Justification


He that is just let him be justified still

 

This week we are moving into book three (“Of The Progress And Perfection Of Love.”) from Saint Francis’ Treatise on the Love of God. Be sure to watch the video “How Our Love of God Can Continue to Grow” to help deepen your reflection and give you a new way to embrace his timeless wisdom. (If you’d prefer to read St. Francis’ original text, this week’s video covers Chapters 1–3 of Book III, starting with “That Holy Love May Be Augmented Still More And More In Every One Of Us.”)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVC1HjlkiEQ&feature=youtu.be

God denies no one

The Perfection of Love

The sacred Council of Trent assures us, that the friends of God, proceeding from virtue to virtue, are day by day renewed, that is, they increase by good works in the justice which they have received by God’s grace, and are more and more justified, according to those heavenly admonitions; He that is just let him be justified still: and he that is holy, let him be sanctifced still. And: Be not afraid to be justified even to death. The path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards and inereaseth even to perfect day. Doing the truth in charity, let us in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ. And finally: This I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding. All these are sacred words out of David, S. John, Ecclesiasticus, and S. Paul…

… To remain at a standstill is impossible; he that gains not, loses in this traffic; he that ascends not, descends upon this ladder; he that vanquishes not in this battle, is vanquished: we live amidst the dangers of the wars which our enemies wage against us, if we resist not we perish; and we cannot resist unless we overcome, nor overcome without triumph….

… Such is the love which God bears to our souls, such his desire to make us increase in the love which we owe to him. The divine sweetness renders all things profitable to us, takes all to our advantage, and turns all our endeavours, though never so lowly and feeble, to our gain….

For this cause holy church makes us so frequently cry out: “Excite our hearts O Lord:” “Prevent our actions by thy holy inspirations and further them with thy continual help:” “O Lord, make haste to help us:” and the like, in order by such prayers to obtain grace to be able to effect excellent and extraordinary works, and more frequently and fervently to do ordinary ones; as also more ardently to resist small temptations, and boldly to combat the greatest.

God has doubtless, prepared heaven for those only who he foresaw would be his. Let us be his then by faith and works, and he will be ours by glory. Now it is in our power to be his: for though it be a gift of God to be God’s, yet is it a gift which God denies no one, but offers to all, to give it to such as freely consent to receive it.

But mark, I pray you, how ardently God desires we should be his, since to this end he has made himself entirely ours; bestowing upon us his death and his life; his life, to exempt us from eternal death, his death, to possess us of eternal life. Let us remain therefore in peace and serve God, to be his in this mortal life, and still more his in the eternal.

Questions to ponder

  1. What do you think of the paradox that God wants us to desire him, and yet we need God to infuse us with that desire?
  2. Why is it that we should grow in charity and holiness? Why is it not enough to just “accept Jesus”?
  3. God wants us to “seek first the Kingdom.” How might this connect with this topic?
 

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