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Home > Summa Theologiae > Third Part > Question 15

Question 15. The defects of soul assumed by Christ

  1. Was there sin in Christ?
  2. Was there the "fomes" of sin in Him?
  3. Was there ignorance?
  4. Was His soul passible?
  5. Was there sensible pain in Him?
  6. Was there sorrow?
  7. Was there fear?
  8. Was there wonder?
  9. Was there anger?
  10. Was He at once wayfarer and comprehensor?

Article 1. Whether there was sin in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that there was sin in Christ. For it is written (Psalm 21:2): "O God, My God . . . why hast Thou forsaken Me? Far from My salvation are the words of My sins." Now these words are said in the person of Christ Himself, as appears from His having uttered them on the cross. Therefore it would seem that in Christ there were sins.

Objection 2. Further, the Apostle says (Romans 5:12) that "in Adam all have sinned"—namely, because all were in Adam by origin. Now Christ also was in Adam by origin. Therefore He sinned in him.

Objection 3. Further, the Apostle says (Hebrews 2:18) that "in that, wherein He Himself hath suffered and been tempted, He is able to succor them also that are tempted." Now above all do we require His help against sin. Therefore it seems that there was sin in Him.

Objection 4. Further, it is written (2 Corinthians 5:21) that "Him that knew no sin" (i.e. Christ), "for us" God "hath made sin." But that really is, which has been made by God. Therefore there was really sin in Christ.

Objection 5. Further, as Augustine says (De Agone Christ. xi), "in the man Christ the Son of God gave Himself to us as a pattern of living." Now man needs a pattern not merely of right living, but also of repentance for sin. Therefore it seems that in Christ there ought to have been sin, that He might repent of His sin, and thus afford us a pattern of repentance.

On the contrary, He Himself says (John 8:46): "Which of you shall convince Me of sin?"

I answer that, As was said above (III:14:1), Christ assumed our defects that He might satisfy for us, that He might prove the truth of His human nature, and that He might become an example of virtue to us. Now it is plain that by reason of these three things He ought not to have assumed the defect of sin. First, because sin nowise works our satisfaction; rather, it impedes the power of satisfying, since, as it is written (Sirach 34:23), "The Most High approveth not the gifts of the wicked." Secondly, the truth of His human nature is not proved by sin, since sin does not belong to human nature, whereof God is the cause; but rather has been sown in it against its nature by the devil, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 20). Thirdly, because by sinning He could afford no example of virtue, since sin is opposed to virtue. Hence Christ nowise assumed the defect of sin—either original or actual—according to what is written (1 Peter 2:22): "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth."

Reply to Objection 1. As Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 25), things are said of Christ, first, with reference to His natural and hypostatic property, as when it is said that God became man, and that He suffered for us; secondly, with reference to His personal and relative property, when things are said of Him in our person which nowise belong to Him of Himself. Hence, in the seven rules of Tichonius which Augustine quotes in De Doctr. Christ. iii, 31, the first regards "Our Lord and His Body," since "Christ and His Church are taken as one person." And thus Christ, speaking in the person of His members, says (Psalm 21:2): "The words of My sins"—not that there were any sins in the Head.

Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. x, 20), Christ was in Adam and the other fathers not altogether as we were. For we were in Adam as regards both seminal virtue and bodily substance, since, as he goes on to say: "As in the seed there is a visible bulk and an invisible virtue, both have come from Adam. Now Christ took the visible substance of His flesh from the Virgin's flesh; but the virtue of His conception did not spring from the seed of man, but far otherwise—from on high." Hence He was not in Adam according to seminal virtue, but only according to bodily substance. And therefore Christ did not receive human nature from Adam actively, but only materially—and from the Holy Ghost actively; even as Adam received his body materially from the slime of the earth—actively from God. And thus Christ did not sin in Adam, in whom He was only as regards His matter.

Reply to Objection 3. In His temptation and passion Christ has succored us by satisfying for us. Now sin does not further satisfaction, but hinders it, as has been said. Hence, it behooved Him not to have sin, but to be wholly free from sin; otherwise the punishment He bore would have been due to Him for His own sin.

