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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • Aquin.: SMT XP Q[1] Out. Para. 1/2 SUPPLEMENT (XP): TO THE THIRD PART OF THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS GATHERED FROM HIS COMMENTARY ON BOOK IV OF THE SENTENCES (QQ[1] -99) OF THE PARTS OF PENANCE, IN PARTICULAR, AND FIRST OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)
      • Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE SUFFRAGES FOR THE DEAD (FOURTEEN ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE SUFFRAGES FOR THE DEAD (FOURTEEN ARTICLES)

We must now consider the suffrages for the dead. Under this head there
are fourteen points of inquiry:

(1) Whether suffrages performed by one person can profit others?

(2) Whether the dead can be assisted by the works of the living?

(3) Whether the suffrages of sinners profit the dead?

(4) Whether suffrages for the dead profit those who perform them?

(5) Whether suffrages profit those who are in hell?

(6) Whether they profit those who are in purgatory?

(7) Whether they avail the children in limbo?

(8) Whether in any way they profit those who are heaven?

(9) Whether the prayer of the Church, the Sacrament of the altar, and
almsgiving profit the departed?

(10) Whether indulgences granted by the Church profit them?

(11) Whether the burial service profits the departed?

(12) Whether suffrages for one dead person profit that person more than
others?

(13) Whether suffrages for many avail each one as much as if they were
offered for each individual?

(14) Whether general suffrages avail those for whom special suffrages
are not offered, as much as special and general suffrages together avail
those for whom they are offered?



Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the suffrages of one person can profit others?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the suffrages of one person cannot profit
others. For it is written (Gal. 6:8): "What things a man shall sow, those
also shall he reap." Now if one person reaped fruit from the suffrages of
another, he would reap from another's sowing. Therefore a person receives
no fruit from the suffrages of others.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it belongs to God's justice, that each one should
receive according to his merits, wherefore the psalm (Ps. 61:13) says:
"Thou wilt render to every man according to his works." Now it is
impossible for God's justice to fail. Therefore it is impossible for one
man to be assisted by the works of another.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a work is meritorious on the same count as it is
praiseworthy, namely inasmuch as it is voluntary. Now one man is not
praised for the work of another. Therefore neither can the work of one
man be meritorious and fruitful for another.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, it belongs to Divine justice to repay good for good in
the same way as evil for evil. But no man is punished for the evildoings
of another; indeed, according to Ezech. 18:4, "the soul that sinneth, the
same shall die." Therefore neither does one person profit by another's
good.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 118:63): "I am a partaker with all
them that fear Thee," etc.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, all the faithful united together by charity are members of the
one body of the Church. Now one member is assisted by another. Therefore
one man can be assisted by the merits of another.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, our actions can avail for two purposes. First, for
acquiring a certain state; thus by a meritorious work a man obtains the
state of bliss. Secondly, for something consequent upon a state; thus by
some work a man merits an accidental reward, or a rebate of punishment.
And for both these purposes our actions may avail in two ways: first, by
way of merit; secondly, by way of prayer: the difference being that merit
relies on justice, and prayer on mercy; since he who prays obtains his
petition from the mere liberality of the one he prays. Accordingly we
must say that the work of one person nowise can avail another for
acquiring a state by way of merit, so that, to wit, a man be able to
merit eternal life by the works which I do, because the share of glory is
awarded according to the measure of the recipient, and each one is
disposed by his own and not by another's actions - disposed, that is to
say, by being worthy of reward. By way of prayer, however, the work of
one may profit another while he is a wayfarer, even for acquiring a
state; for instance, one man may obtain the first grace for another [*Cf.
FS, Q[114], A[6]]: and since the impetration of prayer depends on the
liberality of God Whom we pray, it may extend to whatever is ordinately
subject to the Divine power. On the other hand, as regards that which is
consequent upon or accessory to a state, the work of one may avail
another, not only by way of prayer but even by way of merit: and this
happens in two ways. First, on account of their communion in the root of
the work, which root is charity in meritorious works. Wherefore all who
are united together by charity acquire some benefit from one another's
works, albeit according to the measure of each one's state, since even in
heaven each one will rejoice in the goods of others. Hence it is that the
communion of saints is laid down as an article of faith. Secondly,
through the intention of the doer who does certain works specially for
the purpose that they may profit such persons: so that those works become
somewhat the works of those for whom they are done, as though they were
bestowed on them by the doer. Wherefore they can avail them either for
the fulfillment of satisfaction or for some similar purpose that does not
change their state.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This reaping is the receiving of eternal life, as stated in
Jn. 4:36, "And he that reapeth . . . gathereth fruit unto life
everlasting." Now a share of eternal life is not given to a man save for
his own works, for although we may impetrate for another that he obtain
life, this never happens except by means of his own works, when namely,
at the prayers of one, another is given the grace whereby he merits
eternal life.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The work that is done for another becomes his for whom it
is done: and in like manner the work done by a man who is one with me is
somewhat mine. Hence it is not contrary to Divine justice if a man
receives the fruit of the works done by a man who is one with him in
charity, or of works done for him. This also happens according to human
justice, so that the satisfaction offered by one is accepted in lieu of
another's.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Praise is not given to a person save according to his
relation to an act, wherefore praise is "in relation to something"
(Ethic. i, 12). And since no man is made or shown to be well- or
ill-disposed to something by another's deed, it follows that no man is
praised for another's deeds save accidentally in so far as he is somewhat
the cause of those deeds, by giving counsel, assistance, inducement, or
by any other means. on the other hand, a work is meritorious to a person,
not only by reason of his disposition, but also in view of something
consequent upon his disposition or state, as evidenced by what has been
said.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[1] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: It is directly contrary to justice to take away from a
person that which is his due: but to give a person what is not his due is
not contrary to justice, but surpasses the bounds of justice, for it is
liberality. Now a person cannot be hurt by the ills of another, unless he
be deprived of something of his own. Consequently it is not becoming that
one should be punished for another's sins, as it is that one should
acquire some advantage from deeds of another.



Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the dead can be assisted by the works of the living?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the dead cannot be assisted by the works of
the living. First, because the Apostle says (2 Cor. 5:10): "We must all
be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may
receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done."
Therefore nothing can accrue to a man from the works of others, which are
done after his death and when he is no longer in the body.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, this also seems to follow from the words of Apoc. 14:13,
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . for their works follow
them."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it belongs only to one who is on the way to advance on
account of some deed. Now after death men are no longer wayfarers,
because to them the words of Job 19:8, refer: "He hath hedged in my path
round about, and I cannot pass." Therefore the dead cannot be assisted by
a person's suffrages.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, no one is assisted by the deed of another, unless there
be some community of life between them. Now there is no community between
the dead and the living, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 11).
Therefore the suffrages of the living do not profit the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary are the words of 2 Macc. 12:46: "It is . . . a holy and
wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from
sins." But this would not be profitable unless it were a help to them.
Therefore the suffrages of the living profit the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, Augustine says (De Cure pro Mort. i): "Of no small weight is
the authority of the Church whereby she clearly approves of the custom
whereby a commendation of the dead has a place in the prayers which the
priests pour forth to the Lord God at His altar." This custom was
established by the apostles themselves according to the Damascene in a
sermon on suffrages for the dead [*De his qui in fide dormierunt, 3],
where he expresses himself thus: "Realizing the nature of the Mysteries
the disciples of the Saviour and His holy apostles sanctioned a
commemoration of those who had died in the faith, being made in the
awe-inspiring and life-giving Mysteries." This is also confirmed by the
authority of Dionysius (Hier. Eccl.), where he mentions the rite of the
Early Church in praying for the dead, and, moreover, asserts that the
suffrages of the living profit the dead. Therefore we must believe this
without any doubt.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Charity, which is the bond uniting the members of the
Church, extends not only to the living, but also to the dead who die in
charity. For charity which is the life of the soul, even as the soul is
the life of the body, has no end: "Charity never falleth away" (1 Cor.
13:8). Moreover, the dead live in the memory of the living: wherefore
the intention of the living can be directed to them. Hence the suffrages
of the living profit the dead in two ways even as they profit the living,
both on account of the bond of charity and on account of the intention
being directed to them. Nevertheless, we must not believe that the
suffrages of the living profit them so as to change their state from
unhappiness to happiness or "vice versa"; but they avail for the
diminution of punishment or something of the kind that involves no change
in the state of the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: Man while living in the body merited that such things
should avail him after death. Wherefore if he is assisted thereby after
this life, this is, nevertheless, the result of the things he has done in
the body.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

