End of man -- Human acts -- Passions -- Virtues and Vices -- Law and Grace.
Detailed view of Man's return to God.
Theological virtues: Faith -- Hope -- Charity.
Moral virtues: Prudence -- Justice (Religion) -- Fortitude -- Temperance.
Gratuitous Graces -- Active and Contemplative life -- States of life.
I. OF MAN'S RESEMBLANCE TO GOD IN THE FREE ADMINISTRATION OF ALL THAT CONCERNS HIM
Has man any special likeness to God in his actions?
Yes, man in his actions has a special likeness to God.
In what consists this special likeness of man to God?
It consists in this, that just as God disposes of all the universe which depends upon Him, at His will and in all liberty, so in the same way man disposes at his will and in all liberty of all things that depend upon him (Prologue).
II. OF THE LAST END OR HAPPINESS OF MAN VIEWED IN ALL HIS ACTIONS
Has man always an end in view when he acts?
Yes, man has always an end in view when he acts, that is when he acts as man and not as a machine, or by impulse, or by any reaction which is purely physical or instinctive (I. 1).
In the material world, is it only man that can act for an end?
Yes, only man in the material world can act for an end.
Does it then follow that all other beings in the material world act without an end?
No, it does not follow that all other beings in the material world act without an end; on the contrary, all beings act for an end that is very definite; but they are incapable of fixing an end for themselves; it is God who knows the end and who fixes it for them (I. 2).
All other beings then act in view of attaining some end which has been fixed for them by God?
Yes, all other beings act in view of attaining some end which has been fixed for them by God (I. 2).
Has not God also fixed for man the end for which he acts?
What then is the difference between man when he acts and other creatures in the material world?
The difference is this, that man under the higher action of God and dependently upon this action, can fix for himself the end for which he acts; whereas other creatures of the material world put into execution blindly, naturally, or instinctively the end fixed to their action by God (I. 2).
What is the reason of this difference between man and other beings in the matter of actions?
The reason is because man is endowed with mind, whereas other creatures are not (I. 2).
Is there some supreme object or some last end which man has in view whenever he acts?
Yes, there is always some supreme object or some last end man has in view whenever he acts; since without some such supreme object or last end he would be unable to will anything at all (I. 4, 5).
Does man in his actions ordain all to this supreme or last end which he has in view whenever he acts?
Yes, man ordains all to this supreme object or last end whenever he acts; if he does not do this consciously and explicitly, he does it at least implicitly and by a sort of natural instinct in the order of reason (I. 6).
What is the last end or what is the supreme object which man always has in view and to which he ordains all ever he acts?
This last end or supreme object which man always has in view when he acts and to which he ordains all is happiness (I. 7).
Man then necessarily desires to be happy?
Yes, of necessity man desires to be happy.
Is it absolutely impossible to find a man who desires to be unhappy?
Yes, it is quite impossible to find a man who desires to be unhappy (V. 8).
Can man deceive himself as to the object of his happiness?
Yes, man can thus deceive himself, because since he can seek his welfare among so many and divers good things, he can deceive himself as to the object of his true happiness (I. 7).
What happens if man deceives himself as to the object of his true happiness?
If man deceives himself as to the object of his true happiness, it follows that instead of finding happiness at the end of his life, he finds nought but the worst evil.
It is then supremely important for man not to deceive himself as to the object of his happiness?
There is nothing of greater import for man than that he deceive not himself as to the object of his happiness.
III. OF THE OBJECT OF THIS HAPPINESS
What is the object of the happiness of man?
The object of the happiness of man is a good higher than himself and in which he can find his perfection (II. 1-8).
Are riches the object of this happiness of man?
No, it is not riches, for these are beneath man; nor are they sufficient to guarantee his entire welfare and his perrfection (II. i).
No, not honours; because honours do not bring perfection, but rather presuppose it, that is when they are not false honours; and if they be false they avail nothing (II. 2).
Is it glory or renown?
No, for these are of no worth unless they be merited; moreover among men these things are often foolish and ill-judged (II. 3).
Is it power?
No, because power is for the good of others, and is subject to their whims and disobedience (II. 4).
Is it health or bodily beauty?
No, because these good things are too unstable; furthermore they belong only to the external perfection of man and not to his internal perfection or that of his soul (II. 5).
Does it consist in pleasures of the body?
No, it does not consist in pleasures of the body, since these are of small account in comparison with the higher pleasures of the mind which are proper to the soul (II. 6).
Does the happiness of man consist in something which is a good of the soul?
Yes, the happiness of man consists in some good of soul (II. 7).
What is this good of the soul in which the happiness of man consists?
The good of the soul in which the happiness of man consists is God, the Supreme Good, Sovereign and Infinite (II. 8).
IV. OF THE POSSESSION OF THIS HAPPINESS
How can man come to possess God, his Supreme Good, and to enjoy Him?
Man can come to possess God, his Supreme Good, and to enjoy Him, by an act of his intellect which is moved to this by his will.
What must man do in order to attain his perfect happiness by this act of his intellect?
In order for man to attain to his perfect happiness this act of his intellect, it is necessary that God should be reached by him, as He is in Himself, and not merely in the way He can be reached by the aid of creatures whatsoever these creatures may be (III. 5-8).
What is this act called whereby God is reached by the intellect as He is in Himself?
This act is called the "vision of God" (III. 8).
Does then the perfect happiness of man consist in the vision of God?
Yes, it is in the vision of God that the perfect happiness man consists (III. 8).
When man has attained to this vision of God in all its perfection, does it bring with it whatsoever is of perfection to man, in his soul, body, and in everything that concerns him?
Yes, when man has attained to this vision of God in all its perfection of necessity it brings with it all that can be of perfection to man in his soul, body, and in all that concerns him; for since it is the good of man in its highest source, from it come all things felicitous for his supreme perfection (IV. 1-8).
This vision then means for man the possession of all good to the exclusion of all evil?
Yes, this means for man the possession of all good to the exclusion of all evil (ibid.).
V. OF THE MEANS OF REALIZING THIS POSSESSION, OR OF THE GOOD ACTS WHICH ARE DESERVING OF IT, AND OF EVIL ACTS WHICH BRING ABOUT ITS LOSS
Can man on earth and in this life come to possess this perfect happiness which is the vision of God?
