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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • Aquin.: SMT TP Prologue Para. 1/3 - THIRD PART (TP) OF THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA (QQ[1]-90)
      • Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE OTHER EFFECT OF THE SACRAMENTS, WHICH IS A CHARACTER (SIX ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE OTHER EFFECT OF THE SACRAMENTS, WHICH IS A CHARACTER (SIX ARTICLES)

We have now to consider the other effect of the sacraments, which is a
character: and concerning this there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether by the sacraments a character is produced in the soul?

(2) What is this character?

(3) Of whom is this character?

(4) What is its subject?

(5) Is it indelible?

(6) Whether every sacrament imprints a character?


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a sacrament imprints a character on the soul?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that a sacrament does not imprint a character on the
soul. For the word "character" seems to signify some kind of distinctive
sign. But Christ's members are distinguished from others by eternal
predestination, which does not imply anything in the predestined, but
only in God predestinating, as we have stated in the FP, Q[23], A[2]. For
it is written (2 Tim. 2:19): "The sure foundation of God standeth firm,
having this seal: The Lord knoweth who are His." Therefore the sacraments
do not imprint a character on the soul.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a character is a distinctive sign. Now a sign, as
Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. ii) "is that which conveys something
else to the mind, besides the species which it impresses on the senses."
But nothing in the soul can impress a species on the senses. Therefore it
seems that no character is imprinted on the soul by the sacraments.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, just as the believer is distinguished from the
unbeliever by the sacraments of the New Law, so was it under the Old Law.
But the sacraments of the Old Law did not imprint a character; whence
they are called "justices of the flesh" (Heb. 9:10) by the Apostle.
Therefore neither seemingly do the sacraments of the New Law.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Cor. 1:21,22): "He . . . that hath
anointed us is God; Who also hath sealed us, and given the pledge of the
spirit in our hearts." But a character means nothing else than a kind of
sealing. Therefore it seems that by the sacraments God imprints His
character on us.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As is clear from what has been already stated (Q[62],
A[5]) the sacraments of the New Law are ordained for a twofold purpose;
namely, for a remedy against sins; and for the perfecting of the soul in
things pertaining to the Divine worship according to the rite of the
Christian life. Now whenever anyone is deputed to some definite purpose
he is wont to receive some outward sign thereof; thus in olden times
soldiers who enlisted in the ranks used to be marked with certain
characters on the body, through being deputed to a bodily service. Since,
therefore, by the sacraments men are deputed to a spiritual service
pertaining to the worship of God, it follows that by their means the
faithful receive a certain spiritual character. Wherefore Augustine says
(Contra Parmen. ii): "If a deserter from the battle, through dread of the
mark of enlistment on his body, throws himself on the emperor's clemency,
and having besought and received mercy, return to the fight; is that
character renewed, when the man has been set free and reprimanded? is it
not rather acknowledged and approved? Are the Christian sacraments, by
any chance, of a nature less lasting than this bodily mark?"

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The faithful of Christ are destined to the reward of the
glory that is to come, by the seal of Divine Predestination. But they are
deputed to acts becoming the Church that is now, by a certain spiritual
seal that is set on them, and is called a character.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The character imprinted on the soul is a kind of sign in so
far as it is imprinted by a sensible sacrament: since we know that a
certain one has received the baptismal character, through his being
cleansed by the sensible water. Nevertheless from a kind of likeness,
anything that assimilates one thing to another, or discriminates one
thing from another, even though it be not sensible, can be called a
character or a seal; thus the Apostle calls Christ "the figure" or
{charakter} "of the substance of the Father" (Heb. 1:3).

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: As stated above (Q[62], A[6]) the sacraments of the Old Law
had not in themselves any spiritual power of producing a spiritual
effect. Consequently in those sacraments there was no need of a spiritual
character, and bodily circumcision sufficed, which the Apostle calls "a
seal" (Rm. 4:11).