Reply to Objection 4. God "made Christ sin"—not, indeed, in such sort that He had sin, but that He made Him a sacrifice for sin: even as it is written (Hosea 4:8): "They shall eat the sins of My people"—they, i.e. the priests, who by the law ate the sacrifices offered for sin. And in that way it is written (Isaiah 53:6) that "the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (i.e. He gave Him up to be a victim for the sins of all men); or "He made Him sin" (i.e. made Him to have "the likeness of sinful flesh"), as is written (Romans 8:3), and this on account of the passible and mortal body He assumed.

Reply to Objection 5. A penitent can give a praiseworthy example, not by having sinned, but by freely bearing the punishment of sin. And hence Christ set the highest example to penitents, since He willingly bore the punishment, not of His own sin, but of the sins of others.

Article 2. Whether there was the "fomes" of sin in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that in Christ there was the "fomes" of sin. For the "fomes" of sin, and the passibility and mortality of the body spring from the same principle, to wit, from the withdrawal of original justice, whereby the inferior powers of the soul were subject to the reason, and the body to the soul. Now passibility and mortality of body were in Christ. Therefore there was also the "fomes" of sin.

Objection 2. Further, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 19), "it was by consent of the Divine will that the flesh of Christ was allowed to suffer and do what belonged to it." But it is proper to the flesh to lust after its pleasures. Now since the "fomes" of sin is nothing more than concupiscence, as the gloss says on Romans 7:8, it seems that in Christ there was the "fomes" of sin.

Objection 3. Further, it is by reason of the "fomes" of sin that "the flesh lusteth against the spirit," as is written (Galatians 5:17). But the spirit is shown to be so much the stronger and worthier to be crowned according as the more completely it overcomes its enemy—to wit, the concupiscence of the flesh, according to 2 Timothy 2:5, he "is not crowned except he strive lawfully." Now Christ had a most valiant and conquering spirit, and one most worthy of a crown, according to Apocalypse 6:2: "There was a crown given Him, and He went forth conquering that He might conquer." Therefore it would especially seem that the "fomes" of sin ought to have been in Christ.

On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 1:20): "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Now the Holy Ghost drives out sin and the inclination to sin, which is implied in the word "fomes." Therefore in Christ there ought not to have been the "fomes" of sin.

I answer that, As was said above (III:7:9), Christ had grace and all the virtues most perfectly. Now moral virtues, which are in the irrational part of the soul, make it subject to reason, and so much the more as the virtue is more perfect; thus, temperance controls the concupiscible appetite, fortitude and meekness the irascible appetite, as was said in I-II:56:4. But there belongs to the very nature of the "fomes" of sin an inclination of the sensual appetite to what is contrary to reason. And hence it is plain that the more perfect the virtues are in any man, the weaker the "fomes" of sin becomes in him. Hence, since in Christ the virtues were in their highest degree, the "fomes" of sin was nowise in Him; inasmuch, also, as this defect cannot be ordained to satisfaction, but rather inclined to what is contrary to satisfaction.

Reply to Objection 1. The inferior powers pertaining to the sensitive appetite have a natural capacity to be obedient to reason; but not the bodily powers, nor those of the bodily humors, nor those of the vegetative soul, as is made plain Ethic. i, 13. And hence perfection of virtue, which is in accordance with right reason, does not exclude passibility of body; yet it excludes the "fomes" of sin, the nature of which consists in the resistance of the sensitive appetite to reason.

Reply to Objection 2. The flesh naturally seeks what is pleasing to it by the concupiscence of the sensitive appetite; but the flesh of man, who is a rational animal, seeks this after the manner and order of reason. And thus with the concupiscence of the sensitive appetite Christ's flesh naturally sought food, drink, and sleep, and all else that is sought in right reason, as is plain from Damascene (De Fide Orth. iii, 14). Yet it does not therefore follow that in Christ there was the "fomes" of sin, for this implies the lust after pleasurable things against the order of reason.

