Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
(12-13-2011, 02:08 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: I'm not trying to be an ass, this was serious question.
As far as activity/passivity, Trent canon 4 says the will is active as far as election is concerned.
So there's my answer; I just don't see why so many turned this into a game. My view was never heresy, but it was implied it was until two pages ago. Now everything's fine all of a sudden.
I guess that I feel whatever Thomas said about this, I disagreed with, since I felt it disagreed with Trent 4, though it might not in reality.
Carry on.

Would you be so kind as to prove the specific canon of Trent to which you are referring? Canon 4 from which session? I would like to see what you are saying here. Thanks!
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Ecumenical Council of Trent, "Om Justification"
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.
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(12-14-2011, 02:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: Ecumenical Council of Trent, "Om Justification"
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.

Or, in other words, Trent repeated exactly the teachings of St. Thomas, which you have yet to address.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, Chapter 159 Wrote:we ought to consider that, although one may neither merit in advance nor call forth divine grace by a movement of his free choice, he is able to prevent himself from receiving this grace: Indeed, it is said in Job(21:34): “Who have said to God: Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Your ways”; and in Job (24:13): “They have been rebellious to the light.” And since this ability to impede or not to impede the reception of divine grace is within the scope of free choice, not undeservedly is responsibility for the fault imputed to him who offers an impediment to the reception of grace. In fact, as far as He is concerned, God is ready to give grace to all; “indeed He wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” as is said in 1 Timothy (2:4).But those alone are deprived of grace who offer an obstacle within themselves to grace; just as, while the sun is shining on the world, the man who keeps his eyes closed is held responsible for his fault, if as a result some evil follows, even though he could not see unless he were provided in advance with light from the sun.
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(12-14-2011, 03:38 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(12-14-2011, 02:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: Ecumenical Council of Trent, "Om Justification"
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.

Or, in other words, Trent repeated exactly the teachings of St. Thomas, which you have yet to address.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, Chapter 159 Wrote:we ought to consider that, although one may neither merit in advance nor call forth divine grace by a movement of his free choice, he is able to prevent himself from receiving this grace: Indeed, it is said in Job(21:34): “Who have said to God: Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Your ways”; and in Job (24:13): “They have been rebellious to the light.” And since this ability to impede or not to impede the reception of divine grace is within the scope of free choice, not undeservedly is responsibility for the fault imputed to him who offers an impediment to the reception of grace. In fact, as far as He is concerned, God is ready to give grace to all; “indeed He wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” as is said in 1 Timothy (2:4).But those alone are deprived of grace who offer an obstacle within themselves to grace; just as, while the sun is shining on the world, the man who keeps his eyes closed is held responsible for his fault, if as a result some evil follows, even though he could not see unless he were provided in advance with light from the sun.

Yes, exactly.

Randomtradguy, thank you for the canon. Trent says exactly what Thomas Aquinas taught on this matter. Trent says: "If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God..."

Okay, stop right there. Trent is declaring that the free will is excited and moved by God! That is exactly what everyone here has been trying to say. The will to do any good action is precipitated by God Himself. We cannot even use the free will to do anything good without God's grace. So how can we use our free will to do something good if the very operation of free will requires that we have a special grace to operationalize it? St. Thomas simply taught a mechanism by which God moves what is freely ours. We all must accept that God can do this, but the question is: how can He move our free will if it is only ours to move? The point is that it isn't only ours to move, but that is cooperates by giving its assent to God's movement.

As Trent says: "... by assenting to God exciting and calling..."
So here our free will is a faculty of the soul that is designed to cooperate by giving its assent to the movement that God causes.

"...nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification..."
Here we see that it is only a co-operation of assent. That is exactly what Thomas Aquinas taught, and he taught it focusing on the distinction between two different types of graces: sufficient and efficacious.

"...that it cannot refuse its consent..." Of course it can refuse its consent; it always retains the ability to do so. But God moves it in such a way that it infallibly cooperates. It is a mystery, but that is why we are discussing it.

"...but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema."
Yes, again, neither Augustine nor Thomas say that it is inanimate or that it is merely passive.
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(12-14-2011, 01:15 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Free will or free grace? Scripture says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)

That man should be given grace at all is not merited.  But God by grace works in man to will. He does it at His good pleasure but  in such a way that man's will is truly working as a free will, as God created it.  The good willing of man is not in the truest sense caused by man, or by the flesh, but by God. God is causing all the willing as it occurs, but He gives man the incredible gift of being a secondary cause, a cause being caused by Him, the primary cause.

Faith is not itself merited, but when the grace of faith is given it moves the will freely, so the will is the secondary cause of the acceptance.  Men accept faith freely.

Here are some supporting quotes:

"Council of Trent, on Justification" Wrote:CANON IV.-If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.


"St. Thomas Aquinas  Summa Theologica  Ia IIae" Wrote:Question 113. The effects of grace

(In Article 2 he establishes that the infusion of grace is required for the remission of guilt, i.e. for the justification of the ungodly?)

Article 3. Whether for the justification of the ungodly is required a movement of the free-will?

I answer that, The justification of the ungodly is brought about by God moving man to justice. For He it is "that justifieth the ungodly" according to Romans 4:5. Now God moves everything in its own manner, just as we see that in natural things, what is heavy and what is light are moved differently, on account of their diverse natures. Hence He moves man to justice according to the condition of his human nature. But it is man's proper nature to have free-will. Hence in him who has the use of reason, God's motion to justice does not take place without a movement of the free-will; but He so infuses the gift of justifying grace that at the same time He moves the free-will to accept the gift of grace, in such as are capable of being moved thus.


