Denzinger EN 329
[From the epistle "Quantum presbyterorum" to Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, January 9, 476]
343 Dz 159 (2) Because, according to the extant doctrine of our predecessors of sacred memory, against which it is wrong to argue, whoever seems to understand rightly, does not desire to be taught by new assertions, but all [matters] in which either he who has been deceived by heretics can be instructed, or he who is about to be planted in the vineyard of the Lord can be trained, are clear and perfect; after imploring trust in your most merciful leader, have the request for calling a synod refused. (3) I urge (therefore), dearest brother, that by every means resistance be offered to the efforts of the perverse to call a synod, which has not always been enjoined in other cases, unless something new arose in distorted minds or something ambiguous in a pronouncement so that, if there were any obscurity, the authority of sacerdotal deliberation might illumine those who were treating the ambiguous pronouncement in common, just as first the impiety of Arius and then that of Nestorius, lastly that of Dioscorus and also of Eutyches caused this to be done. And --may the mercy of Christ our God (and) Savior avert this--it must be made known, abominable [as it is], that [the purpose is] to restore [to their former positions] in opposition to the opinions of the priests of the Lord of the whole world and of the principal rulers of both [scil., worlds] those who have been condemned. . . .
[From the epistle "Cuperem quidem" to Basiliscus Augustus January 10, 476]
Those genuine and clear [truths] which flow from the very pure fountains of the Scriptures cannot be disturbed by any arguments of misty subtlety. For this same norm of apostolic doctrine endures in the successors of him upon whom the Lord imposed the care of the whole sheepfold (Jn 21,15 ff.), whom [He promised] He would not fail even to the end of the world (Mt 28,20), against whom He promised that the gates of hell would never prevail, by whose judgment He testified that what was bound on earth could not be loosed in heaven (Mt 16,18 ff.). (6). . . Let whoever, as the Apostle proclaimed, attempts to disseminate something other, than what we have received, be anathema (Ga 1,8 f.). Let no approach to your ears be thrown open to the pernicious plans of undermining, let no pledge of revising any of the old definitions be granted, because, as it must be repeated very often, what has deserved to be cut away with the sharp edge of the evangelical pruning hook by apostolic hands with the approval of the universal Church, cannot acquire the strength for a rebirth nor is it able to return to the fruitful shoot of the master's vine, because it is evident that it has been destined to eternal fire. Thus, finally, the machinations of all heresies laid down by decrees of the Church are never allowed to renew the struggles of their crushed attack.
[From the letter of submission of Lucidus, the priest] *
Dz 160a Your public reproof is public salvation, and your opinion is medicine. From this I also draw the highest remedy, that by blaming past errors I excuse [them], and by healing confession I wash myself. just so in consequence of the recent statutes of the Council about to be published, I condemn with you that view which states that the work of human obedience does not have to be united with divine grace;
331 which says that after the fall of the first man the free choice of the will was totally destroyed;
332 which states that Christ our Lord and Savior did not incur death for the salvation of all;
333 which states that the foreknowledge of God violently impels man to death, or that they who perish, perish by the will of God;
334 which affirms that whoever sins after baptism which has been legitimately received dies in Adam;
335 which states that some have been condemned to death, others have been predestined to life;
336 which states that from Adam even to Christ none of the nations has been saved unto the coming of Christ through the first grace of God, that is, by the law of nature, and that they lost free will in the first parent;
337 which states that the patriarchs and prophets or every one of the highest saints, even before the times of the redemption, entered into paradise.
339 All these I condemn as impious and replete with sacrileges.
But I declare that the grace of God is such that I always unite the striving and efforts of man with grace, and I proclaim that the liberty of the human will was not destroyed but enfeebled and weakened, and that he who is saved, was tried; and he who perished, could have been saved.
