So, Protestant pala si Iron Man. Haha! Di ko gusto si Captain America eh but watching this gave me a new perspective.
So, Protestant pala si Iron Man. Haha! Di ko gusto si Captain America eh but watching this gave me a new perspective.
Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You
Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You?re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me
King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love?s sake became poor
I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
(Sung by Berto)
Lyrics by: Rommel Guevarra
Mahal na mahal kita Panginoon
Mahal na mahal kita Panginoon
Kailanma’y di Ka ipagpapalit
Pagka’t sa piling Mo’y langit
Mahal na mahal kita Panginoon
Habang buhay papupurihan Ka
Habang buhay maglilingkod sa ‘Yo
Habang buhay pag-ibig ko Sayo iaalay.
Unang Pagbasa: Ezekiel 37:12-14, Kung maibukas ko na ang inyong libingan at maibangon ko kayo, makikilala ninyong ako si Yahweh. Hihingahan ko kayo upang kayo’y mabuhay…
Salmo: Mga Awit 130, Kung ikaw ay may talaan nitong aming kasalanan,lahat kami ay tatanggap ng hatol mong nakalaan. Ngunit iyong pinatawad, kasalanan ay nilimot, pinatawad mo nga kami upang sa iyo ay matakot.
Ikalawang Pagbasa: Roma 8:8-11 Ngunit dahil nananahan sa inyo si Cristo, mamatay man ang inyong mga katawan dahil sa kasalanan, ang espiritu naman ninyo ay buháy sapagkat itinuring na kayong matuwid ng Diyos.
Ebanghelyo: Juan 11:1-45, Sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus, “Ako ang nagbibigay-buhay at muling pagkabuhay. Ang sinumang sumasampalataya sa akin, kahit mamatay ay muling mabubuhay….”
Napansin ko na eksakto sa mga ginagawa kong article yung readings sa Misa ngayon araw; justification. Kaya lang nung tiningnan ko sa Biblia, sa Mabuting Balita Biblia version, isinalin sa “itinuring na [kayong] matuwid” yung Greek word na “dikaiosune” sa Roma 8:10. Ang ibig sabihin ng “dikaiosune” ay righteousness, justice o kaya ay justification. Yun yung kahulugan ng “dikaiosune“. Nagkakaroon ng theological meaning ang dikaiosune depende kung Protestante o Katoliko ang tumitingin. Sa Protestante ang ibig sabihin ay itinuring na matuwid ng Diyos (declared righteous/imputed righteousness), sa Katoliko naman ginawang matuwid ng Diyos (made righteous). Ang pagkakasalin ng MBB ay may bahid Protestante.
Tingnan natin ang Ang Biblia…
At kung si Cristo ay nasa sa inyo, ang katawan ay patay dahil sa kasalanan; datapuwa’t ang espiritu ay buhay dahil sa katuwiran. – Roma 8:10
Sa salin ng Ang Biblia, ginamit yung literal na kahulugan ng “dikaiosune” na “katuwiran” without implying kung itinuring o ginawang matuwid ang tao.
Sa mga naunang article tungkol sa justification, paulit-ulit ko nang binanggit na para sa mga Katoliko ito ay hindi forensic o judicial act. Ito ay life-giving act ng Diyos. Kung ituturing ka lang ng Diyos na matuwid, walang nangyayari. Pero kung gagawin ka niyang matuwid, may nagbabago. At ayon sa Roma 8:10, ang espiritu ay buhay dahil sa katuwiran.
Hindi naman nagiging aparador ang puno kahit ituring mo itong aparador. Kailangan gawin itong aparador para maging aparador talaga. Kung aparador ang tawag mo sa puno, ang tawag sa iyo tanga. And I don’t believe in an idiotic God.
Ang unang pagbasa, Ezekiel 37:12-14, ay isang propesiya. Ipinahahayag diyan na ang Diyos ay bubuhay ng mga patay, at iyon ay sa pamamagitan ng kanyang hininga…Espiritu.
Sa Salmo naman ay ang pagpapatawad at paglimot ng Diyos sa mga kasalanan sa halip na paghatol.
Sa ikalawang pagbasa ay ang katuparan ng propesiya sa unang pagbasa; ang pagiging buhay ng espiritu dahil sa katuwiran (Ang Biblia) i.e. justification.
Sa Ebanghelyo, ipinakita na ang Panginoong Jesus ang nagbibigay-buhay at muling pagkabuhay. He is the life (Greek, zoe) and the resurrection (Greek, anastasis). Kung paanong pinatunayan ng Panginoon na may karapatan siyang magpatawad ng mga kasalanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapagaling sa lumpo (Marcos 2:1-12), pinatunayan niyang siya ang nagbibigay-buhay at muling pagkabuhay sa pamamagitan ng muling pagbuhay kay Lazarus.
Totoo, plano niyang muling buhayin ang (katawan ng) lahat ng nananampalataya sa kanya, pero bago yun plano muna niyang buhayin tayo mula sa pagkamatay na dulot ng kasalanan ni Adan; pagkawala ng hininga ng Diyos sa kanyang dating buhay na kaluluwa (Genesis 2:7). At yun ang katuparan ng propesiya ni Ezekiel.
Totoo na ang justification ay pagpapatawad at paglimot ng kasalanan, pero higit pa roon ito ay ang pagbuhay sa atin ng Panginoon at ang biyaya ng pakikibahagi sa buhay ng Diyos. Hindi limitado sa “legal sense” ang pag-unawa ng Simbahang Katoliko sa justification dahil higit sa pagiging paglabag sa kautusan, ang kasalanan ay nagdulot pagkasira ng relasyon sa pagitan ng tao at Diyos, at nagdulot ng pagkamatay ng kaluluwa.
Makikita rin natin sa kwento ng Alibughang Anak ang ideya na ito ng justification. Nilapastangan niya ang kanyang ama sa paghingi ng mana kahit buhay pa ito at nilustay ito sa masamang gawain i.e. nagkasala siya, humiwalay siya at nasira ang relasyon nila bilang mag-ama, at namatay ang anak (Lucas 15:24,32). Pero siya ay natagpuan, pinatawad, muling tinanggap bilang anak, at muling nabuhay.
Ang tao ay pinapawalang-sala (justified) hindi sa pamamagitan ng mga gawa ng kautusan (Roma 3:28) dahil kahit masunod ng tao ang Sampung Utos hindi ito nagbibigay-buhay sapagkat ang Panginoong Jesus lang ang nagbibigay-buhay at hindi ang kautusan.
Kung halimbawang tinanggap ng ama ang alibughang anak bilang alipin, kahit sundin niya ang lahat ng utos ng kanyang ama hindi nun mababawi ang nawala sa kanya; pagiging anak. At mananatili pa rin siyang patay. Pero pinatawad siya ng ama, tinanggap siyang muli bilang anak, at muli siyang binuhay.
