Is It Sinful to Take a Minimalist View of Faith?
#27
Quote:Why should charity thus grow in us? It should grow because the Christian on earth is a traveler, viator, who is advancing spiritually toward God. His spiritual advancement is made by more and more perfect acts of love, "steps of love," as St. Gregory says. We must conclude from this that charity on earth can and should always increase, otherwise the Christian would cease in a sense to be a viator; he would stop before reaching the end of his journey.(2) The way is intended for travelers, not for those who stop en route and sleep. Moreover, we are told in St. Luke (6: 25): "Woe to you that are filled: for you shall hunger," but on the other hand, we read in St. Matthew (5: 6): "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill." Christ also declared: "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. . . . Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (3)

Since every traveler toward eternity should while on earth grow in charity, not only beginners and proficients, but the perfect ought always to draw nearer to God. And what is more, these last ought to advance toward Him so much the more rapidly as they are nearer to Him and as He draws them more strongly. St. Thomas affirms this when he comments on the words of St. Paul to the Hebrews (10: 25): "Comforting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching." St. Thomas writes in his commentary on this verse of the epistle: "Some one might ask why we should thus progress in faith and love. The answer is that the natural (or connatural) movement becomes so much the more rapid as it approaches its term, while it is the inverse for violent movement." (As a matter of fact, we say today that the fall of bodies is uniformly accelerated, while the inverse movement of a stone tossed into the air is uniformly retarded.) "Now," continues St. Thomas, "grace perfects and inclines to good according to the manner of nature. It follows that those who are in the state of grace ought so much the more to grow in charity as they draw near their last end (and are more attracted by it). This is why St. Paul says here: 'Not forsaking our
assembly. . . ; but comforting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching,' that is, the end of the journey. 'The night is past, and the day is at hand' (Rom. 13 : 12). 'But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forward and increaseth even to perfect day'" (Prov. 4: 18).(4)

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Re: Is It Sinful to Take a Minimalist View of Faith? - by obscurus - 12-13-2009, 07:49 PM



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