Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,649 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PREDESTINATION

In the widest sense it is every eternal decision of God; in a narrower sense it is the supernatural final destination of rational creatures; and in the strictest sense it is God's eternal decision to assume certain rational creatures into heavenly glory. Predestination implies an act of the divine intellect and of the divine will. The first is foreknowledge, the second is predestination.

According to its efficacy in time, predestination is distinguished as incomplete or complete depending on whether it is to grace only or also to glory. Complete predestination is the divine preparation of grace in the present life and of glory in the life to come.

This doctrine is proposed by the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church as a truth of revelation. The reality of predestination is clearly attested by St. Paul: "They are the ones he chose especially long ago and intended to become true images of the Son, so that his Son, might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified and with those he justified he shared his glory." (Romans 8:29-30). All elements of complete predestination are given: the activity of God's mind and will, and the principal stages of its realization in time.

The main difficulty in the doctrine of predestination is whether God's eternal decision has been taken with or without consideration of human freedom. Catholic teaching holds that predestination by God does not deny the human free will. Numerous theories have been offered on how to reconcile the two, but all admit with St. Paul (Romans 11:33) that predestination is an unfathomable mystery. (Etym. Latin praedestinatio, a determining beforehand.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6