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a character is a spiritual power?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that a character is not a spiritual power. For
"character" seems to be the same thing as "figure"; hence (Heb. 1:3),
where we read "figure of His substance, "for "figure" the Greek has
{charakter}. Now "figure" is in the fourth species of quality, and thus
differs from power which is in the second species. Therefore character is
not a spiritual power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. ii): "The Divine Beatitude
admits him that seeks happiness to a share in Itself, and grants this
share to him by conferring on him Its light as a kind of seal."
Consequently, it seems that a character is a kind of light. Now light
belongs rather to the third species of quality. Therefore a character is
not a power, since this seems to belong to the second species.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, character is defined by some thus: "A character is a
holy sign of the communion of faith and of the holy ordination conferred
by a hierarch." Now a sign is in the genus of "relation," not of "power."
Therefore a character is not a spiritual power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, a power is in the nature of a cause and principle
(Metaph. v). But a "sign" which is set down in the definition of a
character is rather in the nature of an effect. Therefore a character is
not a spiritual power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii): "There are three
things in the soul, power, habit, and passion." Now a character is not a
passion: since a passion passes quickly, whereas a character is
indelible, as will be made clear further on (A[5]). In like manner it is
not a habit: because no habit is indifferent to acting well or ill:
whereas a character is indifferent to either, since some use it well,
some ill. Now this cannot occur with a habit: because no one abuses a
habit of virtue, or uses well an evil habit. It remains, therefore, that
a character is a power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (A[1]), the sacraments of the New Law
produce a character, in so far as by them we are deputed to the worship
of God according to the rite of the Christian religion. Wherefore
Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. ii), after saying that God "by a kind of sign
grants a share of Himself to those that approach Him," adds "by making
them Godlike and communicators of Divine gifts." Now the worship of God
consists either in receiving Divine gifts, or in bestowing them on
others. And for both these purposes some power is needed; for to bestow
something on others, active power is necessary; and in order to receive,
we need a passive power. Consequently, a character signifies a certain
spiritual power ordained unto things pertaining to the Divine worship.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

But it must be observed that this spiritual power is instrumental: as we
have stated above (Q[62], A[4]) of the virtue which is in the sacraments.
For to have a sacramental character belongs to God's ministers: and a
minister is a kind of instrument, as the Philosopher says (Polit. i).
Consequently, just as the virtue which is in the sacraments is not of
itself in a genus, but is reducible to a genus, for the reason that it is
of a transitory and incomplete nature: so also a character is not
properly in a genus or species, but is reducible to the second species of
quality.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Configuration is a certain boundary of quantity. Wherefore,
properly speaking, it is only in corporeal things; and of spiritual
things is said metaphorically. Now that which decides the genus or
species of a thing must needs be predicated of it properly. Consequently,
a character cannot be in the fourth species of quality, although some
have held this to be the case.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The third species of quality contains only sensible
passions or sensible qualities. Now a character is not a sensible light.
Consequently, it is not in the third species of quality as some have
maintained.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The relation signified by the word "sign" must needs have
some foundation. Now the relation signified by this sign which is a
character, cannot be founded immediately on the essence of the soul:
because then it would belong to every soul naturally. Consequently, there
must be something in the soul on which such a relation is founded. And it
is in this that a character essentially consists. Therefore it need not
be in the genus "relation" as some have held.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: A character is in the nature of a sign in comparison to the
sensible sacrament by which it is imprinted. But considered in itself, it
is in the nature of a principle, in the way already explained.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the sacramental character is the character of Christ?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the sacramental character is not the character of
Christ. For it is written (Eph. 4:30): "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of
God, whereby you are sealed." But a character consists essentially in
some. thing that seals. Therefore the sacramental character should be
attributed to the Holy Ghost rather than to Christ.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a character has the nature of a sign. And it is a sign
of the grace that is conferred by the sacrament. Now grace is poured
forth into the soul by the whole Trinity; wherefore it is written (Ps.
83:12): "The Lord will give grace and glory." Therefore it seems that the
sacramental character should not be attributed specially to Christ.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a man is marked with a character that he may be
distinguishable from others. But the saints are distinguishable from
others by charity, which, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv), "alone
separates the children of the Kingdom from the children of perdition":
wherefore also the children of perdition are said to have "the character
of the beast" (Apoc. 13:16,17). But charity is not attributed to Christ,
but rather to the Holy Ghost according to Rm. 5:5: "The charity of God is
poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us"; or
even to the Father, according to 2 Cor. 13:13: "The grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ and the charity of God." Therefore it seems that the
sacramental character should not be attributed to Christ.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Some define character thus: "A character is a
distinctive mark printed in a man's rational soul by the eternal
Character, whereby the created trinity is sealed with the likeness of the
creating and re-creating Trinity, and distinguishing him from those who
are not so enlikened, according to the state of faith." But the eternal
Character is Christ Himself, according to Heb. 1:3: "Who being the
brightness of His glory and the figure," or character, "of His
substance." It seems, therefore, that the character should properly be
attributed to Christ.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As has been made clear above (A[1]), a character is
properly a kind of seal, whereby something is marked, as being ordained
to some particular end: thus a coin is marked for use in exchange of
goods, and soldiers are marked with a character as being deputed to
military service. Now the faithful are deputed to a twofold end. First
and principally to the enjoyment of glory. And for this purpose they are
marked with the seal of grace according to Ezech. 9:4: "Mark Thou upon
the foreheads of the men that sigh and mourn"; and Apoc. 7:3: "Hurt not
the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our
God in their foreheads."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] Body Para. 2/2

