Freedom vs Grace ... incompatible?

I said DO good not CREATE good, of course we do not create GOOD, but we can DO GOOD because God gave us that ability.

I agree, cooperation is needed, but my point is still there: God enabled us to do Good when we were born and then we can decide to act GOOD or not. That is also cooperation

Grace may well be ever-present to some degree or another, waiting to be “invested” and increased, exercised and strengthened. Freedom actually gives us the radical possibility of rejecting goodness, opposing love and destroying it in ourselves in favor of cold, selfish, pride. That’s an option, that we can exercise throughout our lives.

1037 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"

1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.

Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.

TO FHANSEN: I don’t exactly see how your last post is connected with my first one to you.

Is that the answer for

You are correct @StudentMI , Anathema means what Catholics do all of the time, “Offering it up (to God)”
ἀνάθεμα just means, “a thing offered up”, rather than having dealings with it within the People of God; the People of God (the Church) let the ἀνάθεμα be in God’s hands and no longer try to correct the person or thing.

If I have Cancer, I say as a Catholic before God, “Let it be ἀνάθεμα, Lord”, meaning, “I offer it up to you, Lord, and I will no longer bother worrying about it since it is now yours; I will work on other things in the world now as your servant.”
If I know a Protestant, I do not wonder or worry that they may go to hell, but I consider them ἀνάθεμα, given up into God’s concern while I work at being a Catholic as commanded by the Lord. “Fixing a Protestant” is not the work of Catholics, but our work is offering Sacrifice at the Mass, and loving one another as evidence to the world of the reality of Christ.

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The Church teaches that a person can be “invincibly ignorant”, that is, that they can have good excuse or reason, so to speak, for not knowing or accepting Jesus or His Church. Jesus spoke of those outside the fold or others who did right without even knowing it, such as those who did good for " the least of these" in Matt 25. These speak of acts of love and the Chruch teaches thusly, regarding our “particular judgement”:
"At the evening of life we shall be judged on our love".

Now while the very purpose of the Church is ultimately to bring us to full-blown love of God and neighbor, whereby our justice is complete and fulfilled, I’d personally rather have gobs of evidence for my love without ever attending Church than to attend Church everyday and have shown little or no love for neighbor. That love is how we show love for God, whether we’re cognizant of Him or not. Either way Scripture tells us that God judges by the heart, which He knows far better than we do.

So at the end of the day we’re judged based on what we did with whatever we were given, with some given more and some less-ref Luke 12:48. These include our backgrounds, experiences good or bad, knowledge, grace, time, opportunities, etc. We can only go with what we know, and, in my case, I know the purpose of the Church, and to some degree the God the who established it. So I must go with that while not judging those who may well be less advantaged. God will deal fairly with them too.

Man has free will; grace is resistible; we can refuse and reject God and His grace. At some point, that He knows, He’ll finally let us have our way. Evil/sin are only possible due to the freedom that God gave to certain rational created beings. He won’t endure evil forever but He won’t force us to embrace good either. That’s what freedom is all about. He gives us sufficient grace but doesn’t shove it down our throats.

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Mortal sin is a choice, or series of choices.

What about irresistible grace, is that not God effectively making sure that we wont be damned, albeit with God ensuring that we use our free will to choose salvation?

You mean to say it’s not fair we can’t be good without God? We do not want to be free from God…God is Goodness…To be one with Christ is to be free from sin. But yes, Paul talks of being slaves to Christ, (Ephesians 6:6) so in this way we are free to choose our master: we are either slaves to sin which leads to death, or slaves of Christ which leads to life; we choose. And to be slaves of Christ is to be free from sin and death. But there is no freedom from choosing either bad or good, no gray area of following just our own whim. We choose to follow God or follow evil, each has a subsequent consequence. This happened at the Garden of Eden when man made the choice of gaining knowledge of good and evil and, due to free will, being able to choose between the two.

We have freedom: we can choose God (good) or not (bad) and this is dependent on our free will. Jesus says “No one can come to me unless the Father draws them to me,” (John 6:44) God knows who will be open to accepting and obeying Him to the best of their ability and so He pursues them with His grace by whatever means is suitable for that person. He does not “force” them to choose anything, they have free will.