At ganoon ang ginawa ng Diyos sa atin (Efeso 2:8-9).
Kaya nga nung minsang may nagtanong na binatang mayaman sa Panginoon kung ano ang dapat gawin para magtamo ang buhay na walang hanggan, inisa-isa ng Panginoon ang mga utos (Marcos 10:19), at sinabi ng binata na sinusunod na niya iyon buhat pa nung kanyang pagkabata (Marcos 10:20). At tiningnan siya ng may pagmamaahal ng Panginoon (Marcos 10:21) – ibang iba sa ginagawa ng mga Protestante kapag nalalaman nilang sinusunod ng mga Katoliko ang mga kautusan. Hindi sinabi ng Panginoon na mali ang ginagawa niyang pagsunod. Ang sinabi ng Panginoon, may kulang. Ibenta mo ang lahat ng meron ka at sumunod sa akin. Bakit? Dahil si Jesus ang nagbibigay-buhay, hindi ang kautusan.
Sabi ni William Lane Craig, isang Christian (Protestant) apologist na kaya raw forensic ang pag-unawa ng mga Protestante sa justification ang lengwahe ng New Testament ay legal language; ang opposition ay sa pagitan ng condemnation at justification . Romans 8:1, 33-34 at Romans 5:1 Revised Standard Version
Ganito ang eksaktong sinabi niya…
One way to think about this is to realize that the opposite of justification is condemnation. The opposite of justification is not moral turpitude. When a criminal is condemned by the court he experiences the opposite of acquital.
Yung video ni Mr. Craig ay comparison ng idea ng justification ng Catholic and Protestant. Gagawan ko rin ng article yung video na yan. Sa ngayon, quotation na lang muna from what he said.
Tingin ko, totoo yung sinasabi niya na ang kabaligtaran ng condemnation ay justification. Pero pagdating sa salvation, hindi “legal sense” na idedeklara ka lang ng Diyos na matuwid, pero hindi ka niya gagawing matuwid. Tingnan natin kung anong sinabi ng Panginoong Jesus mismo.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. – John 5:24-27 KJV
Kung ang kabaligtaran ng condemnation ay justification at ang sabi ng Panginoong Jesus na “he that heareth my word and believe…shall not come into condemnation” ano ang justification? Passing from death to life!
Tingnan natin yung sinabi ng Panginoong Jesus sa John 5:24-27 at balikan natin yung definition ng justification ng Simbahan sa Council of Trent.
…a transition from the state in which one is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and adoption as children of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Council of Trent, Section VI Chapter IV, Decree on Justification)
Tapos ikumpara natin sa sinasabi ni St. Paul…
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. – Romans 5:19 KJV
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. – Romans 8:10 ESV
Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. – Catechism of the Catholic Church #1996
It is God’s work. It is God’s grace. It is God’s love.
Justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. (CCC #1994)
May nagtext sa akin nung isang gabi. Dahil hindi pa ako nakakapagpa-load, dito ko na lang sasagutin.
Ito ang kanyang mensahe…
Hi po, this is Kenneth and I am catholic.. Gusto ko lang pong malaman na kung paano po ba at kanino po ba dapat ako magbi2gay ng tithe sa simbahang katoliko. Dapat ko po bang ilagay sa offering basket na nilalakad during mass o ibigay mismo sa pari?? Salamat po. Asahan ko po ang inyong rply.
Tayo bilang Katoliko ay may obligasyon na suportahan ang ating Inang Simbahan sa kanyang material na pangangailangan.
The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities. – (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #243)
Hindi tulad ng mga Born Again na may diin sa pangangaral ang pagbibigay ng tithes i.e. 10% ng kita, kailangan lang natin tumulong ayon sa abot ng ating makakaya. Obligado tayo tumulong sa Simbahan, pero hindi obligado ang presyo o ang percentage na kailangan ibigay bilang tulong. Kung ano ang makakayanan ok na.
Pero, sa dami ng magandang bagay na ginawa at patuloy na ibinibigay para sa atin ng Simbahan tulad ng mga sakramento at aral ng Panginoon na nagbibigay buhay, sapat na ba ang barya lang?
Kung kaya nating bumili ng gadget, magbudget para sa masasarap na pagkain etc. Bakit hindi natin magawa kahit paminsan-minsan na lakihan ang halaga ng ibinibigay natin sa Simbahan bilang tulong?
Para sa akin maganda pa rin yung tithing. Atleast naba-budget natin yung pera natin…at may nakalaan para sa Panginoon at sa kanyang Simbahan.
Kaya kung balak mo mag-ikapu, thats good!
Ngayon, bilang sagot doon sa tanong walang masama kung ibibigay ng direkta sa pari ang tithes, pero tingin ko mas maganda kung ibibigay sa offertory. Atleast naba-budget ng parokya yung pera kung para saan kailangan. At Biblia na rin ang nagsabi na dalhin ang ikapu sa tahanan ng Diyos…
Dalhin ninyo nang buong-buo ang inyong mga ikasampung bahagi sa tahanan ng Diyos upang matugunan ang pangangailangan sa aking tahanan.
Malakias 3:10 RTPV05
And for sure, hindi naman pababayaan ng parokya ang pari dahil sinasabi ng Biblia na…
Ang mga pinunong mahusay mamahala ay karapat-dapat tumanggap ng paggalang at kabayaran, lalo na ang mga masigasig sa pangangaral at pagtuturo ng salita ng Diyos. Sapagkat sinasabi ng kasulatan, “Huwag mong bubusalan ang bibig ng baka habang ito’y gumigiik.” Nasusulat din, “Ang manggagawa ay karapat-dapat bayaran.”
1 Timoteo 5:17-18 RTPV05
Ok. Sana makatulong ang sagot na ito. Pasensya na medyo late ang reply.
Maraming salamat! God bless!
Para sa iba pang article about tithes:
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
– Romans 5:19 KJV
Mapapansin na sa Protestanteng konsepto ng justification, sinasabi nilang hindi “made righteous” (gina[ga]wang matuwid) ng Diyos ang tao. Idinideklara lang siyang matuwid Diyos. Kinikilala siyang matuwid (kahit hindi naman talaga matuwid ang tao) at ang katuwiran ng Panginoong Jesus ang nakikita sa kanya ng Diyos.
Sa unang tingin, maganda. Pero kapag tinitigan napakapangit.