340 160b Also that Christ, God and Redeemer, as far as it pertained to the riches of His goodness, offered the price of death for all, and because He, who is the Savior of all, especially of the faithful, does not wish anyone to perish, rich unto all who call upon him (Rm 10,12) . . . . Now by the authority of the sacred witnesses, which are found in (Treat profusion through the extent of the Divine Scriptures, in accordance with the doctrine of our elders made clear by reason, I freely confess that Christ came also for the lost, because they perished although He did not will [it]. For it is not right that the riches of His boundless goodness and His divine benefits be confined to those only who seem to have been saved. For if we say that Christ extended assistance only to those who have been redeemed, we shall seem to absolve the unredeemed, who, it is established, had to be punished for having despised redemption. I declare further that by reason and through the regular succession of the centuries some have been saved by the law of grace, others by the law of Moses, others by the law of nature, which God has written in the hearts of all, in the expectation of the coming of Christ; nevertheless from the beginning of the world, they were not set free from the original slavery except by the intercession of the sacred blood. I acknowledge, too, that the eternal fires and the infernal flames have been prepared in advance for capital deeds, because divine judgment, which they deservedly incur, who have not believed these I truths] with their whole heart, justly follows those who persist in human sins. Pray for me, holy lords and apostolic fathers.
I, Lucius the priest, have signed this my letter with my own hand, and I affirm the things which are asserted in it, and I condemn what has been condemned.
[From the epistle "Licet inter varias" to Honorius, Bishop of Dalmatia, July 28, 493 (?)]
(1) [For] it has been reported to us, that in the regions of the Dalmatians certain men had disseminated the recurring tares of the Pelagian pest, and that their blasphemy prevails there to such a degree that they are deceiving all the simple by the insinuation of their deadly madness. . . . [But] since the Lord is superior, the pure truth of Catholic faith drawn front the concordant opinions of all the Fathers remains present. . . . (2) . . . What pray permits us to abrogate what has been condemned by the venerable Fathers, and to reconsider the impious dogmas that have been demolished by them? Why is it, therefore, that we take such great precautions lest any dangerous heresy, once driven out, strive anew to come [up] for examination, if we argue that what has been known, discussed, and refuted of old by our elders ought to be restored? Are we not ourselves offering, which God forbid, to all the enemies of the truth an example of rising again against ourselves, which the Church will never permit? Where is it that it is written: Do not go beyond the limits of your fathers (Pr 22,28), and: Ask your fathers and they will tell you, and your elders will declare unto you (Dt 32,7)? Why, accordingly, do we aim beyond the definitions of our elders, or why do they not suffice for us? If in our ignorance we desire to learn something, how every single thing to be avoided has been prescribed by the orthodox fathers and elders, or everything to be adapted to Catholic truth has been decreed, why are they not approved by these? Or are we wiser than they, or shall we be able to stand constant with firm stability, if we should undermine those [dogmas] which have been established by them? . . . .
161* The Authority and the Priesthood, and the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. See Kch n. 959
[From the epistle 42, or decretal "de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris," in the year 495]
An enumeration of the canonical books similar to that, which we have placed under DAMASUS [ n. 84] is accustomed in certain codices to be set before the special Decree of GELASIUS. Nevertheless among others it is no longer read in this place. Of John the Apostle one epistle, of the other John the priest two epistles, but, of the Apostle John three epistles [cf. n. 84, 92, 96].
The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff and the Patriarchal Sees *
[From the same epistle or "Decretal," in the year 495]
350 Dz 163 (1) After (all these) prophetic and evangelical and apostolic writings (which we have set forth above), on which the Catholic Church by the grace of God is founded, we have thought this (fact) also ought to be published, namely that, although the universal Catholic Church spread throughout the world has the one marriage of Christ, nevertheless the holy Roman Church has not been preferred to the other churches by reason of synodical decrees, but she has held the primacy by the evangelical voice of the Lord and Savior saying: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven (Mt 16,18 f.). There is added also the association of the most blessed Paul the Apostle, the vessel of election, who not at a different time, as the heretics say, but at the one time, on one and the same day, while contending for the prize together with Peter was crowned with a glorious death under Caesar Nero in the City of Rome; and equally have they consecrated the above-mentioned Church of Rome to Christ the Lord and have raised it above all other cities in the whole world by their presence and their venerable triumph.
