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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[79] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE EFFECTS OF THIS SACRAMENT (EIGHT ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE EFFECTS OF THIS SACRAMENT (EIGHT ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effects of this sacrament, and under this head
there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether this sacrament bestows grace?

(2) Whether the attaining of glory is an effect of this sacrament?

(3) Whether the forgiveness of mortal sin is an effect of this sacrament?

(4) Whether venial sin is forgiven by this sacrament?

(5) Whether the entire punishment due for sin is forgiven by this
sacrament?

(6) Whether this sacrament preserves man from future sins?

(7) Whether this sacrament benefits others besides the recipients?

(8) Of the obstacles to the effect of this sacrament.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether grace is bestowed through this sacrament?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that grace is not bestowed through this sacrament. For
this sacrament is spiritual nourishment. But nourishment is only given to
the living. Therefore since the spiritual life is the effect of grace,
this sacrament belongs only to one in the state of grace. Therefore grace
is not bestowed through this sacrament for it to be had in the first
instance. In like manner neither is it given so as grace may be
increased, because spiritual growth belongs to the sacrament of
Confirmation, as stated above (Q[72], A[1]). Consequently, grace is not
bestowed through this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, this sacrament is given as a spiritual refreshment. But
spiritual refreshment seems to belong to the use of grace rather than to
its bestowal. Therefore it seems that grace is not given through this
sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, as was said above (Q[74], A[1]), "Christ's body is
offered up in this sacrament for the salvation of the body, and His blood
for that of the soul." Now it is not the body which is the subject of
grace, but the soul, as was shown in the FS, Q[110], A[4]. Therefore
grace is not bestowed through this sacrament, at least so far as the body
is concerned.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Our Lord says (Jn. 6:52): "The bread which I will give,
is My flesh for the life of the world." But the spiritual life is the
effect of grace. Therefore grace is bestowed through this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Body Para. 1/5

I answer that, The effect of this sacrament ought to be considered,
first of all and principally, from what is contained in this sacrament,
which is Christ; Who, just as by coming into the world, He visibly
bestowed the life of grace upon the world, according to Jn. 1:17: "Grace
and truth came by Jesus Christ," so also, by coming sacramentally into
man causes the life of grace, according to Jn. 6:58: "He that eateth Me,
the same also shall live by Me." Hence Cyril says on Lk. 22:19: "God's
life-giving Word by uniting Himself with His own flesh, made it to be
productive of life. For it was becoming that He should be united somehow
with bodies through His sacred flesh and precious blood, which we receive
in a life-giving blessing in the bread and wine."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Body Para. 2/5

Secondly, it is considered on the part of what is represented by this
sacrament, which is Christ's Passion, as stated above (Q[74], A[1]; Q[76]
, A[2], ad 1). And therefore this sacrament works in man the effect which
Christ's Passion wrought in the world. Hence, Chrysostom says on the
words, "Immediately there came out blood and water" (Jn. 19:34): "Since
the sacred mysteries derive their origin from thence, when you draw nigh
to the awe-inspiring chalice, so approach as if you were going to drink
from Christ's own side." Hence our Lord Himself says (Mt. 26:28): "This
is My blood . . . which shall be shed for many unto the remission of
sins."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Body Para. 3/5

Thirdly, the effect of this sacrament is considered from the way in
which this sacrament is given; for it is given by way of food and drink.
And therefore this sacrament does for the spiritual life all that
material food does for the bodily life, namely, by sustaining, giving
increase, restoring, and giving delight. Accordingly, Ambrose says (De
Sacram. v): "This is the bread of everlasting life, which supports the
substance of our soul." And Chrysostom says (Hom. xlvi in Joan.): "When
we desire it, He lets us feel Him, and eat Him, and embrace Him." And
hence our Lord says (Jn. 6:56): "My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is
drink indeed."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Body Para. 4/5

Fourthly, the effect of this sacrament is considered from the species
under which it is given. Hence Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.):
"Our Lord betokened His body and blood in things which out of many units
are made into some one whole: for out of many grains is one thing made,"
viz. bread; "and many grapes flow into one thing," viz. wine. And
therefore he observes elsewhere (Tract. xxvi in Joan.): "O sacrament of
piety, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!"

