What did the Council of Trent say about justification?

I am in a dialog with a friend who is not Catholic. My friend belongs to a bible church and while he has no allegiance specifically to a reformer he seems to follow a lot of Calvin’s teachings. In our recent dialog concerning justification my friend is convinced that canon xxxii is proof that the Catholic Church teaching on initial Justification includes our own ability to merit it. When I read this canon, I don’t see it that way but I will admit that the first sentence is confusing to me. Can you please help me better understand what this canon is saying so that I can better dialog with him?

Thanks so much for your help.

Council of Trent’s Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 32

If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema.

The first thing to note is this canon is referring to the “good works of the one justified.” It is not talking about initial grace or becoming justified, but the actions of a person who has already become a Christian.
This is essentially a canon on free will and not justification. The opening line is stating that when a justified person performs good works, he/she did truly cooperate with that grace from God and thus grace increases on the account of his/her cooperation. But that initial grace and justification indeed comes from God and not us.

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