351 Accordingly the see of PETER the Apostle of the Church of Rome is first, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor anything of this kind (Ep 5,27). But the second see at Alexandria was consecrated in the name of blessed PETER by Mark his disciple and evangelist . . . but the third in honor is considered the see of the most blessed Apostle PETER at Antioch. . . .
[From the same epistle or "Decretal"]
352 Dz 164 (2) And although no one can lay a foundation other than that, which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus (cf. 1Co 3,11), nevertheless for the purpose of instruction the holy, that is, the Roman Church, does not forbid these writings also, that is: the Sacred Synod of NICEA . . . EPHESUS . . . [and] CHALCEDON . . . to be received after those of the Old or New Testament, which we regularly accept.
353 Dz 165 (3) Likewise the works of blessed Caecilius Cyprian . . . [ and in the same way the works of Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Athanasius, John (Chrysostom)) Theophilus, Cyril of Alexandria, Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, (and) Prosper may be admitted ] .Also the epistle of blessed LEO the Pope to Flavian [dogmatic, see n. 143 f.] . ; if anyone argues concerning the text of this one even in regard to one iota, and does not receive it in all respects reverently, let him be anathema.
Likewise it decrees that the works and treatises of all the orthodox Fathers who in no [way] have deviated from the society of the holy Roman Church . . . ought to be read.
Likewise, too, the decretal epistles, which the most blessed Popes . . . have written, ought to be received with reverence.
Likewise the deeds of the holy martyrs . . . [which] with remarkable caution are not read in the holy Roman Church . . . because the names of those who wrote (them) are entirely unknown . . . lest an occasion of light mockery arise. We, however, with the aforementioned Church venerate with every devotion both all the martyrs and the glorious combats of those who are known to God rather than to men.
Likewise we acknowledge with all honor the lives of the Fathers, of Paul, of Anthony, of Hilary, and of all the hermits, which however the most blessed Jerome has described.
[Finally many other writings are enumerated and praised, with addition however: ]
But . . . let the judgment of blessed Paul the Apostle lead the way: "Prove. . . all things, hold that which is good" (1Th 5,21).
354 Other things which have been written or published by heretics or schismatics, the Catholic and apostolic Roman Church in nowise receives. We believe that a few of these . . . ought to be appended.
[From the same epistle or "Decretal"]
(4) [ After the long series of apocrypha has been presented, the Decree of Gelasius is thus concluded: ] These and f writings] similar to these, which . . . all the heresiarchs and their disciples, or the schismatics have taught or written. . . . . . . we confess have not only been rejected, but also banished from the whole Roman Catholic and apostolic Church and with their authors and the followers of their authors have been condemned forever under the indissoluble bond of anathema.
[From the Tome of GELASIUS, "Ne forte," concerning the bond of the anathema, about the year 495]
349 Dz 167 (5) The Lord said that to those sinning against the Holy Spirit, it should not be forgiven either here or in the future world (Mt 12,32). But how many do we know that sin against the Holy Spirit, such as various heretics . . . who return to the Catholic faith, and here have received the pardon of their blasphemy, and have enjoyed the hope of gaining indulgence in the future? And not on this account is the judgment of the Lord not true, or will it be thought to be in any way weakened, since with respect to such men, if they continue to be thus, the judgment remains never to be relaxed at all; moreover, never because of such effects is it not imposed. just as consequently is also that of the blessed John the Apostle: There is a sin unto death: I do not say that prayer should be offered for this: and there is a sin not unto death: I do say that prayer should be offered for this (1Jn 5,16). It is a sin unto death for those persisting in the same sin; it is not a sin unto death for those withdrawing from the same sin. For there is no sin for whose remission the Church does not pray, or which she cannot forgive those who desist from that same sin, or from which she cannot loose those who repent, since the power has been divinely given to her, to whom it was said: Whatsoever you shall forgive upon earth. . . (cf. Jn 20,23) ; "whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven" (Mt 18,18). In whatsoever all are [included], howsoever great they may be, and of whatsoever kind they may be, although the judgment of them nevertheless remains true, by which he is denounced [as] never to be loosed who continues in the course of them, but not after he withdraws from this same [course].
