Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 15
On the Christian Idea of Man Author(s): Josef Pieper Source: The Review of Politics, Vol.
On the Christian Idea of Man Author(s): Josef Pieper Source: The Review of Politics, Vol.

On the Christian Idea of Man Author(s): Josef Pieper Source: The Review of Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1949), pp. 3-16 Published by: Cambridge University Press for the University of Notre Dame du lac on behalf of Review of Politics Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1404497

Accessed: 17/04/2010 07:24

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless

you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.

Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cup.

Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. University of Notre Dame du lac on behalf of Review

University of Notre Dame du lac on behalf of Review of Politics and Cambridge University Press are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Review of Politics.

http://www.jstor.org

On the Christian Idea of Man

By Josef Pieper

THE secondpartofthe SummaTheologicaofthe"Universal Doctor," Thomas Aquinas,begins withthe following sentence:Becauseman

has beencreatedin God's

archetype, we muststill deal

TheologicaI, II, Prologus.)

sentence; its meaning must not be misunderstood.It

image, now afterhavingspokenof God, the

withHis image whichis man. (Summa

There is

somethingpeculiar aboutthis

is stated as a

matterof fact but its meaning is not to be takenfor

first sentenceof Moral

entirelydisappeared fromthe knowledge of Christiansof today;namely, the fact thatmoraldoctrineis primarily and aboveall a doctrineabout

man;

that,therefore, the doctrineof Christianmoralsmustconcernthe Chris-

tianmodelof man. This fact wasa matterof coursein'the Christian-

ity of the high Middle Ages. This

to be sure, wasnot

shows-compelled Eckhartto say

people shouldnot thinkaboutwhat theyought to do,

thinkaboutwhat theyought to be.

aboveall Moral

awareness. This is so true that textbooksof Moral

explicitlyprofessed to be written"in the

with him on this main

average

anything aboutthe true being of man or

manat all. On the

with the conception "moraldoctrine"the idea of

deed and especially about the omission, about the

especially aboutthe impermissible, aboutwhatis biddenand

aboutwhatis forbidden.

Doctor"remains:moraldoctrinemustdealwiththe true conception of

man.

mentsand of sins. But the ideaof the good man.

granted. This

Theology

expresses a fact whichhas almost

conception of man, and

thatmoraldoctrinemust plainly revealthe

fundamental conception-which,

definitely takenfor granted as the polemicalwording

two

generations afterSt.

Thomas:

they shouldrather

Theology and less lost this which

But lateron Moral

preaching and exposition have moreor

point.

Theology, spirit of St. Thomas"differed

Here lies the root of the fact that the

expect to find in moraldoctrine

anything

aboutthe idea of

Christian;of today does not

contrary, the

average Christianis wontto associate

a doctrineaboutthe

permissible and

especially

But the firstmoralthesisof the "Universal

Naturally it mustalso treatof actions, of duties, of command-

its primarysubject is the rightbeing of man,

The resolutionof this

problem of the Christianideaof mancan be

given in one sentence, evenin one word: Christ. The Christian ought

3

4

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

to be another Christ; he

Christ.Butthisideaof the

sive

interpreted. Withoutsuch interpretationproceeding fromthe empirical

natureof manand reality, thisideawould always be

danger of abuseand misunderstanding,

impossible to

tionfromthe highest andultimateideaof

your Fatherin heaven."It is precisely thisformulationof theultimate

ideaof a Christianto whichthefourthCouncilreferredin its famous

ought to be

perfect liketheFatherof Jesus

the

perfection of

Christian,all-comprehen-

and,therefore,inexhaustible, needsto be analyzed,applied and

exposed to the

caused byshort-circuiting.

It is

derive directly theconcreteactionin theconcretesitua-

perfection. "Be perfect as

sentenceof the analogia entis:InterCreatoremet creaturamnon

tantasimilitudo notari,quin intereos maiorsit dissimilitudonotanda.

potest

Such a

mentionedwithoutat the sametime

similarity. Thissentenceis directed against the possibility of a

deificationof man. Man, the Christian, albeitthe

remainsa creature, a finite being,

certainly is morethanone

idea,

instance, an

pretation.

great

similarity betweencreatorand creaturecannotbe

mentioning a still greater dis-

direct

way

perfectChristian,

Now there

evenin eternallife.

of interpreting thisultimateChristian

also

historically. There are, for

not

only "theoretically" but

Eastern-Christiananda Western-Christianformof inter-

Thomas Aquinas, the

great teacherof

Western Christianity, decided

to express theChristianideaof manin seventheseswhich may besum-

marizedas follows:

1. The Christianis a manwho-in faith-becomesaware of theTriuneGod.

2. The Christian-in hope-waits for the finalfulfillment of hisnaturein theEternalLife.

3. charity-inclines towardsGodandhisfellowmenwithan affirmationex-

TheChristian-inthedivinevirtueof

ceeding all natural power of love.

4. TheChristianis

prudent, that is, hedoesnot permitthe

actual things.

reality; on

depend

YesandNo of thewilltodisturbhisviewof

the contrary, hemakestheYesorNo of thewill

onthetruthof

5. The Christianis

just, that is,

he is ableto live in truth

"withthe other"; heis consciousof being a memberwith

CHRISTIAN IDEA OF MAN

5

othersin the Church, in thenation,andin every com-

munity.

6. The Christianis brave, that is, he is ready to suffer wounds and, if need be, deathforthesakeof truthand therealizationof justice.

7. TheChristianis moderate, that is, hedoesnotallowhis willto haveandhiswillto enjoy to destroyhimself.

Theseseventheses suggest thattheethicsof

explanation of theideaof man, is essentially a doctrineof

classical theology, as

thethree theological

an

More exactlytheyinterpret theBiblical description of the perfection of

theChristian by meansof thesevenfold image of

reveal

oncemoreto the general consciousnessof ourtimethis grand fresco

of theideaof manas

whichhas fadedto someextentand-even worse-whichhas been

painted over many a time. Thisideaof manis

significant not merely

andthefourcardinalvirtues.It is, I

virtues.

think, most important to

originallyexpressed

in classical theology, a fresco

as a matterof "historical" interest, as a matterof showing "how it

actually was." This interpretation of the ultimatehumanideal is one

that continuesto hold good and it

see

is, I

think,truly essentialfor us to

try

to mark

clearly

and to

accept

this idea of man. I shall now

thecontoursof this image, aboveall in therealmof thefourcardinal

virtues,particularly at those points wherethe image hasfadedor has been painted over.

At the outset something mustbe saidaboutthe

few

yearsago,

conception of

virtuein itself. A

Francaiseon virtue, Paul

virtueis dead, or at leastit is

direct expression of a

heardit mentionedin socialconversation onlyrarely andthenin an

ironicalsense. ThiscouldmeanthatI mixwithbad

unlessI addthatI don'trememberever having foundvirtuein

books, inthosemostoftenreadandmost highly esteemed.Furthermore

I do notknowof

risk printing thiswordwithouta humorousintention.So it hascome

aboutthatthewords'virtue'and'virtuous'canbe

in a speech beforethe Academie

"Virtue,gentlemen, theword

longerpresents itselfas a

Rather, I have

companyonly,

today's

afraid, would

Valery said:

dying.

It no

conceivable reality of ourtime.

anypaper which printsit, nor,

I am

found only in the

comic operas." This diagnosis of

undoubtedly correct.Butthereis no reasonto be too

catechism, in the Academy andin

Paul

much surprisedby

Valery is

it.

Ontheone hand, it certainly indicatesan entirely

6

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

natural phenomenon, the naturalfateof great words. On the other

hand, it

of

asridiculousin the

a language.Apart fromthis possibility

wemustnot forget thatChristianmoralliteratureandmoral preaching

havenot

truesenseof

is quitepossible thatina de-christianized era, demoniacalrules

language will effectivelyprevail.Accordingly, the good will appear

"usage" of

always madeit veryeasy forthe

average manto perceive the

virtue.

the conception andthe reality of

Virtuedoesnot signify themerecorrectnessof an isolatedaction

right in the super-

enhancing of the being

asThomas says, theultimum potentiae(Quaest.disp.

or omission.Rathervirtue signifies thatmanis

naturalandnaturalsense. Virtuemeansthe

of man.Virtue is,

de virtutibusin communi 17), theultimateof whatmanis ableto be.

developsgoodnessthrough his

less im-

true insight into

the

"heroic"characterof

lifeas the distinguishing characteristicof Christianlife.

ions are

half-trueand thereforehalf-false.The firstand dis-

tinguishing virtueof theChristianis the

neighbour. And all the divinevirtuesare

virtues.And underthe cardinalvirtues bravery is

thethird.

The virtuousman"is"themanwho

deedsout of his innermostinclinationand substance.No

portant thanthecorrectandtruenotionof virtueis a

hierarchy of

only

the virtues. Today thereis muchtalk aboutthe

Christianity or

aboutthe

"heroic" conception of

Such express-

supernatural loveof Godand

superior to the cardinal

not the first, but

II

Among thecardinalvirtues prudence ranksfirst. Prudenceis not

only thefirst among otherwise equivalentvirtues; butit "gives birth"

to allmoralvirtue.Thisthesisaboutthe

meaning of whichweare

a mereaccidental sequence of thecardinalvirtues.As it

thefundamentalconstitutionof

priority of prudence, thetrue

scarcely ableto conceive,expresses morethan

is, it expresses

ethics.

reality inrelationto therealmof

Good presupposes truthandtruth presupposesreality.

the

of

demandedof anactivemanisthatheshouldbe

says(Quaest.disp. devirtutibuscard. 17). Whoeverdoesnotknowthe

trueconditionof

complies with reality. Naturally, here "knowledge" doesnot mean

good; for good is thatwhich

knowledge in thesenseof theexactnotionsof

it

Forwhatdoes

priority of prudence mean? It means nothing butthe realization

goodpresupposing theawarenessof

reality.

The first thing thatis knowing, asSt.Thomas

real things cannotdo

moder science.What

doesmeanis realcontactwith objectivereality. This contact, for

CHRISTIAN IDEA OF MAN

7

instance, may be reached by a mode of revelation superior to the "scientific"mode. To prudence belongs also the quality of docility, which means an attentive submission to the genuine knowledge of a superior mind. In prudence the unbiased perception of reality is decisive for our actions. So the prudent person, on the one hand, looks at the objectivereality of things, and on the other hand, concernshimself with

the willing and doing.

first place.

what is to be done and what not, and how it should be done and how

And then, in virtue of the knowledge of reality he decides

But it is the reality at which he looks in the

not. So, really, all virtue depends upon prudence. And somehow all sin contradicts prudence, omne peccatumopponiturprudentiae (Summa

Theologica, II, II, 119, 37).

which is also our

habit of thinking, has rather considerably deviated from this statement. According to our usage, prudence seems to be an evasion rather than

a presupposition of good. It is hard for us to believe that it should

prudence

always and necessarily be prudent to be just and true. And

and bravery above all seem to be most incompatible: to be brave is mostly imprudent.

Our habit of language,

But we have to rememberthat the true sense of this connection is as

follows: the just and braveand good unless

virtue of prudence in which this truth of

real things becomes effective,

fertile and decisive.

immense "practical"importance. It includes, for instance, the educa-

tional principle that education

velopment must be rooted in the

to make

them decide our course

only chance to overcome radically

the phenomenon of "moralism." The substance of moralism, which

most people

we are from what

ceiving and without

the contrary, the nucleus as well as the proper concern of the doctrine

of prudence is as follows: to we ought to do with what we

to do is decided by what we are.

prudencesays: good is what

agrees with reality; it should be becauseit corresponds with reality. (It

be, becauseit should be. The doctrine of

the brave acting, all good acting, is not just and

corresponding to

the truth of real things; it is the

This doctrine of the

priority of prudence has an

and self-education aiming at moral de-

virtue of prudence, that is to say, the

doctrine

ability to see objectively the realities surrounding our acts, and

of action. Furthermore, the classical

of the virtue of prudence offers the

regard as a thing peculiarlyChristian, is that it severs what

we ought to do, that it proclaims a duty

without

showing that duty is rooted in what we are.

