Cardinal Manning in the book I am sharing with my readers, notes two heresies which seem to be popular today.
He points out that Alexander VIII condemned that the heathen, the heretics and the Jews do not have any influence from the graces of Christ and do not have help for their wills.
Everyone is given grace sufficient for salvation.
The second point is also a heresy condemned by Clement XI, which is that there is no grace given outside the Church.
I have heard over and over, especially in Great Britain, that people are so in ignorance that they have no culpability for not being converted.
Cardinal Manning states this; "The work, therefore, of the Holy Ghost, even in the order of nature, so to say, that is, outside of the church of God and of the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ among the heathen--that working is universal in the soul of every individual human being..."
I have had healthy discussions with those who honestly do not believe that God comes to each person, not once, not twice, but several times and in nature, in daily mercies.
Manning notes that every gift is a grace, that every knowledge which can lead us to God is a grace.
So, why do so many lay people deny these two truths? Here are my insights:
One, people make excuses for their own lack of zeal and lack of evangelization.
Two, people do not honestly believe in hell, or that some people who refuse graces are damned.
Three, people seem to make excuses as if every adult is a child-adults can come to know God through their reason-even children can do this.
Four, many do not believe that there is no neutrality in the spiritual world and think that there are neutral territories. Not so.
All humans who have ever lived since the Incarnation, since the Passion and Death of Christ have access to the light of faith, the truth of hope and the life of love.
To deny this is to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the world.
In England, many turn against grace for these common reasons:
One, the spirit of rebellion, which takes hold of the heart and mind and declares total independence from God.
Two, the spirit of protest, or protestantism, which claims that the Church has not been true and makes excuses for turning away from the grace of union.
Three, social comfort is seen as more important than leaving all, including, perhaps, family, to follow Christ.
Four, false identification with religion and the state-or, in other words, the unwillingness to leave the Anglican Communion as it seems more "British" than Catholicism.
Five, the denial of sin and judgement-in other words, the denial of particular and final judgement.
We need grace and we are given grace.
to be continued...