Thursday, August 13, 2009

Q114 A1: Whether men are assailed by the demons?

Yes. The wicked angels assail men by instigating them to sin (and thus they are not sent by God to assail us, but are sometimes permitted to do so according to God's just judgments), but sometimes their assault is a punishment to man (and thus they are sent by God) because punishment is referred to God as its first author.

Mali Angeli impugnant homines instigando ad peccatum (et sic non mittuntur a Deo ad impugnandum, sed aliquando permittuntur, secundum Dei iusta iudicia), aliquando autem impugnant homines puniendo (et sic mittuntur a Deo) quia poena refertur in Deum, sicut in primum auctorem.

Nevertheless the demons who are sent to punish, do so with an intention other than that for which they are sent, for they punish from hatred or envy, whereas they are sent by God on account of His justice.

Et tamen Daemones ad puniendum missi, alia intentione puniunt, quam mittantur, nam ipsi puniunt ex odio vel invidia, mittuntur autem a Deo propter eius iustitiam.

In order that the conditions of the fight be not unequal, there is as regards man the promised recompense, to be gained principally through the grace of God, secondarily through the guardianship of the angels.

Ad hoc quod non sit inaequalis pugnae conditio, fit ex parte hominis recompensatio, principaliter quidem per auxilium divinae gratiae, secundario autem per custodiam Angelorum.

The assault of the flesh and the world would suffice for the exercise of human weakness: but it does not suffice for the demon's malice, which makes use of both the above in assailing men. But by the Divine ordinance this tends to the glory of the elect.

Infirmitati humanae sufficeret ad exercitium impugnatio quae est a carne et mundo, sed malitiae Daemonum non sufficit, quae utroque utitur ad hominum impugnationem. Sed tamen ex divina ordinatione hoc provenit in gloriam electorum.

Two things may be considered in the assault of the demons--the assault itself, and the ordering thereof. The assault itself is due to the malice of the demons, who through envy endeavor to hinder man's progress; and through pride usurp a semblance of Divine power, by deputing certain ministers to assail man, as the angels of God in their various offices minister to man's salvation.

Circa impugnationem Daemonum duo est considerare, scilicet ipsam impugnationem, et impugnationis ordinem. Impugnatio quidem ipsa ex Daemonum malitia procedit, qui propter invidiam profectum hominum impedire nituntur; et propter superbiam divinae potestatis similitudinem usurpant, deputando sibi ministros determinatos ad hominum impugnationem, sicut et Angeli Deo ministrant in determinatis officiis ad hominum salutem.

But the ordering of the assault is from God, Who knows how to make orderly use of evil by ordering it to good. On the other hand, in regard to the angels, both their guardianship and the ordering thereof are to be referred to God as their first author.

Sed ordo impugnationis ipsius est a Deo, qui ordinate novit malis uti, ad bona ea ordinando. Sed ex parte Angelorum, tam ipsa custodia quam ordo custodiae reducitur ad Deum, sicut ad primum auctorem.