per-

On

prove

as necessary the coherenceof what

are; in the act of prudence what we ought

Moralism says: good is what should

8

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

is

voluntarism.) Anda third "practi-

cal"and"actual" point mustbe intimated.Thefundamentalattitude

of

expressed in theclassicaldoctrineof prudence, wassummarizedin the

Middle Ages in the

simple: Wiseis manif

it is an

of

theyare, whoinsteadtastesin all thingsnothing buthimselfbecause he looks only at himself-thatthismanhaslostnot only therealca-

pacity for justice(and forallmoral virtue) butalsohis

Thusa whole group of psychical diseasesis substantially dueto such

egotistic lackof

objectivity. Such experience sanctionsandillumines

theethicalrealismofthedoctrineof

is oneof the

sanity and sanctity, betweenillnessandsinbecomesvisible.A psycho-

logicaltheory whichdoesnot

verydeep connectionshere. The ethicaldoctrineof

beableto illuminein an amazingway thecentralnotionof

tion

andwhichis rootedin

mysterious connectionbetween

the priority of prudence. Prudence

perhapsimportant to perceive herethe

"Christian"moralismwithmoder

justness(in

thesenseof

distinctly innerconnectionof

agreement with reality), of objectivity, as

sentenceboth grand and

theyreally are.

Now

followingsentence, a

all things tasteto himas

importantexperience of modern psychologyor, more exactly,

whom things do not tasteas

psychicalsanity.

modern psychotherapy thata manto

spiritualregions wherethe

wilfully overlookthemis

lackof

likely to

see

prudence should

self-decep-

(which is nothing buta

objectivity in perceivingreality,

the will).

III

Prudenceand justice aremore closely connectedthan

to see thatthis

appears at

first sight. Now it is

perception

Justice, wehave said, isthe ability tolive truly "withothers."

easy nearly signifies the

Thismeansthatthis ability

dependsuponprudence.Only

objectivity and injusticemean, eveninthe veryusage of language, almost thesame thing.

beinggood is rooted;

only the prudent man has, in presupposition, the capacity for beinggood.

Thisis whyprudence ranksso high. Buttherankof justice is basedon

thefactthat justiceis the highest andtruestmodeof this

self. Sucha statementmustbe emphasized since"Christian"middle-

class people havefor

things as

ability to live in community(which

ability to live at all) dependsupon the objective

of reality.

objective manis just;

andlackof

and acknowledgment

an

It is prudence in whichthereal capacity for

goodness it-

some generationsproclaimedaltogether different

a goodman, specifically,

the primary andtruecriterionof

CHRISTIAN IDEA OF MAN

9

"morality" so-called.A

good manis primarilyjust.

realizingjustice.

Manasa member Onecanalmost say

representsjustice(although,

of the community hasthetaskof

thatit is not so muchtheindividualwho

naturally, and strictlyspeaking the

but

perfection of theWe.

person alonecanbe

"virtuous"),

We,

thesocial entity, the people; whichmeansthat justice is the

Now, thestructureof eachcommonwealthis basedon threefunda-

mental relations; andif

justicerulesinit. First, therearethemutualrelationsof the members;

thesethreerelationsare right wecan

say

that

the

justness of

theserelations corresponds to the

exchange of justice

(justitiacommutativa).Second, therearethe relationsof thewhole

to

justice(justitiadistributiva).Third, therearetherelationsof thein- dividualmembersto thewhole We; the justness of theserelationscor-

responds to "legal"justice(justitialegalis). These thingsmay sound

the members; the justness of

theserelations corresponds todistributive

verynatural, as if they werea matterof course. But they

matterof course. The socialdoctrineof

sees

acknowledge independence of thesocial whole, andthereforeit knowsof no actual

theindividualmembers.Individualismdoesnot

arenot a

individualism, for example,

only

oneof thesethree relations, namely, themutualrelationsof

thetrue

connectionof theindividualsto the whole, not of thewholeto thein-

dividuals. And

accordingly the justitiacommutativais the

unique form

of justice whichindividualismknows of,

other

doctrinewhich frankly denies

dividualsas

commutativato be an "individualistic

if it is consistent.On the

hand,anti-individualismhas createda "universalistic"social

any

existenceof relations among in-

consequence, declaresthe justitia

misconception."

"theory"; its

reality of

"academic theory" is not

The

coercive power

individuals, and which, in

the "totalitarianstate"showsthatsuchan

inclinedto remainon the levelof mere

hardly admits "private" relations among individualswho merely come

together asfunctionariestoservetheendsofthestate.

St.