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] Body Para. 5/5

And since Christ and His Passion are the cause of grace. and since
spiritual refreshment, and charity cannot be without grace, it is clear
from all that has been set forth that this sacrament bestows grace.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This sacrament has of itself the power of bestowing grace;
nor does anyone possess grace before receiving this sacrament except from
some desire thereof; from his own desire, as in the case of the adult. or
from the Church's desire in the case of children, as stated above (Q[73],
A[3]). Hence it is due to the efficacy of its power, that even from
desire thereof a man procures grace whereby he is enabled to lead the
spiritual life. It remains, then, that when the sacrament itself is
really received, grace is increased, and the spiritual life perfected:
yet in different fashion from the sacrament of Confirmation, in which
grace is increased and perfected for resisting the outward assaults of
Christ's enemies. But by this sacrament grace receives increase, and the
spiritual life is perfected, so that man may stand perfect in himself by
union with God.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This sacrament confers grace spiritually together with the
virtue of charity. Hence Damascene (De Fide Orth. iv) compares this
sacrament to the burning coal which Isaias saw (Is. 6:6): "For a live
ember is not simply wood, but wood united to fire; so also the bread of
communion is not simple bread but bread united with the Godhead." But as
Gregory observes in a Homily for Pentecost, "God's love is never idle;
for, wherever it is it does great works." And consequently through this
sacrament, as far as its power is concerned, not only is the habit of
grace and of virtue bestowed, but it is furthermore aroused to act,
according to 2 Cor. 5:14: "The charity of Christ presseth us." Hence it
is that the soul is spiritually nourished through the power of this
sacrament, by being spiritually gladdened, and as it were inebriated with
the sweetness of the Divine goodness, according to Cant 5:1: "Eat, O
friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Because the sacraments operate according to the similitude
by which they signify, therefore by way of assimilation it is said that
in this sacrament "the body is offered for the salvation of the body, and
the blood for the salvation of the soul," although each works for the
salvation of both, since the entire Christ is under each, as stated above
(Q[76], A[2]). And although the body is not the immediate subject of
grace, still the effect of grace flows into the body while in the present
life we present "our [Vulg.: 'your'] members" as "instruments of justice
unto God" (Rm. 6:13), and in the life to come our body will share in the
incorruption and the glory of the soul.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the attaining of glory is an effect of this sacrament?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the attaining of glory is not an effect of this
sacrament. For an effect is proportioned to its cause. But this sacrament
belongs to "wayfarers" [viatoribus], and hence it is termed "Viaticum."
Since, then, wayfarers are not yet capable of glory, it seems that this
sacrament does not cause the attaining of glory.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, given sufficient cause, the effect follows. But many
take this sacrament who will never come to glory, as Augustine declares
(De Civ. Dei xxi). Consequently, this sacrament is not the cause of
attaining unto glory.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the greater is not brought about by the lesser, for
nothing acts outside its species. But it is the lesser thing to receive
Christ under a strange species, which happens in this sacrament, than to
enjoy Him in His own species, which belongs to glory. Therefore this
sacrament does not cause the attaining of glory.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 6:52): "If any man eat of this
bread, he shall live for ever." But eternal life is the life of glory.
Therefore the attaining of glory is an effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, In this sacrament we may consider both that from which it
derives its effect, namely, Christ contained in it, as also His Passion
represented by it; and that through which it works its effect, namely,
the use of the sacrament, and its species.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Body Para. 2/3

Now as to both of these it belongs to this sacrament to cause the
attaining of eternal life. Because it was by His Passion that Christ
opened to us the approach to eternal life, according to Heb. 9:15: "He is
the Mediator of the New Testament; that by means of His death . . . they
that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
Accordingly in the form of this sacrament it is said: "This is the
chalice of My blood, of the New and Eternal Testament."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] Body Para. 3/3