[From the Tome of GELASIUS, "Necessarium," on the two natures in Christ, (492-) 496]
355 Dz 168 (3) Although, I say, in accordance with this confession this must piously be believed regarding the conception of our Lord, although it can in no wise be explained, the Eutychians assert that there is one nature, that is, the divine; and Nestorius none the less mentions a single [nature] , namely, the human; if we must maintain two against the Eutychians, because they draw out one, it follows that we should without doubt proclaim also in opposition to Nestorius who declares one, that not one, but rather two existed as a unity from His beginning, properly adding the human, contrary to Eutyches, who attempts to defend one, that is, the divine only, in order to show that the two, upon which that remarkable mystery rests, endure there; in opposition to Nestorius indeed, who similarly says one, namely, the human, we nevertheless substitute the divine, so that in like manner we hold that two against his one with a true division have existed in the plenitude of this mystery from the primordial effects of His union, and we refute both who chatter in a different way of single [natures], not each of them in regard to one only, but both in respect to the abiding possession of two natures: to wit, the human and divine, united from His beginning without any confusion or defect.
(4) For although one and the same person is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole God man and the whole man God, and whatever there is of humanity, the God man makes his own, and whatever there is of God, the man God possesses, nevertheless, granted that this remains a mystery and cannot be explained in any degree, thus the whole man continues to be what God is, [as?] the whole God continues to be whatever man is . . . *
[From the epistle (1) "Exordium Pontificatus mei" to Anastasius Augustus, 496]
356 Dz 169 (7) According to the most sacred custom of the Catholic Church, let the heart of your serenity acknowledge that no share in the injury from the name of Acacius should attach to any of these whom Acacius the schismatic bishop has baptized, or to any whom he has ordained priests or levites according to the canons, lest perchance the grace of the sacrament seem less powerful when conferred by an unjust [person]. . . . For if the rays of that visible sun are not stained by contact with any Pollution when they pass over the foulest places, much less is the virtue of him who made that visible [sun] fettered by any unworthiness in the minister.
(8) Therefore, then, this person has only injured himself by wickedly administering the good. For the inviolable sacrament, which was given through him, held the perfection of its virtue for others.
[From the epistle "Bonum atque iucundum" to the bishops of Gaul, August 23, 498]
360 Dz 170 (1) . . . Certain heretics in Gaul think that by a rational assertion they are persuaded of this, that just as the parents transmit bodies to the human race from material dregs, so also they bestow the vital principle of the living souls. . . . How (therefore) do they, contrary to God's will, with a very carnal mind think that the soul made to the image of God is diffused and insinuated by the mixture of human beings, when that very action by Him, who did this in the beginning, has not ceased even today, just as He Himself said: My Father works up to this time, and I work (cf. Jn 5,17)? Although likewise they ought to know what is written: "He who lives unto eternity, created all things at the same timely (Si 18,1). If, then, previously according to the Scripture He placed order and reason by single species in every individual creature (potentially), which cannot be denied, and causally in the work pertaining to the creation of all things at the same time, after the consummation of which He rested on the seventh day, but now operates visibly in the work pertaining to the passage of time even up to the present, * let the sound doctrines then rest, namely, that He, who calls those, which are not, just as those that are (cf. Rm 4,17), imparts souls.
361 (4) By the reasoning of which they think perhaps that they speak piously and well, in declaring that the souls are justly handed down by parents, since they are entangled with sins, they ought to be separated from them by this wise sundering, because nothing else can be transmitted by them than what has been brought to pass by their own evil presumption, that is, guilt and the punishment of sin, which their offspring have followed through the vine-branch * and clearly show so that men are born vicious and distorted. In this alone at any rate God is clearly seen to have no communion, (and) lest any fall into this necessary destruction, He has prevented it by an inborn terror of death and has given warning of it. Therefore, through the vine-branch what is transmitted by the parents evidently appears, and what God has operated from the beginning even to the end, and what He is operating is shown.
