Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

"The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ Who offered Himself on the Cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God" (CCC 1992), and "no one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion" (CCC 2027). "The first cause of our reaching everlasting life" is "God's mercy," while "our merit is a subsequent cause," according to St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor (Summa Theologica II-I, q. 114, art. 3, ad 2)

"The one who sows for the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit" (Galatians 6:8), meaning that, "moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life" (CCC 2010).

"For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28). The law can signify the Mosaic Law or the law of nature (Challoner), but St. Paul does not rule out meritorious works proceeding from our formed faith, because he elsewhere says (Romans 2:6-7): God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works."

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