All the Church’s children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged.
We are not children of the Church, nor of God, on the basis of anything that we have done ourselves, nor because of any special qualities or traits that we have which others lack. On the contrary, this can only be attributed to “the special grace of Christ.” We cannot save ourselves; He must save us. But this does not mean that we are compelled against our wills into God’s kingdom; God has given us free will, and we must exercise it. If we reject God’s grace, then the judgment that we receive will be richly deserved.