Reconciling mercy with justice

If justice is giving to one what one deserves, and mercy is exempting one from what one deserves, how can God be truly just when he displays mercy?

I wonder if, because of Christ’s eternal sacrifice, repentance deserves mercy. If one deserves both damnation for his sins and salvation for his repentance, is it not just for God to deliver whichever reward he chooses?

In this same vein, though repentance is a spiritual work that deserves salvation, would it not still be the grace of God that delivers salvation rather than damnation? With that consideration, could the Protestant ‘sola fide’ arguments against Catholic teaching be more effectively dispelled?

Love demands Justice. Justice is an element of Love. God’s mercy reduces our penalty of sin extensively but we still bear some consequences of our sin, such as the natural effect of sin, concupiscence, and purgatory. Your thoughts?

I agree with this.

-]I suppose my first post was in error as well – well, maybe. I don’t know. If one’s sins are absolved in reconciliation, one could not be said to deserve eternal damnation for those sins any more, right?/-] Nevermind, I see according the New Advent that absolution is defined as the remission of punishment for sins, not a remission of the ‘deservance’ of the punishment.

Perhaps the final adjustment plays out within the doctrine of The Degrees of Glory.

Not sure what you are referring to.

It is a reference to the doctrine whereby each soul’s state in Heaven is given an individual degree of glory; some higher, some lower, representative of your spiritual passage through earthly life. St.Teresa of Avila for example said she would be prepared to re-live serveral lives of misery and hardships in order to just achieve one higher degree of glory. You should get more details from the Catholic Encyclopaedia if I remember.

God Bless.

if repentance is a spiritual work that deserves salvation, would it not still be the grace of God that delivers salvation

The protestant position is that the grace of God comes to the believer as an unmerited favor. Therefore it would be a contradiction to think of grace in terms of receiving something as deserved or merited. God’s grace gives salvation in spite of what we deserve for our sins. Through grace God overlooks transgression. Not because God considers our sin as no big deal, but because He spent his wrath for his peoples sins on his son Christ. This is the doctrine of imputation. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God counted Christ as a sinner while he hung on the cross. The sin of his people were imputed to his account and God satisfied His justice for them by punishing Christ in their place. Likewise, Christ was truly sinless, and his merit is counted, in turn, to their account and God can now extend mercy to them. This is why Paul said in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
God not only counts them as truly righteous in Christ, but he makes them righteous by giving them a new heart to repent from sin. Their repentance is the fruit of God’s grace not the ground of their salvation.
How does this doctrine fit into the RCC position?

Maybe we are dealt out justice as a result of our guilt, etc while we live on earth (plus any penalty imposed by law should the action warrant such a strong action)?

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