Secondly, each of the faithful is deputed to receive, or to bestow on
others, things pertaining to the worship of God. And this, properly
speaking, is the purpose of the sacramental character. Now the whole rite
of the Christian religion is derived from Christ's priesthood.
Consequently, it is clear that the sacramental character is specially the
character of Christ, to Whose character the faithful are likened by
reason of the sacramental characters, which are nothing else than certain
participations of Christ's Priesthood, flowing from Christ Himself.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The Apostle speaks there of that sealing by which a man is
assigned to future glory, and which is effected by grace. Now grace is
attributed to the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as it is through love that God
gives us something gratis, which is the very nature of grace: while the
Holy Ghost is love. Wherefore it is written (1 Cor. 12:4): "There are
diversities of graces, but the same Spirit."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The sacramental character is a thing as regards the
exterior sacrament, and a sacrament in regard to the ultimate effect.
Consequently, something can be attributed to a character in two ways.
First, if the character be considered as a sacrament: and thus it is a
sign of the invisible grace which is conferred in the sacrament.
Secondly, if it be considered as a character. And thus it is a sign
conferring on a man a likeness to some principal person in whom is vested
the authority over that to which he is assigned: thus soldiers who are
assigned to military service, are marked with their leader's sign, by
which they are, in a fashion, likened to him. And in this way those who
are deputed to the Christian worship, of which Christ is the author,
receive a character by which they are likened to Christ. Consequently,
properly speaking, this is Christ's character.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: A character distinguishes one from another, in relation to
some particular end, to which he, who receives the character is ordained:
as has been stated concerning the military character (A[1]) by which a
soldier of the king is distinguished from the enemy's soldier in relation
to the battle. In like manner the character of the faithful is that by
which the faithful of Christ are distinguished from the servants of the
devil, either in relation to eternal life, or in relation to the worship
of the Church that now is. Of these the former is the result of charity
and grace, as the objection runs; while the latter results from the
sacramental character. Wherefore the "character of the beast" may be
understood by opposition, to mean either the obstinate malice for which
some are assigned to eternal punishment, or the profession of an unlawful
form of worship.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the character be subjected in the powers of the soul?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the character is not subjected in the powers of the
soul. For a character is said to be a disposition to grace. But grace is
subjected in the essence of the soul as we have stated in the FS, Q[110],
A[4]. Therefore it seems that the character is in the essence of the soul
and not in the powers.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a power of the soul does not seem to be the subject of
anything save habit and disposition. But a character, as stated above
(A[2]), is neither habit nor disposition, but rather a power: the subject
of which is nothing else than the essence of the soul. Therefore it seems
that the character is not subjected in a power of the soul, but rather in
its essence.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the powers of the soul are divided into those of
knowledge and those of appetite. But it cannot be said that a character
is only in a cognitive power, nor, again, only in an appetitive power:
since it is neither ordained to knowledge only, nor to desire only.
Likewise, neither can it be said to be in both, because the same accident
cannot be in several subjects. Therefore it seems that a character is not
subjected in a power of the soul, but rather in the essence.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, A character, according to its definition given above
(A[3]), is imprinted in the rational soul "by way of an image." But the
image of the Trinity in the soul is seen in the powers. Therefore a
character is in the powers of the soul.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]), a character is a kind of seal by
which the soul is marked, so that it may receive, or bestow on others,
things pertaining to Divine worship. Now the Divine worship consists in
certain actions: and the powers of the soul are properly ordained to
actions, just as the essence is ordained to existence. Therefore a
character is subjected not in the essence of the soul, but in its power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The subject is ascribed to an. accident in respect of that
to which the accident disposes it proximately, but not in respect of that
to which it disposes it remotely or indirectly. Now a character disposes
the soul directly and proximately to the fulfilling of things pertaining
to Divine worship: and because such cannot be accomplished suitably
without the help of grace, since, according to Jn. 4:24, "they that
adore" God "must adore Him in spirit and in truth," consequently, the
Divine bounty bestows grace on those who receive the character, so that
they may accomplish worthily the service to which they are deputed.
Therefore the subject should be ascribed to a character in respect of
those actions that pertain to the Divine worship, rather than in respect
of grace.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The subject of the natural power, which flows from the
principles of the essence. Now a character is not a power of this kind.
but a spiritual power coming from without. Wherefore, just as the essence
of the soul, from which man has his natural life, is perfected by grace
from which the soul derives spiritual life; so the natural power of the
soul is perfected by a spiritual power, which is a character. For habit
and disposition belong to a power of the soul, since they are ordained to
actions of which the powers are the principles. And in like manner
whatever is ordained to action, should be attributed to a power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: As stated above, a character is ordained unto things
pertaining to the Divine worship; which is a protestation of faith
expressed by exterior signs. Consequently, a character needs to be in the
