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Whether a Man in Grace Can Merit Eternal Life Condignly?

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Collect: O God who judges us in friendship and with mercy, give us that crown of justice which has been worked in us by grace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Link: https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I-II.Q114.A3


Summary


In the Sed Contra, St. Thomas proves the thesis by pointing to the fact that not only God's mercy, but also his justice is refered to as a principle of reward in scripture. He comments on the passage elsewhere, "He says, therefore: since I have fought and finished the course, nothing remains but to be crowned. It is called a crown of justice, because God will confer it according to justice. But it seems that eternal life is conferred because of grace: the grace of God is everlasting (Rom 6:23) and the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come (Rom 8:18). Therefore, it is not a matter of justice. I answer that grace is involved inasmuch as it is the root of merit, and justice inasmuch as it is an act proceeding from the will. Or, it is a crown of justice because it is given from justice, inasmuch as it is given to the just according to their just works: say to the just man that it is well, for he shall eat the fruit of his doings (Isa 3:10)."

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