(Cristoiglesia)In responding to your statements about the Church teaching works righteousness or Pelagianism I said the following:
Show me in the Bible or in the Catechism where the Church teaches that the atonement is not sufficient.
Show me in the Bible or the Catechism where the Church teaches that one must do works to be saved.
Show me in the Bible or the Catechism where the Church teaches that one can be saved by works without faith.
(Brother Joe) You should read your catechism. It says on page 490, para # 2027 the following.
No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we CAN then MERIT FOR OURSELVES AND FOR OTHERS all the graces needed to attain ETERNAL LIFE, as well as necessary temporal goods." (Catechism page 490, para # 2027)
...we can then merit (EARN) for ourselves... all the graces needed to attain eternal life...
(Cristoiglesia) Let us look at your claim in context from the Catechism:
2017 The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God.
Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit makes us sharers in his life.
Here we see the Catechism saying that we are united to Christ through His atoning sacrifice. This contradicts your allegation that the Church teaches that the Passion and Resurrection are insufficient but instead it is an integral part of the salvific plan.
2018 Like conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.
2019 Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.
2020 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy.
Here the Catechism says that the entirety of salvation is due to Christ’s atoning work and not of man.
2021 Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life.
2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.
Here the Catechism is recognizing mans free will but that it is the grace of God that gives us the desire to do God’s will and His work.
2023 Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it.
2024 Sanctifying grace makes us "pleasing to God." Charisms, special graces of the Holy Spirit, are oriented to sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. God also acts through many actual graces, to be distinguished from habitual grace which is permanent in us.
2025 We can have merit in God's sight only because of God's free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God.
Here the Catechism clearly states that it is only because of God’s grace that man collaborates and that it is only through God’s grace that man can earn merit.
2026 The grace of the Holy Spirit can confer true merit on us, by virtue of our adoptive filiation, and in accordance with God's gratuitous justice. Charity is the principal source of merit in us before God.
2027 No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.
Here we see that the merit that is earned is the work of the Holy Spirit and not of man. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit man would not be moved to good works which indeed is provided by God’s grace.
2028 "All Christians . . . are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (LG 40 § 2). "Christian perfection has but one limit, that of having none" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De vita Mos.:PG 44, 300D).
2029 "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24).
Goal#1- Show me in the Bible or in the Catechism where the Church teaches that the atonement is not sufficient.
You were unable from the Catechism to prove that the Church teaches that the atonement of Christ is not sufficient and such an allegation is contradicted by Catechism #2017.
Goal #2- Show me in the Bible or the Catechism where the Church teaches that one must do works to be saved.
Catechism #2020 says that it is all God’s work and not mans. Catechism #2022 says it is wholly the work of the Holy Spirit that gives us the desire to do God’s work. So you have failed here also to prove your allegations as it clearly states that all good works are evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are entirely God’s doing and not mans.
Goal #3- Show me in the Bible or the Catechism where the Church teaches that one can be saved by works without faith.
The Church teaches that we are saved by grace through faith. Catechism #2025 states that ALL merit comes from God and not from man. So what it is teaching is that by corroborating with the Holy Spirit by our own free will we gain merit for ourselves and others and that we could not corroborate in the first place if it was not for God’s grace that brings us to initial salvation. So the Catechism unambiguously states that it is all God’s grace and not man’s work as you so incorrectly state that the Church teaches.
(Brother Joe) It is taught by the Catholic Church that an individual can merit or earn eternal life by good works as your catechism says.
(Cristoiglesia) Yes, but only by doing God’s will by corroborating with God’s grace which the Church teaches is all God’s work and not mans.
(Brother Joe) Also in your catechism on page 448 you can read, "...and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished..." (Catechism para # 1821)
(Cristoiglesia) Let’s see what the Catechism says in total:
1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.
92 In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end"
93 and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved."
94 She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.
This is clearly consistent with the rest of the Catechism in that it still states that it is entirely God’s grace and work in us by the Holy Spirit that produces good works and that for this merit man can take no credit.
I think that the greatest problem that some have in understanding these things is that they do not realize the power of God’s grace in corroboration with man’s free will to gain merit. God creates a great work in us with His grace and everything we accomplish towards sanctification is due to the undeserved gift of grace.
Another difficulty Protestant have is understanding that salvation is a process ending in death and is dependent on the state of the soul at that time. If the soul is filled with salvific grace then one is saved and not by a one time work of man. Instead the Protestants teach that one confesses, repents and acknowledges God and by these acts creates an obligation by God to save us. Protestants teach assurance or eternal security as the result of this personal act that endures for all time regardless of one’s sins or falling away from the faith. This is what is known as the heresy of Antinomianism. This is an ancient heresy spoken of and condemned in Scriptures and is actually resurgence in Gnosticism which is spoken about in the following verses by St. Paul:
Rom 3:8 And not rather (as we are slandered and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil that there may come good? Whose damnation is just.
Rom 3:31 Do we then, destroy the law through faith? God forbid! But we establish the law.
Rom 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief.
2Pe 2:18 For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error:
2Pe 2:19 Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave.