Saturday, November 23, 2013

Catechesis on Predestination, Creation, and Freedom, Part 3 -- By Fr. Ronald Check

I received this wonderful, but very deep question: “Since God knows the wonderful and yet, somewhat deep question, “Since God know the future, why does He create souls that he knows will spend eternity in Hell?”  This is part three of the response. I have quoted for you from a priest author who has responded to this question by building on the teaching of Saint Francis DeSales who personally struggled with this issue as a young man, and who later fought vigorously against this Calvinist heresy as a Priest and Bishop.

Father Most synthesizes Saint Francis DeSales’ teaching in the following way:

276. Synthesis of the teaching of St. Francis: St. Francis insists that God wills the salvation of all “with a genuine will”. He does this “even after the sin of Adam.” Therefore, there is no reprobation on account of original sin. Nor is there desertion before consideration of 6 demerits, for “it would be the part of impious boldness to wish to attribute the lack of love in an ungrateful man to the lack of heavenly help and grace,” because even though “the gift of being God’s belongs to God, yet it is a gift which God denies to no one, but offers to all, and gives to those who freely consent to receive it.” But so that we may not misunderstand these words about the consent, St. Francis adds that the very consent or acceptance of grace is the effect of grace: “you have even received the acceptance . . . and the consent.” Hence: “Is it not the part of most insane impiety to think that you gave effective and holy activity to the divine inspiration because you did not take it away by resisting? We can hinder the efficacy of the inspiration, but we cannot give efficacy to it.”

Father Check’s personal observation: God intends all to be saved and gives all the possibility of salvation. He gives us the graces and the all the necessary means for salvation. But some, sadly, misuse their free will and choose that which is evil. The Good God respects the gift of our free will and continually offers us the possibility of salvation. When God creates souls, at the moment of conception, while He has foreknowledge of the future, He always creates with the intention that each soul should possess the greatest possible happiness in heaven. So creation of a soul necessarily comes with the Divine Intention for our eternal happiness in Heaven. This shows the goodness of God. But sadly, some souls are led astray by temptation and some choose to reject God and His holy will. God does not create souls to spend an eternity in hell. He creates always with the intention that we will spend an eternity in heaven. If any souls are in hell (obviously, evidence of this is difficult to discern) they have sadly chosen to be there of their own accord. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance". (CCC, no. 1037)

No comments:

Post a Comment