In like manner the refreshment of spiritual food and the unity denoted
by the species of the bread and wine are to be had in the present life,
although imperfectly. but perfectly in the state of glory. Hence
Augustine says on the words, "My flesh is meat indeed" (Jn. 6:56):
"Seeing that in meat and drink, men aim at this, that they hunger not nor
thirst, this verily nought doth afford save only this meat and drink
which maketh them who partake thereof to be immortal and incorruptible,
in the fellowship of the saints, where shall be peace, and unity, full
and perfect."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As Christ's Passion, in virtue whereof this sacrament is
accomplished, is indeed the sufficient cause of glory, yet not so that we
are thereby forthwith admitted to glory, but we must first "suffer with
Him in order that we may also be glorified" afterwards "with Him" (Rm.
8:17), so this sacrament does not at once admit us to glory, but bestows
on us the power of coming unto glory. And therefore it is called
"Viaticum," a figure whereof we read in 3 Kgs. 19:8: "Elias ate and
drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty
nights unto the mount of God, Horeb."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Just as Christ's Passion has not its effect in them who are
not disposed towards it as they should be, so also they do not come to
glory through this sacrament who receive it unworthily. Hence Augustine
(Tract. xxvi in Joan.), expounding the same passage, observes: "The
sacrament is one thing, the power of the sacrament another. Many receive
it from the altar . . . and by receiving" . . . die . . . Eat, then,
spiritually the heavenly "bread, bring innocence to the altar." It is no
wonder, then, if those who do not keep innocence, do not secure the
effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: That Christ is received under another species belongs to
the nature of a sacrament, which acts instrumentally. But there is
nothing to prevent an instrumental cause from producing a more mighty
effect, as is evident from what was said above (Q[77], A[3], ad 3).


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the forgiveness of mortal sin is an effect of this sacrament?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the forgiveness of mortal sin is an effect of this
sacrament. For it is said in one of the Collects (Postcommunion, Pro
vivis et defunctis): "May this sacrament be a cleansing from crimes." But
mortal sins are called crimes. Therefore mortal sins are blotted out by
this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, this sacrament, like Baptism, works by the power of
Christ's Passion. But mortal sins are forgiven by Baptism, as stated
above (Q[69], A[1]). Therefore they are forgiven likewise by this
sacrament, especially since in the form of this sacrament it is said:
"Which shall be shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, grace is bestowed through this sacrament, as stated
above (A[1]). But by grace a man is justified from mortal sins, according
to Rm. 3:24: "Being justified freely by His grace." Therefore mortal sins
are forgiven by this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 11:29): "He that eateth and
drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself": and a
gloss of the same passage makes the following commentary: "He eats and
drinks unworthily who is in the state of sin, or who handles (the
sacrament) irreverently; and such a one eats and drinks judgment, i.e.
damnation, unto himself." Therefore, he that is in mortal sin, by taking
the sacrament heaps sin upon sin, rather than obtains forgiveness of his
sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, The power of this sacrament can be considered in two
ways. First of all, in itself: and thus this sacrament has from Christ's
Passion the power of forgiving all sins, since the Passion is the fount
and cause of the forgiveness of sins.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Body Para. 2/3

Secondly, it can be considered in comparison with the recipient of the
sacrament, in so far as there is, or is not, found in him an obstacle to
receiving the fruit of this sacrament. Now whoever is conscious of mortal
sin, has within him an obstacle to receiving the effect of this
sacrament; since he is not a proper recipient of this sacrament, both
because he is not alive spiritually, and so he ought not to eat the
spiritual nourishment, since nourishment is confined to the living; and
because he cannot be united with Christ, which is the effect of this
sacrament, as long as he retains an attachment towards mortal sin.
Consequently, as is said in the book De Eccles. Dogm.: "If the soul leans
towards sin, it is burdened rather than purified from partaking of the
Eucharist." Hence, in him who is conscious of mortal sin, this sacrament
does not cause the forgiveness of sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] Body Para. 3/3

