'Sola Caritas' Trumps 'Sola fide'

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


True enough. In fact the Church can even teach, quoting St John of the Cross regarding our “particular judgement”,
"At the evening of life we shall be judged on our love."


The 3 solas - Sola scriptura, Sola fide and Sola gratia or scripture alone, faith alone and grace alone.

The 5 solas - Sola Christus and Soli Deo gloria or Christ alone and glory to God alone.

The 7 solas - Sola Caritas and Sola Maria or Love alone and Mary alone.

Justification comes through Mary’s love alone as she is the perfect expression of God’s love for mankind.


Common Affirmations
109. Catholics and Lutherans affirm together that God, who calls us into a life of communion with him, holds us accountable for our whole lives.


Catholics have branded Martin Luther a heretic for 500 years so there’s really not that much common ground. Heresy is often 90% truth and 10% percent error which is just the right blend to hook some fish.

I’m sure we’ve been here before Jon but to pose it in another way, could we say that faith is the means to justice/righteousness because faith is the means to love, because it’s the means to God who is love? That may not satisfy some versions of Sola Fide but I like it because it keeps justification and actual justice or righteousness from being separated from each other. God wants to do something good in us. And it’s rightfully demanded, even.

Thank you for posting this, OP. That’s something we all need to hear. Instead of focusing on theology and the finer points of doctrine; at the end of the day we are judged by love. For: “ You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and you shall love others as you would yourself. Upon this hangs all the Law and the Prophets. “.


While a Lutheran would talk about justification and sanctification in different ways than a Catholic, the Lutheran would never speak of them as separated from each other. In fact, Luther states that “there is no justification without sanctification”.
So, in general terms, I can agree.

So, is this a criticism of the Catholic Church for entering in dialogue and finding agreements with Lutherans?

I have to say that I’ve never heard anything like that in Catholic teaching.


It was a caricature of the absurd notion that the Gospel can be codified into various ‘solas’ when St. James says point blank that faith is never alone.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Protestants who say they stand on the bible alone really don’t, and have as much if not more extra-biblical tradition than Catholics and Orthodox combined.

Well, even if people do stand on the bible alone, the problem is when they interpret it alone. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sola fide does not teach that faith is alone.

We say that justification is effective without works, not that faith is without works. For that faith which lacks fruit is not an efficacious but a reigned faith. “Without works” is ambiguous, then. For that reason this argument settles nothing. It is one thing that faith justifies without works; it is another thing that faith exists without works.”. - Luther.

Each sola has a specific and narrow meaning.
Sola scriptura does not mean nothing but scripture. It means that scripture is the only final norm for doctrine.
Sola fide means that , through grace, faith alone justifies. It does not mean that faith exists in a vacuum.


Which Protestants? And which doctrines?

So why isn’t there a Sola Caritas then? There’s one for faith and one for grace, seems like they forgot one. Love is the highest and new commandment and Paul said without love, faith is meaningless. So many holes and glaring inconsistencies in Protestant theology. If you were an honest bible student you could admit that.

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I heartily agree. I find so many inconsistencies in Protestant doctrines. When challenged, I’ve seen that Protestant apologists will contend over specific passages in Sacred Scripture; but never over the Sola in question.

Jon, when you said Amen to the Saint James quote; it contradicts your defense of Sola Fide.

The reason there is no Sola Caritas is because Catholics and Orthodox had already been teaching that for 1500 years before the Reformers came along.

Yeah, I’ve seen that. When you look at the lives of the saints, you see more emphasis on living out love than you do of emphasis on faith. The rebels insisted on doctrine and faith vs Love; the heart of the Gospel.

No, it doesn’t. I’ve often linked this article. It is worth reading.


Akin seems to understand what at least the Lutheran means by sola fide.

Also remembering that Love is not romance, or some mushy feeling, but willing and working for the highest good of the other.

Even when we get no thanks, no return, and sometimes even insults for our efforts.

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