QUESTION 25: OF THE OBJECT OF CHARITY
We must now consider the object of charity; which consideration will be
twofold: (1) The things we ought to love out of charity: (2) The order in
which they ought to be loved. Under the first head there are twelve
points of inquiry:
(1) Whether we should love God alone, out of charity, or should we love
our neighbor also?
(2) Whether charity should be loved out of charity?
(3) Whether irrational creatures ought to be loved out of charity?
(4) Whether one may love oneself out of charity?
(5) Whether one's own body?
(6) Whether sinners should be loved out of charity?
(7) Whether sinners love themselves?
(8) Whether we should love our enemies out of charity?
(9) Whether we are bound to show them tokens of friendship?
(10) Whether we ought to love the angels out of charity?
(11) Whether we ought to love the demons?
(12) How to enumerate the things we are bound to love out of charity.
Article 1: Whether the love of charity stops at God, or extends to our neighbor?
Objection 1: It would seem that the love of charity stops at God and does not
extend to our neighbor. For as we owe God love, so do we owe Him fear,
according Dt. 10:12: "And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require
of thee, but that thou fear . . . and love Him?" Now the fear with which
we fear man, and which is called human fear, is distinct from the fear
with which we fear God, and which is either servile or filial, as is
evident from what has been stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore also the
love with which we love God, is distinct from the love with which we love
Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 8) that "to be loved
is to be honored." Now the honor due to God, which is known as "latria,"
is distinct from the honor due to a creature, and known as "dulia."
Therefore again the love wherewith we love God, is distinct from that
with which we love our neighbor.
Objection 3: Further, hope begets charity, as a gloss states on Mt. 1:2. Now
hope is so due to God that it is reprehensible to hope in man, according
to Jer. 17:5: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man." Therefore charity
is so due to God, as not to extend to our neighbor.
On the contrary, It is written (1 Jn. 4:21): "This commandment we have
from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother."
I answer that, As stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ; FS, Question , Article ) habits are not differentiated except their acts be of different
species. For every act of the one species belongs to the same habit. Now
since the species of an act is derived from its object, considered under
its formal aspect, it follows of necessity that it is specifically the
same act that tends to an aspect of the object, and that tends to the
object under that aspect: thus it is specifically the same visual act
whereby we see the light, and whereby we see the color under the aspect
Now the aspect under which our neighbor is to be loved, is God, since what we ought to love in our neighbor is that he may be in God. Hence it is clear that it is specifically the same act whereby we love God, and whereby we love our neighbor. Consequently the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor.
Reply to Objection 1: We may fear our neighbor, even as we may love him, in two
ways: first, on account of something that is proper to him, as when a man
fears a tyrant on account of his cruelty, or loves him by reason of his
own desire to get something from him. Such like human fear is distinct
from the fear of God, and the same applies to love. Secondly, we fear a
man, or love him on account of what he has of God; as when we fear the
secular power by reason of its exercising the ministry of God for the
punishment of evildoers, and love it for its justice: such like fear of
man is not distinct from fear of God, as neither is such like love.
Reply to Objection 2: Love regards good in general, whereas honor regards the
honored person's own good, for it is given to a person in recognition of
his own virtue. Hence love is not differentiated specifically on account
of the various degrees of goodness in various persons, so long as it is
referred to one good common to all, whereas honor is distinguished
according to the good belonging to individuals. Consequently we love all
our neighbors with the same love of charity, in so far as they are
referred to one good common to them all, which is God; whereas we give
various honors to various people, according to each one's own virtue, and
likewise to God we give the singular honor of latria on account of His
Reply to Objection 3: It is wrong to hope in man as though he were the principal
author of salvation, but not, to hope in man as helping us ministerially
under God. In like manner it would be wrong if a man loved his neighbor
as though he were his last end, but not, if he loved him for God's sake;
and this is what charity does.
Article 2: Whether we should love charity out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity need not be loved out of charity. For
the things to be loved out of charity are contained in the two precepts
of charity (Mt. 22:37-39): and neither of them includes charity, since
charity is neither God nor our neighbor. Therefore charity need not be
loved out of charity.
Objection 2: Further, charity is founded on the fellowship of happiness, as
stated above (Question , Article ). But charity cannot participate in happiness.
Therefore charity need not be loved out of charity.
Objection 3: Further, charity is a kind of friendship, as stated above (Question , Article ). But no man can have friendship for charity or for an accident,
since such things cannot return love for love, which is essential to
friendship, as stated in Ethic. viii. Therefore charity need not be loved
out of charity.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. viii, 8): "He that loves his
neighbor, must, in consequence, love love itself." But we love our
neighbor out of charity. Therefore it follows that charity also is loved
out of charity.
I answer that, Charity is love. Now love, by reason of the nature of the
power whose act it is, is capable of reflecting on itself; for since the
object of the will is the universal good, whatever has the aspect of
good, can be the object of an act of the will: and since to will is
itself a good, man can will himself to will. Even so the intellect, whose
object is the true, understands that it understands, because this again
is something true. Love, however, even by reason of its own species, is
capable of reflecting on itself, because it is a spontaneous movement of
the lover towards the beloved, wherefore from the moment a man loves, he
loves himself to love.
Yet charity is not love simply, but has the nature of friendship, as
stated above (Question , Article ). Now by friendship a thing is loved in two
ways: first, as the friend for whom we have friendship, and to whom we
wish good things: secondly, as the good which we wish to a friend. It is
in the latter and not in the former way that charity is loved out of
charity, because charity is the good which we desire for all those whom
we love out of charity. The same applies to happiness, and to the other
Reply to Objection 1: God and our neighbor are those with whom we are friends,
but love of them includes the loving of charity, since we love both God
and our neighbor, in so far as we love ourselves and our neighbor to love
God, and this is to love charity.
Reply to Objection 2: Charity is itself the fellowship of the spiritual life,
whereby we arrive at happiness: hence it is loved as the good which we
desire for all whom we love out of charity.
Reply to Objection 3: This argument considers friendship as referred to those
with whom we are friends.
Article 3: Whether irrational creatures also ought to be loved out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that irrational creatures also ought to be loved
out of charity. For it is chiefly by charity that we are conformed to
God. Now God loves irrational creatures out of charity, for He loves "all
things that are" (Wis. 11:25), and whatever He loves, He loves by Himself
Who is charity. Therefore we also should love irrational creatures out of
Objection 2: Further, charity is referred to God principally, and extends to
other things as referable to God. Now just as the rational creature is
referable to God, in as much as it bears the resemblance of image, so
too, are the irrational creatures, in as much as they bear the
resemblance of a trace [*Cf. FP, Question , Article ]. Therefore charity extends
also to irrational creatures.
Objection 3: Further, just as the object of charity is God. so is the object
of faith. Now faith extends to irrational creatures, since we believe
that heaven and earth were created by God, that the fishes and birds were
brought forth out of the waters, and animals that walk, and plants, out
of the earth. Therefore charity extends also to irrational creatures.
On the contrary, The love of charity extends to none but God and our
neighbor. But the word neighbor cannot be extended to irrational
creatures, since they have no fellowship with man in the rational life.
Therefore charity does not extend to irrational creatures.
I answer that, According to what has been stated above (Question , Article )
charity is a kind of friendship. Now the love of friendship is twofold:
first, there is the love for the friend to whom our friendship is given,
secondly, the love for those good things which we desire for our friend.
With regard to the first, no irrational creature can be loved out of
charity; and for three reasons. Two of these reasons refer in a general
way to friendship, which cannot have an irrational creature for its
object: first because friendship is towards one to whom we wish good
things, while, properly speaking, we cannot wish good things to an
irrational creature, because it is not competent, properly speaking, to
possess good, this being proper to the rational creature which, through
its free-will, is the master of its disposal of the good it possesses.
Hence the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 6) that we do not speak of good or
evil befalling such like things, except metaphorically. Secondly, because
all friendship is based on some fellowship in life; since "nothing is so
proper to friendship as to live together," as the Philosopher proves
(Ethic. viii, 5). Now irrational creatures can have no fellowship in
human life which is regulated by reason. Hence friendship with irrational
creatures is impossible, except metaphorically speaking. The third reason
is proper to charity, for charity is based on the fellowship of
everlasting happiness, to which the irrational creature cannot attain.
Therefore we cannot have the friendship of charity towards an irrational
Nevertheless we can love irrational creatures out of charity, if we
regard them as the good things that we desire for others, in so far, to
wit, as we wish for their preservation, to God's honor and man's use;
thus too does God love them out of charity.