No, on earth and in this life it is impossible for man to come to possess the vision of God which is his perfect happiness, for the conditions of this life and the miseries therereof are incompatible with such fullness of happiness (V. 3).
How can man attain to the vision of God which constitutes his perfect happiness?
Man can only attain to the vision of God which constitutes his perfect happiness by the help of God from whom he receives it (V. 5).
Does God confer this boon upon man if man do not by merit prepare himself thereto?
No, God will not confer this boon upon man unless by merit he make himself worthy to receive it (V. 7).
What then has man to do on earth and in this life?
On earth and in this life man has only to prepare himself by way of merit to receive from God some day the beatific vision and all that it entails; and this shall come about when God gives to man his reward.
VI. OF WHAT IS IMPLIED IN A HUMAN ACT FOR IT TO BE A GOOD MERITORIOUS ACT, OR A BAD DEMERITORIOUS ACT; AND OF MERIT AND DEMERIT IN GENERAL
Is it possible to say by what means man on earth and in this life can prepare himself, by way of merit, to receive from God some day in token of reward the beatific vision in which consists man's eternal happiness?
Yes, this he can merit solely by his acts (VI., Prologue).
Of what kind of acts is there question?
Of virtuous acts.
What is meant by "acts of virtue"?
They are those "acts which man performs by his own free will in conformity with God's will under the action of grace" (VI.-CXIV.).
What is necessary that man's acts should proceed from his will?
It is necessary that he perform them spontaneously and with the knowledge that he is their cause (VI. 1-8).
What is meant by saying that he must perform them spontaneously?
It is meant that he must perform them without constraint or force (VI. 4, 5, 6).
How can man be coerced or forced to do something against his will?
Man can be coerced or forced to do something against his will in two ways: by violence and by fear (VI. 4, 5, 6).
What is understood by violence?
By violence is understood a force exterior to man which fetters his members and impedes him from acting as he wills, or makes him do exteriorly what his will rejects (VI. 4, 5).
What is understood by fear?
By fear is understood an interior movement which makes man will a thing he would not otherwise will, but to which he consents in the present circumstances in order to avoid some evil that threatens (VI. 6).
Is that which one does under violence wholly involuntary?
Yes, that which one does under exterior violence is wholly involuntary (VI. 5).
Why under "exterior" violence?
Because sometimes the word "violence" is taken to signify the internal movement of anger.
In this case and in the case of other interior movements which excite or incline the will may one also speak of involuntariness?
No, in these divers cases one may not speak of involuntariness unless perchance these interior movements be so vehement as to deprive man of the use of his reason (VI. 7).
And when one acts through fear, is the act also involuntary?
When one acts through fear the act is voluntary, but with it there is an admixture of involuntary in this sense, that that which is done is indeed willed, but it is willed with reluctancy and by reason of some evil from which man shrinks (VI. 6).
It has also been said that for man's acts to be voluntary they must be done with knowledge of what is being done?
Yes; and this means that if one performs an act, with out the knowledge of what one is really doing, the act done is not voluntary (VI. 8).
Is such an act then involuntary?
Yes, provided that if one knew the true facts, one would not have performed the act (VI. 8).
Can that which one does or which one does not owing to ignorance or to some error, be nevertheless sometimes voluntary?
Yes; it is always so if one is responsible for one's ignorance or one's error (VI. 8).
And when is one responsible for one's ignorance or one error?
When one wills these directly, or when they are the outcome of culpable negligence (VI. 8).
Must not one take into account the circumstances which accompany a human act, since upon them depends so much the character of the act?
Yes; and nothing is more important than the weighing of the circumstances of a human act in order to appreciate its true value (VII. 1, 2).
Is it possible to enumerate these circumstances?
Yes, these circumstances are those of person, of object, or of effect produced, of place, of motive, of the means employed, and of time (VII. 3).
What is meant by these different circumstances?
These different circumstances bear on the character or condition of the person who acts, on what he does, or on what results from his act, on the place where he does the act, on the end for which he acts, on those things which he uses as means, and on the time when he acts (VII. 3).
Which is the most important of these circumstances?
It is the motive for which a person acts or the end which he has in view when he acts (VII. 4).
Is it always the will which produces human acts?
Yes, it is always the will; sometimes the will only; at other times it is some other faculty or even the exterior members of the body, but always under the impulse and by order of the will (VIII.-XVII.).
The will of man then is the central point of all those acts that constitute his life as a rational being, and have direct bearing upon the reward of his life which is the winning or the losing of the happiness of heaven?
Yes, the will of man is the central point of all those acts that constitute his life as a rational being, and have direct bearing upon the reward of his life which is the gain or the loss of the happiness of heaven; and this implies that the act of a human being is of no account except in so far as it proceeds from the will; whether it be the will itself that produces the act, or whether the will move some other faculty of the soul or even member of the body to produce the act (VIII.-XXI.).
Of all the interior acts of the will which is the most important and the one which is the root of responsibility in man?
It is the act of choosing or "choice" (XIII. 1-6).
Why has the act of choosing or "choice" this importance?
It is because this act effects that the will fixes with full knowledge and after deliberation upon some determined good, which it accepts and makes its own in preference to any other (XIII. 1).
Is choice properly speaking the act of the free will?
Yes (XIII. 6).
It is then by the choice that he makes with regard to all things that man derives his true moral character and his real value in view of the gain or the loss of his eternal happiness?
Yes, it is by the choice that he makes in regard to all things that man derives his true moral character and his real value in view of the gain or the loss of his eternal happiness.
How is choice divided as regards man's true character and moral worth in view of the gain or loss of his eternal happiness?
It is divided into "good choice" and "bad choice" (XVIII.-XXI.).
What is a "good choice"?
It is one that bears upon a good object, in view of some good end, and as regards which all the accompanying. circumstances are good (XVIII.-XIX.).
Whence is derived the goodness of an object, of an end, and of the circumstances?
This goodness is derived from the relation that all these things have with right reason (XIX. 3-6).
What is meant by right reason?
By this is understood the reason enlightened by all the lights that come from God, or which at least is not knowingly at variance with them.
When man then wills or chooses something in conformity with right reason for an object or an end of which right reason approves, and of which all the accompanying circumstances accord with right reason, the act willed or chosen man is a good act?
Yes; then, and then only, is man's act a good act. on any one of these counts whatsoever man's act is conformed with right reason it ceases to be a good and it becomes in a less or great degree, as the case be, a bad act (XVIII.-XXI.).