Or we may reply, according to John Damascene, in the sermon quoted
above, that these words refer to the retribution which will be made at
the final judgment, of eternal glory or eternal unhappiness: for then
each one will receive only according as he himself has done in the body.
Meanwhile, however, he can be assisted by the suffrages of the living.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The words quoted refer expressly to the sequel of eternal
retribution as is clear from the opening words: "Blessed are the dead,"
etc. Or we may reply that deeds done on their behalf are somewhat their
own, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although, strictly speaking, after death souls are not in
the state of the way, yet in a certain respect they are still on the way,
in so far as they are delayed awhile in their advance towards their final
award. Wherefore, strictly speaking, their way is hedged in round about,
so that they can no more be changed by any works in respect of the state
of happiness or unhappiness. Yet their way is not so hedged around that
they cannot be helped by others in the matter of their being delayed from
receiving their final award, because in this respect they are still
wayfarers.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Although the communion of civic deeds whereof the
Philosopher speaks, is impossible between the dead and the living,
because the dead are outside civic life, the communication of the
spiritual life is possible between them, for that life is founded on
charity towards God, to Whom the spirits of the dead live.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages performed by sinners profit the dead?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages performed by sinners do not profit
the dead. For, according to Jn. 9:31, "God doth not hear sinners." Now if
their prayers were to profit those for whom they pray, they would be
heard by God. Therefore the suffrages performed by them do not profit the
dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gregory says (Pastoral i, 11) that "when an offensive
person is sent to intercede, the wrath of the angered party is provoked
to harsher measures." Now every sinner is offensive to God. Therefore God
is not inclined to mercy by the suffrages of sinners, and consequently
their suffrages are of no avail.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a person's deed would seem to be more fruitful to the
doer than to another. But a sinner merits naught for himself by his
deeds. Much less, therefore, can he merit for another.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, every meritorious work must be a living work, that is to
say, informed by charity. Now works done by sinners are dead. Therefore
the dead for whom they are done cannot be assisted thereby.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: On the contrary, No man can know for certain about another man
whether the latter be in a state of sin or of grace. If, therefore, only
those suffrages were profitable that are done by those who are in a state
of grace, a man could not know of whom to ask suffrages for his dead, and
consequently many would be deterred from obtaining suffrages.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, according to Augustine (Enchiridion cix), as quoted in
the text (Sent. iv, D, 45), the dead are assisted by suffrages according
as while living they merited to be assisted after death. Therefore the
worth of suffrages is measured according to the disposition of the person
for whom they are performed. Therefore it would appear that it differs
not whether they be performed by good or by wicked persons.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Two things may be considered in the suffrages performed
by the wicked. First, the deed done, for instance the sacrifice of the
altar. And since our sacraments have their efficacy from themselves
independently of the deed of the doer, and are equally efficacious by
whomsoever they are performed, in this respect the suffrages of the
wicked profit the departed. Secondly, we may consider the deed of the
doer, and then we must draw a distinction; because the deed of a sinner
who offers suffrage may be considered - in one way in so far as it is his
own deed, and thus it can nowise be meritorious either to himself or to
another; in another way in so far as it is another's deed, and this
happens in two ways. First, when the sinner, offering suffrages,
represents the whole Church; for instance a priest when he performs the
burial service in church. And since one in whose name or in whose stead a
thing is done is understood to do it himself as Dionysius asserts (Coel.
Hier. xiii), it follows that the suffrages of that priest, albeit a
sinner, profit the departed. Secondly, when he acts as the instrument of
another: for the work of the instrument belongs more to the principal
agent. Wherefore, although he who acts as the instrument of another be
not in a state of merit, his act may be meritorious on account of the
principal agent: for instance if a servant being in sin do any work of
mercy at the command of his master who has charity. Hence, if a person
dying in charity command suffrages to be offered for him, or if some
other person having charity prescribe them, those suffrages avail for
the departed, even though the persons by whom they are performed be in
sin. Nevertheless they would avail more if those persons were in charity,
because then those works would be meritorious on two counts.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The prayer offered by a sinner is sometimes not his but
another's, and consequently in this respect is worthy to be heard by God.
Nevertheless, God sometimes hears sinners, when, to wit, they ask for
something acceptable to God. For God dispenses His goods not only to the
righteous but also to sinners (Mt. 5:45), not indeed on account of their
merits, but of His loving kindness. Hence a gloss on Jn. 9:31, "God doth
not hear sinners," says that "he speaks as one unanointed and as not
seeing clearly."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although the sinner's prayer is not acceptable in so far as
he is offensive, it may be acceptable to God on account of another in
whose stead or at whose command he offers the prayer.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The reason why the sinner who performs these suffrages
gains nothing thereby is because he is not capable of profiting by reason
of his own indisposition. Nevertheless, as stated above, it may in some
way profit another, who is disposed.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 4: Although the sinner's deed is not living in so far as it is
his own, it may be living in so far as it is another's, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 2/2

Since, however, the arguments in the contrary sense would seem to show
that it matters not whether one obtain suffrages from good or from evil
persons, we must reply to them also.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: Although one cannot know for certain about another whether
he be in the state of salvation, one may infer it with probability from
what one sees outwardly of a man: for a tree is known by its fruit (Mt.
7:16).

