Predestination

What is the churches view on predestination? Jesus says this

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34

notice “prepared for you” in other words calvinism!

We believe that God’s will happens no matter what. We also know we have free will to do what we please. Somehow our free will never gets in the way of God’s will. It is a great mystery.

Many times people unknowingly do God’s will through their own free will. For example, when you are having a really bad day, you haven’t told anyone about it, but they mysteriously say or do something that comforts you. That was God comforting, but He performed his will through one of His children through their own will. If you ask that person, they won’t say God told them to do it. They will say they just thought it would be nice. God didn’t force them to do it. It was their own free choice, and yet it fulfilled God’s will.

Much like the stories in the Bible, I believe God sometimes does choose a person for a specific purpose. However, in His perfection, he can somehow have other people around to fill in if the chosen person through their free will goes in a different direction. God is patient. He could make His will happen instantly, but He doesn’t need to.

“prepared for you” to me is speaking to God’s followers as a group. The only thing we need is love, so the kingdom we inherit is love. We won’t have need for food or water or anything else. Even if it is speaking to each person individually, God knows the future. He knows the list of everyone that will be in heaven at the end, so of course, He can prepare for each individual person if He wants to. Just because he knows how the story ends doesn’t mean he is meddling with it.

May I recommend the CCC - usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#

specific paragraphs of interest - 257, 600, 1007, 2012, 2782, & 2823

Peace!!!

May I suggest this article with Church references: What does the Catholic Church teach on Predestination?

The line about “prepared for you” does not prove the Calvinist position because the text does not say that the predestined are done so independent of their free will (in fact Matthew 25 is a strong Scripture demonstrating God’s consideration of the love exhibited by souls), nor does the text say that God “passes over” the damned by depriving them of grace.

Thank you for that. Pure Thomists are off-putting sometimes because many of them do state that God ‘passes over’ some and (seemingly arbitrarily) gives others efficacious grace. I’ve met some Thomists that are so adamant in their view that they essentially mock or scorn the other views allowable by the Church.

Really, it’s a mystery, and why people (especially these aforementioned Thomists, along with Calvinists) are so apt to describe in the minutest detail something that is total mystery is beyond me. Terms are as far as I like to go. Predestination, transubstatiation, hypo-static union, ect. But to describe these mysteries to the minutest details? Folly. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery.

Depends how much one is motivated to read. Its no secret Aquinas or Scotus and a host of others require in depth reading and study. The Philosophical Writings along with The Will and Morality by Scotus, are offered as a college course in many Catholic Universities which is an analysis of his arguments against Ghent. So the depth of effort in regards to comprehension can be seen for example above.

The question of the elect, why God has freely chosen some and not others. I don’t know any who does not admit its a mystery including St Thomas. In fact the tract in Catholic Encyclopedia quotes St Thomas in regards to this mystery.

St. Isidore answers by saying: “In an obscurity so great as this it is of no avail for man to investigate the divine dispensation and examine the secret arrangements of predestination.”

That said I think Fr Most as mentioned above is excellent. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange is a decent way to understand St Thomas also. However, imho he has a tendency to diminish the work of Scotus in the area of the existence of God.

So to me, its not a one or the other but a synthesis of all of them.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.