What is a bad act called?
A bad act is called a "fault" or a "sin" (XXI. 1).
VII. OF THE AFFECTIVE MOVEMENTS IN MAN WHICH ARE CALLED THE PASSIONS
Are there not in man certain other affective acts which can contribute towards the reward of his life, other than the acts of his will?
Yes, there are other affective acts in man.
What are they called?
They are called the "passions" (XXII.-XLVIII.).
What is understood by the passions?
By passions are understood affective movements of the sensitive part of man's soul.
Is it only man that has these affective movements in the sensitive part of his soul?
No, these affective movements of the sensitive part are to be found in all animals (XXII. 1, 2, 3).
Have these affective movements of the sensitive part in animals any moral worth?
No, these affective movements of the sensitive part in animals have no moral value; only in man have they a moral value.
Why is it that only in man these affective movements of the sensitive part are of moral value?
Because it is in man only that they are related with the higher acts of the free will in that they are subject to their rule (XXV. or XXIV. 1-4).
What precisely are these affective movements of the sensitive part in man and to which is given the name of passions?
These affective movements of the sensitive part in man and to which is given the name of passions, are movements of the heart which bear towards a good or withdraw from an evil tendered by the senses (XXIII., XXIV., or XXV.).
How many kinds are there of these movements of the heart? There are eleven (XXII. 4).
What are they called?
Their names are: "love," "desire," "delight" or "joy"; "hate," "abhorence," "sadness," "hope," "courage," "fear," "despair," and "anger" (XXII. 4).
Do these movements of the heart occupy an important part in man's life?
Yes, these movements of the heart occupy a very important part in man's life.
Why is it that they occupy a very important part in man's life?
Because in man there is a twofold nature: rational and sensitive; the sensitive nature is the one that is moved first by the action of the external world in the midst of which we live and from which we derive even all the data of our rational life.
Are not then the movements of the heart or the passions always, of themselves, bad?
No, the movements of the heart or the passions are not of themselves always bad.
When are these movements of the heart or the passions bad?
When they are not in accord with the rulings of right reason.
And when are they not in accord with the rulings of right reason?
When they bear towards a sensible good or withdraw from a sensible evil by forestalling the judgment of the reason or by coming into play contrary to this judgment. (XXV. or XXIV. 3).
Is it only in the sensitive part of man that there are movements of love, desire, delight, hate, aversion, sadness, hope, daring, fear, despair, and anger?
These same movements are to be found also in the will.
What difference is there between these movements in so far as they are in the sensitive part, and in so far as they are in the will?
There is this difference, that in the sensitive part they always imply the co-operation of the organism or of the body, whereas in the will they are purely spiritual (XXXI. 4).
When one speaks of movements of the heart, of which affective movements is there question, of those of the sensitive part or of those of the will?
Properly speaking, there is question of the movements of the sensitive part; but in a metaphorical sense there is a question also of those of the will.
When then one speaks of the heart of man, can there be question of this twofold sort of movement?
Yes, when one speaks of the heart of man, there can be question of this twofold kind of movement.
And when it is said of a man that he has heart, what is meant by that?
When it is said of a man that he has heart, one means to imply that at times he is affectionate and tender-hearted, of whatever kind of affection there may be question, whether of the purely sensitive or of the spiritual order, and at other times one means to imply that he is courageous and virile.
Why is it sometimes said and what is meant by saying that one must watch over one's heart?
When it is said that one must watch over one's heart, one means that it is necessary to take care lest one follow indiscreetly the first affective movements, especially of the sensitive order, which tend to make us seek what is pleasing and to shrink from what is displeasing.
One speaks sometimes of the training of the heart; what does this mean?
This means that one must endeavour to have only good affective movements.
This education of the heart, thus understood, is it of any importance?
Yes, for this education of the heart, thus understood, embraces the whole of man's activity in the acquisition of virtue and the shunning of vice.
VIII. OF THE VIRTUES WHICH CAN AND OUGHT TO BE THE PRINCIPLE OF MAN'S GOOD ACTS
What is meant by the acquiring of virtue?
By this is meant the acquiring or the bringing to perfection of all the "good habits which make man act well" (XLIX.-LXVIII.).
What are the good habits which make man act well?
They are dispositions or inclinations which are seated in divers faculties, and which render good the acts of these faculties (LV. 1.4).
Whence in man's divers faculties come these dispositions or inclinations which are conducive to their acting well?
At times they come, in part, from nature herself; sometimes they come from the person who acts for virtue's sake; and sometimes they come directly from God, who produces them in the soul supernaturally (LXIII. 1-4).
Are there any such dispositions or good habits or in man's intellect?
Yes, there are suchlike dispositions or good habits or virtues in man's intellect (LVI. 3).
What is the effect of these virtues in man's intellect?
They make man's intellect to seek the truth only (LVI. 3)
What are these virtues in man s intellect called?
They are called "intuition" or "insight," "science," "wisdom," "art," and "prudence" (LVII. 1-6).
What is the object of each of these virtues in man's intellect or reason?
Intuition or insight gives a knowledge of principles (self-evident truths); science a knowledge of conclusions; wisdom a knowledge of the highest causes; art gives directions for the execution of external works; and prudence directions for the whole of the moral life (LVII. 1-6).
What are the virtues of justice, fortitude, temperance, and prudence called?
They are called the moral virtues (LVI-II. 1).
Are they not also called by the name of the "cardinal" virtues?
Yes, they are also called the cardinal virtues (LXI. 1-4).
What is meant by the words cardinal virtues?
By these words is implied that they are virtues of particular importance, which are as it were the hinges (in Latin cardo, cardinis) upon which, setting aside the theological virtues, turn all the other virtues (ibid.).
In man must the virtues of the natural order, or the acquired virtues, intellectual or moral, have corresponding virtues of the supernatural order, infused by God in order that man may be pelfected in every act of his moral life?
Yes; for only these infused virtues are proportionate to those acts in the supernatural moral life of man which the supernatural end demands; an end held out for man's attainment by the theological virtues (LXIII. 3, 4).
Are all these virtues, theological and cardinal, necessary in order that man may live well?
Yes, all these virtues are necessary that man may live well (LXV. 1-5).
And suppose man is lacking in any one of these virtues, could he not be called virtuous?
