Wednesday, October 07, 2009

1a 2ae q4 a8: Whether the fellowship of friend is necessary for happiness? No.

Si loquamur de perfecta beatitudine quae erit in patria, non requiritur societas amicorum de necessitate ad beatitudinem, quia homo habet totam plenitudinem suae perfectionis in Deo, quia omnis boni sufficientiam habet homo in Deo.

If we speak of perfect Happiness which will be in our heavenly Fatherland, the fellowship of friends is not essential to Happiness because man has the entire fullness of his perfection in God, since man possesses in God a sufficiency of every good.

Sed ad bene esse beatitudinis facit societas amicorum. Unde Augustinus dicit, VIII super Gen. ad Litt., quod "creatura spiritualis, ad hoc quod beata sit, non nisi intrinsecus adiuvatur aeternitate, veritate, caritate creatoris. Extrinsecus vero, si adiuvari dicenda est, fortasse hoc solo adiuvatur, quod invicem vident, et de sua societate gaudent in Deo."

But the fellowship of friends conduces to the well-being of Happiness. Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. viii, 25) that "the spiritual creatures receive no other interior aid to happiness than the eternity, truth, and charity of the Creator. But if they can be said to be helped from without, perhaps it is only by this that they see one another and rejoice in God, at their fellowship."

Perfectio caritatis est essentialis beatitudini quantum ad dilectionem Dei, non autem quantum ad dilectionem proximi. Unde si esset una sola anima fruens Deo, beata esset, non habens proximum quem diligeret. Sed supposito proximo, sequitur dilectio eius ex perfecta dilectione Dei. Unde quasi concomitanter se habet amicitia ad beatitudinem perfectam.

Perfection of charity is essential to Happiness, as to the love of God, but not as to the love of our neighbor. Wherefore if there were but one soul enjoying God, it would be happy, though having no neighbor to love. But supposing one neighbor to be there, love of him results from perfect love of God. Consequently, friendship is, as it were, concomitant with perfect Happiness.

Si loquamur de felicitate praesentis vitae, sicut philosophus dicit in IX Ethic., felix indiget amicis, non quidem propter utilitatem, cum sit sibi sufficiens; nec propter delectationem, quia habet in seipso delectationem perfectam in operatione virtutis; sed propter bonam operationem, ut scilicet eis benefaciat, et ut eos inspiciens benefacere delectetur; et ut etiam ab eis in benefaciendo adiuvetur. Indiget enim homo ad bene operandum auxilio amicorum, tam in operibus vitae activae, quam in operibus vitae contemplativae.

If we speak of the happiness of this life, the happy man needs friends, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 9), not, indeed, to make use of them, since he suffices himself; nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue; but for the purpose of a good operation, viz. that he may do good to them; that he may delight in seeing them do good; and again that he may be helped by them in his good work. For in order that man may do well, whether in the works of the active life, or in those of the contemplative life, he needs the fellowship of friends.