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[3] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: In order that suffrage avail another, it is requisite that
the one for whom it is performed be capable of availing by it: and a man
has become capable of this by his own works which he did in his
life-time. This is what Augustine means to say. Nevertheless, those works
must be such that they can profit him, and this depends not on the person
for whom the suffrage is performed, but rather on the one who offers the
suffrages whether by performing them or by commanding them.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages offered by the living for the dead profit those who
offer them?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages offered by the living for the dead
do not profit those who offer them. For according to human justice a man
is not absolved from his own debt if he pay a debt for another man.
Therefore a man is not absolved from his own debt for the reason that by
offering suffrages he has paid the debt of the one for whom he offered
them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, whatever a man does, he should do it as best he can. Now
it is better to assist two than one. Therefore if one who by suffrages
has paid the debt of a dead person is freed from his own debt, it would
seem that one ought never to satisfy for oneself, but always for another.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if the satisfaction of one who satisfies for another
profits him equally with the one for whom he satisfies, it will likewise
equally profit a third person if he satisfy for him at the same time, and
likewise a fourth and so on. Therefore he might satisfy for all by one
work of satisfaction; which is absurd.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 34:13): "My prayer shall be turned
into my bosom." Therefore, in like manner, suffrages that are offered for
others profit those who satisfy.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, the Damascene says in the sermon "On those who fell asleep in
the faith: Just as when about to anoint a sick man with the ointment or
other holy oil, first of all he, " namely the anointer, "shares in the
anointing and thus proceeds to anoint the patient, so whoever strives for
his neighbor's salvation first of all profits himself and afterwards his
neighbor." And thus the question at issue is answered.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, The work of suffrage that is done for another may be
considered in two ways. First, as expiating punishment by way of
compensation which is a condition of satisfaction: and in this way the
work of suffrage that is counted as belonging to the person for whom it
is done, while absolving him from the debt of punishment, does not
absolve the performer from his own debt of punishment, because in this
compensation we have to consider the equality of justice: and this work
of satisfaction can be equal to the one debt without being equal to the
other, for the debts of two sinners require a greater satisfaction than
the debt of one. Secondly, it may be considered as meriting eternal life,
and this it has as proceeding from its root, which is charity: and in
this way it profits not only the person for whom it is done, but also and
still more the doer.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections: for the first
considered the work of suffrage as a work of satisfaction, while the
others consider it as meritorious.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages profit those who are in hell?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages profit those who are in hell. For it
is written (2 Macc. 12:40): "They found under the coats of the slain some
of the donaries of the idols . . . which the law forbiddeth to the Jews,"
and yet we read further on (2 Macc. 12:43) that Judas "sent twelve
thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem . . . to be offered for the sins
of the dead." Now it is clear that they sinned mortally through acting
against the Law, and consequently that they died in mortal sin, and were
taken to hell. Therefore suffrages profit those who are in hell.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the text (Sent. iv, D, 45) quotes the saying of
Augustine (Enchiridion cx) that "those whom suffrages profit gain either
entire forgiveness, or at least an abatement of their damnation." Now
only those who are in hell are said to be damned. Therefore suffrages
profit even those who are in hell.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier.): "If here the prayers of
the righteous avail those who are alive, how much more do they, after
death, profit those alone who are worthy of their holy prayers?" Hence we
may gather that suffrages are more profitable to the dead than to the
living. Now they profit the living even though they be in mortal sin, for
the Church prays daily for sinners that they be converted to God.
Therefore suffrages avail also for the dead who are in mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, in the Lives of the Fathers (iii, 172; vi, 3) we read,
and the Damascene relates in his sermon [*De his qui in fide dormierunt]
that Macarius discovered the skull of a dead man on the road, and that
after praying he asked whose head it was, and the head replied that it
had belonged to a pagan priest who was condemned to hell; and yet he
confessed that he and others were assisted by the prayers of Macarius.
Therefore the suffrages of the Church profit even those who are in hell.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, the Damascene in the same sermon relates that Gregory,
while praying for Trajan, heard a voice from heaven saying to him: "I
have heard thy voice, and I pardon Trajan": and of this fact the
Damascene adds in the same sermon, "the whole East and West are
witnesses." Yet it is clear that Trajan was in hell, since "he put many
martyrs to a cruel death" [*De his qui fide dormierunt]. Therefore the
suffrages of the Church avail even for those who are in hell.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] OTC Para. 1/3

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. vii): "The high priest
prays not for the unclean, because by so doing he would act counter to
the Divine order," and consequently he says (Eccl. Hier. vii) that "he
prays not that sinners be forgiven, because his prayer for them would not
be heard." Therefore suffrages avail not those who are in hell.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] OTC Para. 2/3

Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxiv, 19): "There is the same reason for
not praying then" (namely after the judgment day) "for men condemned to
the everlasting fire, as there is now for not praying for the devil and
his angels who are sentenced to eternal punishment, and for this reason
the saints pray not for dead unbelieving and wicked men, because,
forsooth, knowing them to be already condemned to eternal punishment,
they shrink from pleading for them by the merit of their prayers before
they are summoned to the presence of the just Judge."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] OTC Para. 3/3

Further, the text (Sent. iv, D, 45) quotes the words of Augustine (De
Verb. A post. Serm. xxxii): "If a man depart this life without the faith
that worketh by charity and its sacraments, in vain do his friends have
recourse to such like acts of kindness." Now all the damned come under
that head. Therefore suffrages profit them not.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Body Para. 1/5

I answer that, There have been three opinions about the damned. For some
have said that a twofold distinction must be made in this matter. First,
as to time; for they said that after the judgment day no one in hell will
be assisted by any suffrage, but that before the judgment day some are
assisted by the suffrages of the Church. Secondly, they made a
distinction among those who are detained in hell. Some of these, they
said, are very bad, those namely who have died without faith and the
sacraments, and these, since they were not of the Church, neither "by
grace nor, by name" [*Cf. Oratio ad Vesperas, Fer. ii, post Dom. Pass.]
can the suffrages of the Church avail; while others are not very bad,
those namely who belonged to the Church as actual members, who had the
faith, frequented the sacraments and performed works generically good,
and for these the suffrages of the Church ought to avail. Yet they were
confronted with a difficulty which troubled them, for it would seem to
follow from this (since the punishment of hell is finite in intensity
although infinite in duration) that a multiplicity of suffrages would
take away that punishment altogether, which is the error of Origen (Peri
Archon. i; cf. Gregory, Moral. xxxiv): and consequently endeavored in
various ways to avoid this difficulty.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Body Para. 2/5

Praepositivus [*Gilbert Prevostin, Chancellor of the See of Paris, A.D.
1205-9] said that suffrages for the damned can be so multiplied that they
are entirely freed from punishment, not absolutely as Origen maintained,
but for a time, namely till the judgment day: for their souls will be
reunited to their bodies, and will be cast back into the punishments of
hell without hope of pardon. But this opinion seems incompatible with
Divine providence, which leaves nothing inordinate in the world. For
guilt cannot be restored to order save by punishment: wherefore it is
impossible for punishment to cease, unless first of all guilt be
expiated: so that, as guilt remains for ever in the damned, their
punishment will nowise be interrupted.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Body Para. 3/5

For this reason the followers of Gilbert de la Porree devised another
explanation. These said that the process in the diminution of punishments
by suffrages is as the process in dividing a line, which though finite,
is indefinitely divisible, and is never destroyed by division, if it be
diminished not by equal but by proportionate quantities, for instance if
we begin by taking away a quarter of the whole, and secondly, a quarter
of that quarter, and then a quarter of this second quarter, and so on
indefinitely. In like manner, they say by the first suffrage a certain
proportion of the punishment is taken away, and by the second an equally
proportionate part of the remainder. But this explanation is in many
ways defective. First, because it seems that indefinite division which is
applicable to continuous quantity cannot be transferred to spiritual
quantity: secondly, because there is no reason why the second suffrage,
if it be of equal worth, should diminish the punishment less than the
first: thirdly, because punishment cannot be diminished unless guilt be
diminished, even as it cannot be done away unless the guilt be done away:
fourthly, because in the division of a line we come at length to
something which is not sensible, for a sensible body is not indefinitely
divisible: and thus it would follow that after many suffrages the
remaining punishment would be so little as not to be felt, and thus would
no longer be a punishment.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Body Para. 4/5