Wherefore the Reply to the First Objection is evident.
Reply to Objection 2: The likeness by way of trace does not confer the capacity
for everlasting life, whereas the likeness of image does: and so the
Reply to Objection 3: Faith can extend to all that is in any way true, whereas
the friendship of charity extends only to such things as have a natural
capacity for everlasting life; wherefore the comparison fails.
Article 4: Whether a man ought to love himself out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man is bound to love himself out of charity.
For Gregory says in a homily (In Evang. xvii) that there "can be no
charity between less than two." Therefore no man has charity towards
Objection 2: Further, friendship, by its very nature, implies mutual love and
equality (Ethic. viii, 2,7), which cannot be of one man towards himself.
But charity is a kind of friendship, as stated above (Question , Article ).
Therefore a man cannot have charity towards himself.
Objection 3: Further, anything relating to charity cannot be blameworthy,
since charity "dealeth not perversely" (1 Cor. 23:4). Now a man deserves
to be blamed for loving himself, since it is written (2 Tim. 3:1,2): "In
the last days shall come dangerous times, men shall be lovers of
themselves." Therefore a man cannot love himself out of charity.
On the contrary, It is written (Lev. 19:18): "Thou shalt love thy friend
as thyself." Now we love our friends out of charity. Therefore we should
love ourselves too out of charity.
I answer that, Since charity is a kind of friendship, as stated above
(Question , Article ), we may consider charity from two standpoints: first, under
the general notion of friendship, and in this way we must hold that,
properly speaking, a man is not a friend to himself, but something more
than a friend, since friendship implies union, for Dionysius says (Div.
Nom. iv) that "love is a unitive force," whereas a man is one with
himself which is more than being united to another. Hence, just as unity
is the principle of union, so the love with which a man loves himself is
the form and root of friendship. For if we have friendship with others it
is because we do unto them as we do unto ourselves, hence we read in
Ethic. ix, 4,8, that "the origin of friendly relations with others lies
in our relations to ourselves." Thus too with regard to principles we
have something greater than science, namely understanding.
Secondly, we may speak of charity in respect of its specific nature,
namely as denoting man's friendship with God in the first place, and,
consequently, with the things of God, among which things is man himself
who has charity. Hence, among these other things which he loves out of
charity because they pertain to God, he loves also himself out of charity.
Reply to Objection 1: Gregory speaks there of charity under the general notion of
friendship: and the Second Objection is to be taken in the same sense.
Reply to Objection 3: Those who love themselves are to be blamed, in so far as
they love themselves as regards their sensitive nature, which they humor.
This is not to love oneself truly according to one's rational nature, so
as to desire for oneself the good things which pertain to the perfection
of reason: and in this way chiefly it is through charity that a man loves
Article 5: Whether a man ought to love his body out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man ought not to love his body out of
charity. For we do not love one with whom we are unwilling to associate.
But those who have charity shun the society of the body, according to Rm.
7:24: "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" and Phil. 1:23:
"Having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ." Therefore our
bodies are not to be loved out of charity.
Objection 2: Further, the friendship of charity is based on fellowship in the
enjoyment of God. But the body can have no share in that enjoyment.
Therefore the body is not to be loved out of charity.
Objection 3: Further, since charity is a kind of friendship it is towards
those who are capable of loving in return. But our body cannot love us
out of charity. Therefore it should not be loved out of charity.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 23,26) that there
are four things that we should love out of charity, and among them he
reckons our own body.
I answer that, Our bodies can be considered in two ways: first, in
respect of their nature, secondly, in respect of the corruption of sin
and its punishment.
Now the nature of our body was created, not by an evil principle, as the
Manicheans pretend, but by God. Hence we can use it for God's service,
according to Rm. 6:13: "Present . . . your members as instruments of
justice unto God." Consequently, out of the love of charity with which we
love God, we ought to love our bodies also, but we ought not to love the
evil effects of sin and the corruption of punishment; we ought rather, by
the desire of charity, to long for the removal of such things.
Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle did not shrink from the society of his body, as
regards the nature of the body, in fact in this respect he was loth to be
deprived thereof, according to 2 Cor. 5:4: "We would not be unclothed,
but clothed over." He did, however, wish to escape from the taint of
concupiscence, which remains in the body, and from the corruption of the
body which weighs down the soul, so as to hinder it from seeing God.
