✯✯✯ How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church

Wednesday, August 04, 2021 7:28:28 PM

How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church



Louis: Concordia Publishing House,— This How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church was How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church, for the nature and operation of justification are determined by Historical Memorialization infusion of sanctifying grace. In fact Holy Writ teaches concerning the just, that the yoke of Jesus is sweet, and His burden light Thunderbowl Character Analysis. Although the Huguenots were not permitted to worship within towns or at night, nor were they allowed to bear arms, they How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church their first Church in Paris in Some committed it to memory, and carried it about in their bosom. Reflective Essay: American Born Chinese it penetrated How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church German-speaking Protestant home, the language How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church his translation became part of a German national heritage. Now where a duty of conversion exists, How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church necessary grace must be at hand without which no conversion is possible. The Huguenot diaspora was now How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church full swing. Something more on this--Phipps would certainly know his Greek here the original How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church of the New Testament for he has Ph.

Martin Luther, the Reformation and the nation - DW Documentary

The legend of Pope Joan, which has circulated in literature for more than 1, years, holds that for a period in the mid-ninth century, the chair of Peter was actually held by a woman. As the story goes, Joan was a gifted scholar and scientist who managed to crack the glass ceiling of the Catholic church by concealing her identity under draping clerical robes.

As legend tells it, the charade wore thin when Joan, in the process of climbing on her horse for a procession, abruptly gave birth to a son. Some skeptics argue that the story of Pope Joan developed from simple misreading of medieval manuscripts, in which the name Joannus was often shortened to Joan. The Vatican holds that there has never been a female pope. He brazenly claimed authority over all political matters in addition to spiritual ones, and occasionally dressed in Imperial robes.

Not surprisingly, this led to frequent conflict with secular authorities, particularly Philip IV of France. Ultimately, Philip excommunicated Bonniface on charges that included sexual misconduct and heresy. Leo X Pope Leo X right center had a taste for extravagance and found himself with a crippling cash shortage. To cover his debts, he renewed church indulgences, which were payments citizens could make to the church to secure salvation.

That did not sit well with a professor named Martin Luther who publicly denounced indulgences. Leo eventually excommunicated Martin Luther, who burned the excommunication order left. Pius IX With a pontificate of nearly 32 years, Pius IX holds the record for the longest reign of any pope in history. In that period, he had ample time to establish his reputation as a reactionary leader who was resistant to relaxing any elements of Catholic doctrine. In his notorious "Syllabus of Errors," he specified that one of the greatest affronts to Catholicism was believing that "the Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself to, and agree with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization.

By the time of his death, Pius IX's popularity was so low that a mob attacked his funeral procession and attempted to throw his body into the river. Despite his lack of stature, Benedict XV carried the papacy to new levels by establishing the papal office as a player in international diplomacy. He also quelled rising tensions between integralist and progressive factions of the Catholic Church. By his death in , "Piccoletto" had been replaced with the nick name "The Peace Pope. Several recent books blast Pius for his refusal to speak out against the extermination of Jews in death camps. Despite his silence, Pius opened the Vatican and other Italian properties to shelter Italian Jews and was reportedly involved in a clandestine plot to assassinate Hitler.

However, John broke all of their expectations: he installed a bowling alley in the Vatican, relaxed the church's stringent anti-Communist stance and called the nuclear arms race "utterly ridiculous. Pope Paul VI When Pope Paul was crowned, he delivered the allocution in nine languages as a symbolic first step in his plan to reach new communities with Catholicism. As a second step, he sold the official papal tiara and distributed the money to the poor in various countries around the world.

Despite his efforts at international outreach, Pope Paul is best known for his encyclical, Humanae vitae, which banned all forms of birth control, other than rhythm. Humanae vitae aggravated tensions within the church, and put a wedge between Catholicism and secular society. The encyclical stirred up so much controversy that Pope Paul VI vowed never to issue another one. He stood by that promise, and published no more for the remaining ten years of his pontificate until his death.

He is an outspoken advocate of human rights, but his critics argue that his policies overlook the rights of women and homosexuals. They settled in Florida in an area that is now Jacksonville, only to be slaughtered by Spanish forces. I will not repeat that tragic story which is beyond irony, and which is eloquently told in the accompanying pages.