No; for if man is found wanting in any one of these virtues, whatsoever other virtues he may have they would never, in him, possess the true character or nature of perfect virtue (LXV. 4).
IX. OF THE GIFTS WHICH CROWN AND PERFECT THE VIRTUES
Does it suffice for man to possess all the virtues spoken of above in order for his life to be what it ought to be in view of gaining heaven?
No; he must also have the gifts of the Holy Ghost (LXVIII. 2).
What is understood by the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
By these are understood habitual dispositions which are given to man by the Holy Ghost, and which make man yielding and docile to all the inspirations of the Holy Spirit that help man towards the possession of God in heaven (LXVIII. 1, 2, 3).
Why are these gifts of the Holy Ghost necessary in addition to all the virtues above mentioned?
Because man called to live as a child of God, is unable to attain to the perfection of this life unless God Himself, by His own action, makes perfect what man's action could achieve only incompletely through the virtues (LXVIII. a).
How many gifts of the Holy Ghost are there?
There are seven gifts of the Holy Ghost (LXVIII. 4).
What are the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost?
They are the gifts of "wisdom," "understanding," "knowledge," "counsel," "piety," "fortitude," and "fear of the Lord" (LXVIII. 4).
X. OF THE BEATITUDES AND OF THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH ARE EFFECTS OF THE VIRTUES AND THE GIFTS
When man is thus endowed with the virtues and the gifts, has he, on his part, all that is required to live a perfect life in view of winning heaven?
Yes, when man is thus endowed with the virtues and the gifts he has, on his part, all that is required to live a perfect life in view of winning heaven.
May not one even say that he has already, in some sort, begun to live the life of heaven here on earth?
Yes, one may even say that he has already, in some sort, begun to live the life of heaven here on earth; and with this in mind one speaks of the beatitudes on earth, and of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (LXIX., LXX.).
What is understood by the beatitudes?
By the beatitudes is meant the acts of the virtues and the gifts enumerated by our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospel, which by their presence in the soul or by the merits which result there, give to us as it were a guarantee of the future beatitude promised to each of them (LXIX. 1).
And what is meant by the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
By the fruit of the Holy Spirit is understood those good acts whose nature it is to give joy to the virtuous man in that he acts in the supernatural order under the impulse of the Holy Spirit (LXX. 1).
Is this fruit distinct from the beatitudes?
If the fruit is all that is most perfect in the absolute sense of the word, for man it is identified with the fruit par excellence which is the beatitude of heaven. It is also identified with the beatitudes in this life; but it is distinct from them in this sense, that without needing the essential perfection or excellence of the beatitudes, its nature of goodness is sufficient (LXX. 2).
What are the beatitudes and what are their rewards?
They are: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven";" Blessed are the meek, because they shall possess the land"; "Blessed are they who weep, because they shall be comforted"; "Blessed are they who thirst and hunger for justice sake, because they shall be filled"; "Blessed are the merciful, because they shall obtain mercy"; "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God "; "Blessed are the peaceful, because they shall be called the children of God" (LXIX. 2-4).
What is the fruit of the Holy Ghost?
The fruit of the Holy Ghost is: "charity," "peace," "patience," "benignity," "meekness," "faithfulness," "modesty," "continency," and "chastity" (LXX. 3).
Where is the fruit of the Holy Ghost spoken of?
It is to be found in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians (v. 22, 23).
And where are the beatitudes enumerated?
They are enumerated in the Gospel of St. Matthew (v. 3-10), and in a manner less complete, in St. Luke (vi. 20-22).
Is there not also an eighth beatitude in St. Matthew, to be found also in St. Luke?
Yes, it is the beatitude of those who suffer persecution for justice sake; but it is included in the other seven beatitudes of which it is, as it were, the résumé or the consequence (LXIX. 3, Obj. 5).
There can then be nothing better for man on earth than to live thus the life of the virtues and of the gifts, from which spring the beatitudes and the fruit of the Holy Ghost?
No, there can be nothing better for man on earth than to live thus the life of the virtues and of the gifts, from which spring the beatitudes and the fruit of the Holy Ghost.
XI. OF VICES WHICH ARE THE PRINCIPLE OF MAN'S BAD ACTIONS
Is there another life man can lead on earth other than a virtuous life?
Yes, it is the life of sin or vice (LXXI.-LXXXIX.).
What is understood by vice?
By vice is understood the state of man who lives in sin (LXXI. 1-6).
What is sin?
Sin is an act or a voluntary omission which is bad.
When is an act or a voluntary omission bad?
When this act is contrary to the good of God, or of our neighbour, or of man himself (LXXII. 4).
How comes it that man can thus wish a thing which is opposed to the good of God, to the good of his neighbour, or to his own good?
It is because man can will some good which is opposed to the good of God, or to the good of his neighbour, or to his own good (LXXI. 2; LXX VII. 4).
What is this other good which man can will?
It is the good that gratifies his senses, or his ambition, or his pride (LXXII. 2, 3; LXXVII. 5).
Whence comes it that man can thus will a good that gratifies his senses, or his ambition, or his pride?
The reason is because the senses can be borne towards what is agreeable to them by forestalling or by enticing the reason and the will which do not oppose this movement of the senses when they might and when they should (LXXI. 2, ad 3).
It is then the unlawful seeking after sensible and temporal goods which is, for man, the beginning and, in some sort, the reason of all his sins?
Yes, it is the unlawful seeking after sensible and temporal goods that is, for man, the beginning and, in some sort, the reason of all his sins.
What is this inclination in man to seek unlawfully sensible and temporal goods called?
It is called concupiscence (LXXVII. 1-5).
XII. OF ORIGINAL SIN, AND OF ITS CONSEQUENCES, OR OF THE WOUNDING OF HUMAN NATURE
Did this concupiscence exist in man in the first state in which he was created by God?
Why then does it exist now in man?
It exists in man now because of his fall (LXXXI.-LXXXIII.).
What do you mean by the fall of man?
By this is meant that state which followed upon the first sin of the first man, and which is the effect of this first sin (LXXXI. 1; LXXXII. 1).
Why are we now all in this state which followed upon the sin of Adam?
We are all in this state now because we received our nature from Adam (LXXXI. 1).
If Adam had not sinned would we have received our nature from him in another state?
Yes, if Adam had not sinned we would have received our nature from him in the state of integrity, or original justice (LXXXI. 2).
Is the state in which we now receive our nature from Adam a state of sin?
