Friday, August 14, 2009

Q114 A2: Whether to tempt is proper to the devil?

Yes. It is said to be his proper office to tempt because the devil always tempts in order to hurt by urging man into sin.

Dicitur proprium officium eius tentare quia Diabolus semper tentat ut noceat, in peccatum praecipitando.

To tempt is, properly speaking, to make trial of something.

Tentare est proprie experimentum sumere de aliquo.

The demons know what happens outwardly among men; but the inward disposition of man God alone knows, Who is the "weigher of spirits" (Proverbs 16:2). It is this disposition that makes man more prone to one vice than to another: hence the devil tempts, in order to explore this inward disposition of man, so that he may tempt him to that vice to which he is most prone.

Daemones sciunt ea quae exterius aguntur circa homines, sed interiorem hominis conditionem solus Deus novit, qui est "spirituum ponderator", ex qua aliqui sunt magis proni ad unum vitium quam ad aliud. Et ideo Diabolus tentat explorando interiorem conditionem hominis, ut de illo vitio tentet, ad quod homo magis pronus est.

Although a demon cannot change the will, yet, as stated above (Q111, A3), he can change the inferior powers of man, in a certain degree: by which powers, though the will cannot be forced, it can nevertheless be inclined.

Daemon, etsi non possit immutare voluntatem, potest tamen, ut supra dictum est, aliqualiter immutare inferiores hominis vires; ex quibus etsi non cogitur voluntas, tamen inclinatur.