The Apostle Paul was a man, who, when we first hear of him, had not only no merits, but a great many demerits. That man received the grace of God, Who returneth good for evil, and let us see in what sort of language, when the hour of his last sufferings was at hand, he wrote to Timothy. He saith: I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim. iii. 6. Here he counteth his merits, whereon a crown was immediately to follow, just as grace had followed immediately on his demerits. Listen to what cometh next: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day. Unto whom would the Lord give a crown as a righteous Judge, if He had not first given grace, as a merciful Father? And how would that crown be a crown of righteousness, if there had not first come grace which justifieth the ungodly? How could a reward have been earned unless the power to earn had first been given unearned? 1960 Roman Breviary
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.