Brothers and sisters:
We who know that a person is not justified by works of the law
but through faith in Jesus Christ,
even we have believed in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ
and not by works of the law,
because by works of the law no one will be justified.
For through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God;
for if justification comes through the law,
then Christ died for nothing.
Where above are the words, "faith alone?" It is by "grace we are all saved." We do not "nullify" that it is "grace" ... as St. Therese said, "Everything is grace!" Yet, when we are 'saved' at our baptism, we will, by our choices, for the *good,* live 'out' our life of 'faith in Christ' by 'doing good deeds.' Faith is 'worked out' and our 'salvation is 'worked' out for others to see and come to know Jesus and the Father's love. We know, we get it, that we can't be saved by 'works of the law' alone, but it doesn't at all say, "faith alone' either!
This is why a Church, w/ a magesterium is needed...for left to our own devices and our own interpretations, we can 'fall away' so easily. This is the Church Jesus gave us, His Church...the Catholic Church, based in Rome over the bones of Saint Peter, the first Pope. And how blessed we are to have been 'graced' to see, hear, believe, repent, convert and now 'live life to the full' where the Fullness of Jesus IS! In the RCC! Thank you Lord for building YOUR Church on the rock of Peter. Thank You for giving us a faithful authority on matters of faith and morals to guide us, teach us, and keep us safe in the bark of Peter, the "Ship" where You are...at rest, even in the storm, for You are PEACE and You are with us and where we are always "safest" (only) if we never leave Your Church, Your Bride.
For to 'go our own way,' though it may be a 'rockin' song' by Fleetwood Mac, is NO WAY to live the Christian life!! How many Protestants, and all those who don't even think of themselves as that, but actually *pride* themselves on being 'non-denomers' and "independents" need to 'take this to heart!! We all do, for but by the "Grace of God go I!"
"If you love Me, YOU WILL KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS," says the Lord. But yet, so many seem to dwell completely on "loving' Jesus, while dissing the second part completely! His commandments ARE important! That's why we have the Church He built and not "churches" independent of the SOURCE and SUMMIT of the Faith, the Eucharist!! Of course we're Not to "ONLY" follow rules, and *pride* ourselves on keeping 'laws' but we're to LOVE JESUS enough to "obey" them! For to "obey" is better than sacrifice!
Jesus puts a lot of emphasis on the word "obey" for a reason, yet so many now put the emphasis on 'love' ah yes... la la la la love, like Barney& Friends. singing 'Kumbaya' and holding hands, and back-slapping, hand clapping in Mass or elsewhere does not make one Christian! No way! It's "both, and" in the RCC, as well it needs to be! For 'all we like sheep have gone astray ... everyone 'turning' to 'his own way.' That is NOT good to do ... and come to think of it, it's really not that great a song either.
~ PAX CHRISTI