soul's cognitive power, where also is faith.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a character can be blotted out from the soul?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that a character can be blotted out from the soul.
Because the more perfect an accident is, the more firmly does it adhere
to its subject. But grace is more perfect than a character; because a
character is ordained unto grace as to a further end. Now grace is lost
through sin. Much more, therefore, is a character so lost.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, by a character a man is deputed to the Divine worship,
as stated above (AA[3],4). But some pass from the worship of God to a
contrary worship by apostasy from the faith. It seems, therefore, that
such lose the sacramental character.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, when the end ceases, the means to the end should cease
also: thus after the resurrection there will be no marriage, because
begetting will cease, which is the purpose of marriage. Now the exterior
worship to which a character is ordained, will not endure in heaven,
where there will be no shadows, but all will be truth without a veil.
Therefore the sacramental character does not last in the soul for ever:
and consequently it can be blotted out.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Parmen. ii): "The Christian
sacraments are not less lasting than the bodily mark" of military
service. But the character of military service is not repeated, but is
"recognized and approved" in the man who obtains the emperor's
forgiveness after offending him. Therefore neither can the sacramental
character be blotted out.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]), in a sacramental character
Christ's faithful have a share in His Priesthood; in the sense that as
Christ has the full power of a spiritual priesthood, so His faithful are
likened to Him by sharing a certain spiritual power with regard to the
sacraments and to things pertaining to the Divine worship. For this
reason it is unbecoming that Christ should have a character: but His
Priesthood is compared to a character, as that which is complete and
perfect is compared to some participation of itself. Now Christ's
Priesthood is eternal, according to Ps. 109:4: "Thou art a priest for
ever, according to the order of Melchisedech." Consequently, every
sanctification wrought by His Priesthood, is perpetual, enduring as long
as the thing sanctified endures. This is clear even in inanimate things;
for the consecration of a church or an altar lasts for ever unless they
be destroyed. Since, therefore, the subject of a character is the soul as
to its intellective part, where faith resides, as stated above (A[4], ad
3); it is clear that, the intellect being perpetual and incorruptible, a
character cannot be blotted out from the soul.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Both grace and character are in the soul, but in different
ways. For grace is in the soul, as a form having complete existence
therein: whereas a character is in the soul, as an instrumental power, as
stated above (A[2]). Now a complete form is in its subject according to
the condition of the subject. And since the soul as long as it is a
wayfarer is changeable in respect of the free-will, it results that grace
is in the soul in a changeable manner. But an instrumental power follows
rather the condition of the principal agent: and consequently a character
exists in the soul in an indelible manner, not from any perfection of its
own, but from the perfection of Christ's Priesthood, from which the
character flows like an instrumental power.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As Augustine says (Contra Parmen. ii), "even apostates are
not deprived of their baptism, for when they repent and return to the
fold they do not receive it again; whence we conclude that it cannot be
lost." The reason of this is that a character is an instrumental power,
as stated above (ad 1), and the nature of an instrument as such is to be
moved by another, but not to move itself; this belongs to the will.
Consequently, however much the will be moved in the contrary direction,
the character is not removed, by reason of the immobility of the
principal mover.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although external worship does not last after this life,
yet its end remains. Consequently, after this life the character remains,
both in the good as adding to their glory, and in the wicked as
increasing their shame: just as the character of the military service
remains in the soldiers after the victory, as the boast of the
conquerors, and the disgrace of the conquered.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a character is imprinted by each sacrament of the New Law?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that a character is imprinted by all the sacraments of
the New Law: because each sacrament of the New Law makes man a
participator in Christ's Priesthood. But the sacramental character is
nothing but a participation in Christ's Priesthood, as already stated
(AA[3],5). Therefore it seems that a character is imprinted by each
sacrament of the New Law.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a character may be compared to the soul in which it is,
as a consecration to that which is consecrated. But by each sacrament of
the New Law man becomes the recipient of sanctifying grace, as stated
above (Q[62], A[1]). Therefore it seems that a character is imprinted by
each sacrament of the New Law.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a character is both a reality and a sacrament. But in
each sacrament of the New Law, there is something which is only a
reality, and something which is only a sacrament, and something which is
both reality and sacrament. Therefore a character is imprinted by each
sacrament of the New Law.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Those sacraments in which a character is imprinted, are
not reiterated, because a character is indelible, as stated above (A[5]):
whereas some sacraments are reiterated, for instance, penance and
matrimony. Therefore not all the sacraments imprint a character.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, As stated above (Q[62], AA[1],5), the sacraments of the
New Law are ordained for a twofold purpose, namely, as a remedy for sin,
and for the Divine worship. Now all the sacraments, from the fact that
they confer grace, have this in common, that they afford a remedy against
sin: whereas not all the sacraments are directly ordained to the Divine
worship. Thus it is clear that penance, whereby man is delivered from
sin, does not afford man any advance in the Divine worship, but restores
him to his former state.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Body Para. 2/3

