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Pints With Aquinas

If you could sit down with St. Thomas Aquinas over a pint of beer and ask him any one question, what would it be? Every episode of Pints With Aquinas revolves around a question, a question that St. Thomas addresses in his most famous work, The Summa Theologica. So get your geek on, pull up a bar stool, and grab a cold one. Here we go!
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Sep 10, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss the passions once more. This is really a two part series so we encourage you, if you haven't already, to go and listen to last week's episode before listening to this one. That said, you'll get a lot out of this one regardless.

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Sep 3, 2019

Today Fr. Pine and I begin a two part series on Aquinas' understanding of the passions.

I've posted a document which will help you better understand what we go into today at https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd/posts So be sure to check that out.

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Thanks!

Aug 27, 2019

Today we're going to talk with Aquinas about backbiting, slander, and calumny.

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We're reading from the Secunda Secundae, Q. 73. A. 1;4.

On the contrary, It is written (Ecclesiastes 10:11): "If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth."

I answer that, Just as one man injures another by deed in two ways—openly, as by robbery or by doing him any kind of violence—and secretly, as by theft, or by a crafty blow, so again one man injures another by words in two ways—in one way, openly, and this is done by reviling him, as stated above (II-II:72:1)—and in another way secretly, and this is done by backbiting. Now from the fact that one man openly utters words against another man, he would appear to think little of him, so that for this reason he dishonors him, so that reviling is detrimental to the honor of the person reviled. On the other hand, he that speaks against another secretly, seems to respect rather than slight him, so that he injures directly, not his honor but his good name, in so far as by uttering such words secretly, he, for his own part, causes his hearers to have a bad opinion of the person against whom he speaks. For the backbiter apparently intends and aims at being believed. It is therefore evident that backbiting differs from reviling in two points: first, in the way in which the words are uttered, the reviler speaking openly against someone, and the backbiter secretly; secondly, as to the end in view, i.e. as regards the injury inflicted, the reviler injuring a man's honor, the backbiter injuring his good name.

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On the contrary, Jerome says (Ep. ad Nepot. lii): "Take care not to have an itching tongue, nor tingling ears, that is, neither detract others nor listen to backbiters."

I answer that, According to the Apostle (Romans 1:32), they "are worthy of death . . . not only they that" commit sins, "but they also that consent to them that do them." Now this happens in two ways. First, directly, when, to wit, one man induces another to sin, or when the sin is pleasing to him: secondly, indirectly, that is, if he does not withstand him when he might do so, and this happens sometimes, not because the sin is pleasing to him, but on account of some human fear.

Accordingly we must say that if a man list ens to backbiting without resisting it, he seems to consent to the backbiter, so that he becomes a participator in his sin. And if he induces him to backbite, or at least if the detraction be pleasing to him on account of his hatred of the person detracted, he sins no less than the detractor, and sometimes more. Wherefore Bernard says (De Consid. ii, 13): "It is difficult to say which is the more to be condemned the backbiter or he that listens to backbiting." If however the sin is not pleasing to him, and he fails to withstand the backbiter, through fear negligence, or even shame, he sins indeed, but much less than the backbiter, and, as a rule venially. Sometimes too this may be a mortal sin, either because it is his official duty to cor. rect the backbiter, or by reason of some consequent danger; or on account of the radical reason for which human fear may sometimes be a mortal sin, as stated above (II-II:19:3).

Aug 20, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, here.

Read what Aquinas has to say on happiness here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2002.htm

Aug 15, 2019

Click here to listen to Munificentissimus Deus, by Pope Pius XII (PATRONS ONLY)

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Happy feast of the assumption of Mary, y’all!

Today I talk a little about the assumption of Mary. I respond to what Protestant apologist Norm Geisler has to say regarding Aquinas and the dogma of the assumption.

And then (….drum roll….), I share a portion of a brand new audio book, Pope Pius XII’s apostolic constitution in which he defines as dogma Mary’s assumption into Heaven

Aug 13, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, here.

Read what Aquinas has to say on happiness here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2002.htm

Aug 6, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, here.

Some of Aquinas' text:

Article 1. Whether happiness is something uncreated?

Objection 1. It would seem that happiness is something uncreated. For Boethius says (De Consol. iii): "We must needs confess that God is happiness itself."

Objection 2. Further, happiness is the supreme good. But it belongs to God to be the supreme good. Since, then, there are not several supreme goods, it seems that happiness is the same as God.