When King Louis XIV ascended the French throne in , the smoldering coals of religious persecution were fanned into red hot flames once again. He ordered his infamous dragonnades to confiscate Huguenot houses and properties. And forcing as many as would to convert back to Catholicism. The Huguenot diaspora was now in full swing. The Huguenots had been bled white. Some , became refugees forced to flee their homeland for good. They now saw Catholicism as a bloody and treacherous religion, with no hope of reform.

Some managed to escape to Lutheran Germany. The minority that remained in France had to worship in secret much like the early Church believers in pagan Rome. Their exodus would prove a financial disaster for France, as the Huguenots made up half of its working class. Many were well-educated and skillful tradesmen whose skills improved the economies of every city where they fled. Here, history proves again that we learn very little from history. And that while power tends to corrupt, absolute power always corrupts.

Here is a great irony that when the church was n ot the dominant power in early Rome when it was the nonconformist minority it preached tolerance. It exalted its martyrs for defying the state when it tried to force their state religion upon them. But when the same church became the dominant power in Medieval Rome it showed no tolerance for the nonconformist in its midst. When the French Huguenots refused to accept the state religion being forced upon them they were murdered, martyred, and mutilated by the hundreds of thousands.

Do we learn from history? Only for a short time. Only as long as we are still feeling the pain of our previous bad choices. But succeeding generations soon forget. The leopard cannot change its spots, the zebra cannot change its stripes. The greatest wars the bloodiest battles ever fought are yet to be fought. The nations shall beat their swords into plowshares only when Christ returns. VI, cap. This is proved by the Biblical metaphors of the reluctant hearing of the voice God Jer.

Thus Augustine De grat. As the unfree emotions of the will are by their very nature destined to elicit free salutary acts, it is clear that preventing grace must develop into helping or cooperating grace as soon as free will gives its consent. These free salutary acts are, according to the Council of Trent Sess. There is just as little doubt possible regarding their existence as concerning the fact that many men freely follow the call of grace, work out their eternal salvation, and attain the beatific vision, so that the dogma of the Christian heaven proves simultaneously the reality of cooperating graces.

Their principal advocate is Augustine De grat. If the more philosophical question of the cooperation of grace and liberty be raised, it will be easily perceived that the supernatural element of the free salutary act can be only from God , its vitality only from the will. The postulated unity of the action of the will could evidently not be safeguarded, if God and the will performed either two separate acts or mere halves of an act. It can exist only when the supernatural power of grace transforms itself into the vital strength of the will, constitutes the latter as a free faculty in actu primo by elevation to the supernatural order, and simultaneously cooperates as supernatural Divine concurrence in the performance of the real salutary act or actus secundus.

This cooperation is not unlike that of God with the creature in the natural order, in which both perform together one and the same act, God as first cause causa prima , the creature as secondary cause causa secunda. For further particulars see St. A second pair of graces important for the understanding of the controversies on grace is that of efficacious and merely sufficient grace gratia efficax et mere sufficiens. By efficacious grace is understood that Divine assistance which, considered even in actu primo , includes with infallible certainty, and consequently in its definition, the free salutary act; for did it remain inefficacious, it would cease to be efficacious and would therefore be self-contradictory.

As to whether the infallibility of its success is the result of the physical nature of this grace or of the infallible foreknowledge of God scientia media is a much debated question between Thomists and Molinists which need not be further treated here. Its existence, however, is admitted as an article of faith by both sides and is established with the same firmness as the predestination of the elect or the existence of a heaven peopled with innumerable saints.

They admitted only efficacious graces whose action overpowers the will and leaves no room for freedom. If Jansen d. VIII, a. The Catholic idea of sufficient grace is obtained by the distinction of a twofold element in every actual grace, its intrinsic energy potestas agendi, vis and its extrinsic efficiency efficientia. Under the former aspect there exists between sufficient and efficacious grace, both considered in actu primo , no real, but only a logical, distinction; for sufficient grace also confers full power for action, but is condemned to unfruitfulness owing to the free resistance of the will.

If, on the contrary, extrinsic efficiency be considered, it is evident that the will either cooperates freely or not. If it refuses its cooperation, even the strongest grace remains a merely sufficient one gratia mere sufficiens although by nature it would have been completely sufficient gratia vere sufficiens and with good will could have been efficacious.