Now a sacrament may belong to the Divine worship in three ways: first in
regard to the thing done; secondly, in regard to the agent; thirdly, in
regard to the recipient. In regard to the thing done, the Eucharist
belongs to the Divine worship, for the Divine worship consists
principally therein, so far as it is the sacrifice of the Church. And by
this same sacrament a character is not imprinted on man; because it does
not ordain man to any further sacramental action or benefit received,
since rather is it "the end and consummation of all the sacraments," as
Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii). But it contains within itself Christ,
in Whom there is not the character, but the very plenitude of the
Priesthood.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] Body Para. 3/3

But it is the sacrament of order that pertains to the sacramental
agents: for it is by this sacrament that men are deputed to confer
sacraments on others: while the sacrament of Baptism pertains to the
recipients, since it confers on man the power to receive the other
sacraments of the Church; whence it is called the "door of the
sacraments." In a way Confirmation also is ordained for the same purpose,
as we shall explain in its proper place (Q[65], A[3]). Consequently,
these three sacraments imprint a character, namely, Baptism,
Confirmation, and order.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Every sacrament makes man of the a participator in Christ's
Priesthood, from the fact that it confers on him some effect thereof. But
every sacrament does not depute a man to do or receive something
pertaining to the worship of the priesthood of Christ: while it is just
this that is required for a sacrament to imprint a character.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Man is sanctified by each of the sacraments, since sanctity
means immunity from sin, which is the effect of grace. But in a special
way some sacraments, which imprint a character, bestow on man a certain
consecration, thus deputing him to the Divine worship: just as inanimate
things are said to be consecrated forasmuch as they are deputed to Divine
worship.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[63] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although a character is a reality and a sacrament, it does
not follow that whatever is a reality and a sacrament, is also a
character. With regard to the other sacraments we shall explain further
on what is the reality and what is the sacrament.





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