Hence he says expressly: "From the body of this death."
Reply to Objection 2: Although our bodies are unable to enjoy God by knowing and
loving Him, yet by the works which we do through the body, we are able to
attain to the perfect knowledge of God. Hence from the enjoyment in the
soul there overflows a certain happiness into the body, viz., "the flush
of health and incorruption," as Augustine states (Ep. ad Dioscor.
cxviii). Hence, since the body has, in a fashion, a share of happiness,
it can be loved with the love of charity.
Reply to Objection 3: Mutual love is found in the friendship which is for
another, but not in that which a man has for himself, either in respect
of his soul, or in respect of his body.
Article 6: Whether we ought to love sinners out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that we ought not to love sinners out of charity.
For it is written (Ps. 118:113): "I have hated the unjust." But David had
perfect charity. Therefore sinners should be hated rather than loved, out
Objection 2: Further, "love is proved by deeds" as Gregory says in a homily
for Pentecost (In Evang. xxx). But good men do no works of the unjust: on
the contrary, they do such as would appear to be works of hate, according
to Ps. 100:8: "In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land":
and God commanded (Ex. 22:18): "Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live."
Therefore sinners should not be loved out of charity.
Objection 3: Further, it is part of friendship that one should desire and wish
good things for one's friends. Now the saints, out of charity, desire
evil things for the wicked, according to Ps. 9:18: "May the wicked be
turned into hell [*Douay and A. V.: 'The wicked shall be,' etc. See Reply
to this Objection.]." Therefore sinners should not be loved out of
Objection 4: Further, it is proper to friends to rejoice in, and will the same
things. Now charity does not make us will what sinners will, nor to
rejoice in what gives them joy, but rather the contrary. Therefore
sinners should not be loved out of charity.
Objection 5: Further, it is proper to friends to associate together, according
to Ethic. viii. But we ought not to associate with sinners, according to
2 Cor. 6:17: "Go ye out from among them." Therefore we should not love
sinners out of charity.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 30) that "when it
is said: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor,' it is evident that we ought to
look upon every man as our neighbor." Now sinners do not cease to be men,
for sin does not destroy nature. Therefore we ought to love sinners out
I answer that, Two things may be considered in the sinner: his nature and his guilt. According to his nature, which he has from God, he has a capacity for happiness, on the fellowship of which charity is based, as stated above (Article ; Question , Articles ,5), wherefore we ought to love sinners, out of charity, in respect of their nature.
On the other hand their guilt is opposed to God, and is an obstacle to
happiness. Wherefore, in respect of their guilt whereby they are opposed
to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one's father or mother or
kindred, according to Lk. 12:26. For it is our duty to hate, in the
sinner, his being a sinner, and to love in him, his being a man capable
of bliss; and this is to love him truly, out of charity, for God's sake.
Reply to Objection 1: The prophet hated the unjust, as such, and the object of
his hate was their injustice, which was their evil. Such hatred is
perfect, of which he himself says (Ps. 138:22): "I have hated them with a
perfect hatred." Now hatred of a person's evil is equivalent to love of
his good. Hence also this perfect hatred belongs to charity.
Reply to Objection 2: As the Philosopher observes (Ethic. ix, 3), when our
friends fall into sin, we ought not to deny them the amenities of
friendship, so long as there is hope of their mending their ways, and we
ought to help them more readily to regain virtue than to recover money,
had they lost it, for as much as virtue is more akin than money to
friendship. When, however, they fall into very great wickedness, and
become incurable, we ought no longer to show them friendliness. It is for
this reason that both Divine and human laws command such like sinners to
be put to death, because there is greater likelihood of their harming
others than of their mending their ways. Nevertheless the judge puts this
into effect, not out of hatred for the sinners, but out of the love of
charity, by reason of which he prefers the public good to the life of the
individual. Moreover the death inflicted by the judge profits the sinner,
if he be converted, unto the expiation of his crime; and, if he be not
converted, it profits so as to put an end to the sin, because the sinner
is thus deprived of the power to sin any more.
