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The MOST Theological Collection: Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions

"Pt. 1: Research in the sources of revelation - Conclusions from Part One"


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181. 1) There is no positive or negative reprobation before consideration of personal demerits. Reprobation is decreed only after consideration of personal demerits.—This conclusion flows from many fonts, especially: from the purpose of creation, from the covenant (or implicit pact) and the infinite objective titles established for each individual in the redemption, from the sincere and vehement universal salvific will, having its measure in those titles and in the immense difficulty of the passion, from the teaching of the Church on the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart, from the teaching of Scripture and of the Church on the virtue of hope and perseverance, from the promises of Christ to those who leave spouses, parents, lands etc., from the promise of Christ to those who receive the Eucharist, from the promise and command of Christ about forgiving, from the common teaching of theologians on the conformity of the human will with the divine will, from the ordinary preaching and constant faith of the people and of the Saints.

2) The universal salvific will is sincere and vehement. It has its measure in the infinite titles established in the passion of Christ for each individual.—This conclusion flows from 1 Timothy 2:4 compared with other passages of Sacred Scripture and with the teaching of the Magisterium, especially that of Pius XII.

3) In the purpose of creation, the manifestation of the glory of God and the communication of good things to men are inseparably bound, by the will of God, even in regard to individuals. This conclusion flows from the words of the first Vatican Council and from other parts of revelation cited in chapter 3.

4) Man by his own power: (a) Cannot accomplish any salutary good, (b) But he can decide to resist all ordinary graces of the internal economy of personal salvation, (c) He can also merely make no decision against grace, in the first part of the process of the conferring of a grace, immediately after grace has caused him to see a proposed good, and to have an initial complacency in it. However he can, by repeated sins, become gradually less and less capable of omitting resistance in this way. This conclusion flows from Scripture and from the Councils of Orange and Trent, and from the Fathers.

5) God is always capable of so moving human wills that they freely but infallibly do that which God wills.—This flows from divine transcendence, as shown in Scripture.

6) To move human wills infrustrably to consent belongs to extraordinary providence.—This conclusion is deduced from the fact that there are reprobates, even though the universal salvific will stops short of no ordinary grace needed to save (since that will is measured by infinite objective titles for each individual man). It follows also from reflection on the nature of man such as God has made it.

7) There is no explicit text of Scripture speaking on infallible predestination of individuals to eternal glory or reprobation to eternal ruin.—This flows from the agreement of exegetes of all schools on the meaning of those passages of Scripture which were once thought to speak explicitly on this point.

8) Yet, the words of St. Paul in Rom 8:28-30 leave no room for negative reprobation before consideration of demerits.

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