Una, malinaw na nakasulat sa Romans 5:19 sa King James Version (at sa iba pang maraming Protestant versions ng Bible) na dahil sa pagsunod ni Cristo, tayo ay ginawang matuwid. Tipikal sa paraan ng pagbabasa ng mga Protestante sa Biblia na kahit hindi nakasulat ng unahan ng salita sa Biblia e nababasa pa rin nila. Halimbawa, sinabi ng Panginoong Jesus na “ito ang aking katawan” babasahin nila iyon na “ito ang simbolo ng aking katawan”. Ganoon din ang nangyayari kapag nagbabasa sila ng salitang righteousness sa Biblia, lalo na sa mga isinulat ni San Pablo, laging may nauunang “imputed” sa pagkaunawa nila. Pero sa Romans 5:19 malinaw ang nakasulat; made righteous. At dahil malinaw na nakasulat sa nasabing Bible verse ang “made righteous” madalas na pinapalitan ng mga Protestante yung salitang “made” ng salitang “constituted” sa kanilang komentaryo. Paraan yun para palabasin na hindi ginagawang matuwid ng Diyos ang tao kundi dinedeklara (lang) na matuwid.
Kung ang salitang “made” sa Romans 5:19 ay papalitan ng “constituted” na magiging kasing kahulugan ng “imputed” lalabas na “imputed” lang din ang pagiging makasalanan ng tao. Dahil diyan, ganito ang mangyayari sa Romans 5:19…
Dahil sa pagsuway ni Adan kinilala/pinagbintangang (imputed) makasalanan ang marami subalit dahil sa pagsunod ng ikalawang Adan kinilala/pinagbintangang (imputed) matuwid ang marami.
Dahil sa kasalanan ni Adan pinagbintangan tayong makasalan? Nasaan ang hustisya roon? Bakit kailangan kong magdusa sa epekto ng kasalanang ibinintang lang naman sa akin at wala akong kinalaman? Bakit kailangan kong makaranas ng hirap, pagtanda, at pagkamatay dahil sa kasalanang ibinintang lang naman sa akin? Yung mismong “constituted/imputed sinners” na interpretation ng mga Protestante sa Romans 5:19a ay sisira sa ideya nila ng “total depravity” i.e. “as a result of the fall of man every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin”. Paano ka magiging corrupted by sin kung pinagbibintangan ka lang naman na makasalanan at hindi ka naman talaga naging makasalanan?
Pangalawa, pinalalabas nito na impotent ang Diyos. Kaya niyang gawing anak niya ang tao sa pamamagitan ng biyaya (adoption) pero hindi niya kayang gawing matuwid; isang bagay na sa palagay ko ay hindi magkatugma. Bakit hindi ginagawang matuwid ng Diyos ang tao ayon sa Protestanteng pangunawa ng justification? Dahil ba hindi niya kaya? O dahil ayaw lang talaga niya?
Pangatlo, blasphemous yung ideya. Bakit? Kasi pinagmumukhang tanga ang Diyos. Imagine, nakatingin siya sa iyo at alam niyang makasalanan ka pero naniniwala siya sa sarili niya na hindi ka makasalanan at ang tinitingnan niya ay ang katuwiran ni Cristo. Alam niyan makasalanan ang tao pero sinasabi niya sa sarili niya ang kabaligtaran.
Yung ideya ng imputed righteousness ay ginagawang limitado ang kakayahan ng Diyos sa pagliligtas.
Nagmumula ang lahat ng ito sa forensic understanding ng justification; na ito ay judicial act ng Diyos bilang hukom. Makakatulong sa pag-unawa sa kaligtasan ang paggamit ng metaphor ng courtroom scenario, but to limit it at that is to limit our understanding of his work of salvation.
Nang magbigay ng definition ng justification ang Simbahang Katoliko sa Council of Trent hindi ito limitado sa pagpapatawad ng mga kasalanan. Kasama sa definition ang paglipat sa “state of grace” (participation in the life of God, CCC #1997), “adoption” (becoming sons of God, John 1:12, 1John 3:1), “sanctification” at “renewal of inward man”. Hindi limitado sa sitwasyon ng hukuman.
Simulan natin sa umpisa…
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. – Genesis 2:7
Ang kaluluwa ang buhay ng katawan. Ang katawang walang kaluluwa ay patay. Pero nang nagkasala si Adan namatay siya pero hindi humiwalay kaluluwa niya sa kanyang katawan. Alin ang namatay? Ang kanyang kaluluwa, hindi ang katawan. Nawala ang “hininga ng Diyos” na bumubuhay sa kanyang kaluluwa. Dahil sa pagibig, nilikha ng Diyos ang tao. At hindi lang niya basta nilikha, ninais rin niyang makibahagi ang tao sa kanyang buhay i.e. communion. Pero dahil sa pagkakasala, namatay ang kanyang kaluluwa, nawala sa kanya ang buhay ng Diyos at ang biyaya ng pagiging anak ng Diyos (Lucas 3:38) ay nawala rin sa kanya.
Magmula kay Adan hanggang kay Moises nagkakasala na ang tao, naghahari ang na ang kamatayan…pero wala pang Kautusan kaya hindi pa “ibinibilang ang kasalanan” (Roma 5:13).
Bakit ibinigay ang Kautusan? Ibinigay ang kautusan para sa mga “lawless and disobedient” (1Timothy 1:8,9 KJV). Ibigay ang kautusan para maging “guardian” (Gal. 3:24 ESV) upang lumapit tayo sa Panginoong Jesus at manampalataya sa kanya. Pero ang kautusan ay walang kakayahang magbigay buhay…
Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. – Gal. 3:21
Ayon sa Galacia 3:21 may ideya si St. Paul na ang justification ay life-giving, at kasabay ng pagbibigay buhay ay ang pagiging matuwid. Ang problema, walang kakayahan ang kautusan na magbigay buhay. Ang ginagawa lang ng kautusan ay ipaalam sa atin kung ano ang tama at mali, at kung anu-ano ang paglabag na ginagawa natin.
Sa Roma 7:1-6, inihalintulad ni San Pablo ang mga taong nasa ilalim ng kautusan sa mag-asawa. Ang tanging makakapaghiwalay lang sa mag-asawa ay kamatayan (till death do us part), kung mamamatay ang kautusan mawawala ang tao sa ilalim nito. Pero hindi namamatay ang kautusan, sino ngayon ang kailangang mamatay? Ang tao. Paano mamamatay ang tao? Sa pakikipagisa kay Cristo! (Roman 6:3-4, 7:4).
Kung ang kautusan ay walang kakayahang magbigay buhay. Sino ang magbibigay buhay?
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. – Romans 8:10 ESV
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. – Romans 6:6-7
Ang pagkamatay sa sarili at pagkabuhay kay Cristo ay epekto ng infusion ng spiritual life na kaloob ng Espiritu Santo.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. – John 3:5 ESV
Sa binyag, tayo ay namatay na kasama ni Cristo, tayo ay ginagawang anak ng Diyos, tayo ay nakikibahagi sa buhay ng Diyos.