Thomas Aquinas also

the

says thatthewholemorallife of manis

justitialegalis,therefore,

closely boundto

really hasa veryparticular rankand place.

the

this: thereis a true

common weal,andthis obligationcomprises thewholeman. Theother

senseis this:all individualvirtuehasan

weal. This meansthatthe commonwealneedsthevirtueof all in-

bonum commune; the

Butwemustnotoverlook

ambiguity of

thisstatementof St.

Thomas. One of its sensesis

respect to the

obligation of the individualwith

importance for thecommon

10

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

dividuals, thatit cannotberealizedunlesstheindividualmembersof the

community are good,

individualandsecret and, so to

not onlyjust, but good, virtuousin the most

speak,"private"way.

IV

Anothererrorabout justice(at bottom quite liberalistbutnot at

liberalism) declares:it

all limitedto theeraof

possible to be just

without having to be brave. Thisis not so muchan erroraboutthe

natureof justice asanerrorabouttherealstructureof

which justice is to berealized.For"this"worldis constructedin such

a mannerthat justice, and goodgenerally, couldnotbesuccessfulof its

ownaccordwithoutthe fightingman, ready todieforit. Evilis

is

"this" world, in

mighty

in "this"world:thisfactbecomesmanifestinthe necessity forfortitude

whichmeansreadinessto endure injuries; forthesakeof therealization

Augustinesays, fortitudeitselfisanirrefutablewitness

of good. So, St.

of theexistenceof evilintheworld. Now.it is a badandfalseanswer to theliberalisterrorto believethatit is possible to be bravewithout

beingjust.

presentonly where justice isintended.

Whois not just cannotbebravein thestrictsense.

says: "The praise of fortitude dependsuponjustice"(Summa Theo-

logica,II, II, 123,12). Thismeans: simultaneously

onefor his fortitude only if I can

Fortitudeasa virtueis

Thomas Aquinas

I

maypraiseany-

praise himfor his justice. True

fortitude,therefore,

is essentially connectedwiththewillof justice.

It is no less

important to

perceive thattheideaof fortitudeis not

fearin the structureof

of

mitigatingforeground-talk

mere appearances. This

effective) atalltimes today findsa remark-

philosophical,psychological and

identicalwiththeideaof an aggressive fearlessnessat all costs. There

evenis a sortof fearlessnesswhichis opposed to thevirtueof fortitude.

Herewemustconsiderthe

placeoccupiedby humanexistence.The commonand

everyday lifeis basedonthedenialof theexistenceof

anything terrible.

Theterribleis pushed backintotherealmof

mitigation, effective (or

able counterpart in

poetical literatureof ourtimeno

the conception

making humanexistenceharmlessand"fearless"is anewstoicismwhich

fascinating formula-

hasfoundan

tionin literature.Thisnewstoicismis

group of menwhoconsidertheeventsof thelastwarsas

whichincludesthe promise and the threatof new, still greater and

not

thefactthatin the

conceptionplays sucha largepart as

of that everydayattempt at

of fear. Another counterpart

imposing human representation anda

"proclaimed" aboveall by a

a destruction

CHRISTIAN IDEA OF MAN

11

apocalypticcatastrophes. Andthethesisis: lifeis always terrible,but

thereis

greatness. Butif you

whois oneof themostremarkableheadsof thisnew

to agree that nearly alldreamsof these"adventuroushearts"aredreams

of

To this question theultimateandmost profound Christiananswer

is: thenotionof thefearof theLord. But this

riskof

Christiancommon-consciousness.Thefearof theLordis notthesame

nothing so

terriblethata strong mancouldnotendureit with

readthe books, for

example, of Ernst Juenger,

"Stoa,"you have

anxiety.

conception runsthe

reality, andconcealed by the

beingdepleted,deprived of its

as "respect" for theabsolute God, butrealfearin thestrictsenseof

theword.

terroris that they areall differentanswersto thedifferentmannersof

thediminutionof being, theultimateoneof whichis annihilation.It

is notat all the

fearsomeinhuman life;furthermore, theChristiandoctrineof lifedoes

not

say Christianasksfortheordo timoris; he asksforwhatis really andulti-

thatmanshouldnot or mustnotfearthefearsome.Butthe

Christian theology to deny theexistenceof the

Thecommon signification of fear,anxiety,fright, horrorand

way of

matelyfearsome; andhe is afraidof fearingperhaps thatwhichis not

at all

as harmlessthatwhichis definitely fearsome.Thatwhichis

fearsomecomesto this: the

himselffromhisultimate origin of

possibleseparation fromthe

Ultimate Origin of being, to whichthefearof theLordisthe

human life, eventhatof the

saint, as a real

mannerof "heroism."On the contrary, thisfearis the

of all genuine heroism.Thefearof theLordasa fearisto

andsuffered rightup to thedefinite security of theEternalLife. When

really and definitelyfearsome, andafraidof consideringperhaps

properly

possibility of man's voluntarilyseparating

being.

Thisis theultimate peril of

adequate

hisexistence.Andit is man'sfearof this

answer.Thisfearwhich accompanies all

possibility, is

a fearthatcannotbe overcome by any

presupposition

beendured

losing Eternal

considered,

fortitudesavesus from loving ourlife in suchmannerthatwe loseit

-then this implies thatthefearof the Lord, asa fearof

Life, is the basisof all Christianfortitude.It shouldbe

however, thatthefearof theLordis the

hopeful loveof God. St. Augustinesays: allfearis

The fearof theLordis the"fulfillment"of thenatural anxiety of

manwith respect to thediminutionof

moral goodness is likewisea sortof extensionof naturalinclinations.

And manfearsthe nihil by nature. And as the naturaldesirefor

negativecounterpart of the

the feeling of love.

being andof annihilation.All

12

THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

life in community

justice, andas the

naturaldesirefor

nimity, andas thenatural impulse for enjoyment is perfected in the

virtueof

also

in

is accomplished

self-dependence is

thevirtueof

perfected in thevirtueof

magna-

temperance-so the natural anxiety of

annihilationbecomes

theLord. Thefactthat

of the

example, withthe cardinal virtues, the

naturalfulfillmentofanaturalhuman faculty-thisfactimplies that only

realized supernaturalperfection is ableto

of unsatisfied anxiety. As it

anxiety andits tyranny are proved not only

in the

Hereis oncemorea

sanctity.

herence:in what

guilt

becomeseffective-astatementaboutthisis

the "sanity" of justice, of magnanimity,

Lordandof all virtueconsistsin their

any case

destructive, unless perfected inthefearof

Ghostand not, as for

is,

sphere of

The

thenatural psychical life-as

distinctness,however, is

thefearof theLordin its

Holy

proper formas"timor filialis" is a gift

freemanfromthe

tyranny

thedestructiveeffectof thisunsatisfied

ethical spheres butalso psychiatrymay confirm.

in

pointclearlyrevealing thecoherenceof sanity and

limitedto the factof thisco-

precise manner sanity and sanctity and aboveall

andillnessareinterwovenandon whichtermsthis connection

hardlypossible. In

of temperance,

of fearof the

conforming to the objective

the

supernatural.Compliance with reality is

reality, bothnaturaland

principle of both sanity and goodness.

V

Earlierwenotedthatthenaturaldesirefor

enjoyment canbecome

good.

destructive.Thisfactis concealed by theliberalistthesis:manis

Enlightenedliberalism,by

tionscouldnot

of

virtueof its mostfundamental

the

presupposi- possible existencein manof a revolt

acknowledge

inferior spiritual forces against the government of mind; it denies

his

nature through

something nonsensicaland

temperance

objectless. Forthe

possible and is perceived as

temperanceby enlightened

say

the

many Christians (I willnot

Church, noreven theology) hascountered by an over-

very

virtue. So for the Christiancommoncon-

in its

typical formsof chastity and

traitof the

and all-dominating

temperance,

conspicuous

thatmanhaslostthe spontaneous innerorderof

original sin. And so,judged fromthis aspect, thevirtueof

necessarilypasses for

virtueof temperancepresupposes thattheabove-mentioneddestructive

revoltof the senses against the mindis

possible. This depletion of the virtueof

liberalismthecommondoctrineof

doctrineof the

accentuationof this

sciousnessthevirtueof

abstinence, hasbecomethe

CHRISTIANIDEA OF MAN

13

Christianideaof man. Now thisanswerof

theless, remaineda childof its

dependenceupon theliberalistic-individualistic adversary becomesmani-

festin so faras thevirtueof

thefourcardinal virtues;temperance refersto theindividualas an in-

dividual.So the most "private" virtue passes for the mostChristian

Christianityhas,never-

of liberalism.This

adversary, that is,

temperance

is themost "private"among

temper-

virtue.Inclassical theology,however, this "private" characterof

ancewasthe very reasonfor declaring thisvirtueto be thelastinstead

of thefirstof thefourcardinalvirtues.