Hence others found another explanation. For Antissiodorensis [*William
of Auxerre, Archdeacon of Beauvais] (Sent. iv, Tract. 14) said that
suffrages profit the damned not by diminishing or interrupting their
punishment, but by fortifying the person punished: even as a man who is
carrying a heavy load might bathe his face in water, for thus he would be
enabled to carry it better, and yet his load would be none the lighter.
But this again is impossible, because according to Gregory (Moral. ix) a
man suffers more or less from the eternal fire according as his guilt
deserves; and consequently some suffer more, some less, from the same
fire. wherefore since the guilt of the damned remains unchanged, it
cannot be that he suffers less punishment. Moreover, the aforesaid
opinion is presumptuous, as being in opposition to the statements of holy
men, and groundless as being based on no authority. It is also
unreasonable. First, because the damned in hell are cut off from the bond
of charity in virtue of which the departed are in touch with the works of
the living. Secondly, because they have entirely come to the end of life,
and have received the final award for their merits, even as the saints
who are in heaven. For the remaining punishment or glory of the body does
not make them to be wayfarers, since glory essentially and radically
resides in the soul. It is the same with the unhappiness of the damned,
wherefore their punishment cannot be diminished as neither can the glory
of the saints be increased as to the essential reward.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] Body Para. 5/5

However, we may admit, in a certain measure, the manner in which,
according to some, suffrages profit the damned, if it be said that they
profit neither by diminishing nor interrupting their punishment, nor
again by diminishing their sense of punishment, but by withdrawing from
the damned some matter of grief, which matter they might have if they
knew themselves to be so outcast as to be a care to no one; and this
matter of grief is withdrawn from them when suffrages are offered for
them. Yet even this is impossible according to the general law, because
as Augustine says (De Cura pro Mort. xiii) - and this applies especially
to the damned - "the spirits of the departed are where they see nothing
of what men do or of what happens to them in this life," and consequently
they know not when suffrages are offered for them, unless this relief be
granted from above to some of the damned in spite of the general law.
This, however, is a matter of great uncertainty; wherefore it is safer to
say simply that suffrages profit not the damned, nor does the Church
intend to pray for them, as appears from the authors quoted above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The donaries to the idols were not found on those dead so
that they might be taken as a sign that they were carried off in
reverence to the idols: but they took them as conquerors because they
were due to them by right of war. They sinned, however, venially by
covetousness: and consequently they were not damned in hell, and thus
suffrages could profit them. or we may say, according to some, that in
the midst of fighting, seeing they were in danger, they repented of their
sin, according to Ps. 77:34, "When He slew them, then they sought Him":
and this is a probable opinion. Wherefore the offering was made for them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: In these words damnation is taken in a broad sense for any
kind of punishment, so as to include also the punishment of purgatory
which is sometimes entirely expiated by suffrages, and sometimes not
entirety, but diminished.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Suffrage for a dead person is more acceptable than for a
living person, as regards his being in greater want, since he cannot help
himself as a living person can. But a living person is better off in that
he can be taken from the state of mortal sin to the state of grace, which
cannot be said of the dead. Hence there is not the same reason for
praying for the dead as for the living.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: This assistance did not consist in a diminishment of their
punishment, but in this alone (as stated in the same place) that when he
prayed they were permitted to see one another, and in this they had a
certain joy, not real but imaginary, in the fulfillment of their desire.
Even so the demons are said to rejoice when they draw men into sin,
although this nowise diminishes their punishment, as neither is the joy
of the angels diminished by the fact that they take pity on our ills.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 5 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 5: Concerning the incident of Trajan it may be supposed with
probability that he was recalled to life at the prayers of blessed
Gregory, and thus obtained the grace whereby he received the pardon of
his sins and in consequence was freed from punishment. The same applies
to all those who were miraculously raised from the dead, many of whom
were evidently idolaters and damned. For we must needs say likewise of
all such persons that they were consigned to hell, not finally, but as
was actually due to their own merits according to justice: and that
according to higher causes, in view of which it was foreseen that they
would be recalled to life, they were to be disposed of otherwise.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[5] R.O. 5 Para. 2/2

Or we may say with some that Trajan's soul was not simply freed from the
debt of eternal punishment, but that his punishment was suspended for a
time, that is, until the judgment day. Nor does it follow that this is
the general result of suffrages, because things happen differently in
accordance with the general law from that which is permitted in
particular cases and by privilege. Even so the bounds of human affairs
differ from those of the miracles of the Divine power as Augustine says
(De Cura pro Mort. xvi).


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages profit those who are in purgatory?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages do not profit even those who are in
purgatory. For purgatory is a part of hell. Now "there is no redemption
in hell" [*Office of the Dead, Resp. vii], and it is written (Ps. 6:6),
"Who shall confess to Thee in hell?" Therefore suffrages do not profit
those who are in purgatory.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the punishment of purgatory is finite. Therefore if some
of the punishment is abated by suffrages, it would be possible to have
such a great number of suffrages, that the punishment would be entirely
remitted, and consequently the sin entirely unpunished: and this would
seem incompatible with Divine justice.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, souls are in purgatory in order that they may be
purified there, and being pure may come to the kingdom. Now nothing can
be purified, unless something be done to it. Therefore suffrages offered
by the living do not diminish the punishment of purgatory.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, if suffrages availed those who are in purgatory, those
especially would seem to avail them which are offered at their behest.
Yet these do not always avail: for instance, if a person before dying
were to provide for so many suffrages to be offered for him that if they
were offered they would suffice for the remission of his entire
punishment. Now supposing these suffrages to be delayed until he is
released from punishment, they will profit him nothing. For it cannot be
said that they profit him before they are discharged; and after they are
fulfilled, he no longer needs them, since he is already released.
Therefore suffrages do not avail those who are in purgatory.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, As quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 45), Augustine says
(Enchiridion cx): "Suffrages profit those who are not very good or not
very bad." Now such are those who are detained in purgatory. Therefore,
etc.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. vii) that the "godlike priest in
praying for the departed prays for those who lived a holy life, and yet
contracted certain stains through human frailty." Now such persons are
detained in purgatory. Therefore, etc.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The punishment of purgatory is intended to supplement the
satisfaction which was not fully completed in the body. Consequently,
since, as stated above (AA[1],2; Q[13], A[2]), the works of one person
can avail for another's satisfaction, whether the latter be living or
dead, the suffrages of the living, without any doubt, profit those who
are in purgatory.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The words quoted refer to those who are in the hell of the
damned, where there is no redemption for those who are finally consigned
to that punishment. We may also reply with Damascene (Serm.: De his qui
in fide dormierunt) that such statements are to be explained with
reference to the lower causes, that is according to the demands of the
merits of those who are consigned to those punishments. But according to
the Divine mercy which transcends human merits, it happens otherwise
through the prayers of the righteous, than is implied by the expressions
quoted in the aforesaid authorities. Now "God changes His sentence but
not his counsel," as Gregory says (Moral. xx): wherefore the Damascene
(Serm.: De his qui in fide dormierunt) quotes as instances of this the
Ninevites, Achab and Ezechias, in whom it is apparent that the sentence
pronounced against them by God was commuted by the Divine mercy [*Cf. FP,
Q[19], A[7], ad 2].