Nevertheless this sacrament can effect the forgiveness of sin in two
ways. First of all, by being received, not actually, but in desire; as
when a man is first justified from sin. Secondly, when received by one in
mortal sin of which he is not conscious, and for which he has no
attachment; since possibly he was not sufficiently contrite at first, but
by approaching this sacrament devoutly and reverently he obtains the
grace of charity, which will perfect his contrition and bring forgiveness
of sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: We ask that this sacrament may be the "cleansing of
crimes," or of those sins of which we are unconscious, according to Ps.
18:13: "Lord, cleanse me from my hidden sins"; or that our contrition
may be perfected for the forgiveness of our sins; or that strength be
bestowed on us to avoid sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Baptism is spiritual generation, which is a transition from
spiritual non-being into spiritual being, and is given by way of
ablution. Consequently, in both respects he who is conscious of mortal
sin does not improperly approach Baptism. But in this sacrament man
receives Christ within himself by way of spiritual nourishment, which is
unbecoming to one that lies dead in his sins. Therefore the comparison
does not hold good.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Grace is the sufficient cause of the forgiveness of mortal
sin; yet it does not forgive sin except when it is first bestowed on the
sinner. But it is not given so in this sacrament. Hence the argument does
not prove.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether venial sins are forgiven through this sacrament?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that venial sins are not forgiven by this sacrament,
because this is the "sacrament of charity," as Augustine says (Tract.
xxvi in Joan.). But venial sins are not contrary to charity, as was shown
in the FS, Q[88], AA[1],2; SS, Q[24], A[10]. Therefore, since contrary is
taken away by its contrary, it seems that venial sins are not forgiven by
this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, if venial sins be forgiven by this sacrament, then all
of them are forgiven for the same reason as one is. But it does not
appear that all are forgiven, because thus one might frequently be
without any venial sin, against what is said in 1 Jn. 1:8: "If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." Therefore no venial sin is
forgiven by this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, contraries mutually exclude each other. But venial sins
do not forbid the receiving of this sacrament: because Augustine says on
the words, "If any man eat of it he shall [Vulg.: 'may'] not die for
ever" (Jn. 6:50): "Bring innocence to the altar: your sins, though they
be daily . . . let them not be deadly." Therefore neither are venial sins
taken away by this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Innocent III says (De S. Alt. Myst. iv) that this
sacrament "blots out venial sins, and wards off mortal sins."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Two things may be considered in this sacrament, to wit,
the sacrament itself, and the reality of the sacrament: and it appears
from both that this sacrament has the power of forgiving venial sins. For
this sacrament is received under the form of nourishing food. Now
nourishment from food is requisite for the body to make good the daily
waste caused by the action of natural heat. But something is also lost
daily of our spirituality from the heat of concupiscence through venial
sins, which lessen the fervor of charity, as was shown in the SS, Q[24],
A[10]. And therefore it belongs to this sacrament to forgive venial sins.
Hence Ambrose says (De Sacram. v) that this daily bread is taken "as a
remedy against daily infirmity."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