Reply to Objection 3: Such like imprecations which we come across in Holy Writ,
may be understood in three ways: first, by way of prediction, not by way
of wish, so that the sense is: "May the wicked be," that is, "The wicked
shall be, turned into hell." Secondly, by way of wish, yet so that the
desire of the wisher is not referred to the man's punishment, but to the
justice of the punisher, according to Ps. 57:11: "The just shall rejoice
when he shall see the revenge," since, according to Wis. 1:13, not even
God "hath pleasure in the destruction of the wicked [Vulg.: 'living']"
when He punishes them, but He rejoices in His justice, according to Ps.
10:8: "The Lord is just and hath loved justice." Thirdly, so that this
desire is referred to the removal of the sin, and not to the punishment
itself, to the effect, namely, that the sin be destroyed, but that the
man may live.
Reply to Objection 4: We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written (Jer. 15:19): "They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not to be turned to them."
Reply to Objection 5: The weak should avoid associating with sinners, on account
of the danger in which they stand of being perverted by them. But it is
commendable for the perfect, of whose perversion there is no fear, to
associate with sinners that they may convert them. For thus did Our Lord
eat and drink with sinners as related by Mt. 9:11-13. Yet all should
avoid the society of sinners, as regards fellowship in sin; in this sense
it is written (2 Cor. 6:17): "Go out from among them . . . and touch not
the unclean thing," i.e. by consenting to sin.
Article 7: Whether sinners love themselves?
Objection 1: It would seem that sinners love themselves. For that which is the
principle of sin, is most of all in the sinner. Now love of self is the
principle of sin, since Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28) that it
"builds up the city of Babylon." Therefore sinners most of all love
Objection 2: Further, sin does not destroy nature. Now it is in keeping with
nature that every man should love himself: wherefore even irrational
creatures naturally desire their own good, for instance, the preservation
of their being, and so forth. Therefore sinners love themselves.
Objection 3: Further, good is beloved by all, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom.
iv). Now many sinners reckon themselves to be good. Therefore many
sinners love themselves.
On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 10:6): "He that loveth iniquity,
hateth his own soul."
I answer that, Love of self is common to all, in one way; in another way
it is proper to the good; in a third way, it is proper to the wicked. For
it is common to all for each one to love what he thinks himself to be.
Now a man is said to be a thing, in two ways: first, in respect of his
substance and nature, and, this way all think themselves to be what they
are, that is, composed of a soul and body. In this way too, all men, both
good and wicked, love themselves, in so far as they love their own
Secondly, a man is said to be something in respect of some predominance,
as the sovereign of a state is spoken of as being the state, and so, what
the sovereign does, the state is said to do. In this way, all do not
think themselves to be what they are. For the reasoning mind is the
predominant part of man, while the sensitive and corporeal nature takes
the second place, the former of which the Apostle calls the "inward man,"
and the latter, the "outward man" (2 Cor. 4:16). Now the good look upon
their rational nature or the inward man as being the chief thing in them,
wherefore in this way they think themselves to be what they are. On the
other hand, the wicked reckon their sensitive and corporeal nature, or
the outward man, to hold the first place. Wherefore, since they know not
themselves aright, they do not love themselves aright, but love what they
think themselves to be. But the good know themselves truly, and therefore
truly love themselves.
The Philosopher proves this from five things that are proper to
friendship. For in the first place, every friend wishes his friend to be
and to live; secondly, he desires good things for him; thirdly, he does
good things to him; fourthly, he takes pleasure in his company; fifthly,
he is of one mind with him, rejoicing and sorrowing in almost the same
things. In this way the good love themselves, as to the inward man,
because they wish the preservation thereof in its integrity, they desire
good things for him, namely spiritual goods, indeed they do their best to
obtain them, and they take pleasure in entering into their own hearts,
because they find there good thoughts in the present, the memory of past
good, and the hope of future good, all of which are sources of pleasure.
Likewise they experience no clashing of wills, since their whole soul
tends to one thing.
On the other hand, the wicked have no wish to be preserved in the
integrity of the inward man, nor do they desire spiritual goods for him,
nor do they work for that end, nor do they take pleasure in their own
company by entering into their own hearts, because whatever they find
there, present, past and future, is evil and horrible; nor do they agree
with themselves, on account of the gnawings of conscience, according to
Ps. 49:21: "I will reprove thee and set before thy face."
In the same manner it may be shown that the wicked love themselves, as
regards the corruption of the outward man, whereas the good do not love
Reply to Objection 1: The love of self which is the principle of sin is that
which is proper to the wicked, and reaches "to the contempt of God," as
stated in the passage quoted, because the wicked so desire external goods
as to despise spiritual goods.