very considerableeffects

temperance hashad

andextensions.The fact, for

language thewords "sensuality,""passion,""desire," "inclination"have

receiveda

conceptions, is

by

against the spirit, and by "passion"exclusively bad passion, and by

"desire" exclusively mutinousdesire-thenof course, therearenonames

Thomas says,belongs to

towarda dangerous confusionof

other hand, thisdefectof the usuage of language hasarisenfroma

confusionof notionsandof life.

to citeherean

Theologica whichschowswhatthe"UniversalDoctor"thinksof this

matter.It is an

tratesa

II, 22-48) thereis a

The overvaluationof

example, thatin our everydayusage of

are

verynegativemeaningalthoughthey

partly dueto thisovervaluationof

ethically neutral temperance. Butif

"sensuality" is exclusively meant sensuality as revolting

the word

leftforthenon-mutinous

sensuality,

whichSt.

of

virtue. And this defectof the

usage

languagestrongly inclines

life itself. On the

notions, evenof

Perhaps it may be good

example fromthe Summa

example whichillus-

example, not a principle, butan

principle. In theSumma Theologica(SummaTheologica, I,

chapter aboutthe passionesanimae, the passions of

the sensuous faculty,

anger.

Oneof the

the soul. The expression involvesall motionsof

love,hate,desire,delight,sadness, fearand

this

mentioning themwe shouldliketo

giventodayby

any

suchas

approximatelytwenty-five questions of

"remedies againstgrief andsadness" (SummaTheologicaI, II, 38).

In five

fore

formationcouldbe

of Christianityconcerning the"remedies against thesadnessof soul?"

Everyonemay answerthequestionhimself. The

mentioned by St. Thomasis:

second remedy:

wearinessof the soul, but delight is likea rest. The

tears!Thethird remedy: the

chapter deals with the

special articlesSt. Thomasenumeratesfivesuchremedies.Be-

pose

the

question: Whatin-

the moralcommonconsciousness

first generalremedy

sortof delight, forsadnessis likea

compassion of friends.Thefourth:the

14

THE REVIEWOF POLITICS

contemplation of truth (which is moreableto alleviate grief themore

amanloves wisdom). As tothefifth remedy mentioned by St.

weshouldbearin mindthatwehavea textbookof theology beforeus,

and

feeling

of soulis:

of well-being in the body whichin returnreacts upon thesoul. Natur-

ally, St.

of a

opinion thatthereareformsand degrees of humansorrowwhichcan

only

other hand, doesnot thinkof

example,sleeping and bathing.

to speak aboutthemin

Thomas,

certainly not an ordinary one. The fifth remedyagainst sadness

sleeping and bathing, fora sleep anda

bathcausea

Thomasis well

acquainted withthe

possibilities andnecessities

is evenof the

supernaturalovercoming of human sorrow; he

be

overcome by supernaturalenergies. ButSt. Thomas, on the

putting asidenatural possibilities-for Andhedoesnotatallfeelembarrassed

themidstof a theological discourse.

VI

All fourof

thecardinal virtues-prudence,justice,fortitude,temper-

ance-are principally connectedwith the natural sphere of human

reality.

faith,hope and

reality of theTriune God, whichis

tian by therevelationof Jesus Christ.Andthethree theological virtues

arenot only theanswerto that reality, but they

the faculty andthesourceof this answer; they arenottheansweritself

but theyare, so to speak, alsothemouthwhichaloneis ableto give

thisanswer.All three theological virtuesare

each other; "theyare," as

supernaturally revealedto theChris-

Butas Christianvirtues theygrow outof thefertile ground of

charity.Faith,hope and

charity aretheanswerto the

areat thesametime

closely connectedwith

St. Thomas says in his tractabout hope,

holyring; who byhope hasbeenled

"flowing backintothemselvesin a

to charity hasalsoa

before" (Quaest.disp. de spe, 3

more perfecthope,just ashisfaithis stronger than

ad

1).