It was the Law itself that killed me and freed me from its power, so that I could live for God. I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. I don’t turn my back on God’s undeserved kindness. If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the Law, it was useless for Christ to die. – Galacia 2:19-20
Hindi imputed ang righteousness dahil paano kang gagawa ng righteousness kung hindi ka gagawing righteous ng Diyos i.e. kung kikilalanin ka lang niyang righteous kahit hindi naman talaga?
Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. – 1John 3:7
Ano na nga ulit ang justification para sa Simbahang Katoliko?
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2017 The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit makes us sharers in his life.
2018 Like conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.
2019 Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.
2020 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God’s mercy.
Ang justification ay hindi lang basta pagdeklarang matuwid sa tao. Ang justification, ang sanctification, ang renewal of the inner man, at ang pagiging sharers of God’s life ay hindi tinitingnan ng Simbahan na magkakahiwalay na gawa ng Diyos. Iisang Diyos ang gumagawa ng lahat ng ito…at ang tawag sa gawang ito ng Diyos ay BIYAYA.
Romans 5:19 hindi constituted/imputed ang righteousness, hindi rin constituted/imputed ang sin. Namatay si Adan i.e. nawala sa kanya ang pakikibahagi sa buhay ng Diyos dahil sa pagsuway at namana natin iyon (original sin). Ipinapanganak tayong patay ang kaluluwa. Pero dahil sa pagsunod ng Panginoong Jesus tayo ay ginagawang matuwid, ginagawang anak ng Diyos at nakikibahagi tayo sa buhay ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng binyag. 1 Pedro 3:21
Maidagdag ko lang, dahil legal ang pagtingin ng mga Protestante sa pagliligtas ng Diyos, pagdating sa usapin ng adoption may ilang (hindi direktang) nagsasabi na ang nagbabago ay ang ating legal status sa mata ng Diyos. Inaampon tayo, legally, bilang mga anak. That is stupid. Kung totoo yun, sinungaling si San Pablo (2 Cor. 5:17). Kung totoo ang ganoong pananaw, mangangahulugan na status ang nagbabago at hindi ang pagkatao.
Masyado nang mahaba…yun na lang muna sa para sa article na ito.
THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
Session VI – Celebrated on the thirteenth day of January, 1547 under Pope Paul III
Decree Concerning Justification
Since there is being disseminated at this time, not without the loss of many souls and grievous detriment to the unity of the Church, a certain erroneous doctrine concerning justification, the holy, ecumenical and general Council of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the most reverend John Maria, Bishop of Praeneste de Monte, and Marcellus, priest of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, cardinals of the holy Roman Church and legates Apostolic a latere, presiding in the name of our most holy Father and Lord in Christ, Paul III, by the providence of God, Pope, intends, for the praise and glory of Almighty God, for the tranquillity of the Church and the salvation of souls, to expound to all the faithful of Christ the true and salutary doctrine of justification, which the Sun of justice, Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith taught, which the Apostles transmitted and which the Catholic Church under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost has always retained; strictly forbidding that anyone henceforth presume to believe, preach or teach otherwise than is defined and declared in the present decree.
THE IMPOTENCY OF NATURE AND OF THE LAW TO JUSTIFY MAN
The holy council declares first, that for a correct and clear understanding of the doctrine of justification, it is necessary that each one recognize and confess that since all men had lost innocence in the prevarication of Adam, having become unclean, and, as the Apostle says, by nature children of wrath, as has been set forth in the decree on original sin, they were so far the servants of sin and under the power of the devil and of death, that not only the Gentiles by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom, though free will, weakened as it was in its powers and downward bent, was by no means extinguished in them.
THE DISPENSATION AND MYSTERY OF THE ADVENT OF CHRIST
Whence it came to pass that the heavenly Father, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, when the blessed fullness of time was come, sent to men Jesus Christ, His own Son, who had both before the law and during the time of the law been announced and promised to many of the holy fathers, that he might redeem the Jews who were under the law, and that the Gentiles who followed not after justice might attain to justice, and that all men might receive the adoption of sons.
Him has God proposed as a propitiator through faith in his blood for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world.
WHO ARE JUSTIFIED THROUGH CHRIST
But though He died for all, yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His passion is communicated; because as truly as men would not be born unjust, if they were not born through propagation of the seed of Adam, since by that propagation they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own, so if they were not born again in Christ, they would never be justified, since in that new birth there is bestowed upon them, through the merit of His passion, the grace by which they are made just.
For this benefit the Apostle exhorts us always to give thanks to the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, and hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption and remission of sins.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER AND ITS MODE IN THE STATE OF GRACE
In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.
This translation however cannot, since promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written:
Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
THE NECESSITY OF PREPARATION FOR JUSTIFICATION IN ADULTS, AND WHENCE IT PROCEEDS
It is furthermore declared that in adults the beginning of that justification must proceed from the predisposing grace of God through Jesus Christ, that is, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits on their part, they are called; that they who by sin had been cut off from God, may be disposed through His quickening and helping grace to convert themselves to their own justification by freely assenting to and cooperating with that grace; so that, while God touches the heart of man through the illumination of the Holy Ghost, man himself neither does absolutely nothing while receiving that inspiration, since he can also reject it, nor yet is he able by his own free will and without the grace of God to move himself to justice in His sight.
Hence, when it is said in the sacred writings:
Turn ye to me, and I will turn to you, we are reminded of our liberty; and when we reply:
Convert us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be converted, we confess that we need the grace of God.
THE MANNER OF PREPARATION
Now, they [the adults] are disposed to that justice when, aroused and aided by divine grace, receiving faith by hearing, they are moved freely toward God, believing to be true what has been divinely revealed and promised, especially that the sinner is justified by God by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; and when, understanding themselves to be sinners, they, by turning themselves from the fear of divine justice, by which they are salutarily aroused, to consider the mercy of God, are raised to hope, trusting that God will be propitious to them for Christ’s sake; and they begin to love Him as the fountain of all justice, and on that account are moved against sin by a certain hatred and detestation, that is, by that repentance that must be performed before baptism; finally, when they resolve to receive baptism, to begin a new life and to keep the commandments of God.
Of this disposition it is written:
He that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him; and, Be of good faith, son, thy sins are forgiven thee; and, The fear of the Lord driveth out sin; and, Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and, Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; finally, Prepare your hearts unto the Lord.
IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES
This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting.
The causes of this justification are:
the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies, for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, that, namely, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and not only are we reputed but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to everyone as He wills, and according to each one’s disposition and cooperation.