This ecclesiastical conception of the nature of sufficient grace, to which the Catholic systems of grace must invariably conform themselves, is nothing else but a reproduction of the teaching of the Bible. To cite only one text Prov. Augustine is in complete agreement with the constant tradition on this point, and Jansenists have vainly claimed him as one of their own. Patrum, II, 6 sq. Paris , After the treatment of the nature of actual grace, we come logically to the discussion of its properties. These are three in number: necessity, gratuity, and universality. The three heresies o early Protestantism and Jansenism, Pelagianism, and Semipelagianism furnish us with the practical division which we adopt for the systematic exposition of the Catholic doctrine.

Funda-mental for natural religion and ethics is the article of faith which asserts the power of mere reason to derive a certain natural knowledge of God from creation Vatican. III, de revelat. This is a central truth which is most clearly attested by Scripture Wisdom, xiii, 1 sqq. Unswervingly adhering to this position, the Church has ever exhibited herself as a mighty defender of reason and its inherent power against the ravages of scepticism so subversive of all truth. Through the whole course of centuries she has steadfastly clung to the unalterable conviction that a faculty of perception constituted for vision, like human reason, cannot possibly be condemned to blindness, and that its natural powers enable it to know, even in the fallen state, whatever is within it legitimate sphere.

On the other hand, the Church also erected against presumptuous Rationalism and Theosophism a bulwark for the defense of knowledge by faith, a knowledge superior to, and different in principle from rational knowledge. With Clement of Alexandria she drew a sharp distinction between gnosis and pistis —knowledge and faith, philosophy and revelation, assigning to reason the double role of indispensable forerunner and docile handmaid cf. Vati can. III, cap. This noble struggle of the Church for the rights of reason and its true relation to faith explains historically her decidedly hostile attitude towards the scepticism of Nicholas de Ultricuria A.

A sound intellectualism is just as indispensable a condition of her life as the doctrine of a supernatural order raised above all the limits of nature. Not less reasonable an attitude was assumed by the Church respecting the moral capabilities of fallen man in the domain of natural ethics. Against Baianism, the forerunner of Jansenism, she adhered in her teaching to the conviction confirmed by healthy experience, that natural man is capable of performing some naturally good works without actual grace, and particularly without the grace of faith, and that not all the deeds of infidels and pagans are sins. The history of paganism and everyday experience condemn, moreover, with equal emphasis these extravagant exaggerations of Baius. Among the duties of the natural moral law some—as love for parents or children, abstention from theft and drunkenness—are of such an elementary character that it is impossible to perceive why they could not be fulfilled without grace and faith at least by judicious, cultured, and noble-minded pagans.

Did not the Savior himself recognize as something good natural human love and fraternal greeting, such as they exist also among publicans and pagans? He denied to them only a supernatural reward mercedem , Matt. The Fathers of the Church did not judge differently. Baius, however, overlooked the fact that the former rhetorician and Platonic idealist of Hippo does not always weigh every word as carefully as the wary Schoolman, Thomas Aquinas, but consciously delights cf. Enarr, in Ps. As he calls the least good motion of the will caritas , by anticipation, so he brands every unmeritorious work opus steriliter bonum as sin peccaturn and false virtue falsa virtus. In both cases it is an obvious use of the rhetorical figure called catachresis.

With a strong perception for the ethically good, wherever it may be found, he eulogizes elsewhere the chastity of his heathen friend Alypius Confess. The ethical capacity of pure, and especially of fallen, nature has undoubtedly also its determined limits which it cannot overstep. In a general manner, the possibility of the observance of the easier natural precepts without the aid of natural or supernatural grace may be asserted, but not the possibility of the observance of the more difficult commandments and prohibitions of the natural law. The difficulty of determining where the easy ends and the difficult begins will naturally lead, in some secondary questions, to great diversity of opinion among theologians.

In fundamental points, however, harmony is easily obtainable and exists in fact. In the first place, all without exception are agreed on the proposition that fallen man cannot of his own strength observe the natural law in its entirety and for a long time without occasional errors and lapses into grievous sin. And how could he? For, according to the council of Trent Sess. Secondly, all theologians admit that the natural will, unaided by Divine assistance, succumbs, especially in the fallen state, with moral not physical necessity to the attack of vehement and enduring temptations against the Decalogue. For could it by its own strength decide the conflict in its own favor even at the most critical moments, that power which we have just eliminated would be restored to it, namely the power to observe unaided, through the prompt victory over vehement temptations, the whole natural law in all its extent.

The practical significance of this second universally admitted proposition lies in the acknowledgment that, according to revelation, there is no man on earth who does not occasionally meet with this or that grievous temptation to mortal sin, and even the justified are no exception to this law; wherefore, even they are bound to constant vigilance in fear and trembling and to never-ceasing prayer for Divine assistance cf. Council of Trent , 1. In the third question, whether natural love of God , even in its highest form amor Dei naturalis perfectus , is possible without grace, the opinions of theologians are still very divergent.

Bellarmine denies this possibility on the ground that, without any grace, a mere natural justification could in such a case be brought into being through the love of God. Scotus, on the contrary, spiritedly defends the attainability of the highest natural love for God. A golden middle course will easily open to the one who accurately distinguishes between affective and effective love. The affective element of the highest love is, as natural duty, accessible to the mere natural will without grace. Effective love, on the contrary, since it supposes an unchanging, systematic, and active will, would entail the above-discarded possibility of triumphing over all temptations and of observing the whole moral law. According to Jansenism, the mere absence of the state of grace and love status gratioe et caritatis branded as sins all the deeds of the sinner, even the ethically good ones e.

This was the lowest ebb in its disparagement and depreciation of the moral forces in man; and here, too, Baius had paved the way. The possession of sanctifying grace or theological love thus became the measure and criterion of natural morality. Taking as his basis the total corruption of nature through original sin i. The Council of Trent Sess. VI, can. Moreover, what reasonable man would concede that the process of justification with its so-called dispositions consists in a long series of sins? And if the Bible , in order to effect the conversion of the sinner, frequently summons him to contrition and penance, to prayer and almsdeeds, shall we admit the blasphemy that the Most Holy summons him to the commission of so many sins? True, Baius and Quesnel succeeded in cleverly concealing their heresy in a phraseology similar to the Augustinian, but without penetrating the meaning of Augustine.

The latter, it must be conceded, in the course of the struggle with self-confident Pelagianism, ultimately so strongly emphasized the opposition between grace and sin, love of God and love of the world, that the intermediary domain of naturally good works almost completely disappeared. But Scholasticism had long since applied the necessary correction to this exaggeration. That the sinner, in consequence of his habitual state of sin, must sin in everything, is not the doctrine of Augustine.

The universality of sin in the world which he contemplated, is not for him the result of a fundamental necessity, but merely the manifestation of a general historical phenomenon which admits of exceptions De spir. He specifically declares marital love, love of children and friends to be something lawful in all men, something commendable, natural and dutiful, even though Divine love alone leads to heaven.

B Pelagianism, which still survives under new forms, fell into the extreme directly opposed to the theories rejected above. It exaggerated the capacity of human nature to an incredible degree, and hardly left any room for Christian grace. It amounted to nothing less than the divinization of the moral forces of free will. Even when it was question of acts tending to supernatural salvation, natural will was declared able to rise by its own strength from justification to eternal life. Rank naturalism in its essence, Pelagianism contained, as a logical consequence, the supression of original sin and the negation of grace.

It laid down the proud assertion that the sovereign will may ultimately raise itself to complete holiness and impeccability impeccantia, anamartesia through the persevering observance of all precepts, even the most difficult, and through the infallible triumph over very temptation, even the most vehement. This was an unmistakable reproduction of the ancient Stoic ideal of virtue.

In no other part of the system is the vanity of the Christian Diogenes so glaringly perceptible through the lacerated cloak of the philosopher. Hence the Provincial Synod of Carthage insisted on the true doctrine on this very point see Denzinger, nn. True, Pelagius d. But the heresiarch rejected with all the more obstinacy the inner grace of the Holy Ghost , especially for the will. The object of grace was, at the most, to facilitate the work of salvation, in no wise to make it fundamentally possible.

Never before had a heretic dared to lay the axe so unsparingly to the deepest roots of Christianity. And never again did it occur in ecclesiastical history that one man alone, with the weapons of the mind and ecclesiastical science, overthrew and annihilated in one generation an equally dangerous heresy. This man was Augustine. In the short period between A. But the death-blow was dealt as early as at Mileve, where fifty-nine bishops, under the leadership of St.