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: It is not unreasonable that the punishment of those who are
in purgatory be entirely done away by the multiplicity of suffrages. But
it does not follow that the sins remain unpunished, because the
punishment of one undertaken in lieu of another is credited to that other.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The purifying of the soul by the punishment of purgatory is
nothing else than the expiation of the guilt that hinders it from
obtaining glory. And since, as stated above (Q[13], A[2]), the guilt of
one person can be expiated by the punishment which another undergoes in
his stead, it is not unreasonable that one person be purified by another
satisfying for him.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[6] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Suffrages avail on two counts, namely the action of the
agent [*"Ex opere operante" and "ex opere operato"] and the action done.
By action done I mean not only the sacrament of the Church, but the
effect incidental to that action - thus from the giving of alms there
follow the relief of the poor and their prayer to God for the deceased.
In like manner the action of the agent may be considered in relation
either to the principal agent or to the executor. I say, then, that the
dying person, as soon as he provides for certain suffrages to be offered
for him, receives the full meed of those suffrages, even before they are
discharged, as regards the efficacy of the suffrages that results from
the action as proceeding from the principal agent. But as regards the
efficacy of the suffrages arising from the action done or from the action
as proceeding from the executor, he does not receive the fruit before the
suffrages are discharged. And if, before this, he happens to be released
from his punishment, he will in this respect be deprived of the fruit of
the suffrages, and this will fall back upon those by whose fault he was
then defrauded. For it is not unreasonable that a person be defrauded in
temporal matters by another's fault - and the punishment of purgatory is
temporal - although as regards the eternal retribution none can be
defrauded save by his own fault.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages avail the children who are in limbo?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages avail the children who are in limbo.
For they are not detained there except for another's sin. Therefore it is
most becoming that they should be assisted by the suffrages of others.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, in the text (Sent. iv, D, 45) the words of Augustine
(Enchiridion cx) are quoted: "The suffrages of the Church obtain
forgiveness for those who are not very bad." Now children are not
reckoned among those who are very bad, since their punishment is very
light. Therefore the suffrages of the Church avail them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The text (Sent. iv, D, 45) quotes Augustine as saying
(Serm. xxxii, De Verb Ap.) that "suffrages avail not those who have
departed hence without the faith that works by love." Now the children
departed thus. Therefore suffrages avail them not.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Unbaptized children are not detained in limbo save
because they lack the state of grace. Hence, since the state of the dead
cannot be changed by the works of the living, especially as regards the
merit of the essential reward or punishment, the suffrages of the living
cannot profit the children in limbo.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Although original sin is such that one person can be
assisted by another on its account, nevertheless the souls of the
children in limbo are in such a state that they cannot be assisted,
because after this life there is no time for obtaining grace.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Augustine is speaking of those who are not very bad, but
have been baptized. This is clear from what precedes: "Since these
sacrifices, whether of the altar or of any alms whatsoever are offered
for those who have been baptized," etc.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages profit the saints in heaven?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that in some way suffrages profit the saints in
heaven; on account of the words of the Collect in the Mass
[*Postcommunion, Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle]: "Even as they" (i.e. the
sacraments) "avail thy saints unto glory, so may they profit us unto
healing." Now foremost among all suffrages is the sacrifice of the altar.
Therefore suffrages profit the saints in heaven.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the sacraments cause what they signify. Now the third
part of the host, that namely which is dropped into the chalice,
signifies those who lead a happy life in heaven. Therefore the suffrages
of the Church profit those who are in heaven.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the saints rejoice in heaven not only in their own
goods, but also in the goods of others: hence it is written (Lk. 15:10):
"There is [Vulg.: 'shall be'] joy before the angels of God upon one
sinner doing penance." Therefore the joy of the saints in heaven
increases on account of the good works of the living: and consequently
our suffrages also profit them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the Damascene says (Serm.: De his qui in fide
dormierunt) quoting the words of Chrysostom: "For if the heathens," he
says, "burn the dead together with what has belonged to them, how much
more shouldst thou, a believer, send forth a believer together with what
has belonged to him, not that they also may be brought to ashes like him,
but that thou mayest surround him with greater glory by so doing; and if
he be a sinner who has died, that thou mayest loose him from his sins,
and if he be righteous, that thou mayest add to his meed and reward!" And
thus the same conclusion follows.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, As quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 15), Augustine says
(De Verb Ap., Serm. xvii): "It is insulting to pray for a martyr in
church, since we ought to commend ourselves to his prayers."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, to be assisted belongs to one who is in need. But the saints in
heaven are without any need whatever. Therefore they are not assisted by
the suffrages of the Church.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Suffrage by its very nature implies the giving of some
assistance, which does not apply to one who suffers no default: since no
one is competent to be assisted except he who is in need. Hence, as the
saints in heaven are free from all need, being inebriated with the plenty
of God's house (Ps. 35:10), they are not competent to be assisted by
suffrages.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Such like expressions do not mean that the saints receive
an increase of glory in themselves through our observing their feasts,
but that we profit thereby in celebrating their glory with greater
solemnity. Thus, through our knowing or praising God, and through His
glory thus increasing some what in us, there accrues something, not to
God, but to us.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although the sacraments cause what thy signify, they do not
produce this effect in respect of everything that they signify: else,
since they signify Christ, they would produce something in Christ (which
is absurd). But they produce their effect on the recipient of the
sacrament in virtue of that which is signified by the sacrament. Thus it
does not follow that the sacrifices offered for the faithful departed
profit the saints, but that by the merits of the saints which we
commemorate, or which are signified in the sacrament, they profit others
for whom they are offered.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although the saints in heaven rejoice in all our goods, it
does not follow, that if our joys be increased their joy is also
increased formally, but only materially, because every passion is
increased formally in respect of the formal aspect of its object. Now the
formal aspect of the saints' joy, no matter what they rejoice in, is God
Himself, in Whom they cannot rejoice more and less, for otherwise their
essential reward, consisting of their joy in God, would vary. Hence from
the fact that the goods are multiplied, wherein they rejoice with God as
the formal aspect of their joy, it does not follow that their joy is
intensified, but that they rejoice in more things. Consequently it does
not follow that they are assisted by our works.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[8] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The sense is not that an increase of meed or reward accrues
to the saint from the suffrages offered by a person, but that this
accrues to the offerer. Or we may reply that the blessed departed may
derive a reward from suffrages through having, while living, provided for
suffrage to be offered for himself, and this was meritorious for him.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the prayers of the Church, the sacrifice of the altar and alms
profit the departed?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the souls of the departed are not assisted
only by the prayers of the Church, the sacrifice of the altar and alms,
or that they are not assisted by them chiefly. For punishment should
compensate for punishment. Now fasting is more penal than almsgiving or
prayer. Therefore fasting profits more as suffrage than any of the above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gregory reckons fasting together with these three, as
stated in the Decretals (xiii, Q. ii, Cap. 22): "The souls of the
departed are released in four ways, either by the offerings of priests,
or the alms of their friends, or the prayers of the saints, or the
fasting of their kinsfolk." Therefore the three mentioned above are
insufficiently reckoned by Augustine (De Cura pro Mort. xviii).

