Thursday, March 15, 2007

Christian Hope - Louis of Granada

But now we come to the consideration of a point that is very lamentable, namely, the perversity of the human heart which, even as it relies on this great virtue of hope, nevertheless perseveres in its sin. If you were to ask any of these shameless people how they can hope to be saved, they will reply that they will be saved through faith in Christ and hope in His sacred passion. Christ's passion is truly the greatest stimulus to hope and the greatest motive for fear of God, but these wicked persons pervert it and make it an excuse for continuing their sin, when in reality it is supposed to make souls love and serve God. This has been and continues to be one of the greatest deceptions of the devil, who strives to compete by his evil ways against the greatness of God's goodness. God manifests His great goodness by drawing good out of evil, but the devil endeavors to make even good things serve an evil purpose. Thus, he makes Scripture, which was given to us for the enlightenment and government of our life, a source of error and perversion for heretics, distorting the divine words in order to use them as a basis for his lies. So also, he has craftily used the divine mystery of the Cross as an excuse for sin. Al men, however evil they may be, desire to be saved, even when they refuse to enter upon the path of virtue. But these evil men have looked upon the Cross for consolation and sometimes have used it as an excuse for their evil deeds, saying that Christ as already atoned for them. It is as if one were to say that the Son of God came down to earth and suffered in order that men might become evil and slothful and enemies of every virtuous work.

Since Scripture declares that the remedy for our spiritual health consists in the performance of good works and that our perdition lies in the performance of evil deeds, how is it possible that the devil can blind the intellects of so many men so that they believe that merely by trusting in the passion of Christ and without putting their hand to the plough, they can hope to be saved?

Ven Louis of Granada, Summa of the Christian Life, Volume 2, Chapter 20, Christian Hope

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