It was there that the absolute necessity of grace for salvation triumphed over the Pelagian idea of its mere utility, and the absolute incapacity of nature over supreme self-sufficiency. When Augustine died, in , Pelagianism was dead. The decisions of faith issued at Mileve and Carthage were frequently renewed by ecumenical councils, as in at Orange, lastly at Trent Sess. The beautiful parable of the vine and its branches John, xv, 1 sqq. Augustine and the synods time and again used it in the controversy as a very decisive proof out of the mouth of the Savior Himself.

The categorical assertion of the necessity of grace for the holy Apostles themselves brings home to us still more forcibly the absolute incapacity of mere fallen nature in the performance of salutary acts. All supernatural activity may be concretely summed up in the three following elements: salutary thoughts, holy resolves, good actions. The victorious struggle of St. Pelagianism was immediately felt in the Christian community as a thorn in the flesh and a poison of novelty. In fact, the teaching of the most ancient Fathers of the Church , e. Irenaeus Adv. The constant practice of prayer in the ancient Church pointed significantly to her lively faith in the necessity of grace, for prayer and grace are correlative ideas, which cannot be separated.

Hence the celebrated axiom of Pope Celestine I d. It is clearly evident that the Fathers of the Church wished the universally expressed necessity of grace to be understood not merely as a moral necessity for the strengthening of human weakness, but as a metaphysical one for the communication of physical powers. For in their comparisons they state that grace is not less necessary than are wings for flying, the eyes for seeing, the rain for the growth of plants, etc. In accordance with this, they also declare that, in as far as supernatural activity is concerned, grace is just as indispensable for the angels not subject to concupiscence, and was for man before the fall, as it is for man after the sin of Adam.

Virgin Mary, let him be anathema. This celebrated canon presents some difficulties of thought which must be briefly discussed. In its gist it is an affirmation that not even the justified, much less the sinner and infidel, can avoid all sins, especially venial ones, through his whole life except by special privilege such as was granted to the Mother of God. The canon does not assert that besides Mary other saints, as St.

Joseph or St. John the Baptist, possessed this privilege. Almost all theologians rightly consider this to be the sole exception, justified only by the dignity of the Divine maternity. Justice is done to the wording of the canon, if by totae vita we understand a long period, about a generation, and by peccata venialia chiefly the semi-deliberate venial sins due to surprise or precipitancy. It is in no way declared that a great saint is unable to keep free from all sin during a short interval, as the interval of a day; nor that he is incapable of avoiding for a long time with ordinary grace and without special privilege all venial sins committed with full deliberation or complete liberty.

The same must be said with still greater reason of mortal sins, although the preservation of baptismal innocence may be of rare occurrence. The expression, omnia peccata , must be understood collectively, as applying to the sum, and not distributively, as meaning each individual sin, which would no longer be a sin if it could not be avoided in every instance. For the same reason the words, non posse , designate not a physical, but a moral impossibility of avoiding sin, i. The meaning is, therefore: The observer of a long series of temptations in the life of a just man will find that at some time or other, today or tomorrow, the will held captive by concupiscence will succumb with moral necessity. This may be due to negligence, surprise, weariness, or moral weakness—all of which are factors that do not completely destroy the freedom of the will and thus admit at least of a venial sin.

This hard truth must naturally grieve a proud heart. But it is precisely to curb pride, that most dangerous enemy of our salvation, and to nourish in us the precious virtue of humility, that God permits these falls into sin. Nothing incites us more powerfully to vigilance and perseverance in prayer than the consciousness of our sinfulness and infirmity. This view, defended by the Bible , was also the constant sentiment of the Fathers of the Church , to whom the proud language of the Pelagians was unknown. Simultaneously he humbly acknowledged that he had the misfortune of having professed similar errors previously to his episcopal consecration A.

He attacked resolutely, though with mildness and moderation, all the positions of his adversaries, rightly looking upon their attitude as a relapse into the already defeated Pelagianism. They succeeded in interesting in their cause Pope Celestine I, who, in his dogmatic writing to the bishops of Gaul , laid down as a rule of faith the fundamental teaching of St. Augustine on original sin and grace. This synod received the solemn confirmation of Pope Boniface II and was thus vested with ecumenical authority. According to the opinion of Scheeben and Gutberlet this confirmation extended only to the first eight canons and the epilogue. From now on Semipelagianism , also, was proscribed as heresy, and Augustinism was completely victorious.