For though no one can be just except he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet this takes place in that justification of the sinner, when by the merit of the most holy passion, the charity of God is poured forth by the Holy Ghost in the hearts of those who are justified and inheres in them; whence man through Jesus Christ, in whom he is ingrafted, receives in that justification, together with the remission of sins, all these infused at the same time, namely, faith, hope and charity.
For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites man perfectly with Christ nor makes him a living member of His body.
For which reason it is most truly said that faith without works is dead and of no profit, and in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by charity.
This faith, conformably to Apostolic tradition, catechumens ask of the Church before the sacrament of baptism, when they ask for the faith that gives eternal life, which without hope and charity faith cannot give.
Whence also they hear immediately the word of Christ:
If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Wherefore, when receiving true and Christian justice, they are commanded, immediately on being born again, to preserve it pure and spotless, as the first robe given them through Christ Jesus in place of that which Adam by his disobedience lost for himself and for us, so that they may bear it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ and may have life eternal.
HOW THE GRATUITOUS JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER BY FAITH IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD
But when the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.
For, if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the Apostle says, grace is no more grace.
AGAINST THE VAIN CONFIDENCE OF HERETICS
But though it is necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted nor ever have been remitted except gratuitously by divine mercy for Christ’s sake, yet it must not be said that sins are forgiven or have been forgiven to anyone who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, resting on that alone, though among heretics and schismatics this vain and ungodly confidence may be and in our troubled times indeed is found and preached with untiring fury against the Catholic Church.
Moreover, it must not be maintained, that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubt whatever, convince themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified except he that believes with certainty that he is absolved and justified, and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone, as if he who does not believe this, doubts the promises of God and the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ.
For as no pious person ought to doubt the mercy of God, the merit of Christ and the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, so each one, when he considers himself and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension concerning his own grace, since no one can know with the certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.
THE INCREASE OF THE JUSTIFICATION RECEIVED
Having, therefore, been thus justified and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day, that is, mortifying the members of their flesh, and presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith cooperating with good works, increase in that justice received through the grace of Christ and are further justified, as it is written:
He that is just, let him be justified still; and, Be not afraid to be justified even to death; and again, Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?
This increase of justice holy Church asks for when she prays:
“Give unto us, O Lord, an increase of faith, hope and charity.”
THE OBSERVANCE OF THE COMMANDMENTS AND THE NECESSITY AND POSSIBILITY THEREOF
But no one, however much justified, should consider himself exempt from the observance of the commandments; no one should use that rash statement, once forbidden by the Fathers under anathema, that the observance of the commandments of God is impossible for one that is justified.
For God does not command impossibilities, but by commanding admonishes thee to do what thou canst and to pray for what thou canst not, and aids thee that thou mayest be able.
His commandments are not heavy, and his yoke is sweet and burden light.
For they who are the sons of God love Christ, but they who love Him, keep His commandments, as He Himself testifies; which, indeed, with the divine help they can do.
For though during this mortal life, men, however holy and just, fall at times into at least light and daily sins, which are also called venial, they do not on that account cease to be just, for that petition of the just, forgive us our trespasses, is both humble and true; for which reason the just ought to feel themselves the more obliged to walk in the way of justice, for being now freed from sin and made servants of God, they are able, living soberly, justly and godly, to proceed onward through Jesus Christ, by whom they have access unto this grace.
For God does not forsake those who have been once justified by His grace, unless He be first forsaken by them.
Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself with faith alone, thinking that by faith alone he is made an heir and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with christ, that he may be also glorified with him.
For even Christ Himself, as the Apostle says, whereas he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and being consummated, he became to all who obey him the cause of eternal salvation.
For which reason the same Apostle admonishes those justified, saying:
Know you not that they who run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize?
So run that you may obtain.
I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty; I so fight, not as one beating the air, but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection; lest perhaps when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.
So also the prince of the Apostles, Peter:
Labor the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.
For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.
From which it is clear that they are opposed to the orthodox teaching of religion who maintain that the just man sins, venially at least, in every good work; or, what is more intolerable, that he merits eternal punishment; and they also who assert that the just sin in all works, if, in order to arouse their sloth and to encourage themselves to run the race, they, in addition to this, that above all God may be glorified, have in view also the eternal reward, since it is written:
I have inclined my heart to do thy justifications on account of the reward; and of Moses the Apostle says; that he looked unto the reward.
RASH PRESUMPTION OF PREDESTINATION IS TO BE AVOIDED
No one, moreover, so long as he lives this mortal life, ought in regard to the sacred mystery of divine predestination, so far presume as to state with absolute certainty that he is among the number of the predestined, as if it were true that the one justified either cannot sin any more, or, if he does sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance.
For except by special revelation, it cannot be known whom God has chosen to Himself.
THE GIFT OF PERSEVERANCE
Similarly with regard to the gift of perseverance, of which it is written:
He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved, which cannot be obtained from anyone except from Him who is able to make him stand who stands, that he may stand perseveringly, and to raise him who falls, let no one promise himself herein something as certain with an absolute certainty, though all ought to place and repose the firmest hope in God’s help.
For God, unless men themselves fail in His grace, as he has begun a good work, so will he perfect it, working to will and to accomplish.
Nevertheless, let those who think themselves to stand, take heed lest they fall, and with fear and trembling work out their salvation, in labors, in watchings, in almsdeeds, in prayer, in fastings and chastity.
For knowing that they are born again unto the hope of glory, and not as yet unto glory, they ought to fear for the combat that yet remains with the flesh, with the world and with the devil, in which they cannot be victorious unless they be with the grace of God obedient to the Apostle who says:
We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; for if you live according to the flesh, you shall die, but if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.
THE FALLEN AND THEIR RESTORATION
Those who through sin have forfeited and received grace of justification, can again be justified when, moved by God, they exert themselves to obtain through the sacrament of penance the recovery, by the merits of Christ, of the grace lost.
For this manner of justification is restoration for those fallen, which the holy Fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost.
For on behalf of those who fall into sins after baptism, Christ Jesus instituted the sacrament of penance when He said:
Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
Hence, it must be taught that the repentance of a Christian after his fall is very different from that at his baptism, and that it includes not only a determination to avoid sins and a hatred of them, or a contrite and humble heart, but also the sacramental confession of those sins, at least in desire, to be made in its season, and sacerdotal absolution, as well as satisfaction by fasts, alms, prayers and other devout exercises of the spiritual life, not indeed for the eternal punishment, which is, together with the guilt, remitted either by the sacrament or by the desire of the sacrament, but for the temporal punishment which, as the sacred writings teach, is not always wholly remitted, as is done in baptism, to those who, ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, have grieved the Holy Ghost and have not feared to violate the temple of God.