["Libellus professionis fidei" added to the epistle
"Inter ea quae" to the bishops of Spain, April 2, 517]
363 Dz 171 [Our] first safety is to guard the rule of the right faith and to deviate in no wise from the ordinances of the Fathers; because we cannot pass over the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ who said: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church" . . . (Mt 16,18). These [words] which were spoken, are proved by the effects of the deeds, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved without stain.
364 Desiring not to be separated from this hope and faith and following the ordinances of the Fathers, we anathematize all heresies, especially the heretic Nestorius, who at one time was bishop of the city of Constantinople, condemned in the Council of EPHESUS by the blessed CELESTINE, Pope of the City of Rome,* and by the venerable man Cyril, high priest of the City of Alexandria. Similiarly anathematizing both Eutyches and Dioscorus of Alexandria condemned in the holy Synod of CHALCEDON [see n. 148] which we follow and embrace, which following the sacred Council of NICEA proclaimed the apostolic faith, we detest both Timothy the parricide, surnamed the Cat, and likewise his disciple and follower in all things, Peter of Alexandria. We condemn, too, and anathematize Acacius, formerly bishop of Constantinople, who was condemned by the Apostolic See, their confederate and follower, or those who remained in the society of their communion, because Acacius justly merited a sentence in condemnation like theirs in whose communion he mingled. No less do we condemn Peter of Antioch with his followers, and the followers of all mentioned above.
365 Dz 172 Moreover, we accept and approve all the letters of blessed LEO the Pope, which he wrote regarding the Christian religion, just as we said before, following the Apostolic See in all things, and extolling all its ordinances. And, therefore, I hope that I may merit to be in the one communion with you, which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which there is the whole and the true and the perfect solidity of the Christian religion, promising that in the future the names of those separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, those not agreeing with the Apostolic See, shall not be read during the sacred mysteries. But if I shall attempt in any way to deviate from my profession, I confess that I am a confederate in my opinion with those whom I have condemned. However, I have with my own hand signed this profession of mine, and to you, HORMISDAS, the holy and venerable Pope of the City of Rome, I have directed it.
[From epistle 125 or "Decretal . . . on divine scriptures" in the year 520]
Besides those which are contained in the Decretal of Gelasius, [ n. 162] here, after the Synod of Ephesus "Constantinopolitana (1)" was also inserted: then was added: But even if any councils thus far have been instituted by the holy Fathers, we have decreed that after the authority of those four they must be both kept and received.
[From the epistle "Sicut rationi" to Possessor, August 13, 520] *
366 173a 5. Yet what the Roman, that is the Catholic, Church follows and preserves concerning free will and the grace of God can be abundantly recognized both in the various books of the blessed Augustine, and especially [in those] to Hilary and Prosper, but the prominent chapters are contained in the ecclesiastical archives and if these are lacking there and you believe them necessary, we establish [them], although he who diligently considers the words of the apostle, should know clearly what he ought to follow.
Confirmed by Boniface II (against the Semipelagians)
370 173b To us, according to the admonition and authority of the Apostolic See, it has seemed just and reasonable that we should set forth to be observed by all, and that we should sign with our own hands, a few chapters transmitted * to us by the Apostolic See, which were collected by the ancient fathers from the volumes of the Sacred Scripture especially in this cause, to teach those who think otherwise than they ought. . . .
371 Dz 174 [I. Original sin] Can. 1. If anyone says that by the offense of Adam's transgression not the whole man, that is according to body and soul, was changed for the worse [St. Augustine], * but believes that while the liberty of the soul endures without harm, the body only is exposed to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and resists the Scripture which says:"The soul, that has sinned, shall die" (Ez 18,20); and: "Do you not know that to whom you show yourselves servants to obey, you are the servants of him whom you obey?" (Rm 6,16); and: Anyone is adjudged the slave of him by whom he is overcome (2P 2,19).