Objection 3. Further, happiness is the last end, to which man's will tends naturally. But man's will should tend to nothing else as an end, but to God, Who alone is to be enjoyed, as Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5,22). Therefore happiness is the same as God.

On the contrary, Nothing made is uncreated. But man's happiness is something made; because according to Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i, 3): "Those things are to be enjoyed which make us happy." Therefore happiness is not something uncreated.

I answer that, As stated above (I-II:1:8; I-II:2:7), our end is twofold. First, there is the thing itself which we desire to attain: thus for the miser, the end is money. Secondly there is the attainment or possession, the use or enjoyment of the thing desired; thus we may say that the end of the miser is the possession of money; and the end of the intemperate man is to enjoy something pleasurable. In the first sense, then, man's last end is the uncreated good, namely, God, Who alone by His infinite goodness can perfectly satisfy man's will. But in the second way, man's last end is something created, existing in him, and this is nothing else than the attainment or enjoyment of the last end. Now the last end is called happiness. If, therefore, we consider man's happiness in its cause or object, then it is something uncreated; but if we consider it as to the very essence of happiness, then it is something created.

Reply to Objection 1. God is happiness by His Essence: for He is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by His Essence. On the other hand, men are happy, as Boethius says (De Consol. iii), by participation; just as they are called "gods," by participation. And this participation of happiness, in respect of which man is said to be happy, is something created.

Reply to Objection 2. Happiness is called man's supreme good, because it is the attainment or enjoyment of the supreme good.

Reply to Objection 3. Happiness is said to be the last end, in the same way as the attainment of the end is called the end.

Jul 30, 2019

Sup gang, please consider becoming a patron here to support all of this work I'm doing at PWA at The Matt Fradd Show.

Wow! What a fascinating discussion. I sat down with Dr. Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy at Baylor University, about something he has spent a lot of time thinking and writing about lately, whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. He has, I think, a very nuanced and convincing argument.

* Check out Dr. Beckwith's new book, Never Doubt Thomas

Jul 24, 2019

In this episode of TMFS I talk to Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, about his conversion to the Catholic faith, why he loves Thomas Aquinas, his thoughts about Pope Francis, Dostoevsky (obviously) and the best arguments for God and atheism ... and much else besides.
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Jul 23, 2019

Today is the second in a two part series on the incarnation I recorded with Fr. Gregory Pine. If you haven't heard the first episode, maybe go and do that first. Not telling you what to do. Just a suggestion. But if you don't do it you're a bad person.

ALSO, I'd like to bring Fr. Gregory Pine on to PWA every other week. To make that happen we need more patrons. Please help this happen by going to https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd

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Here's what we read today:

So also was this useful for our "withdrawal from evil."

First, because man is taught by it not to prefer the devil to himself, nor to honor him who is the author of sin; hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17): "Since human nature is so united to God as to become one person, let not these proud spirits dare to prefer themselves to man, because they have no bodies."

Secondly, because we are thereby taught how great is man's dignity, lest we should sully it with sin; hence Augustine says (De Vera Relig. xvi): "God has proved to us how high a place human nature holds amongst creatures, inasmuch as He appeared to men as a true man." And Pope Leo says in a sermon on the Nativity (xxi): "Learn, O Christian, thy worth; and being made a partner of the Divine nature, refuse to return by evil deeds to your former worthlessness."

Thirdly, because, "in order to do away with man's presumption, the grace of God is commended in Jesus Christ, though no merits of ours went before," as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17).

Fourthly, because "man's pride, which is the greatest stumbling-block to our clinging to God, can be convinced and cured by humility so great," as Augustine says in the same place.

Fifthly, in order to free man from the thraldom of sin, which, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 13), "ought to be done in such a way that the devil should be overcome by the justice of the man Jesus Christ," and this was done by Christ satisfying for us. Now a mere man could not have satisfied for the whole human race, and God was not bound to satisfy; hence it behooved Jesus Christ to be both God and man. Hence Pope Leo says in the same sermon: "Weakness is assumed by strength, lowliness by majesty, mortality by eternity, in order that one and the same Mediator of God and men might die in one and rise in the other—for this was our fitting remedy. Unless He was God, He would not have brought a remedy; and unless He was man, He would not have set an example."

And there are very many other advantages which accrued, above man's apprehension.