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Baptism is the greatest of the sacraments, especially as
regards its effect. Therefore Baptism and other sacraments ought to be
offered for the departed equally with or more than the Sacrament of the
altar.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, this would seem to follow from the words of 1 Cor.
15:29, "If the dead rise not again at all, why are they then baptized for
them?" Therefore Baptism avails as suffrage for the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, in different Masses there is the same Sacrifice of the
altar. If, therefore, sacrifice, and not the Mass, be reckoned among the
suffrages, it would seem that the effect would be the same whatever Mass
be said for a deceased person, whether in honor of the Blessed Virgin or
of the Holy Ghost, or any other. Yet this seems contrary to the ordinance
of the Church which has appointed a special Mass for the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, the Damascene (Serm.: De his qui in fide dormierunt)
teaches that candles and oil should be offered for the dead. Therefore
not only the offering of the sacrifice of the altar, but also other
offerings should be reckoned among suffrages for the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The suffrages of the living profit the dead in so far as
the latter are united to the living in charity, and in so far as the
intention of the living is directed to the dead. Consequently those whose
works are by nature best adapted to assist the dead, which pertain
chiefly to the communication of charity, or to the directing of one's
intention to another person. Now the sacrament of the Eucharist belongs
chiefly to charity, since it is the sacrament of ecclesiastical unity,
inasmuch as it contains Him in Whom the whole Church is united and
incorporated, namely Christ: wherefore the Eucharist is as it were the
origin and bond of charity. Again, chief among the effects of charity is
the work of almsgiving: wherefore on the part of charity these two,
namely the sacrifice of the Church and almsgiving are the chief suffrages
for the dead. But on the part of the intention directed to the dead the
chief suffrage is prayer, because prayer by its very nature implies
relation not only to the person who prays, even as other works do, but
more directly still to that which we pray for. Hence these three are
reckoned the principal means of succoring the dead, although we must
allow that any other goods whatsoever that are done out of charity for
the dead are profitable to them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: When one person satisfies for another, the point to
consider, in order that the effect of his satisfaction reach the other,
is the thing whereby the satisfaction of one passes to another, rather
than even the punishment undergone by way of satisfaction; although the
punishment expiates more the guilt of the one who satisfies, in so far as
it is a kind of medicine. And consequently the three aforesaid are more
profitable to the departed than fasting.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: It is true that fasting can profit the departed by reason
of charity, and on account of the intention being directed to the
departed. Nevertheless, fasting does not by its nature contain anything
pertaining to charity or to the directing of the intention, and these
things are extrinsic thereto as it were, and for this reason Augustine
did not reckon, while Gregory did reckon, fasting among the suffrages for
the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Baptism is a spiritual regeneration, wherefore just as by
generation being does not accrue save to the object generated, so Baptism
produces its effect only in the person baptized, as regards the deed
done: and yet as regards the deed of the doer whether of the baptizer or
of the baptized, it may profit others even as other meritorious works. On
the other hand, the Eucharist is the sign of ecclesiastical unity,
wherefore by reason of the deed done its effect can pass to another,
which is not the case with the other sacraments.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: According to a gloss this passage may be expounded in two
ways. First, thus: "If the dead rise not again, nor did Christ rise
again, why are they baptized for them? i.e. for sins, since they are not
pardoned if Christ rose not again, because in Baptism not only Christ's
passion but also His resurrection operates, for the latter is in a sense
the cause of our spiritual resurrection." Secondly, thus: There have been
some misguided persons who were baptized for those who had departed this
life without baptism, thinking that this would profit them: and according
to this explanation the Apostle is speaking, in the above words, merely
according to the opinion of certain persons.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: In the office of the Mass there is not only a sacrifice but
also prayers. Hence the suffrage of the Mass contains two of the things
mentioned by Augustine (De Cura pro Mort. xviii), namely "prayer" and
"sacrifice." As regards the sacrifice offered the Mass profits equally
the departed, no matter in whose honor it be said: and this is the
principal thing done in the Mass. But as regards the prayers, that Mass
is most profitable in which the prayers are appointed for this purpose.
Nevertheless, this defect may be supplied by the greater devotion, either
of the one who says Mass, or of the one who orders the Mass to be said,
or again, by the intercession of the saint whose suffrage is besought in
the Mass.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[9] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: This offering of candles or oil may profit the departed in
so far as they are a kind of alms: for they are given for the worship of
the Church or for the use of the faithful.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the indulgences of the Church profit the dead?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the indulgences granted by the Church profit
even the dead. First, on account of the custom of the Church, who orders
the preaching of a crusade in order that some one may gain an indulgence
for himself and for two or three and sometimes even ten souls, both of
the living and of the dead. But this would amount to a deception unless
they profited the dead. Therefore indulgences profit the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the merit of the whole Church is more efficacious than
that of one person. Now personal merit serves as a suffrage for the
departed, for instance in the case of almsgiving. Much more therefore
does the merit of the Church whereon indulgences are founded.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the indulgences of the Church profit those who are
members of the Church. Now those who are in purgatory are members of the
Church, else the suffrages of the Church would not profit them. Therefore
it would seem that indulgences profit the departed.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, In order that indulgences may avail a person, there
must be a fitting cause for granting the indulgence [*Cf. Q[25], A[2]].
Now there can be no such cause on the part of the dead, since they can do
nothing that is of profit to the Church, and it is for such a cause that
indulgences are chiefly granted. Therefore, seemingly, indulgences profit
not the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, indulgences are regulated according to the decision of the
party who grants them. If, therefore, indulgences could avail the dead,
it would be in the power of the party granting them to release a deceased
person entirely from punishment: which is apparently absurd.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[10] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, An indulgence may profit a person in two ways: in one
way, principally; in another, secondarily. It profits principally the
person who avails himself of an indulgence, who, namely, does that for
which the indulgence is granted, for instance one who visits the shrine
of some saint. Hence since the dead can do none of those things for which
indulgences are granted, indulgences cannot avail them directly. However,
they profit secondarily and indirectly the person for whom one does that
which is the cause of the indulgence. This is sometimes feasible and
sometimes not, according to the different forms of indulgence. For if the
form of indulgence be such as this: "Whosoever does this or that shall
gain so much indulgence," he who does this cannot transfer the fruit of
the indulgence to another, because it is not in his power to apply to a
particular person the intention of the Church who dispenses the common
suffrages whence indulgences derive their value, as stated above (Q[27],
A[3], ad 2). If, however, the indulgence be granted in this form:
"Whosoever does this or that, he, his father, or any other person
connected with him and detained in purgatory, will gain so much
indulgence," an indulgence of this kind will avail not only a living but
also a deceased person. For there is no reason why the Church is able to
transfer the common merits, whereon indulgences are based, to the living
and not to the dead. Nor does it follow that a prelate of the Church can
release souls from purgatory just as he lists, since for indulgences to
avail there must be a fitting cause for granting them, as stated above
(Q[26], A[3]).


