I disagree (vehemently) w/ St Augustine.. so call me Heretic or whatever
#1
I read this stuff that St Augustine was supposed to have written, about predestination, about how if a person dies for Christ but is not baptized he won't go to Heaven and that if God wants (wills) someone to be baptized, by gosh, he or she will be baptized!

sorry, but that sounds ridiculous so i don't think Augustine said that but who knows? Anyone here know Augustine fairly well? It just doesn't make any sense. God doesn't will anyone to go to Hell and I think we can safely assume that he wants EVERYONE to be baptized... but will do what he can for those who for whatever reason have not been baptized.. (through no fault of their own)

I think someone was mistaken about his beliefs, can't believe a canonized saint would believe in predestination
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#2
(05-18-2018, 05:20 PM)gracemary5 Wrote: I read this stuff that St Augustine was supposed to have written, about predestination, about how if a person dies for Christ but is not baptized he won't go to Heaven and that if God wants (wills) someone to be baptized, by gosh, he or she will be baptized!

sorry, but that sounds ridiculous so i don't think Augustine said that but who knows? Anyone here know Augustine fairly well? It just doesn't make any sense. God doesn't will anyone to go to Hell and I think we can safely assume that he wants EVERYONE to be baptized... but will do what he can for those who for whatever reason have not been baptized.. (through no fault of their own)

I think someone was mistaken about his beliefs, can't believe a canonized saint would believe in predestination

First of all he's a saint but that doesn't mean he's always right.

Second of all, in the spirit of humility one shouldn't seek to put the teachings of the saints against ones own personal ideas. That's rather protestant. Instead we should trust that the saints knew better than we do even if we dont see how they can.

Thirdly the Church teaches that without baptism it is impossible to be saved. Even if only baptism of desire or blood, they still grant the fruit of the sacrament when properly disposed. 

Fourthly God wills all men to be saved but allows them freedom to reject it, those who accept it can only do so by cooperating with His grace. Everything that happens happens because of either God's ordaining or permissive will.

I am not terribly familiar with augustine so this is about as much as I can say.
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#3
Before getting into the deep theological issues of grace, freewill, and predestination that Augustine and his contemporaries were wrestling with, we have to keep in mind that Augustine is an incredibly complex thinker with a MASSIVE body of work. When we look through Augustine's work we see a man constantly developing in his thought, the result of this is that over the years Augustine comes to new conclusions and often changes his mind and perspectives about things, which sometimes makes knowing his opinions rather difficult.

He is not a systematic theologian, his work is largely in response to the questions of individuals and in response to various controversies of the time (donatism, manicheanism etc). His thoughts on predestination and election are intimately tied to his theology on grace which he began expounding upon when dealing with the Pelagian constroversy. Augustine argued that Pelagius implicitly denied the absolute necessity of the grace of God in salvation by placing salvation completely in the hands of men who - according to Pelagius - can *always* act perfectly and have a duty to do so.

Augustine responds to these attitudes by emphasizing the role of God in our salvation, saying that God primarily chooses us, and that grace precedes our good works. In book 1, question 2 in his Letter to Simplicianus Augustine says "that wills are chosen. But the will itself cannot be moved in any way unless something happens that delights and invites our core self. That that occur is  not in any person's power." Therefore, it is God that moves the delight of the will, and he chooses who he chooses, but "how inscrutable are His judgments. and unsearchable His ways." There's certainty alot more to be said, but I think his view on the change of the delight of the will only something effected by God to be the core of his argument.

I think on this topic Augustine goes a bit too far, and I have more sympathy for St. John Cassian's views which moderate some of what St. Augustine said. The saints or even the fathers are not a cohesive group of people who came to the same conclusions. Reading more of the fathers I think you'll be surprised at the variety of ideas they put forward, it's truly fascinating. It's fine to disagree with alot of points of the fathers, just don't be a heretic lol.
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#4
(05-18-2018, 08:34 PM)Florus Wrote: Before getting into the deep theological issues of grace, freewill, and predestination that Augustine and his contemporaries were wrestling with, we have to keep in mind that Augustine is an incredibly complex thinker with a MASSIVE body of work. When we look through Augustine's work we see a man constantly developing in his thought, the result of this is that over the years Augustine comes to new conclusions and often changes his mind and perspectives about things, which sometimes makes knowing his opinions rather difficult.

He is not a systematic theologian, his work is largely in response to the questions of individuals and in response to various controversies of the time (donatism, manicheanism etc). His thoughts on predestination and election are intimately tied to his theology on grace which he began expounding upon when dealing with the Pelagian constroversy. Augustine argued that Pelagius implicitly denied the absolute necessity of the grace of God in salvation by placing salvation completely in the hands of men who - according to Pelagius - can *always* act perfectly and have a duty to do so.