372 Dz 175 Can. 2. If anyone asserts that Adam's transgression injured him alone and not his descendants, or declares that certainly death of the body only, which is the punishment of sin, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man into the whole human race, he will do an injustice to God, contradicting the Apostle who says: Through one man sin entered in the world, and through sin death, and thus death passed into all men, in whom all have sinned (Rm 5,12 Cf. St. Augustine). *
373 Dz 176 [II Grace] Can. 3. If anyone says that the grace of God can be bestowed by human invocation, but that the grace itself does not bring it to pass that it be invoked by us, he contradicts Isaias the Prophet, or the Apostle who says the same thing: "I was found by those who were not seeking me: I appeared openly to those, who did not ask me" (Rm 10,20 cf. Is. Is 65,1).
374 Dz 177 Can. 4. If anyone contends that in order that we may be cleansed from sin, God waits for our good will, but does not acknowledge that even the wish to be purged is produced in us through the infusion and operation of the Holy Spirit, he opposes the Holy Spirit Himself, who says through Solomon: "Good will is prepared by the Lord" (Pr 8,35, LXX), and the Apostle who beneficially says:"It is God, who works in us both to will and to accomplish according to his good will" (Ph 2,13).
375 Dz 178 Can. 5. If anyone says, that just as the increase [of faith] so also the beginning of faith and the very desire of credulity, by which we believe in Him who justifies the impious, and (by which) we arrive at the regeneration of holy baptism (is) not through the gift of grace, that is, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reforming our will from infidelity to faith, from impiety to piety, but is naturally in us, he is proved (to be) antagonistic to the doctrine of the Apostles, since blessed Paul says: We trust, that he who begins a good work in us, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus (Ph 1,6); and the following: It was given to you for Christ not only that you may believe in Him, but also, that you may suffer for Him (Ph 1,29); and: By grace you are made safe through faith, and this not of yourselves; for it is the gift of God (Ep 2,8). For those who say that faith, by which we believe in God, is natural, declare that all those who are alien to the Church of Christ are in a measure faithful [cf. St. Augustine]. *
376 Dz 179 Can. 6. If anyone asserts that without the grace of God mercy is divinely given to us when we believe, will, desire, try, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, urge, but does not confess that through the infusion and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in us, it is brought about that we believe, wish, or are able to do all these things as we ought, and does not join either to human humility or obedience the help of grace, nor agree that it is the gift of His grace that we are obedient and humble, opposes the Apostle who says: What have you, that you have not received? (1Co 4,7); and: By the grace of God I am that, which I am (1Co 15,10 cf. St. Augustine and St. Prosper of Aquitaine). *
377 Dz 180 Can. 7. If anyone affirms that without the illumination and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,--who gives to all sweetness in consenting to and believing in the truth,--through the strength of nature he can think anything good which pertains to the salvation of eternal life, as he should, or choose, or consent to salvation, that is to the evangelical proclamation, he is deceived by the heretical spirit, not understanding the voice of God speaking in the Gospel:"Without me you can do nothing" (Jn 15,5); and that of the Apostle: Not that we are fit to think everything by ourselves as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is, from God (2Co 3,5 cf. St. Augustine). *
378 Dz 181 Can. 8. If anyone maintains that some by mercy, but others by free will, which it is evident has been vitiated in all who have been born of the transgression of the first man, are able to come to the grace of baptism, he is proved to be inconsistent with the true faith. For he asserts that the free will of all was not weakened by the sin of the first man, or assuredly was injured in such a way, that nevertheless certain ones have the power without revelation of God to be able by themselves to seek the mystery of eternal salvation. How contrary this is, the Lord Himself proves, who testifies that not some, but no one can come to Him, except whom the Father draws (Jn 6,44), and just as he says to PETER:"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to you, but my Father, who is in heaven" (Mt 16,17); and the Apostle: No one can say Lord Jesus except in the Holy Spirit (1Co 12,3 cf- St. Prosper). *
379 Dz 182 Can. 9 . "The assistance of God. It is a divine gift, both when we think rightly and when we restrain our feet from falsity and injustice; for as often as we do good, God operates in us and with us, that we may work" [St. Prosper ].*
380 Dz 183 Can. 10. The assistance of God. The assistance of God ought to be implored always even by those who have been reborn and have been healed, that they may arrive at a good end, or may be able to continue in good work [cf. St. Prosper]. *
381 Dz 184 Can. 11. "The obligation of vows. No one would rightly vow anything to God, unless he accepts from Him what he vows" [St. Prosper] * as it is written: And what we have received from your hand, we give to you (1Ch 29,14).
