GeE 49: A Will Lacking Humility

See the source imagePope Francis titles the next few paragraphs “A will lacking humility.” What does he mean by that?

49. Those who yield to this pelagian or semi-pelagian mindset, even though they speak warmly of God’s grace, “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style.” [Evangelii Gaudium 94]

The sticking point is not sticking to a particular style, but believing one’s style is best. It may be best for the individual … sometimes. It’s good to remember that catholic equals universal.

The problem expressed here is bullying:

When some of them tell the weak that all things can be accomplished with God’s grace, deep down they tend to give the idea that all things are possible by the human will, as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added. They fail to realize that “not everyone can do everything”,[Cf. Bonaventure, De sex alis Seraphim, 3, 8: “Non omnes omnia possunt”. The phrase is to be understood along the lines of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735.] and that in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once for all by grace.[Cf. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 109, a. 9, ad 1: “But here grace is to some extent imperfect, inasmuch as it does not completely heal man, as we have said”.]

In other words, the project of ourselves will never be completed in this life. Another doctor of the Church, one of the original eight, counsels us to lean on God, not gurus:

In every case, as Saint Augustine taught, God commands you to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot,[Cf. De natura et gratia, 43, 50: PL 44, 271] and indeed to pray to him humbly: “Grant what you command, and command what you will”.[Confessiones, X, 29, 40: PL 32, 796]

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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