14 May 2008

Patristic Quote of the Day

But why does he call it inheritance (or lot)? To show that by his own achievements no one obtains the kingdom, but as a lot is rather the result of good luck, so in truth is it here also. For a life so good as to be counted worthy of the kingdom does no one show forth, but the whole is of His free gift. Therefore He says, When you have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants, for we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke xvii. 10.) -- St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Colossians 1

1 comment:

Josh S said...

Let me apply a fancy Roman filter:

What Chrysostom means, of course, is that no one shows for such a good life by means of his own unaided natural powers without an infusion of grace. Thus he says that no one obtains the kingdom "by his own achievements," that is, achievements done without grace. The "free gift," of course, refers to that grace and charity poured forth into our souls that enables us to merit heaven, plus the good favor of God that credits more merit to our works than they deserve.