Just as in one man there is one soul and one body, yet many members; even so the Catholic Church is one body, having many members. The soul that quickens this body is the Holy Spirit; and therefore in the Creed after confessing our belief in the Holy Spirit, we are bid to believe in the Holy Catholic Church.
Charity is not a potency of the soul, because if it were it would be natural. Nor is it a passion, because it is not in a sensitive potency in which are all passions. Nor is it a habit, because a habit is removed with difficulty; charity, however, is easily lost through one act of mortal sin. Therefore charity is not something created in the soul.
Just as in a physical body the operation of one member contributes to the good of the whole body, so it is in a spiritual body such as the Church. And since all the faithful are one body, the good of one member is communicated to another; everyone members, as the Apostle says, of one another [Eph 4:25]. For that reason, among the points of faith handed down by the Apostles, is that there is a community of goods in the Church, and this is expressed in the words Communion of Saints.
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The perfection of the effect demonstrates the perfection of the cause, for a greater power brings about a more perfect effect. But God is the most perfect agent. Therefore, things created by Him obtain perfection from Him. So, to detract from the perfection of creatures is to detract from the perfection of divine power.
It would seem that the ingratitude, whereby a subsequent sin causes the return of sins previously forgiven, is a special sin. For, the giving of thanks belongs to counter passion, which is a necessary condition of justice. But justice is a special virtue. Therefore this ingratitude is a special sin. Thanksgiving is a special virtue. But ingratitude is opposed to thanksgiving. Therefore ingratitude is a special sin.
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Even as in the blessed in heaven there will be most perfect charity, so in the damned there will be the most perfect hate. Wherefore as the saints will rejoice in all goods, so will the damned grieve for all goods. Consequently the sight of the happiness of the saints will give them very great pain.
It is altogether unlawful to kill oneself... Wherefore suicide is contrary to the inclination of nature, and to charity whereby every man should love himself... Life is God's gift to man, and is subject to His power, Who kills and makes to live. Hence whoever takes his own life, sins against God... for it belongs to God alone to pronounce sentence of death and life.
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The Sacrament of the Body of the Lord puts the demons to flight, defends us against the incentives to vice and to concupiscence, cleanses the soul from sin, quiets the anger of God, enlightens the understanding to know God, inflames the will and the affections with the love of God, fills the memory with spiritual sweetness, confirms the entire man in good, frees us from eternal death, multiplies the merits of a good life, leads us to our everlasting home, and re-animates the body to eternal life
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It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason... because man is directed to God as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: "The eye has not seen, O God... what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Is 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their... actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths about God which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation.
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Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion.
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God loves his creatures, and he loves each one the more, the more it shares his own goodness, which is the first and primary object of his love. Therefore he wants the desires of his rational creatures to be fulfilled because they share most perfectly of all creatures the goodness of god. And his will is an accomplisher of things because he is the cause of things by his will. So it belongs to the divine goodness to fulfill the desires of rational creatures which are put to him in prayer.
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One faith, St. Paul writes (Eph. 4:5). Hold most firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church ... We must hold this for certain, namely: that the faith of the people at the present day is one with the faith of the people in past centuries. Were this not true, then we would be in a different church than they were in and, literally, the Church would not be One.
Whatever a man has in superabundance is owed, of natural right, to the poor for their sustenance. So Ambrosius says, and it is also to be found in the Decretum Gratiani: The bread which you withhold belongs to the hungry: the clothing you shut away, to the naked: and the money you bury in the earth is the redemption and freedom of the penniless.
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Secondly, man sins against nature when he goes against his generic nature, that is to say, his animal nature. Now, it is evident that, in accord with natural order, the union of the sexes among animals is ordered towards conception. From this it follows that every sexual intercourse that cannot lead to conception is opposed to man's animal nature.
Natural inclinations are present in things from God, who moves all things. So it is impossible for the natural inclinations of a species to be toward evil in itself. But there is in all perfect animals a natural inclination toward carnal union. Therefore it is impossible for carnal union to be evil in itself.
What can be accomplished by a few principles is not effected by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle, which is nature, and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle, which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.
He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.
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If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.
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The greater the charity of the Saints in their heavenly home, the more they intercede for those who are still on their journey and the more they can help them by their prayers; the more they are united with God, the more effective those prayers are. This is in accordance with Divine order, which makes higher things react upon lower things, like the brightness of the sun filling the atmosphere.
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Pain itself can be pleasurable accidentally in so far as it is accompanied by wonder, as in stage-plays; or in so far as it recalls a beloved object to one's memory, and makes one feel one's love for the thing, whose absence gives us pain. Consequently, since love is pleasant, both pain and whatever else results from love, in so far as they remind us of our love, are pleasant.
It is on account neither of God's weakness nor ignorance that evil comes into the world, but rather it is due to the order of his wisdom and the greatness of his goodness that diverse grades of goodness occur in things, many of which would be lacking if no evil were permitted. Indeed, the good of patience would not exist without the evil of persecution; nor the good of preservation of life in a lion if not for the evil of the destruction of the animals on which it lives.
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