Reply to Objection 2: Although natural love is not altogether forfeited by wicked
men, yet it is perverted in them, as explained above.
Reply to Objection 3: The wicked have some share of self-love, in so far as they
think themselves good. Yet such love of self is not true but apparent:
and even this is not possible in those who are very wicked.
Article 8: Whether charity requires that we should love our enemies?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity does not require us to love our
enemies. For Augustine says (Enchiridion lxxiii) that "this great good,"
namely, the love of our enemies, is "not so universal in its application,
as the object of our petition when we say: Forgive us our trespasses."
Now no one is forgiven sin without he have charity, because, according to
Prov. 10:12, "charity covereth all sins." Therefore charity does not
require that we should love our enemies.
Objection 2: Further, charity does not do away with nature. Now everything,
even an irrational being, naturally hates its contrary, as a lamb hates a
wolf, and water fire. Therefore charity does not make us love our enemies.
Objection 3: Further, charity "doth nothing perversely" (1 Cor. 13:4). Now it
seems perverse to love one's enemies, as it would be to hate one's
friends: hence Joab upbraided David by saying (2 Kgs. 19:6): "Thou lovest
them that hate thee, and thou hatest them that love thee." Therefore
charity does not make us love our enemies.
On the contrary, Our Lord said (Mt. 4:44): "Love your enemies."
I answer that, Love of one's enemies may be understood in three ways.
First, as though we were to love our enemies as such: this is perverse,
and contrary to charity, since it implies love of that which is evil in
Secondly love of one's enemies may mean that we love them as to their
nature, but in general: and in this sense charity requires that we should
love our enemies, namely, that in loving God and our neighbor, we should
not exclude our enemies from the love given to our neighbor in general.
Thirdly, love of one's enemies may be considered as specially directed
to them, namely, that we should have a special movement of love towards
our enemies. Charity does not require this absolutely, because it does
not require that we should have a special movement of love to every
individual man, since this would be impossible. Nevertheless charity does
require this, in respect of our being prepared in mind, namely, that we
should be ready to love our enemies individually, if the necessity were
to occur. That man should actually do so, and love his enemy for God's
sake, without it being necessary for him to do so, belongs to the
perfection of charity. For since man loves his neighbor, out of charity,
for God's sake, the more he loves God, the more does he put enmities
aside and show love towards his neighbor: thus if we loved a certain man
very much, we would love his children though they were unfriendly towards
us. This is the sense in which Augustine speaks in the passage quoted in
the First Objection, the Reply to which is therefore evident.
Reply to Objection 2: Everything naturally hates its contrary as such. Now our
enemies are contrary to us, as enemies, wherefore this itself should be
hateful to us, for their enmity should displease us. They are not,
however, contrary to us, as men and capable of happiness: and it is as
such that we are bound to love them.
Reply to Objection 3: It is wrong to love one's enemies as such: charity does not do this, as stated above.
Article 9: Whether it is necessary for salvation that we should show our enemies the signs and effects of love?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity demands of a man to show his enemy the
signs or effects of love. For it is written (1 Jn. 3:18): "Let us not
love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Now a man loves in
deed by showing the one he loves signs and effects of love. Therefore
charity requires that a man show his enemies such signs and effects of
Objection 2: Further, Our Lord said in the same breath (Mt. 5:44): "Love your
enemies," and, "Do good to them that hate you." Now charity demands that
we love our enemies. Therefore it demands also that we should "do good to
Objection 3: Further, not only God but also our neighbor is the object of
charity. Now Gregory says in a homily for Pentecost (In Evang. xxx), that
"love of God cannot be idle for wherever it is it does great things, and
if it ceases to work, it is no longer love." Hence charity towards our
neighbor cannot be without producing works. But charity requires us to
love our neighbor without exception, though he be an enemy. Therefore
charity requires us to show the signs and effects of love towards our
On the contrary, A gloss on Mt. 5:44, "Do good to them that hate you,"
says: "To do good to one's enemies is the height of perfection"
[*Augustine, Enchiridion lxxiii]. Now charity does not require us to do
that which belongs to its perfection. Therefore charity does not require
us to show the signs and effects of love to our enemies.
I answer that, The effects and signs of charity are the result of inward
love, and are in proportion with it. Now it is absolutely necessary, for
the fulfilment of the precept, that we should inwardly love our enemies
in general, but not individually, except as regards the mind being
prepared to do so, as explained above (Article ).
We must accordingly apply this to the showing of the effects and signs
of love. For some of the signs and favors of love are shown to our
neighbors in general, as when we pray for all the faithful, or for a
whole people, or when anyone bestows a favor on a whole community: and
the fulfilment of the precept requires that we should show such like
favors or signs of love towards our enemies. For if we did not so, it
would be a proof of vengeful spite, and contrary to what is written (Lev.
19:18): "Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens."
But there are other favors or signs of love, which one shows to certain
persons in particular: and it is not necessary for salvation that we show
our enemies such like favors and signs of love, except as regards being
ready in our minds, for instance to come to their assistance in a case of
urgency, according to Prov. 25:21: "If thy enemy be hungry, give him to
eat; if he thirst, give him . . . drink." Outside cases of urgency, to
show such like favors to an enemy belongs to the perfection of charity,
whereby we not only beware, as in duty bound, of being overcome by evil,
but also wish to overcome evil by good [*Rm. 12:21], which belongs to
perfection: for then we not only beware of being drawn into hatred on
account of the hurt done to us, but purpose to induce our enemy to love
us on account of our kindliness.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
Article 10: Whether we ought to love the angels out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that we are not bound to love the angels out of
charity. For, as Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i), charity is a
twofold love: the love of God and of our neighbor. Now love of the angels
is not contained in the love of God, since they are created substances;
nor is it, seemingly, contained in the love of our neighbor, since they
do not belong with us to a common species. Therefore we are not bound to
love them out of charity.
Objection 2: Further, dumb animals have more in common with us than the angels
have, since they belong to the same proximate genus as we do. But we have
not charity towards dumb animals, as stated above (Article ). Neither,
therefore, have we towards the angels.
Objection 3: Further, nothing is so proper to friends as companionship with
one another (Ethic. viii, 5). But the angels are not our companions; we
cannot even see them. Therefore we are unable to give them the friendship
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 30): "If the name
of neighbor is given either to those whom we pity, or to those who pity
us, it is evident that the precept binding us to love our neighbor
includes also the holy angels from whom we receive many merciful favors."
I answer that, As stated above (Question , Article ), the friendship of charity
is founded upon the fellowship of everlasting happiness, in which men
share in common with the angels. For it is written (Mt. 22:30) that "in
the resurrection . . . men shall be as the angels of God in heaven." It
is therefore evident that the friendship of charity extends also to the
Reply to Objection 1: Our neighbor is not only one who is united to us in a
common species, but also one who is united to us by sharing in the
blessings pertaining to everlasting life, and it is on the latter
fellowship that the friendship of charity is founded.
Reply to Objection 2: Dumb animals are united to us in the proximate genus, by reason of their sensitive nature; whereas we are partakers of everlasting happiness, by reason not of our sensitive nature but of our rational mind wherein we associate with the angels.
Reply to Objection 3: The companionship of the angels does not consist in outward
fellowship, which we have in respect of our sensitive nature; it consists
in a fellowship of the mind, imperfect indeed in this life, but perfect
in heaven, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 1).
Article 11: Whether we are bound to love the demons out of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that we ought to love the demons out of charity.
For the angels are our neighbors by reason of their fellowship with us in
a rational mind. But the demons also share in our fellowship thus, since
natural gifts, such as life and understanding, remain in them unimpaired,
as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore we ought to love the demons
out of charity.
Objection 2: Further, the demons differ from the blessed angels in the matter
of sin, even as sinners from just men. Now the just man loves the sinner
out of charity. Therefore he ought to love the demons also out of charity.
Objection 3: Further, we ought, out of charity, to love, as being our
neighbors, those from whom we receive favors, as appears from the passage
of Augustine quoted above (Article ). Now the demons are useful to us in many
things, for "by tempting us they work crowns for us," as Augustine says
(De Civ. Dei xi, 17). Therefore we ought to love the demons out of
On the contrary, It is written (Is. 28:18): "Your league with death
shall be abolished, and your covenant with hell shall not stand." Now the
perfection of a peace and covenant is through charity. Therefore we ought
not to have charity for the demons who live in hell and compass death.