Yes, the state in which we now receive our nature from the first man is a state of sin (LXXXI. 1; LXXXII. 1).
Why is this nature which we now receive from Adam in a state of sin?
Because we receive it from him such as it really is, that is as affected by his sin (LXXXI. i).
And what is this state called?
It is called the state of original sin (ibid.).
By the very fact then that we receive our nature in this state from Adam, original sin is transmitted to each one of us?
Yes, it is by the very fact that we receive our nature in this state from Adam that original sin is transmitted to each one of us (ibid.).
What does this state of sin in which each one of us is born, and which is called original sin, entail?
It entails the privation of all the supernatural or gratuitous gifts which God had implanted in our nature in the person of Adam, our common father (LXXXII. 1).
What were these supernatural or gratuitous gifts, the privation of which constitutes in us the state of original sin?
These supernatural or gratuitous gifts were: first of all, sanctifying grace with the supernaturally infused virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and also the privilege of integrity which was associated with these supernatural gifts.
What did this privilege of integrity granted to the soul imply?
It implied the entire subordination of the senses to the reason and of the body to the soul.
What was the effect of this perfect subordination of the senses to reason and of the body to the soul?
The effect was that in man's sensitive appetite there could be no inordinate movement; and his body was rendered impassable and immortal.
Are death and all other bodily ailments the result of sin?
Yes, death and all other bodily ailments are the result of sin (LXXXIV. 5).
What are the consequences of this sin in the soul called?
They are called the wounds of the soul.
What are these wounds in the soul?
They are ignorance, malice, weakness, and concupiscence (LXXXV. 3).
What is meant by ignorance?
By this is meant that state in which the reason is deprived of that inherent relation it had towards the truth in the state of integrity (LXXXV. 3).
What is meant by malice?
By this is meant that state of the will in which it is deprived of the inherent relation it had to good in the state of integrity (LXXXV. 3).
What is meant by weakness?
By this is meant that state of the sensitive appetite in which it is deprived of the inherent relation to all that is arduous and difficult which it had in the state of integrity (LXXXV. 3).
What is meant by concupiscence?
By this is meant that state of the sensitive appetite in which it is deprived of the inherent relation towards sensitive pleasures tempered by reason which it had in the state of integrity (LXXXV. 3).
Are the four wounds in our nature the effects, properly speaking, of the sin of Adam?
Yes, these four wounds in our nature are the effects, properly speaking, of the sin of Adam (LXXXV. 3).
Are they rendered worse by the personal sins of parents and of individuals?
Yes (LXXXV. 1, 2).
Are there certain personal sins which in particular have an evil influence upon man by leading to commit other sins?
Yes, they are the capital sins.
What are the capital sins?
They are pride, avarice, gluttony, lust, idleness, envy, and anger.
In spite of all these causes of sin in man which come either from the sin of Adam, or from the personal sins of man, may we yet say that man is free in his moral acts, and that he is never necessitated to commit sin?
Yes, in spite of all these causes of sin in man which come either from the first sin of the first man, or from the personal sins of man, we are bound to say that he is still free in his moral acts, and that he is never necessitated to commit sin.
What would be necessary for man to cease to be free in his acts considering all these consequences of sin?
It would be necessary for them to affect man in such a way as to make him lose his reason (LXXVII. 7).
Unless man then loses his reason he always remains free in his acts in such wise that it depends upon him whether he sin?
Yes, unless man loses his reason his acts always remain free in such wise that it depends upon him whether he sin.
Can this liberty, however, become less perfect and less virile on account of the consequences of sin, even to the extent that when man relapses into sin he is less culpable?
Yes, man's liberty becomes less perfect and less virile owing to the effects of sin, so much so that when he relapses into sin he is less culpable, unless his personal sins are themselves in part cause of this abatement of his perfect liberty (LXXVII. 6).
XIII. OF THE DIVERSE GRAVITY OF SINS, AND OF THE PUNISHMENT DUE TO THEM
All the sins that man commits are not then equally grave?
Whence arises the degree of gravity in the sins that man commits?
A sin is more or less grave according as it is opposed to the degree of good which should be sought by man, and according as the sin is in a greater or a lesser degree voluntary (LXXIII. 1-8).
Does every sin, as such, deserve to be punished?
Yes, every sin, as such, deserves to be punished (LXXXVII. 1).
Why does every sin, as such, deserve to be punished?
Because every sin, as such, is a trespassing of the free will upon ground to which it has no right of entry; and punishment is as it were a restitution, made by the will, of this violation of right (LXXXVII. 1).
The punishment therefore of sin is a question of strict justice?
Who inflicts the punishment due to sin?
It is always one of three principles which rule the order against which sin revolts.
What are these three principles which rule the order against which sin revolts?
The divine law always; human authority in those things dependent upon it; and the reason of the sinner according to the degree of his responsibility in sinning (LXXXVII. 1).
As regards the punishment inflicted on sin, in what way does the reason of the sinner punish sin?
The reason of the sinner can punish sin in two ways: by remorse and by self-inflicted punishment (LXXXVII. 1).
How does human authority punish sin?
Human authority punishes sin by chastisement (LXXXVII. 1).
And how does the divine law punish sin?
The divine law punishes sin in two ways: mediately and immediately (LXXXVII. 1).
What is meant by saying that the divine law punishes sin mediately?
By this is meant that it inflicts punishment on sin through the medium of the reason of the sinner and of human authority (LXXXVII. 1).
Why does the divine law punish sin through the medium of the sinner's reason and of human authority?
Because the reason of the sinner and human authority act dependently on the divine law, and are in some sort its instruments (LXXXVII. 1).
Is there not also another way in which the divine law can punish sin as it were mediately?
Yes, through the medium of creatures or the order of things which the sinner disturbs by his sin (LXXXVII. 1).
Is it in this sense that one may speak of a certain immanent justice?
Yes; in this sense there is a kind of immanent justice, which effects that things used as instruments of divine justice avenge the sin committed in that they thwart the sinner at every turn (LXXXVII. i).
What is meant by saying that the divine law punishes sin immediately?
By this is meant a special supernatural intervention by which God Himself avenges man's violation of the supernatural order (LXXXVII. 3-5).
What does this supernatural intervention imply in particular?
As regards certain sins, it implies eternal punishment (LXXX VII. 3,5).