Reply to Objection 3. The spirit gives evidence of fortitude to some extent by resisting that concupiscence of the flesh which is opposed to it; yet a greater fortitude of spirit is shown, if by its strength the flesh is thoroughly overcome, so as to be incapable of lusting against the spirit. And hence this belonged to Christ, whose spirit reached the highest degree of fortitude. And although He suffered no internal assault on the part of the "fomes" of sin, He sustained an external assault on the part of the world and the devil, and won the crown of victory by overcoming them.

Article 3. Whether in Christ there was ignorance?

Objection 1. It would seem that there was ignorance in Christ. For that is truly in Christ which belongs to Him in His human nature, although it does not belong to Him in His Divine Nature, as suffering and death. But ignorance belongs to Christ in His human nature; for Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 21) that "He assumed an ignorant and enslaved nature." Therefore ignorance was truly in Christ.

Objection 2. Further, one is said to be ignorant through defect of knowledge. Now some kind of knowledge was wanting to Christ, for the Apostle says (2 Corinthians 5:21) "Him that knew no sin, for us He hath made sin." Therefore there was ignorance in Christ.

Objection 3. Further, it is written (Isaiah 8:4): "For before the child know to call his Father and his mother, the strength of Damascus . . . shall be taken away." Therefore in Christ there was ignorance of certain things.

On the contrary, Ignorance is not taken away by ignorance. But Christ came to take away our ignorance; for "He came to enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Luke 1:79). Therefore there was no ignorance in Christ.

I answer that, As there was the fulness of grace and virtue in Christ, so too there was the fulness of all knowledge, as is plain from what has been said above (III:7:9; Article 9). Now as the fulness of grace and virtue in Christ excluded the "fomes" of sin, so the fulness of knowledge excluded ignorance, which is opposed to knowledge. Hence, even as the "fomes" of sin was not in Christ, neither was there ignorance in Him.

Reply to Objection 1. The nature assumed by Christ may be viewed in two ways. First, in its specific nature, and thus Damascene calls it "ignorant and enslaved"; hence he adds: "For man's nature is a slave of Him" (i.e. God) "Who made it; and it has no knowledge of future things." Secondly, it may be considered with regard to what it has from its union with the Divine hypostasis, from which it has the fulness of knowledge and grace, according to John 1:14: "We saw Him [Vulgate: 'His glory'] as it were the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth"; and in this way the human nature in Christ was not affected with ignorance.

Reply to Objection 2. Christ is said not to have known sin, because He did not know it by experience; but He knew it by simple cognition.

Reply to Objection 3. The prophet is speaking in this passage of the human knowledge of Christ; thus he says: "Before the Child" (i.e. in His human nature) "know to call His father" (i.e. Joseph, who was His reputed father), "and His mother" (i.e. Mary), "the strength of Damascus . . . shall be taken away." Nor are we to understand this as if He had been some time a man without knowing it; but "before He know" (i.e. before He is a man having human knowledge)—literally, "the strength of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away by the King of the Assyrians"—or spiritually, "before His birth He will save His people solely by invocation," as a gloss expounds it. Augustine however (Serm. xxxii de Temp.) says that this was fulfilled in the adoration of the Magi. For he says: "Before He uttered human words in human flesh, He received the strength of Damascus, i.e. the riches which Damascus vaunted (for in riches the first place is given to gold). They themselves were the spoils of Samaria. Because Samaria is taken to signify idolatry; since this people, having turned away from the Lord, turned to the worship of idols. Hence these were the first spoils which the child took from the domination of idolatry." And in this way "before the child know" may be taken to mean "before he show himself to know."

Article 4. Whether Christ's soul was passible?

Objection 1. It would seem that the soul of Christ was not passible. For nothing suffers except by reason of something stronger; since "the agent is greater than the patient," as is clear from Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xii, 16), and from the Philosopher (De Anima iii, 5). Now no creature was stronger than Christ's soul. Therefore Christ's soul could not suffer at the hands of any creature; and hence it was not passible; for its capability of suffering would have been to no purpose if it could not have suffered at the hands of anything.

Objection 2. Further, Tully (De Tusc. Quaes. iii) says that the soul's passions are ailments [Cf. I-II:24:2]. But Christ's soul had no ailment; for the soul's ailment results from sin, as is plain from Psalm 40:5: "Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee." Therefore in Christ's soul there were no passions.