Of which repentance it is written:
Be mindful whence thou art fallen; do penance, and do the first works; and again, The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance, steadfast unto salvation; and again, Do penance, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.
BY EVERY MORTAL SIN GRACE IS LOST, BUT NOT FAITH
Against the subtle wits of some also, who by pleasing speeches and good words seduce the hearts of the innocent, it must be maintained that the grace of justification once received is lost not only by infidelity, whereby also faith itself is lost, but also by every other mortal sin, though in this case faith is not lost; thus defending the teaching of the divine law which excludes from the kingdom of God not only unbelievers, but also the faithful [who are] fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liars with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins, from which with the help of divine grace they can refrain, and on account of which they are cut off from the grace of Christ.
THE FRUITS OF JUSTIFICATION, THAT IS, THE MERIT OF GOOD WORKS, AND THE NATURE OF THAT MERIT
Therefore, to men justified in this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received or recovered it when lost, are to be pointed out the words of the Apostle: Abound in every good work, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shown in his name; and, Do not lose your confidence, which hath a great reward.
Hence, to those who work well unto the end and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits.
For this is the crown of justice which after his fight and course the Apostle declared was laid up for him, to be rendered to him by the just judge, and not only to him, but also to all that love his coming.
For since Christ Jesus Himself, as the head into the members and the vine into the branches, continually infuses strength into those justified, which strength always precedes, accompanies and follows their good works, and without which they could not in any manner be pleasing and meritorious before God, we must believe that nothing further is wanting to those justified to prevent them from being considered to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life and to have truly merited eternal life, to be obtained in its [due] time, provided they depart [this life] in grace, since Christ our Savior says:
If anyone shall drink of the water that I will give him, he shall not thirst forever; but it shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting.
Thus, neither is our own justice established as our own from ourselves, nor is the justice of God ignored or repudiated, for that justice which is called ours, because we are justified by its inherence in us, that same is [the justice] of God, because it is infused into us by God through the merit of Christ.
Nor must this be omitted, that although in the sacred writings so much is attributed to good works, that even he that shall give a drink of cold water to one of his least ones, Christ promises, shall not lose his reward; and the Apostle testifies that, That which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; nevertheless, far be it that a Christian should either trust or glory in himself and not in the Lord, whose bounty toward all men is so great that He wishes the things that are His gifts to be their merits.
And since in many things we all offend, each one ought to have before his eyes not only the mercy and goodness but also the severity and judgment [of God]; neither ought anyone to judge himself, even though he be not conscious to himself of anything; because the whole life of man is to be examined and judged not by the judgment of man but of God, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall every man have praise from God, who, as it is written, will render to every man according to his works.
After this Catholic doctrine on justification, which whosoever does not faithfully and firmly accept cannot be justified, it seemed good to the holy council to add to these canons, that all may know not only what they must hold and follow, but also what to avoid and shun.
Canons Concerning Justification
If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or through the teaching of the law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that divine grace through Christ Jesus is given for this only, that man may be able more easily to live justly and to merit eternal life, as if by free will without grace he is able to do both, though with hardship and difficulty, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that without the predisposing inspiration of the Holy Ghost and without His help, man can believe, hope, love or be repentant as he ought, so that the grace of justification may be bestowed upon him, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that man’s free will moved and aroused by God, by assenting to God’s call and action, in no way cooperates toward disposing and preparing itself to obtain the grace of justification, that it cannot refuse its assent if it wishes, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that after the sin of Adam man’s free will was lost and destroyed, or that it is a thing only in name, indeed a name without a reality, a fiction introduced into the Church by Satan, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that it is not in man’s power to make his ways evil, but that the works that are evil as well as those that are good God produces, not permissively only but also propria et per se, so that the treason of Judas is no less His own proper work than the vocation of St. Paul, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that all works done before justification, in whatever manner they may be done, are truly sins, or merit the hatred of God; that the more earnestly one strives to dispose himself for grace, the more grievously he sins, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the fear of hell, whereby, by grieving for sins, we flee to the mercy of God or abstain from sinning, is a sin or makes sinners worse, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that men are justified without the justice of Christ, whereby Her merited for us, or by that justice are formally just, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that in order to obtain the remission of sins it is necessary for every man to believe with certainty and without any hesitation arising from his own weakness and indisposition that his sins are forgiven him, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that man is absolved from his sins and justified because he firmly believes that he is absolved and justified, or that no one is truly justified except him who believes himself justified, and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are effected, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that a man who is born again and justified is bound ex fide to believe that he is certainly in the number of the predestined, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that he will for certain, with an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance even to the end, unless he shall have learned this by a special revelation, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the grace of justification is shared by those only who are predestined to life, but that all others who are called are called indeed but receive not grace, as if they are by divine power predestined to evil, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel, that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor forbidden, but free; or that the ten commandments in no way pertain to Christians, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that a man who is justified and however perfect is not bound to observe the commandments of God and the Church, but only to believe, as if the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life without the condition of observing the commandments, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that Christ Jesus was given by God to men as a redeemer in whom to trust, and not also as a legislator whom to obey, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the one justified either can without the special help of God persevere in the justice received, or that with that help he cannot, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or on the contrary, that he can during his whole life avoid all sins, even those that are venial, except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that in every good work the just man sins at least venially, or, what is more intolerable, mortally, and hence merits eternal punishment, and that he is not damned for this reason only, because God does not impute these works into damnation, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the just ought not for the good works done in God to expect and hope for an eternal reward from God through His mercy and the merit of Jesus Christ, if by doing well and by keeping the divine commandments they persevere to the end, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that there is no mortal sin except that of unbelief, or that grace once received is not lost through any other sin however grievous and enormous except by that of unbelief, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that with the loss of grace through sin faith is also lost with it, or that the faith which remains is not a true faith, though it is not a living one, or that he who has faith without charity is not a Christian, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that he who has fallen after baptism cannot by the grace of God rise again, or that he can indeed recover again the lost justice but by faith alone without the sacrament of penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and Universal Church, instructed by Christ the Lord and His Apostles, has hitherto professed, observed and taught, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the one justified sins when he performs good works with a view to an eternal reward, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema.
If anyone says that the Catholic doctrine of justification as set forth by the holy council in the present decree, derogates in some respect from the glory of God or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, and does not rather illustrate the truth of our faith and no less the glory of God and of Christ Jesus, let him be anathema.
1. Mal. 4:2.
2. Heb. 12:2.
3. Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22.