Augustine responds to these attitudes by emphasizing the role of God in our salvation, saying that God primarily chooses us, and that grace precedes our good works. In book 1, question 2 in his Letter to Simplicianus Augustine says "that wills are chosen. But the will itself cannot be moved in any way unless something happens that delights and invites our core self. That that occur is  not in any person's power." Therefore, it is God that moves the delight of the will, and he chooses who he chooses, but "how inscrutable are His judgments. and unsearchable His ways." There's certainty alot more to be said, but I think his view on the change of the delight of the will only something effected by God to be the core of his argument.

I think on this topic Augustine goes a bit too far, and I have more sympathy for St. John Cassian's views which moderate some of what St. Augustine said. The saints or even the fathers are not a cohesive group of people who came to the same conclusions. Reading more of the fathers I think you'll be surprised at the variety of ideas they put forward, it's truly fascinating. It's fine to disagree with alot of points of the fathers, just don't be a heretic lol.
Indeed the Fathers and saints were a diverse group with a wide variety of opinions and ideas. Augustine,for all his flaws as a theologian (and on grace i would agree with you,I'm much more a Cassian guy) was, as you say a complex thinker, a giant of intellect. He's not easy to read much less understand, especially his more complex philosophical and theological stuff.  

Its amazing that Roman Catholics, Calvinists and Jansenists all take their cue from Augustine,and yet all three groups see him as confirming their own views on grace and all would maintain they believe something different.


While i can only speak for myself,the more i read the fathers and learn the less i feel i know. I am still working through an abridged version of City of God.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#5
Here's a pertinent exerpt from St. Augustine's letter to Simplicianus:

"But the grace of faith in some is such that it is insufficient for obtaining the kingdom of heaven, as in the catechumens and in Cornelius himself before he was incorporated into the Church by receiving the sacraments; in others, the grace of faith is such as to make them the body of Christ and the holy temple of God. As the Apostle says: 'know you not, that you are the holy temple of God' (1 Cor. 3:16); and also the Lord Himself: 'Unless a man be born of water and the Holy Ghost, he will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Therefore the beginnings of faith have a certain similarity to conceptions, for in order to attain life eternal, it is not enough to be conceived, but one must be born. And none of these is without the grace of the mercy of God, because when works are good, they follow that grace, as was said, they do not precede it."

As shown below in dogmatic evidence, this position of St. Augustine (i.e., Baptism is necessary for salvation) is even in line with the conclusions of the 1989 International Theological Commission in its publication "The Interpretation of Dogma."

There is a specific error which was condemned at the Council of Constance that causes a great deal of perversion among minds today. The condemned error is stated simply:

"Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental Baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this."

This error, however, has widened to include also children of the infidels, infidels themselves as well as the children of heretics who die without sacramental Baptism. It is a sad shame that such is the case, since we have the the truth of the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism taught to us over and over again from Scripture and tradition, and the Ecumenical Councils.

The Council of Vienne binds upon the assent of faith those who profess to be Catholic:

"All are faithfully to profess that there is one Baptism which regenerates all those baptized in Christ, just as there is one God and one faith.

"We believe that when Baptism is administered in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, it is a perfect means of salvation for both adults and children."

There is no room for lee-way here. "All are faithfully to profess that there is ONE Baptism which regenerates..." So, nothing else regenerates all those baptized in Christ.

The Bull of Union with the Armenians from the Council of Florence also gives us a clearer picture as to WHAT Baptism does for us:

"...by Baptism we are reborn spiritually...

"Holy Baptism holds the first place among all the Sacraments, for it is the gate of the spiritual life; through it we become members of Christ and of the Body of the Church."

The Council of Florence also admonishes us that Baptism should not be delayed in the Bull of Union with the Copts:

"With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the Sacrament of Baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that Sacred Baptism is not to be deferred for forty or eighty days or any other period of time in accordance with the usage of some people, but it should be conferred as soon as it conveniently can; and if there is imminent danger of death, the child should be baptized straightaway without any delay, even by a lay man or a woman in the form of the church, if there is no priest, as is contained more fully in the Decree on the Armenians."

It is pretty clear in this quotation that "the only remedy" for children born with Original Sin is the Sacrament of Baptism.

The Council of Trent gives very stern warnings on the issue of the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism also.

