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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Dec 31, 2019

Today I'm joined around the bar table by my wife, Cameron Fradd. . . . You're welcome.

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Today we talk about ... You ready:

  • New Year's resolutions!
  • Teresa of Avila
  • Plans for The Matt Fradd Show
  • Why Catholics should marry Catholics
  • How to have a good sex life
  • Advice from Jordan Peterson
  • And much, much, much more

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Dec 23, 2019

Today I sit down W/ Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss ... well ... him. Fr. Gregory Pine. The Man, The Myth, The Legend!


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Dec 17, 2019

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Today I chat with Fr. Chris Pietraszko about the art of accompaniment. 


Dec 10, 2019

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- Here is the text from Aquinas we read today:

“And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.”

It is not only necessary for Christians to believe in one God who is the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things; but also they must believe that God is the Father and that Christ is the true Son of God. This, as St. Peter says, is not mere fable, but is certain and proved by the word of God on the Mount of Transfiguration. “For we have not by following artificial fables made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of His greatness. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.’ And this voice, we heard brought from heaven, when we were with Him in the holy mount” [2 Pet 1:16]. Christ Jesus Himself in many places called God His Father, and Himself the Son of God. Both the Apostles and the Fathers placed in the articles of faith that Christ is the Son of God by saying: “And (I believe) in Jesus Christ, His (i.e., God’s) only Son”.


There were, however, certain heretics who erred in this belief. Photinus, for instance, believed that Christ is not the Son of God but a good man who, by a good life and by doing the will of God, merited to be called the son of God by adoption; and so Christ who lived a good life and did the will of God merited to be called the son of God. Moreover, this error would not have Christ living before the Blessed Virgin, but would have Him begin to exist only at His conception. Accordingly, there are here two errors: the first, that Christ is not the true Son of God according to His nature; and the second, that Christ in His entire being began to exist in time. Our faith, however, holds that He is the Son of God in His nature, and that he is from all eternity. Now, we have definite authority against these errors in the Holy Scriptures, Against the first error it is said that Christ is not only the Son, but also the only-begotten Son of the Father: “The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him:” [Jn 1:18]. And again the second error it is said: “Before Abraham was made, I AM” [Jn 8:58]. It is evident that Abraham lived before the Blessed Virgin. And what the Fathers added to the other [Nicene] Creed, namely, “the only-begotten Son of God,” is against the first error; and “born of the Father before all ages” is against the second error.

Sabellius said that Christ indeed was before the Blessed Virgin, but he held that the Father Himself became incarnate and, therefore, the Father and the Son is the same Person. This is an error because it takes away the Trinity of Persons in God, and against it is this authority: “I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me” [Jn 8:16]. It is clear that one cannot be sent from himself. Sabellius errs therefore, and in the [Nicene] Creed of the Fathers it is said: “God of God; Light of Light,” that is, we are to believe in God the Son from God the Father, and the Son who is Light from the Father who is Light.

Arius, although he would say that Christ was before the Blessed Virgin and that the Person of the Father is other than the Person of the Son, nevertheless made a three-fold attribution to Christ: (1) that the Son of God was a creature; (2) that He is not from eternity, but was formed the noblest of all creatures in time by God; (3) that God the Son is not of one nature with God the Father, and therefore that He was not true God. But this too is erroneous and contrary to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. It is written: “I and the Father are one” [Jn 10:30]. That is, in nature; and therefore, just as the Father always existed, so also the Son; and just as the Father is true God, so also is the Son. That Christ is a creature, as said by Arius, is contradicted in the “Symbol” by the Fathers: “True God of true God;” and the assertion that Christ is not from eternity but in time is also contrary to the [Nicene] Creed: “Begotten not made;” and finally, that Christ is not of the same substance as the Father is denied by the [Nicene] Creed: “Consubstantial with the Father.”

The truth

It is, therefore, clear we must believe that Christ is the Only-begotten of God, and the true Son of God, who always was with the Father, and that there is one Person of the Son and another of the Father who have the same divine nature. All this we believe now through faith, but we shall know it with a perfect vision in the life eternal. Hence, we shall now speak somewhat of this for our own edification.

It must be known that different things have different modes of generation. The generation of God is different from that of other things. Hence, we cannot arrive at a notion of divine generation except through the generation of that created thing which more closely approaches to a likeness to God. We have seen that nothing approaches in likeness to God more than the human soul. The manner of generation in the soul is effected in the thinking process in the soul of man, which is called a conceiving of the intellect. This conception takes its rise in the soul as from a father, and its effect is called the word of the intellect or of man. In brief, the soul by its act of thinking begets the word. So also the Son of God is the Word of God, not like a word that is uttered exteriorly (for this is transitory), but as a word is interiorly conceived; and this Word of God is of the one nature as God and equal to God.