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the burial service profits the dead?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the burial service profits the dead. For
Damascene (Serm.: De his qui in fide dormierunt) quotes Athanasius as
saying: "Even though he who has departed in godliness be taken up to
heaven, do not hesitate to call upon God and to burn oil and wax at his
tomb; for such things are pleasing to God and receive a great reward from
Him." Now the like pertain to the burial service. Therefore the burial
service profits the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, according to Augustine (De Cura pro mort. iii), "In
olden times the funerals of just men were cared for with dutiful piety,
their obsequies celebrated, their graves provided, and themselves while
living charged their children touching the burial or even the translation
of their bodies." But they would not have done this unless the tomb and
things of this kind conferred something on the dead. Therefore the like
profit the dead somewhat.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, no one does a work of mercy on some one's behalf unless
it profit him. Now burying the dead is reckoned among the works of mercy,
therefore Augustine says (De Cura pro Mort. iii): "Tobias, as attested by
the angel, is declared to have found favor with God by burying the dead."
Therefore such like burial observances profit the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, it is unbecoming to assert that the devotion of the
faithful is fruitless. Now some, out of devotion, arrange for their
burial in some religious locality. Therefore the burial service profits
the dead.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, God is more inclined to pity than to condemn. Now burial
in a sacred place is hurtful to some if they be unworthy: wherefore
Gregory says (Dial. iv): "If those who are burdened with grievous sins
are buried in the church this will lead to their more severe condemnation
rather than to their release." Much more, therefore, should we say that
the burial service profits the good.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] OTC Para. 1/3

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Cura pro Mort. iii): "Whatever
service is done the body is no aid to salvation, but an office of
humanity."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] OTC Para. 2/3

Further, Augustine says (De Cura pro Mort. iii; De Civ. Dei i): "The
funereal equipment, the disposition of the grace, the solemnity of the
obsequies are a comfort to the living rather than a help to the dead."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] OTC Para. 3/3

Further, Our Lord said (Lk. 12:4): "Be not afraid of them who kill the
body, and after that have no more that they can do." Now after death the
bodies of the saints can be hindered from being buried, as we read of
having been done to certain martyrs at Lyons in Gaul (Eusebius, Eccl.
Hist. v, 1). Therefore the dead take no harm if their bodies remain
unburied: and consequently the burial service does not profit them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, We have recourse to burial for the sake of both the
living and the dead. For the sake of the living, lest their eyes be
revolted by the disfigurement of the corpse, and their bodies be infected
by the stench, and this as regards the body. But it profits the living
also spiritually inasmuch as our belief in the resurrection is confirmed
thereby. It profits the dead in so far as one bears the dead in mind and
prays for them through looking on their burial place, wherefore a
"monument" takes its name from remembrance, for a monument is something
that recalls the mind [monens mentem], as Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei
i; De Cura pro Mort. iv). It was, however, a pagan error that burial was
profitable to the dead by procuring rest for his soul: for they believed
that the soul could not be at rest until the body was buried, which is
altogether ridiculous and absurd.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] Body Para. 2/2

That, moreover, burial in a sacred place profits the dead, does not
result from the action done, but rather from the action itself of the
doer: when, to wit, the dead person himself, or another, arranges for his
body to be buried in a sacred place, and commends him to the patronage of
some saint, by whose prayers we must believe that he is assisted, as well
as to the suffrages of those who serve the holy place, and pray more
frequently and more specially for those who are buried in their midst.
But such things as are done for the display of the obsequies are
profitable to the living, as being a consolation to them; and yet they
can also profit the dead, not directly but indirectly, in so far as men
are aroused to pity thereby and consequently to pray, or in so far as the
outlay on the burial brings either assistance to the poor or adornment to
the church: for it is in this sense that the burial of the dead is
reckoned among the works of mercy.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: By bringing oil and candles to the tombs of the dead we
profit them indirectly, either as offering them to the Church and as
giving them to the poor, or as doing this in reverence of God. Hence,
after the words quoted we read: "For oil and candles are a holocaust."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The fathers of old arranged for the burial of their bodies,
so as to show that "the bodies of the dead" are the object of Divine
providence, not that there is any feeling in a dead body, but in order to
confirm the belief in the resurrection, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i,
13). Hence, also, they wished to be buried in the land of promise, where
they believed Christ's birth and death would take place, Whose
resurrection is the cause of our rising again.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Since flesh is a part of man's nature, man has a natural
affection for his flesh, according to Eph. 5:29, "No man ever hated his
own flesh." Hence in accordance with this natural affection a man has
during life a certain solicitude for what will become of his body after
death: and he would grieve if he had a presentiment that something
untoward would happen to his body. Consequently those who love a man,
through being conformed to the one they love in his affection for
himself, treat his body with loving care. For as Augustine says (De Civ.
Dei i, 13): "If a father's garment and ring, and whatever such like is
the more dear to those whom they leave behind the greater their affection
is towards their parents, in no wise are the bodies themselves to be
spurned which truly we wear in more familiar and close conjunction than
anything else we put on."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: As Augustine says (De Cura pro Mort. iv), the devotion of
the faithful is not fruitless when they arrange for their friends to be
buried in holy places, since by so doing they commend their dead to the
suffrages of the saints, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[11] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: The wicked man dead takes no harm by being buried in a holy
place, except in so far as he rendered such a burial place unfitting for
him by reason of human glory.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages offered for one deceased person profit the person for
whom they are offered more than others?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages offered for one deceased person are
not more profitable to the one for whom they are offered, than to others.
For spiritual light is more communicable than a material light. Now a
material light, for instance of a candle, though kindled for one person
only, avails equally all those who are gathered together, though the
candle be not lit for them. Therefore, since suffrages are a kind of
spiritual light, though they be offered for one person in particular, do
not avail him any more than the others who are in purgatory.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 45), suffrages avail
the dead "in so far as during this life they merited that they might
avail them afterwards" [*St. Augustine, Enchiridion cx]. Now some merited
that suffrages might avail them more than those for whom they are
offered. Therefore they profit more by those suffrages, else their merits
would be rendered unavailing.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the poor have not so many suffrages given them as the
rich. Therefore if the suffrages offered for certain people profit them
alone, or profit them more than others, the poor would be worse off: yet
this is contrary to our Lord's saying (Lk. 6:20): "Blessed are ye poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, Human justice is copied from Divine justice. But if a
person pay another's debt human justice releases the latter alone.
Therefore since he who offers suffrages for another pays the debt, in a
sense, of the person for whom he offers them, they profit this person
alone.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, just as a man by offering suffrages satisfies somewhat for a
deceased person, so, too, sometimes a person can satisfy for a living
person. Now where one satisfies for a living person the satisfaction
counts only for the person for whom it is offered. Therefore one also who
offers suffrages profits him alone for whom he offers them.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, There have been two opinions on this question. Some, like
Praepositivus, have said that suffrages offered for one particular person
do avail chiefly, not the person for whom they are offered, but those who
are most worthy. And they instanced a candle which is lit for a rich man
and profits those who are with him no less than the rich man himself, and
perhaps even more, if they have keener sight. They also gave the instance
of a lesson which profits the person to whom it is given no more than
others who listen with him, but perhaps profits these others more, if
they be more intelligent. And if it were pointed out to them that in this
case the Church's ordinance in appointing certain special prayers for
certain persons is futile, they said that the Church did this to excite
the devotion of the faithful, who are more inclined to offer special than
common suffrages, and pray more fervently for their kinsfolk than for
strangers.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] Body Para. 2/2