From Session V:

"If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam, - which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propagation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, - is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one Mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath reconciled us to God in His own Blood, made unto us justice, sanctification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the Sacrament of Baptism rightly administered in the form of the Church; let him be anathema: For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

"If any one denies, that infants, newly born from their mothers' wombs, even though they be sprung from baptized parents, are to be baptized; or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of Original Sin from Adam, which has need of being expiated by the laver of regeneration for the obtaining life everlasting, - whence it follows as a consequence, that in them the form of baptism, for the remission of sins, is understood to be not true, but false, - let him be anathema.

"If any one 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 rased, or not imputed; let him be anathema.

"For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, there is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by Baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven."

These canons give us the clear conclusion that we cannot deny that the merits of Our Lord, Christ, are the only remedy for the Original Sin with which we are all born(saving Our Lady). The first canon also tells us HOW that merit, which is the only remedy for Original Sin, is applied: "the Sacrament of Baptism rightly administered in the form of the Church." The second canon also tells us WHY we need to be baptized: "for the obtaining of life everlasting." It is very obvious that there is no lee-way around the necessity for all to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Then, going on to the canons in Session VII of the Council of Trent we find:

"If anyone saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for Baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost...,' let him be anathema.

"If anyone saith, that in the Roman Church, which is the Mother and Mistress of all Churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the Sacrament of Baptism, let him be anathema.

"If anyone saith, that Baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation, let him be anathema."

At this point, there is no room for confusion. To say that Baptism is not necessary unto salvation is to make one's self anathema.

Always remember, God does not condemn anyone who is innocent. See, the teaching of the Church on Original Sin is that we are all born with it...which means that none of us are born innocent (while we may be innocent of personal sin, we are not innocent of the Original Sin of Adam which is enough to send one to hell; again, except for Our Lady). Baptism is a necessity. That is why anyone, even other unbaptized people can baptize validly as long as they meet the requirements for the validity of the sacrament.

Simply because a priest or many priests and theologians and bishops and the pope, even, speak or teach contradictorily to teachings of the highest authority in the Church (which can never change, fail or be taken back) does not make them correct.

Looking to the First Vatican Council, we do have statements pertaining to the subject of contradiction. In Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason:

5. "Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement between faith and reason, since it is the same God Who reveals the mysteries and infuses faith, and Who has endowed the human mind with the light of reason."

6. "God cannot deny Himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the Church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason."

7. "Therefore We define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false."

We have the infallible teachings (those which can not be revoked, reformed or in error) of the Councils regarding Baptism specifically and the infallible teaching from the First Vatican Council on faith and reason to which we must give the assent of faith that show us we cannot twist the words to oppose what reason dictates. It's a contradiction to say that Baptism is needed to attain heaven (and sight of God) in one breath and then in the next breath to say that we don't then know what happens to unbaptized babies (or children or adults) who die.

To say, basically, that we hope that what God has told us regarding Baptism as necessary for salvation is not true (in the case of infants, or catechumens, or so-called "noble" savages, etc.), is the same thing as saying that we hope God is a liar. We know by faith (as taught in the First Vatican Council) that God can neither lie nor be deceived. The Church does know what happens to those who are unbaptized and die in that state. It is stated over and over throughout history by the saints. It is stated in the Ecumenical Councils infallibly.

People in the state of Original Sin, no matter what their physical condition, are not innocent and cannot possibly see God as He sees Himself if they die. That is not to say that if they have committed no personal sin that they will burn in hell. That is something I have never found the Church teaches as certain and therefore tolerates different opinions (as to the level of sufferings in hell). But to say they do NOT go to hell is false.

One more reference back to the First Vatican Council, in Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason:

14. "Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding."

The meanings of the dogmas never change. The necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism two thousand years ago is the same necessity today. It is the same yesterday, today and always. Even though we may formulate more specific forms of expression, the meaning is always essentially the same. If it were not, then it would not be universal, i.e., "catholic," doctrine.

"Our heretics, more audacious than Pelagians, deny that Baptism is necessary, not only for the remission of sin, but also for the attainment of Heaven.  However, those who imagine that there is another remedy besides Baptism openly contradict the Gospel, the Councils, the Fathers, and the consensus of the universal Church." (St. Robert Bellarmine)
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#6
Augustine was spot on when it comes to Grace/Predestination( he is the Doctor of Grace after all) He was followed by St. Thomas, Domingo Banez, and most recently Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange( who wrote an excellent book on Predestination ) You should give us some quotes showing where you disagree with Augustine
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#7
(05-18-2018, 09:09 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(05-18-2018, 08:34 PM)Florus Wrote: Before getting into the deep theological issues of grace, freewill, and predestination that Augustine and his contemporaries were wrestling with, we have to keep in mind that Augustine is an incredibly complex thinker with a MASSIVE body of work. When we look through Augustine's work we see a man constantly developing in his thought, the result of this is that over the years Augustine comes to new conclusions and often changes his mind and perspectives about things, which sometimes makes knowing his opinions rather difficult.

