Epistle of Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Romans 8:12-17

Brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; for if you live according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have re- ceived the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God; and if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

Verse 14. &c. They are the sons of God, by this new grace of adoption, by which also they call God, Abba; that is to say, Father, whereas under the former law of Moses, God rather governed his people by fear; they were his servants, we are his sons; and if sons, also the heirs of God, with the promise of an eternal inheritance in his kingdom, provided we suffer for Christ’s sake, as he suffered for us. And surely the short sufferings in this world have no proportion, nor can be put in balance with the future endless glory, which is promised and prepared for us in heaven. Wi. — Abba is a Syriac word, which signifies my father. This is properly the word of free and noble children; for amongst the Hebrews, the children of slaves were not allowed to call their fathers Abba, nor their mothers Imma. This kind of expression was very rarely used under the old law. The Hebrews called the Almighty their Lord, their God, their Salvation, their King, their Protector, their Glory, &c. but seldom their father, scarcely ever, except in the case of Solomon, who was a particular figure of the Messias, the true Son of God. On this account God said to him: “He shall call me Father and God; and I will be to him a Father, and will treat as my first-born.” But it is the property of the Christian to call the Almighty his Father with confidence indeed, yet tempered with a filial awe; remembering at the same time that he is his judge. Calmet. — Mat. Polus says that not any one of the just dared to call God, my Father, before the coming of Christ, as this favour was reserved for the time of the gospel. In hunc. locum. A. — S. Chrys. takes notice, that God was also called the Father of the Israelites, and they his children, in the Old Testament, when God rather governed his people by fear of punishments, and promises of temporal blessings, but not in that particular manner as in the new law. Wi. — The Spirit himself, &c. By the inward motions of divine love, and the peace of conscience, which the children of God experience, they have a kind of testimony of God’s favour; by which they are much strengthened in the hope of their justification and salvation; but yet not so as to pretend to an absolute assurance, which is not usually granted in this mortal life: during which we are taught to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Phil. ii. 12. And that he who thinketh himself to stand, must take heed lest he fall. 1 Cor. x. 12. See also Rom. xi. 20, 21, 22. Ch. — He hath given to us, says S. John, (c. i. 12.) the power, or dignity, of being the sons of God. Christ taught us to pray, and to begin our prayers with our Father, &c. Matt. vi. 9. Wi.

Denzinger

806: The Gift of Perseverance

Council of Trent
SESSION VI (Jan. 13, 1547)
Decree On Justification

So also as regards the gift of perseverance [can. 16] of which it is written: He that “shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved” [Matt. 10:22; 24:13] (which gift cannot be obtained from anyone except from Him, “who is able to make him, who stands, stand” [Rom. 14:4], that he may stand perseveringly, and to raise him, who falls), let no one promise himself anything as certain with absolute certitude, although all ought to place and repose a very firm hope in God’s help. For God, unless men be wanting in His grace, as He has begun a good work, so will He perfect it, “working to will and to accomplish” [Phil. 2:13; can. 22]. * Nevertheless, let those “who think themselves to stand, take heed lest they fall” [1 Cor. 10:12], and “with fear and trembling work out their salvation” [Phil. 2:12] in labors, in watchings, in almsdeeds, in prayers and oblations, in fastings and chastity [cf. 2 Cor. 6:3 ff.]. For they ought to fear, knowing that they are born again “unto the hope of glory” [cf. 1 Rom. Pet. 1:3], and not as yet unto glory in the combat that yet remains with the flesh, with the world, with the devil, in which they cannot be victors, unless with God’s grace they obey the Apostle saying: “We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live” [Rom. 8:12 ff.].

134: The Grace of God

The Catalog or the Authoritative Statements of the Past
Bishops of the Holy See Concerning the Grace of God
Chapter 5

That all the zeal and all the works and merits of the saints ought to be referred to the glory and praise of God; because no one pleases Him with anything except with that which He Himself has given. To this view the regular authority of the Pope ZOSIMUS of blessed memory directs us, when, writing to the bishops of the whole world, he says:* “We, however, by the inspiration of God (for all good things must be assigned to their author, whence they derive their origin) have referred all things to the conscience of our brothers and co-bishops.” However, the African bishops honored with such great praise this discourse radiating with the light of sincerest truth, that they wrote thus to the same man: “That statement indeed, which you made in the letter, that you caused to be sent to all the provinces, saying: ‘We nevertheless by the inspiration of God, etc.,’ we have accepted the words thus: that you, as it were moving swiftly with the drawn sword of truth have cut off those who extol the freedom of the human will in opposition to the help of God. For you have done nothing with free will except refer all things to the conscience of our lowliness. And yet you have faithfully and wisely seen that it was done by the inspiration of God, and you have spoken truly and confidently. Therefore assuredly, becausethe good will is provided beforehand by the Lord[Prov. 8:35: LXX], and that the good may accomplish something, He Himself touches the hearts of His sons with paternal inspirations. For all that are moved by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God[ Rom. 8:14]; so that we do not think that our free will is lacking; and we do not doubt that in each and every good movement of the human will, His help is mote powerful.”

Council of Trent
SESSION VI (Jan. 13, 1547)
Decree On Justification

In these words a description of the justification of a sinner is given as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of the “adoption of the sons” [Rom. 8:15] of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior; and this translation after the promulgation of the Gospel cannot be effected except through the laver of regeneration [can. 5 de bapt.], or a desire for it, as it is written: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” [John 3:5].

792: Original Sin

Council of Trent
Session v (June 17, 1546)
Decree On Original Sin

5. If anyone denies that by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted, or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away, but says that it is only touched in person or is not imputed, let him be anathema. For in those who are born again, God hates nothing, because “there is no condemnation, to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism unto death” [Rom. 6:4], who do not “walk according to the flesh” [Rom. 8:1], but putting off “the old man” and putting on the “new, who is created according to God” [Eph. 4:22 ff.; Col. 3:9 ff.], are made innocent, immaculate, pure, guiltless and beloved sons of God, “heirs indeed of God, but co-heirs with Christ” [Rom.8:17], SO that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. But this holy Synod confesses and perceives that there remains in the baptized concupiscence of an inclination, although this is left to be wrestled with, it cannot harm those who do not consent, but manfully resist by the grace of Jesus Christ. Nay, indeed, “he who shall have striven lawfully, shall be crowned” [2 Tim. 2:5]. This concupiscence, which at times the Apostle calls sin [Rom. 6:12 ff.] the holy Synod declares that the Catholic Church has never understood to be called sin, as truly and properly sin in those born again, but because it is from sin and inclines to sin. But if anyone is of the contrary opinion, let him be anathema.

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