Saint Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Few Thoughts on Faith and Salvation


Hebrews 11:5-6

5 By faith Henoch was translated that he should not see death: and he was not found because God had translated him. For before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is: and is a rewarder to them that seek him.

Vatican I dogmatic decree.. infallible..

1. If anyone says that
the one, true God, our creator and lord, cannot be known with certainty
from the things that have been made,
by the natural light of human reason:let him be anathema.

2. If anyone says that
divine faith is not to be distinguished from natural knowledge about God and moral matters, and consequently that
for divine faith it is not required that revealed truth should be believed because of the authority of God who reveals it:let him be anathema.



Cardinal Manning, Pope Pius IX's right hand man at the Council wrote...

1 And God indeed, having winked at the times of this ignorance, now declareth unto men, that all should everywhere do penance. Because He hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the 'world in equity, by the Man whom He hath appointed, giving faith to all, by raising Him from the dead? (Acts xvii. 30, 31.) These were the words of St. Paul to the Athenians, when their philosophers called him a ' word-sower' and a' publisher of new gods,' because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. This was his meaning: God, in times past, shut His eyes to the idolatries and polytheism of men. Those times are past now, for God has manifested Himself to the world. He has made B Himself known, and has therefore commanded all men everywhere to do penance—that is, to believe in Him, and to repent of their sins—under pain of eternal judgment; for He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by that Man, whom He hath appointed to be the Judge of the living and the dead; and for this end He has given faith—that is, a witness and an illumination to believe His word by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In this declaration, the Apostle distinctly asserts the sovereignty of God as the Creator, and as the Judge of all mankind; His sovereignty over man both in body and soul, over the intellect in all its faculties, over the will in all its powers. As Maker and Lord, God has dominion and sovereignty over man, whom He made to His own image and likeness ; and man being of a rational, a moral nature, is therefore a responsible being. 

Last year, the Council of the Vatican made a decree in these words: ' Forasmuch as God is the Creator, and the Lord of all things, therefore man altogether depends upon Him; and every created intellect is subject to the Uncreated Truth, and owes to it a perfect obedience both of reason and of will. Attached to that Decree are these two canons: ' If any man shall say, that the reason of man is so independent of God that God cannot command faith, let him be anathema.' And again: ' If any man shall say, that the act of faith in man is not free, let him be anathema;' and this enunciates the subject of which I purpose to speak: The sovereignty of God over the intellect, that is, the rights of God over the rational creatures He has made. He requires of them a perfect obedience of their rational and moral nature ; and holds them responsible to render that obedience. The way in which God requires the obedience of the rational nature of man is by faith.


That is, there is in every man a moral sense, or instinct, or judgment, or testimony to right and wrong, which rebukes him when he does wrong, which sustains him when he does right. There is therefore an inward light, whereby the human reason may perceive the moral law of God; and if so, then every man has within him a testimony to know that he has an intellectual and moral nature; and if he has an intellectual and moral nature, he has a soul—that is, the image of God—within him, and that image has an immortality. They, then, who, amidst the lights of nature, do not know God, or the distinctions of right and wrong, or that they have a soul which is immortal and responsible, are guilty for that ignorance. To be ignorant of these things is sin, because such ignorance is vincible. The lights of nature are sufficient to prove these things, and they who are ignorant of them are willingly ignorant of them; that is, ignorant through their own will, and therefore culpable before God; and for that culpable ignorance will have to give account at the last day.


Manning, Henry Edward, 1808-1892. The fourfold sovereignty of God (Kindle Locations 70-78). London : Burns, Oates.

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