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Dennis wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What is the Catholic view of predestination? (RE: Ephesians 1, verses 3, 4, and 5)
  • Is our place in Heaven predetermined already?
  • Is there a need to pray for somebody else's salvation or is [his|her] Heavenly place already predetermined?
  • Are our daily actions predetermined?
  • Is the course of our daily life predetermined?

Thanks a lot,

Dennis

  { What is the Catholic view of predestination in lieu of Ephesians 1:3-5 and is life predetermined? }

Bob replied:

Dear Dennis,

Thanks for the question on predestination. This is a often confusing and difficult subject to address.

The bottom line is that the Catholic Church does teach that the elect are predestined,
while concomitantly, free will is respected so that God is not involved with coercion.

At the same time, the Church condemns a parallel assertion that one is predestined to Hell.
That is the error of the Calvinists.

The best way to explain this is that God has foreknowledge of all those that would respond to his gift of self. While He wills all to be saved (cf. 1 Timothy 2:3), not all accept Him (also, John 1:11-12). In addition to this foreknowledge, God also has provided all the grace necessary for those to be saved. In this way, He has determined their salvation: by insuring it. So, in the end, God not only knows who will be saved, He "saw to it" that they were saved, and respected the free will of those who were not.

The problem that Calvinists and others have pertains to God's sovereignty. They believe that since God's will is perfect and sovereign, everything He wills, comes to be, and all that is — is His will. The latter portion is their mistake.

In reality, God allows evil actions to happen, but He does not will them in His perfect will.
He cannot be construed to be responsible for the evil in the world, even though no evil could
take place without His consent.

In the same way, souls are lost. God does not desire the condemnation of man, Jesus said,
"I come not to condemn, but to save...")
, but their salvation. If His will seems to be thwarted
(by losing souls) it is only an illusion, a clever diversion from the truth. His perfect will is that men be free, free to accept or reject Him.

  • So, if you wonder, is God aware of your outcome? Yes.
  • Is He preparing a place for His children? Yes.
  • Are you one of His children? Have you entered into His covenant family and eaten the covenant meal?

Ultimately, your fate is in God's hands. What you require is trust in His mercy and a clear conscience. Look at Paul's response to those who tried to question Him. (1 Corinthians 4:3-5)

I hope this was helpful. If you really want to dig deep, consult the Catholic Encyclopedia, or seek out writings from Fr. William Most on the subject, like:

EWTN may have him online.

Peace,

Bob K.

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