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Summa Theologica by Aquinas

Whether there is love of choice in the angels?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is no love of choice in the angels. For love of choice appears to be rational love; since choice follows counsel, which lies in inquiry, as stated in Ethic. iii, 3. Now rational love is contrasted with intellectual, which is proper to angels, as is said (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore there is no love of choice in the angels.

Objection 2: Further, the angels have only natural knowledge besides such as is infused: since they do not proceed from principles to acquire the knowledge of conclusions. Hence they are disposed to everything they can know, as our intellect is disposed towards first principles, which it can know naturally. Now love follows knowledge, as has been already stated (A; Q, A). Consequently, besides their infused love, there is only natural love in the angels. Therefore there is no love of choice in them.

On the contrary, We neither merit nor demerit by our natural acts. But by their love the angels merit or demerit. Therefore there is love of choice in them.

I answer that, There exists in the angels a natural love, and a love of choice. Their natural love is the principle of their love of choice; because, what belongs to that which precedes, has always the nature of a principle. Wherefore, since nature is first in everything, what belongs to nature must be a principle in everything.

This is clearly evident in man, with respect to both his intellect and his will. For the intellect knows principles naturally; and from such knowledge in man comes the knowledge of conclusions, which are known by him not naturally, but by discovery, or by teaching. In like manner, the end acts in the will in the same way as the principle does in the intellect, as is laid down in Phys. ii, text.89. Consequently the will tends naturally to its last end; for every man naturally wills happiness: and all other desires are caused by this natural desire; since whatever a man wills he wills on account of the end. Therefore the love of that good, which a man naturally wills as an end, is his natural love; but the love which comes of this, which is of something loved for the end's sake, is the love of choice.

There is however a difference on the part of the intellect and on the part of the will. Because, as was stated already (Q, A), the mind's knowledge is brought about by the inward presence of the known within the knower. It comes of the imperfection of man's intellectual nature that his mind does not simultaneously possess all things capable of being understood, but only a few things from which he is moved in a measure to grasp other things. The act of the appetitive faculty, on the contrary, follows the inclination of man towards things; some of which are good in themselves, and consequently are appetible in themselves; others being good only in relation to something else, and being appetible on account of something else. Consequently it does not argue imperfection in the person desiring, for him to seek one thing naturally as his end, and something else from choice as ordained to such end. Therefore, since the intellectual nature of the angels is perfect, only natural and not deductive knowledge is to be found in them, but there is to be found in them both natural love and love of choice.

In saying all this, we are passing over all that regards things which are above nature, since nature is not the sufficient principle thereof: but we shall speak of them later on (Q).

Reply to Objection 1: Not all love of choice is rational love, according as rational is distinguished from intellectual love. For rational love is so called which follows deductive knowledge: but, as was said above (Q, A, ad 1), when treating of free-will, every choice does not follow a discursive act of the reason; but only human choice. Consequently the conclusion does not follow.

The reply to the second objection follows from what has been said.

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