The testimony of St. John concerning the Word of God destroys these three heresies, viz., that of Photinus in the words: “In the beginning was the Word;” that of Sabellius in saying: “And the Word was with God;” and that of Arius when it says: “And the Word was God” [Jn 1:1].

But a word in us is not the same as the Word in God. In us the word is an accident; whereas in God the Word is the same as God, since there is nothing in God that is not of the essence of God. No one would say God has not a Word, because such would make God wholly without knowledge; and therefore, as God always existed, so also did His Word ever exist. Just as a sculptor works from a form which he has previously thought out, which is his word; so also God makes all things by His Word, as it were through His art: “All things were made by Him” [Jn 1:3].

Now, if the Word of God is the Son of God and all the words of God bear a certain likeness of this Word, then we ought to hear the Word of God gladly; for such is a sign that we love God. We ought also believe the word of God whereby the Word of God dwells in us, who is Christ: “That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts” [Eph 3:17]. “And you have not His word abiding in you” [Jn 5:38]. But we ought not only to believe that the Word of God dwells in us, but also we should meditate often upon this; for otherwise we will not be benefitted to the extent that such meditation is a great help against sin: your words have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against You” [Ps 108:11]. Again it is said of the just man: “On His law he shall meditate day and night” [Ps 1:2]. And it is said of the Blessed Virgin that she “kept all these words, pondering them in her heart” [Lk 2:19]. Then also, one should communicate the word of God to others by advising, preaching and inflaming their hearts: “Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith” [Eph 4:29]. Likewise, “let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another” [Col 3:16]. So also: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine” [2 Tim 4:2]. Finally, we ought to put the word of God into practice: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” [James 1:22].

The Blessed Virgin observed these five points when she gave birth to the Word of God. First, she heard what was said to her: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you” [Lk 1:35]. Then she gave her consent through faith: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” [Lk 1:38]. And she also received and carried the Word in her womb. Then she brought forth the Word of God and, finally, she nourished and cared for Him. And so the Church sings: “Only a Virgin nourished Him who is King of the Angels” [Fourth Responsory, Office of the Circumcision, Dominican Breviary.].

Dec 3, 2019

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Today I sit down with Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss Balthasar's theological opinion that we may hope that all will be saved.

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Nov 27, 2019

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Nov 26, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Chris Pietraszko about the morality of eating meat. 

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Here's what Aquinas has to say:

Whether it is unlawful to kill any living thing?

Objection 1. It would seem unlawful to kill any living thing. For the Apostle says (Romans 13:2): "They that resist the ordinance of God purchase to themselves damnation [Vulgate: 'He that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, purchase themselves damnation.']." Now Divine providence has ordained that all living things should be preserved, according to Psalm 146:8-9, "Who maketh grass to grow on the mountains . . . Who giveth to beasts their food." Therefore it seems unlawful to take the life of any living thing.

Objection 2. Further, murder is a sin because it deprives a man of life. Now life is common to all animals and plants. Hence for the same reason it is apparently a sin to slay dumb animals and plants.

Objection 3. Further, in the Divine law a special punishment is not appointed save for a sin. Now a special punishment had to be inflicted, according to the Divine law, on one who killed another man's ox or sheep (Exodus 22:1). Therefore the slaying of dumb animals is a sin.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 20): "When we hear it said, 'Thou shalt not kill,' we do not take it as referring to trees, for they have no sense, nor to irrational animals, because they have no fellowship with us. Hence it follows that the words, 'Thou shalt not kill' refer to the killing of a man."

I answer that, There is no sin in using a thing for the purpose for which it is. Now the order of things is such that the imperfect are for the perfect, even as in the process of generation nature proceeds from imperfection to perfection. Hence it is that just as in the generation of a man there is first a living thing, then an animal, and lastly a man, so too things, like the plants, which merely have life, are all alike for animals, and all animals are for man. Wherefore it is not unlawful if man use plants for the good of animals, and animals for the good of man, as the Philosopher states (Polit. i, 3).

Now the most necessary use would seem to consist in the fact that animals use plants, and men use animals, for food, and this cannot be done unless these be deprived of life: wherefore it is lawful both to take life from plants for the use of animals, and from animals for the use of men. On fact this is in keeping with the commandment of God Himself: for it is written (Genesis 1:29-30): "Behold I have given you every herb . . . and all trees . . . to be your meat, and to all beasts of the earth": and again (Genesis 9:3): "Everything that moveth and liveth shall be meat to you."

