Monday, May 30, 2011

The Religion of Grace

I need to make one point clear. Every religion or religious philosophy begins by telling people what they must do to be saved, be it ascetic renunciations or intellectual speculations. Christianity doesn't begin by telling people what they must do, but what God has done for them. Gift comes before duty.

This principle applies, first of all, to the domain of charity. To love God with all your strength and your neighbor as yourself is certainly the first and most important commandment, but the order of the commandments is not the first order; before it comes the order of the gift: We love because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). Christianity is the religion of grace. ~ Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household

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