Others, on the contrary, said that suffrages avail more those for whom
they are offered. Now both opinions have a certain amount of truth: for
the value of suffrages may be gauged from two sources. For their value is
derived in the first place from the virtue of charity, which makes all
goods common, and in this respect they avail more the person who is more
full of charity, although they are not offered specially for him. In this
way the value of suffrages regards more a certain inward consolation by
reason of which one who is in charity rejoices in the goods of another
after death in respect of the diminution of punishment; for after death
there is no possibility of obtaining or increasing grace, whereas during
life the works of others avail for this purpose by the virtue of charity.
In the second place suffrages derive their value from being applied to
another person by one's intention. In this way the satisfaction of one
person counts for another, and there can be no doubt that thus they avail
more the person for whom they are offered: in fact, they avail him alone
in this way, because satisfaction, properly speaking, is directed to the
remission of punishment. Consequently, as regards the remission of
punishment, suffrages avail chiefly the person for whom they are offered,
and accordingly there is more truth in the second opinion than in the
first.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Suffrages avail, after the manner of a light, in so far as
they reach the dead, who thereby receive a certain amount of consolation:
and this is all the greater according as they are endowed with a greater
charity. But in so far as suffrages are a satisfaction applied to another
by the intention of the offerer, they do not resemble a light, but rather
the payment of a debt: and it does not follow, if one person's debt be
paid, that the debt of others is paid likewise.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Such a merit is conditional, for in this way they merited
that suffrages would profit them if offered for them, and this was merely
to render themselves fit recipients of those suffrages. It is therefore
clear that they did not directly merit the assistance of those suffrages,
but made themselves fit by their preceding merits to receive the fruit of
suffrages. Hence it does not follow that their merit is rendered
unavailing.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[12] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Nothing hinders the rich from being in some respects better
off than the poor, for instance as regards the expiation of their
punishment. But this is as nothing in comparison with the kingdom of
heaven, where the poor are shown to be better off by the authority quoted.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether suffrages offered for several are of as much value to each one as
if they had been offered for each in particular?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that suffrages offered for several are of as much
value to each one as if they had been offered for each in particular. For
it is clear that if one person receives a lesson he loses nothing if
others receive the lesson with him. Therefore in like manner a person for
whom a suffrage is offered loses nothing if some one else is reckoned
together with him: and consequently if it be offered for several, it is
of as much value to each one as if it were offered for each in particular.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it is to be observed that according to the common
practice of the Church, when Mass is said for one deceased person, other
prayers are added for other deceased persons. Now this would not be done,
if the dead person for whom the Mass is said were to lose something
thereby. Therefore the same conclusion follows as above.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, suffrages, especially of prayers, rely on the Divine
power. But with God, just as it makes no difference whether He helps by
means of many or by means of a few, so it differs not whether He assists
many or a few. Therefore if the one same prayer be said for many, each
one of them will receive as much assistance as one person would if that
same prayer were said for him alone.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, It is better to assist many than one. If therefore a
suffrage offered for several is of as much value to each one as if it
were offered for one alone, it would seem that the Church ought not to
have appointed a Mass and prayer to be said for one person in particular,
but that Mass ought always to be said for all the faithful departed: and
this is evidently false.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, a suffrage has a finite efficiency. Therefore if it be divided
among many it avails less for each one than if it were offered for one
only.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, If the value of suffrages be considered according as it
is derived from the virtue of charity uniting the members of the Church
together, suffrages offered for several persons avail each one as much as
if they were offered for one alone, because charity is not diminished if
its effect be divided among many, in fact rather is it increased; and in
like manner joy increases through being shared by many, as Augustine says
(Confess. viii). Consequently many in purgatory rejoice in one good deed
no less than one does. On the other hand, if we consider the value of
suffrages, inasmuch as they are a kind of satisfaction applied to the
dead by the intention of the person offering them, then the suffrage for
some person in particular avails him more than that which is offered for
him in common with many others; for in this case the effect of the
suffrages is divided in virtue of Divine justice among those for whom the
suffrages are offered. Hence it is evident that this question depends on
the first; and, moreover, it is made clear why special suffrages are
appointed to be offered in the Church.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Suffrages considered as works of satisfaction do not profit
after the manner of an action as teaching does; for teaching, like any
other action, produces its effect according to the disposition of the
recipient. But they profit after the manner of the payment of a debt, as
stated above (A[12], ad 1); and so the comparison fails.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Since suffrages offered for one person avail others in a
certain way, as stated (A[1]), it follows that when Mass is said for one
person, it is not unfitting for prayers to be said for others also. For
these prayers are said, not that the satisfaction offered by one suffrage
be applied to those others chiefly, but that the prayer offered for them
in particular may profit them also.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[13] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Prayer may be considered both on the part of the one who
prays, and on the part of the person prayed: and its effect depends on
both. Consequently though it is no more difficult to the Divine power to
absolve many than to absolve one, nevertheless the prayer of one who
prays thus is not as satisfactory for many as for one.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether general suffrages avail those for whom special suffrages are not
offered, as much as special suffrages avail those for whom they are
offered in addition to general suffrages?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that general suffrages avail those for whom special
suffrages are not offered, as much as special suffrages avail those for
whom they are offered in addition to general suffrages. For in the life
to come each one will be rewarded according to his merits. Now a person
for whom no suffrages are offered merited to be assisted after death as
much as one for whom special suffrages are offered. Therefore the former
will be assisted by general suffrages as much as the latter by special
and general suffrages.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the Eucharist is the chief of the suffrages of the
Church. Now the Eucharist, since it contains Christ whole, has infinite
efficacy so to speak. Therefore one offering of the Eucharist for all in
general is of sufficient value to release all who are in purgatory: and
consequently general suffrages alone afford as much assistance as special
and general suffrages together.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Two goods are more eligible than one. Therefore special
suffrages, together with general suffrages, are more profitable to the
person for whom they are offered than general suffrages alone.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The reply to this question depends on that which is given
to the twelfth inquiry (A[12]): for if the suffrages offered for one
person in particular avail indifferently for all, then all suffrages are
common; and consequently one for whom the special suffrages are not
offered will be assisted as much as the one for whom they are offered, if
he be equally worthy. On the other hand, if the suffrages offered for a
person do not profit all indifferently, but those chiefly for whom they
are offered, then there is no doubt that general and special suffrages
together avail a person more than general suffrages alone. Hence the
Master, in the text (Sent. iv, D, 45), mentions two opinions: one, when
he says that a rich man derives from general, together with special
suffrages, an equal profit to that which a poor man derives from special
suffrages alone; for although the one receives assistance from more
sources than the other, he does not receive a greater assistance: the
other opinion he mentions when he says that a person for whom special
suffrages are offered obtains a more speedy but not a more complete
release, because each will be finally released from all punishment.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As stated above (A[12], ad 2) the assistance derived from
suffrages is not directly and simply an object of merit, but
conditionally as it were: hence the argument does not prove.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[71] A[14] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although the power of Christ Who is contained in the
Sacrament of the Eucharist is infinite, yet there is a definite effect to
which that sacrament is directed. Hence it does not follow that the whole
punishment of those who are in purgatory is expiated by one sacrifice of
the altar: even so, by the one sacrifice which a man offers, he is not
released from the whole satisfaction due for his sins, wherefore
sometimes several Masses are enjoined in satisfaction for one sin.
Nevertheless, if any thing from special suffrages be left over for those
for whom they are offered (for instance if they need them not) we may
well believe that by God's mercy this is granted to others for whom those
suffrages are not offered, if they need them: as affirmed by Damascene
(Serm.: De his qui in fide dormierunt) who says: "Truly God, forasmuch as
He is just will adapt ability to the disabled, and will arrange for an
exchange of deficiencies": and this exchange is effected when what is
lacking to one is supplied by another.





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