Reply to Objection 1. According to the Divine ordinance the life of animals and plants is preserved not for themselves but for man. Hence, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 20), "by a most just ordinance of the Creator, both their life and their death are subject to our use."

Reply to Objection 2. Dumb animals and plants are devoid of the life of reason whereby to set themselves in motion; they are moved, as it were by another, by a kind of natural impulse, a sign of which is that they are naturally enslaved and accommodated to the uses of others.

Reply to Objection 3. He that kills another's ox, sins, not through killing the ox, but through injuring another man in his property. Wherefore this is not a species of the sin of murder but of the sin of theft or robbery.

Nov 19, 2019

Today I talk all about the Jesus Prayer.

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Nov 18, 2019

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with my long time friend, Jason Evert. We talk Chastity, Dating, Pornography, Birth Control, the AIDs Epidemic, Modesty, and how we can better love ourselves and others.
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Nov 12, 2019

Today we look at what Aquinas had to say on the line from the creed, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."

We also take a look at a section of the Summa in which Thomas gives three arguments against the belief in many gods.

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Nov 5, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Gregory Pine about the morality (or immorality) of pot.

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Nov 4, 2019

Wow! Today me and Cammie (the Mrs.) answer your questions. Hope you enjoy ... even though it has exactly nothing to do with Thomas Aquinas.

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Oct 29, 2019

Over the course of the next few months we are going to go through Thomas Aquinas' commentary on the apostles creed. 

Today we take a look Thomas' prologue in which Thomas discusses 4 goods that faith brings about. You can read text of that here.

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Oct 25, 2019

Today I take a look at what Aquinas had to say about correcting our Christian friends (and leaders ... like the Pope and stuff ... {crickets} ...)

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Here's what I read from the ST II-II, Q. 33.

Article 1. Whether fraternal correction is an act of charity?

On the contrary, To correct the wrongdoer is a spiritual almsdeed. But almsdeeds are works of charity, as stated above (II-II:32:1). Therefore fraternal correction is an act of charity.

I answer that, The correction of the wrongdoer is a remedy which should be employed against a man's sin. Now a man's sin may be considered in two ways, first as being harmful to the sinner, secondly as conducing to the harm of others, by hurting or scandalizing them, or by being detrimental to the common good, the justice of which is disturbed by that man's sin.

Consequently the correction of a wrongdoer is twofold, one which applies a remedy to the sin considered as an evil of the sinner himself. This is fraternal correction properly so called, which is directed to the amendment of the sinner. Now to do away with anyone's evil is the same as to procure his good: and to procure a person's good is an act of charity, whereby we wish and do our friend well. Consequently fraternal correction also is an act of charity, because thereby we drive out our brother's evil, viz. sin, the removal of which pertains to charity rather than the removal of an external loss, or of a bodily injury, in so much as the contrary good of virtue is more akin to charity than the good of the body or of external things. Therefore fraternal correction is an act of charity rather than the healing of a bodily infirmity, or the relieving of an external bodily need. There is another correction which applies a remedy to the sin of the wrongdoer, considered as hurtful to others, and especially to the common good. This correction is an act of justice, whose concern it is to safeguard the rectitude of justice between one man and another.


Article 4. Whether a man is bound to correct his prelate?

Objection 1. It would seem that no man is bound to correct his prelate. For it is written (Exodus 19:12): "The beast that shall touch the mount shall be stoned," [Vulgate: 'Everyone that shall touch the mount, dying he shall die.'] and (2 Samuel 6:7) it is related that the Lord struck Oza for touching the ark. Now the mount and the ark signify our prelates. Therefore prelates should not be corrected by their subjects.

Objection 2. Further, a gloss on Galatians 2:11, "I withstood him to the face," adds: "as an equal." Therefore, since a subject is not equal to his prelate, he ought not to correct him.

Objection 3. Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxiii, 8) that "one ought not to presume to reprove the conduct of holy men, unless one thinks better of oneself." But one ought not to think better of oneself than of one's prelate. Therefore one ought not to correct one's prelate.

On the contrary, Augustine says in his Rule: "Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger." But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.

I answer that, A subject is not competent to administer to his prelate the correction which is an act of justice through the coercive nature of punishment: but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction.

