St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province


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Deinde considerandum est de inani gloria. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quinque.    We must now consider vainglory: under which head there are five points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum appetitus gloriae sit peccatum.     (1) Whether desire of glory is a sin?
Secundo, utrum inanis gloria magnanimitati opponatur.     (2) Whether it is opposed to magnanimity?
Tertio, utrum sit peccatum mortale.     (3) Whether it is a mortal sin?
Quarto, utrum sit vitium capitale.     (4) Whether it is a capital vice?
Quinto, de filiabus eius.     (5) Of its daughters.


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Question: 132  [<< | >>]
Article: 1  [<< | >>]

Whether the desire of glory is a sin?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod appetitus gloriae non sit peccatum. Nullus enim peccat in hoc quod Deo assimilatur, quinimmo mandatur, Ephes. V, estote imitatores Dei, sicut filii carissimi. Sed in hoc quod homo quaerit gloriam, videtur Deum imitari, qui ab hominibus gloriam quaerit, unde dicitur Isaiae XLIII, omnem qui invocat nomen meum, in gloriam meam creavi eum. Ergo appetitus gloriae non est peccatum.   Objection 1: It seems that the desire of glory is not a sin. For no one sins in being likened to God: in fact we are commanded (Eph. 5:1): "Be ye . . . followers of God, as most dear children." Now by seeking glory man seems to imitate God, Who seeks glory from men: wherefore it is written (Is. 43:6,7): "Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth. And every one that calleth on My name, I have created him for My glory." Therefore the desire for glory is not a sin.
Praeterea, illud per quod aliquis provocatur ad bonum, non videtur esse peccatum. Sed per appetitum gloriae homines provocantur ad bonum, dicit enim Tullius, in libro de Tusculan. quaest., quod omnes ad studia impelluntur gloria. In sacra etiam Scriptura promittitur gloria pro bonis operibus, secundum illud Rom. II, his qui sunt secundum patientiam boni operis, gloriam et honorem. Ergo appetitus gloriae non est peccatum.   Objection 2: Further, that which incites a mar to do good is apparently not a sin. Now the desire of glory incites men to do good. For Tully says (De Tusc. Quaest. i) that "glory inflames every man to strive his utmost": and in Holy Writ glory is promised for good works, according to Rm. 2:7: "To them, indeed, who according to patience in good work . . . glory and honor" [*Vulg.: 'Who will render to every man according to his works, to them indeed who . . . seek glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life.']. Therefore the desire for glory is not a sin.
Praeterea, Tullius dicit, in sua rhetorica, quod gloria est frequens de aliquo fama cum laude, et ad idem pertinet quod Ambrosius dicit, quod gloria est clara cum laude notitia. Sed appetere laudabilem famam non est peccatum, quinimmo videtur esse laudabile, secundum illud Eccli. XLI, curam habe de bono nomine; et ad Rom. XII, providentes bona non solum coram Deo, sed etiam coram omnibus hominibus. Ergo appetitus inanis gloriae non est peccatum.   Objection 3: Further, Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that glory is "consistent good report about a person, together with praise": and this comes to the same as what Augustine says (Contra Maximin. iii), viz. that glory is, "as it were, clear knowledge with praise." Now it is no sin to desire praiseworthy renown: indeed, it seems itself to call for praise, according to Ecclus. 41:15, "Take care of a good name," and Rm. 12:17, "Providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men." Therefore the desire of vainglory is not a sin.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, V de Civ. Dei, sanius videt qui et amorem laudis vitium esse cognoscit.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v): "He is better advised who acknowledges that even the love of praise is sinful."
Respondeo dicendum quod gloria claritatem quandam significat, unde glorificari idem est quod clarificari, ut Augustinus dicit, super Ioan. Claritas autem et decorem quendam habet, et manifestationem. Et ideo nomen gloriae proprie importat manifestationem alicuius de hoc quod apud homines decorum videtur, sive illud sit bonum aliquod corporale, sive spirituale. Quia vero illud quod simpliciter clarum est, a multis conspici potest et a remotis, ideo proprie per nomen gloriae designatur quod bonum alicuius deveniat in multorum notitiam et approbationem, secundum quem modum dicitur in Tito Livio, gloriari ad unum non est.   I answer that, Glory signifies a certain clarity, wherefore Augustine says (Tract. lxxxii, c, cxiv in Joan.) that to be "glorified is the same as to be clarified." Now clarity and comeliness imply a certain display: wherefore the word glory properly denotes the display of something as regards its seeming comely in the sight of men, whether it be a bodily or a spiritual good. Since, however, that which is clear simply can be seen by many, and by those who are far away, it follows that the word glory properly denotes that somebody's good is known and approved by many, according to the saying of Sallust (Catilin.) [*The quotation is from Livy: Hist., Lib. XXII C, 39]: "I must not boast while I am addressing one man."