Jul 16, 2019

Today is the first in a two part series on the incarnation I recorded with Fr. Gregory Pine.

I'd like to bring Fr. Gregory Pine on to PWA every other week. To make that happen we need 40 more patrons. Please help this happen by going to https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd

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Here's what we read today:

 

On the contrary, What frees the human race from perdition is necessary for the salvation of man. But the mystery of Incarnation is such; according to John 3:16: "God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting." Therefore it was necessary for man's salvation that God should become incarnate.

I answer that, A thing is said to be necessary for a certain end in two ways. First, when the end cannot be without it; as food is necessary for the preservation of human life. Secondly, when the end is attained better and more conveniently, as a horse is necessary for a journey. In the first way it was not necessary that God should become incarnate for the restoration of human nature. For God with His omnipotent power could have restored human nature in many other ways. But in the second way it was necessary that God should become incarnate for the restoration of human nature. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 10): "We shall also show that other ways were not wanting to God, to Whose power all things are equally subject; but that there was not a more fitting way of healing our misery."

Now this may be viewed with respect to our "furtherance in good."

First, with regard to faith, which is made more certain by believing God Himself Who speaks; hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 2): "In order that man might journey more trustfully toward the truth, the Truth itself, the Son of God, having assumed human nature, established and founded faith."

Secondly, with regard to hope, which is thereby greatly strengthened; hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiii): "Nothing was so necessary for raising our hope as to show us how deeply God loved us. And what could afford us a stronger proof of this than that the Son of God should become a partner with us of human nature?"

Thirdly, with regard to charity, which is greatly enkindled by this; hence Augustine says (De Catech. Rudib. iv): "What greater cause is there of the Lord's coming than to show God's love for us?" And he afterwards adds: "If we have been slow to love, at least let us hasten to love in return."

Fourthly, with regard to well-doing, in which He set us an example; hence Augustine says in a sermon (xxii de Temp.): "Man who might be seen was not to be followed; but God was to be followed, Who could not be seen. And therefore God was made man, that He Who might be seen by man, and Whom man might follow, might be shown to man."

Fifthly, with regard to the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of man and end of human life; and this is bestowed upon us by Christ's humanity; for Augustine says in a sermon (xiii de Temp.): "God was made man, that man might be made God."

Jul 9, 2019

Today I interview Sr. Mary Madeline Todd about how to have hope in the midst of scandal. 

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Jul 2, 2019

Today I discuss 10 bad arguments for atheism! Enjoy!

Also, please consider supporting me on Patreon so I can keep doing all this amazing work --> https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd

Three cool things we want to do are:

1. Bring Fr. Gregory Pine on PWA twice a month.

2. Create a PWA app.

3. Record 2 episodes of the MFS every month!

Here are the objections I address:

1. Who created God?

2. You’re only a Christian because you were raised one.

3. Flying spaghetti monster / God of the gaps.

4. I don’t have an onus of proof.

5. Science can’t demonstrate God’s existence.

6. Can God create a rock so heavy that he can’t lift it.

7. Christians are hypocrites.

8. Maybe there’s a first cause but that doesn’t prove christianity.

9. The Bible is filled with contradictions.

10. I believe in one less God than you.



  1. It’s arrogant for you to think you’re rig
Jun 25, 2019

Today I sit down with Kevin Vost to discuss Aquinas' advice on how to study better.

We also listen to a brand new awesome song by the one and only Emma Fradd.

Get Kevin's new book How To Think Like Aquinas

Become a patron here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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LETTER OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS TO BROTHER JOHN ON HOW TO STUDY

Because you have asked me, my brother John, most dear to me in Christ, how to set about acquiring the treasure of knowledge, this is the advice I pass on to you: That you should choose to enter by the small rivers, and not go right away into the sea, because you should move from easy things to difficult things.

Such is therefore my advice on your way of life:

  • I suggest you be slow to speak, and slow to go to the room where people chat.
  • Embrace purity of conscience; do not stop making time for prayer.
  • Love to be in your room frequently, if you wish to be led to the wine cellar.
  • Show yourself to be likable to all, or at least try; but do not show yourself as too familiar with anyone; because too much familiarity breeds contempt, and will slow you in your studies; and don’t get involved in any way in the deeds and words of worldly people.
  • Above all, avoid idle conversation; do not forget to follow the steps of holy and approved men.
  • Never mind who says what, but commit to memory what is said that is true.
  • Work to understand what you read, and make yourself sure of doubtful points.
  • Put whatever you can into the cupboard of your mind as if you were trying to fill a cup.
  • “Seek not the things that are higher than you.”