382 Dz 185 Can. 12. "God loves such as us.God loves us, such as we shall be by His gift, not such as we are by our own merit" [St. Prosper].*
383 Dz 186 Can. 13. The restoration of free will. Freedom of will weakened in the first man cannot be repaired except through the grace of baptism; cc once it has been lost, it cannot be restored except by Him by whom it could be given. Thus Truth itself says: If the Son liberates you, then you will be truly free" (Jn 8,36 St. Prosper). *
384 Dz 187 Can. 14. "No wretched person is freed from misery, however small, unless he is first reached by the mercy of God" [St. Prosper] * just as the Psalmist says: Let thy mercy, Lord, speedily anticipate us (Ps 78,8); and also: "My God, His mercy will prevent me" (Ps 58,11).
385 Dz 188 Can. 15. "From that which God fashioned, Adam was changed by his own iniquity, but for the worse. From that which injustice has effected, the faithful (man) is changed by the grace of God, but for the better. Therefore, the former change was (the result) of the first transgression, the latter according to the Psalmist is the change of the right hand of the Most High (Ps 76,11)" [St. Prosper]. *
386 Dz 189 Can. 16. "Let no one glory in that which he seems to possess, as if he did not receive (it), or think that he has received (it) for this reason, because the sign appeared from without, either that it might be read, or sounded that it might be heard. For thus says the Apostle: If justice ( is) through the law, then Christ died for nothing (Ga 2,21): ascending on high he led captivity captive, he gave gifts to men (Ep 4,8 cf. Ps 67,19). Whoever has, has from Him, but whoever denies that he has from Him, either does not truly possess, or that, which he possesses, is taken away from him (Mt 25,29)" [St. Prosper]. *
387 Dz 190 Can. 17. "Worldly desire creates the fortitude of the Gentiles, but the charity of God, which is diffused in our hearts, not by free will, which is from us, but by the Holy Spirit, which is given to us (Rm 5,5) produces the fortitude of the Christians" [St. Prosper].*
388 Dz 191 Can. 18. "That grace is preceded by no merits. A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done" [St. Prosper]. *
389 Dz 192 Can. 19. "That no one is saved except by God's mercy. Even if human nature remained in that integrity in which it was formed, it would in no way save itself without the help of its Creator; therefore, since without the grace of God it cannot guard the health which it received, how without the grace of God will it be able to recover what it has lost?" [St. Prosper] *
390 Dz 193 Can. 20. "That without God man can do no good. God does many good things in man, which man does not do; indeed man can do no good that God does not expect that man do" [St. Prosper].*
391 Dz 194 Can. 21. "Nature and grace. Just as the Apostle most truly says to those, who, wishing to be justified in the law, have fallen even from grace: if justice is from the law, then Christ died in vain (Ga 2,21); so it is most truly said to those who think that grace, which the faith of Christ commends and obtains, is nature: If justice is through nature, then Christ died in vain. For the law was already here, and it did not justify; nature, too, was already present, and it did not justify. Therefore, Christ did not die in vain, that the law also might be fulfilled through Him, who said: I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill (it) (Mt 5,17), and in order that nature ruined by Adam, might be repaired by Him, who said: He came to seek and to save that which had been lost (Lc 19,10)" [St. Prosper].*
392 Dz 195 Can. 22. "Those things which are peculiar to men.No one has anything of his own except lying and sin. But if man has any truth and justice, it is from that fountain for which we ought to thirst in this desert, that bedewed by some drops of water from it, we may not falter on the way" [St. Prosper].*
393 Dz 196 Can. 23. "The good will of God and of man. Men do their own will, not God's, when they do what displeases God; but when they do what they wish, in order to serve the divine will, even though willingly they do what they do, nevertheless it is the will of Him by whom what they will is both prepared and ordered" [St. Prosper]. *