4. Is. 64:6.
5. Eph. 2:3.
6. Cf. Sess. V at the beginning.
7. Rom. 6:17, 20.
8. Cf. II Synod of Orange (529), c.25. Hardouin, II, 1101.
9. See II Cor. 1:3.
10. Gal. 4:4.
11. Gen. 49:10, 18.
12. Gal. 4:5.
13. Rom. 9:30.
14. Ibid., 3:25; Dist. I De poenit., passim.
15. See 1 John 2:2.
16. See II Cor. 5:15.
17. Col. 1:12-14.
18. John 3:5.
19. Zach. 1:3.
20. Lam. 5:21.
21. Rom. 10:17.
22. Ibid., 3:24.
23. Cf. Sess. XIV, chap. 4.
24. Heb. 11:6.
25. Matt. 9:2; Mark 2:5.
26. Ecclus. 1:27.
27. Acts 2:38; cc.13, 97, D.IV de cons.
28. Matt. 28:19f.
29. See 1 Kings 7:3.
30. Tit. 3:7.
31. See 1 Cor. 6:11.
32. Eph. 1:13f.
33. Rom. 5:10.
34. Eph. 2:4.
35. C.76, D.IV de cons.
36. Eph. 4:23.
37. See I Cor. 12:11.
38. Rom 5:5.
39. Cf. infra, chap. 10.
40. James 2:17, 20.
41. Gal 5:6, 6:15.
42. Matt. 19:17.
43. Luke 15:22; c.31, D.II de poenit.
44. Rom. 3:24; 5:1.
45. Heb. 11:6.
46. Rom. 11:6.
47. Cf. infra, can. 12 and 13.
48. Infra, can. 14.
49. Eph. 2:19.
50. Ps. 83:8.
51. See 2 Cor. 4:16.
52. Col. 3:5.
53. Rom. 6:13, 19.
54. Apoc. 22:11.
55. Ecclus. 18:22.
56. James 2:24.
57. Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.
58. St. Augustine, De natura et gratia, c.43 (50), PL, XLIV, 271.
59. See 1 John 5:3.
60. Matt. 11:30.
61. John 14:23.
62. Matt. 6:12.
63. Rom. 6:18, 22.
64. Tit. 2:12.
65. Rom. 5:1f.
66. Ibid., 8:17.
67. Heb. 5:8f.
68. See 1 Cor. 9:24, 26f.
69. See 2 Pet. 1:10.
70. Cf. infra, can. 25.
71. Cf. infra, can. 31.
72. Ps. 118:112.
73. Heb. 11:26.
74. Cf. C.17, C.XXIV, q.3.
75. Matt. 10:22; 24:13.
76. Rom. 14:4.
77. Phil. 1:6, 2:13.
78. See 1 Cor. 10:12.
79. Phil. 2:12.
80. See 1 Pet. 1:3.
81. Rom. 8:12f.
82. Cf. infra, can. 23 and 29.
83. C.72, D.I de poenit.
84. John 20:22f.
85. Ps. 50:19.
86. Eph. 4:30.
87. See 1 Cor. 3:17.
88. Apoc. 2:5.
89. See II Cor. 7:10.
90. Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Luke 3:8.
91. Rom. 16:18.
92. See I Cor. 6:9f.; 1 Tim. 1:9f.
93. See I Cor. 15:58.
94. Heb. 6:10.
95. Heb. 10:35.
96. Matt. 10:22.
97. Rom. 6:22.
98. See II Tim. 4:8.
99. John 15:1f.
100. Apoc. 14:13.
101. John 4:13f.
102. Rom. 10:3; II Cor. 3:5.
103. Matt. 10:42; Mark 9:40.
104. See II Cor. 4:17.
105. See I Cor. 1:31; II Cor. 10:17.
106. James 3:2.
107. See I Cor. 4:3f.
108. Ibid., 4:5.
109. Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:6; Apoc. 22:12.
110. Cf. supra, chaps. 1, 3.
111. Ibid., chap. 5.
112. Rom. 5:5.
113. Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5.
114. Supra, chaps. 7, 8.
115. Gal. 2:16; supra, chap. 7.
116. Rom. 5:5.
117. Supra, chap. 9.
118. Supra, chap. 9.
119. Supra, chap. 12.
120. Ibid., chap. 13.
121. Ibid., chap. 11.
122. Cf. chap. cit.
123. Supra, chap. 13.
124. Ibid., chap. 14.
125. Ibid., chap. 10.
126. Ibid., chap. 11 at the end.
127. Ibid., chap. 16.
128. Matt. 24:13.
129. Supra, chap. 15.
130. Ibid., chap. 14.
131. Cf. Sess. XIV, chap. 8.
132. Cf. Sess. XXV at the beginning.
133. Supra, chap. 11 at the end.
If you took your parish’s catechism classes when you were growing up, you at least remember that there are two kinds of grace, sanctifying and actual. That may be all you recall. The names being so similar, you might have the impression sanctifying grace is nearly identical to actual grace. Not so.
Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life. More properly, it is supernatural life.
Actual grace, by contrast, is a supernatural push or encouragement. It’s transient. It doesn’t live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to speak. It’s a supernatural kick in the pants. It gets the will and intellect moving so we can seek out and keep sanctifying grace.
Imagine yourself transported instantaneously to the bottom of the ocean. What’s the very first thing you’ll do? That’s right: die. You’d die because you aren’t equipped to live underwater. You don’t have the right breathing apparatus.
If you want to live in the deep blue sea, you need equipment you aren’t provided with naturally; you need something that will elevate you above your nature, something super- (that is, “above”) natural, such as oxygen tanks.
It’s much the same with your soul. In its natural state, it isn’t fit for heaven. It doesn’t have the right equipment, and if you die with your soul in its natural state, heaven won’t be for you. What you need to live there is supernatural life, not just natural life. That supernatural life is called sanctifying grace. The reason you need sanctifying grace to be able to live in heaven is because you will be in perfect and absolute union with God, the source of all life (cf. Gal. 2:19, 1 Pet. 3:18).
If sanctifying grace dwells in your soul when you die, then you have the equipment you need, and you can live in heaven (though you may need to be purified first in purgatory; cf. 1 Cor. 3:12–16). If it doesn’t dwell in your soul when you die—in other words, if your soul is spiritually dead by being in the state of mortal sin (Gal. 5:19-21)— you cannot live in heaven. You then have to face an eternity of spiritual death: the utter separation of your spirit from God (Eph. 2:1, 2:5, 4:18). The worst part of this eternal separation will be that you yourself would have caused it to be that way.
You can obtain supernatural life by yielding to actual graces you receive. God keeps giving you these divine pushes, and all you have to do is go along.
For instance, he moves you to repentance, and if you take the hint you can find yourself in the
confessional, where the guilt for your sins is remitted (John 20:21–23). Through the sacrament of penance, through your reconciliation to God, you receive sanctifying grace. But you can lose it again by sinning mortally (1 John 5:16–17).
