In today’s episode we come to a part of the Catechism that teaches us about the effects of justification in our lives. Not only are we reconciled to God but when He receives us He gives us gifts, not unlike the father of the Prodigal Son. Here’s what CCC §§1990-1991 says:
Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.
Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or “justice”) here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us. (Emphasis in original)
So reconciliation is of course a principal benefit we receive, but we receive other gifts as well. As a loving Father God gives us blessings we need in order to help us be loving children in return.
- We receive the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. In Catholic understanding these are the theological virtues. In brief, we are not able in and of ourselves to exercise these virtues because they are God’s gifts to us. We are not able to exercise faith apart from these gifts, nor hope, nor love of God and neighbor.
- We receive the gift of obedience. God empowers us to obey Him. As with the theological virtues, we cannot obey God by our own strength, and so God gives that strength to us.
We will see more about this topic in a future post, but for now suffice it to say that having been given such amazing gifts, we have the concomitant responsibility to exercise them. We must exercise the virtues of faith, hope, and love; we must strive to obey God. He enables us to do these things, but then we must do them.