Largius tamen accepto nomine gloriae, non solum consistit in multitudinis cognitione, sed etiam paucorum vel unius, aut sui solius, dum scilicet aliquis proprium bonum considerat ut dignum laude. Quod autem aliquis bonum suum cognoscat et approbet, non est peccatum, dicitur enim I ad Cor. II, nos autem non spiritum huius mundi accepimus, sed spiritum qui ex Deo est, ut sciamus quae a Deo donata sunt nobis. Similiter etiam non est peccatum quod aliquis velit bona sua ab aliis approbari, dicitur enim Matth. V, luceat lux vestra coram hominibus. Et ideo appetitus gloriae de se non nominat aliquid vitiosum. Sed appetitus inanis vel vanae gloriae vitium importat, nam quidlibet vanum appetere vitiosum est, secundum illud Psalmi, ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et quaeritis mendacium?    But if we take the word glory in a broader sense, it not only consists in the knowledge of many, but also in the knowledge of few, or of one, or of oneself alone, as when one considers one's own good as being worthy of praise. Now it is not a sin to know and approve one's own good: for it is written (1 Cor. 2:12): "Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God that we may know the things that are given us from God." Likewise it is not a sin to be willing to approve one's own good works: for it is written (Mt. 5:16): "Let your light shine before men." Hence the desire for glory does not, of itself, denote a sin: but the desire for empty or vain glory denotes a sin: for it is sinful to desire anything vain, according to Ps. 4:3, "Why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?"
Potest autem gloria dici vana, uno modo, ex parte rei de qua quis gloriam quaerit, puta cum quis quaerit gloriam de eo quod non est, vel de eo quod non est gloria dignum, sicut de aliqua re fragili et caduca. Alio modo, ex parte eius a quo quis gloriam quaerit, puta hominis, cuius iudicium non est certum. Tertio modo, ex parte ipsius qui gloriam appetit, qui videlicet appetitum gloriae suae non refert in debitum finem, puta ad honorem Dei vel proximi salutem.    Now glory may be called vain in three ways. First, on the part of the thing for which one seeks glory: as when a man seeks glory for that which is unworthy of glory, for instance when he seeks it for something frail and perishable: secondly, on the part of him from whom he seeks glory, for instance a man whose judgment is uncertain: thirdly, on the part of the man himself who seeks glory, for that he does not refer the desire of his own glory to a due end, such as God's honor, or the spiritual welfare of his neighbor.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut dicit Augustinus, super illud Ioan. XIII, vos vocatis me, magister et domine, et bene dicitis, periculosum est sibi placere cui cavendum est superbire. Ille autem qui super omnia est, quantumcumque se laudet, non se extollit. Nobis namque expedit Deum nosse, non illi, nec eum quisque cognoscit, si non se indicet ipse qui novit. Unde patet quod Deus suam gloriam non quaerit propter se, sed propter nos. Et similiter etiam homo laudabiliter potest ad aliorum utilitatem gloriam suam appetere, secundum illud Matth. V, videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent patrem vestrum qui in caelis est.   Reply to Objection 1: As Augustine says on Jn. 13:13, "You call Me Master and Lord; and you say well" (Tract. lviii in Joan.): "Self-complacency is fraught with danger of one who has to beware of pride. But He Who is above all, however much He may praise Himself, does not uplift Himself. For knowledge of God is our need, not His: nor does any man know Him unless he be taught of Him Who knows." It is therefore evident that God seeks glory, not for His own sake, but for ours. In like manner a man may rightly seek his own glory for the good of others, according to Mt. 5:16, "That they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."
Ad secundum dicendum quod gloria quae habetur a Deo, non est gloria vana, sed vera. Et talis gloria bonis operibus in praemium repromittitur. De qua dicitur, II ad Cor. X, qui gloriatur, in domino glorietur, non enim qui seipsum commendat, ille probatus est; sed quem Deus commendat. Provocantur etiam aliqui ad virtutum opera ex appetitu gloriae humanae, sicut etiam ex appetitu aliorum terrenorum bonorum, non tamen est vere virtuosus qui propter humanam gloriam opera virtutis operatur, ut Augustinus probat, in V de Civ. Dei.   Reply to Objection 2: That which we receive from God is not vain but true glory: it is this glory that is promised as a reward for good works, and of which it is written (2 Cor. 10:17,18): "He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord, for not he who commendeth himself is approved, but he whom God commendeth." It is true that some are heartened to do works of virtue, through desire for human glory, as also through the desire for other earthly goods. Yet he is not truly virtuous who does virtuous deeds for the sake of human glory, as Augustine proves (De Civ. Dei v).