He is not a systematic theologian, his work is largely in response to the questions of individuals and in response to various controversies of the time (donatism, manicheanism etc). His thoughts on predestination and election are intimately tied to his theology on grace which he began expounding upon when dealing with the Pelagian constroversy. Augustine argued that Pelagius implicitly denied the absolute necessity of the grace of God in salvation by placing salvation completely in the hands of men who - according to Pelagius - can *always* act perfectly and have a duty to do so.

Augustine responds to these attitudes by emphasizing the role of God in our salvation, saying that God primarily chooses us, and that grace precedes our good works. In book 1, question 2 in his Letter to Simplicianus Augustine says "that wills are chosen. But the will itself cannot be moved in any way unless something happens that delights and invites our core self. That that occur is  not in any person's power." Therefore, it is God that moves the delight of the will, and he chooses who he chooses, but "how inscrutable are His judgments. and unsearchable His ways." There's certainty alot more to be said, but I think his view on the change of the delight of the will only something effected by God to be the core of his argument.

I think on this topic Augustine goes a bit too far, and I have more sympathy for St. John Cassian's views which moderate some of what St. Augustine said. The saints or even the fathers are not a cohesive group of people who came to the same conclusions. Reading more of the fathers I think you'll be surprised at the variety of ideas they put forward, it's truly fascinating. It's fine to disagree with alot of points of the fathers, just don't be a heretic lol.
Indeed the Fathers and saints were a diverse group with a wide variety of opinions and ideas. Augustine,for all his flaws as a theologian (and on grace i would agree with you,I'm much more a Cassian guy) was, as you say a complex thinker, a giant of intellect. He's not easy to read much less understand, especially his more complex philosophical and theological stuff.  

Its amazing that Roman Catholics, Calvinists and Jansenists all take their cue from Augustine,and yet all three groups see him as confirming their own views on grace and all would maintain they believe something different.


While i can only speak for myself,the more i read the fathers and learn the less i feel i know. I am still working through an abridged version of City of God.

Yeah he's a remarkable figure. One of the reasons he can be so hard to read and know what he truly thought in the end is because Augustine always had the humility to accept that he didn't have everything right and took into consideration different perspectives. He was a man actively searching for truth from his youth right up until he died, and we can see that.

Very true, I studied Augustine under a Protestant convert to Catholicism and we talked alot about that in our discussions on grace, and reading his anti-Pelagian writings it's often easy to see why.

There is alot to criticize in Augustine, but when people fixate on the anti-Pelagian works they tend to get a very wrong impression of the man and his theology, some of his views espoused against Pelagius are best understood with the portions of the City of God and his sermons in mind. This tendency is where someone like John Romanides goes horribly wrong.
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#8
(05-18-2018, 06:31 PM)Dominicus Wrote:
(05-18-2018, 05:20 PM)gracemary5 Wrote: I read this stuff that St Augustine was supposed to have written, about predestination, about how if a person dies for Christ but is not baptized he won't go to Heaven and that if God wants (wills) someone to be baptized, by gosh, he or she will be baptized!

sorry, but that sounds ridiculous so i don't think Augustine said that but who knows? Anyone here know Augustine fairly well? It just doesn't make any sense. God doesn't will anyone to go to Hell and I think we can safely assume that he wants EVERYONE to be baptized... but will do what he can for those who for whatever reason have not been baptized.. (through no fault of their own)

I think someone was mistaken about his beliefs, can't believe a canonized saint would believe in predestination

First of all he's a saint but that doesn't mean he's always right.

Second of all, in the spirit of humility one shouldn't seek to put the teachings of the saints against ones own personal ideas. That's rather protestant. Instead we should trust that the saints knew better than we do even if we dont see how they can.

Thirdly the Church teaches that without baptism it is impossible to be saved. Even if only baptism of desire or blood, they still grant the fruit of the sacrament when properly disposed. 

Fourthly God wills all men to be saved but allows them freedom to reject it, those who accept it can only do so by cooperating with His grace. Everything that happens happens because of either God's ordaining or permissive will.

