Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me": the grace of final perseverance

Saint Paul experienced and wrote about the reality which the Church is living through in the present age, where so many, enamored of various "lobbies" and pressure groups, abandon Christ and His Church. In 2 Timothy he responds to such unfaithfulness in this way: "At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it." Our faith is given that we might grow in virtues and among these what is called the grace of final perseverance. If we do not fall away from the life of the Church and from her teaching in faith and morals we can look forward to the eternal life of heaven. "The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus. Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the 'blessed hope' of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the 'holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'" (CCC 2016)