Ad tertium dicendum quod ad perfectionem hominis pertinet quod ipse cognoscat, sed quod ipse ab aliis cognoscatur non pertinet ad eius perfectionem, et ideo non est per se appetendum. Potest tamen appeti inquantum est utile ad aliquid, vel ad hoc quod Deus ab hominibus glorificetur; vel ad hoc quod homines proficiant ex bono quod in alio cognoscunt; vel ex hoc quod ipse homo ex bonis quae in se cognoscit per testimonium laudis alienae studeat in eis perseverare et ad meliora proficere. Et secundum hoc laudabile est quod curam habeat aliquis de bono nomine, et quod provideat bona coram hominibus, non tamen quod in hominum laude inaniter delectetur.   Reply to Objection 3: It is requisite for man's perfection that he should know himself; but not that he should be known by others, wherefore it is not to be desired in itself. It may, however, be desired as being useful for something, either in order that God may be glorified by men, or that men may become better by reason of the good they know to be in another man, or in order that man, knowing by the testimony of others' praise the good which is in him, may himself strive to persevere therein and to become better. In this sense it is praiseworthy that a man should "take care of his good name," and that he should "provide good things in the sight of God and men": but not that he should take an empty pleasure in human praise.


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Question: 132  [<< | >>]
Article: 2  [<< | >>]

Whether vainglory is opposed to magnanimity?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inanis gloria magnanimitati non opponatur. Pertinet enim ad inanem gloriam, ut dictum est, quod aliquis glorietur in his quae non sunt, quod pertinet ad falsitatem; vel in rebus terrenis vel caducis, quod pertinet ad cupiditatem; vel in testimonio hominum, quorum iudicium non est certum, quod pertinet ad imprudentiam. Huiusmodi autem vitia non opponuntur magnanimitati. Ergo inanis gloria non opponitur magnanimitati.   Objection 1: It seems that vainglory is not opposed to magnanimity. For, as stated above (Article [1]), vainglory consists in glorying in things that are not, which pertains to falsehood; or in earthly and perishable things, which pertains to covetousness; or in the testimony of men, whose judgment is uncertain, which pertains to imprudence. Now these vices are not contrary to magnanimity. Therefore vainglory is not opposed to magnanimity.
Praeterea, inanis gloria non opponitur magnanimitati per defectum, sicut pusillanimitas, quae inani gloriae repugnans videtur. Similiter etiam nec per excessum, sic enim opponitur magnanimitati praesumptio et ambitio, ut dictum est, a quibus inanis gloria differt. Ergo inanis gloria non opponitur magnanimitati.   Objection 2: Further, vainglory is not, like pusillanimity, opposed to magnanimity by way of deficiency, for this seems inconsistent with vainglory. Nor is it opposed to it by way of excess, for in this way presumption and ambition are opposed to magnanimity, as stated above (Question [130], Article [2]; Question [131], Article [2]): and these differ from vainglory. Therefore vainglory is not opposed to magnanimity.
Praeterea, Philipp. II, super illud, nihil per contentionem aut inanem gloriam, dicit Glossa, erant aliqui inter eos dissentientes, inquieti, inanis gloriae causa contendentes. Contentio autem non opponitur magnanimitati. Ergo neque inanis gloria.   Objection 3: Further, a gloss on Phil. 2:3, "Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vainglory," says: "Some among them were given to dissension and restlessness, contending with one another for the sake of vainglory." But contention [*Cf. Question [38]] is not opposed to magnanimity. Neither therefore is vainglory.