Follow the steps of blessed Dominic, who produced useful and marvelous shoots, flowers and fruits in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts for as long as life was his companion. If you follow these things, you will attain whatever you desire.

Jun 20, 2019

I sit down with pro-life logic ninja Stephanie Gray to discuss abortion.

I think this will be the best interview you've ever heard about how to refute pro-abortion arguments and how to make the pro-life case.

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Jun 18, 2019

In today's episode I chat with my mate Steven Rummelsburg about:

- How Aquinas was educated.

- The problem of public (and many Catholic) schools today.

- The beauty of Homeschooling.

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Jun 11, 2019

Today I chat with Dominican priest Fr. Jacob Bertrand Janczyk about what Aquinas had to say about sexual desire and how our lower desires can help us become a saint.

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Jun 4, 2019

Today I want to share with you a power and beautiful talk given by Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP, about the current crisis in the Church and what we can learn from St. Catherine of Sienna about how to deal with it.

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Jun 1, 2019

In this short solo podcast I discuss your feedback on previous episodes of The Matt Fradd Show, tell you what I'm learning, and share some (hopefully) exciting news!

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May 28, 2019

Thanks for listening!

Today we'll take a look at that bit at the end of John's gospel where our Lord asks Peter, "Do you love me more than these?"

Enjoy!

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May 21, 2019

Thanks for listening!

Please support me (Thank you!) on Patreon here or directly here.

Here's a slightly different translation of Aquinas' prayer before Mass:

Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul's salvation. Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord's Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below.
Amen.

May 14, 2019

Thanks for listening!

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Here's the text I read from the Summa II-II, Q.2 (articles 1,2, and 3).

I answer that, "To think" can be taken in three ways. First, in a general way for any kind of actual consideration of the intellect, as Augustine observes (De Trin. xiv, 7): "By understanding I mean now the faculty whereby we understand when thinking." Secondly, "to think" is more strictly taken for that consideration of the intellect, which is accompanied by some kind of inquiry, and which precedes the intellect's arrival at the stage of perfection that comes with the certitude of sight. On this sense Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 16) that "the Son of God is not called the Thought, but the Word of God. When our thought realizes what we know and takes form therefrom, it becomes our word. Hence the Word of God must be understood without any thinking on the part of God, for there is nothing there that can take form, or be unformed." In this way thought is, properly speaking, the movement of the mind while yet deliberating, and not yet perfected by the clear sight of truth. Since, however, such a movement of the mind may be one of deliberation either about universal notions, which belongs to the intellectual faculty, or about particular matters, which belongs to the sensitive part, hence it is that "to think" is taken secondly for an act of the deliberating intellect, and thirdly for an act of the cogitative power.

Accordingly, if "to think" be understood broadly according to the first sense, then "to think with assent," does not express completely what is meant by "to believe": since, in this way, a man thinks with assent even when he considers what he knows by science [Science is certain knowledge of a demonstrated conclusion through its demonstration.], or understands. If, on the other hand, "to think" be understood in the second way, then this expresses completely the nature of the act of believing. For among the acts belonging to the intellect, some have a firm assent without any such kind of thinking, as when a man considers the things that he knows by science, or understands, for this consideration is already formed. But some acts of the intellect have unformed thought devoid of a firm assent, whether they incline to neither side, as in one who "doubts"; or incline to one side rather than the other, but on account of some slight motive, as in one who "suspects"; or incline to one side yet with fear of the other, as in one who "opines." But this act "to believe," cleaves firmly to one side, in which respect belief has something in common with science and understanding; yet its knowledge does not attain the perfection of clear sight, wherein it agrees with doubt, suspicion and opinion. Hence it is proper to the believer to think with assent: so that the act of believing is distinguished from all the other acts of the intellect, which are about the true or the false. (Article 1)

 

I answer that, The act of any power or habit depends on the relation of that power or habit to its object. Now the object of faith can be considered in three ways. For, since "to believe" is an act of the intellect, in so far as the will moves it to assent, as stated above (Article 1, Reply to Objection 3), the object of faith can be considered either on the part of the intellect, or on the part of the will that moves the intellect.

