Originally Posted by Shlomo
There is a difference between "works of law" which are compulsory works of flesh, and voluntary works of a liberated spirit. Paul never criticized "Good works". Only "Works of law". In fact, it does not matter which law is applied: Mosaic, Catholic, Civil etc.
Trying to be good by conforming to a law always leads to hypocrisy, because the source of such goodness is egoistic search of a "good image" and not love.
While your conclusion here is certainly possible and there are those who fall into this, your blanket declaration that it always
leads to hypocrisy is false...It does NOT always lead to hypocrisy.
The person who becomes Catholic, or who renews their commitment to Christ in the Church, begins at the point of belief - of faith - a faith freely accepted. This is a crucial aspect to keep in mind. For we all know that works alone are insufficient.
The rules (Law) of the Church are disciplines provided for the help of the person on their spiritual journey.
The person - especially a "new" Christian - one who is spiritually immature - might say to themselves, "There is so much I don't understand. I will commit myself to obeying the discipline of the Church in order to become more conformed to Christ."
Such commitment and obedience in order to be 'good" works within the person to build up their spirit. To aid in their understanding.
It's not unlike a person training for the Olympic team. They use many different disciplines and exercises, both physical and mental for a larger purpose. To be the best that they can be. In the Olympics, it is for the honor of being invited to represent the country, in faith, it is for the honor of serving our God more fully and being invited into heaven.