Author: Rev R Garrigou Lagrange;Brother Hermenegild TOSF
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In the first part of this book our studies will be concerned with the meaning of predestination according to Scripture and the teaching of the Church. Then we shall consider the principal difficulties of the problem, the method to be followed, the classification of the theological systems, and the stand taken by St. Augustine. In the second part we shall give the history of the various solutions of the great problem, insisting upon the teaching of St. Thomas, which we shall compare with the tentative solutions proposed by theologians of later date, and especially with the solutions proposed by the post-Tridentine theologians. In the third part we shall treat of grace, especially of efficacious grace, by which the effects of predestination are realized in this life. These are vocation, justification, and merit. We shall make a special study of efficacious grace in its relation to sufficient grace that is offered and even given to all. The scope of this book from beginning to end is the reconciliation of the two principles of divine predilection and possible salvation for all. On the one hand, no one thing would be better than another, if God did not will greater good for one than for another. 8 On the other hand, God never commands what is impossible, but makes it possible for all who have come to the use of reason to fulfil the precepts that are of obligation, at the time they are of obligation, when and as these are known by them. The intimate reconciliation of these two principles is beyond our power of perception. Before our admission to the beatific vision, this would be impossible for any created intellect, either angelic or human. But we must attach equal importance to both principles. They counteract each other, and the history of theology as well as a thorough knowledge of the teaching of St. Thomas, enables us to estimate each principle at its true value, so that we vaguely foresee how infinite mercy, justice, and sovereign liberty are intimately reconciled in the eminence of the Deity, or of the intimate life of God.