According to Ott’s “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” the following is De fide dogma:

"The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible."

We have to understand that from Eden until now this is all about the human will, for our own good, whether we’ll choose rightly or wrongly, good or evil, love or no love, God or no God. So God patiently works with humanity down through the centuries to arrive at this point, in our lives, where grace is more abundant than ever while the same obstacles to faith, hope, and love also continue to prevail. How will we choose? The light has entered the world, most fully two millennia ago, and it shapes all of our choices by presenting values even if no formal contact with Christianity has ever been made. It places love and not competition or condemnation at the forefront, seeking to heal, save, awaken, forgive, etc. How will we live?

God, for His part, desires none to perish. But He doesn’t make automatons. He wants us to choose rightly; that’s what makes us, His creation, worthy of being His handiwork, of living up to our potential. And from the larger perspective the catechism teaches that God made His world in a “state of journeying to perfection”, man’s perfection being achieved to the extent that he’s freely bound himself to God even as His help is needed in this endeavor, this work of His and ours.

The only problem i think and sorry if i sound like i am criticizing God here is that he leaves us too free, he does not provide much reassurance to us to ensure that we are on the right path and i do think that sometimes we often are either given too much freedom or too little freedom in other words we can at moments feel like we have our freedom completely removed from us, i remember once being in a bar talking to a lady i wanted to get to know and i just started shaking uncontrollably and the girl looked uncomfortable and walked away, where was my freedom there?, or the time when i got very depressed and i heard not a word from God of reassurance despite wanting to end my life, where was Gods voice to tell me everything would be alright? God abandons too much in my opinion.

It’s a quite radically free world. We’re being tested, for one thing, to see just how we’ll behave with the Master gone away, so to speak, even if He’s left us with no reason to misbehave and actually equipped to do otherwise. But He’s not right here so as to enforce the matter. We act as our own gods kind of, as Adam apparently wanted things for himself. I honestly believe that life here in such a world is part of an educative/molding/formation process, the end of which will be much clearer later on in our existence. God knows the beginning from the end while we do not. I do appreciate the experiences of Julian of Norwich, a 14th century British visionary approved by the Church who was burdened about the fate of so many dying around her during the Black Plague. She was “shewn”, simply, that “All shall be well and shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”. I know our God well enough to trust, as Julian came to, that this will be the case. And He wants us to know Him.

The more we seek God the more we know Him and then the more we believe in, hope in, and love Him-that’s what the “knowledge of God” accomplishes in us.

If we got the answers about the end now would it not enable us to live better lives, endure hardships more etc, i am not saying we can not do that now but it would be so much easier wouldnt it to be given a revelation? Maybe i am sounding a tad arrogant expecticting God to act to my wishes but then my own father acted to my wishes my whole life and feel immensely privileged to have known my dad as such a wonderful forgiving and caring friend.

We have an obligation ourselves. Our God suffered an excruciatingly humiliating and painful passion and death in order to demonstrate something of the extent to which He’d go to prove His love for us-in spite of our sin. We have an obligation IMO to seek truth, to seek Him.

That’s our part. And the more we come to know Him the more we can rest in Him, knowing that this life’s sufferings and problems are temporary-and that unimaginable goodness and happiness awaits. And He has shown that to some-and we can all benefit from these experiences through those people, and perhaps receive them ourselves as well. He’s calling for a modicum of faith, to begin with. That’s where our justice begins.

I feel i already have found God and am ready to meet him, not for one second do i think that if i died i would go to Hell as i know that Hell is awful and that the only people who go there are those who would find Heaven awful and i would not find Heaven awful from what i have heard about it, am i being too presumptuous? perhaps but i feel at total ease with God if Hell is only for those who hate his commandments.

Sounds good to me. Maybe I’m just saying that there’s no end to the degree to which we can grow in the knowledge of, in the faith in, in the hope in, and in the love of, God.


First, the inclination to sin is removed by baptism, then there is a change in the soul, and once sanctifying grace is received a person can remain without any mortal sin. God provides enough grace to overcome any temptation to mortal grace, with out willing cooperation. The sacraments of the living increase that sanctifying grace.

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