The benefit of no longer being God’s enemy, but rather his own dear child

March 12, 2022 • 4 min

#Exhortation #Doctrine

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 56
By Venerable Louis of Granada

The first of these graces is our vocation.

Man cannot throw off the yoke of sin; he cannot return from death to life, nor from a child of wrath can he become a child of God, without the assistance of divine grace. For our Saviour has declared: “No man can come to Me except the Father Who hath sent Me draw him.” [St. John vi. 14.]

St. Thomas thus explains these words: “As a stone, when other forces are removed, naturally falls to the ground, and cannot rise again without the application of some extraneous power, so man, corrupted by sin, ever tends downwards, attracted to earth by the love of perishable possessions, and cannot, without the intervention of divine grace, rise to heavenly things or a desire for supernatural perfection.” This truth merits our consideration and our tears, for it shows us the depth of our misery, and the necessity under which we labor of incessantly imploring the divine assistance.

But to return to our subject: who can express all the benefits brought to us by justification? It banishes from our souls sin, the source of all evils. It reconciles us to God and restores us to His friendship; for in truth the greatest evil which sin brings on us is that it makes us the objects of God’s hatred. God, being infinite goodness, must sovereignly abhor all that is evil. “Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity,” exclaims His prophet; “Thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie. The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.” [Ps. v. 7, 8.]

The enmity of God is evidently the greatest of evils for us, since it cuts us off from the friendship of God, the source of every blessing. From this misfortune justification delivers us, restoring us to God’s grace, and uniting us to Him by the most intimate love, that of a father for a son. Hence the beloved disciple exclaims: “Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God.” [1 St. John iii. 1.] The Apostle would have us understand that we bear not only the name but are in truth the sons of God, in order that we may appreciate the liberality and magnificence of God’s mercy to us.

If God’s enmity be such a terrible misfortune, what an incomparable blessing His friendship must be! For it is an axiom in philosophy that according as a thing is evil, so is its opposite good; hence the opposite of that which is supremely evil must be supremely good. Now, man’s supreme evil is the enmity of God; therefore, his supreme good must be the friendship of God. If men set such value upon the favor of their masters, their fathers, their princes, their kings, how highly should they esteem this sovereign Master, this most excellent Father, this King of kings, compared to whom all power and riches and principalities are as if they were not!

The benefit we are considering is largely enhanced by the liberality with which it is bestowed. For as man before his creation was unable to merit the gift of existence, so after his fall he could do nothing to merit his justification. No act of his could satisfy the Creator, in Whose sight he was an object of hatred.

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