394 Dz 197 Can. 24. "The branches of the vine. Thus there are branches in the vine, not that they may bestow anything upon the vine, but that they may receive from it the means by which they may live; so truly the vine is in the branches, that it may furnish vital nourishment to these, not take it from them. And by this it is an advantage to the disciples, not to Christ, that each have Christ abiding in him, and that each abide in Christ. For if the branch is cut off, another can sprout forth from the living root; but that which has been cut off, cannot live without tile root (Jn 15,5 ff.)" [St. Prosper]. *
395 Dz 198 Can. 25. "The love with which we love God. Truly to love God is a gift of God. He Himself has granted that He be loved, who though not loved loves. Although we were displeasing we were loved, so that there might be produced in us [something] by which we might please. For the Spirit whom we love together with the Father and the Son pours forth the charity [of the Father and the Son] in our hearts (Rm 5,5)" [St. Prosper]. *
396 Dz 199
And thus according to the statements of the Holy Scriptures written above, or the explanations of the ancient Fathers, God being propitious, we ought to proclaim and to believe that through the sin of the first man free will was so changed and so weakened that afterwards no one could either love God as he ought, or believe in God, or perform what is good on account of God, unless the grace of divine mercy reached him first. Therefore, we believe that in the [case of] the just Abel, and Noah and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the multitude of the ancient saints that illustrious faith which the Apostle Paul proclaims in their praise (He 11), was conferred not by tile good of nature, which had been given before in [the case of] Adam, but through the grace of God. Even after the coming of the Lord we know and likewise believe that this grace was not held in the free will of all who desired to be baptized, but was bestowed by the bounty of Christ, according to what has already been said often, and Paul the Apostle declares: It has been given to you for Christ, not only, that you may believe in him, but also that you may suffer for him (Ph 1,29); and this: God, who has begun a good work in you, will perfect it even to the day of our Lord (Ph 1,6); and this: By grace you are made safe through faith, and this not of yourselves: for it is the gift of God (Ep 2,8); and that which the Apostle says about himself: I have obtained mercy, that I may be faithful (1Co 7,25 1Tm 1,13); he did not say: "because I was," but: "that I may be." And that: What have you, that you have not received? (1Co 4,7). And that: Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (Jc 1,17). And that: No one has anything, except it has been given him from above (Jn 3,27). Innumerable are the testimonies of the Sacred Scriptures which can be brought forward to prove grace, but they are passed over out of a desire for brevity; also because, in truth, more [proofs] will not profit those for whom a few do not suffice.
[III. Predestination] According to the Catholic faith we believe this also, that after grace has been received through baptism, all the baptized with the help and cooperation of Christ can and ought to fulfill what pertains to the salvation of the soul, if they will labor faithfully. We not only do not believe that some have been truly predestined to evil by divine power, but also with every execration we pronounce anathema upon those, if there are [any such], who wish to believe so great an evil. This, too, we profess and believe unto salvation, that in every good work we do not begin, and afterwards are helped by the mercy of God, but He Himself, with no preceding good services [on our part], previously inspires us with faith and love of Him, so that we may both faithfully seek the sacraments of baptism, and after baptism with His help be able to perform those [acts] which are pleasing to Him. So very clearly we should believe that the faith-so admirable-both of that famous thief, whom the Lord restored to his native land of paradise (Lc 23,43), and of Cornelius the centurion, to whom the angel of the Lord was sent (Ac 10,3), and of Zacheus, who deserved to receive the Lord Himself (Lc 19,6), was not from nature, but a gift of God's bounty.
Denzinger EN 329