The reality of this sacrament is charity, not only as to its habit, but
also as to its act, which is kindled in this sacrament; and by this means
venial sins are forgiven. Consequently, it is manifest that venial sins
are forgiven by the power of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Venial sins, although not opposed to the habit of charity,
are nevertheless opposed to the fervor of its act, which act is kindled
by this sacrament; by reason of which act venial sins are blotted out.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The passage quoted is not to be understood as if a man
could not at some time be without all guilt of venial sin: but that the
just do not pass through this life without committing venial sins.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The power of charity, to which this sacrament belongs, is
greater than that of venial sins: because charity by its act takes away
venial sins, which nevertheless cannot entirely hinder the act of
charity. And the same holds good of this sacrament.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the entire punishment due to sin is forgiven through this
sacrament?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the entire punishment due to sin is forgiven
through this sacrament. For through this sacrament man receives the
effect of Christ's Passion within himself as stated above (AA[1],2), just
as he does through Baptism. But through Baptism man receives forgiveness
of all punishment, through the virtue of Christ's Passion, which
satisfied sufficiently for all sins, as was explained above (Q[69], A[2]
). Therefore it seems the whole debt of punishment is forgiven through
this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Pope Alexander I says (Ep. ad omnes orth.): "No
sacrifice can be greater than the body and the blood of Christ." But man
satisfied for his sins by the sacrifices of the old Law: for it is
written (Lev. 4,5): "If a man shall sin, let him offer" (so and so) "for
his sin, and it shall be forgiven him." Therefore this sacrament avails
much more for the forgiveness of all punishment.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it is certain that some part of the debt of punishment
is forgiven by this sacrament; for which reason it is sometimes enjoined
upon a man, by way of satisfaction, to have masses said for himself. But
if one part of the punishment is forgiven, for the same reason is the
other forgiven: owing to Christ's infinite power contained in this
sacrament. Consequently, it seems that the whole punishment can be taken
away by this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, In that case no other punishment would have to be
enjoined; just as none is imposed upon the newly baptized.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, This sacrament is both a sacrifice and a sacrament. it
has the nature of a sacrifice inasmuch as it is offered up; and it has
the nature of a sacrament inasmuch as it is received. And therefore it
has the effect of a sacrament in the recipient, and the effect of a
sacrifice in the offerer, or in them for whom it is offered.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Body Para. 2/3

If, then, it be considered as a sacrament, it produces its effect in two
ways: first of all directly through the power of the sacrament; secondly
as by a kind of concomitance, as was said above regarding what is
contained in the sacrament (Q[76], AA[1],2). Through the power of the
sacrament it produces directly that effect for which it was instituted.
Now it was instituted not for satisfaction, but for nourishing
spiritually through union between Christ and His members, as nourishment
is united with the person nourished. But because this union is the effect
of charity, from the fervor of which man obtains forgiveness, not only of
guilt but also of punishment, hence it is that as a consequence, and by
concomitance with the chief effect, man obtains forgiveness of the
punishment, not indeed of the entire punishment, but according to the
measure of his devotion and fervor.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] Body Para. 3/3

But in so far as it is a sacrifice, it has a satisfactory power. Yet in
satisfaction, the affection of the offerer is weighed rather than the
quantity of the offering. Hence our Lord says (Mk. 12:43: cf. Lk. 21:4)
of the widow who offered "two mites" that she "cast in more than all."
Therefore, although this offering suffices of its own quantity to satisfy
for all punishment, yet it becomes satisfactory for them for whom it is
offered, or even for the offerers, according to the measure of their
devotion, and not for the whole punishment.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The sacrament of Baptism is directly ordained for the
remission of punishment and guilt: not so the Eucharist, because Baptism
is given to man as dying with Christ, whereas the Eucharist is given as
by way of nourishing and perfecting him through Christ. Consequently
there is no parallel.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Those other sacrifices and oblations did not effect the
forgiveness of the whole punishment, neither as to the quantity of the
thing offered, as this sacrament does, nor as to personal devotion; from
which it comes to pass that even here the whole punishment is not taken
away.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: If part of the punishment and not the whole be taken away
by this sacrament, it is due to a defect not on the part of Christ's
power, but on the part of man's devotion.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether man is preserved by this sacrament from future sins?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that man is not preserved by this sacrament from future
sins. For there are many that receive this sacrament worthily, who
afterwards fall into sin. Now this would not happen if this sacrament
were to preserve them from future sins. Consequently, it is not an effect
of this sacrament to preserve from future sins.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Eucharist is the sacrament of charity, as stated
above (A[4]). But charity does not seem to preserve from future sins,
because it can be lost through sin after one has possessed it, as was
stated in the SS, Q[24], A[11]. Therefore it seems that this sacrament
does not preserve man from sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the origin of sin within us is "the law of sin, which is
in our members," as declared by the Apostle (Rm. 7:23). But the lessening
of the fomes, which is the law of sin, is set down as an effect not of
this sacrament, but rather of Baptism. Therefore preservation from sin is
not an effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, our Lord said (Jn. 6:50): "This is the bread which
cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die":
which manifestly is not to be understood of the death of the body.
Therefore it is to be understood that this sacrament preserves from
spiritual death, which is through sin.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Sin is the spiritual death of the soul. Hence man is
preserved from future sin in the same way as the body is preserved from
future death of the body: and this happens in two ways. First of all, in
so far as man's nature is strengthened inwardly against inner decay, and
so by means of food and medicine he is preserved from death. Secondly, by
being guarded against outward assaults; and thus he is protected by means
of arms by which he defends his body.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] Body Para. 2/2

