How Heaven Is Obtained

“God does not grant us heaven gratuitously from pure liberality, nor simply out of fidelity to His promises, but out of strict justice, as a reward due to our works. True, God is not obliged to reward our good works, for as our Creator and Father He might justly claim a right to all our services. Hence heaven is always a reward and a grace bestowed upon us—sanctifying grace, which makes us heirs of heaven, and all the faculties by which we perform supernatural works, being the gratuitous gifts of God.”

“By sanctifying grace we are made partakers of the Divine Nature, and the works which we perform are Divine works; thus we stand in a relation of equality to heavenly glory, and when God promises us this glory He promises it as an inheritance and a reward which is not above the dignity of our person and the value of our works.”

“A King is not under an obligation to reward the services that his subjects or children are bound to give him; but his children would have a right to expect a share in his authority and to inherit his riches and his kingdom. It is the same with our heavenly Father. We have not been promised a heavenly reward for the good works which we perform by nature only, for they are in no proportion whatsoever to the dignity of heavenly happiness. . . . We do not yet perform those works as heirs of heaven; and they can only serve to prepare our heart for this filial love, and for the reception of the grace of sonship through the merits of Christ.”

“But when we have actually been made children of God by [sanctifying] grace, and are united to Him by filial love, then all the good works that we perform with the help of [actual] grace are so many filial services which God can only reward worthily with the riches of His kingdom.”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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