Objection 3. Further, the soul's passions would seem to be the same as the "fomes" of sin, hence the Apostle (Romans 7:5) calls them the "passions of sins." Now the "fomes" of sin was not in Christ, as was said Article 2. Therefore it seems that there were no passions in His soul; and hence His soul was not passible.

On the contrary, It is written (Psalm 87:4) in the person of Christ: "My soul is filled with evils"—not sins, indeed, but human evils, i.e. "pains," as a gloss expounds it. Hence the soul of Christ was passible.

I answer that, A soul placed in a body may suffer in two ways: first with a bodily passion; secondly, with an animal passion. It suffers with a bodily passion through bodily hurt; for since the soul is the form of the body, soul and body have but one being; and hence, when the body is disturbed by any bodily passion, the soul, too, must be disturbed, i.e. in the being which it has in the body. Therefore, since Christ's body was passible and mortal, as was said above (III:14:2), His soul also was of necessity passible in like manner. But the soul suffers with an animal passion, in its operations—either in such as are proper to the soul, or in such as are of the soul more than of the body. And although the soul is said to suffer in this way through sensation and intelligence, as was said in I-II:22:3; I-II:41:1; nevertheless the affections of the sensitive appetite are most properly called passions of the soul. Now these were in Christ, even as all else pertaining to man's nature. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 9): "Our Lord having deigned to live in the form of a servant, took these upon Himself whenever He judged they ought to be assumed; for there was no false human affection in Him Who had a true body and a true human soul."

Nevertheless we must know that the passions were in Christ otherwise than in us, in three ways. First, as regards the object, since in us these passions very often tend towards what is unlawful, but not so in Christ. Secondly, as regards the principle, since these passions in us frequently forestall the judgment of reason; but in Christ all movements of the sensitive appetite sprang from the disposition of the reason. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 9), that "Christ assumed these movements, in His human soul, by an unfailing dispensation, when He willed; even as He became man when He willed." Thirdly, as regards the effect, because in us these movements, at times, do not remain in the sensitive appetite, but deflect the reason; but not so in Christ, since by His disposition the movements that are naturally becoming to human flesh so remained in the sensitive appetite that the reason was nowise hindered in doing what was right. Hence Jerome says (on Matthew 26:37) that "Our Lord, in order to prove the reality of the assumed manhood, 'was sorrowful' in very deed; yet lest a passion should hold sway over His soul, it is by a propassion that He is said to have 'begun to grow sorrowful and to be sad'"; so that it is a perfect "passion" when it dominates the soul, i.e. the reason; and a "propassion" when it has its beginning in the sensitive appetite, but goes no further.

Reply to Objection 1. The soul of Christ could have prevented these passions from coming upon it, and especially by the Divine power; yet of His own will He subjected Himself to these corporeal and animal passions.

Reply to Objection 2. Tully is speaking there according to the opinions of the Stoics, who did not give the name of passions to all, but only to the disorderly movements of the sensitive appetite. Now, it is manifest that passions like these were not in Christ.

Reply to Objection 3. The "passions of sins" are movements of the sensitive appetite that tend to unlawful things; and these were not in Christ, as neither was the "fomes" of sin.

Article 5. Whether there was sensible pain in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that there was no true sensible pain in Christ. For Hilary says (De Trin. x): "Since with Christ to die was life, what pain may He be supposed to have suffered in the mystery of His death, Who bestows life on such as die for Him?" And further on he says: "The Only-begotten assumed human nature, not ceasing to be God; and although blows struck Him and wounds were inflicted on Him, and scourges fell upon Him, and the cross lifted Him up, yet these wrought in deed the vehemence of the passion, but brought no pain; as a dart piercing the water." Hence there was no true pain in Christ.

Objection 2. Further, it would seem to be proper to flesh conceived in original sin, to be subject to the necessity of pain. But the flesh of Christ was not conceived in sin, but of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin's womb. Therefore it lay under no necessity of suffering pain.