Sed contra est quod Tullius dicit, in I de Offic., cavenda est gloriae cupiditas, eripit enim animi libertatem, pro qua magnanimis viris omnis debet esse contentio. Ergo opponitur magnanimitati.   On the contrary, Tully says (De Offic. i) under the heading, "Magnanimity consists in two things: We should beware of the desire for glory, since it enslaves the mind, which a magnanimous man should ever strive to keep untrammeled." Therefore it is opposed to magnanimity.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, gloria est quidam effectus honoris et laudis, ex hoc enim quod aliquis laudatur, vel quaecumque reverentia ei exhibetur, redditur clarus in notitia aliorum. Et quia magnanimitas est circa honorem, ut supra dictum est, consequens est etiam ut sit circa gloriam, ut scilicet sicut moderate utitur honore, ita moderate utatur gloria. Et ideo inordinatus appetitus gloriae directe magnanimitati opponitur.   I answer that, As stated above (Question [103], Article [1], ad 3), glory is an effect of honor and praise: because from the fact that a man is praised, or shown any kind of reverence, he acquires charity in the knowledge of others. And since magnanimity is about honor, as stated above (Question [129], Articles [1],2), it follows that it also is about glory: seeing that as a man uses honor moderately, so too does he use glory in moderation. Wherefore inordinate desire of glory is directly opposed to magnanimity.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hoc ipsum magnitudini animi repugnat, quod aliquis res modicas tantum appretietur quod de eis glorietur, unde in IV Ethic. dicitur de magnanimo quod sibi sit honor parvum. Similiter etiam et alia quae propter honorem quaeruntur, puta potentatus et divitiae, parva reputantur ab eo. Similiter etiam magnitudini animi repugnat quod aliquis de his quae non sunt glorietur. Unde de magnanimo dicitur in IV Ethic., quod magis curat veritatem quam opinionem. Similiter etiam et magnitudini animi repugnat quod aliquis glorietur in testimonio laudis humanae, quasi hoc magnum aliquid aestimetur. Unde de magnanimo dicitur in IV Ethic., quod non est ei cura ut laudetur. Et sic ea quae aliis virtutibus opponuntur nihil prohibet opponi magnanimitati, secundum quod habent pro magnis quae parva sunt.   Reply to Objection 1: To think so much of little things as to glory in them is itself opposed to magnanimity. Wherefore it is said of the magnanimous man (Ethic. iv) that honor is of little account to him. In like manner he thinks little of other things that are sought for honor's sake, such as power and wealth. Likewise it is inconsistent with magnanimity to glory in things that are not; wherefore it is said of the magnanimous man (Ethic. iv) that he cares more for truth than for opinion. Again it is incompatible with magnanimity for a man to glory in the testimony of human praise, as though he deemed this something great; wherefore it is said of the magnanimous man (Ethic. iv), that he cares not to be praised. And so, when a man looks upon little things as though they were great, nothing hinders this from being contrary to magnanimity, as well as to other virtues.
Ad secundum dicendum quod inanis gloriae cupidus, secundum rei veritatem, deficit a magnanimo, quia videlicet gloriatur in his quae magnanimus parva aestimat, ut dictum est. Sed considerando aestimationem eius, opponitur magnanimo per excessum, quia videlicet gloriam quam appetit, reputat aliquid magnum, et ad eam tendit supra suam dignitatem.   Reply to Objection 2: He that is desirous of vainglory does in truth fall short of being magnanimous, because he glories in what the magnanimous man thinks little of, as stated in the preceding Reply. But if we consider his estimate, he is opposed to the magnanimous man by way of excess, because the glory which he seeks is something great in his estimation, and he tends thereto in excess of his deserts.
44387] II-IIae, q. 132 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, oppositio vitiorum non attenditur secundum effectum. Et tamen hoc ipsum magnitudini animi opponitur, quod aliquis contentionem intendat, nullus enim contendit nisi pro re quam aestimat magnam. Unde philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., quod magnanimus non est contentiosus, qui nihil aestimat magnum.   Reply to Objection 3: As stated above (Question [127], Article [2], ad 2), the opposition of vices does not depend on their effects. Nevertheless contention, if done intentionally, is opposed to magnanimity: since no one contends save for what he deems great. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) that the magnanimous man is not contentious, because nothing is great in his estimation.


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Whether vainglory is a mortal sin?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod inanis gloria sit peccatum mortale. Nihil enim excludit mercedem aeternam nisi peccatum mortale. Sed inanis gloria excludit mercedem aeternam, dicitur enim Matth. VI, attendite ne iustitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus, ut videamini ab eis. Ergo inanis gloria est peccatum mortale.   Objection 1: It seems that vainglory is a mortal sin. For nothing precludes the eternal reward except a mortal sin. Now vainglory precludes the eternal reward: for it is written (Mt. 6:1): "Take heed, that you do not give justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father Who is in heaven." Therefore vainglory is a mortal sin.
Praeterea, quicumque subripit sibi quod est Dei proprium, mortaliter peccat. Sed per appetitum inanis gloriae aliquis sibi attribuit quod est proprium Dei, dicitur enim Isaiae XLII, gloriam meam alteri non dabo; et I ad Tim. I, soli Deo honor et gloria. Ergo inanis gloria est peccatum mortale.   Objection 2: Further, whoever appropriates to himself that which is proper to God, sins mortally. Now by desiring vainglory, a man appropriates to himself that which is proper to God. For it is written (Is. 42:8): "I will not give My glory to another," and (1 Tim. 1:17): "To . . . the only God be honor and glory." Therefore vainglory is a mortal sin.