Now an act which proceeds from a habit or power extends to whatever is contained under the object of that power or habit: thus vision extends to all things comprised in the object of sight. Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): "An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father." Wherefore Dionysius finds fault with the monk Demophilus (Ep. viii), for rebuking a priest with insolence, by striking and turning him out of the church.

Reply to Objection 1. It would seem that a subject touches his prelate inordinately when he upbraids him with insolence, as also when he speaks ill of him: and this is signified by God's condemnation of those who touched the mount and the ark.

Reply to Objection 2. To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5." It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."

Reply to Objection 3. To presume oneself to be simply better than one's prelate, would seem to savor of presumptuous pride; but there is no presumption in thinking oneself better in some respect, because, in this life, no man is without some fault. We must also remember that when a man reproves his prelate charitably, it does not follow that he thinks himself any better, but merely that he offers his help to one who, "being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger," as Augustine observes in his Rule quoted above.

Oct 22, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss the doctrine of divine simplicity. We also take a look at some of Dr. William Lane Craig's objections to the doctrine.

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Oct 15, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Dominic Legge to discuss what Aquinas said about the transfiguration of Christ.


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Here's what we were reading from today:

Oct 8, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Gregory Pine about 7 ways people often misunderstand Thomas Aquinas

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Oct 1, 2019

Today I discuss what prayer is, three obstacles I experience when praying, how to develop a prayer rule of life, and 3 reasons Aquinas says we should pray out loud.

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It is not essential to such a prayer as this that it be vocal. And yet the voice is employed in such like prayers for three reasons. First, in order to excite interior devotion, whereby the mind of the person praying is raised to God, because by means of external signs, whether of words or of deeds, the human mind is moved as regards apprehension, and consequently also as regards the affections. Hence Augustine says (ad Probam. Ep. cxxx, 9) that "by means of words and other signs we arouse ourselves more effectively to an increase of holy desires." Hence then alone should we use words and such like signs when they help to excite the mind internally. But if they distract or in any way impede the mind we should abstain from them; and this happens chiefly to those whose mind is sufficiently prepared for devotion without having recourse to those signs. Wherefore the Psalmist (Psalm 26:8) said: "My heart hath said to Thee: 'My face hath sought Thee,'" and we read of Anna (1 Samuel 1:13) that "she spoke in her heart." Secondly, the voice is used in praying as though to pay a debt, so that man may serve God with all that he has from God, that is to say, not only with his mind, but also with his body: and this applies to prayer considered especially as satisfactory. Hence it is written (Hosea 14:3): "Take away all iniquity, and receive the good: and we will render the calves of our lips." Thirdly, we have recourse to vocal prayer, through a certain overflow from the soul into the body, through excess of feeling, according to Psalm 15:9, "My heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced." - Read the rest here.

Suggestions for a daily prayer routine

Stage 1: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + Examination of conscience at night.

Stage 2: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + 10 min scripture reading in the morning + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + Examination of conscience at night.

Stage 3: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + 10 min Scripture reading in the morning + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Mary’s, 3 Glory Be’s in front of the Blessed Sacrament + Examination of conscience at night.

Sep 24, 2019

Hey! Today I chat with Emily Sullivan about the marital debt! And no, we're not talking about money.

... Do not listen if you have kids around.

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Here's a little of what Aquinas had to say about the marital debt. Click the link below to get the full context:

On the contrary, As the slave is in the power of his master, so is one spouse in the power of the other (1 Corinthians 7:4). But a slave is bound by an obligation of precept to pay his master the debt of his service according to Romans 13:7, "Render . . . to all men their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due," etc. Therefore husband and wife are mutually bound to the payment of the marriage debt.

Further, marriage is directed to the avoiding of fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2). But this could not be the effect of marriage, if the one were not bound to pay the debt to the other when the latter is troubled with concupiscence. Therefore the payment of the debt is an obligation of precept.

I answer that, Marriage was instituted especially as fulfilling an office of nature. Wherefore in its act the movement of nature must be observed according to which the nutritive power administers to the generative power that alone which is in excess of what is required for the preservation of the individual: for the natural order requires that a thing should be first perfected in itself, and that afterwards it should communicate of its perfection to others: and this is also the order of charity which perfects nature. And therefore, since the wife has power over her husband only in relation to the generative power and not in relation to things directed to the preservation of the individual, the husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife, in matters pertaining to the begetting of children, with due regard however to his own welfare.

Summa, Suppl. Q. 64, A. 1. (see full question here).

Sep 17, 2019

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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.

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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.


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.

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Read what Aquinas has to say on happiness here:

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