If it be considered on the part of the intellect, then two things can be observed in the object of faith, as stated above (II-II:1:1). One of these is the material object of faith, and in this way an act of faith is "to believe in a God"; because, as stated above (II-II:1:1) nothing is proposed to our belief, except in as much as it is referred to God. The other is the formal aspect of the object, for it is the medium on account of which we assent to such and such a point of faith; and thus an act of faith is "to believe God," since, as stated above (II-II:1:1) the formal object of faith is the First Truth, to Which man gives his adhesion, so as to assent to Its sake to whatever he believes.

Thirdly, if the object of faith be considered in so far as the intellect is moved by the will, an act of faith is "to believe in God." For the First Truth is referred to the will, through having the aspect of an end.  (Article 2)

I answer that, Wherever one nature is subordinate to another, we find that two things concur towards the perfection of the lower nature, one of which is in respect of that nature's proper movement, while the other is in respect of the movement of the higher nature. Thus water by its proper movement moves towards the centre (of the earth), while according to the movement of the moon, it moves round the centre by ebb and flow. On like manner the planets have their proper movements from west to east, while in accordance with the movement of the first heaven, they have a movement from east to west. Now the created rational nature alone is immediately subordinate to God, since other creatures do not attain to the universal, but only to something particular, while they partake of the Divine goodness either in "being" only, as inanimate things, or also in "living," and in "knowing singulars," as plants and animals; whereas the rational nature, in as much as it apprehends the universal notion of good and being, is immediately related to the universal principle of being.

Consequently the perfection of the rational creature consists not only in what belongs to it in respect of its nature, but also in that which it acquires through a supernatural participation of Divine goodness. Hence it was said above (I-II:3:8) that man's ultimate happiness consists in a supernatural vision of God: to which vision man cannot attain unless he be taught by God, according to John 6:45: "Every one that hath heard of the Father and hath learned cometh to Me." Now man acquires a share of this learning, not indeed all at once, but by little and little, according to the mode of his nature: and every one who learns thus must needs believe, in order that he may acquire science in a perfect degree; thus also the Philosopher remarks (De Soph. Elench. i, 2) that "it behooves a learner to believe."

Hence in order that a man arrive at the perfect vision of heavenly happiness, he must first of all believe God, as a disciple believes the master who is teaching him. (Article 3)

May 7, 2019

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Apr 30, 2019

Today we discuss the doctrine of supersessionism with Fr. William Goldin.

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Apr 23, 2019

Support me on Patreon here or directly here.

Get Counterfeit Christs by Trent Horn here.

Get Hidden in Plain View by Lydia McGrew here.

Listen to that debate on Unbelievable? Between Tim McGrew and Peter Boghossian here.

Here's the text we read from Aquinas:

I answer that, It behooved Christ to rise again, for five reasons. First of all; for the commendation of Divine Justice, to which it belongs to exalt them who humble themselves for God's sake, according to Luke 1:52: "He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble." Consequently, because Christ humbled Himself even to the death of the Cross, from love and obedience to God, it behooved Him to be uplifted by God to a glorious resurrection; hence it is said in His Person (Psalm 138:2): "Thou hast known," i.e. approved, "my sitting down," i.e. My humiliation and Passion, "and my rising up," i.e. My glorification in the resurrection; as the gloss expounds.

Secondly, for our instruction in the faith, since our belief in Christ's Godhead is confirmed by His rising again, because, according to 2 Corinthians 13:4, "although He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God." And therefore it is written (1 Corinthians 15:14): "If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and our [Vulgate: 'your'] faith is also vain": and (Psalm 29:10): "What profit is there in my blood?" that is, in the shedding of My blood, "while I go down," as by various degrees of evils, "into corruption?" As though He were to answer: "None. 'For if I do not at once rise again but My body be corrupted, I shall preach to no one, I shall gain no one,'" as the gloss expounds.

Thirdly, for the raising of our hope, since through seeing Christ, who is our head, rise again, we hope that we likewise shall rise again. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 15:12): "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how do some among you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead?" And (Job 19:25-27): "I know," that is with certainty of faith, "that my Redeemer," i.e. Christ, "liveth," having risen from the dead; "and" therefore "in the last day I shall rise out of the earth . . . this my hope is laid up in my bosom."

Fourthly, to set in order the lives of the faithful: according to Romans 6:4: "As Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life": and further on; "Christ rising from the dead dieth now no more; so do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive to God."

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