Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vatican II on Justification: Lumen Gentium 14

Lumen Gentium is Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, presenting the Council’s teaching on (naturally) the Church. Chapter II is titled The People of God, and in §14 there we read this:

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.


Rickson Menezes said...

Lumen Gentium, sweet!
The document that enlightened me that Jesus was a unique salvation. At first, I was bitter as I thought but later realized how the plan of God is so benevolent and compassionate and that we have a much more easy way forward that those who have not been applied to the salvific plan of christ and are left to God's mercy and discretion

Rickson Menezes said...

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Reginald de Piperno said...

Hello Rickson,

Thanks for the tip on the spammer. I appreciate it.