XIV. OF MORTAL SINS AND VENIAL SINS
For what sins does God inflict eternal punishment?
For mortal sins (LXXXVII. 3).
What are mortal sins?
Mortal sins are those which kill the soul, in that, by them, charity is lost, which is the principle of the supernatural life (LXXXVIII. 3).
Why does God inflict eternal punishment on these sins?
Because these sins, making the soul lose that life which God alone can give, render the sinner incapable of making reparation for his sin; and thus, since the sin remains always, the punishment must likewise remain always (ibid.).
Are all the sins man commits mortal sins?
No (LXXXVIII. 1, a).
What are the sins called that are not mortal?
They are called venial (ibid.).
What does the word "venial" mean?
It means a sin less grave which does not take away the principle of the supernatural life, which is charity or grace, and for which, consequently, reparation can be made under the ordinary action of grace by a contrary movement of the sinner himself, and on this head its punishment is only temporal: hence it is called "venial," or easily "pardonable" (from the Latin word venia, which means pardon) (LXXXVIII. 1).
Supposing venial sins are committed by a man who is in the state of mortal sin, and this man were to die in this state, would his venial sins be punished by eternal punishment?
Yes, by reason of his state of soul, and because not having charity, he would be incapable of making reparation for these sins, which, after his death, are eternally irreparable.
Whence does it arise that some sins are mortal, whereas others are only venial?
This arises from the nature of the disorder brought about by different sins, and from the greater or lesser voluntariness of sin (LXXXVIII. 2).
What is meant by saying that this difference of mortal from venial sin arises from the nature of the disorder brought about by sin?
This means that there are sins which, of themselves, are directly opposed to the supernatural love of God, which is the principle of the life of the soul, or that they are incompatible with this love; whilst other sins bring about a lesser disorder of an accidental nature which is compatible with the supernatural love of God existing habitually in the soul (ibid.).
What are those sins which, of themselves, are directly opposed to the supernatural love of God, the principle of the soul's life, or which are incompatible with this love?
They are those sins which reject the supernatural love of God, or which imply an evil and a disorder that disturb the very essence of man's relation to God, or the mutual relation of men, or the relation of man to himself.
What are these sins?
These sins are the spurning of the supernatural love of God, or the sins that violate the honour of God, or the sins of theft, homicide, and adultery, or the sins against nature.
What is the best means of knowing exactly these divers sins and their gravity?
The best means is to consider them in their relation with the different virtues taken in specific detail.
Shall we have occasion to study this relation of sins with each of the virtues taken in specific detail?
Yes, we shall consider this after having seen, in general, what is required for man to live a virtuous life by avoiding a life of sin.
What further remains to be seen, after having considered, in general, what is required for man to live a virtuous life by avoiding a life of sin?
There remains to be considered the exterior helps necessary for man to attain this end.
What are these exterior helps necessary for man to attain this end?
They are laws which direct him, and grace which helps. him on his journey (XC.-CXIV.).
XV. OF THE EXTERIOR PRINCIPLE WHICH DIRECTS MAN'S ACTIONS; OR OF LAW
What is meant by law?
By law is meant an order of reason, for the common good, made and promulgated by one in authority (XC. 1-4).
An order then contrary to reason could not be a law?
No, an order or a commandment contrary to reason can never be a law; it is an act of despotism or of tyranny (XC. 1, ad 3).
What is meant by saying that law is an order of reason ordained to the common good?
This means that a law provides first of all for the good of the whole community, and does not concern itself with a part thereof or of the individual, except in so far as a part or an individual concurs in the general good (XC. 2). From what authority does law emanate?
It emanates from him upon whom it is incumbent to be mindful of the common good as if it were his own private good (XC. 3).
For a law to bind, is it necessary that it be promulgated and known?
Yes, for a law to bind it is necessary that it be promulgated in such a way that it come to the knowledge of those whom it concerns (XC. 4).
And if, through one's own fault, one is ignorant of the law, is one excused for not obeying the law?
No; if, through one's own fault, one is ignorant of the law, one is not excused from obeying the law.
It is then very important to learn fully the laws that concern us?
Yes, it is very important to study the laws that concern us.
XVI. OF DIVERS LAWS; AND FIRST, OF THE ETERNAL LAW
Are there several kinds of law that concern us?
What are these different kinds of law?
They are the eternal law, the natural law, human law, and the divine law (XCI. 1-5).
What is the eternal law?
The eternal law is the supreme law which rules all things, and on which all other laws depend, for these latter are only derivations or particular manifestations thereof (XCIII. 1, 3).
Where is the eternal law?
The eternal law is in God (XCIII. 1).
How is this law manifested in things?
It is manifested by the very order of things such as is found in the world (XCIII. 4-6).
XVII. OF THE NATURAL LAW
Is the eternal law to be found in man by participation?
Yes (XCIII. 6).
What is this participation or manifestation of the eternal law in man called?
It is called the natural law (XCIV. 1).
What is meant by the natural law?
By the natural law is meant that inborn light of man's practical reason by which he is able to direct himself and to act with knowledge consciously in such wise that his acts execute the eternal law, just as the natural actions of things produced by virtue of their natural inclination execute this same law unconsciously (XCIV. 1).
Is there a first principle of this practical reason, or a first precept of the natural law in man?
Yes, it is that which is founded upon the very nature of good in the metaphysical sense of the word, just as the first principle of the speculative reason is founded upon the nature of being (XCIV. 2).
In what does the first principle of the practical reason or the first precept of the natural law in man consist?
It consists in this, that man must seek what is good and avoid what is evil (XCIV. 2).
Does this first principle or first precept embrace all others?
Yes; for the rest are only applications thereof more or less immediate (XCIV. 2).
What are the first applications thereof in man?
The first applications thereof in man are the proclamation by man's reason of the threefold good touching his nature (XCIV. 2).
What is this proclamation of man's reason concerning the threefold good touching his nature?
It is this: whatever is beneficial for or perfects his physical life is good; also, whatever helps towards the conservation of the human species; and also whatever conduces to the welfare of his life as a rational being (XCIV. 2).
What follows from this threefold proclamation of man's practical reason?
There follows from this that whatever is essential for the conservation of this threefold life, or that can help towards its perfection, is proclaimed a good thing by the practical reason of every man, in such a way, however, that among the three goods there is a certain subordination, so that by way of dignity the good of the reason comes first, then the good of the species, and then the good of the individual (XCIV. 2).