...And an earlier post of mine:
(12-04-2011, 12:59 AM)Doce Me Wrote: As St. Thomas teaches (  http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2114.htm#article3), it is possible for a man in the state of grace to merit heaven "condignly" (appropriately),  as a reward.

"Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" Matt 25:21

A man in the state of grace participates in Divine life, and all his merits come from the merits of Christ.

In the ultimate sense, no man can possibly deserve heaven.  But  there is a sense in which he can, when Christ lives in him.

So I get a little uncomfortable saying "no man can deserve heaven", as if that were true in every sense. God gave us the gift of being able to merit  heaven in our own small way, by His grace in us, by the merits of Christ's Sacrifice.
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(12-15-2011, 02:10 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(12-14-2011, 01:15 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Free will or free grace? Scripture says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)

[...] God is causing all the willing as it occurs, but He gives man the incredible gift of being a secondary cause, a cause being caused by Him, the primary cause.

Faith is not itself merited, but when the grace of faith is given it moves the will freely, so the will is the secondary cause of the acceptance.  Men accept faith freely.

Beautifully said, Doce Me. I am always looking for a concise way to present these teachings in a way that sums up the essence of the teaching without making it too complicated. This particular teaching is mysterious, indeed, but you have put it as well as anyone, in my opinion.

As it concerns conditional reprobation, I present it like this: God ultimately selects some for reprobation by His omnipotent will, but it is the consent of own free will that puts his selection into effect. He selects and we effect that selection by consenting to it.

I'm still looking for a succinct way to present the relationship between sufficient and efficacious grace, but, alas, I am still trying. My best attempt is still rather lengthy. Any ideas are welcome!
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Something dawned on me today in my ceramics class.  God intentionally used the potter and the clay as a way to tell us about predestination.  It is in the human understanding of a potter and his clay that we can learn what God wanted us to about predestination, or else he wouldn't have used it.  A potter makes some vessels for lofty things, and others for ordinary things.  However, the potter takes great care in the creation of each vessel, and puts a portion of his soul into each one.  I think this is what God has intended to teach us in that, that he has predestined some to extraordinary purposes, and others to mundane purposes, yet he loves each one intimately.  It was not intended to teach that God specifically creates some for reprobation.
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(12-15-2011, 01:33 PM)Melkite Wrote: It was not intended to teach that God specifically creates some for reprobation.

Since the whole lump of our clay is vitiated by sin, it is owing to His goodness and mercy that He makes out of it so many vessels of honour; and it is no more than just, that others, in punishment of their unrepented sins, should be given up to be vessels of dishonour.

God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection. This is not a mere opinion but a de fide truth, as Ott confesses in his renowned theological manual.

Romans 9:21-23 Wrote:"Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, that he might shew the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory?
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(12-15-2011, 01:33 PM)Melkite Wrote: Something dawned on me today in my ceramics class.  God intentionally used the potter and the clay as a way to tell us about predestination.  It is in the human understanding of a potter and his clay that we can learn what God wanted us to about predestination, or else he wouldn't have used it.  A potter makes some vessels for lofty things, and others for ordinary things.  However, the potter takes great care in the creation of each vessel, and puts a portion of his soul into each one.  I think this is what God has intended to teach us in that, that he has predestined some to extraordinary purposes, and others to mundane purposes, yet he loves each one intimately.  It was not intended to teach that God specifically creates some for reprobation.

That's an interesting way to look at it. But what does the potter create when he wants a vessel to hold waste products so as to remove them from his home? They, too, exist for a purpose if for no other reason than to separate the waste products from the good products and to prevent the good products from being spoiled. They are a necessary existence, though no vessel of destruction becomes such without freely consenting to it. But what good these accomplish, for how else could the vessels of justice contain only purity if there are no vessels to hold the waste and prevent it from contaminating what is good? Pharaoh was one of these vessels, as Scripture says; and he freely consented to it.
Wisdom 15 Wrote:[6] The lovers of evil things deserve to have no better things to trust in, both they that make them, and they that love them, and they that worship them. [7] The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge.

Seeing the greater good these vessels of destruction will accomplish for the good, God sees that they will freely choose this destruction and so molds them in a such a way that they will best accomplish what he has allowed them to freely will to do.

The glorious miracles that God wrought for the sake of His people in Egypt would not have needed to be worked if Pharaoh had not been so proud and stubborn. But the choice to consent to temptations of pride and stubbornness was Pharaoh's, and God foresaw that he would choose this, so God fastened him with a predisposition toward pride in such a way that when he did choose these evils he would bring about the greatest good for God's people without knowing it; but, ironically, Pharaoh had the exact opposite intention. God could have reached down and intervened with special grace to save Pharaoh in spite of himself, but what other souls might He have then lost? It works the same with every sin and with every predisposition we have. But we are all meant to fight it, for in overcoming our own personal predispositions to certain sins, we serve Him the best and glorify Him the most. Everything God does (and allows to happen) is done for a greater good.

Remember, the same Sun that softens wax hardens clay.
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(12-15-2011, 01:45 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection.

If this point is de fide, can you explain the principle by which God reprobates certain men on account of their foreseen sins, but predestines others without account taken of who they will be, and where this dichotomy is defined in Scripture or Tradition?
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