Now this sacrament preserves man from sin in both of these ways. For,
first of all, by uniting man with Christ through grace, it strengthens
his spiritual life, as spiritual food and spiritual medicine, according
to Ps. 103:5: "(That) bread strengthens [Vulg.: 'may strengthen'] man's
heart." Augustine likewise says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.): "Approach without
fear; it is bread, not poison." Secondly, inasmuch as it is a sign of
Christ's Passion, whereby the devils are conquered, it repels all the
assaults of demons. Hence Chrysostom says (Hom. xlvi in Joan.): "Like
lions breathing forth fire, thus do we depart from that table, being made
terrible to the devil."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The effect of this sacrament is received according to man's
condition: such is the case with every active cause in that its effect is
received in matter according to the condition of the matter. But such is
the condition of man on earth that his free-will can be bent to good or
evil. Hence, although this sacrament of itself has the power of
preserving from sin, yet it does not take away from man the possibility
of sinning.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Even charity of itself keeps man from sin, according to Rm.
13:10: "The love of our neighbor worketh no evil": but it is due to the
mutability of free-will that a man sins after possessing charity, just as
after receiving this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although this sacrament is not ordained directly to lessen
the fomes, yet it does lessen it as a consequence, inasmuch as it
increases charity, because, as Augustine says (Q[83]), "the increase of
charity is the lessening of concupiscence." But it directly strengthens
man's heart in good; whereby he is also preserved from sin.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this sacrament benefit others besides the recipients?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that this sacrament benefits only the recipients. For
this sacrament is of the same genus as the other sacraments, being one of
those into which that genus is divided. But the other sacraments only
benefit the recipients; thus the baptized person alone receives effect of
Baptism. Therefore, neither does this sacrament benefit others than the
recipients.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the effects of this sacrament are the attainment of
grace and glory, and the forgiveness of sin, at least of venial sin. If
therefore this sacrament were to produce its effects in others besides
the recipients, a man might happen to acquire grace and glory and
forgiveness of sin without doing or receiving anything himself, through
another receiving or offering this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, when the cause is multiplied, the effect is likewise
multiplied. If therefore this sacrament benefit others besides the
recipients, it would follow that it benefits a man more if he receive
this sacrament through many hosts being consecrated in one mass, whereas
this is not the Church's custom: for instance, that many receive
communion for the salvation of one individual. Consequently, it does not
seem that this sacrament benefits anyone but the recipient.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Prayer is made for many others during the celebration
of this sacrament; which would serve no purpose were the sacrament not
beneficial to others. Therefore, this sacrament is beneficial not merely
to them who receive it.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]), this sacrament is not only a
sacrament, but also a sacrifice. For, it has the nature of a sacrifice
inasmuch as in this sacrament Christ's Passion is represented, whereby
Christ "offered Himself a Victim to God" (Eph. 5:2), and it has the
nature of a sacrament inasmuch as invisible grace is bestowed in this
sacrament under a visible species. So, then, this sacrament benefits
recipients by way both of sacrament and of sacrifice, because it is
offered for all who partake of it. For it is said in the Canon of the
Mass: "May as many of us as, by participation at this Altar, shall
receive the most sacred body and blood of Thy Son, be filled with all
heavenly benediction and grace."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] Body Para. 2/2