Keep that word in mind: mortal. It means death. Mortal sins are deadly sins because they kill off this supernatural life, this sanctifying grace. Mortal sins can’t coexist with the supernatural life, because by their nature such sins are saying “No” to God, while sanctifying grace would be saying “Yes.”
Venial sins don’t destroy supernatural life, and they don’t even lessen it. Mortal sins destroy it outright. The trouble with venial sins is that they weaken us, making us more vulnerable to mortal sins.
When you lose supernatural life, there’s nothing you can do on your own to regain it. You’re reduced to the merely natural life again, and no natural act can merit a supernatural reward. You can merit a supernatural reward only by being made able to act above your nature, which you can do only if you have help—grace.
To regain supernatural life, you have to receive actual graces from God. Think of these as helping graces. Such graces differ from sanctifying grace in that they aren’t a quality of the soul and don’t abide in it. Rather, actual graces enable the soul to perform some supernatural act, such as an act of faith or repentance. If the soul responds to actual grace and makes the appropriate supernatural act, it again receives supernatural life.
Sanctifying grace implies a real transformation of the soul. Recall that most of the Protestant Reformers denied that a real transformation takes place. They said God doesn’t actually wipe away our sins. Our souls don’t become spotless and holy in themselves. Instead, they remain corrupted, sinful, full of sin. God merely throws a cloak over them and treats them as if they were spotless, knowing all the while that they’re not.
But that isn’t the Catholic view. We believe souls really are cleansed by an infusion of the supernatural life. Paul speaks of us as “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Of course, we’re still subject to temptations to sin; we still suffer the effects of Adam’s Fall in that sense (what theologians call “concupiscence”); but God removes the guilt from our souls. We may still have a tendency to sin, but God has removed the sins we have, much like a mother might wash the dirt off of a child who has a tendency to get dirty again.
Our souls don’t become something other than souls when God cleanses them and pours his grace into them (what the Bible refers to as “infused” [“poured”] grace, cf. Acts 10:45, Rom. 5:5 Titus 3:5–7); they don’t cease to be what they were before. When grace elevates nature, our intellects are given the new power of faith, something they don’t have at the merely natural level. Our wills are given the new powers of hope and charity, things also absent at the merely natural level.
Justification and Sanctification
We’ve mentioned that we need sanctifying grace in our souls if we’re to be equipped for heaven. Another way of saying this is that we need to be justified. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
The Protestant misunderstanding of justification lies in its claim that justification is merely a forensic (i.e., purely declaratory) legal declaration by God that the sinner is now “justified.” If you “accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior,” he declares you justified, though he doesn’t really make you justified or sanctified; your soul is in the same state as it was before; but you’re eligible for heaven.
A person is expected thereafter to undergo sanctification (don’t make the mistake of thinking Protestants say sanctification is unimportant), but the degree of sanctification achieved is, ultimately, immaterial to the question of whether you’ll get to heaven. You will, since you’re justified; and justification as a purely legal declaration is what counts. Unfortunately, this scheme is a legal fiction. It amounts to God telling an untruth by saying the sinner has been justified, while all along he knows that the sinner is not really justified, but is only covered under the “cloak” of Christ’s righteousness. But, what God declares, he does. “[S]o shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). So, when God declares you justified, he makes you justified. Any justification that is not woven together with sanctification is no justification at all.
The Bible’s teaching on justification is much more nuanced. Paul indicates that there is a real transformation which occurs in justification, that it is not just a change in legal status. This is seen, for example, in Romans 6:7, which every standard translation—Protestant ones included—renders as “For he who has died is freed from sin” (or a close variant).
Paul is obviously speaking about being freed from sin in an experiential sense, for this is the passage where he is at pains to stress the fact that we have made a decisive break with sin that must be reflected in our behavior: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 6:1-2). “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness” (6:12-13).
The context here is what Protestants call sanctification, the process of being made holy. Sanctification is the sense in which we are said to be “freed from sin” in this passage. Yet in the Greek text, what is actually said is “he who has died has been justified from sin.” The term in Greek (dikaioo) is the word for being justified, yet the context indicates sanctification, which is why every standard translation renders the word “freed” rather than “justified.” This shows that, in Paul’s mind, justification involves a real transformation, a real, experiential freeing from sin, not just a change of legal status. And it shows that, the way he uses terms, there is not the rigid wall between justification and sanctification that Protestants imagine.
According to Scripture, sanctification and justification aren’t just one-time events, but are ongoing processes in the life of the believer. Both can be spoken of as past-time events, as Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 6:11: “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Sanctification is also a present, ongoing process, as the author of Hebrews notes: “For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). In regard to justification also being an on-going process, compare Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6 with both Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-4 and James 2:21-23; Genesis 22:1-18. In these passages, Abraham’s justification is advanced on three separate occasions.
Can Justification Be Lost?
Most Fundamentalists go on to say that losing ground in the sanctification battle won’t jeopardize your justification. You might sin worse than you did before “getting saved,” but you’ll enter heaven anyway, because you can’t undo your justification, which has nothing to do with whether you have supernatural life in your soul.
Calvin taught the absolute impossibility of losing justification. Luther said it could be lost only through the sin of unbelief; that is, by undoing the act of faith and rejecting Christ; but not by what Catholics call mortal sins.
Catholics see it differently. If you sin grievously, the supernatural life in your soul disappears, since it can’t co-exist with serious sin. You then cease to be justified. If you were to die while unjustified, you’d go to hell. But you can become re-justified by having the supernatural life renewed in your soul, and you can do that by responding to the actual graces God sends you.
Acting on Actual Graces
He sends you an actual grace, say, in the form of a nagging voice that whispers, “You need to repent! Go to confession!” You do, your sins are forgiven, you’re reconciled to God, and you have supernatural life again (John 20:21–23). Or you say to yourself, “Maybe tomorrow,” and that particular supernatural impulse, that actual grace, passes you by. But another is always on the way, God never abandoning us to our own stupidity (1 Tim. 2:4).
Once you have supernatural life, once sanctifying grace is in your soul, you can increase it by every supernaturally good action you do: receiving Communion, saying prayers, performing the corporal works of mercy. Is it worth increasing sanctifying grace once you have it; isn’t the minimum enough? Yes and no. It’s enough to get you into heaven, but it may not be enough to sustain itself. It’s easy to fall from grace, as you know. The more solidly you’re wed to sanctifying grace, the more likely you can withstand temptations.
And if you do that, you maintain sanctifying grace. In other words, once you achieve the supernatural life, you don’t want to take it easy. The minimum isn’t good enough because it’s easy to lose the minimum. We must continually seek God’s grace, continually respond to the actual graces God is working within us, inclining us to turn to him and do good. This is what Paul discusses when he instructs us: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Phil. 2:12–16).
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004