December 25, 2010

Grace and Freedom Meet


Upon reading the Pope's Homily for Christmas Eve, I understand the correct interpretation for 'Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards men " and "Peace to men of Goodwill' are to be both taken together .

You can't have one interpretation without the other, cause it's BOTH. There is a slight difference .

That was one question I asked the priest at my parish . Which one is the correct interpretation? Cause I heard the protestant mostly say "Peace on Earth goodwill to men' and I've always heard it the other way.

To quote from the sermon of Pope Benedict XVI the part relating to this :

 The Latin translation of the angels’ song that we use in the liturgy, taken from Saint Jerome, is slightly different: “peace to men of good will”. The expression “men of good will” has become an important part of the Church’s vocabulary in recent decades. But which is the correct translation? We must read both texts together; only in this way do we truly understand the angels’ song. It would be a false interpretation to see this exclusively as the action of God, as if he had not called man to a free response of love. But it would be equally mistaken to adopt a moralizing interpretation as if man were so to speak able to redeem himself by his good will. Both elements belong together: grace and freedom, God’s prior love for us, without which we could not love him, and the response that he awaits from us, the response that he asks for so palpably through the birth of his son. We cannot divide up into independent entities the interplay of grace and freedom, or the interplay of call and response. The two are inseparably woven together. So this part of the angels’ message is both promise and call at the same time. God has anticipated us with the gift of his Son. God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin. Again and again he begins afresh with us. But he is still waiting for us to join him in love. He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth.


Catholicism 101

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