Objection 3. Further, the delight of the contemplation of Divine things dulls the sense of pain; hence the martyrs in their passions bore up more bravely by thinking of the Divine love. But Christ's soul was in the perfect enjoyment of contemplating God, Whom He saw in essence, as was said above (III:9:2). Therefore He could feel no pain.

On the contrary, It is written (Isaiah 53:4): "Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows."

I answer that, As is plain from what has been said in I-II:35:7, for true bodily pain are required bodily hurt and the sense of hurt. Now Christ's body was able to be hurt, since it was passible and mortal, as above stated (III:14:2); neither was the sense of hurt wanting to it, since Christ's soul possessed perfectly all natural powers. Therefore no one should doubt but that in Christ there was true pain.

Reply to Objection 1. In all these and similar words, Hilary does not intend to exclude the reality of the pain, but the necessity of it. Hence after the foregoing he adds: "Nor, when He thirsted, or hungered, or wept, was the Lord seen to drink, or eat, or grieve. But in order to prove the reality of the body, the body's customs were assumed, so that the custom of our body was atoned for by the custom of our nature. Or when He took drink or food, He acceded, not to the body's necessity, but to its custom." And he uses the word "necessity" in reference to the first cause of these defects, which is sin, as above stated (III:14:3), so that Christ's flesh is said not to have lain under the necessity of these defects, in the sense that there was no sin in it. Hence he adds: "For He" (i.e. Christ) "had a body—one proper to His origin, which did not exist through the unholiness of our conception, but subsisted in the form of our body by the strength of His power." But as regards the proximate cause of these defects, which is composition of contraries, the flesh of Christ lay under the necessity of these defects, as was said above (III:14:2.

Reply to Objection 2. Flesh conceived in sin is subject to pain, not merely on account of the necessity of its natural principles, but from the necessity of the guilt of sin. Now this necessity was not in Christ; but only the necessity of natural principles.

Reply to Objection 3. As was said above (III:14:1 ad 2), by the power of the Godhead of Christ the beatitude was economically kept in the soul, so as not to overflow into the body, lest His passibility and mortality should be taken away; and for the same reason the delight of contemplation was so kept in the mind as not to overflow into the sensitive powers, lest sensible pain should thereby be prevented.

Article 6. Whether there was sorrow in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that in Christ there was no sorrow. For it is written of Christ (Isaiah 42:4): "He shall not be sad nor troublesome."

Objection 2. Further, it is written (Proverbs 12:21): "Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad." And the reason of this the Stoics asserted to be that no one is saddened save by the loss of his goods. Now the just man esteems only justice and virtue as his goods, and these he cannot lose; otherwise the just man would be subject to fortune if he was saddened by the loss of the goods fortune has given him. But Christ was most just, according to Jeremiah 23:6: "This is the name that they shall call Him: The Lord, our just one." Therefore there was no sorrow in Him.

Objection 3. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 13,14) that all sorrow is "evil, and to be shunned." But in Christ there was no evil to be shunned. Therefore there was no sorrow in Christ.

Objection 4. Furthermore, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 6): "Sorrow regards the things we suffer unwillingly." But Christ suffered nothing against His will, for it is written (Isaiah 53:7): "He was offered because it was His own will." Hence there was no sorrow in Christ.

On the contrary, Our Lord said (Matthew 26:38): "My soul is sorrowful even unto death." And Ambrose says (De Trin. ii.) that "as a man He had sorrow; for He bore my sorrow. I call it sorrow, fearlessly, since I preach the cross."

I answer that, As was said above (Article 5, Reply to Objection 3), by Divine dispensation the joy of contemplation remained in Christ's mind so as not to overflow into the sensitive powers, and thereby shut out sensible pain. Now even as sensible pain is in the sensitive appetite, so also is sorrow. But there is a difference of motive or object; for the object and motive of pain is hurt perceived by the sense of touch, as when anyone is wounded; but the object and motive of sorrow is anything hurtful or evil interiorly, apprehended by the reason or the imagination, as was said in I-II:35:2; I-II:35:7, as when anyone grieves over the loss of grace or money. Now Christ's soul could apprehend things as hurtful either to Himself, as His passion and death—or to others, as the sin of His disciples, or of the Jews that killed Him. And hence, as there could be true pain in Christ, so too could there be true sorrow; otherwise, indeed, than in us, in the three ways above stated (Article 4), when we were speaking of the passions of Christ's soul in general.