Praeterea, illud peccatum quod est maxime periculosum et nocivum, videtur esse mortale. Sed peccatum inanis gloriae est huiusmodi, quia super illud I ad Thess. II, Deo qui probat corda nostra, dicit Glossa Augustini, quas vires nocendi habeat humanae gloriae amor, non sentit nisi qui ei bellum indixerit, quia etsi cuiquam facile est laudem non cupere dum negatur, difficile tamen est ea non delectari cum offertur. Chrysostomus etiam dicit, Matth. VI, quod inanis gloria occulte ingreditur, et omnia quae intus sunt insensibiliter aufert. Ergo inanis gloria est peccatum mortale.   Objection 3: Further, apparently a sin is mortal if it be most dangerous and harmful. Now vainglory is a sin of this kind, because a gloss of Augustine on 1 Thess. 2:4, "God, Who proveth our hearts," says: "Unless a man war against the love of human glory he does not perceive its baneful power, for though it be easy for anyone not to desire praise as long as one does not get it, it is difficult not to take pleasure in it, when it is given." Chrysostom also says (Hom. xix in Matth.) that "vainglory enters secretly, and robs us insensibly of all our inward possessions." Therefore vainglory is a mortal sin.
Sed contra est quod Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., quod cum cetera vitia locum habeant in servis Diaboli, inanis gloria locum habet etiam in servis Christi. In quibus tamen nullum est peccatum mortale. Ergo inanis gloria non est peccatum mortale.   On the contrary, Chrysostom says [*Hom. xiii in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] that "while other vices find their abode in the servants of the devil, vainglory finds a place even in the servants of Christ." Yet in the latter there is no mortal sin. Therefore vainglory is not a mortal sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ex hoc aliquod peccatum est mortale quod caritati contrariatur. Peccatum autem inanis gloriae, secundum se consideratum, non videtur contrariari caritati quantum ad dilectionem proximi. Quantum autem ad dilectionem Dei, potest contrariari caritati dupliciter. Uno modo, ratione materiae de qua quis gloriatur. Puta cum quis gloriatur de aliquo falso quod contrariatur divinae reverentiae, secundum illud Ezech. XXVIII, elevatum est cor tuum, et dixisti, Deus ego sum; et I ad Cor. IV, quid habes quod non accepisti? Si autem accepisti, quare gloriaris quasi non acceperis? Vel etiam cum quis bonum temporale de quo gloriatur, praefert Deo, quod prohibetur Ierem. IX, non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua, nec fortis in fortitudine sua, nec dives in divitiis suis, sed in hoc glorietur qui gloriatur, scire et nosse me. Aut etiam cum quis praefert testimonium hominum testimonio Dei, sicut contra quosdam dicitur Ioan. XII, qui dilexerunt magis gloriam hominum quam Dei.   I answer that, As stated above (Question [24], Article [12]; Question [110], Article [4]; Question [112], Article [2]), a sin is mortal through being contrary to charity. Now the sin of vainglory, considered in itself, does not seem to be contrary to charity as regards the love of one's neighbor: yet as regards the love of God it may be contrary to charity in two ways. In one way, by reason of the matter about which one glories: for instance when one glories in something false that is opposed to the reverence we owe God, according to Ezech. 28:2, "Thy heart is lifted up, and Thou hast said: I am God," and 1 Cor. 4:7, "What hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" Or again when a man prefers to God the temporal good in which he glories: for this is forbidden (Jer. 9:23,24): "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me." Or again when a man prefers the testimony of man to God's; thus it is written in reproval of certain people (Jn. 12:43): "For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God."
Alio modo, ex parte ipsius gloriantis, qui intentionem suam refert ad gloriam tanquam ad ultimum finem, ad quem scilicet ordinet etiam virtutis opera, et pro quo consequendo non praetermittat facere etiam ea quae sunt contra Deum. Et sic est peccatum mortale. Unde Augustinus dicit, in V de Civ. Dei, quod hoc vitium, scilicet amor humanae laudis, tam inimicum est piae fidei, si maior in corde sit cupiditas gloriae quam Dei timor vel amor, ut dominus diceret (Ioan. V), quomodo potestis credere, gloriam ab invicem expectantes, et gloriam quae a solo Deo est non quaerentes?    In another way vainglory may be contrary to charity, on the part of the one who glories, in that he refers his intention to glory as his last end: so that he directs even virtuous deeds thereto, and, in order to obtain it, forbears not from doing even that which is against God. In this way it is a mortal sin. Wherefore Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 14) that "this vice," namely the love of human praise, "is so hostile to a godly faith, if the heart desires glory more than it fears or loves God, that our Lord said (Jn. 5:44): How can you believe, who receive glory one from another, and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?"
Si autem amor humanae gloriae, quamvis sit inanis, non tamen repugnet caritati, neque quantum ad id de quo est gloria, neque quantum ad intentionem gloriam quaerentis, non est peccatum mortale, sed veniale.    If, however, the love of human glory, though it be vain, be not inconsistent with charity, neither as regards the matter gloried in, nor as to the intention of him that seeks glory, it is not a mortal but a venial sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nullus peccando meretur vitam aeternam. Unde opus virtuosum amittit vim merendi vitam aeternam si propter inanem gloriam fiat, etiam si illa inanis gloria non sit peccatum mortale. Sed quando aliquis simpliciter amittit aeternam mercedem propter inanem gloriam, et non solum quantum ad unum actum, tunc inanis gloria est peccatum mortale.   Reply to Objection 1: No man, by sinning, merits eternal life: wherefore a virtuous deed loses its power to merit eternal life, if it be done for the sake of vainglory, even though that vainglory be not a mortal sin. On the other hand when a man loses the eternal reward simply through vainglory, and not merely in respect of one act, vainglory is a mortal sin.
Ad secundum dicendum quod non omnis qui est inanis gloriae cupidus, appetit sibi illam excellentiam quae competit soli Deo. Alia enim est gloria quae debetur soli Deo, et alia quae debetur homini virtuoso vel diviti.   Reply to Objection 2: Not every man that is desirous of vainglory, desires the excellence which belongs to God alone. For the glory due to God alone differs from the glory due to a virtuous or rich man.
Ad tertium dicendum quod inanis gloria dicitur esse periculosum peccatum non tam propter gravitatem sui, quam etiam propter hoc quod est dispositio ad gravia peccata, inquantum scilicet per inanem gloriam redditur homo praesumptuosus et nimis de se ipso confidens. Et sic etiam paulatim disponit ad hoc quod homo privetur interioribus bonis.   Reply to Objection 3: Vainglory is stated to be a dangerous sin, not only on account of its gravity, but also because it is a disposition to grave sins, in so far as it renders man presumptuous and too self-confident: and so it gradually disposes a man to lose his inward goods.


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Question: 132  [<< | >>]
Article: 4  [<< | >>]

Whether vainglory is a capital vice?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inanis gloria non sit vitium capitale. Vitium enim quod semper ex altero oritur, non videtur esse capitale. Sed inanis gloria semper ex superbia nascitur. Ergo inanis gloria non est vitium capitale.   Objection 1: It seems that vainglory is not a capital vice. For a vice that always arises from another vice is seemingly not capital. But vainglory always arises from pride. Therefore vainglory is not a capital vice.
Praeterea, honor videtur esse aliquid principalius quam gloria, quae est eius effectus. Sed ambitio, quae est inordinatus appetitus honoris, non est vitium capitale. Ergo etiam neque appetitus inanis gloriae.   Objection 2: Further, honor would seem to take precedence of glory, for this is its effect. Now ambition which is inordinate desire of honor is not a capital vice. Neither therefore is the desire of vainglory.
Praeterea, vitium capitale habet aliquam principalitatem. Sed inanis gloria non videtur habere aliquam principalitatem, neque quantum ad rationem peccati, quia non semper est peccatum mortale; neque etiam quantum ad rationem boni appetibilis, quia gloria humana videtur esse quiddam fragile et extra hominem existens. Ergo inanis gloria non est vitium capitale.   Objection 3: Further, a capital vice has a certain prominence. But vainglory seems to have no prominence, neither as a sin, because it is not always a mortal sin, nor considered as an appetible good, since human glory is apparently a frail thing, and is something outside man himself. Therefore vainglory is not a capital vice.
Sed contra est quod Gregorius, XXXI Moral., numerat inanem gloriam inter septem vitia capitalia.   On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi) numbers vainglory among the seven capital vices.
Respondeo dicendum quod de vitiis capitalibus dupliciter aliqui loquuntur. Quidam enim ponunt superbiam unum de vitiis capitalibus. Et hi non ponunt inanem gloriam inter vitia capitalia. Gregorius autem, in XXXI Moral., superbiam ponit reginam omnium vitiorum, et inanem gloriam, quae immediate ab ipsa oritur, ponit vitium capitale. Et hoc rationabiliter. Superbia enim, ut infra dicetur, importat inordinatum appetitum excellentiae. Ex omni autem bono quod quis appetit, quandam perfectionem et excellentiam consequitur. Et ideo fines omnium vitiorum ordinantur in finem superbiae. Et propter hoc videtur quod habeat quandam generalem causalitatem super alia vitia, et non debeat computari inter specialia vitiorum principia, quae sunt vitia capitalia. Inter bona autem per quae excellentiam homo consequitur, praecipue ad hoc operari videtur gloria, inquantum importat manifestationem bonitatis alicuius, nam bonum naturaliter amatur et honoratur ab omnibus. Et ideo sicut per gloriam quae est apud Deum, consequitur homo excellentiam in rebus divinis; ita etiam per gloriam hominum consequitur homo excellentiam in rebus humanis. Et ideo, propter propinquitatem ad excellentiam, quam homines maxime desiderant, consequens est quod sit multum appetibilis, et quod ex eius inordinato appetitu multa vitia oriantur. Et ita inanis gloria est vitium capitale.   I answer that, The capital vices are enumerated in two ways. For some reckon pride as one of their number: and these do not place vainglory among the capital vices. Gregory, however (Moral. xxxi), reckons pride to be the queen of all the vices, and vainglory, which is the immediate offspring of pride, he reckons to be a capital vice: and not without reason. For pride, as we shall state farther on (Question [152], Articles [1],2), denotes inordinate desire of excellence. But whatever good one may desire, one desires a certain perfection and excellence therefrom: wherefore the end of every vice is directed to the end of pride, so that this vice seems to exercise a kind of causality over the other vices, and ought not to be reckoned among the special sources of vice, known as the capital vices. Now among the goods that are the means whereby man acquires honor, glory seems to be the most conducive to that effect, inasmuch as it denotes the manifestation of a man's goodness: since good is naturally loved and honored by all. Wherefore, just as by the glory which is in God's sight man acquires honor in Divine things, so too by the glory which is in the sight of man he acquires excellence in human things. Hence on account of its close connection with excellence, which men desire above all, it follows that it is most desirable. And since many vices arise from the inordinate desire thereof, it follows that vainglory is a capital vice.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod aliquod vitium oriri ex superbia non repugnat ei quod est esse vitium capitale, eo quod, sicut supra dictum est, superbia est regina et mater omnium vitiorum.   Reply to Objection 1: It is not impossible for a capital vice to arise from pride, since as stated above (in the body of the Article and FS, Question [84], Article [2]) pride is the queen and mother of all the vices.
Ad secundum dicendum quod laus et honor comparantur ad gloriam, ut supra dictum est, sicut causae ex quibus gloria sequitur. Unde gloria comparatur ad ea sicut finis, propter hoc enim aliquis amat honorari et laudari, inquantum per hoc aliquis aestimat se in aliorum notitia fore praeclarum.   Reply to Objection 2: Praise and honor, as stated above (Article [2]), stand in relation to glory as the causes from which it proceeds, so that glory is compared to them as their end. For the reason why a man loves to be honored and praised is that he thinks thereby to acquire a certain renown in the knowledge of others.
Ad tertium dicendum quod inanis gloria habet principalem rationem appetibilis, ratione iam dicta, et hoc sufficit ad rationem vitii capitalis. Non autem requiritur quod vitium capitale semper sit peccatum mortale, quia etiam ex veniali peccato potest mortale oriri, inquantum scilicet veniale disponit ad mortale.   Reply to Objection 3: Vainglory stands prominent under the aspect of desirability, for the reason given above, and this suffices for it to be reckoned a capital vice. Nor is it always necessary for a capital vice to be a mortal sin; for mortal sin can arise from venial sin, inasmuch as venial sin can dispose man thereto.


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Article: 5  [<< | >>]

Whether the daughters of vainglory are suitably reckoned to be disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy, contention, obstinacy, discord, and love of novelties?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter dicantur filiae inanis gloriae esse inobedientia, iactantia, hypocrisis, contentio, pertinacia, discordia, novitatum praesumptio. Iactantia enim, secundum Gregorium, XXIII Moral., ponitur inter species superbiae. Superbia autem non oritur ex inani gloria, sed potius e converso, ut Gregorius dicit, XXXI Moral. Ergo iactantia non debet poni filia inanis gloriae.   Objection 1: It seems that the daughters of vainglory are unsuitably reckoned to be "disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy, contention, obstinacy, discord, and eccentricity [*Praesumptio novitatum, literally 'presumption of novelties']." For according to Gregory (Moral. xxiii) boastfulness is numbered among the species of pride. Now pride does not arise from vainglory, rather is it the other way about, as Gregory says (Moral. xxxi). Therefore boastfulness should not be reckoned among the daughters of vainglory.
Praeterea, contentiones et discordiae videntur ex ira maxime provenire. Sed ira est capitale vitium inani gloriae condivisum. Ergo videtur quod non sint filiae inanis gloriae.   Objection 2: Further, contention and discord seem to be the outcome chiefly of anger. But anger is a capital vice condivided with vainglory. Therefore it seems that they are not the daughters of vainglory.
Praeterea, Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., quod ubique vana gloria malum est, sed maxime in philanthropia, idest in misericordia. Quae tamen non est aliquid novum, sed in consuetudine hominum existit. Ergo praesumptio novitatum non debet specialiter poni filia inanis gloriae.   Objection 3: Further, Chrysostom says (Hom. xix in Matth.) that vainglory is always evil, but especially in philanthropy, i.e. mercy. And yet this is nothing new, for it is an established custom among men. Therefore eccentricity should not be specially reckoned as a daughter of vainglory.
Sed contra est auctoritas Gregorii, in XXXI Moral., ubi praedictas filias inani gloriae assignat.   On the contrary, stands the authority of Gregory (Moral. xxxi), who there assigns the above daughters to vainglory.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, illa vitia quae de se nata sunt ordinari ad finem alicuius vitii capitalis, dicuntur filiae eius. Finis autem inanis gloriae est manifestatio propriae excellentiae, ut ex supra dictis patet. Ad quod potest homo tendere dupliciter. Uno modo, directe, sive per verba, et sic est iactantia; sive per facta, et sic, si sint vera, habentia aliquam admirationem, est praesumptio novitatum, quas homines solent magis admirari; si autem per ficta sit, sic est hypocrisis. Alio autem modo nititur aliquis manifestare suam excellentiam indirecte, ostendendo se non esse alio minorem. Et hoc quadrupliciter. Primo quidem, quantum ad intellectum, et sic est pertinacia, per quam homo nimis innititur suae sententiae, nolens credere sententiae meliori. Secundo, quantum ad voluntatem, et sic est discordia, dum non vult a propria voluntate discedere ut aliis concordet. Tertio, quantum ad locutionem, et sic est contentio, dum aliquis verbis clamose contra alium litigat. Quarto, quantum ad factum, et sic est inobedientia, dum scilicet aliquis non vult exequi superioris praeceptum.   I answer that, As stated above (Question [34], Article [5]; Question [35], Article [4]; FS, Question [84], Articles [3],4), the vices which by their very nature are such as to be directed to the end of a certain capital vice, are called its daughters. Now the end of vainglory is the manifestation of one's own excellence, as stated above (Articles [1],4): and to this end a man may tend in two ways. In one way directly, either by words, and this is boasting, or by deeds, and then if they be true and call for astonishment, it is love of novelties which men are wont to wonder at most; but if they be false, it is hypocrisy. In another way a man strives to make known his excellence by showing that he is not inferior to another, and this in four ways. First, as regards the intellect, and thus we have "obstinacy," by which a man is too much attached to his own opinion, being unwilling to believe one that is better. Secondly, as regards the will, and then we have "discord," whereby a man is unwilling to give up his own will, and agree with others. Thirdly, as regards "speech," and then we have "contention," whereby a man quarrels noisily with another. Fourthly as regards deeds, and this is "disobedience," whereby a man refuses to carry out the command of his superiors.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, iactantia ponitur species superbiae quantum ad interiorem causam eius, quae est arrogantia. Ipsa autem iactantia exterior. Ut dicitur in IV Ethic., ordinatur quandoque quidem ad lucrum, sed frequentius ad gloriam vel honorem. Et sic oritur ex inani gloria.   Reply to Objection 1: As stated above (Question [112], Article [1], ad 2), boasting is reckoned a kind of pride, as regards its interior cause, which is arrogance: but outward boasting, according to Ethic. iv, is directed sometimes to gain, but more often to glory and honor, and thus it is the result of vainglory.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ira non causat discordiam et contentionem nisi cum adiunctione inanis gloriae, per hoc scilicet quod aliquis sibi gloriosum reputat quod non cedat voluntati vel verbis aliorum.   Reply to Objection 2: Anger is not the cause of discord and contention, except in conjunction with vainglory, in that a man thinks it a glorious thing for him not to yield to the will and words of others.
Ad tertium dicendum quod inanis gloria vituperatur circa eleemosynam propter defectum caritatis, qui videtur esse in eo qui praefert inanem gloriam utilitati proximi, dum hoc propter illud facit. Non autem vituperatur aliquis ex hoc quod praesumat eleemosynam facere quasi aliquid novum.   Reply to Objection 3: Vainglory is reproved in connection with almsdeeds on account of the lack of charity apparent in one who prefers vainglory to the good of his neighbor, seeing that he does the latter for the sake of the former. But a man is not reproved for presuming to give alms as though this were something novel.

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