Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 219.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM

REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P. 


A third effect of it is, to make man so pleasing to God, and to give him such power with him, that every action deliberately performed, saving those that are sinful, is acceptable to the meriting eternal life. So that not only acts of virtue, but even those actions that are done in submission to the necessities of nature, as eating, drinking, sleeping and the like, are grateful to God, and merit such a favour. For when the object itself is so agreeable and meritorious, whatever it does that is not sin must be so too.

Besides all this, grace makes man the adopted son of God and heir to his kingdom. It causes his name to be written in the book of life, and gives him a claim to the inheritance of heaven. This is the privilege our Saviour so highly commended to his disciples, when observing how pleased they were that the devils had obeyed them in his name, he said to them, " Rejoice not in this, that spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven ;" Luke x. 20. This, therefore, is the greatest treasure a man can wish for in this life.

It is grace, to conclude, that qualifies man for all kind of good, that makes the way to heaven smooth and easy, and the yoke of Christ light and pleasant; it is this makes men run in the paths of virtue; it is this that cures the infirmities of nature, and makes that easy and light which, whilst she was weak, weighed her down; it is this that, by means of those virtues which proceed from it, reforms and strengthens all the faculties of the soul, enlightening the understanding, inflaming the mind, refreshing the memory, fortifying the freewill, moderating the coucupiscible appetite, that it may not give way to evil, and animating the heart, that it may not be too backward in the pursuit of good. And because all the passions of nature which reside in these two inferior parts are like so many hills that overlook and command the fortress of virtue, or as sally-ports, through which the devils enter into our souls, to remedy this, grace sets a sentinel at these places to secure the passage; and this is some infused virtue sent down from heaven, and placed there to deliver us from those dangers which the heat of our passions may expose us to. Thus temperance, for example, secures us against gluttony, chastity against impurity, humility against pride, and so with the rest.

But what is yet above all, grace brings down God himself into our souls, that he by his presence may govern, defend and conduct them to heaven. There he is like a king on his throne, like a general in his army, like a housekeeper in his family, like a master in his school, and like a shepherd amidst his flock, exercising in a spiritual manner all their several offices. If, therefore, so precious a pearl as this is, which brings in such vast treasures, be the inseparable portion of virtue, can any man refuse to imitate the direction of the wise merchant in the gospel, who gave all he had for the purchase of this jewel? Matt. xiii.