Review: Predestination: The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and the Church

Predestination: The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and the Church
Predestination: The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and the Church by Rev. Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A difficult book. I may have to read it again few times to get more out of it. This is by far the best treatment on predestination I have ever read. It states clearly the different schools of thought within Catholicism. It also shows the errors of various heresies.

Few quotes from the book:

We shall return to this point. But in any case, from this minimum admitted by all we get three propositions to which all Catholic theologians subscribe. They are: (1) Predestination to the first grace is not because God foresaw our naturally good works, nor is the beginning of salutary acts due to natural causes; (2) predestination to glory is not because God foresaw we would continue in the performance of supernaturally meritorious acts apart from the special gift of final perseverance; (3) complete predestination, in so far as it comprises the whole series of graces from the first up to glorification, is gratuitous or previous to foreseen merits. These three propositions are admitted by all Catholic theologians. But Thomists and Augustinians on the one hand, and Molinists and congruists on the other, differ in their interpretation of them.

We see that the teaching of the Church against these conflicting heresies may be summed up in these profound words of St. Prosper, which the Council of Quierzy makes its own. Against Pelagianism and Semipelagianism the council says: “That some are saved, is the gift of Him who saves.” Against predestinarianism it says: “That some perish, is the fault of those who perish.” Holy Scripture expressed the same thought in these words: “Destruction is thy own, O Israel; thy help is only in Me.”

“Predestination is a part of providence. Now providence, as also prudence, is the plan existing in the intellect directing the ordering of some things towards an end. But nothing is directed towards an end unless the will for that end already exists. Whence the predestination of some to eternal salvation presupposes, in the order of reason, that God wills their salvation; and to this belong both election and love.”

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