[quote="SyCarl, post:10, topic:441635"]
I cannot accept all of Reformed theology. Scripture is clear that Christ died for all and not just the elect, although it is only efficacious for those who have faith.. Perseverance of the saints is a rather useless truism. If the elect are defined as those who will be with Christ in Heaven, by definition they will persevere to the end. The problem is no one can know they are elect until they actually persevere to death.
**God bless SyCarl and every readers of the CAF.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Fr William Most
What does the Catholic Church teach on Predestination? **
Fr. Most himself leans toward a school of thought known as Thomism, which he develops in summary as follows:
Predestination is gratuitous: ...for even before God considers human merits, He predestines, and because the sole and total cause of predestination is the goodness and love of the Father which moves spontaneously WITHOUT stimulus, merit, or condition.
God's grace appears to all men (e.g.Tit. 2:11), and man's initial "response" is the omission of resistance, which he identifies as an "ontological zero," meaning man does NOTHING, to enter a state of justification.
In a related paragraph:
The SECOND STAGE follows, in which grace moves us further, so that *we do MAKE A DECISION: *
*"It is God who . . . works in you both the WILL and the PERFORMANCE." *
Of course, we do actively cooperate with grace in the SECOND stage.
The entire process need not take more than one instant of time. (#82)
So, in summary the initial response is one of omission of resistance, followed by a positive response in grace.
Thomism emphasize the role of grace in human actions.
Aquinas said, “God changes the will without forcing it.
But he can change the will from the fact that He himself operates in the will as He does in nature,” De Veritatis 22:9.
Similarly, the Council of Orange says that *"in every good work, we do not begin." *(#329.2)
In other words, when God commands, He capacitates the hearer to respond.
Yet the ability to respond is also His gift.
**The Catholic Church affirms predestination as a *DE FIDE *Dogma (the highest level of binding theological certainty).
THE CATHOLIC DOGMA. – The predestination of the elect**
Consequently, the whole future membership of heaven, down to its minutest details, has
been IRREVOCABLY FIXED FROM ALL ETERNITY. Nor could it be otherwise. For if it
were possible that a predestined individual should after all be CAST INTO HELL or that
one not predestined should in the end REACH HEAVEN, then God would have been
MISTAKEN in his foreknowledge of future events; He would NO LONGER be omniscient.
God's unerring foreknowledge and foreordaining is designated in the Bible by the beautiful
figure of the "Book of Life" (liber vitæ, to biblion tes zoes). This book of life is a list which
contains the names of ALL THE ELECT and admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES.
(2) The second quality of predestination, the DEFINITENESS of the number of the elect,
follows NATURALLY from the first. For if the eternal counsel of God regarding the
predestined is UNCHANGEABLE, then the number of the predestined must likewise be
UNCHANGEABLE and DEFINITE, subject NEITHER to ADDITIONS nor to
CANCELLATIONS. Anything indefinite in the number would eo ipso imply a lack of
certitude in God's knowledge and would DESTROY His omniscience. End quote. Emphasis added.