domingo, 30 de julio de 2017

Comment on the catholic teaching of salvation by grace.

I believe that this quotation (see below) of Pope Francis of his Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" perfectly exposes what the Church teaches about salvation by grace, as a gift of God.

I publish it because a great sector of Protestantism affirms, either through ignorance of what the Catholic faith really teaches or by a bad intention, that Catholicism preaches a "salvation by works", which would be a denial of Divine Grace. Thus, according to Protestants, Catholics try to save themselves "on their own merits and human efforts," making God's action insufficient through the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

This is an absurd and grotesque distortion of Catholic doctrine; The Catholic Church always taught, from the first century and up to the present day, that the salvation of the human being IS BY GRACE (ie, by the FREE GIFT of God's Mercy). If men have the hope of eternal life, it is because God decided to save us through the redemptive action of Christ that opened the gates of heaven and reconciled us to the Father. But this does not mean that man, rescued gratuitously for the merit of Jesus, can remain without responding to the rescue that has been given him by conforming his life to the will of God (and God's will is that we love our neighbor, love that it is expresses itself in works, not in words), and as if he no longer had the responsibility and the duty to fight against his concupiscence that at any moment, however man of faith he may be, will stalk him (for that reason Paul in his epistle to Galatians warns against the works of the flesh, which must be "suffocated" with the guidance of the Spirit).

Hence the "merit" of man, conform his works and actions to God and let his will be guided and assisted by grace without which we can not persevere to the end.

Quote from Pope Francis:

"The salvation that God offers us is the work of His mercy. There are no human actions, no matter how good they are, to make us deserve such a great gift. God, by pure grace, draws us to be united with Himself. He sends his Spirit into our hearts to make us his children, to transform us and to become capable of responding with our lives to that love. "
Evangelii Gaudium.

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