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capital sin to belong to that same kind of vice: because a
sin of one kind allows of sins even of a different kind being
directed to its end; seeing that it is one thing for a sin to
have daughters, and another for it to have species.

Reply Ohj. 2. These three are distinguished as stated in
the Article.

Reply Ohj. 3. These nine are reducible to the seven afore-
said. For Ijdng and false witnessing are comprised under
falsehood, since false witnessing is a special kind of lie, just
as theft is a special kind of fraud, wherefore it is comprised
under fraud ; and greed of filthy lucre belongs to restlessness ;
rapacity is comprised under violence, since it is a species
thereof; and inhumanity is the same as insensibility to
mercy.

* See Q. XXX. A. i.



Q. ii8. Art. 8 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " i6o

Reply Ohj. 4. The vices mentioned by Aristotle are species
rather than daughters of iUiberality or covet ousness. For
a man may be said to be iUiberal or covetous through a
defect in giving. If he gives but httle he is said to be sparing ;
if nothing, he is tight-fisted : if he gives with great reluctance,
he is said to be a Kv/jLLvo7rpLcrTr)^ (skinflint), a cummin-seller,
as it were, because he makes a great fuss about things
of little value. Sometimes a man is said to be illiberal or
covetous, through an excess in receiving, and this in two
ways. In one way, through making money by disgraceful
means, whether in performing shameful and servile works
by means of illiberal practices, or by acquiring more through
sinful deeds, such as whoredom or the like, or by making
a profit where one ought to have given gratis, as in the case
of usury, or by labouring much to make Httle profit. In
another way, in making money by unjust means, whether
by using violence on the living, as robbers do, or by
despoiUng the dead, or by preying on one's friends, as
gamblers do.

Reply Ohj. 5. Just as liberality is about moderate sums
of money, so is illiberality. Wherefore tyrants who take
great things by violence, are said to be, not illiberal, but
unjust.



QUESTION CXIX.

OF PRODIGALITY.

{In Three Articles.)

We must now consider prodigality, under which head there
are three points of inquiry: (i) Whether prodigahty is
opposite to covetousness ? (2) Whether prodigahty is a sin ?
(3) Whether it is a graver sin than covetousness ?

First Article,
whether prodigality is opposite to covetousness ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that prodigahty is not opposite to
covetousness. For opposites cannot be together in the same
subject. But some are at the same time prodigal and
covetous. Therefore prodigality is not opposite to covetous-
ness.

Ohj. 2. Further, Opposites relate to one same thing. But
covetousness, as opposed to liberality, relates to certain
passions whereby man is affected towards money: whereas
prodigahty does not seem to relate to any passions of the
soul, since it is not affected towards money, or to anything
else of the kind. Therefore prodigality is not opposite to
covetousness.

Ohj. 3. Further, Sin takes its species chiefly from its end,
as stated above (I.-II., Q. LXIL, A. 3). Now prodigality
seems always to be directed to some unlawful end, for the
sake of which the prodigal squanders his goods. Especially
is it directed to pleasures, wherefore it is stated (Luke xv. 13)
of the prodigal son that he wasted his substance living riot-
ously. Therefore it seems that prodigality is opposed to
temperance and insensibility rather than to covetousness
and liberality.

II. ii. 4. 161 II



Q. 119. Art. i THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 162

On the contrary, The Philosopher says [Ethic, ii. 7 : iv. i)
that prodigaHty is opposed to liberality, and iUiberaHty, to
which we give here the name of covetousness.

/ answer that, In morals vices are opposed to one another
and to virtue in respect of excess and deficiency. Now
covetousness and prodigality differ variously in respect of
excess and deficiency. Thus, as regards affection for riches,
the covetous man exceeds by loving them more than he
ought, while the prodigal is deficient, by being less careful
of them than he ought: and as regards external action,
prodigality implies excess in giving, but deficiency in re-
taining and acquiring, while covetousness, on the contrary,
denotes deficiency in giving, but excess in acquiring and
retaining. Hence it is evident that prodigality is opposed
to covetousness.

Refly Ohj. i. Nothing prevents opposites from being in
the same subject in different respects. For a thing is de-
nominated more from what is in it principally. Now just
as in liberality, which observes the mean, the principal thing
is giving, to which receiving and retaining are subordinate,
so,too, covetousness and prodigality regard principally giving.
Wherefore he who exceeds in giving is said to be prodigal,
while he who is deficient in giving is said to be covetous.
Now it happens sometimes that a man is deficient in giving,
without exceeding in receiving, as the Philosopher observes
[Ethic, iv. i). And in like manner it happens sometimes that
a man exceeds in giving, and therefore is prodigal, and yet
at the same time exceeds in receiving. This may be due
either to some kind of necessity, since while exceeding in
giving he is lacking in goods of his own, so that he is driven
to acquire unduly, and this pertains to covetousness; or it
may be due to inordinateness of the mind, for he gives not
for a good purpose, but, as though despising virtue, cares
not whence or how he receives Wherefore he is prodigal
and covetous in different respects.

Reply Ohj. 2. Prodigality regards passions in respect of
money, not as exceeding, but as deficient in them.

Reply Obj. 3. The prodigal does not always exceed in



i63 PRODIGALITY Q. 1 19. Art. 2

giving for the sake of pleasures which are the matter of
temperance, but sometimes through being so disposed as
not to care about riches, and sometimes on account of
something else. More frequently, however, he inclines to
intemperance, both because through spending too much
on other things he becomes fearless of spending on objects
of pleasure, to which the concupiscence of the flesh is more
prone; and because through taking no pleasure in virtuous
goods, he seeks for himself pleasures of the body. Hence
the Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. i) that many a prodigal ends
in becoming intemperate.

Second Article,
whether prodigality is a sin ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that prodigality is not a sin. For
the Apostle says (i Tim. vi. 10): Covetousness (Douay, —
Desire of money) is the root of all evils. But it is not the root
of prodigality, since this is opposed to it. Therefore prodi-
gality is not a sin.

Obj. 2. Further, The Apostle says (i Tim. vi. 17, 18):
Charge the rich of this world . . . to give easily, to communicate
to others. Now this is especially what prodigal persons do.
Therefore prodigality is not a sin.

Obj. 3. Further, It belongs to prodigality to exceed in
giving and to be deficient in solicitude about riches. But
this is most becoming to the perfect, who fulfil the words of
our Lord (Matth. vi. 34), Be not . . . solicitous for to-morrow,
and (Matth. xix. 21), Sell all (Vulg., — what) thou hast, and
give to the poor. Therefore prodigality is not a sin.

On the contrary, The prodigal son is held to blame for his
prodigality.

/ answer that, As stated above (A. i), the opposition
between prodigality and covetousness is one of excess and
deficiency; either of which destroys the mean of virtue.
Now a thing is vicious and sinful through corrupting the
good of virtue. Hence it follows that prodigality is a sin,



Q. 119. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 164

Reply Ohj. i. Some expound this saying of the Apostle
as referring, not to actual covetousness, but to a kind of
habitual covetousness, which is the concupiscence of the
fomes,^ whence all sins arise. Others say that he is speaking
of a general covetousness with regard to any kind of good :
and in this sense also it is evident that prodigality arises
from covetousness ; since the prodigal seeks to acquire some
temporal good inordinately, namely, to give pleasure to
others, or at least to satisfy his own will in giving. But
to one that reviews the passage correctly, it is evident that
the Apostle is speaking literally of the desire of riches, for
he had said previously [verse 9) : They that will become rich,
etc. In this sense covetousness is said to be the root of all
evils, not that all evils always arise from covetousness, but
because there is no evil that does not at some time arise from
covetousness. Wherefore prodigality sometimes is born of
covetousness, as when a man is prodigal in going to great
expense in order to curry favour with certain persons from
whom he may receive riches.

Reply Ohj. 2. The Apostle bids the rich to be ready to give
and communicate their riches, according as they ought.
The prodigal does not do this: since, as the Philosopher
remarks [Ethic, iv. i), his giving is neither good, nor for a good
end, nor according as it ought to he. For sometimes they give
much to those who ought to he poor, namely, to huffoons and
flatterers, whereas to the good they give nothing.

Reply Ohj. 3. The excess in prodigality consists chiefly,
not in the total amount given, but in the amount over and
above what ought to be given. Hence sometimes the liberal
man gives more than the prodigal man, if it be necessary.
Accordingly we must reply that those who give all their
possessions with the intention of following Christ, and banish
from their minds all solicitude for temporal things, are not
prodigal but uerfectly hberal.

* Cf. I.-II., Q. LXXXI. A. 3, ad 2.



i65 PRODIGALITY Q. 1 19- Art. 3



Third Article.

whether prodigality is a more grievous sin than

covetousness ?