As thecardinalvirtuesarerootedinthe theological virtuesthe super-

originitself,

the

naturaland supernaturalvirtue,

destroy

perfects it. Thissentenceseemsto be

Butits clearnesscannotaffectthe

impossibility simple statement.Andthere

making a mysterycomprehensibleby a

naturalethosof the Christiandiffersfromthe naturalethosof the

gentleman, that is, the naturally nobleman. This

mannerandmeansof thecoherenceof

is expressed in the well-knownsentencethat grace doesnot

naturebut presupposes and

clearand really is so.

of

is nothing more mysterious thanthemannerinwhichGodactsin man, andmanin God.

very

CHRISTIANIDEA OF MAN

15

Nevertheless, the differencebetweena Christianand a gentleman becomes clearly manifestand in manyways. The Christian can, for

example,appear to act contrary to

perceives. Incidentally,

aboutthis supernaturalprudence St. Thomashas writtena sentence

which, I think, is particularlyimportant for the Christianof

he mustconformto realitieswhich

natural prudence becausein his acting

only

faith

today.

says, "the naturalvirtue of prudencepre-

"Obviously," St. Thomas supposesquite a degree of

theological virtues augment

virtues, what about

edge of natural things?

the concretesituationor the concrete deed, or does it

this

doesnot

these questions St. Thomas gives, consoling, answer:"The men who

others can,

in so far as they ask for the adviceof other peoplei and that they (this

is most

one" (SummaTheologica, II, II, 47, 3).

grace! It goes

If they are in the stateof

good counselfroma bad

acquiredknowledge." Now, when the

in

a supernatural mannerthe cardinal

prudence? Does gracereplace the natural knowl-

Does faith

supersede the objective estimate of

replace it?

In

case,how can grace and faith be usefulto the "plainman,"who

possess this

knowledge whichis sometimesratherdifficult? To

I

thinka quitegrand, and also most require the adviceand counselof

advisethemselves

providingthey are in a state of grace,

important)

areable to

distinguish a

without sayingwhy thisansweris

consoling in the present

situationof the plain Christian.

gentleman is especially

evidentin the

gap of the gentleman.

Christianidea of man. The differencebetweena Christianfortitude

and a

Super-

of hope.

natural hope says: for the man who stays in the reality of grace it

infinitely exceedsall expectation;

The differencebetweena Christianand a

dividing Christianfortitudefromthenatural bravery

This

point really

closes the considerationof the

eventually in the theological virtue

merely naturalfortitudelies

All

hopesays: it will turnout well, it will end well.

thanEternalLife.

cometo pass that in an era of

that thereis

nothing

will turnout wellin a mannerwhich

for thismanit willend with nothing less

may all imminentand So it can come to

pass limitedto naturethanthe

particularly the true gentleman will considerthis

bility;

happiness"(as Ernst Juengersays). that

Now it

temptation to despair,

secular prospects for a "happy end"become gloomy.

left to the naturalman

desperate fortitudeof an "heroicend." And

way

as the

only possi-

for he of all persons will be able to renouncethe "way out of

supernaturalhope

In short,sometimesit

mayhappen

remainsthe uniquepossibility of hope at all.

16 THE REVIEW OF POLITICS

Thisis notto beunderstoodin

a

Biblicalsentence "May He kill me, neverthelessI shall hope in Him"

senseof "eudaemonism," it is not

of subjectivehappiness.

The

any

question of anxiety abouta last possibility

isfarfroma

(Job,13,15.)

theChristian hope is firstandaboveall theexistential adjustment of

manto fulfillment, to theultimate realization, to thefullnessof being

"eudaemonic" anxiety about happiness.No,

(to

which, of course, the fullnessof

happiness or ratherof beatitude

natural hopes sometimesbecome senseless,

corresponds). If thenall

it

bility of adjusting his being.

end"is at bottom"nihilistic,"sinceit believesthatit cansuffertheun-

known.

reality of Life, for theEternal Life, for a newheavenandfor a new

earth.

meansthat supernaturalhope formanremains truly the uniquepossi-

The desperate fortitudeof the "heroic

Christian fortitude,however, is fed

by

hope fortheabundant