But to others who do not receive it, it is beneficial by way of
sacrifice, inasmuch as it is offered for their salvation. Hence it is
said in the Canon of the Mass: "Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants, men
and women . . . for whom we offer, or who offer up to Thee, this
sacrifice of praise for themselves and for all their own, for the
redemption of their souls, for the hope of their safety and salvation."
And our Lord expressed both ways, saying (Mt. 26:28, with Lk. 22:20):
"Which for you," i.e. who receive it, "and for many," i.e. others, "shall
be shed unto remission of sins."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This sacrament has this in addition to the others, that it
is a sacrifice: and therefore the comparison fails.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As Christ's Passion benefits all, for the forgiveness of
sin and the attaining of grace and glory, whereas it produces no effect
except in those who are united with Christ's Passion through faith and
charity, so likewise this sacrifice, which is the memorial of our Lord's
Passion, has no effect except in those who are united with this sacrament
through faith and charity. Hence Augustine says to Renatus (De Anima et
ejus origine i): "Who may offer Christ's body except for them who are
Christ's members?" Hence in the Canon of the Mass no prayer is made for
them who are outside the pale of the Church. But it benefits them who are
members, more or less, according to the measure of their devotion.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Receiving is of the very nature of the sacrament, but
offering belongs to the nature of sacrifice: consequently, when one or
even several receive the body of Christ, no help accrues to others. In
like fashion even when the priest consecrates several hosts in one mass,
the effect of this sacrament is not increased, since there is only one
sacrifice; because there is no more power in several hosts than in one,
since there is only one Christ present under all the hosts and under one.
Hence, neither will any one receive greater effect from the sacrament by
taking many consecrated hosts in one mass. But the oblation of the
sacrifice is multiplied in several masses, and therefore the effect of
the sacrifice and of the sacrament is multiplied.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the effect of this sacrament is hindered by venial sin?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the effect of this sacrament is not hindered by
venial sin. For Augustine (Tract. xxvi in Joan.), commenting on Jn. 6:52,
"If any man eat of this bread," etc., says: "Eat the heavenly bread
spiritually; bring innocence to the altar; your sins, though they be
daily, let them not be deadly." From this it is evident that venial sins,
which are called daily sins, do not prevent spiritual eating. But they
who eat spiritually, receive the effect of this sacrament. Therefore,
venial sins do not hinder the effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, this sacrament is not less powerful than Baptism. But,
as stated above (Q[69], AA[9],10), only pretense checks the effect of
Baptism, and venial sins do not belong to pretense; because according to
Wis. 1:5: "the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful,"
yet He is not put to flight by venial sins. Therefore neither do venial
sins hinder the effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, nothing which is removed by the action of any cause, can
hinder the effect of such cause. But venial sins are taken away by this
sacrament. Therefore, they do not hinder its effect.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv): "The fire of that
desire which is within us, being kindled by the burning coal," i.e. this
sacrament, "will consume our sins, and enlighten our hearts, so that we
shall be inflamed and made godlike." But the fire of our desire or love
is hindered by venial sins, which hinder the fervor of charity, as was
shown in the FS, Q[81], A[4]; SS, Q[24], A[10]. Therefore venial sins
hinder the effect of this sacrament.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Venial sins can be taken in two ways: first of all as
past, secondly as in the act of being committed. Venial sins taken in the
first way do not in any way hinder the effect of this sacrament. For it
can come to pass that after many venial sins a man may approach devoutly
to this sacrament and fully secure its effect. Considered in the second
way venial sins do not utterly hinder the effect of this sacrament, but
merely in part. For, it has been stated above (A[1]), that the effect of
this sacrament is not only the obtaining of habitual grace or charity,
but also a certain actual refreshment of spiritual sweetness: which is
indeed hindered if anyone approach to this sacrament with mind distracted
through venial sins; but the increase of habitual grace or of charity is
not taken away.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: He that approaches this sacrament with actual venial sin,
eats spiritually indeed, in habit but not in act: and therefore he shares
in the habitual effect of the sacrament, but not in its actual effect.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Baptism is not ordained, as this sacrament is, for the
fervor of charity as its actual effect. Because Baptism is spiritual
regeneration, through which the first perfection is acquired, which is a
habit or form; but this sacrament is spiritual eating, which has actual
delight.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[79] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This argument deals with past venial sins, which are taken
away by this sacrament.





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