As regards the good of the individual, what does the first principle of the natural law proclaim as essential?
This principle proclaims that man must eat for the sustenance of his body, and that he may never attempt his life (XCIV. 2).
As regards the good of the species, what does the first principle of the natural law proclaim as essential?
This principle proclaims that there must be human beings who concern themselves with the conservation of the species by taking upon themselves the burden as well as the joys of fatherhood and motherhood; and that it is never lawful to do anything which tends to frustrate the object of fatherhood and motherhood (XCIV. 2).
As regards the good of reason, what does the first principle of the natural law proclaim as essential?
This principle proclaims that man, who is the work of God from whom he has received his all, and who was made to live in the society of other men, should honour God as his Sovereign Lord and Master, and should act towards his fellow-beings according as the nature of his relations with them demands (XCIV. 2).
Are all other precepts of man's practical reason consequent upon these three first principles and their subordination?
Yes, all other precepts or determinations of the practical reason which affirm that this or that thing is or is not good for this or for that man, and binding him to do or to refrain from doing, are consequent more or less remotely. upon these three first principles and their subordination (XCIV. 2).
Are these other precepts or determinations of the practical reason, which are consequent, more or less remotely, upon the three first principles of the natural law, identical for all men?
No, these other precepts or determinations are not the same for all; for according to the degree one recedes from first principles, or from those things, which for all are essential as regards the good of the individual, the good of the species, and the good of reason, one enters the sphere of positive precepts, which can vary almost without end according to the diversity of individual conditions of different human beings (XCIV. 4).
Who makes these other precepts which can vary almost without end according to the diversity of the individual conditions of different men?
They are made by the individual reason of each human being or by a competent authority in each of the different groups of human beings that form some society in particular.
XVIII. OF HUMAN LAW
Can these other precepts become the subject-matter of law?
Of what laws are they the subject-matter?
They are the subject-matter, properly speaking, of human laws (XCV.-XCVII.).
What is meant by human laws?
By human laws are meant those ordinations of reason made for the common good of this or that society of human beings, which are enacted and promulgated by the supreme authority of every society (XCVI. 1).
Must these ordinations be obeyed by all who belong to this society?
Yes (XCVI. 5).
Is there here entailed a duty of conscience that binds before God?
Yes (XCVI. 4).
Are there certain cases in which one is not obliged to obey?
Yes, there can be certain cases in which one is not obliged to obey (XCVI. 4).
What are these cases in which one is not obliged to obey?
In the case of impossibility, or in the case of dispensation (XCVI. 4).
Who can dispense from obeying a law?
He only can dispense from obeying a law who is the maker of the law, or he who has the same authority as the maker of the law, or he who has received from this authority the power to dispense (XCVII. 4).
Is one bound to obey an unjust law?
No, one is not bound to obey an unjust law, unless the refusal to obey cause scandal or grave trouble (XCVI. 4).
What is meant by an unjust law?
It is one made without authority, or contrary to the common good, or one that injures the lawful rights of members of the society (XCVI. 4).
If a law is unjust in that it offends the rights of God or of His Church, is one bound thereto?
No, if a law is unjust in that it offends the rights of God or the essential rights of the Church, one is never bound thereby (XCVI. 4).
What is meant by the rights of God and the essential rights of the Church?
By the rights of God is meant whatever touches the honour and the worship of God, the Creator and Sovereign Master of all things; by the essential rights of the Church is meant whatever touches the mission of the Catholic Church as regards the sanctification of souls by the preaching of the truth and the administration of the sacraments.
If then a human law attacks religion one is not bound to obey this law?
If a human law attacks religion one is not bound to obey at any cost (XCVI. 4).
Would such a law be a true law?
No, such a law is a hateful tyranny (XC. 1, ad 3).
XIX. OF THE DIVINE LAW -- THE DECALOGUE
What is meant by the divine law?
By the divine law is meant the law given to men by God who manifests Himself supernaturally (XCI. 4,5).
When did God give this law to men?
God gave this law to men in the first place in a very simple way before their fall in the Garden of Eden; but He also gave it in a much more elaborate way, later on, through the medium of Moses and the Prophets, and in a way much more perfect by Jesus Christ and the Apostles (XCI. 5).
What is the divine law given by God to men through Moses called?
It is called the Old Law (XCVIII. 6).
And what is the divine law called that was given by God to men through Jesus Christ and the Apostles?
It is called the New Law (CVI. 3, 4).
Was the Old Law made for all men?
No, the Old Law was made for the Jewish people only (XCVIII. 4, 5).
Why did God give a special law to the Jewish people?
Because this people was destined to prepare in the old world the coming of the Saviour of men who was to be born of the Jewish nation (XCVIII. 4).
What were the precepts called that were given to the Jewish people and that regarded them only?
They were called the "judiciary" precepts, and the "ceremonial precepts" (XCIX. 3, 4).
Are there not also in the Old Law certain precepts which have remained in the New Law?
Yes, and they are called the "moral" precepts (XCIX. 1, 2).
Why have these precepts of the Old Law been kept in the New Law?
Because they constitute what is essential and absolutely obligatory concerning the conduct of every man, from the very fact that he is man (C. 1).
These moral precepts then have always been and always will be the same for all men?
Yes, these moral precepts have always been and always will be the same for all men (C. 8).
Are they identified with the natural law?
Yes, these moral precepts are identified with the natural law.
How then are they part of the divine law?
They are part of the divine law because in order to give them more force and to hinder the human reason from forgetting or corrupting them, God Himself promulgated them solemnly when He manifested Himself to His chosen people at the time of Moses; and also because God promulgated them in view of the super-natural end to which every man is called by Him (C. 3).
What are these moral precepts thus solemnly promulgated by God at the time of Moses called?
They are called the "Decalogue" (C. 3, 4).
What does the word Decalogue mean?
It is a Greek word which means the ten words, for the number of precepts given by God is ten.
What are the ten commandments of the Decalogue?
The ten commandments of the Decalogue are the following:
1. Thou shalt have no other God beside Me.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honour thy father and thy mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods
(C. 4, 5, 6).
Do these ten commandments suffice to guide the whole moral life of man in the way of virtue?
Yes, they suffice as regards the principal virtues which have reference to the essential duties of man towards God and his neighbour; but for the perfection of all the virtues it was necessary for them to be further explained and completed by the teaching of the prophets in the Old Law, and still further by the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Apostles in the New Law (C. 3, 11).