In the refutation of Semipelagianism , in so far as the necessity of actual grace is concerned, it will not be amiss to follow an adult through all the stages on the way to salvation, from the state of unbelief and mortal sin to the state of grace and a happy death. With regard, first, to the period of unbelief, the Second Synod of Orange can. Consequently, the whole preparation for the faith is made under the influence of grace, e. The accuracy of this view is confirmed by the Bible. Were faith rooted in mere nature, were it based on mere natural inclination to believe or on natural merit, nature could legitimately glory in its own achievement of the work of salvation in its entirety, from faith to justification—nay, to beatific vision itself.

And still Paul I Cor. Although Augustine could substantiate his doctrine by references to the anterior Fathers of the Church , as Cyprian, Ambrose, and Gregory of Nazianzus , he seems to have been embarrassed by the Semipelagian appeal to the Greeks, chiefly Chrysostom. He pleaded the circumstances of the time De praed. In fact, difference of doctrine between the East and the West cannot be denied. How must this attitude of the Eastern Church be explained? For the anti- Christian systems of Gnosticism , Manichaeism , and neo-Platonism—all products of the East—stood completely under the spell of the liberty destroying philosophy of fatalism.

But was Chrysostom opposing a Pelagius or a Cassian? Hence you have received what you possess, and not only this or that, but everything you have. For these are not your own merits, but the grace of God. Although you cite faith, you owe it nevertheless to call. Chrysostom was always orthodox in the doctrine on grace. After the triumph over unbelief, the process of justification begins with faith and concludes only with the infusion of sanctifying grace and theological love.

The question is whether, on this arduous road, grace must precede and cooperate with every salutary step of the believing sinner. The negative attitude of the Semipelagians, who ascribed the dispositions for justification to the natural efforts of free will, was proscribed as heretical at Orange can. Rightly so. For the thoroughly supernatural sonship of God filiatio adoptiva , which ultimately terminates the process of justification, can be attained only through absolutely supernatural acts, for the performance of which nature without grace is physically incapable.

Once the adult has finally reached the state of grace after a happy termination of the process of justification, the obligation devolves upon him of complying with many negative and positive duties in order to preserve sanctifying grace, persevere in virtue until the end, and gain heaven after a happy death. Will he be capable of accomplishing all this without a constant stream of actual graces? It might appear so.

For the justified person is, through the possession of sanctifying grace and supernatural virtues, permanently maintained in the supernatural order. It is not unnatural, therefore, to admit, prescinding from final perseverance, that he is enabled by his supernatural habit to perform salutary actions. This is in reality the teaching of Molina, Bellarmine, Billot, and others. But to this view Perrone De gratiae, n.

And does not concupiscence, which remains also in the justified, stand in need of at least healing grace? Moreover, no passive habit puts itself in motion, but, like a well-tuned harp, must be, as it were, brought into play by some external agency. It might be added that nature, raised to a permanent supernatural state, still retains its natural activity and consequently requires a supernatural impulse for supernatural actions. The most important concern, however, which the just man must take to heart is final perseverance, because it is a decided characteristic of the predestined and assures entrance into heaven with infallible certainty. The Semipelagian delusion that this great grace may be due to the initiative and power of the just was refuted, after the Second Synod of Orange can.

Final perseverance, in its most perfect sense, consists in the untarnished preservation of baptismal innocence until death. In a less strict sense it is the preservation of the state of grace from the last conversion until death. In both senses we have what is called perfect perseverance perseverantia perfecta. By imperfect, perseverance perseverantia imperfecta must be understood the temporary continuance in grace, e. We must distinguish also between passive and active perseverance, according as the justified dies in the state of grace, independently of his will, as baptized children and the insane, or actively cooperates with grace whenever the state of grace is imperilled by grievous temptations.

The Council of Trent had, above all, this latter Cage in view, since it speaks of the necessity of a special assistance auxilium speciale , which can designate nothing else but an actual grace or rather a whole series of these. Hence, as a new and special grace, it ultimately is but a continuous series of efficacious not merely sufficient graces combined with a particular external protection of God against fall into sin and with the final experience of a happy death. The Bible extols final perseverance, now as a special grace not included in the bare notion of justification Phil. Augustine De dono persev. Hence the practice of pious Christians to pray daily for a good death can never be too earnestly commended.

The very name of grace excludes the notion of merit. But the gratuity of specifically Christian grace is so great and of such a superior character that even mere natural petition for grace or positive natural dispositions cannot determine God to the bestowal of his supernatural assistance. A mere negative preparation or mere negative dispositions, on the contrary, which consist only in the natural removal of obstacles, are in all probability not essentially opposed to gratuity.

Owing to its gratuitous character, grace cannot be earned by strictly natural merit either in strict justice meritum de condigno or as a matter of fitness meritum de congruo. But is not this assertion in conflict with the dogma that the just man can, through supernatural works, merit de condigno an increase in the state of grace and eternal glory, just as the sinner can, through salutary acts, earn de congruo justification and all graces leading up to it? That it is not, will be clearly evident if it be remembered that the merits springing from supernatural grace are no longer natural, but supernatural cf.

Council of Trent , Sess. The absolute gratuity of grace is, therefore, safeguarded if it is referred to the initial grace prima gratia vocans , with which the work of salvation begins, and which is preceded by pure and mere nature. For it then follows that the whole subsequent series of graces, up to justification, is not and cannot be merited any more than the initial grace. We shall now briefly examine the gratuity of grace in its several degrees as indicated above. The meritorious character of our actions in the former sense was defended by the Pelagians, while the Semipelagia advocated it in the latter meaning.

To this twofold error the infallible teaching authority of the Church opposed the dogmatic declaration that the initial grace preparatory to justification is in no wise due to natural merit as a determining factor Cf. The categorical synodal expression, nullis proecedentibus meritis , wards off from grace, as a poisonous breath, not only the Pelagian condign merit, but also the Semipelagian congruous merit.

The presupposition that grace can be merited by natural deeds involves a latent contradiction. For it would be attributing to nature the power to bridge over with its own strength the chasm lying between the natural and the supernatural order. In powerfully eloquent words does Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans , declare that the vocation to the Faith was not granted to the Jews in consequence of the works of the Mosaic Law , nor to the pagans because of the observance of the natural moral law, but that the concession was entirely gratuitous.

The Doctor of Grace, Augustine De peccato orig. For if grace by merit, thou hast bought, not received gratis. Not even Chrysostom could be suspected of Semipelagianism , as he thought in this matter precisely like Paul and Augustine. While natural merit suppresses the idea of gratuity in grace, the same cannot be affirmed of natural prayer preces naturoe, oratio naturalis , as long as we do not ascribe to it any intrinsic right to be heard and to God a duty to answer it—a right and duty which are undoubtedly implied in supernatural petitions cf.

John, xvi, 23 sq. Prayer does not, like merit, appeal to the justice or equity of God , but to his liberality and mercy. The sphere of influence of prayer is consequently much more extensive than the power of merit. The gratuity of Christian grace is, nevertheless, to be understood so strictly that pure nature cannot obtain even the smallest grace by the most fervent prayer. Such is the doctrine asserted by the Second Synod of Orange can. It is based on a positive Divine decree and can no longer be deduced from the intrinsic impossibility of the contrary.

How little this is the case in the present dispensation is best learned from the language of the Bible. I Cor. The supernatural union with Christ is, moreover, represented as the indispensable condition of every successful petition John, xv, 7. Every wholesome prayer being in itself a salutary act, it must, according to antecedent statements, spring from prevenient grace. On an almost identical level with natural prayer stand the positive preparation and dispositions to grace capacitas, sive proeparatio positiva. It often occurs in human, life that the positive disposition to a natural good includes in itself a certain claim to satisfaction, as, e. This is still more the case when the disposition has been acquired by a positive preparation for the good in question.

Thus the student has acquired by his preparation for the examination a certain claim to be sooner or later admitted to it. But how about grace? Does there exist in man a positive disposition and a claim to grace in the sense that the withholding of this expected blessing would sensibly injure and bitterly disappoint the soul? Or can man, unaided, positively dispose himself for the reception of grace, confident that God will reward his natural efforts with the bestowal of supernatural grace?

This Legalistic language does not exist in the Vulgate or any ancient text. Now where a duty of conversion exists, the necessary grace must The Brady Bunch TV Show at How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church without which no How Did Luther Influence The Catholic Church is possible. Fulgenius Ep.

Current Viewers: