justification and merits


can anyone clarify this paragraph of the CCC?

2009 Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God’s gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us “co-heirs” with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life."60 The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness.61 “Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due. . . . Our merits are God’s gifts.”



I think this article will be helpful in understanding the above:


A brief excerpt re “merit”:

So when we say “merit” we mean that God is united with the soul and thus is giving divine value to our accepting His grace to apply or develop, simultaneously with His willing it, the “talent” of a virtue. Otherwise, we can’t say “merit” when God is absent. With God actually present, He first, and we simultaneously together with Him-Who-Is-Within, do the same virtuous action (“work”) and that is how there is an increasing meriting of the intensity of His presence within us, and increasing of the quality of His love within us.


"You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts.’

I think the above quote by St. Augustine beautifully sums it up


It just goes to show that no matter how much Molina seems to have screwed up Catholic soteriology they remain fundamentally and officially Augustinian.

The passage means that the good deeds we do we are only able to do because we have been grafted into the family of God. This adoption as sons necessarily entails the grace by which we work, which works become ours not as a “legal fiction” but really ours and therefore meritorious as ours.

It fits nicely with the eschatological hope since a big part of that is a real union with God.

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