For someone who understands “better than you do….” concerning Catholicism, you sure manage to get wrong one of the fundemental ideas of Justification according to Catholic theology.
[quote:19e0ogcb]Instead you feel that you need to show God that you are somehow righteous on your merits….. [/quote:19e0ogcb]
If you were to look in the Catechism in the section dealing with grace and justification, you’ll read under “Merit” the following paragraphs:
[quote:19e0ogcb][b:19e0ogcb]2006 The term “merit” refers in general to the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment. Merit is relative to the virtue of justice, in conformity with the principle of equality which governs it.
2007 With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator. [/b:19e0ogcb][/quote:19e0ogcb]
Let me juust quote paragraph 2007 again for emphasis: [b:19e0ogcb]With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator. [/b:19e0ogcb]
NOTHING we do can cross the huge chasm that exist between God and his righteousness and us, OUTSIDE of God Himself moving us to do so and giving us the grace necessary to work WITH him to that end.
Paragraph 2011 of the Catechism puts it nicely, and also adds a quote from St. Th?©r?®se of Lisieux further illustrating it’s effect in our lives:
[quote:19e0ogcb]2011 The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love, ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men. The saints have always had a lively awareness that their merits were pure grace.
[i:19e0ogcb]After earth’s exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone. . . . In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is blemished in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself[/i:19e0ogcb].[/quote:19e0ogcb]
This stuff is Catholicism 101 here – there’s no way anyone can claim to ‘understand better’ than anyone else concerning what the Catholic Church teaches if they don’t know these rudimentary things. Justification/Grace/Merit/etc/etc are all very in-depth topics and there is definitely more to be said concerning them, but the idea of a Catholic believing they can “work” their way to heaven on their own merit is just plain heretical and belies a serious defect in understanding on the part of anyone (that would be non-Catholics, in this case) that would suggest that Catholics believe such a thing.