Reply to Objection 1. Sorrow was not in Christ, as a perfect passion; yet it was inchoatively in Him as a "propassion." Hence it is written (Matthew 26:37): "He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad." For "it is one thing to be sorrowful and another to grow sorrowful," as Jerome says, on this text.

Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 8), "for the three passions"—desire, joy, and fear—the Stoics held three eupatheias i.e. good passions, in the soul of the wise man, viz. for desire, will—for joy, delight—for fear, caution. But as regards sorrow, they denied it could be in the soul of the wise man, for sorrow regards evil already present, and they thought that no evil could befall a wise man; and for this reason, because they believed that only the virtuous is good, since it makes men good, and that nothing is evil, except what is sinful, whereby men become wicked. Now although what is virtuous is man's chief good, and what is sinful is man's chief evil, since these pertain to reason which is supreme in man, yet there are certain secondary goods of man, which pertain to the body, or to the exterior things that minister to the body. And hence in the soul of the wise man there may be sorrow in the sensitive appetite by his apprehending these evils; without this sorrow disturbing the reason. And in this way are we to understand that "whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad," because his reason is troubled by no misfortune. And thus Christ's sorrow was a propassion, and not a passion.

Reply to Objection 3. All sorrow is an evil of punishment; but it is not always an evil of fault, except only when it proceeds from an inordinate affection. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 9): "Whenever these affections follow reason, and are caused when and where needed, who will dare to call them diseases or vicious passions?"

Reply to Objection 4. There is no reason why a thing may not of itself be contrary to the will, and yet be willed by reason of the end, to which it is ordained, as bitter medicine is not of itself desired, but only as it is ordained to health. And thus Christ's death and passion were of themselves involuntary, and caused sorrow, although they were voluntary as ordained to the end, which is the redemption of the human race.

Article 7. Whether there was fear in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that there was no fear in Christ. For it is written (Proverbs 28:1): "The just, bold as a lion, shall be without dread." But Christ was most just. Therefore there was no fear in Christ.

Objection 2. Further, Hilary says (De Trin. x): "I ask those who think thus, does it stand to reason that He should dread to die, Who by expelling all dread of death from the Apostles, encouraged them to the glory of martyrdom?" Therefore it is unreasonable that there should be fear in Christ.

Objection 3. Further, fear seems only to regard what a man cannot avoid. Now Christ could have avoided both the evil of punishment which He endured, and the evil of fault which befell others. Therefore there was no fear in Christ.

On the contrary, It is written (Mark 14:33): Jesus "began to fear and to be heavy."

I answer that, As sorrow is caused by the apprehension of a present evil, so also is fear caused by the apprehension of a future evil. Now the apprehension of a future evil, if the evil be quite certain, does not arouse fear. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that we do not fear a thing unless there is some hope of avoiding it. For when there is no hope of avoiding it the evil is considered present, and thus it causes sorrow rather than fear. Hence fear may be considered in two ways. First, inasmuch as the sensitive appetite naturally shrinks from bodily hurt, by sorrow if it is present, and by fear if it is future; and thus fear was in Christ, even as sorrow. Secondly, fear may be considered in the uncertainty of the future event, as when at night we are frightened at a sound, not knowing what it is; and in this way there was no fear in Christ, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 23).

Reply to Objection 1. The just man is said to be "without dread," in so far as dread implies a perfect passion drawing man from what reason dictates. And thus fear was not in Christ, but only as a propassion. Hence it is said (Mark 14:33) that Jesus "began to fear and to be heavy," with a propassion, as Jerome expounds (Matthew 26:37).

Reply to Objection 2. Hilary excludes fear from Christ in the same way that he excludes sorrow, i.e. as regards the necessity of fearing. And yet to show the reality of His human nature, He voluntarily assumed fear, even as sorrow.