I am not terribly familiar with augustine so this is about as much as I can say.

i don't think it is protestant to "put the teachings of the saints against ones [sic] own personal ideas"

If I smell heresy, I am going to say something and tht is what truth  requires. to just believe anything someone says bc he has been canonized is not only idiotic but not in accordance w/ Church teaching. We are not required to believe everything a saint says, and I will not believe anything so illogical no matter what saint says it. I follow Jesus Christ, not human beings. And i have never heard of any other human beings, saints or otherwise, in good standing w/ the Church say such things (predestination)
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#9
(05-18-2018, 08:34 PM)Florus Wrote: Before getting into the deep theological issues of grace, freewill, and predestination that Augustine and his contemporaries were wrestling with, we have to keep in mind that Augustine is an incredibly complex thinker with a MASSIVE body of work. When we look through Augustine's work we see a man constantly developing in his thought, the result of this is that over the years Augustine comes to new conclusions and often changes his mind and perspectives about things, which sometimes makes knowing his opinions rather difficult.

He is not a systematic theologian, his work is largely in response to the questions of individuals and in response to various controversies of the time (donatism, manicheanism etc). His thoughts on predestination and election are intimately tied to his theology on grace which he began expounding upon when dealing with the Pelagian constroversy. Augustine argued that Pelagius implicitly denied the absolute necessity of the grace of God in salvation by placing salvation completely in the hands of men who - according to Pelagius - can *always* act perfectly and have a duty to do so.

Augustine responds to these attitudes by emphasizing the role of God in our salvation, saying that God primarily chooses us, and that grace precedes our good works. In book 1, question 2 in his Letter to Simplicianus Augustine says "that wills are chosen. But the will itself cannot be moved in any way unless something happens that delights and invites our core self. That that occur is  not in any person's power." Therefore, it is God that moves the delight of the will, and he chooses who he chooses, but "how inscrutable are His judgments. and unsearchable His ways." There's certainty alot more to be said, but I think his view on the change of the delight of the will only something effected by God to be the core of his argument.

I think on this topic Augustine goes a bit too far, and I have more sympathy for St. John Cassian's views which moderate some of what St. Augustine said. The saints or even the fathers are not a cohesive group of people who came to the same conclusions. Reading more of the fathers I think you'll be surprised at the variety of ideas they put forward, it's truly fascinating. It's fine to disagree with alot of points of the fathers, just don't be a heretic lol.

thanks for this info. That was one point I neglected to make in OP, that Fathers of the Church and other theologians did not agree on everything, although i cannot say i have read many of the Fathers exhaustively.. Maybe you could recommend a good book on such?
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#10
(05-18-2018, 09:09 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote:
(05-18-2018, 08:34 PM)Florus Wrote: Before getting into the deep theological issues of grace, freewill, and predestination that Augustine and his contemporaries were wrestling with, we have to keep in mind that Augustine is an incredibly complex thinker with a MASSIVE body of work. When we look through Augustine's work we see a man constantly developing in his thought, the result of this is that over the years Augustine comes to new conclusions and often changes his mind and perspectives about things, which sometimes makes knowing his opinions rather difficult.

He is not a systematic theologian, his work is largely in response to the questions of individuals and in response to various controversies of the time (donatism, manicheanism etc). His thoughts on predestination and election are intimately tied to his theology on grace which he began expounding upon when dealing with the Pelagian constroversy. Augustine argued that Pelagius implicitly denied the absolute necessity of the grace of God in salvation by placing salvation completely in the hands of men who - according to Pelagius - can *always* act perfectly and have a duty to do so.

Augustine responds to these attitudes by emphasizing the role of God in our salvation, saying that God primarily chooses us, and that grace precedes our good works. In book 1, question 2 in his Letter to Simplicianus Augustine says "that wills are chosen. But the will itself cannot be moved in any way unless something happens that delights and invites our core self. That that occur is  not in any person's power." Therefore, it is God that moves the delight of the will, and he chooses who he chooses, but "how inscrutable are His judgments. and unsearchable His ways." There's certainty alot more to be said, but I think his view on the change of the delight of the will only something effected by God to be the core of his argument.

I think on this topic Augustine goes a bit too far, and I have more sympathy for St. John Cassian's views which moderate some of what St. Augustine said. The saints or even the fathers are not a cohesive group of people who came to the same conclusions. Reading more of the fathers I think you'll be surprised at the variety of ideas they put forward, it's truly fascinating. It's fine to disagree with alot of points of the fathers, just don't be a heretic lol.


While i can only speak for myself,the more i read the fathers and learn the less i feel i know.

laugh

I hear ya.

Again, I haven't read the Fathers in depth. I have read books that quote the Fathers. And I haven't even done that lately. it is very much a cross to not live near a Catholic bookstore. But I can visit one sometimes, just can never make up my mind what to focus on!
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