It is a second article on this topic that I post. The previous one was Indulgences: Spreading the Wealth
Interesting post, thank you. I look forward to the whole series.
Thank you for the post.
I prefer the Catechism of the Catholic Church pps 2006-2011 concerning merit.
Of particular mention is pp 2009 "Our merits are Gods gifts."
This all gets way too scholastic for me.
My commentary for those who also get overwhelmed: (IMHO, of course - you can disagree with my summary, and that's cool.)
For some people, they confuse the workings of God's grace with the merits of doing the works God asks us. Other people see us talking about merit and think that we think we can earn our way to heaven.
Catholic teaching sees salvation and grace as something unearned and given to us by God.
Yet, we are told in things like the Parable of the talents and the parable of the minas that Jesus expects us to work, doing good deeds, and we will be rewarded for them in the end.
Thus we talk about merits. Not about the gift of God's grace, but about doing God's work.
I am reminded of what happened to the guys who sat on their talents or minas when I hear the people who talk about grace like doing deeds of good works is somehow contraindicated, because it interferes with the work of grace (I suspect its semantics about how God saves us, rather than about the call to be Christlike).
My prayer has always been, Lord, help me not to be like that person.
And I am also reminded of Mother Teresa's slogan for doing things like this: It went something like we do it through the power of Jesus for Jesus, as if we were doing it to Jesus.
And that is where I wish my heart were when I try to walk in the right path.
Commentary from this non-scholastic person over.