I answer that, As stated above (Article ), in the sinner, we are bound, out
of charity, to love his nature, but to hate his sin. But the name of
demon is given to designate a nature deformed by sin, wherefore demons
should not be loved out of charity. Without however laying stress on the
word, the question as to whether the spirits called demons ought to be
loved out of charity, must be answered in accordance with the statement
made above (Articles ,3), that a thing may be loved out of charity in two
ways. First, a thing may be loved as the person who is the object of
friendship, and thus we cannot have the friendship of charity towards the
demons. For it is an essential part of friendship that one should be a
well-wisher towards one's friend; and it is impossible for us, out of
charity, to desire the good of everlasting life, to which charity is
referred, for those spirits whom God has condemned eternally, since this
would be in opposition to our charity towards God whereby we approve of
Secondly, we love a thing as being that which we desire to be enduring
as another's good. In this way we love irrational creatures out of
charity, in as much as we wish them to endure, to give glory to God and
be useful to man, as stated above (Article ): and in this way too we can love
the nature of the demons even out of charity, in as much as we desire
those spirits to endure, as to their natural gifts, unto God's glory.
Reply to Objection 1: The possession of everlasting happiness is not impossible
for the angelic mind as it is for the mind of a demon; consequently the
friendship of charity which is based on the fellowship of everlasting
life, rather than on the fellowship of nature, is possible towards the
angels, but not towards the demons.
Reply to Objection 2: In this life, men who are in sin retain the possibility of
obtaining everlasting happiness: not so those who are lost in hell, who,
in this respect, are in the same case as the demons.
Reply to Objection 3: That the demons are useful to us is due not to their
intention but to the ordering of Divine providence; hence this leads us
to be friends, not with them, but with God, Who turns their perverse
intention to our profit.
Article 12: Whether four things are rightly reckoned as to be loved out of charity, viz. God, our neighbor, our body and ourselves?
Objection 1: It would seem that these four things are not rightly reckoned as
to be loved out of charity, to wit: God, our neighbor, our body, and
ourselves. For, as Augustine states (Tract. super Joan. lxxxiii), "he
that loveth not God, loveth not himself." Hence love of oneself is
included in the love of God. Therefore love of oneself is not distinct
from the love of God.
Objection 2: Further, a part ought not to be condivided with the whole. But
our body is part of ourselves. Therefore it ought not to be condivided
with ourselves as a distinct object of love.
Objection 3: Further, just as a man has a body, so has his neighbor. Since
then the love with which a man loves his neighbor, is distinct from the
love with which a man loves himself, so the love with which a man loves
his neighbor's body, ought to be distinct from the love with which he
loves his own body. Therefore these four things are not rightly
distinguished as objects to be loved out of charity.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 23): "There are
four things to be loved; one which is above us," namely God, "another,
which is ourselves, a third which is nigh to us," namely our neighbor,
"and a fourth which is beneath us," namely our own body.
I answer that, As stated above (Question , Articles ,5), the friendship of
charity is based on the fellowship of happiness. Now, in this fellowship,
one thing is considered as the principle from which happiness flows,
namely God; a second is that which directly partakes of happiness, namely
men and angels; a third is a thing to which happiness comes by a kind of
overflow, namely the human body.
Now the source from which happiness flows is lovable by reason of its
being the cause of happiness: that which is a partaker of happiness, can
be an object of love for two reasons, either through being identified
with ourselves, or through being associated with us in partaking of
happiness, and in this respect, there are two things to be loved out of
charity, in as much as man loves both himself and his neighbor.
Reply to Objection 1: The different relations between a lover and the various
things loved make a different kind of lovableness. Accordingly, since the
relation between the human lover and God is different from his relation
to himself, these two are reckoned as distinct objects of love, for the
love of the one is the cause of the love of the other, so that the former
love being removed the latter is taken away.
Reply to Objection 2: The subject of charity is the rational mind that can be
capable of obtaining happiness, to which the body does not reach
directly, but only by a kind of overflow. Hence, by his reasonable mind
which holds the first place in him, man, out of charity, loves himself in
one way, and his own body in another.
Reply to Objection 3: Man loves his neighbor, both as to his soul and as to his
body, by reason of a certain fellowship in happiness. Wherefore, on the
part of his neighbor, there is only one reason for loving him; and our
neighbor's body is not reckoned as a special object of love.