit of penance.
I answer that, Habit comes between power and act: and since the removal of what precedes entails the removal of what follows, but not conversely, the removal of the habit ensues from the removal of the power to act, but not from the removal of the act. And because removal of the matter entails the removal of the act, since there can be no act without the matter into which it passes, hence the habit of a virtue is possible in one for whom the matter is not available, for the reason that it can be available, so that the habit can proceed to its act---thus a poor man can have the habit of magnificence, but not the act, because he is not possessed of great wealth which is the matter of magnificence, but he can be possessed thereof.
Reply to Objection 1: Although the innocent have committed no sin, nevertheless they can, so that they are competent to have the habit of penance. Yet this habit can never proceed to its act, except perhaps with regard to their venial sins, because mortal sins destroy the habit. Nevertheless it is not without its purpose, because it is a perfection of the natural power.
Reply to Objection 2: Although they deserve no punishment actually, yet it is possible for something to be in them for which they would deserve to be punished.
Reply to Objection 3: So long as the power to sin remains, there would be room for vindictive justice as to the habit, though not as to the act, if there were no actual sins.
Objection 1: It would seem that the saints in glory have not penance. For, as Gregory says (Moral. iv), "the blessed remember their sins, even as we, without grief, remember our griefs after we have been healed." But penance is grief of the heart. Therefore the saints in heaven have not penance.
Objection 2: Further, the saints in heaven are conformed to Christ. But there was no penance in Christ, since there was no faith which is the principle of penance. Therefore there will be no penance in the saints in heaven.
Objection 3: Further, a habit is useless if it is not reduced to its act. But the saints in heaven will not repent actually, because, if they did, there would be something in them against their wish. Therefore the habit of penance will not be in them.
Objection 4: On the other hand, penance is a part of justice. But justice is "perpetual and immortal" (Sg 1,15), and will remain in heaven. Therefore penance will also.
Objection 5: Further, we read in the Lives of the Fathers, that one of them said that even Abraham will repent of not having done more good. But one ought to repent of evil done more than of good left undone, and which one was not bound to do, for such is the good in question. Therefore repentance will be there of evil done.
I answer that, The cardinal virtues will remain in heaven, but only as regards the acts which they exercise in respect of their end. Wherefore, since the virtue of penance is a part of justice which is a cardinal virtue, whoever has the habit of penance in this life, will have it in the life to come: but he will not have the same act as now, but another, viz. thanksgiving to God for His mercy in pardoning his sins.
Reply to Objection 1: This argument proves that they do not have the same act as penance has now; and we grant this.
Reply to Objection 2: Christ could not sin, wherefore the matter of this virtue was lacking in His respect both actually and potentially: so that there is no comparison between Him and others.
Reply to Objection 3: Repentance, properly speaking, considered as that act of penance which is in this life, will not be in heaven: and yet the habit will not be without its use, for it will have another act.
Reply to Objection 4:5: We grant the Fourth argument. But since the Fifth Objection proves that there will be the same act of penance in heaven as now, we answer the latter by saying that in heaven one will be altogether conformed to the will of God. Wherefore, as God, by His antecedent will, but not by His consequent will, wishes that all things should be good, and therefore that there should be no evil, so is it with the blessed. It is this will that this holy father improperly calls penance.
Objection 1: It would seem that even a good or bad angel can be a subject of penance. For fear is the beginning of penance. But fear is in the angels, according to Jc 2,19: "The devils . . . believe and tremble." Therefore there can be penance in them.
Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 4) that "evil men are full of repentance, and this is a great punishment for them." Now the devils are exceeding evil, nor is there any punishment that they lack. Therefore they can repent.
Objection 3: Further, a thing is more easily moved to that which is according to its nature than to that which is against its nature: thus water which has by violence been heated, of itself returns to its natural property. Now angels can be moved to sin which is contrary to their common nature. Much more therefore can they return to that which is in accord with their nature. But this is done by penance. Therefore they are susceptible to penance.
Objection 4: Further, what applies to angels, applies equally to separated souls, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 4). But there can be penance in separated souls, as some say, as in the souls of the blessed in heaven. Therefore there can be penance in the angels.
On the contrary, By penance man obtains pardon for the sin he has committed. But this is impossible in the angels. Therefore they are not subjects of penance.
Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 4) that man is subject to penance on account of the weakness of his body. But the angels are not united to a body. Therefore no penance can be in them.
I answer that, In us, penance is taken in two senses; first, as a passion, and thus it is nothing but pain or sorrow on account of a sin committed: and though, as a passion it is only in the concupiscible part, yet, by way of comparison, the name of penance is given to that act of the will, whereby a man detests what he has done, even as love and other passions are spoken of as though they were in the intellectual appetite. Secondly, penance is taken as a virtue, and in this way its act consists in the detestation of evil done, together with the purpose of amendment and the intention of expiating the evil, or of placating God for the offense committed. Now detestation of evil befits a person according as he is naturally ordained to good. And since this order or inclination is not entirely destroyed in any creature, it remains even in the damned, and consequently the passion of repentance, or something like it, remains in them too, as stated in Sg 5,3"(saying) within themselves, repenting," etc. This repentance, as it is not a habit, but a passion or act, can by no means be in the blessed angels, who have not committed any sins: but it is in the wicked angels, since the same applies to them as to the lost souls, for, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 4), "death is to men what sin is to an angel." But no forgiveness is possible for the sin of an angel. Now sin is the proper object of the virtue itself which we call penance, in so far as it can be pardoned or expiated. Therefore, since the wicked angels cannot have the matter, they have not the power to produce the act, so that neither can they have the habit. Hence the angels cannot be subjects of the virtue of penance.
Reply to Objection 1: A certain movement of penance is engendered in them from fear, but not such as is a virtue.
This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.
Reply to Objection 3: Whatever is natural in them is entirely good, and inclines to good: but their free-will is fixed on evil. And since the movement of virtue and vice follows the inclination, not of nature, but of the free-will, there is no need that there should be movements of virtue in them either actually or possibly, although they are inclined to good by nature.
Reply to Objection 4: There is no parity between the holy angels and the beatified souls, because in the latter there has been or could have been a sin that could be pardoned, but not in the former: so that though they are like as to their present state, they differ as to their previous states, which penance regards directly.
Summa - Supplement 283