We proceed thus to the Third Article : —

Objection i. It seems that prodigality is a more grievous
sin than covetousness. For by covetousness a man injures
his neighbour by not communicating his goods to him,
whereas by prodigaHty a man injures himself, because the
Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. i) that the corruption of riches,
which are the means whereby a man lives, is an undoing of his
very being. Now he that inj ures himself sins more grievously,
according to Ecclus. xiv. 5, He that is evil to himself, to whom
will he be good ? Therefore prodigality is a more grievous
sin than covetousness.

Obj. 2. Further, A disorder that is accompanied by a
laudable circumstance is less sinful. Now the disorder of
covetousness is sometimes accompanied by a laudable cir-
cumstance, as in the case of those who are unwilling to spend
their own, lest they be driven to accept from others : whereas
the disorder of prodigality is accompanied by a circumstance
that calls for blame, inasmuch as we ascribe prodigality
to those who are intemperate, as the Philosopher observes
[Ethic, iv. i) . Therefore prodigality is a more grievous sin
than covetousness.

Obj. 3. Further, Prudence is chief among the moral virtues,
as stated above (Q. LVL, A. a, ad a: I.-IL, Q. LXL, A. 2,
ad i). Now prodigality is more opposed to prudence than
covetousness is : for it is written (Prov. xxi. 20) : There is
a treasure to be desired, and oil in the dwelling of the just; and
the foolish man shall spend it : and the Philosopher says
[Ethic, iv. 6) that it is the mark of a fool to give too much and
receive nothing. Therefore prodigality is a more grievous
sin than covetousness.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. ibid.) that
the prodigal seems to be much better than the illiberal man.

I answer that. Prodigality considered in itself is a less



Q. 119. Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 166

grievous sin than covet ousness, and this for three reasons.
First, because covet ousness differs more from the opposite
virtue : since giving, wherein the prodigal exceeds, belongs
to liberality more than receiving or retaining, wherein the
covetous man exceeds. Secondly, because the prodigal man
is of use to the many to whom he gives, while the covetous
man is of use to no one, not even to himself, as stated in
Ethic, iv. (loc. cit.). Thirdly, because prodigality is easily
cured. For not only is the prodigal on the way to old age,
which is opposed to prodigality, but he is easily reduced to
a state of want, since much useless spending impoverishes
him and makes him unable to exceed in giving. Moreover,
prodigality is easily turned into virtue on account of its
likeness thereto. On the other hand, the covetous man is
not easily cured, for the reason given above (Q. CXVIII., A. 5,

Reply Ohj. i. The difference between the prodigal and
the covetous man is not that the former sins against himself
and the latter against another. For the prodigal sins
against himself by spending that which is his, and his means
of support, and against others by spending the wherewithal
to help others. This apphes chiefly to the clergy, who are the
dispensers of the Church's goods, that belong to the poor
whom they defraud by their prodigal expenditure. In like
manner the covetous man sins against others, by being
deficient in giving; and he sins against himself, through
deficiency in spending : wherefore it is written (Eccles. vi. 2) :
A man to whom God hath given riches . . . yet doth not give
him the power to eat thereof. Nevertheless the prodigal man
exceeds in this, that he injures both himself and others yet
so as to profit some; whereas the covetous man profits
neither others nor himself, since he does not even use his
own goods for his own profit.

Reply Ohj. z. In speaking of vices in general, we judge of
them according to their respective natures : thus, with regard
to prodigality we note that it consumes riches to excess, and
with regard to covetousness that it retains them to excess.
That one spend too much for the sake of intemperance



i67 PRODIGALITY Q. 1 19. art. 3

points already to several additional sins, wherefore the
prodigal of this kind is worse, as stated in Ethic, iv. i. That
an ilUberal or covetous man refrain from taking what belongs
to others, although this appears in itself to call for praise,
yet on account of the motive for which he does so it calls
for blame, since he is unwilling to accept from others lest
he be forced to give to others.

Reply Ohj. 3. All vices are opposed to prudence, even as
all virtues are directed by prudence : wherefore if a vice be
opposed to prudence alone, for this very reason it is deemed
less grievous.



QUESTION CXX.

OF "EPIKEIA" OR EQUITY.

[In Two Articles.)

We must now consider epikeia, under which head there are
two points of inquiry: (i) Whether epikeia is a virtue?
(2) Whether it is a part of justice ?

First Article,
whether " epikeia "^ is a virtue ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that epikeia is not a virtue. For
no virtue does away with another virtue. Yet epikeia does
away with another virtue, since it sets aside that which is
just according to law, and seemingly is opposed to severity.
Therefore epikeia is not a virtue.

Ohj. 2. Further, Augustine says [De vera Relig. xxxi.):
With regard to these earthly laws, although men pass judgement
on them when they make them, yet, when once they are made and
established, the judge must pronounce judgement not on them
but according to them. But seemingly epikeia pronounces
judgement on the law, when it deems that the law should not
be observed in some particular case. Therefore epikeia is
a vice rather than a virtue.

Obj. 3. Further, Apparently it belongs to epikeia to
consider the intention of the lawgiver, as the Philosopher
states {Ethic, v. 10). But it belongs to the sovereign alone
to interpret the intention of the lawgiver, wherefore the
Emperor says in the Codex of Laws and Constitutions, under
Law i. : It is fitting and lawful that We alone should interpret

* eTTLeLKeia.
168



i69 EQUITY Q. 120. Art. I

between equity and law. Therefore the act of epikeia is
unlawful : and consequently epikeia is not a virtue.

On the contrary, The Philosopher {Ethic, v. lo) states it to
be a virtue.

I answer that, As stated above (I. -II., Q. XCVL, A. 6),
when we were treating of laws, since human actions, with
which laws are concerned, are composed of contingent sin-
gulars and are innumerable in their diversity, it was not
possible to lay down rules of law that would apply to every
single case. Legislators in framing laws attend to what
commonly happens : although if the law be applied to certain
cases it will frustrate the equality of justice and be injurious
to the common good, which the law has in view. Thus the
law requires deposits to be restored, because in the majority
of cases this is just. Yet it happens sometimes to be
injurious — for instance, if a madman were to put his sword in
deposit, and demand its delivery while in a state of madness,
or if a man were to seek the return of his deposit in order to
fight against his country. In these and like cases it is bad
to follow the law, and it is good to set aside the letter of the
law and to follow the dictates of justice and the common
good. This is the object of epikeia which we call equity.
Therefore it is evident that epikeia is a virtue.

Reply Ohj. i. Epikeia does not set aside that which is
just in itself but that which is just as by law established.
Nor is it opposed to severity, which follows the letter of the
law when it ought to be followed. To follow the letter of the
law when it ought not to be followed is sinful. Hence it is
written in the Codex of Laws and Constitutions under Law v. :
Without doubt he transgresses the law who by adhering to the
letter of the law strives to defeat the intention of the lawgiver.

Reply Obj. 2. It would be passing judgement on a law to
say that it was not well made ; but to say that the letter of
the law is not to be observed in some particular case is
passing judgement not on the law, but on some particular
contingency.

Reply Obj. 3. Interpretation is admissible in doubtful
cases where it is not allowed to set aside the letter of the law



Q. 120. Art 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 170

without the interpretation of the sovereign. But when the
case is manifest there is need, not of interpretation, but of
execution.

Second Article.

WHETHER ''EPIKEIA" IS A PART OF JUSTICE ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that epikeia is not a part of justice.
For, as stated above (Q. LVIII., A. 7), justice is twofold,
particular and legal. Now epikeia is not a part of par-
ticular justice, since it extends to all virtues, even as legal
justice does. In like manner, neither is it a part of legal
justice, since its operation is beside that which is established
by law. Therefore it seems that epikeia is not a part of
justice.

Ohj. 2. Further, A more principal virtue is not assigned
as the part of a less principal virtue : for it is to the cardinal
virtue, as being principal, that secondary virtues are as-
signed as parts. Now epikeia seems to be a more principal
virtue than justice, as implied by its name: for it is derived
from eVt, i.e. above, and BUaiov, i.e. just. Therefore epikeia
is not a part of justice.

Obj. 3. Further, It seems that epikeia is the same as
modesty. For where the Apostle says (Phil. iv. 5), Let
your modesty be known to all men the Greek has eTneUeia.*'
Now, according to Tully {De Inv. Rhet. ii.), modesty is a part
of temperance. Therefore epikeia is not a part of justice.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says {Ethic, v. 10) that
epikeia is a kind of justice.

