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Whether Anyone Without Grace can Merit Eternal Life?

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Collect: O God who grants us grace that we may merit eternal life, continue to move us by Thy grace that we may grow in grace and glory, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


In the Sed Contra, St. Thomas quotes Romans 6:23. In another place, he comments on this verse, "For since he had said that just men have eternal life, which it is certain cannot be had except through grace, then the very fact that we do what is good and that our works are worthy of eternal life is the result of God’s grace: he bestows grace and glory (Ps 84:11). Thus, therefore, if our works are considered in themselves and as coming from our free will they do not merit eternal life condignly, but only as coming from the grace of the Holy Spirit. Hence it is said: the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14)."

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