Reply to Objection 3. Although Christ could have avoided future evils by the power of His Godhead, yet they were unavoidable, or not easily avoidable by the weakness of the flesh.

Article 8. Whether there was wonder in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that in Christ there was no wonder. For the Philosopher says (Metaph. i, 2) that wonder results when we see an effect without knowing its cause; and thus wonder belongs only to the ignorant. Now there was no ignorance in Christ, as was said [Article 3]. Therefore there was no wonder in Christ.

Objection 2. Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 15) that "wonder is fear springing from the imagination of something great"; and hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) that the "magnanimous man does not wonder." But Christ was most magnanimous. Therefore there was no wonder in Christ.

Objection 3. Further, no man wonders at what he himself can do. Now Christ could do whatsoever was great. Therefore it seems that He wondered at nothing.

On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 8:10): "Jesus hearing this," i.e. the words of the centurion, "marveled."

I answer that, Wonder properly regards what is new and unwonted. Now there could be nothing new and unwonted as regards Christ's Divine knowledge, whereby He saw things in the Word; nor as regards the human knowledge, whereby He saw things by infused species. Yet things could be new and unwonted with regard to His empiric knowledge, in regard to which new things could occur to Him day by day. Hence, if we speak of Christ with respect to His Divine knowledge, and His beatific and even His infused knowledge, there was no wonder in Christ. But if we speak of Him with respect to empiric knowledge, wonder could be in Him; and He assumed this affection for our instruction, i.e. in order to teach us to wonder at what He Himself wondered at. Hence Augustine says (Super Gen. Cont. Manich. i, 8): "Our Lord wondered in order to show us that we, who still need to be so affected, must wonder. Hence all these emotions are not signs of a disturbed mind, but of a master teaching."

Reply to Objection 1. Although Christ was ignorant of nothing, yet new things might occur to His empiric knowledge, and thus wonder would be caused.

Reply to Objection 2. Christ did not marvel at the Centurion's faith as if it was great with respect to Himself, but because it was great with respect to others.

Reply to Objection 3. He could do all things by the Divine power, for with respect to this there was no wonder in Him, but only with respect to His human empiric knowledge, as was said above.

Article 9. Whether there was anger in Christ?

Objection 1. It would seem that there was no anger in Christ. For it is written (James 1:20): "The anger of man worketh not the justice of God." Now whatever was in Christ pertained to the justice of God, since of Him it is written (1 Corinthians 1:30): "For He [Vulgate: 'Who'] of God is made unto us . . . justice." Therefore it seems that there was no anger in Christ.

Objection 2. Further, anger is opposed to meekness, as is plain from Ethic. iv, 5. But Christ was most meek. Therefore there was no anger in Him.

Objection 3. Further, Gregory says (Moral. v, 45) that "anger that comes of evil blinds the eye of the mind, but anger that comes of zeal disturbs it." Now the mind's eye in Christ was neither blinded nor disturbed. Therefore in Christ there was neither sinful anger nor zealous anger.

On the contrary, It is written (John 2:17) that the words of Psalm 58:10, "the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up," were fulfilled in Him.

I answer that, As was said in I-II:46:3 ad 3, and II-II:158:2 ad 3, anger is an effect of sorrow. or when sorrow is inflicted upon someone, there arises within him a desire of the sensitive appetite to repel this injury brought upon himself or others. Hence anger is a passion composed of sorrow and the desire of revenge. Now it was said (Article 6) that sorrow could be in Christ. As to the desire of revenge it is sometimes with sin, i.e. when anyone seeks revenge beyond the order of reason: and in this way anger could not be in Christ, for this kind of anger is sinful. Sometimes, however, this desire is without sin—nay, is praiseworthy, e.g. when anyone seeks revenge according to justice, and this is zealous anger. For Augustine says (on John 2:17) that "he is eaten up by zeal for the house of God, who seeks to better whatever He sees to be evil in it, and if he cannot right it, bears with it and sighs." Such was the anger that was in Christ.

Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory says (Moral. v), anger is in man in two ways—sometimes it forestalls reason, and causes it to operate, and in this way it is properly said to work, for operations are attributed to the principal agent. It is in this way that we must understand that "the anger of man worketh not the justice of God." Sometimes anger follows reason, and is, as it were, its instrument, and then the operation, which pertains to justice, is not attributed to anger but to reason.

Reply to Objection 2. It is the anger which outsteps the bounds of reason that is opposed to meekness, and not the anger which is controlled and brought within its proper bounds by reason, for meekness holds the mean in anger.

Reply to Objection 3. In us the natural order is that the soul's powers mutually impede each other, i.e. if the operation of one power is intense, the operation of the other is weakened. This is the reason why any movement whatsoever of anger, even if it be tempered by reason, dims the mind's eye of him who contemplates. But in Christ, by control of the Divine power, "every faculty was allowed to do what was proper to it," and one power was not impeded by another. Hence, as the joy of His mind in contemplation did not impede the sorrow or pain of the inferior part, so, conversely, the passions of the inferior part no-wise impeded the act of reason.

Article 10. Whether Christ was at once a wayfarer and a comprehensor?

Objection 1. It would seem that Christ was not at once a wayfarer and a comprehensor. For it belongs to a wayfarer to be moving toward the end of beatitude, and to a comprehensor it belongs to be resting in the end. Now to be moving towards the end and to be resting in the end cannot belong to the same. Therefore Christ could not be at once wayfarer and comprehensor.

Objection 2. Further, to tend to beatitude, or to obtain it, does not pertain to man's body, but to his soul; hence Augustine says (Ep. ad Dios. cxviii) that "upon the inferior nature, which is the body, there overflows, not indeed the beatitude which belongs to such as enjoy and understand, the fulness of health, i.e. the vigor of incorruption." Now although Christ had a passible body, He fully enjoyed God in His mind. Therefore Christ was not a wayfarer but a comprehensor.

Objection 3. Further, the Saints, whose souls are in heaven and whose bodies are in the tomb, enjoy beatitude in their souls, although their bodies are subject to death, yet they are called not wayfarers, but only comprehensors. Hence, with equal reason, would it seem that Christ was a pure comprehensor and nowise a wayfarer, since His mind enjoyed God although His body was mortal.

On the contrary, It is written (Jeremiah 14:8): "Why wilt Thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man turning in to lodge?"

I answer that, A man is called a wayfarer from tending to beatitude, and a comprehensor from having already obtained beatitude, according to 1 Corinthians 9:24: "So run that you may comprehend [Douay: 'obtain']"; and Philippians 3:12: "I follow after, if by any means I may comprehend [Douay: 'obtain']". Now man's perfect beatitude consists in both soul and body, as stated in I-II:4:6. In the soul, as regards what is proper to it, inasmuch as the mind sees and enjoys God; in the body, inasmuch as the body "will rise spiritual in power and glory and incorruption," as is written 1 Corinthians 15:42. Now before His passion Christ's mind saw God fully, and thus He had beatitude as far as it regards what is proper to the soul; but beatitude was wanting with regard to all else, since His soul was passible, and His body both passible and mortal, as is clear from the above (Article 4; III:14:2). Hence He was at once comprehensor, inasmuch as He had the beatitude proper to the soul, and at the same time wayfarer, inasmuch as He was tending to beatitude, as regards what was wanting to His beatitude.

Reply to Objection 1. It is impossible to be moving towards the end and resting in the end, in the same respect; but there is nothing against this under a different respect—as when a man is at once acquainted with what he already knows, and yet is a learner with regard to what he does not know.

Reply to Objection 2. Beatitude principally and properly belongs to the soul with regard to the mind, yet secondarily and, so to say, instrumentally, bodily goods are required for beatitude; thus the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 8), that exterior goods minister "organically" to beatitude.

Reply to Objection 3. There is no parity between the soul of a saint and of Christ, for two reasons: first, because the souls of saints are not passible, as Christ's soul was; secondly, because their bodies do nothing by which they tend to beatitude, as Christ by His bodily sufferings tended to beatitude as regards the glory of His body.

The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas
Second and Revised Edition, 1920
Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province
Online Edition Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol.
Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii.
Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L.
Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ


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