"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Augustine: God Determines Conversion



“As to the reason why He wills to convert some, and to punish others turning away, - although nobody can justly censure the Merciful One in conferring His blessing, nor can any man justly find fault with the Truthful One in awarding His punishment (as no one could justly blame Him, in the parable of the laborers, for assigning to some their stipulated hire, and to others unstipulated largess), yet, after all, the purpose of His more hidden judgment is in His own power. So far as it has been given us, let us have wisdom, and let us understand that the good Lord God sometimes withholds even from His saints either certain knowledge or the triumphant joy of a good work, just in order that they may discover that it is not from themselves, but from Him that they receive the light which illuminates their darkness, and the sweet grace which causes their land to yield her fruit.

...For God is put to no shame or trouble when we do not obey Him, nor are we able in any wise to lessen His very great power over us.”

--Augustine. On Merits, Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism. Book II, chapter 32; 36

2 comments:

Andrew said...
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Andrew said...

This sunday at church was the "Rite of Election" where our bishop declared that God in sovereign freedom chooses to give us grace, only then can man choose to cooperate - which you'll disagree with. But in any case, hurray for unconditional election:

"God wills to manifest his goodness in men: in respect to those whom he predestines, by means of his mercy, in sparing them; and in respect of others, whom he reprobates, by means of his justice, in punishing them. This is the reason why God elects some and rejects others.... Yet why he chooses some for glory and reprobates others has no reason except the divine will" - St. Thomas Aquinas