I answer that. As stated above (Q. XL VIII.), a virtue has
three kinds of parts, subjective, integral, and potential.
A subjective part is one of which the whole is predicated
essentially, and it is less than the whole. This may happen
in two ways. For sometimes one thing is predicated of
many in one common ratio, as animal of horse and ox : and
sometimes one thing is predicated of many according to
priority and posteriority, as being of substance and accident.



171 EQUITY Q. 120. Art. 2

Accordingly, epikeia is a part of justice taken in a general
sense, for it is a kind of justice, as the Philosopher states
[Ethic. V. 10). Wherefore it is evident that epikeia is a sub-
jective part of justice; and justice is predicated of it with
priority to being predicated of legal justice, since legal justice
is subject to the direction of epikeia. Hence epikeia is by
way of being a higher rule of human actions.

Reply Ohj. i. Epikeia corresponds properly to legal justice,
and in one way is contained under it, and in another way
exceeds it. For if legal justice denotes that which complies
with the law, whether as regards the letter of the law, or as
regards the intention of the lawgiver, which is of more
account, then epikeia is the more important part of legal
justice. But if legal justice denote merely that which com-
plies with the law with regard to the letter, then epikeia is a
part not of legal justice but of justice in its general accepta-
tion, and is condivided with legal justice, as exceeding it.

Reply Ohj. z. As the Philosopher states {Ethic, v. 10),
epikeia is better than a certain, namely, legal, justice, which
observes the letter of the law : yet since it is itself a kind of
justice, it is not better than all justice.

Reply Ohj. 3. It belongs to epikeia to moderate something,
namely, the observance of the letter of the law. But
modesty, which is reckoned a part of temperance, moderates
man's outward life — for instance, in his deportment, dress,
or the like. Possibly also the term iirieiKeta is applied in
Greek by a similitude to all kinds of moderation.



QUESTION CXXL

OF PIETY.

{In Two Ay tides.)

We must now consider the gift that corresponds to justice;
namely, piety. Under this head there are two points of
inquiry : (i) Whether it is a gift of the Holy Ghost ?
(2) Which of the beatitudes and fruits corresponds to it ?

First Article,
whether piety is a gift ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that piety is not a gift. For the gifts
differ from the virtues, as stated above (I. -II., Q. LXVIIL,
A. i). But piety is a virtue, as stated above (Q. CI., A. 3).
Therefore piety is not a gift.

Ohj. 2. Further, The gifts are more excellent than the
virtues, above all the moral virtues, as stated above (Q.
LXVIIL, A. 8). Now among the parts of justice re-
ligion is greater than piety. Therefore if any part of justice
is to be accounted a gift, it seems that religion should be a
gift rather than piety.

Ohj. 3. Further, The gifts and their acts remain in heaven,
as stated above (I.-IL, Q. LXVIIL, A. 6). But the act of
piety cannot remain in heaven : for Gregory says {Moral, i.)
that piety fills the inmost recesses of the heart with works of
mercy: and so there will be no piety in heaven since there will
be no unhappiness.* Therefore piety is not a gift.

On the contrary, It is reckoned among the gifts in the
eleventh chapter of Isaias {verse 2: Douay, — godliness). '\

* Cf. Q. XXX. A. I. t Cf. Q. LIT A. 4. footnote.

172



173 PIETY Q. 1 2 1. Art T

I answer that, As stated above (I. -II., Q. LXVIII., A. i:
Q. LXIX., AA. I, 3), the gifts of the Holy Ghost are habitual
dispositions of the soul, rendering it amenable to the motion
of the Holy Ghost. Now the Holy Ghost moves us to this
effect among others, of having a filial affection towards God,
according to Rom. viii. 15, You have received the spirit of
adoption of sons, whereby we cry : Abba {Father). And since
it belongs properly to piety to pay duty and worship to one's
father, it follows that piety, whereby, at the Holy Ghost's
instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father,
is a gift of the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. i. The piety that pays duty and worship to
a father in the flesh is a virtue : but the piety that is a gift
pays this to God as Father.

Reply Obj. 2. To pay worship to God as Creator, as religion
does, is more excellent than to pay worship to one's father
in the flesh, as the piety that is a virtue does. But to pay
worship to God as Father is yet more excellent than to
pay worship to God as Creator and Lord. Wherefore religion
is greater than the virtue of piety : while the gift of piety is
greater than religion.

Reply Obj. 3. As by the virtue of piety man pays duty and
worship not only to his father in the flesh, but also to all
his kindred on account of their being related to his father,


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