What is the best way to understand these precepts fully and to understand that which explains or completes them for the perfection of the moral life?
It is to study them by help of each of the virtues considered in detail.
Will the study of them thus be made easy?
Yes, for the very nature of the virtue will explain the nature and the obligation of the precept.
Will this be at the same time a good way to understand the whole perfection of the New Law?
Yes; because the perfection of this law consists precisely in its relation with the excellence of all the virtues (C. 2; CVIII.).
Has this excellence of all the virtues any special character in the New Law?
Yes, it has a special character inasmuch as the counsels are added to the precepts (CVIII. 4).
What is meant by the counsels being added to the precepts?
By this is meant certain invitations offered by Jesus Christ to all souls of good will, to detach themselves from earthly things for love of Him and in order to obtain a more perfect enjoyment of Him in heaven, things that they might indeed desire and possess without detriment to virtue, but which might prove an obstacle to the perfection of virtue (CVIII. 4).
How many counsels are there?
There are three: poverty, chastity, and obedience (CVIII. 4).
Is there any special state wherein one may practise these counsels in a very perfect way?
Yes, the religious state (CVIII. 4).
XX. OF THE EXTERNAL PRINCIPLE WHICH HELPS MAN TO PRACTISE GOOD ACTS; OR OF GRACE
Is law a sufficient guide for man to live a virtuous life and to avoid the contrary life of sin?
No, the help of grace is also necessary (CIX., CXIV.).
What is meant by grace?
By grace is meant a special help from God that assists him to do good and to avoid evil.
Is this special help from God always necessary for man?
Is not man of himself ever able to do any good thing or to avoid any bad thing?
Yes, of himself, that is relying on the principle of his nature given to him by God, and upon the other natural helps around him, man can accomplish certain good acts and avoid certain evil acts even in the moral order or in the domain of virtue; but if God by His grace does not heal human nature which was wounded by sin, man would never be able to accomplish even in the order of natural virtue all the good required of him or to avoid all evil; moreover, in the order of supernatural virtue or as regards the good life that is to win heaven, man by his sole nature, without grace, can do absolutely nothing (CIX. 1-10).
What does this grace of the supernatural order imply?
This grace of the supernatural order implies two things: a supernatural state of soul, and supernatural motions of the Holy Spirit (CIX. 6).
What is meant by this supernatural state of soul?
By this is meant certain qualities introduced and preserved therein by God which in a sense make the very being and faculties of man divine (CX. 1-4).
What is the fundamental quality which makes man's very being divine?
It is called habitual or sanctifying grace (CX. 1, 2, 4).
What are the supernatural qualities which divinize man's faculties?
They are the virtues and the gifts (CX. 3).
Are the virtues and the gifts associated with habitual or sanctifying grace?
Yes, the virtues and the gifts are associated with habitual or sanctifying grace in such wise that they issue from this grace which can never exist in the soul unless they also exist in the faculties.
Are this grace, and these virtues and gifts, which sanctify the soul and its faculties something very estimable?
Yes, for they make man a child of God, and give him the power to act as such.
Is man, endowed with grace and the accompanying virtues and gifts, more perfect than the whole created world in the order of nature?
Yes, he is more perfect even than the angels if we consider them in their nature only (CXIII. 9, ad 2).
There is then nothing on earth more to be desired by man than to possess and keep, and by making daily progress in this grace of God together with the virtues and the gifts.
How can man thus possess and keep the virtues and the gifts and make daily progress in this grace of God?
By responding faithfully to the supernatural motion of the Holy Spirit, who solicits man to prepare himself to receive grace if he has it not, or to make daily progress therein if he already possesses it (CXII. 3; CXIII. 3, 5).
What is this action of the Holy Spirit called?
This action of the Holy Spirit is called actual grace (CIX. 6; CXII. 3).
It is then with this help or through the motion of actual grace that we dispose ourselves to receive habitual or sanctifying grace if we have it not already, or if we have it, to make progress therein?
Yes, it is with this help or through the motion of actual grace that we dispose ourselves to receive habitual or sanctifying grace if we have it not already, or if we have it, to make progress therein.
Can actual grace produce its full effect in us, in spite of us, and without our response?
No, actual grace cannot produce its full effect in us, in spite of us, and without our response (CXIII. 3).
It is necessary then for our free will to co-operate with the motion of actual grace?
Yes, our free will must co-operate with the motion of actual grace.
What is the co-operation of the free will with the motion of actual grace called?
It is called correspondence with grace.
When our free will corresponds thus with actual grace, and we have habitual grace in our soul, has the act any special character?
Yes, it is always a meritorious act (CXIV. 1, 2).
Are there several kinds of merit?
Yes, there is merit de condigno and merit de congruo (CXIV. 2).
What is understood by merit "de condigno"?
It is the merit that demands recompense by right and in strict justice (CXIV. 2).
What is required for man's act to be meritorious "de condigno"?
The act must be done under the impulse of actual grace; it must proceed from sanctifying grace by the virtue of charity; and it must tend towards the acquisition of eternal life for itself alone, or further, towards the increase of grace and of the virtues (CXIV. 2, 4).
Is it possible to merit for others life eternal, or sanctifying grace, or the increase of this grace by merit which is "de condigno"?
No, it is impossible to merit this kind of boons for others except by merit de congruo; for to merit de condigno for others is proper to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (CXIV. 5, 8).
What is understood by merit "de congruo"?
By this it is understood that merit which effects that God by reason of the friendship that unites Him to the just, deems it fitting and in accord with His wishes, to respond to the joy that they seek to give Him by their good works, in Himself giving joy to them by granting what they ask or what they desire of Him (CXIV. 6).
Then the whole "raison d'être" of merit is reduced to this, that God moves intimately in the life of the just through grace and the virtues under the action of the Holy Ghost?
Yes, it is always in the intimacy between God and the just, or in their life of grace and the virtues under the action of the Holy Spirit, that consists the whole raison d'être of merit; moreover, whatever man does outside this life, even though in itself it is not evil, is altogether vain and will avail him nothing at the last day (CXIV. 6).
Can this life of grace and the virtues to be lived by man on earth be explained in detail?
Yes, all this will be explained in its proper place when we study man's return to God by his good acts.
<< ======= >>