Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Freely, freely you have received

To hope that the eternal God will give you this world's goods or the devil everlasting life is equally monstrous.  Keep your eye on the ball, keep to the right road.

If your legs are strong so much the better - run - the faster you move, the sooner you will get home.  But perhaps you limp a bit?  All right, only don't leave the way, you will get there even if a little late.  Don't stick on the way or turn back, don't wander off. 

What are we to make of this?  Are only those who have not sinned blessed?  No, those are blessed whose sins are forgiven.  That grace is given to us freely: We have no good works to show and yet he forgives us our sins.

If you look at your deeds you see wickedness, and if God rewards them you would be damned, for 'the wages of sin is death'.  But see, God does not exact the payment for sin, but gives you freely grace which is not owed to you.

Punishment is your due, forgiveness is what you receive, and with this forgiveness your faith begins, and with his love, you will begin to do right.  Only don't glory in yourself, or be puffed up.  Remember what you were when he found you.  Reflect that you are a sinner, and then realize that through faith by love you have begun to do well, and this not of your own strength but by the grace of God.  

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


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